Jump to content

The Rat

+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by The Rat

  1. I'm confused about this. I've never seen a number indicating how many NM logs there have been on a cache. Where does this appear on the cache page? I've had my share of NM logs over the years and I've always performed the maintenance or archived the cache, but I haven't bothered to delete the NM log. I think it's useful to others to see that a NM log is followed promptly by an Owner Maintenance log, i.e. that the CO is responsive. I'm also unclear about the NM attribute. At one point when someone logged a NM the attribute would appear that I never put there. Is that still done? That's a really bad practice because long after the CO performs the maintenance and posts a note or owner maintenance log the attribute stays there and that may deter people from the cache needlessly. I haven't had a NM log in a long while so I'm not sure what system they use now. Groundspeak is always changing things. My view is that only the CO should be able to determine what attributes appear on the cache page. I know of some puzzle caches where the attributes and their order is part of the puzzle.

  2. One other thing: it's legal to drive with a GPSr in hand, but not a phone. My car GPS unit doesn't accept coordinates, only addresses, intersections, etc. I can load the parking waypoint for a geocache into my GPSr and navigate with that, holding the unit with both hands on the wheel and my eyes always forward on the road. The screen of the GPSr is in my field of vision even when I am watching the road. I find it safer than having to look at the dashboard GPSr and sometimes reach over to press a button or the screen. If I leave the main roads into non-mapped areas such as huge mall parking areas or a series of campground parking areas I can switch off road mode and still drive.

  3. So far as I'm concerned anything that makes it harder for new members to start geocaching is a good thing. There is a glut of caches and geocachers in this area such that it's difficult to find a good place to put a new cache and of the last thousand or so caches I've found, probably less than 3% were what I'd call acceptable quality (and that's with a concerted effort being made to study individual caches, review logs, and note favorite points before going for them). It's somewhat like TV. When I was a kid there were only three channels and there was almost always something good on, at least during prime time. Now, with cable and Netflix and 100s of channels, my wife and I go many days without being able to find a single show worth watching. When you have too much of something, the quality gets so watered down as to make it all nearly worthless. I wish they'd get rid of the app altogether, free or not.

  4. I don't know anything about that site but there are people who deliberately set out to destroy or remove geocaches. There was one in the Alviso, CA area back in the very early days. The solution was PMO caches, multis, and hard puzzles. Whoever he was, he apparently didn't have enough interest or smarts to put in the money or time or effort to find or solve them.

  5. I just had that same problem trying to clear the message indicator. I finally "deleted" (hid) all the previous messages and the number 1 disappeared, but about half an hour later I received a message from a geocacher. Since this was the first one in days, i suspect that maybe the message indicator got alerted to the new message before the message actually appeared in the message center, much as my Gmail inbox will show a bold number indicating new mail before the mail actually appears in my inbox.

  6. Groundspeak has done a pretty good job overall. Non-profits have their place but in the recreation field they seldom can match a for-profit. I have my quibbles over some commercial partnerships Groundspeak has made (e.g. the Ape caches, that Grisham novel) and the push into smart phones, but it certainly hasn't gone the evil ways of Pokemon Go or Munzee. There are other geocaching sites out there, but the very fact that the OP had never heard of them before rather proves the point.



    There's also Geocaching Puzzle Help, a Facebook group. Good bunch of folks, just a few rules: FTF has to have been logged already, and they don't just give you the answer. They will give you prods in the right direction until you get the idea.


    THANK YOU FOR THIS!! This is exactly the type of support group, I mean help ( ;) ) I was looking for. While I didn't get any direct hints, I was to told that my methods were far more complicated than the solution required. The CO has also told me that the solution is "simple", and that I am GREATLY overthinking it.


    It was support and the gentle pushes away from getting stuck on the wrong solution, that guided me to the right one. :D

    Congratulations on the solve! Personally, that "hint" that I'm overthinking it drives me up the wall. Obviously I'm not overthinking, I'm underthinking it. I'm thinking of methods that don't work. I need yet one more method that DOES work. To me it's just the same as saying "you aren't solving it right." I know that already. If I was solving it right I would have solved it by now. Saying that the methods I am using aren't going to solve it, or are too complicated, is somewhat useful in that it at least stops you from wasting time in a blind alley, and it sounds like that's what did it for you.

