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Everything posted by flydad

  1. In the Chicago area -- in the daylight, thank heaven ! -- I ran across a very interesting cache in a fallen and rotted tree. There was a hole in the end and another hole just above the interesting part of the cache. As I look in the end, what do I find but a very ugly looking yellowish dog/coyote head with a perfect pair of eyes glaring at me ! ! ! ! Estimated animal weight in the 15 to 25 lb range. (FYI, there are an estimated 2,000 coyotes living in the Chicagoland area, and I have run across them trotting around in some of the caching areas out there.) After jumping back and taking a moment to collect myself, it occurs to me that there was no noise, scuffling sounds, or visible movement in the quick moment we were "eye to eye." I look again in the end of the log, but with my face about 3 feet further back than it was the first time. Hmmmm . . . still no movement, still ugly, but now looking as if it were staring into space beyond my right shoulder. By golly, it looks hairless ! Going to the hole just above "the interesting part of the cache," I see a non-moving perfectly formed canine head with a strap attached where the atlas vertebrae normally is located ! In using my walking stick to pull the head out . . . no way am I going to reach my hand in there ! ! ! ! ! ! . . . I discover the darned thing weighs about 5-7 lbs, much more than would a skull of the same size, and pulling it out, the strap pulls out a nice-sized cache box hidden further into the log. As near as I can guess, this might be a creamy yellow taxidermy head "manikin" with fake -- but very real looking -- eyes set perfectly in binocular vision. No hair or skin that would make a tasty dinner for our wild friends. This in one very memorable, very attention getting cache. I'm really glad I found it at 10:30 in the morning and not at dusk or dark ! . . . . and not wanting to ruin the fun ( ! ! ! ) for anyone, I will not give the waypoint or name Anyone else found this one ? ? ? Now for another surprise ! . . . I was caching at the end of a short road going to the eastern edge of a large reservoir southeast of Leesburg, VA. As I park at the cul de sac, my GPS shows GZ about 50 feet over my right shoulder. From inside the car I think I can see the hidey-hole in a dark fallen tree. I leave the GPS in the car, walk around the back, pass some bushes, and focus on the hidey-hole . . . . that is, my brain is seeing the hidey-hole about 6 inches across. My eyes are receiving the whole scene, but my brain is processing only the hidey-hole near the ground. As my eyes get to about 8 feet from the hidey-hole, I wonder . . . what is that white thing near the middle of the hole ? ? ? I looks like bone . . . My brain starts to process the top edge of the hidey hole . . . by golly, that looks like hair . . . in fact, there's hair all around the hidey hole ! ! ! Brain begins to process the rest of the scene . . . . Yikes ! I'm standing at the left foot of a poached black bear lying on its back and weighing about 125 lbs ! ! ! The white thing is the lower part of the sternum where the gall bladder was taken. Three of the paws are missing . . . (I did report it to the State Game Commission, and when I took a grandson back out about a month later, the remains had been pulled about 100' back into the woods. I never did find the cache . . . )
  2. Fair comment - but if this had been a General Motors forum and you'd asked how many cars there were in the World I wouldn't have assumed you only meant GM cars either..... You feel I would assume GM people would have obtained proprietary lifetime competitive production figures of all the other car manufacturers worldwide ? Being proprietary, I doubt that specific production and sales figures would be divulged. Why GM ? Not MG or Lotus ?
  3. Yes, you are correct. My original post doesn't talk about this site in isolation. However, because the post was only posted at this site in isolation, it was assumed that the reader would understand that the discussion was regarding only this site. Have you created numbers for the total number of caches from all caching sources, active and inactive, published and non-published, nutritive or otherwise, worldwide or universal ? Speaking universally, you might check the numbers in the following post: "I noticed 500,000 passed about 2 months ago. The pace is picking up.... Wiki shows the total number of square miles of land on this planet is 92,153,600. It would take 9.2 billion caches to saturate the land mass of this planet. Get busy people.....!" It would appear that this engineering number is way too low. It doesn't consider extraterrestrial or benthic caches.
