Jump to content

Happy Humphrey

+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Happy Humphrey

  1. I hid a cache high up on a remote hillside, in a large area of scattered rocks half a mile from the path. I started walking away, but when I looked back I realised that I'd never remember the exact position, it was so well hidden and the rocks made everywhere look similar. So I went back and took photos of the exact hide so that I could find it later. It was reviewed almost immediately. The first person to attempt it, the day after I hid it couldn't find the cache, and when I described where it was he was sure he'd looked there. So I returned to the spot the next day, certain that I'd find it but wondering if the coordinates were wrong. Despite finding the exact spot using the photo, there was no sign of the cache (an ammo box). I still have no idea how it could possibly have been muggled almost instantly.
  2. My AL has been live for a week or so and completed a few times with no issues reported. The Bonus has been found by everyone who's completed the Lab caches. The option I went for was to put some numbers in the final location completion text that simply plug in to the bonus cache text so that you get the actual location. In this case it's fine as I don't see any chance that I'll have to move the bonus cache, but obviously there could be a problem with this approach should you need to adjust the bonus cache coordinates in the future. Somone may have completed the AL but held off finding the bonus for some time, and if it's moved they may be disappointed if they don't realise that their numbers are no longer partial coordinates . So I'd recommend using a codeword for the AL completion, which then translates to numbers according to a guide table ("A=3, B=9, C=3, D=0" etc) in the bonus cache description. You can then change the translation to suit any new location, without having to change the AL. If all letters in the codeword are different, then it's just a matter of amending the bonus cache description to suit. So if ACQUIT was the AL completion codeword, originally it could translate to, say, 335190, and then you could amend it to 341196 by changing some of the code letter translations.
  3. I'm a little surprised that there is no facility (that I'm aware of) in the Adventure Lab to link to a bonus cache, bearing in mind that it's going to be a very popular pairing. In my adventure I give details of the bonus cache in the "location completion" text for the end of the final location. At the moment there is no bonus cache, as I'm waiting for permission to place (and then review). So the text is basically "watch this space". Is it correct to assume that the journal entries are saved on the local phone, so if I make changes to the Location Completion text the previous finders only see the text at the time of their find? If that's correct, my plan is to message any finders with the Bonus Cache details once it's in place. Obviously, subsequent finders will get the benefit of the Bonus Cache details,. I tested the full adventure yesterday by setting it to Private and cycling the whole thing on the ground, and hoped to see the Location Completion text with the mention of the proposed bonus cache. In theory, that should work well enough. But I noticed that in the field, the journal entries only contain the Location Completion image AND text for the first stage. The rest show only the Location Completion image WITHOUT the text. On returning home an hour later I checked again and the Location Completion text is now showing. So, 1) it's a bit clunky to have to include the bonus cache location (or codeword or whatever) in the Location Completion text. That forces you to insist that the caches are completed in order, as otherwise you'd have to give the bonus cache details in every stage and people would only have to bother doing one stage. Ideally there should be text at Adventure level, that is triggered once all stages are complete. In there you could include Bonus Cache details. There is a splash page congratulating you on completing the adventure, but if it's customisable I haven't noticed. 2) It doesn't seem that you can trust the Location Completion text to be available to finders, so crucial information cannot be put there and the Bonus Cache information might not be visible when people have just completed the Adventure. So it may be wise to duplicate any crucial text by overlaying the Location Completion Image with it.
  4. I had the same problem, and I don't understand how to get the phone camera to recognise a QR code. It just takes a photo of it! Solution: email yourself the link, then access the email on the phone and use the link.
  5. After some early confusion and tales of heavy-handed policing, the official police guidance is that you're OK driving a few miles (it's undefined how many miles) to a trailhead so that you can walk or cycle and get your once-a-day exercise. After all, if you live in a town and there's a cycle trail five miles away, it's pretty silly to require people to cycle or walk the five miles of dangerous roads, potentially spreading the virus on the way and risking accident or crime , rather than spend ten minutes sealed in a car. I did consider disabling my caches when the lockdown started. I held off to wait and see. There seems very little activity on the caches presently and while things remain quiet I don't see any point in disabling them. The occasional log is (presumably) from geocachers on their exercise walk, and why should they be denied a cache log? If one of my caches was in a particularly dubious location such as outside a busy shop I might consider disabling it, but certainly the ones spread around the countryside seem to be quite within the regulations as long as people continue using common sense and sound judgement.
