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Everything posted by cimawr

  1. No worries. I'm used to it, since I've been posting for years in forums that are mostly male (gaming, computers, photography, judo/martial arts, and the like). Which, if you read my profile, is probably part of why you couldn't tell - all the activities and interests I have listed are either gender-neutral or predominately male, with the exception of dog agility. (Dog agility is predominately female, for some reason.) What probably threw you WRT the photos is that the only humans in 'em (yes, I take far too many pictures of my dogs! ) are my S.O. and his son, taken on a caching run the three of us did together. I do most of my caching solo-with-dogs, he does most of his either solo and/or with one or both of his kids and/or one or both of their dogs; occasionally we combine. Which, in a side-step, is one of the things I love about caching - it's not only a fun solo activity, but one that all four of us (or six to eight if you count dogs <G>) enjoy.
  2. Heh. Hamster, as in small furry antisocial rodent** with sharp teeth, not hamper as in where to put the dirty laundry. For some reason, I have a tendency to typo the word. **They're solitary in nature, except when mating. Rats, being highly social animals, make MUCH better small animal pets. My condolences (seriously!).
  3. It is nice to have an actual DISCUSSION, innit? Heh. I think you may have missed the very last bit of my post, where I said "if I were male".... purely as a point of note, I'm a 40-something female. But regardless of gender, I'd most likely handle it that way, especially because I *have* worked with kids (co-taught a children's judo class for years, and helped homeschool my sister's kids), and am familiar both with the "stranger danger" issue and with dealing with all sorts of parents. In a more general way, I've always found that a honest, direct approach to *most* "sticky" situations tends to work best- you don't have to give all the details to be forthright about something.
  4. Sounds like a picturesque place for a cache. Yah, the view over the mountains of trash is really scenic. Actually, as behind-the-store-near-the-dumpster caches go, it's not bad - it's at least in a clean spot, and there's no garbage or broken glass - but I do wonder if the hider realized it was that close to, and in direct sight of, the unloading area. It's not obvious that it IS an unloading are, unless there's a truck actually there; it's a secondary dock, trucks are is accessed by a lift which is flat on the ground, and the door that the deliveries are taken through is ordinary-sized rather than the more usual roll-up large door. I don't know quite WHAT I'd've done if the cache wasn't a mile from home; there's no way, if I'd been on a road trip, that I could have waited the length of time it took them to unload (judging by how far they got in the time I was there, it must have taken them at least 2 hours). I'm still mulling over whether I should add a mention of the problem with the unloading to my "found it" log; thing is, it would be something of a spoiler for the hide.
  5. They have teeth and claws, so yes, they CAN hurt you; so can hampsters, if you handle them wrong. WILL they attempt to harm a human? Not likely, unless you are disabled and they're starving. However: They can and do go after domestic animals, including dogs - many people living in suburban and urban areas that have coyote populations have lost dogs, cats, and small-animal pets to coyotes.
  6. "One Adam Twelve, One Adam Twelve, investigate suspicious person at elementary school playground- caller states suspect is hiding (drugs, bomb) or (waiting for children to get out of school)." Please re-read my post. I clearly stated that I was referring to looking for caches which are placed near playgrounds at multi-use public parks, not ones which are near or next to school playgourounds. Public parks generally aren't used by school-age kids during the hours I specified, except during the summer. Playgrounds which are also used by parents with pre-schoolers will be easier to search near early in the morning, if daylight's needed.
  7. Out of sheer curiosity, why did you have to take the cache home? I ended up taking one home overnight recently... It's hidden behind a local store, about 20 feet from an offloading area for deliveries. I took the cache from its hiding place, and walked over to the car intending to open the container, sign log, etc. As I got into my car, a semi pulled up to the loading zone, and by the time I had the log signed, the driver and a store worker had begun to unload it, with the driver standing in the truck putting boxes onto a lift, and the store worker unloading and handcarting them in when the lift was lowered. Problem was, the guy in the truck was facing directly at the hide spot, making it impossible to put the cache back - the placement is at hip level, and there was NO reason for anyone to get out of a car, walk to it, and stick a hand there. I hadn't been planning to do my grocery shopping just then, but went ahead into the store and spent 35 mintues doing so; but when I came out, the workers were only about a third of the way done unloading - it was a full-size semi - and the unloader was still in place, looking directly at the hide spot. At this point, it was nearly 11 p.m., I had to get up at 6 the next morning, and I had the dogs in the car wanting to go home and be fed... so I gave up and took the cache home with me. I put it back at lunchtime the next day...
