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Everything posted by MCL

  1. You're all missing the point. They only asked if they could ask. They haven't actually asked yet. To answer your question.....YES. You may ask! Until they we are all just gonna keep on posting!
  2. Oh if only profanity was as simple as getting a bot to blindly remove all the nasty words... But life isn;t that simple. For a word to be a profanity it needs to be said in the right context, in the right place. A word in one place might be deeply offensive to the locals, whereas in another place it may mean something quite different and not rude at all. To give one favourite example of mine, take the three letter word which begins with F, ends with G and has an A in the middle. (I spell it here so you can see what it is in case it actually is on the filter list!) Now I understand this word in the US (at least in some parts if not all) to be quite an offensive term for a gay male prostitute, and going up to someone in a street in San Francisco and asking a guy if he wants a f*g is likely to get you beaten up in a dark alley or something. Ask the same question in a British pub, and everyone will know you are simply offering the stranger a cigarette, as a polite gesture of friendship. In the UK the word f*g is totally harmless, and *never* a profanity. To bleep it out without regard to context would be crass and smacks of cultural imperialism. I can think of at least one example which is the other way round; ie a word which we find offensive in the UK which in the US is quite readily used and harmless. All across the world different cultures have different words for swearing with. Please don't be naive enough to come on a global forum such as this one and start lecturing people with suggestions like "if you wouldn't say it to a 5 year old, then don't say it here", or "there is never any reason to use profanity on here". Who the hell are you to judge for everyone else in the world cultures just what is profanity and what is not? I'm sure each of us has a list of words which they regard as beyond the pail but frankly, why is your list right and someone elses wrong? I detest the use of robotic filters. We have moderators that are human, and they should be aware of cultural differences and be able to gently point out when one culture may be accidentally treading on another one's toes in verbal terms, and try and make plain what the word is meant to mean in that particular context. OTOH, I'm not a supporter of online swearing, and operate the rule that if the word was meant by the author to be swearing, then it really should not have been used.
  3. Its really simple, folks. MCL is my name. Originally it was (and is) my initials but 15 years ago I started getting people to actually call me MCL to my face. Now there are people who never call me anything else. I want people to call me MCL and I don't believe in using pseudonyms on the 'net. OK so it's a radical opinion. It's MY radical opinion and I'm sticking to it.
  4. The topic question is "Can an owner take items from their own cache?" My answer is yes they can. Try and rule that one off-topic.
  5. The question is, what new features would entice me to become a premium member. Staying absolutely On Topic and answering the question straight up without any sugar coating, (Jeremy appreciates the direct approach...) I can say that there is no new feature that would entice me to become a premium member. I appreciate that this may not be helpful, but no-one can say I didn't answer the question honestly and fairly!
  6. Ah but logically, you can't post a message containing a list of banned topics, because as such, it would have to be banned wouldn't it? If it was allowed to stand with banned subjects in it, then ipso facto, they wouldn't be banned would they!
  7. Actually, Tim, someone did start a thread specifically with that purpose. Unfortunately it was closed down, and I wasn't able to show my support in time.
  8. At this point, what would be good enough and what would "set thing right"? Glenn For me? An acknowledgment that what was done, while maybe being done for good reasons, was done the wrong way. There are ways and ways of doing things. In the UK we prefer the diplomatic, behind-the-scenes approach. The thread owners should have been made to close their own threads (some of them did actually and I'm OK with that) and the cache approvers should have been made to archive the caches they approved, so every one gets the same result, just without the bad feeling and heavy handed approach. It is truly a clash of cultures I have to admit. When someone needs getting rid of, there is something in the british culture that allows for a bit of waffling, an affable shake of hands and pint in the pub, followed by the person quietly disappearing in the dead of night....which our US friends achieve by going in with guns blazing at the Main Street saloon. I don't think it is anybody's fault in particular, but it does so often happen that way.
  9. There are those who on threads like this, try and tell people to go out and do some caching instead of sitting typing stuff into a forum. That only works to a point, since a lot of the time, you post on forums in the evening and night time, and you cache during the daylight (generally!) So to point out that someone is wasting valuable caching time reading forums at 2am is really quite a dumb thing to do in most cases. If it is so dumb to take part in a forum discussion, then why are they provided? They are here to give a cacher something to do while he CAN'T cache. Sorry to have to point out the bleedin' obvious!
