Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well, all was going very well, till tonight. I've ran into some video rendering problems and some audio sync. After figuring out this was due to and updated driver, I was able to find an older driver that worked.

I'm so wishing I would have gotten a Mac now. Mac has some much easier to use program's when it comes to media. The above photo is one I've photoshopped, which I'm getting much better at that and figuring out all sort's of little trick's with that. I'm going to use this as a background. 1 down 15 more to go. Well, really I've got more than that done. I'm keeping them in files that can be layered so I can just add on the top, what I want to say and this gives me the ablity to change text, and add clues as I move forward with this.

I was able to hijack what I wanted off the net but then got it in a format I didn't want. So I went to try and find a program to covert it to a Mpeg4 format. Guess what. You can use the program for free, or buy it. The only catch is, they put a ugly watermark in the center of the video for the first minute. I started looking into the coding of the program to see if I could remove that, but haven't nailed down what makes that watermark. I guess I should just buy the dang thing, or there's always the torrent route....

Still refusing to give up on this part of my project, I'll have to keep trying some different thing's. I still need to move a video editing program over to this computer, then I will be down to one computer, instead of networking them all up and streaming stuff back and forth.

By looking at my computer desk, you would think I've got enough computing power to make NASA a little jealous. I'll have to take some photo's of the mess I've got at the moment. This would give a better idea of what I'm struggling with.

I'm beginning to have doubt's at the moment if I can pull this off. If I can it should make for a really unique geocaching series. At least that's what I'm hoping. Sadly I think after a few people do this intended way and solve the puzzle's put in place, to confuse, surprize, and frustrate the puzzle part's will just end up being passed over by word of mouth and people are going to take the easy route. I'm trying to figure out way's to curb that, but I'm running out of idea's. I've gotten some idea's from some other cacher's, about hiding code word's inside part's and then if they are listed as a mystery cache I can add the ARL and these codes will have to be e-mailed on to be before they can post a find, for example.

Speaking of giving away hides and puzzle answer's. I had a could of weird e-mail's. The first one was cause I was the last finder of the cache. I bet this cacher was a bit pissed at me, but I told them it was best if they would try and contact the cache owner and not me. I'm sure he will give a clue to them. Then the really weird one is I have a puzzle and someone in Vermont e-mailed me asking for a hint on how to solve it. So I asked are you wanting a hint for my cache or the one in Vermont. Well, I guess the puzzles are similar and the person was hoping if they could figure mine out, they could figure the one in Vermont out. It still baffles me on how they noticed mine. I got a pretty good e-mail from this person and we had some laughs over it. I think this person just enjoys puzzles and looks around for them and solves them without worrying about really going out and finding them. Just enjoys the puzzle aspect of them.

Anyways now it's on to what do I do next. I'm still waiting on some permission for some area's but at the point I need to head out and get some cord's so I can start assembling this whole thing. I'm getting close to a stalling point, without the permission. I wonder if I should just forget about the area's I had planned and find somewhere else or just keep waiting to hear back. Since there's so many caches involved I really want to spread this around over a few counties. But I'm finding some county's are slower about responding then other's. Well, just more of my though's as I'm moving forward with this whole project. It's a slow process, as I keep running into some sort of problem's with this or that. I so wish my cousion lived a bit closer so I could run over to her place and we could work on this together, instead of me shooting some files over the net, and then worrying about compression issue's. I guess time will tell here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The line begins to blur

Well, I've been working out of town for the past week in Pella. I got time to start to hunt this pretty neat multi cache. I still have about 4 part's to go for it, but was pretty impressed on the way the owner presented it and the work he put into it. I only found one cache for the week, but with work, trying to work on the multi cache and my project, it really didn't give me alot of free time.

I've been tweaking photo's right and left here, stripping them down to the base to use as back grounds. This had led to some very late night's. I've got 4 complete ready to insert the cache info. I've come along way with photoshop and am getting the hang of it.

