The Dirge of Existence

Not a very inspiring or uplifting day so far. My bank made me waste an hour there getting a new card because they are worried my old one got cloned (after just giving my VISA a theft false-positive on our road trip), and my regular pharmacist wasn’t working today and the owner standing-in couldn’t figure out my prescription so it took another hour to get it realized. But worst of all was my doctor’s appointment at which I was told that we are nearing the end of the road and will soon have run out of treatment options. I am not at all afraid of dying and, constant pain and the grind toward cripplehood aside (after too much walking at the airshow I had a painful and embarrassing fall down the streetcar stairs), I do have a richly awesome and enjoyable life. The only part of dying that I tremble in fear and shame of is letting down my loved ones who I desperately want to be there for. That’s the only thing that really brings me grief. Everything else I can accept.

I saw all the links doing the blog rounds about hobo nickels and specifically skull nickels so I was curious about how hard it would be to make one. Apparently the ones that are pictured in those links are primarily made with much older coins that are made out of a softer alloy than modern nickels. My own attempt to carve a 2002 Canadian nickel somewhat confirms that — it was quite nightmarishly difficult to scrape this design with the tip of a knife. I tried using my Dremel but it wasn’t really capable of doing fine detail work, at least not with the tips I have. So this is a one-off failed experiment.

I know it looks like crap, but it’s really hard to do!

More productively, I have a lot of new jewelry designs here in wax, but I’m waiting to cast it because my current project is a DIY vacuum pump/chamber based on a modified electric tire pump (one of the cheap $20 ones — sure beats spending $1,000 on the real deal). If it actually works I’ll post construction info. I don’t need it to be that strong. This isn’t for degassing silicone (although that would be nice), but just for pulling the bubbles out of plaster when doing lost wax work.

Oh but I nearly forgot that I do have some good news — my “Pottermore” beta account just got activated so I can retreat into that fantasy, and maybe make Caitlin, who is rereading some of the old books jealous in the process. Mwahhahahaha! Oh and we went and saw Apollo 18 a few days ago which was fun (if a little flawed), although not as fun as what we watched last night — the original 1985 Fright Night. I’d forgotten how delightful that movie was.


  1. starbadger wrote:

    Resident Evil

    Berlin, Toronto

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  2. Jess wrote:

    Shannon, just wanted to say that I’ve been following your blog and BME since I was quite young. I’m 22 now and it’s been fantastic and wonderful to see what you’ve been doing with parenting your daughter and all your creativity. I’m kicking myself now for not buying one of your paintings when you were doing the Kubla Khan series! Through BME and reading your views on the world, you’ve been a fantastic inspiration for me for over half my life at this point and I wanted to thank you. BME gave me a community I could really identify with and it taught me so, so much. Modblog used to be one of the highlights of my internet browsing (at least up until you stopped writing it..). Also, I love that nickel! Your creativity never fails to light a spark in me. Thank you, so much just for putting yourself out there and letting others share your life. I hope that whatever happens, you’re comfortable, if not physically, then mentally.


    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  3. Jilary wrote:

    I’ve been meaning to recommend some books for you! If you haven’t read I am Number Four or The Power of Six I highly suggest you check them out. I haven’t personally read them yet, but I enjoyed the movie made from the first book, and my son read both and loved them. Though every time I see The Power of Six I think it says The Power of Sex and I wonder why my son is reading that.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Douglas wrote:

    Any way you’d be willing to sell this? Looks great to me and I’d love to make a piece of jewellery out of it. If so you should have my email from this, just let me know!

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  5. Douglas wrote:

    apparently my hotmail inbox is having errors, if you were not at all interested in letting the coin go, then I am sorry for bugging yah. You can contact me at the ever reliable gmail,
    Thanks again, I’d love to have something (that I have little chance of breaking) from you. I’m 18 and I began following BME around the age of 13, and followed you over to this site which I check semi regularly. Thanks for being a good influence on my creativity. If you’re not interested in selling, I still appreciate bringing coin etchings to my attention. I definitely have to create some of my own.


    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
  6. Elizabeth wrote:

    She’s lovely and it’s the thought.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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