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Ghengis Jon

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Everything posted by Ghengis Jon

  1. Even after 11+ years of geo-caching, I frequently get to learn something new about the hobby. I've recently seen in logs and cache listings the acronym "TOTT". What the heck does that mean?
  2. Just curious. Any other cachers out there that seriously practice martial arts? I realize that these two obsessions, er hobbies, aren't really related in any way, but I get equal pleasure from both. Anyhoo, I practice Tang Soo Do of the Moo Duk Kwan variety.
  3. Kinda on a tangent here. I wonder if some cachers feel too embarassed to put in the log that they actually take swag. Granted, most of the swag is broken McToys or other crapola, but I try to elevate the game. 95% of the time I take nothing, but sometimes do when my 10 year old goes with me. I log it as such. I usually leave either a 1700 year old ancient coin (my signature item) or a laptop RAM memory expansion board. If I revisit the cache, the swag I left is always gone, and the on-line logs almost NEVER state swag swapped (or just plain taken). That used to peeve me a bit, because part of my thrill in GCing is to read people saying "Ooooo, I got this really cool swag...!!" I wonder if (some) people have a hard time admitting they actually took swag - not unlike when someone trips, they immediately look around to see if anyone saw them stumble.
  4. Ahh. For a moment I thought alcohol was required...as in "Bring your own Tottie..."
  5. Of course I log DNFs. I'm just as pleased with those as I am of smilies. If I return to the area, its easy for me to pull up the ones I need to re-search for. It also fires me up to try a little harder. <Sarcastic opinion on> Cachers who do not log DNFs (and claim they've never DNF'd) are the same people that live in mommy's basement, all dressed up in their precious Star Trek uniforms. They're there for your amusement - their alternate reality doesn't really matter. <Sarcastic opinion off>
  6. Saw a description that states "Bring your ToTT". What is that?
  7. Mine is a gentle pun on the name of a brutal raider, as a nod to my interest in archaeology. The moniker has stuck across different forums for my 'take no prisoners' approach to debate (not to be confused with flaming).
  8. Turkey Run rocks ! Spent a few summers down there iin my youth visiting family. (One branch of my family has been in TH area for more than 150 years.) I'd like to do some caching down there myself. Be sure to post an update!
  9. Hi all. Been caching for a few years now, but this is the first time I've stumbled into a Midwest/Michigan forum. I never took the time, to be honest, to get past "Topics" in the GS Forums. But here I am. So I thought I'd introduce myself and perhaps get to know some fellow local cachers or those who wish to cache in the greatest state in the Union, Michigan. I live in Holly, outside of Flint. I travel a bit for work - in 3 years time I have 4 countries and 20 states to my 'geo-credit'. I leave expensive swag but rarely take anything. I hate micro/nano caches or any cache in a parking lot. I love cemetary caches, caches with some historical association, and caches in picturesque areas. For me, a camera is required equipment for caching. It is my firm belief that a twisted sense of humor is the best defense against intolerance, the self-righteous, and the mindless zombies that infest positions of authority. Thats my snapshot...
  10. I'd rate the cache based on 'all things considered'. Here's a recent experience: I have one puzzle cache. Very simple, by design, so that even kids can quickly solve it. The posted co-ords are wrong, as stated in the description's first sentence. Those take you the front door of my wife's office across the street. Once the story within the description is read, one can easily solve the puzzle. Simple? Apparently not. Now I cache the old fashioned way. I print out cache sheets, manually load the co-ords into my GPSr, and merrily go a'caching. I don't tether my handheld and download or any of that stuff. Call me old school. Well, evidently, there are wi-fi GPSr out there now. So the other day, 5 people, all over 40, jumped out of an SUV (at my wife's office) and began tearing into her flower pots outside, physically examining the picture windows, door frames, sidewalk, etc. All in front of her patients in the waiting room. Finally, as the receptionist was preparing to call the cops, one of the cachers strolled in and asked if there was a cache about. The receptionist didn't know what that was and went and told my wife what was going on. My wife didn't have a clue, not knowing the dummy co-ords led to her office. She picked up the phone and called me, since the magic word GEOCACHING was spoken. I happened to be coming home from a business trip at that very moment, in fact, less than a mile away. So I pulled up and introduced myself as the cache owner. I asked if they were literate (ya never know) because of the puzzle's simplicity. They proudly said no they didn't read the description because of the new handy dandy download feature on the wi-fi GPSr that only took listed co-ords. I suggested they take the time to read as they are disturbing people by not doing so. For that, I received a deer in the headlights look and they quickly bundled themselves into their Urban Assault Vehicle and left. When the better half got home that evening, I got raked over the coals for A) putting dummy co-ords that led to her office, not telling her in the first place, and C) "Did you know they ripped apart all my flowers in the pots looking!?! YOU will not only buy replacements for them THIS EVENING, but you will go plant them too!" The cachers did not bother to DNF the cache either. That was a "1" rated puzzle.
