Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Texas state parks opening to digital treasure hunting | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Travel | Dallas Morning News
Posted using ShareThis
Sunday, November 29, 2009
THE UNBLINKING EYE
Friday, October 30, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
The UpdateKitThe geocaching anywhere, anytime with a Geomate.jr rocks. And the 250,000 geocaches that the Geomate.jr comes with is sure to keep anyone busy for some time. But new caches are being added every day. And geocaches exist all around the world! So if you want fresh new caches, or are looking for a geocaching adventure in New Zealand (for example), then you may want to think about an Update Kit for your Geomate.jr.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Don't you just hate it when your stuck in the middle of nowhere without the things you need? I know I do - Especially when I'm out in the woods Geocaching. Since I figure I'm not alone, I would like to give everyone a chance to win some items that may be helpful in a situation like that.
While most of these products will probably not help you actually survive in the middle of the jungle, desert or tundra - they may help with that unexpected sudden downpour, random scratch or just make you feel a bit more comfortable while out in the wilderness.
The giveaway "Survival Kit" includes..
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Houston’s relentless heat wave prompted the National Weather Service today to declare a “Heat Emergency,” a designation that air temperature and humidity is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.
The emergency designation is expected to last through Friday, said Houston health department spokeswoman Kathy Barton.
Barton said the health department has accordingly invoked its heat emergency plan, which involves working with Metro to bring people to designated cooling centers, such as libraries, and generally urging people to take extra precautions to stay inside.
It is not uncommon for the weather service to declare a heat emergency in Houston, though it didn’t happen last summer. Such an emergency is declared when the heat index, a computation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two more consecutive days.
The index reached 108 Wednesday and is expected to reach that level today and Friday. Houston's actual temperature hit 104 degrees Wednesday, the hottest it's ever gotten in June.
State electric regulators, meanwhile, will consider a request by consumer groups and a Houston lawmaker for an immediate ban on electric service disconnects because of the continuing heat wave.
The abnormally severe heat -- yes, even for Houston -- is not expected to abate through the next 10 days or more, according to the National Weather Service.
"Today and tomorrow both, we have the potential to set records," said Matt Moreland, a weather-service meteorologist.
A high pressure area, which more common in July and August, has parked over most of the state for weeks. It has prevented rainshowers from reaching the area, plunging Houston into a moderate drought and keeping the official weather service rain gauge at Bush Intercontinental Airport from getting measurable precipitation all month.
High temperaures Friday and through the weekend and much of next week are predicted to be near triple digits, and overnight lows will be near 80 degrees. Isolated showers are possible, but no major rain systems are expected to move into the area.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
And how about some rain? Houston's still waiting for it
The temperature in Houston on Wednesday reached a ridiculously hot 104 degrees, easily eclipsing the previous high for the day which was 99 three decades ago. The last time it was this hot in June was, well, actually never.
The previous hottest day for this month was 103 degrees on June 30, 1980. This has been the seventh hottest June in recorded history.
Don’t expect much relief in coming days. Thursday’s high is expected to be around 101 although some isolated showers could provide a break from the heat, the National Weather Service said.
But while Houstonians tried to beat the heat by desperately secluding themselves indoors, meteorologists are used to the area’s wild weather.
“When people talk to me, most just want to know when it’s going to end,” said Brian Kyle, a Weather Service meteorologist in Dickinson who said it was just another day at the office for him. “It’s summer, and it’s hot and sometimes records occur.”
After Wednesday, Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport will have gone 31 straight days without rain. The longest period without measurable rain was from January to February 1904 when Houston went 40 days without the wet stuff, according to the Weather Service.
By MOISES MENDOZA
June 24, 2009, 7:14PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A slim chance of rain may be possible next week as a high pressure area that has blocked thunderstorms from hitting Houston moves away.
But the rain chances remain very slight, according to the National Weather Service.
Today and the next 10 days are expected to be dry with high temperatures near triple digits and the lows in the mid to upper 70s under sunny skies.
But the weather pattern that has allowed the mercury to rise for nearly two weeks and brought near drought conditions to the Houston area could change in the middle of next week, said Scott Overpeck, a weather service meteorologist.
Overpeck said a dome of high pressure over much of Texas has kept rain storms away from Houston, but there’s a slight chance it may move toward the west.
“That would be a window to allow some rain to come in,” Overpeck said. “I wouldn’t put too much stock in that.”
Houston’s weather is in contrast to much of the rest of the country. The east and west U.S. coasts have been cooler than normal, spring storms have continued to rake the nation’s midsection, Chicago is having a record cool June so far and some Midwestern crops are struggling to grow in too-low temperatures.
Overpeck said the drought that has parched southwestern Texas may soon find a foothold in the Houston area if no rain arrives.
