CSG Logo2

Category: Centennial State Geocaching

CSG Nano Show #1

In the first in the series of Nano shows, Art discusses a Geocaching Ethics question. Should you log a geocache if you witnessed its placement

Share

On any other day…


On any other day, this cache would have been ignored by those who do not know of geocaching. . But because it is April 20th, the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, suspicious looking packages get more then a second look.

On the right is a picture of the cache called “A Knight’s View. (GC1240D) This cache was place with permission of The Boulder County School district on school property. The cache owner is a instructor at Fairview High School. Normally, caches placed near public school grounds would not be approved by the local reviewer, but approval was granted for this particular cache based on the circumstances above. The cache had been at its location for two years without incident.

According to a online article in the Boulder Daily Camera, it seems to me that a lack of communication among all parties, from the cache hunter to the school officials to the cache hider, were the main contributor to the events of the day.

In geocaching, communication with those who do not play the game is critical in insuring safety for all. Because we as cachers feel a need to be elusive when ‘muggles‘ are around, we can cause suspicion as to our intent. We can jeopardize the game by not being honest with others.

Link to the Boulder Daily Camera article is here.

Share

When it rains, it pours.

No this isn’t a post about the very late season winter weather we are having in Denver. This post is about the joys of PC ownership, and the lost weekend of restoring my computer.

This computer is the workhorse of the Centennial State Geocaching Podcast. All recording and editing happens on this machine. So any downtime is not good for our product.

The symptoms appeared almost all at once a few weeks ago. I lost the SD card reader, fingerprint reader, webcam and touch screen. After a few e-mail exchanges with HP customer support. It was determined that a restore to ‘the original factory settings’ was necessary to determine if there was a hardware failure.

I scheduled this past Saturday to perform this task. We were expecting a blizzard over the weekend, so this was a good indoor activity. The restore was going to erase all I had on the computer, so I performed a inventory of the software on the computer, insured that I still had access to the programs, and backed-up the documents folder to our home server.

Late in the morning, after a quick prayer, I executed the complete restore option. In short order, I had a ‘brand new computer’ with all the missing functions successfully restored. I spent the remaining day copying back the saved documents and installing most of the software. I shut down the computer that evening, feeling confident that all was well.

That was until Sunday afternoon. Upon bootup, the built-in wireless connection failed. After spending most of Sunday in correspondence with HP support (via a wired connection) we got nowhere. The driver to run the build in wireless would not install. I shut it down, defeated.

This morning, I stopped in the the Office Depot near the office and purchased a USB wireless adaptor. (Consider it mental health insurance.) Was on sale for $40 US. I just finished installing and now have wireless again.

I’m waiting to see if I get any further reply for HP. I expect to have them say I need to restore to original factory settings. If that happens, A executive carpet bomb will be happening.

There, I feel better…

Share

Will a pillow fight ban ‘flash mobs’

One of the blogs I follow has a post from the pillow fight we discussed on show #15. Of all places, it is a blog on the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. The blog post has pictures from the event.

Share

Consumer Electronics Examiner: Garmin to update Oregon series GPS with camera; Geotaggers rejoice

Update to the post yesterday on the new Garmin Oregon Models

Consumer Electronics Examiner: Garmin to update Oregon series GPS with camera; Geotaggers rejoice

Posted using ShareThis

Share

New Garmin Oregon Models?

Received this link via Twitter this evening. It appears Garmin will introduce two new models of the Oregon GPSr model. The new features will include a built in digital camera to allow geotagging of photos. We will update as additional info comes out.

Share

March 2009 12 of 12

Here is my submission for the March 2009 12 of 12. This month, I did a theme of Coffee shops in Downtown Denver.

Share

The Social Side of Geocaching

This is a post on two examples of the social side of geocaching.

Yesterday, we attended the third annual Geocaching Colorado Geochat. This was a opportunity for geocachers throughout Colorado to meet the new Board of Directors, fun and fellowship. We played a icebreaker game of Geo-Bingo. One of the squares was to find a cacher who had found a Project A.P.E cache. Luckily, we had one there, but the price of having him sign the square was to wear a pair of Groucho glasses that was a travel bug. You can see our suave look above. I recommend events as a way to meet fellow geocachers and learn more about the sport we all love. Besides, you may win a raffle item like a new unactivated geocoin! Yea, us.

This morning, I happened to be looking at the Facebook application on my IPod Touch. Listed was a request from Cliff Ravenscraft a podcaster from gspn.tv asking “I NEED HELP! Family wants to go GEOCACHING for the1st time. How Do I Do It?” I quickly fired up my computer, and I a few minutes I was live with him providing advice on how to get started. He wanted to use the 3G features of his Iphone, and recommended that he start with the Geocaching.com application, a low cost barrier to entry at $9.99. I gave him a few suggestions, pick a larger, traditional cache, with a low difficulty and terrain rating. I look forward to hearing his experiences in his podcast “My Crazy Life” show #373. It always amazes me the social media tools that are now an integral part of the day to day networking I experience. This meetup and short discussion on geocaching would not have been possible a few years ago.

