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mr panda

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Everything posted by mr panda

  1. Saxon - don't give up yet. It took me quite a while to get my eye in for geocaches. I continue to suffer quite a few DNFs from my own inability. I try to always make the assumption that I'm failing somehow, and not assume the cache is gone. I then log a DNF. This is helpful to a cache owner, and helpful to other cachers. If I see a DNF (or two or three) on a cache of mine, I'll go check up on it and see if it is still there. That allows me to do the needed maintenance. If no one tells me, I can't know it is missing. Similarly, when I plan to go out caching, the first thing I do is check the recent logs. if there are two or three DNFs logged last I will assume that I'll be looking for a while, and will likely not find anything. I consider that if I have a non-cacher with me who will be waiting around for me getting bored and annoyed. There is an option in the lists of caches to highlight "beginner" caches. I've not used it, but that might be a good place to start. Also, checking out favourite points, a find with lots of favorites is more likely to be well maintained. Regular, and Large caches in a non-urban environment are usually easier to find. But not always. Dificulty ratings can be deceptive as the 'rules' about setting them are subjective. I did a difficulty 4 cache this morning that was very easy (for me), but others had trouble finding it. I've logged plenty of DNFs on caches after searching for ages only to have the next day some one log - 'quick find, thanks!'. Personally I enjoy getting out and exploring and if I get a smiley too that is a bonus. With small kids however, I see your disappointment. When I'm at the cache site and stuck, I'll read the logs more carefully, check the clue again (often it makes no sense until you are standing there), check the photo gallery to see if there is a helpful photo, and if all else fails I pull out my phone and call another cacher who I know has found the cache. We call this Phone a Friend (PAF) and while kind of cheating, is useful. Despite what might have felt like negative comments here, we are a very friendly and helpful community in my experience. If there is an event listed in your area I'd recommend going. It is a great way to get to know other cachers face to face. Happy hunting, and I hope it gets easier!
  2. Thanks tom! That is a fantastic story!
  3. This will be an interesting topic to watch. Minor point, Sentinel View is the oldest *active* cache in SA. The oldest cache is GCZA01 http://coord.info/GC163 FTF (and only to find) was Jors. As a relative newcomer to the game, I will let others better suited fill you in on some of the details. There are lots of resources online, animations of caches appearing over time - check out the 10 year event's logs for some stories. http://coord.info/GC2JKAX - also the statistics thread is a good place to look.
  4. Speaking of TB stats, I've been tracking those that have visited my hotel - GC2CG7X - Hiddingh Security TB Hotel http://coord.info/GC2CG7X To do this, I've had to manually keep a spreadsheet of visitors, when they logged in and out. I've noticed a few double visits, but as these don't get double listed in the 'all past trackables' list, i'm not sure how to find these. Anyway, I thought readers of this thread might enjoy these graphs. Also, any suggestions as to how to do this easier, or other things you like to see for the stats of a given hotel. Feedback very welcome. as of 31 Jan 2012: 323 Visits for 317 unique trackables. (not including geokrets, I haven't been tracking these) http://i763.photobucket.com/albums/xx271/er3733/20120131_pie.gif http://i763.photobucket.com/albums/xx271/er3733/20120131_bar.gif
  5. Checked. http://www.geochecker.com/ seems to be working, but http://www.geocheck.org/ isn't on the web right now. My 3 caches that use geocheck no longer have it. My guess this is a problem with geocheck, not Groundspeak.
  6. UPDATE: I found the 3.5/5 it was MIA as it is currently Unavailable D®ive the Bus by Team Ginger (3.5/5) GC16A1F NW
  7. There is a great GSAK macro called Fizzy Browser that is useful for this. According to my DB Scarcest D/T combinations in South Africa: 1/5: 1 Keith Bush Camp by inyoni (1/5) GC2M7J1 KZN 3.5/5: 1 I don't have one - new? This is my only empty spot of possible SA Fizzy Chart options 5/4: 1 Elementary, my dear Watson by besem (5/4) GC33749 EC 5/4.5: 1 Table Top (Cederberg) by rootboy (5/4.5) GCZK12 WC 4.5/1: 2 Square Eyes? by brianhfox (4.5/1) GC34M9X WC Welgedacht by louwtjievdw (4.5/1) GC36R4P FS 4.5/4: 2 Blank page by Zambesiboy (4.5/4) GC396CV WC Lügner, Lügner, Hose in Brand Extremen Cache! by Gps Storm (4.5/4) GC17RCZ MP ALSO: 4.5/3.5: 2 Surprise Surprise by Kwenda Tafuta (4.5/3.5) GC31T77 KZN Rescue Kit by 4x4Maniacs (4.5/3.5) GC1D6MK GP
  8. mr panda


    I just hit two interesting milestones: 1000 finds of my caches (by 453 cachers). and 300 trackables visiting my TB hotel (300 visits for 294 unique trackables). w00t.
