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Everything posted by Bluespreacher

  1. Hi Melissa, great question. By the simple act of asking, I can surmise that you plan on taking pride in your hides, and as such, you wish to hide caches that are above the norm. Kudos! For a somewhat comprehensive list of things that cam affect the quality of a cache, allow me to refer you to the text from one of my recently archived caches: (from Websters) Lame: [leym] adjective 1. pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness 3. weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; Because geocachers hail from such diversity, it is really difficult to quantify "Lameness" as related to caches. There really isn't any one characteristic that can guarantee that a cache is lame, (other than hiding a film canister in a lamp post at Wally World, which is ALWAYS Lame), however a cache's Lameness Quotient can still be measured, given sufficient consideration, as follows: Location The motto for Groundspeak is "The Language of Location". This, more than anything, should be your first clue in determining if your cache is a stinker. Ask yourself, "Why am I bringing people to this spot?" If the only answer you can come up with is yet another mindless smiley, perhaps it's time to rethink ground zero. A waterfall is good. 500 acres of sweltering, exhaust laden blacktop filled with soccer moms in SUV's is bad. Container Selection The purpose of a cache is to protect its contents. Whether those contents are a slip of paper covered with the initials of a bunch of geo-nerds, or the contents are high dollar, really kewl swag, is really immaterial. If the container won't protect what's inside, it is lame. Quality containers include ammo cans, Lock & Locks, waterproof match containers and bison tubes. Inadequate containers include Gladware, black & gray film canisters, hide-a-keys, Altoid tins and duct tape covered baggies. These may work great indoors, but they simply will not repel moisture once subjected to the whims of Mother Nature. Hide Style If a hide style gets copied too often, it automatically becomes lame. Hide-a-keys on guard rails and film canisters under lamp posts require absolutely no imagination to hide or to find, and therefor earn pretty high LQ points. Any hide style that encourages vandalism or otherwise violate Groundspeak's guidelines, (graffiti coords/affixing electrical boxes to structures/buried caches/etc), are bad for the game, and should be avoided like the plague. Some of the best hides utilize subtle misdirection, getting folks to look everywhere but where their GPSr's tell them to look. I consider that a good thing, as it forces me to fire up the ol' grey matter. Write Up Your cache page write up is the medium used to present your cache to the community. You should be proud of your cache, and let your cache page reflect that fact. If there are more words tattooed on Rosie O'Donnell's backside than in your write up, folks might get the impression that you don't care about your hide. A bit of history about your site, or some humorous anecdotes about yourself, seem to go over well with the caching community. On a similar note, spellcheck is your friend. Hints Your hint should actually help your fellow cacher find your cache. You can be blunt or creative, so long as the message is relevant. A sure fire way to create angst amongst your fellow cachers is to get them to struggle through 10 minutes of ROT-13, just to discern a hint like, "This one is too easy for a hint". Results If you see a high percentage of single sentence find logs on your cache page, that is a fairly reasonable indicator that your cache may be suffering from a lack of ingenuity. This trend becomes more pronounced if you see a lot of "TNLNSL" entries. At that point, your cache has reached a lameness critical mass, and should probably be put out of its misery. Patience Patience is a virtue, especially in geocaching. If you become immediately hooked on this game, (like we did), you may find yourself wanting to run right out and hide a cache, as a means of giving back to the community. My advice? Allow yourself the time to gather sufficient experience before creating your first hide. By far the greatest number of lame hides come from folks with more enthusiasm than experience. Hiding a cache is an art form, and even Da'Vinci needed lessons. When I teach newbies about caching, I always suggest that they find 100 caches before they consider their first hide. This number is entirely arbitrary, yet it accomplishes two things. First, it gives the new cacher a goal to reach, and second, it typically gives them a broad spectrum of cache styles to experience, broadening their horizons. I agree with all of this. So many of the caches near me (46219) are just not anything I care to visit. It is common to see micros hidden in areas full of trash. Much more than you could ever carry out. One rail-to-trails area has caches hidden near homeless camps amid trash. Please pay attention to the location before you hide a cache! Why are you sending a fellow cacher to this area? What's special about it? Who would want to search through trash behind a Best Buy? Bluespreacher
  2. I've been robbed several times, not as bad as you, tho. I i did forget my car in the driveway one night. I guess there is someone that goes thru the neighborhood 'shopping' the cars. They took several things, but the worst was my GPSr! It kept me from cacheing for a few years. I hope your insurance kicks in! Blueapreacher
  3. I know. went to a cache the other day/ Hint said "Broken Log". When I got there, the GZ was loaded w/ old and broken logs! No help at all. BTW, Really like your Citz. W. reference.
