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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finally...Music...Kinda

I wanted to get really good at doing html so I could add music to the site. Well that takes more time and patience than I have at the moment, so I'm settling for Amazon's MP3 widget. I've selected tunes that we actually listen to when we go out on a find. Hope you enjoy them while you're reading our latest ramblings.

Creedence happens to be a top selection for multiple finds as it doesn't matter how many times the CD repeats as we get in and out of the Tacoma.

U2 and Talking Heads speak for themselves. And there is a fun little ditty specifically about geocaching. Our top ten, I guess you could say.

If you think of some other good tunes, let us know.

Dragon

Monday, June 22, 2009

June's Cool Cache...Its a Bug's Life




I've decided that we'd offer up pics each month from cool caches that you find.



This month goes out to my sister and her hubby (2andDuke) for the It's a Bugs Life cache they found in Largo, FL.



Yes, of course there is a token of appreciation that will be sent if we decide to use your pics. You can email pics to dragonox09@yahoo.com. One submission per month allowed. Be sure to include your snail mail address if you'd like to receive a DragonOx Pathtag for your efforts. A picture of your team is also welcomed. There are no other official rules, because this isn't really officially anything other than an excuse to post cool pics of cool caches.

Happy Caching!



~Dragon

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beth's Perspective On.....Teaching Dads!




When my brother called to ask what I was getting Dad for his birthday and fathers day, I had no idea. He said he had gotten a good deal on a Nuvi 250, we could split the cost three ways and make it a joint gift. This sounded good to me since both my sister and I were out of work and lil brother was on verge of layoff. Big Sis got the case and Brother and I split the cost of Ms. Garmin. Now all he had to do was ship it out from Oklahoma to Virginia. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but my brother has a problem with sending stuff out, just runs out of time during the day.


Well she arrived on time for the birthday party. Dad has been saying he would like to get a GPS for all the traveling he does with Mom's business. She manufactures her own line of square dance clothing. The only problem I saw with this is that Mrs. Garmen doesn't know just how big Dad's vehicle is. Dad drives at sixty five feet long, motor home and trailer. I have encountered some roads that we are directed onto that there is no way dad can take them. I wasn't sure I wanted to take my little Toyota on some.


"Oh Boy!!!" says dad as he opened the box. He got a strange look on his face when looking at this little screen in his hands. I then realized he didn't know anything about this strange woman about to embark him on his next trip, which was in only three days. I took her out to the vehicle to charge a while then brought her back to his capable hands. He had no idea. I proceeded to show him the different icons to choose from and how to enter a name of a store, Wal-mart of course, mom could not live without this store, but that is a whole other blog. He said he understood just fine.



The next few days I kept asking if he was using his GPS, the response was, "no I know where I am here at home." Ok dad, but you should have practiced with this woman before hitting the road.



Mom called to say they were using Mrs. Garmin and what " a delight she is, we found Wal-mart parking lot just fine to camp for the night." They often stay overnight at these lots. When they got to the city for their convention, they needed a post office. So Dad looks up post offices within a certain distance from where they are staying, picks one and tells Mrs Garmin to "GO". Mom said they were driving and she lets them know that they are arriving at destination on right. They see a few buildings but no post office, the flag was for the small Fire House. Dad keeps driving while Mrs Garmin recalculates. After a few miles Mom says "just get turned around, we have missed it somewhere." Lo and behold, "arriving at destination on left." Dad slows and sees a little store and the Fire House, but no post office, so he keeps driving while Mrs Garmin recalculates. He sees a woman on the street and asked her where is the post office? Guess what, Mrs Garmin was right, "it's at the Fire House" the woman informs him. So not only does he have to listen to Mrs Garmin recalculating but now he has to listen to Mom.





He has since found that she doesn't like to stop for lunch, or gas, or just to pull off the interstate to stretch a while. But she does get him where he needs to be. One of these days dads will learn to listen to us women, whether in live version or through Mrs Garmin. Happy Fathers Day to all those dads who read this.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beth's Perspective On ........Teaching The Young'un

Saturday my daughter had to be out of her house due to decorating for a baby shower. Why do they call it a shower,? Nobody took one yesterday. Oh well, back on track here. We decided to go caching so she could learn how to use her new GPS that her grandmother got for her. I had Pippa load seven caches that we had already found in the Giles area that would not endanger a eight-n-half month pregnant woman. We took off and went to the hardest one first, " Come On In Yall", but because of the very tall weeds and grass I did give a small hint. She searched about twenty min. and found it. The expression was priceless, "that's it?"






