The Kays

February 23, 2008

Trip to British Columbia

Filed under: Phil's Thoughts — Phil @ 2:36 pm

I got to visit Trinity Western University in Langley, BC this past week. I had a great time meeting colleagues in Christian Higher Education.

I was really surprised to find a note from Kendra in my luggage. I smiled every time I saw it. She also made a “Welcome Home” card for me.

Javen took a different tactic. He gave me a little owl to take with me on my trip and wanted pictures of the owl in the places I visited. Check them out in the Photo Albums. You’ll see pictures of various airports, mountains, Fort Langley, my hotel and of the TWU campus.

Oh, in case you were wondering – I did find a couple geocaches out there so now BC gets labeled as a place where I have geocached. 🙂

February 18, 2008

Family Day

Filed under: News,Phil's Thoughts — Phil @ 6:15 pm

Family DayRecently, the Canadian Federal Government established “Family Day” and the Ontario Government made it a statutory holiday this year. Yay! Another day off work. It is also interesting to point out the pressure to actually DO something with your family on this day. Not wanting to disappoint or waste our day, we made the best of it.

Everyone got to choose an activity: Cindy chose playing Cadoo, Kendra had us all playing Charades, Javen decided we should put a puzzle together and Phil made everyone go find an appropriate stick to use a geocache camouflage. On top of that, we went to Swiss Chalet for lunch (they had a deal that with every adult entree a kids meal could be ordered free). Then we went to the movies and watched “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

We had a great time.

February 13, 2008

Goodbye Sparky

Filed under: News,Phil's Thoughts — Phil @ 6:59 pm

Today is a sad day.

On Sunday, Cindy noticed that our Guinea Pig, Sparky, was acting unusual.  He wasn’t eating.  He wasn’t drinking.  He wasn’t squeaking.  He wasn’t running around like he normally does.  After a couple more days he just kept looking worse and worse.

Today we took him to the vet and were told that there was not much to do for him.  So we had him put down.

Sparky was a good pet.  He let us know when he wanted attention.  He didn’t mess up the house.  It was also relatively easy to get someone to look after him when we went away.  He was nearly 6 years old which is a pretty good lifetime for a guinea pig.

We don’t have a lot of pictures of Sparky, but a few exist in our Photo Albums.

February 4, 2008

GPS Tech Talk

Filed under: Geocaching,Phil's Thoughts — Phil @ 4:09 pm

A few weeks ago, I decided to add a second GPS Receiver to our holdings. We had the old Magellan add-on to a Handspring that my brother Dave had given me. It, by the way, is the absolute best way to do paperless geocaching. A Palm and GPS all in one.

However, Cindy and I both like to cache and its hard to do when only one person has the GPS unit. So we decided to get a new one. I went to Walmart and picked up a Magellan Explorist 210. It had pretty good geocaching features. I figured between that and my Blackberry I had everything I would need. It was okay, but I decided to take it back because Walmart had the new Magellan Triton on sale for the same price.

Stay away from the Triton if you geocache. First of all, the software to manage geocache waypoints is pretty bad. It requires significant resources on your computer. It only works on Windows (which is really bad for me as a Linux user.). It takes forever to transfer the points to the unit. But that’s not the worst part.

I decided to put 200 geocache waypoints onto the Triton. That took about 30 minutes. It takes less than 20 seconds on my Handspring or the Explorist. Then the Triton became unusable. It took 5 minutes to pull up the map. It took another 5 minutes to pull up the geocache list. Every time I switched screens it took forever. After a bit of Internet research, I found that others had the same problems.

Then I found out the real reason – apparently this thing runs a version of Windows. Ah, that would explain the poor memory management and the horrible software requirements. I took it back and got the Explorist again. I don’t dislike Windows because of a philosophy. I have developed a philosophy through my use of Windows.

***UPDATE***

My brother let me know that I didn’t tell the end of the story.  I returned the Triton and got the Explorist 210 again.  What was even more funny was Walmart didn’t wipe the unit clean before putting it on display again, so I bought my old one with some of my waypoints still on it!

Geocaching Hazards and January Geocaching Pictures

Filed under: Geocaching,Phil's Thoughts — Phil @ 3:50 pm

We went geocaching yesterday.  Imagine that.  The day before I had listened to a podcast that outlined all of the things you should take with you while geocaching.  We didn’t take any of those things with us.  One thing in particular that they mentioned was “eye protection”.

So, while I was trying to jump over a small stream, I got hit in the eye with a branch.  Apparently its just a scratch and will heal okay over the next couple of days, but it will remind me to wear my big old sunglasses in the future.

I’ve also added some pictures from January geocaching to our photo album.  The pictures include an old bridge in Newmarket (one of the first re-inforced concrete structures in Ontario), a geocaching get-together and some forest shots.

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