Sunday, August 31, 2014

Travel Bug Race 2014: August Update

Drone #1 in Colebrook Ontario
In April I sent 16 geocaching travel bugs out to the 4 corners of the world, and started an epic race to see which bug would get back to my home town first.  Details here.

Drone #1 has made some great strides and is now in the lead.  It started near Ottawa Ontario, and is now in Charlotte North Carolina, just an hours drive from its destination.

Interestingly two drones, #2 (released in Holland), and #3 (released in Germany), are both currently visiting separate islands in Spain.

Drone #4 has visited the Love Love... Espinho 2014 Portugal Mega event last week, which has awesomely clogged up my inbox with dozens and dozens of discover logs.

Drone #3 visiting Altenberbg Dom Cathedral in Germany
Drone #5, released in Australia, has made the jump across the pond, vacationed in Hawaii, and is now in a cache in California.

Drone #9, last seen where it was released in Scotland,  is in the hands of a cacher with promises to get it to Chicago shortly, which will be the second drone to cross the oceans.

Drone #10 is the second closest drone.  Released in Seattle, it has made its way to Lumberton NC, about 3 hours from home.

Drone #11, released in Michigan, has gone walkabout, and is currently travelling around South Australia, making it the drone that has gone the farthest in the wrong direction. It has, however, travelled 16,278 miles so far, making it also drone that has gone the farthest in any direction.

Drone #13, released in Tokyo Japan, has also made the pacific crossing and is in a different cache in California, tho it did take a detour thru Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Drone #14 enjoying the Arabian night life.
Drone #14 is having a wild adventure.  Released in South Africa, it has made its way to the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, and is currently located in the Czech Republic.

Finally, Drone #15 which was released in the Czech Republic, has travelled to Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, San Marino, and is now in Germany.  Making this drone, by far, the one that has been in the most countries.  Hopefully it will soon be finished with its European vacation and will make the hop over the pond to the Americas soon.

So with two drones in the target state of North Carolina, and several more closing in, this is going to be a tight race.

However it is still anyones game.  The previous race saw the drone that was released the farthest away (Australia) be the only one to complete its mission.

This could end up being a real cooker.

Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, August 29, 2014


While these may have been available since the early 1900's, the popular commercially-made variations of this object did not appear until the early 70's.

This particular variation has a spring loaded arm which can be released to exert pressure on the inserted object/coin. I have little doubt nearly everyone I know has seen a variation of these before.

So, what is it?

Update #1: HINT:  Invented by a Bernardin.

Update #2: HINT:  it is not a practical thing, but a play on words.

Update #3: ANSWER: is in the comments.

Drop your guesses in the comments below. (Special thanks to my good Geocaching buddy brdad for coming up with this brain stretcher). 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Going Caching MMXIV: Lego Edition

My self-banishment from TV for a week in an effort to get myself out of a rut continued this evening, and it seems to be working.  However I seem to be fixated on creating Lego themed images.  Tonight was no exception. (Hey, Lego is awesome!)

I am planning on attending the Going Caching MMXIV Mega Event in Rome GA in October, and I am soon going to be shifting into deep planning mode for it.  However before I dive off the deep end, I used my creative juices to come up with this scene, keyed off the events Roman theme.

So, I present to you, Going Caching: Lego Edition.

Hope to see some of you there! Details of the event can be found here: Going Caching MMXIV (GC4AHKM)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Doctor Who: Lego Edition

In my last batch of Lego bits I ordered, I put in some special bits so I could build a minifig of a Time Lord.

When they made this particular hero, they didn't give him a gun... they gave him a screwdriver to fix things.

They didn't give him a tank or a warship or an X-Wing fighter... they gave him a box from which you can call for help.

Nor did they give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray... they gave him an extra heart, and some companions.

I present to you, in Lego minifig form:  The 11th Doctor (complete with a fez, cause fez's are cool), and his companions: The Last Centurion and The Girl Who Waited.

(In my opinion Amy Pond (The Girl Who Waited) needs some work, but otherwise, not to shabby, eh?).

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Stig

I got some more lego bits in the mail, so I built a new minifig.

Some say his breath smells like plastic, and that he's confused by stairs.  All I know is I built a Lego Stig!

For amusement, here are some other memorable introductions for Top Gear (UK)'s finest tame racing driver.

“Some say he never blinks, and that he roams around the woods at night foraging for wolves."

“Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat."

“Some say that he appears on high value stamps in Sweden, and that he can catch fish with his tongue."