We went to two others close by and in no time she had found them. I was a little jealous because it took us longer. I can see a slight problem for her though, she doesn't like spider webs. She has a good sense for clues and direction, ha ha, as she followed the little feet on the screen. I think she was even trying to take very little steps to match those on the screen.




OK now she had five under her belt all her own, back in to town for the last two. "This is fun!" she exclaimed, it didn't take long to find those at all. I think that was a jab since I had already told her how long it took us to find them. She had a satisfied smile on her face as we went to the next location. Even though I knew where we were going, I still made her use the system. OK what was the clue here? My response was "look it up, I am not here." That drew a strange look from her and she went back to the truck to get Ms. Garmin. No problem here either, so off to the next. Oh no! road construction, detours, Ms. Garmin was going nuts. The last cache was the one we had set out, "Bidding U Happy Caching." Here we ran into lots of muggles. She stood there at the truck and watched as they walked and drove by, quickly going for it, she grabs and comes back to sign in. "Why would you put it where there are so many muggles", she asked. My response: "that makes it all the more fun, trying to get the cache and not be seen."


Watch Marie's Very Own Music Video (she's gonna kick Pip's kester for this)
video
All in all she had a full day of caching and a good time, and I got to spend some time with my oldest child. Oh, the shower was fun too. Happy Caching Y'all.
~Ox

Friday, June 12, 2009




The Geocachers’ Creed

When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:


1. Not endanger myself or others
2. Observe all laws and rules of the area
3. Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate
4. Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm
5. Minimize my and others' impact on the environment
6. Be considerate of others
7. Protect the integrity of the game pieces


Further Explanation: Following are examples of how to apply the Creed. These are only examples and not part of the Creed - not every contingency can be spelled out. If something is not specifically listed in the examples, you should consider the intent expressed in the main tenets in making a decision.

...Not Endanger Myself or Others
Like any outdoor activity, geocaching involves some inherent risk and many geocachers enjoy manageable risks. Minimize inordinate risks. When creating a cache, describe any hidden dangers and, if possible, arrange the hunt to minimize these dangers. When seeking a cache, know your limitations and be aware of your surroundings. Don't attempt anything beyond your abilities. A cache you own, or one you're trading out of, could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew - consider the location of the cache and those likely to find it when deciding what to leave as a trade item.






...Observe All Laws and Rules of the Area
Don’t break the law or rules of an area, or encourage others to do so, when placing or seeking a cache. Don't leave illegal items in a cache.




...Respect Property Rights and Seek Permission Where Appropriate
Check if permission is required before placing a cache on private property, and respect the landowner's wishes. Check if public land has a geocaching policy and respect existing policies.
Promptly remove your cache if the land manager or steward asks. Do not damage, or interfere with the function of, buildings, structures, or signage.


...Avoid Causing Disruptions or Public Alarm
Don’t place a cache near schools or government buildings unless the administration and staff are fully aware of the placement. Use caution where children play. Parents are understandably concerned when strangers are near their children. Don’t place a cache near critical infrastructure that might be considered a terrorist target, or create a cache that could be mistaken for a terrorist device (e.g. a pipe bomb).


...Minimize My and Others' Impact on the Environment
Follow
Leave No Trace ethics whenever possible. When seeking a cache, practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you found them. Leave the area as you found it or better (e.g. pick up litter). Obtain the best possible coordinates for your cache to reduce unwarranted wear on the area. Recheck and correct your coordinates if finders report significant errors. Do not abandon a cache. If you stop maintaining a cache, remove the container, archive its listing and explain the disposition of the cache in your archive note, or put it up for adoption or rescue. If you de-list a cache on one host, but keep it on another, make sure you mention this in the archive note to prevent rescues of active caches.

...Be Considerate of Others
Treat other geocachers civilly - in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross.
Don't spoil the hunt for others - allow them to experience the cache as its owner intended.
Avoid leaving tracks to the cache. Do not disrupt the cache area or mark the hiding spot.
Minimize giving unsolicited clues that reveal the cache (i.e. "spoilers"). Don't provide any hints if the cache description asks you not to. In all other cases, be cryptic or encrypt any hints or spoilers you enter in online logs. Edit your log if the cache owner requests that you remove spoilers. Promptly alert the owner of any issues with their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip. Cache owners appreciate feedback - write an online log, send an email, or otherwise let the owner know about your experience with their cache. Only place caches you can maintain and respond promptly to problem reports. If you exchange trade items, trade kindly: Consider what future finders would like and leave something equal to or better than what you take. If you place a traveling item into the game, attach a tag that describes its goal, so that others can help it along. If you pick up a traveling item with a tag describing its goal, move the item toward its goal if possible. Contact the owner if you hold a traveling item for more than a couple of weeks or so. Obtain permission from the originator before copying unique themes and techniques, adding to an existing series of caches, or placing a cache close to another.


