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Everything posted by BillP3rd

  1. Revisiting this idea... Wouldn't that be on an official reservation basis? I see the only reason why you would want to make a reservation is so everybody ahead of time knows which pavillion to go to. What if we just descended on the park and took the first available space? Groups have done that all the time. The only reason why you would want to reserve is to have a pavillion. Most of us are self sufficient with grills and stoves as well as carry-in picnic meals. Parks like Marymoor have a great venue for this and even though you have to pay for parking, its only a buck or two. Almost everybody has an FRS radio or two, so finding the group spot should be a piece of cake. Getting pavillion on a weekend at this point probably wouldn't happen (I got up at 6:00 AM on Jan. 2 to reserve the pavillion at Coulon for our 1st WSGA picnic) but a week night just might be a different story. I like the idea of meeting at local parks, especially with the daylight lasting longer, and having a pavillion would be a bonus.
  2. In the early days of WSGA we used to book meeting rooms at various branches of the King County Library system. I've done some checking (you can book the rooms online now, up to 3 months in advance, and see the schedule for each room) and here's what I've found for several branches in different parts of the county: Kent Regional 253-859-3330 150 in large room Redmond Regional 425-885-1861 2 large rooms (66 & 81) Bellevue Regional 425-450-1765 8 meeting rooms with capacity up to 190 Shoreline 206-362-7550 large 60, small 30 Federal Way Regional 253-838-3668 small 35, large 85, or combined ~180 Auburn 253-931-3018 1 room, cap. 113 Maple Valley 425-432-4620 1 room, cap. 110 Of course, a meeting in one of these venues would imply some sort of prepared program in addition to the usual meet-and-greet. For example, I recall one meeting where we had presentations on paperless caching. I'm sure that we could come up with lots of interesting and relevant topics. Perhaps a guest speaker? Someone from the state parks would certainly be interesting and appropriate. I'd be willing to help with the planning and organizing if there's interest in this type of venue/format. (Oh, and there's no charge for use of the rooms and most or all have wireless internet).
  3. I'm planning on riding the ferry over to Bremerton tomorrow (Saturday, 5/12) and making a day of it. I'm going to walk on the ferry and wander around Bremerton. I've identified 20-30 caches within walking distance of the ferry terminal and I'd welcome some company if anyone's interested. There are also the two ferry caches by Bull Moose (GCH5PB & GCHVD0) to get as well, so if you've been looking for an excuse to take the ferry to get them, this is it. I'm planning on a mid-morning departure.
  4. My cache Homework Comes First (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=gcrzm7) has apparently been stolen from the library. I received the email below from the reference librarian. I'm particularly surprised (and dismayed) because when the librarians placed the book on the shelf it was prepared as any other library book including the anti-theft device. Should the culprit see this and be so inclined I'd appreciate its return. Just drop it in the outside book drop.
  5. Please put me down for: 15 PS 2 ea. of the others. 21 total.
  6. THEY ARRIVED! THEY ARRIVED!! Only one word left: WOW!!!
  7. Still waiting for my coins... (sigh).
  8. You're not a geocacher unless ... The day you learned about Geocaching you ran down to WalMart to buy a GPS receiver because that was the only place that was open and you just couldn't wait! No, not another day, not another hour. You NEEDED (imperative verb) to get in on this!
  9. Well... I always check "remember me" and sometimes it does (usually) but sometimes it doesn't (often enough to be annoying). No clue as to why.
