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Everything posted by Mr.Benchmark

  1. No kidding. Are we sure this is malice and not incompetence? He doesn't really seem to know what he's doing.
  2. LPC = Lamp post cache My apologies, I misunderstood your question. I'd assumed you were either concerned primarily with competition, or your background in competitive sports made you want more structure in this game than exists. It's difficult to communicate online like this. Your original post, and some of the follow ups, were not easy to parse, at least for me. I think the best way to think about the guidelines is that they are a minimal set of rules that are intended: 1. Mostly keep geocaching.com out of trouble 2. Mostly keep cache hiders / seekers out of legal trouble 3. Prevent crazy stunts that could cause land managers to ban the game outright over large sections of the nation (for example - no buried caches.) 4. Allow a good deal of creativity for the hiders of geocaches 5. Local laws / land manager rules always take precedence over the rules of the site. For example, if a school wants a geocache, why should geocaching.com say "no, we don't think that's appropriate?" For example, there may be an outdoor learning area on the grounds of a school where a cache is entirely appropriate. The guidelines have evolved as problems have arisen. This does not make for a consistent set of rules. There are a few cases (rail road right of ways come to mind) where the general response from the property owners is so universally aggressive and negative that geocaching.com does actually enforce the guidelines quite consistently, even in cases where the guidelines don't actually make much sense in a specific instance. The reality of the situation is that the best thing you can do is to read the guidelines, contact your local reviewer with questions about your cache placement if you think there is even a chance there is an issue, and ask fairly specific questions on the forum. I actually think it might be an improvement if the guidelines, and in particular the local regulations, local land manager contact info, etc. were gathered into a wiki that was divided state by state, region by region. (And nation by nation of course.)
  3. Bottom line: 1. They aren't going to ban park-n-grabs. Flyfshrgrl, you may not like them, and in that, you would not be alone. Many people do like them 2. They aren't likely to create guidelines that support competitive sub-games within geocaching. These types of games have existed since very early on - and there has been no support for them thus far, and little reason to believe it will ever happen. I certainly hope you can find ways to enjoy the game, despite that.
  4. We were all trying for the much coveted "first to provide a correct forum answer." I lost. Darn.
  5. This type of thing used to be allowed. It caused more of a kerfuffle than it merited, so it's gone. Some of the requirements (example: "take a photo of yourself wearing a silly hat while at GZ using the enclosed camera in the ammo can or deleted your log shall be") were pretty dumb. If you want to make people jump through hoops - you have to frame it as a challenge.
  6. I believe it would not be allowed because of the additional logging requirement - having them email you the additional answers. What purpose would that serve, btw.
  7. I think specifically her beef is that a +1 smiley from a 1/1 png shouldn't compare to a +1 smiley from 3/4 hiking cache, because the efforts between the two aren't even remotely comparable. As a metric for anything other than "how many caches have you found" the smiley is terrible. I think she has trouble understanding how the "score" for a game could be like that, and how the rules could allow for such lopsided comparisons. The basic problem is the assumption that this is that type of game, and of course it isn't. Of course the way many people play it, whether sensible or not, it *is* that type of game. Yep.
  8. You are quite right. There are certainly inconsistencies in this game. There is a healthy amount of competition in this game, but it is almost completely unsanctioned, unsupported, and generally frowned on here in the forums. I've never thought this was an especially healthy development, and I am generally not very interested in competition in this game. Indeed, several years ago, this is one of the things that frustrated me about this site to the point where I stopped playing for quite a long time. When I started again, I told myself that I was simply NOT going to allow myself to worry about this. It's just how it is, and apparently it works, at least for now. My main complaint about the competitive elements to this game is that unbridled competition rarely engenders good behavior, and so it's better to have some rules to channel it into a direction that let's those who want that sort of thing compete meaningfully, and keeps those who aren't interested from having to deal with their antics much. However, this is simply not going to happen. (And in all fairness - turns out it's generally non-trivial to do this well.)
