The Depot — Geocache of the Week

first_imgDifficulty:1Terrain:2 Location:Massachusetts, United StatesN 42° 16.245 W 071° 15.006 Letterbox HybridGC31DEby Chooch “Miniature” is all relative.If you’re wondering how many model train sets are hidden in the forests of Massachusetts, we can confidently say: probably just one. At least, this is the only one we’ve heard of that’s worth booking the very next flight to Boston for.“The Depot” is one of those geocaches that will surprise and delight geocachers and muggles, the young and the less-young, and locals and visitors alike—although according to the creator, the “official” target population of the model railway is 11-year-olds.We’re not going to spend too much time describing it here—best to simply take in the photos and hear from the creator, username Chooch, himself.The main railway line is about 120 feet long.Chooch says the railway was already in place before the geocache listing was created. In fact, the project started out with just a seed of an idea. “Some twelve years ago I thought it would be neat if I could make my own trail which would connect with woods roads and walking paths into the town forest which abuts our property. In the process of working on the trail I came across a small brook which seemed to cry out for a little dam that would create a small waterfall. Of course there would need to be a bench nearby so that one could sit and listen to the waterfall.”One thing led to another (and another), until eventually the spot had a whole table and sitting area. Perfect, Chooch says, for hosting “four people for cocktails.”Rails wind snake-like through the woods.The inspiration for the model railway came from a train set his daughter placed under her Christmas Tree a few months later. Chooch thought a track of the same proportions would do well outside…and he knew just which outside that would be.“Because of natural elevation changes at the site the obvious construction technique would be to build a trestle to run between the sitting area and the waterfall, which was about 80 feet.” This he did, and added in a few loops and stations along the way. The site came to be known as “Martini Junction”, and a little while later it was listed as a Letterbox Hybrid geocache.The train cars themselves are safely stored in a locked station.Very official signage.Chooch says the train station has been witness to some special moments over the years.“One afternoon, when starting out on our regular walk in the forest, my wife and I noticed what appeared to be a pink ribbon hanging on a tree. Not paying much attention to it we turned to follow the path which leads to the railway. Almost immediately we saw, hanging from a tree limb, the letter ‘R’ neatly cut from foam core, about 12” high and covered in pink paper. Somewhat surprised at this discovery I turned back to find that the pink ribbon, from this vantage was now the letter ‘P’. Puzzled, we continued and soon came upon another letter, this time an ‘O’, and still a little further along the letter ‘M’. Finally as we approached the sitting area there’s a “question mark” hanging from a branch and we saw a young man sitting alone with a bouquet of spring flowers with a rose in the center all wrapped up as a gift.”Chooch and his wife introduced themselves and asked about the tree letters. “He tells us that a young woman is on her way and that he plans to invite her to the prom. Well. I was pretty impressed with all his effort and told him that if things didn’t work out he could take me to the prom.”Chooch with the choo-choos.Luckily, things did work out—at least in the short term that was the Prom. “We ran the train through its paces for them and as they were leaving, I asked the young man what he planned to do with the pink letters. He said he was giving them to the young lady. I noted that he probably didn’t need the ‘question mark’ any more and he was gracious enough to leave it with me. It’s since been added to a growing collection of memorabilia which include thank you notes and numerous drawings of the railroad made by young children who have come on field trips. It was so nice being witness to what seemed to be a little old-fashioned event and to see young people acting like young people.”Without perspective, the tracks could *almost* be life-size.The cache has been found 866 times and garnered 361 favorite points. Parts of the site have expanded without Chooch’s help, as people add objects to create vignettes of their own.Chooch approves of the additions. “Since the railway has reached the limit of its expansion potential the vignettes afford the chance to add to the scene from time to time. A recent addition has been a string of miniature telephone poles sans any wires. This presents as a ‘wireless’ network and even provides a local hot spot.”Chooch is a retired design engineer and built the railway himself, but he isn’t too effusive about how it was constructed. In a previously published article, he wrote, “I realize as I put these words to paper that this story is pretty light on technical details. In truth there is not very much technology involved here. In fact I guess it’s more of a love story and as such may not even be appropriate for the pages of Garden Railways.”But geocaching is all about love, we said, so it’s perfect for here.Martini Junction from the air.Mammoth crossing.Full steam ahead!Chooch, left, demonstrates the railway for a visitor.JiggitySquibs mark their 2000th find at The Depot.A side view of the stations, with the picnic area / cocktail bar in the background.A young geocacher testing out the waterfall and waterwheel.How big is this lookout tower really?A vignette depicting the railway maker himself.Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedDown, down, down into the underground – Below Above, The Fallen Monarch (GC2GAMT) – Geocache of the WeekApril 3, 2013In “Community”I hope you’re not afraid of the dark. — Antuna Underground (GC2B3BY) — Geocache of the Week Video EditionOctober 2, 2013In “Geocaching with Kids”We’ve Got Urban Geocaching on Lock — QuadLockLog (GC330KJ) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 7, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