Share

Groundspeak site updates

Groundspeak.com published updates to the geocaching.com and waymarking.com websites on February 11,2008

You can read about the geocaching.com updates here

and

You can read about the waymarking.com updates here

We will have this as a show topic on the next podcast.

Share

Geocaching Heroes

On April 25th 2009, the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America will hold their annual Scout Show. Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews, get together and show off what they do best.

This years theme is “A Hero’s Adventure”. Our Venture Crew has come up with the idea of featuring photographs in a mosaic of Heroes who also geocache.

If you know a geocacher who is also a hero (Military, Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, and Teachers), we would like to feature their photograph. You may submit a photograph in jpeg format, along with their geocaching name to the show e-mail . We will feature photographs of the mosaic in the show Flickr set. We are also planning to record a episode of the podcast at the Scout Show. If you plan on attending, be sure to stop by and say hello.

Share

Reflections on Chuck in 3-D

Last night, the latest gimmick from NBC was unveiled on a unsuspecting public. A episode of the show “Chuck” was aired in ‘glorious 3-D’. This show is on my TV viewing rotation, so I would have watched it anyway.
Chuck (Zachary Levi) is a show of a computer tech worker at a ‘big box’ electronic store, who by a comic set of circumstances, ends up with the entire NSA database stored in his head. he is protected by two NSA agents (Adam Baldwin, Yvonne Strahovski). There is also a weekly subplot revolving around Chuck’s co-workers at the big box store.
What didn’t work: The 3-d effects. It appears that the technology has not changed much since the technology debuted in the 1950’s. It appears that using the glasses , along with the red/blue hue in the program, forced the viewing experience to be fuzzy. The 3-d effect came out when my eyes attempted to focus on images. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I attribute this to two possible factors. First, I wear eyeglasses with a glare reflective coating. Second, our main television is a RCA 26 inch TV purchased in 1985. I’m not sure if the viewing experience was better on a larger screen. I would be interested to receive feedback on this.
Missed opportunity to cross promote with Facebook. Chuck references a Facebook group in this episode. When I accessed my Facebook account, I could not find the group. TV show have not figured how to cross promote with Social Networking sites.
This show should also partner with Best Buy, they could offer the ‘Chuck product of the week”.
What did work: Story, story, story. The ability to mix the weekly main spy story with the sub-story in the big box store. The ability to keep me laughing for the hour. This is what Hollywood forgets, it always comes back to the story. What do you think?
Share

NO COFFEE!!!!!!!!!

We had a unannounced change in our coffee vendor overnight. A memo was issued this morning by the Executive assistant of our company. The text is below:

All,

Since you each either took the time to help us by pointing out the complications with our coffee vendor changeover this morning or were copied on that correspondence, I just wanted to let you know I’ve made the vendor aware of the issues, and they are here now addressing them. I appreciate your concerns, and on behalf of the vendor, apologize for all the inconvenience. I had hoped for a far smoother transition and introduction to our new Seattle’s Best brew.

Thank you in advance for your continued patience as we make this right.

Meanwhile, there is rioting in the hallways. I’ve locked my office door in hopes of survival. If this ends up being my last blog post, thanks for reading.

Update at 1:15 PM

..Peace and tranquility came over the world as coffee service was restored. Although no one knows what happened to our CEO in the riots.

Share

ipod touch and paperless geocaching

For a post-Christmas gift to myself, I made the investment in a new 8 GB ipod touch. This was after watching the family enjoy their new Ipod touches on Christmas day. I discovered that I could replicate many of the business functions that I rely on with my Windows Mobile based PDA. The new Touch seems to function easier and with less effort then the PDA I was using.

However, the only application I have not been able to find in the Apple App Store is one that will import and use a geocaching GPX file. I hope someone can develop this App in the future (Bish0p, are you listening?) I would try this myself, but the developer kit is designed for Macs only.
However, I did discover a way to at least have a way to display cache listing on the ipod touch using a App called Air Sharing by Avatron Software. This App allow for viewing of various types of document files on the ipod Touch.
I’m also creating HTML export of caches from GSAK, then copying the folder into the app.
The Air Sharing application requires the use of a wireless or ADHOC wireless setup between the PC and the Touch.
Have a safe and enjoyable geocaching year in 2009.
Share

Treasure Hunting… What do you win??

If you look at the ‘Getting Started’ section of the geocaching.com website. Groundspeak defines geocaching as: ‘a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure’.

When I use this definition, the first question I get is, “Oh… What have you won?”

