Archive for November, 2007

The Planets (GC11N95)

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

There are so many beautiful little squares of awesomeness in this area. I had no idea there were places like this when we decided to move here. We moved here for purely economic reasons. This cache is located in a nature preserve run by the Riparian Institute. There are trails all over the preserve with running water all over. A riparian zone is the interface between land and a flowing surface water body. This area also houses a small observatory and is conveniently located right near a library.

Krissy and I brought lunch and ate it at the gazebo near the cache. While we were eating there were at least two other groups of geocachers that came by looking for the cache. There are a lot of other caches in this preserve, so we will be back here a few times for them, but this is a beautiful spot just to spend the day and enjoy nature.


The Geoache

The Geoache

I’m rockin’ my Windows Vista swag I got from the Microsoft rep at work. I’m so cheap that I’ll promote Microsoft crap if it means I get free clothes.

Toothpaste That Eradicates Sensitivity

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

ToothpasteA couple of years ago I went to the dentist and they told me that I probably sleep with my mouth open. I guess that makes me a mouth-breather. Breathing through your mouth when you sleep leads to a dry mouth because you don’t produce saliva when you sleep. As it happens, bacteria just love the nighttime because the like the dryness. This lead to sensitive gums. The dentist gave me some awful-tasting mouthwash that I used day and night for a couple of weeks. It helped my gums, but my teeth were still sensitive to hot and cold. The problem wasn’t debilitating, but it was annoying.

I recently tried out Biotene, which is a toothpaste that not only alleviates the discomfort of sensitive teeth, but also resolves the problem. Biotene could have really helped me out when I was suffering from sensitive teeth. It’s nice to know that there is a sensitive toothpaste out there that I can use the next time I have sensitive teeth. My favorite thing about Biotene is that it’s got Xylitol in it, which is a sweetner that is actually good for your teeth because it mimics sugar enough to attract bacteria, but they can’t motabolize it like sugar, so they die! Give it a try.

Brian’s Free Stone (GC12G9Z)

Friday, November 16th, 2007

North of the lake in Freestone park is a skate park that I never knew existed. I bet Christopher would have liked to spend some time there if we had known about it. I had trouble finding this one, but Krissy used her cache-sense and grabbed it with little trouble. This is a pretty big cache which would be great for a travel bug in the future.

While walking around and getting these caches we walked a total of about three miles, which is pretty respectable for a couple hours of geocaching. We left home as the sun was setting and arrived home in the dark.

The Geoache

Duck Tracks (GCJ54W)

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

This cache is located near the banks of the lake at Freestone park. No one was feeding the ducks today, so I couldn’t get pictures of people throwing entire pieces of bead into the water like Frisbees.

When we started getting close to the cache there was a family getting their pictures taken on the side of the nearby hill. Krissy and I sat down near the banks of the lake and enjoyed the breeze, waiting for the family to get dona and leave. After a few minutes they were still there, so I got up, grabbed the cache, and walked back where she was sitting. While we were hanging out, I took a few pictures of the small-gauge train that circles the park.

Duck Trails Cache

Train at Freestone Park

High Voltage (GC11E9V)

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Krissy and I decided that it had been far too long since we went Geocaching. Today is only the second time we’ve been out since we moved here. Since the weather is so nice right now, it’s the perfect time. There are parks all over the place out where we live, and that where this cache took us. There were tons of muggles out on this beautiful Saturday, but they were not close to this one.

The cache must be getting sprayed by sprinklers or something, because the logbook inside was soaked! Thankfully I had a pen that wrote on the wet paper without smearing and without tearing it.

High Voltage Geocache

So, You Want to Learn a Language?

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

You can learn (but not master) any language in one hour or less. Don’t believe me? Well, that’s what Tim Ferriss says. He says most language learners neglect the most critical first step in learning a new language: deconstruction. He claims that the fastest language learners deconstruct the language they want to learn before they start memorizing lists of vocab words. His reasoning is that for native speakers of a particular language to learn some languages might be very easy, while others might be nearly impossible.

I took an intro to Linguistics course in Southern California and the instructor also happened to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Most of his students were Japanese students who wanted to learn English, so they enrolled in student exchange programs. My Linguistics instructor and Ferriss both point out that Japanese and Mexican Spanish have very similar sets of sounds (phonemes) in their languages. Many students would become frustrated learning English and wound up learning Spanish from other students at the college.

Treat Language like a sport. If you are very short, you might have more work to do to be a successful basketball player. The same holds for languages that are very different from those you already speak. Learn how to deconstruct a language first so you know what you’re getting yourself into.