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Cache Spotlight: GCM5R6 “Tongue Wagger” August 24, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cool Caches, Forums, Geocaching, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I find fun stuff on the forums.  If you’re looking for some adventure, those New Yorkers really know how to lay down a cache.

I’d love to give this one a shot, but since I’m in that area only in November it might not be a good idea then.  Summertime for this one seems to be the best.

Enjoy those logs and pics.  Some good caching is up there.

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Calaveras Trail Mapping August 24, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, Recreation.
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While out on a pass through Calaveras park this weekend I ran across some hikers who had no GPS and were relying on their innate sense of direction to get out.  The problem as I saw it was that they had been hiking for over 5 hours with inadequate water and they were at least 3 miles from where they parked.  It was now 1:30pm, in August.  Not good.

I pulled out a handy trail map picture I had built myself and showed them the path lines they wanted, including a few nice rabbit trails that cut big yardage off the hike back.  They had never seen anything like that for Calaveras, though I naturally thought everyone had one of those in their back pocket.

Since you don’t have one, I’ve decided to create it for you from the available imagery.  My first pass is of the greater Calaveras area, something with which you can get a high resolution view of the general area.  As you may know, Calaveras is BIG for a small piece of land, so it naturally encompasses a few areas that are only peripherally “Calaveras”.  This is what the first image is trying to do: show you the big picture.  For the record, Calaveras is primarily on the right half of the image and yes I am aware I could just get pretty color shots from Google Earth.  The color photos don’t bring out the trail map in as much contrast, though, which is really the point.

Over time I will create some crops of the original the show a single 8.5″*11″ Calaveras only trail map, a little more detail with a double-sided version, and some more explanation of just what’s on the left side of the big image already here.  Print, laminate, go hike.  Sweet.

You can track it down on my Resources Tab (at the top) or you can click this link directly for the big file:

Greater Calaveras Overhead Hi-Res

Greater Calaveras Overhead Hi-Res

Happy Caching, Hiking or whatever it is you do on the trail!

Crappy Hiders Beware: The Bill is Coming August 21, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Silly, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I think I am going to start treating horrible hides that lead to DNFs like this guy, sending them a bill for the time.  His hourly rate is a bit low but I think I can modify this quote ever so slightly to work:

My time on this planet is valuable to me. But more importantly, my time is valuable to you. In our attention economy, my presence in your café helps your company in a number of ways. For example, it attracts other customers to you because they see that your brand is popular – especially so with an ABC1 male (or however you’d define me these days.) And it means I’m not spending time with your competitors. My attention and time in your café ultimately helps your bottom line and market position.

Let’s see, replace café with “Geocache Site”, company with “Geocaching Profile” and customers with “Cachers”.  Done.

So the next time I hike 3 miles up a mountain to DNF a micro in a bush, this memo is going out.  😉

Most Aggressive Cache Evar August 21, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, My Finds.
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Ok, most aggressive cache in my limited experience playing this game.  That little counter on the right doesn’t read 6,000 or anything, but when it does I’ll revise this post to remove that clarification.  But I digress…

Our local Geocaching Godfather, Kawikaturn, is generally known for a few things here in North San Diego County:

  1. Coordinates that actually get you to GZ
  2. Caches with a nice off-road flavor, usually with a not too strenuous walk from parking, but a walk nonetheless
  3. Recurring themes of eBay (oh, man do I know all about that), motocross and family friendliness in the placement
  4. Et Cetera, Et Cetera.

Kawikaturn’s just a generally nice guy and he’s got more ammo cans spread over the hiking trails of Carlsbad than I can count.  This is why an urban, aggressive hide is so out of character for him.

An urban hide with no cover to search and sign.  At a Wal-Mart.  Right in front of the darned entrance.  This particular Wal-Mart is right next to the pizza joint where we normally have our local gatherings.  I think it means this is an initiation; perhaps you can’t come in unless you’ve signed that log?  This is just a new side of Kawikaturn I haven’t seen before.  The man knows how to get down, that’s for sure.

Enter: GC1WGE2 – Not on the wal CA, here in Oceanside, CA only if you think you’ve got the guts for it.  At the time of this post there have only been 9 finds.  I say make it 90 by the end of the summer!

Tip ‘o the hat to Calipers for reminding me to hunt this one down.

Shameless Football Pool Plug August 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching.
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If you enjoy a low-rent office football pool and you know me personally, read on.  Otherwise, just curse me for the shill I am…

I and a few acquaintances manage to operate a proper handicapper’s football pool every year.  I manage the setup and the others handle the day to day operation of the thing.  Bottom line: we like to have our friends and family involved (mostly to take their money).

