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Everything posted by Thore

  1. I am somewhat local to NYC (~15 miles away), but cannot help due to other plans. Try the 'Lower Hudson Geocacher' group on FB. There should be plenty active members around there, too. Safe travels Thore
  2. GPS fool has logged today that he will perform maintenance to preserve history. Thore
  3. My own little benign story, well one of them... Before moving to the US, I spent many a day geocaching using a rental car and a printout of the map with all the caches in the area on it and a list if names and difficulties/terrain (back when GS would still enable that, not like today where... well, I digress...) So I stop on a one lane side road in NJ about 1/4 mile away from a trail head, well crossing, leave the car in a small pull off by the road to go get the cache off a fallen tree (T:3.5 so I also had a small backpack with water and some tools and replacement logs etc). An hour later I come back and my car is blocked in by 2 squad cars with a 3rd a few yards down the road and three officers having chat by my rental vehicle pointing at the passenger seat. *gulp* I realize that I have left the map, face up, in the passenger seat with all the local spots highlighted and listed... Turns out, that such a display in a post-9/11 world with a car with an out of state license plate, registered to a rental car company with a foreign driver in a remote location, is cause for some alarm. So I announced myself quite loudly (don't want to startle an already alarmed LEO, now do we?) and carefully approached the group. They immediately spread out, checking the surroundings (yes bushes, wood, shrubs etc) and the lead officer asks me about my business in the are. I begin to explain and after a brief, tense moment where I pull my GPS out of my jacket (D'OH, and then I did startle the already alarmed LEO...) and a quick call to dispatch they find a colleague that is also geocaching with his family confirming the game and the fact that there was a cache in the area. As quickly as they turned up, they disappeared again, content that the world was safe... With all LEOs, regardless of US, France or Germany, just don't try to be cute or funny. Explain what it is you are doing, be respectful and friendly and things will go well. I encountered them all and found that to work the best. Thore
  4. Well now that the word is out (despite the feeble attempts by 'some' to discredit the validity of this) I guess I can tell you that the real perk for me are the Platinum Member ONLY events. If you think the "hey click-me" links on the side of your average newsgroup page are juicy, disturbing or weird, you clearly are not a PtM and I pity you. A small, but often overlooked perk is that at standard events the organizers have to supply cushioned seating for PtMs or risk their event not being recognized after the fact. I had a long argument with a preposterous owner/organizer about a year ago about this. He didn't believe me and well... Let's just say, one does not mess with the PtMs. Period. At Mega- and Giga events there are the lounges which are kept free of the pesky PMs or even the regular member rabble. Zones of tranquility and at least 5 of the 7 deadly sins. And for clarification, as a PtM I actually did NOT receive the puzzle-spam-email that went out to the PM and regular member plebs, I (of course) received the solution directly. Of course I would have never shared all of this unless someone (you, thread starter) had not geo-leaked the secret. Well that and as long as no one knows about the super-secret-handshake we will be fine anyway... Thore
  5. I think you had it with the seasonal pattern. Higher interest in April due the onset of warmer weather and people thinking they need to do more outside. So they talk about their resolution and some friend introduces them to GC, so they google it. August is main vacation month, so again, what to do? Let's google GC. December is holiday season, so people have other things on their mind and February is probably the day with most snow days and the lousiest of weather patterns. However all of that is assuming that there is a causality and not just a correllation ;-) That's my story and I am sticking to it... Thore
  6. Or you can plan ahead which non-traditional caches you want to target and translate the pages before you go. [snip] You could post a short note on the Germanspeaking forum here. Most of them speak enough english to help you out. Or, if you want to share where you will be and when, there might be some local cachers that could join you. That way you get translations, company and a good chance to see and learn more about the area you are in than the average traveler. Just sayin... ;-) My effort in reading pages correlates fairly well to the effort that I think the owner put in. The more effort, the more likely it is that I read the full thing. I tend to focus on information that helps me to get to and then to find the cache first and then after I signed the log (hopefully) I read the description when I am at GZ. I do however find great variations with areas when it comes to habits of informative listings and the use of spoiler photos as a last resort or providing parking coords. Sometimes the name of the CO is already a turnoff for descriptions ;-) Thore
