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Archive for February, 2011

Ping has Surgery

We had a little emergency here last night. Ping was helping out with fixing the Jeep’s emergency brake when he hurt his back. I know, I know. He is awfully little to be handling things like emergency brake repairs, but he was seriously helpful since he could see in the Star Chamber or whatever the hell its called (Ed: it’s called the Star Adjuster) since my noggin is a bit too large to see what’s what.

Anyway, after adjusting the brake and taking Edmund the Little Black Jeep out for a spin to confirm that we’d done everything ok and that the brakes still worked, Ping mentioned his back was bothering him a little bit. So off we went to have him looked at. Upon examination it became clear that he was going to need surgery immediatley.

He was rushed into pre-op.

And as you may imagine I was a complete disaster. Not because this is the first time Ping has had to have surgery. He’s an old hat at having gone under the sewing needle. But because this was the first time Ping needed surgery and I didn’t have Mom, Dad or Mamaw around. Ping and I were on our own.

The surgeon did a good job sewing up his wound and everything checked out ok. It took a steady hand, but I think the scarring will be minimal this time around. Which is good. Especially since we have a summer of fun in the sun ahead of us now that the Jeep’s e-brake is good to go.

Ping was only in recovery for a short period of time. He’s got no problem with the anesthesia and is a very good patient.

As you can see in this photo, he only has a small bandage which the surgeon said could come off within 24 hours.

So no more working on the Jeep or doing any work on the floor renovation for at least a week. The latter being pretty much done anyway, but Ping is such a perfectionist. I caught him trying to sneak a peak of the floor last night, some sandpaper in his flipper. Sheesh.

chris on February 28th 2011 in Family

Out Rt. 50 a Piece

It was one of those weekends. One where I knew I wanted to cache but I couldn’t come up with a plan. Which is when it makes me glad to know pbump. Because that man, he always has a plan. He has a plan, a map, a route, a list and he never forgets that we like to eat.  Which is how on this particular Saturday Gentleman-Carpenter, loyal sidekick and I found ourselves in Salem rendezvousing with the Bumps.

Our plan (at least as far as I knew)  was to run out Rt. 50 cleaning up some of the NFL caches (no, not football, but rather Numbers For Lenny) hit some others that sounded neat, make our way to Elizabeth to do the Elizabeth Trifecta (more on that later) and basically blow the stink off. The snow had melted (for real this time) and since we were headed West I felt pretty comfortable that I would not be falling in any snow concealed holes today.

With pbump in charge and in the lead, we started out. Now usually I can take or leave a bunch of park & grabs, but several of these took us to some interesting out of the way places (trust me, when I say out of the way I  mean it) and it was a good day to take a drive in the country.

We saw a clump of very happy cows hanging out and doing some sunbathing. Which really really made me wish that Spring would hurry the heck up and show up. The air definitely had a Spring-like quality to it.  From the cows we wound our way here and there I just followed mostly, it is so much easier that way, and found ourselves at Pine Twist Farm. The view was incredible. So incredible that I just gave up trying to get a photo and enjoyed  it. The sun was out and the breeze was gentle. If that wasn’t a harbinger of beautiful Spring days to come, I don’t know what is!   We were pleasantly surprised to see that the cacher who was raised here happened to be known to us back in our neck of the woods.

I did at least snap a picture of the garden gate. So I was not entirely remiss in my duties as trip photographer.

Which brings me (after a short hiatus for lunch at a local Subway where the friendliest person was behind the counter and we had the most delicious cookies – cranberry white chocolate? GET OUT!) to the Elizabeth Trifecta.

Some time ago sidekick and I went out with Aquacache to christen my little black jeep. On our journey we ran across a Zombie Orthodox Church. We all figured (perhaps naively) that said church must be a local phenomenon.

Well, I am here to tell you that is not so. Even though this church is labeled “Church of Christ”, I’m pretty sure it is Zombie Orthodox. But since it was broad daylight and there were several of us (I could outrun at least 2 I figured, so i was safe) we did a little exploring.

Yeah. Zombie Orthodox.