  8. Some of these replies hit on another issue that is related, but not obviously so. I see a lot of complaints about Lamp Post Caches (LPC's) or guard rail caches. Sonny Portacio of Podcachers, for example, makes no secret of his disdain. But they are so numerous for several reasons, one of which is that they have the advantage of keeping the log and the swag dry. Even LPCs can hold a reasonable amount of swag if the right size and shape container is used, and I've seen guard rail hide containers that qualify as large. They also protect the various things people attach to TBs or other trackables from the elements. I hide some micros, including LPCs, that are not intended for swag but when I hide a larger cache I do take into account whether the weather can do harm to the contents. Other than that, though, in general I do not consider the container itself of any interest except in the rarest of cases. I see many caches that are just bison tubes in a hole in a chunk of wood or a pine cone and that gets 5 fav points. Really? Or maybe it's got a toy bunny glued to it and it gets 10. Other than its functionality, a container is just a container to me.

  9. I'm not sure where this thread diverged into texting English. As a proud grammar Nazi I have no problem with texting English when people are actually texting, including logging their finds. I do have a problem with atrocious grammar in the cache description or, to a lesser extent, when posting here or in other forums. You aren't rushed when typing those and you probably are using a real keyboard and a browser with a spellchecker. Please take the time to fix your mistakes. The occasional typo is no big deal, either; we all make them. The original OP's post was an example of good grammar and I mentioned it earlier, so this isn't a slam at him, although we seem to disagree to some extent. Really bad grammar can make a cache description barely understandable in the worst cases. I've seen cases where the CO (not a foreigner, BTW) used a wrong word to describe the cache container so I was looking for something else. The coordinates were also off. Bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling are a sign of general sloppiness and it usually carries over into other areas, such as choosing a garbage-littered lot in which to hide a cache. Those for whom English is not their first language often have grammar errors, but that's forgivable and it is usually obvious by the nature of the errors or the cacher's name they are not native English speakers. Speaking of litter, that's really what bad grammar is: verbal litter. Not a major sin, no, but offensive to the eye for most people. If you grew up in a filthy slum and everyone around you routinely threw trash into the street, maybe that seems normal to you and you would object to the "litter Nazis" telling you not to litter, but you would be outside social norms in my opinion. I see bad grammar, like littering or swearing in public, as generally disrespectful to the feelings of others. As a CO I appreciate it when a finder writes a few real sentences that show he or she actually found the cache and appreciates why it was hidden there, or how the puzzle was constructed, etc. "TFTC" doesn't offend me, but it doesn't make me want to hide that kind of cache any more. A few nice, well-written logs might.

  10. Now I already know that their and there is probably messed up so sorry Nazi grammar people.


    I was also wondering why if a ? hasn't been found isn't it delete and why would you have question mark geocaches in a park when you could have a real geocache. Most of these ones haven't even been visited in my are in awhile and their geo clutter or the geocaches where the owners don't care about the cache. Why are these not taken away.

    In my experience many of the grammar Nazis and others with IQs on the right side of the bell curve can solve them.

  11. As anyone can see from this thread, folks have different experiences. I can second the recommendation for gaiters. In the 14 years of geocaching I have somehow never had a tick bite, at least as far as I know. I have had to pull one off my wife's shoulder once. Here's my Amazon review of the gaiters I got for $4. I've worn them several times now and they are still doing fine. I got them mainly to protect against stickers and burrs, not ticks.

    Review of gaiters

  12. I've gotten a couple of those "you spoiled my fun" emails, but they were by the COs in response to my logs. In one case the cache page was so full of grammar, wrong word, and spelling errors it was difficult to tell what the CO was trying to say. The stuff you could understand was full of incorrect information, including very bad coordinates and a wrong description of the container. It was also hidden in a dirty unpleasant location. When I pointed these things out in my log the CO emailed me that I was spoiling his fun. Had it not occurred to him that other geocachers are entitled to have fun too? I felt the log was important to warn other geocachers what to expect (or NOT to expect). In the other case, which required finders to attempt to break a padlock securing city property (which turned out to be a real lock modified to hold a log, and the city property it was on was real), I logged that it was a very bad idea and that it was an irresponsible hide encouraging people to to do things that could get them arrested and bring authorities down on geocaching in general. I did NOT log a NA or NM. The CO deleted it saying I'd spoiled his fun, even though I had legitimately found the cache. I emailed him to ask why. He actually said people should only write positive logs because negative logs spoil everyone's fun. I went back to his cache and created a bookmark list for his cache titled "Lame caches to avoid" or something like that and emailed him back that he couldn't delete that. I don't like writing negative logs and rarely do it, but I feel we all have a responsibility to future finders to warn of significant problems.

  13. I feel your pain. It IS frustrating to watch others solve that puzzle you've been working on for days (or weeks or months) but it's all part of geocaching. Even with regular caches, I've DNFed them six or seven times in a row while dozens of others find them and log that it was an easy find and there are no other DNFs. Grrr. But the best way to deal with it in my experience is not to obsess over that puzzle. Just forget about it for now and come back to it later, after there have been a few logs or the page has been edited to include a hint or you hear something at an event that gives you an idea. Sometimes there are sort of copycat hides that follow that give you an idea on the original.