  11. Well, I just logged my 200th find (mini-milestone!!!) and I have 38 DNFs. That includes ones that have been re-searched for another day and found. Some were archived as removed by muggles after I DNF'ed. Some were 'dumb ones', like when I went caching in Finland's Arctic Circle in FEBRUARY - big surprise I got more DNFs than finds then! I could have more finds, thus lowering the ratio, if I didn't avoid lamp post and paperbox caches whenever possible. Spending time in shopping mall parking lots is not my idea of fun. Of course I'd like to have a better average, but I'm just as proud of my DNFs as I am of my finds. BTW, today I found 3 out of 4.
  12. I've found that a couple of warning shots fired into the air usually clears the area fairly effectively. But that can attract the NRA types who scurry up wanting to know what the caliber is, how it handles, how much I paid... A clipboard works fine and couple that with my age, over 40, I have no problems. I had one of those FASCists (Friendly Agent of Social Control) question me once. The cache printouts that were on my clipboard was my truthful alibi. Confirmed by the find. Outcome could have been different had I DNF'ed.
  13. You are actually leaving coins that are 1600-2000 years old in caches??? How valuable are these coins? Sounds pretty cool, but expensive. Nah, not too bad. Cheap actually, as I used to buy them in bulk from Macedonean and Croatian soldiers who found them while sweeping the local areas for landmines after the Balkan War. Plus I put several hours each into cleaning them. Kind of a diversion from the standard buying cleaned coins from shops/collectors. I used to make good money at it until the advent of fleabay and cruddy coins flooded the market from eastern Europe. But I've never had anyone complain to me about leaving a Diocletian follis instead of broken McCrap. Leaving a fellow cacher with a sense of awe and the drive to cache even more is my reward.
  14. Imho, a signature item is a type of swag. It is a unique type of swag identifiable to the cacher who left it. In geo-caching, there are rules (don't bury caches) and there are guidelines (please sign the log). For me, the signature item is a treasured highlight of the game. They are found infrequently and give the game some personality. I used to have (now archived) a 'regular' sized cache. More than a dozen times the cache was visited, log signed, but no on-line entry. That kind of baffled me, but hey, to each their own. Some cachers (TreePlanter for instance), leaves several different signature items (cards, magnets, pins) in a single cache - and s/he still signs the log. Others (like me) leave one sig item and sign the log, regardless if I (or more accurately my kids) take an item. For me, not signing the log is like running a race and then intentionally not crossing the finish line 6 inches away. Leaving a sig item in place of a signature sounds like the cacher wants his visit recorded on-line by someone else ("...left nothing took Joe Schmoe's widget signed log..."). I don't know how effective that is because many, many times, cachers do NOT state in the log they took something. Many times I stocked my cache with several signature items. Come back a month later, all the items are gone, many entries in the log, and no one states on-line or in the log that anything was removed. I leave a signature item that attempts to combine my 2 favorite hobbies - geocaching and coin collecting. I leave an ancient coin (1600-2000 years old). I put it in a coin flip, with full attribution of nation, ruler, date struck, minting city, etc. Finally, the holder bears the statement THIS GENUINE ANCIENT COIN IS THE SIGNATURE ITEM OF GHENGIS JON - GEOCACHING.COM . It is something unique to me (as far as geocaching sig items go) and it is to thrill kids of all ages (5-100). But I still always always always sign the log. My no-strings-attached signature item is no substitue for a signed log. Just my two denarii.
  15. In days of Olde, cache owners would state in the description that the cache was 'diabolical'. That made it easy for those with less patience that they might want to pass on the cache. Its one thing to be aggravating in the hide, quite another to be evasively sadistic.
