Jump to content

The Rat

+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by The Rat

  1. Another factor to consider is that not all cachers will have read the description before searching for a cache, or if they did read it, they have forgotten any warning about TOTT, etc. Even if you've hidden a tool nearby they may not know it. I don't have a smart phone so unless I made a note on paper or put it into my GPSr (with a 30-char limit note field) I have only my memory to rely on. People are inevitably going to do what that guy did. Consider naming the cache "Long tool" or something like that as an extra hint or direction of sorts. If the reviewer has a sense of humor that shouldn't be a problem.
  2. I'm with fizzymagic about 98%. There have been one or two puzzles I've created over the years where I have said I won't confirm the coordinates. Those were in the very early days (2002 - 2004) when coordinate checkers weren't available (or I didn't know of any). My main reasons were to avoid a lot of pestering emails or because I made clear that if you have to ask, then you haven't solved it because the aha moment is so clear. Now I put coordinate checkers on all my puzzles or at least a checksum. Sometimes the checker is built-in, but I still get requests. For example, I have some crossword puzzle caches. The application I use has a message that pops up if the puzzle is solved correctly and of course I put the full correct coords in that message, yet I still get people emailing me saying they solved the puzzle correctly but still didn't get the message so could I check their crossword solution. Of course they didn't solve the puzzle correctly which is why the coords didn't pop up. I won't give them the coordinates or the completed puzzle, but I will tell them what section of the puzzle has the problem and usually a strong hint, like "The clue says 'robbers' plural. Is Highwayman plural?" Bear in mind, though, that if it hasn't yet been solved, or only solved once or twice, I will look very closely at such a request, even when I have a checker (or especially if I have a checker) because I've been known to have errors or unintentional ambiguities or red herrings in my puzzles. I may ask the requester how he/she came up with those coordinates and want to find those and correct them if they exist. Sometimes in cases like that I'll confirm half the coordinates (N or W but not both). Bear in mind that if you don't help someone asking at least a little, they will probably start asking other solvers and just get a spoiler answer or full coordinates, so it's better to help them with the puzzle if they have it wrong.
  3. Thanks for the plug, Corfman Clan. Here's another recent entry to the geocaching novel list: The Lost Frenchman by Cully Long. That's the same author who wrote How to Puzzle Cache.
  4. There are several cachers around here who place caches requiring similar tools. They usually provide them somewhere near the cache. Yes, even a 10' pole with a custom hook on the end can be hidden under a bridge. On the cache page state that a tool is needed and provided in the vicinity. I've had several caches of mine go missing, e.g. falling down inside a metal fence post, or one over a bridge. That bridge one was one of my very first hides and I kept replacing it for maybe the first three times it went missing. It was the second stage in a multi that people seemed to like a lot. Eventually, though, I realized that it just wasn't a good spot for a hide at least not without a much better custom container. The fault was mine, not the finders'. I archived the cache.
  5. The OP has received good advice and apparently decided to take it. As an owner of many puzzle caches I have had the CO's problem happen to me, but only twice that I recall. Most people around here know better than to ask for coordinates. However, the most recent time this happened, the other prospective CO who couldn't place her cache was a friend of mine who I know puts out very good caches with lots of favorite points. She had a particular themed hide in a nearby area that she wanted to place and I was inclined to help her since I know the local cachers would enjoy whatever she had in mind. I didn't bother trying to give her a hint. It was a 5* difficulty cache requiring the finder to solve a bunch of other very hard puzzle caches to get the coordinates to mine. I knew she was never going to solve all those. However, I did not give her my coordinates. Instead she told me where she wanted to hide her cache. Without giving her my coordinates, I asked if she could hide hers at another similar spot 30 or so feet away. We were able to work out a spot where she could hide her cache. If it had been a brand-new cacher, I would have suggested politely he solve the puzzle and provided a hint, but probably go no farther. Obviously, not everyone can solve puzzles and if he couldn't do mine, he'd just have to go elsewhere. My point being that it is not something to be upset about and the one being asked for coordinates should engage the other party constructively, not ignore them or act territorial.
  6. I started caching in 2002 before I retired. Most of it was on the weekend and I quickly made a good friend to cache with at an event. We would go out almost every weekend and do whatever was out there, although we both enjoyed solving puzzles together and did a lot of those. But there were so few caches, that we couldn't be choosy as to type. By the time I retired in 2007 my friend had returned to Europe, where he was from, and I was caching alone. Initially I started caching a lot and my numbers shot up, but that got boring. Then I teamed up with some other puzzle fans to solve together and we would find those together, but I was doing other types alone. The area was exploding with more caches, both urban and in the mountains. I think I overdid it on caching in general and puzzles in particular. I got so sick of them I stopped caching altogether for over a year (2010) although I continued to maintain my own caches. Then I interested another friend of mine in geocaching and we've been regular caching buddies ever since. My numbers are back up but he doesn't do puzzles or events, so I do a few of those on my own. We do mostly trail/mountain hikes for our caching now. So I think you can overdo it after retirement, but the key is to find a friend or group to geocache with. If your spouse enjoys it, too, then you're all set. I don't think the type is as important as finding a style that matches the both of you (or whole group). You'll find that unanticipated factors, like health, economics, moving to be near family or out of winter weather, etc., can all affect your caching choices. Just go with the flow.
