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Everything posted by CoyoteRed

  1. Pretty much. I can see it from both sides. I'm a cop. I'm also a father of a now grown daughter. Father side: No, Officer, you do not have my permission to come in or to talk to my daughter alone.* Cop side (to father): The only thing I want to find out is if everything is okay. As a loving father to a little girl wouldn't you want me to make sure everything was okay or whether a friend or family member may be harming your child? Cop side to the daughter I'd probably just ask a few self-referencing questions about her day in the park. Interviewing a child is a lot different than interviewing an adult. I'm constantly aware of how children perceive cops. Cops are scarey enough as it is. It doesn't help that so many parents make cops into boogeymen. "Watch out they're coming to get you!" I guess if I really wanted to be a hero I'd be fireman. It kind of sounds like the OP was being overly sensitive to the situation. For instance, a little story of folks looking sideways at me. My daughter was about 14 years old I think. She was baby sitting and spilled hot cocoa in her lap. Of course, she calls crying and I jump into action. Got someone to look after the kids and took her to the clinic. The burns were in place in which I was to allow her privacy--f you know what I mean. However, when the nurses came in and out of the room they kept giving me these odd looks. It was later that I realized what they were thinking. Scalding is a form of child abuse. My daughter was interviewed and then nothing came of it. Yes, the suspicion was there. It was looked at and saw it as nothing but an accident. Nothing more saw said in that respect. How a parent reacts to an incident is important for the child. Yes, most folks don't know how to react as it is outside their experiences. Still, it's important to put the incident into perspective and move on. *Hint: Don't tell a cop what he can or can't do. We love nothing more than some layperson telling us how to do our job or what we can and can't do. It's your permission you are granting or denying.
  2. Two points and I hope they don't get mixed together. Seekers should never assume any cache hunt is perfectly safe! Even if the cache owner and Groundspeak both certify with a 100% guarantee that every cache listed, ever, is perfectly safe the cache seeker still bears the responsibility for their own safety. Why? Human error on the cache seeker's part. The seeker might enter the coordinates wrong, might encounter rabid rabbits or killer squirrels, encounter human predators, hunt the wrong solution to a puzzle, or any host of other things not connected with the hunt, but might encounter on it. If I place a puzzle cache and the seeker punches in the wrong final coordinates, how could I possibly foresee him falling to his death in a horrible accident at a place he should have never been? We get folks who call us hunting our puzzles and more than a few times after they describe where they are they aren't close. Pretty much, you're on your own. Participants are responsible only for gross negligence or willful maliciousness. This nonsense about whether reviewers are responsible for dangerous situations has been answered. If it's on the cache page, then both the reviewer and the seeker is going to know about it. Period. Done. Answered back on page one of this thread, I think. However, for the sake of argument and another "Final Destiny" scenario a cacher places a cache in the middle of a field. Didn't see any signs going in. "Good no No Trespassing," he thinks. He writes it up and submits. The reviewer checks out the cache page, sees nothing out of the ordinary, and publishes. But then someone comes along and knows from personal experience this field is actually an active mine field. The cache owner has not blown himself up only by sheer luck! What does this person do? He emails the reviewer and informs the reviewer that the cache is in the middle of a mine field and the next person to step foot in the field is likely to die. At this point, if someone does die, who is grossly negligent? The reviewer because he didn't immediately archive the cache? If he did, would Groundspeak be responsible because archived caches aren't included in PQs therefor paperless cachers would think it's still a viable cache? The person who knew about the mine field and didn't look around for, and replace, the fallen minefield warning sign or alert some local authority? The kids who kicked down the signs in the first place? I submit that all bear a little responsibility. The point here is no one can vet a cache for every foreseeable circumstance. Managed risk is part of the hobby. (I know of at least one person in this very thread who survived a horrendous collision while caching, but how is that the responsibility of the reviewer or cache owner?) It's the gross negligence or willful maliciousness that's the problem, not that there might be a little danger involved.
  3. I went back a voted for all of my favorites. I've go a lot of votes left over. I don't see the point in voting for an archived cache and I can't see the point in voting for a cache that didn't simply suck. I guess that leaves me room for voting for future cache hunts that I've culled from a list of favorites that others have voted for. Yeah, it's piling on, but if it's favorite of mine then it's a favorite. If I run out I'll have to hold my nose and log a bunch of trache to get more votes. (Which is what sucks about the system.)