“Some say he is illegal in 17 US states, and he blinks this way [sideways]."

“Some say he naturally faces magnetic north, and that all his legs are hydraulic.”

“Some say that his voice can only be heard by cats, and that he has two sets of knees.”

“Some say that he’s terrified of ducks, and that there’s an airport in Russia named after him.”

“Some say his skin has the texture of a dolphin’s, and that wherever you are in the world, if you turn your radio to 88.4 you can actually hear his thoughts.”

“Some say that he has no understanding of clouds, and that his ear wax tastes like Turkish Delight.”

“Some say that his politics are terrifying, and that he once punched a horse to the ground.”

“Some say that his tears are adhesive, and that if he caught fire he’d burn for 1000 days.”

“Some say he can swim 7 lengths underwater, and he has webbed buttocks.”

“Some say that his heart is in upside down, and that his teeth glow in the dark.”

“Some say that his genitals are on upside down, and that if he could be bothered he could crack the da vinci code in 43 seconds.”

“Some say that on really warm days he sheds his skin like a snake, and that for some reason he’s allergic to the Dutch.”

“Some say that he sucks the moisture from ducks, and that his crash helmet is modeled on Britney Spears’ head.”

“Some say he isn’t machine washable, and all his potted plants are called ‘Steve’.”

“Some say that he knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong. And that 61 years ago he accidentally introduced her majesty The Queen to a Greek racialist.”

“Some say his droppings have been found as far north as York, and that he has a full size tattoo of his face, on his face”

“Some say that his new Christmas range of fragrances includes the great smell of ‘Wednesday’, and that he was turned down for the job of EU President because his face is just too recognizable.”

“Some say that he has to take his shoes off with an allen key, and that his new year’s resolution is to eat fewer mice.”

“Some say he once tore a goat in half, and that he is now regretting buying his new holiday home in downtown Cairo.”

“Some say that in his wallet he keeps a photograph of his wallet, and that in a recent race even he was beaten by the King’s speech.”

 “Some say he doesn’t know what dogs are for, and that he recently took out a super-injunction to prevent us from revealing that he [redacted] with an enormous goat.”

“Some say that he can’t eat mashed potato for religious reasons, and that he recently received 47,000 tickets, Olympic tickets, all of them for the final of the Women’s Wrestling. ”

“Some say that he refuses to acknowledge the existence of Nottingham shire, and that he recently received a very strong email from his finance’s mother, saying its bad manners to sit at the dinner table in a helmet.”

“Some say he has 50,000 photographs of his own camera, and that 60 years ago this week, he too became a Queen.”

“Some say he contains 47% horse, and that to concentrate more on his work here he has resigned this week from his other job in Rome.”

“Some say that he breaks into people’s houses at night and leaves two mysterious extra keys in a kitchen drawer, and that as a result of buying Pirelli condoms this week, he now has seventeen children.”

... All we know is he's called the Stig!

Well Deserved

Lawn is mowed. Time for a well deserved frosty beverage from my homeland.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bending Tree

It is always a treat to go after the elder caches. Those caches that have been around in the first couple years of geocaching.

This is why, when I was up in Canada on my road trip of central Ontario, I was sure to make a stop at Ontario's second oldest cache: Bending Tree (GC384)

Bending Tree was hidden on conservation land on February 26, 2001, in the very first year of geocaching (the first cache was hidden May 3, 2000).

As I mentioned, the cache is 0.8 miles down the trails of a conservation area.  So once I parked up, I crossed these train tracks on foot,

and headed down the trails.

Note that these are live tracks, and the trail follows the rails for a while, but along a ridge, so the rails are not actually in view most of the time.  It is an odd feeling watching a train suddenly appear thru the trees and pass you by.  It doesn't quite seem to fit, and makes the woods all noisy.

The trail itself is single track, but well groomed.
There were several bodies of water along the way, which added some visual interest.
I am on record as stating I love it when trees grow out of rocks.  I have had the pleasure of seeing several examples of that over the years.  I have, however, never seen a tree grown around another fallen log.
The actual container used for Bending Tree has changed over the years, and its current incarnation is an ammo can.  It is hidden in ancient looking woods that feel eerie - almost haunted, if one believes in that sort of thing.  It does, however, have a cracking good view overlooking a pond.
On the way back, just as I left the woods and arrived at the car park, I came across this picturesque view of a farm on a hill.  Between me and the farm is Highway 400 (think "interstate", if you are American).
There are many more caches in those woods, so if you are going to make an attempt at Bending Tree, you may want to plan on making a day of it.  As it was, I only had time to grab a couple more caches on the way out, but logging an elder cache is a wonderful addition to a fun day of geocaching through central Ontario.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I don't want to alarm you, but there are definitely monsters lurking in the Canadian woods, and I have photographic evidence:

Be careful out there. Be diligent.  Keep your eyes open.  You are not alone.

