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Buzzbo’s First Hunt June 28, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I’ve still got a few muggle friends who haven’t played the game yet.  One of whom is an old old friend of my wife, known to me for about 10 years now.  Scratch that- he HAS played the game and I can no longer refer to him as “my muggle friend”.

He is now buzzbo(remember, these profile links don’t work unless you have a free Geocaching.com account)

Buzzbo pinged me a half dozen times before his first hunt, looking for some pointers.

  • What kind of caches should I look for?  Big ones.  Regular, Large; but definitely NOT micro sized.
  • Where should I look?  Locally, something in the Terrain 1-2 range.
  • Anything I should pay attention to?  Read the last 5 logs.  If there’s trouble ahead, it will be in the logs.
  • What other inside advice will help make this fun?  Bring the kids.  If they aren’t having fun, neither are you.  And they WILL have fun.

Buzzbo fired off a video of the first hunt.  Let’s see how he did…

Three for three; not too shabby!  The kids had fun, which is a key performance indicator- find or no find.  We have an ammo can for #1, which appears to have been some trouble for the kids (I don’t blame them, wearing a cast during summer is NOT fun).  I’m not a big fan of front yard hides but buzzbo tells me permission to pass was well documented.  The trouble opening the pill bottle for #2 was a little surprising, given that none of my “childproof” medicine bottles are anything of the sort.  All that goodness aside, #3 was the kicker.

The third cache was a hide I wouldn’t have touched because the last few logs are chock full of frustration and DNFs.  Buzzbo went after it anyway and came up with the smiley.  The best part: the last 3 DNFs were from >2000 find cachers.  That right there is a cup full of win!  🙂

As if this wasn’t enough, buzzbo managed his first three smileys using a Garmin roadmate or TomTom.  These aren’t the easiest devices to use for an offroad hunt (fragile, hard to find the pointer) and still the clan managed to avoid the dreaded DNF.

Nice work, buzzbo.  Thanks for the shout out and the great pics.  I’ll have to get a little crush event planned for your neighborhood.

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A Tale of Two Plates June 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Forums, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Recreation, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I was trolling the GC.com forums and ran across the gem below.  You can see the original right here:

Not So Successful

Not So Successful

It seems Team Black Cat has an eye for the epic fail.  I immediately wondered aloud about how many muggle vehicles are sporting an unintentional Geocaching abbreviation.  Probably lots, which makes this super fun, but not so impressive.

Then I thought about my good friend the king of FTF bogarting (and I celebrate his selfishness), dougandsuzy:

dougandsuzy is in the house

dougandsuzy is in the house

Yes, that’s real, and that plate has been seen at over 2,000 finds. 

Got any others out there?  Shoot em over…

They Get Better With Age, Folks June 16, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Philosophy, Snark.
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I thought I had already heard, seen and done all the craziest numbers running Geocaching stunts in the world.  And then I read this Geocaching Forum thread:

Do you archive your older caches that have slowed down just so you can place a new one in the area?
That’s not the craziest, however, as several readers have hinted they do just that.  They call it “refreshing the game”.  Once a Geocache has been found by the 8-10 people the owner cares about, out comes another.  With all these caches being built to archive I am certain the quality of the hide and swag must be incredible.  Awesome, even.
The first response is dead on the freakin’ money, folks:
No, If I own a real old cache it has historical value and I wanted people to see what I brought them there for. I don’t hide caches so people can increase their number.

If I archive a cache in the area I don’t place a new one there because one of two things has happened.
1. What I wanted to show off no longer exist or is significantly different to where I don’t think it is interesting any more
2. I am too far away to maintain the cache

-webscouter
Listen to that one.  He knows of what he speaks.  Around these parts we have honor attached to the oldest caches.  I have a PQ specifically for the oldest hides and I have two caches on my bucket list of note: Groundspeak HQ and Geocache #1.
That’s it for me, I’m on my way to the Mile High City for a few days of work and they’re closing the door to the plane.  Maybe I’ll get off my rear and drop you all another quickie in the AM.

More Gratuitous GSAK Tidbits June 14, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Resources, Software.
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I’ve explained in several other posts how I use various tools to prepare my GPX Pocket Queries before a run outside.  I’ve got a system and it works for me but if you really prefer to stick with one tool GSAK can do all the fancy stuff in the world…

…with macros.

If you’ve ever used a macro in any other program you know they can both save enormous amounts of time while, if complex, being a pain in the rear to build.  The GSAK forums save a lot of this pain by hosting a comprehensive library of macros for you to choose from, already built and ready to go.  You’ll find them here:

GSAK Forums Home

Scroll down to the “Macro Library” section to find the list of macros available (goes on for days) and how to acquire them.  If you’re trying to narrow down all the caches you  and your buddies have in common or just flag your letterbox finds in Colorado from last month, its probably there.  If I see what I need on the list, I might just change my habits.

Shameless Plug for Good Pie June 12, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Family, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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Any time I’m in the greater Denver area (as I am now) I have to stop in at Protos Pizzeria Napoletana.  If not because of the fact that the proprietor and I are related, then certainly because I get to see things like this:

Is that Nacho Libre at the Bar?

Is that Nacho Libre at the Bar?

Sorry about the craptastic photo quality from my kindergarten camera phone, but is that Nacho Libre?  He did go for the Atomica, if that means something.  Unfortunately my sister who owns the place (Pam Proto) is on her way to MY house while I patronize hers.  This “my second home is in row 6, port side window seat” thing makes for some interesting scheduling oddities.

