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Everything posted by debaere

  1. Thanks for the nod. My blog is about me, of which geocaching takes a large part of it. If folks just want to follow along on the geocaching stuff, they can use this link: http://debaere.blogspot.com/search/label/Geocaching
  2. Hello lackeys! I have a feature request. As a cache owner it would be handy to be able to add a reason for why I deleted a log. For example the following situations have occurred to fellow COs in the past few days: A cacher posted duplicate log entries - same day, exact same wording. CO deleted one of them, but it would be nice to add a note to inform the finder that it was due to duplicate logs, and his find still counts. Another was a cacher that posted a Found It, with the text of "did not find it". It would be nice in this case to be able to add a note explaining that the finder seems to have selected the wrong cache type (or typed in the wrong contents for the log). As it stands right now, all the finder gets is a note saying the log was deleted, but no explanation as to why. This can lead to angry emails back to the CO, and starts the whole conversation off on a negative context. If the CO could start by explaining himself I think it would alleviate some misunderstandings about why a log is deleted, and at least make the experience less adversarial.
  3. I was at the event in question. I am in a similar positon to WeeLurk in that I did not know many people at the event. It was, however, not my first event so I had some ideas of what to expect. I am not a social person by default. I am highly introverted, which means social situations are work for me, and they wear me out. Geocaching events, of which I've been to 9-10, including this one, are really the only social events I actively seek out - mainly because cachers are so awesome to hang out with (in general). An event like this can be tough to feel involved with, mainly because there is a decided lack of focus, and everyone else seemed to already know each other (this is the nature of the beast, and not a comment on this event specifically). There are plenty of things to do, but there is nothing that says you have to do any of it, so the onus is on the individual to take from the event what they will, and get involved as they see fit. Honestly showing up out of the blue kinda feels like going to a family reunion on your wife's side of the family for the first time, but your wife didn't make it. It can be awkward, but once you break the ice it is highly rewarding. Cachers also tend to fall on the geeky side of the spectrum. This means that some of them have certain personality traits that... let me just say they have a tendency to wait until others show interest in their activities before they take the time to be welcoming (I learned this during new employee training at my company - a place full of really smart, highly interesting, geeks). This is, of course, an amazing over-generalization (and said with love, and is also self descriptive), and I say this only to point out that when you are in the company of geeks, it is up to you to express interest and get involved. This is why the very first thing I did was grab the Geo-Bingo card and started filling it in. It allows an 'in' to meeting people and a discussion point, and it shows you are taking an interest. Otherwise at an event like that you are just one more face in the crowd. I do agree that, in retrospect, this event did seem to have some built in assumptions that people had a general idea of what was going on, so a new person to events would have a tendency to feel lost. I think the general assumption was that people would take it upon themselves to ask questions if they were confused. I am really sorry that you ended up feeling out of place, and I hope that you use it as an opportunity to learn a bit about the community of Geocachers, and so the next event you attend an event you will have more insight as to what to expect, and can have a better time. Cachers really are a great group of people, and generally friendly. Another thing to remember is that as a geocacher everyone at an event is a member of your tribe, even if you have never met them. You are always welcome to be, and are encouraged to be, an active participant, and to make yourself part of the group. It is a skill you have to learn (at least I did), but one that will serve you well at future events. Events are what you make of them. I really hope you give events a second chance. Once you get used to them, they can be a great deal of fun. Cheers!
  4. Heya. I am in Dunnville ON for the next two weeks. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for some must-do caches or some must-do hikes in the area. My travel range is about an hours drive (or a bit more if along the QEW - I'll be heading to Toronto for a day or two after New Years). My hiking range is 5-7 miles. Any suggestions appreciated. Also if anyone wants to go on a group hunt/hike I would be interested as well. Cheers Dave
  5. A secure cache has a low chance of being muggled. Some examples of really secured caches: Caches you have to ask for behind the counter in a store Caches that are directly in front of a store, and brought in a night Caches that are physically locked with a locking device of some kind.
