Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Retired Blog

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 5:07 pm on Friday, September 23, 2005

As of September 23, 2005, this blog has officially been retired. The archives will be maintained for any who wish to browse them, but there will be no new posts.

My adventures continue, however, and you can keep reading them at my new blog, I Knit Around.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll stay with me on the next leg of my journey.

It’s About Time

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 5:44 pm on Thursday, September 22, 2005

As of tomorrow, this blog and four others will be retired. They will be replaced with my new blog, I Knit Around, to which I have been cross-posting this week.

The blogs that are retiring are:

I have found that under my current reality, I want a single blog that presents an integrated view of these aspects of my life, since any given day may see several of these subjects mixed together.

If you are a regular reader of any of these five blogs, please join me at the new site. It will contain all the topics you’ve been reading about until now, only they will be presented in context as a part of my whole life, not just one aspect. The URL to bookmark is:

http://www.folkcatart.com/knitaround

Three other blogs will remain separate. They are:

The first of these is my beading blog, and that subject still has enough life of its own to merit a dedicated blog. The last two aren’t entirely used as blogs – they are more like project-specific databases. And so they stay as well.

At some point, I’ll be changing my homepage as well. It has served as a central hub for all my blogs, and obviously that purpose changes somewhat now. I will likely be using a blog format there, with links on the sidebar and current news and updates listed in the posts.

My thanks to all of you (it’s what, at least three, right?) who have been reading my oft-times odd posts. I enjoy what blogging does as it helps me examine my life and strive to find better focus and understanding.

All I Can Think About Today

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 12:31 am on Friday, September 2, 2005

Give what you can, how you can.

Personal Geocaching – Bogged Down, But There’s Hope.

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 7:05 pm on Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gryphon and I haven’t been able to get out and geocache much for most of a month. With the brake lines on his truck needing replacing – and not being able to pay a garage to do it – we’ve been stuck at home every weekend while Gryphon does the job himself.

It’s been quite the saga, and Gryphon’s telling the story in a multi-chapter format over at his blog. The first chapter can be found here.

The brake lines are finished as of last weekend, though, and they seem to be holding up. So we have every reason to expect that, come this weekend, we may be able to get out and find another cache somewhere.

Just keep your fingers crossed for the weather!

Thank You for MMB Letter in Milford Cabinet, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 6:37 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2005

I wrote a thank you letter to the Milford Cabinet – also thanking the Toadstool Book Shop and reporter Daymond Steer – for everyone’s involvement with the Milford Memory Box. It was published in this week’s paper.

The Memory Box continues to see visitors. Team Monarchs are the most recent, and they picked up Larry the TB to take home with them for a visit.

I’m glad to see people are having so much fun with this simple idea – sharing memories. And I’m very glad to see people discovering Emerson Park, too. The response is pretty universal – “I never knew this was here!” Well, now they do, and they’re generally glad of it!

Hello, Larry – Good-bye, Larry; and Geocaching Slow-Down

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 9:18 pm on Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gryphon and I released Larry the Cucumber Travel Bug into the Milford Memory Box Saturday. We’ve had a pleasant visit with Larry while he stayed here, but I think even he was ready to move on. As we placed him in the box, he said “Oookaaaaay!”

Larry, it’s been nice knowing you. Happy travels!

Meanwhile, we’ve had difficulty finding enough time to go geocaching. Gryphon’s truck sprung a leak in the brake line, and he’s been working on that for the last two weekends. He fixed the first part of the line, but that forced a weak spot in another part to become a leak, and so on.

So, our geocache hunts are on hold for the moment, due to practical necessity. We’ll get back out there as soon as we can, though!

This is a test – we are turning comments back ON

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 10:44 pm on Thursday, August 11, 2005

It’s been 24 hours since the comment spam, and I am going to cautiously turn comments back on for this blog. You will still have to be a registered user to post a comment, but that is free and a simple matter of creating a log-in.

I am also investigating alternative, third-party software to add to this and my other blogs that will allow comments, but give me greater control over them. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for your patience.

A Sad Story – Larry to Officially Remain an Orphan

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 2:23 pm on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Well, I’ve had my reply back from Groundspeak, and while it makes complete sense to me the way they explained it, it’s still disappointing:

Hello Jenny

Thanks for the email, but I’m afraid we do not own the Travel Bugs and

thus cannot transfer ownership to you. Travel Bugs are purchased from

Groundspeak and become property of the cacher who paid for them. Only that

person can assign ownership to someone else.

As I say, I can fully understand this position. It does mean, however, that Larry has become something of an orphan, effectively fending for himself. We’ll be releasing him back into the wild sometime this weekend. I’ll post here when it’s happened.

Meanwhile, Larry’s been making himself comfortable during his stay:

Larry hangs out with my sock in progress

I’ll no doubt watch Larry’s listing after we send him along. I’ve grown attached to the little guy, and I want to make sure he’s okay out there.

