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Everything posted by JSWilson64

  1. Strange this topic should come up at the same time as this thread. When I read the thread title and first post, I was ready to put on my asbestos goggles. At least the first 5-6 replies have kept it civil, when I'm sure this topic gets hammered here quite often.
  2. That looks like a fun way to thrash your tires! I'm going to be a GPS wet blanket and suggest that there's probably a better and/or cheaper way to do this. A cheap radar gun and 2 walkie-talkies comes to mind. You might also contact your local Sports Car Club of America chapter/club, and see what they'd use for such an application.
  3. I've answered one of my questions. There's a free open-source GIS called GRASS, available at Baylor University's website. Check it out. If it's anything like the ESRI products I'm familiar with, the learning curve is pretty steep. Stay tuned for the other parts... -edit- Learning curve is even steeper than I thought, since it runs on Windows using Cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/), some sort of Linux/Unix emulator or somesuch...
  4. Cache placement guidelines As far as your Etrex, I think you hold the "mark" button until the "mark waypoint" screen comes up. You might want to mark the spot several times and average the coordinates. The Etrex won't do it for you, but you can do it pretty easily in Excel.
  5. Thanks! That'd work for one or two caches, but would get old pretty quick. I'm looking more for a solution that would let me map all the "excluded" territory in a particular area.
  6. In addition to what Lady Bee said, you might find a Pelican case to fit it - they're rigid plastic, with o-ring seals. It would protect it from crushing as-is - add in some foam and it'd protect from drops, too.
  7. Agreed! For the most part, this is one of the friendliest forums I've encountered. I'm only slightly less rude in person than I am online, only because I can't see where someone has misplaced their apostrophes!
  8. Long, long ago I took a GIS class in college. At that point I realized that I should have majored in Geography, but that's another thread. Anyway, I know it's pretty easy to do with some high-powered and high-priced software, to pick a set of points (geocache waypoints, e.g.) and throw an arbitrary radius around them (528 feet, e.g.) and then plot the areas that are outside those circles. Overlay with a public/private land designator, maybe even floodplain info, and you've got a map of areas you can start looking to place a cache, or maps of places you can't. Has anyone here done this? It's just the kind of geeky thing I'd probably get into. Might make it easier in densely-cached areas to place a new cache.
  9. Here's a related point: Will someone please give me a link to the rule that says a new geocacher isn't allowed to have an opinion? I've read it about 3 times today, something along the lines of, "Strong words from someone with only 10 finds," or "What do you know about it, you just registered yesterday?" What gives? -edited to remove the very offensive 'WTF' from a post in a thread about forum rudeness! :-)
  10. Great report, positive spin. Except for this quote: (emphasis added) “But there’s a new kind of treasure hunt gaining popularity with people of all types, and the treasures are buried everywhere.” -groan
  11. You don't have to have a premium membership, but it helps keep the site running and makes things easier. You can download .LOC files without premium membership. I used to download a LOC file for every cache I was interested in, open them all in Easy GPS, and copy & paste all the separate entries into one sheet. Select 'em all, and send to my Etrex Legend. IMO, one Pocket Query per month pays for my premium membership in saved time.
  12. That makes sense. I hope they're not averse to publishing follow-ups, because it really needs one. I didn't look to see whether that newspaper has online forums...
  13. I'm not sure contacting the reporter is the best step. The reporter didn't get the grant (how do I get one of those?), give the students the assignment, or supervise the cache placement. All the reporter did was tell what the kids did. Now, if you think they should run another story about geocaching, to set the record straight, then contacting the reporter is good. But if the goal is to help these kids understand the sport/hobby, then I'd think the teacher is the right place to start. Keyport Central School contact page. The teacher's name is in the story.
  14. How 'bout including the lock in the FTF spoils? Make it clear on the cache page and the notes inside that FTF is supposed to keep the lock.
  15. Hmm. Be proactive, and contact the teacher in the story? -It took about 2 minutes to Google the Keyport Central School. Or wait until they try to list their hides?
  16. That looks AWFUL! Blair Witch meets Geocaching. Maybe it'll go straight-to-DVD so we won't have to deal with so much bad press...
