Archive for July, 2008

The 3rd Great MEAT-n-Greet at Cooper’s Rock

Last year I’d volunteered to provide primary back-up support for Captain OCD (aka wvhunter) when he took over the MEAT-n-Greet. This year I volunteered to be the Organizer with him as my second and the entire MAGPI gang as life support….do I ever learn?

The day started with a small mishap that involved my Dad (Foxtrot Bravo), his truck, my grill and I-68. We’d loaded the grill up into his truck, complete with cover and bungee corded it in. Yeah, that was fine until we hit the interstate. One minute Dad’s there and the next minute he wasn’t. Hmmm…apparently the billowing grill cover acted as a parachute and tried to take the grill out of the truck. Fortuntely the cover ripped free before Dad had an incident on his hands. I then missed the turn to Pavilion 3, despite that a) I am the one that reserved it and b) we always have the MnG here.

As if that wasn’t enough to get the day going, imagine my shock as I was standing in the back of the truck trying to right my grill when a van load of people appeared. Um…uh oh, surely they couldn’t be cachers. The event didn’t officially start for another hour and a half. I was trying to figure out what was going on when they disappeared toward Rock City. Whew. A few minutes later the MAGPI reinforcements arrived.

The Winners

Ammo Can Toss (aka Toss This!) – Nicely done 89SC! He outgunned everyone except sidekick, who I disqualified, thought it might look bad for my sidekick to start walking away with prizes.

The prize? A gently used ammo can. We eagerly await the placement of his upcoming cache. Perhaps he can call it Toss This

Find the X (aka How slow can you walk?) – Well placed, Aquacache. His Garmin Vista got him within 3 feet. The prize? A silver unactivated Australian Geocoin…. Frank n Beck donated this coin that they won for nominating last year’s Find the X as a WAY COOL game on the geocaching.com forums. We rock!

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Speed Pack (aka Put All that Carp BACK In The Can) – We now all know that Beck (of Frank n Beck) will never be caught by muggles! Her winning time was 24 seconds! The prize? The giant plastic ammo can filled with carp what I found in my house!

What’s in SSPG’s Geo-Bag? (aka Getting Personal with the GeoBag?) – Ok, so this is embarrassing…I can’t remember who won. But I do know that the winnner got 8 of the 11 items correct. UPDATE…I’ve been told ANTHUS wond this game….I also know that I clearly need to carry a poncho. BUT WAIT! There was a second prize in this game for “Most Creative List” which was won by Rock_Rat. His prize? A very nice Magellan GPSr complete with VHS instructional tape and manual. No more DNFs for him!

Grand Prize – Hiking Staff by Gentleman-Carpenter – This beautiful hiking staff with a WV state quarter mounted in the top was won by Determined2. I suspect there were a lot of envious cachers at the end of the day.

A few highlights…

  • TeamOVCacher arrived bringing Brenda’s Birthday Bus Stop TB prompting shouts of “LOCK YOUR CAR!” to echo through the trees. We proudly displayed the sign but it wasn’t long before it had disappeared. Somehow it ended up poorly hidden in The Toy. Come on Rock_Rat you have to try harder than that…CLCombat’s truck was ripe for the picking. I retrieved the sign and put it back on display, heck there was plenty of time left and unsuspecting cachers will still arriving. After being hidden (and found) in several vehicles, including Rock_Rat’s Jeep, the TB made its way home with the very unsuspecting Rabbit Cops.
  • Frank n Beck prevented the grill related melee of last year from repeating itself by showing up with a brand-spanking-new gas grill. All hail the mighty grill! I understand there were in fact several worshipers of said grill, but I have not received photographic evidence.
  • Nightowls01 having me present wvhunter with a mystery bag full of “something he’s been wanting for a while”. Even after seeing wvhunter open the bag and reveal the stuffed kitty cat, someone had to explain it, I’m a little slow.

THE BIG SURPRISE

And finally, we had two surprises. Most of MAGPI already knew that wvhunter was going to receive a gold ammo can commemorating his 1000th find. It’s a pretty impressive number and it nearly killed him, I know, I was there at The Fellowship of Tater Cache. But I swear, I didn’t have anything to do with it. Honestly. Anyway, people were giving me the ol’ “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” about the gold can all day long.

So it was not a great surprise to anyone but ‘hunter himself when I climbed back up on the table with the Giant Gold Ammo Can and started shouting for everyone’s attention (again…yeah, I like to be the center of attention!). I think he was pleasantly surprised with liquid contained within the can as well.