  6. This made me wonder when you last organised an event given, in my very limited experience, this so called rule hasn't been enforced for, crikey - ages! In fact I think that was a couple of years back. Anyway - according to your profile you've organised one event - in 2004, which might explain why you're a little behind. It emphasises my point. The "No mention of commercial establishments" is a rule that caused much consternation when it was brought in, and IIRC may possibly have led to reviewer resignations. After that I took no further interest in organising events, as I didn't feel that I could work with a body that was so keen on making things unnecessarily difficult. You lose the will. I never got it back, so wasn't aware that this heartily-enforced rule had been removed. Had it been a guideline, where reviewers could use their judgement to allow event organisers leeway if there seemed a genuine need, then no doubt I'd have submitted several events. But no, it was a rigid rule and I've never been inclined to bother since it was brought in. In my view, the whole "Event Cache" entity needs a radical rethink anyway, so maybe you're correct to claim that rules and guidelines like this don't matter in the least - as it's already a bit of a mess, and adding a couple of extra messy rules doesn't make it much worse.
  7. So what, if the majority don't care? Obviously the majority don't arrange events, so they are unlikely to be annoyed. You seem to be saying that therefore it doesn't matter. Well, it doesn't matter to me too much, it's just that I posed a couple of questions which could have been answered on day 1 and I'd have gone away. On guidelines, if a guideline is given, you can take note when arranging your event and follow the general idea (such as not splitting it up artificially). If there's a guideline that asks you to check whether there's another event in the same region, giving the reasoning, you might go ahead if you think that it's not going to be a problem, perhaps noting to the reviewer why it's actually OK. If it's an unexplained rule (as this was presented), you know that it's not worth starting arranging an event if you see that there's another event within range, as it looks like a hard and fast ruling. For example there is a rule on Commercial events, such that you can't say the the event is to be held in a particular named pub (you have to leave people to work this out from the location). Last time I checked it was being applied vigorously, without exceptions. Why would this one not be? On the "confidentiality issue", obviously the question could still have been answered without naming names (you just give a hypothetical situation).
  8. The problem is that nowhere in the the original post from Chris did it say these were guidelines, and the language used in that post was not the language of a guideline, it was the language of an absolute immutable rule. It's quite possible that this whole furore could have been avoided if the "guidelines" were worded better, and I suggest that they should be rewritten so that anyone reading them for the first time once all this has died down will understand that they are indeed guidelines and not absolute rules. But does it really matter? Obviously it matters to some of us, which is why we are adding our comments. I meant does it matter whether the words which provide the basic framework of geocaching are named guidelines or rules? Given that they are usually fairly generally worded and given that they are used by human beings who can engage in clarifying dialogue and incorporate discretionary flexibility into the process in accordance with 'common sense' I say it matters not. We were talking about the rules as originally presented, and obviously it mattered a lot that they were presented as rules. They were not "generally worded", and there was no "clarifying dialogue" at all, despite a lot of requests. In fact, I still haven't had any clarification beyond dark hints about why events in adjacent regions are a major headache. So if you named them "guidelines" you'd be quite wrong, and the difference between guidelines and rules is significant. For example, the Groundspeak guideline on this is presented as a guideline: . This infers that someone submitting several events where clearly they are part of the same meet, are advised that they should be set up as a single event (but don't necessarily havce to be). All deliberately vague and plenty of room for negotiation. The UK reviewers rule that caused consternation was worded as a rule, and was not presented as anything other; Nothing vague about that. It's a rule. So basically, if your event is 19 miles from someone else's on the same day, forget it, it won't be published, so there's no point in even arranging it. That a reviewer has hinted since that tere may be occasions when the rule is relaxed is not particularly useful either if you're setting up an event, as you may not want to risk doing all the hard work only to find that another event has trumped yours. Withe the uncertainty you might not risk it if you've looked up the "guidelines" and see this rule.
