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Plasma Boy

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  1. Thanks for all of your views on this issue. I do not really disagree with much that is said here but there are a few that really stand out. I will reply to them as time is available. I will say this though. mtn-man and cacheDrone, while you are not admins, you are representatives for Groundspeak. ntm-man has responsibilities for the forums. He is a site wide moderator and did in fact alter the 12th thread posted here. That means you are responsible for enforcing GC guidelines. You both as reviewers are responsible for the quality and correctness of caches. You vet and approve them. You say that you can guarantee that the cache name was changed. If you notice that the cache name was changed, why haven't you as the responsible person taken that cache off line? The guideline says solicitation is off limits "PERIOD". It should not matter whether the violation is "screaming" or not. Once you have found out you should do something. There are no apples and oranges. a violation is a violation. You say cache names can be changed. Why is this allowed? You can not change group names on facebook. This is to avoid someone creating a group called "I love puppies" and after many people join changing it to "I murder puppies". When a coordinate is changed on a cache page the reviewer is notified and has to allow the change. Why isn't this done for cache names. I notice that I can not change the cache type on my caches.
  2. Thanks for all of your comments, I understand your points of view. I agree that solicitation should not be promoted and when told I could not do it in a cache, I did not. I made a TB instead. I did not intentionally insert my tag line to promote my passion. It was there long before I knew there was such a rule. It just happened and for two years it was OK. I think what bothered me the most was the inflexibility of the representative to negotiate a fair settlement. I have started removing my logs from all of my finds. I do not like it, but I have no choice. I am really annoyed with their position after I did a little searching on GC.com caches. After the previous posters comment about "support the troops" I did a little experiment. You can do it also. Go to "hide and seek" on the GC page and under keywords, type "support" or "cancer" or "blood" or "donor" or "church". How many caches do you find that apparently solicit or promote or support an agenda. One is called "Be a blood donor" Granted it does not cover blood donations but the name does imply it. There are Breast cancer awareness caches, support our troops caches, there are blood donor caches. There are caches mentioning churches and going to church. Why did my tag line buried under tons of other logs hit a cord when all of these very public caches did not? Was someone just reading every cache log and see mine tag line? Sounds like a lot of work, when there are easier targets on the cache listing page. Again, I have been ordered to remove them and I will. Some fun huh?
  3. This is a long post, but if you read it, there is a point. You may or may not agree with what I say, but I invite you to read it and comment. My only request is that you be polite. It concerns a part of the Geocaching.com guidelines that I do not agree with and I am hoping that if enough people agree, Groundspeak might change their policy. G’day, my cache name is Plasma Boy and I have been geocaching in Eastern Canada since August 2005. I love this sport/hobby. It has re-introduced me to the woods that I had been neglecting for far too long. I have become acquainted with some very nice people. My background is in geology (30 years) and with the advent of Earthcaches, geocaching has gone to a new level for me. To date, I have 3 hides and 1101 finds. Did I say I love geocaching? As my geocaching name implies, one of my other passions is the promotion of the donation of blood products and bone marrow. I have been a blood donor since my 18th birthday (33 years). I changed from whole blood donations to plasma donations and as of today have 420 donations. I have a rare blood type (AB-, less than 4% of the planet) and my plasma is in great demand. This is because while only people with AB- blood can use AB- blood, anyone can use the plasma from an AB- plasma donor. I donate plasma every Tuesday afternoon. I plan to donate until I die or my health makes it dangerous for me to donate or other to receive my blood. I am also a member of the unrelated bone marrow registry. I have been on the short list to donate bone marrow, but a donor closer was identified. In Canada, the donation of blood products is managed by the Canadian Blood Service (www.blood.ca). It is a selfless act where no compensation is offered. Although, donating to the Canadian Blood Service is a charitable act, it is not deductible on our taxes. The only compensations donors are given are milk (in my case chocolate milk) and cookies and the knowledge that with that one donation you have just saved up to 5 lives. I tell everyone the first two compensations are the only reason I donate, but the third reason is why I do it. I have been in a situation where an operation was delayed, because they did not have my blood type on hand in case it was needed. Not a good feeling. In Canada, less than 3% of eligible donors (healthy and over 18) donate blood products. This is an appalling number. Just 3% are carrying the load for the rest. There are many valid reasons why citizens are not eligible to donate. I will attach the questionaire and you will see what I mean. Other reasons in my opinion are less valid, like I don’t like needles, it