But wait….what’s this? Another milestone to commemorate? It isn’t’ every day someone finds his 100th FTF and it sure as heck isn’t every day that you meet a cacher who has at least one FTF every month for 36 months (yes, you read that right, 36 months in a row).

No way was I going to let Aquacache’s milestone go by unnoticed. But what do you give someone to commemorate FTFs? How about a giant blank log book! Judging by the look on his face, I’d say Aquacache was surprised.

Much more happened, of course. But I’m only one Pony and I could not be in all places at all times…..So go check out the rest of the pics and leave your stories in the comments. And get ready for next year, because it is gonna be a blast! Continue Reading »

chris on July 21st 2008 in Geocaching, Links

A Little Madness…

A. I have poor decision making skills.

B. I like to geocache

A + B = Roadside Madness

It was hot and humid out today. And there was a chance of thunderstorms according to the all knowing NOAA. But the radar looked fair and I really, really wanted to hit Roadside Madness and thought a few extra eyes would be useful. Aquacache (one of my usual victims…um, volunteers I mean) seemed interested and loyal sidekick hemmed a bit but then said sure.

We piled into the Mighty Vue and headed up to Cooper’s Rock. The wind had started to kick up a bit and the sky was getting a little dark so an executive decision was made to take the easy route (that means driving between stages instead of walking around 6 miles). Who was I to argue? After all, they did volunteer to come with me!

Parked the Mighty Vue close to stage one, got out and BLAM…here comes the rain.

Fortunately I found it pretty fast. Back into the car, plug in the new coords and on to stage two. You know what? Pine trees really don’t offer that much shelter from the rain. I circled one area while the guys were giving another group of trees the shake down. It was getting a little dark and this was maybe starting to seem like not such a good idea when I found the container. Yay! New coords and now on to stage 3. At this point we were getting pretty darn wet, which is pretty much a serious understatement. Zero’d in on stage 3 pretty fast, noted the new coords (well really we took photos since I have an issue with numbers) and ran for the car and plugged in the last set of coordinates.

Ok. We now have the coords to the final stage and the rain is really, really kicking up. But we’re soo close. Is the rain slacking off a little maybe? Are we getting a respite? Is Mother Nature taking pity on us? We’ll see. Pull in and walk zombie-like into the forest.

We’re only 200 or so feet away, but Aquacache’s fancy GPSr is having fits and I’m having a hard time keeping mine dry. Which is about the time that Mother Nature lets rip with pelting, driving, bone soaking rain. And thunder…and lightening, possibly also more wind. It was hard to tell. The assault was so much that my PDA freaked out and shut off (guess water will do that to electronics). So there we are, water running off us, our clothes getting heavier and heavier. My electronics getting wetter and wetter and no cache. Finally I manage to coerce a few seconds of activity out of the PDA and shout out the clue to Aquacache, who happened to be standing right beside the hide.

So now what? How do you open a container, let along sign the log book when you are dripping water and the rain is still pelting down? Cleverly. Very cleverly that’s how. Sidekick took off his dripping booney hat, rung it out and held it over the ziplock while Aquacache extracted the log. My job was to sign the log (after taking the pic).

I couldn’t do this without, of course, stepping in a hole and injuring myself. But as sidekick pointed out, what’s geocaching without a little blood loss? Scrawl our names on the paper, reverse process and run like heck back to the Mighty Vue. Well actually it was more like stumble along the newly formed stream…how did we miss that on the way in? Are we lost? Did someone mark the car? Is this going to end like the Blair Witch Project? Or are the zombie hobos going to get us? (doubt it, even they have sense enough to stay out of the pelting, driving thunderstorm of soppiness)

So much for a nice relaxing afternoon of caching!

chris on July 20th 2008 in Geocaching, Links

Golden Domes & Chi-Town

With very little planning and not much luggage Chad, my Dad and I set off for South Bend, Indiana.
Our mission: collect Mamaw and meet the newest member of the Berry family

Secondary mission: go to Irish Fest and see The Tossers rock out. (Kris, Rick & Vince had the same plan!)

From my vantage point the trip was not too bad. Hey when you are short you can stretch ALL the way out in the back seat. I think Chad disagreed since he drove the entire way.

Our first order of business after making it into Chicago was to go and see the “Bean” since it wasn’t finished the last time we were in town. Wow, what a difference 3 years makes!

All the seams had been smoothed out and the scaffolding removed. It was awesome, even with the million of small children that clogged the area. Oh sure, we really could have stayed there all day, taking pictures and just watching the world go by as it was reflected in the wondrous, shiny legume, but we felt the call to move along and take advantage of the great weather. So we headed off in the general direction of Navy Pier.

