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Marko Ramius

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Everything posted by Marko Ramius

  1. My first experience with the new Search Map was quite baffling. The map (without filters of any kind) simply did not return all the caches in the area. It took me a while to realize there was a "Browse Map" option and when I clicked on that, all of the caches in the area magically showed up. I have clicked around all of the filters and any other thing I could think of and there just doesn't seem to be any logical reason why the Search Map excludes caches that should be on the map. The map above is the Search Map and is missing the caches I wanted/needed to see. BTW, the unfound cache I was really interested in (Knotty Monkey's Revenge) DID show up in the sidebar but DID NOT show up on the map. The map, below, is the Browse Map and everything is correct on that map. Look right in the middle of each map and you will see what I mean (the Knotty Monkey's Revenge cache is single "green box" unfound cache on the map). The most curious thing to me was that I accessed the map from the Knotty Monkey's Revenge cache page, but that cache didn't even show up. How in earth is THAT correct or helpful?!?
  2. It appears that the Garmin Plug-in is no longer supported by Firefox. I tried to "Send to My GPS" and it said my Garmin Plug-in was out of date, so I tried to install the latest plug-in and the message came up that Firefox no longer supports this plug-in.
  3. They were worried about risk management. Not much we can do when the property owner says "no" to caches on its private property. -MR
  4. As many of you probably know, Richard of Mountain Lovers passed away a year ago and his other half, Pam, would like to put up all their caches for adoption. Foon is coordinating this effort, but I just thought I would post here to help spread the news. Click here for a list of Mountain Lovers' Caches Click here for foon's profile page If you would like to adopt any of the ML caches, please contact foon and he will assist in the process. Thanks!!
  5. If you find him, let me know. He's been badmouthing me all over town...
  6. Didn't your muggle husband give you that GPSr? I'll bet he rigged it to drive you crazy...
  7. Greetings from the Lily Pond (or at least the SoCal version of it)! In light of the several recent "power trails" in the area, and the one pending in the Queue for release this Saturday, I thought it might be helpful to provide some guidance to those out there who might want to duplicate what has already been approved. Power trails are discouraged for several reasons. Geocaching is intended to bring people to new and unique areas that they have never visited before. One cache in a area accomplishes this purpose but two caches essentially within eyesight of each other does not promote this basic ideal. Secondly, saturating an area with caches discourages new cachers from joining in the fun. If there is no place for a new cacher to place a cache, how can that new person feel welcome to the game? Finally, Geocaching was never intended to be "all about the numbers." Alas, it has certainly in my opinion recently become almost nothing but "all about the numbers." But you all out there are entitled to some certainty, so here is the usual Reviewer Note that we have used in the past to address the unique saturation issue associated with this type of series: I have just reviewed your new cache submissions: ______________. This reviewer note applies to all of these caches. While I do appreciate your enthusiasm in hiding multiple Geocaches for people to seek out, I am temporarily placing your caches "on hold" in the review queue while we discuss whether these caches comply with the "Cache Saturation" section of the Geocache Listing Requirements/Guidelines. Please take a moment to review that section here: Proximity Guidelines You probably already know that Geocaches need to be spaced at least 528 feet (.1 miles) apart from other caches. But, the cache saturation guideline says more than that. The guidelines continue by saying: "On the same note, don't go cache crazy and hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can. If you want to create a series of caches, the reviewer may require you to create a multi-cache, if the waypoints are close together. A series of caches that are generally intended to be found as a group are good candidates for submission as a single multicache." When I'm trying to determine if a series of ten or more caches qualify as a power trail, I look for 5 things. 1. Similar or identical name with a number or letter identifier. 2. Cookie cutter description or no description at all. 3. Cache verbiage indicating the intent to place a bunch of caches to found at the same time. 4. A bunch of caches all submitted at the same time. 5. Caches along a linear or loop route. If the answer to 3 of these 5 questions is yes then the series is most likely a power trail. Your series hits a total of ___ yes answers. Moving forward you have several options: 1. If you want to use all these locations I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to combine them into a single multicache. 