  14. Which reviewer is that slow?? Fire them! :ph34r:

    Wrong! How do you know when the CO submitted it to the reviewer. The container might have been sitting out there for a month or a year before the CO decided to check that box that says the cache is in place and ready to be reviewed. This is true even if the cache has a GC number and that number is on the cache log. You can get the GC number to your cache before it is published and before a reviewer has seen it.


    An interesting question is who logged the cache first online? That can't be done until publication. While I'm sure geocachers agree that being the first to log does not make you FTF, this question has an interesting legal precedent. Stay with me on this although it sounds irrelevant. Lawyers learn in Property Law class that the states differ in how they treat ownership of land and the recording of deeds to real property. Most are "first to record" states while others are "first in time." In other words, if two or more parties each claim an interest to a property (e.g. the prior owner "sold" the property to each of them hours apart and absconded with the funds, giving each a deed) the one who recorded the deed first at the county recorder's office will win. A more realistic situation is John's dad gives him a deed to the family home when John is 40 and dad is 60 as a reward for being a good and dutiful son all his life. John doesn't record it because dad is paying the property taxes and living there like it is still his home. Then dad at age 75 and declining mentally hires live-in nurse Ms. Golddigger and gives her a deed to the property if she'll take care of him until he dies. She goes down and records immediately and then takes care of dad for another 20 years. She will probably get the property unless she had actual notice that a deed had already been given to John. It seems unfair to you if you're in John's position, but what about the nurse? She put in 20 years of unpleasant work in the expectation of getting the home for her old age and she knew nothing about the first deed. Should she get nothing? Most states require the recipient to record the deed for this reason so that 3rd parties have notice or at least can hire a title company or lawyer to search title. The reason this is important is that in geocaching, the same problem could arise if there was one and only one officially recognized FTF. The first guy who stumbled on the cache accidentally, like the CO, did no special work for it (the effort was for another cache apparently) but reasonably believed he was first. The second guy busted his butt to get out there after publication expecting the FTF. That's why there can never be an official one and only FTF. People, like me, don't always log the instant they make the find. I don't have a smart phone. I like to write longer logs so I wait until I get home.

  15. Every Friday on my blog I post a new puzzle solving/making tool ... there are some great things out there and I keep finding new ones. Puzzle on! If you'd like to check out the blog, it's Geocaching Puzzle of the Day.

    It's a great blog. I highly recommend it. There's also a very good facebook group called Geocaching Puzzle Help with a document with many links to excellent cipher solving or analysis or constructing tools.

  16. Don't do it. Just don't hide using a fake sprinkler head. It's a terrible cache container for a number of reasons, not least of which is that using them trains finders to destroy real sprinkler heads.

    Yes, I've destroyed a very large (3' deep), difficult-to-replace real sprinkler head in a park because the cache description made it sound like it was in that head ("round, plastic, where you would expect water..."). It turned out to be in a drain by a tree. Now I don't do sprinkler head caches.

  17. I'm not 100% clear on what point the OP is making. Do you mean it's not really evil because anyone can tell that it's not really an electrical box, thus bad = lame? Or bad because it brings disrepute on geocachers and geocaching? I have no problem with an electrical box were it can't be a real one, e.g. a tree. I do have a problem with fake infrastructure or devices where they could be real. I personally have broken a sprinkler head in a park (where the hint said it was round, wet, and plastic and that was the only thing I saw meeting that description at GZ) and a light fixture on a shed in another park (the real cache was a fake light fixture on another side of that shed). Then there are the padlock hides, which teach cachers to fiddle with locks which can get them hassled or even arrested and generally end up causing geocaching to get a bad name and be banned. It causes them to fiddle with padlocks or infrastructure even where there is no hide of that nature because, of course, once someone knows that's one place where caches are hidden, then they begin to check those out in other places. I've seen the padlock hides on utility district gates, water pump stations, and chains securing city traffic sawhorses. These aren't evil, they're just bad for geocaching. I put them in the class with fake pipe bombs or rat poison containers. Jerks who hide those ruin it for the rest of us.

