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The non-Easter weekend

You can always tell where political tensions exist in the world byt the rpice of certain gems at gem shows. Lapis Lazuli has gone through the roof. Because it's mined where? Afganistan. I went to a gem show in September just about a week after the attacks and the price was slightly elevated. That was probably just a ripple like what happens with the stock market. Just a reactionary thing because whatever inventory or Lapis they had was already here in the US. Now it's probably due to not being able to get a reliable supply out of Afganistan. A few years back when political tensions were high in Zaire, malachite went through the roof. Now I see it is getting back to normal again. I only paid $10 for a 16" strand yesterday. But even the crappy lapis, the stuff that looks like a dalmation dog with blue spots was outrageous. Last Spring it was $6 for a 16" stran of the crappy stuff and $8-10 for the good stuff. Now the crappy stuff is $24 and the good stuff was $35-40 and these are wholesale prices folks. Needless to say, Pink Coyote Designs won't be featuring any lapis deigns unti lthe market settles down again. I bought a nice strand of sodalite instead. Not as bright as lapis but at least it's blue.

Can you tell I went to a gem show? I was going to go Saturday after I got my running around town done in the morning. But then I seemed to have a relapse of my intestinal virus from earlier in the week. Or maybe I was never really over it all the way. So I stayed at the farm and tried to get some house work done. Burned some trash and did some things around the house and watched the games. i made an exectutive decision and called my cousin who was organizing the family reunion and begged off, saying I was sick. Sunday I was feeling better so I headed on down. I could have gone to Springfield and taken the interstate and gotten there faster but that is the most boring, non-scenic, drive in the world. So I took the backroads instead through all the little towns. I saw a K-Mart that was going out of business on the way down and selling off their inventory at 75% off...sweet. But I didn't stop because it seemd like everyone and their mother was going in there.

I got down to the gem show around 1 pm. Went in. Found the exclusive wholesale area where not everyone can go and did my big shopping. In addition to the sodalite, I got some unusual shapes of mother of pearl and howlite and some nice amethyst, hematite, picture jasper, rainbow moonstone, green onyx, malachite and turquoise round beads. Then I went to the other wholesale area where my friends from Quantuum Designs in Ohio were located. They gave me dealer discounts on top of wholesale prices on some silver and gemstone pendants because I buy from them all the time but also because I give them advice on marketing. I got Deb a really nice Sterling and turquoise Dragonfly pin about 3" in length. I got myslef and sterling and rainbow moonstone pendant. If you've never seen rainbow moonstone, it's a white semi-opaque stone with blue and green fire just like an opal. Really pretty. Plus I got some turquoise, lapis and sugilite pendants and earrings. Retail it would have cost around $400. I got it all for less than $50.

afterward, I wanderd around the convention center for a bit and noticed ther was a psychic faire going on so I figured, what the hell. Normally I shy away from these affairs because the kind of people that run them while sincere, usually end up being the kind that give the term New Age a really bad connotation. True to form, there were some wackos there. There was this one lady who was reading irises. She was a PhD (in what, I don't know) who claimed she could tell your future from the iris of your eyes like a palmist could read your palm. Whatever. There were all sorts of clairvoyants there giving various different readings to the tune of $20 for 15 minutes. You do the math...that's right, these folks were taking in $80/hr. Now grantedm they most likely had to pay a commission to the organizer but still. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. Most of them looked like old hippies wearing loose moo moos and various tie die and Celtic pattern clothing. There were some Pagan folks there too selling various wares.

There were lots of stones for sale and they were making me very warm which always happens when I'm around too much energy. The personal energy from all the psychics was making me pretty light headed too. I was checking out some aromatherapy misters when the woman behind the counter, squirts me right in the face with this orange aroma stuff which I hate about as much as when someone does that to you with cologne at a perfume counter in the mall. I was going to express some irritation but then I started to get a very grounded feeling so I thanked her instead. She told me she could see I was getting too much energy from the stones and she knew this would calm me down. So we talked for a little bit. She had some nice jewelry of the type that I do. It was priced about three times higher than how I price mine but I guess everyone has to make a buck. She had me hold a necklace she was wearing with some ruby in it and it almost burned me. I must have some issue to explore with Ruby. I eneded up buying a vial of the Orange stuff she got me with. Nice sales technique there.

I didn't hang around too much longer with that crowd. Most of them were what Deb would call Metagazers which she used to call me until she understood everything better. I don't really judge them too harshly because everyone has to find their own path. I just think some of them are a bit misguided.

So back in the real world of work today. Just plugging away. Hoping my boss approves my day off Wednesday so I can go pick up fireworks for a wedding reception we plan to do this weekend. Much of it will be practice for some of the things we want to do in NC next month.

The big thing will be to test the firecraker effect. We are getting a Super String of 100,000 firecrackers and coating them with sticky match. They will probably all go off at once but it should be louder than hell anyway.

Look for a new contest posted today, open to everyone.




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2002 10:41 am (UTC)
what, pray tell, is the Firecracker Effect?

Is that like the butterfly effect? (A firecracker flapping its wings in Beijing today will affect weather patterns three months from now in new york?)

Apr. 1st, 2002 12:17 pm (UTC)
Well it's a theory actually. We've been wanting to do this string of 100,000 firecrackers for a long time now. These are not the average firecrackers either. They are called Big Pigs. They are each about the strength of the old M-80's that are illegal now. We've tried to light one before for various shows but they always light and then get to going so fast that they essentially blow themselves out and we always have to relight them. So we are planning to wire this 50 foot string of firecrackers up and down a long pole fixed in the ground. Then we havethis stuff called "sticky match" which is essentially granulized black powder stuck to super stick clear tape. We use that for lighting things which are difficult to light. It burns at a rate of around 20 feet per second. So we are going to press the sticky match directly over the fuses for the firecracker string and light it. One theory sayd the whole string will pretty much explode at once. The other says it will have a domino effect and light in sequence but have a better guarantee of everything lighting. Problem is we've never tested it before. The other thought is to get 150 feet of cannon fuse and intertwine it through the string to see what will happen. That would be more of a domino efect.

Apr. 1st, 2002 01:10 pm (UTC)
that's like the time we wrapped 100 feet of flashwire around an acetylene tank out in the middle of the desert. I wired a cable-detonator because I didn't want the possibility of highspeed shrapnel becoming a permanent part of my person.

We called it a popper.

"so, what are you guys doing with that acetylene?"
"we're making a popper."
"a popper?"
"can I come watch?"
"got safety glasses and ear-protection?"
"Umm... yeah. What kind of pop are we talking about?"
"big enough that you're probably going to need to hide behind something bulletproof."

The crater was 25 feet across and 12 feet deep. We set it off from a quarter mile away.

Apr. 1st, 2002 04:14 pm (UTC)
I just found out I have to take explosives handling training soon so i'll actually be licensed to do that kind of thing. Scary thought.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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