From: Craig Phillips [cphillips@cnci.ccsend.com] on behalf of Craig Phillips [info@cnci.us]

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 10:16 PM

To: cphillips@cnci.us

Subject: Cocktail Talk - Geocaching

 

Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

October 2009

Our Topic

Geocaching

 

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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

 

  Cocktail Talk is archived at www.cnci.us

 

There are buttons below to do things including unsubscribe. If you unsubscribe you will be immediately removed from our email list and may end up hanging around a soggy fruit tray sipping warm beer, alone, at your next Cocktail Party.
But that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk

 

 Geocaching

CerryGeocaching is hide-and-seek using the internet and GPS. It's popular, worldwide, and you have available to you all the toys you need to play. There are nearly a million Geocaches world-wide. So, while the weather is still good, here's how it goes:

I get a waterproof container somewhere in size from a film canister* to a five gallon lard bucket. Then I stick some type of Guest Book and maybe some trinkets in it, maybe even some "Hitchhikers", and take that somewhere and hide it making note of the GPS coordinates.

Back at the internet I go to a website like http://www.geocaching.com and log it in complete with GPS coordinates and clues.

Trinkets like toys, buttons, coins, make up the majority of "Cache Treasures", these you get to keep. Then there are the Hitchhikers. Hitchhikers go from one Geocache to the next, and so on and so on, moved by people like you playing the game. The goal being to see where the Hitchhiker travels.  Someone may even ask you to aid them in getting their Hitchhiker to a specific destination.

Since we're talking about you already, and its always about you, here's your part. You go to a website like  http://www.geocaching.com and sign up. Then you can enter a Zip Code or City and get a list of Geocaches complete with GPS coordinates and clues. Now, run out to your car and get your Tom-Tom, but before you do, press Ctrl-Alt-Del and lock your PC so the boss doesn't see this on your screen and get wise to you.

Welcome back.  Now enter the GPS coordinates from the Geocache that interests you into Tom-Tom and text your Office Spouse to plan on a long lunch. Have them bring a pen along so you can sign the Guest Book. Hint: If you're told to bring a pen it may be because what you're looking for is too small, like a film canister, to hold one. 

Lock your PC again and follow Tom-Tom to the Geocache site and find the cache, log your name in the Guest Book, take a toy or Hitchhiker and leave a little somethig in its place. Have your Office Spouse take a picture of you with it and hide it back where you found it.

Rush back to the office, unlock your PC, and go back to that website to chronicle your brilliance in finding the cache, your plans for any Hitchhikers, and what, if anything, you've added to the Geocache. Do not leave guns, drugs, or alcohol in a Geocache. The "why?" is obvious three paragraphs down.

Don't for a minute think that they're all going to be simple. There are easy ones, "drive-bys" they're called, but others will have you needing your GPS just to get back home. Some even recommend bringing water, food, and a knife**. They are all outdoors, and the sun always sets. Some are just one clue after another like a Nicholas Cage movie. Some can only be found at night, sunrise, up a tree or underwater. There are Geocache Groups that only put their Geocaches in Cemeteries.

There are rules and language and interesting things and a cute little movie at http://www.geocaching.com so you won't look like a Newbie. TFTH TNLNSL Things can get pretty interesting for Geocachers too. Check this out from Wikipedia;

"Cachers have been approached by police and questioned when they were seen as acting suspiciously. Other times, investigation of a cache location after suspicious activity was reported has resulted in police and bomb squad discovery of the geocache. Schools have been occasionally evacuated when a cache has been seen by teachers or police, as in the case of Fairview High School in 2009.  A number of caches have been destroyed by bomb squads."

You can find plenty Geocaches with what yu already have, just print the clues from the website, Google the coordinates, and go. But this is Cocktail Talk so we need a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx Color Handheld GPS with an electronic compass and barometric altimeter and a Dell Mini 10 netbook with Verizon Wireless Broadband. Then we'd never have to stop Geocaching except to get beer and cigarettes and we could do do that when we got out of coverage so we wouldn't miss anything. 

Don't let yourself get carried away with this stuff or you'll end up walking the public beach wearing socks and sandals with a metal detector and a bucket. You can cut and paste the GPS coordinates from the Geocache website into Google Maps instead of typing a street address. Then you've got the power of Google Maps and Satellite and Street View. Cut and Paste the folowing GPS coordinates into Google Maps to see the location of a Geocache in a Train Station Parking Lot.  

N 42 28.888 W 088 05.587

Zoom in with Satellite View. While you're there, Right Click on the Google Map and choose "What's here?", that returns GPS coordinates. You could use this feature to map a Geocache you hide in your neighbor's yard, but I wouldn't recommend it. $6 a month turns your iPhone into a Geocahing GPS so you can play on a whim. We were having Pizza on the shore of Lake Butte Des Morts last night and the iPhone told us there were 3 Geocaches less than 100 yards away. No, we did not go looking. But it was pretty neat there were so many caches nearby when Geocaching iPhones came up in conversation. 

Socks with sandals***, Speedo and Cowboy Boots, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.

 

Thank you for reading,

 

 

Signature
Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

 

* Before digital there was "film" which had to be put into a camera and professionally developed using chemicals. Film came in little airtight canisters that were used to store marijuana after the film was removed.

** $20 and a pocket knife should be fine.

***Girl's and Women's Soccer Athletes wearing Nike Slides after practice are excused.

CN Consulting, Inc - www.cnci.us
Computer Consulting for Business!
Serving the Chicagoland and Greater Milwaukee areas since 1990
CN Consulting is a female owned and operated company

 

 

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