  16. A friend of mine is a member of Homeland Stupidity. He dresses in jeans and a button down shirt as he canvasses background information of DHS applicants. Except for the ID, you'd never guess he works for DHS. If ever there was a department that could be sacrificed for balancing the budget, its that one. Then on the other hand, it is a decent paying 'make-work' job as an employment creation program for dealing with our suffering economy. The horror stories and examples of idiocy is absolutely mind boggling. Most recently is the decision to require background checks/licensing 'muleskinners'. You know, the people that drive tourists around in horsedrawn buggies? They haul people (and potentially cargo) in a 'vehicle' and therefore fall under the domain of the all knowing, all powerful DHS. I am certain this fabulous attention to detail is keeping America safe from MBEVs (Mule Borne Explosive Vehicles). I will sleep soundly tonight.
  17. Thanks for the kind words all. You have restored my faith that 99.999999999% of all geo-cachers represent the sport/hobby in an honorable manner!! Roddy - Glad you like my signature items. I'm just doing my small part in the battle against broken McCrap. JoesBar - I didn't realize you could load shots into your profile. But when I try to load the pix into this msg, it requires me to have a website - it won't allow uploads from my PC.
  18. I met a fellow geo-cacher on a business trip recently. He was half my age with four times the number of finds over roughly the same amount of time caching. I won’t say that he was arrogant, but he all but told me I was a rank amateur with such a low find count. So I thought I’d break down my numbers and see if I was deserving of such lowly status. 3 years caching 157 finds 36 DNFs 4 countries 17 US states As I did a quick count of my totals, I realized that the best time I ever had geo-caching was when I was least successful. I was on business in Finland, in the Arctic Circle, in February. (Can you say cold and snowy?) I wound up with one find and 3 DNFs due to all the snow and ice (go figure). As I was stomping around, I met two absolutely stunning Finnish ladies who found it quite hilarious to discover an American wandering around with a flask in one hand and a GPS in the other, looking for Tupperware. They bundled me into their car and took me into the backwoods to show me their country. I was treated to ice caves, frozen waterfalls, reindeer, and giant wooden roadside ice fishing teepees. A long and frigid day ended with a traditional fare dinner in a quaint yellow home, nestled into a hillside overlooking a winding river. As the evening changed to night, I managed to barely escape my lovely hostesses with my virtue intact. (Disclaimer: The previous sentence is for my wonderful wife’s benefit should she read this posting.) It was the most enjoyable time I ever spent geo-caching. So I ask, should I be more concerned with my ‘kill count’? Is the total number of finds the true measure of a cacher? Am I somehow an inferior geo-cacher since I do not dedicate a significant portion of my free time to this terrific sport? Am I the only one on the planet with a high DNF percentage? But back to the gentleman who inspired this missive. Andrew, if you’re reading this post, I have one question to ask you: You may have significantly more logged finds than I do, but how many geo-adventures with multiple Scandinavian beauties have you logged?
  19. So if I read the long and short of it, the few TBs that survive are attached to less desirable items? I'm going to Italy and the kids want a TB set off in Rome to see how long it takes to return to the home cache in Michigan. Other than a small metal bolt, what would stand the best chance of completing a long journey?
  20. A dollar store 99 cent rain poncho. I don't use it GC'ing, but its saved the day at several football games.
  21. I leave fully attributed (and flipped) ancient Roman coins as my signature item, whether I take swag or not. How come no one complains when I leave good swag and remove the broken McToy? Or take nothing at all? But I do understand the angst. I replenished one of my caches with about $60 worth of stuff only to have the entire cache disappear. Don't know if it was a geo-pirate or a muggle. But that was a worse feeling than simply being traded down. Keep it in perspective and remember not all geocachers are created alike.
  22. I buy my AAs at Cosco. 48 pack of alkalines for 10 bucks. Good deal if you're competing with your kids for needing that size battery.
  23. Dear Wired Magazine: Geocaching is a family activity where spoiling the "find" as you suggest saddens the children we take on these outdooors adventures. Ruining the innocent fun of others should be beneath you, but obviously is not. I'll bet you feel 'big' knowing how you can spoil the enjoyment of kids spending time with their parents. The professed attitude of the author/editors of being malicious without cause indicates you probably haven't ever had a date, much less reproduced (which is probably a good thing in the overall scheme of things). Do you guys also promote putting razor blades in apples for the kids that come trick or treating too? That was the last edition of Wired I'll ever buy.
  24. Oh, there's ways to get around that. Call the category LUM for lame urban micro, but require that the cache owner be branded with a scarlet letter...
  25. I'd go quick and easy with silicone sealant (like RTV). Put a bead along the run and then slightly flatten it (to a max 1/8") with your fingertip. BTW, nice cans...
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