Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Day #339

Well, just 28 days to go. For those of you who are quick with figures, you're probably wondering why I'm planning on doing 367 New Things. I'm not being an overachiever--it's just that somewhere in the list I managed to screw up the numbers. Since I started on December 29th of last year, December 28 will complete my year of new things.

Fear not, I already have a new blog project planned for next year which I will reveal when the time comes.

In the meantime, I went letterboxing, which is kind of a lower-tech version of Geocaching. Participants hide boxes in parks and forests, each containing a journal and a signature rubber stamp. Following clues left on Your Friend and Mine the Interweb, one goes hunting for the boxes, stamping the result in your own journal and leaving your signature stamp in the box.

The practice began in 1858 in Dartmoor, England, where it remained a local tradition until Smithsonian magazine did an article about it ten years ago, sparking an international trend for rubber-stamp enthusiasts, a group of hobbyists I didn't know existed until 11 am this morning.

"It keeps us from getting OBD--Oregon Butt Disease," said Kuku, my enthusiastic guide.

"And gets rubber stampers out of the house," added Oregonian columnist Margie Boule', who came along because I didn't want to meet a stranger alone in a park. And in case Kuku lived up to her name.

Turns out I needn't have worried. It's hard to be intimidated by someone wearing a button reading "I heart handbells."

There are over 500 of these boxes hidden around Portland. The treasure hunt element is giddy fun and I appreciated getting the inside track, like how boxers wipe the excess ink from the pads on their socks because they're easier to clean and call non-boxers "noxers."

"Finding a letterbox is always a thrill," Kuku told us. "It's always new."

I understand the impulse.

Here's Margie with one of our finds:


Nick said...

Marc, ther's this thing called leap year, it adds an extra day to the year. Don't feel bad, at least you can count.

Nick said...

And I can't spell, I'm just too dependant on spell check.

Sue KuKu said...

Weeellll, the sock trick is mostly mine. Usually, I'd have a water bottle and some paper towels. But since our LB adventure was very urban and quick, I didn't bring those things. My socks are always there in a pinch.

I used to have a button on my coat that said "UFF DA", which is Scandinavian for "D'oh!"

I had more clerks ask what the letters stood for.

If you are the first to find a letterbox, you are First Finder.

So, I would tell letterboxers that it stood for "Uber First Finder, Diva Attitude!"

Never came up with a good acronym that wasn't letterbox oriented, well at least a good one that was rated G.

Marc, it was so much fun to meet you and take you out boxing. You are a hoot and a half -- just lots of fun to be with.

You are now NOT a noxer or muggle! Whoo hoo!

Your partner in subversiveness,

Greg said...

Letterboxing sounds very interesting. I looked up a few around here and may try it.

Anonymous said...

I've been boxing for 4 years now.
And I always appreciated that it gets me off the couch and on the trails.
It fills a creative need too. I love the artistic aspect.
Wanna hear pathetic? I flew from Orlando, FL to Oregon for just a 3 day weekend of letterboxing. It was in celebration of the 10th anniversary of letterboxing here in the US.
I was lucky to be able to go boxing with KuKu (Hi Sue!)And to meet a few friends that I just knew from the message boards
It was probably the best weekend of my life.

aka "Sits N Knits"
Orlando, FL

Alex said...

My mommy's pretty...