  7. Meh... To me, that kind of "challenge to the community to hide caches" sounds pretty much the same as breeder caches or "curse of the FTF" caches or challenge caches that require owning caches or the like.One of the things I respect about Groundspeak is that they resist incentives for people to hide caches for arbitrary reasons like this, for any reasons other than the desire to own and maintain a cache for the long term. Nirad answered that question better than I could. Lame is lame. As for what right I have to express my opinion on geocaching matters, oh, let's see, ... the First Amendment, Forum guidelines, etc. I think the moratorium on challenges by Groundspeak speaks for itself. If you don't like it, then you should probably be directing it at people like whoever put out that 75-eye challenge and members like him for causing it.
  8. fizzymagic is right. It's all part of the game. Suck it up and find another. The same thing happened to me at least once. I was really bummed out at the time because there wasn't anything with that rating anywhere near. However, the CO changed it back later to the original rating, I think partly in response to some comment on a local forum about it or possibly because of notes previous finders logged requesting it and explaining why. In fact, the cache was overrated in difficulty. My grid is still completely full and I'm out of danger now since I've completed the Fizzy, but it could change any time, so I recommend that if you get a full grid, go find the final as soon as you can. As for the suggestion of freezing, get real. The purpose of those ratings is not to create challenge qualifiers. In fact the original Fizzy allowed only caches that were hidden prior to the date of the final hide, I feel certain, precisely for that reason - so people could not hide/rate new caches in order to meet the challenge. The idea is that only caches legitimately and accurately rated should qualify. The purpose of ratings is so that cachers can decide whether a cache is something in their comfort zone or otherwise attractive or unattractive to them. Most conscientious COs will re-rate their caches if it appears that they are misrated, even if they were accurately rated before but something in the environment changed. I've changed the ratings on several of my caches, although I pretty much leave alone the ones that pre-date the Fizzy cutoff. They're mostly puzzles, and even though the puzzle hasn't changed, a puzzle that was original and never seen in the area in 2002 or 2003 may have been a 4* then but now is a 3* because cachers have seen dozens of them and there are free online solving tools (e.g. for ciphers) that will solve them effortlessly now, not to mention dozens of prior solvers who will tell you how to solve a puzzle or even give you the solution. Remember, this can work to your advantage, too. You may find that a cache you previously found suddenly fills a hole you need due to a change in rating.
  9. I had one similar where the main part of the cache had been confiscated by the property manager because it had been hidden on private property without permission. However, some friends and I didn't know that and we found a piece of the original cache, a piece that was in fact part of a log. A real log, i.e., a slice of raw wood. We thought that was the intended log for the cache since it was clearly out of place there and was a "log." We signed the "log" and the CO later verified that we signed it and that it was in fact part of the original cache container, and that we were reasonable to have thought it was the log, but since it wasn't the original piece of paper he had intended as the log, he didn't allow it. I thought that was a bit too much.
  10. Very good. It seems we actually have similar views on the matter. Sorry to have caused a momentary upset. Mata tomodachi?
  11. I don't really understand which challenge cache of mine you are talking about. I actually have only one challenge cache, and attending my events wouldn't really help much someone to qualify that challenge. Kanchan, you misunderstand me. The "them" I am referring to above are lame challenge caches. I am aware of several challenge caches by others that have requirements like I stated that are just disguised attempts to get people to find their own caches. You don't have any so far as I know. Your coffee events are a separate thing. I assumed the long crazy names were for the purpose of allowing attendees to qualify for challenges, but if that's not the reason then I apologize. I have not complained about your events, although now I am curious as to why they are every week and why always in that same out-of-the-way location and why the long crazy names? Care to share?
  12. You wouldn't know why I'm hosting these. True enough. I may have unfairly characterized those coffees. That doesn't change my opinion about those lame challenges, however. Lame is lame. Many of them are poorly disguised attempts to get people to find and log other caches by the same CO. Such a requirement for challenges was always forbidden, since you couldn't require to have found any particular cache(s), but people were getting around the technical rule by saying (hypothetical example): you had to find twenty caches with "Xerxes" in the title and that CO just happened to own 20 caches with Xerxes in the title, but he said you didn't have to find his caches. Of course there were no others within hundreds or maybe thousands of miles.