  18. I agree with the OP. Nanos really deserve their own size category so people who don't like them (like me) can filter them out of their PQs or GSAK views or simply avoid them when out geocaching. When geocaching.com was founded nanos didn't exist. Trading physical stuff (T-shirts, books, etc.) and TBs and writing interesting logs in the log books were all considered important aspects of geocaching. You can't do those with nanos. When nanos first appeared there was a combination of amazement and disgust that something so small could be permitted. Obviously things have changed since then. Today the original civility seems to have largely, though not entirely, disappeared from geocaching. The OP's point that the distribution of sizes no longer fits the current "demographic" is a valid one. And of course it is also true that Other is used all the time by people who don't want to reveal the size because they want to make it harder to find, even if that is no longer in the official definition. I've never seen a nano marked as Other (and I have cached in Belgium, although I never looked for a nano there); they're always micros.

  19. I see I'm not the first or only one to say it: I don't have a smart phone. I can't think of anything I'd use it for besides geocaching and possibly Ingress and I can't see buying a phone and a data plan just for that. I've never seen anyone else using a smart phone for anything else that would appeal to me. I frankly don't see why they're so popular. I sit at my desktop most of the day where I have total instant access to everything on the Internet with a big screen I can actually read, a real keyboard and mouse I can actually use, and a real stereo with sound quality worth listening to. I can write programs to accomplish all the puzzle and cipher solving I do, write my own games, etc. Why would I want a tiny device that has none of those things? When I go out I'm rarely in a position where I can use a smart phone, e.g. driving, running, or talking or visiting with people. I know I'm in the minority and don't mean it as a criticism of others, but it does mystify me.

  20. I agree that the new guidelines are a big improvement. Most of my objections have been met. I don't agree with the idea of requiring a challenge checker. If a geocacher can't determine independently whether or not he or she qualifies, they shouldn't get credit for a cache, in my opinion. I also think they shouldn't grandfather in all the old challenge caches that don't meet the new guidelines. I can understand keeping them if the only objection is that there is no checker available, but I wish they'd archive all those requiring finding caches with various things in the name, or by finders, etc. (the #10 prohibited criteria). They could do it with a long grace period so that all those working on those challenges, or already qualified, can go make the find. They've left it open by saying problematic ones can still be archived, but the whole reason for the moratorium is that there were problem ones. Those should be cleaned out without further ado.

  21. I've been geocaching since 2002 and I've never liked looking for geocaches. I like finding them. Some people seem to think that making a cache hard to find makes it more fun for the geocacher when it is finally found. It doesn't for me, but I'm sure that's true for some. I wish every cache had a spoiler hint or spoiler information so that I could just walk up to it and grab it. To me, picking up rocks, beating the bushes, sorting through trash, etc. is just a waste of time and unpleasant. However, that doesn't mean I like every cache just because it's an easy find, either. It should still have a good location, well-written cache page, etc. I think a good hide is one where a general passerby would have no idea the cache is there, but a geocacher would immediately know where to find it. I'm not into numbers. I have a low total for someone caching as long as I have been, so I don't like them easy just so I can boost my total. Before you ask why I geocache, then, I have many good reasons, a few of which are:


    The social aspect of taking a hike with a friend (or group of friends)

    Having a motivator to find different interesting locations I would never know about otherwise

    Having a motivator to get out and do something aerobic

    The planning, reviewing maps, Google Earth, previous logs, etc.

    Reading the cache page (when it's a well-written one with local history, a good story, fancy graphics, etc.)

    Doing the puzzles, especially with someone else

    Driving around listening to a good audiobook or good music (somehow I never do this unless I have a destination. Listening at home is fine, too, but somehow not the same)


    I'm sure many others enjoy some of these same things. I hide a lot of caches, too and get enjoyment from that, but that's a different issue.


    Am I alone in not liking the actual searching itself?

  22. Is there a way to see a list of all my DNFs that I have not avenged? ...
    The list of DNF logs will show all the DNF logs. If a cacher logs multiple DNF's on a cache, then it will be in that page multiple times.However, this page will not allow the OP to see which of the DNF's have been avenged (found later). To achieve this, I'd suggest creating a Bookmark List and add all caches you've DNF'd to that list. When you view a Bookmark List, the caches in the list that you've found will be highlighted and you'll be able to see which of the DNF'd caches still haven't been found.Creating and maintaining the Bookmark List will be an extra effort, so it's up to you whether it's worthwhile or not. I do have such a Bookmark List.
    ^^ thanks so much for the information!! I give this response 5 stars : ]
    I do the opposite: I have a bookmark list called "DNF" (clever, I know) and just keep all the caches I have not yet found on it until I can get back to actually make the find. It's stayed a fairly consistent length during my three+ years...roughly between 20 and 30 on there at any given moment.

    Yes, GSAK will work for the original question, i.e. DNFs that you haven't found yet, but it won't show the ones you later found. Apparently when you find the cache it deletes the DNF icon. I'm not sure why. There have been times when I wanted to see which ones I DNFed then found, or see when I DNFed a particular cache that I later found.

  • Create New...