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Archive for December, 2010

Why do I hide geocaches?

Recently, I tried hiding my fourth geocache. It’s a fake piece of rebar with a small Bison tube at the end. I stuck it inside a concrete barrier. You’d have to be looking right at it to see it, and even then, it just looks like a piece of rebar – concrete barriers tend to have rebar in them all the time – so I thought it was a great hide. And, well, it would have been, if not for the fact that it was just a few feet from a grocery store building. And right in front of a bunch of propane tanks.

Needless to say, the cache was rejected. As it should have been.

This was a really, really stupid hide attempt on my part, and I still feel ashamed and embarrassed about it. Seriously, what was I thinking? What’s worst about it all is that it was a lame hide. I only hid it because I really enjoy the sneakiness of the cache container. There was no other reason… nothing to make this cache “special”, nothing to make a person bother going to the location of the cache other than to log another find under their belts. While it can be enjoyable to find a simple “parking lot cache” to help boost your numbers, there’s really nothing all that spectacular about them, in my opinion.

When I hide a cache, it’s not because I want to give my fellow cachers a chance to get yet another smiley. It’s because I want to cause them to go to a place which they may have never gone to before. That, to me, is what makes geocaching truly wonderful. I’ve been to some amazing places in my hunt for geocaches – places which I’d never have gone to if not for the game.

That being said, I currently have three active caches I’ve hidden. So, why did I bother hiding them?

1) Riverdale Park: I hid this cache in a small park near my home. It’s a park I am very fond of. It’s a small suburban park, the kind you see all the time as you perambulate suburbia, but I am particularly proud of this park. Not only is it close to my home, but it’s really quite nice! It’s quiet, peaceful, and clean. It has tennis courts, a children’s playground, lots of trees, and a large open field for activities. Best of all, it is right along the Charles River, and provides awesome ground-level views of the river, as well as the historic Havey Beach Reservation on the other side of the river. I cut through this park on my way to and from work every day, unless it is dark out (the park is closed when it’s dark out) or there is inclement weather (the park is treacherous when there is snow and/or ice on the ground).

2) Galaxy: Earth Sphere: I hid this cache because, quite frankly, I was shocked that there wasn’t already a cache hidden here! The location is a small urban “park” in Kendall Square Cambridge, located just steps away from the Kendall/MIT station on the MBTA’s Red Line. It is convenient to Cambridge Center, which features plenty of shops and businesses. “Galaxy: Earth Sphere” itself is a gorgeous sculpture of the Earth, surrounded by smaller sculptures of other celestial bodies. In the summer, the sculpture turns into a spectacular fountain, making it a great place to sit down and enjoy the afternoon. Also, like my first cache, it’s extremely convenient for me to perform maintenance on this cache when need be, as I pass by it every day on my way to and from work.

3) The Ice Box: I freely admit that one of the reasons I hid this cache is because I am proud of how clever of a hide it is. (Hey, that’s fine!) It is right smack dab on the front of the structure in question, but a muggle (non-cacher) would never even notice it, since it just kinda looks like it belongs there. However, I also hid this cache because I think it is a really neat location with a fun bit of history. It used to be a place where you could actually buy ice. It’s a big old self-service ice machine! Sadly, it is no longer in use, and hasn’t been for at least two decades, but it remains to this day as a sort of unofficial landmark. It’s been painted over in all white, but it’s still there, and has been for a very long time despite being out of commission, so I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Best of all, the cache is quite literally right behind the bus stop I take every day, and due to the cache type, I can check to make sure it’s still there by just looking at it – it would be extremely obvious to me if it were missing. Yes, it’s that good of a hide!

Now, see, those hides all have great reasons behind them, in my opinion, which makes me even more depressed that I tried to create such a lousy hide recently. All is not lost, though. I am currently working on re-creating my little “Stop & Shop” geocache, but it will be located VERY FAR away from the building. In fact, it’s actually going to be a puzzle cache – anyone who wants to find it will need to solve a (very simple) puzzle to determine the final coordinates. Once I find a good place to stick the cache, and create the puzzle, I’ll submit it again. Hopefully the reviewer will forgive my past stupidity, and allow the new cache to be born.

(I should add that I have NOTHING against “Park & Grab” caches, “Lamp Post Caches”, etc. I find them all the time, and quite enjoy it. I’m just not interested in creating them myself.)

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Weekly geocaching update

I found two caches this week, bringing up my total number of finds to 42… the answer to the Ultimate Question! My Geocaching section has now spilled over onto a third page! The second find was especially nice, because it was one which had eluded me SEVERAL times… redemption is such a nice feeling. But what’s even nicer is that my third geocache, “The Ice Box”, was approved yesterday morning and as of now has already been found three times! One of the finders even went so far as to say that the find is “one that’s sure to become a classic”, which is huge praise. Anyway, as usual, all this and much more can be found in my Geocaching section!

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It’s called “All-American Crap”. Go watch it!

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Random Dusty

After a lousy day, he always cheers me up.

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I never did find out why this hack is called “IT’S YELLOW!”, as there’s really nothing yellow in it. Oh well, it’s still a great hack and I really enjoyed playing it! HEY, you also get to see/hear the short version of my new intro in this video… before you get to see/hear the full version. Heh. Odd how that worked out!

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Updates…

My Geocaching page is now up-to-date with all of my latest finds. From now on, I’ll only be doing a front-page post about geocaching once a week, so as to not flood your twitter feeds. Anyway, my latest finds are located on Page 2 of my Geocaching page.

I have updated my Twitter Bots page to include my latest bot, @RaptorPHD. I currently have eight active Twitter bots. My goal is ten — NO MORE! Not sure why I even make them. I’m… odd.

My next LP shall be starting soon, but I’ll be squeezing in an LP Quickie or two first. You’ll get to hear the short version of my new introduction before you hear the long version of it! Now THAT is odd.

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