Tinkering School

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Day Four - Intermezzo with Sand

2012 Session 4 - MiddlersgeverComment

Wednesday Night, August 15th, 2012 One way you know that it is time to go to the beach is that nobody objects when you announce it over breakfast. Nobody wants to stay and work in the barn? "No!" Ok then, let's make sandwiches...

We pack the icebox, toss in this and that, load up the vehicles, and head out to the newly discovered secret Tinkering School beach (which is public, just not well known).

IMG 2834IMG 2839 We are all happy, and Gever is frankly amazed, to see that the beach has returned to the pristine state we found it in last session - no sign of our hydro-engineering remains.

IMG 2842 The temperature of the water does nothing to discourage immediate swimming. Rowen and Trent run in as soon as they drop their towels - the island their destination.

IMG 2850 Success!

IMG 2856 And they discover that their little island experiences moments of submersion.

IMG 2893 Up the beach, Lili and Gever find a mysterious sand cave.

IMG 2896 The receeding tide leaves evocative figures drawn in wet sand.

IMG 2897 Back at our camp on the beach, the group has gotten industrious.

IMG 2903 Christie, Rekha, and Frannie discover that the sand below the new levy is very viscous. Some speculate that the water is seeping through the sand from the new channel causing an upwelling that loosens the packed grains.

IMG 2922 Josh and Carter work to deepen the channel and keep the new waterway flowing.

IMG 2934 An expedition is mounted to discover the headwaters of the little creek. Frannie, Elizabeth, and Liora bravely enter the dark grove of trees and overgrowth that frame the waterway.

IMG 2943 They return eight minutes later, unscathed and perhaps a little more confident than moments before.

IMG 2955 Meanwhile, the team back at camp have created a stable waterway of their own, and Kevin deems it safe enough start the new agrarian settlement by building a saucer-temple.

IMG 2960 Josh brings in heavy boulders to firm up the sides of the channel that he and the team have been working on.

IMG 2968 "Alas, poor sandball-Yorrick, I knew ye well," says Rowen. He didn't really say it, but we all thought it when we saw the serious look on his face.

IMG 2976 Elizabeth made a sandwhich so overflowing with peanut butter and jelly that it was oozing out the sides before it could be put in her baggie. Much discussion ensued regarding the possiblity of eating it like astronaut food by smooshing it into paste and squeezing it out of a corner of the bag. When the time came, she opted to eat the sandwhich and invert the bag to create a pb&j glove.

IMG 2981 Seeing his friends frolicking in the water, Ben psyches himself up to join them by announcing that he is going to "run all the way in before he gets cold."

IMG 2993 Josh poses a serious brain-twister that seems to cause moments of actual agony in the group. It goes something like this; twenty people meet in a hallway with twenty doors. Each door leads to a small soundproof vestibule. The other side of the vestibule has another door that leads into a common room with a table and two coins - a quarter and a penny. The coins are in a random heads/tails state. The problem posed to the group is, using only the two coins to communicate, and with each person being let in to the room from the vestibules in completely random (and possibly repeating) order, how can they know with certainty when all twenty of them have been in the room? The only other rule is that they must turn over at least one coin, and the coins must always be in the same quarter/penny order. The magical properties of the room prevent them from aging or getting hungry, so it is possible that they will each visit the room hundreds of thousands of times. Once they enter the vestibules, they will not see or hear each other until one of them declares definitively that all of them have been in the room, and scientists will carefully remove all cheats such as spit or hair from the room between visits so that the only communication comes through the coins.

IMG 3013 Portrait of a Collaborator: Josh has a deep appreciation for time spent at a beach.

IMG 3018 Frannie invents a new game; Jump-Across-the-Creek-Without-Making-a-Splash.

IMG 3023 Rekha accepts the challenge.

IMG 3027 As does Christie.

IMG 3034 On an expedition to explore the chain of coves to the north, Liora lets a tiny rock crab almost scamper up her sleeve.

IMG 3044 And touches a starfish - something she tells us, would have been unusually brave for her to do just a year ago.

IMG 3052 Pressing on, despite bare feet and rough rocks, the intrepid explorers, Lili, Carter, and Liora, look for more unexplored territory.

IMG 3063 Gever pauses to balance a rock, again.

IMG 3087 Elizabeth joins the expedition, flashing her new Tinkering School bling.

IMG 3092 Lili finds a cozy perch.

IMG 3107 Carter takes a turn blazing the trail (Gever clambered ahead while the team was distracted by a tide pool).

IMG 3112 They discover a beautiful blue-green pool.

IMG 3117 Liora decides that she simply must get one of the pieces of abalone shell she can see from our rocky perch - will she brave the chilly waters?

IMG 3160 Yes she will. Everyone claps, and we watch, somewhat envious, as she paddles around. "It is so cold that you can't feel it," she declares.

IMG 3168 She returns and spies the shell that she wanted.

IMG 3181 Not wanting to get her hair wet, she uses her dexterous toes to bring the prize to the surface.

IMG 3199 Elizabeth examines a peculiar piece of seaweed; a rubbery sheet covered with little bumps.

IMG 3221 The hike back to camp is quicker than Liora and Kevin expect.

IMG 3240 Back at camp, Trent and Ben have invented their own jumping game.

IMG 3249 Rowen refuses to leave the water for more than two minutes at a time and his frolicking constantly draws tinkerers back to the waves.

IMG 3247 Old friends Rekha and Christie are serenaded by Josh on the three-string ukelele.

IMG 3285 Liora and Frannie enjoy the thrill of getting out to the island to be splashed by waves.

IMG 3346 Seems that everyone wants to have a shower.

IMG 3372 Back on the beach, Ben and Trent continue their variation on the jumping game.

IMG 3375 As near as we can tell, the object is to jump up on the sand wall from a one-legged start.

IMG 3401 When we get back to the ranch, it's a chance to ride on the outside of the truck again. Frannie and Carter say "yes!"

IMG 3407 And Rekha and Christie do too.

It is important to take a break sometimes. To relax the brain and let the subconscious mental processes chew on the current set of problems while the conscious mind gets to act like a kid for a few hours. This is summer camp after all.

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