Jeepster was kind enough to create a list of the 100 oldest active geocaches in the world. The following map is accurate as of March 4th, 2013.
Korey Atterberry’s Idle Chatter » archive for 'Random'
- March 4th, 2013
- 8:26 pm
- January 13th, 2013
- 10:16 pm
Even though I’ve added some content, I haven’t actually “posted” to this site since 2011. In the past I created a static “page” for anything interesting I put here, then a simple “post” to draw attention to it. A “post” has a date associated, and is the basis for a “blog”, which this site really isn’t anymore.
Anyway, since I’ve been adding stuff, I might as well create a post to lead you to it. Cub scout pinewood derby time is upon us again, so I’ve put up some information about the cars my kids and I have made. Take a look at the project page!
- November 10th, 2011
- 10:16 pm
One thing Geocaching.com doesn’t make easy is finding the location of archived caches. I grabbed my whole history of pocket query files (back to April 2004) and built a GPX file containing all archive caches I could get my hands on. The map below shows up to 50 miles from Peoria, but my data is most complete within 30 miles of Peoria.
Take a look if you’re interested. There have been quite a few times when I’ve wanted to know “what was that cache that used to be here?”, and this map has helped provide answers.
- October 29th, 2010
- 9:13 pm
Ok, this is something that very few of you will be interested in, but I wrote a web application to help in placing geocaches.
Geocaches can’t be placed to close to one another, so this tool can help you find which spots are off-limits. Take a look if you’re interested.
- January 9th, 2010
- 9:32 pm
A couple of days ago, a friend and I were talking about putting extra weight in our pickup truck beds for added traction for winter driving. I’ve usually put a few hundred pounds of concrete blocks back there, but the problem is storing those blocks when not in use. I have to carry them out to the shed, which isn’t fun.
We came up with the idea of using ice, since it packs a fair amount of weight into a small space, it’s easy to load (use a hose), requires no room to store, and is even easier to unload (it just melts when it warms up).
One way that would probably work would be a use a tarp or piece of plastic sheet to trap some water in the bed and let it freeze in place. I didn’t have any handy, nor could I think of an easy way to keep it in a small space, so I used another approach.
I had a stack of 5 gallon buckets that kitty litter came in, so I filled them with water and let them sit for a couple of days. In about two days (around 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside) they were frozen solid. I turned them over and without too much trouble the ice slid out of the buckets. The picture above shows 7 buckets worth, which is around 300 pounds. Over the axle would be most effective, but the front of the bed works too, and leaves me more useful room in the bed.
- December 2nd, 2009
- 8:56 pm
In a recent post, I shared my favorite iPod Touch applications, which is a list of software that I find myself recommending to others who have an iPod Touch or an iPhone. It occurred to me that there are a number of online applications that I can’t do without, but when I mention some of them in casual conversation, I’ve found that a lot of people haven’t heard of them.
Here is a list of my favorite free online services. These services can be accessed from anywhere you have access to a web browser, and I use most of them on a daily basis. You might notice some duplication to the applications I listed in my iPod apps post, but that’s mostly because I gravitated to many of the iPod apps because of my love of the online services they worked with.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Gmail, so there’s not really any point of me telling you about it. The big selling points for me are the excellent spam filtering and the free IMAP access. Using IMAP, you can view all of your mail folders, not just the inbox, using a mail client application. It works great on my iPod. While we’re on the topic of iPods, the iPod contacts information will also sync with Gmail’s address book, which saves a lot of duplicated effort.
You’ll probably notice a theme with the first four items on this list, but Google Calendar is, in my opinion, a nice straightforward calendar application. My favorite feature is its ability to act like an Exchange Server, so if you have a calendar application (again, like the one on the iPod Touch) that can sync with an Exchange server, it’ll work fine with a Google calendar. Also, I recently discovered that if I invite my work email account (which uses Lotus Notes…) to a Google Calendar meeting, it will add it to my work calendar.
Google Reader is an RSS reader and aggregator. If there are news sites, blogs, webcomics, etc. that you like to read, chances are they expose a “RSS feeds.” If you subscribe to these feeds using Google Reader (or any RSS reader for that matter), you can keep track of what entries you’ve read and which you haven’t. Likewise you only need to go to one place to read all your content. Why Google Reader specifically? Well, it’s convenient, since I use so many other Google services, and also because it works with Byline on my iPod.
If you’ve never used an online document editor, you might be surprised how full-featured they’ve become. Using Google Docs, I store and edit a number of “Word”-type documents and spreadsheets in the web browser. I haven’t put all of my documents online, nor do I intend to. What I do put there are documents like the spreadsheet I use to track my vehicles’ gas mileage and our shopping list. The gas mileage spreadsheet I like to be able to update from anywhere, so that I can record my fill-up before I misplace the receipt. The shopping list is a document I keep on my account, and I’ve got it set up to share with my wife. We can both add and remove items (using our own accounts), and there’s no manual merging of lists.