  9. This is a cheap way to make a cache more challenging, and not the intended way it is supposed to be done. As for the "permanent DNFs" - meh, who cares? Other than it's not fun to search for a cache that isn't where the CO said it was, nobody else can see those anyway. DNF doesn't imply "the CO won and you lost," or at least it's not supposed to. It just means "you didn't find it." I'd email the reviewer and express your concerns about the specific caches in question, and explain that you want to be anonymous because you know the CO personally. However, I probably wouldn't worry about it coming back on you over much - they'll probably notice you don't find their caches anymore.
  10. Your question confuses me a bit. First, let me mention that like someone else in this thread I do feel that the inclusion of briansnat's statement (which by the way fits well to my own geocaching philosophy) into what is referred to as cache placement guidelines is not a very good idea. In my opinion, There would be other better places to quote briansnat. Although my thinking is strictly logical, I wonder however why you think that a park and grab cache cannot lead to an interesting location. I don't think she cares about interesting locations at all - or at least that isn't the crux of her question. I believe she is interested in how one can competitively geocache, and how were one to compete, how could a find from a P-n-G be comparable to a more physically demanding cache. Obviously they aren't comparable at all, nor are they intended to be, but I don't think she likes that answer, and is bemused that people still compare such things. I think it would help her if someone who was competitive about caching would chime in, but the people who are really competitive don't seem to get very nice treatment on the forums, so I don't anticipate that happening. I really think she is looking for a much more structured game than this one, and has difficulty believing that this isn't structured, and yet that some people take it so seriously...
  11. How much intentional error are we talking about here? If the actual coords are 50' or 60' from the given coords on the cache page, that is a problem and should be reported to the reviewer. I believe you can do this anonymously.
  12. If four GPSr's gave you the same result, how do you know the guy who reported the bad coords wasn't actually off by 10-15'? That was a rhetorical question. In reality 0-15' is within the margin of error. You are fine. If someone reports you for that, they don't undestand GPSr's very well.
  13. Seriously??? Maybe before the rant you should have looked to see I'm a teacher. .... I gave you that example to show that the guidelines are not rules and are flexible (especially with explicit permission). Most of these caches were set up by the school Geocaching club with help of the teacher, students, and a local cacher. All hides were approved by the Principal. I was really sick yesterday, and overlooked that part of flyfshrgrl's post. (I got through the part of that post that mentioned my reply, answered, and took a nap.) That was really bad form on her part. I feel bad now for replying to her, because you don't deserve a remark like that. @flyfshrgrl - for shame - what kind of sportsmanship is it to flame someone on an internet message board?
  14. Nice, the new one seems more like the commercial ones I've seen for sale. Well done.
  15. if you are in an emergency and need some rope, you unknot the bracelet and you have a cord then. Super useful emergency item.
  16. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I was somewhat unclear, although I stand by what I said: Let me see if I can summarize your questions and confusion a bit, and try to answer this. Q: You've observed first hand at events that some people who play this game are highly competitive. So clearly this is a competition, and it should have rules right? A: You are not wrong - there are several competitive elements to this game: - Race for FTF - Who gets the most finds - Completion of challenges None of this is really officially scored or ranked. There are no rules about how to compete at geocaching because from the perspective of this site, it is my very strong opinion that they DO NOT WANT this to be a competition. However, they also do not want to kill all competitive elements in the game, because it would turn off many people. Q: People who want to have a high find count but realize running from parking lot to parking lot only adds to the number not a meaningful find, a brag check, if you will. I daresay if I asked someone with a high count, "Well, how did your hone your skills and get so good at caching? A: No, they coun't 'em all, and the people with very high find counts tend to find 'em all. Does it make sense that a 1.5/1.5 LPC outside walmart counts the same for the "score" (find count) as a 5/5 cache that requires preparation, and scuba gear and training? No, this makes no sense. However, it does make sense if you understand that the find count is simply not a score. Furthermore, the winner of the race to be first to find a cache is also not officially recorded or scored. Q: But, but but - how can people brag about this stuff? It's relatively meaningless? A: I dunno, but they do. It is meaningful to them, I guess. OK, I'd say more about this, but I'm under the weather so I'm going to go be sick instead. Sorry.