  4. Should Groundspeak or the volunteer reviewers be responsible for the safety of cache seekers? Nope. I'm one of the folks who helped write and maintain the Geocachers' Creed. Nowhere does it mention that a cache hunt has to be safe. What does "endanger others" mean? If it meant that you could only put out a 100% safe cache then you'd not be putting one out at all. It's all about managed risk. Everyone but possibly one or two people do that every day. If you drive you are exercising managed risk. A two lane road means vehicles are passing each other in opposite directions at high speed less than an arm's span away from each. If they merely touched the results are severe, possibly deadly. Yet millions of these occurrences successfully happen every day. "Endangering others" is about risk management. By far, most caches are placed in such a way that risk is so small that it can be thought of as not dangerous. Still, you can stump a toe on a curb at that park-n-grab. Some risks are managed where the odd misstep can cause an injury, yet most are able to avoid injury completely. The issue comes from placing caches where the risks can not be managed because they are unknown. It's hard to hide the tree when putting a cache up a tree. (A Sissy favorite.) It's not as if the cachers didn't know he was climbing a tree when he fell out of it. The issue comes from the vast majority of cachers are not experienced, much less hard-core, explorers. How many will check the weather before climbing into a culvert? How many know they live in areas with a lot of abandoned, unprotected, and hidden wells or mines? It's these things that a cache owner might want to consider whether he wants to attract folks to. If he does, then he might want to mention or otherwise warn folks of that they might not ordinarily be aware. There's no need for lengthy disclaimers for being aware of traffic while crossing a street, lift your foot while negotiating a curb, don't text and drive, etc. these are things that folks already know about (though not always follow). Area prone to flash floods. Hidden abandoned mines nearby. Drunk, armed, mean redneck neighbor who hates geocachers. (List not exhaustive.) These might be things that might cause you to reconsider placing that cache or mention on the cache page and let the seeker manage his own risks. Few of my hobbies are completely safe. I have the "battle scars" to prove it. Geocaching has provided a few. Personally, I think all parties including Groundspeak, the reviewers and cache owners, separately, should be liable and that liability follow similar guidelines as the recreational use statutes and nothing more. The big thinkers have already provided guidelines in this respect.
  5. I must say, I'm impressed with the latest updates. It seems as though recently there has been more real functionality added to the site than for years previously. Add my vote to an optional sort on percentage on the Nearest Caches List. Keep up the good work!
  6. I'll try it again when I get my hands back on Sissy's phone, but I'm pretty sure I'm selecting the ship to check the distance.
  7. The GPS is on. I can see on the map my location and the map moves when I move. The issue, I think, is the cartridge is thinking the ship is at one place and where I started is another. I can start the cartridge, wear the suit, get to where I'm supposed to walk away from the ship. I navigate away and watch the distance get higher starting with zero and all the way past 50m. However, when I check the distance to the rocket ship it says it's several thousand km away. It's like it isn't putting the rocket ship at my starting location or something. Sissy had to go to work so I can't go back and confirm the above right now. I tried restarting the cartridge several times and re-boot the phone. When the cartridge starts the splash screen says the location is 360° 00.000 360° 00.000. I first thought that was simply saying it was a play anywhere cartridge. Is it supposed to say that?
  8. Greetings! While I've long wanted to get into Wherigo as I think it a perfect vehicle for multis and puzzles, I didn't have the proper hardware. Sissy now has a DroidX. I installed the tutorial cartridge, but when I attempt to walk away from the rocket ship it thinks the ship is in Seattle or some place in the North West. Also, the imperial count in feet on the compass is single digits but counts in ten foot increment. Metric is correct. The map shows me moving just fine. I don't have any wherigos less than 80 miles away. Not confident out play anywhere cartridges will work. Ideas?
  9. I think one thing that can be done on Groundspeak's part is to encourage the use of the Favorite Vote. Not to vote willy-nilly, but to go back and vote for the caches they've really enjoyed. This would help the system provide seekers lists of caches that others have enjoyed. It's not about the cache owner so much as the seeking population. Otherwise, why even have it? I guess I could use my own advise and spread out the remaining 70-odd votes...
  10. I'm going to pile on to "A." Unfortunately, even with community pressure to not solicit, folks will. Relatively few ever visit the forums, so they won't know it's frowned upon. I've already seen solicits from from the owner of a very average cache and then watched as its ranking moved up above caches that were a lot better. Needless to say I declined to provide a vote, not only because of the solicit, but also it simply wasn't near a Top 10% cache. I'll stick with A, but I think what's going to come is all of the above.
