After our bit of voting we stopped in to the Grand River Art Supply, which was a small arts supply shop that's been in Lansing for decades. We were shocked a couple months ago when the local-business column in the alternate weekly mentioned that it was closing up in November. The paper reported that it was just a matter of the owner choosing to retire, nothing more serious or particularly economically troubled than that; it's just that after long enough doing something, you eventually want to stop. That's been hitting a modest number of local businesses (like the Goodrich's Shop Rite) around town lately, and seems to be hitting Ann Arbor stores worse the past few years.
By the time we visited they'd been having the store-closing sale for a while, and the stocks were getting fairly barren. For stuff that we could actually use, well, most of what was left was sketch pads and packs of mechanical pencil lead. There were some stencils and the like, as well as canvasses and painting supplies, but neither of us fiddles around with art to that extent.
So now I'm stocked up with enough paper that at my normal rates I won't need another sketchbook for about a year or so, and I'll be in good shape for months, maybe years, with the lead unless I lose it or accidentally destroy my pencils, which has happened before. The store itself has finally closed --- the for-lease sale caught my eye as we went to the Silver Bells parade last weekend --- and now I guess there's a not particularly hurried search to do to find a replacement shop.
Trivia: On 25 June 1864 the British cabinet voted 8 to 6 not to support Denmark in that country's war with Prussia over the Schleswig-Holstein issue, though with the note that if Denmark's existence as an independent kingdom were threatened ``a new decision would have to be made''. Source: The Struggle For Mastery In Europe, 1848 - 1918, A J P Taylor.
Currently Reading: How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City, Joan DeJean.
PS: No Conjecture For 19,000: my mathematics blog hits a very minor milestone and I don't have anything interesting to show for it.