  10. Assume that, for the purposes of this response, the word "rules" is synonymous with the word "guidelines." The answer is and has been "No" since at least January, 2003. I organized the first Washington State Geocaching Association Summer Picnic and wanted to do temporary caches for the event. I asked about this during the planning process (I was new to Geocaching) and was clearly advised that temporary caches were not permitted. As a workaround, I devised and placed four multi-caches in the area of the event and brought an adequate number of printouts so that anyone who wished to could hunt them. Many (most) did. We had a great turnout. There was fun. There was food. There were prizes (some were pretty nice!). There was no controversy. We asked, we planned, and we stayed within the published guidelines (at that time). Did I mention that everyone had fun? Reread my post - I don't think you understood it. It's you who misunderstand. Temporary caches have always been allowed at events. Sorry... but as I said above, temporary caches have not been permitted at events since at least 1/2003 - Even if the event is held on Groundspeak's home turf (Seattle). If people got by with them then good for them. Maybe you haven't noticed but the sport is growing. More people are getting involved. The number of caches is rising so rapidly that we'll reach GCZZZZ soon. I'm sure (I haven't spoken with anyone there about this) that Groundspeak is trying their best to manage the nearly explosive growth. That means strictly enforcing the rules. It might even mean putting new rules into effect. To their significant credit, they've always "grandfathered" previosly placed caches when a new rule has been implemented. An analogy: Say it is your custom to drive at 45 MPH down a particular local street. Say that everyone else drives at that speed as well. Now say that the posted limit is 30 MPH. Now, you and everyone else have been doing this for some time. Months... years, maybe. At some point the authorities notice this and begin enforcing the posted limit and, guess what? You get tagged with a $100 speeding ticket and your insurance goes up! Whose fault is it? The officer who stopped you? The court that imposed the fine? Maybe it's your insurance company's fault for raising your rates. Could it possibly be your fault for breaking the law? A real-world example of what can happen: I broke a rule that nearly stranded me in Egypt for a week. Really! While pleading my case to the local authority I mentioned that "I didn't know that was a rule!" She pointed out "You should have know about the rule." I had to admit that she had me there. I got out but it taught me to make sure I know all the rules in advance and to follow them. It taught me to ask questions. Again, in advance. No temporary caches is not a new rule. Had someone asked they would have been either 1/ Given a clear and unambiguous answer that temporary caches are not permitted under any circumstances; or 2/ Granted a waiver for this rule for the duration of this single event. So, who took the time to ask? This is probably the most disappointing thing I've seen on this thread (or any other that I recall). I apologise in advance if my understanding of this statement is not as what was intended, but... It reads like "If you're not going to agree with me on this point then I'm not going to be your friend." I'm not going to editorialize or philosophize about this. I'm just pointing it out and it saddens me. I've met some great folks caching all over the country. One and all. People who I would never have otherwise encountered were it not for our shared interest in Geocaching. In closing... Groundspeak is, make no mistake, a for-profit company. To that end they offer Geocaching swag. They offer services such as premium membership and tracking of trading items. Remember, though, that participation in the sport of Geocaching (through geocaching.com) is free. You can create an "account," find and log caches, place caches, track trading items, and more at no cost. To provide these services they must maintain a substantial IT (Information Technology) infrastructure including (many) servers, (redundant) networks, web designers, and programmers. They are completely within their rights and within reason to establish and enforce rules (guidelines) for the use of their services. If you're not happy with the way that they conduct their business then you can certainly "vote with your pocketbook." You could even set up your own site that operates by your rules (or no rules at all if that's how you'd have it). Perhaps the end result from all of this will be a group of "event organizers" that communicate better with "TPTB" and pay heed to the published rules.