  6. Nearby food/gas is really best judgement. I would only mark this if it was in question. An urban cache is almost guaranteed to have nearby food/fuel so adding the attribute doesn't matter so much. A cache that is far out in the country would matter more about nearby food/gas. I'd be tempted to only use this in the reverse: There is NOT nearby gas/food, and I would probably set a 10 mile radius on that as a personal rule of thumb. i.e. don't attempt this cache if you are hungry and/or your gas guage is low. Wheelchair accessibility is trickier as not all wheelchairs are created equal. And its not just the ground that matters for wheel chairs, its also the height of the cache. If one needs to bend down a lot, or reach up 6ft to grab the cache, someone in a chair would not be able to reach it. I have a cache that I marked as wheelchair accessible (verified by my wife who has a lot of experience with chairs and where they can go). The cache is situated about 10ft off of a paved trail on smooth grass. The cache itself is about 4ft off the ground in the nook of a tree. I have a similar cache with a similar grass strip along the same path that I did not mark as wheelchair accessible as the cache is hidden below ground level so someone in a chair would not be able to reach it. As your edit suggests, I would only mark the attributes that are remarkable about the cache. I hope this helps.
  7. Fire Ants, hands down. I am a Canadian boy born and raised. We have nothing like fire ants up north. I was in Rockingham NC on my way to the coast for a vacation and stopped for some caching. I got to GZ and felt some bites. I looked down and my shoes were covered with dozens of little ants, and I was standing on a huge mound, and I could see hundreds more ants heading my way. Apparently they release a hormone that causes the entire colony to swarm when one ant feels threatened. It freaked me out how fast they swarmed. Its been 10 days and the bites still bug me. Nasty things those ants. Bleh. Give me a bear or an enraged moose anytime over those nasty bugs.
  8. I'm in the same boat, except for countries. Before I started caching I travelled for work from Canada to many states in the US, Ireland, Belgium, England, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and Taiwan. Now my work travels are limited to the continental US, although I did manage to snag a trip over to Ireland recently.
  9. +1 for The Gimp. It is also cross platform so one can use the same software on (almost) any computer out there.
  10. There ya go. It follows my two rules: Its on the Internet, therefore true; Its on a bumper sticker, therefore true. (kidding). Personally I don't see geocaching as a sport. Sports to be implies competition with set rules that everyone agrees with. I think its quite clear that nothing in the guidelines has anything to do with competition, and any competitive behaviour is made up by other cachers, and based on the arguments and discussions in these forums, consensus has not been reached I can see it being called a game, or an activity. Personally I list it as a hobby whenever asked.
  11. One salient point the OP seems to have missed is that the goal of Groundspeak is not for a single person to find as many caches as they can, but to get as many cachers out in the field as possible. i.e. its better for Groundspeaks goal for you you and 10 of your friends to go hunt a single cache and log them individually than it is for you to go find 11 caches yourself on a solo run. You as an individual are, as always, more than welcome to do whatever you want to celebrate the day
  12. Not a single comment on this achievement??? It is an impressive achievement. Whether or not its a world record or not I have no idea. I don't think such records are kept in any official capacity (could be wrong). Be a nice road trip tho.
  13. My normal method for this situation where I feel a log is missing based on my own searching + many DNFs is this: post a DNF log immediately after post a Needs Maintenance log. If no responses in 2-3 weeks, I post a Needs Archive log. This brings in the reviewers and lets them make the final decision to archive or not. For each log I add in details needed to make an archive decision, such as how many DNFs, how long a search I personally did, and if the CO has logged in recently or not. I feel the above gives the CO a chance to check on the cache before bringing in the reviewers.
  14. I use the brain flashy thingy from Men In Black.
  15. My favourite was in Mons Belgium: http://coord.info/GCWJNG It ended up being a great tour of the city (my favourite type of multi), and also ended up with me saving a kitten stuck in the tree near the final coords.
  16. My favourite was in Mons Belgium: http://coord.info/GCWJNG It ended up being a great tour of the city (my favourite type of multi), and also ended up with me saving a kitten stuck in the tree near the final coords.
  17. My favourite was in Mons Belgium: http://coord.info/GCWJNG It ended up being a great tour of the city (my favourite type of multi), and also ended up with me saving a kitten stuck in the tree near the final coords.
