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Everything posted by CharlieP

  1. OK, 2 of the 4 queries, make that 3 (another just came in) are in my box. Whatever was wrong seems to be fixed.
  2. OK, I recreated my two queries, and the list says they just ran ... but still no e-mail. Somethings screwed up.
  3. The two queries I run every Friday were run about noon, according to the query list, but I never got the e-mails. This is the first problem I have had with this process. BTW, I am on AOL, and I checked the spam list ... they are not there either.
  4. Revisiting a cache to pick up a travel bug is OK in some cases, even commendable if it is to help the bug to its goal ... but sometimes not OK. If the cache owner or another cacher has put a bug in a difficult cache to add an extra incentive, I think its bad form for a cacher who has done the cache to go back for the bug. I will also make a comment on the issue of whether a TB is a trade item. When TBs first came on the scene, my impression was that they were not trade items ... the idea was just to move them around from cache to cache. It seems that in recent months there has been some disagreement on this issue. Largely because of that disagreement, I have not picked up many TBs lately. One reason is that I usually don''t trade or leave an item unless there is something in the box I would like to keep, e.g. a souvenir of the cache hunt, or unless a trade would inprove the mix of items, or the cache is getting thin. Then there is my desire to trade at least even ... which means I have to remember what I traded for the bug which at my age means making notes ... this is getting to be like work. On top of that is the responsibility to move the bug and not hold it too long. So, if you want (me) to move bugs, make it clear that they are not trade items ... I do this for fun and exercise. FWIW, CharlieP
  5. I am getting the same problem.
  6. The best use I have found for the FRS radios is when my wife has had enough geocaching for the day and I decide to do one more cache and let her wait in the car. The cache hunt that was supposed to take 15 minutes often turns into 45 minutes, and the radio allows me to make excuses from a mile away. But there is one problem, these radios will not transmit over hills (through terrain) and if the cache is in a valley I sometimes lose contact ... which can result in a very concerned wife back at the car. FWIW, CharlieP
  7. A few suggestions: Don't put anything valuable in a cache - this encourages thieves. Make the cache a bit challenging, either physically, mentally, or both. Thieves and other cache maggots are usually lazy, stupid ... or both. If the cache is in a public place where it could be found by a non-cacher, hide it aggressively, and then give a very specific hint on the cache page so that geocachers have a reasonable chance of finding it quickly, without drawing attention from non-cachers in the area. Don't hide caches in very public places where it is generally impossible to retrieve it without being observed. I like the Louisville Slugger approach too.
  8. I have been using Gpx2html for a couple of months and it links all caches within 10 miles of each reference point ... that is just the way it works ... if there is only one cache within 10 miles, then it only lists the one. So I use a number of different reference points, so that I can cover the entire area within about 50 miles of home. GPXSpinner will allow you to set the reference distance, but I found that processing is MUCH slower than with Gpx2html. This is my ref file for the Atlanta area. # Metro Atlanta # Use # in first position to disable a location # Name, Lat, Long AA Home, N 33 58.54, W 84 25.68 Acworth, N 34 03.96, W 84 40.62 Alpharetta, N 34 04.55, W 84 17.68 Athens, N 33 57.67, W 83 22.65 Atlanta, N 33 45.28, W 84 23.37 Campbellton, N 33 39.02, W 84 40.16 Canton, N 34 14.22, W 84 29.45 Covington, N 33 35.82, W 83 51.62 Cumming, N 34 12.43, W 84 08.41 Dahlonega, N 34 32.00, W 83 59.07 Fayetteville, N 33 26.93, W 84 27.32 Forest Park, N 33 37.35, W 84 21.88 Lawrenceville, N 33 57.38, W 83 59.30 Lithonia, N 33 42.74, W 84 06.32 McDonough, N 33 26.83, W 84 08.78 Powder Springs, N 33 51.57, W 84 41.03 Rome, N 34 15.46, W 85 09.93 Tucker, N 33 51.28, W 84 13.03 FWIW, CharlieP
  9. I used GPS in my work and on my boat for a year or two in the SA days. By averaging readings over an hour or two, it was possible to get pretty good accuracy, 30 feet or less, but otherwise you had to remember that you could be way off the mark. I found that my average single reading accuracy was about 60 to 100 feet, but there was always the possibility of a 300 foot error. For instantaneous (un-averaged) readings, LORAN was more accurate in most areas, and since I had a LORAN unit on my boat, I normally used that instead of GPS. After SA was off, LORAN was obsolete. FWIW, CharlieP
