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TrailLink – Now We’re Cooking May 18, 2011

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Maps and Mapping, Recreation.
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If you know me, you know I am a big fan and supporter of the Rails to Trails project, led by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Now, this: TrailLink, a Geocaching Trails index.  It’s full of win.  Thanks to my buddy Stan Black for the tip!

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Shout Out to Trick Shop Magic December 26, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Education, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Recreation, Resources, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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If you’re one of the regular North County Cachers you already know I enjoy entertaining with a little close-up magic.  I call it preparation for my retirement career, post-geek.  It is hard to imagine a hobby more geeky than the crap I already do for a living but I guarantee you I have found it.

You can see me in blurry action, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhq5ocUOMQY

or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8iObbMqVa0

Both of these tricks were performed for the launch of the “52 Pick Up: Throwing Down the Deck” mass Geocache launch during the summer of 2008.  I did another 4 or 5, too for the kids and over 150 adults in attendance.  If you haven’t gone after this prize, there are 52 Geocaches hidden around North San Diego County, each named after a card and containing a clue to the location of The Joker.  13 of us teamed up to create this awesome puzzle, modeled after a similar bunch in Northern California.  The card tricks just seemed to fit the event.

More below the fold… (more…)

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!

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.

North County Cachers Summer Meet-N-Greet July 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Recreation.
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There’s been a little conversation brewing for a while on the NCC Yahoo! group regarding a summer meet and greet at our usual hangout.  You can read all about it, here.

The call for a proper “breakout” session or two around route planning, hiding techniques and so forth is out there.  Depending on interest level, I’d be willing to step up and deliver a talk or two.  Why don’t you head on over to the Yahoo! group and register your interest so Peg can give me a shout out to prepare for a nice presentation?

I will toss up a poll and see if I can’t get some real interest going.  We’d love to have a whack of people up for a midweek gathering.  C’mon, you know you wanna!

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…

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.

I Take My Shoes Seriously May 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Recreation, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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That’s why I wear Knapp shoes.  I mention it for a few reasons; first, because this company went out of business a few years back and I have been wearing my last pair of Knapps on earth for at least 4 or 5 years.  This is my dress shoe; more accurately a “uniform shoe” you would more easily recognize on the feet of a beat cop in Boston.

And yes, I said 4 years.  They are looking their age but they polish up nicely and I wore the pair before these at my wedding in 1997.  They just last (pun intended).  I know at least one of my readers has a thing for $800 Italian loafers but I have a serious addiction to my 2359s.  Plain-Toe Rocker Bottom Oxford, black, oil resistant.  They work in the shop and under a tuxedo equally well.  The safety toe doesn’t need steel because the leather is so farking thick cows have hide envy.  It doesn’t need steel, but you can get it.  The support is so good I can stand on an inch of surface across the arches of my feet and it feels like I’m standing on a solid table.  They are more comfortable than my Nikes and I wear them to work, on the trail and in the yard every single day.  Only problem: they went out of business.

And now, they’re back.

I didn’t link to their main site because, well, they don’t have my size in production yet and they told me last year I could expect something in January.  That, and they aren’t paying me to show how cool their shoes are yet.  Harumph.  Guys: call me when you have 3 pair of 2359 in 10 1/2 EEE stocked.  I’ve logged over 600 Geocaches in my Knapp 2359s.  Throw a dog a bone and sew me up some shoes, willya?

More Templates Added May 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Recreation, Resources.
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On the Resources tab, above, I have added a few more templates to help your Caching and Stashing.  Enjoy.

Note: WordPress will not let me upload MS Excel documents, so many of the templates are MS Word documents with MS Excel files embedded within them for your use.  I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

Map This Trail April 25, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation.
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If you load up Geocaching.com this morning you’ll see their new project with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  If you missed the Groundspeak blurb on it, you can see it, here.

If you read up a little bit, you will see Groundspeak and Rails to Trails are seeking volunteers with a GPS to help map these trails.  I support this little “cause”  for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that the process involves you, a GPS, and walking around.  That’s three simple things I can almost understand together. 😉

Seriously, though, the volunteer work is as simple as turning on the breadcrumbs feature for your GPS to record a track, then walk around on the trail and hit the “Mark” button when you see something interesting like a bathroom.  What’s more, there is a trail in San Diego County that needs help.  It is the San Diego Sea to Sea trail, stretching 140 miles from the coast to the Salton Sea.  But don’t let me monopolize the airwaves; from their site:

Our first area of focus is San Diego.  This branch is called the San Diego Trans County Trail.  It is also known as the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail.  The latter name is largely coincidental.  The two seas it connects are the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, California and The Salton Sea, 140 miles inland.  This Trail crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada.

 

Our Current Focus:  Crossing San Diego County on the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail

This San Diego trail will pass gorgeous scenery that includes beach, coastal wetlands, mountains, lakes, streams, desert and an inland sea.  Such diversity within 140 miles makes it an exceptionally beautiful part of the national trail network.

Go to the site, take a look at the existing trail map, then note it still needs some handy folks with a GPS out there to map it for the rest of the world to use.  The cool bit here is the next phase, once the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail is done:

After completing the Sea To Sea Trail (Trans County Trail), the goal of the Sea To Sea Trail Foundation will be to create a network of interconnected trails crisscrossing the lower 48 states of the United States.  A person will be able to ride a bicycle, ride a horse or walk to every large or medium size town in the country.