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Listening In on Building Science Discussions in Maine

first_imgEach month in Portland, Maine, a group of building professionals gathers for an evening of serious Building Science banter. The topic is either focused on a specific aspect of building science or opens up a lively discussion of what a Pretty Good House (PGH) would do in our cold climate of Maine. (For more information on the Building Science Discussion Group in Maine, check out the links in the “Related Articles” box, below.)There is usually no consensus and definitely no set of metrics etched in stone. Everyone seems to learn something and make good networking connections. Often, people leave with more questions than they came with, and a beer or two in their belly.I’m Jason Peacock of Maine Green Building Supply, and I’ll try to recapture a recent evening as best I can. MacBeth (and building science) doth murder sleepDan Kolbert ended the evening by saying, “Building Science is a good excuse to never sleep again.”In summary, Wayne was very grateful for the time and advice shared by everyone. I think (maybe) that he left with some definitive answers to some of his questions. But I’ll also bet that he left with more questions than he arrived with – and therein lies the devil of building science.Till next month… High school students will be building a modular homeThe next discussion topic was the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology’s Vocational School Rotary House Project 2013. (Images #3, 4, and 5, below, show some details and plans.)Essentially, the school provides educational opportunities to high school students who build a house over a two-year period. They have two houses going at a time, with each house having two modules. The house is sold on the open market, so when they start building the house, they have no idea who the homeowner will be or where the home will end up.Wayne Hapgood is the teacher. Wayne initially talked about the inherent constraints which determine the design and process:A modular home, with each module 12 feet wideHeight must be less than 13’6”The house is built outdoors and must continuously stay weathertightBuilding envelope details needs to reflect current building “norms”Budget is a major factorThe house is built by teenagers.Wayne acknowledged that he was very brave to bring this project to the Building Science Discussion Group, knowing how knowledgeable and forward-thinking the group was regarding wall details and construction processes. He said that he was here with an open mind and was excited to learn.He also mentioned that over the last twenty years, the more he learned about building science, the less he felt he knew.He shared his current set of plans. He wanted advice on what to do better. He mentioned that working with 17-year-olds on a construction project is challenging, and that lessons needed to be hands-on and easy to understand. A majority of the students in his class have parents and family in the trades, so what they do in this class will definitely be discussed at the dinner table with dear old Dad.He mentioned that he’d like to know more about air sealing. Choosing rigid foamLiz Newman stressed that they should be using Advanced Framing techniques — an approach that allows builders to eliminate a portion of the wood normally used in framing. This saves money and allows for more insulation in the wall.Chris Briley of BriBurn Architecture (formerly Green Design Studio) discussed the differences between XPS (with its questionable fire retardant chemicals) and Thermax (a brand of polyiso). He suggested considering two layers of rigid foam with taped, staggered seams. Since rigid foam almost eliminates drying to the outside, it’s important to facilitate drying to the interior.Someone mentioned that recycled polyiso can be purchased from the Insulation Depot in Massachusetts. There was a brief discussion about dew-point calculations, and Wayne mentioned that he was concerned about condensation in the wall cavity. Someone mentioned a standard of 1:2 ratio of outside foam to inside cavity insulation, and then Chris Briley mentioned that the correct ratio was a 2:1 outside foam to inside cavity insulation. This would hint that more foam should be used on the outside to avoid having the possibility of condensation in the wall cavity. (For more information on this topic, see Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing.)Dan Kolbert recommended following the Airtight Drywall Approach. Wayne was very interested. I mentioned that it’s important to hang your drywall on the ceiling, mud, tape and paint, before you build your interior partitions.There was a discussion about trying to get more insulation in the ceiling by field constructing a proper vented channel in-between the rafters instead of having the foam on the face of the rafters. This would enable thicker amounts of insulation near the eves. Several people were concerned that during transport the foam to air seal the ceiling may crack. Siga tape may be a better option. Reports from the NESEA conferenceThe evening started with a round of introductions among the approximately 30 or 40 attendees. This was followed by a brief discussion regarding things seen at the Building Energy 13 conference in Boston the week prior. RELATED ARTICLES Steve’s GarageVisiting Energy-Smart Designers and Builders in MaineThe Pretty Good HouseThe Pretty Good House, Part 2The