  4. It's the number of active caches, not published caches. I don't think you can get at the total published number (including archived). Though perhaps you don't care - active caches is the number you can hunt NOW. Good point ! Simultaneously active and published. BTW, I find that a FTF opportunity puts a little extra bounce in my search step. In addition, it's always a bit more interesting to get a FTF in a different state -- MD, WV, and LA -- and it's much more interesting to bag a FTF in another country -- Iceland and Saudi Arabia. Saudi is particularly interesting because of the relative scarcity of caches there -- a little over 150 for the whole country, which is the size of the US east of the Mississippi -- and the relative difficulty of access to the country itself -- there is no tourist or visitor's visa. I particularly remember GCZ2DM "Edge of Edge of the World" with its 120+m drop just a couple of feet behind your back as you sign the cache log.
  5. Since I had a few FTF's, one day I just thought I'd check the percentage. It's stayed fairly constant at about 15 percent over the last year or so. Just a curious statistic . . .
  6. No, not at all. (The ~600,000 I mentioned is for geocaching.com published count. It's a single count source that currently stands at 600,593 . . . that's up from 599,970 about 5 hours ago. If I had included other listing sites, the number mentioned would not be the GC number. If you want to widen your count to include other hides, be my guest. I prefer to look at a single, already-compiled number.)
  7. When I started caching, there were only about 120,000 caches worldwide. There are now just at 600,000 caches worldwide. What date will show 1,000,000 million caches worldwide ? Shouldn't that date question stimulate some sort of little contest ? ? ? . . . and what form should that contest take ? ? ? . . . anyone into the pool ? ? ? My guess on the date is now 14 October 2010, although I reserve the right to alter that within the next week. -- Flydad
  8. Have enjoyed caching in Hong Kong, Macau, Ireland, Iceland, and Norway. In Macau, with no common language, the cabbie and I managed to snag two. In Norway, I was hosted by the FTF'er of one of the caches I planted in Iceland. For fuller info see GCXFKT (blush, blush) .
  9. I'm currently using Google Maps on my Treo 650; has street maps, satellite and aerial photos, and point location and driving direction generation. Sort of like a compact version of Google Earth, tho' no link yet to GC's kml's. The data rate on the 650 is more than adequate for the data load. When the link is built to access gps data from the phone, this will be a crackerjack application. I already use external GPS bluetoothed to the Treo for quick car access to the cache area; SMS for receiving Insty Notify with realtime aural alarm; and web access to the log caches in the field. Needless to say, I occasionally use the phone for "phone a friend" help. Definitely worth looking into as a supplement to the basic GPS.
  10. RE: [i still need to learn morse.. keep putting it off though, so many other projects going on. I doubt it'll change ham radio much though, there is still a test to have to pass, even if someone is lazy and tries to get by they've still had to do something, which is much more than going out and buying a cb or frs and just yacking away. Perhaps I ought to teach myself morse code to make a puzzle cache out of it (not the text ...---... stuff but an audio file instead) if anything it'll force the cachers to learn it too.] Its fairly easy to learn Morse by learning more (let's call it "Flydad Visual"). I learned Morse in about 20 minutes and could take it at nearly 5 wpm. The secret is to make a visual; i.e., "A" ._ is pictured as a dot with a roof over it; looking like an "A." "B" _... is pictured as a vertical line with 3 dots vertical to the right, indicating where the curved lines intersect the backbone. "D" _.. is pictured similar to "B." etc. I used this about 1955, have not been an active ham since about 1962, and still feel CW is valuable in emergencies. Many people who know no other Morse still recognize the emergency contained in ... --- ... BTW, if anyone wants me to work up a sheet for the full alphabet, can do that. (Email me.) If there's enough interest, can build it up. It would include the "patter" to use when teaching a novice; who should be writing his own sheet in his own hand as you go over the letters one by one, providing the aural "di-dah," and having the novice "di-dah" in response. After the alphabet start short words, allowing reference to the visual; shortly it's found that referring to the visual is slow and is not needed, as the novice has made the transition to the aural. As in all teaching, one-on-one is best, but small classes can use the same procedure. Cheers --
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