2. Another option would be to decrease the overall saturation by eliminating some of the caches. 3. Alternately, you can increase the distance between caches to at least .3 miles to allow other cache placements between them. 4. I can post a note to the reviewer forums and get some other opinions. Perhaps I'm being to strict or missing some possibilities, 5. You can appeal my decision directly to Groundspeak at appeals@geocaching.com Finally, it would also help to know your future plans for this area. If you want to add more caches in the vicinity, I’d like to know that. I look forward to hearing from you. To reply to this message, post a reviewer note on the cache page. Unless I hear from you within the next day or two, I will temporarily disable the caches to remove them from the reviewer queue. Thank you for your understanding. Marko Ramius Volunteer Cache Reviewer I hope this provides some guidance to all of you out there. If you simply cannot contain yourselves, and you absolutely feel it necessary to carpet bomb an area with caches, please follow the .3 mile guideline in this post. At least that way, that brand new cacher who comes along after you will have some opportunity to hide a cache of his/her own. Many trails have become saturated over time with hides from many different cachers. That is certainly preferable to an area becoming instantly saturated by one, single cache account. The issues with the Black Mountain series have been worked out, and that series is expected to be released this Saturday. For various reasons, considerable leniency was given as to the usual .3 distance that is desired. Do not take this to mean that some precedent has been set. The Guidelines are very clear in this regard. First and foremost please be advised there is no precedent for placing caches. This means that the past listing of a similar cache in and of itself is not a valid justification for the listing of a new cache. The views expressed in this post are mostly my own, although shared by many other Reviewers and GC.com staff. I understand these views are not shared by many of you out there, as most cachers these days seem to be concerned about little else other than the "numbers." Regardless of personal views, you can count on the Reviewers to do their best in applying the Guidelines in a fair and even manner. Our primary goal is to find a way to list caches submitted by all of you out there, so long as a valid justification can be made under the Guidelines as written. Some discretion is given to the Reviewers, and this is one of those areas. This post is intended to provide some guidance on how the SoCal Reviewers have been exercising their discretion when it comes to the "power trail" issue. Please feel free to send me an e-mail at markoramius.ro@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments. Or just post your responses and reactions here. Thanks, -MR
  8. Just so you know, when a "Needs Archived" log is posted, a copy is sent to my account which triggers me to look at the cache page. If it appears that a cache has needs some action, I will do one of two things: if the cache is active but has a number of DNF's going back more than a month or so without any posts from the cache owner, I will disable the cache with a note requesting maintenance from the cache owner. If the cache has been disabled by the cache owner but no further action has been taken for several months, I will post my own Needs Archived note requesting cache maintenance. Under either scenario, I will put the cache in my own bookmark list with a tickler system to check back in 4-weeks. So long as the cache owner responds with a reasonable plan for cache maintenance, the cache will not be archived. But if the cache owner fails to respond at all within that 4-week period, the cache will be archived with a note saying that if maintenance is later performed, and if the cache meets the Guidelines, it will be unarchived. The process is very forgiving...
  9. I noticed that too. After Babylon 5 was cancelled, the acting jobs must not have come through so he had to become a volunteer cache reviewer. I don't know why, he's a good looking guy... Or is it a woman? :) This really frosts my crank, 'cause I'm just a captain and they bring this Ambassador in right over my head. Would it have been so hard to promote me first?!?
  10. Can we place bets? I wager 100 quatloos on LLOT, or 600 quatloos on either one of the "...AYER" teams...
  11. For what it's worth, I made it clear to Jorgensen that nobody representing GC.com participated in or encouraged the pirate site. His response was something to the effect that this response is not helping our cause. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to control lynch mobs, but this activity certainly isn't welcome. It has and will continue to undermine the ability of the GC staff to petition those senior to Jorgensen.
