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Everything posted by lowracer

  1. You know what? You're right. There is absolutely no dissent here in Texas, it's all a bunch of sheep who have been brainwashed by Grajek and myself into doing things that they wouldn't otherwise do. Texans are SO easy to lead into a mob. They have no minds of their own and you watch, they'll all come to their senses in the morning if you just keep telling them there's no problem, that everything's fine. As for "gone away," Consider this my request for Groundspeak to please cancel my geocaching.com account.
  2. GCM1CK - The Hugh Jazz Cache by Jazz Fan "A cache dedicated to that classic Jazz trumpeter, Hugh Masekela. [bio information on the trumpeter irrevelvant and therefore omitted]" Cache was a 24-gallon rubbermaid action packer. It was pretty heavy and I had to use a dolly to wheel it out into the forest. There was a particular depression in the forest floor surrounded by large fallen trees that was perfect for hiding this behemoth. The cache box had been sitting in this same spot as the final for the puzzle cache "School Daze Match Game," but I archived that one because I wanted more people to find the big container and trade swag. It was the biggest cache in Austin. 480 feet away, there was another cache of mine, "It Sneaks up on You Too" a pair of huge tennis shoes hanging from a tree, a cache container in one and a logbook in the other. In this part of Texas, it's rare to find a clear spot in the thick cedar forest where you can hang a pair of shoes and not have them tangled up in the branches of surrounding trees. Anyway, GCM1CK was disapproved because it violated the 528 foot guideline. Nevermind that there was an impassible cedar forest between the two caches, and that it was highly unlikely that anyone would confuse one for the other while searching. When I stated that the guideline was a guideline and that this cache had actually been there for some time as the final for a previous puzzle cache, this was the reply: "If I make an exception for you, then the next guy will want an exception also. So will the next guy. And on and on until the guidelines are completely useless."
  3. Funny you bring that up. That issue is still there. It's just now that PA is in the hot seat, and his performance is now affecting others down here besides just me. When we get elected approvers subject to recall, there may be peace in Texas. Capricious and arbitrary is a good description for the performance of PA. Also as an aside concerning that link you posted, note that if you call your event a "CACHE MACHINE," it is OK to have a geocaching event specifically for the purposes of hunting caches. Where is that in the guidelines? You can pull up all the old posts you like, you can deny that there is a problem in Texas. Jeremy, you can even call us a mob (which only proves that you really do not understand Texans at all). It will not make the issue go away. You, Groundspeak, have very dissatisfied customers here. Deal with the issue instead of telling us we're not really dissatisfied, or we will go away. Actually some of us have gone away. My missing $30 membership fee may not hurt much but there are many others down here who are not renewing. And terracaching.com is swelling with the ranks of disgruntled Texans looking for more say in who does their approving. The issue then and today is that we have no say in who is approving our caches, and we have no way to recall them if we feel (then as now) that their decisions are capricious and arbitrary. We want local and elected approvers, subject to recall vote. We want more than one approver for the whole state. I'm not calling for the return of 9key since I bet he wouldn't return even if you paid him, and I could care less about the selector at this point.
  4. GCK18F - t00bin' with the n00bies on the Guadal00pe "Event cache to bring all the n00bies and old-timers alike for some floating down the Guadalupe river in t00bs and rafts. Meet at the Guadalupe Canoe Livery (link), where we'll rent some t00bs and rafts. They'll shuttle us upriver to the Guadal00pe State park where we'll put in and embark on a 4-to-5-hour raft and t00b trip down the scenic and remote Upper Guadal00pe River, with the option to pick up a geocache or two along the way. On the way we'll discuss the environmental ramifications of Geocaching in the sensitive Upper Guadalupe River Ecosystem, and maybe toss a nerf football or two from t00b to t00b, and maybe toss a cold beverage from n00b to n00b. Halfway down the river we'll stop on the shore and have a picnic lunch. The fishing's fine and on the way you might see a fancy lure or two stuck in the trees along the bank. If you can retrieve them, they belong to bbelk. Party starts at 9AM, don't be late! Each cacher is responsible for calling the Livery and arranging for their own t00b or raft reservation. Bring your own c00ler and enough drinks and picnic f00d for your gr00p. " Was never approved. I heard through the grapevine that it was considered commercial and would not be approved. I re-listed it without references to any specific t00b rental place and it was appr00ved. My question was how is this different from say a restaurant cache where you have to go to a specific restaurant in order to attend the event? The relisted cache caused great confusion as people didn't know where to go to rent t00bs, and the group was not therefore able to raft downriver together, rather the attendees were divided up based on where they rented and put in.
  5. Out of respect for PA, is it appropriate to air the specifics of denied caches here or should we email them offline to the contact address?