  7. Speaking for areas outside the US, in Europe, especially in Germany, Night Caches are a lot more popular. Actually to the point that they became a thorn in people's a.. neck in some areas. There are whole forum discussion sled about the 'right' flashlight to use and the opinions vary from pencil LED light to Military grade lights. In my opinion the reason for them being more prevalent there is the lack of wildlife (urban and rural) and predators (four and two legged) and certain laws. In Germany I would not hesitate to go on a night hike in a park or woods, because the most dangerous being that I will come across is a... fox or a stray dog, both equally rare. There are essentially no dangerous insects (not counting ticks) and cell coverage for emergencies is pretty much guaranteed. Since moving to the US, even to the relatively safe NE, I have changed my behavior to account for bears, black widows, snakes and the occasional hunting enthusiast... Not to mention urban caching in major cities... Would I like more? yes, absolutely because they ARE fun. Thore
  8. Wenn es 'nur' um Daten geht, reicht meist das fast überall verfügbare kostenlose WiFi (fast food, malls, Telefonläden, etc.). Ich hab das gleiche Problem andersherum und löse es so. Wenn ich mit meinem US Vertrag nach D-Land komme, Datenroaming ausschalten, WiFi ein und dann daten lokal jeden Morgen (Hotel oder Coffeeshop) offline verfügbar machen, dann abends als Ganzes loggen. Die US Kollegen langen beim Roaming so richtig hin. Wenn Du jemanden in USA kennst, der einen lokalen Vertrag mit einem der großen Anbieter hat, dann kannst Du von dem auch 'sein' Kennwort bekommen. So hast Du dann Zugriff auf das gesamte Netz des Anbieters und die sind recht gut flächendeckend (Ausnahme sind die dünn besiedelten Staaten, aber da gibt es auch kein Netz ;-) ) Wie gesagt ist das aber nur eine Alternative, solange es nur um Daten geht. Wenn Du auch telefonieren willst, dann sind die Lösungen oben klar die Besseren (Einzige Alternative ist ein Skype Guthaben, das Du dann Weltweit nutzen kannst, in dem Fall hast Du aber keinen Notruf) Thore
  9. Not sure I am a fan of 'like'-like buttons either, nor am I of single character logs. I might be old (or old school), but that is plain rude. I try to keep my logs individual and to more than a 'TFTC', like a comment about the surrounding, the weather or a funny shaped rock I saw on the way. Something as individual as the cache and its page, which on the flip side can also border on the rude, if all it says is: 'this place did not have a cash, so now I place one.' (Really?) I guess you could say that I tailor my effort in logging to the effort of the CO in hiding and composing the listing. A great hide or a listing with some local history should get a longer log from me than a copy-paste listing for a power trail (which might get a copy-paste-log) I tend to liken the CO-listing / Cacher-log to a short meet and greet. If you start with ' 'sup?', you get 'Hmm'(nod); if you start with 'Hey! how are you? Nice to meet you, man' you get a 'Same here, good to meet you. How'S life?' and so on. Which is why I do get briefly irritated at short logs for great cachers. Thore
  10. I also hope that I did not contribute to any hard feelings. I know you helped a lot in the past and the speed with which you do that is remarkable and sometimes of the essence. Based on some of your past work in translations (also in the green forum) I actually assumed you to be a native speaker that moved to the UK, so... fooled me ;-) Keep it up, you give geocachers a good reputation. Thore
  11. [snip] (Added comment: I wonder whether you uploaded the version sent by Thore as it contains a strange typo in a word which is an English word anyhow and a substantial grammar mistake. If you wish, I can send you a pm.) [snip] Thanks for the pointer Cezanne. I went back and think I found both things you pointed out, the typo (weird indeed) and the grammar mistake) NYPaddleCacher: I will send the corrected version directly to you again to upload. No point in me registering just for that. For everyone else, I am happy to help with all GER-ENG or ENG-GER translations, being a native german speaker living in the US, I should be able to help. I know that Speaker's Corner helps too and is 'local' with regards to timezones, so mine is a complementing offer, not a competing one ;-) Thore
  12. Hi NYPaddler, I sent you a PN with a (hopefully) improved translation to german Enjoy Europe Thore
  13. If speakers corner doesn't work out, drop me a note Thore
  14. Very well researched, thank you. I am almost certain, that if one were to repeat this for the years between 2006 and 2015 a trend would be seen that solidifies it. From what I read here, no one argues the trend or the observation, correct? Other examples of GC related trends are: more cache types, number of players, more statistics gadgets, FTF-hunt and all of these peaked at different times. It seems that we all look at these trends differently though and the way that we look at those trends seems largely driven by the time we joined the game. I wonder if that is indicative of the life-cycle the game was at that time and what attracted us to it. For my part I adapt to the changes because I want to continue to play the game. I do like the added flexibility that I have now as I can chose my hunting days based on weather, available time, mood and location. I must also admit that for the most part 'hides' have become routine, so the 'seek'-excitement is a bit limited these days. Thore Sidebar thought: somewhere in a German forum, not GC, I actually read about demographics a few years ago. GC started out with the majority of players being over 40 years, science/engineering background, outdoor enthusiasts, med to high income range, 1 or less kids. That slowly migrated towards more families first, then to younger, more various education backgrounds, lower average income... Now careful here. I am not saying anything here is good or bad or that I am profiling anyone or pass judgement. Neither on a group nor on any individual. All of these developments in demographics are easily explained (dropping prices, more advertisement/promotion, expanding from stand-alone GPS to smartphones, etc.) so it is another observation
