First off I'd like to says sorry for the barrage of posts a short while ago.  As I was writing Join The Hunt I came across a few draft posts that needed to still be published.


So I finally got my mitts on the eTrex Legend I was looking to buy.  For the first time in a long time I actually read the instruction manual for a piece of technology.  Normally I just let'er rip and figure it out as I go.  The only time I normally crack open a manual is to read up on a very specific function.  Don't get me wrong TRIED to do that.  But I'm not at all familiar with GPS technology and the interface on this basic unit isn't as intuitive I've become accustomed to with my iPod Touch and iPhone.

Aside from the interface, the fist thing I noticed was the lacking detail of the maps.  Small details like MAJOR HIGHWAYS!!!  I guess most of what you pay for when you buy a GPS unit for your car is the maps and waypoints included in it.  But before it was discontinued this unit sold for over $150.  So right now I'm trying to find a way to avoid spending $100+ on street & topographic maps from Garmin.

I've placed a link to my stats from Geocaching.com on the side of the blog so you can follow my progress.  I changed my username from Ry3guy to Tha Duh Feez since the ultimate goal of this new hobby is to be more physically active with the wife and daughter.

I've logged 3 finds so far with only my first hunt being a DNF.  The stats bar only says I've found 2 because one needs maintenance (a Ziploc bag for the log) badly!  I'll relog it when I add the Ziploc baggy.

My 1st find ever was with the family at the main intersection of Acton.  I totally cheated.  While I was waiting to get my eTrex I bought the Geocaching.com iPhone app.  It lets you lots of stuff.  Even some things only a premium membership can do on the website.  It lets you access the description of the cache, read the hint, use 3 map features (topographic, street, & satellite), log a find, view/take photos, and save it all for offline use.  Well I used the description & hint to find the exact location of the cache.

My 2nd cache I looked at the pictures.  Total spoiler!  It's my own fault though because the iPhone app warns you pictures can contain spoilers.  I still count it as a cool find though because of the type of cache container.

My 3rd cache was my first cache find using my eTrex unit.  I knew the general location of the cache because I had already looked it up on the iPhone but didn't read the hint or look at any photos.  So I turned on my eTrex and added a new waypoint and selected GoTo.  It took me a couple minutes to select the options I wanted on my screen (bearing & distance).  When I started walking around ground zero the bearing indicator started acting like a compass near a magnet.  I realized that's what it means it says 'accurate to 17ft'.  I eventually found the cache (thanks to learning from my first DNF).  My stupid pen wouldn't work so I took a pic of the log and uploaded it with my log as proof of the find.

I'm meeting up with my wife & daughter after work to go hang out with friends.  But I'm trying to think of ways I could sneak out and get in another cache!


A Bone To Pick

(Originally written right after the recent federal election)

Now that the election is settled I have a bone to pick.  Mainly with the anti-Harper camp.  But before I get into it, let me be clear that this isn't an attempt at gloating.  I simply want to vent my frustration.

Let me start with full disclosure.  I voted for the Conservatives and probably will for the rest of my life.  That being said, I'm not a huge Stephen Harper fan and Jack Layton had some really interesting things to say.

I don't like the way Stephen Harper seems to make sweeping decisions and avoids any sort of accountability for his actions.

I liked some of the ideas that Jack had for government, like abolishing the Senate.

It was Elizabeth May's desire to have a more polite and professional atmosphere in the House of Commons.  This would include the abolishment of smear campaigns.

(Here is where my vent comes in.)

As soon as an election was called there was a mad flurry of activity online.  Especially amongst social networks.  People began picking their sides and promoting their own agenda.

However, I was taken aback by the cruel and hateful stances people took against the Conservatives, specifically Stephen Harper.  There were reports of the Conservatives hiring people and/or employing bots to search out any non-conservative blog, article, tweet, or Facebook status and hijack it.  I personally saw numerous people resort to name calling: robot, dictator, evil, etc.  I was personally attacked as being one of these alleged Conservative puppets when I encouraged people (especially young people) to get out and vote (a traditionally NON-Conservative demographic).

Looking back I find it rather ironic.  Liberals often accuse Conservatives of being hateful (or at least discriminatory) of visible minorities.  But this time around it was the liberals who were prejudiced and hateful in their speech & actions.

