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Everything posted by Glenn

  1. Pup Patrol we are of like mind on this. The only reason I can think of not moving this to the off-topic forum is if this is some sort of new Lab Cache.
  2. It isn't just carelessness. It can also be not knowing the risk involved. For example, one of the November Caches of the Week on the Geocaching Blog is an EarthCache call Big Four Ice Caves. It's a very beautiful place to visit and I recommend visiting this EarthCache. However, you wouldn't know it by just looking at them but the ice caves are very dynamic and sections frequently collapse and sometimes cause avalanches. I doubt that the woman in the photo below realizes how much danger she is in by doing something as innocent as standing under that melting arch of literally tons of ice and snow. It makes for a cool photo but the risk isn't necessary for logging the EarthCache. By simply moving a couple feet over she could get an equally cool photo and substantially reduce her risk of ending up crushed under tons of ice.
  3. I love your examples! I think the word that everyone is missing here is unnecessary. Don't take any unnecessary risks. You are correct in that searching for a cache in a lamppost can be more risky than searching for a cache on the side of a sheer cliff. It's all about how you manage the risk. You are at a greater risk of hurting yourself by touching wires with your bare hands than you are falling from a mountain while wearing repelling gear. Unfortunately, Geocachers often choose to take unnecessary risks like touching wires with their bare hands when something as simple as wearing gloves will substantially reduce the risk. I'm not sure the exact reason for this. It could be just not being able to identify the risk or just being comfortable the risk since electricity is a part of our everyday lives. But just because we are comfortable with something doesn't make it safe.
  4. Yeah, I have this image of a high-difficulty event held in a banquet hall with a secret entrance of some sort. You'd get to the posted coordinates and discover a blank wall. The challenge would be to find the hidden door in the blank wall. Or maybe it would be an elevator disguised as a phone booth. That would be a high-difficulty event, at least for the first person to discover the secret entrance. And then we could discuss whether someone who was shown the secret entrance could "legitimately" log the event as attended... That sounds like the Tavern Law in Seattle. It has a "secret" lounge upstairs. You use a "phone" down stairs to request access through a secret door. There are one-way mirrors were petrons upstairs in the speakeasy can keep an eye what's going on downstairs in the bar. Now that I think about it, it would make a cool "high" difficulty event cache. I wonder if anyone has done this yet at the Tavern Law.
  5. It's not any creepier than those maps to Movie Stars Homes' that you can buy in Hollywood. My home address, like many other people's home address, is also in a public record or three. I don't know why anyone would want to look me up but they can and there is little I can do about it. Visit me uninvited and you're not going to have a good time. I assume the founders, like most people, feel the same way. Besides, the Block Party is a much better place to meet them! If you haven't been to one I highly recommend you attend one.
  6. The founders addresses are in a couple of public records. If you know where to look you can find them. A couple years ago I was curious and look up the addresses on Google Maps Street View. They were your typical middle class homes in your typical middle class neighborhoods. Nothing special. If they are making millions and millions of dollars from running a website then they sure aren't living like it.
  7. I'm curious how accurate this made up statistic is. The main page mentions over 6 million geocaches but doesn't break that down any further. Does anyone know the actual number or a closer estimation. My gut says that 50% is way too high. But my gut has been known to be wrong on occasion.
  8. Pretty slick. All you need to do to get that watch to point in the direction of a cache is, er, oh, right! Point it at the cache! Now THAT'S real utility! Having a device that points in the direction of the cache despite your orientation is handy but far from necessary and can be confusing. These forums are full of post from people who are looking for a more accurate GPS or who think there is something wrong with their GPS because all of the caches they find are 5 feet or more off from where their GPS says it should be. People can easily become too dependent on the device to the point where need to go to the point where they have become mindless zombies blindly following an electronic arrow where ever it may point. My mantra to people new to geocaching has become "Stop looking at the dadgum GPS and use your eyes."
  9. Keep in mind that lab caches are experimental. They are meant to test an idea and not set a precedence. IIRC, all of the lab caches received a lot of visits and got good reactions from the visitors, including me. However, after seeing that lab cache I know that don't care for the appearance of permanent or semi-permanent markings. After testing this concept I hope that Groundspeak feels the same way. I also didn't care for the close proximity to an existing cache. Looking back I would have preferred at least a slightly different location. Maybe of the view from up on the bridge? Although once I was under the bridge it didn't take a cache to make me want to what the view looked like from up above. I'm not as opposed to this style of code based cache being near a physical cache because I'd rather see something like this than seeing someone being bullied in to archiving a cache that they don't want to archive. Let me connect the dots for those who think this topic is veering wildly off course. These lab caches appeared to a test for a way to implement temporary caches for events. So that caches attending events, like those in NE Ohio, can log some other cache type that is a sub set of event caches instead of hundreds of attended logs on the same event.
