Thursday, May 31

"When in doubt, poke it with a stick" and other fun stuff

This is one of many small useful idioms (is this an idiom?) that relate to Geocaching and other hide-n-seek style games and scenarios. Skyefoil started the poke-a-stick-into-random-hole-until-you-find-treasure technique for me and it has helped numerous times while cache hunting. Adam and I also tried the magnet-on-a-string technique against a notoriously difficult cache. We found nothing but iron rich rocks doing that.

I miss 'Force Field' a magnet and other fun science store in Fort Collins, CO. I don't know if they are still around, however if they are I would love to go back and purchase massive quantities of the large magnets they carried. I purchased and destroyed many of them a couple years ago before I moved to Alaska, don't ask how, and I am wishing I had kept them around. The uber large ceramic composite aluminium backed plate magnets were the best, and would have found quite a few caches very quickly for me. Which brings me to the following....

Magnetic Fingertips, how cool would that be? Nerves growing around a surgically embedded magnet.. very cool stuff. I read about this a long time ago on Slashnet and it often comes to mind when I need to find my keys, check out Slashdot - Implants for Sensing Magnetic Fields. I could start an electrical consulting firm with that kind of sense, some sort of hokey behind the walls Feng Shui electrical discovery and adjustment. Can you say Millionaire?

Other things I need to do: Gas balloon aerial photography and recreational vehicles; lots and lots of programming; buy a Clue x 4 to put the smack down with; and a hundred or so other things...

Wednesday, May 30

Hire me!

After a long, slow, rewriting process I finally have something of a resume online. As my memory coughs up more information on past jobs I will publish newer revisions. Heres a link to my resume in all its glory. I will be adding more and more to the skills section I hope.. I would love some feedback :)

It is loosely modeled after my buddy Toykeeper's resume, he knows how to put just about everything possible into a resume to keep google and other search engines interested in him :)

That said, hire me for something fun.

Tuesday, May 29

The kick butt weekend that kicked my butt

Well, Skyefoil and I went down to Homer Alaska this weekend to check out the sights during Memorial Day. We were fortunate that Sunday was very sunny indeed and totally showed off how pretty the view is.

We figured we would see more than a typical tourist in Homer if we did some geocaching, which took us all over the place and we found some fun hides, and we met other geocachers as well. A total of 14 caches found, 2 not found. One of the 2 we couldn't find appeared to be in around 15 or so feet of water, 45 feet from shore :(

I will post pictures and links to good food and such in "The kick butt weekend that kicked my butt, part II"

Friday, May 25

Well, Hi there little cache!!

Today at lunch I found an archived or abandoned cache, often referred to as geotrash. The log hasn't been signed inside the cache since 2006. With some help I navigated to an area on that allows me to see archived caches and eventually found this caches waypoint number. Thankfully it wasn't listed on a private site somewhere, that would suck.

The cache link: GCGNKK "Snag This"

The only reason I stumbled into this cache is because I was trying to find an area to hide my own cache, which I will be calling "Sticky Humpy" if I can complete it. The area around the cache is nice and public, and the plan is simple - create a replica of some railing artwork that is a cache. Shouldn't be that hard and I have been dying to do something similar to this for a while now. I love hiding things in plain sight.

Thursday, May 24

Puppy Profile - Sam

Sam the red dog, Sam a lam, Sammy wammy ding dong, Sam get over here now. These are but a few names for Skyefoil's wonderful dog, Sam. He is a red mutt found and rescued from an Oklahoma highway. I had the pleasure of meeting Sam after a night of pool and drinking back home in Colorado, typically he doesn't like men. I followed Skyefoil home that night because I thought I was pretty smooth, then she released the dogs on me. I fell and apparently Sam likes men he can push over and sit on, ever since then we have been pretty good friends.

Sams our go everywhere dog, any time we can shove him somewhere in the truck for an adventure he comes with and enjoys the breeze of an open car window and the sniffing the trunks of trees all over Alaska. Recently he has been getting more walks, in stranger places, thanks to my new geeky hobby of geocaching.

