It doesn't seem to be raining. And indeed, it did not rain yesterday.
I got home from Texas. The following Monday I began working at a non-profit where Linda works, helping get out the spring mailing. They do woodcrafts and adventure camping and wilderness expeditions for kids and their hearts are in the right place. I cannot say the same about their mailing list. So I have been working there several days a week. It is 30 miles (Concord is about 20) from here, driving through not very much, some of which has rivers and creeks. They have been very excited lately, and every time they start to recede, it rains again. I have been spared any flooding, though Dick's wife tweeted about the difficulty of explaining to a house-guest why he could not flush the toilet: the septic field was flooded.
As always, I loved spending two weeks digging, with people I love dearly or at least like and don't have to feel too weird around. The weird only came up when I asked if anyone else there read XKCD and no one, not the high school-students, not the techier grownups, had any idea what I was talking about. Making an archaeological version of the BoomDeYada song was out. I felt the Digital Divide almost as keenly as I did a couple weeks later when I tried to explain to the NHAS webmaster why it might be worth having an RSS feed and the rest of the board listened with indulgent uninterest. My head exploded (if you're reading this on a blogreader, you know what RSS feeds are. If not, why not read the nice explanation here? RSS Feeds? A Feedreader?! (about a third down, middle column)).
Conbust: Last week I drove to work (45 min), and from there to Brattleboro (45 min), picked up the order from the printer's, and back to work (45 min). Then I drove to Saxton's River, Vt. (theoretically 45 min, but more like an hour and 15 when you take the wrong turn toward Cambridgeport (and why is there a Cambridgeport in western VT? I thought I left it in MA)).
In Saxton's River I met with Tom Diak, formerly half of Grafton Fibers but now the woodmaster of DyakCraft. I collected a flock of a dozen Cheap Sheep spindles and a FiberShip spindle (spaceship variation; Tom thought I needed it as I was going to a science fiction convention. The evil thing forced me to buy alpaca. It's very happy now).
Then I drove (a bit over an hour and a half) to WEBS, umm, Northampton, but since Linda Diak Does not deal out of Tom's wood-turning shop, I needed fiber. Never mind that I would never have wasted a gram of Linda Diak's delicious colors on beginners and I really needed generic Romney. I behaved fairly well and only bought Cat Bordi's latest and an ounce of alpaca and some markers (and a lot of Romney). Around now I realized that for the second year in a row I had forgotten to bring the sponge thing into which one needlefelts. Since I was teaching a needlefelting workshop, this was not good. I could not face driving to Hadley (30+ minutes) and decided to stop at the con on my way to Grace and Debbie's, which was PERFECT and very heartening (EVERYONE there reads XKCD). My workshop was either on Sunday or Saturday at 4 pm, which meant I could go to Grace and Debbie's (7 mins) and crash.
My spinning workshop had five students, which was perfect. Then I drove to Hadley, got foam after I located the well-hidden Joanne's, picked up some food, and bought seeds at the lovely garden center (2.5 hours, including asking for directions twice). Back at the con, I took a friend's naalbinding class. She was trying to teach the York stitch to about ten people, including at least one with a learning disability. Without diagrams or teaching assistants. I'll learn it sometime.
I persuaded the nice woman knitting in a corner of the corridor floor that she could sit in the room we were using for the crafts track and it would have chairs and a light. It was her first con and she had not learned how to live at cons (An it harm none, do what ye will, where 'harm none' implies 'not vandalizing the elevators') . The needlefelting workshop went very well; it is possible to have idle conversation while needlefelting, which is not true of Beginning Spindle. The knitting woman, Kate, watched us needlefelt and ended up paying the materials fee and going off with a set of needles, sponge, and colored roving, and I think we all enjoyed it. Objects varied from an elephant plaque to a Sith Lord sigil and a Hebrew sign indicating the direction of the Temple Wall. Everyone can needle-felt. My former neighbor Cindy appeared, too. It was a fine time, and in Northampton, sunny.
I spent Sunday (raining) hanging around with Grace and Debbie, made them some artisan-bread-in-5-minutes-a-day (it gets very flat if the second rising (40 minutes) lasts for four or five hours. But still tasty). While we were in town, I ran into Robin, the SheepThriller I last saw at Birka Market. She had Kate from yesterday with her, because there are only four or five people in Northampton and of course they know one another. I left for home around 7 pm. I was listening to a Patrick O'Brian book-on-iPod and overshot the Vermont exit, so went home the way I had come via Bellows Falls. When it is dark it is not very well signposted, so a 98-mile trip took 130, and about two and half hours instead of one and half.
And then next day I drove to work (raining), and back, also on Tuesday (raining), when I had to race home to get Katie and take her to work as her car had collapsed, and on Wednesday I went to Concord (raining), and yesterday I went to seven of 17 public schools in Manchester (dropping off leaflets) and home in time to take Katie to get her repaired car, and to Concord to have my taxes done (five hours, almost all in the car). Now I am putting off either going back to work or back to the other ten schools in Manchester, and that's why, I contend, I haven't done much with the Gault pictures so far.....But as I said, it didn't rain yesterday. I may live.