...Protect the Integrity of the Game Pieces
The owner entrusts you to not damage or jeopardize the cache. Try to ensure the cache is ready for the next finder and is as good as or better than you found it. Make sure the container is properly closed to prevent the contents from getting wet or destroyed. Be inconspicuous in retrieving, signing in, and replacing a cache to avoid vandalism. Put the cache back where you found it and hide it well. Don’t move a cache - if you suspect the cache is not in the intended spot, hide it the best you can and alert the owner as soon as possible. Don’t collect traveling items meant to stay in the game. This is tantamount to stealing. Don’t tamper with or involve a game piece in "alternate" games without the owner’s permission.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June Housekeeping

We are new to both blogging and geocaching. We are learning as we go....and we are dragging folks along with us (some against their will).
We know you are reading. We can see you....well, not you exactly. We have a stat counter that tells us if anyone checks out the blog. You've been counted. Thanks for tuning in.



Actually, we have several folks reading us that have never read a blog before. That's cool. And a good number reading us that have never geocached and probably never will. That's cool too.


So I thought I'd share a few things with the newbies...those that feel obligated to read...like our families...to make your experience more enjoyable.







First, we welcome questions, comments and snide remarks. Note that each post has a quickie reaction option where you can give us feedback as to whether a post was interesting, funny, cool and yes, even stupid. Or if you're not into quickies, you can leave an actual comment. Post questions here too. Is there some aspect of geocaching you'd like us to address?

Also, if you sign up for Blogger and choose to follow this blog that improves our stats. As our stats improve, more folks check us out. As more folks read and comment, better blogging. Its a wonderful "thang".....so please get involved. There is a small link on the left. Heck, if you like, you can even rate this blog.

And a word about our advertising links. I use them to add variety to the site and keep it fresh looking. But I chose those that I suspect could be of interest or assistance to our readers. If you choose to check them out, that's your business...but we'd appreciate it if you would take a look from time to time.

One of our Link Partners, EDUN is giving away $300. Entry is as easy as clicking on this link and creating a login. Now I don't know a single person who can't use an extra $300, so I'm supplying the link. Its my duty to share the love. Win a $300 Gift Certificate to EDUN!

I've created tags or labels for each post. So if you want to see only the posts about a certain topic, you can click on it...its computer magic. For example, want to read only about Daisy, she's a tag. Want to read only posts written by Beth (purely hypothetical example), she's been tagged too.

There are and will be videos for your viewing pleasure. I'm working on music, that's a bit of a challenge that I'm still enjoying.

Hope you enjoy the blog as much as we enjoy doing it.

Namaste'


Dragon

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Event...More Friends....

Attended the Roanoke Area Geocachers Grillin, Chillin and Caching Event on Saturday. Excellent Food. Met a few more folks and got to visit with a few people we met at our first event last month.

I had a really good time. The food was awesome. The park was really nice. Weather was perfect. And I guess I was just in a good mood. We heard some cool caching stories, and did I mention that the food was excellent?






We learned more about travel bugs. We took Daisy, and she just loved all the attention she got. We met a little dog, Krammer, who had a travel bug on his harness to be discovered. You discover a travel item and it goes into your stats. Krammer's mom, SnoopinAround, has only been caching about a year and has over 3000 finds under her belt!

Beth and Ms. Garmin participated in a field test to demonstrate the accuracy of different types of GPS's. Now you'll remember I mentioned the bias against highway-type GPS's in an earlier post. I am happy to report that Ms. Garmin did well and she found the coordinates nearly as well as the higher priced units. And for a fraction of the cost! I was pleased.

After the event we attempted a few caches that were placed specifically for the event. We bombed out. I was taken hostage on the Blue Ridge Parkway for several hours. Long story here, which I'll let Beth blog about if she so chooses.

I put together an eleven second video for the group, which if I can figure out how to post it here I will. Technology is great, but there is a learning curve.


video

Well, back to the work week. GeoCaching back on hold for a few days. Have a good one.

Pip (Dragon)


More pics from the event can be viewed here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First to Find Goes To....