He chases off the neighbor cats, yet respects the house cats as well. He is a very odd dog who sometimes gets so bored he wants to play with the cats, to which they reply "DENIED, HISS!". You wouldn't know how hyper he is when you are at the house, also designated the pet lounge area. He doesn't like to play in the lounge, however if you take him on a walk and let him free of the leash he will start bouncing all over the place and going kookoo bananas.

We love Sam the dog!

Wednesday, May 23

Spamusement - Favorite new LOL feed

Adam linked me to Spamusement! which I immediately added to my RSS reader. I decided to list my top picks just so you know how twisted I am.

Well, thats all folks. I would make a flashy comment about the type of spam I get, but its all from Asia for some reason and I can't make sense of it. However since somebody out there will, here is some random spam subjects I get sent to my gmail account (filtered into spam automagically).

  • 過年前本錢回饋客戶,買到賺到 內行人一 眼便能識出
  • 共收錄近 1 5 0 0 個全方位實用表格,十餘大類分類,輕鬆套用或自改套用
  • Windows VISTA Ultimate 繁體中文光碟DVD旗艦版套餐
Wild, eh?

Tuesday, May 22

Today is the greatest day I've ever known.

Can't live for tomorrow, tomorrow's much to long. I'll burn my eyes out before I get out. (Smashing Pumpkins).

Actually, today is not the greatest day and more like the most sucky/mediocre day. I have a long list of bitching to do:

  1. Office is too hot
  2. Keeping the window open does nothing until noon
  3. After noon, keeping the window open chills me to the bone
  4. Office is still too hot
  5. People think I read minds
  6. Borrowed GPS is incredibly inaccurate
  7. Headache from heat in office
  8. Hot dog man was listening to a terrible song
  9. Tech supervisor assumes I have no idea what I am doing
  10. Website updates to a website I can't fix make me angry
  11. People keep interrupting me to tell me life sucks
  12. My blog is all bitchy, and that makes me sad
  13. My cats are being mean to the house
  14. We have no money
  15. I can't keep track of everything I want to do
  16. My work office is a mess and requires a lot of personal time to fix
  17. My home office is a mess and requires a lot of personal time to fix
  18. I keep forgetting to do things at home and at work
  19. I needed booze at noon with my hot dog
  20. I can't make a good Haiku to save my life today
  21. I'm going to get flamed for posting something like this to a blog which is aggregated through other sites
  22. Nobody is going to flame me, because only my girlfriend comments on my blog
  23. My cats know I watch them remotely and refuse to be bad on camera
  24. Putz cat needs to go to the vet which worries us
  25. Theres a road to nowhere near my office and I always forget to drive down it
  26. My standards are too high even in a world of high standards
  27. My standards stop me from doing things, which could be good however sucks still
  28. I can't use commas right
  29. I can't use semicolons right
  30. I have lots of ideas that never get implemented
  31. The kids park near our house sucks
  32. Train fumes near my office give me even greater headaches, but with the window closed the heat gives me one as well
  33. My chair sucks
I'm done.. Can I go home?

X-13D Doritos Taste Like Old Ketchup

After buying a bag of the new X-13D Doritos and doing the taste test, Skyefoil (Girlfriend) and I decided they taste like ketchup, she says spicy ketchup. I'm thinking old ketchup. There was recently a post to Slashfood about the taste test and naming contest which had quite a few comments. Most of the comments lead me to believe my first hunch was right and this potato chip is supposed to taste like a cheeseburger somehow. So I decided to name it "Fatty American" and post to the competition.

IMHO - These chips aren't worth the bag they are shipped in

My Song!

I have a song! The Shane Song written and performed by Joe Lavelle to be specific. Recently I logged into my myspace account to see if anybody loves me, which was a big fat no. However Joe Lavelle's myspace page for this crazy song wanted to be my friend. The songs page instructed all Shane named people who fit the song to submit photos via email so they can make a video. Hahaha I'm totally gonna be in a music video about myself! I rule!

