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Bob Blaylock

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Everything posted by Bob Blaylock

  1. I don't think I've ever found a key box cache where the log sheet hadn't been damaged by water. Some times, the owner tries to protect the log sheet by putting it in a ziplock bag inside the key box. That doesn't work. A cache container really needs to be watertight. Key boxes are not.
  2. I think the general concern is whether you would be able to maintain that cache as needed. If the cache should be damaged or go missing while you are back home in Wisconsin, how long would it be before it was repaired? If you're not going to be able to get to the cache in order to repair it in a timely manner, then I think the reviewer wants some assurance that you've got someone else available in the area with whom you've made arrangements regarding the maintenance of the cache. It seems to me that you want to place a cache that you can't properly maintain.
  3. Something that's impressed me is how this organization emphasizes “guidelines” rather than “rules”. Guidlines are in place to prohibit things that are thought to be too likely to create problems, or which are not sufficiently consistent with what Geocacing is supposed to be. My impression is that the reviewers have the power to make an exception to any guidline, if someone can make a sufficiently strong case for having come up with an idea that, while violating the letter of a guidline, can be counted on not to create the problems that the guideline was intended to prevent; and to uphold the spirit of geocaching. I think this is the basis for them not wanting to use absolute language, that would seem to solidly rule out any such exceptions.
  4. There's a product called Liquid Lense that claims to be good for fixing scratched glasses. Alas, I must report that it is impossible to apply it smoothly and evenly enough to be suitable for the advertised purpose. If glasses are so scratchy that applying this product to them is an improvement, then they are so badly damaged that they really need to be replaced. However, for surfaces that are not nearly as optically-critical — such as GPS displays — I find that this product is an excellent remedy for minor scratches and surface damage; and it even makes a good protective coating on such surfaces that are not yet damaged, to help prevent them from becoming so. I use it — with very good results — on my watch, on my calculators, on my GPS, on my cell phone; anything that has a clear-plastic window. Except my PDA. It doesn't work on the PDA, because it's not nearly durable enough to hold up under stylusing. But I apply it on the other things, and when it gets scratched up, it's the Liquid Lense that's getting scratched, and not the underlying plastic, so I can just clean off the old layer of Liquid Lense (using the solvent that is included for this purpose) and apply a fresh coating.
  5. Plugging the coordinates N 29° W 0° and N 29° W 1° into my Great Circle program for the HP48G, I get a range of 60.3894830926 statute miles — a bit more than the 60.3 miles that seems otherwise to be the most credible answer previously posted. It occurs to me that the exact answer that you're looking for would be along a “line” that stays at the same latitude while traveling a degree of longitude, and that this “line” would actually curve slightly, and thus be a bit longer than the straight line calculated by my Great Circle program. You ought to get an answer that is slightly longer than mine, and you got instead an answer that is shorter. Let's see what I get when I duplicate your calculations:«29_° COS 60_nmi *» gives me 52.4771824283_nmi Converting to statute miles gives me 60.3896630287_mi, which is slightly longer than my Great Circle result (Very tiny difference — less than a foot). Looks like your error was to round it off incorrectly. You ought to have rounded it up to 60.4 rather than down to 60.3.
  6. I'm with you so far, but… Here, I have to disagree. I think Waymarking is about visiting the locations; not about what specialized equipment you own or what you can do with it. I think that anyone who visits a Waymark location ought to be able to log it. I'm not even sure I'd agree that the person should be required to “prove” that he visited the location, beyond there not being any obvious reason to suspect that he did not. Waymarking is about visiting the locations. Any restrictions that prevent someone from being able to log a visit to a site that he did, in fact, visit, goes — in my opinion — against the spirit of what Waymarking is supposed to be about.
  7. Not all cameras have self-timers. In fact, most of the less expensive ones do not. And how many of those who own cameras expensive enough to have self-timers are going to be stupid enough to trust a piece of silly putty to keep that camera from crashing to the ground?
