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Everything posted by RPW

  1. I hate to be a party pooper but could we please make this topic less like abject silliness or the off-topic forums and more like a topic with actual useful content? As far as I can tell the topic was started so that people could introduce themselves and to tell others where they are physically located in this great state of ours. Thank you,
  2. I would not delete either logs. Both are fairly polite and they are informative. Is suppose you could justify deleting both since they give extra information to potential cache finders that you may not wish for them to have -- i.e, that there is a shorter route -- but people are probably going to find the shorter route with or without the logs.
  3. On Oct. 24th (yes, a Sunday) there will be a geo-picnic near Lafayette Indiana. We had to hold it on a Sunday to avoid the Purdue football games but still have it before they close the park for the winter (i.e., close the bathrooms, drain the water pipes, etc.) Ross Hills Gathering
  4. Well, it looks like Joypa and myself are going to host an event near Lafayette (Indiana, of course) on Oct. 24th. The last day our choosen park (Ross Hills) is open for the season. It is not completely firm yet however look for a notice in your search logs soon. In the meantime I hope that everyone has (or had) a fun time at that InGeo fall picnic. It is going to be a beautiful day. Too bad I have to miss it.
  5. Well, there use to be a more firm guidelines -- as I recall, once a month -- however reading the latest guidelines TPTB seem to have dropped this time requirement. Which is good since I certainly do not check on my caches every month. However I do respond to email and complaints. The cache owner in question does not respond to email, has not been logging anything since July, has only 3 finds to their name. To me, all of the signs of someone who got excited about "the game" and then dropped out. I have seen it before in my local community. BassoonPilot is willing to give the cache and the person a lot more slack. Ok with me, he may be right; I may be too quick on the draw. That SBA button is wonderful. Press it and let TPTB take care of the problem. They can handle the back-and-forth email to an no longer responding account. They can handle getting someone to take over the cache. Simply putting a note in the on-line log is not very effective. It is good if the cache owner is still active but if he is not ... well, that cache will go unmaintained for a long time and drag the overall geocaching experience down. But that is only my opinion. Others see it differently. I tend to be more forthright than some. If I find a cache that many would log just as "TFTC" I will instead say "this cache sucks ... and these are ways to make it better." Yes, it can hurt people's feelings. So does getting a "D" on a term paper. Doesn't and shouldn't stop teachers from giving out Ds.
  6. I think that people are missing one of the big points: It is obvious to me that this cacher has dropped off the face of the geocaching earth and therefore this cache page is never going to be updated nor maintained. In such cases I have no qualms about either pressing the "should be archived" button or -- preferably -- taking over official control of the cache. In my mind there is no reason why we, as a community, should allow sloppy and unmaintained caches to exist. And, yes, a cache page needs maintainance just as much as the physical cache needs it.
  7. My major concern with Internet Explorer is not that it is from the "evil empire" (that makes it sound like it is ok if not totally nice) but rather that it is insecure and unsafe to use. Federal agencies & securty firms are decrying the use of IE. Personally I use IE only very rarely and with great trepidation. It would be nice to see geocachng.com use standards that are suitable for all browsers.
  8. Make caches that you would enjoy. Personally I have one multi-cache that is a really nice hike. My daughter and I created it together and it took several trips out to the park to get it right. The number of people looking for it? Very few. On the other hand I have a cache that I unofficially adopted. It is right off of the road. The number of people for this cache? Lots. I have had to switch out the log book once already. But to me it is a boring cache. Does this bother me? Not much. A little because I wish everyone had my taste. But I understand that many people do not and so I especially enjoy the cachers who do have the same taste for caching adventure and thus look for my harder caches.
  9. I am coming down on the side of people who want to know if permission has really been granted, especially in the case of private property caches. As we all know all too often permission has not been sought much less granted no matter what that little checkbox says. And, no GPSaxaphone, that checkbox is not enough. Personally I think that flask's opinion is really poor. He says: Begging the question of what Flask means by "beforehand" (the hour before I set out caching? the night before I go out? at least three weeks before I go?), it is a simple matter of courtesy to inform the finders of potential problems -- not only permission problems but all problems. To me Flask's statement is akin to saying "I do not state on the cache pages the terrain and difficulty ratings but if you need this information then I will tell you beforehand." If someone did this we would jump all over him because he was being such a poor player. Not stating if permission has been obtained for private property caches (especially those hiding behind do not tresspass signs) is, in my opinion, being disrespectful of to other cachers.
