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Planning for a “Crush” Event – Part 3 March 27, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
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Part 3: All About the Pocket Query

In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly.  In Part 1 you have established your basic organization and planning structure, while in Part 2 you made official decisions on “Da Rules”.  Now it is time to get cooking on a Pocket Query and mapping out the actual waypoints you will seek.

This is where the fun really gets going, if you’re a geek like me.

Run a Pocket Query

You’ve already decided what types of hides you are going to seek in Part 2.  With that, go run yourself a Pocket Query on Geocaching.com.  Some thoughts, though, on building effective PQs are are in order:

  1. Make sure the details from Part 2 (terrain, difficulty, types, etc) are all plugged in (DUH)
  2. Consider running a separate query for each cache type and merging the GPX files later, this will make it easy for you to slice off the Mystery caches
  3. Always choose “not ignored” as a filter criteria.  This will become important in a second.
  4. Choose an appropriate waypoint to center the search on and fiddle with the search radius until the “preview” results come back with just under 500 results (475-499 is good).  This insures you have ALL of the caches in a given radius listed.
  5. Use Watcher to further filter your results when the PQ GPX file comes over.

(more…)

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A Poll: What do you want to see next? March 27, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Uncategorized.
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I’ve asked, but you people are a shy audience, with only the lonely hot tub engineer brave enough to post commentary.  You Geocachers tend to be introverted, I get that.

Hence, a poll: What do you want to see more of on the blog?  Remember, I’m trying to be useful here and not just a news collector so I do take commentary seriously.  This one’s multiple choice, so pick more than one if you like, or add your own.

I will share the results in a few days!

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.

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.

How’d You Do That: Printed Routes Episode March 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
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I received a few questions during the recent 100-Cache Dash about the preplanned route I provided to all the participants. So if you would like to plan a turn by turn route for your next Geocaching adventure, this post will get you started. If you weren’t there the first leg of the route looked like this…
Click to Embiggen

Palm Springs Route, Leg 1, From Mapsource: Click to Embiggen

Now I did provide it on regular paper and it was nicely carved up into “phases” for the day, but you get the idea.  If anyone got lost they could catch up real quick.  How 6 people with multiple GPSr units PER PERSON could possibly get lost is beyond me, and beside the point (but it is why we left Calipers at home).

Want to create something like this for your next hunt?  All that, and more, below the fold.

(more…)

It’s Been a While February 2, 2009

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It’s been over a week since I last wrote, but I have been sick as heck and working like crazy. I do have 3 in the hopper and I have been asked to write for another blog, actually. I am thinking about moving my content over there. It’s a stretch, but I will confer with the owner and see what he thinks.

Problem is, then I’d have to write about stuff I know about. Crap. I do that all day. 😉

Geez, this podcaching thing is catching on January 22, 2009

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When WordPress is flagging podcaching posts for me automatically, I think we’ve got critical mass…

Cectic Never Disappoints January 22, 2009

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I’d love to medicate my children to calm them down, but then that stuff costs money and I probably wouldn’t find this comic as funny as I do…http://cectic.com/

Mars, Methane and Mumma January 22, 2009

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In between the minor events held Tuesday and the outlandish weather all over the country the prior week there was this tiny little news story about methane on Mars.  As usual, the Bad Astronomer had the best coverage.

Having the scientists themselves on camera and with animations to illustrate the effect is always cool.

I mention this “old” story because I think the rest of the press coverage sounds generally like “the methane is either a sign of life or something boring and banal…”.  Nothing could be more untrue- well, maybe the Sun’s coverage that pretty much says “Green men found building statues on mars” is technically MORE untrue, but you get the idea.

Watch the Mumma video.  The methane could be coming from a chemical, biological or geological source, or a combination.  Any of the options is exciting, proving once again that science is cool and we nerds rule not just the world, but the solar system as well.