If you’ve played in a “pick the most winners each week” pool at work a handicapping pool will be familiar.  The big difference is you need to beat the spread in this pool against every game, every week.  No fantasy football, no endless stats (unless you want that sort of thing).  Just picking winners every week.

Last year the entry fee was $80 for the year, which works out to just over $4 per week.  You can’t beat that with a stick.  If you’re interested send a note to freefootball at cox dot net with the following:

– Who you are (and how I know you)
– That you are interested in playing
– Contact information (first last name, email, phone, and a postal address if you like getting paid should you win)

Browse around the website at http://members.cox.net/freefootball and you can see how we roll.

Another Frustrated Newcomer August 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Forums, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Strategy and Tactics.
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Newcomer?  New player?  I can’t say N00b because they sorta-kinda stopped playing and then started again.  But on the forums I ran across this thread, which I would direct the newer cachers to view and take home some good advice from the commentators.  The player and a muggle audience went 0-for-6 on a hunt and the experience is just turning him/her off to the game.  Here’s some of the good highlights in the comments (Advice for the new player):

  • Pick easy ones at first, nothing more than 1-2 stars of difficulty
  • Read the last 5 logs to see if it has been found recently or if others have had trouble finding it
  • If you’re using the iPhone, TomTom or Garmin Roadmate (a “car-focused” GPS) to cache, do some reading and make sure your GPS is “talking the same language” as Groundspeak.  A note in the forums asking for a quick FAQ link or spot of advice will do nicely.
  • Remember, the GPS doesn’t get you right to the cache.  It gets you pretty darned close, which could be 30′ away.
  • Employ patience.  You have no idea what you’re looking for yet.  After you find a few it will be easier.
  • Enjoy yourself.  If an outing with the family isn’t enough fun and the smiley is the only reason you’re playing, do a rethink.
  • Read that last one again.
  • Corollary to enjoying yourself: Log the DNF!  Truly, this is your best source of a.) information to make the find and b.) finding a friend who can help (and who you might help)

It’s a good thread.  I love lurking in the forums.

Open Thread Time: Volume 1 August 19, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Open Thread.
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This blog format is not particularly helpful for discussions or back and forth.  Hence: the open thread.  Drop your questions, complaints and discussion in the comments here.

Happy Caching!

Geocaching Videos on YouTube August 19, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere.
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Somebody on one of the Geocaching.com forums clued me into the most video-riffic channel by cacher Headhardhat.  You need to be logged in to Groundspeak for that link to work.  You can find his YouTube channel and I am told it is an excellent set of videos by Headhardhat, so get cracking.

No warranties, I haven’t reviewed them yet, but since there was talk about setting up a little “how to hide” and “how to find” video shoot here in North County I figured it was worth a look-see.

This Woman is Retarded August 18, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in In the News/Blogosphere, Science.
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My apologies up front for this post.  As you may know I’m an avid skeptic, amateur magician, professional geek and general fighter of bad science everywhere in addition to finding mint tins in my spare moments.  From time to time that will come out in my writing.  It’s why I regularly read Phil Plait, James Randi, PZ Myers, Paul Offitt, Orac, Ben Goldacre and Richard Dawkins, and that’s just the top shelf stuff.  You should see what I pull out for a challenging read (the other side, mostly).

So again- bear with me as we go below the fold, unless stupid people scare you.  They just anger me… (more…)

Back. Promise. August 17, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Family, Geocaching, Recreation.
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It has been too long.  Too, too long.  I missed the last two local events (trust me, that really does suck) and I have been getting grief from fellow cachers about my prior post something like a month ago and several bits of reality have conspired to keep me both from the trail and this blog.  First off, this is my house:

My House, Sort Of

My House, Sort Of

Normally I would do all that fancy crop, zoom and highlight but you can see by the fence and distinct lack of a roof that really this is not so much a house as a pile of crap masquerading as a meth lab.  Or something.  It’s looked like this since March.  No- let me rephrase that…

…we didn’t have the official “this is probably a condemned property” fence until 3 weeks ago, and some of the roof was still there (and the meth lab is a new addition brought in from other sources) but you get the picture.  This is a problem.  Don’t worry, we’re pouring concrete this week so it should rapidly improve from “meth lab” to something just below “public nuisance” in just a few weeks.  The tent we’ve been living out of in the field near 76 and Canyon is weathering well.  “Crazy Mike” says hi, and “wharrgarble!”.  He’s got an accent, don’t you know.

Meanwhile, I actually made a few (22) finds yesterday, some with great pics I want to share.  Somebody has been busy dropping little mint tins while I’ve been out of pocket.  I like it.  I also heard Dougandsuzy, Waterlassie and Kawikaturn were all out of town on the road this weekend.  I gotta get me some of that weekend out of town caching.  Sounds fun.