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Everything posted by Doctroid

  1. Depends on your geocaching style. There's a lot more caches along the Philadelphia route, but you'd be spending a lot of the time in urban and suburban areas. Along the shore will be much less developed. I'd hazard a guess the micro-to-regular ratio will be much higher on the Philly route. Of course either way there will be lots of caches of whatever sizes interest you. I personally would take the coastal route and shun the urban-and-highway experience, but that's just me. I drive sometimes from Syracuse, New York to Newport News, Virginia; my route doesn't take me through Philly but I do go by Baltimore and Washington, and while I can't really get off the Interstate highway before I hit Baltimore, I usually take calmer and more scenic roads from DC to Newport News.
  2. My wife's aunt was employed a couple years ago exterminating giant hogweed. Full hazmat suits in spite of which she got a massive burn on her leg. Blog entry with yuck-inducing photos: http://www.mumblingmountain.com/?p=538.
  3. I've reloaded this several times and it keeps coming up this way: Also, if you zoom in two times, the map's visual style changes rather drastically, and disconcertingly.
  4. Clarification: Wikipedia says "French Southern & Antarctic Lands" includes Ile Saint-Paul, Ile Amsterdam, and several other islands or island groups including Archipel des Kerguelen, which is the part antipodal to Alberta and Montana. The other islands in the territory are grouped around and to the south of Madigascar and are not antipodal to land. Here's a tool I found: http://www.freemapto...f-the-earth.htm Doesn't look like there are any buildings at all on Ile Saint-Paul, though, and I haven't spotted any on Archipel des Kerguelen. Wikipedia says of the French Southern & Antarctic Lands as a whole, "The territory has no permanent population; the population consists of military personnel, civilian officials, scientific researchers and support staff." There appear to be buildings on Ile Amsterdam. When I said "in the United States" before I was looking only at the lower 48. Part of Alaska, the very northernmost part, is antipodal to one edge of Antarctica. That doesn't help much! But all of Hawai'i is antipodal to Africa, pretty much inside Botswana. Looks like the villages of Dekar and Karakubis may be the biggest populated places antipodal to land in the Hawai'ian islands, though neither seems to be more than a handful of buildings if that. So we may be out of luck on church steeples and town halls.
  5. I think it's a great idea, if you forget about the "famous buildings" part and just settle for "antipodes". Looks like there are only three places in the United States with land antipodes, at least that I can find. Two are near the eastern border of Colorado. The antipodal points are islands I've never heard of: Ile Amsterdam (interesting name) and Ile Saint-Paul. There are caches in that general area but it doesn't look like any are antipode themed. French Southern & Antarctic Lands is a much larger island group; its center seems to be antipodal to an area in Alberta about 20 miles north of the border, but its northernmost island (S48.453 E68.819) is antipodal to a point just outside Chester in northern Montana. There seem to be four caches in Chester and two on the road west, but again none that seem to have an antipode theme.
  6. I have lots of empty days in my stats and I can't say filling them really interests me much. But you never know, it might become interesting sometime in the next four years. And there's a micro I hadn't rushed to get because, well, it's a micro, but it's walking distance from my office. So today I got it.
  7. Two and a half accidental finds. If you look at my caching stats, my first find was about four years before my second. That's because back then I was doing letterboxes, not geocaches. I was looking for a place to plant a letterbox, found a perfect spot, there was even a pile of bark there I could hide my letterbox under... wait a second... that looks too perfect. Sure enough, there was a cache there. I created a geocaching account and logged it. Didn't get around to buying a GPS until four years later, though. Second was last December, I was in Auburn, NY to claim a geocoin at the tourism office for finding ten caches in the Seaway Trails Geotrail series. Then I decided to go look for some nearby benchmarks. Despite the geocoin I really didn't have caches on my mind, so was taken by surprise when I approached one of the benchmarks and saw a plastic tube stuck in the hollow at the base of a tree a few feet away. The half one was a cache in the woods I was about to go looking for, but having gotten as I thought near but not quite to where I needed to start checking my GPS for proximity, I decided I needed to take a break to relieve myself. While doing so I looked around and saw a plastic container sitting there not ten feet away... not in the line of fire, fortunately. It was indeed the cache I'd been on my way to find, and it was wet on the inside, but only with rainwater.
  8. There are DNF logs and then there are DNF logs. "Took a quick look but it was getting dark and we needed to get back home" is different from "Searched for 45 minutes, no luck". Even the latter, if it were the only DNF, probably wouldn't deter me, though if I were trying to choose between that cache and another one with no recent DNF it might be the deal breaker. Then there's "Started looking but a guy came out of the nearby house with a shotgun and told us to leave" which would probably lead me to stay away.
  9. While there are guidelines for assignment of D/T numbers, they are subjective, have caused confusion, and are not generally enforced; in reality the numbers are often inaccurate, sometimes falsified, and always subject to change. They are, in other words, dadgum near meaningless. Making them the basis of a challenge is silly, as is getting worked up over them.