So far in June, the area has recorded a trace of rainfall, which is about 2.5 inches below normal for the period. For the year, the area is about four inches below normal.
Overpeck said Houston is experiencing a typical July weather pattern that arrived a month early, but it’s not uncommon for Houston to have a scorching June.
“It’s summertime,” he said.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Damaging storms battered North Texas overnight and drifted southeast, but fell apart before providing any relief to the even-hotter-than-normal Houston area.
As for the Houston area, National Weather Service forecasters see more of the same ahead. The high temperature is expected reach into the high 90s today, and with humid air blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico, heat index readings should be in triple-digits.
The forecast doesn’t change through next Wednesday: Highs in the upper 90s, overnight lows in the mid-70s and heat index readings easily over 100 degrees.
In fact, Sunday through Wednesday, the heat index is forecast to approach the 109-degree mark.
The heat index is a measure of what heat feels like once humidity is factored in.
There's nothing new about summertime heat in Houston, but normal high temperatures are around 90 degrees this time of year, several degrees below forecast highs for the next week.
No rain is forecast over the next week for the immediate Houston area, continuing several weeks of unseasonably dry weather that began in April.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
And I have been to Corpus Christi twice in the past two weeks but I had no time to go geocaching.
There has been some really hot and humid weather and there has been some pleasant weather as well in the past month but I wasn't able to take advantage of the latter.
Now that it is June in Houston, the pleasant weather is gone for the next 4 months.
I have been going to the other blogger's sites and reading their updates. I do have a post to write about missing caches, I just need to find the time.
Thank you for visiting and I'll post when I can.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
May 14, 2009 8:17 pm
Ah, trip planning. If you'd like to set your itinerary of points of interest, landmarks, and destinations on your PC rather than struggling with a GPS's touchscreen, then EasyGPS is a nice, free solution. It works with numerous models of Eagle, Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance GPS receivers. It doesn't work with TomTom, nor does it work with the GPS receivers embedded in many popular mobile phones.
EasyGPS works fine with the tested Garmin Nuvi 200 standalone GPS; all I had to do was enter the model and plug it in to a USB port, and sending and receiving waypoints was simple. One issue is that entering new waypoints to transfer over requires knowing the longitude and latitude of the waypoint. A roadblock to this issue is that Google Maps doesn't give up its longitude & latitude easily. Simple paste this into your Web browser when centered on a desired location, and then a popup will appear with coordinates for EasyGPS:
The Nuvi 200 doesn't support route transfer at all, though, as it's a 15 month old model. Newer GPS models do, though, and EasyGPS works with those models. Waypoints easily transferred to the PC and back to the GPS, though.
One bug I found in EasyGPS occurred after dragging a route between multiple locations and hitting Undo. The route disappeared from the map, but so did all the waypoints associated with it. (The waypoints were still listed; I just couldn't see them on the map.) I had to restart EasyGPS to get the waypoints to appear on the map again.
EasyGPS can also come in handy for geocaching, which is the sport of hiding a cache of objects at a specific latitude & longitude and having other enthusiasts go find them. EasyGPS includes a couple of geocaching functions, but publisher TopoGrafix also promotes its GeoBuddy software for more specific geocaching uses, which has a GUI similar to EasyGPS.
Hikers and other on-foot travelers will love planning out their routes with EasyGPS, but it's also useful (and free) for those of us who use GPS to drive from one place to another.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The goal of this new product is to offer a geocaching experience out of the box and is particularly targeting kids. Geomate.jr has 250,000 geocaches preloaded, covering the entire USA. The device has a black and white screen with indication of the direction of the nearest geocache and its distance. Menus have been kept to a minimum to make it simple to operate.
Running on a SiRF StarIII chipset with 2 AA batteries, this device has an estimated 12 hours battery life. Moving forward Apisphere will sell a cable and software ($24.95) in order to maintain an up to date database or go geocaching out of the United States.
In terms of distribution Apisphere has already signed an agreement with outdoor chain REI (107 stores in 27 States across the USA) where the product is already available, as well as on its website REi.com. Geomate.jr will be also sold directly through the official geocaching website, geocaching.com. Apisphere expects further deals to be made in order to enlarge the distribution of the product.
Geomate.jr was born from the idea developed by Navit Innovations, a start-up founded in 2007 by former SiRF employees Warren Hewerdine and Robert Harvey, and acquired by Apisphere in August 2008.
Link to story
Buy it at REI
Darcie Gudger's article on the Geomate Jr.
CNET review of the Geomate Jr.
Friday, May 08, 2009
I parked too far from this one, Mykawa Road Hideout. But it was windy here and I didn't mind the walk. The cache was nestled in some trees and difficult to find. Actually, I found two bottles first but they have been there for many years as the trees have grown around them and they can't be moved.
