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Cacher of the Month - September 2011



I think I'm dyslexic. No! Really! I didn't have any problems reading this geocacher's name. (The 'G' is silent, right?) Gnirips has been caching for just over 1 year and has already amassed over 1,500 finds, and has placed 60 caches so far. If my math is right, that's 3.8 caches found per day and 1 cache hidden every week. That's a pretty impressive feat and is definitely why they were chosen as September's Manitoba Geocacher of the Month. We may want to introduce them to the Cachaholic Anonymous (GC1B70P) cache.

  1. When did you start Geocaching?
  2. My first find was Trans-Cloutier (GC1702G) on August 17, 2010.

  3. How did you find out about Geocaching?
  4. I first used a GPSr in the early 1990's on a research project that involved ground truthing satellite imagery/radar signatures for crop yield predictions in Western Canada. My recollection is the GPSr was 12"x4"x2" and weighed 2-3 lbs. In the early 2000's I purchased a much smaller GPSr (Cobra 500) that was supposed to be an "electronic" compass for use in northern Manitoba. This GPSr was only slightly larger in size than the current technology, but was not capable of replacing the compass. Battery life and satellite "holding" were big issues. An article appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press in the summer of 2010 on Geocaching, that caused me to retrieve this GPSr from the basement and head out on a walk. I had purchased this GPSr in the early 2000s and had looked then for something that would allow me to become familiar with its capability. At that time I either was not looking in the correct locations or passed over Geocaching.com

  5. What was it about geocaching that got you hooked into the game?
  6. In addition to the thrill of finding the cache container, I really enjoy the walk/run/cycle that I try to incorporate into the search.

  7. Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
  8. As I am completing this, we are travelling in Atlantic Canada which has allowed us to complete caching in all ten Canadian provinces. We have also cached in three States.

  9. Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
  10. I suppose Mrs. Gnirips has been the most significant person I have introduced to Geocaching. Mrs. Gnirips also introduced geocaching to a fellow potter who has fallen in love with geocaching with her grandchildren.

  11. How do you describe the sport of Geocaching to your family and friends who haven't tried it yet?
  12. A high-tech treasure hunt where the treasure is not the reward, so much as the find.

  13. What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
  14. I enjoy many outdoor hobbies including triathalons, marathons and hiking. I have managed to complete several marathons, Tinman/Rubberman/Snoman triathalons as well as several shorter runs/race walks. I took an early retirement in 2001, however I continue to conduct research in the area of process capability and continuous process improvement. I am currently finishing a second book and have a couple of papers on the go.

  15. What are some things you don't like about geocaching? What are your pet peeves?
  16. Poorly maintained caches are very disappointing. I was quite interested in the Assiniboine Park proposal where there was some discussion about setting time limits on caches. I believe this would limit the number of poorly maintained caches. However I think a review, rather than a retirement, of the cache after some period of time would be beneficial.

  17. What is the most interesting/unusual place that geocaching has taken you?
  18. All the little parks/spots that were unknown to us prior to geocaching. There are so many rural, urban and suburban parks or green spaces that we have found strictly due to geocaching. We usually stop to read the details/dedications/donors/contributors signs.

  19. What is the most memorable cache that you have found (or tried to find?)?
  20. My most memorable day of caching (24 hours) involves finding Huh! (GC12W1Y) and G.U.E Magic Scroll Cache #69,105 (GCQMFT) on consecutive days. I was so ecstatic with finding these two caches I placed the cache Totally Difficult (GC2J38K) . Both were head scratchers and terrific hides. I kicked my butt on G.U.E Magic Scroll Cache #69,105 (GCQMFT) as one of my offices was on this level of "The Pagoda" that backed onto the elevator/stairwell. I was likely fourth behind Naimark, Falconer and Jannetta through that passage.

  21. What, currently, is your favourite, unarchived Manitoba geocache?
  22. With out question, 1Queenand4Jokers hide titled Huh! (GC12W1Y). I have since learned that they also had a floating version of Huh! that has been archived, I am sorry I missed it.

  23. What is your favorite Caching Story?
  24. This was among the first Manitoba caches that Mrs Gnirips came along on only to have the cache/environment win. It was the first cache attempt of the day and recorded the following: "Was the entertainment for the day. Walked down the road from the golf course and as I approached the GZ started down the incline. Fell, slid feet first down the incline to the base of a tree where the GPSr said 0 meters! I was covered in Red River sludge, but the GPSr stayed dry. Mrs Gnirips is still laughing. Thank goodness no digital recording of the hijinks. Unfortunately only thing I found was a poor carp stranded in a small pool of water, he/she was too big to move to the other side of the levy. Straw in the bush suggests this area must have been under substantial water. Left many muddy footprints. Will try again in the "dry" season ... Gnirips" Should have added that the gentle slope was so slippery that getting back up the levy was very difficult. Our vehicle still has some of the Red River gumbo attached to it.