  10. I never even heard of that. Take the T out and have a look, it ranks all cachers with over 200 finds in the world or based on country or state. Oh, hey, I got my 200th at the end of December... that means I'm on cacherstats.com now? WOO-HOO!! Excellent! Oh, wait, I don't care. Never mind!
  11. Without a doubt! What really strikes me as weird about that question is, why do you need to have Groundspeak keep track for you? Counting isn't exactly rocket science. For the stats fans: Is it your own stats that are important to you, or is it seeing other people's stats and having other people see yours? To me my own stats are interesting — but not essential to my enjoyment of caching. And seeing other people's stats, and having others see mine, not very interesting at all.
  12. Solar storms and electromagnetic pulses are two different things, though.
  13. They are not easy to filter out. Not automatically, but it's easy enough to check Google Maps and cross off your list anything in a parking lot.
  14. Now that's what I call swag. I wish more swag were as worth finding as these items... and that more caches were worthy of holding them. I enjoy trading and sometimes when I find a cache that lacks anything I want to trade for I'll just leave something, take nothing... but only if it's a clean, dry, well maintained cache. Generally I leave inexpensive, non handmade, but (in my mind) fun or practical things, but I might work up some handmade swag one of these days. I like the "lead by example" advice. The "I don't even bother any more" response is, I humbly suggest, more a part of the problem than the solution.
  15. Not if you don't look for them, it won't. The nearest cache to my house is a LPC. I haven't found it. I have no interest in finding it. Obviously it's your choice: if in spite of what you say about LPCs you still want to find them, that's entirely up to you. But I choose differently.
  16. And I personally... would probably not look at that 1% DNF stat. Don't take this personally, anyone, but I don't really care what your DNF rate is. Or anyone else's. I'm not interested in keeping score. In fact I don't even know how to keep score. I can figure out how to see my own DNF statistics, but I can't turn up anything but numbers of finds for other cachers. I can verify ZeLonewolf's 3189 finds (up one from yesterday) but have to take their word for it on the 303 DNFs! So go ahead, log those DNFs. I won't think less of you.
  17. I just did a check using a PQ: In my area, out of the nearest 497 caches, 86 of them (17%) are marked NM. I've seen little evidence that our local reviewer does anything to prompt COs to address NM issues in the absence of an NA log. He or she does take prolonged and un-addressed NM into account when responding to NA — but does not always respond to NA.
  18. If there's such a thing as a phone (or other device) that claims to have GPS but does not actually use satellite signals, I'd like to know what it is so I can call its manufacturer a criminal. Such a thing would be useless in remote areas with no cell phone coverage. Fortunately my HTC Android phone's GPS is the real thing and works just fine in parts of the Adirondacks where there is no phone signal. I would expect the same of any other cell phone that claims to have GPS... but I suppose the contrary shouldn't surprise me.
  19. Yes. It's feedback both for the CO and for other cachers. If I were the CO I'd want to know about failed attempts to find; they tell me there's interest in the cache, they tell me about how difficult others are finding it; they tell me it's possible the cache has gone missing. And if I were thinking of seeking the cache, again a DNF gives me additional information about the difficulty of the cache and the possibility of its having been lost. But from another point of view, it's part of your story. Logs are a way of recording — for your own future self as well as for other cachers — what you've done as a cacher. Of course if you're in the habit of saying "TFTC" and nothing else when you log a find, then you're not leaving much of a record, but even then it's a record of sorts. Assuming, though, that one is not just in this to rack up the highest number of finds one can — that the experiences one has as a cacher are as important as, or more important than, the numbers — then more verbose logs, both found and DNF, are a way to preserve and present those experiences. As the CO I would be interested in the experiences the searches for my cache has given to others, whether those searches were successful or not. And they often are of interest to others as well, now and in the future.
  20. And many people will tell you the earth is flat and 4000 years old.
  21. Why wouldn't he be? Think about it. If it were lethal to touch, fiddle with, lean on, or even stand on that equipment, would it be out in the open with no chain link fence, strong lock, and big warning signs? In litigative 21st century America? Now, breaking off the locks, opening the doors, unscrewing the panels, and sticking your hand inside... sure, that's a bad idea. But you're not going to get hurt just by walking up and putting your paws on it.
  22. Quite lengthy, but I think it could benefit from some trimming. For instance: 13 months later, if I do a search for Opencaches near Syracuse, NY... there is one. I'm not sure how big a "flock" is currently using Opencaching.com but I'd say it has yet to achieve success or significance enough to merit a timeline entry.
  23. It is beyond preposterous that this allegedly mature web site does not offer the capability to do a keyword search combined with a distance limit... or even to do a keyword search and then sort by distance from one's home location. Instead I made a PQ to get 1000 regular and large traditional caches close to Whitby (furthest turned out to be about 16.5 miles), dowloaded the GPX, pulled it into MacCaching, and searched for "hotel". These turned up: GCKT31, GC358AE, GC21JCR, GC39ABF, and GC2NPNY. (You can see the relevant cache pages by doing a "by GC code" search from here: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/default.aspx ).
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