Jump to content

The Rat

+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by The Rat

  1. It may not always be the case that just because a cache is archived that you cannot "acquire" the digit as you put it. You may be able to get the missing digit(s) from someone who did find that cache earlier. The digit may be written in the final archiving note by the CO. The could be a picture of the cache with the digit visible by one of the finders. If it's a puzzle (I know you specified traditional caches) it may just involve solving a puzzle to get coordinates, without finding the cache. If you go to the previous location of the archived cache, the CO may give you the digit if you email proof, like a photo of the site. Still, your point is valid that a CO should ensure that a puzzle cache is solvable, so in this case, he or she should modify the cache page to substitute another cache or put the missing digits in a hint or in the cache description, etc.
  2. A bit of warning here. There are several different solution checkers out there. I think they all check coordinates, but some can also check other things. The most popular around where I live is certitudes.org. It allows the solution to be a "keyword", i.e. any text. If you click on a certitudes link, it will tell you whether it expects coordinates or a keyword. Also, note that some cache pages have obsolete checkers on them. They will take you to a dead link, or just lock up trying to access a page and returning a message that it is "waiting for..." This is true for certitudes, which used to be hosted on another server. The checker still exists on the new server, but the CO may not have updated the link on the cache page. Don't get discouraged if you hit one of those. There are other ways to check a solution, too, like a checksum given on the cache page, or by checking the distances. Except for some legacy puzzles, the final is supposed to be within 2 miles of the posted coordinates and not within 1/10 mi. of another cache (or physical stage of a multi).
  3. This is no doubt why the original Well-Rounded Cacher/ Fizzy Challenge required all the qualifying finds to have been hidden before the challenge itself. Some of the mimics have maintained this rule, but by no means all. I don't know who was fastest to complete the grid. It took me almost 7 years, so I'm far from the first, but then I wasn't even going for it until the last year or so. I will say that even though I don't like most challenge caches because they are so arbitrary and pointless, I loved that one. It really is the first one that served to get the average cacher to expand his range, try different things he never thought he could, and team up with others he doesn't know well (e.g., 4WD owners, scuba divers) for particular "assaults". It helped that I did the final on the original WRC/FC with fizzymagic himself. It was a gorgeous day in beautiful scenic redwoods and we were all by ourselves on the trail. We almost DNFed the final!
  4. I don't mind cryptic hints where it's appropriate to the theme or the puzzle. They can be fun. The yellow submarine hint would be fine if the cache page involved Beatles or rock music from the 60s or 70s, or even if it's not themed. Not everyone is going to get every hoint. That's why they're called hints, not instructions. As mentioned many times here, "No hint needed" (encrypted) is indeed very vexing. It's annoying for more than the obvious reason that you are expecting help only find that there is none. It's also downright insulting. If you are looking at the hint, presumably you are not finding the cache and need one, so for starters, it's factually wrong. On top of that it's very existence implies that you are so lousy at geocaching that you can't find something that is so easy no one needs a hint. I wrote a caustic DNF log on a cache like that that was rated as a 1 difficulty and the cache was a thin slip of paper in a tiny baggie behind a magnetic number placard on a utility box. It looked almost exactly like the real utility co. number decals nearby and I had never seen that hide style in 12 years of geocaching. The CO removed the "hint" after my log, which was considerate, and I felt a bit embarrassed at my log afterward. She's a good geocacher and CO, and to her that seemed like an obvious hide because she'd seen a bunch of them, but I hadn't. This raises a related annoyance, and that is misrated caches. Perhaps worse are caches with false, inaccurate, or misleading information or hints, especially when it is negative in nature, e.g. "reachable from sidewalk" (if you're 6'2" like the CO, but not for most people) or "Park hours are 6AM-sunset" (which is true, but the cache isn't in the park). I was FTF on one cache with that latter warning when it was published in the evening and I discovered the coordinates were outside the park and accessible from a public street. I found it at 11PM or so without passing through the park. The CO deleted my FTF log that evening, even though I said in my log I had checked four different maps showing that the coordinates were well outside the park. He later let me log it, but congratulated someone else on the cache page for their FTF and basically harrumphed at my evidence (which I had sent him), saying I should have known not to try to get it except during the hours on the cache page. He never admitted he had been careless and just assumed it was part of the park land. I lost the FTF "credit" (if there is such a thing) even though it was a hard puzzle and the CO put a lot of red herrings in his puzzles. I thought the park hours remark was just another red herring. I can think of several instances where I didn't find a cache because the hint was just plain wrong. I can adjust for that if it's the kind of thing that changes over time, beyond the CO's control, like the height of the cache in a bush, but so often it's the CO's fault. "It's 20 feet SE of the sign" when it's actually 30 feet SW of the sign.