Now I Get It June 11, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Geocaching.com, In the News/Blogosphere, Mobile Caching, Software.
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I’ve asked in various places and posts why the quality of Geocaching hides and seekers seems to be going down.  Then I read this gem.

So if people are only just now finding out about Geocaching because there’s an iPhone app, what’s going to happen when they start buying the newly discounted $99 iPhones?

We’re screwed.

More Thieving Hilarity June 11, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching.
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Check this report out I got from WordPress:

Top Posts

Free GSAK Key For the Taking 176 views

It gets hit about 10 times per day now.  You people are depressing.  It’s only 25 bucks.  Just send him the money.  It’s worth it.  Trust me.

Proving Once Again USA Today is Just Colorful TP June 10, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in In the News/Blogosphere, Somebody Else's Stuff, Transportation.
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I ran across this one while perusing Fark:

Readers’ picks: Best airport restaurants, shops and services

I was all about looking for additional armament for my quiver of super secret road warrior weapons.  Heck, I travel a LOT but am always learning.  So what erudite wisdom pours forth from the scribe but this steaming pile of epic fail: (more…)

GeoBuddy Overview June 8, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in For the Newbies, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Software.
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Tip ‘o’ the hat to Calipers for requesting I take a look at GeoBuddy!

Not A Software Review

First off, this is NOT a proper review of TopoGrafix’s GeoBuddy software.  A proper review has all sorts of feature/functionality testing and the like I did not do here.  This post is a high level impression of the kit from my own unique perspective.  If you know me and my habits you should use that intelligence to color what you take away from my notes here.  If not, you should visit TopoGrafix and the GeoBuddy forums for more detailed information.

How I Use Geocaching Software

When I plan a Geocaching outing or just want to head out and grab a couple while I am out I have the same basic steps.  It is by these activities I judge the usefulness of any hardware/software tools for my caching fun.  These steps have been refined to accommodate my erratic travel schedule and the fact that on any given day I might be in 3 different states or countries.  My emphasis is on speed in getting to a quality set of Geocaching waypoints so I can get out the door and on the trail.  I like to explore and I don’t mind a little “now how do I get up THERE?!” while on the road.  A little sweat never hurt a caching trip.  I also don’t like to read the description and logs until I am at GZ unless I see the difficulty is a 4 or 5.  Finally, I might print a high level street map with waypoints just so I can plan my point-to-point wanderings efficiently.

All of this boils down to four basic steps which influence my overall impression of GeoBuddy.  Let’s take a peek, below the fold.

(more…)

All Systems Go June 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Geocaching.com.
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And all my caches back in working order.  If you’re missing a piece to the 52 Pick Up series from the eights, fret no more.  Oh, and that “Don’t Do This! #7: You Down With LPC?” cache is back, too.  Now with more camouflage goodness, so enjoy!

Quick and Dirty Update June 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Reviews, Snark, Software.
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  • I’ve hit over 85,000 Geocaching miles.  Suck it, Lotrat.
  • Calipers pointed out I need to review GeoBuddy and compare it to GSAK.  Stay tuned.
  • Somebody was musing about a North SD County meet and greet.  Let’s get it on, folks.
  • I’m still looking for more interesting spoofs to target for my “Don’t Do This!” series.  Take a look at my profile and send me your ideas if you want to have them immortalized with the “Frown-O-Meter”.  (See my GC profile and caches for more details)

Thanks to the Well-Wishers June 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Family.
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Thanks, all of you who commented or dropped me a line regarding my recent, ah- business back in the home country (North Tonawanda, NY).  My grandmother has not been well with my father, various aunts, uncles and cousins looking out for her nigh on the past 10 years.  In many ways this was a relief to see her suffering end.

But the funerary activities are for the living, after all, and when a critical mass of my family congregates fun is usually had by all (the prevailing mood notwithstanding).  I took the opportunity to have dinner with my other grandparents and visit aggressively with my cousins.  By this I mean “enjoying irresponsibly”.  My liver may yet heal.  Only time will tell. (more…)

Valley of the Fountains June 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Strategy and Tactics.
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WARNING – SPOILERS BELOW THE FOLD!

Fountain Valley Cache and Dash, Dawn To Dusk on May 30, 2009.

Check this out (Click to embiggen):

Valley of the Fountains Caches Logged (124)

Valley of the Fountains Caches Logged (124)

Dougandsuzy and Calipers hung around after a meet and greet for one more round a few months back and suggested we should throw down another little crush event with the three of us.  Doug suggested Fountain Valley, Calipers thought he meant Death Valley and asked if this was “Survivor: Geocache”.  Needless to say we almost left him at home.

After prepping in the usual way (see my extensive instruction manual on this topic) we ended up bagging 124 during daylight hours.  Not too shabby.  I figured I would throw in some of the highlights of the day and share some things we learned about one another on the road.  No, we didn’t have a Brokeback Caching moment or anything, but I did almost break Dougandsuzy’s back.  Oh, and my apologies for the crappy logs I left most of the owners.  Let’s be honest; after 45 LPCs what more do you need to write than “TFTC”?

After meeting at 5am, we packed the supplies and TOTTs in the trunk:

  • Implements, magnets, rubber gloves and handi wipes (uh, remember what I said about that brokeback thing?)
  • A case of Dr. Pepper

Who needs more?  You do.  And it’s all below the fold…

(more…)

Back in the Saddle June 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching.
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Work is a bear and the road has been beating me up, but I’m back.  Stand by for adventures with Calipers and Dougandsuzy.

I hear Suzy doesn’t like to be called that, Doug.  You should work on changing your name. 😉