  8. This touches somewhat on this thread and also on this one. What is Waymarking really about, and what ought to be required in order to create a Waymark, or to log a find on an existing Waymark? It seems to me that at its core, what Waymarking is about is getting out and personally visiting the locations in question; seeing what is there to see, and possibly participating in whatever that location is about. In this thread I made mention of a benchmark that I discovered over a year ago, that I would like to post as a Waymark. I have not been allowed to do so because I cannot produce a photograph of it. At the time I discovered it, I did not have a camera with me. The only digital camera that I own is not of sufficient quality to take a clear picture of something as small as this benchmark. I do have some high-quality stone-aged film cameras, but by the time I get to taking one of them out to where the benchmark is, taking the picture, getting it developed, scanning it, and such…well, to be blunt, it's just not worth that much trouble. And beside that, Waymarking isn't about what equipment I happen to own, and what I can do with it; it's about visiting the actual location. I've been to the location; I discovered the benchmark; I've copied down all the information therefrom; I've recorded its location with my GPS. By any reasonable interpretation of what Waymarking is all about, I ought to be able to claim this as a Waymark. I'm only being prevented from doing so by arbitrary technical requirements that have nothing whatsoever to do with what Waymarking is really about. OK, that's the old rant. The new one isn't so bad. Yesterday, I submitted a Waymark in a different category, and it was promptly approved. But I must take issue with some of the requirements there as well. My new waymark is http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/details...4d-40e58f207cf5. I had previously noted the existence of this category, noted that this particular example was not yet listed as a Waymark, and made note of what the requirements were for posting it. As my wife and I had plans to visit this location, I took along my digital camera; and worried that it might not be able to take sufficiently good pictures to satisfy the reviewer, I also took along a stone-aged film camera of considerably better quality. (As it happened, I was able to get sufficiently good pictures wth the digital, so I did not use the stone-aged camera.) I recognize the validity of establishing some requirements in order to post a Waymark, along the lines of establishing that the person submitting it has actually been to the location, has made a measurement of the coordinates with his GPS, and can establish the location as being worthy of listing as a Waymark. The requirements for submitting a Waymark in the category seem a bit excessive; but not horribly so. What strikes me about this category, however, is that once a Waymark is established, the requirements for logging it are stricter than those for submitting a new waymark; and they are not well-presented, either. To begin with “To post a log for waymarks, you must complete the same requirements as posting a waymark…”. It is not conveniently defined for the person seeking to log a find to this Waymark what the requirements are for posting a Waymark. The user would have to go to a significant amount of effort to find this information listed elsewhere. The instructions that he hopefully would be able to find elsewhere and comply with read… That's the requirement that I had to meet in order to submit this Waymark. This required significant preparation on my part, that I really do not think ought to be required of one who visits this location, and thereafter wants to log a find on it. As cameras are not allowed inside the building, people who are coming here to use this facility for its intended purpose may very well not wish to bring along valuable cameras that they will be required to either leave in their cars or check in at the front desk. I think that anyone who hereafter visits to this site, ought to be able to log his visit. I think that logging an existing Waymark ought to be no more difficult — and probably considerably less difficult — than submitting a new Waymark. In this case, however, it's more difficult. To log an existing Waymark in this category, one must meet the same requirements as for submitting one “… as well as post a picture of something in addition to the identification sign. This can be information you obtained from the Internet or from your visit.” Aside from my objection to the fact that logging this Waymark has additional requirements beyond what I had to meet to submit it, I find this instruction vague. It's not at all clear what would be acceptable to fulfill this additional requirement. I also find it very odd that the Internet is cited as a source from which one may obtain a picture to post to fulfill this requirement. The point of any picture or other information that might be required of one in logging a visit would be to prove that that one actually did personally visit the location. I don't see how anything obtained from the Internet would be at all relevant to this purpose. If a particular Temple also has a Visitors' Center (this one doesn't) then one is required to take a picture in front of it as well in order to log a Visit. Again, I think this is just plain excessive. I guess what I'm really going on about is that Waymarking is about visiting locations; not about taking pictures or meeting other arbitrary requirements. I recognize some validity to the idea that one should provide some evidence that one actually has visited the location in question, but a lot of the requirements I am seeing go rather far beyond that.
  9. If you haven't seen it already, you really should read the “Geocaching as an online dating service??” thread. It's a long thread, spanning a period of over two years, but I promise you it is well worth reading. If you really get impatient, reach the point where you just can't keep reading the whole, thing, but you must now how it turns out, then the key post is here; but I really recommend you just read the whole thread.
  10. I guess we don't have the difficulty/terrain ratings with waymarks that we have with geocaches. I would argue that a geocache that requires a photo to be posted would have to have a 5-star difficulty, because a digital camera would constitute “special equipment” that not everyone has, and which most people don't normally expect to be required when geocaching. Perhaps some similar principle should apply somehow to Waymarking as well. I've been rather put off by the fact that I cannot in any way log a benchmark that I discovered some time ago, because the appropriate Waymarking category for it requires me to post a photograph; and the digital camera that I have is not of sufficiently good quality to take a clear, recognizable picture of something as small as this benchmark. I keep telling myself that some day, I'm going to go to that benchmark with one of my high-quality, stone-aged film cameras, and take a picture of it. Then, when I get the film from that camera processed, I can scan the picture, and get an acceptable image to post to log that benchmark. But that's an awful lot of trouble to go to just to log a benchmark, and it probably isn't going to happen. I wonder if a willingness to consume alcohol could be considered “special equipment”. As a practicing member of a religion that proscribes alcohol, I wouldn't be able to log such a waymark without violating my religious principles, unless an alternative way was provided for me to do so. But then it does seem to me that there's a line to be drawn, where it is simply understood that not everyone can log every waymark. If I'm unwilling to consume alcohol, then there's really no reason for me to be logging a waymark that is based on doing so.
  11. I think it's very insensitive — and downright offensive — for you to make such light of people who are too easily offended. How dare you?
