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VSA Attendence in Indianapolis


Berl Mendenhall
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I'm sure there will be several MN'ers attending the competition.  I can think of six or eight right off.  I would love to talk with all you guys, Don and Mike Molnar if you guys don't get to techie I may be able to keep up.  I will be attending and will be staying with Bruce Babbitt, Rod Mohr, and Matt Wyatt.  Bruce usually books the rooms so just ask at the desk for Bruce's room number.  We have a couple adjoining rooms.  We four usually stay together and always have a great time at these events.  There will be lots of people in and out and I invite you as well.  If you stop please bring a fiddle, I'll have some stuff, we'll talk fiddles and MN topics.       

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Dang David, you're all over the place.  Be great if you could stop by in Indy and give me some pointers. 

On what? Navigating the Moscow subway system, with the signs only in Russian? :wacko:

 

If anyone doesn't realize how difficult that is, here's a photo of a table placetag with my name written in Russian. How would I ever even recognize it? :lol:

 

post-17328-0-53254800-1410531675_thumb.jpg

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On what? Navigating the Moscow subway system, with the signs only in Russian? :wacko:

 

If anyone doesn't realize how difficult that is, here's a photo of a table placetag with my name written in Russian. How would I ever even recognize it? :lol:

 

attachicon.giffoto1.JPG

 

How's the "secretaries" calling you there ? David, Mr. Burgess, Tovarish Burgess or you've simplified it to Ivan Ivanovitch ?  :lol:

 

And did they make you a Member of some Revolutionary Committee ? 

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Despite working 7 days/week to meet the growing demand for rentals at our shop, the owner was kind/generous enough to send me to the VSA for Mon/Tues, then it's back to work. I've never been a member until now, and I'm looking forward to networking with other fiddlephiles, vendors, makers. Should be fun...

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On what? Navigating the Moscow subway system, with the signs only in Russian? :wacko:

 

If anyone doesn't realize how difficult that is, here's a photo of a table placetag with my name written in Russian. How would I ever even recognize it? :lol:

 

attachicon.giffoto1.JPG

David,

Your name tag is the equivalent of the Rosetta Stone - you can navigate the Moscow subway system with this as your cipher since you now know at least 30% of the alphabet...

On the other hand, being lost in a strange city where you don't speak the language must give you a great pretext to hit on girls.

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I'll be there, and be presenting my article on Equisetum on Wednesday in the Maker's Forum. If you use the stuff, bring along a bit of your local plant, so that we can compare samples and effectiveness across geography (I believe it varies widely).  Looking forward to seeing everyone, to sharing and learning, and to playing and hearing a ton of music.

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not telling, you guys should go some time if possible.  It is great fun.  There is usually music every evening, Irish, old timey, bluegrass and the competition instruments are the stars of the show.  Plenty of venders trying to get your money.  Rarely do we get to see all the stuff that the venders bring.  Usually just catalog orders.  I'm pumped, can't wait.    

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Oh man. That sounds fun. Are you the one who wrote the The Strad article, or is this another article?

I can just imagine all of the geeks arguing over the supremacy of their local versions. I am grieved to miss the opportunity.

Yes, the article I wrote, like so many in The Strad, is the tip of the iceberg on the subject.  It's just something that I was curious about years about as a journeyman maker, and I found it so useful and ubiquitous, that it seemed time to look a little deeper. Everyone I spoke with on the subject had anecdotal evidence of use, but no origin, because the plant is so ancient, and use so universal (by humans), that it's just a part of our material/tool culture.  

 

As much as I'm looking for a variety of useful species, I'm also interested in the Equisetum which doesn't seem to work--it can probably be tracked back to the local geology, and presence or lack of silica in the soil.

 

The kids and I cut a bushel of Equisetum from our local patch on Lake Champlain in VT just this morning, and I'll bring it along to share so everyone can take some home.  I just love that it's such a simple tool, and FREE (if you can find it).  Of course, you can over-do it in use--and destroy the texture you've worked to enhance with your scraper--too much of a good thing.  You can also put terribly deep scratches in your finished surface if you fail to prep the reed just right. However, the effect is pretty much invisible when done right, a beautiful reflection on the surface of the wood which both enhances and is enhanced by varnish application. It's a simple tool, but requires careful technique to get the best results. I'm excited to ask VSA members how THEY use the stuff...since I believe that much more is known in the practical application than has been published in any scholarly works. It is such an ancient plant, found and used all across the world, that ethnobotanists may find it to be among the earliest human tools. So, despite all of the fussy work, there may be a connection to your inner caveperson right there at the varnish bench :)

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Thanks, and I hope you have fun. I half gave up on going in May when I priced out food and lodging a couple months too late. I wish we were going now, but oh well.

If I spent that much on lodging at the hosting hotel I would be beating myself up for not flying to Ghent and eating cheese and chocolate all week instead. I don't mean that would be possibly more fun than the VSA, not at all (well? Close), I just think of stuff like that. Nice hotels are nice, but not that nice. I wonder why...the campground at the State park a couple miles away was full up by May. Something else must be going on.

Next time!

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