Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gem & Mineral Show - Bossier City, LA

  Every year about this time (2nd or 3rd weekend in August) the Gem & Mineral show comes to my area.  I look forward to it every year.  Usually on the weekend it is here I try not to have anything else planned so I can be there as long as I want to be.  This year was no different.

   I love looking at rocks and minerals.  In this area there are not many rocks outcrops unless you want relatively recent sedimentary rocks.   So I go to the Gem and Mineral show to get my yearly rock fix.  Needless to say I spend many an hour drooling over gorgeous pieces.  I just wish I had more money so I could buy them all. 

   Also I like making jewelry and you can't beat the prices or the variety of items you can find at this show.  I mostly concentrate on beaded stuff when I get things because I'm in a Mardi Gras Krewe and its just normal for me to pass out beads to people when I'm doing Krewe volunteer work.  I like making my own beads, so that they are unique and something that people would want to keep and not toss away.

    This year I decided to bring my camera.  I was glad I did have it unfortunately I forgot to bring extra batteries and only got so many pictures before my camera ran out of juice. I was happy to get what I did get. But here are some that I took.

  This shot gives you an idea how big the show is.
   What I really like about the show is the fact there is a lot more going on than just looking at pretty rocks.  They have people demonstrating things, like how to make tools from rocks or how to make jewelry.  If you have the time they're willing to teach you. You just have to be patient and listen to what they tell you. 

 I really liked the way they would work with the children to show them how it was done.
 and here's some that were a work in progress and the tools used to make the things..
 Finally here's the finish product that you could see.
 They also like to have fun.  This entire table was made from rocks and minerals, except there was one edible item there (other than rock salt) that you had to guess what it was.  I couldn't figure it out. 

Here's a closer look at the center table.

 And an even closer look at some of the items.  I could tell the cheese was calcite.  The beans were agates,   the jello was glass, the carrots coral, the life savers crynoid stems, the ice in the cup was clear quartz crystals and the salt and pepper shakers were carved limestone .
 They even had food for the pets.

 And this looked like my favorite meal.  Fish with escargot.
 I went with my son again and he quickly got bored trying to figure out what was the real food.  He saw this guy breaking rocks open and got intrigued by it.  It wasn't long before he had to pull me over and see what was going on with this guy.
 It turns out that you could buy a geode from him and he would crack it open for you if you wanted it opened.  There were no guarantees that there would be crystals in them, just the fact you are buying a rock. My son read this and had to get one anyway. I told him he had to use his own money and he did.  I could tell he really wanted one  a lot since he was using his own money.  Usually when he has to use his own money he quickly looses interest in an item and decides not to get it.
 I told him to get one that was lighter than the others or one that sounded hollow on the inside.  He listen well and here's the one he picked out.
 And here's what it looked opened up.
clear quartz geode
 One of the things I love so much about going to the show is the fact that you get to talk to people who love rocks as much as you do.  It seems like every time I go I learn something new.  Like seeing these. At first I had no clue what they were.  Then the exhibitor told me and I was amazed to find out they were:

lightening strikes- - fulgurite
 Apparently the heat is so intense from the lightening strike it melt the sand. There's nothing like learning something new everyday.

  Oh there was so much to see and learn.  Some of the stuff I was told I had to take with a grain of skepticism because I knew not all of it was true.  There was one exhibitor I knew was way off on his things but he was so convinced he was right. I just let him talk and walked away from him knowing there was no use in arguing with him but also knowing what he was saying was dead wrong.  

   But then there was fun thing to look at.  Like these slices of geodes.  You can't see it in this picture but if you held them up to a light there were totally different colors and features you could see than just looking at it straight on.  They were so much fun to play around with like that.

Then there were some pieces you just had to drool over and wonder where they came from.  I know this big piece came from an area in Mexico.  It seemed like a lot of the minerals came from Mexico or China. 

 While the fossils seem to come from the mid east.  Like Morocco or Arabia.
 My son got really excited when he saw these: 
 But then when we got closer we found out these were scaled down models.
    The tag did not show up in this picture but is says its one fourth of the original size. He was hoping they were the real thing and was very disappointed that they were not.  I told them even though they were models they were still fun to look at and it was neat to see.  He didn't want to look at these for very long after realizing they were models.