  10. Jumbo, you haven't grasped our "party" analogy above have you? We were asked by one of the hosts to discuss a subject and when we did, another host threw us out of the party! To translate, just in case anyone still can't figure it out; Our Uk moderator opened a thread where we could discuss one of the many aspects of the past few days, and so we did. Without spite or vitriol, we honestly started to put our thoughts and views down in print. Then it was closed off rather quickly by one of TPTB. Now I fail to see what on earth we did wrong! If the thread needed closing, then the moderator who opened it for us should have been asked privately to do it. That would have been a decent way to go about it. It is this callousness that so incenses me and I'm sure a lot of the rest of us here in the UK. We have enough of the Nanny state from Tony and his Cronies, we don't need it from anywhere else. We *can* and *were* discussing and debating quite reasonably, and if you don't believe me, just read the thread yourself and you will see what I mean. Have they? No-one has yet explained why that thread had to be closed. mtn-man says on another thread that it was closed by someone who has oversight of all fora, as though this is some sort of explanation for the action. In fact it isn't. It doesn't explain anything at all. Doesn't say why, just who. The explanation given is nearly always that the discussion must stay on topic. Well it DID, and they still closed it down, so that one won't wash either. The only inescapable conclusion I can think of is that in fact they didn't like the topic, so they closed it down, despite it being opened by one of their moderators. So what we have here is an open squabble between two moderators. One opens a discussion, and another one closes it. That looks good eh? To carry MT Fellwalker's analogy even further, lets say you do decide to throw someone out of your party for answering your wife's questions.... at least it is only him who gets thrown out. On here, closing a thread doesn't stop the perpetrator from saying his piece, it stops everyone else from saying theirs! This is like saying everyone elsze has to leave the party and the rude guy is allowed to stay on his own! The way to deal with a bad poster is to lock him out of the forum and leave the thread open. That way you preserve free speech and punish the miscreant. Everybody wins! Is that so difficult a concept to grasp? This is why I find the whole set of actions so absolutely unbelievable.
  11. ROFLMAO Please don't stop this thread, it's the funniest thing I have read for months. And all perfectly on-topic. My only mistake was reading it while eating a sandwich.. anyone know how to get peanut butter out of the corners of an LCD monitor?
  12. Ah now thats a good response from MT Fellwalker, and I appreciate the time taken to address the subject. I like his analogy with a house and a party, and I can see some of where he is coming from, and even partly agree with him. However, to stretch his analogy a bit further, in this particular case, we have the host's wife asking a partygoer what they think of the party, and when he answers, he is thrown out and told his views are not wanted, even when those views were sober and reasonable. Yeah, sure the host is entitled to do that but how disrespectful to both his wife and to all the other partygoers is that? What is ever going to happen next time he or his wife wants either one of their guests opinions or help with something? You think the other partygoers are going to chip in and help? Not likely! It's just not the morally right way to run a party, and back in the real world, its not the right way to run a forum, even one on a private website. In case anyone reading this hasn't made the link with the analogy, one of the threads that was closed down by a certain moderator was one set up by a certain other moderator precisely for discussion of one particular aspect of one of the recent hot topics. None of the posts in said thread were wild, harsh, ranting or anything like that, yet still, that thread was closed in a "I know best and am overruling your usual moderators" kind of way. It's all about how it looks from an outsider's point of view that matters just as much as what might have gone on in the background. Someone tell me if I'm wrong please?
  13. Oh perleeeaaassee! Can we once and for all stop confusing guidelines, rules, and a code? Its a CODE, guys. They are not ordering you to cache in a certain way, they are an expression of what a responsible person might aspire to. There are no cache police monitoring it, there are no penalties for breaking it. This code is the perfect way to teach young children how to cache responsibly. Geocaching is for many people a family sport, and so we need to consider the needs of the youngest among us. I can see this code being as valuable to the parents when the teach their kids the decency of caching, as the Green Cross code is to parents while teaching their kids to cross the road. You don't see people saying "there's no need for the Green Cross Code, and I'll cross the road how I bloody well like!" Of course there's no need for *them* to have the Green Cross Code, because *they* are above it and also know how to safely get across in their own way, but would they really suggest we dump it for the kids? Did they accuse the DofT of being the nanny state when they invented it? Get real, for heaven's sake. The GCC has saved lives over the years when used properly as a teaching tool to educate the next generation. Used properly, the Geocacher's code can be just as effective. Don't knock it, and don't dump it just because *you* don't need it. To act in such a way could be considered selfish.
