Cacher of the Month - December 2007

Z'tirnats

Stan (Z'tirnats), Lynne (Z'ad) & Gneevil
Stan (Z'tirnats), Lynne (Z'ad) & Gneevil

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. Our first find was June 21, 2006 at The Ditch Digger. We actually started a couple of days earlier and had gone out to find this cache by just searching with the posted coordinates. We returned home to read more fully to find out this was a puzzle and more work needed to be done. Back out on June 21st gave us our first victory and we were hooked.

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. Ztirnats had an iPaq that was used for work and a Bluetooth BlueLogger GPS receiver came with it. This Blue Logger sat on his dresser for a year because who needed maps in Winnipeg. The trash bin was beckoning but before this happened a quick google of GPS games to see it there was anything else we could do with this GPS receiver, up pops geocaching.com and cachers are born.

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. We were first hooked on the idea of hidden treasures but as we were successful with more finds the hunt became the hook. Then, we launched our first cache, another hook! The biggest hook of all was our first geocaching event at TurdleEggs’ Ranch where we met amazing, fun loving, creative and interesting people. Like TurdleEggs said, “I came for the cache, but I stayed for the people”.

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. All but 33 of our finds have been right here in Manitoba. From the most northerly, Chilly Churchill to one of the most southerly, Travel Bug Immigration Centre. We have found the remaining 33 in Ontario, North Dakota and Minnesota.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. Yes, Bluenoserstoo being the most identifiable. Two weeks after our first find we took them out to Airport Industrial for their first find. They were immediately taken by this “strange” activity. A new GPSr later and they were hooked. Transferred to Kingston, ON in September 2006, they took the evil caching skills of Manitobans to their new home and caused quite a stir. We are working on the next generation of geocachers by introducing our 2 year old granddaughter, Lil Zed to the hunt. Our trip to Churchill, MB would find us introducing geocaching to the Heritage Museum in Thompson where we assisted them in their first launch as well as Birdfish in Churchill where we also assisted in their first launch. We also held 6 geocaching seminars in Churchill, MB where there were many attendees from all over the world who would go back home to seek out their first caches. So it is really unknown how many people we have introduced to this activity.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. The question should be, how do they describe us? Our family and friends think we are crazy! Nothing we say to describe geocaching to them will convince them otherwise.

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail/accomplishments)?
  14. We’ve had many varied and different hobbies over the years. We have retired from 14 years of volunteer work with amateur sport (specifically springboard & platform diving) where we worked in many capacities of meet management (Olympic Trials, World Cups). Radio controlled aircraft and ships, which Ztirnats is trying to work into a cache, Northern travel which we have worked into a cache and York Boat Shipwright.

  15. What are some things you don’t like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. Ill maintained caches and uncreative nanos.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. Without a doubt this would have to be Cape Merry in Churchill, Manitoba. The cache was not the most creative but the environment was breathtaking and the fact you needed a bear guard to accompany you seemed surreal.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. We cannot choose just one. There are far too many that are creative,interesting, well crafted and thought out. To name but a few: CSI:Winnipeg – SPLASH!, Splashing New York Style, Sunken Treasure, Heart Halting Horror in BHP and “BLITZ”:Raiders of the Cache Stash.

  21. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  22. The tale of the unfound cache, Polar Bear Salm. When we embarked on our journey to Churchill there were two caches to be found. PolarBear Salm, one of these, had still not been found after a year of being published. Our mission was to find and log this cache. During our attempts to find this cache we enlisted over 80 people from Churchill, Virginia, Wisconsin just to name a few. This required bus transportation, bear guards, logistical support and just downright stubbornness. It was never found and ultimately archived.

  23. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  24. On our second cache outing with Lil Zed we tackled OHMIC’s great marsh caches. One of these, Be prepared for this Splash, being a very large cache, had in it a very large stuffed cow. Lil Zed, upon seeing said cow, latched onto it and would not let it go. Talking to OHMIC later we found that he had coerced one of his coworkers to give it up from their cubicle. To this day, it remains in very good hands.

  25. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  26. At this point we do not carry a kitchen sink.

  27. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  28. We don’t have a GPSr. We cache fully environmentally correct with a complete paperless system. Our old iPaq and Bluetooth receiver have been retired in favour of a new iPaq 5915. Our software of choice is BeelineGPS.

