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Everything posted by Steve&GeoCarolyn

  1. I don't think people feel compelled to trade. We don't feel compelled to and we're actually unlikely to take things. But I find a certain satisfaction in leaving something behind me for someone else. (I am not sure whether this is some kind of territory-marking activity or what it might be, but it seems to be a part of caching for me.) Like I said, the restrictions wouldn't prevent me from going to your cache, it would just delay it and it would delay it longer than the stamp-collecting cache we attempted because we know and understand stamps but we don't know toys. Once we got there I'm sure we'd enjoy it. What I'm suggesting is that restrictions lengthen the time it might take for someone to go to your cache. It might not be that people find you elitist. It might just be that like solving a puzzle or tackling difficult terrain, restrictive caches take time to plan. Carolyn
  2. Does anyone know where to report problems with the Wherigo site? When I try to log in to Wherigo.com I get: --------------------------------------------------------------- Server Error in '/' Application. There is no row at position 0. Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. Exception Details: System.IndexOutOfRangeException: There is no row at position 0. Source Error: An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below. Stack Trace: [indexOutOfRangeException: There is no row at position 0.] System.Data.RBTree`1.GetNodeByIndex(Int32 userIndex) +1943315 System.Data.RBTree`1.get_Item(Int32 index) +17 System.Data.DataRowCollection.get_Item(Int32 index) +11 Groundspeak.Web.User.fillValues(DataSet& myData, Boolean blnReadOnly) +39 Groundspeak.Web.User..ctor(Int64 id, Boolean blnReadOnly) +194 Groundspeak.Web.User..ctor(Int64 id) +18 WebFormBase.OnPreInit(EventArgs e) +308 System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +663 Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.1433; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.1433
  3. It may not have anything to do with the members only label. I actually don't even notice which ones are which when I search for caches. However, I would be unlikely to go to your cache immediately because it would require more work than I can handle right now. I'm actually not really sure which toys are from what decade, so to ensure that I am trading correctly I would need to do some research and, silly as it seems, I'm more likely to put that kind of time into doing research for a puzzle cache or doing research on a topo map to determine terrain than I am to research swag. I would eventually get there, but it would be on the back-burner. I've had similar reactions to other restrictive caches. They've gone on the list, but it takes a while to get to them because of the restrictions on what is acceptable to trade. Carolyn
  4. not only do we have mud season, but we have stick season, bringing our total seasons to six. mud season is a time of joy and blessings, as is stick season. today is 2 july. i'm wearing long pants and a turtleneck. my windows are closed because it's cold out. i am happy. happy, happy, happy. I am happy as well. It is only 86 degrees with 44 percent humidity. It is practically cool outside. (In truth, my favorite days are in the 80s with very high humidity. It makes the swamps look even more like a land of mystery and magic created by Hollywood.) As to seasons, we don't have as many as other people. One of the best parts of living in Ohio for me (when I did) was that there were real seasons and they came on time each year. It was as if God had designed the calendar specifically for Ohio. Now that I'm in Western Tennessee the seasons aren't quite as well-timed and we don't get a real winter, but it is still lovely to live here. Carolyn
  5. You're not a regular? I thought you were like the friendly Saint Bernard waiting around to rescue newbies with a casket of good brandy and friendly tail wagging. So when your paw is better you're just going to bound off taking your brandy with you? Carolyn
  6. History is painful everywhere, I think. One of the charms of the US (in my opinion, but not Steve's) is that we have so little history. It gives us a better chance of starting out right with fewer ancient hatreds arising. But I'm forward-looking by nature. I think a history attribute is an excellent idea. Among other things, it would make it much easier to find caches that please my beloved. The big advantage of a history attribute is that each cache owner can decide for himself what it should say without submitting it to an approving body. I think this reduces the chances of conflict. (Though KBI has done a good job of convincing me that geocachers are less volatile regarding history than activists, history buffs, and wargamers.) So I'm a fan of the history attribute idea. Carolyn
  7. If last weekend is anything to go by, I cache until I crash from heatstroke. The entire experience has me thinking that I should practice caching in the heat until I can cache in Death Valley as kind of an ultimate caching experience. Perhaps we need to assemble a list of tricks for hot-weather caching. Carolyn
  8. Thank you for keeping scary people away from delicate souls like myself. So it is not so much the adventure of the great outdoors but the peace and tranquility that comes from being in nature and away from people? I find geocaching to be calming myself for those reasons and the scariest people I deal with on a daily basis are programmers. If I had to deal with "bad guys" I think I would need weeks of time in the wilderness to decompress. Hmmm. If it's been published on the Internet.... I suppose I shall simply have to come up with the money for tutoring. Do you suppose they include lessons on creative uses of explosives to reveal hidden caches? Perhaps training on DNA sampling to determine whether the log signature matches the person writing the online log? Carolyn
