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Everything posted by fizzymagic

  1. Pocket queries have a maximum radius of 500 miles/750 km. I am aware of no way around that.
  2. That is potentially a problem; however, I will assert that if there many ways to qualify then the cache is unlikely to require the kind of book-keeping that the rule is supposed to eliminate. It is precisely those caches for which there are not many ways to qualify that are supposedly addressed by this rule. Additionally, a checker telling you what you still need in order to qualify is very different from a checker telling you an exact list of caches. Examples: You must find n caches for each of m types: checker says how many caches you have of each type, and how many left to reach n for that type. "Combinatorial" challenges (you have to fulfill some set of requirements using a unique cache for each): checker gives you the closest set it can find and tells you how many requirements are unmet. A challenge to make an image on the DT grid with some finds can tell you exactly which DT combinations you would require to make that image. That's the challenge that thebruce0 said he had rejected. Can you give an example of a challenge cache that would otherwise be acceptable today ( and yes, I know that is problematic) for which a checker could not give adequate feedback? I believe that any such challenge would likely be rejected as being too difficult to understand. For example, my proposed convex hull area challenge we discussed a few years back would require that you figure out the area of a convex hull when adding a new cache, which would be too complex to make it acceptable.
  3. I'm just spitballing here, but maybe among all the other requirements, one could have been added for this kind of challenge: the checker would have to show what remained to be done to qualify. I mean, it's not like HQ has shown that it has any problem with imposing new requirements and rules.
  4. Under this definition of "shape," almost any challenge could be denied. Since topology is isomorphic with algebras, anything that requires math (such as total finds) should, technically, be forbidden. I had understood that the "shape" ban was only for geographic shapes, which could rationally be argued as making sense. Banning "shapes" on the DT grid, however, takes that to a whole new place. The argument that such a shape requires bookkeeping is vitiated by the requirement for a checker; a checker can show you what you have left to do without any need for bookkeeping on your part.
  5. The ban on shapes in the DT grid is kind of gobsmacking. How could that be interpreted as a "user-defined shape" in lat-long space? As you say, we are completely at the mercy of whatever HQ decides. What you don't mention is the lack of transparency. Sometime these rues changes are documented after several months; more often they are revealed in an accusatory "you should have known" tone upon denial of the challenge. As before, I do not blame that tone on the reviewers; it is transmitted directly from HQ.
  6. So it was backwards: HQ understood my challenge but not the others. I am sorry that I will not be reporting any other challenges. I am uninterested in helping HQ deal with problems of their own creation without appropriate compensation.
  7. Au contraire; several challenges that require finding a cache for every minute of a degree have been published since mine was denied, even though those also define geometric areas. As I said, there should be no expectation of consistency. Had HQ understood my challenge, they would not allow these others. Or perhaps I have it backwards: they understood mine and do not understand the others. Unfortunately I have not been able to come up with a scenario in which they actually understand the consequence of their rules.
  8. The key thing to remember is that the rules are whatever Groundspeak HQ says they are. They are not invented by the reviewers. They do not have to make sense; a couple of months ago I had a challenge cache revoked by headquarters because I inadvertently described the challenge using a perfectly ordinary word for a mathematical concept that they did not like. (I described combinations of latitude and longitude degrees as "squares" instead of "combinations.") Without any attempt to understand the concept, HQ issued an emergency order to my local reviewer to archive it after he had approved it. I did not bother appealing; you must simply understand that this is not a democracy, and whatever HQ says the rules are is what the rules are, and comply without complaining. I am not, in fact, complaining here: it's their site and their employees (the reviewers) and users are bound by their rules. A big part of the problem is that many cachers are under the impression that the reviewers are representatives of the caching community, as opposed to instruments to carry out HQ's will. Give that up and everything becomes a lot easier. BTW, in this particular case I partly agree with HQ's position, and I am hopeful that challenges based on words spelled with attributes will be forbidden as well, as they are lame. But the principle remains the same. And as evidence that the reviewers are not just making these things up out of thin air: one of Keystone's challenges (under his user account) that I thought was very innovative and fun would no longer be accepted under the new rules.
  9. You are so right! AL creators have no reason to make their ALs fun, creative, interesting, or pleasant in any way. Those things may be my priorities, but there is no reason for an AL creator to consider any of that. The vast majority of ALs I have done illustrate the point very nicely, as the creators have clearly not taken these things into account.
  10. Your argument here would hold a lot more water if DNF stood for "couldn't find it" instead of "didn't find it."
  11. I am guessing that the point values for different types of caches will change, but the range will stay the same. so 325 points for a generic find and up to 600 for a preferred type. At 325 points per find, that would only be 20 caches for Denali, which is one of the highest. At 600 points, it would only require 10. I think it took me 20-something finds to finish the last challenge. So this one is more or less in keeping with previous ones, with shorter timeframes for each.