  9. Don’t bite the hand that ... is reaching into hidey holes looking for the cache (please!)
  10. I learned something this week I thought I'd share. Perhaps everyone already knows, but that is the joy of forums. I was trying to get into the forest around Paradise to do hidey hole, and there were a fair number of gates, but all of them were locked. I know, I can walk in from the Newlands Reservoir, or pay to get into Kirstenbosch, but sometimes I'm lazy and most of the time I'm poor. So, while trying to find an unlocked gate, I encountered a hiker coming out of the gate on upper paradise road, he taught me how to get a key. You can get a key from the paradise mountain offices, that you can then go copy and return (free!). They are not only for residents, he said. The woman who loaned me the key said they were meant for residents, but since I went in there 'all the time' it was no problem. The offices are located on the road to Rhodes Mem, but turn left where the road turns right. The key gives unlocks at least 3 gates in the paradise 'hood. (see image). Awesome news. I'm returning the key in the morning, so don't run out there to get it right away . Does anyone else know of ways to get access to any other locked parts of the mountain?
  11. We are blessed with a beautiful mountain, with fantastic caches. It is hard to go wrong! As pooks says, it all depends on what takes your fancy. I'm less keen on risking life and limb, but 'not for the faint hearted' is one of my all time favs. There are other much more hetic climbs out there if you are in for a scramble. In other news, has everyone seen this yet? http://www.geocaching.com/map/beta/default.aspx?lat=43.269433&lng=-116.3887 you will need to zoom out a bit... very interesting take on a power trail....
  12. My three were all published after the new guidelines (i think), so it is hard to compare. The tricky thing is trying to establish proof of visit without a photo. Finding questions that could only be answered by visiting, that are relevant to the geological lesson, and are not given away by the write up, is almost impossible. I didn't count days from submission to publish, but my experience is they are as quick or quicker than our tireless reviewers for 'regular' caches. I do have an unfair advantage in my professional background, but 2 of three went through first time with no changes (apparently this is quite rare). The other just had minor edits (make sure you say the picture is 'optional'!). Why it is time consuming for me is: 1) finding a geological lesson to be learned that is concise enough to write up in a few paragraphs (or quite a few, I'm verbose) 2) finding a spot that shows the evidence of this process clearly, that has parking, permission, access etc.. (sometimes 2 comes before 1, but usually it has been this way for me) 3) actually taking the time to explain the the process simply and clearly, with illustrations (these I've usually made myself specifically for the cache), as well as some research on the location and processes. 4) proofreading above to make sure it makes sense 5) figuring out questions, what is too much to expect? what is too easy? what establishes proof of a visit? 6) putting together the listing so it looks pretty. 7) proofreading again 8) try to answer the questions with only the information in the listing and the info at the spot 9) adjusting the questions/tone 10) proofreading again 11) goto 6 repeat: etc... Fortunately ms panda is a professional proofreader For me, geology is extremely rewarding as the evidence can be seen everywhere by anyone. This is why ECs are so cool. studying geology was like learning how to read, it opened a whole new layer of meaning in the world around me. The best lessons were always location based, and I try to do some of the same in ECs. Getting it right isn't easy, and I find it much harder than working up a regular hide. The emailed answers are the payoff though. It is always rewarding hearing about how our world begins to open up to other people.
  13. Well done! They are very difficult to put together, I'm very impressed. My 3 took a lot of effort. I can't imagine doing 30, let alone 50!
  14. As per my GSAK, the two 1) http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=cb274a48-1c3b-498b-816a-420dd1553d24 Dingbat's Erosion in Layers 2) http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=cb274a48-1c3b-498b-816a-420dd1553d24 Fish Eagle's Lots of Shale, and a bit of Lava - property sold, lost permission.
