As you know my genetic disease is progressive and is spreading. My shoulders and upper arms (biceps/triceps) have been hurting badly for months, and it’s now enough that it’s unpleasant to get up using my arms for support like I’ve been doing since my legs degraded. Over the last month or so my forearms have been getting worse and worse, and functionally it’s extremely hard to do work with my hands that requires both strength (and I’m not even talking about a lot of strength) and precision. Most relevantly, it means that I basically can’t set gemstones or do engraving, and I know it won’t be long before I can’t do jewelry work at all. I had two rings on commission with faceted gemstones. I managed to get one made — and really I just got lucky because I underestimated the size of the stones, so it didn’t matter that I cut the sockets much larger than I was trying to — but after three days of abortive attempts gave up on the other one. I ended up dropping a pair of tiger-eye cabochons into the sockets since they’re a bit more forgiving.
Edit: I originally said this was tiger eye, oops, not at all — that’s striped cherry amber, sorry!
Even after just an hour (if that, and with many pauses) of light work with the dremel my forearms are throbbing. It is very hard having everything taken away from me like this, both my body and my brain, although when I think about it, I’m probably just being a big baby about it all. It’s not like everyone doesn’t go through some version of having their life slowly sucked out of them as they age… I just might be doing it a little more quickly and maybe a lot more painfully.
As I wrote this I’m watching a History Channel documentary on the restoration to flight-worthy status of an Avro Vulcan bomber… Definitely in my top twenty list of favorite airplanes, beautiful and deadly, arguably inspired by Lippisch’s supersonic delta-winged coal-fueled ramjets that he prototyped for the Nazis (most likely only the gliding prototype was flown before war’s end). Speaking of, I read a book a few days ago about advanced World War II weapons, and of course they mentioned the Komet, which is also on that list. Amid much interesting technical information, they included the offensive — to me at least — statement that it was an ugly, ungainly plane! What?!!? It’s a cute little killer! How could they say that? I kid not, but it really tarnished the writer for me because I couldn’t stop myself from seeing him as an aesthetic idiot.
And now to spend some time continuing to pull out photos for my grueling project of creating physical photoalbums from my digital archives. So far I have pulled my favorites from 21,307 photos, with 17,023 remaining to look through… and that’s just what’s on this computer! At least I’m solidly half done. I may also go through my boxes and boxes of physical pictures and scan some for inclusion as well, but I haven’t decided.