  5. I love a good multi. One of my all-time favorite caches was a 19-stage multi in Belgium that took us all around a park. Every stage was a puzzle or gimmick of some kind that would be at least a 3-star hide here. I was with a Belgian friend and his family (all English speakers) since I don't speak Flemish. That cvache is now archived but I remember the first stage was a model of a wasps' nest stuck up under the eave of a shed. Each stage, of course, had the decimal part of the coordinates of the next. One of the next was a printed sticker with the numbers for the next stage, but it was stuck under the metal beam of a small bridge. You had to hold a mirror out under the bridge while lying on your stomach, then remember that the coordinates (which contained all 6's, 8's and 9's) was upside down and mirror writing. I've forgotten most of the stages, but they were all clever. My wife and I and our host family, a total of six of us, spent about two hours on that one. Philippe had to call the CO two or three times for some of the stages, but in the end it was a marvelous experience. I agree that multis are perfect for sites where you want to bring the finders to two or three different locations that are interrelated and which are 100 - 500 feet apart, or even closer. You can't hide 3 separate caches that close to each other.
  6. Unless the version my wife uses every day on her computer includes GEOCACHE, it doesn't count. She got the CD free on a box of cereal maybe 8 or 10 years ago. Best food purchase we ever made. Happy wife, happy life. Except now she refuses to play with me.
  7. Yet another: DC-6 Resolution Crash Site (again)!
  8. "Vanity challenge" eh? Interesting concept. I don't own any challenge caches, but I did put out a puzzle cache that required the solver to solve several of my previous puzzles to get the final coordinates. That's kind of the same idea. I knew it was a bit egotistical and named it Egomaufry for that reason and put a small apology in the cache description for the self-aggrandizing nature. However, I wouldn't have done that had I not first placed a cache called Gallimaufry (which explains where the name Egomaufry came from) that required the solver to solve a bunch of puzzle caches by other COs that I particularly admired, and that one got a high percentage of favorite points. Once I saw how popular the concept was (this was before challenges) I decided it would be OK to hide one featuring myself. I think most CO's who hide a lot of caches of any type have a fairly high opinion of their caches in order to keep doing it. It's similar to why people keep blogging or writing books or painting. They get enjoyment from seeing other people enjoy the product of their labors, whether that product is particularly noteworthy or not. Why do people keep showing others pictures of their kids? Is there anyone out there who doesn't think his or her own child or grandchild is the most beautiful, smart, or sweetest baby in the world? Same thing with caches. It's the "Look at what I did!" feeling.
  9. We did get a bit off-topic, but I think it is worth commending the OP for his desire to get it right on his first puzzle cache. Many new hiders are not so considerate. I don't have a problem with slang or colloquial language, even neologisms, in cache descriptions. What I am trying to emphasize is that sloppiness or laziness, or even outright ignorance, in language on a cache page and many other places (instructions or directions, for example) can cause other people a lot of headaches, wasted time, DNFs, or a distaste for your caches. It is important both to be considerate to others and for you get what you want (finders in this case) by being clear, which includes being grammatically correct. I don't see a chance of misunderstanding with either of the OP's versions, so I am not concerned as to which is "better." Neither violates a grammar rule. As for the argument that if 90% of the people, or maybe most of the people, say something a certain way, the grammar books should change to accommodate that, close examination will show that to be a poor guideline. Probably close to 90% of young people sprinkle their speech with the word "like" when it has no grammatical or other meaning. "I was like so worried that it would like be like too scary, but it turned out to be like totally awesome." Should we change the grammar books to say the word "like" should be placed in random spots in every sentence? We could get into science and religion, too - over 90% of the world's population thought the earth was flat, and still today there are probably some provable scientific facts or principles that are disbelieved by over 90% of the population. Stylistic rules do change, like comma use (less is now considered better) and that's fine, but the basic grammar rules remain valid even when people violate them.