  9. Could you add something like Bio Wonder to cover such things as environments that have rare plants and animals or unusual ecological environments well-worth seeing? Or would that be covered in Natural Wonder? Carolyn
  10. Perhaps you need to try some of the P&Gs in some of the dicier areas of Memphis. We do have the second highest violent crime rate here. Surely there is enough adventure to be had for anyone there. Far too much for me. Carolyn
  11. I must say that peeing in the woods is my least favorite part. Really, there are some parts of my body that should stay free of poison ivy, mosquito bites, and ticks. I like finding new, beautiful places. I like new adventures. I like the fantasy of being a spy or a detective. And I like taking photos and writing about my adventures afterwards. (Which requires that I have adventures, of course.) Carolyn
  12. I think your experience with geocachers trumps my experience with history buffs since what we are talking about is geocaching. So, I'm open to what you are saying. I loved his book! I'm so pleased that you have read it as well. I think I've been unclear, perhaps as a result of writing too much. It is amateur historians that I worry about rather than professionals. The academics primarily express displeasure with each other by writing nasty reviews about each other's books, snubbing each other at faculty parties, and torturing each other's grad students. Amateur historians are often quite passionate and frequently do not respond well to correction. History seems very accessible to people in ways that the sciences don't. As a result people think it is simpler to understand than it is. In reality, history is tremendously complex. The past is truly a different country and none of us know the past very well. Even those who study it all the time like my beloved do not. (One of the big differences I've seen between history buffs and professional historians is that the professionals know that there is a great deal they do not know. Often buffs have more confidence in their understanding of the subject than the professionals do.) I am amazed. Also amazed at how long these disputes go back. But I love geocaching and I do find it tranquil and fun. Thanks! I suppose the next question is how does a History group to monitor HistoryCaches form? Or does one go to one of the existing academic history associations? How did EarthCaches come into being? Carolyn
  13. You are right that I would be delighted if there were an easy way to avoid conflict around these issues. I prefer to be involved in low-conflict activities. Since you are a long-time member of this hobby, it seems likely that there are few who are more knowledgeable than you about how these things work. Also, I note that you cache in Georgia, which probably has many of these hot-button historical issues so I trust that you have a good feeling for this. (My guess is that our good friends in New Jersey and Minnesota probably have fewer contentious issues surrounding their historic sites.) With that in mind, is it true that all types of caches are subject to the Big Archive Button wielded by a volunteer reviewer or just those that come under Groundspeak's control? What happens in cases where protesters are wrong about some point of history? (I can easily picture fervent 911 Truthers making a big deal about a cache without too many other people disagreeing publically. In many cases, the most passionate are often the people most likely to be on the fringe of any dispute.) I guess what I'm asking is how does Groundspeak deal with disputes regarding Earthcaches (if there are any such disputes) and complaints about the Geological Society's decisions? My guess is that there would be a lot more protests about a Historical Geocaching Society's decisions (name made up). Carolyn
  14. I appreciate your cool-headed approach to this discussion. In most cases I don't think that people are conscious of their biases. Nor do I think that most would choose a historical site with a conscious agenda. (Though some surely would.) However, differing historical understandings lead to different results. Take an example near me. There is a beautiful hiking trail that overlooks the Mississippi River. It is the site of a famous massacre called the Fort Pillow Massacre. One understanding (my beloved tells me it is the mainstream understanding) is that Confederate soldiers under orders of General Nathan Bedford Forrest (later founder of the KKK) ordered a massacre of surrendering African-American Union soldiers, killing nearly all of them in cold blood. The little museum at the beginning of the hiking trail describes the events quite differently. It's been a long time since I was there, but as I recall their view was that the Union soldiers engaged in immoral practices and never surrendered and that a massacre never occurred. So, let's say that I put a historical cache there and my interpretation is that it was a massacre, an odious example of racist slaughter, and I write that understanding (the mainstream understanding, remember) in my cache description. My fellow geocachers grew up with a different understanding of this event. They believe that I am anti-Southern and complain that I have an agenda. Or let's say it's vice versa. I believe that it wasn't a slaughter and that the entire thing was an example of Union propaganda designed to weaken the Confederate will to fight and I write that in my cache description. Once again, I'm sincere and I don't have an agenda. However, my fellow geocacher whose great, great, great uncle perished at Fort Pillow protests my interpretation. He calls me a racist and says that I want to whitewash the Confederacy. He points out that "Remember Fort Pillow!" became a battle-cry among African-American soldiers after that. He says I have an agenda. The thing is that none of these people are acting in bad faith. History is really hard in some areas. It's really divisive. And that can't be cured by setting up a committee to ajudicate it. Carolyn
