Friday, June 17, 2022

Upgrading Geocache Containers 101

How many times have you gone out caching with a full swag bag and a handful of trackables only to find nothing but micros, nanos, bison tubes, and DNA caches? Too many? Me too. Call me a grumpy old searcher if you like, but I am at the point where it is time to do something about it. How you ask? Well, by writing primers, teaching Geocaching 101 events (PCP8AB), and setting an example by hiding larger containers; that’s how.

At the risk of sounding preachy, aren’t you also weary of how little thought has been put into not only the container, but the location of so many caches these days? Every time I see the description on a cache page that reads, “This corner was just screaming for a cache, so I put one out!” I cringe. Arriving at the precious location I read it is a muggle-heavy micro in a bush, with no hint and possibly shaky coords. What? Again? The pharmacy parking lot is crowded with cars and now I find myself on my hands and knees in front of some car’s grill and the first thing I see is empty soda/pop bottles and McD’s wrappers that are aged to nutty perfection. My thought is always, “Are no cachers doing CITO these days” as the container has been published for 6 months.

I check the D/T rating and it is a solid 1.5/1.5. After 20 minutes I leave and feel like I’ve been cache-whipped. Checking the past logs I see someone with 18 finds praising the CO for hiding the smallest thing they’ve ever seen hold a log. I shake my head and wonder if I will be back. The newbie swears it is an “evil hide”, but I think it is a “stupid, needle in a haystack” hide as I post a DNF.

The only upside was the full sack of trash I picked up, as is my commitment to giving back to the community. I carry a large container behind the seat of my Jeep and a roll of trash bags and don’t feel bad about preaching CITO every chance I get. CITO is the only beneficial thing we do for the community and so many veterans appear to forget this, as evidenced by the many trash strewn cache locations I’ve witnessed.

The solution is twofold. Replace your containers with the largest container possible to facilitate trackables and swag.  You may have to actually get creative so muggles don’t spot it, but cachers can make quicker work of logging it and find the experience far superior to looking for a forgettable container. I want to fool muggles, but unless I am deliberately trying to make it difficult, I want cachers to find my hide. Give good hints. Cachers who don’t want hints, won’t read it anyway, but a family with kids and us old folks will appreciate it. Reserve evil hides for unique containers folks won’t recognize rather than a nano glued to the bottom of a pebble in a rock pile by a gas station. Come on! That is not evil folks; it is mean and most of us groan when we find it.

Second, archive that old LPC or micro that everyone has found (and has few, if any favorite points) and place a new, better, and larger container. Do the homework and make it something cool and awesome and folks will come and maybe give that precious favorite point. Our landscape here in the Houston area is littered with tiny insignificant hides and aren’t worth remembering for any reason except to get a point. Many of the CO’s aren’t active or do maintenance on their caches and in my opinion simply need to archive their hides. Open the area back up for new better containers and let’s give this game a makeover. If you hide caches, protect your user name by doing prompt maintenance. The last thing you want to hear is your name dragged through the mud. Happy caching!

 Bert Marshall (BaytownBert)

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Using Google Earth measurement tools for geocaches.

 BB's Primer: Using Google Earth to accurately hide caches. Here is a graphic showing the actual location of caches in Jenkins Park in Baytown. I use this method to lay out an area to get the maximum allowable caches. Note: You cannot use Google Earth Geocache Viewer to determine where the actual cache is located.

Note: Shut off the optional Geocaching Google Earth Viewer, because it is inaccurate other than showing a cache is nearby.

Copy the coordinates from the GC page and using GE, place a pin where the actual location is and rename it with the GC number. After all the caches are located and tagged, use the ruler or circle tool at the top of the page to measure in excess of 528 feet to determine if there is room for another cache.
This method will allow you to check your real coordinates when you hide a cache if you can identify the location with an aerial view and allow you to hide more caches in, say, a cemetery or a park. Why hide one when you can hide 2 or more?

On another note, you should make it a habit to check your coords on GE to be sure the cache is where you say it is.

Google Earth Pro's drawing tools do not include an easy way to draw accurate circles. But, the ruler/measuring tool does let you measure circular areas and save them as KML, so you can do the following to draw a circle:

Open measuring tool (ruler icon on toolbar, or Tools menu > Ruler)
In Ruler window, select the "Circle" tab
Select the units you want to measure the radius in (eg: feet)
Click (click, don't drag) on the map at the center point of your circle (Park-Cemetery)
Move your mouse until the circle radius is the distance you want (eg: 540 feet to be safe)
Click the map again to complete the circle
In the Ruler window, click the "Save" button
In the "New Path" window which appears, give it a name and click "Ok" button
Find your circle in the Places panel!