  12. Either there's something important he's just not getting, or there's something important I'm just not getting. I sent him an email, directing him to this thread. Here's most of his reply to me:
  13. In my area, there is a very experienced cacher (over 1,600 finds) who frequently leaves unsealed jars of scented lip balm in caches that he finds. There are two obvious (to me) reasons why this is inappropriate: The item is scented, and is likely to attract animals that may damage the cache. In this regard, I believe that this item, even though it isn't strictly food, is effectively the same as food, with regard to the guidelines. The containers, as I said, are not sealed. There is no way to verify that the contents are what the container says they are, or that they haven't been tampered with, either before being placed in the cache, or later, by someone else other than the person who originally left it there. It would be very foolish for anyone to assume that this item is untainted and safe to use. What should I do? Should I just ignore this, and hope other cachers have the sense to remove and discard this item, and not use it? Should I email this person directly, and advise him of my opinion on this matter? Should I refer this matter to some representative of Groundspeak and let that representative deal with this person? Any other ideas?
  14. Any batteries will lose charge over time. With alkalines, a set of batteries after several years will still have most of their charge. It seems that in just a few weeks, a set of NiMH cells go mostly dead. The weird thing is that the ones sitting unused in a drawer seem to lose their charge faster than the ones actually in a device being used.
  15. A few months ago, my wife and I bought a set that included a bunch of Energizer brand NiMH cells in AA and AAA sizes, along with a charger for them. I have found that if I charge them all up, put a set in each of our GPSes, store the rest of them in a drawer, that by the time the ones in the GPSes are going weak, the ones in the drawer are even lower. It seems that they lose their charge faster sitting unused in a drawer, than getting occasional use in our GPSes or other devices. What gives? Am I the only one having this experience?
  16. If anyone cares, I have the distinction of having disproven a Ripleyism. I even have a letter to that effect, somewhere, from a representative of the organization. There was a poster in the Ripley museum in Hollywood that had what was claimed to be an unsolvable math puzzle. I guess math wasn't one of Robert Ripley's strengths. The puzzle went something like this: The answer is 34 + 2/7 MPH.
  17. Jeremy, any updates on this? He didn't say what year.
  18. Keep in mind that glucose tablets are usually quite intensely flavored, usually with very fruity flavors; the scent of which will surely cling to the container for a very long time and attract hungry cache-destroying animals.
  19. A few days ago, a friend of mine was telling me about a project in which he was involved. He was trying to measure a change of elevation, over a period of three years, with that change expected to be on the order of a few millimeters. Several measurements were taken over a period of several hours, on each of several days, using a GPS receiver. The process was to be repeated again in three years. I gather this was done using a regular, consumer-grade GPS receiver. I don't know if that receiver was WAAS-enabled or not, but at best, it could only have been accurate to a radius of several feet. I guess the theory was that if a large number of measurements were taken over the course of several days, and averaged, they could come up with a much more accurate measurement than what would be expected of a single measurement. There were also a few various measures taken to avoid some sources of interference. For example, the GPS was placed on an aluminum disk, on the end of a pole raised above the ground, supposedly to avoid reflected multipath signals, and workers were forbidden to park vehicles near the GPS. It does seem believable to me that using such methods, you could get indeed get a more accurate measurement; but it does not seem believable to me that you could this way get a measurement as accurate as this project seems to require. (Remember, they are looking for an elevation change on the order of a few millimeters.) What do you think?
  20. Just an update… I did end up making a cable for the Eagle; and with EasyGPS, it works quite well. In some ways, this unit seems to outperform my eTrex; in other ways, it does not. On the whole, the two units seem to be approximately equal in usefulness. The one most glaring deficiency to me about the Eagle is that there doesn't seem to be any software that will run on a Macintosh that will talk to it, but that's OK, if it's for my wife, since she uses a Windoze system. (There isn't some switch hidden in GPSBabel for it, is there?) In spite of several reports, in this thread and elsewhere, about the Eagle being a terrible battery-eater, this one seems to get very good battery life. At least it seems to get more use out of a set of 4 AA cells than my eTrex gets out of its set of 2 AAs. It seems that the Eagle is often able to get better satellite reception than my eTrex, but that some other times, my eTrex does better there. It appears that my eTrex sometimes is able to keep a lock for a short time with fewer than the necessary three satellites (I'm assuming it does some sort of extrapolation from what it last knew about the most recently lost satellite), while the Eagle loses it immediately when it drops below 3 satellites. In any event, the Eagle is easily worth more than what I paid for it.
  21. Very well said. As it now stands, we get premium membership to Geocaching and Waymarking for the same price we used to pay just for premium membership to Geocaching alone. I don't see any rational way to see this as a bad deal. If he makes Waymarking a separate membership, are we going to have to pay $60/year ($30 for Geocaching and another $30 for Waymarking) for what we now get for $30/year? Is that what NFA wants?
  22. Obviously, we need to define a very large number of attributes, in order to cover every possible kind of stroller, pushchair, wheelchair, or similar device in any kind of condition, so that every cache may be marked in a manner that allows a prospective seeker to easily determine whether or not the particular device he/she is using can get there. Of course, we will also need to make sure that everyone who submits a cache for listing is sufficiently knowledgable about such devices to know which of these many attributes to apply to his own cache.
  23. I'm sure I am not the only one who noticed the reference in the letter that Jeremy received to Catherine Ceips. Am I remembering correctly that she's the one behind that bill in South Carolina that seeks to severely restrict Geocaching?
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