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Archive for December, 2008

Yay for Mail

There are some people who know you so well, so very, very well…that they can make your day, week, month, hell whole year with a card.

Someone out there knows me well. 

Zombie love back at you! 

Long live Team Kuclick.

card from here

chris on December 30th 2008 in Blogroll

Name That Season….

Because at 55 degrees, a blue sky and that blazing orange ball in the sky, it sure doens’t seem to be Winter (despite the calendar insisting that today is December 28).

A quick look at the radar screen showed what we assumed to be either a Spring storm or a Fall storm (your pick) heading Northeast of Morgantown. Showing a rare bit of common sense we decided to cache southward. Yay for brains! (and sidekicks who help make these important decisions)

Our first stop of the day on this grand tour was 89SC’s Up On The Farm where sidekick found & logged his 100th cache. This may confuse some of you, since you know that poor sidekick has been drug out into the woods in search of tupperware and ammo cans since way back in early 2005. For him though, it wasn’t the great sucking vortex of geocaching itself that pulled him in, it was the nasty tailwinds of Purple Monkey Dishwasher and I. Someone had to help poor sidekick Engineer keep an eye on us. And that meant that he never had an account and never logged any caches, until maybe a year ago.

At any rate, we had to take a few stops along the short, but STEEP, climb to the top. Good news is because we were caching in Winter (or early Spring, late Fall – your pick again) all we had to deal with were partially dissolved cow patties, which are much easier to contend with than thorns (aka “jagger bushes” in sidekick’s lexicon).

From there we took a lovely tour of the surrounding country side. Taking in the desolate beauty of Tygart Lake at way low tide. I wish, how I wish, that I’d brought the SLR instead of the tiny point and shoot (and partly destroyed) digital. The scenery was amazing and when the wind wasn’t blowing it was downright pleasant. Pleasant enough to sit back and take it all in – after finding the cache.

After squishing through the mud and having quite a growing spurt (I was excited at least), we headed down to Philippi and took in some places of historic importance. That’s cool. We’re both total history geeks and I’m finally starting to appreciate American History (really trying….dudes, it’s not terribly exciting to me). We arrived at the Adaland Mansion Museum only to find ourselves early for a change. So we sauntered around the grounds. It was probably for the best, really. We were both covered in mud and looking much bedragled.

Without a doubt there will be a return trip to enjoy the tour when we aren’t covered in mud and little bits of plant life (and hopefully not cow patties).  So from there we headed into Philippi proper where I tried to mangle myself on a park-n-grab magnetic hide-a-key. How do you nearly pop a hip on one of those? Yeah, don’t ask. You don’t want to know.

More merriment followed until yours truly ran out of steam and the sun started to sink low in the sky. Time to head home.

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chris on December 29th 2008 in Geocaching

Christmas Fun

Christmas is fun. Especially when you cram nine people and one tiny dog in a small house. Oh yeah, did I mention there was only one bathroom? Knock first!

Christmas Eve started out with me:

A) finding out the pony hurt himself again (injured stifle)

B) driving home with a SCREAMING cat  (my Nun-Nun just went into a nursing home, her cat)

Arrive at home. Apologize to our three cats for bringing home another cat. Quick change, fly back down interstate for mass with Dad. Then from there to boozing & food with extended family in the middle of a monsoon. We had an excellent time. Tons of delicious food, homemade wine, champagne to celebrate Doctor Berry and then I dunno. It was a long night!

For the first time that I can ever remember I spent Christmas Eve night in my own home, in my own bed. Which meant that I was free to stagger out of bed, stumble down the steps in search of caffeine and further gather my wits until I became a tolerable human being without being peppered with questions by my family (Chad being smart enough not to ask me questions right off).

So Christmas was a little weird. What with none of us pushing and shoving to shred the wrapping paper and get to the good stuff. Memories of new socks being flung across the room a distant memory. (Hey, good socks are expensive. I’m thrilled when I get socks as presents.) But there are some traditions that just won’t break, like me and Dad getting our Christmas picture taken (tree is a wee bit small this year) and Ping joining in the fun.

On the other hand, some things have changed mightily…just about everyone in the house had a blackberry that required a little attention here and there. And Molly huddled up to the front door searching for a wireless connection. Which would have been very hilarious, if not for the fact that I felt her pain staying in a house with dial up. Oh the horrors!

Sometimes though, good old paper will win out over technology when trying to demonstrate a good route home. Fortunately, some of us still carry a paper atlas or two (US Atlas circa 1995!). After a weather-induced detour that added significant miles to their drive, Molly was happy to get some advice from Chad since he knows his way around Eastern Pennsylvania.

And I took my traditional long winter’s nap once we got home. All that sitting around and eating sure does make a girl hungry.  Or maybe it was that 30 minute ride in the car. I’m sure it had nothing to do with my body being so confused by the bad food, alcohol, strange sleeping schedule and general chaos. Nope, that couldn’t be it at all! At any rate, there’s nothing like taking a little snooze (little snooze = 2 hours in my world) with a kitty keeping sentry.

Merry, Merry to all!


chris on December 28th 2008 in Family

Cold Caching

Cold is relative.

And relatively speaking, Aquacache and I froze to death on an ill-advised adventure in SW Pennsylvania.

I’d been itching to get out of the house and go caching, but Mother Nature and various social obligations were seriously interfering with each and every caching plan I made. [I’d like to point out that by this time I should know not to trust the forecast, but I can’t help myself.]

Despite the dire forecast of drastically dropping temps [and when you are starting at mid-20’s there isn’t far to go] and wind gusts up to 36 mph [not a gust by my definition] I managed to convince Aquacache that what he really wanted to do was go caching with me. The caveat was that I promised not to take him on some insane hike and that we’d stick close to the car due to the weather. So I loaded the PQ on the laptop, put the Ram Mount back together (it has issues…) and away we went.

First stop: a two- stage multi that my navigator had already found. Which is when our decision to go caching began to seem a little rash. No sooner had I gotten to stage one of the first cache of the day, than Mother Nature got angry. So there I stood, IN a pine tree (or some sort of evergreen) trying to reach stage 1 which was, of course, over my head. When the wind whips up, causing the branches of said evergreen to beat the ever living daylights out of yours truly.

At that point I figured things could only really go up, because down wasn’t possible. standing on a hillside getting attacked by Mother Nature….seriously, how low could things go after that? Well, my stupid blue garmin could die. Which it did. And I only have one bluetooth GPSr which was being hogged by my laptop. Oh Technology. It hates me almost as much as Mother Nature.

From there though, things were pretty much status quo. Although we did have a few ups, such as discovering that Sheetz has free wifi. Oh yes, not only coffee & schmagels, but wifi. Woohoo! You know what that means? That means were were able to solve a morse code puzzle cache in the parking lot of sheetz while drinking hot coffee and spilling tuna salad all over my car (that’d be me, not Aquacache)

It was a long day, with lots of caches and windy roads. As such, by the time I got home and properly defrosted I was having a time of it remembering which was which. So I offer you a humble roundup.
– I fell down spectacularly, getting myself muddy, not long after chastising Aquacache for getting mud in my car (and pebbles – where did they come from?)
– Found ammo can with log frozen to it.
– Found shack in cemetery. Certain there were zombie hobos nearby.

– We were observed photographing telephone poles in a park. By a man in a suit. Try explaining that one.

– Searched covered bridges under cover of night with mag lites….yep, that’s not suspicious.

So, only a few more pics, but click away below.

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chris on December 23rd 2008 in Geocaching