Cacher of the Month - April 2010
Siafhir - that is not something you get to say very often. I have met Siafhir at a few events and he insists that he has made no movies and does not go by the name of Matt Damon. Look at the pictures.
This investigative reporter has found some interesting co-incidences regarding the activities of "Siafhir". He was not heard from or seen here while the Oscars were on. (The TMZ reporter training school is really working for me now!) You would think that being Jason Bourne, traveling around the world he have found a few more international caches.
During the past year has worked on no less than 4 films and a voice for Happy Feet 2. This also explains the few caches he has found recently.
Here is wishing he maintains his duo identity (nudge, nudge wink, wink, say no more) and brings Julia Roberts and the rest of the Ocean's crew to town someday.
- When did you start Geocaching?
I found my first geocache on August 28, 2008, about three days after I began looking for one.
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
I had a TomTom GPSr before the one I have now, and it didn't do everything I wanted, so I bought my current Garmin online. When I got it, I went on Garmin's website to see what else I can do with it other than telling me how to get somewhere. It mentioned geocaching, so I went on the website, and thought what a great idea it was. I found where the closest one is and immediately decided I had to give it a try.
- What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
The search. My favourite childhood game was hide & seek, I loved Easter because my parents always hid chocolate eggs around the house. I guess I've always enjoyed searching for things, and this is the ultimate hide & seek game.
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
So far I've cached in Ontario, N. Dakota, Minnesota, Jamaica, and as of this writing I've yet to log my earthcache finds in Dominican Republic from my vacation there in early March.
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
No one other than my wife, who comes with me on occasion.
- How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
I tell them it's a high-tech treasure hunt, using a GPSr to find a container, with at least a log, using it's coordinates. Sometimes I have to tell them what coordinates are...
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
I'm a woodworking hobbyist. I've built a few small projects and a couple furniture projects: a cabinet for a Buddhist scroll, and a 6' high spice rack for my wife's Victorian Epicure jars. I also repaired a chest of drawers that fell off a truck on its way to the store. I got it for 80% off and fixed it to its former glory. I'm currently working on a wine rack design for a relative, and restoring a worn and damaged coffee table set my wife and I bought at a garage sale.
- What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
I haven't found a cache I didn't like yet. That said, I am on the side of some people, where caches that require tree climbing isn't really appropriate, as the tree can be damaged by the climbers.
- What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
I think that would have to be the Dunn's River Falls earthcache in Jamaica. How often do you get climb a waterfall? That was a lot of fun, and well worth the effort. Any cacher who visits Jamaica hasn't completed their vacation until they climbed the falls.
- What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
See the answer to Question 9. :)
- What is your favorite Caching Story?
Can't say I have one yet.
- What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
Can't think of any. They're all interesting in their own way. :)
- What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
I always have my "Get Out Of Hell Free" (GOOHF) cards and stickers (for the smaller caches), but I don't always remember to leave one. I have my notepad, pencil and stamp with my handle and avatar. A lot of other tools and tradeable trinkets get left in the car, but when I have the time I plan to get them all into a backpack, which I'll carry with me on the longer trips. Oh yes, and my GPSr. ;)
- What kind of GPSr do you use?
Garmin NUVI 760. In addition to on-road to drive me close to GZ, it also has an off-road mode to get me to the exact coordinates. It's not waterproof, it doesn't do projection, but it gets me to every cache I seek, with as good as 5 metres accuracy. Battery life sucks in this refurbished model, but I use an external battery pack to keep it powered. When it's raining, a ziplock works great!
- What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
Pretend I'm standing around talking on the cell phone, or tying my shoe laces, or taking pictures. But if there are a lot of people around, I won't make an attempt. If I'm finding a cache that's near a busy street (with vehicles, rather than foot traffic), I might put on a hard hat and orange vest, and let people assume I'm a city worker.
- What is the meaning of your username?
I was playing the game "Populous" back in the early-90's, and decided I needed a "godly" name for ruling the people. I needed a handle that sounded cool (to teenaged me anyway). So I just thought one up. Psy... Fire. Sounds evil... like a telepath setting people on fire. I like it. But PsyFire had a boring spelling, so I melded it a bit. I like cats, and remembered the "siamese" breed. So spelled it SiaFire. Not good enough, gotta confuse the "Fire" spelling. Hey, how about an invisible 'e'. Fir. Nope, that's a tree. Add an h. Fhir. Now put them together. SiaFhir. K, that's a "godly" name, said me.
Never thought about it again until I got on the Internet bandwagon in 1997 and signed up for some chat rooms. RWOrange was my first name ("Rhymes With" Orange), but for some reason I decided I didn't want it anymore. I remembered the name SiaFhir from my Populous days and decided to use that. Since then it just stuck. Everything that needs a handle ends up getting SiaFhir.
- What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
The only one that sticks in my mind is the "Geocaching Skill: Stamina Geocoin". The design of it was very impressive.
- Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
All those geocachers that plan their lives around geocaching are worthy of my respect. That means all those that have thousands of caches under their belts from around the world. If you want names, I'd say I have the most respect for "Geo13". This is a retired couple living in N. Carolina. Take a look at their stats page... they've been all over the world! They cached in every U.S. State, but haven't yet gotten all of Canada's provinces (and none of the territories). Locally Peter and Gloria have the most caches of any Manitoban, and the containers Ztirnats came up with (the Remember series) are the best I've seen. And of course how can I forget the members of the MBGA board! They keep geocaching interesting here in Manitoba, and they arrange the events to meet and get together with fellow cachers.
- With whom do you normally go geocaching?
I'm usually alone, but sometimes my wife is with me, and I'll occasionally tag along with a few people. Most recently I was with dani_carriere and Junglehair at the last MBGA Breakfast event.
- If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
All of the world's mountaintops. Secondary to that is the high north caches... there are caches in NWT and Nunavut that are a few years old and still don't have an FTF.
- Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
Right now the most challenging that's closest to home is "The IAU/WGPSN Art Gallery" by "Kildonan61". Eventually when I try to get that one solved, I'll be asking people for help.
- Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
That would be the puzzle cache, "Dvorak's Bird Nest". For a few months before placement I thought up the puzzle, and just needed a place to put it. I found a large tree in a park near where I work, and fairly high up was a hole in the branch. It had some fibers in it that clued me into the possibility a bird nested in there once. So I came up with the cache's name. Unfortunately that tree was too close to two other caches, so I had to find another place for it. I looked in another area, and found a real bird's nest... a big one! It was perfect for the container, and just gave the name true meaning. I was just amazed at my luck in finding that nest.
- What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
I'm actually working on several books at the moment (yeah, I tend to read more than one at a time). But my favourite author is Neal Stephenson. I'm reading his latest book Anathem.
- Can you play a musical instrument?
I'm starting to teach myself the guitar, with the ultimate goal of learning to play a sitar.
- How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
A few short kms... there've been a few that have shown up recently I didn't get around to finding.
- Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
I get my GPSr loaded with thousands of caches complete with their descriptions using GSAK and the NUVI script by pilotsnipes.
- Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
Getting around places I've never been (it's a NUVI after all), getting from garage sale to garage sale in the most optimally-ordered manner (it's a 760 after all), and using it as a hands-free speaker phone while driving (bluetooth).
- What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
A large variety of music on my Sansa Express. I'm mostly into alternative, so I have some Skinny Puppy, Tea Party, Delerium, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and my sitar hero, Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar.
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