  18. Interesting article. I didn't know that letterboxing was so old. I have never letterboxed, but I have run into a few during my geocaching hunts. They sound like perfectly complimentary hobbies to me. My one complaint between the two (and its not an issue with any one in general) is that its possible to mistake a letterbox for a geocache. I have signed a letterbox thinking it was a cache only to find later (when I was 100s of miles away) that I got the wrong logbook. I mention this as an encouragement for both letterboxers and cachers to mark the outside of the containers (or at least the logbooks) clearly with the cache/letterbox names/numbers. Other than the above nitpick, I look forward to meeting both cachers and boxers on the trails. Cheers
  19. You can knock off VA and NC in one long drive... The Blue Ridge Parkway (http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/) goes along the mountains of western North Carolina and Virginia - its well worth the drive - some amazing scenery. Roanoke VA has the Natural Bridge, which is quite spectacular (http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/). North Carolina has Grandfather Mountain (http://www.grandfather.com/), both accessible via (or very close to) the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have moved to western NC two years ago and I have found that there are a lot of spectacular scenery, good hikes etc, but it is almost all nature based. On the eastern side of VA are a lot of civil war battlefields, if you are into that sort of thing. Other things in NC: Lazy 5 ranch near Statesville NC - a drive through zoo - really really fun. Billy Graham (the christian evangelist) comes from here, so if you are a fan you may want to check out Asheville and Charlotte for some Billy Graham sites (library, homestead etc.). Asheville is worth a visit for many other reasons as well. Biltmore House near Asheville - Largest private home in America, built by the Vanderbilts. You can take a toour of the grounds and the house itself. A bit pricey, but even a cheapskate like myself found it worth the money. I am sure there are many other things - if you come this way ping me privately and I'll see if I can guide you in the right direction for your personal tastes.
  20. The cache owner should have asked you for permission to place a cache on your land. Perhaps they got confused about where your land started and the adjacent land began and got permission from that owner? Just guessing. Either way the cache owner is the person who can handle the changes to the cache descriptions and the coordinates for the cache. They can be found near the top of the cache listing: "this cache by [name]" click on the name to get to their profile, then contact them via the method they have listed. If you don't get a response from the cache owner in a reasonable period of time (2-3 weeks) then contact the reviewer that approved the cache. They can be contacted by sending a message to the person who had the very first log entry (look at the logs on the bottom of the cache page and clicking "View them all", then scroll down). Reviewers are volunteers so please allow reasonable time for a response. If all of that fails, you can contact Groundspeak.com directly: http://www.Groundspeak.com/contact.aspx Cheers!
  21. This is a tough question to answer. Some places they are allowed, some places they are not. It depends on the region the cemetery is in, and whether the cemetery is federally, state, municipal, or privately owned. Like always check your local regulations and seek permission from the land owner/manager. Sorry to be vague, but without specifics its a complex question
  22. I have only been to one event, and they had a log to sign. So as far as I am concerned as soon as I put name to paper I "attended", even if I just turned around and left (I happened to stay for the entire event, and had a great time). I don't think there is a minimum stay requirement. You were there long enough to pick up a sheet of caches, and to find them. You also talked to some folks about where the event coordinator was. In my mind you were there, and participated. I'd feel good about my "attended" log in this case.
  23. Groundspeak's over-emphasis on their numbers. They just want a big numbers run on 10/10. Isn't that a bit hypocritical? Personally I don't see them playing the numbers game, they want a lot of participation - there is a difference here. A numbers run in my mind being a single person going for a whole lot of caches in a single trip. The first could be accomplished by getting 100 people to do a long power trail. The second requires 56,654 +1 different people to find one cache each. I don't see what the issue here is.
  24. I would also add to this a whistle. If you find yourself immobile and out of sight, blasting on a whistle can alert people nearby to your location.
  25. How sad for you. Every place I've worked allowed this. My current company encourages it by giving us t-shirts - a lot of em. Our only real dress code is due to safety concerns. i.e. one must wear safety shoes in certain parts of the building.
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