Thanks for everybody who supported me up until this point, but now that I'm a big rock star you can all FOAD for all I care.

Mwa ha ha

Monday, May 21

Valen's Story

This is a story created by a co-workers son, Valen, from Wasilla Alaska. I believe it to be a great work of imaginative literature.

If my mother asked me, I would tell her I had gotten a hat to put on a tv. When the hat went onto the tv, I said “Buzz” and it shook and danced so much, rats from under the house started to come a dance. When the tv was done the dog came and ate the tv. The dog was as fat as a table after he ate the tv. Then the dog ate all the food. When he was as fat as an elephant, he starting jumping and a magical fairy came. He turned everything back to normal. But the dog was still dancing. The fairy said “Good by” and a cat came with a huge block of peanutbutter. The dog ate all the peanutbutter and then the cat with one gulp. Five dog catchers came and the dog came and ate all five dog catchers in one gulp. He was as fat as a whole and the dog sat there until…. the army came! Fifty-two tanks and One Billion men and two mail men came. The dog ate 500 thousand people in one gulp. Next the fairy came and fifty other fairies came. I sighed and said for the dog to go make friends with Clifford the big red dog. After that I told the army to go home with the fairies. The dog sat there and this one guy who was in charge of the army and said “SHOOT THE BOMB NOW!!!” The fairy and the other fairies made the bomb a chicken and made the whole thing back to normal. This time the fairy magic worked.

Terra Weekendo!!

This weekend was pretty cool for not doing anything too exciting. Most of my time was spent outdoors which was great, I'm really beginning to get into the Summer mode with a lot more momentum than last Summer. Girlfriend is finally feeling better after a month of being sick and this weekend had the gumption to go walk the dog with me on Saturday... which I flipped into an excuse to maintain one of my geocaches... of course. Girlfriend got to view the beaver pond near our house and went with me to my cache and helped go through the contents and reposition the cache into a bit easier location. The dog on the other hand was on a mission to figure out whats making that wonderful smell and ended up finding and standing on one of the beaver huts.

We found some porcelain electrical line insulators all over the place, including a chain of them still stuck together and unbroken just scattered about the wooded area. Part of geocaching is to clean up the world a bit as you run into discarded material, so we slowly dragged the heavy insulators out of the woods and back to the car for disposaling/ebaying/antiques roadshowing. See the gallery here.

I noticed there was a lot of trees flagged for in the surrounding area. Typically new construction projects use EA's (Environmental Analysys) or EIR's (Environmental Impact Reports) to show they studied the surrounding area. Tree flagging is typically a sign that an EA or EIR is being done or has been done on the surrounding area. Trees are flagged for some of the following reasons:

  • Boundary of an area to be demolished
  • Tree of interest (Archaeological and historic value)
  • Waymarks to other areas and trees
Since these markings are purely commercial in nature and typically on public land, feel free to take and dispose of these flags as you run into them. Typically it will slow down environmental reports needed to demolish the area which may be a cause for concern when the developer attempts to obtain a permit to do construction in the area.

Sunday Girlfriend and I took her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters to go on what we called a treasure hunt. She helped us find two caches, one girlfriend found by poking at with a stick and the other little sister found all by herself. We signed the logs with her name and she was happy she got to keep some loose change somebody put in on of the caches.

Thursday, May 17

The Odd Lunch

Odd things I have witnessed today:

  • A chunky cat in a high chair riding passenger in a sports car waiting in line for the Taco Bell drive through
  • A Stellar Jay protecting a geocache
  • Bum beddings scattered around a forested area
  • A cop doing something useful
Pretty things I have witnessed today:
  • Bums smooching on a bridge
  • Three of the above mentioned Jays singing away as I travelled on
Disgusting things I found today:
  • Used Condoms
  • Discarded shorts near the above
  • Some sort of funny sticky poo like substance on my hand
Things I did:
  • Discovered two more caches
  • Discovered two more travel bugs
  • Walked almost a mile during a lunch break

Wednesday, May 16

Haiku -The Forbidden Utensil

Do you have five teeth?
Jagged and smooth at the same time.
I yearn to fondle.