  10. Amen to that. If 90% of people are saying things 1 way and the textbook says it's supposed to be the other way, then maybe the textbook needs to be changed. I couldn't disagree more. To digress a moment, I agree completely about typos; we all do those and it is not a sign of bad understanding. But grammar rules are rules because they form a logical structure that enables listeners/readers to understand what is being said. To give an example: these days you hear "Me and my friend went..." all the time, and sometimes "He helped my dad and I...". Both are wrong because they use the wrong case. The subject should have the subjective case and the object should have the objective case. Simple concept. You wouldn't say "Me went..." or "He helped I ..." but, for reasons unknown, many people, including a high school teacher I recently met, seem to think that when you stick another person in there you reverse that idea. This rule is important is because it embodies a basic principal that is consistent throughout all major western languages and a couple of Asian languages I know. Being able to identify the subject and object accurately are important to understanding, and other languages do not flip flop case like this. This is one reason Americans are so poor at learning foreign languages. It's much more difficult to learn another language if you don't understand the basic concepts of grammar. If you understand the difference between "I" and "me" it is easier to understand the difference between "je" and "moi," and so on, and the French will certainly understand you much better if you use them correctly. As for avoiding caches with bad grammar, I do that sometimes. I figure that if your cache page is that poorly written, the cache itself is probably crappy, too. When I do go for them, I often find that the cache description or hint is unintentionally misleading because of the CO's inability to express himself or herself. I remember one infuriating 1-star cache I traveled 45 miles each way to get (to drop a TB near an airport) and DNFed because the hint said it was 6 feet from concrete, so I only searched spots that were approximately 6 feet from concrete, even though there was a spot a few inches from the sidewalk that exactly met the cache description. I looked at that but didn't open it because it was too close. It turned out the CO meant it was WITHIN 6 feet of concrete, not that it was 6 feet from concrete. In order for people to say what they mean they have to know how to say what they mean.
  11. I prefer to think of myself as the Word Police, rather than a grammar Nazi, but my cache Word Police Quiz, based only on spelling, not grammar, has worked out nicely because the spellings are easily verified by any dictionary, but other times when I have used grammar mistakes either as part of a puzzle or in a hint, it has not gone well. This is largely because most Americans, geocachers or not, are pretty bad at grammar (unlike foreigners educated abroad who learned proper English). Even newscasters on national networks make mistakes all the time, and let's not even start on people who comment on YouTube videos. People argue about what is correct grammar based on what they hear all the time, not what is actually the correct rule. For instance, a puzzle I had that involved Messier objects had a hint suggesting people look for the grammar error to find the theme of the numbers. I had repeatedly described the puzzle getting "more messy". Despite the fact that grammar authorities all concur that the proper way to form the comparative form of a two-syllable adjective ending in -y, like messy, is to change the -y to -ier, I don't think anyone got the hint. I got several nasty emails afterward insisting it was not a grammar error to say "more messy." Actually it is, but making a puzzle based on correct grammar is likely to make you about as popular as correcting people's grammar in public. I have seen several puzzles like team tisri's and I think the same arguments with the CO's have ensued, or at the very least, too many would-be solvers can't solve it and keep asking for hints when all they need to do is learn grammar to solve it. So my advice is to avoid basing the puzzle on grammar. Oh, and to answer the OP's question, either word seems fine to me. Saying it more concisely may or may not work for the puzzle.
  12. It's an interesting topic, but I can say I've never been bothered by it, primarily because I've never noticed anyone doing that regularly. I do find it annoying when there's a series of caches on the same trail with long names all with the same beginning, whether or not it's a CO name. I'm not sure what my GPSr can handle for a cache name, probably only 8 characters, but GSAK smart names are all 8 characters, and I always load the day's caches in from GSAK, so I get GroveldA, GroveldB, GroveldC, etc. and can't tell them apart from the display on the Garmin. But I consider this my responsibility to rename them after they're loaded in, not a responsibility of the CO when naming. I rarely do it. It's easier to print out full names, hints, notes, log info and everything else I'm interested in having with me on paper. I can do that in a nice big font that I can actually read. It wouldn't make any difference if the cache names were corrected or better in the GPSr since I can't read the screen anyway. Some people have encouraged me to do paperless caching by getting another GPSr, but none of them have a font size big enough to be useful to me. I can tell which direction the red arrow is pointing and that's good enough for me!
