Things n’ Stuff

Tuesday, June 15th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan

It’s been a very busy two weeks here in Czeltistan. Very, very busy.

1. The Hockey.
The trip to Pennsylvania was a success. A Cup was won. (Actually, two Cups, if you count the one we saw Tampa Bay win on TV.) Fun was had. A good brewpub was found. Drinks were consumed.

Wilkes-Barre’s a bit… economically depressed (that’s a nice way to put it, I guess), but the fans there are definitely first-rate. Very classy. They sure do love their team and are incredibly friendly and generous. And it was a lot of fun to see a full barn for a game. (Sure would be nice to fill the BC sometime, but I doubt we could get 17,000 people at an Admirals game.)

Milwaukee Hockey’s got some nice photos from the championship rally held back in Milwaukee. (And sorry, Ray. Those dents weren’t in the Cup when you got it. Maybe from when you guys threw it over the fence and then ran off with it in Wilkes-Barre, though.) I’d post mine from the game itself and the post-party, but in the computer switch-over here at work, I’ve lost my camera software and I keep forgetting to bring the CD in from home to reload. Ah, well.

Other Pennsylvania fun: the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, fun with geology while driving (Helpful hint if you go on road trips with geologists: They’re going to make you read geological points of interest booklets for your route and point out interesting features. If, as in this case, the book is from September 1970, many of these features will no longer be visible.), terrifying drives down I-81 in the rain. (Windy, mountain road, heavy rain, semis. Ahh. Good fun.) The only thing we didn’t get to was the coal fire burning somewhere south of the city. Oh, sure, everyone told us about it, but we kind of needed more direction than “just go down past the trailer park” and “sometimes you can see the smoke coming out of the mountain.” (And no, this isn’t the Centralia fire. Apparently there’s another one.)

2. The Letterboxing.

This past weekend was the Great Lakes Letterboxing Gathering down at Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry, IL. (I’m voting for a name change to “Mosquito Hills.” Lord, but there were the mosquitos!) Much fun. Well worth getting up early on a Saturday to make the trip. It was really nice to be able to place a face to trail names/stamps and to meet other people who share my little hobby. We even had some surprise guests at the party, though it sounds to me like we’re not supposed to give out too much information about them at the moment.

I almost didn’t go to the Gathering, but I’m really glad I did and I’m certainly going to make sure I hit another one in the future. But next time, I’m bringing mosquito netting.

3. The Other Stuff.

Mom and I are in the process of buying a house. Investment property. It’s a cute little duplex in a Polish flat-but-not-Polish flat kind of way. The upstairs tenants and their world’s friendliest cat are decent. The downstairs tenant won’t be happy to know that we’re not renewing his lease in favor of renovation works on the downstairs, but I’m sure he’ll get over it. The house needs a little work, but all things considered, not much. And the work on the downstairs unit finally gives me some justification for all those episodes of Trading Spaces that I’ve watched.

Meanwhile, at Casa Czelt, the world’s most spoiled kitty made it through her two weeks of meds and seems to have recovered nicely. Hooray!

Other than that, it’s been fun with work, fun with the gym (why am I still fat?? Gah! This weight-loss stuff is hard work, yo.), etc. Mind you, I did make a little time Saturday for the world’s most low-key date. (Don’t get all excited. He’s moving out-of-state next month, so this isn’t going to be anything serious. Just fun in the meantime.)

So that’s it. I’ll try to get back to posting more often and finding little webbity goodies for your perusal. No, really. Honest.

6 Comments to Things n’ Stuff


Hey, Czelt- Okay, you’ve piqued my interest: what th’ hell’s letterboxing? Is it in some way related to mail art? I thought maybe the site would give me a hint, but unless I’m missing something, no. I hate not knowing about stuff. And junk.

czeltic girl

Letterboxing is kind of a combination of hiking, treasure-hunting and stamp-carving. (If you’re familiar with geocaching, it’s kind of like that, but way more low-tech and instead of trinkets, you exchange stamp images.) It’s horribly addictive. Trust me — if something can actually encourage me to want to go out into nature, it must be fun. I’m such a city girl.

More info at the LBNA site: Check the FAQ page.

And actually, I learned about it through a mail art site, but it’s not really mail art. (Though there are mail-only letterboxes.) True letterboxing started in Dartmoor in England back in the 1800s and came over to the States as a result of a Smithsonian Magazine article in 1988. They’re much more strict about the rules in England than we are over here (like they won’t even give you the written clues until you’ve found 100 word-of-mouth boxes), but then what do you expect from Americans? :-)


Congratz on buying your house. I’m trying to sell mine, and so fare it’s proving to be a major pain in the arse. It doesn’t help that we’ve lost almost 600 jobs in this area over the summer, and the local buyers seem to think that I’m desperate to sell (which I’m not).


Thanks, Czelt- I’ll have to check that link out. I carve stamps, so this could be something I could get into. Normally one would have to coax me into nature with the promise of some good swimmin’. But letterboxing might do the trick as well. Thanks again!

czeltic girl

Ooh. Another stamp carver! You’re probably way better at it than I am (I’m just starting out). If you’ve got pix, I’d love to see some of your stamps.

As far as I know, there’s only one letterbox in Rochester (I looked it up when I thought I might make the trip out), but it could be a good place to start. And you’ll find that a lot of boxes are in urban or semi-urban settings and don’t require a lot of the nature bit. And if there aren’t many urban ones, you can do like I’m doing and make some. :-)

And Mr. B — good luck with the house sale. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.


Czelt- Send me your e-mail address and I’ll try to scan some stamp images for you. Maybe I’ll do a chronological thing to show you how my early efforts were, how should I put it, raw?, but that progress was surprisingly fast. So keep on keepin’ on. And Stamp Out Cuteness!

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