  11. As my kids will attest, I do say, "Entertainment is where you find it!" Now, with that said... so many places to comment / contribute (?) ... For our purposes they're rules. I'm sure that they used the word "guidelines" so that the reviewers would have a little flexibility. I have personally (and recently) been a benificiary of a little flexibility. More later. I have appealed to the published address and never received a response. Ultimately I altered my cache to address the reviewers objections, even though I felt that they weren't valid. I got the cache published, which was the whole point of the exercise. That said, I'm sure that the contact address gets tons of mail and either: 1/ My appeal got lost in the noise; or 2/ It was decided to let the reviewer's decision stand and they just didn't bother to inform me of the ruling. I've met most of the folks at Groundspeak and they're a great bunch! I'm opting for #1. Don't believe it. I just published a 13-stage puzzle/multi. The first 12 stages puzzle/multi are individual caches in their own rights. The keys (for me) were to make each stage able to stand on its own. Just want to go for one or two? Great - go for it! Second, proximity and difficulty of each "stage" make it possible to complete the entire series in a day or two. This is one of the best pieces of advice you'll ever get if you plan on placing more caches! Give him or her as much information as possible. Send pictures if required. Would you not do it because of the amount of work involved in setting it up or because of the "problems" you're having getting it published? Having placed several multis and two long cache series I fully understand if it's the former. I recently (this week!) posted a 13-stage multi where each stage is a puzzle cache unto itself. It wasn't easy. It's published. I'm still "debugging" it (with the help of many friendly and understanding cachers). The amount of work to devise the puzzles and build caches around them is tremendous. I'm asking myself "What made me think this was a good idea?!?" If the latter I suggest you stick to simpler caches. I just (yesterday!) asked my local reviewer for a clarification on this specific question. If you place a multi, no waypoint of your multi or the its final location can be within 1/10 mile of any waypoint or final of any other cache. Waypoints within a single multi are not subject to this rule. So, if you post a multi with 3 waypoints that are within, say, 100 yards of one another, those waypoints do not fail the 1/10 proximity rule. If any of your waypoints are within 1/10 of any other cache's waypoints (even if you own the other cache!) or final location, the proximity rule applies. (I just had this happen where the "other" cache was mine... Why I asked for specific clarification.) Yeah, I had that problem too. It was a pain to go out and move four of the 13 caches in the series and then rework the puzzles. I did it and got them published. It would be nice if we ordinary users had a tool to warn us that our cache location or one of our waypoints was encroaching. It wouldn't need to give details. Just a simple "Yep, that an A-Ok location," or a "Sorry. You're too close to another waypoint or cache. Your cache (waypoint) needs to be moved at least nnn feet in *some general direction*." I agree completely. During my recent effort I placed an ammo can in a cute little park, ideally suited for such a hide. Unfortunately there was one waypoint, part of a nine-stage multi, located in the park. The size of the park (relatively small) effectively locks it from having any other cache or waypoint placed within it. (I've hunted and found the conflicting nine-stage multi - That's how I knew this park was here. It was just that it was three years ago and I didn't recall the waypoint here. I moved my ammo can to a different park.) Another GREAT tip! I make it a point to include special FTF and STF prizes in all my (non-micro) caches... And for finals in a complex multi or series I make the swag extra special. A few McToys for the kids but some nicer stuff for the grownups. Typical FTF would be a $5 Starbucks card or a geocoin. STF might be a $1 scratchoff ticket. Just today someone won $5! I think that the bottom line here is that you'll do best if you work with your reviewer and try to see his or her point of view. To set up a 17-stage multi and put the effort that you obviously have into it, you clearly have an abundance of imagination and creativity. Put those attributes to work and mold your cache to fit within the guidelines (as interpreted by your local reviewer). I've fudged a waypoint by as little as 0.001' to get outside the 1/10 mile limit. We're talking about roughly 8 feet. Most GPS receivers aren't accurate to that degree. As regards my latest effort, A Baker's Dozen, my reviewer let one misstep slide for me. One of my virtual waypoints was within a couple of hundred feet of another cache's virtual waypoint. Because both were virtual (and, I hope, because I've been so quick to act on other "problems" with the series) I got by with it. The location of my waypoint was pretty extraordinary and that may also have had some influence. Whatever the reason, I'm working with my reviewers and getting my caches published... Which, as I think I mentioned, is the whole point of the exercise. Good luck with your cache!
  12. Another solution would be to go ahead and create your cache page(s) as you normally would but never activate them. That way the reviewers will never seem them and they'll never be published. I have a cache called "Bill's Test Cache" that I'll never publish. I use it to test html layouts, web site features, etc. It just appears in my "My caches waiting for review" list. I suppose if you wanted to make them "disappear" altogether you archive them without ever publishing them (though I don't know how the system would handle that).
  13. Dang - I wish I'd known that! I just posted a 13-cache series and would have much preferred to have the reviewer wait to publish the series until all had been approved because: 1. Now I'm running back out and moving caches around that are too near waypoints or puzzle-/multi-cache finals. 2. I knew the reviewer probably wouldn't do all of them in one sitting and the final 13th in the series can't be located without the other 12. The ideal situation would have been to publish all 13 simultaneously.