  10. So that's what they used for a cache in Seattle? They were intending to have temporary containers with a codeword inside, but for whatever reason, it didn't work out. I believe that they did have temporary containers for the pub lab caches, but I didn't do any of them. After seeing what looked like spray paint and that it was placed within' feet of another geocache I didn't feel inspired to find the other Lab Caches. The Lab Cache didn't take to a place that was unique. There was already a cache there that did that. The fact that it looked like spray paint was a big turn off and a really poor idea. It could be easily misinterpreted as real paint (which I apparently did). It's bad enough when we get called out because a geocacher has disassembled and damaged a real sprinkler head or a cache is called in as a potential bomb. I don't want us to be known for graffiti too.
  11. Assuming what you theorize here is true. Groundspeak has to ask itself if it is willing to take short term gains for long term losses. If the long-standing members find it no longer enjoyable to place and maintain caches then the number of available caches will shrink as long-standing members move on. Geocaching is what it is today because of the long-standing members. I don't think Groundspeak is at risk of a mass exodus but not have a way to contact intro app users is making the cache maintenance part more difficult. People who are new to the hobby don't always leave the best descriptions or sometime write very cryptic notes. It helps to be able to email the person and have a conversation with them than have to go to make a visit to the cache and try to guess what they were talking about.
  12. ... or was it a pre-existing indicator (or graffiti?) and the cache owner cleverly re-purposed it? The codes used for the lab caches where similar to TB codes. In fact you couldn't log any of the lab cache at the block party without first putting in the code. Although I've seen some of strangest graffiti in Seattle that I've seen anywhere I seriously doubt that this was pre-existing.
  13. I found this photo where you can see the code applied (I don't know if it was paint but it looked something like paint) to the column over this guys left shoulder. It's the bright yellow markings.
  14. Doing things the "right" way isn't without angst either. I seem to recall recent topic where a member of a geocaching group got bent out of shape when he was coerced to archive one of his caches. A cache that he placed for an event that a group that he is a member of put on. The reason for the archive request from the group, that AFAIK he is still a member of, is to make room for caches for this years event by the same group that ran the event years ago. Have you participated in any Lab Caches or is your view from what other people have described to you? I do agree with you and I wasn't really impressed when I found a Lab Cache code spray painted on a support for a bridge. I logged it and then didn't care to search for the rest at the event. But from what I saw they were well received. Event sponsors want to place temp caches and those attending events want those caches to show in their stats. Those that want this bad enough go to unusual and silly measures like logging events, or other caches, multiple times. I'd like to see some kind of logable temp cache type that don't count toward your overall found caches and are tied to event caches. I think that it would have helped to avoid the kind of angst that is going on in New Jersey right now.
  15. Unless you change the settings to NORTH UP. Then you do because north is now locked to the top of the display. I think you are making this harder than it has to be. Unless your beating your way through the bush blindfolded then getting your bearing isn't really all that difficult. I agree that it is very handy. I have owned and currently own GPSs with a 3-axis compass. However it isn't a feature that I see as necessary and I if it greatly increased the price of the GPS I wouldn't consider it worth it. I don't like blanketed statements either. Like "I wouldn't buy a GPS without the electronic compass." I agree that they are not very helpful. Thanks for the compliment and I can say the same about you. I really enjoy conversation like this. Were even-tho we don't see eye to eye I've still learned something and the conversation has stayed civil.
  16. Technically you can't have a vector without magnitude. When you are standing still what you have is an angle. A GPS without an electronic compass will incorrectly calculate the angle when it detects motion that did really happen. This false movement can be eliminated by changing the settings from course up to north up. What you are telling the GPS is to stop trying to determine what direction you are facing and to assume that you are always facing north. As far as being required to carrying a real magnetic compass or to have a pigeon's innate sense of where north is in order to orient yourself in the direction of the cache is pure stupidity or just plain being stubborn. Unless you waited until you got to the cache coordinates before turning on your GPS or you memory is only 10 seconds long you've had more than enough time to determine which way north is simply by using your GPS. Electronic compass or no electronic compass it makes no difference. Simply observe your motion on the map for a few seconds (or looking at the compass screen) and it is obvious which direction you are going. When you stop moving you shouldn't forget the direction you were going, if you do you may need to see a doctor about that condition, and you should still be facing that very same direction. There is no need to follow an arrow with a mapping GPS. Just look at the map. When you move if the cache icon is getting closer to the center dot then you also getting closer to the cache coordinates. If the cache icon moving further away then so are you. It's really basic stuff and no electronic compass is needed.
  17. Necessity and value are tied together in this case. A higher value is placed in things that are considered a necessity than on things that aren't. I was responding specifically to a comment talking about rocks and heavy underbrush. I agree, those are things not commonly found in parking lots. However, if we are speaking in general terms we have to take all terrains in to account and not just urban environments. This statement is false. Go in to the settings and set the map for NORTH IS UP. When looking at the map page with north set to up and pointing the top of the screen to north you certainly can know the vector to the cache area. Assuaging that you didn't materialize within 30 feet of the coordinates for the cache it shouldn't be difficult for most people even in poor conditions to determine which direction north is.
