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Everything posted by tokencollector

  1. I'm spending a day with a cold performing maintenance on my trackables. It is never fun for me to mark trackables as missing--but I realize that it is the risk of sending them out to travel. Some do very well and others disappear right off the bat. As I sit here marking dozens of trackables as missing, it appears that the number 1 cause of disappearance is being collected by new cachers that subsequently (and quickly) drop out of the game (at least 50%). Many are/were premium members, so limiting travel to PM caches may not be that effective to ensure longevity. Taking the coin and failing to log it (cachers or muggles) is also a recurring issue in the coins I'm marking as missing. Groundspeak regularly posts notes on logging/moving TBs and many who have eventually dropped out of the game stated their intention to move the coin--which suggests that the message does get though to many new cachers. There probably isn't much that can be done besides the TB owner politely requesting that those who hold onto TBs for more than 3 months get them moving again (and perhaps a welcome e-mail from Groundspeak on TB etiquette to new cachers--perhaps suggesting that they wait until they have 100 or so caches under their belt before they start moving TBs/geocoins). The former has been fairly successful for me in the past. When most of those guilty of not moving travelers have dropped out of the game, there is nothing practical that Groundspeak could do to entice them or penalize them to keep on playing/moving the TBs that they have. I suspect that those of us who move a significant number of travelers eventually make mistakes. I've had a TB or two go missing in my care--when that happens, I let the TB owner know and have moved them as soon s they were found again. When traveling in the UK, I had a geocoin fall out of my pocket. In that case, it was lost and I offered to replace it. Penalizing folks for mistakes that will happen along the way is not a solution to the most common causes of TB loss. It's a sad fact that TBs/geocoins will go missing. I suspect that the typical rate of disappearance is about half per year. If you send out enough, some will survive into old age (several that I released in 2006 are still moving) and many will take interesting trips around the world.
  2. I once received an e-mail from a cacher regarding a geocoin released prior to the collectible/not-collectible being added to the TB page. It was her thought that collectible meant she (or actually her daughter) could keep it rather than moving it. I let her know that it was meant to be moved, but have clicked not-collectable on each geocoin/TB I have activated since. I suspect that most geocachers do not know what collectible/non-collectible means and suggest that selecting not-collectible on TBs/Geocoins released to caches might be a good idea to prevent any question as to whether the coin is swag or a traveler--other than the case of a collection mentioned above.
  3. An interesting question, so I decided to take a look and see where I am. I've activated just shy of 750 TBs (and geocoins) for release and all are traveling or lost except for a dozen or so that I recently activated. Of those released, ~100 have been moved in the last 4 months and are presumed to still be active. About 150 have moved in the last year, though I suspect some of them could be missing or misplaced. Some have been stuck in caches that haven't been found for years and are presumable still active. The oldest have been moving for around 8 years, and the most distance on one is 93K miles on a coin released in 2009 and last logged a couple of weeks ago. I have a fair number of active travelers with over 25K miles on them.
  4. While I appreciate, and enjoy reading, a long log,I am not put off by people who leave short logs. Some people enjoy writing and are quite good at it. Others find a long log difficult - and possible inane. I usually try to write a line or two, but I don't generally feel the need to let everyone know how long I searched in the wrong places for a 1/1 cache (actually, I might put that in a log), what I had for breakfast today, or how much the humidity is making my hair curl. If it's been a special cache, I may put a bit more in my log. Knowing that people are hunting and finding my cache is reward in itself. A nice extra bit in the log is a pleasant addition--the cherry on the sundae. It's the same with my TBs. I love to hear of their adventures, but am quite pleased to know that they are moving.
  5. With a treadmill can't you maintain your Nutella input?
  6. My caching related goals for 2010 inlcude: 1. Find at least 365 caches 2. Add at least one state to my states cached 3. Hide at least 4 caches My goals are a bit more modest this year than last. With my son in college, I don't get out caching as much as I used to. States are getting a bit tougher too, I have 30 and will need some signigicant travel opportunity to add another. Finally, I failed abismally at hiding caches last year. I really need to step up this year. I want to hide caches like those I enjoy finding (w/ a walk in the woods or with something of interest at the cache location) which is getting tough due to many of the best places having caches already. 4. Reach 2000 caches in NC 5. Reach 50 caches in WV and OH Approximately 40% of my cache finds have been out of state so I only need about 190 caches in NC to reach goal 4. I've been close to 50 in OH for a couple years and WV is close enough that I ought to be able to get to that goal with a bit of effort.