Pretty Good House: A Better Building Standard? Pros Benefit from Building Science Discussion Group How many blower door tests?Liz Newman said that she recommends doing five blower-door tests during the construction process and that it is such a good educational tool to embed air sealing into their way of thinking.There was a discussion about street orientation, and Wayne again mentioned that the design is not that fluid because they don’t know where the house is going when they start to build it.One builder mentioned that he’d recommend spray foaming near rafter tails after all the ProperVents were installed to make sure that it was airtight. He thought that the spray foam would help stiffen up the whole module for moving.Regarding the cavity insulation, the group was unanimous on getting the fiberglass batts out and using something else like blown-in cellulose. Charlie Huntington of I&S Insulation offered to lend the project his cellulose blower. Many people agreed that this would still be within the students’ abilities and that the house would perform a lot better.Wayne mentioned that he’d built his own house just five years ago and that he wishes he knew then what he knows now. Dan Kolbert similarly said that he can’t bear to go to any house he’d build over six months ago, because things are progressing so rapidly now in high-performance building.It was recommended that they still have Panasonic WhisperGreen fans in the bathrooms to help mitigate moisture in addition to the ERV or HRV. And with that it was a wrap. Envelope and ventilation detailsThe proposed wall construction will be a 2×6 wall with fiberglass batts and 1 1/2 inch of exterior Thermax foam (because it’s cheaper and has a better R-value that alternatives). The wall has no vapor barrier so that it can dry to the interior. The home will have an ERV (energy recovery ventilator).The ceiling has a 1/2-inch layer of rigid foam that is sealed at the perimeters with a small hand-held foam gun. The wall is R-31 and the ceiling R-51. (There will be 13 inches of cellulose above the 1/2 inch of foam).The roof is vented at the eaves and the ridge. One additional note: the students don’t assemble the two modules together, the buyer does. That means that the quality of the final air sealing job will be uncertain.Dan Kolbert mentioned that if the buyer is responsible for assembling the modules, then they should be presented with a checklist for air sealing properly.Tim Spang of Spang Builders in Kennebunkport agreed that air sealing was very critical. Tim, along with his son Clayton and project manager Norm, are all graduates of Biddeford’s vocational school. He said that over the years he’s hired 30 to 40 students from this program. He mentioned that they are currently in the process of building a net-zero house, with the aim of achieving a blower-door test result of 1.0 ach50 or lower. He said that they learned a lot on their most recent house, but hadn’t really been keenly focusing on air sealing in the past. He stressed how important it would be for him when hiring new staff to know that they were learning what is cutting-edge for our future, not just the norm.Diane Milliken of Horizon Maine brought up the fact that Keiser Homes, a modular builder in Maine, has done a really impressive job of air sealing their homes. She also mentioned that she’s worked with Westbrook Vocational School, and their double-stud wall project almost achieved the Passivhaus standard. She felt that the students were more interested because they felt they were on the cutting edge.Jim Godbout of Godbout Heating and Plumbing offered to donate his blower-door equipment to make sure the air sealing was done effectively. Dan Kolbert, a builder and our usual moderator, mentioned that he’d listened to presentations on research on a variety of heating strategies for small spaces, and whether or not leaving the bedroom doors open or closed made a big difference. The recommendations focused on simplifying overall heating systems and delivery.Liz Newman, an architect, mentioned that she’d been to a presentation about net zero buildings. The presentation focused on the big picture: “scaling up” for net zero cities, and how the Passivhaus standard will play a more prominent role in construction in the next ten years.Steve Konstantino, our host and the owner of Maine Green Building Supply, mentioned that this year’s expo had more of a spotlight on building envelope products and less on solar energy than in past years. There seemed to be an abundance of triple-pane windows and products, like Siga tapes, to assist in achieving Passivhaus and net-zero standards. HRVs versus ERVsI mentioned that if they were planning on drying to the inside, they’d be better off with an HRV instead of an ERV, and that an HRV would do better mitigating moisture from the house. Their plan was to not have bathroom fans and have the ERV pull stale humid air from the bathrooms.The next few minutes felt like a highly contested Senate debate with finger-pointing protests and spit-flying disagreements. You could say that not everyone agreed with me, and that for some reason there are still plenty of people, who will remain nameless, that still use ERVs in our cold climate.Dan Kolbert (at this point acting like the Speaker of the House) said, “If I hear ERV one more time, I’m ending the discussion group.” Maybe the ERV vs. HRV debate will be our next BSDG topic. Let the rotten tomatoes fly!last_img read more

