Monday, May 31, 2010

Personal challenges

I think most people challenge themselves for their own personal satisfaction.  When I was younger, I used to challenge myself to improve upon my model making ability, usually by being more careful and patient (probably the best way to improve in model making), or by trying to build harder models.  My painting ability was never very good, so I worked on that.  Sometimes, I was satisfied, other times I wasn't.

I do the same thing with my photography today.  It's much easier now, in my opinion, to take good pictures in the digital age than in the film age.  Once you take a picture, you can view it and see if there needs to be adjustment immediately.  Other adjustments can be done on the computer with a variety of photo editing software.  I still try to improve and challenge myself to take better pictures.  Composing behind the lens is important to me and for the most part, I like the results I get.

In Geocaching, I also challenge myself.  Earlier in the year, I challenged myself to see if I could find caches on every date in the year.  There is a challenge cache out there that has that requirement and I figure if there's one close in California, within the next year, I'll be able to go and look for it.  This past month of May, I had three barren days where I'd never found a cache.  I cleaned those up, so now I have four months completely filled on the grid: March, April, May and July.

This next week is going to be the first major challenge for me.   As you can see, I have five open days in the next six.  At first, I was kind of surprised when I looked at this for the first time earlier in the year.  Why is June, especially early in the month, so cache empty?  The answer is readily apparent if you know my profession.  The end of the year for a teacher is usually hectic and incredibly busy.  With the school year shifted over the last couple of years, I'm now out earlier in June.  This might open up some opportunities for me to go caching that might not have happened in the past.  This week is my last week of the school year, so we'll see if I can get out and cache.

The same can be said, even more so, for the beginning of the school year.  I have 10 open days in June.  In September, I have 15 open days.  It's just too hectic at the beginning of the school year to attempt any kind of caching other than on a couple of weekends.  That's probably why I only average less than 10 finds for the entire month of September over my entire geocaching career.  Contrast that with July where I average 45 caches for the month.  Summer vacation does afford me more time to pursue my hobbies, that's for sure.

The two hardest days for this upcoming week will be the next two.  Those are the last two full days of school.  I should be able to leave school and at least get one local cache for each of those days.  There is a new cache just north of my school that was hidden recently that I would like to find, but I think I'm going to wait until Friday for that one.  This particular cache is placed only 189 feet away from where my second hide had been hidden when I lived closer to where I work.  When we moved out of that house, which overlooked the cache site, I archived the cache.  It was fun to watch geocachers looking for my cache.  I think I'll check out the new cache sometime this week.

So I guess the only thing left to do is to wish me luck on this endeavor.   I have 63 open days and if I'm successful, I'll have every square on the grid filled next February 8th.

Graphics created using My Geocaching Profile.

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benh57 said...

There are 2 of this challenge in CA. one is up in Sacramento, and one is in Signal Hill.

You're 'lucky' -- you already have Feb. 29th! I've been working on this challenge as well, but i didn't get a cache last Feb 29th. So i need to wait till 2012. It does allow me to relax a bit though. If i miss a day i can grab it next year.

Webfoot said...

I can remember two years ago thinking to myself that I needed to get out and find a cache on the 29th. Little did I know that this challenge would show up later.

Planning ahead. Yeah, that's my story. ;-)