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Everything posted by HoustonControl

  1. I'd have to say it depends on the time of the year. Here in southeast Texas, I enjoy long hikes in the fall and winter time. Come summer, park and grabs are about all you can stand. There have been a series of "Beat the Heat" caches placed here in the Houston area specifically to facilitate summertime caching. Yeah, a few of the ones I have found would probably be lumped in the "lame micro" category, but others have been somewhat challenging and interesting. I went caching yesterday in 90+ degree heat coupled with very high humidity. After doing a bunch of short walks and park-n-grabs, I finished the day with a 1/2 mile (round trip) bushwhack through briars, thorns, mosquitoes and banana spiders to get a cache that has been on my to-do list for quite a while. By the time I got back to the cachemobile, I was drenched in sweat, covered with bug bites and leftover spider webs, and about half dehydrated. I was also determined to just stick to park and grabs until next fall.
  2. I don't think you're reading the same threads as the rest of us. I wish this was the same old numbers padding argument. It is not. One thread was about a team of cachers that, for the sake of speed, defaced caches containers. The other thread was about cachers who never left Texas but clamed to find caches half way around the world. I wasn't referring to the record cache run. There are several mentions in this thread that folks who were logging the pocket caches and what not were doing so to pad their cache count or to paraphrase DocDitto, "getting an illegitimate bump in their smiley count".
  3. All right, I was at GW4, met a lot of nice people, had a great time. I found a few temporary caches in the park and had fun doing it. I didn't log any pocket caches -- it just seemed a little silly to me. It was my first Geowoodstock, so I didn't realize that the temporary caches had been moved here from some place else or that there was an issue until I tried to log them. So I guess you could say I have 3 or 4 more smilies beside my name than I should have -- or 3 or 4 less than I could have, depending on how you look at it. Either way, my conscience is crystal clear that my 613 total finds is representative of my true caching activity to this point. But the bottom line is, that's between me and my conscience. I could care less if someone else has 6 finds, or 6,000. When I got home and stumbled into this whole quagmire on these boards, I was astonished. It just floors me the folks harping on here about easy finds or people padding their numbers. It's like complaining about someone else cheating at solitaire. Who cares? As far as TPTB archiving all caches within the 50 states that are deemed to be outside of the posted guidelines, it seems a little draconian. A heads up, a warning or a stern rebuke might have been in order first so folks would know that things were being tightened up and that what had previously been overlooked was no longer acceptable. But thanks to a whole room full of sixth-grade hall monitors, screaming at the top of their lungs and posting "should be archived" notes on cache pages that they never found or attempted to find, this is what we are left with. Sad. Just for the record, I plan on adding an APE cache to my count some day. But I'll travel to Illinois to log it, thank you very much. And Cudlecub, I sorry about your bikes -- that just sucks. I'm very disappointed to think that someone from our great state would stoop so low as to do that to a visitor. I'm thinking it was probably somebody who slipped across the border from Oklahoma...
  4. So much for the forum heavies backing off....
  5. I cached this last summer while on vacation in Central Europe -- The Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia. There were lots of caches in Prague and Budapest. The best one I did was on top of a mountain on Rab Island, Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. Great View. I also logged quite a few locationless caches while on that trip, and dropped a few travelbugs. Have GPSr, will travel!
  6. I disagree. That electrical cache thing looks close enough to me, my eyes can't tell the differance. I would suggest, as was said before, to put a geocaching sticker or something on it. I know that if this was my cache, and I found out that someone did get hurt or killed because they thought an electrial box was a cache I'd feel like crap. As for your non-sense about banning 5 terrian caches and such. If I go after a cache on the top of a mountian, I know before hand the danger. Even on a regular cache, I know before hand that I might have a tree fall, run into a wild animal or what not. With this cache, if I start tampering with something that looks electrical I don't know before if it's a cache or not. And if it isn't I could get fried. I think in general this kind of container is a bad idea, though I wouldn't go as far as to tell the owner to ban. But think about it, it's like making a cache container to look like a rattlesnake, or a poisonous plant. It's just not worth it, why bother? Well, I guess I shouldn't have made the jump from cache container to terrain danger -- they're really two different issues. I was just trying to point out that all these things require some decision making. Do I really want to climb out on that cliff to get this cache? Do I really want to reach into that snakey-looking hole to feel for a cache? Do I really want to disassemble this high voltage tansformer in case there is a cache inside? Often discretion is the better part of valor. And I don't propose banning class 5 terrain or any type of caches. I was just playing devil's advocate for the purpose of making a point. My cache is in the middle of a parking lot. Nothing else around but the light pole and a tree. Nowhere in my cache description does it say to take apart anything electrical. Oh, and there is a sticker on top of it with the cache waypoint code on it. If you pivot the cover open (no screws need to be removed) you'll find a baggie with a log a pencil. No wires, no connectors, etc. There is a picture of a cache a few pages back in this thread that shows a magnetic sticker that actually stuck to the side of a high voltage transformer. I would hope nobody would try to take the transformer apart if they couldn't find the magnet on the outside. That's all I have to say on the matter. I'll try to stay on topic from here on and say only positive things to compliment others on their clever containers.
