Friday, March 20, 2009

Stimulating the Economy in Winnipeg

Well, this last week has been rather busy, what with kids fighting off the creeping crud, and Grandparents in town, and medical appointments for Tonya's pregnancy, and a whole bunch of other things going on. So I haven't been blogging much lately. If you're one of those rare souls who has come to expect a daily fix, I must offer my sincerest apologies, and humbly offer the suggestion that you take up a hobby or something.

Like maille! Which, after all, is the subject of this post.

Or rather, is the starting point for this post. Last weekend I placed an order for some chain-making supplies from these guys, who are major suppliers in the maille community. Now, they don't just buy from manufacturers and resell it; they make a lot of the stuff themselves. They're not so much like Amazon, which stocks huge numbers of titles in warehouses somewhere waiting for orders, and then re-orders when their stock gets low. Rather, these guys appear to start manufacturing when they get your order, so you get it hot and fresh. Even if all you're doing is ordering wire, they still have to measure the right amount and wind it on a spool for you; but if your order is more complicated (a few hundred hand-cut rings, for instance), it can take some time to get the order ready, because they will go through the whole process of hand-cutting the rings for you.

So I placed my order last Saturday, and waited...

...and waited...

...and visions of ring patterns have been dancing in my head ever since. I've been so impatient.

Who would have thought I would one day go practically nuts because my shipment of wires hasn't come in yet?

("I would", say my wife, mother, and half my readership in unison...)

Well, yesterday afternoon we checked the website to see the status of the order--and it had shipped! Hooray! Now I know that it's out of the hands of the manufacturers, and it's safely in the secure grip of the UPS Ground people. Now all we have to do is wait a little bit more... and wait... and refresh the computer screen to see how much farther...

Now, the thing you have to realize here is that The Ring Lord is located, of all places, in Saskatoon.

(That sounds funny, doesn't it? I never would have guessed that Sauron was a Canadian, or that Mordor was in Saskatchewan.)

Ahem. So now that I've done my part to stimulate the Canadian economy, I'm sitting here in a suburb of Sacramento daily checking my account to see how much closer I am to having my preciousssss. And, as of today, I've discovered that my package is traveling...

East! Toward the Land of Shadow!

No, no, no! Wrong direction! There's a straight line that runs from Saskatoon, to Helena, to Boise, to Sacramento (which is apparently not important enough to show up on this map, unlike, say, Yellowknife).

Ok, ok... I probably shouldn't refer to Winnipeg as the Land of Shadow. I'm sure it's very nice, although perhaps not this time of year. (I lived in Minot, N.Dak. for a year and a half, and I know what it's like there this time of year. And both Saskatoon and Winnipeg are farther north than Minot is. Not that you can tell from this map, which didn't find anything in N.Dak. worth showing.)

But the way my package is headed, it looks like it'll wind up in Chicago or something. And I'm not sure I trust the town that is now going to require you to provide your fingerprints when you sell your home.

Suddenly I'm reminded of an old comic that I used to love called The Tick, which was a glorious spoof of the whole superhero genre. In one episode, the Tick and his sidekick Arthur are trying to drive to New York City, but they keep getting lost. Arthur is getting really annoyed by the fact that he keeps seeing cacti, when "I should not be seeing a cactus on the way to New York!", but the Tick is waxing poetic about all the sights of "America the Beautiful! (And parts of Canada and Mexico too)."

At this rate, by the time my little wires get to me, they will be far better traveled than I am, at least since the kids came along. And they'll probably have Chicago fingerprints all over them.


On a completely different topic, my wife has a book about the history of Canadian-American relations that she picked up when she visited Toronto over a decade ago. She finally decided to start reading it a few nights ago got through half of it, and then gave up because everything after 1812 was so boring.

And she's pretty tolerant of boring.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Just checking in, hope everything is okay. Sending a prayer up anyway.