Stay frosty.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Unusual Emotional Connections To Bell Pay Phones Explained

This shot is for my dad.

When I was a kid (kindergarten age) my father worked for Bell Canada as a phone repair technician in various roles (details fuzzy, but I recall repairs, installation, and management).  

One of my memories from that time is my father pointing out various buildings saying "I installed phones in there!", or "I collected from pay phones in there!"  It became a running joke in the family.

We moved away from that town when I was young, and he switched jobs at the same time.  I've barely been back to that town since.

I went back there a couple weeks ago and visited some of my early haunts, including seeking out a Bell Canada pay phone.

This particular one was taken outside of the convenience store where my father and I used to walk to some evenings, and he would often buy me some hockey cards.

Ah, nostalgia.  Good times.

Here's to you, Dad!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sickening Romantic Gesture

The last time I was in Canada I took a bike ride over to Port Maitland and ended up at the very tip of this pier here:
8-ish years ago I walked my girlfriend to the very end of that exact same pier and walked back with a fiance.  We were in town for my sister-in-laws wedding, so my thoughts drifted to my own marriage, and all the life events I've had as a married man.

My main thought was this:  It has been the best time of my life.  A+. Two thumbs up.  Would marry again.

I love you, +Debbie DeBaeremaeker.  You are what makes my life awesome.  Can't wait to see what adventures we get into next.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Osler Castle

One of the best things about geocaching is discovering things that I would never discover on my own. On my recent road trip thru central Ontario I struck geocaching gold. For deep in the woods by a pretty lake, way off the beaten track, lies the ruins of a castle.

The castle lies in the Blue Mountain region, right beside Collingwood, near Georgian Bay. Two interesting things of note:  I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, so it was with some amusement that I ended up hiking in Blue mountains 800 miles away, and the range is part of the Niagara Escarpment - that sucker runs a *long* way.

To access the castle one needs to drive down a long dirt road and park at a trail head of the Bruce Trail, and hike 8/10ths of a mile through a nice set of woods.  The path is nice and wide, and the terrain pleasantly smooth.

Somewhere along the line you emerge from the woods into a small clearing.  It is at this point that you get your first look at the ruins of what was once an awesome looking castle.
Osler Castle was built in 1893 by a prominent lawyer from Toronto named Britton Bath Osler.  He built it for his sick wife Caroline, as it was believed the clean mountain air would be good for her illness.  Despite the cleaner air, she died 3 years later in 1896.  Osler himself died in 1901, at which time the castle was left empty and abandoned, set adrift to face the ravages of time. 

Over the intervening years, nature, vandals, and party goers took their toll on the castle, and it now sits in tattered ruins.

Just a few hundred feet farther down the path from the castle sits a rather picturesque lake.  I imagine the lake would have been visible from the windows in the castle back in the day.  Today its hidden from view by a very mature forest.
Today the property the castle sits on is owned by a development corporation who has designs to turn the area into a housing development.  However it is hoped the ruins can be preserved due to their historical significance.

I really hope this happens because Canada has enough condos and suburban development, and not nearly enough cool spots like this.
I like ruins.  Ruins are cool.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Animated Schilstra Family Expansion

We recently were back up in Canada to attend the wedding of my youngest sister-in-law.  While there we took a series of photos showing the expansion of my wife's side of the family, starting with her father, and up thru time until the latest addition (heya Bob!).  I made it into an animated gif.

So I present to you, the Schilstra Family Expansion in a 256 colour animated GIF extravaganza:

Note: I didn't realize how much bigger I was than everyone else...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

7 Souvenirs Of August

If you are not aware, the 7 Souvenirs of August is a geocaching challenge put on by Groundspeak.  It requires one to find at least one cache in six different categories.  Each one grants you a souvenir.  When one collects all 6 souvenirs, it unlocks at 7th souvenir.   It is the essence of gamification, so like a good boy I immediately jumped in with both feet - cause, ya know, special pixels would be granted, and I couldn't be the only one without them.  Like most people of the Internet Generation, I'll do anything for special pixels (except Farmville - for even I have standards).