  11. Counting only PMs in the ratio would be good so COs won't make their caches MOC simply to discount finds from Non-PMs to artificially inflate a Ration Favorite ranking.
  12. The number of favorites in not "inaccurate," it is only the number of cachers who have put that cache on their favorite list. Nothing more. Kind of like the find count. The find count is nothing more that the number of Found It logs someone has written. It only roughly correlates to number of caches someone has found. This would not invalidate the figure. You're discounting all caching is relatively localized. Folks don't travel to an area and find only one cache. They find a few to a lots depending on stamina and tolerance. Therefore, the 10% of finders being PMs would hold true to most of the caches in the area. This would produce a localized maximum favorite percentage of 10%. 100% of all eligible cachers like a certain cache would produce the 10% figure while lesser caches would produce a lessor figure. If roughly half of the eligible cachers favorite the cache the math would produce 5% ratio ranking that cache lower than the first cache. It's only when you start comparing caches with different groups of cachers which might have a different group of PMs versus Non-PMs (or other reason the local population does or doesn't vote) that you will run into issues ranking caches. Don't argue against the tree when you can't see the forest.
  13. Some more thoughts: If Groundspeak didn't what the favorites to be a ranking system, then why allow us to sort on the number. If you think raw counts versus ratios don't make much of a difference, then load up the Greasemonkey script and check for yourself. I'm seeing high ranked favorites with 2 and 3 percent favorites. I've checked with the some of the caches I've found and so far I'm agreeing with the ratios more than the raw numbers. Speculation is fine, but experimentation and confirmation seems to answer the question.
  14. It appears as though a lot of folks are pointing to nuances of a ratio system to prove how it would be useless to guarantee an enjoyable hunt. I like Markwell's scheme of using only unique PM finds for the denominator. Makes sense. This would provide a more accurate number regardless of whether it would be useful or not. Saying harder caches like SCUBA or hard puzzles would always have higher ratios and thus invalidate the ranking is hogwash. First, someone who only does hard caches will be able to favorite only 10% of those caches. They would have to hold their noses to find other caches to pad their find count in order to favorite more of the caches they really like. Me, I don't think I have enough time to waste of such nonsense. I think harder caches will get harder ratio scores simply because they are more likely to have an owner who put in some effort to make a better cache--a direct reflection of which would be those very higher scores. "There are too many variables." That's what folks said about Found It log-type word counts. The idea is based on higher quality caches provide a better experience and as a result folks will likely have more to say in the log. Naysayers pointed to posts where logs could be longer due to things that happened that weren't related to the cache, some folks simply don't post long logs, some folks are long winded, etc., etc.,etc. I was told by some that such a scheme was baseless. I went forward with the idea anyway just to see. Guess what. Average length of find log is a pretty good indicator I'm more likely to enjoy the cache. Is it a guarantee? No. But does the figure provide me one more bit of data on which I can filter? It most certainly does. In response to complaints about all of the trache this hobby is seeing someone said a long time ago, "Filter out the micros. Sure, you'll miss out on some good caches, but the majority of the trache is micros so you're filtering the majority of the trache." You know, it works. Same with find log word counts. Same with favorite counts. Even better with favorite ratios. Me, I filter out micros beyond my local area and add back in only those from word of mouth. I filter on word counts. I would also filter on ratios. Ratios would probably allow me to not filter micros wholesale. I'd be able to tell the better micros from the trache.
  15. I don't particularly care for Challenge Caches. I also know that Groundspeak has always said they don't want it it to turn into a competition. However, in the spirit of your desire of rewarding cache hiders, I would propose a Cache Owner Leaderboard based on the ratio of favorites to finds ratio of all of the caches a cacher owns. It's a challenge I could get behind as it would certainly promote quality caches over lesser ones. Someone might even archive their own lesser caches in order to move up in rank. Perhaps when Groundspeak starts putting Favorites in the GPX files then a new site can open providing such statistics.
  16. I'm kind of inclined to say bring back virtuals if: Jeremy can guarantee property owners aren't going to point to virts as "good enough" for a cache instead of a physical cache. Count TOWARDS the find count. Not interfere with real caches in any way. The primary reason I think virtuals should NOT come back is the difficulty in convincing property owners that virtual caches are NOT as good as physical caches in most cases. Yes, sometimes only a virtual would work on some lands, but once that gets a good toe hold then many property owners will take the easy way out and prohibit real caches and only allow virts. That would be worse than the trache take-over that has happened in the past few years. Fix number 1 and the other two will likely improve the hobby. Most trache would eventually go away as the lazy cachers would "place" virts instead of the trache seen today. Just don't let a virt interfere with a real cache. A lazy virt lister shouldn't take a spot that someone who is actually willing to put the effort in placing a decent cache could use. Those three are really the only things I care about with virts. Let the virt owner decide the verification. No WOW factor. Let it go back to the way it was with virts otherwise. Everyone who is clamoring for the virts to come back will get a real eye full. ...or just leave them on Waymarking.com where they belong.