  17. Because I had lived in this town for 20 years, and knew from pilot friends that the strip wasn't used at night unless someone came out to the airport and turned the lights on (which only happened once or twice a year). Now, maybe you want to try a landing on a rural airstrip with no approach lights or ground lights except the murcury-vapor street lights on the hangar and office - more power to you! And it wasn't post-9/11. It was 1985. I agree that the police were only doing their jobs, protecting city property. I'm sure if I had been breaking any laws or ordinances, they would have told me to scram. Which they didn't.
  18. That's because this isn't your typical crossword or sudoku. Take the suggestions to look for "regular" or (even "large") caches. If a particular cache stumps you, e-mail the owner for a hint. Some will be glad to oblige, some will ignore your request, and some will delight in your frustration! :-) We recently DNF'd one, emailed the owner because it must have been washed away in a recent heavy rain. He replied that it hadn't. So we'll try again. If we can't find it after a couple more tries, we'll ask for a hint. Above all, don't take it personally that you can't find something that some diabolical genius put out there!
  19. My only encounter with police (other than a traffic stop), the guys were like that. I was home for a weekend while in college (home and school 300 miles apart). I needed to make some astronomical measurements (angles above horizon for some stars) for a class. Needed a dark place, with pavement (so my car wouldn't get stuck) to sit and wait for my night vision to ramp up. So I went to our VFR-only airport (small town) and drove out to the end of the runway. Listened to the radio for a while, then got to work. In the middle of my measurements, a police car came to check the hangars, just doing their jobs. The see my car, floor it and hit the takedown lights. I keep my hands in plain sight, they get out and ask what I'm doing. I explain that I'm taking some star measurments for my astronomy class, and I needed a dark paved area to do it. They were fine with that, shined their lights into my car, looked around, and asked for my ID. I showed them my drivers' license. Guy looks at the license and says, "This says you live in Austin. What are you doing here?" That's the question that got me. For a split second, I thought about saying something like, "It's a free country, isn't it? Is there some law against being on public property if you don't live in that town?" But I decided I didn't need facial contusions and lacerations and a night in jail, so I explained that my Dad lived in that town, and I was home for the weekend. They left, and I waited another half hour for my night vision to return after having 2 Mag-Lites shined in my face, along with the takedown lights. Now, some of you may think they were just doing their jobs. But I was on public property, the airport was not curfewed after dark - I had every right to be where I was. No planes were going to land on me, because it's a daytime-only strip, and the runway lights were off, anyway! I had my astronomy textbook and notebook open, and my cheesy cardboard astronomy tools. I was alone, bothering nobody, not breaking any laws. So why ask the question?
  20. You're obviously too attractive. Put on a few pounds. Stop bathing. They'll leave you alone! :-)
  21. I love that map. Typical government scientists (of which I am one) - nice pretty image, with no clue as to what it means! It's probably not intended for the average Joe, but a color-key would be nice. Blue is 20, dark red is 120. WTF does that mean to me? :-)
  22. Thanks everyone for the good suggestions. I'll pass 'em on to the teacher.
  23. I, too, have had trouble learning Pocket Queries. One thing you'll notice is that, unlike some dialog box interfaces, sometimes when you select an item, it doesn't select the "master" check box for that category. For example, I'll often check the "large" cache size, but forget to check the box to limit the results to what I selected. So double check your check boxes and make sure you're limiting it to what you want. As far as your distance problem, if it's your home, I would suggest logging a waypoint at home and using those coords for all radius searches from home. That way you're not depending on the post office to define where you live. You might want to check a Zip code map to see how big your Zip is - just google "zip code map" and you'll find several good resources. And just try searching an online maps service for your zip code - you might be surprised what you get. If you're searching for caches around a point you don't have coords for, if you can find the center spot in Google Earth, you can get a lat/long from that. HTH!
  24. Does it have a data cable connector? It doesn't come with a cable (so add some $$ to the price if it's your first unit), and there's not one listed on the Accessories page for that unit.
  25. I've purchased a TB for my kid's Gifted and Talented program. They're going to attach the tag to something and track it after it gets released (probably by me). Is there a list of example TB "goals" somewhere that I'm not finding? That's the part that they're having trouble grasping - what should this thing be doing? I was thinking it might want to visit other schools with the same mascot as their school, just visit other schools, go around the world, or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks!
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