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.



300_99856.jpg picture by djhobby
A lot of times while logging a lot of caches you find yourself saying the same things over and over again.  So to save us from carpal tunnel, some ingenous person has come up with some neat acronyms for geocaching.  You always want to say thanks for one thing.  So instead of typing thanks for the cache 20 times, you abbreviate it with TFTC.  Took nothing left nothing has become TNLN.  Signed the log, is now SL. 

So for a lot of my logs I'll type a little blurb about the weather, or the area, or what ever I remember about the cache, and then finish with TFTC TNLNSL. Which is another way of saying:

Thanks for placing this cache here in this creepy cemetery,  I didn't take anything out of the cache because McDonalds toys don't interest me anymore because I'm a grown man.  And since I didn't take anything, I'm not going to leave this cool LED flashlight that I've been carrying around for a month.  I did however sign the log, whith my own pen because the one in the cache is broke and dried up.  Also the log was also full and pretty damp.
Imagine how labourious that would be to type that 20 time a week.  So to even shorten my logs even further, because I'm all about effieciancy, I have come up with few more acronyms for things that I am always typing in my logs.

GABARC - I got attacked by a rabid coyote
IHTKIWMP - I had to kill it with my pocketknife
IWWCTL - I wonder what coyote tastes like

Hopefully someday, these will get adopted by the whole geocaching community.




My friend Ben (who I refer to as Wolf Boy in my logs.  We started calling him Wolf Boy one evening after going to an upscale steak house with a bunch of friends. The waitress asked Ben, who has bigger and weirder hair than Don King and Donald Trump put together, how he wanted his steak done, and he looked at her like a deer in the headlights. Then he looks at me and says "Uhhh.... DJ, how do I want my steak done?"  Like this is the first steak he's ever ordered in his life!  I've seen this guy eat a whole cow in one sitting!  But for some reason he's forgotten how to order.  So, me being the good friend I am and always looking for a way to embarrass my best friend in front of others say, "Don't mind him, he was orphaned as a child and raised by wolves, and this is his first night out"  Thus the Wolf Boy moniker. ) who I drag along geocaching once in a while, said after finding the tenth 35mm film canister of the day, "That's it?  We drove 25 miles out here in the boonies, and then spend thirty minutes circling around in these woods, and all we find is a piece of plastic?  I think there should be a law saying you can't place these things unless there is something cool near by, like a roller coaster or something."  (He's always spouting off about rollercoaters, but you take him to Vegas and try to get him on the one on top of the Stratosphere, and he's all, "There is no *bleeping* way I'm getting on that thing!"  I know, I've tried.) 

Anyway, Ben calls me up this morning and says, "Hey let's go do something."  So we go through the usual routine of, "What do you want to do?" "I don't care what to you want to do?"  "Oh, I don't care, ride a roller coaster or something?"  "Ok," I say exasperatedly, "I'll pick you up in an hour." 

So I get on the interwebitudes, and go to wanderindianaI'mboredwhatistheretodoaroundhere.com and come up with Fast Times Karting on the north side of Indy, about 75 miles from here.  Also being the crazy cacher that I am, I load up 20 or so park and grabs between here and there into my GPSr.  I pick Ben up and he immediately asks where are we going.  I decide, since he's a downer on geocaching that all I'm telling him is that we are going to take a leisurly drive up to Indy, in the hopes that after geocaching and karting he'll change his mind about caching.  But he takes one look at my phone sitting in it's craddle up on the dash with Google Maps pulled up and sighs, "We're not going spelunking again are we?"  Ben is a little...uh little,...uh how can I say this....scatterbrained?...which means he sometimes forgets what things are called, like geocaching is called spelunking and Bucca di Beppo's is called Beepo's and he forgets that he likes his steaks done medium rare, that sort of thing.  Every sentence is an adventure with Ben.

So after grabbing a few park and grabs at cemeteries and the such with Wolfie sitting in the car, I decide to chuck the geocaching out the door and just drive on up to the Kart place without stopping for anymore caches.  One of the caches, Smokestack!, reminded me of my childhood.  Here is the cache description:

Many years ago, Batman went with some friends to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game, traveling north on Hwy 37. As they reached this approximate place on the highway, someone in the car yelled "Smokestack!" Batman was puzzled, and someone pointed out the smokestack on the horizon (which, as it turns out, it just inside the I-465 loop). According to the friend, this was a "game" they played in their family; on any trip towards Indianapolis each person tried to be the first to spot the smokestack and yell "Smokestack!" No points were awarded or anything - it was just for fun and gloating privileges.

Batman brought the game idea home to Catwoman and they've played it for years. But Catwoman rarely gets the first sighting - Batman has a keen eye! In fact, if we had to estimate the score since Batman and Catwoman first learned of the game, it's probably 1,288 to 3.

Depending on the time of the year, the smokestack can sometimes be seen sooner than this point on the highway. But we placed this cache so we could share the smokestack game with you. Enjoy the cache - it's an easy park and grab!

Here is my log:

My wife and I play a similar silly game with forsythia. Years ago my mother tortured me as a kid and made me and my sister go yard-saling (is that a word?) with our mother and her friends. As we drove around all over the state, my mother and her friend would have to call out, "Ohh what a pretty forsythia, ohhhh look at that one, oh there is another one over there"..... ad nauseam. So years later my sister and I are chuckling about this in front of my wife, retelling the horrible situation our mother put us through.  So what does my darling wife do the next spring? Calls me at work, shouts "Forsythia!" into the phone, and hangs up.

So now it's a challenge each spring to spot the first blooming forsythia of the season and ring the other up for bragging rights.