  12. Just so you have an idea of what will be required, here are the elevations of the summits: Puncak Jaya Summit 4884 m Vinson Summit 4892 m Elbrus Summit 5642 m Kilimanjaro Summit 5895 m Denali Summit 6190 m Aconcagua Summit 6961 m Everest Summit 8849 m
  13. Your work is wonderful, unpaid, and highly appreciated. However, the terminology that HQ uses to describe your position as a "community volunteer," is intentionally misleading. It implies that (1) you volunteered your services before being asked, and (2) the geocaching community selects the reviewers. In actual fact, the reviewers are unpaid employees of Groundspeak, who both selects the reviewers and directs their activities. In no way am I questioning the good intentions or quality of work of the reviewers; as I said before, their work is highly valued and I greatly appreciate them.
  14. If they are going to be that pedantic I think they should remove the word "volunteer" from the job description, as they are not exactly volunteers.
  15. If you want to reduce cheating, then (a) don't cheat and (b) maintain your own caches' logs. Done.
  16. I disagree. Overly restrictive geofences are horrible and can be, as in the case of one I did last week, dangerous. Knowing the questions ahead of time can make the experience more pleasant without compromising the requirement to log fro the area.
  17. Since they have known about this issue for a couple years and have refused to discuss it, I am going to go ahead and say never.
  18. You cannot possibly be serious. I did one of those "highway" ALs in our mutual neighborhood last week that was so bad I think I think I am done with ALs for good. The stops were just things near random signs that identified the route. Maybe one was mildly interesting. Several others were dangerous. And the AL was implemented so that you had no idea what you were looking for until you got close enough (with overly-tight geo-fencing) to even figure out what to look for. I admit that it is possible to create good ALs, but the tools provided seem to encourage bad ones, since only one of the 6 or so I have done was enjoyable. Geo-fencing a phone with a 10-foot radius around whatever object the person needs to seek along a busy highway with very few safe places to pull out and no way to tell from the app even which side of the road you will need to be on makes for a miserable experience. IME the highway project ALs tend to be very poorly implemented and do not present much interesting history. But to each their own; YMMV. I just wish that HQ could stop imposing them onto the (completely separate) geocaching activity.
  19. Exactly. I was going to suggest a variant of a quantum bomb tester so that you can be highly certain a cache is there before heading out to find it. Wouldn't want any uncertainty to enter into the game, after all!
  20. I should probably expand on my earlier comment. I have had poison oak/ivy reactions several times over my geocaching career and am now extremely sensitized. I have tried the described technique and it does not work for me. I have done a fair amount of research into these rashes and, from what I have learned, he is wrong for a couple of reasons: First, while urushiol is an oil, it is not a high-viscosity substance like grease And, unlike grease, it is not visible so there is no way to tell where it is or whether you have removed it all. Since his technique involves scrubbing, you have to know where it is to scrub the affected region, and you can't tell by looking. His so-called "demonstration" of Tecnu not working shows that he does not understand how Tecnu works. Tecnu was not developed for poison oak/ivy, but originally it was made to help remove radioactive fallout from skin. It works by binding to the urushiol more strongly than the skin proteins do, after which it can be rinsed away. It does not work as well for generic grease, and needs to be applied before rinsing and left on for 30 seconds to maximize the binding. Thus the demonstration on the video is not a useful comparison. Dishwashing liquid is designed for generic grease; it works as a surfactant, in which the surfactant molecules surround the grease/urushiol molecule and can then be washed off. It's a different chemical process. The key to the superior results from Tecnu is not that all the oil is removed from your skin; it's that the remaining oil is chemically bound to the Tecnu and will not cause the allergic reaction. The location of the rash on your skin may not may not be where the oil concentration was highest. The rash tends to be worst where the skin is thinnest, and no rash occurs on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. Typically the worst spots are the neck and face and the inside of the wrists. In addition, different areas develop the rash at different speeds, so it doesn't appear all at once. My best results have come from coating my exposed areas with Tecnu before any attempt to wash it off, leaving it for a few minutes, and then rinsing and using soap and/or detergent to remove any remaining oil. Please do not treat the video as accurate information!
  21. I have tried the method shown in this video. It does not work.
  22. No apology required; I was just confused. If you will allow me to drag this back on topic: I believe that an attitude that is overly concerned with "cheating" is not compatible with longevity in the activity. It's not that I don't care about cheaters; I guard the logs for my old virtual caches pretty carefully. In fact, a clearly bad log by a disturbed individual who set up a bot to re-log if I deleted his log (and who HQ, for some inexplicable reason, refused to sanction) bothered me for a few months, but I successfully deleted when he lost interest. But I have a choice: I can get all upset over every deviation from how I cache, or I can just let those questionable practices go. I choose the latter for the most part, although I have to admit that HQ has made Adventure Labs hard to ignore so they really annoy me. I go out of my way to not make my caches power-trail friendly (I am happiest with caches that are only logged a few times a year) and interesting for people to do. And I choose to do caches that I enjoy, because there are plenty out there for everybody. My assertion is that unless you let some of this stuff go, you will not last.
  23. Could somebody please explain to me in small words what this discussion has to do with "Longevity in the game?"
  24. PGC has a stats mode and I don't know because I don't do streaks. But for specific challenges, it will depend on what the author of the checker included. For my challenges, I usually exclude locationless cachs and Adventure Labs.
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