    But then I did find these that you could tell were the real deal. Here's a fossilized shrimp we both enjoyed looking at. He wanted me to get it until we noticed the price tag.  We settled for a picture of it instead.

Or this lizard.  Like the shrimp this one was out of my price range, but at least I could get its picture.

This one didn't turn out real well but you could tell that this was a fossilized lobster.  I thought it was nice that they had both halves of it.  I didn't like the fact that they were selling them separately - I thought they should be kept together.  I hope who ever does acquire them keeps them as a set. 

One of the grand drawing prize was some teeth that looked liked this.  My son really was hoping we would win something like this.  With the number of people that were there I told him don't count on it.  But I must admit I was wishing the same thing he was.

But the main reason I come to the show is to pick up material and ideas for making jewelry.  This one piece caught my attention. I liked the color combination. I was curious as to how it was made. 

So I flipped it over and was amazed at how simple it was and realized I could make something like this myself.  I just had to find the right pieces.  All it was was pieces of rose and milky quarts with a polish agate (the type that's used to make belt buckles) on the front attaching the two strands with a simple pin clasp.
  I also found these earings that I liked and could afford.

 The ones to the left are magnacite (at least that's what the lady wrote down) and the ones to the right are cloisonne. 

  In conclusion this is just a few of the beads and things that I ended up going home with.
From the top down.  Clear crystal beads to use as spacers, then some red glass spacer beads, red cloisonne hearts, white(looks like marble didn't get the name), blue howlite (never heard of that mineral before), aventurine, rose quartz, white howlite, picture jasper, and dyed howlite to look like lapis lazuli.

Recently I did get a new set of book shelves, so I just had to get some bookends to go in it to keep my books from falling down.  I found these spectacular ones at the show.  The two cone shaped ones, that are raised up and polished out on each end, are Cepholopods - Orthoceras, (about 340 myo) from the Devonian Atlas Mountains, Morocco - North Africa.
 This piece I found to be so artistic I just had to get it.  It will look good on the shelves too until I fill them up with books (which for me will probably only be a couple of months).

 The red crystals are Spinel and it is in a calcite matrix.  It is from North Vietnam, the Luc Yien Mine.

      Now you can see why I end up spending so much time there at the show and why I wished I had more money.
     Muse thought: What I love about blogging is now I can keep posts of these rocks and know when I got an item and where it came from.  If I should ever happen to loose the label that goes with these items all I'll have to do is to go through my archive of posts and whala there the information is.  It's so much easier than keeping  up with scrapes of paper.
I'm now musing on how I'm going to make the beads that I'm going to give to people.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio

I've been on vacation and have seen lots of wonderful things that I hope to write about later.  But for right now I'm going to just write about one thing that caught my eye.

I have a son that just loves football.  We were in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton area of Ohio so of course he wanted to go to the Pro Football hall of fame in Canton Ohio (located  here ). (here's what Wikipedia has to say about the Pro_Football_Hall_of_Fame.

The only football that I was interested in was this one. 
  I thought it was interesting to see what it was made of.

We happened to time it just after they had the 2011 inductees, so everything was set up still for them.  It was interesting to see who got in this year.
This is one of the areas that usually isn't set up where they were taking pictures of the inductees. 

 And here's a picture of what the Hall of fame looks like from the outside.
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio (8-11-2011)
 Here's the bust of the players that got inducted this year.
 They are Richter, Hanburger, Sabol, Dent, Sanders, Faulk, and Sharpe.  (Don't ask me their first names or what teams they played on because I really don't pay any attention to that stuff.)

Inside my son wanted to see the stuff on the New Orleans Saints wining the super bowl in 2010.

 And here's what the Super bowl ring looked like.  (I guess this caught my eye too since it was made with diamonds and that's a type of mineral also. In fact the diamonds are just like the coal above only they've been under a lot more pressure and temperature. )

It was a fun excursion to make, and my son really enjoyed it so that made it all worth while for me ---seeing how much he really enjoyed it.. 
Now I muse upon when he'll want to go back to it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dana's list and the Top 100 SF books

I saw this list at Dana Hunter's spot En Tequila Es Verdad  here's the meme link and it caught my eye.  I'm going to underline the ones I've read.

