Warning: Use of undefined constant ’header_id’ - assumed '’header_id’' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/hotspur.us/public_html/wp-content/plugins/image-rotator/header-image-rotator.php on line 31
Hotspur.us » 2012 » February

Archive for February, 2012

Cabin Fever Cure

February is very hit or miss when it comes to weather. Is it gonna be February or Febuly?  (I stole that from Rock_Rat who stole it from someone else.)

(Look closely at the name tag)

Originally MAGPI thought a sledding event would be sweet. Of course, for that to work we’d need snow on the ground and that was not in the cards. Since the weatherman & Mother Nature both hate me with an undying passion, I figured any event required a fail safe backup – you know, a nice toasty warm building where cachers could hang out, play games, gossip and generally enjoy themselves no matter what Mother Nature threw our way. And so, Cabin Fever Cure was born. If it snowed, we’d have a snowman building contest & games. If it didn’t snow, we’d have games. Take THAT Mother Nature!

As it turned out, we did not have any snow. But we had plenty of games. And the park had plenty of caches – especially for those folks who were not from the area, and we had quite a few newcomers.

Nerd (of Nerd and Jock) – she’s the one cracking her knuckles & smiling cautiously –  got the full MAGPI welcome as soon as the gang found out she was “not from ’round here”. (Perfectly legitimate response to one’s first MAGPI encounter.) We like new people….we get to tell them all our old stories and they don’t (normally) doze off!

While some of the new-to-us folks were relatively new cachers, the MAGPI gang was thrilled to finally get to meet the youngest MAGPI – Screaming_Kid! We were honored that he (and his mom and dad) decided that this would be his first ever event and cache!We were a bit confused though, because he surely didn’t live up to his name.

There was a prerequisite amount of geekery, which is no big surprise considering that A) a goodly portion of MAGPI get paid to do computer related things at work and B) MAGPI loves them some bright and shiny gadgetry – not to mention the showing off of said gadgetry. Plus, really, if you’re gonna ask a question about how to….you’ve got a half decent answer (after all the smart arse responses) of getting some good information. It’s not that we’ve been around the block, but yeah, we’ve been around the block when it comes to technology (it hates me, no one come to me – I recommend pbump).

We had plenty of games going on through the day. Easy stuff that you could do as you pleased. Also, stuff that made you look ridiculous. Smash that backpack! Shake that ammo can!

What’s in the Ammo Can? – No one ever guesses this one. But man the answers are AWESOME! My favorite from this round was “A Thing that Goes THUNK!” Accurate, but vague. So we did what we always do and drew a name from all the entries. Wolfpack–6 lucked out and sent one of the little ones up to claim their prize.

What’s in the Backpack? – I love to watch people play this game.  It’s super easy to set up. I just dump out my backpack and then jam 10 things that I figure are essential back in. Secure the zipper and VOILA! Also, it’s a darn good thing that I don’t mind mauled food bars. We had some great answers on this one as well…some outlandish, some accurate, some that had me thinking “What in the world did I leave in there?” A few folks all managed to guess 5 items correctly so once again we had to resort to the ol’ draw a name method. Klutzy Kats scored the win which was NOT my backpack, but rather a small cache ready to be placed.

How Many Things in the Thing – Er…Container – So my bestfriend Purple Monkey Dishwasher constantly sends me endless supplies of swag. She does this because she loves me. Also because she has 3 small children who end up with an awful lot of duplicate toys. That’s why I LOVE this game. I get to clean out my giant box o’ (quality) swag.  The total number of items in that small locking container was 59. Wolfpack–6 guessed 60!

Find the X – This, along with the ammo can toss which we did NOT play for various logistical reasons, has really become a signature MAGPI game. Only usually we have an honest to goodness real live surveyor who goes out and gets us spot on coords. Not this time. This time I, SSPG, took sidekick’s trusty Garmin 60CSx (no I still have not located my Garmin, thanks for asking) and took a reading of ground zero. I averaged 200 waypoints. Needless to say, I was interested to see how well this little game turned out. First to go to the field (because I told him he had to) was my dad, Foxtrot Bravo. He didn’t have his own GPSr with him so I loaned him the 60CSx.