A Cucumber in Search of a Purpose

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 8:02 pm on Sunday, August 7, 2005

Some time ago, I posted about the first travel bug we picked up – Larry the Cucumber is still with us today, even though we retrieved him on July 3rd, and you’re supposed to wait no longer than two weeks at most to release travel bugs again.

As I mention in that previous post, Larry’s mission was long since done with, and he was wandering aimlessly. I thought it would be nice to find out if his owners had an idea for a new mission to assign him.

I contacted them through the geocaching website, and waited. No response. I studied his owners’ profile, and it appears that they may have drifted away from geocaching. They haven’t logged into the website since February, and they haven’t logged a cache find since 2003.

Larry hangs around my desk, awaiting his fate

I e-mailed again after about two weeks, asking again about a new mission, and adding that, if they have left geocaching, I’d be interested in adopting him. I said if I didn’t hear from them by the end of July, I’d contact Groundspeak to request exactly that.

It’s now a week into August, and I’ve heard nothing from Larry’s owners. And so, I’ve just sent off an e-mail to Groundspeak, outlining all that I’ve just told you about.

When I asked Larry what he thought about all this, he responded, “Have you seen my hairbrush?” I wonder if that means he expects to be here a while!

Boxes and Bugs

Filed under: Folkcat & Gryphon's Geocaching Adventures — folkcat at 5:10 pm on Monday, August 1, 2005

This is going to be a picture-heavy post – remember that you can click on any image to see the full-size picture.

Gryphon and I haven’t been out geocaching in a couple of weeks. We’ve been kinda stressed and strapped for cash, too. But we wanted to do something other than mope around the house this past weekend.

We started by considering a geocache in the Monson Village area. There was mention that there were letterboxes in the same place as well, so I hopped over to the Letterboxing website to check it out. (Search for letterboxes in New Hampshire in Hillsborough County to see the listings.) When I looked at the list and realized that there were actually a couple of letterboxes right near our Milford Memory Box, we changed our plans quickly and decided to go the low-tech route this time.

The first one was called “Extra Cheese“, and is located about 30 feet from the Milford Memory Box. There’s a story with that name, but it’s not mine to tell – go to the listing and you’ll read all about it. This was an easy find, and if you’re looking to multi-task your geocaching and letterboxing, it’s a natural go-with for the Memory Box.

The letterbox can be found somewhere within the area pictured here:

Extra Cheese hiding place

If you knew what you were looking for, you could almost see where the Memory Box is stashed in the background.

What made this letterbox a little more exciting for us was, when we sat down with the box to log our find, we realized that there was a man moving oddly through the woods. We watched for a moment in case it was a Muggle; then we realized, it’s a geocacher looking for the Milford Memory Box! We gave him a moment to really find it, then went over and introduced ourselves. This was the first time we’ve actually met another geocacher, and we were thrilled!

There was a little activity in the park that day that highlighted why it’s important to be discreet. This location is often used for concerts and other special events, including weddings. The day we went to find the letterbox, there were chairs being set up for some occasion.


No Audience or Performer Yet – But Just Wait

The second letterbox we went after was close by. We could have walked to it from where we were, but we chose to drive around to Keyes Field instead, which was where the directions for it were written from. It’s Not Easy Being Green is the name, and the only story here is that it’s the first hidden by a letterboxer who calls themself Wandering Muppet.

Keyes Field is a set of athletic fields and facilities in Milford. Some of the special amateur sporting events in the area happen here. What I don’t think most people realize, though, is that it’s also along the Souhegan River Trail, which starts near the west end of town and runs all the way to the Oval.

As I mentioned, the letterbox in question is near Keyes Field, putting it at the end closer to the Oval. This was a very well hidden box – in fact, Gryphon and I have walked past this spot several times, and never had a clue it was here.

If you get nostalgic for old-time America, this is a great spot. The letterbox is near a classic swimming hole, complete with a rope swing hanging from a tree with boards nailed to the trunk for climbing.


Ready for a dip?

It only took a moment for us to pull the box from it’s hidey-hole:


Gryphon with our find.

We sat on the convenient log (covered, appropriately, with green fungus) to make our log entries (sheesh, there’s no way to say that without it being a pun!), then wandered back towards Keyes Field to admire the river some more.

The woods along this trail are full of interesting and unusual configurations of trees. Obviously there’s been a lot of harsh conditions here that force the plant life to do unusual things to survive. We saw many trees along the bank where erosion has removed large portions of the soil directly under the trunk, leaving an appearance like a cage of roots below the tree.


Too open for a geocache hidey-hole!

Other trees grew with multiple trunks entwined like lovers against, I presume, the winds and weather.


How close can trees be?

Back at Keyes Field, we were able to get right down by the river. It was so covered with water striders that it looked like it was raining everytime they moved. There were so many, you can even see them in this picture:


Surface Tension in Action

We also saw a pair of ducks in the river while we crossed the bridge. I tried to get a picture, but they weren’t very cooperative, and only one of them was ever really in range of my lens. Here’s the best I was able to manage.


Shy Ducks on the Souhegan

All in all, another successful day out geocachingletterboxing!

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