Last day of NaBloPoMo

I have managed to post something each day during the month of November. The question now is, “Did I post stuff of value? Or did I just manage to clog up the Internet’s tubes?”

Good thing the month ended today. I am headed to a place where I will have occasional Internet access. My web time will be limited to how long I can stand sitting at Burger King drinking a Diet Coke.

New shoes and no way to run

I have been unable to run for the last week and a half. I ended up with a stress fracture after my last race. The third metatarsal on my left foot has succombed to the extra training that I have put my feet through. I may have also pushed my last pair of shoes past their useable limits.

Now I have two new pair of shoes with fewer than 30 miles on them.

The chances of making my 1000 mile goal for the year is quickly slipping away. I have logged 863 miles for the year. I expect that I will be able to start running in another week or two. I am not going to try to come back too early just to make the goal. But, if I am healthy, I am going to get as close as I can.

In the mean time, I have been doing other exercises and trying to build some strength. I have gained some weight since being back home. I hope to boost the metabolism and keep the weight from creeping up too much. With strength training and aerobic exercising, I should keep everything in check.

Geocaching: Day 2

Why didn’t I get into geocaching before? Oh, that’s right, I have never had a GPS unit until now. I used to think geocaching was supposed to be played without a GPS receiver, but if you were lazy you used one. Now I know that some of these would be impossible to find without a GPS unit.

Pin Cone, Reclaimed
This one is at a boardwalk near our house. My son and I went in search of it. I was familiar with the boardwalk and knew about where the cache would be located. I decided to park a good ways away from the cache instead of the parking lot that is just a couple hundred feet from the hiding spot.

Along the boardwalk we looked for snakes and turtles. Though it was warm today, it has been pretty cool. The animals were not out playing in the water.

This cache was easy to see once you looked at it. We were looking around thinking it would be very hidden. It is right in the open. We signed the log, which was just one of the 2 scraps of paper in the cache, and replaced it. Did not have anything to leave.

Blue Angel
This one was easier to access, but harder to find. The cache was sitting near its intended location. But the place where it was supposed to be would have been very hard to see. We ended up putting it back where the original hider intended. But, I think it will be kind of hard for the next hunter.

This one contained a good variety of stuff. Wildflower seeds, NASCAR trading card, Mardi Gras beads, toy animals, etc. We signed the log. Lots of people have found this one. We left a gold safety pin.

A Tight Spot
After we got home I was looking for more caches and found one just 3 blocks from the house. I got the wife and daughter involved. We walked to the cache and actually had to hike through the woods to find it. Each one is different in its hiding place. This one was not so much hidden by a clever spot, but just by the fact that no one would normally be walking in that area. Trees were pretty thick.

Contents were a few toys and a log book. Curiously, it also contained a NASCAR trading card. We signed the log and left a Mexican Peso.

For Kids Only
For all the playing we did today, groceries still needed to be bought. We took my wife to the store and then went in search of a cache just 2 miles away. It was located near a park. We had never been to that park and did not know that there were trails all around it. We felt a little odd walking around the edge of the parking lot with lots of people staring at us. When we found the entrance to the trails, we were able to get completely away from the crowd.

The cache was hidden earlier this week. We were not the first to find, but we did get to see many of the original contents. There was a small Etch-A-Sketch and some kids glasses. It was all kid focused and contained just toys, a dollar and a log book. We were the second to sign the log and we took a rubber snake. We left a Mexican toy called a “tazo.” They were called “pogs” when I was in school and “milk bottle caps” when my dad was a kid.

After replacing the cache and going to the park to play, I realized I did not write down in the log what we took. I went back and corrected that. I was also curious as to whether the dollar was registered with Where’s George (it is a site that will track bill circulation based on user input of serial numbers). It was registered as a geocaching bill, but had no log entries. I took the bill and logged it at Where’s George. I will take it to Tennessee with me next week and deposit it in a cache up there.

The kids love hunting for treasure.

Thanksgiving and Geocaching

Today we went over to Newton’s house for Thanksgiving. I don’t use names a lot here, so you probably won’t know that Newt and family are our closest friends. You know, the kind you sit around talking with until 2:00 in the morning for no particular reason. Just to be together.

My parents were there too, along with a total of 23 people. It is tradition that we usually spend one or both holidays with Newt and family when we are in town. It looks like this year we will be spending Christmas with them as well.

We had a good time and ate too much.

After everyone left Newt and I went out to find our first geocache. Geocaching is a worldwide scavenger hunt. You look up on the website where people have hidden a small cache to be found. Then you traipse out into the wild to find it. I have read about the game for several years, but have never participated. Today seemed like a good day to start.

We went out first to find one near the house, but we did not get an early start. By the time we got there, it was already dark. We looked, but was not totally convinced we were in the right spot, nor real sure what we were looking for. So we gave up and went back home to the computer to see what we might have missed.

Not to be dissuaded though, we searched for another one nearby and headed out again. This time we found the cache and were able to sign the log book. The cache was damaged and we played good Samaritans and repaired it mostly to be as good as new.

Now it is time to search for other caches and really get into this game. It is something fun to do in new locations. With our traveling, this could be a fun way to explore the towns we are in.

Missionary Talks 61: Jason and Sarah Sykes

I am on a roll with my Missionary Talks interviews. I uploaded an interview with Jason and Sarah Sykes last night. They are new to deputation and support raising. They give some interesting insights on how things have progressed for them so far. They are looking to be in Venezuela in about 2 years.

We recorded this in my hotel room at a meeting we were at together. I had a lot of ambient noise which was a surprise to me. I used the noise reducer in my software to knock it down quite a bit. I also had a lot of mic handling noise. I don’t normally have that problem. I was able to cut most of it out, or lower the levels, but it there is still a little in there. Not enough to take away from the interview though.