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My Hard Drive Crashed February 8, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Somebody Else's Stuff.
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Well, it’s not actually MY hard drive, but it’s one I am indirectly connected to.  This is one sent in for data recovery by a shop specializing in this sort of thing.  You know, we use those magnets for Geocaching.  Maybe they could send a few my way.  I think they have some spares.  Just saying.

I’ve been doing the data storage thing for nearly 20 years now so I have seen a few severe head crashes.  This one takes the cake.  By far this is the biggest and baddest.  Once you consider a single smoke particle is 3 times bigger than the distance those heads ride off the disk platters, something like this only means one thing…

Dead Drive

This is what a proper head crash looks like on the inside.

…total destruction.

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Texas Article Goes Nuts With Speculation February 1, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I am going to ignore the fact that this article comes from Waco at all and focus exclusively on how poorly written it is (unless intended as a piece of propaganda).

Hat tip to Geonarcissa for the link.  And spend some time over there.  How is it I just found out about Greasemonkey scripts for Geocaching a month ago and she seems to have a whole series of reviews on them?  Go look.  Stop wasting your time on my blog and read something interesting for a change.

Follow-up 3:

Uh-oh.  This one hit the front page of FARK.  The comments are already coming in with more flame-ey goodness.

Follow-up 2:

After 140 comments I found a single one mildly sympathetic to the message.  Awesome fail.

Follow-up:

The comments on that “news” article are hysterical.  I find no need to offer my usual defense of the game/sport/activity.  With 8/10 commenters opening their volley with “Worst. Reporting. Evar.” I think we’re well represented.

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…)

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.

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.  😉

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.

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.

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…)

Free GSAK Key For the Taking May 9, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Resources, Snark, Software, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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This is GSAK, or Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.  I’ve written about GSAK before, both here and here.

A good handful of you thieving pirates have found this blog by way of Google searches for “GSAK Key”, “GSAK Crack” and a handful of other search terms that are both indicting and depressing all at the same time.  You probably found your way here because you are trying to avoid this:

GSAK Nag Screen

GSAK Nag Screen

First off, this is one of the cooler nag screens you’re going to see.  It is the GSAK Spouse, after all.  But let’s break this down for a minute.  I want you to meet Clyde: (more…)

On the Road (Again Again) May 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, In the News/Blogosphere, Resources, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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So have a peek at my favorite bookmarks of late.

You could spend all day with just these 4.  I figure you’ll share if you have any favorites of your own…

…right?

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?

How to Use GSAK May 2, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Software, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I am getting traffic from a number of queries around “How to use GSAK”, or Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.  I have talked about the power of GSAK before.  It’s a great package, even though it’s not one of the regulars in my toolbag.  I have my other preferences but I cannot deny that GSAK really is outstanding.  The tool is quite simple but there are resources to help you navigate its features.  Aside from my post on the file formats it will support and when you should use them you should look here:

  • The GSAK home page
  • The GSAK 101 user guide, a Word document in English, German, Dutch and French
  • The GSAK 201 user guide, for you more advanced folks interested in customizing GSAK
  • The GSAK 301 user guide, for the true geeks among you who have to automate the tool using macros.  Only in English and Dutch.
  • The GSAK FAQ
  • All of these documents are available on the Getting Started forum on the GSAK Message Boards

I am a sucker for people who produce proper documentation and looking at the 101 Guide, it’s grade A material.

As of this post the current version is 7.5.2.  Do yourself a favor and download the software right from http://GSAK.net instead of one of those file aggregators like Cnet or Rapidshare or some Bittorrent you downloaded from a “friend”.  Registration is only $25 if you like it and want to see the guy (Clyde) keep updating the software, so why not?

And why not share with the rest of us how you use GSAK to help your Geocaching?

-edit 05/02/09

For those of you searching for “GSAK to SQL” you might want to consider that since the GPX files GSAK reads in are XML you might want to go straight to GPSBabel.  Since it is the engine under the GSAK hood, you SQL people can just cut out the middle man.  (sorry, Clyde, but I figure the SQL folks are a different crowd).

Some Good Background for the Newbies March 24, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Philosophy, Somebody Else's Stuff, Strategy and Tactics.
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And the oldies, too.  Drat19 has some handy thoughts on cache hiding, some of which are just plain good advice no matter how long you’ve been at it.  Try these two for some good reading:

I’m here for you… 😉

Be Careful Out There March 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Geocaching.com, In the News/Blogosphere, Philosophy, Somebody Else's Stuff, Uncategorized.
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I recently admonished a disbelieving fellow cacher about the need to be careful where one places a hide, lest hider and seeker alike attract the attention of busybodies, worrywarts and overreactive public servants.  You know, the armed ones.  Heck, it’s in part why I wrote the last note on patience for new Geocachers.  Not everyone believes me that bad things can happen.  These are people who were around shortly after I landed in handcuffs doing perfectly safe and family friendly Geocaching!  Some freakin’ friends.

So just in case you think I just pull all my info out of the gossip gutter thread on the Geocaching.com forums (or that perhaps I was exaggerating in any small way) I want you to take a peek at the first 3 or 4 interesting bits I came across when I Googled “geocache jail”.  All of these were in the first 60 results for me.  The rest of my rants will make more sense after you read them.

If you’ve seen my “Don’t Do This!” series, you may have noticed I haven’t included a “Cache hidden in someone’s front yard” episode.  I just can’t figure out how to pull that one off without getting shot.  Given these tales I hope you’ll understand why.

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.

😉