Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Milestone: My First Saskatchewan Cache

I have claimed my first Saskatchewan cache.  I only found one today, mainly due to the fact that shortly after I found the cache, a storm came thru that lasted most of the day - 80KM/H winds, lots of rain, and flat terrain makes for some treacherous driving, and some crappy caching.

However, I did manage to get a smiley, and some decent photos to mark my first foray into Saskatchewan.

Only two provinces to go!

Milestone: My First Manitoba Cache

I have found my first cache in Manitoba!  This marks my 7th Canadian province I have cached in Canada.

(Please excuse the bad selfie - its hard to take one with a DSLR when one is in the bush).

The cache was in some thick brush, nearish the "Largest Petrified Stump In The World", which given its made out of concrete, but deep in the woods, makes me think it was an abandoned roadside attraction from back  in the day.  Either way, it is impressive, is it not?

My travel companions didn't want to hang out in the brush long enough to find the cache, hence the selfie.

So, 70% of Canadian Provinces cached - not to shabby.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


A wise rock star once told me that everything is better with a cow around.

I have little reason to disagree, however since I spend most of my time in a town, I needed further proof.  So today the grandparents and I took the kids to a farm to check out that sweet cow action.

The farm was holding an open house, which is apparently something farmers do when they want to show off their new barns and various whatnots.  They offer free food, and time with cows, so who am I to complain?

In this case the sweet new barn contains an automated milking machine. Whenever the cows feel the udder need to lighten their load (or when they moo to themselves "this is udderly ridiculous". (cows, apparently, are hilarious)), they can wander over to the milking parlour and get milked.

Otherwise they eat.
Apparently there is also a roomba like device that goes back and forth along the feeding area to keep the hay up against the wall where the cows can get access to it.  Yes, this farm has droids!  It is like living in the future, but with a promise of delicious milkshakes and, eventually, steak-ums.
 The kids spent some time checking out the farm equipment.  Zeke decided that this tractor was not his size, and headed off to find a more appropriate ride.
We eventually, thanks to a farm kid, found where they keep the calves - apparently they store em in hutches outside - think dog house, but more straw and mooing.  This is to keep the young'uns separated from the herd so they don't spread diseases.
 Cows are curious creatures, and as you walk thru the barns, they often stare at you, checking you out.
 If you are lucky, they also stop to say hello!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 20, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Amazing Timelaspe: Edge Of Stability

I was pointed to this video, and I wanted to share it, because it's rather stunning timelaspe photography by a fellow named Jeff Boyce.

The description reads:
'A result of over 70,000 individual high resolution photos and nearly 20,000 miles of driving, "Edge of Stability" highlights some of the most unique, awe-inspiring, and incredibly strange sights on the planet. Recorded entirely over Spring of 2015, scenes include storm chasing adventures across 15 US states, displays of the Milky Way over desert landscapes, and the amazing Aurora Borealis over Canada.'

I highly recommend you check it out for yourself here.

When I can take a single shot as well as any of these, I know I'll have arrived as a photographer

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On How I Was First In Line At The Breakfast Line At The Office Cafeteria

Beating the alarm by 30 minutes, I roll over to check the weather on my phone, and realize a decision was upon me.

Before, During, and After.
A huge rain storm - the likes of which have not been seen this season, was bearing down.

The weather radar indicated I had about 30 minutes before we were going to get the soaking of (semi)biblical proportions.  I have a 35 minute ride to work at a comfortable pace.  The question lay before me: I could sleep in and get my wife to drop me off at work.  I could sleep in and ride in the rain.  Or I could leave now, ride as hard as I could, and try to beat the rain.

I chose to ride.

A good 90 minutes before my normal ride time, I hop on the bike, and start zipping thru the roads of my town. I can see the rain falling on the hills next valley over.  My heart is racing.  Adrenaline pumping.  The Rule #5 mantra (harden the F'k up) swimming thru my head, in a desperate attempt to avoid invoking Rule #9 (riding in foul weather makes you a badass, period). Not that there is anything wrong with wet weather riding - I've done it before. I have rain gear in my panniers. It is not a bad fate to receive. Some days I actually enjoy the challenge. But today was not one of those days.

It was the principle of the thing.  I am now in a race against Mother Nature, and I'd be damned to let her win.