takes too long, the questions are too personal, etc. The reason why I am writing this is a few days ago I received an email from GC.com. It is reproduced below. There are several back and forth emails where I tried to negotiate with their representative. The representative mentions that what I have done is against the guidelines of GC.com. I do not agree. Firstly, GC.com lists them as “guidelines”. According to Wiki, “A guideline is any document that aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine. By definition, following a guideline is never mandatory (protocol would be a better term for a mandatory procedure). Guidelines are an essential part of the larger process of governance. Guidelines may be issued by and used by any organization (governmental or private) to make the actions of its employees or divisions more predictable, and presumably of higher quality." So, guidelines are by definition not mandatory. Secondly, I feel that I was promoting blood donations. I was not offering anything as an incentive, so I do not feel that I was soliciting. Thirdly, by the representative’s own explanation, the guideline is not enforced equally across GC.com. I can solicit in my profile page and on forums. I know I can not create a cache page with an “agenda”. I know this because a year ago, I asked to do this to promote blood donating. I was referred to the guidelines and accepted these guidelines. I asked why GC.com could promote/solicit Diabetes Awareness by giving away 20,000 TB’s. I was told that TB’s and travel coins were allowed. This is another contradiction of the guidelines. I have a travel bug called ‘The Blood Line” which flagrantly promotes blood donations and the CBS. As I have mentioned, I have cached for over 2 years and have logged 1100 finds to date. I questioned caches of a charitable nature a year ago. I established a charitable TB. I have used this tag line in all of my finds. No one has complained about it. Other cachers that I meet mention how much they like my tag line. They all say that it is funny and identifiable. No one has said that it offended them or thought I was soliciting their blood. I am told that I must change all of my logs. I do not think this is fair. It takes 5 minutes to change each log and then email each owner to explain why. 5 minutes x 1101 caches = 91.75 hours. I do not agree that I should be required to remove these lines. If I am not allowed to use them then I agree to enter nothing in my logs, so as to not offend GC.com or any other cachers. The 1101 other logs should be allowed to stand, because for one it will require a vast amount of time to change. The other reason is that most of these are buried miles down in the log lists where no one will see them anyway. That is all I have to say on this issue. I bring it up to get the opinions of fellow cachers. I welcome all comments; just keep the blows above the belt. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It has come to our attention that you put the following in all your cache logs. Be a blood donor 1 888 2 DONATE (Canada) Give your blood to humans, not mosquitoes and ticks. This is against our guidelines and needs to be removed. We do not allow solicitations on our cache pages. Please contact me when you have completed the editing of your cache logs. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. Thanks, Community Relations Specialist ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Can I just remove the phone number. The rest is general salutations like "have a nice day". In Canada blood donors are not paid to donate. There is no money changing hands. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is still a solicitation to donate. We do not allow those on cache pages. You can use it on your profile page and on your signature line in the forums but not on a cache page. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I honestly think this is a very silly reaction to a very benign issue. I have asked various cachers in two local associations and they agree. Most look forward to seeing it. I find it totally ironic that GC promotes (solicits if you will) diabetes awareness, the sale of your products and third party vendors. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You are allowed to promote it on your profile page. You are allowed to create travel bugs and promote it which is what the diabetes project is, travel bugs. You are not allowed to promote it on cache pages. This is the rule that applies to everyone including the United Nations. They were not allowed to place caches, or cache logs promoting their agenda. You need to remove the lines from your logs even if other cachers think its ok. It is the same for everyone. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I just read the clause on solicitation. None of my three caches solicit anything. The clause does not mention anything about logs. Why am I being asked to remove something that does not break the rules as laid out in your guidelines. Caches that Solicit Solicitations are off-limits. For example, caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- asking/telling people to donate blood is an agenda. Agendas are not allowed. we are talking about your postings in cache logs on other peoples caches. If you have the same thing on your caches you need to remove it also. But I am talking about your cache found logs. > It has come to our attention that you put the following in all your cache logs. > > Be a blood donor > 1 888 2 DONATE (Canada) > Give your blood to humans, not mosquitoes and ticks. > > This is against our guidelines and needs to be removed. We do not allow solicitations on our cache pages. This is what was said in the original email. If you need to see it in writing then I refer you to the Terms of Use that say: "Groundspeak may change, suspend, or discontinue any portion of the Site, or any service offered on the Site, at any time, including but not limited to any feature, database, application, or content. Groundspeak may also impose limits on certain features offered on the Site with or without notice." Please consider this a limit on the cache log feature. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Before I start changing my logs, I want to clarify what I can say. "Because GC.com considers my tag line to be a form of solicitation, they demanded that I remove it. You can visit my profile page if you wish, but you do not have to". ----------------------------------------------------------------------- No that is not acceptable. You are creating another agenda with that line. remove the lines do not add anything to the previous logs. Do not add those lines or any thing like them to any new caches. You are promoting something from your tag line as you call it. This is not allowed. It doesn't matter if it is blood denotation's or how you were wronged by Groundspeak. That is an agenda. Remove the lines and do not replace them with anything else that is any sort of agenda, comment or anything else that tries to make a point. Since you commented that your tag line is the same as "have a nice day" then you should say "have a nice day" ----------------------------------------------------------------------- OK, I will remove the logs and simply say "log removed by Plasma Boy". For new logs I will say absolutely nothing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ You do not have to remove the entire log, only the tag line. anything more that that and its your choice. All we are asking for is these lines. > Be a blood donor > 1 888 2 DONATE (Canada) > Give your blood to humans, not mosquitoes and ticks. That is all that needs to be removed. Should you chose to remove more that is your call and not needed. Thank you ----------------------------------------------------------------------- I will start removing logs, as soon as I can. It took me two years to place them. I will try to remove them faster than that. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Thank you for agreeing to remove those 3 sentences
  4. I just went in to my profile to add a FTF to my list and I got the following error when I tried to update. Please correct the following issues before continuing: * Profile text cannot exceed 5000 characters (including HTML) I shorten my profile an got the same answer. I went in and just entered my password and told it to update without any changes and got same error. What's up?
  5. Actually, there are several things I would consider essential that are not on either Canadian list. Once is cash. Real money, in small bills. In many emergency situations, power and communications are the first to go. Without those 2 things, credit cards are just scraps of plastic. The other biggie is self defense/personal protection items. Even if you happen to be prepared, you need to be able to keep someone(s) from just taking the stuff from you. I think the real point is, everyone has a different opinion of what precautions need to be taken, and no person or warning label can possibly cover it all, especially for another person. Would you like the cache pages to recommend carrying a firearm while caching? Lot's of cachers consider that a "don't leave home without it" item. The NS list does mention cash, right after spare car keys. September 2003, Hurricane Juan (google it) passed directly over Halifax (pop. ~ 250,000). Power was out to much of the area for 7 days. My power was out for 6. There was a lot of damage from the storm. There was very little damage as a result of looting or vandalism. Two people died. One was a first responder who saved someone. There were no gunshots heard. I do not recall any break ins reported. Granted there must have been some trouble, but I do not think there was any more thannormal. Nobody was shot (good guy or bad guy). We all just got on with cleaning up and helping our neighbours. I am sure that our situation is not unique. Here only the Police and some of the bad guys have hand guns. Here we need to work on getting them out of the bad guys hands. Stronger penalties. Just MHO. Please do not jump on me about hand guns. I have no opinion on what you do south of the border. Not my business.
  6. I'll give you a hint. It's not on this list that you posted, but a variation of it is on this list. I am quite happy with the NS list. I have added a portable gas generator to the list, I can't think of anything extra from your list that I would need. The NS list is more of an emergency list rather than a disaster list.
  7. You may know them as Emergency Preparedness Kits or Emergency Survival Kits or Ready Bags. EDIT: I noticed the PEI's example left off a very important irem, in my opinion. I assume that it's a Canada thing. KO, I get ya now. What Item? Here is the NS checklist. Emergency Preparedness Checklist
  8. Sharing safety information is a good thing. Making sure your friends and family are all well informed is admirable. Mandating it is another thing. By way of illistration Take a look a bug out bags on the net. If I read FEMA's (or the Department of Homeland Security) version vs. one that Criminal might put down for me on the back of a napkin. My money is on Criminals doing a better job for me in most circumstances and having less crap. If you read a few paragraphs above the one you quoted, I clearly state that it would not be MANDATORY. Sorry don't understand your illistration. I'm Canadian eh!
