Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Weird sensation in my forefinger

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I suddenly felt a stinging pain in the pad of my left forefinger - between the crease of the knuckle and the callous. It felt as if I had a small metal splinter sticking in. The surface of the skin was very sensitive to touch, as if the end of the splinter was protruding just enough to be agitated. I doffed my magnifier goggles and carefully examined the entire area, but I couldn't see anything. I "soaked" it in aspercreme, but it really didn't help a lot. It was pretty uncomfortable all afternoon and even overnite, but this morning that prickling sensation finally subsided when I started to play. All I can figure is that the callous - which "grows" with continued playing, had touched a nerve ending. Anyway, now it's OK.

It's weird - each time something like this happens (and there have been three or four other instances of inexplicable pains and sensations), my first paranoid reaction is that my body is trying to stop me from playing - like when I mangled my finger with the tablesaw while trying to learn the violin.

I finally contacted my teacher and setup a lesson for Saturday. It was my only free day for the next two weeks, with all the visitors and touring planned. Unfortunately, I've not been able to keep up my schedule of practicing as fully as I'd hoped, and I'm afraid it will show. I have been focusing on my bow hold (keeping it loose), playing in the middle of the bow (and using whole bows in some cases), and spicatto notes. I'm also working on ringing tones - playing lots of scales at various tempos trying to hit the pure notes. Whenever I run into any tricky parts, I try to slow waaay down until I get it right.

We have to go back up to Anchorage Thursday afternoon for an appointment Friday morning with the Cummins shop to get the Motorhome's "Check Engine" light diagnosed and fixed. Hopefully, we'll be able to drive up without any problems. We had planned to go on to Chena Hot Springs for the weekend, but decided that it would be too much of a rush, and we cancelled it. Hopefully, we'll get up there in July.

Since it looked as if it would rain today, we spread some calcium chloride on our driveway and on the new driveway and pad at our land on Tustumena Lake Road. The CaCl is very hygroscopic, so it absorbs and holds water. This will keep the dust levels down - it was pretty gross last week when we stayed up there for a few days. Even when there is just high humidity, moisture will be absorbed into the CaCl. This evening, it rained just enough to dissolve the little pellets.

I reserved a halibut charter for four of us: myself, Z, A and his friend, for next week. Last summer, my friend Luis and I went out on a charter and caught enough halibut to last all year (we finished it tonite). I really like it barbecued with hot spices and also batter-fried (in the winter). The four of us could concievably take home 4oo pounds or more of fish. It's going to cost A and his friend about $4 per pound to pack and ship any fish home to Seattle. For sure they'll want to take as much as possible, but, still we could end up with quite a bit of fish in our freezer. I'd also like to get a king.

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