Among other things, Dropbox is an online service that lets you place some files online and retrieve them from a web browser. Even though there are applications for your computer and iPod to sync your files, I mostly use the online features. One of the main things I use Dropbox for is keeping my collection of batch files, scripts and other tools that I never know where I’m going to need them.
Toodledo is a web-based task list with several integration points with other systems and services. Its a fairly new alternative to Remember The Milk (which I used for quite a while), but it has some great features. It can show your tasks on your Google Calendar on the day that they are due, notify you using SMS/email/etc., and sync with an iPod Touch app (which isn’t free, but is very cheap). One of the main reasons I like Toodledo is their concept of “contexts” for each task. For instance, if you’re sitting at your desk at work, there’s no point in seeing tasks that you need to do at home, and if you’re out running errands, it’s nice to know what tasks you need to be out of the house to perform. Context divide your tasks into group like these.
Last on the list, but only because I just recently discovered it, is LogMeIn. LogMeIn is a remote access tool, and it’s free for personal use. Using their service, I can access and control (for instance) my home PC from my desk at work or I can troubleshoot my family’s computers without the need to travel. You have to install a small application on the PC that you intend to control, but nothing needs to be installed on the PC that you’re controlling from. It even works, albeit not quite as smoothly, if you have ActiveX and Java disabled on the client PC. I was surprised how easy it was to set up; you don’t even have to manually open ports on your firewall or set up port forwarding on your router.
As with all online resources, there’s always a chance that these services will cease to exist, so if you use them, please be careful to keep local backups of anything that’s important to you. Each of these services does have a mechanism for making backups, but I haven’t streamlined all of them yet. That will be a topic for another day.
- November 30th, 2009
- 7:17 pm
Over the past couple of weeks, there have a fair number of occasions where I thought someone was going to back out of a parking spot while I was approaching. Of course, I stopped to avoid get hit, but then I noticed that the driver is out of the car and walking toward the store.
Maybe I just haven’t been all that observant before, but what seems to be happening is that the clear reverse/backup lights on the rear of the vehicle are being turned on as a sort of courtesy light. My truck, for instance, leaves the headlights on for a minute after I lock the doors, which I assume is to illuminate my surroundings as I leave the vehicle. It’s a logical extension of the same principle to use the reverse lights for this purpose as well.
The problem is, reverse lights already mean something: the vehicle is in reverse. Moreover, when the reverse lights are used as courtesy lights, the brake lights and other tail lights are not on. What that means to me is: the vehicle is in reverse, AND the brakes have been released. In other words, “I’m coming back right now!”
The vehicle I can remember off the top of my head that exhibited this behavior was a Pontiac Torrent SUV. I don’t remember what the other vehicles were. Does anyone know what’s going on? This feature just seems like a really poor choice to me.
On a totally unrelated note, I’m going to wire my turn signals to flash with the beat any time my car stereo is on.
- November 19th, 2009
- 10:36 pm
I am now officially a Wikipedia contributer. Tonight I submitted my article on popup campers on Wikipedia. I’m surprised that no one had ever written one up until now, but hopefully my submission will be deemed worthy and not deleted. I included a couple of pictures of our popup, since it’s easiest to use your own “work” (otherwise getting permission is a bit more convoluted).
This is my first real contribution to Wikipedia, and I’m neither a professional writer nor a world-wide expert on popups, so help out the article if you can!
- October 5th, 2009
- 12:27 pm
Just a quick note for those of you who have mortgages but maybe haven’t been paying close attention: home loan rates are pretty good right now. Over the weekend, the rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at our credit union dropped below 5%. That’s first time I have seen it do that, and since I’ve had an alert set up to notify me when the rate reached 4.875% for quite some time, I’m inclined to believe that this is a new low for at least as long as I’ve been a homeowner.
We have an appointment to refinance since the drop is significant and the payback period is reasonably short (since we can just do a straight loan modification). Obviously, your rates and costs may vary from mine, but now might be a good time to run the numbers and see if you’d benefit.
- August 26th, 2009
- 7:58 pm
Tonight we drove home about 58 miles in our Mazda 5. Ours has a 2.3L engine with a 4 speed automatic transmission. The car was hauling the four of us and a fair amount of luggage, etc. We took exclusively 2 lane state route highways and had to stop twice for potty breaks. I ran the air conditioning about 10% of the time.
The result (according to our Scangauge II): 40.3 MPG.. Now, I should mention that I drove 52 MPH (or the posted speed limit in towns) the entire way, but I was still pretty happy to break that barrier in a non-hybrid 6-seater.
For those of you who can’t stomach driving below the limit, Dusty drove the same trip (but on a different day and taking a different route including 20 miles of interstate) driving the speed limit and got around 37 MPG.