  7. Dang! I just dug a bit deeper and the nice, simple CN 22 (the old green form) is now a triplicate form. It was revised in September of this year. As for how long the old CN 22 will be accepted ... I bet that answer will vary from post office to post office (as usual).
  8. Too true. The rules here vary depending on which post office you visit. When I send geocoins, I typically carry a copy of the relevant regulations so that I am not overcharged for postage. (Rigid objects are allowed in first-class large envelopes sent internationally as long as they meet the flexability requirements.) I haven't mailed internationally in a while, so I haven't encountered the new forms. The current general guidance (Link) suggests that there are still different forms depending on the package and mail class. I haven't looked up the detailed rules though.
  9. Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete:Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: (12/18) from Scout7 WOW! This secret santa went a bit over the top! Most of the wrapped packages appear here (at least one package of chocolate dissappeared before I realized what happened). The beagle is checking things out. - There were local items including a book by a local author and a "token." (I love how geocaching helps me explore the country and world.) The Beagle was interested in stealing packages to open and finally settled for a discarded piece of paper. In addition to everything for me (and family) there was a present for the dogs too! (The paper in the previous picture was the wrapping from some balls - one of which is in the picture below.) Many Many THANKS to my secret santa for a wonderful and well thought out present! I'm feeling a bit bad that the packages that I sent were toned down a bit from last year. If I participate again next year, I'll have to crank it up a couple of notches!
  10. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: (12/16) from Sparticus06 I'm a bit slow with getting my pictures up - but I wanted to show off the great stuff I received in my Christmas Mission. The first box revealed a Christmas geocoin and a number of nicely wrapped packages - All in all, it was a nice and thoughtful set of presents! Thanks Secret Santa #1! Now I need to get out there and hide some more geocaches - Specifically the pair that were in my box.
  11. I don't have an airedale geocoin, but I do have an airedale pathtag. You could attach it to a TB dogtag and release it into a cache with a mission to get it to him. E-mail me through my profile and I'll send one to you.
  12. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: (12/16) from Sparticus06 Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete:Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: (12/18) from Kentucky When I got home tonight, another box was there to greet me along with a nice bit of snow. As I type this, we've had 5-6" which is uncommon for this corner of NC. Tomorrow will be a great day to open my Secret Santa Packages. Both boxes are quite large and seem a bit over-the-top. Thanks in advance--I know I'll love them. I'll post some pictures when they are available.
  13. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: (12/16) from Sparticus06 Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete:Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: When I got home tonight, a pair of boxes was sitting on the doorstep--one from my sister-in-law and another that looked suspiciously like a Secret Santa box. I opened it to confirm that that was what it was, but I think I'll wait a couple of days to open the presents. I know I won't be able to wait until Christmas, but this weekend will likely provide a bit of pre-Christmas joy! Pictures will follow.
  14. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete:Yes (12/8) 4. Package Received!: Hooray - the boxes went into the mail today and should be to their destinations by the end of the week!
  15. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: 4. Package Received!: Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: Yes (11/2) 3. Mission Complete: 4. Package Received!:
  16. Mission #1 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: 3. Mission Complete: 4. Package Received!: Mission #2 1. Participating:Yes (10/31) 2. Received Name: 3. Mission Complete: 4. Package Received!:
  17. As the year is winding toward its conclusion, I thought I'd look abak at this year's geocaching goals and see how I'm doing. It turns out that I'm ok in some areas and woefully lacking in others - as it often goes with resolutions. 1) Reach 3000 geocaches - 87 to go, I might make it 2) Release 500th geocoin into wild - I'm pretty close on this one too 3) Hide more of the caches that are sitting around in my workshop (mostly ammo cans and unusual containers) - failing miserably, only one so far 4) Find 100th cache in SC (so I’ll have 100+ in each state bordering NC) - done early in the year 5) Find a cache in a state that I haven’t cached in previously - Yup, and I hope to add a few more in the next month. 6) Keep up with caching when my son heads off to college (could be the toughest – I’ll miss my caching buddy) - Sadly, I'm falling behind on this. I hope we can make a few caching runs when he is home for Christmas Break.
  18. btw - In addition to marking the coins missing, if they were picked up from a cache, it would be nice to post a note to the coin that states that they were they were lost and/or to e-mail the coin's owner to let them know what happened. If they are your coins, ignore the above advice (I've misplaced a coin or two of mine before they were placed in a cache).
