The Online Mineral Museum IS BACK!!!.

The Amazing Bolivian Parrot and Rare Macaw Escapade
Eagle Overload: More Eagles, More Cats, the South Africa Edition
A Very Partial Index to the Entries
A for the time being not even remotely complete guide to all 4,300+ plus entries
A Google-Plus Verified Author

contact me older entries newest entry
Recent entries

july 4, 2018 - 2018-07-04
the triangle continues of courtney, boobear, & nyota - 2018-07-03
Cookie so cute telling, "Hello" to sparrows - 2018-07-01
lovebirb in love - 2018-06-30
wren with fluffffff - 2018-06-24

Read my new book, The 10 Best Things You Can Do For Your Bird at Amazon or at many other fine distributors like Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and more.

By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.

A bibliography of my published books and stories.

Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars.

A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!! The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit the official fan site, Passages in the Void..

My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.

HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.

indigo bunting, charoite, kunzite...rubies!

2011-03-16 - 9:56 a.m.

all photos this page © 2011 by elaine radford
ruby in zoisite
Spring migration is going great guns. Just now saw a gorgeous male Indigo Bunting.

I don't want to wallow in the bitter and become an endless page of depressing disasters, but since I've gotten a number of questions about it, I'll address it quickly. My sister's family lives in Nagasaki, a different island and a very great distance away from the disaster. They're fine. I don't have any top secret inside information as to the best place to send your donations. For myself, I'm going to stick with the Red Cross International for now.

DH is still enjoying his Netflix birthday gift. The other day we saw District 9, which, oddly enough, arrived on a Sunday. My theory is that it was put in the wrong mailbox, and someone just got around to putting it in the right mailbox. Anyway, it was a good story, told in pseudo-documentary style, with J'burg cleverly filmed so that you never saw a tree. If you've ever been there, you know what a challenge they had doing that. A reviewer had mentioned that it mostly appeared to be filmed on a "landfill." I would have said an old gold mine "tailing" mountain, but either way. A great use of a grim landscape. I'm guessing the film-makers were actual South Africans. The hissable villains included a rather large dose of evil Hannibal Lectorish-type Nigerians seeing transcendance of their humanity through cannibalism...I'm just sayin'.

Anyhoo...the tumbler rehab came to an inglorious halt the other day but now DH has saved the day by waltzing in the door with not one, but two, tumblers, a rotary and and a vibe. Since we've never owned a rotary before, we don't have the right grit, but that's OK. I have ordered some posthaste. Meanwhile, we're doing a trial run with the vibe. It's already showing a few weaknesses, but I assume that DH will figure it out this evening.

I did a good bit of trim sawing on Tuesday, and I also worked up four new stones. My favorite is the Ruby in Zoisite piece up top. In the 1990s, I sold a lot of this material by the pound, with a very rough tumble on it to rough off the corners, but it never got a polish in the tumbler because the Zoisite is so soft and crumbly. After selling out most of the material for New Age/material "wealth increase" meditation purposes, I saw some of this stone carved at one of the high end jeweler's in the Caesar's Forum Shoppes in Las Vegas. Wha-ha! You can get a polish on this puppy. You just have to do it by hand. Tee hee. My Gem Tech Opal Machine to the rescue...and to think that this piece was originally a bit of scrap.

The other pieces I cut today were as follows:

  • A Charoite "pseudo-tumble" -- I say "pseudo" because there's no way that I would ever hand this expensive material over to the tender mercies of a tumbler. I simply cut it by hand, on the cabbing wheels, in the shape of a tumbled stone, the better to preserve the maximize size. I haven't yet managed a decent photo though.

  • A Kunzite "eye" stone -- Back in the day, I sold a decent number of Kunzite crystals to the wire-wrappers and the serenity meditation crowd. Kunzite is a pink variety of Spodumene, a dichroic mineral which has a neat characteristic of looking pale baby pink if you look at the crystal from one angle and a much deeper, richer pink if you look into the crystal from a different angle. However, this crystal was rather shabby-looking and didn't have great shape. I decided to take a chance and make it a cab. The deep pink orientation would have made too small and tiny a stone, so I went with baby pink. To my delight, I produced a lovely, distinct running "eye" on the stone. Just beautiful.

    In the photo, in addition to the cab, I have the best of the best of the Kunzite crystals that I acquired. It is NOT for sale. It has joined my permanent collection. And the photograph can't capture the moving "eye" on the cabochon either. Maybe I need to use video/youtube to do that? Don't get scared. I'm not that ambitious. You will just have to imagine it.

  • Yeah, all right already, yet another "sheety" photo. I hope you get the idea. This is the first Labradorite I've cut in over a decade. Canadian material. Nice blue and rainbow flash! Plus, if you turn it a different way, there's all these pink spotted lights that appear in the stone. Alas, for the poor victims of my home photography, looking at the photo isn't much of an improvement on a written description, considering that the "flash" white-out in the photo covers 20% of the stone. But I hope it gives you a hint, because I've got a thousand things to do and taking a decent photograph isn't even in the top ten.

I've got a new swap coming. I traded 20 pounds of Green Tourmaline Needles in Quartz for a variety of a cabs. This is the same guy who sent me the Black Jade with Magnetite markings in one of my swaps, so I'm panting with anticipation. I know it will be good.

I also need to be studying my Bolivian birds. The parrot tour is coming up any minute now. Whew, never a dull moment around here.

back - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!

All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2002-2017 by Elaine Radford