  15. No, I think it's purely a function of popularity. I think it's always been promoted as a fun thing to do in general, and all that's really happened is that it's been discovered by non-hikers. I think any tendency for it to be marketed to non-hikers more now than it was originally is a reaction to the fact that its appeal is broadening, not the cause of its appeal broadening. I guess I meant 'promoted' in a broader sense than 'advertised'. By promoted I also meant within the community, which actually makes me agree with you ;-) I think you have cause and consequence in the right order. I think noncentric mentioned that the timeframes I threw out apply more to hiding than to finding, which I think are two sides of the same coin, so can't really be separated (other than by few weeks). There is a causality (not only a correlation) between non-hikers joining and non-hiking caches and therefore non-hiking finds... which (imho: unfortunately) was somewhat autocatalytic for a while and let to an exponential increase in number of new cachers and hides. Is it me or is that trend ebbing? I think I noticed reduced number of new hides (and forum posts, if that can be used as a regional measure ;-) ) in CT, NJ, France and northern Germany. Thore
  16. Try some of the local geocacher associations and their websites. Ususally there are a few top 10 lists around there. Alternatively creating a PQ and filter by favorite points is a good way to go. Enjoy the Northeast.
  17. At the risk of starting a flame war, but... For myself, hiking is also an integral part of GC, although I don't mind the occasional day of 'concrete caching', but the kick is in being out of sight of the car. Granted so far this is only a relatively small sample size, but it seems that for majority of GCers that started around or before 2008 hiking is an important piece, for the majority that started afterwards it isn't. Nothing bad about this, as you can't play the game 'wrong', just an observation. Possibly due to how the game was promoted at any given time. My humble view is that it started out as: reward your hike with fun by finding a cache. Over time folks became attracted to the thrill and satisfaction of 'finding'and the find became the primary motivation (around 2009 to 2011). As the finds became somewhat generic (there are only so many hiding places in either the woods or the city and only so many creative ideas, like the hollow bolt, the fake power outlet, the hollowed out tree trunk) the game turned to new types, matrices and challenges and had the occasional spin-off to provide a new stimulus (2012 to 2014). The result is what we see today. The later versions of the game require higher numbers of caches to be hidden, so they make up the majority, the earlier versions are still there and they are still being placed, they are just harder to find (in the list, that is ;-) ). My personal hope is that high-volume matrix caching was driven by a hype and carried by folks with a short attention span that are or will soon be looking for a new thrill and move on (like locusts... ;-) ). So that it gets a little quieter around GC again and that the number of caches levels out (balance of archived vs newly placed). Thore
  18. Did you solve it by now? I am not fully clear on what type of download you refer to. 1. directly from the cache page using the button on the page? 2. From a PQ that you created as part of your premium membership? 1. might be aproblem of your browser or having the wrong GPS defined in your profile, 2. should not be a browser problem at all... Thore
  19. Hi to build on the previous post (I use an Oregon 400t, which is similar) after you built a PQ (I suggest to start by centering it around a cache (GC code) that you live close to) and it has been generated by the site (usually within a few minutes) download the file to your PC. It should come as a zip file which you open. Then drag and drop and file that has only a number or the name of your query in it (not the one that has the 'wpts' addendum to it) onto your desk top. Connect your Oregon to the PC, usually 2 windows pop-up then, one has the Garmin symbol to it. Use that one to open an Explorer window and find the subfolder 'GPX' and copy the file (which has the extension .gpx) into that folder. Safe disconnect the GPS and start it up. When go pick up satelites or go to the geocaching menu, it should show the list of caches now. Note: Do not open the gpx file in any other software before copying it onto your gps, as it can make the file unreadable. For comparison: A 750 caches PQ will create a gpx file of about 3.5 MB. I hope this helps. If you are still stumped, don'T hesitate to ask again. Thore
  20. I think we are all in violent agreement. I am sorry if my snipping caused confusion around quotes, I was trying to save bytes... Thore
  21. ...[snip]... I find it amazing that after so much discussion and criticism of Groundspeak's ethics, the final solution turns out to be to defraud them as well as your tax man. Don J, et al. I certainly hope hope that my post was not interpreted in the way, that I suggest to counter GS new policy with tax evasion (however minute). As far as I understand the solution offered by me is perfectly legal and within the GS system of acquiring memberships, just denying them their 'cut'. I may have missed something, so if I did, please point it out and will gladly withdraw my suggestion. on a lighter, if somewhat sadder sidenote... Yes it seems to be limiteed to that option. No response from GS (none expected anymore), No way to voice protest via PM cancellation, Little interest from the rest of the community... So since there is no communitywide solution, complaining doesn't change anything, I look for an individual solution that anyone interested can use (or not). If there si another way*, I do not see it. Thore *that is worth the effort for the amount gained, given that any success will most likely be individual, rather than systemic. T