  19. Including an offset for eBay fees in the S&H charge does not appear violate any of the policies highlighted in an above post (eBay still receives its full cut on the market value of the item – eBay doesn’t appear to require payment of fees on its fees). And, not including some of the offset can leave the seller screwed. As a simple example, if postage costs $1 on a $9 item, about 6¢ in PayPal fees could be ascribed to the postage portion of the transaction. If a seller doesn’t charge $1.06, they won’t net enough to cover the postage. EBay takes a pretty good cut on items that sell in geocoins’ price range. Its cut on a $10 item (including PayPal) is ~$1.92 – or more if listing fees on items not sold through are figured into the equation. Unless a seller likes losing money (and I haven’t heard any plans for a government bailout of eBay sellers) the customer will bear that cost – either in higher initial costs for an item or increased S&H fees. Despite the comments in the previous paragraph, I think that charging more than $2-$2.50 for U.S. S&H on a geocoin is ridiculous. After a long hiatus from eBay, I’ve been clearing out some duplicate geocoins and I am charging $1.50 for the first and 50¢ for each additional coin shipped domestically. I think that on average my mailing costs are covered (I’m a hobbyist / not running a business). If I get burned and decide to require delivery conformation, then I’ll have to ship at the package rate and costs will go up by 50¢. Postage costs to Europe are painful and will unfortunately run the costs up some.
  20. I disagree that the package rate is necessarily the appropriate one. According to DMM 101 - Physical standards for Retail Letters, Flats and Parcels, those items which make a letter non-macineable are different from things which make a flat non-machineable - which makes sense since letters and flats are supposedly sorted using different equipment. As long as the coin is secured within the flat, doesn't lead to uneven thickness (more than 1/4" variation [so if the coin and it's flip are less than 1/4" thick you should be good there]), and if the package is flexible alone the appropriate axes (don't tape the coin along a major axis) a bubble mailer should fit the definition of a large envelope. At the current rates, there is only a 20¢ difference between a flat and a parcel, but come May, I believe that that difference will increase to 34¢ - on top of the postage increase. [] This said, I carry copies of the appropriate postal regulations with me to the P.O. and have needed them on occasion when dealing with the counter staff or their managers. As they make their rules increasingly complex, the P.O. is becoming a more expensive P.I.T.A. each year.
  21. Yet another vote for dip and pictures. I have a coin (Don'tcha Wish)that I put in a cache about 9 months ago which was picked up and dropped off the radar. It was picked up by a (military?) pilot and really put on the miles. It was cool to see pictures taken from around the world and from countries that not many cachers visit. The coin is back into circulation now (I hope), and the logs and pics really did help make up for lost time.
  22. Loss of 75% is unusual in my experience. Around 20% of my geocoins and TBs go missing each year. It sucks, but I accept it when I send them out into the wild. Some have interesting or long trips which helps to make up for those that don't. I agree that the problem is not always new cachers, but they are a significant portion of those who lose coins. Every 4-6 months I go through my geocoins in the wild to mark missing ones out of circulation. The major problem is cachers (typically with ferer than 100 finds) who pick them up and quit caching. I politely e-mail those who have held a coin over 3 months and I've either received apologies, stories of illness or death in the family, and (surprise) no response. The gentle reminders do get a fair number of coins sprung back into caches. Often life gets in the way of geocaching. And, many cachers give it a try and decide that its not for them - and, sadly, don't realize the importance of or forget to get the travelers in their posession back into the wild. There is a tendancy to brand those people as thieves, but inconsiderate is probably a more accurate term. Muggled caches are the second leading cause of loss of my coins. Another source of loss is people who pick up a coin and don't realize that it is a traveler or that they should log it. I've had a couple identifyable missing coins due to lack of understanding of travelers. Many folks fall into caching on their own and don't have the benefit of a mentor to explain caching courtesy. As Eartha suggests, those with more experience should be atune to those with less experience at events and help to explain the ropes as needed. A minority of my coins have probably been lost to thieves. To paraphrase LFD's advice, only release something that you are willing to lose - because your traveler will go missing eventually - hopefully it will last for many miles and many logs in the interim.
  23. Hmmm.... A crush of shoppers? A crashed site? I may end up saving (or at least not spending) some money today.
  24. Wow, these forums really work! I posted this morning, and my geobone (constructed from the "Finest Chineese Metals") arrived in my mailbox at lunch. I guess that misplaced bag of mail was found and is finally being delivered. Good luck to everyone else. I suspect that they will be hitting mailboxes in the South soon!
  25. I was starting to wonder if I was alone in waiting for the bone to arrive. With the apparent postal delay in getting them south of the Canadian border, I can't say that I'm happy, but at least I'm not alone.
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