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chris on February 28th 2011 in Geocaching

Mingo Creek Caching

It was cold and yucky with snow. Well at home there wasn’t that much snow. And for some reason I never do recall that if one heads North, there tends to be more snow on the ground. And so with this NOT in mind, Gentleman-Carpenter and I decided to head out to Mingo Creek Park in Pennsylvania (I’d link to a web page so you can check it out, but apparently there is not one to be found.) So off we go to Mingo Creek Park and what do we discover? Snow. Lots and lots of snow. But hey, whatever. It’s not like we have never cached in snow before.

After consulting my trail map (from previous trip here) which turned out to be useless in the snow, we decided to tackle the cache closest to the car. Stage one was some simple math (so I had G-C) check it and then up the hill we went after the final. Figuring that our best path was to go diagonal up this hill (it had a wicked incline) we were making pretty good progress when I stepped in what had to be the service entrance to a Gopher Condo. The snow had completely obliterated it. So I was walking and talking and the next thing poor G-C knew, I was face planted in the snow and back up again brushing myself off!

After tackling that cache (I emerged from the Gopher Condo service entrance unscathed) we attempted a few other caches, made some poor decisions (hey, it is HARD to find a trail when there is a foot of snow on the ground), took some long cuts and at one point stumbled upon this lean to…..

Kinda creepy I thought. Also it didn’t have the cache, which is where the arrow was indicating the cache should be. We were hoping it was the work of the industrious Boy Scouts who seemed to have peppered the park with projects. Otherwise, I don’t want to know what it is doing in these parts. Do. Not. Want. To. Know. Of course that clearly did not stop us from poking our heads in – we knocked first – and taking photos. Later on we stumbled onto yet another lean to, so we are really really really hoping this was a Boy Scout project or something and that there isn’t a large population living in lean to’s in the middle of Mingo Creek Park.

Around about this time what we managed to discover was that a whole bunch of the roads in the park were closed. Why this surprised me I have no idea. The parks at home often close the roads so treating them is not a necessity. This of course mean that we were foiled in regards to the other caches we were going to attempt. Which is when G-C noticed a palm tree on his GPSr. A palm tree, it turns out, is what he uses to mark a covered bridge. And Gentleman-Carpenter is a covered bridge junky. Really.

Which worked out well because we got some very nice pictures before decided to call it a day and go eat at The Spring House (you must go there, you must get chocolate milk, it is awesome).

So sure, the caching day didn’t work out exactly as we’d planned. And sure I fell in a Gopher Condo service entrance, but really, it was still a great day.

chris on February 28th 2011 in Geocaching

NYE 2010 – Canadian Style

It started out as a typical Team Kuclick New Years Eve. We went out on a forced march and then ate until we were stuffed. But somehow we didn’t quite work in the long, long nap that usually goes down between too much food and NYE festivities. Which is to say, Team Kuclick was moving pretty slow (and was still pretty stuffed) when we headed out to drink and dinner (yes in that order).

First things first: The caching. We had 3 kids, a sled, a wagon, a dog & four adults (and by adults I mean chronologically we are adults, mentally….I’ll leave that one go). The weather was unseasonably warm (way better than last NYE we were up here when it was wicked cold) so the sled presented some problems – mostly in the form of: it’s hard to pull a sled when the snow as turned to mush or completely disappeared and all you have left is rocks.

After a good long forced march, we headed back to the car where I decided to go after a cache in a tree. (PMD tells me this is pretty common in her part of Canada due to the typically large amounts of snowfall.) I got up all by myself. Back down was another matter all together.

While walking and talking, sidekick brought up the phenomenon of Endless Sushi. Yum. And so with a quick stop at home to de-snow-gear ourselves we headed out for Endless Sushi. Yum. This turned out to be somewhat of a mistake in timing since it was a late (and large) lunch and it left us more or less immobilized.  Totally worth it. You can’t get Endless Sushi at home.

After wallowing for too short of time we changed (yet again) and headed out for dinner.

And finally we managed to arrive at our final destination which sported some of the best people watching I have probably ever encountered. Once we secured our giant puffy sofa and got situated, we spent the night being entertained by an endless parade of …..let’s go with sights. And endless parade of sights. None of which (and you’d thank me for this…trust me) did we capture in photo. There was also a strawberry tree (cursed nemesis of height-challenged chocolate covered strawberry lovers like myself) and profuse amounts of cheese (but I didn’t get photos of those either…seemed a little tacky).

And just like that….it’s 2011.

Which is when we went home and passed out.

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chris on February 28th 2011 in Family, Geocaching