  12. I just got off the phone with Jenn at GC.com and she has a call into Sup. Jorgensen. She will (hopefully) be speaking with him on Jan 2. I will try to update everyone then. Best approach is to exhaust all options with him before seeking higher authority. We'll keep everyone posted on how things progress. The comments on this thread have all been considered and are greatly appreciated. -MR
  13. Any suggestions as to what to do in the meantime with our caches? Disable/archive/just sit tight? Unfortunately, it appears that some caches have already been removed and we have not gotten any confirmation that the Rangers have stopped the process of removing and disposing of caches. I have asked for a reasonable period of time to discuss options and, if necessary, for cache owners to retrieve their caches, but there has been no direct response to this request as of yet. To answer the specific question, I have no particular suggestion or recommendation. You need to do what you feel is appropriate. My two e-mails and Mr. Jorgensen's response are posted, below. -MR 12/21/07 Mr. Jorgensen: I am the volunteer cache reviewer for Southern California. The below notice has come to my attention. Can you please contact me to discuss. Each and every geocache that has been approved in the last 4 years or so has required the cache owner to confirm that the special guidelines of ABDSP have been met. The vast majority of people engaging in the sport are extremely sensitive to the environment. This is shown, in part, by the annual desert cleanup event we host every year in October. As a result of our activities, many people have been drawn to the desert who would never have been introduced to its beauty, myself included. We truly don't believe the sport deserves to be banned in the Park, and would greatly appreciate a dialog to understand how to address your concerns. Thank you, <name> 12/27/07 Mr. Jorgensen: I have not received any response to my December 21 e-mail to you, and I have heard from various geocachers that you have begun to remove and dispose of their caches. This seems to be a very drastic response to an activity that has received at least the color of official approval since 2003 when Heather Thomson provided the attached Guidelines for geocachers to follow. These special ABDSP Guidelines have been confirmed by each cacher who has sought to have a cache in ABDSP listed on the GC.com website since as early as 2003. Any cache that your staff has asked to be removed has been immediately archived with instructions to the cache owner to remove the cache container. Geocaching has proven to be a friendly partner to land managers across the United States and wishes to work with your staff to address any concerns you might have. There are many ways in which land managers have addressed concerns, such as creating a permit process (with or without fees) to ensure that sensitive areas are not negatively impacted. The courtesy of a response would be greatly appreciated. At the very least, we would ask that you allow some reasonable period of time for geocachers to remove their caches from the park rather than having you treat them as trash. <name> Volunteer Cache Reviewer 12/27/07: Mr. <name>: We have been removing geocaches from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for years, so this is not a recent event. Anza-Borrego, with its 600,000 acres of Park and 460,000 acres of State Wilderness within the Park, operates under much of the same philosophy and guidelines as a National Park. I was informed by a concerned geocacher this morning by phone that she thinks there are over 5,000 geocaches within Anza-Borrego. Not a single one has been approved, nor have any official requests ever been received by my office to place geocaches within the Park. I feel strongly that the concept of “virtual geocaches” should be pursued by geocachers and that the placement of ammo cans and Tupperware boxes should be curtailed within park areas. Geocaches have been discovered within archeological sites, at critical water sources for bighorn sheep, within natural caves, within rich paleontological areas and in historical homestead sites. I disagree with the comment in your message that you feel our removal of caches is a “very drastic response”. This is a premier State Park of very high wilderness qualities. My staff and I are dedicated to passing this park on in good shape to future generations, with the help and support of you and the millions of other citizens of California. Sincerely, Mark Jorgensen Superintendent Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  14. I was sort of hoping that we would have a chance to work something out with the Rangers before this issue hit the forums and created the stir that was eventually inevitable. Too late for that now. But be advised that I have been working with the staff at GC.com to respond to this announcement and I have exchanged e-mail correspondence with Mr. Jorgensen. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss more specifics of the dialog that has been opened. -MR
  15. Why I oughta! Do rats have long memories? If you had ever actually seen me (which I am quite certain that none of you have), you would know that I much more resemble the elephant than the rat... Ah hah! Marko is a commie pinko elephant! That explains this photo of some cachers trying to get their caches approved... Now THAT's what I'm talking about! LLOT, you just earned yourself one free proximity guideline waiver...
