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Posts posted by fox-and-the-hound

  1. On 1/19/2021 at 4:00 PM, The Amigos said:

    Just thought I would ask you if you know who made this coin. I thought it was TXGA, but they didn't know anything about it. I appreciate any help in the right direction.



    I don't know for sure, but my first thought would TXGA, too.  Richard Young may know though as he collects all things scuba so I'll check.



    Okay, just talked to Rich and he said "I do know that it was made for the Balmorhea State Park Summer event in 2006 and it was a trackable coin only on the TXGA site."


    So it appears your instincts were correct.  It's TXGA and only trackable on TXGA apparently.


  2. On 11/30/2020 at 12:08 AM, rygemini said:

    Very interesting interview with great stories and information.  Quick question, are most of the coins you design minted here in the US or overseas?  Advantages and disadvantages to each.

    Most, but not all are designed here and minted overseas.  There are a couple mints in the USA.  One is in Alaska and the other is in Colorado?  The primary reason is the cost differences in production.  Overseas coins can range from a couple dollars to about ten depending on size and complexity while even relatively average coins (1.5 - 1.75in) in the US can be in the $20-$25+ range.


    edit to add: the primary advantage is price, but also the expertise in working with various enamels, specialty enamels (glow, glitter, etc.) is primarily available overseas.  I've never seen a specifically 2D US made coin either.  Not that they might not offer it, but I've only ever seen stamped 3D and limited or no enameling available.  I'll have to look into it again though because I haven't checked in a couple years.




  3. Try changing color mode to LAB to make the greyscale.  It uses color temperature so you get MUCH better accuracy on your greyscale images for the mint.  Switch to LAB mode.  Command click the Lightness layer in your color separations.  Paintbucket white onto a new layer.  Add solid black under that layer.  Flatten everything back down and switch back to RGB.  Try a few different pictures and compare to a simple desaturate to see the difference.


  4. That's a great idea.  I've taken part in a coin program like that as well as another where someone wrote all their geo-friends names on a deck of cards (one per card) and handed it to the first cacher on the list.  That cacher then had to find another on the list to pass the deck on.  Years later, the last I heard it was still traveling and making it's way through the list.


  5. There are quite a large number of cryptozoology based coins out there and probably at least a dozen bigfoot based ones in particular.  The latest ones I know of are the Ts'emekwes from the Geocoin Club last fall, the Wendigo from GCC in February (might still be available) and there are another 2 coming up in the next couple months from the same.  Not sure if you can still find them readily, but there's also a Daoine Sidhe, White Hart, Yeti and Jack Frost out there, too.  I'm a fan of all things mythical so I've spent quite a bit of time designing around this theme.

  6. This used to be widely frowned upon, but since the discovery policies were relaxed a short while back, it's become less of an issue from my understanding.  I know of a few instances where someone had an like a lapel pin with their tracking code reproduced in quantity and shared.  The single code was used less for tracking and more for keeping track of people met and gifted with the pin.


  7. Sure!  A lot of us will activate that first coin and then let cachers we meet discover it.  It provides you an easy and efficient digital directory of all the people you meet as you cache!

  8. Finally I tried this and it seems to work pretty well.


    I have one problem though: my Caching under the Stars Geocoin from 2006 has a lot of polished silver on its front side, and I didn't manage to get rid of darker lines coming from reflections of the container's ireegular shape on the picture. Tilting the container made those lines turn.




    Can you see the brighter horizontal line between those brownish areas? That's parallel to the handle of the container I'm using.


    As you can see I printed out a paper with a black area so I can gimp the picture with black balance and white balance. That seems to be necessary - because the picture taken is a little dark all over.


    My solution was to put the whole container sideways, because the sides of it are plane (no handels or other irregualities). Only disadvantage: I have to take the picture in a lower angle, so you see more of the edge of the coin and it's not a circle anymore...




    Underneath the coin you can see the edge of the container and my paper.


    After using Gimp's balancing feature it looks like this:




    I guess I need a little more light in general to get rid of the 'crumbled' colors at the top of the picture in the first place...


    Any other suggestions how to get rid of those dark/bright lines in the first picture?


    Hmmm... I usually shoot it with the sides on a 45 degree angle so I'm getting a better diffusion of light coming in through the window from outside. You might try that and zooming in a bit more so the camera has less background to coin ratio for a better balance of light color.

  9. I was under the impression that this rather specific thread was designed to discuss exactly this kind of occurrence.
    The purpose of this thread is to discuss cache designs which violate the guidelines, and to suggest ways to rework them so they meet the guidelines.


    So, are you interested in suggestions for how your cache design could be reworked to meet the guidelines?


    No. I proposed discussion of a cache design which I was told violates guidelines, but does not. That was my point and why I posed my original questions. I'll ask why "You can't do that" somewhere else I guess.

  10. That was my initial thought as well, but then I realized it is a bigger issue than an individual cache appeal. This is about how cachers and reviewers both look at our game's impact on nature. What better place than this particular forum to discuss and question "Can we do that?". We used to have a really robust set of guidelines with a lot of info that seems to be narrowed down to almost nothing while being treated more like strict rules instead of guidelines at all. The guidelines said what I did was perfectly within the rules, but the reviewer sees an obvious violation.


    I was under the impression that this rather specific thread was designed to discuss exactly this kind of occurrence.


