Yesterday was a very busy day indeeed! I tidied the house (a bit - I didn't want to overextend myself, which turns out to have been a good thing), cooked dinner, had guests for dinner, and before, after and around, spent several hours carving, filing, sanding wood and sculpting modelling clay to make a couple of components of Dean's costume for this weekend's national cosplay competition.|
I ended up staying up three hours past my bedtime, and, between the carving on Wednesday and some other carving on Tuesday, burning out the muscles in my right hand and forearm to a rather startling degree. All Thursday my hand was all weak and trembly.
So I did some more clay modelling on Thursday, and then I pretty much crashed out for the day.
Today, though, I'm planning go resume something I did a little of on Wednesday: cleaning up the fretboard on my mother's guitar.
I oiled the wood thoroughly, which is looking good, but cleaning the frets is proving to be quite the extensive chore. The guitar's forty years old or so, and I'm not sure my mother's ever polished the frets; I would have said they don't need it that badly, except it turns out that the frets are not gold/brass-coloured, like I thought they were, but are in fact silver in colour.
I'm also, today, watching the cricket. The Test's umpires include some dude I don't really know by sight and Aleem Dar (Pakistan), who is possibly my favourite current cricket umpire.
He seems to have set-out with the intention of single-handedly repairing the reputation of Pakistan umpiring. After all the scandals and bias and corruption, forth comes Aleem Dar, who's not only rigidly, uncompromisingly fair, he's also the most rock-solid competent umpire since Dickie Bird and Shep (both England) retired.
In such a quiet way, too - Billy Bowden (New Zealand), by contrast, aggravates the hell out of me because he's too busy showboating not to screw up decisions on a rather too regular basis. Aleem Dar is the absolute picture of calm composure.
I didn't like him at first, because he looks kind of grumpy and mean, but I've long since come to realise that it's just that he is concentrating, focussed on his umpiring, and he is, in fact - when the situation genuinely warrants it, and there is no risk of causing him distraction when play is under way - capable of cracking an actual facial expression.
(Let's not look at the current state of Pakistani cricket, as far as corruption goes - let's just think about how Aleem Dar is awesome.)
And I do love how his total composure makes over-appealing bowlers and fielders look silly. They're going all dramatic and he just gives them this complete, flawless non-reaction.
That same thing was part of why I loved Steve Bucknor (West Indies), too. Also the way he never let them push him for speed when he was still giving his decision due and careful consideration. Indeed, I swear if they were being over-the-top about it, he would wait an extra couple of seconds, just to let them sweat.
I think the reason Bucknor was so good, actually, was that he didn't generally judge the play live, not really. He watched, carefully, then replayed it in his head and analysed the replay. (At the batsman's end, anyway - if I recall correctly, he was admirably prompt in calling no-balls.)
I'm watching the match now. At this precise moment as I'm writing this, Hussey is on 32* and Australia is 5/143. I'm enjoying it rather a lot - there's been good cricket in general, but Hussey is one of my favourite players and it's nice to see him playing well.
Current Music: cricket commentary