I then need to explain that the ‘treasure’ is in the joy of the hunt, or the new places geocaching can take you. Anything in a cache is often very nominal in value.

“Oh… that’s nice”

Now I describe geocaching as using a GPS receiver to find containers people have hidden throughout the world.

“You mean it is like treasure hunting?”

ARRRRRRRRR………!!

I don’t question how much they earn when they golf on the weekend.

Why does there need to be a profit motive in anything we do? I would dread the day a cache was placed and 100 people go and search for it at the same time and destroying the landscape because there was a substantial prize inside.

I lost the enjoyment of collecting stamps in the 1970’s because of a few ‘collectors’ who ran up the price of stamps to turn a profit (Geek alert)

Why can we not just enjoy a activity because for a short while, it allows up to forget the troubles of the world?

Share

I wish people were a little smarter about what they place in a cache


This is a picture of what I pulled out of the cache called Curt’s Bill Gates Booty #2. As you can see, two very old cupcakes and a tube of toothpaste was part of the bounty found today. Since this was the first of four caches we found over a two mile hike, yours truly got to carry them over the course of the day. Contrary to popular belief, these commercial baked goods do not have a shelf life that can be measured by carbon dating.

I don’t know if this was just a inexperienced cacher attempting to provide survival items to someone who found it, or a practical joke to those who found it after these items were placed. Leaving food or other smellables can be a hazard to those who are trying to enjoy the sport of geocaching.

I spend much of my time explaining what smellables are to the Scouts and how damaging they can be to Troop equipment if left in tents or containers. Smellables are items that animals, with their acute sense of smell, will go after if they think it is food. Items like batteries and camera film are considered smellables. Animals will tear in to the container, destroying the container and its contents. Destroying the hard work of the person who hides the container, and destroying the enjoyment of the cacher who finds the prize.

I hope all who geocache place a bit of thought into what they place in a cache. If you leave something, you should ask yourself, “Would I want to trade for this item?”

Share

Why did you bring me here?

The fun for me of geocaching is discovering new, previously unknown locations right outside my backyard. The better caches I experience bring me to a scenic view, a whimsical sculpture, or a historical location. These caches are always worth slowing down for, an to experience a WOW moment.


In the book by Jeannette Cezanne Open Your Heart with Geocaching: Mastering Life Through Love of Exploration she discusses exploring the ‘Why’ the cache hiding place important to the cache owner. Sometimes this is tough to evaluate when you are in a shopping center parking lot, and why this hiding location is special to that person.

We need to remember that it is not always the quantity of the cache hides that you have, but the quality too. In difficult times, the moments of enjoyment are sometimes few and far between.


Share

Please clean up after yourself!

On show #10 of Centennial State Geocaching, we told you about our evening at Heritage Square and the short geocaching trip the next morning. We did not tell you about our unplanned adventure because of the remains of a multi-stage cache we found by accident.

I knew there was a cache in the parking lot of Heritage Square. I has found it a few years ago, but was looking for it with Karen. I remembered it was hidden under a lamp skirt, but could not remember exactly which one. Karen and I had split up in an attempt to find the cache. We were down to the last two lamp posts. I lifted the skirt (the only time I can lift a skirt without getting into trouble) and found a container. I called Karen over announcing the find. When she opened the container, there wasn’t the usual log, but a laminated card that said “The final stage is at… ” WITH COORDINATES. We had make a discovery of a multi-cache, with only one step to go!
We quickly abandoned the original cache hunt and entered the coordinates in our GPS receivers. As we headed further west, we realized that the final coordinates will take us to the Mother Cabrini Shrine.
We got to the parking lot, and looked up in amazement. We had a half mile climb up a large hill to get to the top of the shrine. I decided that I would climb to the summit with hopes of finding the elusive cache. The final coordinates placed me in front of the shrine. After forty minutes of searching, I surrendered to the failure of my search, and would look up the cache later on the geocaching.com website.
My search online proved inconclusive, concluding that the cache was archived.
This story is to remind all who hide caches the responsibility you undertake when you agree to follow the rules for hiding a cache. Please clean up after yourself when you archive a cache, you never know who may find it and run on a wild goose chase.
Share

See you at the event on Saturday

We will be at the event Puzzles, Coins & Answers (GC!FEAF) on Saturday. Please stop by to say ‘hi’. I hope to get direction on a few puzzles.
Share

Test of Utterli

Mobile post sent by arthurat using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Share

Confessions of a FTF-aholic

My name is Art…and I’m a FTF-aholic.

The day starts innocently enough, I’m at work or at home and the cell phone vibrates. Its a NEW TEXT MESSAGE from noreply@groundspeak.com! A new cache has published within a few miles of home.

“Oh, no…not again”, exclaims Karen. “Where to NOW??”

“Let me check… it is within four miles of the house.”