    Could you point out where the reviewer stated "harm" was the reason that we are not allowed to put nails or screws into trees because I went back through the thread and am not seeing it.


    The guideline relevant to the use of nails or screws to hide a cache states:


    Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property.

    Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.


    In neither case does it state that a cache may be buried, or that the property may be altered (using nails or screws) *if* the land manager allows it.


    The reviewer denied the placement based on the statement that a screw "defaced" (defined as "harming or spoiling the surface or appearance of (something).


    REVIEWER STATEMENT: "I'm sorry, as you defaced this stump that doesn't belong to you, I can not publish your listing. Please return the area to as best you can and find another location to hide it."


    Putting a screw into a wormhole, beetle hole or crack in a rotting tree stump where it hangs by gravity does not damage the stump. The property is not altered. The hole already exists. The property (wood) is already dead and rotting at it's natural rate and will cease to exist in short order. In this particular case, gravity and friction were the only elements holding the tag in place.


    The guideline says do not damage... check. Hole pre-exists.

    The guideline says do not deface... check. Camo'd tag available for use through Geocaching.com obviously passes muster.

    The guideline says do not destroy public property... check. No damage done, no alterations made. Hole pre-exists, gravity doing it's job. All is well.


    So... where is the violation? (Please stop throwing in information on digging holes, that was never part of my question). The property was not altered at this point. However, now I've gone and placed foreign wood with dozens of screws in it's place and that passed with flying colors. Do you not see the irony in this solution? A foreign item with potential contaminates and dozens of the same type of screw that was previously being used is now in place instead of a single screw in a Groundspeak-approved tag hanging by good old gravity.


    These are "guidelines", not absolutes, so at some point common sense and reasoning should be a part of the decision. We're talking about the end game of avoiding altering the environment or to have the smallest impact possible. The smallest impact was denied. The most potentially dangerous solution was approved without hesitation.

  12. Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?


    That's actually taking it off the track. The no buried caches and no defacement guidelines are not in place to protect the environment, thus the argument that we *can* dig holes or put screws or nails into trees (even dead trees) because it doesn't harm the environment is invalid. The purpose of the guideline is defuse the notion among land managers that, by allowing geocaching on their property, players of the game might dig holes or alter the property they own or manage. A land manager may be perfectly fine digging holes on their own property or property they manage but almost certainly would not want just anyone to alter their property in that manner.


    I agree. It's not so much about damage as it is about a form of vandalism. You change anything that was already there to create a place for a cache is vandalism. If you dig a hole, or if you drill into anything that was already there such as a pole, fence, tree, then it is vandalism. This is different if you bring your own drilled out rock or stump.

    I believe I mentioned this example before. I went to Mingo and thought cool it's the oldest one and someone dug a hole to put a pipe in it. Well this is grandfathered in and I think cachers and GC learned from it. But just a ways further I found another cache which was a recently drilled hole in a telephone pole big enough for bison container. And placed over the hole was a dog tag nailed into the pole with the word "MINGO" on it. The pole belongs to the ulility company and not meant for creating a place for a container.

    Was it Jeremy who said something like, if you ever had to remove your cache would there be any evidence there was a cache there? I would add would you go back and remove the cache at all?

    Other rules I've seen being ignored is placing caches underneath postal boxes, inside lamp posts (where the wires are), too close to schools and railroad tracks. Even if the tracks aren't live the property still belongs to railroad until they decide it is public. Sorry if I am ranting so much.


    You've raised some good points there jellis with clear explanation. +1


    No, that's not taking it off track. The reviewer stated "harm" as the reasoning. He didn't say you can't do that because the land management would have an issue with it. This particular land management actually doesn't have issue with it. If the land management authorities allow the use of a nail, screw, pin, firetack, etc. and we're complying with those rules, how is it causing "harm"? Remember, we're talking tree stumps and deadfall here, NOT living trees.


    Just an fyi, vandalism is "deliberate destruction of property". A temporary trail marker that can be removed without trace of it's having been there to begin with does not meet that standard.

  13. A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline. It may also violate a land management policy, state law or local ordinance. All local laws apply, but reviewers tend to cite to the defacement guideline as it applies in all cases.


    A small screw in a large tree is "defacing"? I guess Groundspeak's definition of "deface" is far more liberal than most. When I think "deface", I think graffiti or something being torn or chopped up so as to be near unrecognizable or, at the very least, requiring extensive repair. I don't see a small screw (or honestly even a large screw) in a tree as defacement.


    "A nail, screw, hook or bolt in a live tree violates the defacement guideline." This I can agree with except when it complies with private or local and state land management policy. In the case where management allows for marking trails on live trees with tags rather than blazes, allows for reflectors to be pinned or nailed, allows for reflective wires to be twisted into place, etc. then I think we're in pretty safe territory putting a fastener of some kind in a rotting stump. If land management and the state allows it in live trees, why all the fuss over deadfall or stumps? Why can't we find a reasonable middle ground? This is a guideline in case we've all forgotten. It's not a rule. It's supposed to be a flexible system that allows for common sense.

  14. Well to get back on track, we're talking about "harming" the environment with cache placement. Is a screw or nail in a stump or piece of deadfall WITH PERMISSION actually "harming" the environment? Particularly if the land owners/management give permission to do so?

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