My next step is to alter some video footage, which I can do fairly quickly. I've been bouncing around some idea's on how I can deliver the video's to the cache seeker's. And I think I have figured out a nice twist to how this will all play out. The video will be a important part of this series. It's all still yet to be determined just how much. I need to sit down and work out all the kink's in the puzzles and what not.

This has been quite a large project and at the moment am feeling overwhelmed by it. Again this has led to some very late nice in front of the puter and linking up a total of 3 computer's cause I haven't been very good about keeping everything I need all on one. I'll be out shooting cord's and working on the camo for container's very soon as well, then I think everything will start falling into place. I think my attitude will turn as soon as I'm working on that part of it.

While I was in Pella, which is a neat little town. The building's in the downtown area have all sort's of neat little thing's, if you step back and really look around for them. I set up a virtual cache while I was there and I'm hoping that will help link DesMoines to Cedar Rapid's. Once those are linked threw 100 hides, all of eastern Iowa will be a point crazy area, I believe. Sadly I'm not getting much traffic on some of mine, but hopefully some will soon come looking for them.

I think "The line begins to blur" kind of fit's me tonight as my eye's are tired of looking at the computer screen.

Well, spring is just around the corner and I hope to get out and play around on some muddy trails.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Beginning of the End

Been kind of busy lately with work. I'm got this idea in my head and trying to put in all on paper to work it out. I am working on my next geocaching creation that hopefully will all work out. This is involving a lot of photoshopping, some media files, a lot of research on video editing. I've got some area's picked out for placement's of the cache's and have letter's in to landmanager's and waiting for the season's to turn to get out and shoot some cord's.

Since this is a big project and has quite a number of hides, involved I quickly saw I was getting in over my head. I shot some idea's by a friend of mine, and he's given me some hope that I can complete this "idea". I first came up with this whole concept about two year's ago and last summer since I was out of town so much I didn't have a lot of time to work on it, so it fell down on the to do list. But after the past few day's playing around tweaking some photo's, I think I'm ready to move forward with this concept.

In all this will be a series of 16 caches, with the first 15 needed to be found to start on the last one. As far as the hides go, the first 15 have been thought out pretty well, and hope to get into some area's where currently there are no cache hides, and a couple of the area's only have one or two. The 16th or final one will be a ruff one. A special container is in the work's for the final of it.

I think it's going to take most of the spring and some of summer to get everything placed, and make the final edits of some of the background's and jpeg's. I'm hoping that this little project will end up as I visualize it and give the hunter's of it, a feeling of accomplishment when they finish it, a wow I'm glad I visited the area's. I know we all look for something different in a hide, and hunt, so hopefully this will appeal to the masses but I have to wonder if it will be hunted by many or not.

I'm not sure but all the work I've been putting in to these, I am thinking these will be the last that I place. That's not certain by any means just if everything work's out the way I intend there's no way I will ever be able to top this. But then again I may scrap the whole concept and just keep it simple, only time will tell and if I can keep my paintance, and can see past the frustration's of this. The other cacher is doing wonder's at helping me past what I am missing and seeing loophole's that I am missing or I see that are there but can't figure out how to close them.

I guess I'm just posting this blog entry as a reminder for myself of the state I'm in near the beginning of moving forward with this project. It will be interesting how this evolves from now till it's ready for publication, which is also another headache. I have to work around anything that would be published between now and the end of this, which isn't a bad thing, but it can be frustrating. There's one spot I need to "protect" (for lack of anything better to call it). That's the start of the final and since this whole concept rely's on that one spot, while it's been picked, I'm not sure how this can be re tweaked if someone would place a hide to close to that one spot. Sure it's an out of the way spot, but it's possible.
Then it's the whole idea of keeping it family friendly. Like I don't see a problem in the posted picture in this entry for example, but I wonder if it's ok. That's one of those thing's, I don't see a problem with but someone else might have a different view on that. I don't know if someone could take offense to the jpeg. I don't see a problem with it and can't forsee someone having a problem, but since it's a photo, I have to wonder if it walk's that fine line. Everyone view's thing's just a little differently which is the neat thing about various art form's. And yes so far there is one and possibly a second video that will be posted to a video hosting site for this little project of mine. Which seeking permission to download and edit these have been a nightmare. You try telling "the man" that no profit will be made out of this whole idea, and trying to explain what I'm trying to create hasn't been fun. So far I've been able to get permission to grab the video I did and got permission to edit it. Then one has to wonder if I just wasted my time trying to get permission. I guess it's always better to cover your butt before hand anyway's.