  15. Well, that would be one of the arguments for adding History Cache as a cache Type, as opposed to an attribute. Earthcaches are a big success. One reason: Before an Earthcache can be listed it has to be approved by the Geological Society of America. If a similar academic body were willing to take on the job of approving History Caches, the designation would be far more meaningful than if it were merely an attribute available at the click of a mouse. Maybe some of the folks in these forums who habitually protest the lack of satisfactorily interesting cache locations – and the apparent difficulty in filtering for them – would be willing to volunteer for such a committee? If so, they would have my gratitude. More cool caches, fewer disappointments, better PQ filtering, fewer complaints in the forums ... everybody wins! The Steve half of the Steve&GeoCarolyn entity is an academic military historian and I talked to him before I wrote my previous post on this matter. History has qualities that make it divisive in ways that geology isn't. I outlined some of those in my earlier post. What would happen as academic historians enforced some sort of mainstream understanding of history on geocaches is that people would bring their complaints to the forum. These complaints would be heartfelt and highly politicized because history itself is deeply emotional to many people and highly politicized as a field. Even amongst academic historians there is a great deal of division along political and national lines (as well as among the various schools of historical thought). Left, right, center, and every ethnic and affinity group would protest that the history approved by this group was wrong. Not just wrong. They will say that it is racist, sexist, immoral, part of a world-wide conspiracy to cover-up/make up facts and so forth. Imagine the 911 Truthers demanding that their version of history be approved by this group and bringing their protests to this forum. There are many worse examples I could use but out of concern for the health of this group I am not mentioning the most highly emotionally-charged historical topics. Far from everyone winning, this actually guarantees that nearly everyone would lose. I think a history attribute (which leaves the decision about whether it is really historical or whether the history described is valid history to the cache owner) would be a better option. Carolyn
  16. Dusty, huh! That's how I remember all of Texas. Dusty roads, long, long distances, wonderful food, and very nice cops. Are there any wilderness areas near you? Any hiking trails? Carolyn
  17. My suspicion is that it has something to do with the terrain where you live. I took a look at a 100 mile radius around Midland, TX and it looks like there are only about 89 caches that are not micros there. By comparison I hit 100 non-micro caches within 7.2 miles of my house (and there are more beyond that 7.2 mile radius). However, there are a lot of forests, swamps, and other naturally dense landscape types around here so it's easy to find ways to hide larger containers. Isn't Midland primarily prairie? I would think that would have an effect on how easy it is to find places to hide a larger cache. Carolyn
  18. I think it is very difficult to know what will float someone else's boat when logging. There are times that I strive to write something that will entertain the owner of the cache, but that is only when the cache owner has specified some sort of desire, ( for example, "please write about animals you saw" or "please write about any bad luck you had getting to this cache"). Otherwise, it is hard to tell what a cache owner would enjoy. It is even more difficult to know what random people reading the log will enjoy. For example, I adore the logs that are essentially adventure travel reports complete with pictures. My beloved wants logs that will give him an idea of how to proceed if we are stuck. Some people hate long logs. Some hate very short logs. For this reason I write what I think will inform or entertain my British friends who introduced me to geocaching. My logs are essentially letters to them because they cannot be here to do this with me. (I know they are reading my logs.) On occasion I will have a wonderful story and I'll write it for myself because I want to read it in the future. These strategies seem to work well overall. I get unsolicited positive comments from random people and cache owners. The central rule of writing is to know your audience. This is impossible when logging. Since I cannot please everyone, I think that it is most important to act courteously to everyone and to write for just a few people or for myself. Carolyn
