Sunday, April 18, 2010

Waymarking Bingo Update

Last February, I mentioned my goal of getting a waymarking bingo, defined as 20 categories of waymarks in a row on the grid.  At the time I had 6 in a row (up from 4 in a row in 2008).  Today I made it to...8.

From H9 diagonally to O2, you see 8 icons fulfilled.  They are:
  1. H9: Curling Clubs - Potomac Curling Club in Laurel, MD, visited 9/27/2008.
  2. I8: Peace Poles - Standley Park Peace Pole in San Diego, MD, visited 7/20/2008. (And 4 others.)
  3. J7: Butterfly Houses - Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara, CA, visited 8/18/2008.
  4. K6: Octagon Buildings - "Circus House" Antique Shop in Homer, NY, visited 4/11/2010.
  5. L5: Minor League Baseball Stadiums - Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, MD, visited 8/22/2008.
  6. M4: Time Capsules - Bicentennial Time Capsule in Cornwall, ON, visited 4/17/2010.
  7. N3: Pubs and Inns - The Hole in the Wall in Bristol, UK, visited 9/19/2008.
  8. O2: Insect Sculptures - Beetle in Bristol, UK, visited 9/15/2008.
Here are some of the images from these visits.  (I didn't save two of the less memorable images.)

Unfortunately, this doesn't hold out much hope for expansion. P1 is "Free Overnight RV Parking Locations". There are 40 existing waymarks in that category, and since you don't actually need an RV, it probably wouldn't be too hard to create another. On the other hand, I10 is "Remote Backcountry Shelters", which would require me to go to the remote backcountry. Moreover, even if I broke through that barrier, because of the placement of the diagonal, I could only expand this run to 16, not to the 20 required for a full-fledged bingo. Still, it's progress, and other runs will start coming together soon.

How am I doing on other counts? Last February, I had 202/874 categories, now I have 289/940. My rate has climbed from 23.1% to 30.7%. My number of missing categories has dropped from 672 to 651, even as they add categories.

I have at least three more categories I'm planning to add in the next few days, but those require me to create the waymarks, so it will take a little more time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Geocoin Update

 A visitor to my blog yesterday commented that it had been a while since my last update.  When I started this blog 10+ years ago, it was my primary means of inflicting my thoughts on the World Wide Web.  Now, there are too many places for me to share my musings -- Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google Buzz...  This blog has suffered from a little bit of neglect.  So what can I mention here that wouldn't be more appropriate somewhere else?

It's been almost two years since I last updated the status of my geocoins.  To recap, geocoins are trackable items you place in geocaches, which are hidden all over the world.  You then leave some instructions with them (or available on-line).  I thought it would be neat to drop some of them around the world and see if I could get people to return them to Maryland.  I did that with three of them.  I also dropped off a couple of Maryland-themed ones and let them roam.

I figured even if I got bored with geocaching (I did), I could still continue to enjoy tracking the coins around the world.  What I didn't count on was other people picking up the coins and then getting bored with geocaching themselves.  All of my coins are in other people's hands (as opposed to inside of a geocache), and only one of them has been logged this year.  Here is a recap, from longest-missing, to most-recently-moved.
  • Free State Mover #2. I dropped it off in Vienna in September 2007.  A few days later, it got moved north to Slovakia, where it has stayed, except when it took a brief excursion to Kazakhstan.   In June 2008, someone took this picture: In June 2008, "glottis512" picked it up, and it hasn't been seen since.
  • Free State Mover #1. I also dropped it off in September 2007, this time in Bristol, England. It spent the next year or so traveling around south-west England and Wales before heading to Florida in September 2008. In October, it headed to Georgia, but returned to Florida in January 2009 where "thedubmaster" grabbed it, and it hasn't been seen since.
  • Free State Generic #2.  I dropped this guy off in Virginia in February 2008.  In April, it ended up in China, then went on to Barcelona.  A guy there picked it up and carried around Europe until November, when I sent him a message asking him to give someone else a chance.  In April 2009, it arrived in Germany.  "Widowmaker7th" got in in July, and it hasn't been seen since.  "Widowmaker7th" is the only one who has one of my coins and hasn't logged in this year, so there may be the least amount of hope to see this one again.
  • Free State Mover #3.  I released this one in Banff, Canada in May 2008.  By June it was in Sweden, by July Germany, and then in September it made it back to western Canada (British Columbia).  Later that month, it made it into the states (Washington state).  In February 2009, it got to Washington, then Utah in March.  In April, it appears from the notes it made it to Virginia, although nobody logged it into a geocache after this point.  The last it was seen was in September, when "toxikgumbo" picked it up and promised "Will move along soon !"
  • Free State Generic #1. My success story! I dropped it off in Maryland on my birthday in January 2008 (while waiting for the MVA to call my number). A year later (after spending 9 months in one person's hands), it made it to Virginia, then Tennessee in February 2009. By April it was back in Virginia, then it returned to Tennessee in May before heading to Florida. In August, it reached the beaches of South Carolina, where it stayed until a week ago. At that point, it moved to an Interstate 10 rest stop, where "TeamCarraway" picked it up yesterday with the note "Will be traveling to Alabama on Thursday." I look forward to following this guy in the coming months.

Putting together this post has inspired me to contact the people who have had my coins (for more than a day) and ask them if they still have them. Maybe it'll inspire me to release the ones I have at home in a box so I can track them in the coming years...