Using the same GPSr as I had used to take coords, even with fresh batteries, didn’t help much. Troopbiz was also having a difficult time getting their GPSr to pick one spot and stick with it. And the artic wind wasn’t doing much to encourage them to give it time!

There was some definite drift visible as we marched out to see who had gotten the closest. I’d been out 30 minutes earlier to do some preliminary measuring and the closest flag at that time was about 10 feet (or rather 10 Doc Martens, size 10) away.

I was about to declare that flag a winner when someone pointed out a flag that was much closer – only four Doc Martens size 10! We were shocked (and stunned, trust me!) to hear that pajamashark had used his iPhone.

I may have heard The Mad Cow sobbing since he recently gave up his iPhone and went back to Android. (I have an Android and before anyone asks, I love it.)

Re-Gift – Every New Year’s Day in the Waterloo, Ontario area there is an event called Re-Gift O’Rama. It sounded hilarious, however New Year’s Day is not always the best day for me (and Purple Monkey Dishwasher) to attend an event.  The day before Knight Who Says Ni and I headed down to the park with some numbered tags. We hung them (usually in pretty obvious places) and took coords. The idea was for each person to bring some tacky gift in ridiculous wrapping paper (duct tape, baby shower, paper bags, christmas paper, garbage bags). Each of those gifts was tagged with a number.

At a designated time I handed out a list that had all the coords for the numbered tags.  First come, first serve! And yes, we were nice and did not put them WAY FAR AWAY. I have a little niceness buried in me somewhere. (Thanks to yours truly not knowing how to work a GPSr there was some confusion regarding a set of coords. Knight Who Says Ni was kind enough to run out before the event started and re-check. You’d think after all this time I’d know what I was doing, you know? )

Dad took charge of the Tag Desk so we’d know what numbers had come in and if anyone had somehow become lost or confused (I refer you to the photo of Rock_Rat from earlier).

Dolphy was back in the door pretty fast and brought not only her tag, but the bit of stick to which it was attached. Such an overachiever.

We had some ridiculously awesome gifts once the paper (duct tape, garbage bags) started getting shredded.

I understand the intended target of that monkey was me…too bad I couldn’t play!

Windphish clearly cleaned up!

pbump was right to be suspicious when he claimed the bag I had brought.

Poor Troopbiz. The last gift to be gotten and an awful reminder that Bigger is Not Better. Yes…someone may have insisted that Aquacache bring that as his exchange gift after he jokingly mentioned it. I won’t name names.

RandomRansom is totally ready for a hard day at the office tomorrow!

Oh wvhunter….what happens at MAGPI stays at MAGPI….but you do look Fabulous Dah-ling!

Many thanks to everyone who showed up, brought delicious food and had fun! And a huge shout out to the folks that helped set up and then clean up! Come early, stay late and we’ll put you to work! As always, this was a fine MAGPI production!


chris on February 22nd 2012 in Geocaching

Week 7 – Ooops

On Monday, I had a plan. I was going to do some close ups of things on which I was working. This idea came to me as I was cleaning up after cooking. The problem is, I don’t always have something on which I’m working. Tuesday for instance, well what I did was go to Pittsburgh with Chad. But you know me, a good plan is never set in stone. I’m adaptable.

February 13, 2012

I had taken Monday off and since I had some time to kill before Fit Club I thought I’d go ahead and make some soup. Since I had time to kill, I figured I would get out the food processor. I usually avoid using it at all cost since I hate cleaning it. I was diligently trying to get all the blades back into the box o’ accoutrements when I noticed how nice and shiny they were.

February 14, 2012

Tuesday required a trip to the Brewing Store. And since we were headed there we decided to stop in Trader Joe’s (one of the few grocery stories I like). At that point we were both hungry and since Sharp Edge Brasserie was nearby…well you figure it out.At any rate, I snapped this photo will sitting in the passenger seat of the Ion trying desperately not to fall asleep. The dreary, blury, blue of the photo pretty much captured what it felt like outside the car.

February 15, 2012

At some point B and I were having a random text exchange of rhyming words. From it came “A Ton of Stoats” to which I promptly claimed. I have no idea what I was going to do with it, but it was mine. I soon realized I needed an image to accompany the phrase. This was my first go and I was pretty happy with it.