I find the listing, note the information, hand enter it into the GPS, and off we go.

After a few minutes, we are at the location of the cache. Of course, while obeying all traffic laws.

We search, and there it is…. THE CACHE!

We open it, quickly unraveling the logbook. IT IS BLANK!! We are the first to find!!

With the sounds of the Alleluia Chorus playing in the background, we proudly enter our names on the logbook, followed by FTF!! I’m busy entering field notes on my phone for later recording on the website.

Why the effort you ask? Someone must be first. For a brief moment, I can excel in an athletic endevor caled geocaching. My name appears for the first five logs on the cache listing, the rolling off into geocaching history.

Prior to my discovery of geocaching, there has only been two other times where athletics were important in my life. In fifth grade, when I kicked a grand slam home run in kickball on the last ‘at bat’ to win the game.

The second time is when I had bowling as a physical education activity in College. It was there, I met my wife Karen.

A FTF may not be winning the Super Bowl, but it is pretty darn exciting!

Share

Ode to the Virtual Cache

If you listen to our show #8, we discuss finding three virtual caches on our bookended weekend adventure in the Colorado mountains. For those of you unfamiliar to the virtual cache, these we available for listing on geocaching.com as “…exists in a form of a location. Depending on the cache “hider,” a virtual cache could be to answer a question about a location, an interesting spot, a task, etc. The reward for these caches is the location itself and sharing information about your visit.
Because of the nature of these geocaches, you must actually visit the location and acquire the coordinates there before you can post. In addition, although many locations are interesting, a virtual cache should be out of the ordinary enough to warrant logging a visit.” (Source:geocaching.com)
A few years ago, the site was reorganized, and a companion Groundspeak site, waymarking.com, was created for tracking and logging of ‘virtuals’ and ‘webcam’ caches. This site describes waymarks as ‘a way to mark unique locations on the planet and give them a voice.” (source:waymarking.com)
Existing virtual caches on geocaching.com were ‘grandfathered’ and are available even today to visit and log.
I would like to see the return of the virtual cache for the following reasons:
1) Many geocachers have physical limitations that prevent them from finding may geocaches that are hidden. I always love it when a listing states that the cache is handicap accessible, ‘except for the last few feet’. A cache is either handicap accessible or not!! By having virtiuals at historical monuments, plaques, or building; many of these locations are ADA compliant.
2) This would be good for Groundspeak from a public relations standpoint. Promoting the monuments. statues, and plaques that honor America.
3) I would prefer not to have to manage my visits on more then one site. The problem that I see with waymarking.com is that there is different logging requirements for different categories. In some cases the same location is listed under multiple categories!
4) waymarking.com does not have GPX file export. It would be useful if I knew what the logging requirements were BEFORE I got to the location.
How to bring back the virtual cache? The placement of earthcaches was standardized with the formation of earthcache.org This forced placers earthcaches to incorporate a ‘learning element’ into the proper logging of the cache. We can do the same thing with a virtual. A website like Roadside America can spearhead this effort in the setting of standards for new virtuals.
This important cache type should not be left to ‘die on the vine’.
Share

Cacheaversary

I have just completed my second year of geocaching. Better know as a cacheaversary. This term was coined by fellow geocacher and podcaster darrylw4 on his blog posts, so I give him credit for coining a new word. If we can get it used enough in the lexicon, we may see it in the dictionary someday.

My first day caching was labor day 2006. I had been introduced to geocaching by accident. I attended a monthly Boy Scout roundtable the prior month, where the topic was use a GPS with a map. I almost didn’t go, but decided the topic was interesting enough to attend. My friend, Brian was presenting that evening. The topic was interesting enough, but the one thing that stuck with me was when he mentioned geoaching in the ‘other resoures’ section of the meeting. He described it as treasure hunting with a gps. I checked out the website that evening, and signed up for the free account. The next week, I ordered the Garmin GPSmap60cx that I still use today.

A few weeks later, I figured out how to load caches on the GPS, and then was off to the nearby park to attempt my first hunt. I bought my daughter along for support. The fist location has us searhing in a pile of rocks We searched for a half hour, but no luck. We decided to move towards the next one. After few minutes…SUCCESS!! We found the cache up in a tree! I boosted my daughter up to grab it and we savored our victory.

We decided to go back and try the first cache. After another half hour, we were about to give up. But I pick up one of the rocks, and this time turned it over. The cache was hidden in a carved out section. Success again! We signe the log and headed for home to record our day on geocaching.com.

In the two years since I stated geocaching, I have had one adventure after another. Geocaching take you places you never thougt you would go. From out of the way local parks, to a high cliff on the shores of Maui, to doing a podcast with Karen.

What is next?? Stay tuned.

Share
Lunarpages.com Web Hosting
Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

Coaching with Excellence