  19. Each week we seemingly find something new to add to our packs based on problems we had the previous week. Here's our current list: Hiker First Aid Kit Camera GPS - Garmin Oregon for on trail GPS - Garmin Nuvi for navigating to the trailhead/park Wipes for the camera lens and GPS screens Extra batteries for the Oregon Small flashlight Heavy work gloves for beating our way through brambles, thorns, poison ivy, etc. 6 Clif Bars of various flavors (emergency rations) Cough drops Ultrathon Insect Repellent Sunscreen Large Bellydance Costume Coins (my signature item) Bag of swag Ziploc bags of various sizes for impromptu cache or travel bug first aid Little spiral notebooks to leave if a cache's log is full Geocoin/Travel Bug pouch (to keep them organized and safe between caches) Any geocoins or travel bugs that we need to place in a cache Notepad (to solve any puzzles in the field or make notes) 2 Pens Swiss Army Knife Mirror on a telescoping handle for seeing into things Magnet on a telescoping handle to act as a poking stick Magnifying glass that lights up At least two bottles of water (more for long hikes) Cell phone Wallet with IDs and credit cards I usually pack a pair of sandals (just in case) In the car we also keep a set of large flashlights for night caching and a large towel to wipe off with if we emerge extremely muddy or sweaty or both. My beloved brings: Printed out sheets for caches he wants to go to all neatly placed in a notebook. I roll my eyes at this since the Oregon enables paperless caching, but it comes in very handy at times. Of all of the above items, the water has proven to be the most critical. We will never leave home without enough water again. Carolyn
  20. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions! I'm planning to compile them into an organized list for myself and when I do so, I'll post to this thread again. We are utterly fascinated by some of those who have made the finding a place for a cache itself a geographic mystery to be solved, like Kit Fox's example of searching out the wrecked plane and Mrs. B's description of Mtn Man's determination to locate the spots famous photos were taken. My beloved was delighted with the idea. He is working on finding a worthy historical challenge. Since Tennessee was such a center for CCC and TVA projects, we are looking into that history. (The South isn't all about the Civil War, you know.) Meanwhile, I have used Briansnat's description of topo map analysis and Dark Zen and Beautiful's marvelous photos of the topo map vs the actual location to convince my beloved that I need topo map software. I know that feeding my map hunger was not your intention, but I thank you nonetheless. I've been playing with the maps and trying to locate good places to go. Based upon Mrs. B's off-hand comment that we in the US have a larger gameboard, I've decided to widen our search and it's been a lot of fun to realize that a short way away is elevated terrain mixed with swamp and that this area has very few caches. Meanwhile, we've decided to devote 2-3 caching days a month to finding a good spot. This has actually been the hardest part. We love finding caches so much that we sometimes exhaust ourselves in the cache-finding before we get to the cache-hiding part. But it's all good. Thanks! Carolyn
  21. I always cache with my beloved so we share an account and I log for both of us. However, if I were caching with someone else, I would help them set up their own account so that they could log their own finds. In my log I might mention that they were with us when we found the cache, but I write lengthy logs anyway. Carolyn
  22. We have some weekends where we search for 4 and find 0. (And some weekends it is the reverse.) I think this is true for everyone. The other reason to log your DNFs is for you. We had a lot of trouble finding caches when we began. Now we've gone back to look at our list of DNFs and we're going to retry some of them. It adds an extra dimension of fun to find something that has eluded us. In addition, if you take pictures or write a good description for your DNF log, you can sometimes study them from the comfort of your living room and suddenly realize, "Oh! That's where it has to be!" and then head back with your epiphany to guide you. Much fun! There is a section in the General Topics area on creative cache containers. That gave me some ideas of where to look as well. You might want to take a look at other people's pictures. Carolyn
  23. Oh fine. Bring this back to the original topic. See if we care (or pay attention). I have a hard time picturing legions of grown-ups (or children supervised by grown-ups) stomping through other people's flower gardens. Didn't we all get swatted by our mothers when we were seven or eight for doing this? (Or made to stand in the corner for those who had non-hitting parents.) This doesn't even seem like something that really needs to be said or that the vast majority of geocachers would need a no-no list for. What are we, toddlers? Carolyn
  24. That's not as easy. What we do is go to the geocache. It will list the names of any additional waypoints at the bottom of the description. Then we go to the Waypoints area and click the little ABC button to search for the waypoint. It means we have to remember the waypoint designation well enough to type the beginning into the Oregon. Carolyn
  25. We have found 115 caches and have seen no evidence of human beings or geotrails. I've assumed this is because the caches here get visitors slowly compared to more populous areas and because the vegetation grows so fast here and the water washes away so much evidence. Even in a situation where we were within an hour of another cacher, the only evidence we saw was a few bent weeds that probably recovered by mid-morning. Even well-maintained, purpose-created trails disappear in a few seasons if they are not maintained here. However, I can certainly imagine geotrails or destructive searching happening in Colorado since the vegetation is simply not as voracious and the dry land retains impressions for a while. When I was a girl I used to walk in a nearby field in Denver and I could follow my route from the previous week's walk. So it doesn't beggar my imagination to envision cachers leaving trails or making an area look different after a search in a way that lasts for a while. Isn't the question of whether cachers will change an area something that can only be answered by looking at the region? Carolyn (Of course the hyperbole that cachers will always destroy an area is kind of silly.)
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