Archive for Off Topic

My First Munzee Find(s)

If you like geocaching you’ve got to give Munzee a try.

It’s very similar to geocaching, but IMO it’s faster and bit easier. It is also easy to “hide” a Munzee in an Urban area – making it available for hunting everywhere! Another notable difference (at least where geocaching.com is concerned) is that the folks at Munzee do not mind if you use the game for marketing a business or product.

I found out about Munzee over a year ago! I was just setting up my Twitter account for geocachebooks.com and one person I followed was following Munzee. I followed them and started to learn about the game.

For Munzee you need a smart phone – one with a camera that can read QR bar codes. You download the app, create an account and off you go! You can pull up a map of the area around you and see where there are Munzees hidden, travel to them, zap the QR code and BAM! Your first find. :)

I was feeling bored last night after having worked and written a ton during the day. I had about 1.5 hours of daylight left, which is pretty short for geocaching or disk golf which I had hoped to get in yesterday. Then I remembered Munzee!

I pulled up the app on my phone and found several nearby that looked pretty easy and off I went. The first one was the hardest, since I had never seen a Munzee QR code piece before. I didn’t know how it would be attached, or if it was a sticker, or how large it would be or if it would be camouflaged in any way.

The group of Munzees I was targeting were all attached to trees by a plastic zip-tie, they were about 1″ by 1″ and inside a small clear plastic sleeve.

There are 9 in the group total, and I found 5 last night before I had to stop due to mosquito feeding time! It was a blast. It was very fun and very fast.

Whenever I am at a park I always check my geocaching app to see if there are any caches nearby, now *anywhere* I go I will be checking to see if there are any Munzees around!

Thanks Munzee!  http://www.munzee.com/

Hats Off to Vlogers

Vlogging is HARD!

After trying my hand at video blogging, I really admire the video bloggers I know. THE GEOCACHING VLOGGER, and THE GEOCACHING DOC in particular.

I recently tried putting up a weekly vlog and failed miserably! The time and dedication it takes is quite substantial. Planning your topic and content, choosing your site/setting, actual shooting of the video, EDITING (omg the editing…), posting, tagging, announcing, social media-ING… Wheew!

It’s pretty amazing what these guys put out.

By the time I got to the editing (EDITING) section a few days have already passed from the time I shot the video. I *really* wanted to do this cool idea where my kids and I would build a fairy house(s) and people could go find it and build on at the end of each episode, but if it takes me 3-5 days to get it live that is not going to work out!!! :-)

AND then by the time it is all EDITED and ready to go I am so burned out that I think the video stinks, and am too tired to post post post to social media. So, you’re seeing a video that was shot about 1-2 weeks before!

That’s my vlogging rant. I hope to someday have enough time and experience EDITING to be able to put out more videos, but right now I just better get my head down and keep writing!

Perseid Meteor Shower

I am driving out to Cherry Grove Observatory with my kids and my Dad tonight to view (hopefully) the peak of the Perseids meteor shower!

Two or Three weeks ago I was sitting on my balcony in Burnsville Minnesota when I saw the brightest and longest shooting start of my life, in the city. It was spectacular and it jogged a vague memory I had that there was some astral event going on this month. I consulted with a superior authority (Google) and found out that indeed there was an event this month. PERSEIDS!

Only the most spectacular of annual meteor showers! It is touted as the “fireball champion” of meteor showers! It occurs every August, and is a result of the Earth traveling through the left over debris from a comet that came through our solar system in the 90′s; Swift-Tuttle. (Put two and two together – we could have collided with this comet if the timing had been right. It only comes every one in 103 year, so most people alive today are safe for this cycle. ANYWAY!) It’s extra great this year because the moon’s cycle is such that it is not very bright. Next year – not so great as the moon will be closer to full.

I have seen another handful of shooting stars over the last few days, more each night. First one or two from my balcony, and a bunch more when I took my kiddos camping these past two days. Staring up at the night sky I could see a few each hour. So I have really witnessed the advent of this shower; the slowly increasing amount of visible meteors. It’s been amazing.

Earlier today I had talked with my Dad (a huge star-gazer and astronomy fanatic) about going out to Cherry Grove, and he expressed a deep disappointment that he was too tired and had too much going on to join me. A few hours after that I got a call from him saying that he would actually be able to come along after all! I am not sure if it was his concern over me taking my kids out to a remote field in the middle of the night or his own desire to see this event that finally made him want to come out more than sleep. Maybe a little of both. Either way three generations of space-lovers will be together tonight to witness what we can of the Perseids meteor shower.

How does this relate to geocaching or books you say? It really doesn’t. :) I like to think that people who geocache are outdoor lovers of all kinds who would also be interested in a story about one of the greatest meteor showers North America can witness in a year. (The second best being the Leonids in November.)

This meteor shower will be visible even for those near cities with light pollution tonight and tomorrow night. So if you have a field or a roof available to you I would suggest checking out the night sky at about 2am both nights. Wishes will be plentiful and we could all use a few more of those in our lives!