  8. is exactly what a pedophile would say too? (I assume) I don't think that's what a pedophile (or other person with an illegal interest in kids) would be all that likely to say.... However, relating back to the story of the two who got "busted" (flat tire and all that), the story they chose to tell was EXACTLY the sort of thing that such persons often choose - in fact, it's close to the example that's most frequently used in "Stranger Danger" education, which is someone asking for help finding a lost dog. So it's not at all surprising that they got the reaction they did. In any case, IMO flat-out lying to anyone - regardless of age - is not a good policy. Making up a Big Stupid Lie, with no basis in reality (there aren't any snakes in the U.S. big enough to eat dogs), and expecting that just because you're telling it to kids it's O.K., is, well.. Stupid. For all the lie-teller knew, the kids might just have had a lesson in school about local snakes, or one of the kids might think snakes are cool and have known all about them**... not to mention not realizing that the kids would tell the MOMS what the men in the woods had said, and it would immediately set of alarm bells. **Even very young kids can know a LOT about something that fascinates them. And I agree about being up front. However, if I were being eyed up in a situation like that, I'd think I'd walk over and talk to the *adults* rather than go on searching. E.g. something like "A friend of mine and I are playing a game with our GPS units, and he hid something in the woods for me to try and find. I didn't realize it was right next to a playground until I got here - I hope we haven't scared you! " Their reaction would determine whether or not I continued the search. Getting back to the more general subject, I've found a couple of caches that were *near* playgrounds, but where the playgrounds are only one area of a public park open to all. I don't have a issue with caches like that, other than the obvious fact that searching works better during times that there aren't a lot of kids (with nearby affliated adults) there. However, I wouldn't think it appropriate to put the cache ON the playground. And if I were male, I would be even MORE inclined to confine searching for such caches to during school hours, early in the morning, or (if findable in the dark) at night.
  9. >>Don't you think other geocachers deserve to have this information so they can make an informed >>decision about whether or not to seek a cache? For example if there is construction and the area is >>temporarily closed off, I would like to know that whether I was the cache owner, or someone interested >>in searching for it. Well... you're using a different definition of "temporary" than I was. To give you three examples of the sort of things I'm talking about: Two nights ago, I pulled into a isolated parking lot with the GPSr showing me that the hide was 30 feet away. As I was getting ready to get out, a huge pickup truck pulled in right next to me, and the driver started staring over into my smaller van. I put the flashlight down and drove away. I went around the block a couple of times, and on my second pass the truck had left; I pulled back in and found the cache with no problems. However, if the truck had still been there on, on a third pass I'd've left to come back another time. And on Monday, I went to a park near my S.O.'s house. I located the general hide area, but didn't search because a park employee was mowing a large nearby field, and on every other pass down its length was looking directly at the area that needed to be searched. I left, ran some errands, and came back about 3 hours later; the mowers were gone, and I was able to locate the cache. Similarly, last Thursday I went looking for a cache that's listed as being at a graveyard about 3 miles from my S.O.'s house. I was wearing shorts and sandals, but when I got closer to the hide site realized that it was in the woods where there were briars and some trash/bottles. I went back to the car to put on jeans and my boots, and as I got there a maintenance man pulled up nearby and began unloading a mower from his truck. I couldn't exactly change my clothes with him right there, plus I didn't want him to see me going into the woods. So I left and came back on Monday, wearing appropriate clothes, and found the cache. NONE of those conditions would have still been in existence by the time I logged even if I hadn't been able to return and do same-day finds on the first two. >>Also, if there is something negative to be said about the location (as in your example of broken bottles >>and urine at ground zero) maybe it should be mentioned. If I was thinking about bringing my kid along, I >>would appreciate having that information beforehand. It's something of a judgement call, that one. I agree that others should be aware of nasty conditions, especially since many cache with their kids, and in a couple of other cases have made notes on the line of "I nearly cut myself on a bottle; suggest others exercise caution when searching the ivy". In this case, I haven't done so *yet* because I'm not sure I was in quite the right place - and I also haven't yet checked to see if anyone else has already logged similar notes. If, on further examination, it appears that GZ is indeed where I was, I'll probably post a DNF along with a note about bad conditions.
