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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:00 am 
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MGS Officer
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:03 pm
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Location: Abingdon, MD
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Interview Date : 1/27/18


Caching Name : FatBaldOldMan


Real Name : Al Woltz

As the incoming Public Relations Officer for the MGS, I thought that it would be helpful to get to know each of the 2018 officers. So, while I’m waiting for their submissions, I decided to interview myself and post the following for your reading pleasure (maybe). Over the next few months, I hope that you’ll get to know each of us and what drives us to further geocaching in our state.

1. How did you become involved in geocaching. My younger son (who’s now 36) introduced me to geocaching back in 2012, and since then I’ve had some off and on spurts. For example, in 2012 I only found 38 caches, then in 2013, I found another 137. However, in 2014 and 2015 I found a whopping 39 total. Thereafter, I’ve been fairly regular averaging nearly one cache every other day. I know that my other board members have literally thousands of caches, but I’m simply slow and steady. When did you start? 2012

2. How did you choose your caching name? Well, that should be fairly obvious. I used to weigh over 300 pounds (thus the “Fat”), I only have a peach fuzz on my head (thus the “Bald”), I didn’t start GeoCaching until I was in my 60’s (thus the “Old”), and “Man” – well I hope that’s obvious as well. It was only an afterthought that the initials were FBOM, which is simply hilarious.

3. How many caches have you found so far? As I write this, I’ve only found 573 unique caches, and 2017 was my best year since I found over 200 caches. In September, 2017, I had back surgery which laid me up a little bit, but 30 days after my surgery, I crested the 500 mark while I joined Zumbido on a 6-mile bicycle excursion on the WNW geotrail between Westminster and New Windsor.

4. What brand/type of GPS do you use? I have both a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx and a Magellan eXplorist 110, but my bread and butter GPS in my Pixel XL Android telephone. I love cGeo and Locus Map applications to direct to the vicinity of the GZ. However, I love to cruise, and whenever I’m overseas, I depend solely on the stand-alone GPSs by downloading a Pocket Query in advance of the trip.

5. What programs/software or hardware (PDA/laptop/phone) do you use to make caching easier? Answered above, but I also rely upon the geocaching toolbox to assist in solving a number of mystery caches. I also like to use Google Earth with GSAK loaded on the backend when plotting new caches.

6. What type of cache do you prefer seeking – traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual? Well, I a traditionalist, but puzzles intrigue me. They tend to keep this old brain of mine as sharp as a dull knife.

7. Which caches were the most challenging – physically/mentally? Physically – the WNW trail was very arduous because of my weakened state, my age, and the fact that I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in about 10 years, but I was determined to complete it in one day. Mentally – I’m still working on 72Whalers “Time to Unwind” puzzle cache (GC1Q36F). For that cache, I need several hours of uninterrupted, undisturbed, and time that I simply won’t fall asleep. Thanks, Frank, for the challenge.

8. Do you have a favorite or favorites among the Maryland caches that you’ve found?
(Feel free to list a favorite for each type of cache) I’ll name a few caches that are my favorites:
Will It Float!!! Will It Float!!! (GC1HWBQ) – A traditional cache in which science and puzzle factors are added
The entire series published by SMA_HCPS – Great mechanism to teach science to our youth
Two for the Money (GCQRGC) – A multi-cache involving both the East and West Coasts
Popty Ping (GC72B6P) – A traditional, but what a surprise.
ALR – 9-11-2001 Survivors and Victims Memorial (GC1K3FK) – I’m a retired Army vet, and I lost several friends that day in 2001.

Do you have a favorite in a nearby state?
Nearby? – Well my favorite cache altogether is in Florida. It’s the Travel Bug Plaza Hotel and Suites (GC3JQQ1). I launched the first TB honoring my daughter from there.
I also have a few favorites overseas including an Earth Cache in Norway, “Geirangerfjorden/Geiranger Fjord” (GC3MCF6) and another Earth Cache in the Bahama, “Parliament Square” (GCC41F)
As I mentioned, I love to travel, and, to date, I’ve found caches in 11 foreign countries.

9. What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve ever found in a cache?
The Deception series by KlawPaws takes the prize for the most unusual hides.