 Like her there are a lot I want to read but never got around to it.  There are some I would include but can't remember them right off the top of my head.  There were a couple that surprised me that they made it because I could never get into them and was surprised others could.  Now I look forward to reading some of the ones that I haven't read.

SF Book Bonanza - Getcher Meme On!

NPR has released its Top 100 SF books list. Some damned good stuff on here! Also some things I tried to read and decided after a few pages were not worth continuing *coughswordofshananacough*. I felt the overwhelming need to go through and put the one's I've read in bold. It's a meme sorta thing - wanna do the same? Grab the list off NPR and go! Bung a link in the comments so we can all peruse.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

This they whittled down from a list of 237 finalists. As some of my favorite books are on that Finalist list, but didn't make the magic 100, I shall include them here:

Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson
Bridge Of Birds, by Barry Hughart
The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
The Eyes Of The Dragon, by Stephen King
The Incarnations Of Immortality Series, by Piers Anthony
Memory And Dream, by Charles de Lint
The Sarantine Mosaic Series, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Song for the Basilisk, by Patricia McKillip
Tigana , by Guy Gavriel Kay
To Say Nothing Of The Dog, by Connie Willis
Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler

Some of those books really deserve more recognition than they got. But then, I'm pretty partial.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today it reach 111 degree a personal all time high record.

Today I got into my car that was sitting in a garage and thought 'Boy it's hot!' but I didn't realize how hot it was until I turned it on and the external temperature outside was reading 107. I exclaimed 'Holy smokes look at the the temperature - its 107 degrees!!!!!!'  To me that was tied to the highest I've ever recalled seeing.  If I hadn't read the paper this morning I might not have believed it but the paper showed that yesterday it did indeed reach 107.  I had to get a picture of that and so I got out my cell phone and snapped it so I would always have it for my prosperity sake.

Then as I was driving I notice it creep up to 108 and then back down to 107.  I drove by a bill board that was showing 112 degrees.  I thought to myself 'no way -- it can't be that hot.  That sign must be broken.' I would have taken a picture of that too but I was driving with my kids and I couldn't take it because the street speed was 50 mph and I was flowing with the traffic.  But then I looked at my car temp gauge and it had crept up to 109.  I got my son to take a picture but it went back down to 108 before he could figure my cell phone camera out.

Then as we were driving it went back up to 109.

Then 110 degrees. 
And around 4:26 pm  it reached 111!!!, unfortunately it only stayed there for a couple of seconds before it dropped down to 110.  My son tried to get a shot of it but the car was moving and we did get something. I was amazed we got what we did.

 Keep in mind these were outside temperatures and not inside the car temperatures.  I was totally dumbfounded by these temperatures.  I was also keeping in mind that these were the actual temperatures and not the heat index temperatures. I mused upon what they would be once I found out what the humidity for the day was. What was the temperature feeling like to me when we were out and in it today?

I have finally been able to get that chart after much frustration with my computer. (It kept on having my search go to bogus locations with numerous ads for air conditioning.) I've included it here so I will always have it as a reference.

Here is yesterdays The Shreveport times paper scan.
High temp does read 107/80 with 25% humidity making it about 110-113.Needless to say we been under an extreme heat warning all day long.  I was passing this along to others so they would know to drink plenty of water and seek shade when they could.

Now I muse upon the fact that its suppose to be this way all week long.

8-17-11  I have to update this.  I had a new all time high that I saw while on vacation.  It reached 116 degrees in Arkansas on 8-4-2011.When we stopped at the visitor center they were warning people to have plenty of water with them and be careful out in the heat.  They had the channel set to the weather station and at the time it was 115 with 51% humidity.  Needless to say it is off the charts. I was only able to get it at 115 degrees but it still is an all time high for me and worth keeping a record of.
No wonder there was very little traffic on the roads.  

Now I muse at if I will ever see anything higher - I hope not!!