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Cacher of the Month - February 2012



Antihiro And Cache-Bandicoot

OK, picture it ... it's the summer of 2009 and you and your wife are expecting your first baby. You have first names for a boy or girl picked out, but nothing for the middle name. So, you decide, what's a better way of picking a name than having a cache pool with the winner given the right to give your new baby a middle name. That's what cachers Antihiro and his wife, MagenticGirl, did. They placed a cache in July of 2009, What's in a baby name?. All finders had to do was, in their on-line log, provide a guess for the date the baby was born, and it's weight (lbs and ounces). In addition, they would supply what they wanted the baby's middle name to be: one boy and one girl or one unisex name. Over the summer, many cachers found the cache and supplied name suggestions. How trusting can a parent be? They could have ended up with a baby named Susan Muggle Doe, or James Garmin Doe. God, forbid they'd have a baby named Ferdinand Magellan Doe. BTW, the family's last name isn't really Doe, I'm just using that for demonstrative purposes. Luckily, the name choices by all the finders were quite reasonable. Go to the cache page at the link above to see all the options. The baby, a girl (caches under the name Cache-Bandicoot), was given the middle name Ashley, as picked by the pool winner Glacier_ice. Read further to learn more about Antihiro and his caching exploits.

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. I started Geocaching in August of 2006. My first cache was, the now archived, "THE ZOO TRAIN" (GCRVN2). I remember fondly trampling through the bush wondering what the heck we were doing. Onward we charged, and eventually came upon the cache. It was a 2-foot-tall bucket sitting in the middle of the bush. And it was full of swag! It was unbelievable! My wife, MagenticGirl, and I were in awe and instantly wanted to go and find more of these hidden treasures, and have found many since!

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. My father-in-law, a Geocaching enthusiast/advocate/fanatic, InkyFiller, came into town from Hawkesbury, Ontario. My wife and I were living downtown at the time. I remember like it was yesterday, standing on the balcony overlooking downtown, and Inky telling me about this new sport/hobby he had found out about called Geocaching. I was intrigued, but thought it was a little odd. He showed me his GPSr, which I found more interesting at the time (being a gadget-geek), and insisted we head out and find some. We agreed, and off we went to "THE ZOO TRAIN". I didn't know at the time how much I would come to love it. Inky and I have had many adventures together since.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. That's easy! It's all about the clever hides and thrill of the hunt. I love seeing how other cachers hide their caches. Plain-sight caches are one of my favorites. I think that's why I like urban caching so much. The difficulty level goes up and you discover really neat ways people hide things right in front of your face.

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. Not a lot really. I don't travel often. I've managed to snag some finds in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Minnesota. InkyFiller, Zef and I even took a road trip to Saskatchewan for a day just to grab a couple caches there.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. I've introduced quite a few people to Geocaching. Zef for one. He and I often make cache runs together. A lot of my finds have been with him. A few other people I've introduced to the hobby and are fairly active are Cam02, Dexxultima, LiquidDanO, Fillupz, Flytraps and Draved.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. I usually ramble off the usual "Using multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the bush", which usually results in a "Huh?" or "Why would you want to do that?". I'll end up giving them some more details and then hook them by showing all the caches around their homes. People get pretty intrigued when they discover there's a treasure just outside their front door.

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  14. There are other things besides Geocaching?! I'd have to say being a Dad and husband takes up most of my time, which is awesome! Other than that I love watching movies and playing video games. I do some programming, web design, and gadget-hoarding as well. I love being an all-around geek. I may be 34 years old, but I have the mentality of an 16-year-old! (MagenticGirl would probably say more like a 10-year-old)

  15. What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. That's a tough question. You get so caught up loving this hobby, it's hard to think of things that may drive you crazy. Muggles maybe...the ones that destroy or remove caches without finding out what it's all about first.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. One, in particular, stands out: Park Lake YLHDMB (GCNM6W). MagenticGirl, Cache-Bandicoot (our daughter) and I were heading home from Elkhorn Resort, and decided to grab some caches on the way. We pulled into this area expecting to find some more tupperware in the bush, and instead were greeted by a bird sanctuary. MagenticGirl is an avid birder, and we often find places she can bird and I can cache, and this place was perfect! There were Swans, Ostriches, Pelicans and a ton of other birds and animals just roaming around and swimming in the water nearby. It was just completely unexpected. We had a great afternoon checking it out. Just another prime example of the places Geocaching takes you that you would never otherwise know about.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. One of the many memorable caches I can think of, and I'm sure it's come up on other people's lists as well, would have to be HUH? (GC12W1Y). If not for the hide itself, but for the amount of time it took to locate it. It must have been about 5 hours and too-many-to-count number of visits. I think it was one of the most satisfying finds I've ever had. I've never spent that much time hunting for a cache before, but I was determined. InkyFiller had come into town, and I think his log summed it up quite well: "...3 grown men, on their hands and knees with the 3 GPS'r all lying in the grass showing 0m. I think Antihiro would have chewed the grass away if he hadn't succeeded with the find". Persistence prevailed...and it was amazing!

  21. What, currently, is your favourite, unarchived Manitoba geocache?
  22. One that still holds up as one of my favourites would have to be Tardis (GCP8TM). Found it about a month after I started caching. I've always been a Doctor Who fan and just thought this cache was well-executed. It was one of the first geocaches that made me really go "Wow! These cachers are really a brilliant bunch of people!".

  23. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  24. Zef and his Mrs, MagenticGirl and myself went out night caching one night. We must have been caching for hours, because it was about 3AM. We were all around the Sturgeon Creek area grabbing caches in those little hidden parks that you get to by going in between people's houses (which obviously was not the brightest idea as you'll see). Of course we all had our flashlights out as well. We were starting to wrap up for the night and were off to get one or two more caches before we headed home. We started noticing there were suddenly a lot of police cars in the area. Some parked on side roads, others driving up and down the streets. We thought it was a bit odd, but figured something was going on in the area, and really didn't think much more of it. I'm sure someone even made the joke that they were looking for us.