  10. Not really. We did have an event last Feb. at Pizza hut which attracted a number of local cachers. However nothing organized since then. Of course this does not keep us from starting something up. A mailing list. A monthly meeting. Personally I would like to see us in the Lafayette area get organized enough that we could host a geo-event (dare we think of the InGeo spring picnic?) in Indiana's newest state park -- Prophetstown. Assuming we get permission, of course. It would be a nice way to introduce the park to everyone else in the state. Enthusiasum on the part of one person does not go very far. Unfortunately my geo-buddy with whom I planned the Feb. event has had very little time for geo-caching for the last 6 months and thus we have done very little to get the Lafayette area more organized. If any one from the area wishes to provide some enthusaisum and push then let me know and I'll help.
  11. Oh, and to answer your specific question: I think this is a good idea. Socialize a bit before. Let people go hunting at a set time. Expect them back at a set time. If you have geocaching throughout the festival then you will never see each other very much. One thing that you probably have not thought about is how to release the co-ordinates. Most of the events I have been to the co-ordinates are written down on paper which are then passed out. If you pass them out too early (or to the early birds) then people will start before others. This may not be too bad since it keeps everyone from going to the same place at the same time but you won't have that sense of togetherness. The Fall 2003 picnic had a computer with the co-ordinates in it. If people brought their upload cables along they could then get the co-ordinates that way. Much easier than by hand! -- Rick
  12. I do admire your willingness to put this on. Events can be a lot of work. Also very rewarding. However it certainly helps to have gone other events before hosting your own. I notice that there is new event close by -- St Joe county event Aug. 29. If possible you may wish to go to this in order to get some ideas. I have been to 5 events and hosted 1 -- all different and interesting in their various ways. For me, at least, the swag is not as interesting as the hunts and the companionship. Some of the highlights (I may have the details wrong; time flows the ideas together in my head): Indiana Spring 2003 picnic was cold. Maybe about 30 people. We had a set of caches to go to which contained, as I recall, a token to prove that we had been at the cache. After we all got back we chose up to 7 cards in order to make a poker hand. Best poker hand had first choice of the swag. One of the swag was a fully loaded cache that the person could hide in his/her own locations. There was also a new permanent cache put on the park land which we could find. There was a pot luck lunch. Indiana Fall 2003 picnic was nice weather. Brown county state park. Very crowded; I think we had 70+ people. All the caches were car-based in that you would drive from one to another and get out for short walks. It rapidly felt like we were just standing in line and not doing any real caching. So my wife and I rode our bikes around to the numerous other caches in the park. Nice people & picnic though. We played a introduction game where we would go finding people who had special tales to tell ... "talk to someone who has over 500 finds" (we got IndyDiver on this one) ... "find someone who has done night caching" ... etc. The object is not really just to find someone who has done the deed but to break the ice and talk to the person ... "oh, so what was night caching like? Did you get lost?". Questions can also include the newbie ... "find someone who has less than 20 finds"; you could then strike up a conversation like "so what made you interested in Geocaching?" Lots of swag. Pot-luck. Another picnic in the fall 2003 near Terre Haute was lots of fun for me. About 20-30 people. In the morning we had the typical "find 10 caches and come back to draw for swag." The swag was not very much (the official Indiana picnics can get Garmin and Magillen support and thus more swag) but this did not matter to me. Potluck lunch. Then in the afternoon we used our radios in finding 10 different caches. Once a cache was found we would pick it up thus rendering it unfindable by anyone else. We would then call on the radio and report the pickup; e.g., "just got cache #6 ... it was easy!", "hey, anyone get #9 yet?" I really enjoyed this picnic because it was in a nice park, the caches were foot only, and it all about the hunt. The radio game was fun but it would have fallen apart with more people present. The people were nice as well. Actually I have yet to find a bad geocacher at any of the picnics. The one event I put on was in Feb. 2004. We just meet at a Pizza hut. No caching possible (although I did hide one cache inside) because of the snow. I provided some swag -- maybe about $40 worth -- just to make things interesting. My partner picked up a lot of the pizza cost. The Fernwood event that you missed was neat in that there were 4 or 5 different trails to go on with about 4-6 caches per trail. Trails such as "Kids", "prairie walk", etc. This