Many folks did the challenge in a day. I did too, tho not intentionally.  I wasn't planning on doing them in a day, and I found 4 of them very early in August, but needed to wait until I got to Canada to finish the rest.  However, during my recent road trip to central Ontario I ended up accidentally finding caches in all 6 categories.

This is the a breakdown of how I did it.
This souvenir requires one to find a regular geocache.  Simple enough, as this is by far the most common geocache.

The cache used to qualify for the challenge is A Little Storage (GC4KWH8) on August 3rd in Charlotte NC.

On the road trip the cache was called Poulin run - Sighting in Hagersville (GC5993P), near Hagersville ON
This souvenir requires one to find a mystery cache.

The cache used to qualify for the challenge is: Time for T (or R or L) (GC1J2MQ), found near Charlotte NC.

On the road trip the cache was: COG goes International (GC48JD9), found at Geneva Park on the eastern shore of Lake Couchiching.
This souvenir requires one to find a multi-cache.

The cache used to qualify for the challenge is: The Hilton Sisters (GC3XQK7)  found near Charlotte NC.

On the road trip the cache was: Cavi-Tree (GC2MF95), found in Penetanguishene ON.
This souvenir requires one to attend a CITO event, or to do an earth cache.

The cache used to qualify for the cache is: Great Rockin’ Combination; Earth Cache (GC4RNGT) near Charlotte NC.

On the road trip the cache was: Tor Thorwald Lithographic Quarry (GC48JDA) found at Geneva Park on the eastern shore of Lake Couchiching.
This souvenir requires one to attend an event - Mega, Giga, or a regular event.

The cache I used for this is: COG's Penetanguishene Souvenir Socializer (GC58E6P) in Penetanguishene ON.

I wasn't planning on an event for the road trip, but this one was published at the exact place and time I expected to be anyway, according to my schedule. (the coincidence is overwhelming).  Gotta love it when a plan comes together
The collector requires one to find one of the following:  virtual, webcam, letterbox hybrid, or WherIGo.

The cache I used for this is: Lest we Forget... (GC322A), which is located at the Korean War memorial in Brampton ON.
Once I had logged these caches I unlocked the 7th souvenir:

I locked it in as the 8805th person to complete the challenge.  As of this writing just over 20,000 cachers have completed it.  If you haven't yet, there is still time.  You have until midnight on August 31st to log your qualifying caches, so stop reading this and go hit the trails!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Notes on Cache Trip Planning - GeoGearHeads Episode 136: Road Caching V

I recently did a guest spot on the GeoGearHeads podcast about road caching, in which I discussed how I plan and execute my geocaching road trips, especially with kids, and while doing challenges like the NC Delorme Challenge. This may be of special interest for those of us that do not run GSAK for whatever reason. There were a couple requests for these notes, so I am adding them here for the record.
The following are from my notes from the show.  I've cleaned them up a bit, but they remain a little rough around the edges. If anything remains unclear, please ask via the comments below.

