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Everything posted by RealWorldAvatars

  1. Hello, and thank you! In the end, I did a search on caches near my alma mater, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, and chose the largest nearby one which had been established for quite a while. It's been logged many times, so here's hoping it sticks around long enough for all the bugs to make it down there and home again! I'll PM you the rules of the race, but it would probably be difficult to include on a database-driven site, hmmm. Each of the eight monsters in the race has a seperate set of "tourism" goals to achieve on their migration. They all started their mad dash for sun and sand last night at a cache event, so now it'll just be fun to see who manages to get back first!
  2. Heehee! If it wasn't a virtual, that would be perfect and a half. Can't get any more south than that in the US without a boat or a snorkel.
  3. Hi, all! I'm about to launch an eight-bug cross-country race, but I need one important bit of info: the name of a good cache in Florida that these bugs can use as the halfway point on their journey. I was hoping for one that has been around for a good, long while, to minimize the chances of it being archived mid-race. It also needs to be large enough to hold several small travel bugs (an ammo can would be ideal), and less than *** in terrain or difficulty. Finally, I'd like to find one that is logged fairly frequently, so that my racers don't languish there for months before starting their return trip. Does such a cache exist, or am I asking for the moon... again? Thanks so much for any suggestions!!
  4. Okay, that freakin' rocks. Heeheee! I always include a bit of small print on my travel bug tags that indicates the bug wants to move no matter what the cache description might say, but this... this is above and beyond the call of travel bug freedom. Two thumbs up!
  5. As requested, here are the best photos I could manage of the actual coins. If you get the impression here that I suck at photography, well, that just means you're very perceptive. We'll be strewing 'em everywhere we can, just as soon as A) the weather around here gets better, or we go somewhere with decent weather. We'll also be bringing a set to the WSGA Puget Sound holiday party this month, 'cause we're looking forward to showing 'em off in person. (Why? Please see my earlier admission of inadequate photography skills. ) Anyway, that's the end of the story. Thanks to everyone who offered advice, opinion, and moral support over the course of my journey through minting hell. Happy caching to everyone, and cheerful wishes for a great holiday season!
  6. I shall indeed. I tried last night, but the camera flash totally washed out any visible detail on the coins. I plan to try again in direct sunlight... trouble is, that's in short supply here in Seattle, WA, heh. But as soon as I have photos, I'll post them here!
  7. So long as the Point Defiance Zoo still has a colony of naked mole rats, I've got plenty of reasons to keep visiting Tacoma. The fact that the city is covered in as-yet-unlogged geocaches is just an added bonus!
  8. It has been SUCH a long, strange road since hubby and I first decided that we wanted our geocaching signature item to be a coin. The first minting company we tried took forever and a day to deliver a very substandard sample coin, promised to refund our deposit, and then later refused to do so, effectively skunking us out of $300. The second minting company we chose took considerably less time to produce lovely mockup art and then a whole run of coins... which to our dismay weren't really what we wanted. However, unlike the first company (who I now liken to a sack of weasels), the second company convinced me to give the process a second chance, and produced a run of absolutely gorgeous coins in less than two weeks, for just the price of a new die and shipping on the coins. Result: I plan to sing the praises of AllAboutCoins at every geocaching event I attend for the next few years. Anyway, the practical upshot is that we now have 300 of these beauties: 25 gold-finished ones numbered FTF01-FTF25 to leave in our own caches, 75 silvery ones for the caches that we find really memorable or inspiring, and 200 copper-toned ones for the more ordinary sort of cache. CAVEAT: these coins not for sale, they're not for trade, they're just our sig items and we plan to stick one in every decent-sized cache we can find. We're going to place our first one somewhere this upcoming weekend, after I print out little cards to include with them that explain that whoever finds a coin gets to keep it. I absolutely can't wait to hear what people think of them when they start to be found! *insert happy dancing sort of icon here* It's been more than four months since we started the process; I'm so very glad that everything finally came together.
  9. Ooooo! Now that's all kinds of spiffy. If it ever makes the rounds to Seattle, WA, USA, hubby and I will sample a few microbrews in your honor.
  10. And the final verdict is... they're producing minted samples right now, should have them ready in two weeks, and will be charging us only the cost of shipping to replace the whole run of 300 coins. (Why doesn't this forum have a dancing frog icon? D'oh!) If I wasn't already impressed as heck with the speed and professionalism of this minting company, I certainly would be now. I'll post photos when the samples arrive in a couple of weeks, if anyone is interested in seeing 'em, and then wait with barely-controlled excitement for the whole batch so I can start leaving them in caches!