  6. 9key was the best approver we had, I think maybe the best that GC.com had. When he resigned, for whatever reason, that spark lighted a fire. Now we're stuck with PA. As you can see from reading the posts, there are many in Texas who are not happy with his performance, with his judgement. We did not elect him and we see no way to recall him. The selector issue was the spark, whether it was a legitimate spark or not, there is a fire raging. Many unhappy customers in Texas. Edit: And I should point out that I have nothing personal against PA, no disrespect for the man. I've never called names, just speaking about the performance, not the person.
  7. The discontent in Texas stems largely and most recently from the incident with 9key and the selector, but many Texans are unhappy with the performance of Prime Approver and since he was not elected and we have no way to recall him and we have no 9key anymore to appeal to, the discontent is boiling over. The vote for Secession is running about 70%/30% in favor, and we are the fastest growing state on terracaching.com, an alternate site that lets us choose our own approvers. http://www.texasgeocaching.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2219
  8. That article about Neil Armstrong hiding caches is obviously fake. Anyone knows that Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album came out in November of 1973, and the crew of Apollo 11 left the moon's surface in July of 1969.
  9. Off topic rocks. Please don't shut that one down. Shut the rest of them down but leave off-topic.
  10. Here's a Multi-cache where you can log up to 4 smileys for the cache, if you meet certain requirements: Panic FACTOR If you don't meet certain requirements along the way, you could actually sign the logbook and still not be entitled to post a smiley! Until someone publishes the exchange rate, how many smileys equals how many dollars when the game is over, the whole discussion of how many smileys you get to claim for anything is pointless. Different people play by different rules, and always will, there's no way to enforce otherwise.
  11. Panic FACTOR (GCKCPH) is a multi that permits multiple smileys, up to a total of four. But it's not your typical Multi. You have to do it in a group, and only the winner of the 'stunt' at each redirector gets to post a smiley for that redirector. So if someone won all three 'stunts' plus they found the final prize bucket, they'd get 4 smileys. If anyone refuses to participate in any 'stunt,' they get zero smileys, yeah even if they find the bucket and sign the logbook.
  12. But it's not kosher to have an event solely for the purposes of finding other caches. This would seem to be contrary to the rules.
  13. The solution to this private/commercial property cache problem is simple: Before you even start looking, go inside and introduce yourself to whichever employees are on duty at that time, hand them a geocaching brochure, and ask them if they mind if you play a game which involves you looking around for a little box of trinkets in the bushes and under the replica train. Get them to say OK. When you're on private property, get permission for the hunt. Don't rely on the person that initially gave permission for the hide to be there or to have told anyone else about the game. The permission for the hide could have been given two years ago and that manager and those employees might be long gone. On private property, Ask permission to find. Every time. It's really just common courtesy. If the bomb squad shows up, you can point to the employees and say "They all told me it was OK to play this game here." If there's no one to ask, come back later or go look for a different cache.
  14. I fill caches with extra junk from the house and garage that I don't need anymore. I cleaned out my garage one day and had enough swag to fill a 24-gallon rubbermaid action packer. I wheeled the whole action packer out into the woods on a dolly and its' now the largest cache in Austin. Strangely enough, most people just XNSL (eXchange Nothing, Sign Log). School Daze Match Game
  15. Carry a 50-caliber rifle slung over your shoulder. If anyone asks, tell them you're with the Bomb squad investigating a report of a suspicious package...
  16. This kind of thing, especially the last comment from the sheriff, really chaps my hide. The government needs to understand (and we're doing quite a poor job of holding them to this) that they work for "WE THE PEOPLE." We created the government to secure these rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whenever something comes along that the government doesn't like, they try to ban it. They don't like the common people owning guns, they ban 'em. They don't like people drinking alcohol, they ban it. They don't like geocaches, they ban 'em. Well we the people have the right to keep and bear arms, and we have the right to pursue happiness by drinking alcohol if we like, and we have the right to pursue happiness by hiding and finding geocaches. Geocaching IS quite literally the pursuit of happiness. Government, all the way from the President all the way down to the cop on the beat, exists to secure that right, not to infringe on it. GEOCACHING IS NOT A CRIME -- Put that on a T-shirt and I'll wear it. [The above rant is valid in the USA only. Void in other countries or where free speech is prohibited by law] I agree that geocaching does look like suspicious activity: 1) We need to train our local law enforcement about the sport, and repeat the message periodically (local geocaching groups can present quarterly or semi-annual training at the police station and sheriff's offices). 2) We need better and more rapid policing by the local groups especially when the caches are placed on private property without permission. Make sure that all local caches are covered by a local group member on a watch list, and get out there fast to deal with any caches that are a problem (placed w/o permission). 3) As for educating the business that there is a cache on their property, how about this, each and every one of us, before hunting a cache on private property, you pop in and introduce yourself to the staff or manager? Say "Hi, I'm John Doe, I live just down the road. (at this point you hand over your little business card that explains geocaching, including your name and email address or phone number) Me and my two kids are going to be playing a game called geocaching right here on your property. We'll be crawling around looking for a hidden box of goodies. Do you know about the geocache on your property? It was my understanding that it was placed here with permission." That way you get permission every time, the staff in the place at that exact moment knows who you are and what you're doing and they won't be calling the bomb squad. Yeah it will take a few more minutes but you won't be subject to legal hassles later when they call out the SWAT team with the 50 cal rifle. 4) When you go to vote, whether for president or for your local representative, judge, or sheriff, vote for candidates who understand that it is the people who created the government, that the government is the servant of the people, not the other way around. This whole business of electing people who make the government bigger and more powerful is going to turn around and bite us on the butt, and not just in the infringement of our right to hunt for boxes of trinkets.