Then a few years back I was visiting my sister in the fall and she was talking about wanting to put a "foddershock" in her yard. I ask her what in the world is a "foddershock?" And she explained that it was a bundle of cornstalks with straw bales and pumpkins and other fall stuff sitting around it as a yard decoration. So on the way home I spotted one, pointed it out, and yelled "FODDERSHOCK!" So now we play that stupid game.

Then one day, I was commenting on the amazing number of large metal decorative stars on peoples homes everywhere around our house. A few weeks later we went on an all day road trip/geocaching adventure and I pointed out a star on someone's home and said, "Look there's another one. And over there's another one. And another one." So we played that stupid game all day. Those stars are everywhere!

Now it's evolved to cover just about everything. Who spots the first christmas decorations, fireworks stand, easter egg tree, etc...Now thanks to you we have a new game to play. "Smokestack!" It's a good thing we don't have kids, or we would be torturing them as my mother tortured me so many years ago.


Ben did find one of the caches interesting today. ISQ #580 Seargent Duke.  Seargent Duke was a Revolutionary War veteran.  It's not every day that you see that in Indiana.

So we eventually made it to Fast Times Karting and Wolf Boy had a blast, even if we are both a little too big for the karts.  Probably because of all the steaks we've eaten.


Marathon Weekend

My wife's brother Tommy came up from French Lick and wanted to do some caching, so since it was spring break, we decided to do the ones on the IU campus.  The campus was pretty much a ghost town.  The only students left were the ones that couldn't afford to go anywhere.  I wondered if this recession has spoiled some parents plans.  Instead of getting to go on vacation and send their spoiled kids to San Padre, if they just sent their spoiled kids.

We started out with the web cam cache 'X' marks the spot This was my first web cam cache.  Interesting, it's not an ammo can in the woods interesting, but still interesting.  I had tried this one a while back but the web cam page wasn't working.  This time everything went smooth with my wife capturing the photo back home.  There were still a few weirdos around but when made our big Xs and made fools of our selves in public, the weirdos saw we were one of them, and left us alone.  After that everything else was your normal geocaching afternoon in an urban area.

So it was about 8pm and we still wanted a few more finds so we decided to find some more around Bloomington.    I loaded up all the caches around Bloomington that I thought were park and grabs into our GPSr and we lifted light pole skirts until 12:30 am! 

Then for some ungodly reason, the next morning we decided to do it again, and we found geocaches from here to the north side of Indianapolis and back, making our grand total for the weekend 40 I think.  We found 34 in a 24 hour period!  Most of our finds were uneventful, but nice.  We found the Indiana Cache Across America cache which is a real interesting series.  There is a cache hidden in all 50 states and if you find them all there is a bonus cache in Washington D.C..  Now that would be a challenge. 

Along the way we found a nice park in Mooresville, IN that has 10 caches hidden in close proximity.  It has a great mix of ammo cans, micros, and my favorite, a puzzle cache called "Gift"ed.  I had solved the puzzle and deciphered the coordinates from home, but when I updated cachemate in my Q it showed the original coordinates, not the solved coordinates.  (Spoiler Alert)  So Tommy and I decided to solve the puzzle again on the spot, which required the recital of a famous christmas song.  We gathered quite a few stares singing carols to each other in the midst of this busy park.  Then after we deciphered the puzzle again, I realized that cachemate had a check box in the options to show the corrected coordinates, and the answer was already there.  So that was fun, and Tommy thought I was an idiot, which probably isn't far from the truth.  The park also has a devious find called Pioneer Gazebo.  Somewhere hidden on a 10' diameter gazebo is hidden a micro.  Tommy and I thought we looked everywhere and we came up empty handed.  I was convinced that it must not be there anymore, until we came home and logged it, and someone else logged it found that same day.  I'll have to go back and try that one again.  I hope this doesn't end up being another Phoney Cache!  At least phoney cache was near my route for my daily commute to and from work, and I could spend a few minutes each day looking for it.  This Gazebo cache is nowhere near anywhere I travel regularly, ...at least not yet anyway! 

Then we made our way up to the Indianapolis Colts Training Facility to find Go Colts!  Tommy and I are huge Colts fans so we wanted to pay hommage to our team.  By this time I was pretty beat, so Tommy did most of the retreiving on this one.  Then since we were in Indianapolis, I wanted to try one that I have at least 3 DNF's maybe 4.  P.P.S.S. #4 Monument Circle This one I am convinced is not there and you can't tell me otherwise!

So we ended our day on a down note, so I decided we had better go eat at Shapiro's Deli to make us feel better.  I'm not sure an $11 turkey sandwich fit the bill.  Two sandwiches with chips and a drink.  $26!  I could buy 4 foot longs with chips and drinks at Subway for the same amount.  But at Subway I  wouldn't get that NY city asshole attitude like I do at Shapiro's.


Time for a blog reboot

This thing has gotten somewhat boring to upkeep so I'm going to start blogging about something that interests me. Geocaching. Caching is something I spend a lot of my time doing so I might as well blog about it. I'll probably still post the occasional funny video or oddball story, but for the most part I'm going to turn this into a Caching blog. If you're easily offended by someone's political or religious views that are different from your own, I would advise don't read any of my older posts. For now, I'm leaving them there because I did spend quite a few hours posting them. But from here on out, I'll TRY to keep this PG13 and politically neutral.


Sit-Com Houses#2 In A Series of Pop-Cultural Charts All we can really conclude from this data is that I used to watch slightly more sitcoms featuring kitchens on the left side of the soundstage than on the right side.  


This Kids Livin' On A Prayer