kept everyone from looking for the same caches. Swag was ok. An interesting part was a "cache exchange". The event sponsors provided containers, log book, and pencil. For every trade item you brought you got a raffle ticket. The sponsors split up the items into the caches -- 10 items per cache. Raffle tickets were then drawn and if yours was picked then you would get a fully loaded cache. At least that is the way it was suppose to work! In practice the event got so many items that they decided to do without the raffle and just give a cache to each group of people present. It certainly was an interesting way to get a new cache. Another feature they had was a "travel bug exchange" which was a table where people could put TBs and other people could pick them up. I think there was about 70 people at this event but it did not feel very crowded since there were enough cache trails that we did not run into each very much. No pot-luck -- everyone fed themselves -- although there were snacks such as preztels available. An event in Ohio featured multiple trails as well however these were split up into locomotion types, "easy foot", "bicycle", "canoe", "kayak", "hard foot", "car", "creek wading", etc. Each trail had only three caches on it. You would to the cache and write down a number. You then went back to the event headquarters and, if you got the numbers correct, open up a ammo box that was locked with a combination lock. That gave you a small prize plus a raffle ticket for the bigger swag. Since this was put on a by a county park there was no charge for the canoe & kayaks. No pot-luck. Some snacks. Lots of people but the large number of trails and the difficulty of some of them kept us from running into each very much. So you can see there are a variety of ways to do event caches. My words of wisdom would be: 1) Have a seperate and easier cache trail for the kids. 2) Have enough trails and/or caches to keep people from bumping into each other. This bit of advice is hard since you can not tell how many people will show up. But if you have 70 people searching for 10 caches (ala the Fall 2003 picnic) then, in my opinion, this gets too crowded. Better to have multiple trails of fewer caches. 3) Swag per se in not important. Except for the kids trail(s). 4) A pot-luck picnic is nice but not critical. It is a way to get a community feeling but it is a work and a given lunch time when everyone eats together can be just as good. 5) Having a set time when people start the hunt and a set time when people get back for any swag handout at the end of the hunt is important. It makes people feel more like a group when they are all together at one time instead of just drifting in and out of the hunt and the park. Whew! What a long message. Please excuse any spelling and grammatical errors -- it is getting late at night. Good luck in your event. Relax and have a good time. That is what is important. Unfortunately I won't be able to make your event. I have been able to attend very few events this year. All of the close ones ... Indiana spring 2004 picnic -- time conflict! St. Joe picnic on the 29th -- time conflict! Indiana fall 2004 picnic -- time conflict! Your event -- time conflict! And on all those weekends that I am actually free the nearest events are 150+ miles away. -- Rick
  13. Slightly off topic but could someone go to the (Kickapoo Park cache -- one of Illinois' oldest caches -- and rescue my wife's Mug Bug TB? We put it in the cache over 2 months ago and since then there has been only one visitor! Because my wife put so much time and energy into the Mug Bug we thought that the cache would be a good one since it would attract only serious cachers and thus the bug would not get muggled right away . However lonely and forgotten about is just as bad. If no one rescues Mug Bug then in about a month then we will have to make a trip that way in order to do the rescuing ourselves. Not a terrible idea since it will allow us to do some GCing out that way but ... stilll ... it would be nice for someone else to move Mug Bug along. Thanks, -- Rick
  14. Does not seem to effect the server at all. At 22:00 EDT a '%%%%' (to get around the 4 character limit) returns results quickly. This trick should not work on Pocket Queries since there is no search method in the PQs.
  15. "SBA log" = "should be archived log" ... a fairly new option in the logging procedure. I suggest using it. It is the surest way, in my opinion, to get your local approver's attention. Without a list of local approvers it is often hard for a newbie, or even experienced person, to know whom to send mail to.
  16. The last finder -- Gridlock -- wrote back to me and confirmed that I did indeed find the note where the cache should have been. He also says: It does seem that Pine Hills nature preserve would be worthy of becoming an Earthcache. So perhaps it will be revived some day. Or perhaps someone near Pine Hills could go through official channels in order to get a real cache replaced there. MountainClimber said, at one time, that there would soon be an official Indiana State parks geocaching policy (and, by extension, a nature preserve policy) however I have not heard anything more about this for several months.
