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Everything posted by hal-an-tow

  1. Anything that might increase the chances of continued life of your TB is worth a try. I'd suggest making it easy for app wielding newbs to see a webpage with some guidance on TB treatment (not necessarily the official one) by turning the webpage URL into a QR code and adding a printout of that on your extra info. There are plenty of free websites which will perform the URL to QR code for you. Then (assuming they have a QR reader in their 'phone) your finder won't have to go to the bother of typing in a web address , just scan the QR code and their browser can connect to the page. The easier you make it for people to do the right thing, the more likely they are to do it .
  2. I well recall trying to explain to my Gran how the newfangled 'p' not 'd' worked ... and I still own books with 2/6d prices on the back cover , so I'll have a guess at 1975
  3. Speaking as a woman who often walks in the countryside for between 4 and 8 hours , I can tell you with absolute certainty that finding a suitable spot sheltered from view (and without stinging nettles) is a skill one soon acquires . True, it's not ideally 'base of tree' , we ideally want cover all round, not just one side ...
  4. New caches may well have been placed a while ago, and the owner only just had time to sit down and make the page. Groundspeak run a worldwide cache database. Rules vary enormously from country to country, district to district. The wave of infection has progressed enormously differently, country to country, district to district. If Groundspeak had chosen one area and applied that government's rules to cope with the virus outbreak across the whole world, that would not be appropriate to you unless you happened to live in that chosen area. Geocaching is a worldwide game. Wuhan rules , for instance, would have stopped you 'going' to that event ... Local reviewers are intelligent humans (cue the dog jokes ... ) with local knowledge of the area they cover , I trust they will apply that local knowledge of the situation and rules, and review caches appropriately. If you don't think it is wise to go out and find a cache near home , in the course of any outdoor exercise your local rules may allow , then don't go . Simple. Speaking of rules , physical attendance at an event is also mandatory/essential to log it as 'attended' . I'm not sure how you think logging as attended while not having actually attended is OK , apparently because you did it while you still could have gone out, but chose not to ? I'd love to hear an explanation for that , please .
  5. I've set up something fun and interesting for my local caching friends to do on their daily , government approved , single exercise period (length not specified) in the outdoors. Something they can do if they are walking familiar streets near home. It is between us, it wouldn't be extendable to anywhere outside suburban Britain, and won't score any smileys , and couldn't be scaled up, so there is no point whatsoever to sharing it on a geocaching platform.
  6. I'm getting a bit tired of all the suggestions for caches you can not visit then couch log, events you can not go to but couch 'attend' . Aside from commercial considerations for Groundspeak to make, to deal with loss of revenue , why on earth do some people feel we need these ? Geocaching is an outdoor sport /game/hobby . The point of it is to visit locations, find stuff and sign a log , or for virt's and ECs, answer questions based on that location . What I think about caching when we cannot leave home to visit places where caches are is pretty much the same as I think about camping or any outdoor sport : I can't do it for a while, but with luck I shall be able to do it sometime in the future. Meanwhile, I can plan and wait (cleaned and reproofed my waterproofs, got the thorns out of my boot soles, patched 'em with shoe goo , now need to think about some puzzle caches and sort out some lists ) so when geocaching becomes possible again , I will be ready to go. For some cachers it seems like cold turkey is kicking in, and they are desperate for a hit of the smiley drug, got to keep that streak going, must maintain the statistics, fill the dates cached grid, increase the smileys. Will the next stage be acquiring some perspective about what is important in life ? "... you don't couch log anything."