  9. No, we're saying that the independent events will be allowed on the same day, as long as they are - according to the new additions - at least 20 miles / 10 hours apart. Thanks for trying to explain things a little better. Really the main problem has been that the rules were announced with poor wording and then not explained very well, rather than that they were necessarily bad rules. Just to clarify - when I said "even if they are spread quite widely" I meant "within the framework of 20 miles". There could be a huge distance between events, perhaps even 15 miles, and yet they'd fall foul of this ruling. That's quite a wide spread. As initially presented, the guidelines seemed quite fixed as well, with little (if any) leeway hinted at. Perhaps things have changed since the furore began. I've never heard of problems being caused by events being "less than social". If you can't give any examples, not even theoretical ones, then I guess that this will have to remain a mystery. Obviously Flashmob events will be very short by their nature but it's normally pretty clear if the event is of this type so I don't imagine that this is a problem. Anyway, Groundspeak guidelines already cover this aspect. It seems a uniquely UK problem, as there are more Groundspeak guidelines in this area but which don't seem to be related to this problem, and they don't mention the problem that is being being addressed in the UK. This seems to be the only guideline that might be close; ...but clearly this is aimed at events that have been artificially split up and should really be one event with several waypoints for the activities within. Common sense would put "near the same time or location" as being an indication that the events are happening during the main event timeframe and pretty much on the same site (in the nearby village, for instance, or in another part of the same town). Quite a different kettle of fish from the UK problem.
  10. It seemed like a good example to me, as it received a lot of publicity at the time and highlighted that "experts" are not infallible.
  11. Workable solution to what problem, though?
  12. I would have no argument against this as a guideline. But the UK rules address a quite different problem, or so it seems, for which there is no public Groundspeak guideline. Clearly they are not saying that an event that has been artifically split up will have to be merged again (which sounds reasonable, if a bit over the top). They are saying that independent events on the same day will not be allowed ever, even if they are spread quite widely. My question was about what problem this is meant to solve.
  13. For what it is worth Paul it seemed you were making a genuine and positive suggestion to mediate the discussion/dispute and I felt using your post to lock the thread ill-judged & linking it in to Godwin's Law quite unnecessarily offensive. Had the invocation of Godwin's law not taken place in the first place the thread wouldn't have been locked. I felt there was no comparison to the actions of a certain dictator - more a reflection on the "findings" of experts. Exactly. Perhaps the person who locked the thread didn't read Paul's post correctly but it was no "Godwin's Law" post. To me it came over as an excuse to close down a discussion that was proving awkward for reviewers to respond to. Paul's example was merely a case where experts had been proved spectacularly wrong.
  14. It may be that some people have already decided not to arrange events because of the new rules (the guidelines were presented as rules, remember). So it might seem that there isn't a problem from your point of view, but the damage may already have been done. The question I never saw answered in the thread where we were allowed to discuss this for a while (until it was summarily locked for no good reason - no wonder the forums have died in favour of Facebook!) was what the actual problem is that led to these heavy new restrictions. What I mean is, I intend to go to a couple of events later this year. I noticed that there are two in the same area, just a few miles apart, one at lunchtime and the other in the evening. It seems like a nice idea to take in both of them as I'm in the area all day anyway. From what I've deduced from the evasive comments from reviewers, this is the sort of thing that they're wanting to stamp on with a big heavy boot. What they never explain is why this is such a big problem? Others have had a stab at guessing, but there has been no definitive answer as far as I can see. All I've seen is it's to prevent "event stacking", whatever that means. If there are two events in a day only 10 miles apart, yes it's "event stacking" but my question is to explain what is the actual problem caused by this situation because I simply can't see it. Surely if there's such a carefully-devised new rule it's not hard to explain what problem it's meant to solve, in such a way that we can all see the logic and will therefore be happy to work with?
  15. I think that comparing with other pastimes/hobbies/sports might help put it into perspective for the reviewers, who seem to see a problem that most geocachers don't, and don't see a problem with the way they've tackled it. If you have a Golf Society of Great Britain (GSGB) event arranged at a course near Oxford in the morning and in the evening there's another GSGB event at an Aylesbury course (about 19 miles away) there may be some people who manage to get to both, and perhaps you could argue that it could dilute the events a little if some people leave soon after the Oxford round so that they can get to Aylesbury event in plenty of time. That could be a problem to GSGB, but most likely would be regarded as too trivial to worry about. Would the R&A (regulators of golf) step in a make a ruling (or even a guideline) to prevent this happening, by forcing the organisers to merge the two events together even if that would cause confusion and inconvenience? Not on your nellie! If they tried, people would just laugh and ignore it. The R&A would be ridiculed for suggesting such a rule and their committee would probably have to resign. The main difference is that geocaching events have to be arranged via GC.com, so there is the capacity for the website owners to enforce arbitrary restrictions as they see fit and not have to explain their reasoning. This is what seems to have happened here.
  16. Could be, but I have to say that I haven't a clue why that should be an attitude. Events are meant to be meetups, not challenges. It's not even a smiley really; just a note to say you attended, plus a stat.
