2014-03-14 39 -88

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Fri 14 Mar 2014 in 39,-88:
39.9528629, -88.3199492

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Very last minute!


We left a little after 3:14 pm, a little into 3/14, had a little more than 3/14th of a pie.

Muddy shoes and blueberry pie[edit]

It was a slightly typical Friday, the end of a work week reflecting how I was feeling about life. The mind is occupied by contrasting emotions - satisfaction of having completed tasks and discontented about unfinished ones, ‘runners high’-like exhaustion after achievements and an anxious weariness about unaccomplishments. The tension was disrupted by a ping from her. Her ping typically relaxes me, cheers me, and temporarily takes me out of my mind, and that day it did more so than usual. She wanted to go geohashing on Pi day. I vaguely remembered her mentioning geohashing; but since it was her idea it had to be interesting. I had to reschedule a few things at the office; but almost every time inconvenience is trumped by an excuse to leave your mind.

She was ready with a basket and a blueberry pie. The picnic basket and the road trip felt like a Wes Andersonesque adventure. The road trip was filled with interesting discussions. I was arguing against her claim that I was weird as I agreed to chauffeur her on her strange quest. As the discussion was moving towards theory of free will and blame, we noticed that the sun rays were breaking through the clouds scattered across an evening sky. The rays illuminated the almost-harvested corn fields and made them appear like ‘fields of gold’, almost as Sting had imagined in his song. The gold analogy, however, will probably assume literal significance for the farmer.

Unsurprisingly, the geohash location turned out to be in the middle of a field. The winds unabated by any obstruction were gusting at almost 40 mph. Spoken words were carried so fast by the winds that it seemed I had less time to hear them. As we made our walk to the center of the field, I had to multi-task. I was straining to listen to her amongst the gusts, hoping to not get chased by the farmer’s dogs, and avoid muddying my new, slick shoes. Specifically, I was trying to be light-footed so that the muck remains on the sole beneath and not the suede on the side and top. I was only slightly successful. I also realized that nice shoes are not recommended for geohashing in Illinois.

As we got closer to the exact location, she began her battle with the poor GPS signal and the intense rays obscuring the phone. She tried to synchronize her movements with the refresh rate of the phone, while staring only at her phone and taking forward, backward and side-steps. For someone who was not aware of her intentions, it seemed like she was trying to figure out a perfect angle for the rays to hit the mirror in her hand, which in turn will lead to a monolith rising from the ground. A ‘Yay!’ from her announced a rather subdued end to my ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ fantasy.

All these efforts had worked up an appetite for delicious blueberry pie. While documenting the pie-eating experience, I realized one more of my weaknesses: I can’t pose for pictures when eating pie. She, however, struck a perfect pose with a shirt carrying an image of a bridge that looked like a pie. While walking back, we were trying to figure out the best way to get into the car without retracing our path and completing a Tron achievement. She came up with a simpler, more elegant solution than my stupidly fantastic one about getting into the car through the moon roof. The ride back home was relatively uneventful. My first geohash experience made me realize that it only takes a blueberry pie to beat the Friday blues.


More coming up soon!


Amit and Anika earned the Land geohash achievement
by reaching the (39, -88) geohash on 2014-03-14.
Anika earned the Pie Geohash Achievement
by baking blueberry pie for other people to degustate at the (39, -88) geohash on Pi Day.
Anika earned the Drag-along achievement
by dragging Amit to the (39, -88) geohash on 2014-03-14.