Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Follow Up to the Follow Up to the Follow Up

New belts arrived today and the tumbler is now tumbling again!

Monday, January 29, 2007

He Didn't Make It

Barbaro Euthanized

Poor Barbaro just couldn't do it. I doubt anyone will ever try to save a racehorse with a broken leg again, because the owners did everything possible to save him.

I've always had an affinity for this horse, for some reason. It saddens me that the poor guy's gone.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Follow up to the follow up

The brand-new rotary rock tumbler ran for 2 days. Belt broke. #$%^&*!!!
I have ordered 5 new belts from a guy on eBay that says his belts are 1000 times better than the original equipment ones on this tumbler. Grand total: $7.

For those of you familiar with my streaky luck: This is definitely a textbook example of Madam Fate deciding to mess with me personally once again. I've declared war. These gemstones will be smooth and shiny if I have to polish them personally with sandpaper following the end of the world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Follow up

Bernie posted quite nicely regarding our Friday outing with my co-workers, so I'll just give you a quick follow up on the rock tumbler I won on eBay.

Ran for 1 hour, fell into pieces. Seller won't warrant or refund according to the auction. I went to Harbor Freight today and bought a regular tumbler, and our gems are tumbling as we speak.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rocks In My Head

We went gem-hunting last weekend in Hiddenite, NC. This is a gem mine where a very rare mineral called hiddenite was found years ago. This mineral has only recently been found in Madagascar, but otherwise, it is unique to this particular place in North Carolina.

We sluiced for gemstones, and didn't find much, however, Papa Lau found a large garnet that the lapidarist on site said could be cut into two 3-carat stones. They had a 6-week backlog, so we told Papa to take it back to Malaysia and to get it cut there (Malaysia has a large gem-cutting industry and it could be done quite cheaply). Papa thought he wanted to keep the stone rough, but Mama got a look at an example of what it would look like when it was cut, and I think she'll win the argument. The Chinese believe that garnets cleanse the blood if worn as jewelry.

Bernie and I both have fascination for gemstones, so we have been to three different gem mines now over the summer and here's what we have found:

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I like the black tourmalines best, and Bernie likes the quartz and amethysts. I won an auction on ebay to get a vibratory polisher, so I'm going to try to polish these guys and see what they look like then. The pictures don't do them justice color-wise, and they look best when they are wet. Most of them have bits of granite attached to them, so polishing them will get rid of that and let the color come through.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Whew! Long Week!

Despite it being only 4 days, this week seemed like a LONG work week. We're in-between releases at work and there simply isn't a lot to do at the moment. Our team lead has been doling out work equally between the team members, but I think that the items I got were simple and quick to finish, while some of the others got tougher assignments that took more time. I wish I had gotten some of those instead, as I'm getting tired of fixing text errors in test scripts to fill up the days.

On the plus side, I'm getting to know my co-workers better and I like them a lot.

I'll be going to a couple of classes starting next week on Tues and Thurs nights and continuing for a month. It'll suck to be at work so long, but I'll learn SQL inside and out for my efforts, and it's worth it.

Tomorrow, we are going to Hiddenite, NC to do some gem mining.

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