  17. I hope that will never ever happen. Geocaching events should not be administered via Facebook or any other social media platform - first, many cachers are not active there (and do want to keep it that way) and second, it's almost impossible for non locals to be aware of the many facebook groups (moreover, many of them are closed anyway). If there is a general problem with too many event, it's up to GS to find a suitable solution and that solution should be applied world wide. BTW: My personal guess for why parts of the new rule were introduced would rather have been that some reviewers and some cachers do not like if unrelated events take place not far from each other because they wish to meet as many cachers as possible with one event visit and/or like to attend all events within their reach. On the Facebook question; the cache description would mention what to do about joining the Facebook event page, and the GC.com cache page would act as a general notice about the events of that date. For those few who aren't into FB (and the quietness of the forum indicates how many have moved to FB) there would be enough on the cache page to provide basic details. GC.com event pages aren't very good for events anyway, as they are really designed for caches and have just been tweaked so that they work (in a clunky fashion) for events. As Groundspeak don't seem interested in updating the features to suit the modern world there has to be some sort of get-around. No surprise that there always seems to be endless rule changes and controversy when people try and shoehorn their events into this format. On your personal guess - you could be right, but it's not a good reason to inconvenience the organisers, who really are the people to decide whether another event rivals theirs. Should I put an event together and then discover that there's another the same evening 15 miles away I'll make the decision about whether to cancel/rearrange/liaise with the other organiser/go ahead anyway, based on what I know about the local scene. Why the reviewer needs to get involved is what we're speculating about.
  18. As there appears to be unwillingness on the part of the reviewers to explain their stance on this, I've studied the Facebook threads on the subject and will have a stab at answering my own question, using what I've gleaned from the very vague and evasive official replies I've seen. This may, of course, be wide of the mark but with no clarification forthcoming it invites speculation. Clearly the rule has NOT been brought in to bolster the Groundspeak guidelines, which seem to be addressing a different issue (one of splitting an event up artificially when it should really be one - an example would be where an event is set up for a daytime activity with a limited time slot, and another for an evening social meet, only a few miles from where the activity takes place. Although this is convenient for the organisers and for the attendees, it creates a headache for reviewers in some way so is strongly discouraged.). The big problem that has caused this emergency rule to be brought in is NOT that events have been split like this, but that large numbers of geocachers have been posting "attended" logs for two or more UNRELATED events on the same day. Hence the rule being applied using a twenty mile guideline (which could easily be over a hundred miles by road). The problem with this isn't clear, but it seems to boil down to there being too many events to review. To try and stamp this behaviour out and reduce the workload, there's an effort to reduce the number of event listings (the repeated reply from reviewers is "why do you need a smiley for each event?"). I guess that the thing to do if there are likely to be several events on a particular day throughout the region (such as there were on "Pi Day") is to merge them together and go for a dummy location, explaining in the description where to go should you wish to attend any of the events. So there would be a generic "East Midlands" event, for instance, where the description would contain a list of coordinates for all the related events, along with times (no mention of the actual venue, of course, as it would be seen as "commercial" then!). If you turned up at the cache coordinates there would be a notice telling you where to go next. That way you'd only be able to post a "will attend" on the one cache, and only be able to post an "attended" on the same cache (although you'd probably post several of each). I would think that the actual administration of the events would be via Facebook (which is what I suggested years ago), so the cache description would also have links to the relevant Facebook events.
  19. I can see why you wouldn't want to answer a long list of "what if" questions, but perhaps to those of us not privy to the Facebook group you could explain by answering my earlier question... It's hard to ask for clarification without giving an example, but what is the principal problem that this rule is trying to solve? Cases I can think of don't seem to fall foul of the Groundspeak guidelines... "Events with several elements, a sequence of events, or events that are near the same time or location and intended for the same audience should be submitted as a single event. " ...but appear to be disallowed under the new UK 20-mile rule unless merged with another unrelated event, which sounds like a tall order in most cases. Perhaps you could call a meeting and reconsider this. I usually find that if a decision is met with a large amount of bewilderment and incredulity, then there's something seriously wrong with it. I'd have assumed that "near the same time or location and intended for the same audience" is easy to apply common sense to, but a rough guideline would be that the two events are in the same town or the same part of a city on the same day, and seem to be related quite closely. That seems to be the intention of the Groundspeak guideline.