  10. The latest version of G7toWin will accept .loc input files! I like this software because it will send waypoints and tracks to Street Atlas, as well as upload or download to the GPS unit. Works with Garmin, Maggie, and Lowrance GPSR's. Its freeware and the download site is: G7toWin Using a geocaching.com query, it's kind of neat to see the 500 not-found caches nearest to my home, all plotted in Street Atlas, in a few seconds. FWIW, CharlieP
  11. But that's the whole point ... reporters should report, without application of their own viewpoints. But that concept is just about dead, and I think most people these days don't believe ANYTHING they read in newspapers or see on network news ... it all has a spin. This geocaching article is typical ... it reflects the reporter's viewpoint ... has inaccuracies ... and is misleading. When I read a newspaper report on a subject I know, 90% of the time it is slanted, inaccurate, and misleading. So I must assume that this is true about the reports where I don't have personal knowledge of the subject. Almost all newspapers should be labeled as one large editorial page ... all opinions, few facts. Network news is worse. FWIW, CharlieP
  12. From the newspaper article about the Forest Preserves: This makes it sound like the way to get these folks attention is for every Geocacher in the area to send them a letter saying they will no longer donate to or vote for Democrats in local elections. Politics appears to be their top priority, not conservation. FWIW, CharlieP
  13. That is THE important thing to remember ... bureaucracies are hard to reverse, once they take a position, even if it is ridiculous, they will usually defend it to the bitter end. And I fear we are in a bad position as a result of the NPS position on geocaching. Bureaucrats tend to stick together, especially if their chain of command converges ... and ultimately their chains all meet at the top. So this means that if you accept the NPS arguments, you may be saying bye-bye to ALL Federally controlled lands ... that would probably affect about half the geocaches in the state of Georgia. At some point we need to get organized on this ... any retired politicians or lobbyists out there itchin' to get back into the fray? FWIW, CharlieP
  14. I guess the game is also required to walk only on paths, and to remain on the path after the shot? I have done some hunting and also some geocaching, and hunting has a much greater environmental impact. But usually the deer being hunted have an even greater impact than the hunters ... they make trails, damage trees, tear up the ground, and carry ticks. The hunters have a better lobby than geocachers ... that's what its really about ... not relative impact. FWIW, CharlieP
  15. I voted for the GPS 72, based on my good experience with my GPS 76. But if you plan to buy the data cord, it might be worth a few extra bucks to get the GPS 76 which comes with the cord. You also get a higher resolution display and a few other features. The GPS 76 works great, even in heavily wooded areas. FWIW, CharlieP
  16. Alkaline batteries discharge linearly, starting at 1.5 volts and going dead at about 0.9 volts. This makes it very easy to monitor remaining capacity by using the voltage, e.g., if the voltage under load is 1.2 volts, the batteries are about half gone. NiMH batteries have a much different discharge voltage curve, starting at about 1.3 volts, dropping to about 1.2 volts within a few minutes of operation, discharging slowly from 1.2 down to 1.1 volts, and then going dead. Because the voltage is in the very small 1.1 to 1.2 volt range for most of the cycle, it is difficult to accurately monitor remaining capacity of NiMH cells by measuring voltage. But the main problem with using an alkaline gauge for NiMH cells is that the NiMH will rapidly go dead when the gauge shows 1/3 capacity remaining. FWIW, CharlieP
  17. There does not seem to be a typical geocacher, they are a very diverse group. There seem to be only a few cachers under age 24, and perhaps an unusually large ratio of folks who work with computers or have a technical background. Otherwise, the only common trait I have noticed is that almost all geocachers are nice people ... without a doubt the lowest A.H. Ratio of any group I have known. FWIW, CharlieP
  18. Although I would agree that caches are not the place for religious promotions, I would not remove it from a cache. But there is a larger issue here that I have also found in other places, and it is very interesting. There are a lot of folks out there with a phobia about being exposed to any kind of religious belief or moral position coming from a religious source. Yet many of the same folks have no reservations about *forcing* their personal views (which are like religious beliefs) on the rest of the world. For example, do you know of anyone who got into serious trouble or lost their job because they said something wrong about God, or Christ? On the other hand, how many do you know about that got into serious trouble by saying something that was "politically incorrect", for lack of a better term? A teacher can get into hot water for saying anything that even smells a bit like religion, but support of leftist political positions is widely tolerated. I personally feel much more threatened by liberal political fanatics than by conservative religious fanatics. But I think it would be great to put them all in one place and let them annoy each other, and leave the rest of us alone. Now back to geocaching, CharlieP