  11. Not exactly, heh. We went with one company because we liked the previous coins they showed on their site. They eventually provided two sample coins, neither of which was particularly inspiring (read: not nearly as nice as the stuff on their site). At that point, we decided to switch companies. I asked here for some recommendations, chose the company whose previous coins looked most similar to the kind of thing we wanted, and started the process over. This second company doesn't generally deliver samples, though, so the first time we saw our new coins was when they arrived. The reverse design was absolutely spiffy, but the obverse was as disappointing as it had been in the first company's samples. That's pretty much the point where I wrote my letters, had a good cry, and decided to just live with the coins. The second company contacted me the day after they received my letter, politely chewed me out for giving up on them, asked me to submit a second obverse design, and said they had a "win-win" idea in mind that would make us all happy. The new design has now been submitted, they're going to engrave and mint a sample this time, and I look forward to seeing what they suggest doing after that. If the answer turns out to be that they'd like me to pay all over again for a run of replacements, that's not going to happen. However, that doesn't exactly fit the win-win philosophy, heh. I would be perfectly happy to pay for a second set of die fees, if that's what it takes to get the perfect coin, and of course I've already offered to send the first set of coins back to their factory so that they can recycle the metal. We'll see what they have in mind. I feel like I'm in the middle of some weird geocoin soap opera. Tune in next week to see what happens, heh. Both halves of RealWorldAvatars (my hubby and myself) are employed by the videogames industry. He's a game engineer; I'm a writer and journalist. So while we love the traditional games, we're equally crazy for the more modern variety. Unobscured by the circle and game pieces, that binary code reads "GAMES GAMES GAMES GAMES GAMES!" Wouldn't miss GeoBoo for the world! It's going to be our first event, and we just can't wait to meet a whole bunch of other cachers. (<-extreme joy) There's no way the new coins will be ready in time, though. Hmmmmm... but that does give me an evil idea for a "hostess gift"... the sample coin from the first company is lame, but hey, it's totally unique... Many apologies!! We're determined not to get caught up in geocoin collecting, so we're just planning to leave our coins in caches as signature items, and maybe swap them at events like business cards. However, we're talking about 300 coins, so it won't be long before local cachers find two or three of 'em and start looking for someone to trade with, I'm sure. We're going to be strewing 'em all over the Pacific Northwest (like Johnny frickin' Appleseed, heh), dropping them off wherever we vacation, and sending a bunch down to my folks in Arizona who have just started caching under the RWA name as well. Since they're all "for keeps" and the only thing we ask is that they not be flogged off on eBay, it's a good guess you'll find them for trade not long after we have them in hand! Again, I want to thank everyone here for all their help, moral support, and advice with this project. I'd have probably given up after the first big setback if it hadn't been for y'all.
  12. That's good enough for me! Thanks, all! I'll approve the design, and see what happens.
  13. So as some of you know from a previous thread, I am apparently cursed. Hubby and I wanted to create a signature geocoin to leave in caches. We started out with one minting company, received a really awful sample coin followed by a nearly-identical awful sample coin. Switched to another compay, and all seemed to be going extremely well, until the shipment of coins arrived and I was sorely disappointed with the obverse design. At that point, I officially gave up. Between two companies, we'd waited 10 weeks, and frankly I was just plain tired, emotionally worn out. I figured I'd just deal with the coins that I didn't really like, put them in caches as planned until they were all gone, and then never, EVER try messing with signature coins again. I wrote a sad letter to the second company, posted an equally sad little note here, and tried to get over it. The second minting company, however, refused to let me give up. After talking with their engraver and factory folks, they determined that the problem was the nature of my obverse design; the limitations of die stamping just make it impossible to get right. They convinced me to devise a new design for the front of the coin, and try minting a sample. I'm either an incurable optimist, a fool, or both (is there really a difference?), but now I'm getting all excited again. I'm posting the new design below; I'd love to hear what people think of it before I give the final okay. Would you go out of your way to find a cache if you knew one of these signature coins was there for the taking? - CindyV (Mrs. RWA)
  14. I am soooooooo loving the fall color around here! This is from a cache I logged as DNF last week; I was a bit distracted by my surroundings, so I'm blaming beautiful trees like this for my inability to find the cache. (My one-and-only own cache is in an area with few trees, d'oh! Lots of other gorgeous autumn leaves around here to make up for it, though.)