  13. I agree that people giving favorite points to lame caches is irksome, but the problem with that is that other people like different things about geocaching and particular geocaches. Some points are given for a FTF or a special prize in the swag, or wanting to encourage a new CO's first hide, or hitting a landmark number of finds. I couldn't find the "Don't Tell Me..." cache mentioned, so I can't comment on that one, but the fun part of puzzles is the puzzle, not the hide, IMO, so if it's a really clever one that leads you along until that "Aha!" moment when you give yourself a dope slap upside the head for not seeing the solution earlier, I would give a favorite point even if it's a lamp post in a parking lot. A lot of puzzle hinders I know feel as I do that a hard puzzle should have a simple, easy hide so that someone able to solve the puzzle should be able to get the find. Where I disagree with others is all the favorites given for good camo. There's a cacher in my area who garners a lot of favorite points for bison tubes in holes. They are always superbly camouflaged, but I soon got tired of looking at yet one more bison tube in a hole with 60 favorite points. In the end, though, getting irked for others' favorite points is like getting upset over the popularity of TV shows you think are garbage. Obviously someone out there likes watching them or the networks wouldn't air them. I know I don't get to be the arbiter of other people's taste.
  14. I'm north of 65, so I guess I qualify, although I didn't when I started geocaching. There are lots of good reasons older people geocache, and the reality is that my reasons did change when I retired. Many valid reasons have been mentioned: exercise, meeting people, a chance to do something with a spouse, feeling younger, etc. These are good, but for me post retirement I find it more important to find things to do just to occupy all my free time. I've led an active retirement with volunteer work, lots of reading, writing (three novels and a blog), making videos, running, studying a foreign language in adult school, etc., but I still find myself playing more computer solitaire and sitting around the house more than I would like. I watch some pretty crappy TV, too, which I would never bother with in younger days (although I think it's mainly because almost everything on TV these days is crappy). Geocaching gives me something to do and gets me out of the house. It's also healthy sometimes to spend less time with the spouse. Consider the recreational alternatives other people choose: golf, "book" clubs (that mainly mean drinking wine and gossiping) and hanging out in bars.
  15. I only read the last couple of pages on this very popular thread, but a couple of things strike me. First, for those who are complaining about other posters who describe what irks them, why are you reading this thread? The title invites people to do exactly that, and obviously with the number of pages of posts, there are a lot of geocachers with a lot of complaints. Many of them are justified, too. In my opinion the sport has deteriorated a great deal since 2002 when I started, but at the same time it has exploded in popularity, so obviously there are many people who like it better now. I recognize and accept that different people have different tastes and forms of enjoyment. I still enjoy it, but for different reasons than back then. I used to love puzzles, but seldom do them now for the reasons others have stated or because so many now are just mind reading exercises with no hint on how to get started. Many of my pet peeves have been mentioned: short, meaningless logs; nanos; full-sized caches with just log sheets, and no room to write meaningful logs; poorly placed caches (lamp posts, parking lots, strip malls); people who don't log DNF's; slipshod cache descriptions (e.g. full of spelling and grammar errors, inaccurate descriptions that cause you to search in the wrong place, etc.) One that really gets me are hints that aren't hints (e.g. an encrypted "This needs no hint" or "green" when the entire landscape and every painted surface is green.) If it doesn't need a hint, then don't put a hint. If you do put one, then make it useful. Sometimes I choose to go for a cache only because I see it has an encrypted hint so that I "know" I can find it if I need the help, only to end up with a DNF and a hint that insults me by saying a hint isn't needed. I have mixed feelings on challenges. There are really great ones, like the Fizzy Challenge, that really do serve a purpose - which in my view is quite literally to challenge people to do something new - to get a different experience they normally wouldn't. I got the thrill of doing high terrain caches, meeting other great folks working on the same challenge, and traveling to places I wouldn't normally see because of that one. I would like to see challenges that reward those who contribute to the sport, for example, those who have hidden lots of caches, but the challenge rules do not allow that. I hid one that was not approved. The ones I really dislike are those with very random requirements that serve no purpose that I can see - e.g. find 20 caches with the words this, that, or the other in the title. Why? What kind of new or different experience would I have if I did that? Trying to fulfill those just becomes a burdensome task. Of course I can skip them, and I do, but they also cause other cachers to hide a lot of poor quality caches whose only purpose is to fulfill those challenge needs, taking up valuable cache locations that could have good quality caches, so they detract even from the experience of cachers who avoid them.
