User talk:Alastair

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Grat naming[edit]

Hi Alistair, welcome the geohashing :) I just edited your page so the link to your graticule now works; we have a naming convention for graticules, and a lot of them are named already. You can find out what graticules are called by going to the map tool and clicking on your grat - if the grat is named it will appear on the top right. Good luck with your expeditions, and feel free to come visit #geohashing or leave a note on my tak page if you need any help. --joannac 19:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I completely forgot to address this. I've actually been using the map tool for a for a little while now to find out where hash points are but I never noticed the names at the top. Thanks for the pointer. --Alastair 17:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Hey Alastair! I'm just over in Lansing, so maybe we'll see each other out there some time! --excellentdude 22:33, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Gee, thanks guys. I didn't think anyone would really notice that I had made an account, especially someone from Australia. This graticule seems pretty dead right now, but I'm hoping to make at least one winter hash. I don't plan on going to any too far away right now but once it gets warmer I'm going to try to make nearby hashes by bike and a few that are further away by car. Hopefully I'll see you around, excellentdude. I was actually just in Lansing last week for a friend's birthday party. I had to drive out there during that really big snowstorm, it wasn't very fun. Maybe once it gets warmer though.

P.S. I have no idea if this was the correct way to respond to you guys. Should I be leaving comments on your talk pages? I guess I'll find out if I don't hear back... --Alastair 21:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Good to hear from you, too. If you're back this way and planning on trying one, let me know. And I had that same question about responding when I joined. This way is cool. I usually click the tab to watch a page if I've edited it to see if anyone responds. Have a good one! --excellentdude 21:11, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for the amazingly quick response and wonderful information. I was only there for Saturday night and a bit of Sunday afternoon and that's the only time I've ever been out there, but if I'm going to be out that way again I'll let you know. Unfortunately, right now I can't drive too much because I'm quite broke and gas is pretty expensive and that's way too far to travel to by bike, but maybe in the spring or summer. Thanks again, cheers. --Alastair 21:15, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Alistair -- don't worry, there's more than just your graticule that seems completely dead right now! I've only made it to one hashpoint so far, as everything else seems to have been too far away or right in the middle of a field, but hey, sometime soon it'll be on our doorsteps, right? Good luck with your geohashing. -- Benjw 21:23, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Ben! Hashing may be dead right now but at least the web site is alive and kicking. I'm kind of curious, how did you find out about my account since you're all the way over in the UK? I'm hoping to make one a hash soon but unfortunately most of my graticule is on a lake or in another country (I live right near the border of Canada) but fortunately I live right on the edge of a graticule so hopefully there are a couple nearby in that one. --Alastair 00:38, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
If you look to the left of your browser window, there are a few wiki links, the sixth one of which is "Recent changes". I keep an eye on that page to see what people have been adding to the wiki, so I can read new stuff like today's expeditions, new hashers, and so on. So that's how Joannac and I found out about you... :-) Another country, by the way, is no boundary to geohashing, but the lake might be more awkward. Hope you get some in the other direction! -- Benjw 07:59, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks again, Ben. I'll have to look into that. I wouldn't mind going to a Canadian hash but crossing the border is usually a big hassle. Since 9/11 the security has been heightened a lot and now it takes a lot longer and there's also a decent chance that you'll get searched. I went with a couple friends over the summer and we actually got stopped and they searched my friend's car, but thankfully nothing came of it. So I'm a bit apprehensive about heading over there, but maybe if I can convince a friend or two to come with.... --Alastair 17:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm a Canadian living near the US border, (but not near you) and I regularly geohash on both sides of the line. Border guards look at you a little funny when they ask you where you're going and you say "Six kilometres east of [some tiny farming community]" and then they ask why and you say, "To take pictures and see if anyone else turns up." Sometimes I say "I'm going to take pictures as part of a distributed art project." Or I say, "to meet a friend for games." Someday, when you least expect it, there may be another geohasher there. It's amazing. -Robyn 18:29, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Haha, I'll have to try that. Give them very specific coordinates at the border that aren't really anywhere. The border is always kind of iffy here, but I'll give it a shot sometime. --Alastair 03:36, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
As long as you have your passport, don't buy anything, don't carry contraband (no guns going north, no pot going south) and have nothing fishy about your vehicle, all they can really do is give you funny looks. I mean come on, you're entering Canada. We don't have secret offshore interrogation chambers. We have ... moose and maple syrup. And on the way south you're going home. I suppose if you have a non-US passport or brown skin you might have a less pleasant time, but I hope not. When the opportunity arises, give it a try! -Robyn 04:33, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
I've heard some of those meese are pretty scary. I wouldn't go near Canada, if I were you. I'm ok to say so since us Australians are too far away for the meese to get us. If you do go, don't drown in maple syrup, will you? -- UnwiseOwl 04:38, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't have a passport, although I don't think it's required yet. And I don't have a gun and I don't smoke so that shouldn't be an issue. I do, however, utilize a miniature tank for my main means of transportation. The could be an issue... I guess I could ram my way across the border. As for meese, they should be no match for my tank. I will have to be wary of maple syrup. I hear that stuff's like quick sand. Can you confirm? --Alastair 23:06, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
A passport isn't required yet for land crossings, but very soon. It's nice to have a passport at all times anyway. It's just a secure feeling of being able to move when you need to. I guess your security comes from your tank. (There's a great song by the Arrogant Worms that has dialogue between a Mountie and some American tourists who have a tank. "Where'd you get a tank?!" "Wal-Mart.") As long as the vehicle has a licence plate on it and doesn't actually contain firearms, it will just fit the Canadian expectations of your mode of transport and everyone will be happy. I'd say maple syrup was more like a chemical snare than quicksand though. You get in it and you never get out, but you're not sucked under. Unless there are pancakes. -Robyn 23:41, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Useful information. My car isn't actually a tank, it's just... well, a car. I'll have to stockpile pancakes before I go. --Alastair 23:54, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
If you get real clever, you can probably cook your pancakes by running the car as you go along. Take lots of photos of this process, please. -- UnwiseOwl 01:30, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, the tank oughta cook 'em up real nice. --Alastair 04:37, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Ooh, seriously. We'll make a special award ribbon for you if you can cook pancakes as you drive your car. -Robyn 04:43, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
That would be quite the honor. I'll have to find a way to rig this up. --Alastair 04:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)