The Month of Geocaching


imagesThis September I am really diving into the activity of geocaching. Geocaching is basically a treasure hunt game that is played out in real life and out in the open world. Players are searching for weather proof containers that others leave all around the world. They are found through GPS coordinates or puzzles that one has to solve and then go out and attempt to locate the cache. There are even educational cache locations where you need to visit geological Earth wonders and answer questions on what you learned or saw. With over 3 million active caches in the world, there is plenty to find and explore.

I’ve been a member of for many years but never was active. To put it in perspective, I was a member back in 2012 and found only one cache and t

hen went on a three year break. Then I spent…

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Daily Post – Worst Case Scenario

Today’s daily post idea from The Daily Post is called Worst Case Scenario. Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

Worst? It’s clearly obvious what the worst outcome of today could be and is ridiculous to even ask or even for me to put it down in words. As a family man, the most absolute worst scenario of today would result in the death of a loved one. Either immediate family or extended. It’s something I do not want to think about or go through. I’m just going to pass by this and move on to the best.

The best? One of my Powerball tickets hitting a worthwhile jackpot sum. Tonight marks the highest jackpot in US history and is already over 900 million dollars. I can think about how many lives I could change with that amount. My family would be set.

Worst Case Scenario

Happy Endings – Clearing out the Smoke

I’m a few days late with this “daily post” idea but I wanted to put this out there. It is important and was life changing for me. Since this is a great time for new year resolutions, I thought this could serve as inspiration to someone. My happy ending was when I attempted to quit smoking cigarettes again and did it for the last time.

I started smoking cigarettes years ago when I was 12. I wasn’t a regular smoker at that age but did it with friends. We would steal cigarettes from my friends’ parents and their friends. My first brands I tasted was Camel non filtered and Benson and Hedges. Once I got a little older and in high school, I started getting my own packs. I was a Marlboro Red and for awhile a Newport man…or I guess child.

When I was about 20, I decided that smoking was no longer providing a positive effect on my life. Positive being something I made up in my mind that I told myself. I started to rely on it morning, noon, and night. This I noticed was an issue. Actually, the biggest tipping point was when a pack of cigarettes was closing in and going over $2 a pack. Once my Marlboros got costly, I switched to the WaWa generic brand that was known as Jacks. However, those quickly raised in cost.

I quit cold turkey. Cold turkey rarely works but it was my only option. I had a lot of things in my life that were against me for quitting and had to stop it at its source. I could not allow the minutest loophole to offer me a puff. At the time I was bartending at two bars, waiting at a restaurant, and living with two roommates who chain smoked like a chimney.

I am happy to report that I stuck to my guns and won. I did fall off the wagon three months into my cold turkey run. I was at a party and drinking. This was one of the hardest times to refuse a smoke. I broke down. I bummed a smoke from a friend and could not even get half way through it. The taste and the feeling made me ill. After experiencing this ill effect, I knew that I made the right choice.

For years, including still to this day, I get a craving. Usually it comes at very stressful times in my life. When the craving hits, I think back to that time almost 20 years ago when I had my last smoke and it rejuvenates my strength against the shackle that I once wore on my lips.

Also, think of the money I saved over the years. Just think if I still did my almost pack a day habit at the late 1990’s cost of $2 a pack, I would of dumped over $14000 into the habit. (That is not counting the crazy inflation and tax cigarettes now carry.) If I factor that in, my savings are way over $20,ooo.

If you are trying to quit smoking this year, stay strong. You can do it.

Happy Endings

Stoke of Midnight 2015…2016?

Stroke of Midnight

For the past few New Year Eve’s, my family and I stayed home. Our main reason is to stay off the roads both for the safety from strangers and also so we can partake more in the celebratory ale. For the last four years, we started in a new tradition on New Year’s Eve with an all day family gaming event. It’s a day where we make a huge pile of board and card games to play throughout the day. We try to see how many games we can get through. I think this year ended up being slower than other years.

Our first year of this tradition was ruined by my work and an all day escalated issue. At the time I was an on-call management style person for a large data center. To make a long story short, my evening started off with me trying to place last minute storage units of computers on a commercial airline. The flight continued without the parts but I lost a good 8 hours of my holiday.

The next year we decided to step up our game and introduce Nerdy the Elf to the mix. (AKA Nerd Y. Elf) Basically, he is one of Santa’s little slave helpers who goes around hooking up nerd based families in their nerd type traditions on NYE. (See a pattern going on here?) Nerdy likes to leave games at our house for us to play. So far he (or she) brought us Munchkin and Qwirkle. This year was another great add to our night. Nerdy brought us Exploding Kittens. This was a fun Russian Roulette style card game. Easy to learn, easy to play. Nerdy also leaves us a letter. This year’s letter made reference to HoHo the Naughty Elf. That got a good chuckle from my oldest son who is familiar to the Comedy Bang Bang podcast I got him hooked on.