  10. As a relative newbie to caching (got involved less than two months ago), I'm finding this thread quite interesting. Here are my thoughts/reactions to points made by other posters. 1. I have to agree on the idea that some urban micros are on the lame side. The first cache I was introduced to was a film-can-in-a-lamp (yes, at a Wal-Mart! <G>), and I thought it was pretty cool. However, even after such a short time, my reaction on finding my GPSr pointing at a lamp post is already starting to be "Groan, not another boring film can in a lamp skirt". 2. I'm also rapidly growing less tolerant of urban hides in dirty and/or unsafe places. It's one thing to find a cleverly-hidden micro (or any other size cache) in a CLEAN AND SAFE spot behind or near a store or shopping center, and another to be searching in an area which has trash, broken bottles, containers of rat poison, reeks of human urine, shows signs of homeless occupation, shows signs of being a drug user hangout, etc. Not to mention that some hiders seem to be oblivious to the clear signs of rat occupation often found in landscaped areas at shopping centers. Hello, if there are RAT SIZED HOLES all through the area, there's a rat colony. I cache with my dogs, and more than once the lurcher (who used to rat hunt with my Jack Russell) has alerted me that Mr. Rat is at home... in fact, she once nearly pulled me off my feet trying to get a rat that scuttled out from the bushes two feet from a hide. 3. On "TNLNSL" - I usually write at least a couple of sentences. However, sometimes, I have nothing good to say about a cache. Sometimes, I'm in a hurry when logging. And sometimes, I was caching with others, and they actually located the cache, so there's not much else to say. <G> 4. On swag - I've only got a paltry 30 caches to my credit, but I have to agree on the lameness of the trade items in a lot of caches. Doesn't bother me, since the main enjoyment for me is the hunt, but I DO like it when a cache actually has some cool or handy items in it. Even if I don't trade anything, I like looking at it.
  11. This is similar to what I do, and part of why I don't always log a DNF the first time I check out a cache's location. To me, a DNF is when I make a real effort to locate a cache, with all appropriate information to hand, and truly don't find it. I don't consider it a log-worthy DNF if: 1. I cruised by to get a general idea of the cache's location and where to park/start looking without actually stopping, and/or simply gave a cursory look around. This is especially true if I haven't read up on the cache beforehand, and so am not sure what I'm actually looking for. 2. I have to abort or curtail my search because of nearby activity which is temporary. 3. Posting my DNF will involve saying really negative things about a cache's location, especially if I'm not sure I was looking in quite the right place. 4. I happen to be in the area at night, and after scouting or making a cursory search realize that finding the cache without being conspicious requires being there in the daytime; and vice versa. For example: a couple of nights ago I was running an errand at night, and realized that I would be going near four caches that are loaded in my GPSr. I had a bit of extra time, so I scouted the general locations quickly, getting within 100 feet of all - and actually found and logged one. Of the other three, the first requires parking in the turn-around area of a narrow, residential dead-end street, and searching in the bushes/brush within 150 feet of private property. That one, if I choose to actually look for it, will require coming back in the daytime so as not to draw attention. The second is similar; in the bushes behind a local business, and not in an area where I wanted to be poking around after dark. I didn't even get out of the car for those two, so I'm definitely not going to log a DNF. The third is also behind a local business, and the GPSr pointed me at an area filled with trash and a dumpster. I searched briefly, but the area was filthy - including several broken bottles - and REEKED of urine, and I wasn't sure even of the cache's size. I wasn't about to get down on hands and knees, or feel around, for that one. On getting home and checking the cache page, it says it's a micro-nano, so I may go back and look again during the day to see if there's something I can spot without endangering my health. I'm not going to log a DNF, because if I did at this point I would include the comments WRT aborting due to filth and smell, which might be unfair to the hider if the cache is up off the ground - which, being a nano, I suspect it is. Now, when I looked twice -really looked - in a 48-hour period and didn't find a cache, THEN I went in and logged a DNF. Also, sometimes I simply don't bother logging a DNF when I intend to return within 2-3 days. If I look a SECOND time and don't find it, then I'll DNF.