So on I pedal.  On I ride.  The large hills where normally I hit my lowest gears, I keep in a higher gear.  Intersections where I have a good view, and no traffic, stop signs become yields (not a confession, officer).

Every strong gust of wind is a warning; taunting me.  Mother Nature was gaining on me.

She was quick.  She was fast.  I was betting I was faster.

On the flat I figured I could outpace her.  However my route is anything but flat, and some challenging hills were still in my way.

The equalizer would be the huge hill just before the office.  Most days it requires my lowest gears, and sucks the wind from my lungs.  Today was not most days however.   As the hill approaches I kick into high gear and rush towards the impending incline, and race up it quicker than perhaps I ever had before.

The wind picks up.  She is close.  Too close.

Now the only thing standing between me and victory is the security gate.  I pedal up, winded and sucking oxygen like a jet engine. I badge in.  The 15 seconds it takes to open the gate seems like a lifetime.  Come on, stupid gate - hurry up - don't you know she's coming?

The gate opens just enough to let me pass, so I hit the pedals hard. 500ft stand between me and victory.  At 300ft I feel a strong gust of wind - and a rain drop.


At 100ft I feel a few more drops. But then I ride up the ramp and under the parking deck roof.

That moment the rain started to fall.  It didn't matter. The last 200ft from the ramp to the bike rack was my victory lap.

I was dry.  I was at work.

Suck it nature.  Suck it hard.

All that was left was to head to the cafe and get an omelet.

Let me tell ya, It tasted extra good this morning.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Going Caching Trading Card 2015

Hot off the presses!

 My geocaching trading cards for Going Caching 2015 have arrived!

These trading cards are a big part of the fun at one of the best Mega events you'll ever attend: Going Caching 2015 - this year in Rome Georgia on May 18th.

The best part about this card?  It is trackable - but you'll have to find one of these cards in the wild (or by finding me in the wild) to get the code.

See you in Rome!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Legend Of Dawson's Mine: Published Fully Completely

I have finished putting the rest of my novel online.  It is ready to be read in its entirety by those who dare.

HTML version.

PDF version.


So today marks my official 10 year anniversary as a real life full time Googler.  True story.
I haven't done anything for 10 years before... feels kinda good.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Scavenger 15

The 15th round of the Chrysta Rae Photo Scavenger Hunt is wrapping up over on Google Plus, so I can share with you all my entries.

The way it works is thus:  A list of 10 words is provided, and 500 crazy whacky photographers have 6-8 weeks to brainstorm ideas, and come up with shots that feet each of those 10 words.  They are then submitted, judged, and the results revealed to the world.

These are my entries (click on the word to see the rest of the entries)

I figure there is nothing more blissful than Emmet from The Lego Movie, however thats too predictable... so I made Emmet Abraham Lincoln, and tossed him on a motor bike - ya know, as one does when one is a Civil War era President.

This photo resulted in one of the best comments I think I've ever received on one of my photos: "This is so weird, I love it!"

Taken at a campfire.  I was showing a friend my new camera by shooting the flames... it was only later I realized I caught the boy playing in the fire.

Self explanatory.

Hang In There:
This is one of the most complex composite shots I've ever done.  See my Behind The Scenes write-up for the details.

Inspired by my recent tour of duty as a father of two kids.  Also, ever try to get vaseline off of a minifig?

It is all downhill from here.

It takes a while to melt most of a candle.  Also, the tip of the plastic welding torch was actually on fire for a few seconds. True story.

I didn't have a Lego ladybug, so I improvised.

Indiana Jones and cobweb is a natural fit.

Sometimes simple is best.

Signups for the next round are on Friday at 12PM Mountain Time. Follow +Chrysta Rae for more info.

See you next hunt!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Legend Of Dawson's Mine: Chapters 7, 8 & 9 Published

Our plucky heroes have stumbled across a mysterious and devious stranger on the way to a geocache.  What will happen next?

The action is heating up, so I'm publishing the next 3 chapters of my novel: The Legend Of Dawson's Mine.  Check it out!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Legend Of Dawson's Mine: Chapter Six Published

Chapter six of my geocaching themed novel is published.  Go check it out!

Happy Canada Day!

Your country may be awesome, but is it "Mountie Riding A Velociraptor" awesome?  Didn't think so.
Happy birthday to the Great White North, eh?  Beauty!