  13. Tell us how you really feel...How are puzzle caches or challenge caches not real? Crow-T Robot said it well. The lame challenge caches I mention aren't real in the sense that even if you find it you can't log it. That's not true for puzzle caches or regular caches. The challenges I refer to are the ones that require so many irrelevant criteria that the only ones who qualify to log it are those who do what Crow-T Robot said - culling through thousands of previous finds in GSAK to find out if they qualify. I can't imagine anyone actually setting out to find 30 caches with the word Creek in the title and 20 with Gulch in the title and 50 with Redwood in the title. Why? It's not really a challenge; it's just a chore. A good challenge cache, like the Fizzy, which I've done, sets a goal that is a true challenge and exposes the geocacher to something new and interesting - more difficult terrain, or different weather, or geography, or hide styles. I know of someone around here who holds a weekly morning coffee event, each with a different ridiculously long nonsense name just to provide "finds" for some of those stupid challenges. Is that really a challenge - to go have coffee in the morning?
  14. I don't personally know of any real-life cases of law enforcement being assisted by geocachers or by knowledge of geocaching, but it certainly could happen. It has been written about in several geocaching novels, sometimes in surprising ways.
  15. Coincidentally, I just started (finally) reading Death Row last night. I didn't know that Cliff was a kayaker as well. That first cache sounded like a tough one but I'm noticing a pattern from Cached out. It seems like most of the cache finds have also resulted in some kind of injury. In any case, a book that starts with a kayak cache that ends up with a loss of blood is my kind of book.Also coincidentally, I just finished reading Behead Me yesterday. Let's just say that Cliff likes to earn his terrain stars It's nice to hear I have a few fans. I guess I won't quit after all.
  16. I don't think reviewers enforce the rules differently with different people, but they do have some discretion, so it's wise to stay on their good side. For example, I hid a puzzle cache in this notoriously puzzle-dense area and got denied due proximity to another puzzle final. This had happened before, but this time the reviewer gave not only the name of the puzzle but the exact distance from my intended final (but not the direction). I don't believe that enabled me to find that other cache, but it wasn't hard to figure out generally where it must be, i.e. the direction, and move my final so it could get published without having to negotiate with the other CO. I know that a final on one of my caches blocked someone else's intended final and the reviewer gave her my name and the cache ID. We were able to work out a way for us both to put/keep our caches where we wanted. Not all reviewers will do this for you. Some will just reject the placement. Maybe they'll give you the name of the CO of the blocking cache, but no more. I've also seen rare exceptions made to the rules for cachers and I'm sure the reputation and history of the CO has been a big factor. For example, one cacher wanted to place geoart in SF Bay with puzzles, but the shore was more than 2 miles from some of the proposed posted coordinates. The reviewer allowed this, but only with strict conditions about placing the final caches as close as possible, etc.
  17. It looks like the OP admitted defeat once the original reviewer told the whole story. For those who got hooked by the subject line, I suggest ignoring the long accusatory argument above. As others have said, there is no such thing as a preferred CO. I am not a reviewer but I am pretty sure that a CO's past hides and dealings with a reviewer may indeed influence him or her. If you have hidden dozens of caches and they get favorite points, no complaints, and you are polite with the reviewer, the reviewer is probably going to trust that you've done things right and approve quickly if there are no obvious issues. On the other hand, if you're newbie, or your caches have caused problems, e.g. NA or NM logs that go unaddressed for months, previous mistakes on submissions, etc., the reviewer may remember and take a closer look. It's just human nature to deal differently with people who cause you problems than you do with those who don't. That doesn't mean unfair treatment or different rules, just a more cautious or untrusting approach.
  18. I've enjoyed some that were well conceived, but in my experience most are just random with meaningless requirements, like find 10 caches with word 1 in the title plus 20 with word 2 and 30 with word 3. What's the point of that? It requires way too much time, travel, and finding mostly uninspiring caches. It just fills up the map with ? symbols where real caches could go. I'm glad they were banned and I hope it stays that way. If they come back, I hope they at least put some kind of restrictions or guidelines for reviewers.