  15. Awesome news! I've got 154 ECs in SA in my gsak, with only two archived, for 152 active ECs. Some interesting info (ala Danie Viljoen) ECs by Prov Eastern Cape 20 Free State 4 Gauteng 27 Kwazulu Natal 16 Limpopo 15 Mpumalanga 28 North West 5 Northern Cape 8 Western Cape 29 By year placed 2005 3 2007 2 2008 36 2009 50 2010 48 2011 13 Top 10 EC COs (anyone with more than 1 hide) Rank Cache Owner Number EC placed 1 Carbon Hunter 27 2 iPajero 25 3 Bouts777 11 4 Sterreman 8 4 RedGlobe 8 5 hennieventer 7 6 GPS Storm 6 7 HeinG 5 8 cincol & Carbon Hunter 4 9 W@lly 3 9 tomtwogates 3 9 Rhino and Hedgehog 3 9 mr panda 3 9 Me & Bucky 3 9 iNokia 3 9 gerhardoosMPsa 3 10 Urban Campers 2 10 road_runner & susi 2 10 Hesamati 2 10 Fish Eagle 2 10 DRDM & Raider 2 10 Cism 2
  16. A better answer to MnCo - I've worked some numbers and talked to previous hikers of the trail. I'm told to expect a brisk walk being about 8 hours, I wrote the listing to depart around 0700, so we should be back by 1500, but could be as late as 1700. It all really depends of the abilities of our group.
  17. TL/DR:You will be welcome to pitch up whenever! The event and venue really will be the cottage (as events can't just be for hunting caches). Those not hiking, or just coming for the after party, can pitch up at the cottage any time all day as Ms Panda will be hanging out there. It is a lovely spot to relax, read a book, explore, hunt nearby caches, etc... As to when exactly the hike ends ... well that somewhat depends on the speed we go! I spoke to C&C and they are happy with another event on the same weekend, so I'm writing up the listing for the 3rd. I'm open to any comments/concerns regarding this! As to the artefacts, they will eventually be housed at the SA Museum, but are currently being analyzed. I doubt that they will be displayed anytime soon. Sorry for hijacking the forum - feel free to discus other things again
  18. Poop, this is what I get for being out of the loop. I had no idea. I'd be happy to put it off another week for Dec 10, but I wouldn't mind going to two events in a weekend either. What does the community think?
  19. Hello everybody! I'm back from the bush (if you are curious, this is what I was up to: http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/dig-it-cederberg-s-stones-will-rock-you-1.1174618 ) As I've mentioned before, I am looking to plan a get together for a joint expedition along the swartberg ridge, along with a bring and Braii at ms panda's cottage for the non-hikers and post hike relax (near castle rock cache). I was thinking end of Nov, but time got away from me. So given the 2 week requirement, I'm thinking Saturday Dec 3. How does that look for everyone? We are pretty flexible. This is also my first event cache, so any advice would be welcome!
  20. @Skyjuggler - A mystery huh? This gives me an idea for an earth cache...
  21. Sounds about right. Rock isn't a great term, since pebbles, stones and boulders are all made of rock. Geologists use the term cobble. This might help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_size_(grain_size) Edit - tried to fix URL, but it is still failing - easy enough to click through. also, silly me, the term 'rock' makes about as much sense as 'stone'. From the link: (the weird numbers result from the original determinations being in inches) > 256 mm = Boulder 64–256 mm = Cobble 4–64 mm = Pebble < 4 mm = Granule, Sand, Silt, Clay etc
  22. I agree with the above. Microsoft and html don't mix that well. I use a free program called notebook++ it is a text editor designed for coding, and helps you see if you've formatted everything correctly. From your description it sounds like you left off a > and it is putting those 50 words inside a tag, which it doesn't understand that the when it hits a full tag again starts going, which is why the code is weird from then on.
  23. Rainbow asked, and I'm sure he isn't the only one interested. The FB listing of the video can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/geocachingdotcom
  24. @iNokia - I would have loved to have joined you. The weather looks great! But I have other plans for tomorrow. Hope you get a great local guide, there are quite a few! Have fun!
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