Monday, April 21, 2014
Two Things I Stopped Doing, but Have Started Doing Again
#1 - Geohashing
In April 2012, I had a bit of a crisis of faith in geohashing, and that summer -- usually high geohashing season -- I gradually petered out and quit, and became a confirmed ex-geohasher. Then, about a year ago, I went on a few convenient expeditions, and then structured a big aimless roadtrip around geohashing, and before you could say boo I was back in action.
If you don't know me personally, you probably think I am misspelling "geocaching." No. Geocaching is a perfectly respectable game where people hide little boxes around the landscape, and then give you coordinates and perhaps clues as to how to find them. I occasionally do a little geocaching, if I want to go for a walk and need a destination, but I don't especially care for it. The hide-and-seek aspect makes me feel foolish, possibly because I am pretty bad at it.
Geohashing is the quest not for a hidden box but for a random point, generated daily (and on Friday for the weekends) by a complex formula. Most days, you check the point in the morning and see that your local "hashpoint" is inaccessible in one of a hundred ways -- in water, in mountains, on a farm or other private property, down a deep canyon, etc. But sometimes, the hashpoint is accessible, and then you go there, take a picture or two, and write it up for the geohashing wiki.
Could you give us an example?
I've talked about geohashing before, but I bring it up again because frequent voter and commenter Morgan has brought to my attention the Eupeode's Map application. This is one of a number of websites that will calculate your local hashpoints for you, but it is both very, very good, and makes the concept relatively clear for new geohashers. Here, for instance, is what the hashpoints looked like last Saturday around my home graticule of Portland, Oregon:
Most of the surrounding hashpoints were in mountains and forests, but the one in Portland itself looked promising! I zoomed in:
This looked extremely excellent -- right on a footpath in a public park near an industrial area. Eagerly I programmed my GPS and headed for the point! However, in this case....
...the lake had swollen with the spring rains, and I was twarted. But the point is, I had an adventure! Kind of.
Hopefully, Niece #4 has better luck today in the parking lot that I sent her to in her home graticule.
Anyway, geohashing is a fine pastime, and everyone should be doing it.
#2 - The Bible Blog
MichaelReadstheBible never really came back from Christmas Break 2009, but it staggered along in dribs and drabs to fall 2011 before I put it in mothballs altogether. But last Monday, it rose back to life phoenix-like, or perhaps zombie-like, right where it left off at Jeremiah 26. There's another post today.
How can I be sure that it's really back, on the strength of two measly posts? Fair question! But I really want it to be back, hence sticking my neck out publicly here. A Monday publication date may mean that I skip some Mondays here at IAT, but I bet you can cope with that.