  29. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  30. Bogus cell phone conversations, Ztirnats shoes are always coming untied, lots of conversation about waiting around for our ride to arrive and looking into the bushes/trees for wildlife.

  31. What is the meaning of your username?
  32. Z'tirnats was a game name for a gnome of ill repute in the MMORP game EverQuest. When a second character was required Z’ad was born. Upon entering the geocaching world the names stuck. Some cachers refer to us as Turnips. This all began when the word Ztirnats seemed too difficult to pronounce and at quick glance appeared to look like Turnips.

  33. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  34. There are two travel bugs of note. The first was WIZZER THE WONDERBUG. The log tells the story:

    My husband and I just discovered the Wizzer travel bug during a last minute hunt while waiting for our movie to start at the theatre across the street. Our son had a blue blanket just like the one Wizzer has right now for the longest time (the satiny square). He's already had 4 surgeries; and he's not even 2 yet. His "square" went to the hospital on every trip and to every overnight trip to Grandma's. It was his "lovey". Well, a few months ago we went to the circus; and we lost it! We've looked everywhere; but it hasn't turned up. Today, we opened this cache and there was a square! An identical blanket to his! It looks like Marmelkascar in Alberta replaced the original missing blanket last April. We know you put that blanket in with Wizzer out of love. But I really cannot pass up the chance to let serendipity work her magic here. We will put in a bright and snuggly "tabby" blanket that was hand-made with just as much love and be equally warm for Wizzer. We will never be able to match that blue square again. I got tears in my eyes when I saw it. It was amazing to find it there and in such wonderful shape. It makes us SO happy to be able to replace our baby boy's beloved blanket. Thank you, Marmelkascar! You have saved the day! And thank you, Wizzer, for your willingness to try a new blankie!

    The second travel bug is KHAN. This travel bug belonged to the legendary 1701eh who was the first finder of our very first cache. We got to know him well through emails and photos. He died tragically in a car accident last fall and the caching community of Ontario are trying to bring his travel bugs home. KHAN was one of those travelbugs which we rescued as his tags were separated from his statue. Were united the two and sent him on his way where he now resides in the hands of his son. Mission complete.

  35. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  36. We always go together, a commitment we made before embarking on this hobby. With the children grown we wanted to find a hobby we both equally enjoyed and geocaching was the perfect match. We have done some caching with TurdleEggs, 3T’s&aG, OHMIC, Foodninja and Peter and Gloria.

  37. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  38. We have visited Alaska on two occasions but that was prior to our newfound hobby. We would like to return one day to do some geocaching.

  39. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  40. Our very first launched cache, Winnie’s Big Cache is certainly our favourite but each of our caches are unique and have a story to tell. Researching and creating a cache is half the fun.

  41. Can you play a musical instrument?
  42. Virtually in SWG we play the Zantha and Mandoviol.

  43. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  44. 0.9 mile Scoop ‘n Cache.

  45. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  46. BeelineGPS, GPXview, GSAK, google earth, Microsoft streets & trips, gnomish translator and excel.

  47. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  48. Not really, however, on our train trip to Churchill we used it to see how fast err slow the train was going. It told us 5 km/hour at its slowest as it traveled over the tundra.

  49. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  50. Zad always has Barry Manilow playing. In September 2004 Zad had a front row seat, back stage pass at Manilow’s farewell tour opening night in New York. That was Zad’s 5 minutes of fame meeting Manilow. Ztirnats is always humming Queen’s, Another One Bites The Dust while geocaching. Keeps the positive mojo!.

  51. Are you working on anything new you can talk about?
  52. Uuke mluumulmwril chrwil ulmmwrch uuke chrwil Lmilglilglgrillm wrillmllilwr llwr grillllurl lguulmruillr uulu. Chrwil rlluuuglilwr lruulu'ch rwmmeril mmluguchrwlllurl lllu chrwil lguulmruwr mmch chrwil gluuglilluch, mmulchrwuumurlrw Rlluililerllul llwr chlmmuulgu muekwrilch chrwmmch mmluguuuluil keuumululr rwllwr mmekuuuluurlgu.

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