Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mid Missouri Letterboxers

Missouri Forestkeepers Network

I was reading the December issue of Rural Missouri yesterday when I came across an advertisement for the Missouri Forestkeepers Network. It's a program where individuals/groups/families volunteer to be responsible for checking on the condition of trees in an area of their choosing, and then report their findings to the network just once a year (or more often if desired). Sounds like a great service to combine with letterboxing! Here's the link:

Grace to You

Monday, November 20, 2006

Un boxing in London

I've been waiting to send you a note about letterboxing in London until I actually found a box. But it hasn't happened.

Another "box" always gets there first.

Letterboxing and geocaching are for all intents and purposes dead in London. The problem started with terrorist bombers who liked to hide small plastic packages in discreet places. But the ax fell with the mass installation of crime-fighting CCTV.

London is blanketed with closed circuit television cameras. They are on street corners, buildings, in parks and in hallways. A recent newspaper story said that the average person is captured on CCTV in London once every five minutes daily. You can read more about the phenomenon at http://www.missouri.edu/~bentleyc/ukjourprojects/mo_london_mid06.html, a site where my student papers are housed.

To be fair, not all of the cameras have someone on the other end watching. Most just record the scene and are checked when an incident is reported. But many can be remotely turned and zoomed and are equipped with a loudspeaker from which police constable's voice booms warnings. No one can prove they actually prevent crime, but they know they help catch those who are trying to get away. Including letterboxers.

We even tried one box we thought would never have a CCTV camera. It was located on the grounds of St. Augustine's Anglo-Catholic Church. I'm not sure whether he had a camera or a tip from a higher source, but within minutes of our entering the churchyard a vicar was at our side.

We've made some great excursions, though. We found an empty container near an East London bridge that was supposed to be a site. And poked around under a fence next to a pub nearly 500 years old. No stamps in the book, however.

Our only success was in Prague, where we found one box high on a hilltop across from the castle. I doubt it will survive, however. The only residence on that hilltop is the president's house and we were greeted on the trail out by a friendly soldier -- carrying a machine gun.

British letterboxing thrives only in the rough and wild moors. Dartmoor is famous, but the Yorkshire moors are coming on strong. But you have to plan a day-long train trip from London and then another day of trekking through the heath.

Moors make great holiday excursions, but forget about urban letterboxing.

To be sure, I have changed my mind about hiding boxes in the city. I think special care must be taken to assure people that a letterbox is not a precursor to violence. All it will take is one nut who plants a bomb disguised as a letterbox and the sport will be over.

And look around. CCTV cameras are looking at you all over Columbia now.

So what do you think? Should letterboxes be restricted to the great outdoors?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mid Missouri Letterboxers

Letterboxing with Aloha

We had the pleasure of letterboxing last week on the island of Oahu...thanks to the ‘boxers who planted their treasures for us, we got to see some of the natural treasures of this island that we would surely have missed otherwise. We found 5 boxes and a hitchhiker, with only two unsuccessful attempts; the ones we didn’t find were hidden in a rainforest with a 150-foot waterfall at the end of an hour and a half hike…incredibly worth the attempt! Visit our flickr account to see pictures of our adventures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12634712@N00/

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fall Gathering Wrap Up

Here's a little information to go with Lnd Crzr's pictures.

The Mid MO Letterboxers are crafting a tradition of well-attended, activity-packed events. About 31 folks turned out for our Fall Gathering on Nov. 4. During the flurry of stamp exchanging, LBers reconnected with "old timers" and put faces to trail names of newer members. We even had guest LBers from Kansas City and St. Louis to enliven the event.

After the exchange, the group broke into two smaller groups, and Lnd Crzr led a workshop on his signature logbooks, while Foxfyr gave a workshop on her tricky piano-hinge logbooks.

All the enthusiasm and craft activities of the morning worked up a mighty appetite in the group, so the potluck lunch was set out and folks set to it. What a feast! Soup, chili, wasabi-devilled eggs, Ahistory's marvelous morels, pies, oh my! and much more. Everything was delicious, no one could have walked away hungry.

We let our lunch digest a bit by enjoying the show and tell of letterbox memorabilia brought by some members. Young LBer Jaws proudly shared the contents of his mystery package, left on his doorstep by pirates - or was it Lnd Crzr?

In the afternoon there was just time for a workshop on aging paper, again led by Lnd Crzr. To our amazement, the day had slipped away, so folks made their goodbyes, already looking forward to the midwinter gathering. The LBers from the "far sides" of the state took advantage of the remaining daylight to hunt for some boxes, accompanied by some of the local group.

What a fantastic event - here's to many more!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mid-MO Fall Arts & Crafts Gathering Pics

Greetings all. I've gathered some great pictures from folks at the gathering and have them at my flickr account. To browse them, and other LB related pics just click HERE.



Sunday, November 12, 2006

gathering of yule I mean your logs!

I had alot of fun seeing new and old faces at the last gathering and I am approaching my 1 year anniversary of letterboxing thanks to my good friend surlymama and was thinking I didn't get near as much time to peek at folks log books so I wanted to throw out an option, how about a casual gathering of folks at the Cherry Street Artisan on Dec 22- Yule and share of the logs!! I will plan on being there solo at 7:00 and hope to see some other boxers- and here is an intriguing thought I am really interested in the personal traveler idea- this might be a good time to introduce some personal travelers if they were to exist by then- that should give enough time to either make and/or research. Heck I will even carve an event stamp and maybe have a little treat for you if you come. Give a shout if you are interested in coming-


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tae the Weaver's Gin Ye Go!

Jenny J had a mighty time at the Fall Gathering of the Mid Mo Letterboxers this past weekend - great folks, excellent eats and nifty workshops. This coming weekend she'll be at a gathering of a different cloth. However, she'll still have you stalwart letterboxers in mind. On Saturday, Nov. 11, 9 to 4, and Sunday, Nov. 12, 11 to 4, she invites all interested letterboxers to a little adventure.
It's simple. Find Jenny J at this gathering and say hello. If, in the course of your conversation, you declare "You have to be warped to weave!", she may send you on a brief quest. Upon completing your quest, you will be rewarded in true letterbox fashion.
Here's a hint on where to find this other gathering: http://cwsg.missouri.org. Remember, this quest is only available this coming Saturday and Sunday. Good 'Boxing!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cipher Lesson Plan


At the Fall 2006 Gathering I gave out some handouts of the "Letterboxing with Codes and Ciphers" lesson plan. If you want to receive a copy by e-mail, whether or not you made it to the Gathring, please contact me at difoxfire@hotmail.com to request a copy. There is one section that includes some practice ciphers, but I did not include the answers. So if you picked up a hard copy and want a copy of the answers, please also let me know.

Other sections in the document include the following:
Reasons for using (or not using) encrpytions
The difference between a code and a cipher
Explantion of the two main categories of ciphers
(i.e., Substitution vs. Transposition)
Tips for Solving Simple Substitution Ciphers
List of 100+ words common in letterboxing clues
Examples and explanations of various ciphers