10. What are your current caching goals? As the PR guy for the MGS, my goal is to introduce Geocaching to others and to promote GeoCaching in general.
Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do? Yes, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. I want to visit the MINGO cache in Kansas (GC30), which is the oldest ACTIVE geocache in the world. And nearby in PA, I want to tackle Raiders of the Lost Cache. Also, this spring I want to organize a bicycle caching trip to do the Antietam Battlefield Trail.
But more immediately, I am looking forward to attending the 1st ever GIGA event in the USA this spring at GeoWoodstock XVI in Cincinnati, OH. Currently there are only 460 Marylanders registered to attend. We need to bump that up a notch.

11. How many caches have you placed? Nineteen to date. Do you have a current hiding goal? I plan to publish a 3.5/5.0 cache in the next month or so in honor of our daughter who was killed 18 years ago. I am also opening a geo-walking-trail between Abingdon and Bel Air, MD.

12. What advice would you give someone that wants to place a cache? Find at least 50 or more before placing one so you can see the variety of caches out there.
What steps do YOU take when placing a cache? I try to make it interesting even if it’s a P&G.

13. How often do you go caching? I try to go several times a week, but as the primary caregiver for my wife, who is a paraplegic, I don’t get out nearly as often as I’d like.

14. What advice would you give a beginning geocacher? DON’T QUIT!!! This is a hobby that you can enjoy for the rest of your life, and you can share this hobby with your children, your grandchildren, and other friends. Find a friend that you can cache with. It’s so much more fun and rewarding when caching with others.

15. Have you completed CAM in the past? No. I just relocated back to Maryland from Florida, and my time is somewhat limited due to family considerations. I hope to be able to complete it this year.

16. Do you collect geocoins? Yes – I have a collection of more than 200 GeoCoins, and my “favorite” changes every month as I acquire more coins.
Of the ones that you’ve collected, which is your favorite? Currently, my favorite is the 3-dimension Pyramid entitled Trifecta. I also collect PathTags, and I have over 200 of them including 3 of my own design.

17. What type of gear do you carry with you on your caching trips? I obviously carry my geopack and GPS(s), but in addition to that, I ensure that I bring water for proper hydration. What’s in your geopack? I have a small backpack in which I carry extra logsheets, both a flashlight and infrared flashlight, a sharp knife, tweezers, a magnet on a long extendable arm, pens and pencils, my personal FatBaldOldMan stamps, PathTags, wooden nickels, spare batteries, a battery pack for my cell phone, and bandaids.

18. What is your most memorable caching experience? Caching in Norway near the Arctic Circle. Caching one of the northern most cache in the world. Both cool and cold.

19. What is your best caching story? I wish I had one. Unfortunately, most of my caching has been as a single, so stories are had to come by.

20. What do you like about geocaching? What keeps you going? My brother-in-law just asked me that same question. As a 66-year old man, geocaching is the one thing I can do that both gets me outdoors and get at least a little exercise. But I particularly like the hunt. Not always knowing what I’m looking for and then eventually finding it.

21. Besides geocaching, what other things do you like to do? I used to be an accomplished stage performer, but the demands of my home responsibilities have prevented me from continuing that venture. However, my wife and I do own a Murder-Mystery troupe in which we do evenings and weekend Murder Mysteries at restaurants, clubs, businesses, etc. I really do love comedic performances like these. See http://www.suspectplayers.com for additional information about this venture.

22. What question did you expect us to ask but didn’t. What is the answer? Why in heavens name would I volunteer to be the Public Relations Officer of the MGS? Answer: I firmly believe that the MGS serves a vital role in promoting, encouraging, and serving as the central point for support of geocaching throughout our state. With that in mind, I wanted to assist in that endeavor, but I didn’t feel qualified for any other position. I’m not certain I qualify for this position, but I aim to do the best job I can.

Bonus Questions:
Nope – I’ve used up enough ink and what little brain power I have left already. Happy Caching.

_________________
Al Woltz (AKA: FatBaldOldMan or FBOM)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:41 am 
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MGS Director

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:00 pm
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Awesome write up! I could never remember the placement of the words in your geocaching name. It was not until Alzarius told be about the initials being FBOM that it finally clicked.

Sorry to hear about your wife's condition and the death if your daughter.

I've always wanted to do a Murder Mystery Dinner event. Maybe we can make an MGS night somewhere.


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