  7. Should we expect accurate attributes ? Yes. Do we get them ? Hmm, varies with cache owner. A certain type of comedian thinks it's funny to do something like adding 'no snowmobiles allowed' to an urban magnetic nano , or random spurious icons because there's a challenge cache to qualify for, or to attract some stats obsessives who want to complete the set . I don't often look at the attributes in isolation, but rather as part of the total information on the cache page when I read it in preparation for a trip out. The only time I do regularly use a specific attribute as a finder is in a GSAK filter to exclude tree climbing caches (I'm a coward) The main time I think about the rest of them is when I set a cache, and want to give as full and accurate amount of information as possible for everyone who looks at the page. Then I sit in front of my computer trying to remember if the gates along the walk to the cache I'm working on could be negotiated by a child's stroller, or if the stiles have dog friendly pass throughs ? I've no idea if anyone actually uses the attributes , but I like my cache pages to be as good and informative as I can make them. I don't believe attributes can all be reviewed at time of publishing , how could any cache setter provide evidence to a reviewer for most of them ? Many are an opinion (e.g. family friendly, scenic view, ) seasonal (e.g. may require wading, dangerous animals ) or things which may change without notice, and are entirely outside the cache owner's control (pretty much all of the 'facilities' section.) Reviewers job (unpaid) is to ensure a listing on Groundspeak complies with the Groundspeak rules, those rules must be as clear and unlikely to leave room for dispute and disagreement as possible or their (unpaid) work becomes too much for volunteers to want to do. Beyond the Groundspeak rules , the listing accuracy is down to the cache owner, and it reflects their attitude. As I said, I don't think it would be possible for all of the attributes to be part of the reviewing process . Neither should a patently silly attribute be a cause of a NM, more an indication of a patently silly CO. I don't dislike challenge caches (I own a few, and have found a few too ) but I think it was a mistake by Groundspeak to allow challenges based on attributes, as they are something which can be easily manipulated by cache setters, with just as much ease as they could set , for example, caches with names beginning with 'Z' for those (no longer allowed) challenges based on cache name alphabet finds. Remove the ability to set new attribute challenge caches, and (apart from the unfunny jokers) there's little reason for spurious attributes.
  8. Commiserations for your loss. Yes, a PQ of his finds, dropped into a new empty GSAK database made for it, then the macro HHL suggested will do the trick. In the past (no idea if it's still in the macro library) I used an old and somewhat buggy macro to produce a kindle friendly file (mobi is it ?) of my logs at the end of each year, but that was maybe 5 years ago and it may no longer work. As for paying premium for just one PQ , I'd be pretty disgusted if Groundspeak didn't show enough compassion to either provide you with that single PQ for his account if you asked , or gave out one of those one month free upgrades beginners can have in order for you to run the PQ . You lose nothing by asking, they gain some respect if they do the decent thing. Please let us know here what happens.
  9. I'd rather not pick one of those up, thank you ...
  10. You make your mind up , within the constraint of local laws , what you feel is safe for you to do. That's what rational adults do. It is up to us to understand how the virus is passed between people, and there is too much hysterical mis information bandied about , filtered through dubious sources who want to attract views by coming up with sensationalist headlines, social media posts etc etc. So, here's a simplified version of the W.H.O. information 1) The covid19 virus is carried by, and passed between, humans. 2) it lives in the lungs and respiratory (breathing) tract . 3) If you have the virus, it is breathed out, and also explosively expelled in droplets when you cough or sneeze. The droplets are too heavy to just hang in the air, and soon fall. 4) After being coughed out, live virus in those droplets can live on smooth surfaces for a while, (I linked elsewhere to a verifiable scientific experiment using this specific virus which gave it a 'half life' of 6-8 hours on metal and plastic. ) no science suggests it stays viable outside a human host for longer than 'a few days' . 5) You do not catch this virus through your skin. 6) The virus gets into your respiratory tract by being breathed in, or using the damp areas which are the protection at your body's borders between that tract and the air. Those places are your mouth, nose, and eyes (the eyes are not part of your breathing system, but their tear system is linked to the nose, as anyone who has been punched on the nose will tell you ... "I'm not crying, honest, I'm tough, it's just that my eyes are watering !" So, 7) in order for the virus to get in those damp places and head in to do its worst, you either a) come into close contact with someone who has the virus , and you happen to breathe in the virus from in the air they breathe out. This is the reason we are told to keep a 2m/6' distance from other people. or b) you come within range of virus carrying droplets just after someone sneezes of coughs, and you breathe them in or c) YOU TOUCH YOUR OWN NOSE, MOUTH OR EYES after touching a surface which has been coughed on , (or touched by someone else who has recently touched something with virus on it and who themselves failed to wash their hands. ) So you touch the elevator keypad , door handle, shopping cart , whatever has the virus on it , then you transfer it to those damp , virus friendly, breathing system places. Touching a surface with the virus on will not infect you with the virus unless you transfer it to nose eyes or mouth by touching your face before you kill the virus by washing your hands. The covid19 virus has an outer layer which is destroyed by soap or alcohol. Please people, don't allow worry, panic and 'information' from clickbait exaggerations to overcome rational thought and sensible actions. And don't spread worry, panic or disinformation either.
