2009-08-30 49 -123
suggested designated alternate. 2PM. Wear your play clothes.
Under a big tree in Clark Park, Vancouver.
- Wade: Sound like mysterious fun. My favorite sort of fun.
- About 20 others from Let's play!, who didn't know they were part of a geohash alternate.
My plan was quite simple. I would program coordinates into my new GPS. Mount new GPS on motorcycle, and follow the instructions. I didn't actually need the screen and "Jill" in my ear telling me to "turn left on Knight Street", since the park was only 15 blocks North along Knight, so even with my astounding sense of misdirection, I was unlikely to get lost. But I paid money for a fancy GPS that can give turn-by-turn directions, and I was going to use it, dammit. I could have just as easily mounted it to my bicycle, but then I would not have had a place to lock it up at the destination.
The first challenge was the fact that this GPS is very anti-zen. It will keep track of the past for you, by storing your track and remembering favorite points of interest. And it will anticipate and help you prepare for the future by suggesting places you might like to be, and giving you detailed instructions on how to get there. But it is not the least interested in where you are. There is no way to get the GPS to display the current location and accuracy. The best I could get was "arriving at xkcd on the right". Fortunately, there was a large tree, with a large group of people under the tree, including Rhonda and Xore. It wasn't that hard to find the right spot. For future Geohashes, this could be a problem.
After a few minutes of conversation while we waited to see if any other geohashers would arrive, the event organizer arrived with her boxes of goodies. In no time a banner was unpacked and strung up, and I finally learned that I had been tricked into attending a meeting of the Tag! You're it! gang.
We played Fox and Squirrel, President and Bodyguard, Disco Tag, Human Foosball, and Tunnel Tag. Everyone looked like an idiot. Everyone had a great time. Everyone ran, stopped, ran some more, panted, tagged, stopped, started, panted, fell down, got back up, and generally acted like an 8 year old (except with much less whining). During the "Human Foosball" game (which I think is "Bizarro-world Soccer", in that you are only allowed to touch the ball with your hands, not your feet, and each team has 2 people on the field and 7 or 8 in goal), I spent much of the time on his butt, rather than on my feet. One memorable moment featured one head, one ball, three hands, and seven or eight feet all jumbled together, and I think three or four of those objects were mine!. The game resulted in grevious injury to my leg. I don't have a proper photo, so I've included a representative sample in the photos section.
A couple of "little ones" were there with squirt guns, giving everyone a much-appreciated cool-down when they least expected it.
 Rhonda & Xore
We had been at the PNE riding the old wooden roller coaster in the morning (and went back in the late afternoon after tag to ride it again, hooray for hand stamps that get you back in without paying again), and made sure to show up in good time to sit under the tree right on the hash point and wait for everybody else. We knew about 25-30 people from the tag group would show up as this is a regular event, but were curious to see how many geohashers would bite on Rhonda's deliberately mysterious invitation to the alternate.
Over the next fifteen minutes, about a dozen people showed up, and then Xore spotted a motorcycle coming down the street slowly toward us. "I wonder if that's Wade," he said, then a few seconds later, "yup, that's Wade!"
Wade parked his motorcycle and walked toward us, watching his GPS and muttering something about how it wouldn't tell him where he was, only where he should go. After confirming that he was in the right place, he locked up his stuff in his bike and reappeared in shorts to sit with the rest of the group.
At 2PM, the tag group had a section of the playing field marked out with game area boundaries, and the games were on.
(Wade) Will hopefully be coming. I didn't bring a camera, so I don't have any. But there were several cameras present, so I'm sure eventually pictures will appear.
(Rhonda) Will get more photos in the next day or so from the tag group, since there were many taken.
| Wade earned the Velociraptor Alternate Consolation Prize