  17. Time to break out another can of Server Oil...
  18. Of course these have already been invented, Long Long Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: They are called Electrobinoculars. Luke Skywalker owned a pair.
  19. We did an event where the venue had only room for about 10 people. In order to open it up to everyone, we held a pre-event lunch at a nearby chicken fried steak joint, so everyone could claim a smiley if they wanted. Nobody felt slighted. (Except the windows users who snuck in, when they saw what kewl toys us Mac-Geo-Nerds get to play with ;-) Austin Mac Geekfest
  20. I thought this thread might have been getting off-topic with the rating system discussion but I looked at my original post and the question is: "Can it ever be fun again?" I think the rating system is an attempt to make it fun again and so that's on-topic. BTW I spent the morning placing a few redirectors and the final 5-gal cammo bucket for my latest multicache, Panic FACTOR (GCKCPH). It's not finished yet, I still have two more redirectors to place but it's been given a pre-approval nod by one of our Texas reviewers. Panic FACTOR will put some of the fun back into caching I hope. I sure had fun scoping out areas to place it. I wanted to concentrate on awesome views, places you didn't know existed, a bit of friendly competition, plus a healthy dollop of silliness. While out placing the final redirector this morning I discovered a colony of migrating Monarch butterflies. Good thing I had my camera along. I marked the coords. The county has an entomologist who is tracking these guys and he wanted reports of any sightings. I stood in a field of six- to eight-foot high flowers covered in brilliant orange monarchs. There must have been dozens of them, including some smaller ones that I'm assuming were juveniles. You could get within inches of them without disturbing them. I took some shots with the wide-angle where the camera lens was two inches from the insect:
  21. I'm pretty sure we don't get that affliction here in Austin! It's 93 and sunny today.
  22. Great visual there! Good advice from everyone in this thread. i've decided to just take a break from caching for awhile. I'll concentrate on maintaining my caches and weeding out the ones that weren't as popular (if it hasn't been found in over six months, in this part of the country that's a good indicator). I've converted all my smileys out to just 'notes,' so that I don't feel the peer pressure to work up the smiley count for its own sake. I'm keeping my list of finds in a GSAK database so that I don't revisit caches I've already done. And when I do decide to do another cache, I've decided to just pick and choose caches that are highly unusual or interesting, and not to do more than one of these per day. Finally, I've met with a group of other like-minded cachers here in Austin, and we're holding a Geo-Burnout event (GCKV8T) next week to discuss our mutual burnout with the sport. Prizes will be awarded for the cacher with the least number of finds in the previous month, the most number of DNFs, the worst case of poison ivy, and the most second-to-finds. No smileys will be allowed to be posted to the event page, only notes or DNFs. ;-)
  23. I got to 538 cache finds before I asked myself "Why am I doing this?" I'm hoping it's only a temporary situation. I just can't drag myself out to find another cache. I can't drag myself out to place another cache. I'm sick up and fed with caching, the actual process of going out and looking for them. It's not a political thing with geocaching.com, don't get me wrong. I'm a premium member and I got no beef with the frog. I'm sick of log-only film-can micros, moldy tupperware, rusty ammo cans, cheezy swag, soggy logbooks, and TNSLs. I'm bored with looking under rocks, looking in hollow trees, and looking in all the wrong places. A fun and interesting hike? Boring. Beautiful scenic views? I'd rather watch Fear Factor and eat Bon-Bons on the couch. Meeting interesting people on the trail? I'd probably just catch more poison ivy. I still enjoy the off-topic forum though, since it has nothing to do with caching. Anyone been totally bummed out on caching and later recovered? We have a few of the "old guard" here in Austin who got to around 300-500 caches and then just quit cold turkey. Their caches have been adopted out and they're nowhere to be seen, online or off. Maybe I'll be one of those cold turkeys but I do remember when it was fun. Can it ever be fun again? -mark.
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