  19. I also like to trade for souvenirs, and they cover a 6 foot long shelf over my desk. I am sometimes amazed that I can remember what cache each item came from, and yet have trouble remembering my children's birthdays. I usually trade only if there is something in the cache that makes a good souvenir. For out-of-state caches, I like things like pins and keychains that have the name of the state on them. Some of the items help remind me of the cache location, e.g., one cache hidden under a large fallen tree in the woods contained a coozy with the words: If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there, is he still wrong? I love that one. FWIW, CharlieP
  20. I have used my GPS76 with etrex type units and the 76 usually has better reception. The orientation of the GPSR makes a difference (see Rich's post). But I would speculate that the etrex user allowed his GPS to operate for a while in the open, or had used the GPS just before the hike, and you had not. If you wait until you get into deep woods to turn on the unit, and you have not used it recently, it may have trouble downloading the almanac it needs to operate. Result ... no position. Having WAAS activated in such a situation may compound the problem with some units. Otherwise, I would say there is something wrong with your GPS76. FWIW, CharlieP
  21. It would appear that this cat was comfortable around humans and I doubt it was stalking ZZ ... if it had been stalking it would have taken the first opportunity to attack undetected. I would guess it has been raiding campsites and has begun to associate humans with food. Such animals are often dangerous ... especially if they get really hungry. But it was not that hungry this time. I would want to carry a pistol in a place like this ... if nothing else a shot in the air could scare the cat off. FWIW, CharlieP
  22. I have a narrow foot size (B width) and have problems buying boots that fit. A few boots are cut a bit narrower, and I look for designs with laces that go all the way down to the toe, or at least close, so that I can use the laces to adjust the fit. But sometimes that is not enough, so I may buy a pair of sole inserts to take up some of the extra space. You have to be careful with the inserts, if they are too thick and soft they will allow your foot to move in the boot as you walk, which means rubbing and blisters. I like Gore-Tex because it is both comfortable and waterproof, for wading shallow streams. FWIW, CharlieP
  23. quote:Originally posted by thcri:Looking up for directions to a Minnesota State Park I find the following statement, "Geocaching prohibited in the Minnesota State Parks Due to concerns related to natural resource protection, visitor safety, staff workloads and liability, geocaches are not permitted on lands administered by the Minnesota State Park System. Any geocaches found will be considered abandoned property." I have a more effective policy for the MSP administration: =================================== People prohibited in the Minnesota State Parks Due to concerns related to natural resource protection, visitor safety, staff workloads and liability, people are not permitted on lands administered by the Minnesota State Park System. Any people found will be considered trespassers. ===================================== Sorry, I just could not resist. But that is the irony of their position, it could apply to any activity. FWIW, CharlieP
  24. The length of time to get through security at ATL gets really bad on some days. The weekends are the worst, and you may want to check with someone at Delta to get a time forecast for the day you plan to travel. Sometimes I get through in a few minutes, sometimes it takes an hour or more. It was really bad early this summer. I often carry my laptop, GPS, and camera on-board and the only thing they require is that you take the laptop out of the bag and put it through the scanner in a tray by itself. Be sure to remove all jewelry, change and anything else that may set off the detectors, because if it goes off they are going to search you thoroughly and it may take 10 or 15 minutes. Check your shoes for nails with the little gadget on the floor next to the walk-through detector. I have one pair of dress shoes that I have to take off or they set the dang thing off every time. Try to use the kiosks to check in if there is a line at the counter, that can save time and it is easy. Have fun! CharlieP
  25. This would vary, depending on the cache location, but with all things considered I would rank them this way: 1. Extra batteries 2. Water 3. A pen or pencil 4. Cellphone
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