  17. That is a most excellent survival bracelet, well done. I do think a note explaining what it is would help, I bet the uses for such a bracelet would be lost on many.
  18. I forgot about leapfrogging! Combine leapfrogging with swapping and every Nth cache is replaced by the N-2th cache. Repeat a few times with and without leapfrogging, sprinkle in some throwdowns and the state of any given physical cache along the PT is liable to be very difficult to determine. The CO of the PT may be ok with that, but someone who had a cache there first is liable to have great difficulty with maintenance. BTW, I don't think PT are a problem so much as these practices.
  19. The main problems I see with power trails in terms of how they impact the game are that the rules for finders are sometimes a little different on a PT: 1. People sometimes replace missing caches. (Throwdown). On a trail of essentially identical hides, I don't see a big problem with this. Unfortunately, this behavior seems to transfer over to other types of caches and sometimes results in the replacement of a cache that is present. So you end up with two caches at the site, ie a mess! 2. Some trails encourage the finder to swap out caches along the trail. Since they are all identical, you sign one while moving to the next. Replacing cache 'N' with 'N-1'. In an area with a mix of PT and non-PT caches, these two behaviors can lead to a really messy situation on the ground. (so you go to maintain your cache, and find a PT cache there. What do you do exactly as a CO?) My feeling is that treating caches as fungible (#2) seems to violate a number of guidelines and assumptions implicit in the game - namely that caches don't move.
  20. One other thought - I like multi-caches just fine. However, a very long series of multicaches may well have an annoying tendency to break, because if any of the intermediate waypoints goes missing, the finder will likely have to abort and try again after you do some maintenance. This could end up being a fairly frustrating experience. I'm not saying "don't do a multicache" - just pointing out that they can have their own special problems.
  21. No, the U.S. tax code is my idea of a set of rules that attempts to cover everything comprehensively, without ambiguity. I have no idea if it does, because I have never met anyone who claims to understand it in its entirety. I have a hard enough time with the extremely small slice that applies to me, and I have to say it appears to be unambiguous as far as I could tell, much to my dismay. I never said we needed a comprehensive set of rules - your words, not mine. I am not going to debate you about the US tax code - my experience is different than yours, let's just leave it at that. If yours was relatively simple and unambiguous (and hopefully relatively painless), then I'm happy for you - seriously. I simply pointed out that I think they are illogical in some ways, and that people who want a very orderly set of rules, especially for some competitive forms of geocaching are going to be VERY disappointed if they try to understand the rules in that light. The OP mentioned her competitive nature and heavy involvement in sports, so this seemed like a relevant observation. Most sports I'm aware of have more comprehensive sets of rules than geocaching, and yet none of them I'm aware of rival the US tax code... (I am not suggesting that geocaching should have more complex rules.) I seem to have struck a nerve here - pardon me if I am misinterpreting what you are saying - but it seems to bother people when I say "the guidelines of geocaching are not entirely logical." I mean this as neither a complement nor as an insult - simply an observation that people who are looking for structure had best forget about that and accept things as they are. I am personally neither offended by the lack of order that I perceive, nor do I make any suggestion that anything different should be done by TPTB. If any part of that statement is offensive or annoying - then I'm quite sorry about that - it is not my intention to offend.
  22. Have to agree with Toz on this one. Unless you want the guidelines to be as much fun as the U.S. tax code, don't expect it to spell out every single conceivable circumstance for you. The US Tax code is your idea of the product of a logical and orderly mind? There is a certain amount of creative anarchy in this game. That is, I believe, a part of its attraction for some. The OP struck me as someone with an orderly mind. Such a person would do well to simply accept the guidelines, and not worry overmuch about seemingly illogical things. That was my only point. Her question was totally logical. If you feel the guidelines are logical, well ok then. I'm not going to pretend that I do, however, don't feel bad - logic isn't always the answer either. In any case, I meant in no way to disparage the guidelines. Logical or not, obviously they work.