  11. A few thoughts : First, unless there is some puzzle on the cache page they need to solve to find the locations of those bits of information, or the information itself is a puzzle, that's probably a multi not a puzzle . Second, practically speaking, why 16 portions of information ? Is that because of the length of the co-ordinate string ? Remember that the first few digits of both latitude and longitude are going to be exactly the same for a huge area, so unless your chosen site is near the border between .for e.g. , 50 north and 51 north, most smart people will skip visiting those predictable digits. A lot of puzzles in my area give a portion of the solution on the page like this N50 0x.xxx W 000 0x.xxx. Third, 16 (or however many) pieces of information are many times (16 ?) more likely to go missing than a single cache container, and in towns those do seem to get muggled easily. If one of your pieces is removed, painted over or whatever, you will need to maintain it. Similarly, you need to be sure your pieces of information are going to stay readable despite fading or water damage (or frost damage, or whatever your climate throws at you, I've not checked to see where you cache ! ) As baer2006 mentions, inbuilt redundancy of some kind reassures cachers that a single missing piece of information will not mean they have to post a DNF , if you can work it in, it's very worthwhile. Fourth, you need to ensure your pieces of information are placed in a way which causes no damage, personally I'd not ever contemplate putting a sticker or marking with paint or pen on someone else's property , or municipal street signs etc. Using a magnet (or magnetic sheet cut to size) or a magnetic fake bolt would mean no risk of damage . You could maybe talk to some property owners in the town, a friendly small shop, cafe, museum or whatever might be happy to have a discreet sign placed in the corner of a window facing out and visible from the street .
  12. Point of view means nothing , the fundamental rule is Yes, as cache owners we control the caches we set and own. I've said it before (many times) Groundspeak simply runs the database of Groundspeak caches. , they don't own the caches . However, in order to have a cache listed on Groundspeak's servers, we are obliged to follow their rules. We don't have to list caches here if we don't want to play by the Groundspeak rules. Groundspeak rules say a find is made by signing the log . The rules also give everyone who sees the cache listing an equal chance of finding the cache : for instance, you cannot set a puzzle which require contacting the CO, or adding some ALR (additional logging requirement) such as having to log a specific TB . A fair game has to treat every cacher fairly, not just our friends. A local agreement between a few cache owners to allow their friends to log finds on caches they have never visited is not only against the 'find the cache, sign the log' rule, it discriminates against every cacher who is not in on the scheme. No wonder someone from the local caching community complained . If you want to play a private game with your own rules which don't coincide with the Groundspeak rules , then come here to complain about it, you really shouldn't be surprised to be criticized.
  13. I'm seeing some local cache setters disable their listings . In some cases I understand their decision, where they have what you might call a 'destination' set of caches, a circular walk way out from any centre of population (well, way out by UK standards !) which people would drive to from a town , park up and walk around. Leaving those active condones unnecessary travel. There's also the disabling of caches in areas currently closed to the public , which is obviously wise , as there are always going to be a few idiots who don't think for themselves and check accessibility in advance. Some COs with a lot of the sort of caches beloved of numbers cachers and streak pursuers, providers of urban park & grab micros, have disabled theirs too. My caches are almost all away from roads, and either in parkland on the edge of the suburbs, or in rural locations which need to be walked to, none more than 5km/3miles from a village or town. So apart from disabling one cache which is in a closed area, I'm happy to leave the rest available so any local can to choose to include it to enliven their daily outdoor exercise if they wish. I say 'choose to' absolutely deliberately : the caches are there, but anyone who thinks touching one might pose an unacceptable risk is free to walk on by, and not claim a find. My choice is that if I had any caches to find within a reasonable radius of home (discounting those I've already ignored for ages as uninteresting drive bys etc) I'd go for them, but , if the CO disabled them, I'd respect their wishes, not out of fear but simply from respect. Disabled caches can be logged , if they should be logged is something that, as a finder, you need to decide for yourself.
  14. Adding a random thought : obviously virtuals and earth caches are touch free finds, but I doubt there are many cachers with any unfound and close enough to home to justify traveling to them. It seems clear is that geocaching is going to take a huge dive in numbers for months (not the greatest problem humanity is facing, I know, but that's what this forum is about) Travel , even of short distances by European standards, is probably going to be off the menu until August at the earliest. I wonder if maybe Groundspeak will consider a further release of virtual caches in those areas where total lockdowns are not yet in place ? Local virtuals for local people (sorry, if you don't know about Royston Vasey you won't know why typing that made me smile ... ) Royston Vasey virtuals : local (virtual) caches for local people ... set within 8k /5miles of CO's registered home location, and only visible & able to be logged by cachers whose home location is within the same radius . All active for a month, then auto archived , and another set published . Yes, I know, almost certainly an impossible thing for Groundspeak to set up , but it gives me a great idea for a way to enliven my local caching friends' daily exercise walks , even if I'll be using an entirely different platform to do it ...