  15. Try rolling that up and sticking it in a micro!
  16. Life craps in my Cheerios again. I hereby give up on trying to have a really nice, well-engraved signature geocoin made, because obviously fate has decreed that this is impossible. My fault, I suppose, for assuming that any company out there gives a whit about the customer's needs once their money is in hand. A pox on any industry which requires payment before the final product is delivered. I'm going out for chocolate. LOTS of chocolate. And maybe some ice cream.
  17. Dog for me, please. Not only does a dog not lose efficiency near skyscrapers and electrical or radio sources, but as another thread on this forum shows, it's actually better than a GPS at sniffing out caches. Not to mention that whole "eating leftovers, making friends feel welcome, sleeping on your feet" aspect of dogginess. Besides, the only real advantage to being blind is the ability to bring your dog anywhere you darn well choose. Hauling a talking GPS along just doesn't sound like as much fun.
  18. Ooo! I'd love to find one. Signature items are by far the coolest swag to find in a cache.
  19. Okay, now that is freaking evil. But at least it gave you something to do with all those discs! I have to say, though, that AOL CDs would actually be better than some of the stuff I've found in caches. Used movie tickets, expired bus passes, a handful of blown fuses... yes, fuses... a parking ticket, an action figure with two limbs missing... at what point did "cache" become synonymous with "trash can"? Wait, I take that back. Going by the age of this thread, I'd say it's always been a problem. Bloody irritating that it hasn't been solved by now, but I guess it's human nature to be an asshat if nobody's looking at you.
  20. No secret handshake for you! But if you'd like a copy of my grandmother's chicken-n-spaetzle recipe, I believe you fit the qualifications. (Why is it that every German recipe contains at least half a stick of butter, by the way?) Personally, I'm two different kinds of geocacher, depending on who I'm caching with. If I'm out there with my hubby, we like to get out of the city and do a bit of hiking and exploration! Even if we only find one or two caches in a day, that's fine; the important thing to us is having some "together time" away from phones and email and the constant sound of traffic. *happysigh* And we take lots and lots of photos. On the other hand, if I'm by myself or caching with good buddy PandaPhil, we don't have the option of wilderness caching. Neither of us drives, so we'll choose a section of town that we're not very familiar with, print out a batch of cache pages, and do a whoooooole lot of walking. We generally manage five or six caches in six or seven hours, and usually walk anywhere from three to five miles in the process. This is very important to me, as Phil has heart trouble and I want to make sure my old friend sticks around as long as possible... geocaching is a great way to wheedle him into getting a bunch of good exercise. (If he's reading this, he's probably going to hit me. Honestly, though, I didn't know that last week's expedition was going to be THAT vertical, sheesh! Up First Hill, down First Hill... up First Hill, down First Hill...) Not sure if this is what the original poster was looking for, but I think the answer is going to be -- as previous folks have said -- that geocachers are every sort of people, and some of them have more than one style of caching.
  21. BIG STRESS TIME: I just got an email with a tracking number... looks like my first-ever geocoins will arrive tomorrow! All the little worries about whether the actual coins will be better than the other minting service's are back in a vicious flock, and fluttering madly around my stomach. I guess it's time to take Shop99er's advice and roll out the barrel, so to speak. *pours a round for the house* Keep your fingers crossed!
  22. I left one of those in my own cache recently, to celebrate the release of a new version of my favorite Roman strategy videogame (all hail Caesar, heh), but weirdly enough, several people have visited the cache since then and nobody has taken it. Squashed pennies from theme parks vanish like candy, but the poor Roman coin might be sitting out its next 2000 years in an urban park-and-grab, heh. In response to the original poster, I think nifty coins are far cooler than anything you could buy with them at the dollar store. I love seeing unusual or foreign currency in a cache; although I don't generally take it myself, it's a good bet that somebody's kid will consider it a real treasure. You go!
  23. Get in touch with your local public transportation system and ask whether they have a one-day all-inclusive pass available. Many do, although they're rarely advertised on the buses or trains. It makes things a WHOLE lot easier when you don't have to fish for change or a transfer every time you want to hop a bus to the next cache location! Good luck, and I hope the event is a blast! - Mrs. RWA (legally blind, so well familiar with caching by bus, heehee!)
  24. Oooo, cool cool cool! I'm so glad it worked out for you! Mine are apparently going to ship on the 10th, so I'm just itching to see how they turned out... here's hoping we're both happy campers by this time next week, heehee!
  25. Okay, now that is the BEST swag item I've ever seen. But what on earth could you have left in return that would be worth as much?
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