Here is an example of Jenkins Park with existing caches. The pale green dots are the only place a new geocache can be placed. 

Baytown, Texas - Baytown Geotour GT7A

Thursday, November 18, 2021



I’ve never been a proponent of beating a dead horse! But I feel obligated to do so in hope of provoking maybe one in ten Democratic voters to fact check me and discover that being educated and thinking for oneself is not a yet a felony.

The Democrat Political Party and its entire history has been dedicated to slavery and racism through the moment of this polemic’s printing! It’s a virulent, deflected, and obfuscated racism that has always been the central  core principle of well documented, recorded, and provable Democratic Party history!

Before recounting countless proofs of what the Democratic Party is as a whole, I’d like to comment on those who slavishly devote themselves to being Democrat voters: “you’re” one of three things 1) a racist yourself  2) completely ignorant or simply ignore the precedence’s of history 3) a complacent dumbass!

Indulge me recounting historical proofs that the left is doing yeoman’s work to hide from view behind their racist hypocrisy today by discouraging the teaching of history in schools and colleges except for that that supports the “progressive left’s” legends and fairy tales.

The lazy historical view of the Civil War was the North victors sometimes espoused that it was a war to free the slaves. Economics were central to the agrarian south and if slaves were freed and were paid their worth profits from plantations would plummet. A somewhat oversimplification perhaps, but close enough for government work, especially if you are still an incomparably stupid stubborn Biden supporter

Perhaps the greatest irony for the uninformed and less educated is that more abolitionist groups existed in the Confederate South than in the North before the Civil War began. Well, yeah. so the North prevailed.  But not really.

From studying history in Ohio when America was number one in Public education instead of 35th today we knew something about the existence of the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and heard about segregation which was really difficult for us to grasp because Blacks and Whites went to the same schools, drank from the same water fountains, ate in the same cafeterias and restaurants, and rode the same buses and sat wherever they pleased. Sure, there was what I call closet racism in the North because Blacks were discouraged from living in upscale white neighborhoods until “blockbusting” became a tactic in the 1960s where a Black family of means would be able to purchase a home with the help of an honest, unbiased but greedy Real Estate agent making a substantial bundle in fees for their “lack of bias”!

To reiterate for the umpteenth time, the Democratic Party was founded by Presidents Andrew Jackson and President to be Martin Van Buren in 1828, both slave owners. Until Google became a dedicated censor of things detrimental to the Democratic Party, I found references to Jackson as having had around a hundred slaves: now only a dozen or so after Google censorship. In a few more years, he won’t have had any as the left continues Its dedicated march to rewrite history.

The Democratic Political Party for the last 70 years has dedicated itself to deflection and obfuscation. They well know they are the party that birthed the Ku Klux Klan (see deceased Democrat Senator Robert Carlyle Byrd,  ranking Ku Klux Klan Kleagle), JIM CROW Laws and Segregation. Nowadays they take every opportunity to deflect their continuing innate and  despicable history of racism to the Republican Party. Oh yeah Joe Biden eulogized Byrd at his funeral, revealing himself to be a racist bastard!

Democrat ass Woodrow Wilson not only segregated the U.S. Military, but the Washington bureaucracy. Black military groups were led by white officers. Blacks working in the government bureaucracy had to use separate facilities from whites. Wasn’t Woodrow a great “Progressive?

Then along comes LBJ and The Great Society to help the ”Negra” get on the dole and be dependent on the Democrats. The Republicans, who had been fighting the Democrats for a solid 100 get Civil Rights legislation into law joyously helped pass a law that would ban Jim Crow and segregation, not realizing it was a tradeoff for the Democrats to re-enslave blacks by using welfare as bait and purposely destroying the Black nuclear family by paying unmarried black women big bucks per kid and buy votes!.

 Lastly, the entire Congressional Black Caucus is completely composed of racist Uncle Toms who are getting rich and doing nothing for their constituents whatsoever.

Republicans amaze me by allowing the Democrats to lie about their inherent racism without a concerted counter-attack known as historical truth!

*John Frock is an Ohio native, author, and has lived in San Angelo for almost a half century. He’s twice retired: USAF Intelligence Analyst and Past Postmaster of Winter’s, Tx.