  14. Oh dear, it's happened again. I'm afraid this sort of thing has happened to me several times before on these GC-controlled forums. As I said almost 2 years ago in a now long-forgotten thread, I have been a forum moderator (in another field altogether) in my past and I have never once closed a thread or suspended an account of a poster. This does not mean that things were not said which were as bad as what gets said on here from time to time, its just that I have honestly noticed an alarming tendency for the censor's toolkit to be wielded a little too easily. Now before we jump to conclusions I have to point out that last time I was prevented from posting a perfectly balanced and calm message, the person who closed the topic was one of our former UK reviewers, and I was as disgusted then as I am now. So I have no anti-US or pro-UK bias in this whatever. Please stop this process of closing down discussions. You just don't understand do you, the long term ramifications of what you are doing? A good chunk of the UK geocaching community are alive and well and discussing freely plenty of topics with out any form of censorship. They just aren't doing it on here any more, and that means it is actually a sad loss to GC.COM in that you are driving away the very people who you hope to get money from in membership. We've gone. Departed. You have lost the expertise and support of many good and valuable customers. The forums are bereft of their wisdom. Your coffers are bereft of premium subscriptions. What I'm saying here is useless I know, since absolutely nothing is going to be done about shifting this policy of censorship. TPTB will continue to believe they should shut the views of anyone they happen not to agree with. But if only they could see it is not good business sense to do so. If this thread gets closed, the evidence will speak for itself and yet another shot will have been fired into a foot.
  15. My best memories of Mark were the very enjoyable day that Dan Wilson, Ben Piddington, he and I all spent filming shots for a video about geocaching that he was planning to make. It was never intended to be sold, but given away to people who wanted to know what caching was all about. We all gave our time freely, but most of the effort and equipment and drive came from Mark himself. When we met up he realised he had left one of his microphones behind at home, and rather than compromise on the technical quality of the filming, we all popped into Dixons in Aylesbury to buy another one. Now, most people would have bought a cheap-ish one to see them through the day, knowing that they had a "proper" one at home. Not so Mark. "cheap-ish" microphones start around a tenner and go up to about £50. Thats the cheap range. The one Mark bought was £180, without batting an eyelid. As a professional recording engineer myself, it was of course the right decision, but I don't know anyone else who, in that position would have actually made the "right" decision. I was impressed from that moment on. I remember thinking at the time "this is the man about whom some people have said that his website was designed to rake in money, or take over geocaching, or some other such hogwash". No, the man standing beside me handing over his plastic to a schoolboy Dixons assistant ("This is the better mic because it comes with a gold plug on it..."...huh?) was generous to a fault, and wished only to serve the people around him. All that I had heard about him (and listened to some of it, I am ashamed to say) simply did not stack up against what my eyes were seeing. All day he drove us round, bought us lunch, bought us beer (well, beer for the others anyway) and never rushed anything. He talked about his love of geocaching, his love of doing silly things, his love of doing scary things (Bungee jumping, for example. Personally I think they are all mad...) just for the thrill. I wondered, at that point, whether he counted a day with us three as coming under the scary thrilling variety. The next time I saw him was at Farley Mount, and once again he was nothing but energy and enthusiasm for the sport. But I guess the most outstanding example of mad determination came the night I caught the CIN fox at Newport Pagnell services. Standing in the middle of a windy car park, the rain peeing down in stair-rods, admiring the black box gizmo that did all the fancy tracking work, and trying not to shiver has got to be at the top of the list for dogged persistence. The poor boy who came along as his navigator hadn't slept for three days and by that point was fuelled entirely by coffee. But then neither had Mark, but you would never have guessed it, even though Mark had had three heart attacks, surgery, and age against him, and this kid had youth and fitness on his side. (I say "kid" yet in fact the chap was probably somewhere in his early 20s in reality, nevertheless still half the age of Mark!). Hmmm. Make you think doesn't it? For someone who would typically be classed as "not particularly fit", Mark Thompson put the rest of us to shame in the endeavours he undertook. When it is time for me to go, I hope I can do it somewhere as beautiful and peaceful as the Shetlands. UK geocaching will miss him.