  17. There was a hide we found once where the cache owner hollowed out a huge log. It was split down the middle and then hollowed. When laying on its side it appeared to be half buried in the ground. Just flip it over to find the cache. One finder reported to have sat on the log to decode the hint!
  18. Thank you for having enough foresight to include this option. Any chance of including a similar option for find counts?
  19. It depends on your state. SC requires a warning before a charge can be made for trespassing. This could be a sign, verbal, or official trespass notice. You should check with your state. Sometimes an abandoned building might be used for illicit activities and the police watch the area for any activity. This could be dope smokers or dealers, prostitutes, or theft of materials. Copper theft is rampant right now. The property owner might have requested police look after the property. Folks whose major infringements of the law include entering parks after hours might be way over their heads in some of these areas. Be that as it may, I love exploring abandoned buildings. I love urban exploration. I can see the draw of placing caches in such areas. However, "urban explor-caching" (I just made that up) is not really a family friendly hobby. Check with the CO to make sure of the location, then either decide to go after it regardless (keeping with "Safe. Legal. Ethical.") or ignore it and move along.
  20. That's kind of like telling the park to close if they don't like folks coming in after hours. One shouldn't have to state anything in the cache description that is inherent to the hobby to begin with. It should just be a given.
  21. Seems pretty close to one of the ideas I ran past a reviewer. No doubt he would say it's the same as having 4 reflective containers hanging around, each with a number in or on it. But it would certainly make for a good night only Mystery cache. I don't put out ideas to keep them to myself! By all means, go right ahead! The way I envision the hunt: the cache is at the posted coordinates, you don't have to go anywhere else, you only have to look around and count the reflectors/clues/whatever, and open the box. This should fit the definition of "traditional" nicely. No second location, all information is either on the cache page or gathered from the posted coordinates.
  22. Okay, another low tech way. At the cache site the cache is locked with a 4 digit combination lock. You are instructed to shine your light to the north and count the number of reflections you see. Then shine to the east, south, and west. The number of reflections is the combination. Make sure the way is completely clear and reflection sources are secure. Black reflective tape on a black surface is a good choice.
  23. Look into electrified fence power. Many remote units are solar powered and don't have issues with power. Alternatively, use a scheme that relies on solar power to deny the cache. When there is no sun, the cachers can access the cache. A lock that relies on power to keep the cache closed and has a limited amount of power could be used. Even after taking away the light source the lock stays closed until the power is exhausted. Limit the power source until you get the desired amount of delay. A gelcell that provides an hour of power to the lock may be the ticket. You'd need only limited sun to recharge the cell. A larger solar cell will compensate for limited daylight. Still, these types of caches requires a LOT on engineering and testing ... and maintenance.
  24. Here's another idea. The box looks like a bat box mounted high in a pine with no lower limbs--a favorite of deer hunters with climbing tree stands. The box holds a winching mechanism that when it senses darkness it lowers the cache from the box to near ground level. When it senses light it raises it back up. A variant: only lowers the cache when it senses more light coming from the bottom of the box than there is at the top. Someone shining a flashlight up at the box at night would lower the cache. Someone with a really big flashlight on a cloudy day could do the same, though.
  25. One cache we did once used ultraviolent light to highlight the cache. Sure, it could be found during the day, but the difficulty was different. Reflective tape could be an alternative to the UV. Another could be a lock based on a timer. The cache simply wouldn't open until after a certain time of day or between the hours of, say, 11pm and 1am. This type of cache is harder to create and maintain. You could use reflective tape or some sort of signal like flashy LEDs placed at a distance to the listed coordinates. You hide the cache really well and provide bearings to the signals to have the cacher hone in on the exact location. Something as simple as "Put the red tape at 180° and the blue tape at 90° to hone in the cache's hiding spot." The problem is the ease of finding the cache during the day. It would pretty much have to be a "Needle in the Hay Stack" sort of hide. I'm not fond of these types, but providing a fun way to narrow down the search might up the quality. Hope this provides a springboard for better ideas.
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