Fire Alarms SUCK!

Okay, so maybe they don't totally suck.  Yes they are there to give us a chance to escape in case of a fire.  But you have to remember to change the batteries every 6 months.

But because my condo used to be an apartment building they need to inspect the units once a year to make sure they meet the fire code.  This basically means checking to make sure your smoke alarm works.  But it also means taking the day off work and waiting around all day for them to come to your unit.  Usually I just use it as a day to catch up on some much needed video gaming.

Last night though the building fire alarm went off.  Thankfully I hadn't quite gone to bed yet.  Because if I had I probably wouldn't have heard it.

So I go in a dash.  I wake up the wife and tell her whats happening.  We both quickly throw on some clothes to go outside in.  We grab the baby, her car seat, a diaper bag, a full bottle, and my wallet.  But when we get out in the hallways the only thing we see are other tenants.

No smoke.  No fire.  Just people.

Thankfully the alarm had been turned off by this point.  But what is going on?

When I heard the Super was in the basement looking into I went down to ask him because for some reason everyone else was just standing there wondering what to do.  So I went down to ask the Super and he said he didn't know what happened.  All he knows is that something tripped the alarm but there was no fire and none of the fire alarm switches had been pulled.

So after reaching my target heart we had fun feeding our hungry baby and then going to bed.

Join The Hunt

So, I've been looking for something physical to do because I want to be able to be fit enough to play sports with my daughter when she's old enough.  I don't want to be that father always telling his kid to slow down (well... until she starts learning to drive).

But I've been coming up dry.  I was going to start going for walks before work but I never get there in time or I'm exhausted from not sleeping with my CPAP machine.  Then I thought we could start going for walks as a family at night before my daughter goes to bed.  Again, it just never seems to work out.  Either we are out late at some one else's house or the routine of life just gets in the way.

The other day I was reading my buddies blog.  You see my buddy Dave is into geocaching.  It basically involves using GPS technology to find hidden treasures (caches).  In fact, most of his blog posts have something related to it.  He even incorporates it into business trips & vacations.  But what I finally realized this time was that he often takes his wife, son, and dog with him.

It got me thinking (yeah... that's kinda dangerous), why don't I do that with my family?  My wife loves road trips and used to like going hiking all the time.  The best part is that it's goal oriented!  I won't just be going for a walk for the sake of going for a walk.  I'll be going for a walk to put another notch in my cache belt (not to be confused with a cash/money belt).

So after searching Best Buy, FutureShop, Canadian Tire, Sport Check, & Tiger Direct I found even the cheapest Garmin eTrex for $179 (+extra for maps).  Umm, NO!  Kijiji to the rescue!  I found a step up from the basic Garmin eTrex model almost new for $60.  It's been up for a couple weeks so I sent an email offering $50. (See below)

Let's hope I get it.  Too bad buying size 15 hockey skates wasn't this easy!


Curried Honey Chicken Casserole

Okay, so a friend is laid up for a few days and I offered to bring over some food show she wouldn't have to cook.  However, she doesn't eat pork or beef and is lactose intolerant (even though she's a very tolerant person).  So I figured I'd look up a chicken / rice dish.  But they all seemed rather bland and I wanted to try something with the lean ground chicken I found at Food Basics recently ($10 for 4 lbs!!!).

So off to Google I went with my search recipe "ground chicken" rice -milk -cream.  But for some reason all the recipes were for chicken breasts.  But I found a cool recipe for a honey curry rice.  So I took that and modified it to a salsa chicken casserole I knew of.

I'll let you know how it turns out:

1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp mustard
2-3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of minced garlic
1 shredded carrot
3 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 cup of salsa
2 cups of rice
4 cups of water
1 lb of lean ground chicken

-Cook onion & garlic on medium heat until soft.
-Add garlic, olive oil, honey, curry powder, & shredded carrot and stir for 1-2 mins on medium heat.
-Add water & salt and boil uncovered

-Cook lean ground chicken in a pan
-Drain pan then add 2 finely chopped onions and cook until soft
-Add oregano and montreal steak spice

-Combine rice & chicken mixtures into casserole dish
-Cover with 1/2 cup of salsa, finely chopped tomatoes, and bake at 375 F for 20 mins