February 16, 2012

These are not my really expensive, delicious, hand painted chocolates.

February 17, 2012

Aw crud, I forgot to take a photo aside from this one. Once again Whiteboard saves me from failure. I love you Whiteboard

February 18, 2012

MAGPI was having an event on the 19th and I was getting my stuff together for the Re-Gift game. I love watching people unwrap gifts and when they are tacky recycled gifts…all the better!

February 19, 2012

Dad was in charge of making sure the Re-Gift game went well. It did.

chris on February 19th 2012 in Daily Photo

Another “one of those days”

It’s been very cold. Very, very cold. And I still have yet to order the automatic starter for my Subaru. I should really get around to that. As it stands, if I want my car to be not frozen when I get in it, I have to go out and do the starting myself. It’s not that bad since the parking pad is quite literally right out front. But it still kinda sucks.

Sunday I decided that my options were: A. sit in the house and keep warm, yet freak out about being in the house all day; B. go visit the parents; C. go back to bed.  As much as C appealed to me I assumed it would simply turn into A, which meant that I was going to Fairmont to visit the parents. I peered out the front door and saw that the might Subie was covered in a thin layer of frost. It needed warmed up before I headed to Fairmont so out I went to warm the Subie up.

I was doing the final gathering of stuff when I looked in the key box and damn it, my keys were gone. I have a big green carabiner for my keychain and it’s pretty easy to spot. But no dice. I assumed Chad must have stuffed it in his parka pocket as he doesn’t believe in the key box. I was rifling through his parka when he said he only had my house key, not my key chain, and that he’d put it IN the key box. Crud. I shouted up to B to see if he had noticed my keys laying about anywhere. He and I were staring in the key box blankly about the time I realized the muffled noise I in the background was the Subie, warming up.


chris on February 15th 2012 in Blogroll

Week 6 – Morgantown

Week six and I am still rolling along. Heck I even came up with a theme right off. Well, right off being a relative term. In this instance I mean around about 5:45 pm on Monday. So that’s pretty good, right?

This time of the year we spend most of our time in our attic. It’s warm and toasty and that’s where the big comfy chair is. Also it has a really great view of town. I was sitting there, staring out the window as the sun dipped low and the sky had a nice hue to it. I had the camera sitting by my computer so I thought I’d capture the moment. A few minutes later the lightbulb went off.  Also just so you know, yes there is a screen in my window. You can see it in most of the photos. I just went with it. After all, it’s my view of Morgantown.

February 6, 2012

5:43 pm. I zoomed in so Morgantown High School is the dominate building in the foreground. The Hotel Morgan (lovely ballroom where Chad & I had our wedding reception, also where my brother works) is visible on the left. It has the orange/red sign atop it.

February 7, 2012

9:45 am.  A bright and sunny day in the University City. It was actually a pleasantly warm day for early February. The sun was especially exciting. Too bad I had to work.

February 8, 2012

7:12 am. This time of year Morgantown doesn’t get much in the way of early morning sun. Actually we don’t get much in the way of sun period (that’s one reason yesterday was crazy exciting). I decided to shoot this photo from the side window which was easier typed than done. I had to deal with lots of glare from the attic lights. At any rate, that’s the reason you get to see so much of our neighbor’s roof.

February 9, 2012

7:55 pm. The City has a nice and pleasant glow at night. Sometimes I curse it when I’m looking for asteroids, but generally I think it is quite pleasant to take in.

February 10, 2012

8:27 pm. Slightly different view than last night. I shot more off to the left and so you can’t see our neighbors’ porch lights (yes, we too still have our white Christmas lights up on our porch). And the City seems to have more of a glow to it in this photo. Not sure if that has to do with focal point…or maybe a big couch fire.

February 11, 2012

8:29 am. It snowed. It finally snowed again. Sure a nice fluffy blanket of snow makes Morgantown look so nice, quaint and clean. It also means that I woke up to the sound of squealing tires. Not to mention, should we feel compelled to leave the house we’ll be sliding all the way into town.

February 12, 2012

12:30 pm. Don’t be fooled. It didn’t get any warmer. That snow had not melted. It had blown away. Lovely bit of wind we get around here. Hurry Spring.

chris on February 13th 2012 in Daily Photo