Tools of The Trade January 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Uncategorized.
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TOTTs.  You know, all that geo-retrieval crap you pack with you to make the Geocaching find in those “tricky” spots.  Everyone else’s bag seems to be a lot more loaded up than mine these days, a fact for which I both regret and am thankful, simultaneously.  I like to bike or hike to caches, so that bit about carrying around 20 pounds of gear just isn’t me- but am I missing something?  Am I making the find more difficult/impossible?  What could I improve on, folks?

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours, or at least tell me what I am missing…

(more…)

Caching Escondido/San Marcos Today January 18, 2009

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And I’ll be heading out around 10:30-11am.  I don’t know whether I’m hitting the off-road hides or the rest of them yet.  Ping me if you’re on the trail and want to hook up for lunch.

Happy caching!

Out of Town Again January 16, 2009

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And actually happy to be there for once.  It’s nice to get back into the familiar work rhythms after the holidays, especially when it takes me to San Jose and vicinity.

That makes me less prolific posting and utterly dangerous with a GPS.  Let the season begin!

Audiophiles of the World, Enjoy January 16, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Uncategorized.
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I got this hilarious write-up forwarded to me yesterday.  I love it.  It wouldn’t be funny if people didn’t actually buy crap like that, though.  As evidence:

The pseudoscience associated with electronics has a long and flowery past.  There are the magic sound improving stereo knobs and magnets that purify the energy lines.  Hogwash, and hilarious.  In that order.  I want to feel sorry for the dupes who fall for this stuff, but they aren’t falling for unsophistocated traps here; these are bona fide scams working here.

So I’m torn; but I’ll get over it as soon as I see the next magic cable for sale.

Announcement: North San Diego County CITO Event January 14, 2009

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We just chatted last night about a potential CITO event in North San Diego county.  The gurus were originally aiming for a February date (and that might still happen on a small scale) but now it looks like we’re targeting to coincide with the 7th Annual Cache In Trash Out events in May.

If you’re interested, hop on the NCC Yahoo! group and drop a line there.  Waterlassie or somebody else will always write back.  We’re a talkative group.  More info to follow, but it all looks to be great fun.  peterkraatz and dougandsuzy are talking about a cache war in the area (well, peterkraatz is, dougandsuzy is probably just placing caches) while some big ideas are being bandied about for this event.  This will be a first ever for the North County!  Show up and clean up.  Good fun. (more…)

Sorry January 13, 2009

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The  comment doohickey wasn’t approving the comments automatically or notifying me of any to look at.  I’ll get to fixing that; more on the way.

[Update]

I think I have it!  You should be all set.  It apparently doesn’t like the word “crap”.  Hilarious, since this is a post about crappy containers. 🙂

Weatherproof Paper Test January 9, 2009

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Hey, I wrote that post yesterday on making your own logs and then I discovered Geocacher kabuthunk has his own writeup on weatherproof paper, with an actual test or two!  This is what I call good stuff.  He’s posted other nifty how tos on his Geocaching stuff page: here.  He’s even got:

  • Repairing a cat-chewed GPS antenna
  • Building a car cup-holder GPS mount
  • Wrapping a geocoin with chainmail

Seriously?  Well I gotta see this.  Wait, what?  That last one actually looks ridiculously cool.  Check it out; THAT is protecting a coin!

What all that chain link on the hillside is doing… January 8, 2009

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You must have run into these: chain link fence “nets” on cliffs and so forth, presumably to catch falling rocks.  I see these things all the time on the trail (read: mountain roads near Fallbrook, Ramona, etc.) and frankly thought they were a joke.  Chain link fence?  Shoot, that crap can’t even keep out the neighborhood hoodlums, let alone 5 tons of rock.

Certification of a 5000Kj Rock Fall Barrier

I am perfectly happy to be corrected on this point.  Awesome.  Just awesome.  I can’t embed Liveleak video for some reason but I am sure you’ll survive the click.

Tip o the hardhat to Fark.

Bear with me… January 8, 2009

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I’m still trying to work out how to host all of my log, stash note and other document templates up here for your use.  Stand by all.  The new “Resources” tab at the top is where you’ll access all that goodness once I pull my head out.

Anyway, shouldn’t you be out caching instead of reading this crap?!