  16. Why I oughta! Do rats have long memories? If you had ever actually seen me (which I am quite certain that none of you have), you would know that I much more resemble the elephant than the rat...
  17. The SoCal Review Queue has been unusually quiet the last couple days, especially in San Diego. Is something going on down there?
  18. FYI: Thanks so much for getting back to us on this issue. The owners of the boxes can contact my office and we can coordinate pickup. We ask that this take place within the next 21 days, as we have limited storage space. Thank you. Sincerely, 1st Lt Jill A. Leyden External Information Officer MCAS Miramar Consolidated Public Affairs Shop Comm (858) 577-1596 DSN 267-1596
  19. I ran across some proposed language that I have fashioned into a Reviewers Note. I will be using this for any caches that appear to be in residential neighborhoods: Hello, I am a volunteer for Geocaching.com and I have just reviewed your new cache submission. I am temporarily placing your cache “on hold” in the review queue while we address a problem with the cache. I see your cache is in a residential neighborhood. While not against the guidelines, caches of this sort have caused problems in the past. Residents often do not appreciate an influx of strangers prowling their neighborhood and often remove, or report these caches to the police. If this is your own neighborhood, be sure to let your neighbors know about it. If this is not your neighborhood, consider how you would feel if you noticed strangers visiting your street at all hours and please reconsider using this location. Please respond to this issue by either posting a Reviewer Note to this page or sending me an e-mail at markoramius.ro@gmail.com. If you send an e-mail, please don’t forget to include the GCxxxx code for the cache. Unless I hear from you in the next couple days, I will archive this listing to remove it from the queue. But don’t worry, I can always un-archive it once the issues have been addressed. Thank you for your understanding and your contribution to geocaching. Marko Ramius Volunteer Cache Reviewer
  20. WoooooHoooooooooo To Everyone Who Passed Milestones This Month!! So many folks out there hitting numbers its hard to keep up on a daily basis...
  21. Thanks! I told my 5 yo stepdaughter Natalia that I had found 1000 caches and she said "so how many does Polar Bear have?" Funny! (I guess she must have heard me talking about how many caches Patrick had compared to mine, a few times....) That's just too funny!!! Kids say the darndest things! Just a little healthy(?) competition I guess. We started caching around the same time, and as I recall it - you passed me - I passed you - you passed me - I passed you, and I'm *temporarily* ahead now. Not that numbers matter(?!?), but you sure spurred me on to get to 1000 fast. Anyhoo, welcome to the K club!!! WoooooHooooooooo!!! And thanks for fixing up the final on Local Treasure!!
  22. The reviewer's job does not include correcting spelling and grammar, it consists almost entirely of checking the cache against the guidelines, and for bad coords (bad in the sense of being in the Pacific ocean - coords that clearly don't match the description.) As much as I would like to correct spelling and grammar, this is not the role of a Reviewer. And Reviewers do not take any responsibillity for the "quality" of hides. There is also no rule as to how many finds someone myst have before they blanket an area with hides. Having said all that, I am cognizant of issues with the cacher in question, and I spend a little more time than usual in looking at his/her hides. Its not always easy to tell when a cache is in someone's front yard (as opposed to on a public right of way), although I do hold any cache that looks to be in someone's back yard. But please let me know via private e-mail if any hides of any cachers seem inappropriate to you. I will take action on caches that are in areas marked with No Trespassing signs, or that are on blue USPS mailboxes, or that are on the roof of a gun shop, etc... As for inappropriate content on profile pages or general unpleasantness, those issues should be reported directly to GC.com as the Reviewers do not get involved in personal issues between cachers. I agree with the approach of TheAlabamaRambler, and it would be nice if someone in the area would take the initiative.
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