  22. Even better and easier. Thanks for pointing this out.
  23. The difficulty that I have with not renewing PM to show my discontent is that, it will go unnoticed. Even if 10.000 fellow geocachers in Europe would do the same thing. Why? Because there is no way to cancel my PM prematurely, so there is no way to use it to 'send a message' and have thousands cancel the same day. Instead, non-renewals keep on trickling in at an amount of 20 to 30 a day on average to get to 10k in a year (out of 'over 5 Million active geocachers worldwide') and the 'protest' is lost in the noise. It would take about 1 year to have a chance of being noticed by TPTB and then a trend, that small, compared to the bigger number (~0.2% change) is quickly identified as 'normal erosion of the customer base'. Oh and by the way, each new subscription in that period will further diminish that 'trend' For myself I have come to the conclusion, that GS does not have to, and therefore will not, do anything, let alone respond to the well founded and reasonable questions in this thread. So my approach has changed from being aggravated by it to find ways around this and offer a solution for those who care. Like: I recommend instead to reach out to fellow US geocachers and see if they can 'gift' a membership, then to be reimbursed by the European member. Maybe the equally appalled US members reading this thread can help in that by spreading the word ('adopt a EU-Cacher')? Due to the numbers above this trend also has a good chance of going unnoticed. Result: EU members, that decide to do so, go financially un-discriminated, GS does not benefit from their business strategy blunder, but remains level. Thoughts are there others? Thore
  24. Don J, much appreciated. I also did not mean to pick on you, but your post set mine up nicely. Hypothesis: The challenge that some, probably the majority of non-posters face is a lanuguage barrier. For the Germans, who represent, together with the Dutch two of the larger non-US based Geocacher communities (to the point that they have their own subforum in thier mother tongue) this barrier is significant. Some have posted in german here to be ignored and others vent in local forums (to the same result).* Either way, when you look at the intial posts, they were angry (imho understandibly so) but were soon followed by very factual, evidence based posts. Those posts have been responded to by GS in, what was perceived as a sub-par manner, triggering another wave of angry posts, that, in the absence of a better explanation became more and more polemic. Now, the impression that I get (and this might be wrong or right, but it is my impression) is that GS is internally retreating to the viewpoint, that 'these people' are unreasonable and whiny and we (GS) do not deal with people that behave that way (pretty much like you described). Which, while understandable is also missing the point. The 'whiny' people use the ONLY means they have to make their voices and opinions heard. The ONLY one (I count emials to GS as non-public forum posts and the TheGeckos post shows how those are being treated). The point is a non-transparent, sudden decision, that is explained by non-valuable, self centered arguments. Saying 'we thought long and hard' makes every negative response to that almost like a personal insult. So to turn the 'whiny' around, one could say GS is pouting. Neither behaviors are very adult... Your post, read from that viewpoint, allows GS to say 'See? someone else is seeing this as whiny and unreasonable, too. So we are right to ignore the others.' I know, not your intent, however it fit. For GS, I, as so many before me, want to ask them to talk to us. Recognize that the people that post here are the ones who CARE. And instead of ignoring us, talk to us! Re-read the earlier posts, put aside egos, filter out what the folks want to know and answer them/us. If all of the above is poppycock, fine. Still stop ignoring this thread. I am certain people will listen to reason, even now. Because they want to and they care. Thore *I have not checked the FB page, but even if there would be a generic post in GE/EN/FR/... that people would only have to 'like' I am not certain it would fly or change GS' behaviour.
  25. Just as a quick reminder for everyone jumping into the discussion now, the geodart post (with a bold highlight from me):
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