VT93! Whomever the heck that is.........He found our little cache on 6/5/9. Hmm, sounds like the makings of a new regular pick 3 number. Maybe we are both on our way to a cool million. Yep, I'll just dream on.....

Congrats VT93...glad you enjoyed the cache. And we enjoyed placing it. And we'll continue to enjoy monitoring others finding it. Hopefully our local uniformed muggles will question folks as they attempt to look discreet and we'll get some pics sent to us. We'll see.



Off to Roanokeareageocachers.com geocaching event, Grillin, Chillin and Caching...this will be our second event with members of this group. Looking forward to getting to know them better. Here's a shout out to the WanderWomen, The Moose is Loose, Payne in the Cache and LuvBirds. If the cosmic alignment is correct, perhaps TwistedMystic will make an appearance.



DragonOx (that's us) will be showing with brownies in hand and of course, Daisy is making her debut to the local caching community.
Should be a good day.





Probably will cache a bit on the way back. We have a few unfounds we want to attempt again before moving on.....

Whatever your weekend brings your way...enjoy what you can, say to heck with the rest.

Pip (Dragon)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Cache Placed

Creating a geocache to hide is pretty cool too. We needed something we already owned due to budget constraints. Wanted a micro, but large enough that we could leave a little token of appreciation to The First To Find (TFTF) cacher. After a little work, Bidding U Happy Caching, was born.

Location was important...someplace different, but interesting, accessible to maintenance.

Then there's all the rules...........Caches cannot be placed in National Forests or on Wildlife Reserves, may not be buried, cannot deface public or private property, cannot cause excessive traffic, cannot be placed close to railroad tracks or military installations, or places subject to terrorist attacks.......whew, maybe I am glad I live in a small town in the middle of no where.



We settled on a broken key chain flashlight we had for the container. Beth got out her big tools to dismantle it. I found one of those fake million dollar bills for the first to find token of appreciation, printed a log sheet and I was ready to hide. Of course, by the time we finished putting it together it was almost dark. I wanted to go hide it right then, but Beth made me wait til the next day. Sometimes she's just too practical!



Our first selection for a hiding place ended up a little deep and could have been easily lost into an abyss, so we went with our second choice. It's actually visible from the sidewalk, but you have to look. We think it will be a pretty easy park and grab cache, but there is a couple of catches to make it interesting.

First of all, the parking lot is not found by most navigation devices. Its in the downtown, so there are back sides to the buildings, and we share the parking lot with uniformed muggles.

We had to wait several days for our cache to be reviewed by the powers to be at geocaching.com, but finally its up and running. Hoping the first finder gets out this weekend so we can get some feedback on it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It Continues....




Our attraction to this hobby continues to grow. We have now placed our very own cache out there in the geocaching world. In addition, Daisy Murray Chapman arrived today!

Tonight she is joining us for Eggplant Parmesan. She will attend her first BBQ on Saturday to meet all the cachers that show for the RoanokeAreaGeocachers.com event. Check out Daisy's homepage on geocaching.com.

What else does one do with a nervous ewe? Entertain and Feed....that's what you do with all company, right?




Monday, June 1, 2009

Hey Everyone...Meet Daisy!


We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of our first GeoCoin. Isn't she precious? Now what is the purpose of a geocoin, you might ask? (Play with me here, even if you don't care).

A geocoin is a special coin created by individuals or groups of geocachers as a kind of signature item or calling card. Each geocoin is assigned a unique tracking ID which allows them to travel from geocache to geocache or to be passed amongst friends, picking up stories along the way.

We chose Daisy as our first coin because Beth is a farmer by trade. She has cattle and sheep, a few horses, a herding dog and other critters she tends to...her farming activities sometimes interfere with our caching plans, but hey, there is always something it seems....(pun intentional)...as we may miss a geocaching BBQ event because she has to put up hay.

Our plan is to love on Daisy for awhile, show her to our geocaching friends...all three of them...then send her on a trip to visit Beth's brother in Edmond Oklahoma. And of course, I plan on recording her adventures here as they happen. I think I can upload a cool map that will highlight her location as it occurs. The blogging potential of this gal is massive. Who knows, Daisy might end with her own blog and get a special spot on Anderson Cooper's 360 political analyst panel....hmm...

As much as I'll want to hang onto her, eventually she will be sent on her way. We are considering placing Daisy in a cache while we are "geocationing" in Providence Town, MA this fall. If you have any suggestions for her pre-travel activities...let us know.

Pip (The Dragon)