  19. I am so offended by this disrespectful post that I am going to quit ! .... writing Cliff Knowles novels. ... maybe.
  20. I agree with that there should be a minimum number of finds required (not just suggested) before the first placement. Perhaps 20 is too many, though, especially in areas without many caches. I also think a period of time should be required, too, to make sure it's not a fleeting thing. In my case, I had found 12 caches and been caching about 25 days when I placed my first cache. However, that was in 2002 and things were different. First off, there were no smart phones, so everyone who cached had already invested at least $80 or so in a GPS unit, so were unlikely to give it up quickly. Secondly, 12 caches was a substantial percent of caches within a 10 mile radius. My first few caches were not well thought out, though, so some of the criticisms here of newbies would have been valid. I have hidden about 92 caches and adopted a few others when friends asked me to. But I think that's too many to maintain, so I archive caches that have proven problematic (e.g. going missing) or simply don't get any finds in a long period (e.g. difficult puzzles). That also frees up space for other cachers as well as allowing me to hide new ones nearby that I can maintain. So I agree that there should be a limit on how many an owner can have active (although not on how many they can hide over time). However, here's one belief that won't be popular: I also think only premium members should be permitted to hide caches. That's by far the best way to make sure CO's are at least minimally dedicated to the sport and know the rules. In my view, if you can afford to own a smart phone you can afford the annual fee, so I am not sympathetic to those claiming poverty. The fee is less than what you pay for a month of your phone. I consider a smart phone a luxury. I don't own one. I also think the free app shouldn't be free. Just a minimum fee of 99 cents would be enough to deter many of those fly-by-nighters. At least that small fee might make people look into it a bit before trying it.
  21. Behead Me, Cliff Knowles Mystery #6, is here and it's heavy on the geocaching!
  22. dprovan, I agree that it is possible that Milpitas has rules or regulations or municipal code that covers the permission aspect. I really don't know. I said as much in my original post. I disagree, though, about the money. I still think that is the sole reason Groundspeak approved this. It's a shame it has happened this way. This is a wheel that has already been invented, and invented correctly. Several people have pointed out that the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) did it exactly right, reaching out to the geocaching community and using existing geocaches for their geocaching passport and preserve circuit. They had no trouble finding local cachers with well-placed, popular geocaches who were willing to give ownership over to the district and in many cases, continue to maintain them (or other cachers were willing to take over maintenance). Milpitas had plenty of well-placed and well-maintained popular caches. I believe most of the locations Milpitas wanted to bring people probably already had suitable caches and COs who would have worked cooperatively to make their caches available for the Geo-tour. Groundspeak should have explained this to Milpitas. My personal experience with Groundspeak, though, is that if there's money in it for Groundspeak, they will do whatever it takes for the bucks even if it hurts the sport.
  23. Perhaps the silliest thing about all this is that Milpitas is doing this to try to cash in on the Super Bowl crowd. Do they really think Super Bowl fans coming to the Bay Area are going to go geocaching in Milpitas? No doubt there will be a few geocachers among the fans, probably very few, but they're going to pick up caches that are near where they're staying or those that have a lot of favorites. Milpitas is out of the way geographically, has no scenery or interesting historic places of note, and is basically a bedroom community for Silicon Valley. When I was growing up it smelled of cow poop from miles around because of all the dairy farms. Milpitas means "little fields" in Spanish. The dairies are now gone. It has some high-tech firms there now, but they aren't tourist draws.
  24. I think this GeoTour has been abysmally handled. Reading the posts, it appears clear to me that 100% of actual geocachers are on the side of the CO's whose caches were archived or forced to move, while 100% of Groundspeak lackeys are defending their corporate patron. It's all about money. Milpitas is paying them money so the existing CO's (and those who enjoy the caches of those CO's) are toast. The excuse that they are trying to bring the enjoyment of geocaching to a new generation (or new set) of geocachers is demonstrably false. The GeoTour caches are clearly poorly placed and in violation of Groundspeak guidelines. I don't blame Milpitas for this. I think it's clear they simply have no idea about geocaching; they're total newbies making newbie mistakes. Groundspeak and its reviewers could have avoided this whole controversy easily with a little backbone and a lot of tact when dealing with both the city and the CO's. I have not examined the geotour caches carefully, but if the posts here are correct, the geotour will actually be a turnoff and give the sport a black eye, both for existing geocachers and new people who hear about it from the tour. As for the permission angle, that's a total red herring. Groundspeak is being disingenuous. In California, every activity that is not expressly prohibited by law is lawful on public lands. Unless Milpitas has a public written policy against geocaching on public that was passed with a chance for public hearing and agendized under the Brown Act (and it may, I don't know), then permission to place geocaches has been granted by state law. Case law is clear on this. Groundspeak knows this. Other public entities, like the federal and state parks and the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District, have such policies and geocachers have (almost) always followed them. In short, the caches were not removed because they failed to follow the guidelines; they did follow the guidelines with regard to permission unless someone can show me that published code or policy from Milpitas. They were removed to allow Groundspeak to make money.
  25. I recommend Podcacher.com's channel: Sonny & Sandy. GeoGearHeads is another good one. Both have podcasts without the video, too.
  • Create New...