  14. This code fixes the decrypting problem (both with the anchor tag AND the line breaking problem). function convertROTStringWithBrackets(s) { if (!rot13array) rot13array=createROT13array(); var sChar = ""; var sOutput = ""; var bDecrypt = true; for( i = 0; i < s.length; i++) { sChar = s.charAt(i); // **** START OF FIX **** // check for break and anchor tags if ( i < (s.length - 4) ) { if ( s.toLowerCase().substr( i, 4 ) == "<br>" ) { // is line break sOutput += "<br>"; i += 3; continue; } else if ( s.toLowerCase().substr( i, 3 ) == "<a " ) { // start of anchor bDecrypt = false; sOutput += "<a "; i += 2; continue; } else if ( s.toLowerCase().substr( i, 4 ) == "</a>" ) { // end of anchor bDecrypt = true; sOutput += "</a>"; i += 3; continue; } } // **** END OF FIX **** // ignore any text enclosed in [ ] brackets if (sChar == "[") bDecrypt = false; else if (sChar == "]") bDecrypt = true; else if ( (sChar == " ") || (sChar == "&dhbg;") ) { // do nothing } else { if (bDecrypt) sChar = convertROT13Char(sChar); } sOutput += sChar; } return sOutput; }
  15. When a hint contains a web link in the form [http://www.somesite.com] it's helpfully converted into a live web link. To demonstrate: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher]'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher] results in (]visit link) No. the extra ']' in the result isn't a typo. That's what's coming from geocaching.com. After some experimentation I've learned: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher results in (visit link) ------- [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher This is a test [This is a test] results in (visit link) This is a test [This is a test] ------- [Link:] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher]'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher] This is a test [This is a test] results in [Link:] (]visit link) Guvf vf n grfg [This is a test] ------- [Link:] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cipher ]This is a test [This is a test] results in [Link:] (visit link) ]Guvf vf n grfg [This is a test] which decrypts to: [Link:] (ivfvg yvax) ]This is a test[This is a test] ------- If there's interest by Groundspeak I'll be happy to fix the decrypting problem with the link (It should take about 10 minutes to write and test). The presentation problem appears to be on the server side.
  16. This should do the trick. My additions (8 lines starting with "// check for line-break html tags") to the following are released into the public domain. function convertROTStringWithBrackets(s) { if (!rot13array) rot13array=createROT13array(); var sChar = ""; var sOutput = ""; var bDecrypt = true; for( i = 0; i < s.length; i++) { sChar = s.charAt(i); // check for line-break html tags if ( i < (s.length - 4) ) { if ( s.toLowerCase().substr( i, 4 ) == "<br>" ) { sOutput += "<br>"; i += 3; continue; } } // ignore any text enclosed in [ ] brackets if (sChar == "[") bDecrypt = false; else if (sChar == "]") bDecrypt = true; else if ( (sChar == " ") || (sChar == "&dhbg;") ) { // do nothing } else { if (bDecrypt) sChar = convertROT13Char(sChar); } sOutput += sChar; } return sOutput; }
  17. Let me start by saying that I'm a ways from being new at this. I've owned my Magellan Meridian GPS receiver for nearly 4 years. That being said, I've noticed some "odd" (annoying?, peculiar?, unexpected?) things that it does that I've come to accept as "normal". I adjust for these "anomalies" when I'm out finding and placing caches. These no longer bother me but it's just one of those things that've been rolling around in the back of my mind and I *finally* decided to post about it and see what others experience. I'd be very interested to know what others have noticed with their GPS units. Odd or unexpected behavior? How do you compensate? I know (believe?) that the (vast?) majority of cachers own Garmin units. I bought a Magellan because when I discovered Geocaching one night while searching the web for something else, the stores were closed and I couldn't wait to get started. So... I ran to that "big box" store that stays open late and Magellan was what they were selling. I bought one and the rest, as they say... Now, for my Magellan pecularities: 1. When I'm searching for a cache and walking at a normal pace with my GPSr held in front of me with the arrow pointing the way, the Magellan seems to be "leading" me as I walk. That is, as I near the cache and the distance closes, when the GPSr says I've arrived I've consistently gone 30-40 feet past where it really is. The Magellan seems to be "anticipating" where I'm going to be. Once I wander around in the vicinity (ok, well, it's actually a little more "structured" than wandering around since I know how the Magellan behaves) the arrow and distance to where the cache really is closes until I ultimately locate it. Once I've located the cache and the GPSr has settled in at the location, I find that my coordinates are very accurate when compare to the cache page. (Yes, I have WAAS enabled). 2. When I'm placing a cache it is my custom to visit the proposed cache location on several occasions, on different days, and at different times. I try to get at least three waypoint readings then take the average. If one is completely off I'll discard it and get another reading. What I discover is that the values that I get for latitude are very consistent from reading to reading. Longitude is another story altogether. The values I receive can vary wildly (as much as 150 yards between readings). Let me say that when taking a waypoint reading I let the GPSr settle for at least two minutes before taking the reading. So, what the heck is it with longitude? Ok... There they are. My little oddities. Thoughts? Observations?
