For Those About To Rock

Let me start by plugging my Goodreads account where people can see what I’ve been reading.  It’s mostly non-fiction, but I’m definitely not one of those people who rates everything either 1 or 5 stars (don’t be one of those people).

This is not my first go-round in the blogsphere, but at the tail end of 30 I’d like to think it will be far less self-deconstruction than the better part of a decade spent on LiveJournal.

I am currently enrolled at Florida Atlantic University as I finish the last year of a bachelors in History.  No, I do not want to be a teacher.  Okay, maybe – we’ll see.  I give history presentations at my local library system which I seem to have a knack for.  The American Civil War is my favorite topic.  Contrary to implications of the banner image, this will not be a Civil War blog – at least not entirely.

I will share thoughts stemming from my readings, class lectures, news, internet, conversations, or whatever the heck else triggers ideas colliding in my brain.  I expect I will post some rough drafts of Introductions to non-fiction books I want to write, assuming I make myself write the darn things.

I’m inevitably also going to talk about politics, philosophy, and/or religion (which I consider rather interrelated).  My views are not entirely orthodox so be forewarned, but maybe it’ll all end up published one day in a manifesto.  Let me just break that seal by saying the Republicans and Democrats are both frequently short-sighted and foolish; I’d rather get my US news from the BBC than Fox News or MSNBC.

I may also talk about geocaching and my adventures relating to it so let me explain it up front.  Geocaching is a kind of GPS scavenger hunt; geocachers use GPS coordinates and other information (from “cache pages” on websites dedicated to the hobby – predominately geocaching.com) to find hidden containers.  Once a container is found, the geocacher signs the paper log contained within, possibly trades nick-knacks (“swag”) or leaves a signature item or swaps out trackable items that move between caches (“travel bugs”), and finally returns the cache container to its hiding spot.  Geocaches range from tiny “nanos” the size of pill to military surplus ammo cans to massive containers large enough to stuff a person inside.  They are hidden in both urban and rural areas all around the world; there are in excess of 1 million active “hides” and an estimated 4 million cachers.

The appeal of geocaching varies from person to person: an activity they can do as a family, the competitive thrill of racking up lots of finds, the challenge of difficult hides, a kind of organized exploring, or most commonly the enjoyment of being taken places they wouldn’t otherwise have gone to see things they wouldn’t have otherwise seen.  Geocaching also has a pretty good community, which tends to be more middle-aged adults than adolescents or retirees (though both are also well represented).

The hobby has been around since 2000 (when civilian GPS devices no longer had their accuracy limited by the GPS system) and has been particularly growing in recent years as smartphones put GPS devices in the hands of lots of people who wouldn’t otherwise own one.

That’s 500+ words so I’ll wrap this up.  Readers are encouraged to ask “So what do you think about…” – means not having to brainstorm my own topics as often.

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