Then again this all just could be rambling by me after a long couple of hour's working on it tonight with a very late night last night with about 4 hours working on it. Needless to say this will be a heck of a learning experience for me, and again interesting if I can pull it off...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bike the Rock

Here was a neat cache. Bike the Rock (GCG50M) It was an eleven stage multi cache. A 12 mile biking trip along Rock Island trail down near Peoria Il. This cache was very well laid out and took you about 4 miles in one direction and 2 miles in the other direction.

All of the "clues" or hides leading up to the final where stamped on to little piece's of wood and hidden along the bike trail. Madkaw called in the boy's for the day and we all joined up taking our bikes out and enjoying some great weather through the day.

We started off parking in some little town that I have no idea what it was called. There was some parking there for the trail and that's where we all met up. Hunt&Peck, Bookhunter, Madkaw, Drtmn and I all unloaded the bikes and got set to ride the rock for a fun afternoon cache hunt. We got off to a great start and not a breeze was in the air. But it wasn't hot out for a July day.

We ran right threw stage 1 threw 3 without a hitch. A couple of us had rode up ahead on the trail, and we thought we lost two cacher's in our dust. After taking a break and waiting on them for what seemed like forever, here we see the other two walking up. Oh, no a flat tire. I don't know if this turn out to be good luck or not, but while we where trying to figure out what to do with the flat, we noticed there was a "ol boy mud run" going on next to the trail.

Luckily for us Hunt&Peck was prepared for a flat tire and after making madkaw sweat for a bit he unveiled the new tube to fix the tire. I had started watching this mudrun while they where getting the tire fixed up. Lot's of monster truck's and 4 wheeler's where zooming around in the field they where holding it in. Kind of neat to see.

After the tire repair was done and we got some picture's of the mudrun the cache started leading us back the way we came. We spotted this little "garage" that double as a bar for the trail. We stopped for some refreshment's but they have this funny law and on Sunday's they couldn't serve before a certain time, and we ended up talking to the owner's for a bit before we headed along.

Then we passed the area we parked in and went on down that trail. We kept going for a while till stage 10 and there we thought we had hit a roadblock. It took all of us searching for over an hour for that stage, but after a lot of grumbling, someone shouted out I got it. So then off to the final we went. That was a nice end to a great day out on "the rock". It was a fun multi cache to do but was archived this fall due to the owner didn't get much traffic on it and it took him about 2 hour's to run maintenance on it.

Looking back it wasn't a hard cache to do, and we had a great day caching by bike. I got to use my new bike mount for my GPS that day too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jubilee Deception

Well, it's been a year and a half ago when a group of us led by my pal madkaw, somehow decided it was a "great idea" to hunt this cache call Jubliee Deception. (GCQEFF).

Now somehow I got roped into this hunt. I needed some work done on the car and my very pricey auto mechanic had made a deal with me to fix a problem with the car if I would help in the hunt of this cache. I had no idea what I was getting into, but heck with a deal like that how could I say no way. Hunt a cache for the cost of fixing my car, great deal for me. Which thank you again madkaw, you've been such a great guy about helping me out when we are having car trouble's and we really appreciate it!!!

I didn't relize when the "deal" was made this was a 12 stage multi-cache. From where I live it's a 2 and a half hour drive one way to the park where this cache was. So that meant for a 5 hour's behind the wheel just to get there and back. But this is located in a very large state park in Illinois called Jubilee State Park. A very beautiful park too. Lot's and lot's of hiking trails/bike trails/horse trails, camping area's and I still have some to do in that park.