  18. I really like this one... Definitely a 5-star! One problem ... It's moving. (Would a GPS receiver work if the GPS satellites were below you? )
  19. Note: This cache is in place and contains a special "first finder" prize.
  20. If that was the real issue, the approver would have said so. Typically a library cache has the staff involved and they will help maintain it which solves the maintenance issue. But in this case, wouldn't that mean if you were over a thousand miles away, that the "staff" would then need to "adopt" the cache? You can have a cache out of your normal area with local help. The locals don't need to adopt the cache, they don't even have to be geocachers. Not an issue. 1. I'm regularly there. 2. The cache is posted by my sister who is an active cacher and lives there. 3. The library director (who I personally talked with) approved and placed the cache.
  21. Yup. All he had to say on the topic was that the approvers had split opinions.
  22. If that was the real issue, the approver would have said so. Typically a library cache has the staff involved and they will help maintain it which solves the maintenance issue. But in this case, wouldn't that mean if you were over a thousand miles away, that the "staff" would then need to "adopt" the cache? The library staff was enthusiastic about the cache. The library director approved it personally. In fact, he placed it! Distance isn't an issue. I'm a part-time resident.
  23. Not a problem. 1. I own a home in Estes Park. In fact, I'd bet cash money that you can't find a Estes phonebook without my name in it (you'd have to go back 70+ years!) 2. My sister lives nearby and maintains all of my Colorado caches. They're listed under her geocaching id. 3. I've placed 7 others in the area, all "approved".
  24. I placed a cache (http://geocaching.jayhawk.net/denied/cache.html) but the approver feels that caches inside libraries shouldn't be listed. I've seen dozens of these and personally found two. The objection is that strictly speaking a GPS receiver isn't *required* to find the cache. The posted coordinates are for the entrance to the library. Are new caches inside libraries banned?
  25. I've looked at every thread in this section and I'm more-than-a-little surprised that this apparently hasn't come up. With various groups and individuals having their own geocoins made it seems to me that tracking is a problem. Currently I believe that only USA Geocoins and Moun10bike Geocoins can be tracked by Groundspeak. Is it just me or... - I assume that Groundspeak is a for-profit organization. They make money and all, right? - I assume that virtually 100% of the required code is in place for tracking Groundspeak-assigned TB/Geocoin numbers. - With the variety and interest in Geocoins, anyone who doesn't fall into the "USA Geocoin" or Moun10bike category is on their own if they want the coins tracked. (How are your web and database programming skills?) - Design and production of a custom coin generally run into hundreds of dollars. - If one is willing to go to the trouble and expense of producing a coin wouldn't they be willing to pay a (hopefully) nominal fee and conform to standards (assigned numbers/designators, etc.) if they could be tracked on geocaching.com? - I WOULD. Pay that is. Revenue. For Goundspeak. To track my coins. I'd love to do a coin and even have some designs in mind but frankly the tracking problem prevents me from doing it. I have the programming skills so it's not a technical issue. But without some sort of unified/centralized solution I feel like if I had 100 or 200 or 500 or whatever quantity made, they'd just go down a black hole when they went out. Ok. They're collector's items but I'd still enjoy knowing where they went and a unified solution (common interface on geocaching.com) might encourage people to log finds. As it is: I have a number of TBs which I intend to associtate with Washington State geocoins so thay can be tracked. Yuk. I hate that solution but it's the only one that get's them on geocaching.com (ok, Groundspeak.com). Apologies if this has been previously discussed.
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