The Lake just amazes me. I have a hard time comprehending that it is a Lake. Looking out onto the horizon and there seems to be no end. And the water is amazingly clear.

Ping has been to Chicago many times before but never had the chance to get his pic taken so we of course had to stop and do the tourist thing. Which left lots of people shaking their heads as we made our way through the city!

After a stop for a snack and refreshments at the Pier itself, we hailed a cab and waiting in rush hour traffic. Yep, we are smart. Kudos to our driver though, he worked hard to get us over to the Irish Fest and we arrived just as the gates were opening. And then there was booze.

And delicious booze it was indeed. Although sadly we missed opportunities for free booze and food since we weren’t single and couldn’t participate in the Hooley. Drat! It was hot outside but nice and cool inside. Eventually after a harrowing hotel ordeal <Boo! Hiss! to the Millennium Knickerbocker>, Kris, Rick & Vince appeared. Nothing like driving from Morrisvale, WV to Chicago, IL in one fell swoop. But they made it with time to NOM and shop before The Tossers took over the place. The show was, of course, awesome. To say it rocked would be so cliche, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it! Best $8 event I’ve ever been to (yep, $8 in advance, how great is that? Oh sure, we had to stay over, but that’s part of vacation and Dad picked up the petroleum bill, so we are in good shape)

Day 2: Chicagoland

So when I didn’t think our trip to Chicago could get any better, it did. We’d been out and about geocaching and enjoying the gorgeous day, having some yummy Thai food and just being on vacation. As we neared our hotel I heard drums. Odd, but whatever. Then I noticed a crowd on the sidewalk very near our hotel. The crowd was clapping and dancing to the drum….even more odd. But wait! It gets totally better because in the middle of that crowd was a man on a white horse…I kid you not!

  Those of you who know me, know that I love a) horses and b) shiny things. OMG, both together and in front of our hotel nearly caused me to self-combust on the spot! I took pictures, lots and lots and lots of pictures and was in the enviable position of being beside the door when the groom (it was a wedding from what I gathered) dismounted and was greeted by the bride’s family. And then I took more pictures of the horse!

After Chad talked me down from that experience we headed out to the Land of Geeks – aka Fry’s Electronics. This was dangerous territory for both of us, since I own lots and lots of gadgets which “require” lots and lots of accessories. And for Chad it was dangerous because…well it was a shop that sold bits and pieces of computers. I present, Chad in the land of Motherboards….

There was lots and lots of looking and examining and walking in circles, but in the end Chad left without purchasing a single thing. I, on the other hand…I got new toys! Who in the world would ever have thought I would have a phone that has 2 GB of storage or that so much stuff could fit on such a tiny piece of plastic. Chances of me losing that SD card? Extremely High.

Finally back in the land of Golden Domes and so forth, we took a trip to see the newest member of the Berry Clan. After all this time (just over 34 years) Mamaw is now a Great-Grandmother courtesy of my cousin Shelly. And truth be told, while The Tossers were awesome and it’s always fun to visit Chicagoland, we really came up to see Jackson and Shelly.

He was doing the obligatory baby thing of sleeping when we arrived and woke up long enough to demonstrate how strong he is. Man, who would expect a month-old to nearly be able to fling himself off my lap? Uh, not me. But no worries, I wrestled him into submission.

Without any fanfare, I present the link to the rest of THIS set of pictures. More posted shortly. Continue Reading »

chris on July 16th 2008 in Family, Links, Travel

Rebellion Day

Fun, Sun, Fireworks and cooking out, right? That’s what Rebellion Day celebrating is all about…

Ummm, yes. Unless of course you live in Morgantown, WV. Unbeknownst to most of the residents, the City Council apparently voted to uproot us from the Mid-Atlantic region and plop us smack in the middle of the Pacific Northwest. Not that I mind the Pacific Northwest. In fact I rather like it, but still you’d like to have some warning about these things.

As it is, Rebellion Day dawned (loosely because it was forever for the sun to try to eek through the clouds) wet. It stayed wet, becoming wetter if possible. Then we had about an hour reprieve which only served to get our hopes up before the additional wet set in.

Sometime around 9 pm it was still drizzling, but hey, it’s Rebellion Day and we wanted to see the fireworks. So out we marched onto the street and that’s when the rain started (again).

First a drizzle, then a sprinkle, then just rain and finally pouring rain. Oh yes, boys and girls, we got WET. Rotten, stinkin’, soaking, cold, dripping wet. The fireworks were good, but I suspect the powers that be eeked the show out as long as possible to see how many poor saps would stand there getting soaked for a free show. At least five on our street!

chris on July 9th 2008 in Family