I won't reveal all the cacher's involved in this hunt cause, well I think we made some of it harder than it should have been, but there's a reason for that due to how this cache was set up. I think in all I made five trip's down to this one and frustration was about the only think I could think of when leaving the place.

The idea behind this was you get a starting point. Stage one. Since it is now archived I'll reveal some of the detail's about the hides to give a better idea of what it was like. At every stage there was up to two clue's to move on to the next stage. If you found a clue and went to find that you made find at those cord's a "dead end" container.

Stage one at first the hint was grab some water you'll need it. So getting to ground zero, we found a fake water spicket near the ranger's office. Pull it up and a stick came out attached by rope to that spicket. There was cord's on that stick. Following those took you to a split in the trail further in the park. At a sign we found a 35 film can that had a note in it that read "dead end". So following the instruction's on the cache page, if you found a "dead end" you where to return to the previous stage and look with in a 5 foot radius from the clue you found. when we returned we ended up finding under a large rock this little laminated paper that I swear we combed over that rock for hour's.

Those cord's took us across the park and down another little trail but not too far. You found a pile of brick's and in the pile I had found a stick with cord's on it. I went to those on a trail and found another "dead end". So I went back and couldn't find anything. This was the end of my second trip out.

Third trip I was back out in a group again, and we made some good progress on this one. The owner had given me a clue this time, and was nice enough to give me his phone number if I wanted to call for some help. On the pile of old brick's we found that there was some cords scracted in them. The best way to read them was to get the brick wet. Those took us over to another area. By now we had come up with a plan to once we had found a set of cord's to keep looking and see if there was a second set. This idea work some till further into the cache hunt. But off to the next stage we went and it took us yet to another part of the park and quite a long hike up to it. Now I was picking off some other caches as well along the way so this added to the distance we where hiking.

After taking a round about way to this stage due to I wanted to look for another one nearby, we headed down into this gully and found an old tire, There was a film can there. Now my first instinct when I saw the can oh great another dead end, but no there was cord's in it. We looked around the area, and if I remember right couldn't find anything else. So we moved on.

We set off down a trail in another area in the park and found another stage. Here we found a small magnet on a sign post, and a film can on the ground. We wrote down both set of cord's and headed off to the closest one. Which there we couldn't find anything and that day ended there.

My next trip I was flying solo and though I would take my bike down. I had just got it and thought this is a great area to break in a mountain bike. I went back to where we where and looked and looked and looked and couldn't find anything. Then I got this great idea to take the bike for a spin on the trails. Since this was summer time, I got a big thorn in my back tire, and wasn't really up to speed on what I need to keep on hand when biking. Lesson learned there. I took this trail back that took me to the main part of the park. Since I was park about three miles away, I figure the best route with a half flat tire was to stick to the road. To give you an idea on how tired I was, I road by a cache 350 feet away, and didn't bother to stop to look for it. I just want to get back to the car to get more water.

The next trip we teamed up on it again, and got back to the spot where we were stuck. I had contacted the owner, to see if he could check on it, and he did and said yup, you just need to search a little better. So this still took some time finding but there was another magnetic strip with cord's on it. This strip was hidden on the sign so well. This lead us to another near a spot near stage two. This time we looked for a bit and found a fake branch in a tree that you pulled out and there was a file can with more cord's in it. Now these lead clear to the other side of the park. From there we hiked in that trail, and found a file can. Took the trail to that one and found another dead end. So back we headed. Now this film can was in a small old cut log. When you lifted the log the film can dropped out. Since we couldn't find anything, we got to looking very close at the log. We found a very small pin. Pulled out that pin and another film can dropped out of the hole. Very cleaver. Those had another set of cord's. Followed those took me down another.

