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Paul G0TLG

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Everything posted by Paul G0TLG

  1. Just renewed my premium membership in the UK - and I see from my receipt that Groundspeak are still charging VAT but refusing to provide a proper VAT receipt (i.e. including the VAT number). Come on GS - I know you're a business and you have to make money and I don't have a problem with that - but if you're going to charge VAT because you say you're required to by EU/UK law, then provide a receipt in the form required by that same UK law. I'm sure you're not pretending to charge VAT and then putting the extra money in your own account - but given that you're continuing to ignore people's legitimate concerns seven months after this was first raised, I can understand why people think there might be something underhand happening.
  2. I second that! I'm not working in London any more, so I wouldn't find any more than I already have even if the series was reinstated. But I enjoyed finding the ones I did, they gave me an excuse to divert from my well-worn path between Waterloo and the office, and I also don't understand why JoLuc has a problem with them. Hope life gets back together and you're able to devote time to having fun - in whatever form you find that takes
  3. Well that's true, as far as it goes... But you could equally say there's nothing about puzzle caches that add to the geocaching experience...stay home and do a sudoku, then go geocaching. There's nothing about a multi that adds to the experience - if I wanted to read the plaque on the war memorial while I was out geocaching, I would anyway. I already go to pubs more than I should so what's the point of event caches... Meanwhile, people enjoy setting QR caches and other people enjoy finding them. They require specialised equipment, but smartphones with QR scanner apps are a lot more common than boats, scuba gear, caving equipment, infra-red or UV flashlights, and nobody has complained about those caches. Live and let live...do the caches you want to and ignore the rest, but please don't try to stop people exploring new ways of doing caching just because it doesn't appeal to you, or because you personally wouldn't have the equipment to complete the find.
  4. I worked in London for six years so I've done a LOT of "Needs Stealth" caches! Before I get anywhere near the cache, I read the description carefully, decrypt the clue and scan the last few logs for any further help. Then on approaching GZ I look around to see if what I've found out points me at anywhere obvious, and check as unobtrusively as possible without attracting attention - for example if I think the cache is hidden behind a notice board I read the notices while running one hand up and down the edge of the board. If I think it's behind an electrical junction box, I rest my smartphone on top of the box and study the screen, glancing down behind the box while pretending to stretch or scratch my head or whatever. One technique that I've found works well is to walk up and down arguing with someone on the phone (there doesn't really have to be anyone on the other end!). It's a normal thing to see in London so no-one takes any notice, and you can walk past the same spot several times without attracting attention. If I think the cache is at low level I put my backpack down and rummage in it for my diary - while still yellng at the person on the phone - and if I think it's high up I look to the sky in exasperation. I guess it's just adopting a camouflage suitable for the environment, just like the yellow jacket and hard hat people. I did once do an urban cache wearing a yellow jacket with "Health and Safety" on the back - it worked OK, but I carry my cellphone a lot more than I carry and H&S jacket!
  5. Actually that should read I think I'm having a bit of a rebellious streak here, keeping a virtual alive in spite of the Virtual Cache Owners best efforts to kill them off! Yeah, you're right, maybe I let my enthusiasm for rebellion get in the way of accuracy there...sorry Deci! I meant to refer to GS's policy of not allowing new virts, and letting existing ones die by not allowing adoption when VCOs left the game - I didn't intend to refer to this particular cache, although I know my wording didn't give that impression.
  6. Interesting...I'd log it, assuming I could meet all the requirements that existed when the cache was alive. For example, if the original requirement was "e-mail me this information and don't log the cache until I reply", then I would do that. If I didn't get a reply, well "meh"...it's only a number. Of course if the cache page says something like "email me the information and log the cache...if the info is wrong I'll just delete your log", then I'd consider that open season to log it (having sent the email)! I think I'm having a bit of a rebellious streak here, keeping a virtual alive in spite of Groundspeak's best efforts to kill them off! Assuming you're local(ish), if you don't get permission to log the cache, you or someone else could always place an offset using the same information. Maybe call it "Tribute to...(original cache name)". If I was going to do that, I'd just check that the original CO wasn't planning something similar. (edited for spelling, and to add...if anyone is thinking "would you attempt to log an archived physical cache?"...if I'd found it, and signed the log book, and had complied with any other ALRs from when the cache was alive, yes. Again, if the CO wants to delete my log, that's their right.
