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Everything posted by Lasagna

  1. Watch the newer Garmins as they are not NMEA compliant which means they won't work with most (any?) laptop navigation software that's expecting the NMEA standard. Personally, I use a Garmin Vista Cx with City Select (and no laptop usually). For when I'm running with my laptop, I have a small USB GPSr sensor (you can get one bundled with Microsoft Streets and Trips for under $100). Benefit here is that I can leave the car set to find the routes to caches and use the handheld in "direct route" mode so I can quick grab it without disrupting the laptop upon arrival at a cache location.
  2. Or the corollary: One should be comfortable enough with their own faith (or lack of one) to shut the freak up about it in mixed company. If they're not...etcetera. Like I said, it's not a very effective way to go about it ... it's kinda like that guy on the street corner who's hollering about the world coming to an end or that group that goes around protesting at military funerals ... gotta wonder how many converts they really made. I'm kinda thinking it's in the "less than 1" range. Personally I have more problems with all the golf balls that seem to end up in caches. Now those ought to be outlawed!
  3. Ah ... we're back to the politically correct caching discussion again I see. I agree with the others here that basically said it's a non-issue. It's a poor way to evangelize and a largely ineffective one, but there's really no harm in it unless the literature is of a "fringe" nature personally attacking an individual or a lifestyle (some material is of this nature an inappropriate, but materials that simply say "God loves you" or which pass along a spiritual message are really a non-issue in my book). We all know how hard it is to define "fringe", but we all pretty much know when we see it. No need to debate this point as there is no black and white definition and it does vary quite a bit from person to person. This is why the court system is so run amok with politically correct activists that seem bent on preventing the mention of religion anywhere in public life. Our founding fathers in the U.S., a group of individuals very well grounded in their faith, promised us freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM it. Practice yours as you see fit and let others practice theirs ... I see nothing in the placing of tracts in a cache the preventing anyone from doing so. I don't personally see the benefit nor do I do it myself, but it's certainly not of a concern to me. Bottom line, one should be comfortable enough with their own faith (or lack of one) to let others express theirs as long as such actions don't prohibit your own personal freedoms. If they're not, perhaps it's time for a little soul searching. Feel free to look past the material that doesn't interest you and trade for something which does.
  4. Find yourself a local event and attend it ... the Legend is a very easy to use and master GPSr, great for a beginner. If there's not one soon nearby, the maybe seek out a local cacher who'd be willing to take you along on their next caching run. In the meantime, the three things you most want to learn on your GPSr: 1. Mark - Learn how to set a waypoint (enter the Lat/Long from the GC page for the cache you want to search for. 2. Find - Learn how to tell the GPSr to look for the waypoint you just set. 3. Compass / Direction Arrow - Learn how to bring up the page that looks like a compass (usually comes up automatically after selecting a waypoint to find). This is the page you will use to seek out the cache. There's a whole bunch of other features including the ability to download cache waypoints automatically from the computer, etc. but start with the simple three above until you get the hang of things. Hint: Using the button on the side (think it's the right on the Legend) you can cycle through the various menus to find the one you need. The little joystick moves up and down and side to side on the page you're viewing and depressing the joystick selects the option you have highlighted.
  5. Use the newest PQ feature ... "COPY" I have one "template" PQ that I keep that has all the typical checkboxes set and my home coordinates in it. When I want to make a new query near my home, I just pull up the PQ summary page, click COPY on the template query, and then modify the contents as appropriate.
  6. Seeing as you accidentally ran over it with your car ... your auto insurance wouldn't happen to cover it under their property damage liability would they? For $160, it's probably not worth the increase in premium, but you never know. Also, check with your friend first. They may be happy to have you give them cash toward the purchase of a new Legend Cx -- if they were thinking of upgrading soon -- instead of the older model.
  7. Mapsource is indeed one of those "additional" pieces of software which you need in order to upload waypoints. Garmin just happens to include it with your GPSr. It's not an overly functional piece of software, but for transferring waypoints, it'll do just fine.