You can listen to the show here: GeoGearHeads Episode 136: Road Caching V

Travelling In General:
I start by figuring out where  I wanted to go - Do I want to do the coast, hit up the mountains, a quick grab in the middle. etc.  Also how much time do I have?  Day trip vs long weekend vs 3 week vacation.  What else do I want to see along the way?  i.e. in NC Cape Hatteras Light House, and KittyHawk were destinations on the coast, Mt. Mitchell was one in the mountains.  For longer vacations, Newfoundland and the Grand Canyon became destinations.   
I look for caches at those destinations, and add them to a bookmark list.  For multi-day trips, I also look for caches near hotels and planned stops.  For long trips I’ll build a spreadsheet (Google Docs for the win) of where I want to go that day, what town I plan on stopping at, and the distance between them.  This gives me an idea of how much spare time I’ll have for the day.  I also share that spreadsheet with my wife so I am sure to include her ideas into the trip.  
Pull a Caches along route PQ that take me to all the places Iwant to see. If its a multi day trip, I tend to pull one cache along route PQ per day.  If I am staying in one place for more than a day I’ll also pull a PQ of the area, centered on the hotel.
Sort all PQs by favourite points, look for interesting highly favourited caches along the route.  If I have kids in tow (both toddlers), or have long journeys, I often limit this to low D/T ratings, and larger containers (smalls or larger) for quick grabs on long sections, however I consider all of them if I have time in the schedule, or I am going sans kids. Note:  Its often this process that leads me to discover interesting places to explore.  Especially take note of virtuals and earth caches as those often lead to interesting things.
I also look at the list of Bucket List caches that I maintain, and see if any of those make sense for attempting on the trip.  If they do, they get added.
Add all the best of caches to a bookmark list. I normally call it Best Of X.  Typically I’ll have 5-10/day.  
At this point I have a great idea of what my trip is like.  I have a list of the caches that look good, and a mental list of the must-do caches - i.e. those caches you’d kick yourself for not doing.  This is an iterative process tho - for a day trip it may take an hour.  For a 3 week vacation, I spend 8-10 hours over the course of weeks and months ahead of time.  The longer the trip, the more tweaking gets done.
Then I generate all the PQs - all caches along routes, all caches at the destination, and the Best Ofs.
I load the All Caches PQs into my GPSr, and I load all of the PQs and Best Of into my phone/tablet/Earth.  I keep the Best Ofs in a separate database/list, so I can quickly map the caches I already curated and are on my todo list.  This allows me to navigate easily.  However having all caches quickly available allows me to do impromptu caching - gas stops, kid maintenance stops etc. I used to use Google Earth on my laptop to manage and plan my trip as I went along, but I have since switched to Locus Pro on my Nexus 7 Android Tablet. Note that *all* caches end up on my GPSr, and the Best Of caches are maintained separately on my Nexus 7.
Specific Delorme planning:
Spent some time mapping out the grid into Google Earth (GSAK users get this for free, I believe. I don’t have the benefit of GSAK, so I do it old school). I colour the grids so I can see at a distance which ones I’ve found, need to find, and can ignore. I personally coded up a separate python script to generate the KML file for this (available if anyone wants it), tho its very rough), but it can also be done manually.,
Do the trip planning as above, but ensure my routes go thru all relevant pages I need to get in that area of the state.
When I select fav caches, I also add the very first two caches along the route on each page that look like they still exist  to my list( import the GPX file into Earth makes this easy).  Why two? So I have a backup in case the first one is a DNF.  Often these are caches I don’t really care if I miss, so if I find the first, I skip the second.  Having the backup cache has saved me multiple times tho.

After that its just a matter of executing the trip (i.e. getting in the car and driving).
Other Tips

Be flexible.  Sometimes you want to spend more time at a location because its more awesome than you thought.  One reason for keeping the best of list is so I know where the caches I *could* do and the caches I *must* do are.  I seldom grab all of the Best Of caches - but I always seem to grab the must-do’s
Consider the kids endurance:  I try to keep car time to < 6hrs per day.  When the kids were really young I used Zekey time (cause my son is named Zeke), which was to add 30 minutes to every 2 hours of time expected in the car, which accounts for feeding schedules.  Picking kid friendly caches.  Note parks etc.  When going to parks, cache first, play second. Once the kids are on the playground, its hard to get them away to cache.
A tip Save time:  At fast food places, let kids play in the play place while parents eat.  Kids will happily eat in the car.  Kids take more time to eat. What is a 10 minute stop for an adult can easily become an hour.  Letting them play while the parents eat can cut this down dramatically.
I like to be at the hotel for supper time with the kids.  This gives them some time to settle, and to play before bed.  Generally leave in the morning at 7-8, depending on the schedule. My kids bed time is 7:30, so this gives them a relatively normal sleep schedule - adjust for your own kids particular sleep patterns
Plan for nap times - kids need naps, and nap at different times.  I try to schedule caches to match their nap time needs.  Mine kids tend to nap in mid-afternoon, so exploring in the morning, and scheduling longer drives during the afternoon often works best.
Be prepared with snacks, water, etc. Have plenty easily accessible in the car, and carry kid friendly snacks in your geo-pack.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Road Trip in Central Ontario

A few days ago while I was back up in Canada visiting my in-laws, I went on a mini road trip to explore parts of central Ontario.  

This post covers the basics of that trip, and I will cover some significant sights I saw in more depth in follow up posts. 

I started my day by getting up at 5:30 AM, driving to Tim Hortons for breakfast, then getting some miles in.  I am based in Haldimand County, right along Lake Erie, so I had a couple hours drive ahead of me.

My first stop was at a virtual cache at a Korean War Memorial in Brampton.  There was a box of poppies there, so I stocked up for my own personal stash since they are hard to come by in the US where I now live.  

My next stop was in Newmarket Ontario, where I was born and raised for the first 6 years of my life( I quasi-covered that visit in the post Origin Stories). 