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Quick Tip: Saving Lumetri Color Presets in Premiere Pro

first_imgStep 3: Save the Lumetri PresetOnce you’re happy with the way your color grade looks, it’s time to save the preset. Simply select the Lumitri Color effect in the effect panel, right click, and select Save Preset. In the popup window, name your new effect, select scale, and hit OK. When naming your presets, it’s best to use good adjectives so you can easily recall the preset in the future. Step 4: Access the New Effect in the Effects/Preset BrowserYour new effect can now be found in the Effects/Presets Browser under the Presets folder. You’ll notice that your new preset will also have a small colored thumbnail with a quick example of the preset in action.Have any tips for creating color presets in Premiere? Share in the comments below. Lumetri Color presets are a great way to save your favorite color grading looks for later. Learn more about the process with this Premiere Pro Quick Tip.The Lumetri Color panel and effects are one of the best things to happen to Premiere Pro and After Effects in a while. Using the interface, video editors and motion graphic designers can easily save and share color presets for later. In the following tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to save Lumetri Color presets in Premiere Pro. If you’re more of a reader, you can simply follow the step-by-step instructions below the video tutorial.Step 1: Apply the Lumetri EffectBefore you can save a Lumetri preset, you need to make sure your footage has the Lumetri Color effect already applied to it. The Lumetri Color effect can be found in the effects browser. Simply drag and drop it onto your footage.If you don’t see the Lumetri Color panel immediately, simply navigate to Window>Lumetri Color.center_img Step 2: Customize the EffectCustomize the Lumetri effect to your liking. The important thing to remember is that highly compressed footage will be much more difficult to color grade than less-compressed footage. Look out for noise… just because your clip looks fine on an individual frame doesn’t mean it will look great when you play it back.last_img read more

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Federer wins 101st title, beating Isner in Miami Open final

first_imgMOST READ Now 37, Federer became tennis’ first repeat champion of 2019 when he won his 101st career title Sunday by beating a hobbled John Isner in the Miami Open final, 6-1, 6-4.Federer neutralized Isner’s big serve and won 32 of 35 points on his own serve. The 6-foot-10 Isner scrambled so desperately to stay in rallies that he hurt his left foot and limped badly through the final few points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsIsner said afterward he didn’t yet know the nature or severity of the injury.Federer, by contrast, is just fine. He was the Dubai champion on March 2, and runner-up to Dominic Thiem at Indian Wells two weeks ago. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Google Philippines names new country director “It was just important to keep on doing what I was doing, and if he’s hurt, well, then so be it, and bad luck for him,” Federer said. “After the game, of course, you hope it’s nothing serious .” / gsgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Roger Federer, of Switzerland,holds the trophy after defeating John Isner in the singles final of the Miami Open tennis tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Orange streamers rained down while Roger Federer held another championship trophy aloft, his familiar grin as wide as ever.For the ageless Federer, winning never gets old.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next PBA All-Star promoter more than happy to donate wheelchairs after big scoring night View comments Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img The first 33 men’s and women’s titles in 2019 were won by 33 different players, including Ashleigh Barty in the Miami women’s final Saturday. Federer is the first repeat winner in 20 men’s tournaments this year.“Kind of fitting,” Isner said.Federer first played in the Miami tournament as a wild card 20 years ago. He won the title in 2005, 2006 and 2017 before it moved from Key Biscayne to its new home this year in the Dolphins’ complex.“It has been a super long journey for me here,” Federer told the crowd. “To stand here right now really means a lot after so many years.”The temporary stands inside the NFL stadium were almost full for the final, but Federer quickly defused any drama. He broke in the opening game and then twice more in a first set that lasted only 24 minutes.“Champion, Roger!” one fan yelled during a lull, prompting cheers. Federer went on to earn the adjective yet again.To complicate matters for Isner, he said the top of his foot started to hurt during the first set, and the problem grew worse as the match progressed.“It’s a terrible feeling,” Isner said, “going up against the greatest player ever, playing in this incredible atmosphere, and my foot’s killing me.“Not that I would have won the match anyway. Let’s make that clear. But, you know, I think I could have made for a more interesting match, and one that was a little more fun.”Federer said he felt badly for Isner but didn’t let that affect his game. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants “This is a good phase, a good stretch for me right now,” Federer said. “I really feel super healthy. That’s why I have been able to play every day for the last four weeks. That’s something that maybe hasn’t always been the case for the last few years. So you appreciate these moments.”Federer is 18-2 this year, best on the men’s tour, which stamps him as a threat to add to his record total of 20 Grand Slam titles in 2019.“Unbelievable for you to keep winning and playing this level of tennis,” Miami tournament director James Blake, a former top-five player, told Federer at the trophy presentation. “It makes me feel like such an underachiever. We’re all just in awe.”Isner also paid tribute to Federer during the ceremony.“You were entirely too good today, entirely too good this whole tournament,” Isner said. “You are entirely too good your whole career. It’s absolutely incredible what you’re doing. We’re so lucky to have you in this game, and we all want you to keep playing and literally never retire. So keep it up, man.”ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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