Now I love my frequent flyer miles and freeway machines just as much as the next guy (ok, probably a lot more than the next guy) but this is just plain cool.  Hiking and biking trails to every densely populated town in the country?  I am freakin’ in!  Talk about a killer road trip, on foot!

If you’re planning a mapping or Geocaching hike on the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail, let me know. 

Ink Aplenty April 9, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Recreation.
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I was reading up on Badastronomy about Phil’s new commitment to some ink and it reminded me some of my colleagues were ribbing me about this Geocaching thing.  You know, that whole “killing yourself to sign a scrap of paper under a lamp post” hobby.  😉  It’s funny, actually, since my peers who have never been out laugh derisively while I’ve made more client and employee muggle converts than I can count.

All I did was take them out at lunch time for a quick find.  Hooked.  I love that.

But I digress.  My colleagues have been ribbing me, sending pictures of a Geocaching tattoo they are sure I am in line to receive.  I finally figured out where they got it: the Geocaching.com TATTOO FORUM! Who the heck knew such a thing existed?

Well, besides Google.

Fun Geocaching Stuff Around the Web April 1, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, For the Newbies, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation.
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I had 10 minutes so I took it.  Google can be fun!

  • Just what do you think this guy is after?
  • And it must have been a slow news day when they quote the “ardent” Geocacher of 70 finds in a year.  Must be all terrain-5 caches.  I do like the boy scout reference, tho.  Sorta.
  • Now I’m finding Geocaching blogs everywhere.  I need to read up on my outdoor wear more.  Check it. I dig a caching adventure in the rain.
  • And if you’re in the Boise Idaho area on a caching run, reach out to Tiggerz Travels.  Tiggerz’s first find was a dougandsuzy special (peanut butter jar).  Surely we can help find something a little more interesting for the next hunt!

That’s all you get for 10 minutes of research.  Back to work.  😉

Have I Mentioned I Am a Geek? March 24, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation.
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You could call me a Geek-O-Cacher. 🙂

I am right at this moment about to prove my geek credentials.  What do all these things have in common?  Read on and find out

Some time ago, EMC of Northridge, CA logged a few of my caches and reminded me to tell this story to some of the local cachers.  I’d been following her travels here and there for one simple reason; I work for EMC. The thought of an EMC office Geocaching team was intriguing and with a find count up in the ionosphere like that I just KNEW it was a team.  And that one dumbass assumption connects all of these items in one contiguous thread.

If you’re one of the 6 people who care about this, read on… 😉

(more…)

Geocaching Around the Blogosphere March 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Education, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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This one has more pictures per cache find than I have ever taken in my entire history with the game.  They appear to be in the process of getting hooked. 
http://dancinglight.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/geocaching-in-gainesville/

And this right here is the story of just exactly how one person got hooked (a retrospective).  http://clandelaney.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/geonesis/

And don’t ever tell me I don’t have an international flavor to this drivel I peddle here on the blog.  Geocaching is good for your health, or at least this blogger’shttp://healthskills.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/pictures-and-geocaching-not-really-a-painful-topic/

None of them have ever launched telephone poles to the moon, however, so I still have that going for me.

😉

How can this be fun if you’ve seen it all before? March 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Recreation, Uncategorized.
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A colleague asked me this not too long ago.  I went into a long dissertation on the game, why I play and blah blah blah…  Then I saw this log from GC13KPZ (sorry, too lazy to link to the thing right now) and wished I could point to it at the time:

December 29, 2008 by stantastic (5443 found)
Down in San Diego visiting friends, my wife stayed at their place while they taught each other Photoshop skills and I went out for a day of caching by myself. I had just met the cache owner at his “No Fires here” cache up the road, and I told him I was looking for the easier urban hides versus those requiring long hikes in parks to reach, so he suggested I go find this one. With my find count and the number of years I’ve been doing this, this was a simple find since I’ve seen it multiple times before. Still, always fun to come up against a good hide with good placement. SLTNLN — thanks for the fun, Jaegermann…

It’s the simple things, like a good hide with good placement.  I’ve seen 50 “pine cones that really aren’t” but I still love them because they’re always in the right spot, are devilishly hard to spot and they take some time to craft if you do it right.  Like I said, I appreciate all the angles of this game.

I just wish I could have some more time to enjoy it.

Geo-Trash January 19, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Recreation.
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I’ve had some junk clogging up my computer over the past few days, preventing me from doing any writing at all.  I lost a complete post in all the muck yesterday, which was very nearly the same experience I had while Geocaching.

I was roughly 35′ from GZ when I spotted a plastic baggie with an obvious log, pencil and cheap scrunchy ball someone got from their doctor’s office inside.  This was definitely NOT the ammo can I was promised.  Then again, some folks think a sandwich bag IS pretty big, so who am I to complain over a good bike ride and a smiley?  Never.  But something wasn’t quite right.

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Geocoding Your Pics with GPICSYNC January 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Recreation, Software.
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As if your mind numbing slide shows just aren’t enough, GPICSYNC can plot them on a map for you…

I get questions.  When I brought up Geocoding recently, eyes glazed over and the most interested anyone could get was “what was that again?”  I’m apparently too much geek playing the geekiest game in the world.

Geocoding is the addition of location data to your photos so they can be used with any ‘geocode aware’ application like Picasa/Google Earth, Flickr, loc.alize.us, and others.  These tools plot where pictures were taken on a map, providing a rich set of information for your snapshots and avoiding the dreaded “what is this again?!?” when you forget to religiously catalog every image you’ve ever taken.

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