  18. It isn't true that the "cache pointer" always points right at the cache. You only have to read the getting started forum to understand this. In fact a frequent comment by new geocachers is how the pointer has failed them. It was pointing as some other object 10 or 15 feet away than where they found the cache. I've experienced this first hand when caching in a group. Those following the "cache pointer" are usually all grouped around some object looking from the object to the "cache pointer" as if the "cache pointer" was going to give then any further assistance. By this time I've already put my GPS away and I'm using my "geosense" to find the cache. Those of us who have put our GPS away usually are the first ones to find the cache. I haven't found this true. In fact in rocks and heavy overgrowth I've found that I spend more time navigating through the hazard then following the "cache pointer". A couple of times a year someone in these forums relates a story of how they or a friend was injured by following the "cache pointer" and not paying attention to the terrain or other hazards. Very early I've done the "drunk walk" but I've learned that when you approach GZ it is best to just put the GPS away and hunt for the cache. Doing the "drunk walk" doesn't get you any closer to the cache. It only gets you closer to where your GPS "thinks" the cache is but as those who follow the "cache pointer" soon find out that isn't necessarily where the cache actually is. I've owned a number of GPSs and while an electronic compass is nice I still contend that it isn't a necessity. While a mapping GPS isn't a necessity either I find the map much more useful than an electronic compass. Especially a topographic map. It's very useful in terrain where it's difficult to see through the overgrowth or over a rise. A "cache pointer" can't show you that.
  19. As a geocacher with over 12 years using GPSrs under my belt I can confirm this. An electron compass is nice but not necessary. The best way to use a GPSr without an electronic compass is to use the map screen with the map set to north up and no compass overlay. Don't worry about knowing which direction north is. It will become obvious when you start walking and the map starts updating to your movements. If the map spins when you standing still then you do not have it set to north up. Once you have your bearings and you know which direction is north it's very easy to maintain which direction north is in.
  20. Is there a reason that in the "What GPS should I buy?" pinned topic that only Garmin products are discussed? I see Magellan and other GPSr manufacturers discussed in the what GPS should I buy topics that aren't pinned. Shouldn't they be listed by model just like the Garmin products are?
  21. Sadly, making things idiot-proof is quite difficult and frequently one has to make do with idiot-resistant Not only that, but if you do manage to make something idiot-proof, a better quality idiot will be along soon. True, but an "idiot" with a valid email address, or other contact info, at least can be contacted and edification attempted. However, I don't think it is that they are idiots. I think that it is that they are lazy. Before smart phones and the intro app you had to learn how to use a GPS or a GPS app. That isn't very hard to do but at least it was something. The intro app is so easy to use that any unsupervised 6 year old with a smart phone can be finding caches in seconds. Leaving trash in the cache container instead of taking it with you and repeatedly leaving the cache container open are not signs of being an idiot. They are signs of immaturity and laziness. Don't get me wrong. I think that it great that the intro app is introducing more people to the hobby but I isn't all about the numbers. If maintaining caches that are showing up on the intro app start to become a chore or a job instead of fun part of the hobby then those geocachers will pack up their caches and go home or play somewhere else. That's a lose-lose situation all around.
  22. The page that I was referring to as being out of date is the gpsfaqs.org page. On their home page the last update is dated "2009-7-05" and there is no direct link from their home page to the eXplorist GC. Until you put that direct link to the eXplorist GC page I was unaware that it existed. Thanks for updating the links. Here is a FAQ to consider adding. This is common to most GPSrs. Q: My battery meter isn't acting the way that I think it should. A: Make sure that you have the correct battery type selected.
  23. This is just a nitpick but "Collection Of Existing FAQs" implies that there is a collection of nonexistent FAQs somewhere to be found. A Collection Of FAQs or just Frequently Asked Questions should suffice.
  24. I noticed this too. Especially about the FAQ thread. The "FAQ" links bring you to a general description of the GPS and not really a FAQ. The eXplorist GC, arguably the most popular beginner GPS for geocaching, isn't even on the FAQ list! Although I guess it isn't surprising since the last time the page was updated was 2008. Two years before the introduction of the eXplorist GC. You would find more up to date information linking directly to the manufacturer's web page. The reason I put quotes around FAQ in the paragraph above is because while it being called a FAQ it isn't a real FAQ. FAQ is short for Frequently Asked Questions. A general description isn't a list of question at all. Instead of linking to descriptions of the GPS how about watching the forums for questions that come up frequently and make a list of those question with the best answer(s) provided.
  25. How do you invite someone who doesn't provide an email address or phone number or any other way of contacting them? Do event caches even show up on the intro app? The intro app only shows the three closest caches to their current location. How will intro app users find events that are meant for them but are miles away from their location? Maybe a friend feature can be added to the intro app that allows those of us who use the website to send messages directly to the intro app users. Then they will get a pop up the next time they use the app saying that they got a new message from a geocaching friend and give them the option to read and respond to the message. A lot of other iOS game apps have features like this that allow game app users to interact with other thru the game app.
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