Adirondack Camp Hacks

Calvin CoolidgeAdirondack Camps are treasures of Upstate New York. Even President Calvin Coolidge was a fan, who used Great White Pine Camp, near Paul Smiths College as his “Summer White House.”

However, for people who aren’t President, Adirondack Camps are still within reach.

The Adirondacks are a special part of New York—a state many people think of as just an extension of New York City. But, once you get up into Old Forge, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and all the places in between, you will realize that the ADK is no NYC.

So, once you have your ADK Camp, you may need to make a few modifications.

Here are two that we came up with to turn a simple one-room cabin into a spacious ADK almost-Great Camp. It’s Tiny Living in the Adirondacks. 357 sq ft.

  1. The Stairs

ADK camp stairsThe camp came with a simple wooden ladder that led to the loft upstairs. It was affixed to the beams with two eyelet hooks. Sturdy it was not. Scary it was. For less than $100, we bought two stringers (the stair-step sides of the staircase) from Home Depot and then used some old shelving we found in our barn for the treads (the steps). With some bugle-head screws purchased in Croghan at Buckingham Hardware, the stairs were built in only two hours. A branch found in the yard was used to create the rail, and some simple twine from Wal-Mart hid my cutting defects when trying to fit the rail to the support. Total cost: $69.

2. The Wall.

ADK camp wallTo create a separation between the kitchen and the sleeping area, we needed a wall (it will be huge!). We turned the appliances sideways to create a galley kitchen and then bought four antique shutters from Class Collectibles in Canton, NY. With a few brackets and a slab of wood at the bottom, the shutters created a perfect wall. To make it more ADK-y, and to hide the hardware, we installed a birch log on top. Total cost: $85.

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St. Lawrence: County, School, River, Saint

St. Lawrence County makes up the upper northwest corner of New York State. It is the largest county in New York.

St. Lawrence County is bordered on the west and north by the St. Lawrence Seaway and is home to St. Lawrence University, in the county seat of Canton, and St. Lawrence Central High School, in Brasher Falls. Across the border, in Cornwall, Ontario, you will find St. Lawrence Secondary School.

St. Lawrence County was named for the St. Lawrence River—”discovered” by Jacque Cartier, a French explorer—and on the Feast Day of Saint Lawrence of Rome—August 10—he named a small bay after the saint and cartographers applied it to the River of Hochelaga (Montréal).

Why was Lawrence So Popular?

So, who was St. Lawrence and why was he so popular to have all these places named after him?

Lawrence was a deacon in Rome, under Pope Sixtus II, in 258 AD. Lawrence was in charge of taking care of the needy and poor. The Roman Empire was ruled by Emperor Valerian, a pagan, from 253 to 260 AD. Valerian was the first emperor to be taken prisoner by the Persians and would die in captivity around 264 AD.

Valerian persecuted the Christians and required the clergy to worship the pagan Roman gods. On August 7, while Sixtus was preaching, Roman soldiers broke in to his chapel and took Sixtus to his death. He was beheaded on August 7, 258. As Sixtus was led to his execution, Lawrence wept and exclaimed, “Father, where are you going without your deacon?” Sixtus replied that he was not leaving Lawrence behind, as he would follow in three days.

Sixtus was correct.

St. Lawrence Gets Grilled

St. Lawrence of Rome, with his gridiron, upon which he was executed, on August 10, 258 AD.Lawrence was ordered to bring the treasures of the Church to the Roman authorities. He, instead, gathered all the poor in the city and brought them and explained that they were “the treasures of the church.”

Of course, this was not a satisfactory response and Lawrence was sentenced to death by being strapped to an iron grill, or “gridiron,” and slowly roasted to death.

Lawrence, it is said, told the authorities that he was “done on this side” and requested that he be flipped over to continue his roasting on the other side. “It is cooked enough,” he replied as death took him. St. Lawrence, one of the more popular saints, is the patron saint of the poor (of course) and of cooks (ironic).

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Social Media Analytics of My Articles on

I have been writing for since August 1, 2016—one year ago today. I created a table (in LibreOffice) of my social media analytics and the results are below.

My first article, on Open Source Graphic Design was, by far, the most popular (it was even a Top Ten!). Branding, video and pets trailed way behind, and Open Source Death took a holiday.

My article on Open Source Star Trek was most popular on Reddit and tied with Open Source Pets on LinkedIn.

Facebook was the the most popular social media channel and Reddit the least. Twitter numbers do not appear, but it could be a result of the order of icons. The share buttons descend from Twitter, to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to Reddit and then Google+ for anyone who uses that.

Open Source Novel Writing (Bibisco) scored low, but had unusually high Likes.

My conclusion is that tech articles do best on tech sites (duh!) and that Facebook still seems to be the favorite social media channel (without knowing the Twitter numbers).

These articles are linked here.

Date Article Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Likes Comments
08/01/16 Expensive tools aren’t the only options for graphic design (and never were) 2687 407 5 166 52
09/20/16 Star Trek: Inspiring people and their tech since 1964 85 44 70 76 3
09/30/16 Tools for writing the next bestseller 73 22 2 95 0
12/28/16 Best of Art and design 50 7 0 71 1
02/02/17 A look at 6 iconic open source brands 177 18 7 81 4
02/10/17 Lessons from a brief career in open source 64 41 4 85 6
02/14/17 Unleashed: open source tech for pets and animals 126 44 8 36 0
03/14/17 Open source in death and beyond 50 20 0 23 0
03/31/17 2 open source Adobe InDesign scripts 24 17 0 38 0
05/30/17 Tinkering with OpenShot for video editing 106 8 0 29 0
07/25/17 A left-handed software user’s plea 78 7 4 20 19
 1 Year  Totals 3520 162 120 920 85
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How To Create 3-Sided Boxes in InDesign

InDesign Forms: Three-Sided Boxes

Creating forms is, I think, the most difficult and mundane task a graphic designer ever faces.

EVERYTHING HAS TO BE EXACT. There will always be changes and when the forms are created with a mix of text and rules and symbols, it can become a real mess. Creating forms in InDesign is no picnic. Excel works better, but, hey, that’s life. It may even work better in Scribus; I’ll try that next.

The biggest problem I faced in creating this form is that I needed to create “fill-in-the-blank” boxes for the contractor to write in the customer info. Usually, these boxes are four-sided boxes. In this case, I needed to created a three-sided box — a “topless” box.

You would think this is an easy thing to do. Nahhh. I could have created them with boxes and white lines, or a series of upper-case Is with an underscore, or some other cludge.

Going Topless

HERE’S HOW I DID IT. I was able to create the boxes as “text” in the Character Styles (pull-down TYPE>>CHARACTER STYLES) palette using the Apple Symbols Glyph (TYPE>>GLYPHS) for a four-sided box, and then simply copied and pasted the number of boxes I needed for each entry. It worked for me; it may work for you.

Below are screen shots of the steps I took to “go topless.” This is InDesign CC (2015) Mac. I believe these functions are common in all versions, though.

Steps to Create a Topless Set of Boxes in InDesign







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