  8. This is a pocket query feature available to premium members (search for hides placed within last 7 days or for hides with "no finds" -- no new, but good for finding FTF opportunities). Premium members can also sign up to the notification service -- where you can set it up to be sent an email whenever a new cache is published in your area. One of the many reasons $3/month is well worth the investment to become a premium member.
  9. Hmmm... without even checking the link, I'm thinking you're talking about "Outdoor Plumbling". (A highly recommended cache for anyone in the area). Anyhow, I think a case could be made to list it either way. While the initial coordinates are truly the first stage and thus more in line with a multi, the rest of the stages of the cache certainly require more than the traditional "find the cache coordinates" search effort typical of a multi. If I were going to list it, I would have probably chosen "multi" only because no advance work is required to determine the coordinates for the cache before you head into the field. When running in the field without the writeups, I will sometimes stop to do a "multi" if I have the time, but will usually bypass a "puzzle" since to me that usually means "advance prep" needing to have been done. So listing as a multi may get you more visitors.
  10. I don't think this is an issue here, because the other cache has no container at the posted coordinates. I think the reasoning was to prevent the cacher who is just running with a GPSr loaded with waypoints and no writeup from accidentally finding this container and thinking it was the container for the puzzle cache when they later logged it online. I know there have been one or two caches in my area where we've arrived on an extended caching run and without checking the writeups start looking for a cache and then after not finding it finally check the PDA and see that it's a mystery cache. Oops.
  11. It seems highly unlikely that the availability of free maps would drive the makers of GPS receivers out of business. Afterall, free maps would greatly increase the demand for GPS receivers so people could make use of them. The pricing structure might change a bit, but surely the manufacturers would respond to that surge of demand. And it's not clear how much profit those companies clear from map sales since they have to pay license fees to NavTeq for the maps they sell. The main reason why good maps aren't free is that they're expensive and time-consuming to produce. A routable map database needs to include lots of data on turn restrictions, one-ways, island barriers, average speeds, time-of-day restrictions, vehicle restrictions, etc. Many of these can change rapidly due to decisions by local city councils and city/county/state transportation departments so there needs to be constant maintenance to keep the database reasonably current as well as adding to it as new roads & streets are built. The companies (NavTeq and TeleAtlas are two prominent ones) that specialize in producing these maps have substantial expenses so it's understandable that they want to collect a decent return from the GPS companies that resell their data. It's called a recurring source of revenue ... you buy a GPSr once every few years "maybe". Maps, by their nature need to be updated more often. So, if they get you to buy the maps every year when they issue an update, they've kept their revenue stream alive unitl you finally get around to buying a new GPSr. Someone used the inkjet model for printers and cartridges as an example ... same thing only insanely more profitable for the printer folks.
  12. I agree ... I enjoy difficult puzzles. Sometimes it just a matter of figuring out where to start. Not everyone gets it. That's why if I've beat my head against the wall for a day or so on the puzzle, I'll swallow my pride and ask for a gentle nudge in the right direction. Here's a couple I liked in my area ... GCVR0Q - A squirrel's Story GCQYPG - Cipher in a Cipher in ...? GCKC11 - Llama Corner: Revisited And then, since I'm a fan of logic puzzles, I have one which I think is pretty easy ... GCR5RA - Lenker Park Lunchtime Logic It's all a matter of perspective. Some people think these are difficult (Squirrel took me a couple hours before I figure it out while Cipher in a Cipher took a couple days) while others will stumble onto the answer rather quickly.
  13. If you're the one that posted the "needs maintenance" log ... I think you can go back and edit that log and change it to a "note" instead and then the maintenance attribute will go away. We were taking care of some caches for someone while he was in the hospital when someone posted just such a log. When I asked them to change it to a "note" instead, the "needs maintenance" flag we reset.
  14. By publishers do you mean reviewer or hider? If you mean the hider, then I would think they would have solved their own puzzle before posting the cache. If you mean reviewer, that's not their responsibility. If you try asking nicely for a hint from the hider, they will often give you a clue -- after all they want you to find their cache eventually. Now, I understand if it's a FTF opportunity, etc. and they won't give out a clue -- but after the cache has been found, most will usually help out. If not, contacting a previous finder will also sometimes yield a clue. Remember, that if there was a previous finder ... someone obviously was able to solve the puzzle!