  16. There is one very good reason why UK geocachers use the same system as everyone else.... it means that UK caches can reference locations outside of the British Grid. The OS grid references only apply to a small square of land and sea in our corner of Europe. Go to France (for example) and there is no OS grid reference for, say the Eiffel Tower. This means that while for most UK caches it would not matter, there are going to be some which are affected. The beauty of the LatLong system is that you can generate locations anywhere on the planet and everyone can reference them and track to them. Having said that, I do prefer to use OSGB while doing UK caches since I find it easier to enter the data. It is grouped into tidy little packets, and not sprawled out with decimal points and degree signs like a LatLong is. Its just a personal thing.
  17. Ah now choccy has hit the nail on the head there about maintenance visits. When I do multicaches set by certain people I know full well that even though the cache page may say it's a 2 mile walk, the cache itself will probably be within a few yards of a raod parking place, simply so that the owner can quickly check on their cache without having to trek across country for hours. So I do these caches with a map to hand and usually end up doing a park-and-dash job. Not that I'm a lazy b&%@er or anthing....
  18. I would like to disagree with the implication that the GAGB is affiliated to GC.COM or GCUK or anyone else. Although I am a GAGB committee member this reply is in a personal capacity as a fellow cacher, and the views I am about to express are not necessarily those of the GAGB. GAGB are "recognised" by GC.COM, and have been from the start, but "recognition" is not "affiliation". For example, the Labour Party "recognises" the Liberal Democrats, as a fellow party, as a political entity etc, but that in no way implies any form of "affilliation" and certainly doesn't imply that they are not independant of each other. The GAGB, just like you, can print whatever we see fit, and thus are just as independant as you are. I'm sure your publication will be excellent, cogent, positive and encouraging. We welcome fellow campaigners for the sport, and you should too. In point of fact, Groundspeak is also independant and says and does what it wants, and as far as I am aware, Navicache is also independant and says and does what it wants. I am not aware of GAGB ever censoring any of its members' views, nor am I aware of such censorship happening on GCUK. So I have to ask in what way you are going to be able to represent the "real views of UK cachers without fear of censorship or reproach" over and above what GCUK and GAGB (and to some extent this forum on Groundspeak too!) do. [At this point I must emphasise that I know GCUK has never actually set out to "represent" anyone, it is a database site. However, the mention of them is still relevant since they have uncensored forums in which people can whinge to their heart's content without fear of being censored.] Your posting has a dark implication to it which, frankly, I just had to challenge. I don't want people getting the wrong ideas about the other organisations. It is very easy to throw mud just to see where it sticks, but it is hardly a moral and responsible marketing technique is it? Come along with us to support this great sport. There is no need to go slagging us all off.
  19. I'm another night worker too, working weeknights 11pm to 7am so that explains why I'm on at these awful hours...
  20. Actually, for a change, I can relate a story the other way. A couple of years ago, when my cat got fleas, I was introduced to the wonderful stuff called "Frontline" which gets rid of the bugs by application to the back of the cat's neck. Don't ask me *how* but it does. Anyway, I decided to see if I could buy it over the internet from abroad at a cheaper price than my vet was charging me (you can only buy it from vets, pet shops can't sell it). I was surprised to find that in both the EU and in the US, the price for this stuff was substantially higher even before postage and packing and customs, so I meekly went back to my dear vet and bought a shedload more over the counter. I couldn't understand how my vet could sell it to me five minutes walk from my house cheaper than anyone anywhere else. But I ain't complainin'!
  21. I was out caching a long time ago, doing "crossroads at the reservoir", and I found Dan Wilson. Does that count?
  22. Is that the best comeback you can manage? I suppose it's no good trying to return it to it's owner....
  23. happened to my yellow etrex too. I used double sided sticky tape to effect a repair but I am inclined to take it into Garmin and stamp my foot.
  24. I'm of the opinion it is a trick of the light, the pattern of the stones and the position of the window. Its a bit like star patterns. If you look closely enough, you can find all sorts of "patterns" and images in the night sky, because there is so much material (ie stars) to pick from. In this video, with all the graininess of the video, the shadows cast by the torch and the detail of the stonework, there is plenty of material to help form images. I bet if I looked hard enough I could find a few other "images" in amongst that lot. I would be quite happy to go there at night and take a look myself. If any ghost wants to pop out and chat to me they are welcome to do so. Remember this is consecrated ground we are dealing with, (a church, albeit a ruined one) so it is the last place I would be expecting spirits and spectres to be hob-nobbing about in. Now if you told me they were *outside* in the fields...that might be a different matter.
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