  25. What is your most interesting item found in a cache?
  26. We really appreciate finding any Geo Jewels that have been left by the Stingy Bandits. Their glass work is very unique.

  27. What items if any do you carry with you when you go on a hunt?
  28. We have a "schwag" bag that contains various tradables, a couple of baggies with logs, any Travel bugs that we are holding, tweezers, small flashlight (which was woefully inadequate for the Lights of Zetar (GC2JK35)), extra rechargable batteries, a small cache container, a pen and a pencil.

  29. What kind of GPSr do you use?
  30. Started Geocaching with a Cobra 500, but since January 2011 I have had the luxury of using an Oregon 450. Paperless caching is very enjoyable.

  31. What methods do you use to avoid muggle detection?
  32. Generally when in a situation where muggles are involved, I will walk away from the GZ and attempt the find on the return. Have attempted a) the tie/retie shoe and b) pretending the GPSr is a camera or phone, but neither strategy has met with much success.

  33. What is the meaning of your username?
  34. I started using this handle when creating exams in the late 1980s. Generally refered to as the "infamous Dr. Gnirips from Brandon University studying the growth promoting ability of some herb or drug". It is the inverse of my surname.

  35. What was the most memorable travel bug that you have found?
  36. I found the geocoin Interlake Tourism Association 2010 Geocoin and immediately ordered two of them. I have set one of them on a tour and kept one to enjoy. A beautiful coin!

  37. Which geocachers do you respect or standout to you the most?
  38. Manitoba is blessed with a huge number of terrific cachers. Living in the south end of the city, one gets to see caches by some of the most prominent hiders in Manitoba. Names that seem to pop up frequently include 1Queenand4Jokers, Xplorer and Ramblin' Rose, MHZ and GFM, Trove_Chasers, 1Purplemonkeydishwasher1, Old Billygoat, Ruylopez, MissionMode, klblue, Trag_cachers, Pa_Bottle, ... and of course OHMIC!

  39. With whom do you normally go geocaching?
  40. The first 800 or so finds were generally solo. Mrs Gnirips has enjoyed many since.

  41. If you could cache anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  42. We have tentative plans to cache New Zealand (if the earth stops shaking) next spring and Dublin, Ireland the following spring.

  43. Is there a challenging local cache you have in your sights right now? Which one?
  44. It has been in the sights for quite a period: The Changeling (GC2V6VC)!

  45. Of your placed caches, which is your favorite? Why?
  46. My favourite placed cache is Piled Higher & Deeper (GC2HEYR), a three stage multi located in a quiet portion of The University of Manitoba. It involves a walk along the berms separating Fort Richmond and the developing SmartPark. The walk takes you near the RTDS building that straddles a pond. At each stage the finder is granted a diploma starting with a B.Sc followed by a M.Sc and finally the cacher acquires a Ph.D. in geocaching.

  47. What kind of books do you prefer to read? What was the last book you read?
  48. For recreational reading, I recently finished "What the Dog Saw" by Malcolm Gladwell and am currently reading "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill. I am also reading/reviewing the fourth edition of Douglas Montgomery's "Introduction to Statistical Quality Control". Always have a couple of journal articles around that I am "sifting" through.

  49. Can you play a musical instrument?
  50. No.

  51. How far from your house is the nearest unfound cache?
  52. There are two caches within 1.5 miles of my home (both involve climbing). I can see one from terra firma, but have not yet convinced myself to make the reach for either!

  53. Besides your GPSr, what other tools (electronic or otherwise), or software do you make use of?
  54. Currently I am playing around with Mathematica8 in an attempt to incorporate some of its functionality into my geocaching activities. I have tried some of the geocaching specific packages such as GSAK but found most to be pretty clunky. I routinely use the MBGA website as it provides a solid distance calculator, the MBGA logos and FTF certificates. I also use a Lat&Long finder and Google Maps.

  55. Do you use your GPSr for other reasons other than Geocaching?
  56. Originally used it in a research mode, I continue to use it as a trail tracker when in remote parts of Canada. Mapped out the area where the Kaskattama River empties into Hudson Bay (in the keystone portion of the province) as well as some lakes and eskers along the Nunavit/Manitoba border.

  57. What is in your iPod/CD player right now?
  58. Among others, I have the most recent from Bruce Springsteen, original Wyrd Sisters, Donovan (3 disc set), Green Day (Dookie & American Idiot), Traveling Wilburys (1 and 3), Boston Blackie (old Radio plays) and Back Bencher (last four episodes). Mrs. Gnirips suggests "It may be more appropriate to ask what is not in his iPod/CD player right now".

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