This year we started off playing a few hands of Gin Rummy with our new Princess Bride playing cards which came from our Lootcrate subscription. My wife and I saved up a few months of Lootcrate deliveries and came up with a great advent calendar of toys for them. We had a few items leftover for Christmas Day and this was one of them. I forget the rest of the order but we only ended up getting through Gin Rummy, Exploding Kittens, Munchkin Legends, The Office DVD Game, Ticket to Ride, Chopper Strike*, and Apples to Apples.

*Chopper Strike was actually the first game my sons and I played in the morning as a warm up. Chopper Strike is a 1976 strategy game that the kids got from a past school teacher.)

We usually get through more games but we broke a few times for food. I think we ate too much which slowed us down. We all had trouble keeping our eyes open for the last 30 minutes of 2015. Shortly after the countdown it was lights out.

We still have a pile of games to play this weekend in our traditional first few days of the new year playing all the games we didn’t get to in the past year.

Attempting 2016 Resolutions Again

I think I skipped last year with a resolution post for 2015. I think I failed my 2014 so miserably that I thought doing one for 2015 was a waste of time. Also, a reminder of what a year of failure I had. Well, even though I did not have a list, I would of failed at it. I think last year was very unmotivating to me. I tried to escape this year with minimal effort and I’m sure it showed from time to time.

I say it every year, but this year is going to be different. I hope. Every thing needs to be reviewed and looked upon in a new light. This is my last full year before I turn 40. I’m halfway through a life and have a lot of work ahead of me.

I started looking over older lists and realized I had either recurring items or just items I never accomplished so just carried it over from year to year. These recycled items are:

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Top 10 List of Geek/Nerd Things To Do This Year

One of my goals for 2012 from a previous post was to learn obtain some sort of new geek/nerd skill, trait or as I’ll add; notch to my geek utility belt. I’ve been pondering what that item should be and was torn. I’ve decided first of all to add this as a constant annual goal. This came clear to me as I ended up with a list of possible items for this year. I ended up broadening it to ten items. Some might be a little lamer or easier than the other, but this is the first year and it might advance over the years. I’m also open to suggestions from readers…if there are any out there.

I’m open to geek/nerd activities that allow me to involve my two younger sons Quattro and Mace.

Here is the list.

  1. Build something with a solar panel.  I always wanted to build something that uses renewable energy. May it be a Lego robot that travels across the picnic table or get a solar power kit from Harbour Frieght and wire up all the external house lights.
  2. Learn how to splice fiber cable. This one would be tough since we don’t carry the necessary tools at work and could be an expensive project to make mistakes in. Playing with small strands of glass sounds like too much fun though. My skills at crimping Cat5e and Cat6 cables as sped up this year and comes in handy when you want to make clean precise cable runs. Continue reading

Goals or Resolutions for 2012

A new year is upon us and who knows it could be the last according to the Mayans. So, on the positive side of that doom and gloom, we only have to make a list of new year resolutions one more time. I hate calling them resolutions. I’m not trying to resolve some behavior or attitude. I want to accomplish something, yes. It makes it sound so much better than a resolution. A resolution makes it sound like I am an overweight, racist, cold hearty, unhealthy schmuck and I need to resolve or abolish an attitude to either stay alive, keep my marriage, or regain state custody over my kids.

So enough with that. This is what I want to get done this year. (We won’t discuss my progress from last year because I barely did a damn thing on that list. I’m going to keep track of my resolutions via a great app called Wunderlist.

-Stay well under 200lbs. [Optional goal is 180lbs.] (This has been my goal for the last couple of years and been successful.)
-Complete 2 certifications for work.
-Play more disc golf.
-Disc golf in 2 new states. (I try for one new state a year but I missed 2011.)
-Go fishing with the kids more.
-Take the kids camping.
-Get all the rooms on the first floor painted.
-Insulate 2 of the 3 crawlspaces.
-Replace the ceiling fan.
-Replace the garbage disposal.
-Replace all electrical outlets and light switches.
-Expand the garden and hook up a rain barrel system.
-Build a compost pile.
-Decommission one of my servers.
-Write 12 blog posts to this blog or any reincarnated form. (Actually 11 if you count this one.)
-Hook up a surround sound system in family room.
-Earn Xbox Gamerscore of 13500.
-Read 10 books.
-Learn a new geeky/nerdish trait or skill.

I keep making this list longer and longer. I should probably stop now or my end of the world will really be depressing since I might not complete most of these when the world implodes next December.