  7. I've done one like this in London, from memory it was a QR code on the cache page, one in the field then on to the final, a proper cache box. It got loads of positive comments so don't let the nay sayers here put you off! Just make sure it's clear from the cache page what people are getting into so they can ignore it if they want.
  8. Alex, I've just had another quick look at the site and it looks fine to me - yes of course it could have loads more jazzy bells and whistles, but it does what it's supposed to do and looks clean, simple and functional. I would say if you have any more resource that you're willing to expend on the site, it should go into publicising it, as now you've got it to this point it'll stand or fall according to how well it's used, not how pretty it is or how "professional" the web address appears to be. Thank you again for a useful addition to the UK Caching resources.
  9. I think what Paul was trying to say in a subtle, encouraging way was ... Ignore that obnoxious pedantic know it all who nobody probably listens to anyway. No matter what you do to help, some will construe it as an opertunity to have, deliver, and then push, their unhelpful unwanted quite frankly rude opinion. Usually these people are so far inserted into some dark orifice they miss the point entirely and go off on some random egotistical tangent and nothing will prevent them from having their say, however misguided it may be. It's a great idea and like anything and everything will evolve over time. I think Seaglass has effectively summed up the intention behind my post! Ah, my apologies - one of us has got confused over the difference between "constructive" and "downright rude". I don't THINK it's me that's confused but all things are possible, and like everyone else in the world, I'm not perfect.
  10. I'm sure if someone wanted to give Over21UK the money towards a "proper" domain name - or even register it on his behalf - he'd consider it a friendly gesture of support for this useful resource he's offering to the geocaching community. In the meantime as far as I can tell he isn't trying to be professional, just helpful (and maybe learn a bit more about web design at the same time). Alex - thank you for your efforts to provide a useful resource to the UK GC community. Rest assured that even if it were perfect in every way, some on the forums would still nit-pick, but most people will appreciate what you're doing.
  11. I've found that since I've been logging caches electronically via the Android app, I often get a log posted on the wrong date: Since I noticed I always go in and check, but I know there's a bunch on my record that are still wrong - I've got gaps in my "dates found" grid that I know I filled last year - but I can't remember which caches I found on those dates so I can't go back into the logs and edit them. I think one reason is that if I log a cache in the morning UK time, sometimes it gets onto the system as logged on the Seattle date, which is still on the day before!
  12. ...and on a similar subject - does anyone know how to get cache symbols (rather than just flags) on Memory Map for Android?
  13. On the subject of DNFs - - Most people I think will say "you should always log DNFs", as they are a guide to the cache owner that the cache MIGHT need a check, and it warns seekers who come after you that the cache might no be a simple find. My rule is, if I didn't find the cache because I stopped looking for reasons to do with me - In a hurry to get home, weather was threatening etc, I don't usually log it: The fact that my GPS batteries ran out, or that the bacon sandwich shp was due to close soon, don't help the cache owner or anyone else. If the reason is funny (searched for the cache for half an hour at the given co-ords, then realised it was a multi and I hadn't brought the info with me...yep, done that) then I'd use the "write note" function. If I didn't find because of factors to do with the location - e.g. it's on a footpath that's heavily used at certain times of day, or I believe legal access to the location isn't possible, or I think the location is dangerous*, or it's unpleasant because the cache location is in the middle of the local dogs' toilet - then I always DNF. It's information that will be useful to future cache seekers, and there's no point experienced cachers complaining that "that new cacher always places rubbish caches in horrible locations" if we're not going to give him honest (but tactful and constructive) feedback on his caches. And of course if I think a cache is genuinely missing then I DNF that too - if I'm certain I was looking in the right place then I might email the CO and describe where I was looking and send a photo, to see if (s)he agrees it's missing or I was in the wrong spot! * That is, more dangerous than the cache description would lead you to believe - if the location is dangerous because it's halfway up a cliff, and the cache is a 5* and the cache description makes it clear then climbing skills are required, then fair play. If it's a 1/1 but in a field of bulls, or you have to wade fast flowing water, or something else that might ensnare the unwary, I'll mention it.