Inspired by:
GSI Piranha Foon
Snow Peak Titanium Spork

I'm Blawgin Ur Fewd

It has recently come to my attention that I need to spread the word on some annoyingly pointless food laws our great country is currently working on.

For instance the USDA wants to broaden the horizons of what food can still be concidered "raw" even though it is pasteurized which will allow many non-organic products to be eligible for organic certification. Pasteurized food is often chemically altered to help with preservation and sterilization of known and unknown threats that may be in our food. Most of these the known threats come from lack of attention and poor engineering of large scale food processing and the quality assurance is all about what chemicals you used to keep people from suing you this week. A small farm with enough employees to pay attention to the product can get away with purely organic products that don't require pasteurization or harmful chemical cleaning.

This as well as cutbacks on sustainable agriculture support and allowing flavoring and cosmetic additives into organic foods. Organic certification for these products is pending, so why a new law allowing use in organic certified foods? Can't they be patient and wait for certification, is it an attempt to loosen the methods of certifying organic food? Why would anybody want to do this other than big money? And are these new additives good for us, will they give us super monkey strength? Is it just more fodder for lawsuits and investigations and complications against what should be a very simple matter? I can only see taxpayers money (I'm one now so I can say this) just going down the drain as the feds defend themselves against organic companies unjustly marketed against as one "organic" company sells food a little redder and more attractive to the consumer by means of non-organic additives. Quite unfair to organic food companies who wish to maintain a profit as well as wholesome food.

Read and sign the following to petition these crap initiatives:

Honey, I Sunk The Beaver

What? Sorry I suck at titles. One of my geocaches (Sneaky Beaver) is still firmly in place, however the beavers keep adding more to their dam and slowly raised the water level of the pond I placed it near. Interesting, my phone just beeped to alert me somebody logged finding Sneaky Beaver, I was just about to say I would be totally impressed if anybody found this cache before I adjust its location. Click for the log I just recieved.

How strange.

Monday, May 14

Treasure Hunters Unite!

Today I ran into another newbie Geocacher. I was below a bridge and thought I heard muggles walking over me so I went ninja and stealthed myself. The footsteps stopped directly above my head and I felt as though my stealthy hideout had been comprimised. I looked up at the bridge, they looked down at the water, we said hi. I was happy to find out she was another geocacher off playing with her new GPS and also a resident of Eagle River, AK. I have run into only one other cacher before (earlier post) who also lived in Eagle River. I'm not sure if she is aware but from what I hear running into fellow Geocachers is rare however inevitable if the loot is worth it.

Welcome to the club akglacierdog some day you will run into my dog Sam and I again.

As pwned is to defeat, fwned is to geocaching

I am gonna give this a go and coin a new term, fwned. Whenever somebody finds some of my hidden caches or somebody notices my cache has been discovered yet again its nice to get IM'ed with 'whardier: fwned!!!!' instead of 'I just looked at your stats page and it appears anything with opposable thumbs should be able to find your terribly hidden caches'.

Pronunciation: foo-nnn-de


  • My buddy Adam gets fwned a lot. :P
  • Those cheeky geocachers just fwned my 6 hour old cache!
Have fun with this word, as I know I will.

Resume Resume Editing!!

So I am pimping my resume, a little title inflation here, a sprinkle of self praise there. Actually I am trying to trim it down quite a bit because it confuses most people who pick it up. Most people don't know what a VoIP IAX2 trunk is. I still can't quite come up with a unified writing method for all descriptions of previous jobs. I want to be informative but not over detailed. Open to any pointers.

Oh yeh! The best part is I am being payed to update my resume to comply with federal guidelines on a project I am on. Yay!!