  9. I use the Palm Treo 600 as my phone/PDA/internet. If it's good enough for my buddy Jack Bauer on 24, it's good enough for me. The email package is cheaper than the Blackberry also.
  10. On the weekend, I did some major bushwacking carrying my mountain bike for a good deal of it. I have sturdy mountain bike shoes with recessed cleets. The shoes have nice metal fangs on the front to aid in running up hill. The bike has clipless pedals. I can't cycle without them. I feel more comfortable and safer. I have been using them for about 15 years and in that time I haven't had crush nuts syndrome once. Clipless are the way to go. Try it you'll like it. Feet come off the pedals easily with a kick out of the heal.
  11. Would I quit looking out for the safety of my friends and family, if the information was on this site? Well, firstly, it isn't and secondly no I would not. Having it here would make it alot easier though. Rather than directing them to various web pages, I could send them to one that was vetted by experienced outdoors people. Whenever I am in the woods, I always instuct those with me how basically to use a compass. If they do not have one, I lend them one of my many. I suggest that if they are going to be in the woods often they get one and learn how to use it. It is only a suggestion. Before we venture forth, we have a little safety talk. My daughter knows how to use a compass (as does my wife and most of our friends). She knows how to set the declination and where to find it. She like myself do not fully know the science behind declination, but knowing how to set it correctly is enough. She like myself is not an expert with a compass, but she could get out of trouble using one. Let me clarify this one last time. At no time did I say that cache placers should list every danger on their cache page. I do not expect the placer to wait at the head of the trail and guide the seeker to the cache location. The safety information does not need to be specific to each cache. If there is a specific danger near the cache site, it would be nice to include that. The general safety information could be located as I have said on ONE page, titled Safety Considerations. It could be linked from cache pages, but not neccessary. This would not take up much space. It is not mandatory that you read it or follow it. It is just there if you want to utilize it. It is a resourse. I fully agree that the safety responsibility is totally the requirement of the seeker. Know your own limits. It is obvious that most of the respondents know them and abide by them. I agree that the gross majority of caches are located along well traveled paths and the majority of seekers will never get into problems. I agree that the web site are not responsible for seeker safety. I just think it would be a nice gesture to offer inexperienced caches some suggestions of safe practices. Obviously most of you do not agree. Why, I can't fathom. I cross posted this to my local geocaching association. Their reaction has been totally opposite to most of the responses here. For the most part they think it is a good idea. They are thinking on putting such a page on their site. They may have safety seminars. They are not doing this because of legal liability. They think that knowledge is a good thing. Considering that I do not leave eastern Canada that often, having the information on their pages is good enough for me. The rest of you can carry on as you see fit. I wrote the original post because I thought I was doing a good thing. Most of you do not agree. I suppose that the most important thing is that eastern Canadians and visiting cachers will have the oppurtunity to view safety information if they so choose. Thanks for the discussion.
  12. Firstly, sorry for the sig line side bar. The link you quote is easy to see. it says "finding your first cache" Mr. Iverson's said, "finding". I missed the link, because of his other underlined non-linked phrases. This link has some good information included. I think it would be clearer if under the Getting Started link, a "Safety Considerations" link was included. From the link (Guide to Finding a Geocache Some tips to make it easier to research and locate your first cache, based on experiences from fellow geocachers.), I didn't get that there was safety info there. Maybe along with the statement to carry a compass, you could add that you should know how to use it and offer some basic tips. One of the forum links you supplied earlier, had this link (http://www.learn-orienteering.org/old/). I think it would be helpful if this site was offered as a good primer to compass and map useage. I believe it is free available to non-profit orgs. Maybe expand on some the ten essentials (http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=53416&hl=pack)could be included. I really think that this information would be greatly appreciated by many cachers. Stress that thisis general safety information and not neccessarily needed for all cache locations. Those are my specific suggestions.
