6 June 2013 (Thursday) - GPS, Committee, Chips
er indoors TM" came home with a new hand-held GPS unit last night. You know you've arrived in geocaching circles when you have one of those.
Personally I'd like to have one purely for the gadget value, but I can't see the advantage of them over my phone. My phone is connected to the Internet so I can geocache as I go whenever I like. GPS units are not connected to the Internet so you have to research the area where you are going caching beforehand. Which means that you can't go caching randomly wherever you like. And not having an internet connection means you have to muck around recording your finds when you get home; something that GPS-ers often put off and is a topic which causes a lot of whinging on geocaching forums. Admittedly the storage capacity of these GPS units is phenomenal, but people will load up a thousand caches and sit back; seemingly oblivious to the fact that caches get disabled (which won't show on stored details), or that new ones go live when you are out and about. This regularly happens at cachers meetings where GPS-ers are seen with sheets of paper with the co-ordinates written down for them.
GPS units also require one to fart around producing PQs to do searches which involve far more fiddling around than pressing a couple of buttons on the phone. The maps on the GPS units don't come close to the ordnance survey maps I use. I like seeing where footpaths and bridleways go on a map as opposed to just seeing a green blob of woodland. And the GPS units aren't actually any more accurate or precise than my phone.
I've been watching these GPS units in action for several months now. I've lost count of the amount of times that I've heard GPS-ers announce that they haven't got particular caches loaded when we are out and about. I've watched GPS-ers spend large parts of walk transmitting cache details from one unit to another because people haven't got cache details. I've even seen GPS units being unable to determine what side of a river a certain cache is on.
Admittedly the GPS units are rather robust and they have a far better battery life than a phone, but other than that I can't see why people rave about the GPS units After all, I have a pocket full of spare batteries. Having been giving the matter serious consideration for many months I really can't see what I can do with a GPS unit that I can't do quicker and easier with my phone. As I watch what er indoors TM" does with hers I shall either see the error of my ways, or I shall gloat.
And then I sulked. The plan for today was to be driving off to Teston Bridge picnic site to be setting up for a weekend's camping. Not only has that been cancelled, I seriously wonder if there will be any more camping weekends there. The arrangement has always been that kite fliers put on a show for the public and the council allows them to camp for free. The council's made no secret that they don't like people camping, and have been difficult enough to cut the camping down to once a year. So as a protest (!) some of the kite fliers are going up there this weekend to put on a kite show. With a thousand fields in the county in which to have a protest kite-fly they have chosen the very one they should be boycotting.
Are these people really that thick that they can't see that the council (who doesn't want camping there anyway) has got what they wanted all along? If any of my loyal readers could explain the logic behind this, please let me know.
I put the lead on to "Furry Face TM" and took him out for a two-hour walk. He was mostly good as we walked. There was a little episode when he wouldn't come back when called. However in his defence he'd found some frogs to terrorise and was rather distracted.
After our walk we came home to domestic trivia. Hoovering and washing and ironing. All very dull, but all jobs that needed doing. With the chores out of the way I got the latest batch of beer out of the bucket and into the barrel. This beer should do us for Brighton; that's one kite festival which won't be undermined by misguided well-meaning intentions.
I really need to be thinking about getting another batch of beer on the go for our summer garden party. I sent the invites to that out via Facebook today. Or that is I sent the invites to those people on my Facebook list who might be able to get along. If I've missed any of my loyal readers out, please drop me a line and I'll send through details.
And then I set off out. First of all to Tesco, which was surprisingly dull and uneventful; or so it seemed until I came to come out. As I walked toward the door the alarm went off, and a delightful couple (who I can only describe as "being somewhat council") started pushing their trolley a lot faster. The store detective, aged about twelve, gave chase. As I walked passt the argument it was bordering on fisticuffs.
On to the astro club's committee meeting. Lots planned - the future looks interesting.
And home via the chip shop as a treat. The chip shop was advertising the fact that the packaging they use is recyclable. This was apparently something remarkable. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the newspapers that wrapped chips forty years ago were 100% recyclable...