Thursday, November 14, 2013

The difference between killing time and wasting time

There IS a difference. Yesterday is a case in point. I have often referred to Geocaching as a fun way to waste time. I enjoy hunting for worthless treasures in the woods (and sometimes right in the midst of the overcrowded city) all to get to scrawl my "TZ" on a little notepad or a tightly rolled up strip of paper--and then clicking "found it" and putting in a meaningless comment like "TFTC", or "good hide". I sometimes say something like "easy peasy lemon squeezy", or "easy as pie", or "thanks, I needed that", or "so easy a caveman could find it". But in reality, it's a non-productive hobby; and when you could be doing something productive, it is a waste, albeit a fun waste, of time.

But yesterday, I had some downtime. I had to kill some time between a early afternoon completed job, and a 4:40 meeting in Broken Arrow to pick up some materials for a job the next day. Killing time is actually quite productive.  It feeds the mind, enhances the spirit, and makes for interesting blog posts.

I had not turned on my Geocaching app in a few months (ok, a few weeks), so I thought I'd try to hunt a few down. I nabbed a couple of "skirt lifters", and then headed east east east as far as 71st Street goes from Broken Arrow. Newt Graham Lock and Dam is part of the Verdigris Navigation Channel, and is a super good place for rednecks to dump trash. Another of my time wasting/killing hobbies is picture taking but I'll spare you the pictures of the dumped garbage. :-(  Just upstream is a very nice secluded campground called Bluff Landing. I have been here a couple of other times, and have never seen many campers, but there are always a few.

According to my GPS, there were several geocaches in the area. The first one was about 100 yards off road through a brier patch. I don't mind briers but those mini burrs that wad up in my arm hairs, socks, and shoe laces greatly discouraged me and since I had left my flame thrower at home, I skipped this one without much of a search.

The next one was also in the woods, but it seemed as if it were not more than 30 yards or so into a thicket. In fact, there was a faint trail that led almost right to it. You know how I love finding new trailz, but this one went no more than 50 yards, and even if it went further, there was not enough real estate for it to be very long at all.

Right in the crook of the largest tree in the area was the prize I sought. Just a log, a pencil, and a rock. I had nothing to trade for the rock, and didn't want the rock anyway, so I just TNLNSLTFTC (Took Nothing Left Nothing Signed Log Thanks For The Cache.)

I spent a few more minutes walking around, considering where the best campsite would be, wondering if this would be a good fishing spot, imagining Jake plowing into the water, and putting this camping trip in my short term bucket list.

And I goofed around with a few camera apps. This is with the Hipstamatic app again.

So, I successfully killed a couple of hours, found three Geocaches, took a dozen pictures, scoped out a camping spot, did a trail search, and came up with stuff for a blog post. Not a waste of time at all.


  1. My buddy and I used to launch his boat at Bluff Landing all the time back when I lived in Tulsa. Looks like it hasn't changed too much in the last 14 years.

  2. I went out there years ago and found a cache and a couple guys who I could tell were up to no good of some sort or other so I left. I might have found the one in the briar patch.