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Featured Cacher For July 2009 - LGNE


LGNE of Fulshear, TX.
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What got you interested in caching?
LGNE: One of the ladies in my division at work Junebuggeo and I were talking one day and she started telling me about her new hobby. As she started explaining, there was a ring of familiarity to it. She showed me geocaching.com and we surfed the site a little. I was in Boy Scouts, received my Eagle in 1973 to date myself. Well this looked like a high tech version of map and compass orientation, so I checked out the sight a little more and thought what the heck, I’ll give it a whirl and signed up for a general membership. That night I dug out an old GPSr I had and put some new batteries in it. I did a search and found there was a cache 0.4 miles from my house. The next day I found my first cache, Mossy Oak GZCC6K. That was enough for me, got a premium membership and it’s been off to the races ever since. Like a lot of things, I dove in head first before having a good knowledge base and without reading the warning sign “This hobby can be addictive”.
How did you decide on your caching name?
LGNE: Well that one gets an “F” for creativity. Since I didn’t know when I first signed up I was going to get this involved, I just used a throw down login I have used on a lot of sites where you have to register “to see all the info”. Kind of like HGCS. The truth is, it’s just my initials plus the 2nd letter of my last name. It’s also the initials of my side line business LGN Enterprises Inc. I thought about changing it but I understand it’s not as easy as it used to be. I have had some interesting inquiries about it. Quite a few people have mistaken the “L” for and “I” and want to know what Igne stands for. I just tell them Igne-rant! I have tried to reverse engineer it and the best I can come up with is Let’s Go Night Exploring. If anyone has a better idea, I’m open to suggestions. I think I’ll keep it especially since I’m waiting on my Pathtags, plus it’s short and quick for signing logs.

When you cache, what equipment do you use? (PDA, Garmin, Magellan, software)
LGNE: I started with an old Magellan 2000 XL that I bought years used ago from whereiselmer who works with me and he bought it used before I got it. It is now on loan to one of our daughters and son-in-laws (Clodine-Crawlers). That and a lot of inkjet ink got me started. I added Geocache Navigator to my BlackBerry that helped me go more paperless and the wireless cache search and logging is nice. The GPSr part of it pretty much stinks though, IMHO. Then I got a good deal on a practically new Garmin 60CSx from a friend of Criffree’s. That’s when my stats and finds started going up pretty quickly. Finally Donde Esta gave me an Oregon 400T in trade for some work my company did. Add to that, the learning curve I’m still going through with GSAK (thanks Criffree for the tutorial) and info I get from the forums on HGCS, I’m now set equipment wise.

What are your all-time favorite cache(s)?
LGNE: Wow that’s tough. Seems like at my stage of the game the last one I find is a favorite. Of course the first one you remember. There are a lot of great caches on the West side where I’m mainly running right now. You can go for the numbers or the challenge, take your pick. Right now I would have to say my favorite is Donde Esta’s 44th Perfect Cache GC1V0CT. It was a tough puzzle and a tough hide. I got lucky on that one and glad Mrs. Muddy Buddy showed up to Co-FTF because she had something we needed that I left in the car. That one would be followed closely by two more puzzles. PAF: The only key to solving a tough puzzle cache GC1QKCP (I really like BigBenders puzzles and it was my first FTF puzzle) and Tamale Cheese Pie w/ Smoked Quail GC1TF86 and another FTF (Thanks EZGroomer I worked most of that puzzle in my head during a meeting and actually made the recipe later). Traditional would be Lakes of Bella Terra GC1Q60W (my first solo FTF and a clever hide I got at night). The “A” Bridge GC1M6PM (a real head scratchier) and Day Tripper GC1RVEQ (one of Maxwell’s Hammer very creative and evil ones).