  14. I've done a QR cache in central London - I also did a cache for which you needed a portable wifi device back when such things were pretty rare (you had to stand at a certain spot and read the name of the nearest wifi network). As long as you make it clear in the cache description what special equipment or skills will be needed to complete the cache hunt then anything legal is fair game! You'll reduce the number of cachers that go after your cache, but then...some cachers don't do micros...some won't do drive bys...some won't or can't do caches involving long walks, or puzzles, or looking for clues in churchyards, or looking for clues near chilldrens play areas (if I'm on my own without the family, I won't)...I bet there isn't a cache in the world that doesn't have some factor that means some group of cachers won't do it! If you hide it and publish it- - and make it reasonably clear what you need to do to get the cache - then a sizeable proportion of the caching community will come.
  15. Hmm, you're right, it really depends. I've cut searches short because I was under muggle observation, or because I was doing a quick C&D (Cache and Dash) on my way to work and ran out of time, or because the weather was threatening. I recently stopped searching for one because I wanted to get to the bacon sandwich shop before it closed...oh, and if I'm searching somewhere local to me and easy to get to, I'll stop searching sooner than if I'm not likely to be coming this way for quite a while. Assuming none of that applies - if I'm certain I know where the cache should be, and it isn't there (e.g. the hint says "magnetic on the back of the post box" and there's only one post box for miles around, I'll have one more quick look and then go. If the clue is "In the tree root", and the GPS is playing up under the trees and there are lots of tree roots within a reasonable distance, I'll stay until I've checked most of them. If the only place the cache could be is surrounded by dog poo or used nappy bags (believe me, it happens) I sometimes don't even start looking before I give up! I suppose as a guide, for a one star difficulty, if the GPS was consistently pointing at one spot, and that spot fitted the clue, I'd probably only give it five minutes or so. At the other end of the scale - - if GPS and clue were both giving a wide variety of potential spots - if I really wanted to find this particular cache (e.g. if it had a TB (travel bug) I specially wanted to pick up) - if half of previous finders had DNF'd (Did not find) and the other half had left comments like "Wow, really good hiding place, loved this!" - if, in the case of a puzzle or multi, I had checked my numbers and was absolutely confident I had the co-ordinates right ...well in those circumstances, before now I've still been searching when Mrs G0TLG phoned to find out why I wasn't home yet! Enjoy the hobby...remember it is supposed to be fun...and remember that in a year's time, you'll look back and laugh at how you once failed to find what you now think of as a really easy cache!
  16. Hi Brofessor and welcome to the hobby. I would suggest there's only one guideline you should follow in deciding what sort of cache you should create, where you should hide it etc (with the proviso that it needs to follow the actual rules etc) Think about the caches you've done, and which ones you've enjoyed most and which ones you haven't - and which ones could've been made better with a simple tweak somewhere. Now using that info, hide a cache that you would enjoy finding, somewhere you'd enjoy looking for it. You won't be the only cacher who enjoys that sort of cache so if you'd like it so will others. Accept that you won't please everyone - some people hate drive bys, others love them. Personally I prefer caches that take me on a nice long walk, but because of a knee problem at the moment I have to choose between caches within five minutes walk of a car park, or no caches - I'm using the time to clear up some local puzzles that I hadn't had time for previously! Like you I don't really see the point of caches in unattractive urban areas (although have a look at the caches in Central London, in particular the earthcaches - some of them are done really well and take the cacher to some unexpectedly interesting places). But some people hide caches in what seems to me to be the most uninteresting places and others choose to find them, so they're making people happy. As Seaglass said, just do it and enjoy it. You'll make mistakes with your first hide, we all did. Learn from them and act on the lessons when you place number two. Then learn from the lessons from number two... And enjoy it!