Still a nice hide. Signed log.
As far as the geocache itself, Sims Bayou Adventure #3, I like the hide very much. Signed log. It was very warm and humid today with no wind around this one, too many trees.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
And while it was warm and humid in Houston today, it was also pretty windy which made it tolerable. Also, on this hide, there is an elementary school across the street and the kids were outside running and playing and laughing and that was a nice background noise.
The cache is hidden in the picture above.
The cache is hidden in the above pic.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
I was hungry so I drove through Sonic to get food before I went hunting. As I waited, I fired up Geocache Navigator on my Blackberry and got the following message -
"Thank you for using Geocache Navigator. Your free trial period has expired. Please visit www.TrimbleOutdoors.com/bbsoftware from your computer to learn how you can continue using the application and your data collected during the trial."
Went back to work and visited that site. Turns out May is National Fitness Month and they have their software for 50% off! Regular one year subscription is $39.99, on sale for $19.99. So, I did the yearly subscription. If you are using the free trial of Geocache Navigator, you might want to take advantage of this great deal!
Saturday, May 02, 2009
I checked my Blackberry and saw there was a close cache, Among The Trees, nearby. As I got to ground zero, I stepped on a 3' or 4' stick that disturbed a water moccasin on the other end. I could have just as easily stepped right on this snake or very near to it. I took a quick pic with my Blackberry (zoomed in) and let it be in peace.
Finding a cache isn't worth getting bitten by a very poisonous snake. This did scare me and I was VERY VERY thankful that my kids were not with me. Geocaching, I'm finding out quickly, is not the safest of hobbies (snakes, spiders, thorns, bad people, etc.). I was just wearing tennis shoes and shorts, I didn't expect to go geocaching.
I'm going to insist that we all wear long pants and perhaps have walking sticks too if/when the next time we go.
If you attempt this cache, please be careful.
And always be aware of your surroundings wherever you go!
This is my second water moccasin that I have seen while geocaching. I don't think I have ever seen one in my entire life out in the wild and now I have found two within a month or so. Argh.
Is that really a water moccasin? From this site -
"If the water is close, then they will often dive for it, even if the threat is between them and escape. I have had them rush around me and over my feet to get to the water. This may be a source of some of the Water Moccasin's rumored (but non-existent) aggressiveness. Most other aquatic snakes will usually flee away from the threat even if it drives them away from the water.
However, if a Water Moccasin is caught out in the open, it will coil and display by opening its mouth wide exposing the white lining of its mouth (hence its second name cottonmouth). I believe that this behavior serves two purposes, as a threat and as a practical defense of its head. It would certainly be difficult to grab this animal by the head without being bitten.
Be advised, though the Water Moccasin is not aggressive, it will readily bite and bite from a Water Moccasin can be very serious. Their venom is very destructive to the tissue around the bite and bite victims often get nasty bacteriological infections like gangrene."
Friday, May 01, 2009
My wife told me she thought she heard a noise behind the clothes drier out in the garage this evening and asked me to come check it out. I moved some wood we have beside it and underneath the drier hose leading out of the garage were two young possums. They aren't as small as the ones I had rescued the other day but they're not near as big as Opie.
I noticed this morning that most of the cat food was gone in the garage and saw a bunch of slobber in the cat bowl too (they're messy eaters!). I wondered if we had new visitors. Now we know.
I'll try to get a picture of them. I just went out to try to get that picture but they're not in the same place. :-(
I just went out to see if I could see them, it's 1:45 am, and I caught an adult possum eating the cat food. Hmmm, we have more than we thought.
This one is very near a park and a bayou. I was able to travel down a sort of road that wound into the weeds and trees just about 100' in so nobody could see my vehicle from the street which made me a little nervous (remember, I'm still not in the best part of town). I couldn't drive all the way to the cache because of recent rains. Alot of garbage around this one, large, dumped items, you'd need dump trucks to perform CITO. The actual cache is just a couple of steps into the weeds and trees. I took 2 items and left 3. Signed log. Oh yeah, the mosquitoes ate me alive!
The cache -
Me not too happy about the swarm of mosquitoes. Looks like I killed one on the right-side of my jaw, note the smeared blood.
The road leading to the cache -
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I go out for a lunch find or two for the first time in two weeks and it starts pouring down rain. Argh.
So I drive to McD to get some lunch and head back to the office. Of course it has stopped raining now. I check the radar and the rain was only in that small section of town. Argh. Wasn't meant to be I guess.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We've had an exceptionally rainy April (I think we broke a record for rainfall) which kept me from caching either because it was raining or because it left areas flooded from the rain.
Chores. Well, there is always stuff to do at home. Unfortunately too much stuff to make time for geocaching.