Welcome to my World of Wonderment

Our planet is a neat place, full of weird and unusual people doing weird and unusual things. One oddball thing I like to do is geocache. What other activity is there that makes people travel hundreds of miles to climb a mountain, wade a river, and fight a Bigfoot, just to be the first person to sign a piece of paper rolled up in a 35mm film canister stuffed in the knot hole of a tree? I can't think of any other sport that has such a great mix of technology and the wonderful outdoors. A lot of geocaches are placed in a beautiful setting, or hidden in a challenging or unique way, or in a historical setting. Geocaching allows the finder to share in some of the hiders favorite places, and along the way you get to meet some interesting characters, and occasionally learn something new. While this blog is primarily a geocaching blog, I also use this place to post the occasional funny video or weird news story, or as a platform to rant or rave about something I really have to share. But for the most part this website is about you, the weirdo walking around in circles, talking into your GPS unit like it's a phone, pretending your taking pictures of a phone booth to find find the tiniest micro-cache, or circling your car around and around a light pole in a parking lot trying to retrieve a cache without even getting out of your car.


Out of the Mouths of Codgers

Senator Robert Byrd is the longest serving member in the history of the United States Senate. I have always wondered how this could be after finding out about his racist past. They say anyone can change, and he has public apologized numerous times for his past. And in recent years he has been one of the most outspoken members of congress against george bush's tyranny. He also has some insightful things to say to the next President of the United States. Here are some excerpts from his book Letter to a New President: Commonsense Lessons for Our Next Leader that he posted on the Huffington Post. Maybe he has changed for the better.

"The tradition of American democracy is special and unique not because we are loud in proclaiming it as such, but because that tradition though forged in a much different historical period, has proudly stood the test of time and successfully responded to the many crises in our republic's history. To rebuild U.S. diplomatic credibility in the world may require decades. The trick will be to have something to say to the rest of the world that does not sound either patronizing or bullying, like so many of the ugly pronouncements heard during the George W. Bush years."

"What determines the quality of American democracy is the use we make of our power. We have institutions in place to help this country avoid the misuse of our power. Those institutions are Congress, the courts, and public opinion. The more we cut off true debate and the exchange of ideas, and let those in power use emotion, misdirection, and the manipulation of truth to whip the nation into action, the more likely we are to make dangerous mistakes in how we use our power. A representative democracy only works when the people are involved. We need them."

"If nothing else good comes from these last eight years under President Bush, it can at least be hoped that every citizen will come to understand that we can never take our values and our principles for granted and that we must constantly reaffirm and rearticulate them, not only for ourselves, but also for the world. We must be ever vigilant against the homegrown forces that would turn a nation founded on the universal rights of man into one now intentionally identified with torture, willing to hold people behind bars with no charges filed, willing to justify almost any extreme action on the basis of a highly warped and irrational view of the world."

"The public grows weary of perpetually being spoon-fed images of a grinning President greeting grinning supporters or talking incessantly about how great everything or everyone is. Leading a great country demands a deeper level of discourse, and it also demands a President able to use the mass media to make that discourse understandable to large numbers of people. The power of the bully pulpit must also be balanced by a deep regard for the manner in which it is used."

"It takes time to build the things that most matter. We built out tradition of democracy through more than two centuries, only to have our Constitution weakened during the last eight years. Those who tear down the work of generations in a self-serving frenzy need only a handful of years to wreak their havoc. Those of us who would build back our legitimacy must think instead of decades and centuries, not mere cycles."

"An entire nation cannot be held hostage to fear week after week and month after month and year after year without paying a catastrophic price. The American people and, yes, all too many of their political leaders have been manipulated and controlled in recent years through the most shameless use of fear that this country has ever seen. Sadly, and shocking as it must be to stare down so sobering a reality, even the infamy of Joseph McCarthy's reign of demagoguery in the 1950s did not threaten the Constitution as directly as we have endured of late."

"Understand the art and value of diplomacy, new President. You will have to invest major energy in restoring America in the eyes of the world. We must banish the image of the disingenuous bully, with one standard for our own behavior and a different one for everyone else's. The President is our Ambassador Supreme and he must restore an image for our country that reflects the character of the American people - tolerant, kind, fair, and willing to use force as a last resort, never a first. Consult often with our allies. We live in a global economy, with a growing international interdependency, and just because the job will be hard and require great patience and diligence does not make it any less necessary."