  17. Being the person who found the note -- and I hope that I am correct that there was no cache; I basically gave up looking for a cache after finding the note -- I feel somehow responsible for the archiving ... or at least very sad. Pine Hills is a beautiful and unique spot in Indiana. We should try to get a new cache placed. A curious tidbit is that the note was dated the same day that the previous cacher (whose name is Gridlock) found the cache. I have written him in order to see if he has any information. I will pass along anything I find out. There is a big sign on entry to the preserve that states "EVERYTHING IS PROTECTED" and thus I can see why a non-cacher do-gooder might remove the cache. The original hiders (Ed & Trixie) have not logged into geocaching.com since Sept. 2002 so they appear to be long gone from the sport. I am a bit far away to try to maintain the cache even if it could be legally replaced. Is there anyone close by? For CyBret: I just a birthday myself (in fact we were deliberately hunting the cache on my b'day.) I leave you with a quote I just ran across: Fourty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age. Ah, to be "old" again.
  18. Since you are from Ft. Wayne I suggest joining the Ft. Wayne email list. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ftwaynegeo/ They seem to be moderately active. They did host the IndianaGeo spring picnic.
  19. There are also people in the South Bend area to connect up with. A spring event just north of South Bend was well attended. See GCHPB3. You might be able to get some interest in jointly sponsoring an event cache. It is always more fun with at least a couple people doing the work.
  20. On the other hand, I think you (and everyone else) should be the geocaching police. If not us, then who is? Certainly not geocaching.com nor the approvers -- they do not have time to check up on every cache placement. The sport has to be self-policing. But with a kind and gentle hand.
  21. The event coincides with my family's summer vacation and so we are planning on attending. We may be pulling in late on Friday night (the trip is about 7 hours from where we live in Indiana.) After the event we will be zooming further east. So our campgroud time will unfortunately be limited. Never-the-less it would be nice to camp with other geocachers. The campgrounds recommended so far are: 1) There is camping at Portage Lakes State Park which is kind of near the event site (And close to another cluster of caches). 2) There is Tamsin Park which is located just east of Cuyahoga Valley National PArk on Old Rte 8 (Akron-Cleveland Road) 3) Brunswick Lake Recreation Campgrounds which would be about 5 miles west of the event. 4) http://www.claremar.com/ It's a little west of Medina. It's $20 a night for two adults, electricity $3. They seem to have a policy of no reservations except holiday weekends. 5) http://www.pier-lonpark.com/. Near Medina. Their website is a year out of date but they are definitely there and promoting Christian family values vacations. The last three of the most interest to us since they are on the west side of the event and we will be coming in from the west.
  22. Hey Torry, that was not a very informative reply "thoroughly packed ... You can search by the zip code for a quick list." I am sure that Wine Lovers already thought of that. Instead what he wants is quality caches. Knowledge that us Indiana people could provide him. Not being near Fishers myself I wouldn't mind some pointers as well. A couple of the better caches that I have found nearby include The Fort (1d63) Barts Cache (3070) both of the above are in Ft. Harrison state park, a very nice place to hike around Chris' secret (54D8) Some that are just ok Inlow (GCP6) ClayXC (GZVQ) One that is bad (but is in Ft. Harrison so it has that going for it) Mutt+Jeff (H6Y7)
  23. RPW

    Which Pda?

    I say "go cheap". If/when you drop the PDA into the water or it gets rained on or dropped then you won't cry as much. I use to use my Palm C -- color, lots of memory, and a fast processor -- however at $400 it is really not a plaything. So I went with a Palm Zire 21 -- grey-scale (good for the sun), limited memory (but enough for 800 caches) and a slow processor -- but at $50 if I ruin it then so what? Yes, there are waterproof boxes you can stuff your PDA into however it is undoubtedly the time when a person is stuffing the PDA into/out of the box that it is most likely to get dropped.
  24. Thanks for the answer. Glad to know that you share my concern.
  25. For some reason the above quoted section irritated me. Requiring a photograph is not "simple" unless one has a digital camera. For those of us with non-digitals we have take the photo, wait for the roll to get filled, get it developed, scan it into the computer and then do the cache logging. Yes, I know that I should join the digital age -- everyone else seems to have done so. Still, without a digital camera this cache (and other 'take photo') virtual caches are not simple. I prefer having to write down a key word and sending that to the hider. Or a alternative of a photo or a key word description.
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