    Well, sure enough, as we pulled back out onto Sturgeon from a side road, we were surrounded by 5 police cars. Literally. It looked like something straight out of a movie! And they were impressively organized. They were like ninjas...but in cars...with big flashing lights...well, you get the idea. One second we were alone, the next, we're busted! You can't help but feel guilty even though we hadn't done anything. I had my GPSr at the ready, with all our papers with notes and info we had written down so I could prove we were innocent. I rolled down my window as the officer approached. The others stayed by their cars, doors ajar, with hands hovering over their weapons. The officer naturally asked what we were doing out so late. I had planned out my declaration of innocence about 3 million times over in my head from the time he walked from his patrol car to my window. This is how it went down:

    Me: "Well, we are just out Geocaching and..."

    Officer: Raises his hand for me to stop. He looks at my GPSr, turns around to the others and says, "They're just caching".

    Me: "Wha??"

    Officer: "A concerned citizen thought you were breaking into homes. Maybe you should head home now. Have a good night".

    And just like that, they were gone, and so were we.

  25. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  26. I'm not much of a trader. I've found quite a few geocoins and travel bugs, which are always interesting. Other items of note: matches, broken glass, melted chocolate bar, feces on top of the cache container and a deceased deer next to one.

  27. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  28. I don't like carrying a lot of things with me when caching. My bare essentials are usually just my GPSr and iPhone, with a few of my signature pathtags in my pocket. I have a stack of Ubuntu Linux disks I take with me from time to time for the bigger caches I come across. And I always have my rechargeable batteries with me, with charger and inverter in my car.

  29. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  30. Probably like a lot of other cachers out there, I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CSX. Previously, I had a Magellan Xplorist 210, which was my first, followed by a Magellan Xplorist 500. If I'm heading out for a quick cache or 2, I just use my iPhone, which works pretty well. If I'm on a cache run for the day, I'm definitely bringing my Garmin.

  31. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  32. I used the tying your shoe trick for a while. I quickly discovered that it doesn't give you a lot of time to wait for the muggle to move along. Either your really inept at tying your own shoe, that it's taking 15 minutes, or you're up to something. So, naturally I moved to the I'm-on-an-important-phone-call trick. It's great, you can just say "Yup" and "No" over and over again forever, and people don't think twice about it. I'll be grabbing a couple of those reflective vests soon as well. I hear they work wonders.

  33. What is the meaning of your username?
  34. I got it from one of my favourite books, called Snow Crash. The main character's name is Hiro Protagonist (which is hilariously brilliant, in my opinion). He was like a ninja, and had these crazy mad skills as a hacker. So, seeing as I have the same ninja-like qualities of a water buffalo and the hacking skills of a monkey bashing his head on a keyboard, I dubbed myself Antihiro!

  35. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  36. Ha! The first one that always comes to mind is BIG STEEL -THE CHALLENGE (TBHTTD). Sean from Sean and Widget brought it into work one day. Now THAT'S a travel bug. A 26-pound travel bug of epic proportions. I was glad I wasn't taking it up any mountains, that's for sure!

  37. Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
  38. First and foremost would have to be InkyFiller. I would have never discovered this hobby if not for him. And his enthusiasm and passion for the sport is infectious! He's always willing to lend a hand, teach others and is just an all-around fantastic advocate for Geocaching. Others would be OHMIC for his sheer numbers and willingness to go anywhere and dani_carriere for her kind-heartedness and always being the first to greet us at events.

  39. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  40. Mostly my girls, MagenticGirl and our little Cache-Bandicoot. Although, I'm probably out just as much with Zef. Cam02 and DexxUltima are always up for a cache run as well.

  41. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  42. I'd love to get out to the US West coast and be able to complete the triad of Mission 9: Tunnel of Light Reclaimed (which is now archived, at least for the moment until the tunnel is fixed), Original Stash Tribute Plaque, and Groundspeak Headquarters. Maybe heading down to Nevada and having a run at the ET highway as well. That would be a blast!

  43. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  44. Lego Island (GC1XDHX) has been taunting me for some time now...

  45. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  46. What's in a baby name? (GC1VH2Y - Archived) was definitely one of my faves. Getting the caching community in on our little baby pool and letting them pick Cache-Bandicoot's middle name was really, really fun for us. The MBGA's own Glacier_Ice won and picked a great name. With our next little nano-cacher coming in July(-ish) (editor's note: Congratulations!!!!!), you'll most likely see another one of these caches appearing in the Spring!

  47. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  48. I'd say I mostly read non-fiction books. I prefer to get my geeky/sci-fi fill from movies and TV. I'm currently reading Kevin Mitnick's Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker. It's a great read so far. At one point he was held in solitary confinement for 8 months because they thought he could whistle commands into the phone, which would fire off some nukes and start World War 3. People really didn't understand how computers worked back then!

  49. Can you play a musical instrument?
  50. I have become quite adept at playing 3 different songs on Cache-Bandicoot's plastic kids harmonica.

  51. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  52. There are a couple of new caches that have popped up that I haven't gone to get yet. The closest is 1 kilometre away...but not for long!

  53. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  54. The only software I use is GSAK. That program can do anything! I love it as much as my GPSr. I also just got a new flashlight for Xmas that is extendable, and has earth magnets on either end. I can't wait to try it out.

  55. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  56. Not really. If we're on a road trip, sure, but mostly for Geocaching!

  57. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  58. Mastadon, In Flames and Between the Buried and Me.

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