| Welcome to my
corner of the web and the fusion of my
interests in trail running,
globetrotting, puzzles, writing, the
outdoors, semiotics, treasure
hunting, and much more -- one baroque collection of
maps -- a workout for brain, body, and
being. I think that ridiculously oversized
banner captures my primary interests pretty well.
My background is in information
technology and economics, even having co-authored
RFC, but my website is mostly about my
interests, not my work. Unfortunately, neither of these
involve building or operating websites. You've been warned :)
Many people who visit my
website are hunting for treasure; either of the
silver kind or the treasurebox kind. (Other kinds
may be added in the future, with or without notice :))
My blog is focused on the
former, hopefully offering useful tips, and
Treasureboxes are focused on the latter.
The Treasureboxes are based loosely
on the 160 year old pastime of letterboxing,
an intriguing mix of treasure hunting,
puzzle solving, stamp art, and hiking
or trail running. The idea is to find
a cool place and leave a treasure
there in the form of a unique stamp,
and to write clues, like a treasure
map or outdoor puzzle, for others to
work out and lead them to the spot.
Or, alternatively, to decrypt others'
clues and leave your mark once you
find the spot they lead to.
My interest is in writing
interesting and innovative treasure
hunts; which hopefully I've done, at least on some of them.
My outdoor puzzles often
take quite a bit of perseverance and
insight to solve; I hope you get the
chance to enjoy a few of them as much
as I enjoyed devising them.
While I'm off the letterboxing mainstream, I'm not
totally clueless -- In 2003 I wrote
the original book on the pastime of
North American letterboxing,
The Letterboxer's Companion
(now in its second printing). This is
cool -- ever since I was a kid, I had
a dream of writing a book which
included embedded clues to treasure in
the outdoors. I may even do that again :)
I also co-founded the Letterboxing
North America web site in 1998
and wrote the original
FAQ (both managed by others
now, as has been the case for nearly 10 years),
and in 1999 became the first to
find 100 American letterboxes. Who knew you
would put more hobby CV than career CV on your
I've also take commissions to write
treasure hunts, with an emphasis on
puzzles, problem solving, geography,
and general cleverness. If you're in
the market for a treasure hunt writer,
and who isn't, e-mail
What happened to orienteering? Its a cool sport, but there are
cooler sports, that are more in
keeping with the general fusion of my interests. It is easy to come
to these conclusions when life hits you in the face, and you have time
to contemplate these things, and realise what all your hard work, expense, and
loyalty really meant. I think it is human nature to seek out more rewarding
pursuits during those times, and, fortunately, such pursuits exist.
I do hope to race again,
but I am waiting for improved geographical diversity, improved race formats,
improved race quality, and improved organizational acumen. Mr. Godot will not
be here today, but he will be here tomorrow.
But, I have some very fond memories of the sport, including those two
national relay champs, so we'll keep those pics around below.
I miss the exotic
race locations in Europe, Asia, and South America. Some of my fondest
memories include being named to the US standing team a few times (tho
admittedly at the lowest level), finishing 15th in a World Ranking race
(tho admittedly at an obscure location), and being ranked, at my highest,
311th in the world. I don't know if that is all that good, but I was
certainly happy about it at the time. Perhaps I'll write up the good, the
bad, and the ugly of my orienteering experiences someday; I'll certainly keep some of the
In any case, I encourage you to give the sport a try. For many, it will be quite rewarding.
The 2003 US orienteering
national championship relay team.
We're the well-dressed lot in the
The 2006 US orienteering
national championship relay team.
We're on the left this time.