  13. Yes, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The problem we have here in eastern Canada is that while the above statement is true, we have many overcast days and days that become overcast when you least expect it. We also have this funny natural effect called fog. It also appears when you least expect it. So yes the sun rises and sets everyday, but if you can not see it then it is as useless as your $400.00 GPS that has run out of batteries or fell off the cliff. Another way to navigate without a compass is the way my surveying instructor (30 years ago) taught me was usiong a watch to find north. Basically it goes like this, "Point the hour hand at the sun when you are north of the equator. South will be halfway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock." But as you can see it involves seeing the sun. It also involves an analog watch that has hands, but now we mostly ignore the analog watch for the electronic, much the same way as we ignore the compass. He told the class this just before he dug ut his trusty brunton compass and taught us how to use it with and without a map. A compass is very useful, even without a map. If you looked at the topo that you left in camp or saw a road as you were choppered into an area, you can get a general trend on where it is and move in that direction. If a buddy gets beaver fever and bolts into the woods, after you have called for any assistance available to you and before you give chase, yoiu should geta general bearing on his direction so you can reverse it on the way out. Can't do that with a basic GPS. Don't get me wrong, I love my GPS. It makes life very easy. but I would trust a compass with my life. Can you say that of your GPS?
  14. When I first posted this topic, I wasn't thinking of legal liability, Darwin awards, survival of the fittest or common sense. I was just thinking that anyone who became involved in the sport of geocachng should do it safely. The safety information isn't for experienced cachers, it is for the inexperienced. To blatently dismiss this topic with platatudes like "survival of the fittest", "darwin awards", " compasses are useless", etc. is very sad. I do not care what the disclaimer says. The disclaimer doesn't cover safety. It just protects the websites and maybe cache placers from legal liability. It is a cover your buut disclaimer. Fair enough. I just can not understand all of the negativity towards safety. Common sense is a very relative thing. It changes from place to place and from time to time. What I use as common sense here in Nova Scotia would not work in the desert. I have never been to a desert. I would not appreciate how much water is required. My common sense does not cover deserts, tropical jungles or even very big cities. If your kids came to you and asked, "daddy should I stick my fingers into the lawn mower output while it was running?", would you say, " Try it and see, if you make the wrong choice and get hurt, that is what we call survival of the fittest, son. I will nominate you for a Darwin award. " I would rather explain why they shouldn't stick their hands in the mower. I think the geocache web sites should have basic safety information available. Briansnat posted lots of good safety information available in past forums. My point is why should a newbie cacher be required to dig around for this information. If there was a specific forum topic then it would be easier. If there was a link on the front page it would be even better still. Yes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Come on guys and gals, at the very least supply the drinks. Is space on the server so tight that thereis not space for safety information. Put a counter on the page if it is not accessed then remove it. I am willing to bet that it will be hit often and repeatedly. I believe I have said all I want, except... Safety first.
  15. I am new to this group and fairly new to the whole geocaching experience. I do not claim to be Daniel Boone. Like many of you who geocache, I am fairly competent in the woods. I can read maps, navigate with maps, air photos, compass and pace and GPS. I have advanced first aid training and some (very little) survival training. I always prepare when I go into the woods. It scares me to think of people going into the woods unprepared. Now that GPS's have become commonplace, more and more untrained people are going down to Wal-Mart and buying a GPS and logging into geocaching web sites and enjoying this great sport. The problem is that many of them don't carry a compass and more of them wouldn't know how to use it if they did. I have browsed around this web site, my local geocaching sites and I can not find any information on safety, first aid, woodscraft, survival, etc. Maybe I just haven't dug deep enough into the sites, but I think that this kind of information should be front and center on geocaching web sites. Granted many caches are in cities and within site and sound of roads, but many are not. GPS's are not compasses and should not be mistaken for one. As a rule of thumb, everyone who ventures into the woods should carry a compass and know how to use it. Geocache web sites should state this and other important safety information. The various forums go into great detail about how to choose a good GPS, but I have not seen any topics on safety or compasses.
  16. Much better. Thanks for all of the help. TTFN
  17. This is not correct. Listen to Keystone. The limit was instituted by Groundspeak. The 200-view limit has nothing to do with Google or money. It is to ease strain on the databases containing the cache data. From the page about the geocaching KML: I've read very few complaints about 200 views not being enough. What this is refering to is the numbers of caches that appear on the screen. that makes sense. Everytime I move the screen it counts down to zero from 200. When I hit zero, the caches disappear. That doesn't make sense. Do you means everytime I move the screen it remaps the caches? That seams excessive. I can not find anyway to shut down autorefresh on my google earth browser.
  18. Is there a reason why when I launch the kml in Google Earth, I only get ~200 views before it shuts off for the day? Is this another rank has it's priviledges feature of a premium membership? Everytime I pan or zoom, it counts as a view. Can someone explain this to me?
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