  7. Geez, I'm really starting to be sorry for making my initial post... I guess I didn't realize I was making fun of anyone's misfortune. But I will refrain from trying to use any humor in my response to your attacks. I have heard of caches that are placed in precarious places, including underwater caches for dive enthusiasts. I don't know what your stance is on these type caches, I'm just saying that I'm sure terrain and other issues with cache placement are a bigger risk to the cache finder than whether the cache looks like an electrical box. I know a cacher personally that broke their leg trying to retrieve a cache on a steep slope. Do we outlaw caches on sloping terrain? The point is that caching, hiking, camping -- life, is a sometime hazardous activity and we rely on people's common sense to keep them from harm. If I make a cache that looks like a porcupine, I don't think I'm putting other people at risk for trying to pick up a porcupine in the wild. If Groundspeak wants to make a rule that all caches should be painted bright orange and labeled GEOCACHE in 4 inch letters, then I guess we will all comply. But imagination will have gone out of the game and the the caching community will suffer for it.
  8. "As a non-swimmer and general all around scaredeycat, I can only say that given the number of accidental drownings and shark attacks I read about in any given week, I am personally dead-set against ANY cache that is intentionally placed in the water and requires diving equipment to complete. We've all seen the evidence of outlandish cacher searches: eventually you're going to see a cacher fatality after they tried to reach an underwater cache in the quest for a bitmap grin." I guess what I'm trying to say is "lighten up". The cache container in question is obviously a fake upon close examination. It's just designed such that the casual passerby wouldn't give it a second look. What is the alternative -- have a requirement that you post a picture of your cache container to make sure it passes muster before the reviewer approves the cache? Outlaw all class 5 terrain caches? Require bunker gear, safety helmets, and an IQ test before going caching? These people are (mostly) all adults and are pursuing this pasttime of their on volition. Don't take their fun away with more draconian restrictions.
  9. Generally speaking, these types are "hinged" at the top screw. The bottom is just the head of the srew glued on, allowing the face of the box to "hinge" at the top and get access to the match container (usually) therein. Thus, no screwdriver needed. Very good! Yes, it's hinged at the top screw and the bottom screw is left sticking out some and glued in place. Also, I spring-loaded the hinge so it will return to the closed position. And, there was room inside for a short pencil. The horizontal section of the conduit is just flush with the concrete pilaster, but you have to look really closely to notice it.
  10. Here's a recent creation of mine. Can you spot the cache in this picture?
  11. I'll have to check and see if they have any outside or visible to the outside. They have a ton of cameras, basically so people can shop their showroom from the internet. The cameras are live and can be panned, zoomed in, etc. You can read the price tags on the furniture and almost read the credit card number of the guy paying at the front counter! Maybe a little too commercial????
  12. Thanks for the feedback, all. I was going to just email Groundspeak and ask, but they say to first check the FAQ's and forums, so I thought I'd make this little post. I placed a cache once where I foolishly included a link to a business - a guy who makes custom pens. I didn't have any interest in the business, I just thought they were neat and it was related to the cache. Well, I got my hand slapped by the powers that be, so I didn't want to make that mistake again. Nothing against the powers that be, mind you, after all it's their site and their rules.
  13. There aren't many webcams in our area and I've thought of creating one so more people can log this type of cache. There is a furniture store in the area with a bunch of panable, zoomable cams that would be great for this kind of cache. My question is, would Groundspeak allow this kind of cache, or would it violate the bylaw against "commercial caches". I'm wondering if anybody has any experience with creating a cache of this type, or has dealt with GC.com on this topic. Just trying to test the waters before going to all the trouble to post it, only to have it shot down.
  14. We're probably beating this topic to death, but my .02 worth: The only time I've ever claimed a find without signing the log is when there was no signable log -- either the cache was open/scattered/damage, or the log was too wet to sign. I had someone find a 5-part multi of mine by accidentally stumbling upon WP#3 (a tiny micro in a hollow tree, no less) while looking for another cache. Bottom line is they found the final without ever finding WP's 1 & 2. My thought is "Good for them" -- sometimes you just get lucky and finding the cache with the log is what it's all about. If it really bothers you, you could switch to Terracaching, where they require a confirmation code from the cache to log a find. I know Groundspeak's stand on the subject of confirmation codes is that signing the log is proof that you found the cache. So basically, no signee the logee, no findee the cachee!
  15. I've been using my M5 for about 6 weeks now and like it just fine. It's the only GPS I've ever had, so I don't have anything to compare it to. It's nice to just slide it in the car bracket, click "my locations", pick a cache, click "route to it", then just follow the voice directions. When I get to the location, I pull it out and go. I haven't hesitated to take it into the woods, etc, so as long and you're not clumsy and drop it or whatever, it should be OK. Plus, since it recharges while in the car bracket, I never have to worry about dead batteries. I guess on a long hike, you might want to have a spare battery along. One question: I haven't downloaded any extra GPS software yet (just Mobipocket to store cache info in). How can I download cache coordinates (GPX) into the M5? Mapsource doesn't recognize it -- or at least I can't figure out how to do it.
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