Friday, April 27, 2007

This Is Why I Love Caving!

Ever find yourself at dusk on a mountain side of poison ivy pulling on a full wetsuit, a harness and vertical gear and helmet with two friends to rappel into a small hole with fantastic waterfalls - only to pull down the rope that you came in on and use it on the next two drops ("full commitment" as Andrew reminded me when he handed me to rope to pull), finally popping out with the water inside the amazing double entrance of Stephen's Gap Cave?

This is why I love caving! Who else gets to do this crazy fun stuff!?

Jimmy, Andrew and I found ourselves in just such a situation on Wednesday evening. Had to squeeze in one last trip before Andrew moved back to Ohio and off to OCS. (Good Luck Andrew!) Thanks guys - awesome trip. And you were right Jimmy - I should have done this long ago...

Oh, and did I mention there was just a bit of water involved?

All the photos courtesy of Andrew's waterproof camera.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brave people & Typography

15 comments - Wow! That's so sweet. We've set a new personal record for "Brina Bat." Thanks to everyone who stepped on smurfs, loved phones, loved bats, had personal conversations with big bird, lunch with pickles, licked surfers and teachers, etc. etc. - with no regard for their personal safety or well being. You are all very very brave people.

As a reward for all your hard sought commenting - check out this short little (new/old) artsy video on a typography school that teaches letterpress and computer graphic design.
Typography School

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I smelled a llama because I am AWESOME!

So the last post on Preston sets a personal comment record! Lets see if we can get even more!

A friend sent me a funny (thanks Jennie & Nick!) and I though it was funny enough to include here:

Pick the month you were born:

January------I kicked
February-----I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April--------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June---------I smelled
July---------I did the Macarena with
August-------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:

1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my cell phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10------my neighbor
11------my science teacher
12------a banana
13------a fireman
14------a stuffed animal
15------a goat
16------a pickle
17------your mom
18------a spoon
19------a smurf
20------a baseball bat
21------a ninja
22------Chuck Norris
23------a noodle
24------a squirrel
25------a football player
26------my sister
27------my brother
28------an ipod
29------a surfer
30------a llama
31------A homeless guy

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:

White--------because I'm cool like that.
Black--------because that's how I roll.
Pink---------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red----------because the voices told me to.
Blue---------because I'm sexy and I do what I want.
Green--------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple-------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray---------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow-------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars.
Orange-------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown--------because I can.
Other--------because I'm a Ninja!
No shirt-----because I can't control myself.

Now type out the sentence you made, in the comments section

Can't wait to see what you get stuck with.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Meet Preston!

Been keeping this on the "down-low" for a little while but I think its finally time to introduce Preston - my new bouncing baby letterpress! He was delivered to the garage on Friday the 6th, 2007. Preston is a 10x15 Chandler and Price letterpress, circa about 1924. And he's an absolutely magnificent piece of machinery! Not to mention he can do everything - print, emboss, perf, score, die cut, even foil stamp if I had the extra equipment. Here are some specs on Preston:
  • weight - 1800lbs
  • fly wheel 3 ft in diameter
  • 10x15 chase (the size of the printable area)
  • Motor can be run on 220 0r 110 - variable speed
  • serial number C66534
  • circa 1924
  • Preston nickname courtesy of Paul
Friday Paul and I gave Preston a bath with degreaser - probably the first one he'd had in about 50 years; and gave him a good oiling - since he'd been left idle for three years. The motor is original (newest patent listed is 1917) - and still had half of the original wiring. On Sunday we bought and modified an extension cord to replace the sketchy part - which oddly enough wasn't the 1924 wiring - it was a newer addition - and then got brave enough to plug him in and fire up the motor. Preston worked like a charm - super smooth and quiet for any machine, let alone one that's 83.

The fellows from Mid-South Moving taking it off the truck Friday morning.

The front of Preston - "The Chandler & Price Co. Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

Preston's serial number located on the chase bed - C66534

Here I am degreasing the flywheel. Paul and I took off the red cover that you see in the second picture, which was probably put on for safety regulations in whatever print shop it was located in.

This is the leather brake pad that stops the fly wheel.

Paul testing out the motor after we rewired the sketchy part Sunday afternoon.

The chase still had the last job that was run three years ago in it. (a door hanger) Here I'm loosening the quoin to remove the metal furniture and die cut block.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mammoth Cave Part 2

As promised continuing photos of our trip to Mammoth...

SATURDAY (con't)

Floyd's house
Floyd's outhouse!

This is a nice detail of the painted moon on the outhouse - love the texture and color of this photo.

The cave in Floyd's back yard - Crystal Cave

The Survey marker for the Cave

This is a small piece of the Blue Spring Branch section of the Mammoth Cave map drafted by Michael Sutton that the Cave Research Foundation had hanging up. Really really beautifully done - fantastic detail and the cross sections included several sections of the cave - which is just brilliant!

This is the entrance to Sand Cave - where Floyd was Trapped.

A view of the Green River - a lot of the water here comes out of Mammoth Cave and eventually flows into the Mississippi and then finally into the Gulf of Mexico. So during all those years of going to the beach in FL growing up - I was bathing in water from Mammoth Cave!

This was a cool little fern type undergrowth I noticed on the hike back out from the shores of the Green River.

The whole crew - Tommy, Paul Nathan, me, Andy, Roger, Michelle, Julie, Jennifer, Steve and then Randy hanging from the top of the sign.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mammoth Cave

Last weekend I took a three day weekend trip to Mammoth Cave with some friends. For three days it was the most relaxing little get away I've had in quite some time!

Tommy, Michelle, Paul and I drove up early Friday morning. Since we weren't able to do a wild tour - we wore our helmets on the 2 hour historic tour. They actually came in handy and allowed us to examine nooks and crannies and quite a few historical signatures.

Andy was waiting for us when we walked out, and Steve, Jennifer and Nathan arrived as we walked out to the cars to get out bags and check into all our rooms.

Saturday we were all in for a special treat. Andy had arranged for Roger Bruker to give us a tour to all the sights of Mammoth. We even got to visit with Pat at the Cave Research Foundation too! It was an absolutely fantastic tour! Can't thank Andy, Roger and Pat enough for making our trip up to Mammoth so memorable. Here are a few pics - more in the next couple days...


Paul and the "Little Caver's Menu!"

Paul and I at the entrance to Mammoth

Nathan just loves his ice cream and mustard

A late night visit to Floyd's grave... oooh.... spooky....

First stop on Roger's tour for all of us - and a bit of Collin's family history. Andy was taking the photo for me - then there's Michell, Julie, Paul, Roger, Randy, Tommy, Steve, Nathan and then Jennifer and I are the squatting peeps.