Winding Up Summer

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We’ve made it through most of the big holiday weekends and the company picnic with laughs and food. The staff is rapidly waning as we lose a big chunk of people to school schedules.
All these things let me know hat the summer is almost over.
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One of my coworkers brought in doughnuts specifically for the kids leaving to school.

It makes me wish I was leaving for school too, so I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to all my friends. It’s gonna be a long winter.

The More You Nerd: Deckle Edge

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Definition via Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Deckle edge, date: circa 1874: 
the rough untrimmed edge of paper left by a deckle or produced artificially.
Or check out the definition of Deckle.

The deckle is he frame in which paper is made. The pulp oozes toward the edges of the frame and some seeps through creating a rough, uncut edge.

A while on later they created a continuous style paper making frame, but the top and bottle would still have the rough edges.

Today, the deckle edged paper is cut by machines to purposefully copycat this early method of paper making.
Some people hate it (Good lord, who!?), but if you’re like me you love it. One of my favorite things about the Lemony Snicket books were the edges of the paper-yes, it was nice in other ways.
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Why should I care?
You know just a little bit more about the world and history.

Why did I research it? During cave tours, I compare the layered limestone rocks in the cave to the the deckle edge of books, but no matter how the edges are trimmed the pages will be flat when you open the book. People always ask why the ceiling is so flat. It is sedimentary rock, and I figured this was a decent answer.

Further Nerding:
I remember making paper when I was a kid for summer reading program. I was maybe 8 or 9 and I remember it being quite fun.

I read this article on The Economist and found it to be quite interesting. There is even a bit of snarkiness at the end.

S is for Spanish

If you enjoy Spanish or are taking a Spanish class and need some help outside of the classroom activities I highly recommend this website: Study Spanish. It was supremely useful to me while I was taking college level Spanish. As far as I know you can access many of the beginning Spanish exercises without paying a dime. (Select study help from the bar of options running across the top). The page I linked directly to is for accented letters that we don’t find on U.S. keyboards. You can memorize the alt+letter codes, but I never could remember more than two letters.

Another fun Spanish link is Mi Vida Loca [my crazy life]. It’s a Spanish language learning drama series on BBC. Sadly, I got busy with class and life and never got to finish it, but I got over half-way done with the series. All the episodes appear to still be available for free on BBC’s website. I am seriously considering picking it back up again. Or maybe starting all over.
It encourages you to speak outloud while you “play” the interactive game/episode. You can make choices and learn new words as the character is getting chased by an unknown evil. Makes things interesting for sure.

There are tons of other Spanish helper and Spanish learning sites out there. My next goal is to find online games for children. Matching games that speak Spanish or help children learn new words would be a really good pace for me.

Spanish is really fun and I think learning the basics of Latin while I was in grade school really helped me in my college classes.
The only downside to language is that I am stuck in the horrible in between stage. I know enough vocabulary and grammar rules to speak Spanish but I am very shy about speaking to Spanish speaking folks. The Hispanic groups of folks in my area are very nice and forgiving. I think that most people would appreciate even an attempt at the language, but I am still having trouble making the leap.

Anyone have any tips on leaping the language barrier? Spanish is so fun….but I am sooooo shy. :)
In the mean time, I will keep my flashcards, translate music lyrics to my favorite songs and pepper my slang with Spanish words.

Day Eighty-Two: Pooh Shoe

little foot

On the last trip to the Buffalo National River we found some river trash and it got attached to my thwarts because this was my nickname.

On the 10 day trip we were giving people nicknames and as it turned out everyone had a bear themed name.
It all started with one guy being called Honey Bear. Then we got Kare-Bear, Papa Bear, Sugar Bear, and Shakey-Bear. Those are all the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

My first nickname given was Pooh Bear and therefore I got to keep the river trash. I have evolved into Mama Bear because I mother people and yell at them to put on sunscreen while we’re on river.

Pooh Bear with the Pooh Shoe, Day one

Our Australian classmate has been nicknamed the Roo Baby because he jumps up in the air with both feet to kick a hacky sack to the other players. I will get a picture of that before the end of the semester.

I’m leaving today for my next long trip of 12 days. I will return late on the 8th but have scheduled some posts to keep you company along the way :)

Day Eighty-one: Walking Clothes

I will mortar board your face

Last week I picked up my cap n’ gown for graduation during the second week of May. I also have some pimpin’ red/white cords that I get to wear for the big day because of how awesome my GPA is currently. Summa Cum Laude in your face!! (For students 3.8-4.0 GPA, highest academic honor at my university)

I wore my hat and cords and work for about half an hour and as most students do, everyone completely ignored me.
I’m very excited about walking and can only hope not to trip or do anything really stupid during my walk. I just realized yesterday that I need to plan on what kind of outfit to wear underneath my robe. No nekkid walks!

With a To-Do list as long as I am tall I can only hope I graduate in May with my sanity still mostly there.
Wish me luck!

Day Seventy-Eight: Canoeing Fashion

role model

The past couple of weeks I have been working towards my American Canoe Association (ACA) instructor certification. This past week we have been working on white water and I expect that I will fall in the water daily. So I have been wearing the most hideous water clothes that I can find.

The only part of this outfit I did not wear on water were the green Crocs. I wore some water Keens to ensure my footwear stayed on. Just for those who are slow of study, I am wearing at least three different patterns on my body. Four if you count the checkered bathing suit top I’m wearing underneath my striped tank top.

This color and pattern clash is similar to the way Kit dressed when I first met him and it amuses him to no end that I am dressing the same way that I loath.

C is for Campfires

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One very important aspect of what I am learning this semester are the seven Leave No Trace principles. One of those is Minimize Campfire Impacts and above is a picture of one of the ways you can do that.

By creating a mound fire or building up a pile of dirt on top of a garbage bag or aluminum foil you can raise the fire off the ground and keep it from scarring the land, addtionally it will help to contain the ashes. So when you’re done burning your fire, which can be larger than the twiggy fire shown in the picture, all you have to do is scatter the ashes.

Having campfires on a trip in the backcountry is a luxury and not a right. Our professors have admitted that we’re the group that most loves to have campfires over the past few years and they allow us to enjoy them because we have good LNT practices.

As a camper and outdoorsy person I can say how much I LOVE campfires and smelling like campfire smoke after a weekend in a tent. And, as an LNT Master Educator I can say I know how to minimize my campfire impacts as best as possible.

Please comment or visit the Leave No Trace website if you have any questions about the seven principles.