  15. No, I'd not accept routine signature-less logging on my caches. Almost every cache I've ever found, (apart from the 'clever camo, in full view' ones) and all those I've placed, was hidden, i.e. covered by vegetation, stones, leaves , wood, bark or whatever, or tucked away somewhere out of sight. . In order to uncover the cache, you'd need to remove that camo, pull the container out from it's hidey hole , move it from behind the fence post , tree etc etc. in order to get a clearly identifiable photograph of it .Which would mean touching it . You'd also have to touch it to put it safely back as found. So opening the container to sign the log as per the rules of the game is not going to add to the danger.
  16. Owner's name is at the top of the listing, this is them they logged in earlier this month, so are still involved even tho' it's been a couple of years since they had their last find. I imagine they will be interested to hear about their prodigal cache !
  17. Oh, and you are a basic member , and I see you've only found a few caches , so you may not know that this could easily be a premium cache , which you would not see on your app... or a puzzle which would not be shown where the final box is, but as a dummy location . Or a multi, or a Wherigo ... all of those are not where they actually show on the map.
  18. It may be a geocache listed on a different site. If you can post a list (or better, a photograph) of the log entries to show the caching names and dates , along with the approximate location where you found it, there are dozens of puzzle solving cachers on here in lockdown who have no outdoor caching possible at the moment, and would try to track it down . A description of the container and any cache note or other contents may yield useful clues too .
  19. An interesting time line, thanks for sharing it. Mine went like this : Returned home on March 12th after a brief break at a rural coastal location, during which time I stayed in a Youth Hostel , which was hosting two school groups from different parts of the country, as well as the usual bunch of independent travelers from all over the place . I cached (mostly ECs and virtuals plus maybe a dozen physical caches) and held an event (half a dozen attendees) in the course of the stay. Getting home to find the situation with the virus was getting more serious (but little action as yet from the English government : pubs still open, schools still open, everyone still at work ) and knowing that whilst I'm generally healthy and under 65, many of my friends and neighbours are in vulnerable categories, I immediately self isolated for a cautious 14 days , doing by my own choice exactly what the government mandated a week later. During those 14 days I went out recreationally only for a couple of solo walks a week, staying well away from popular places, including one suburban caching walk (timed to get home as the school day finished) plus I walked to some of my seldom found rural caches and pro-actively maintained them. Made one shopping trip by car to buy pet food and necessities for me, and another to pick up some things up on behalf of a vulnerable neighbour. I have had no symptoms, but as our government have not been any good at getting testing underway ( the tests are 'going to be here in days' , and they have been 'going to be here in days' for the last 2 weeks ...) I have no idea if I have never acquired the virus, if I have acquired the virus and my immune system has beaten it without any fuss, or if I have acquired the virus , am asymptomatic, and likely to pass it on to anyone whose path I may cross. Which is hugely annoying, as if I could be confident I had the antibodies and (probable) immunity I could be a lot more useful to the community. So, I need to continue the same routine, it's easier now everyone has to do it, and I'm not seen as a doom mongering pessimist ! There's a range of reactions to this awful pandemic, everyone finds their own place on the line, which ranges from 'Meh, it's like 'flu , I'm not in a risk category, so I don't care' *.....................................to .......................................................................'AAArgh ! The sky is falling ! I reckon 75% along the line towards, but not at, the right hand end of the line is about right in Europe at the moment. Elsewhere in the world, and in the future, things may well be different. Accurate information about transmission and how to prevent it are key to staying calm and thinking positively. Back when HIV/AIDS virus was the pandemic we were urgently dealing with, the UK government put out adverts which said 'Don't die of ignorance' , that applies just as much today . * anyone who thinks this is in line for a well deserved Darwin Award
  20. There is no clarification, it's a vague pronouncement, which is a silly situation for both public and police, a clear definition of exactly what is and is not acceptable would be far better and reduce the chances of people getting into needless arguments. Personally, given the choice of walking around a suburban park 10 minutes walk from home, crowded with people and children doing the same, some of whom have zero ability to remember they should keep their distance, or driving 10 km to one of the many little used footpaths in the countryside I've discovered because of caching, where I'm unlikely to see any humans at all , let alone pass within 2m/6' of them, , I'm absolutely confident that the country walk away from people is the safer choice. I understand that there is a ( very small) risk of my car breaking down, or of having an accident, but I think the risk of being so near many random people in the suburban park is greater than the risk of the careful 10 minute car trip to a place I can walk alone. If guidelines are tightened, and I can't do that any more, I'll probably just stay at home and sort out the garden: it has been quite neglected since I started caching 9 years ago , plenty of outdoor exercise to be had there !