  20. Thanks for clarifying, Mark. I never imagined that "Event stacking" would be a problem, and I'm still not quite sure why it is seen as a problem. The explanation seems to be "having too many too close to each other diminishes their value to the community". What does that mean, in the context of two events 18 miles from each other? Be that as it may, if there are two events in the same day 18 miles apart then unless the events are clearly linked in some way I really don't see why some sort of arbitrary distance and time rule has to be applied. It's hard enough to organise an event without reviewers setting up extra hurdles to jump. The key point in the guidelines is "should be submitted as a single event". Obviously, the UK version is that if an event is within 20 miles and 10 hours of another they have to be merged. Well, if you have a lunchtime event in Bristol and then another event crops up in Bath in the evening is it realistic to expect the two event organisers to merge them together? It would look a very odd event and cause great confusion. What would the description say? In my example, a Rotherham event would have to be changed to include the Bakewell venue, even though the event format only allows for a single location. Presumably you'd have to set the location to perhaps Sheffield, and then explain that part of it is in Rotherham at a cafe at lunchtime (for which they require "Will Attend" logs so that numbers can be limited) and the other part is a sit-down meal in Bakewell (for which they require separate "Will Attend" logs with menu choices, and to make sure that enough people are interested to make it feasible). Event "caches" are already clunky enough without making them even more clumsy.
  21. I just don't believe that this rule has actually been seriously mooted, let alone thought through (N.B. I'm on Facebook every day and hadn't heard of it). After a quick check, my entry for the longest drive is Southend (Essex) to Whitstable (Kent). 70 miles, or 18 as the crow flies. Although I'm sure that there are better examples. If you want to attend both the Southend and Whitstable events and have a drink you can take public transport. Should be able to rush you there in three hours. Anyway, what major problem is this supposed to address? I've seen days when there is an event at lunchtime, so that city workers can attend, followed by another in the same city in the evening so that locals can join in the fun. What's wrong with that? The weekend camping rule also seems rather peculiar. Obviously if you arrange an event that lasts a whole weekend you'd want to arrange a couple of sub-events too and you'd want to see who proposes to attend those so you can make arrangements based on likely numbers. It also means that the weekend attendees can see what activities are planned beyond the general social get together. Frankly I don't see what problem this rule is addressing, although it's easy to see what unnecessary problems it might cause. Is it that a weekend event is likely to lead to two or three "attended" logs per person? So what?
  22. Perhaps I've misunderstood this one. It looks to me like there can't be two events on the same day within 20 miles of each other, which would be ridiculous. Can it be reworded to make it more clear? It looks like an event arranged in (say) Rotherham would prevent someone arranging one in Bakewell the same day, even though it's probably the best part of 2 hours drive away. I can't have interpreted that correctly.
  23. I guess that all participants here are aware of this, but we do not all agree whether it's a change to the positive to require that a reasonable number already qualifies and not that they could qualify. For many the interesting aspect of challenge caches is working towards qualification and not being qualified already. ... I think that the point is to demonstrate that others in the area could be reasonably expected to work towards qualification, by showing that some already have.
  24. Note that the guidelines specify that a reasonable number of cachers IN YOUR LOCAL AREA should qualify. Hardly anyone is in 5-figures of caches around here, despite the huge cache density, so the list would be rather short for the 15000 challenge (assuming that one of the few was willing to submit it). The Ape/HQ challenge may be "inspiring" for the wealthy retired cacher, but the list from my local area consists of one (as far as I know) and is unlikely to rise to a "reasonable number" ever. And I suspect that applies to almost everywhere in the world. So if I submitted this challenge I'd be pretty sure that it would remain unfound for ever, so I would expect others to see it as a vanity project. Although people could ignore it, I guarantee that it would cause annoyance and would be regarded as deliberately unloggable.
  25. One obvious "show off" example for keeping the "reasonably attainable" guideline is that a cacher may wish to emphasise that they have certain difficult-to-acquire icons (such as Ape cache or Groundspeak Headquarters). If I was big-headed I might set up a local Challenge cache only loggable by those with these two icons. Although plenty of people in Washington USA might have these, hardly anyone (possibly no-one) in my local area will qualify so the likely reason for me doing this is that I want to broadcast my achievement. The cache will just be taking up space that a less egotistical cacher could use. Another example is if I happened to have logged over (say) 15000 caches and set this as the criterion. Although one or two in the area might qualify, for the majority this sort of figure is unattainable, so again it looks like self-promotion. Probably not the sort of thing to encourage.
  • Create New...