I'm missing a few stages some where in here. One of the one's we found was a electric box, that there was no way it could be real. If I remember right there was some obvious cords on it, and that lead to another dead end. After closer look, I don't fully remember but there was a trick and another set of cord's. That led us to the park sign and I had found a small piece of metal in a crack in one of the sign post's. This was a pain to get out, but we also found a key container there as well. Both of these had the same cords on it. We I talked to the owner he said that piece of metal was a original part but no one could get it out, so he put in the key holder.

I think that's covering a couple of stage's I skipped somewhere along the line's, during this post. So off we went and found this three feet piece of conduit and there was a stick in it and that stick said you're close the last needed cord's are about a foot away. Now there was something with another set of cord's that led to another dead end. So back to the conduit we went. Well, come to find out the other side of the conduit had a cap that unscrewed off and in there was the real set for the final.

Which hitting the final, was such a relief. Found a clear screw top container (that's a state requirement for a cache in an Illinois state park, a clear container). It was just sitting in the bottom of a three.

Now I'm sure I've got some of this messed up but this gives the general idea of how this cache worked. Like I said this has been a hunt we did about a year and a half ago. Looking back on it, I think this was one of the most frustrated cache's, I've done. But glad to have taken the time to do it. It's since been archived due to the lack of people attempting it and it too the owner a lot of time to do the upkeep of this. He did a great job with all the hides and you never knew just what to expect.

I don't want to think about how much I spent in gas to get to the park, but it's such a nice park, to visit and it's just huge. I was relieved it was over but on the same hand, kind of sad it was done. In all I think there was around 30 part's to this cache including the dead end's.

But this was a very well laid out cache, and trick's around every turn. I still have to say thank you Fuzzy B, for placing this tormenting cache. We all had a great time and found out that alto of the extra electronics don't do any good on a cache like this. I think on one trip we had 6 people, 2 laptop's, 9 GPSr's, a pocket pc or two and a palm pilot. At that time between us all we had well over 7000 find's, so you'd think we would have sailed right threw it, but nope. This was one of those that would put any cacher in their place, like being a noob all over again.

I was sad when it was archived, but I understand why, due to how long it would take to run a maintenance on it. But it was laid out so well.

Thanks Fuzzy B for such a neat cache and all the memories, I've got from working on it. Thanks madkaw, for getting me out there and starting on it and finally finishing it with you. And thanks to all the other cacher's that where there as well. Those where some great time's out there, and lot's of laughs and lot's of naughty word's were said. But we had so much fun looking back at it all, and saw some cool area's of the park. I don't think I will ever forget all our time out there and getting to know those that hunted this with us.

At the time, I didn't have a camera with me so don't have any picture's of this hunt. And I think looking back, if might have been cheaper, to just pay madkaw for his time to fix our car, but again so glad to have done this cache.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The oddest thing I've found in a cache.

Out and about doing a few quick one's and cracked open this bison tube. I started pulling out the log and noticed in the rolled up log sheet there was a little metal thing. After I pulled out the log and object as you can see in the picture, it's a live round. A .22 hollow point. This cache around to the physical log was found by a couple of muggles, recently.

This has to be the oddest thing I've ever seen in a cache. I did get rid of the bullet, but still kind of shocked over finding it. For one, what can you really fit inside of a bison tube? Well, I guess a live .22 round just fit's with a log sheet rolled around it.

But kind of makes you think about the next time the kid's go caching with you, if they see the container, have an adult open it first, this is a good example of why.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Have a NIN Epilepsy

I've been waiting for premission to post a link to this little preview of what's to come. That day finally got here.

If in the lower right hand corner of the video screen a HQ pop's up click on it. It just mean's your computer can handle it and pop's you in to high def. mode.

And I saw this whole show twice live. I can't wait to see the final project of this. And this is just a couple of people that are making this with a lot of fan support. I'll bet that guy at the record label that told Trent no, when he lined up James Cameron to shoot a show in 3-D, is now seeking employment elsewhere.

You'll have to excuse me now, after watching that I've got a bad case of priapism...