May 4, 2010

US Postal Service

Remember the days when it was exciting to go to the mailbox and get the mail? Wonderful things always came in the mail... letters from friends and family, mail order packages, Sears Roebuck catalog... it was all good.

Now, I'm all grown up, and between the responsibilities of being an adult and the commonplace usage of email, the only thing that ever comes in the mail is bills. However, I have a plan for that. If I can get my letters online, why not my bill statements? I pay all my bills online, so my mailbox is a lot less depressing. Now, when there's something in my mailbox, it's usually something fun. Last week was a good week. The mailman brought three skeins of sock yarn - like I need more sock yarn! But this is Dream In Color Smooshy, and I didn't have any of that. The colors are just beautiful, and I can't wait until the next round of Sock Madness so I can use one of them. I also got some new knitting needle tips for my Harmony Options set from Knit Picks. Definitely a good mail week.

As good as last week was, yesterday was ten times better because I got two wonderful packages on the same day. So, instead of a good mail week, I had one awesome mail day.

The first package contained a brand new set of earphones for my iPod with custom-molded ear buds. Why go to the trouble and expense of getting custom earphones? Well, there are several reasons - better sound, not having your sound bleed out and annoy those in your general vicinity, and not having the noise being made by those same people drown out the music coming through the earbuds. Those are all good reasons, but they could be obtained with a set of quality Shure buds. The primary reason for going custom is that those earbuds are also hearing protectors that will provide about 45db noise reduction. Many competitive shooters use music to keep the mind focused during competition, but when using music, you can't ignore hearing protection. I have a set of Shure buds, and they have great sound, but they provide next to no hearing protection when discharging a firearm. These new custom ear budsaccomplish both tasks and look good in the process - beauty, function, and protection. Awesome!

The second package contained a new drop spindle. I know... I'm working on building a business making drop spindles, and I do have a turkish model in my offering. Why would I ever buy one made by someone else? I'll tell you why. The turkish models I'm making are about 5-6" in height with 3-3.5" arms. They're small enough to be easily portable and hover in the 1-2 ounce weight range. They're also beautiful because I use only pretty wood.
I was intrigued by this little fella from the first moment I saw it online. I don't make anything this small, and I really don't plan to start. That doesn't change the fact that I wanted one. It's the kuchulu model from Jenkins Woodworking, and it's much, much smaller than my hand. The shaft is ebony is only 3" tall. The arms are holly, and the combination of black and white is striking. It only weighs 10 grams - can you believe it?!? This thing flies like it has wings. This is the first spindle I've ever purchased. Ever since I learned what a drop spindle was, I've always made my own... and not just a chop stick and a CD model. I went right for the quality offerings from the very beginning. I gotta tell you, I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Ed did a wonderful job on this "shrinky dink" turkish spindle, and knowing what I do about the effort and skill it takes to make something like this, it's well worth the price. I absolutely love it!
So, what came in your mail box today?