Tinkering School

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Day Four - A Tactical Break

2012 Session 3 - Juniorsgever1 Comment

I want to talk about the inestimable value of taking a break, a diversion, a digression - but first we have to have a FLASHBACK: P1960448 Last night, before coming in for the evening, a new Olympic sport was developed - Synchronized Table Dismount. The scoring and technical judging criteria are not fully developed, but the American and French teams are already in hot competition.

P1960456 After dinner, Gever hosted a brief "How to Draw a Straight Line" salon. This simple provocation lead to an evening of drawing and drawing games.

END FLASHBACKP1960461 Emperor Hanuman (actually his advisors) invented the first games of chance when he introduced dice as a national pastime to distract his subjects from hunger during a ten-year drought. Eat one day, play the next. This simple idea works as well today as it did near the dawn of civilization, and Zada and Saya enjoy a few rounds of Speed while breakfast is set up.

P1960502 Later, up in the barn, Jane and Lauren are working on getting the Nooi bunkbed finished up so they can actually sleep on it on the rails tomorrow (we hope!).

P1960506 Saya is committed to building a comfortable chair, and recruits Anita to give her a lesson on the chop-saw.

P1960511 Bryn pretty much hypnotizes himself with magnets for the first hour of the morning build. If he wasn't so continuously inventive and creative with his experiments, we would have directed him back to work on his car.

P1960518 Saya's lounger is coming together nicely.

P1960520 Gever introduces Josh to the Figure-of-Eight knot and the Trucker's Hitch so that he can tie the Nooi mast properly.

P1960525 It's a busy barn as the teams work to get their cars ready for transport tomorrow (we hope!). We've announced the afternoon trip to the beach, so the morning build is all the time they've got.

P1960549 Janna, the 15 year-old ranch hand who introduced the tinkerers to all of the animals earlier in the week, has discovered mange on one of the Icelandic sheep and has decided to sheer and bathe him to cure it. Naturally, the tinkerers are attracted to this operation like moths to a flame.

P1960578 Ideas for using the wool pile up faster than the wool does.

P1960582 Gever has suggested that some diagonal cross-bracing would really help solidify the triple-decker bunkbed, and Adam and Kami figure out how that would work.

P1960596 Josh, inspired to decorate the Nooi car, draws a picture of his new pal Bryn as an old man.

IMG 1981 Jane learns to drive the jigsaw and uses her new skills to cut out bed boards for each of the beds on the Piki triple-decker bunkbed.

P1960624 Meanwhile, back out in the front of the barn, the wool gets washed (multiple times) and then spread out to dry.

P1960627 Brigid is working on a "sort of mailbox thing" for the Nooi car.

P1960633 The wool washing gets serious as Zada, Jane, and Lauren add soap and start to see huge quantities of soil suddenly clouding the water in the bucket.

P1960638 Kami's brothers donated skateboard decks continue to be provocative elements in our environment.

P1960646 With the mailbox firmly mounted, Brigid adds hinged doors to close the top and keep the contents safe while sailing.

IMG 1998 The new spinnaker for the Engine Car seems huge compared to our previous sail designs - but we have to keep in mind that this one sail is going to pull four cars, eleven tinkerers, and two or three collaborators.

IMG 2002 The Kablooi are saving themselves the trouble of climbing under their deck to screw things in by screwing plywood flanges on to everything that has to be attached.

P1960675 View of the barn from the Kablooi end of things.

P1960728 Amelia creates a new sign for the Nooi car, just in case the flag is not visible enough.

P1960752 Josh and Bryn invent another game to play with a used skateboard deck.

P1960762 Gever helps Jane figure out how to mount a swing on the Piki car.

Then, we had lunch, loaded up the cars, and headed to the beach for a much-needed change of scenery. The barn is nice, but after two-and-half long days of working in there, it gets to be a little much.

IMG 2018 A self-described marine biologist in the making, Amelia finds all manner of interesting things in the tidal zone.

IMG 2039 And grabs her friend Zada to share them with.

IMG 2043 Including this juvenile rock crab.

IMG 2052 Steve enjoy a view of the beach from a rocky outcropping.

IMG 2059 Squadrons of pelicans made regular fly-by's of our little beach.

IMG 2068 Up near the tide-line, Lauren found a nearly intact seal skull.

IMG 2077 A stream that wound through the rocks provided a great opportunity for Jonah, James, and the rest of the tinkerers to do some serious hydro-engineering.

IMG 2128 Is there a more consistently provocative and engaging environment on this planet? Gever thinks we could spend all week here.

IMG 2137 Zada soon reverts to some animal state and spends the next couple of hours in constant frolic mode.

IMG 2142 The sand prove irresistible to everyone, and Brigid demonstrates the right way to leap dramatically.

IMG 2148 Lauren demonstrates her finely honed sand-ball making skills by producing a series of perfectly spherical orbs. Having taught her this sill two years ago, Gever is very appreciative.

IMG 2162 Towards the end of the day, tigers come down to the watering hole.

IMG 2170 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Brigid at the Beach.

IMG 2172 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Amelia at the Beach.

IMG 2175 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Jane Buries Zada at the Beach.

IMG 2180 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Saya Making a Sand Ball

IMG 2186 Portrait of a Seagull: Steppin' Out

IMG 2187 The girls have a casual pow-wow down the beach a ways.

IMG 2223 James and Lauren discuss the potential cardboard sliding afforded by a nice groove in an outcropping.

IMG 2269 Zada is so completely frolic-ed out that she needs help getting all the sand off.

IMG 2285 Josh gets in one last heroic leap before we must leave the beach.

IMG 2306 On the hike back to the cars, the group spreads out along the grassy trail like elephants migrating across the veldt.

P1960786 After dinner, we retire to the fire pit and enjoy some quality time just staring into the coals and eating s'mores.

IMG 2325 As we often do during our fires, some tinkerers take turns experimenting with light paintings. Gever and Theo have put together a curious new addition in the form of a trio E.L. panels arranged on a long board.

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IMG 2355 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Bryn.

IMG 2356 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Zada

IMG 2357 Secret meeting of the Tinkering Cult (according to Theo).

IMG 2359 Jonah get his King Tut on.

IMG 2362 Brigid makes a rock-show entrance.

IMG 2370 Flashlight glyphs and marks.

IMG 2380 Good night everyone.

It's been an amazing day all around, and one of those days that had to be earned to be fully enjoyed. They say that hard work is it's own reward - and this is true - but hard work also sets us up to enjoy not working in ways that we can only appreciate after the effort is made.

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