Monday, November 01, 2021

Let's Go, Brandon!


The viral cheer, "Let's go Brandon" is as much on an indictment of the news media as it is an indication of the displeasure by voters toward the current political environment under the Biden Administration.
Voters for the most part wish two things. Biden needs to reverse everything he changed after he stole the election and the news media needs to stop offering opinions on everything and simply report the news.
"It started at an Oct. 2 NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old driver, had won his first Xfinity Series and was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. The crowd behind him was chanting something at first difficult to make out. The reporter suggested they were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon” to cheer the driver. But it became increasingly clear they were saying: “F—- Joe Biden.”

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Climate change is propaganda

 BB’s Take: The current mandatory repeated science phrase “Climate change” is propaganda in the subtlest form. Understand that every single time this phrase is used to explain anything to do with actual climate it really means man is destroying the planet. It doesn’t mean an earth cycle, or a wobbling of the moon, it means our government has the responsibility to take away your freedom to save the planet and has every intention of doing just that.

Before you get your feathers all rustled up to explain it is appearing we are having weather anomalies – throughout history we have ALWAYS had unpredictable swings in weather. Always. When progressives found out they couldn’t bamboozle the world with “Global Warming”, they took on a more subtle and sinister version by changing it to “climate change”; linking the two words and making it easy for everyone to agree the climate appears to be changing. For the good of the people, climate change lawmakers will take away more freedoms which will accomplice their goal of making us more dependent on the government.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hurricane season could be anarchy instead

 BB's Take: Folks are talking about a possible hurricane and urging everyone to be prepared. If after January 20th 2021, you have not prepared for possible loss of power with extra gas, a means to protect your property and life, propane, water purification, food, generator, etc. A hurricane is the least of your problems (add in wildfires, tornadoes, and floods if you don't live on the Gulf Coast) and this is still aimed at you. I believe anarchy is coming. Anarchy happens when the police cannot insure your safety.

All our current government has to do is shut off the power grid (for ANY reason) and cell service and we are in very serious trouble. Stock up and if it doesn't happen, nothing lost. Aim at 6 months food by buying 25# bags of rice, beans, and seasonings and at the least, you won't starve.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dear Mr. President

 A letter from my son in law's grandfather who is about 15 years older than me and ex-OSI/CIA/NSA spook.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Boycott Racism

 BB's Take: Racism: Promoting or denigrating a race over the other races. If you truly want to fight back against racism, boycott the companies that promote it to their employees, like Coca-cola, Subway, Burger King, and now Bank of America.

Bank of America tells employees US is 'white supremacist' and to get 'woke at work'. The Bank of America materials even target children, saying white toddlers as early as age three have potential racial biases.

Newly leaked documents reveal that the Bank of America’s executives are making employees go through lessons that tell them that the USA is a racist country and that they must prioritize racial privilege in their world views.

Remember this, racism exists because it has been politicized, not because Americans hate each other because we look different than each other. Think about it.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Grifter Joe

 I spent 651 days in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. My base was losing aircraft and pilots. Richard Nixon was President. Jane Fonda was in Hanoi. USAF and Navy aviators were in the Hanoi Hilton and Joe Biden was active in politics under Nixon. In all that time, Old Joe has not fathered one single piece of meaningful legislation and he is still on a streak to do nothing at tax payers expense. It is so surreal as to be fiction that he is a duly elected president

I would not buy a used car from Joe the grifter and where are all the Joe supporters now?

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The CV-19 Vaccine and Agent Orange

 BB's Take: People are posting to simply get the vaccine because they believe the un-vaxxed are going to infect others. Just get it they say. Now I will tell you what I told my VA doctor the other day when he derided our governor over not requiring mask mandates.

"They said Agent Orange was safe, remember?" That stopped him in his tracks. It took years to see what this chemical does to the human body.
The number of Vietnam veterans affected by the chemical Agent Orange is astonishing. Roughly 300,000 veterans have died from Agent Orange exposure -- that's almost five times as many as the 58-thousand who died in combat.
How much proof does it take to realize our government is talking out of both sides of it's collective mouth? If you want to take how many shots they decide you need, then fricken take them, but leave the rest of us alone until we deem it safe enough to introduce into our own body. The HIPPA law was supposed to make our medical history private, remember?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge.

Upgrading Geocache Containers 101

How many times have you gone out caching with a full swag bag and a handful of trackables only to find nothing but micros, nanos, bison tube...