I want to talk about the inestimable value of taking a break, a diversion, a digression – but first we have to have a FLASHBACK:

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.

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.

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.

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!).

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

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.

Saya’s lounger is coming together nicely.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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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.

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

Brigid is working on a “sort of mailbox thing” for the Nooi car.

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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

View of the barn from the Kablooi end of things.

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

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

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.

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

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And grabs her friend Zada to share them with.

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Including this juvenile rock crab.

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

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Squadrons of pelicans made regular fly-by’s of our little beach.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Brigid at the Beach.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Amelia at the Beach.

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

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Saya Making a Sand Ball

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Portrait of a Seagull: Steppin’ Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Bryn.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Zada

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

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Jonah get his King Tut on.

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Brigid makes a rock-show entrance.

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Flashlight glyphs and marks.

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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.