Thursday, October 19, 2006

A couple of Great Teachers

I went to two different schools the year I was in 6th grade. The first half of the I was in the North Olmsted Public School District. I two memorable teachers there, Mr. Seith, and Ms Raub. Bill Seith was my classroom teacher. Ms. Raub was our art teacher. Both teachers were great at motivating us, and they were both a lot of fun. Seith had attended Ohio State and would talk about the Buckeye football team on Mondays after games. He could get really wound up and was known to jump up on desks and flail his arms when he was trying to get a point across.

Ms Raub was a fun art teacher. Her most memorable art project was to make a product (with a twist). Her example a was a can of "Campbells cream of child" soup. It was the age of the atari 2600, so I decided to make a game cartridge for the Atari. It was the very popular AstroSeiths, with little Bill Seith heads being targeted by a spaceship. Mr. Seith got a huge kick out of it.

I moved away from North Olmsted just before Christmas and remember Mr Seith saying that he would really miss me in his classroom.

I've had a lot great teachers since then, but they were a couple of the most memorable.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not your kid's tree climbing!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to witness part of the International Tree Climbing Championships held this year in Downtown Minneapolis. The ITCC was held as part of the annual International Society of Arborists convention and trade show. We caught several heats of the Men's Foot Lock climbing. These guys were ascending 50 feet of rope into the tree in just about 22 seconds!! Their method of ascent is to flip the rope up and over one foot with the other, locking the rope between the instep of the first foot and the sole of the second foot.

While I have been climbing trees for a little while, I came to it via rock climbing. I learned that the method I had been using is referred to as the Single Rope Technique (SRT). Another method of tree climbing is the Doubled Rope Technique (DRT). DRT is advantageous because it uses the mechanical advantage of a pulley. You pull down on one side of the rope and are hauled up with the other end. The photos are of some advanced equipment for this method. You'd be clipped into the lower carabiner. To climb, you'd pull down on the rope on the right, the pulley would tend the friction knot up until you stopped pulling, then you'd be held by the friction knot. While the tree climbers seem to "traditionally" use a Blake's Hitch, the one show to the right is a Distel Hitch.

DMM (Wales) was apparently showing this new pulley off, it seemed to be generating a fair amount of (heated) discussion when I found it. I haven't been able to find it in any of DMM's current online offerings.

Also note the the rope on the left has been spliced back on itself to form an eye, also the orange line has been sewn into eyes. Here is a closer look at the pulley.

I'll post some pictures of actual climbing tomorrow!