Saturday, May 12

The Pirate and his Sneaky Beaver

Hid more caches today, woot dee doot! (best if said as if singing). Adam came with to find a good place to hide an ammo box and some micro caches. We came upon a beaver lake near the highway and a popular exit for sledders and apparently fishermen. I had only been to this area during winter and saw all the sledders having fun down a man-made hill for the highway exit (its not as bad as you think). Today we met a young whipper snapper fishing in what appeared to be a beaver made pond thats been there for who knows how long. He approached us and immediately spotted us as Geocachers, he took a class in high school on Geocaching, then asked if we had anything to take a hook out deeply embedded in one of his finger. Later I agreed with Adam that the normal state of mind for that sort of thing is to run around screaming and get to a hospital as soon as you can.

The beaver pond was a great place to hide one of my new purchases, a fully waterproofed ammunition container, which we filled up with rocks and left under water near the shore of the beaverpond in a sneaky little location. My only fear is one day having to maintain this cache by throwing a magnet on a string out into the water to retrieve it. This cache was called "Sneaky Beaver" which was the iterated result of a long list of crass beaver jokes.

A little hike later and we were in an area ideal for hiding a micro cache, the location is surrounded by Cow Parsnip (a.k.a. Pushki) which should make it a little more aggravating for cache hunters to find. I didn't know much about Cow Parsnip until I checked it out on Wikipedia and saw what other names it goes under, I remember now some Alaska Native folk talking about some foods they eat including Pushki stems. This cache was named "Walk the Plank" due to the tree positioning and balancing act required to reach the cache.

Thursday, May 10

My first TravelBug and Micro Multi Cache

Yay, I recieved my TravelBugs in the mail and moved one of girlfriends mini statues "Bad Mojo" into a local cache. Yay! Also I plotted out and placed a devious Micro Multi Cache named "Don't Jump" which is pending review as of this post. Its super sneaky, and I can't say much. However I got to use my fishing line I somehow didn't use last fishing season.

I searched all night for a bridge to place a geocache. Bridges are like magnets for geocaches since they typically have parking areas near them and lots of places to hide magnetic geocaches. I need to find a more interesting place to hide geocaches than the finds I have had so far which include holes in trees, under sticks, shoved behind a rock somewhere. Please help me think of fun things to do.

I have a few neat ideas so far:

  • Tied to a balloon as an Event Cache
  • Tied to a strong line and tied to a rock placed on the shore of a river with the micro cache floating down steam
  • On a clotheline pulley spanning some remote gap

Terror Spam

A few days ago I mentioned, sternly, that when computing issues arise at work I, the administrator, should be the first to know. Not to say I am without my wonder widgetry that feed me information. Last night after work I recieve a call from a coworker who is a little worried that terrorist are trying to take over his computer. Since he is used to a certain web site and had never received terrorist pop-ups before he thought to call me. All I could tell him was the web site he was accessing either has a poor advertisement service, or was hacked. Either way I kept feeling like he wanted me to fix it. Ugh..

Wednesday, May 9

Non-informative Information

I was recently asked to help with a Microsoft Excel document and help fix a few graphs. I was presented two graphs, one somebody else in the company did recently that wasn't up to snuff and one the client is used to seeing and was the preferred styling.

First off, I want to make a few things clear before I go on

  1. If the end result is supposed to look broken, I'm not going to be that helpful
  2. Document education for employees that primarily produces documents should be mandatory. Taking their word on it isn't enough if you value the quality of the documents. Keep up with the latest styles and offer challenges to your employees so they stay sharp on the job.
The preferred chart was imported via black magic and was immutable. It was also useless to anybody that wants any real information. For instance the values for each point on the line graph were overlapping each other in the same face and color, completely obfuscating the information. There were dark text colors over dark and dense grid lines and the font size was too small, obviously a meager attempt to correct the overlapping text. I proposed a different styling and again ran into an old time favorite bottleneck - people fear change. The task was to make an identical looking graph with updated data so I spent some time attempting to explain how this chart offers no real usable information. Things desolved quickly once I found out the person overseeing this graphs creation didn't even know what title to give each set of values. A little meeting was held to discuss what exactly the purpose of the graph is and I finally got the information I needed and titled the value sets accordingly. However the overall style preference was still set to overlap the text no matter what I say. I did my best to clear it up, however it looks like crap and was very hard to understand. Eventually the graph was formed with a little compromise and now the crappy graph is polished a bit more and kind of shiney.