  17. Once upon a time I'd cleared my ten mile radius... In fact once upon a time there were only about twenty caches in Hampshire that I hadn't done. Now there are about forty in Southampton alone I haven't found, and the prevalence of micro- and nano-spew means I probably won't ever clear the city. In London I've got a reasonable radius from the office where I've found most caches, although there's a couple of puzzles that continue to elude me. Oh, and a new one placed last week that I can see from the office window!
  18. From what I remember of the history - Geocaching wasn't permitted on Forestry Commission land, but in some areas - certainly down here in the New Forest - an official "blind eye" was turned as long as we kept ourselves low key and didn't rock the boat. Someone DID rock the boat, and the FC in the NF went to the trouble of "Muggling" all the existing caches, including solving the multi-caches and going and finding them. They wouldn't negotiate permissions with individual cache placers (and who can blame them?), so the GAGB was set up by a group of cachers to try to act as an umbrella body. In those days UK caching was small enough that almost everyone caching in Britain at the time, personally knew at least one of the committee - in many cases from "before caching". Certainly in those days the GAGB wasn't a rule making body - landowners set the rules and the GAGB did their best to negotiate downwards, but what we got was "permission on the landowners' terms, or no permission" with the GAGB committee doing their best to influence the landowners to make the conditions as much like existing Groundspeak guidelines as possible. Whatever you may think of the current GAGB - and although I'm a member, I'm sufficiently out of touch to not have an opinion one way or the other - we wouldn't have the current blanket permission with the FC, and many other large landowners, without the work that the early GAGB did. DISCLAIMER - I wasn't a committee member and my memory is rubbish, but I was friends with several that were, and believe what I've said here to be as close to the truth as makes no difference.
  19. Depends on his job. If I received a Police caution - for anything - I'd lose my level of security clearance and have to give up my current job. The same would apply to anyone in Government work, emergency services, armed forces and their civilian support services...and probably more that I haven't thought of. All the same, unless there's more to this story than we've heard so far, I'm well surprised that the Police went as far as a caution. As others have said, the cacher was engaging in a legal activity and not actually causing any nuisance at all.
  20. I'm part way though the "Lost River Fleet" series, which if you fancy a walk is pretty good, and you pass by some others on the way. Thoroughly endorse the "Winchester Geese" recommendation. Any of Loony Londo's Earthcaches such as Helical Ridges Link, but do the research in advance! Have fun!
  21. Need to check the work diary tomorrow but I should be OK for the London me(a)t.
  22. There used to be a micro inside the big shopping centre in Newcastle (Metro Centre?) - it might still be there for all I know. But yes, it's been heard of and approved. But as Keehotee says, unfortunately virtual aren't approved any more, so the ideaas you suggested in your OP wouldn't be allowed.
  23. If you like puzzles, and you haven't already done them, May The Lord Be With You and May The Lord Be With You Too are excellent. Other than that...I've only ever found one Lake District cache that wasn't worth the effort ( a micro in a location crying out for a regular), so my experience would suggest that whatever you go for, you'll enjoy it. Have fun! (BTW...PQ parameters are simply nearest 500 unfound to the rented cottage!)
  24. XP and Firefox on the lappy and desktop. IE at work because we're not allowed anything other than what IT give us. Vista (ugh!) and IE on t'other half's machine because it's hers and I'm not allowed to mess with it! Oh, and a couple of caching related GM scripts. I'd use FF even without the GMs...simply because it isn't IE! For me it isn't about security or the measured quality of one over the other (although security is of course important)...it's a purely subjective "FF seems a better user experience to me"
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