Do you have any special caching adventures you want to tell us about?
LGNE: I’m looking forward to a lot of them but if I had to pick right now it would be PAF and Aviation Fun Facts (GC1TPZR). Our other daughter and son-in law (UrbanRaccoons) were in for the weekend from Austin. The PAF puzzle popped and Mr. UR and I went to work on it. He is a math genius (literally) and I’m NOT. We worked on that one until almost 2:00am. I had a thought, he applied it and when geochecker came back “success” we yelled and high fived like a couple of kids. Grabbed a little sleep and the next morning checked that it wasn’t logged yet (why will come later) and headed to George Bush Park where GZ was. I was wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes and he was wearing shorts and flip flops. As we walked down the dam there was a lot of water getting closer. When we hit the place to turn and go to GZ, it was definitely underwater. I told him “I’m going”. He was right with me. We had to wade into water about thigh deep and he watched for bad things that swim while I grabbed the cache. Signed the blank log and scooted out of there. We got a couple of funny looks in the parking lot with my soaked jeans then we went and grabbed about six more caches while we dried out before heading home.
On AFF I had just finished up a Ninja run on a new series in Rosenberg called Frogger (by McDaniel92) and was talking to Criffree on the phone exchanging info and he was entering the coordinates in Geochecker at his house when we got the green light. We decided to meet at GZ and snag the demon, a quick grab, and done we thought. Well an hour later, we decided to give up and left. I was steaming and telling myself it’s just a hobby when I had the “AH-HA” moment about half way home. I turned around went back to GZ and didn’t even take my GPSr and walked straight to the cache. Called Crifree to see if he wanted to come back but he was in for the night. Can you say OCD boys and girls, sure you can.

Have any "Most embarrassing Geo-moment" you would like to share? Details please!
LGNE: Guess that depends on what you call embarrassing especially if it involves a muggle. I’m sure more embarrassing things than this will come. On the other hand, being pretty new, I’ve said, done, or asked things to experienced cachers and the Prime Reviewer that later I say to myself, “you dummy”! I’m pretty much a lurker on HGCS at this point and even looked at some of my first posts to see if I could delete them so as not to expose my Igne-rance. The one thing that comes to mind because of my occupation was Donde Esta and I were running caches in Katy one day. I needed to finish up the Fellowship of the Cache series so Donde parked his cache mobile near #9 and we went to #6 to work our way back. As we were almost back to #9 I saw a Katy PD car pull up behind Donde’s. Great, the old block in the car trick, that’s a familiar tactic. I dug out my cache credentials went right up to him, introduced myself, briefly explained what we were doing and asked if he would like to see what a cache looked like. I was still learning the 400T and was having trouble zooming in on the cache location so Donde (who had already completed the series) went over and stood by where the cache was located. I retrieved the cache (bison tube) and signed the log while the guy watched. Chatted with him a couple of minutes more then he took off. It was already hot and we were sweating pretty well when we got back to the car. I told Donde, “I can read his mind you know”. Right now he’s saying we are *#(%*^& nuts, and can’t wait to tell his buddies “You won’t believe my last call”! Two sweating idiots signing a piece of paper in a tube. He doesn’t know what fun he’s missing.

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle) and why?
LGNE: Let’s see, how I can sound like a slick politician. I’m really enjoying puzzles and fortunately I have an excellent resource (Mr. UR) when I get stumped on a tough math puzzle. Every puzzle cacher needs a son-in-law in their hip pocket that considers quantum physics light reading, solves a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds and designed a Rubik’s cube that can only be on a computer because it can’t physically be manufactured. I haven’t had the opportunity yet but I keep hearing how great PiMan’s puzzles are and looking forward to working on some of them. I have several solved ones in my notebook but haven’t had a chance to find them yet. Regarding traditional, I should be better organized if I want my numbers faster but I read the title and description and if it sounds interesting, I’ll wade into the middle of a bunch of caches to find that one, leaving others to come back to later. EZGroomer gave me a suggestion that I might try since I enjoy puzzles. Work a puzzle, go get it and then grab all the traditional ones around it. Sounds good but often time won’t allow it. I haven’t really done multi-caches, but need to. I have one I want to put out spinning in my head and I need to get ideas of the best way to implement it. I also like to hide caches almost as much as finding them and the area where I live is pretty virgin territory. Since I’ve been roaming this area my entire life, I know some great places to hide caches. That leads to the twisted part of my personality. When one of my caches pop, if I can, I like to get to the area first and hide to see who is going to make the FTF run. Ask Criffree about that.

Summer or Winter caching? Why?
LGNE: I haven’t done the dead of winter yet so I’ll have to see how that goes. Summer is okay. You can get down to the essentials of clothing if you need to. I don’t mind the sweat but could do without the bugs and PI. Seems the older I get, the more the cold bothers me. I guess you can get to the point where you have on so many layers of clothes it would be hard to get through the brush. I’ll have to see how that plays out this winter so for now, I would probably say summer.