I feel bad for thinking this was just a me thing, and I was being overbearing and getting upset unjustly. Dangit people! You should be careful with information and how you present and distribute it. For instance, how many business suits are going to print this graph out and be totally confused, then chuck it in a non-recycling trash bin to be discarded and never reclaimed. How many recalls of this document will be done because of other such mistakes? What client wants to constantly distribute the latest *known good* copy of a document after reporting error after error to the writer?

Grr.. IMHO if its illegable then its crap..

Peace, Love, and for f*cks sake a little Understanding

The secret to my non-success.

Don't work with feds or fed contractors. You should probably stay away from state contractors while you are at it. As a reminder, avoid any work environment where people don't actually understand the words you say then nod their noggins reguardless and hold you responsible for the outcome. I should start quizzing people after I brief them.

Yours truly,
Angry Whardier

Tuesday, May 8

1 out of 3 ain't bad for a muggle

I set off with buddy Adam to find some geocaches. one of which already tormented me and I was determined to figure it out. We started on one that I thought would be easy and as it turns out I forgot to look at the online journal for Spud Cache (GCJMAR) which later showed I wasn't alone in my frustration. While sitting back in the car trying to get online to check for hints by way of my phone and Adams laptop we spotted some person poking his nose around the area we were investigating. Adam went to go great the person who just assumed we were 'muggles' as he put it. I had no idea that was the term for non-geocaching persons. :) After a half hour of looking for a potato shaped *something* we gave up and went on to the next, which we didn't find.

Adam convinced me to take a crack at the Meadow Creek Cache (GCH6W2) and we ended up finding the magnetic mini capsule holding the finders journal. Wahooo!!

I also need a better GPS.. or the ability to be online all the time. If I were online and had a tiny linux powered system I would be able to immediately correct my position via DGPS Over the Internet (DGPSIP).

I made Adam find some caches I had found earlier to test his geo abilities. He did just dandy and was impressed at the tiny little containers some of these caches have. He now has a new item for his birthday wish list - a GPS.

Geocaching - (GPS Easter Egg Hunt)

I've always wanted to try out Geocaching as a past time, it would help me get out more and say hi to good old mother nature, and at the same time loot something. I recently scored a Garmin GPS V for $25 from a garage sale. It was populated with current Alaska maps (no topo, but I have those somewhere) and the only thing it was missing was the data cable. I ordered a data cable on Ebay for $17.50 since local dealers wanted upwards of $65.00 for one. Soon I will be able to put my limited amount of GIS know how together with my limited how to walk know how.

I went out for my first Geocache hunt last night via bike since there was a cache located near my house. At first I couldn't find it at all and I could have sworn the GPS coordinates are gone and then I found it under a rock just chilling there waiting to be opened and have another Geocacher log their name in the journal. I was quite happy and took a little green finger monkey from the cache, then ended the night by finding a builders benchmark on a bridge near my house. I checked off my two finds on (see my profile ) and looked for more. Today there are a few around work I will try to find during lunch and after work hours.

Well Herro There!

Time to pop the cherry on this blog. Hi, I'm whardier.. or hardwire.. or Shane.. depending on how you know me. I only have one social security number for all three identities, let me know if you are interested in it, selling yours, or possibly willing to trade. I am joking of course..

Since I am 10G/Mo restricted on my DSL I can no longer easily host my shizzy on a home server, and since I had a gmail account I instantly obtained a blogger account I can abuse. Yay for me!

I in Alaska now, originally from northern Colorado. My little house in a little commuter town stands tall in its neighborhood allowing me to actively spy.. err be a good protective neighbor.. for many of the houses in the surrounding area. I have a girlfriend who goes by Skyefoil, a dog who is simply named sam, and our 5 cats (in no particular order) - Mia, Emma, Mushroom, Merle, and Putz.

Feel free to come up and visit. We have a spare bedroom that we loan out to strangers occasionally.