  15. Those maps don't have "street routing". You need City Select or Navigator. You'll likely also notice that when getting "close" to your destination in "follow roads" mode presently, it tells you to take a left turn through someone's front yard or across a farmer's field (a side effect of not having the routable maps loaded).
  16. Actually her mom named her Lynn. But think all would agree she definitely does add a whole new dimension to "cache crazy".
  17. Folks, the accuracy of the satellites is 3 meters (or about 9ft). Because of the mathematical nature of the calculations using multiple overlapping circles, this can be effectively trimmed to somewhere between 6-7ft (closer to 7) if you're getting the full 11 or so satellites with WAAS that your GPSr can see at any given time. So, anything which is telling you "better" than that is flat out wrong.
  18. Check the radio buttons carefully ... I frequently forget to highlight the right item and my query ends up using the wrong criteria (for example, if search by coordinates, make sure you hit the radio button for coordinates instead of taking the default setting which I think it by state or something like that).
  19. Everyone knows who the "top" cacher is ... that's none other than CCCooperAgency (a quite interesting individual if you ever get the chance to go caching with her) with well over 14000 finds. I don't know about sites for the other categories, but you can get cache find rankings at: http://www.cacherstats.com
  20. Visit a local camping supply store and get yourself a power inverter -- Coleman has a nice one out that costs about $30 (Coleman Powermate PMP400). Plug it into your cigarette lighter and it will give you 400watts of 120vAC power (two regular AC power outlets). 400watts is more than enough power to run a laptop and a charger or two and having standard AC power is easier than fishing around with a bunch of cigarette lighter adapters. It's also handy for long trips with the family as you can power a portable DVD player.
  21. While I agree with most of that, I tend to disagree that "special equipment" doesn't automatically necessitate a 5 star terrain. A specific example I'm thinking of are needing a flashlight for a night cache. I wouldn't think that would immediately rate a 5 terrain. I agree with ThePropers ... I think if it's specialized equipment that's not readily available or typically available to the average cacher, then you flag it. Otherwise, you just need to note it in the write up.
  22. If it's anything like the difference between the Vista and Vista C, the difference is dramatic. My Vista C is for some reason much better at getting and keeping a lock than the older Vista. It is still a patch antenna however, so obviously you still suffer from quicker lose of signal than with the MAP series which use the quad-helix antenna.
  23. I'll chime in from the opposite camp ... I find the compass a handy asset in the field. It is frustrating when you're in the field trying to find something and you accidentally change your orientation but fail to move sufficiently (or the satellite lock changes without you moving) and your pointer is now no longer pointing toward where it thinks GZ is located. With the compass, I simply set the unit down and walk away to begin searching. Since the compass doesn't depend on movement to sense direction, it will automatically orient itself to point in the right direction. I do have the compass set to automatically turn off when I start moving since the satellite tracking is more reliable when moving and not affected by local magnetic fields, etc. As for the altimeter, I find the info interesting (to see how much of an elevation change we may have made while going for a cache), but beyond just being "interesting info", those stats are not overly useful in finding the cache. Also, there's one other benefit of the compass ... and that is as a safety net if/when you lose satellite lock (such as in a cave or a ripple tube). Always nice to know which way is north when navigating where you can't for some reason get in touch with the satellites.
  24. When this happens, I send the "finder" a note asking them to explain the descrepancy. If they can't or don't, then I delete the log. Most often it's a case of forgetting to bring a pen ... in which case if they can describe for me exactly where the cache was hidden, I'll let the log stand.
  25. Be aware the new maps don't show "all" the caches, only a random sampling of the the top 20 if the event there are more than that (not closest, random -- unless they changed this). This means there could be a lot more caches -- and ones even closer -- than what the new map shows. Google Earth is the only sure way to tell for now.
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