Archive for May, 2013

#1 on my bucket list…

Dweeb's Diatribe

The new desert megatrails in Nevada and Arizona are safely out of the range of my solo weekend excursions. But f0t0m0m’s Cadiz Cache4xing (CC4X) Series of 400, South of the Route 66 Shield was juuust within reach. And I couldn’t pass up the $32./night holiday weekend rate at the Days Inn (Barstow). After a late Friday arrival, I woke up early and drove 80 miles to the Kelbaker Road off ramp. Coincidentally, this is also the off ramp for the Route 66 Shield Series. More on that later.
Some new caches on Route 66 at Cadiz got me started.
Just as I thought that my Prius would’ve been OK here, the pavement ended at a railroad crossing and the CC4X series began.
This sign was a reminder that other cachers reported flat tires and getting stuck in sand.
Immediately the road was rocky. Most sections were very wide, enough…

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Today, is the hub of all things geocache and the place to find the coordinates of caches around the world. Geocachers can use the gps on their smart phones and download an app that identifies the caches closest to them at any given time. The app provides maps, comments from fellow finders and clues. Even though the coordinates lead you to the cache’s location, the real trick is is finding the camoed pillbox hanging in a nearby tree or knowing which sprinkler head is actually a hidden geocache filled with booty.

Los Angeles has become a world hotspot for geocaching, partly because of our year-round mild climate, partially because of our tech savvy population and partially because of our varied and intriguing terrain. “Whatever geocaching experience you’re looking for, you can find it in L.A.,” claimed real estate broker and geocacher Andy Perkins in a phone interview. “On the same day, you can be digging for boxes at the beach, grab easy urban caches through the city, then head up to the mountains or out to the desert.”


Geocaching 101

Posted: May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

This is a great 90 second overview of what geocaching is.. Great job.

I got a ton of good feedback from a couple of tutorials I wrote so I thought I would continue the streak and show everyone how to automate the updating of your GPS with Pocket Queries.

There are two files you will need, both of which are in the file.

The first is a windows batch file that I wrote that calls the second file called pqdl.exe

I did NOT write the pqdl.exe file, but am merely enclosing it in this zip file as a courtesy. To learn more about pqdl, go to Leo’s Geocaching Site.

Basically all I am documenting is the script I wrote to make downloading pocket queries idiot-roof using Leo’s awesome technology.

Ok lets get started!

First, download the prepared and extract its contents to a folder, anywhere.

Your directory should now have two files as shown below:


The functionality of this script is way over-engineered but made to be simple.

BASIC Configuration

  1. Connect your GPS and make note of what drive letter it occupies. On my computer its drive letter F. Depending on what you have plugged in, your hard drive configuration, cd roms etc, this drive letter may change frequently
  2. Open up your GPS and drill down to the directory where your GPX files are located on a typical Garmin Oregon GPS, this default directory is F:\Garmin\GPX
    As you can see on my GPS, I already have gpx files loaded.

    MAKE NOTE of this directory, you can click on the URL bar (highlighted text in blue) and copy this directory, you will need it.

  3. Now go to any text editor and open the getgpx.bat file. It will look something like this6
  4. On line 8, it reads set gpsdir=\Garmin\GPX
    You want to change the \Garmin\GPX to be the same as what you have (blue highlighted text) in step two, MINUS the drive letter and colon. So if the highlighted text in step 2 reads Q:\Magellan\Caches you would change \Garmin\GPX to read \Magellan\Caches (don’t forget the leading \)

  5. Everything else should be in cruise control, but one other option is automatic login. If you leave it the way it is now, you will have to enter credentials each time. If you want it automated, change defaultusername (on line 14) to your username and defaultpassword (on line 20) to your password

Downloading Pocket Queries

Lets download pocket queries… If you don’t know how to do that, you can follow my pocket query tutorial, its not that hard but does have a few steps.

  1. Again, if you haven’t done so already, plug in your GPS, and make note of the drive letter it mounts to, as you did previously in step 1 of configuration.
  2. Double click on the getgpx.bat file
    If you entered your username and password from step 5 above, ignore these following steps and go straight to step 6.
  3. The first thing you will be asked for is your drive letter enter ONLY the single letter that is the drive letter. For my system it was F2
  4. Next is your username (this will be skipped if you configured for auto login)r3
  5. Followed by your password:r5
  6. Once you are done, just sit back. You’ll see a bunch of stuff on the screen, maybe even some error messages but don’t worry, its working.r7
  7. When its done, you will see that the GPX files have been downloaded, and now reside in the same directory you installed the script and pqdl.exe. You can leave them there or delete them.9
  8. Additionally, if you did everything right, your GPS should now have the new files as they script has copied them over.
  9. Pretty much you are done. One thing you might want to do, since some GPS’s have limits to how many caches they can hold at a time (mine is 10,000), delete the .gpx files that you won’t need for your journey. It will make the gps run slightly faster and allow all the caches that are required for your jaunt without ignoring others because too many are loaded.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if i messed something up.

I thought this was a really good article. It was simple with only a few bullets but had some things that people often overlookHow to Prepare for a Strenuous Hike

Hiking is a great form of exercise and a fun way to mix up your workouts.

Whether you’re headed uphill or staying on a flat course, long-distance hiking requires good preparation. The key is planning ahead and packing smart.

Here are five tips to prepare for a long, strenuous hike.

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I’ve spent a lot of time helping in our community neighborhood watch… It even made the newspaper today!

 GOOD NEIGHBOR—Ryan Ramsey gets a positive response from his neighbor Sandi Patterson on April 27 about, a website that creates a safety network for residents.  RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers

A large number of commercial and residential burglaries—108 from January through March— has prompted some Thousand Oaks residents to reach out to their neighbors through, a private social network that allows people to quickly share reports of suspicious activity in their neighborhood.

“It’s really taking off,” said Senior Dep. Tim Lohman of the Thousand Oaks Police Department. “Back in the day, if someone moved into the neighborhood, it was, ‘Here are some cookies. It’s nice to meet you.’ Now, we don’t see that as much.”

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