  23. What is it about Waymarking that leaves people cold? No smileys. Most virtual caches tended to be a surprise to discover something unusual. When you arrived, there was something previously unknown that you noticed. With Waymarking there is mostly no hidden surprise. Everything is organized neatly, but in a certain way that draws frequent complaints from outsiders, but is understood by those that frequent the place. I think the lack of surprise is why I haven't been too attracted to Waymarking yet. I've looked over the site, but haven't looked for a waymark. There seems to be something missing from it that keeps it from being a game.
  24. That needs to be a sig line... Okie dokie - I'll set it. BTW, another and I think significant reason we have lots of parking lot Park-n-grabs is that frankly they are easier to place: 1. The expense of a micro container is negligable - especially if you don't care that the container is especially waterproof. A pill bottle you are going to throw away, some tape (if you are fancy), paper. Total investment - $0.01. 2. Most property owners will neither notice nor care that you have a cache in an unobtrusive spot in their parking lot. 3. You can access these places 24/7 for the most part. The police simply don't care that you are there most of the time, provided you aren't damanging anything or messing with the store. 4. Research for placing your cache is essentially 0 - if you needed to stop in to buy a quart of milk and there's no cache within 0.1 miles - BLAM you're done. Contrast this with a more involved hide: 1. You will be investing several dollars into a nice, water tight container, log, pen and swag. Total investment - at least $2-$3, often, much, much more 2. You will need to scout for a cool location. This will often (but not always), involve a moderate amount of walking. Oh the horror. 3. Once you find an awesome spot, you have to deal with permissions - for example, for many parks (either local or state or national): a. You often need permission to place a cache at all - or at least let them know what you are doing. b. Sometimes they'll want to micro-manage your placement c. Some parks insist on a fairly hefty permit fee for placing caches. d. Often there are restricted hours of access that you must deal with Parking lot P-n-G's have another thing going for them too - they get lots of visits. Now you may ask yourself "how is it fair to compete with someone who only invests $0.01 and zero time into a cache with my elaborate cache where I've spent $30 and 20 hours of my time dealing with research, construction, and placement?" If you put it that way - it is absolutely not fair at all. But like I said - it's not intended to be a competition.
  25. 1. Geocaching.com is highly unlikely to ever arbiter quality of a cache. Among other things - doing so would not promote the growth of the game. 2. How would a reviewer decide that someplace was interesting or not? I've done plenty of LPC's that sucked. I've done some that were used in place of virtual caches that were cool. How would a reviewer ever know which was which? He wouldn't. 3. The statement they quote from Briansnat is, I believe, a "best practices" type statement. Yes, they'd like it if everyone hid caches in interesting places. No, they have no practical way to enforce this, and in fact the reviewers make no such attempt to enforce it. It is literally uneforceable, even if they wanted to do so. 4. My personal opinon is that the folks who run this site are not really big rules and regulations people - that they like loose, minimal sets of rules. 5. Were they to attempt to enforce some type of "this location has merit" metric, it would be exceedingly subjective. They tried this with virtual caches - it failed. 6. Other sites that have attempted to implement a quality metric have not been very successful at it either. 7. If you have a highly logical and orderly mind, I would advise you to NOT try to wrap your mind around the logic built into the guidelines. You'll go nuts. 8. Even if somehow someone came up with a fair and near perfect system to weed out "lame parking lot caches" in favor of "interesting location caches" (which might still be in a parking lot, as it happens), it isn't going to get implemented as it would be bad for business. I don't mean that to be cynical - a person ignores "bad for business" at their peril. (Circular reference back to point 1.) Most of the rules deal with avoiding situations that cause problems with property owners, especially big, powerful property owners like park managers who can decide scary things like "there will be no geocaching in the parks I manage." They are also intended to avoid becoming a nuisance to private property owners. They are also intended to space out caches so that you don't trip over 3 caches you weren't looking for while finding the one you were seeking. BTW, the examples you give are generally not very interesting in my opinion either. Unfortunately, my opinion (or yours) will matter not one iota in this regard. People will hide these caches. People will seek them. People will seek them A LOT.
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