Saturday, December 15, 2007

Two Firsts

Click for Larger Image of GeocachersThe First First:
I went Geocaching. Geocaching is a sport that was born along with the easy availability of handheld GPS receivers. Caches, consisting of containers with various objects in them, are hidden in a public place, and then the latitude and longitude of the cache uploaded to the website. It is then up to the geocachers to find the hidden cache, using the coordinates to get close and then searching the area. It is similar to Letterboxing, but Letterboxing involves providing written directions to the location of the hidden cache. This photo was taken by a passing Skip (member of the Escapees, or SKP -- say the abbreviation out loud) who had previously located the cache we were looking for and had stopped by to watch three fools turn over rocks, kick leaves, and look behind and in trees. Mike, on my right, was an experienced geocacher but this particular cache was new to him, and Mark, on my left, was also a geocache newbie. FYI, we did find the cache, and a second one, too, both hidden at the Escapee Rainbow's End park (behind us in this photo).

Click for Larger Image of Habitat for Humanity BuildThe Second First:
I participated in my first Habitat for Humanities build! There were three houses being built on adjacent lots in Livingston -- the Escapees house was in the middle, to our right was the Methodists' house, and to our left was, as they called themselves, "The Christun Motorsickles" group's house. We were to meet at 7:30 A.M., but a torrential downpour coupled with a thunderstorm pushed the start back to about 9:00. The slabs had already been poured and hardened, and a huge pile of wood lay on palettes on the road. We started moving wood to the slab, and nailing specific pieces of wood together that would later be needed in the framing to make doors and windows. I carried a lot of wood around, guarded the blueprint from being disintegrated by water that had puddled in the red clay surrounding the build, and generally tried to help out wherever I could.

Click for Larger Image of Habitat for Humanity BuildAs the day progressed, the weather cleared and got quite chilly (we are expecting a freeze tonight with wind gusts around 40 mph). Our neighbors both had their walls framed and erected long before we did, but we quickly realized that they all had nail guns and we only had Senior Citizens with Hammers. But we managed to get all the walls framed and in place by the end of the day, and it looks great! The next work session isn't scheduled until January, and I will have left Livingston by then. Next time I'm in town I'll have to stop by and see what it looks like!

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