  16. One of the best things about geocaching is that it takes you to neat locations you might otherwise never even know about. Sky Can (GCQNPV) is one such cache. I thought the location so special that I made a video of it. The cache makes an appearance near the end. So far as I know this may be the first geocache find documented from the air. The video is in HD with music, so watch it full screen with speakers on. Sky Can (GCQNVP)
  17. The trip to Groundspeak HQ is definitely worth it, whether or not they sell nanos there, but FYI, it is not close to downtown. It's in the Ballard section if I remember right, just north of the locks connecting Lake Washington to Puget Sound. You'll need a car or public transportation to get there. Be sure to visit the troll while you're there. There are some caches with gorgeous views in the Queen Anne section, more or less en route (especially Kerry Viewpoint Park http://coord.info/GC62C8, a 2002 virtual).
  18. I assume you're referring to the NH store. I don't know, as I have never been there and have no relationship with them. You can find contact info for them on their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GoneCachin) or web page (gonecachin.com). They aren't open every day, so check the hours. Actually, I was thinking of Groundspeak HQ. I'm going to be in Seattle in about three weeks. I was in the lobby there last year and I don't remember any nanos. It was mostly Groundspeak logo type stuff - hats, T-shirts, some ammo cans, lots of pins and geocoins. They didn't have a large variety of containers, but they may have had nanos.
  19. Do you know if they sell nano containers? I have a cache that is in a unique location and have tried containers larger than a nano but they've gone missing several times. It's currently missing so I need something to replaced it and a nano is probably the best container for this location. Since I don't cache much locally anymore I'm not hiding new caches so I really only need 1 and can't see placing a mail order for a single nano cache container. I assume you're referring to the NH store. I don't know, as I have never been there and have no relationship with them. You can find contact info for them on their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GoneCachin) or web page (gonecachin.com). They aren't open every day, so check the hours.
  20. I notice that there are now a few walk-in type geocaching stores. I know of four in the U.S.: SpaceCoast Geocaching store, 860 N Banana River Dr Merritt Island, FL 32952 Tampa Bay Geocaching Store. 4710 Land o Lakes Blvd. suite 9, Land o Lakes , Fl. 34639 Gone Cachin' Geocaching Store, 15 Taylor St., Nashua, NH 03060 Cache Advance, 2324 E Euclid Ave #204, Spokane, WA 99207 Of course Groundspeak HQ also sells some retail items from its lobby, too. I see this as a sign of the increasing popularity of geocaching. Shopping online generally works well, but sometimes it's fun to just browse products you can touch and see first-hand. It's especially good to be able to judge effectiveness of camouflage items in person. Unfortunately, none of these is close to me. Does anyone know of any other "brick and mortar" geocaching stores?
  21. I just posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads of Well Oiled, a novel featuring some geocaching. I wouldn't call it geocaching fiction, though, since the geocaching is not central to the plot.
  22. There's another one out that uses geocaching. It's not a geocaching book but it has some key scenes involving geocaching. Well Oiled by Rubin Johnson. The author is a geocacher in southern California.
  23. Hi, mom2sage. We're all glad you made it back safely. Thanks for the kind words on the book. Happy holidays.
  24. I once created a puzzle cache that required the solver to go to the local law library and look up a particular case (whose citation was hidden in the puzzle). Neither the librarian nor the reviewer had to know about it, and in fact the information could be gleaned from online sources, although not very easily at first, but with free sources now, it was solvable without the book. I recently found a hollowed out book cache, but it wasn't in a library. The CO has a nicely crafted little cabinet in her front yard, similar in appearance to a large birdhouse, with two shelves full of books. There's one shelf for kids and one for adults. It's a free book swap/lending library. Anyone in the public can come and borrow a book from there. One book, the geocache book, kept getting stolen, so the owner redesigned it to be glued or nailed to the bottom shelf with a boring title (but named in a way geocachers would spot it) and several other books piled on top. After that only geocachers accessed it. I thought that was a great way to implement the idea.
  25. I don't own a smart phone and have never heard of this INTRO app, but I agree that smart phones have greatly hurt the sport. However, there were vandals before that who would find and remove caches or steal the contents. I solved the problem for my own caches long before smart phones by making them (almost all) puzzles, mostly rather hard puzzles. This limits the number of people who can/will find them, but around here that number is a pretty big number and they are all geocachers who know and respect the rules. I have made some PMO, too, but that tends to limit potential finders even more so I generally don't do that any more.
  • Create New...