Thursday, July 29, 2010

Road trip

I may go off on a road trip today. Thinking about getting back in to leathercrafting. Tooling, carving, stitching, etc. But in order to do that, I'd need supplies.

Dear Butcher's home -- to day may be the day to load the CD's up in the car and head out to the hinterlands to find a leather shop.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I normally have plans for Tuesday mornings, but all three kids are home today.

No school, no camp.

Which means I have to forgo my regular Tuesday morning plans and I'm more than a little annoyed about it.


Monday, July 26, 2010


Got Saul an iPod nano.

He took it on the plane when he and grandma flew to NYC. Apparently it was left on the plane. "That's OK," says Grandma. "I'll replace it." She sent us money, we bought him an iPod Touch.

Dire warnings. DO NOT take this outside. Don't show it off to your friends. Don't take it outside. Don't leave it on the curb when you go skateboarding with your friends.

Fourth of July picnic, he's running across the street to join up in a game of volleyball, and his iPod drops out of his pocket, smashing the screen.

He starts working off the money it will take to replace it in chores, Dear Butcher puts in a claim against the iPod because he purchased it with his American Express card. Hey ho, whaddya know, American Express comes through and we get a refurbished iPod along with a screen cover and a case.

OK then.

Sync the new iPod, software doesn't quite match, reinstall, sync, save, restore, download, sync, restore, etc. An hour and a half later I get the iPod to look like his old iPod with *all* his apps properly installed.

"Oh NO!" he cries. "This is terrible!"


"All my data is gone. I have to REPLAY all my levels!"

Is it too early in the day for a stiff drink? A bubble bath? Because if that's what I get for replacing an iPod that was broken because he didn't listen to the rules, I'd rather have that hour and half back, thank you very much. Just call me Mean Mommie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A new way to visit old friends

I learned this morning that Charles Craver has donated his impressive collection of Arabian horse skulls to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Charles bred Davenport Arabian horses for decades, including my aunt's beloved Binni. Actually, he didn't just breed them, he gathered the tribe together and created the Davenport program as it currently exists. He corresponded with "The Greats" in the Arabian breeding community, and developed a way of keeping as much genetic diversity as he could within a closed breeding group. He wrote excellent scholarly articles on important people and horses for Arabian Horse World and other magazines. He's something of a legend within certain circles.

Charles became interested in measuring horse's skeletons and skulls because there are so many myths about Arabians. (They are missing a vertebra. Yeah, lots of horses are born without one -- it's not unique to Arabians. They are missing a pair of ribs. Some horses are born without a pair of ribs. Some dogs are born without a pair of ribs. Some humans are too. It's not that big a deal. But to those who buy in to the Majikal Arabians myth, it's handy to throw these anomalies around as signs of divine speshullness.) Charles particularly wanted to know about how the head connects to the neck and whether a family of Arabians that are known to have high head carriage really do have something physically different about them, or whether they just have the tendency to put their heads up in the air.

He had horses in his barns, but he had no skulls. So Charles did a brave and wonderful thing. After every important horse of his died, he carefully prepared its skull and cataloged it. His collection is really remarkable in that he has pictures and measurements for the living animal to be used as comparison to the skull.

Now that Charles is older, he has sold off most of his herd to other breeders save for a few "pensioners". This week, his skull collection was donated to the Carnegie Museum.

I like to go visit descendants of the horses I knew at my aunt's from time to time. (Last month I hung out with one elderly lady I knew in her youth at the farm.) Now I guess I can go visit the ancestors of the Upland Farm crew. It won't be the same without Charles' commentary though. Than again, I keep reminding myself, things change.