  21. The log type is called 'found it', because it is a record stating that the cacher ... found the cache in question. It's not an award for effort, or recompense for being in the right place at the wrong time ... it's that the cacher found the cache and signed the log. However long the walk is, it's immaterial. If any cacher doesn't find the cache and sign the log, it's a DNF . I've had COs offer me 'finds' on caches I DNFd on walks, and it always strikes me as a bizarre and rather childish response to failure, why pretend it didn't happen ? Nothing is lost (except the +1) , just shrug and move on, learn from it , if you feel truly diminished n the eyes of others by posting a DNF, , just don't even bother posting one, then no one will know ....
  22. The cache setting guidelines include this "Website registration A cache page that requires one or more of the following will generally not be published: Create an account with another website. Provide personal information to another website (excluding email address and username). Which means that even if HQ thought location-less , virtual events were a good idea (and I don't think they are either) they would have to be on a platform you don't need to sign up for. Does such a thing exist ? I believe not, as every 'free' service run by a company is there to show you adverts and/or harvest information. They don't give you such a service out of feelings of generosity !
  23. Couch cachers are , however, taking the opportunity to couch cache are they not ? So, why do those people with 'extensive caching records' not log a note ? If I saw this ridiculous behaviour from someone with 'extensive caching records' I'd seriously doubt the accuracy and honesty of those records ... So some cachers attempting to overstretch the rules just for the hobby means that a small geographical and time limited breaking of the rules is OK ? Really ? Is that as long as it's only in your own area ? Again, you suggest that this is OK because it was posted on a local group: was that here on the forum, or one of the other social media ? Will cachers who are not privy to your 'local group' be encouraged by those 'found it' logs to think it is OK to actually visit those caches ? Despite them apparently being illegal to access by your own description. You genuinely think cachers will go to the caches at a later date when the areas are legal to enter ? Why bother if they already 'found it', they cannot post another find on the same cache. It's not harsh to avoid cachers making foolish decisions by removing their ability to do so, and keeping it impersonal protects the volunteer reviewers from feeling they should waste their time and effort politely responding to the sort of specious arguments you are putting forward here .Opinions really don't matter here, the simple straightforward universal rule of (non-virtual) caching says, visit the cache, sign the log, log the find online. You say, no need to visit, no need to sign, just log online. Groundspeak ( backed up by every contributor outside your group on here) says that is wrong. No need to look deeper, read logs or anything. It is wrong. There was nothing to stop you posting honest notes on the cache pages, nothing apart from wanting the +1 smiley makes a note a less desirable log type.
  24. I have a science background, so have little confidence in information about this virus which has been filtered (and likely distorted in the service of simplicity, a particular political viewpoint, or desire for a click bait headline) through journalists or social media, I want to get my information direct from scientists and medical folk. Information properly weighted with all the 'maybes' , and 'we don't yet have all the statistics in yet, but as far as we can tell.. ' caveats the news reports tend to ignore. A couple of days ago I heard a very interesting radio programme on the BBC , it has (among other covid19 related information ) a scientist giving the outcome of some research on how long the virus persists on various surfaces. Well worth a listen: I think you may need to sign up to do the live stream 'listen now' , but the 'download' option at the top doesn't need a sign up , gets you an MP3 version, and may be a better choice for you, if like me your internet connection is getting flaky due to all the self isolating neighbours streaming films & games ! BBC Inside Science 26th March 2020 The section about covid19 virus persisting on surfaces starts about 16 minutes in, but all of the broadcast is worth a listen. Short version : research suggests the virus survival on a hard surface has '... a half life of around 6 to 8 hours" . So half the virus left on a plastic or metal surface (like a cache) dies after that time, and of the half left, another half dies in the next 6-8 hours and so on and so on (similar to the way we describe decay of radioactive materials ). For cardboard (which was included in the study, and as it is essentially thick paper I reckon we can extend the results to paper log sheets and books) the research had a less clear outcome. the scientist being interviewed suggested it may be that it was harder to pick up a sample from a fibrous surface in the experiments, and it might be that it will be similarly hard for a person to pick up any virus from that surface. Don't take my word for it though , as I said at the start, it's best to hear the expert, listen to the original !
  25. First, there is no requirement for a log book at event caches. Second, this appears to be nothing more than the desire to get +1 smiley . If you see a lot of discussions in those 'virtual communities', you are participating on those platforms already. Calling such a 'meeting' a geocaching event changes it in no way (other than that that +1 smiley of course)
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