I then headed to a YMCA park on Lake Couchaching to visit an old limestone quarry. According to the earth cache at this location, the limestone from this quarry was extra pure and smooth, and was prized by lithographers world wide as excellent material for making printing plates.
While I was near Lake Couchaching I did a multi-cache on an elevated walkway that leads out over wetlands.
I then worked my way northward to Penetanguishene (heck of a town name, eh?) to do some more caching, and attend an event.  Hanging out with local cachers is always a treat, wherever I go.  Along the way I got this panoramic shot of the town from the highest park in the area.

The next day I headed west to the southern shoreline of Georgian Bay.  I started the day by doing a cache at the ruins of a castle (not something normally one can say in Canada - we're not really castle folk - that deserves its own post).  

I then checked out the Georgian Bay shoreline from an awesome park in Collingwood.  I brought my bike with me, and I took extra time to ride it up and down the excellent bike paths they have running along the shore.  They also have an inukshuk, which I am always a sucker for. This one was rather large and impressive.

From there I visited an earth cache at artesian well that boasts the cleanest water in the world (something to do with the unique ground formations causing extra awesome filtration).

I then did the second oldest active cache in Ontario, Bending Tree (another post coming).

Next up was a visit to an old church (covered up, assuming for its own protection), that was used by the first black settlers from the US, who came to Canada to avoid the slavery issues in the US.  Those black folk also helped defend us in the War of 1812 - just goes to show it pays to be nice to folks.
My next stop was at an old ghost town called Josephine (yet another post coming up!).

I finished my trip by doing an earth cache at The Devils Punchbowl in Hamilton Ontario, at which I captured this panoramic shot of the Hamilton skyline.
After that I headed back to my in-laws place.  It was a quick trip, but a fun one, and I ended up seeing a lot of history I didn't know existed - all in an area of the world that was essentially my backyard-at-large for the first 33 years of my life.

Stay tuned for more posts about the castle, ghost town, and second oldest cache in Ontario - coming soon to a blog near you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Origin Stories

The following is a true story.

They say every super hero needs an origin story.  This one is mine.  

I started life here, in the usual way.  To protect my secret identity the name of the hospital has since been changed.  No one knows why.
I lived here.  It is where I kept my socks, Legos and Hot Wheels.  It also acted as my home base and my first secret lair while I roamed the neighbourhood, getting into mischief, and perfecting my adventuring skills.  MacGuyver and the A-Team were influential during this time (as were the Duke boys - yee haw).
My education began here.  From the very beginning I demonstrated a penchant for imitating fire trucks.  That fact is in no way relevant, but does add some nice colour to the story, doesn't it?
I got my hockey cards here.  I got 3 Wayne Gretzky's in one pack.  I didn't keep any of them.  Foresight was not my finest attribute in the first grade.
Eventually I entered these doors and joined a secret fraternity known only as HWOps.  Thusly, I disappeared into the murky depths of a corporation bent on organizing the information of the world, and in the process, building an artificial intelligence so advanced that the worlds cat video needs are met at the speed of light, before anyone even knows they want them. You are welcome.
What happened to me after this is unknown, but there are theories.

No known current pictures exist.  The following is an artists rendition based on slightly delusional eye-witness accounts.

According to the almost non-existent myth and legend that surrounds the story of my life, my whereabouts are currently unknown.  They say I am still out here, roaming the earth.  Lurking in the shadows.  Waiting for the next opportunity to engage in awesome, and delusions of grandeur.

They say that, if one is lucky, one may cross my path and become a part of an epic adventure.  They say a lot of things. Some of which are fiction, some are myth, some are legend, some are too good to believe.

Some are true.

They say every super hero needs an origin story.

This was mine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Merritville Speedway

Merritville Speedway is a small local dirt track located in the heart of the Niagara Region in southern Ontario.

The last time we were in Ontario my in-laws took the kids, and myself, to go see the races.

I am not much of a race guy, but they did seem to have quite a wide a variety of racing categories:

- small sized cars
- medium sized cars
- another kind of medium sized cars
- large sized cars

Each qualifier  race lasted 6 laps, and each final race lasted 20-25, with the grand finale race lasting 35 laps. The whole thing took about 3 hours.

Here are some more pics from our adventures as a moto-sport enthusiast. It was hard to take pics due to the gigantic fence in the way, but at least you are now getting the authentic Merritville Speedway experience (minus the dirt in your hair, and abusive amounts of engine noise in your ears).