Groundspeak Promotes FTF

Hmmm . . . I thought Groundspeak was at best neutral on the FTF battle. I guess not . . .

In my mailbox today I received an e-mail from the company. It read:

There are Few Things Better Than a Blank Logbook

Lace up your running shoes, charge your phone or GPS, make sure there’s fuel in your geo-mobile’s tank—it’s time to go on an FTF hunt.

What’s an FTF? It’s the most popular unofficial stat in the geocaching community. It stands for First to Find. To achieve a FTF you must be the first person to sign the logbook after a geocache is published on

Want to join the race? Here are a few tips:

– Instant Notifications – Geocaching Premium members can receive an email as soon as a new geocache is published. Click to set yours up now.
– Keep Your Geocaching Tools With You – A new geocache can be published at any time, so be ready to go!
– Develop Your Geosenses – Knowing the right places to look can mean the difference between an FTF and searching for hours.

See even more FTF tips and then share your advice for making the FTF on the Geocaching Facebook page.

This company never ceases to astonish me. Ha!

Just to demonstrate how this e-mail is problematic . . .
Someone goes out to the cache and finds it before anyone else. For whatever reason he doesn’t sign the logbook (we’ll go with he honestly forgot for this example). Sally comes along and signs the logbook first. Is Sally the first to find the geocache? Of course not, but according to Groundspeak she is.

So much for being neutral . . .

The Slippery Slope

For years I have ascribed the following to the secretary from The Paper Chase:

The consequence of a liberal society is saying yes to everything.

In recent years (yes, I sound like an old fogey) we have seen a creeping of changes in our society. One area is the legalization of marijuana.

I am not in favor of that, but I understand my opposition on the issue. Legalizing pot isn’t the worse thing ever done, but I do not think it is helpful for society to legalize it.

One of the issues for people like me is that once pot is legalized, there will be a movement for other drugs to be too.

In Canada today, it was ruled that doctors can prescribe heroin to patients.

Doctors in Canada will become the first medics in North America to prescribe heroin to addicts next week.

Staff at the Vancouver-based Providence Crosstown Clinic have received a shipment of medical grade heroin and will begin prescribing the drug over the coming days.

Health Canada has authorised 120 people to receive the prescriptions, 26 of whom were participants in a previous trial which worked with individuals who had not responded to more conventional treatments.

Soon after I began teaching there was a push for starting teacher salaries to be $40,000. That campaign wasn’t through before it was announced that $50,000 needed to be the starting salary.

School lunches were introduced to feed the needy (despite food stamps already addressing that need). Then came breakfast at school. Dinner is being served in many schools. There will be a push for this to be the norm soon enough.

Marijuana is one thing, heroin is quite another. I expect that we will be hearing about this sometime in the not too distant future. It will be framed as not to deny the suffering some relief, just as medical marijuana opened the door to pot stores did in Washington and Colorado.


I have the model rocket bug. I have been reading a lot about rockets. I finally realized that I am a Level 1 in skill. This is helping me see where I am in the hobby. I need experience. Fritz didn’t want to join me this morning (he was lazy), but it is just as well. The wind was strong and made a cold morning uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I drove to Williamstown to see some launches. These guys use bigger rockets than I am dabbling in.

The experience was interesting. Despite a 10:00 start, when I rolled in at 8:30+, they were just setting up. Folks were friendly. There was a lot of waiting. The ignition systems seemed to have trouble on this blustery day. It was nearly an hour before the first rocket was launched. The guy said he had 100 hours into his build. It was nice. Of course, the rocket landed on the hood of someone else’s car. Ouch!

Then there were the two seniors from Drexel. They had built their rocket to be able to detect radiation. The idea is that in a time of emergency, a nuclear power plant could launch a rocket to determine the spread of radiation. It is an interesting idea. We joked about where they would get the radiation to check the system. Ha! It was more than an hour getting their rocket in the air. Part of the issue was that the were trying to launch wirelessly. That seemed like a needlessly complicated addition. Their wireless did not work despite a huge antennae. A borrowed power box did not provide enough amps to light the ignition. So it was back to the wired ignition that was still having trouble. It eventually launched.

The third and final launch was by a guy from Pittsgrove. He was a nice guy and had a nice large fiberglass rocket with an altimeter and beacon. He was very giving of his expertise. Once the Drexel guys were done, he was up and running within a few minutes. He was ready.

Another group was there. They were the Rocket Club from Rowan. They were asking lots of questions. It was neat seeing them interact with the Drexel students. A lot of engineering discussion ensued. :) It didn’t seem like they were going to launch their rocket any time soon so I left to get home to the family.

It was a good time and I learned a lot. It opened up my mind to where rocketry can go.

Weird Occurance

I have a Canon point-and-shoot camera that I take most times I leave the house. Last Friday we attended the children’s play at their school. I had the camera with me. I wore my LL Bean jacket with the big pockets so I could easily access the spare batteries.

I have four batteries for the camera. One was in the camera, three were in my left jacket pocket. I changed batteries immediately as I realized the one in the camera had little juice and I planned on taking a lot of video. I changed again toward the end of the show. I put the spent batteries in the right pocket.

At the end of the show there was a battery in the camera, one fresh battery in the left pocket, and two spent batteries in the right pocket.

When I arrived home, I only had three batteries. Sigh . . .

I don’t like it when I lose things. But, in my effort not to dwell on the small things, I was satisfied that I still had three batteries for my camera. That is all I ever had until I purchased this camera. Since it was identical to the last, I gained a battery. :)

Just now I tidied up my side table where I keep my electronics. I wanted to re-charge the batteries and get ready for the weekend, as uneventful as it will be. I charged each battery.

Interestingly, I no longer have three batteries. Not only did I “find” the missing battery, I somehow have ended up with a fifth battery.

I don’t know what to make of this. I truly do not. I seem to have entered the Twilight Zone.

“I've been a searcher, I've been a fool”