When a new cache is listed, are you tempted to go for FTF?
LGNE: This is the trick question right? Simply YES! It is my cache weakness! Make it better or worse depending on your point of view because I like to chase them at night. To me it adds a whole new dimension to the challenge. As of today, I have like 23 FTF’s and I think 20 of them were at night. In fact, one just popped while I’m doing this interview and it’s taking true willpower to finish and not jump in the car. I was inducted into the Night Time Ninjas, an honor I was thrilled about. To tell you how crazy I am, I made a Night Ninja TB that is being passed and logged by the other NJ’s before it gets launched. To confess, when I get to an FTF GZ and find the cache, I get an adrenaline rush when I unroll the log. If it’s blank, it’s a YES and a fist pump like Tiger sinking a 60 foot putt.

Tell us about your cache mobile.
LGNE: Well, there is old faithful, the 1997 Suburban with almost 200K miles. That’s when I can pry it away from our son who is driving now and thinks it’s his personal hauler of teenage boys to basketball practice, movies, church youth group and ad infinitum. My wife’s car is even harder to get and is not really suited for caching because it’s small, red, fast and I’m a big guy so I have to fold in half to get in it. I snuck it out once when she was out of town but got busted when she got back because I couldn’t get the marks of EZGroomers fingernails out of the dashboard. Could be good for an FTF chaser though. On the way to or from work and sometimes at night it could be an ominous four door sedan with black tinted windows. MTCachers probably has it burned in his memory when I was cruising by one day and cold busted him at one of my caches. That was cool, I scored a pathtag out of the deal. I’m keeping my eye out for an old cheap something or other that can be my dedicated cache mobile so I don’t have to keep moving all my stuff from one vehicle to the other. Soon I’m going to have to break down and get a bike. After walking the 5.5 miles of Pump it Up in less than four hours, my feet were killing me.

What other hobbies do you have?
LGNE: My wife would say what hasn’t he. I was a firearms instructor and competition shooter for years but four pretty major eye surgeries kind of ended that. IMHO I’m still a good shot just not competitive level anymore. I love golf and can’t get enough of that. I’m a licensed pyrotechnician, own a pyrotechnic company and like to manufacture my own fireworks and rockets (and I still have all my digits). I’m an aviation freak. Grew up a few blocks from the end of the runway of what was Andrau Airport. Love planes, helicopters and flying them. I’ve several good friends that are airline and corporate pilots. I’ve had the thrill of flying quite a few different types of aircraft from a Piper Cub to a Falcon 20 corporate jet, a bunch in between and several different types of helicopters including a Bell 222 (offshore). Sadly I have a logbook but no official logged hours because all my friends gave up their CFI’s a long time ago and don’t really have the desire to get it back just for me. Imagine that? I enjoy gourmet cooking and eating it… obviously. Trying to dominate the TV remote in my house is a spectator sport.

Do you currently have any caching goals that you are working towards?
LGNE: I want to keep putting out some good caches in my area (working on a series now) and there are some caches in some good areas that seemed to have been abandoned for some time that I would like to start the process of adopting or at least get archived so that real estate would be available again. As time allows, I want to get some of the old old caches that are still active and go caching in some other states. My in-laws retired in northern Nevada near Pyramid Lake and I’ve already scouted caches on Google Earth near their place. EZGroomer was telling me about Earth Caches, which I haven’t investigated yet but they sound really interesting.

Is it all about the numbers?
LGNE: To say emphatically, “No” would be a lie. It seems as I get close to the next 100, I start pushing myself more and I need like 23 more by the end of June to hit a 100 for the month but I’m not sure with everything else going on I’ll make it. I try not to worry about it but Donde let it slip one day that his plan was to hit 500 before I got 100. I made sure that didn’t happen but I don’t think I’ll catch him anytime soon now, and I turned him on to caching! He’s going to hit a 1000 before you know it. I keep telling myself he’s retired and although I’m eligible, my plan has been to work a couple of more years. Then look out.

Thanks for this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
LGNE: First I want to say thanks to those who thought enough of me to put my name in the hat. What an honor. When I heard about it I didn’t believe it and think there are probably a lot of others more qualified than me. I have to say that I have never met a more friendly, open and helpful group to a newcomer than cachers. I have emailed, met and made a lot of new friends in the caching community. I want to thank everyone that came to the west side event that whereiselmer and I had so we could meet a lot of the folks that have been so helpful without ever coming face to face until then. We are looking forward to doing another one. At the risk of leaving someone out, I apologize but I want to thank the first ones that helped me get my feet wet. Criffree, who I met on one of my first night runs. EZGroomer who anointed me a Night Time Ninja. BigBender, Kirbydox, and Davarle for my ongoing puzzle questions and last but certainly not least my good friend Donde Esta who keeps me motivated to try and catch him and hide something he can’t find without calling ME first! Finally, thanks to the folks who take the time to run HGCS, a great site and a world of information.


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