  4. A quick Google search showed that you can get ther real thing from Target and the manufracturer. Shipping free. Pluespreacher
  5. You might try theis: http://www.geocacher-u.com/resources/paperless.html It works for me. It's very detailed and I just follow the steps on my Palm OS PDA. There may be easier ways, too. Bluespreacher
  6. I've read the whole thread so far, so here's .02. Swag is part of the game. More so for some than for others. Example: I took a 9 year old boy with me last Fall. We found 3 caches. There was nothing that you could call 'good swag'. I ran into him this last weekend and he wanted to talk about Geocaching. He was still excited by a (I thought) crappy thing he had gotten from one of the caches we had found. At the time I had been embarassed that ther was nothing better in the cache and I also felt the need to "upswag" (I love that word, and recommend it to the lexicon). Oh, the point? Sure, clean the junk out, upswag when you can, but you don't have to spend a bunch to keep some useful stuff in the cache. Leave a couple of AA's, a brand new pack of 'tissue' (in a zip-lock), what's wrong with a $1 pack of new cards? These are all useful and cheap. The downswagging of caches has always be with us, all we can do as owners and cachers it to upswag and keep having fun. Bluespreacher
  7. You could always leave a picture of Chairman Mao. Seriously, sometimes you just have to go out and clean up the cache and add cool stuff. Blues
  8. The thing is, this is under the heading "Social Climber". It's a small tounge-in-cheek advice column that runs each month. It's intended to be humorous for those who have to ask 'what's cool'. It covers such important subjects as, 'Do I have to say Hi to everyone I meet on the trail?'. And 'When is it proper to wear gaiters?' Let's not give it more weight than it desrves. I don't think it should be construed as the Official Backpacker Word on Geocaching. Think about it, there is a bunch of overlap with these two activities. Some Cachers have even been known to put on a pack and stay out over night. Keep on Caching, Bluespreacher
  9. These sound like good fun. Any not too much further away that you recommend as "don't miss" attractions? I will have the head of the department with me, and I am campaigning for GPSr units for the classroom---so I want to make sure that he has a really great first caching experience! You might try 'His Favorite Niece'. It's a virt not far from downtown. There is an excellent view of the city. Bluespreacher
  10. There are some nice ones at Deam, South of Bloomington on 446. If you like to hike, you'll have a good time. Bluespreacher
  11. Some more info would be helpful. What GPSr are you using? How is it connected (USB or com port)? What software are you attempting to get to recognize the unit? I use XP and have very little trouble. Bluespreacher
  12. Hi, Your Legend should have came with a cable. Mine uses a com port, but some may be USB, I don't know. You'll also need some software. I use Garmin Maps. I also use Delorme's TOPO USA. Both will upload waypoints from and to your GPSr. EZ GPS is a fine piece of software available from the Geocaching.com site. It's really handy to use with Pocket Queries (available to Premium Members). There's more stuff available, I'm sure that others will offer more answers to your question. Have fun, Bluespreacher
  13. I was going to suggest convenience, and liquor stores. But your list has me beat! Bluespreacher
  14. I'm not sure what you mean by 'becoming colloquial' but Webster's Collegiate (which is supposed to reflect current usage) defines bushwhacking as 'clearing a path through thick woods especially by chopping down bushes and low branches.' I myself have used "bushwacking" to mean struggling off path to get to a destination. I've done it all my life. But come to find out (in these forums) that's just the wrong word! Go figure. What word would describe that activity? Lost? Anyway, it is important to use words correctly. Otherwise, we give the wrong impression. Bluespreacher
  15. I lived in Muncie for three years before most here were born. I try to stay as far away as I can! Been cachin' in Central and Southern Indiana for a while. Not able to do as much as I did (employment can really interfere!). Still having lots of fun when I can. I took some un-interested persons with me this last Sunday. We still had a lot of fun. Especially the 9 year old boy with us! He had a blast. Bluespreacher
  16. I use a Clie with Plucker, GPS Spinner, and Pocket Queries. Check here for detailed instructions: http://www.geocacher-u.com/resources/paperless.html Bluespreacher
  17. Now that is something up my alley. Do you have any more details? Thanks! The KT starts at Deam Lake Recreation are just North of Louisville in Indiana. It is very rugged for most of it's 45 -52 miles. There are several caches along the way. Water is an issue except in wet weather. Don't count on finding much. Many hikers cache water at road crossings. If you have time, a good TOPO is availble from Indiana DNR,Hoosier Trails Publications, 616 State Office Building, Indpls in 46204. Bluespreacher
  18. I'm done. I'll get out there as soon as possble to check on the cache. I'm sure that Tennesee Geocacher is someone I 'know' through Geocaching. Every one I've 'met' through Geocaching has been a great person, if I've offended a fellow cacher, I'm sorry. If he or any one that had actually had a problem with the cache emailed me with their concerns it would have been different. But the facts (as I know them) are that there have been a couple of DNF's on the cache. I emailed one seeker with more info to try to help. I *have* logged notes when I did cache maintainance. The rest has been said, Keep on Caching, Bluespreacher
  19. Of course, it's possible that some one knows something about my cache that I don't. Just clue me in! I've had caches that were scattered or damaged before and I got right out there to fix the problem. I will be out to this one as soon as possible to check on it, but I have no reason to think that there is any problem with it. I just think that I should have been included before my cache was archived, that's all. I've been asked to 'tone it down', and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but I'm not sure what that means. Bluespreacher
  20. At the bottom of the note it reads: Thanks for your understanding, Tennessee Geocacher Geocaching.com Admin [E-mail address for Tennessee Geocacher removed by Moderator] So was the email you got just letting you know someone posted a note about your cache? Looking back at the email I get from my caches or one's I'm watching all the emails come from noreply@geocaching.com All I know is I get a message from someone I don't know, his profile shows -0- finds and he's archived my cache. I'm not happy. This is the first I've heard of any problem, and my cache is archived. I'm just looking for a logical explanation. Bluespreacher
  21. Heh, I think that is the problem... It HAS been unachieved. It looks like it has been not found twice in 8 months. Personally, if it were me, I'd have gone and done a maintenance check on it sometime during that period. The message is considerate enough and requires you to go on out there to verify it is still there and the approver will unarchive it. I'm thinking the stretch of time is what caused the approver to question it. Did you not receive an email from the approver prior to the archival? Might have been an oversite on there part if you didn't. Still, it's not something that can't be corrected. -Ken Been meaning to get to it, but really, no one has said it was scattered. It is a tough cache, there are many like it in the area. I was not glad that some had trouble with it. I emailed some with more info. My thing is, 'Why was I not included in this process? Bluespreacher
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