  12. I'm 46. My S.O., who got me into this hobby, is 42; his kids, who sometimes cache with him, are going on 14 (they're twins)...so our average age is about 29. However, I mostly cache with my companions-in-fur; the Old Man is 11.5, which is comparable to a human between 68 and 75, and the Lurcher Lass is 8, which for a dog her size is comparable to a human in mid-50s. Dunno what THAT does to the average.
  13. Heh. Being even more boring and pedantic, no, the avatar's not a photo of Doc Holiday; it's a photo of Val Kilmer playing the role of John "Doc" Holliday (note speeling) in the movie "Tombstone". Agree on the drool, at least in that role, btw. <G>
  14. Prompted by this post, I looked at the owner's profile & found cache logs. I also skimmed back through ALL the logs for the cache. The following is what I noted: 1. The owner's listed occupation and the places he's found/placed caches are consistent with either being in the military or being a military contractor - most are locations with military bases nearby (including, IIRC, the area where the cache is placed). 2. The cache find in Iraq, in February of this year, is the only one he's had in more than two years. He had none in 2005 or 2004, and only the one for '06. And he only found three in all of 2003, of which one was in November in Germany, two in December in Florida. That fits with being posted overseas, and getting in a bit of caching while on leave. 3. The cache was archived in October of 2002 for being on forbidden territory (after 5 months of fairly heavy activity), then un-archived in November 2002 with a note that "apparently permission was obtained". 4. Looking through the logs for the cache, it seems likely that the "No Hiking" signs went up sometime in the summer of 2003; the first mention of them is in August of that year, and they're mentioned consistently after that. I have to wonder if they went up in response to the caching activity, since from the logs it appears that few people would enter the area otherwise. It seems very likely that the owner has been overseas and hasn't had much time or opportunity to pay attention to geocaching - let alone been in the same state as the cache - since well before the problems began with the cache area having signs showing it as off-limits.
  15. I'll chime in on the agreement chorus! I've recently visited two that I felt were underrated. On one, which IIRC has a 2-star rating (may be a 2.5), I would have been better prepared for if I'd read the logs, which did refer to the fact that one has to climb boulders starting about 200 feet from the cache. However, even if I had read the logs, I might still have had the wrong shoes on. I was wearing running shoes; had I read the logs, I would have had on hiking boots which might or might not have been adequate. If I go back, I will most likely do so prepared to climb barefooted in order to get enough grip on boulders higher than my head which are next to water and therefore slippery; at the very least, I'll be wearing my waterproof flexible boots rather than my standard hiking boots. I didn't list that one as a DNF because I didn't even try to find it due to the hazard involved - I'll be back that way again, and will probably make a serious re-try with proper equipment. Any way you look at it, though, the climbing involved is hazardous and IMO deserves at least a 3 and possibly a 4; I've done a couple of other caches with 3-star listings which were MUCH easier to get to. The one I other is an urban hide, with a difficulty rating of 1 and a terrain rating of 2, which is on the property of a local store. However, getting to the cache involves doing one of the following: 1. Scaling a 4-foot wall which has unsecured upper bricks - IOW, they may move under the hands or feet - as well as loose gravel in between the bricks which can roll or slip under one's hands or feet. Once at the top of the wall, in order to access the actual hide spot you need to either crawl through a fence which is a couple of feet from the edge, or walk around the edge to a place where there is a 5-foot drop; the footing there is also not stable. 2. Climbing over or crawling under a fence, then walking along the top of the same wall, starting at a place where the drop is 7-8 feet, to access the area. It might also be possible to get there by forcing one's way though about 5 feet of very densely planted bushes, but that route looked pretty much impossible to me - and I'm a small, physically fit person. Any way you look at it, though, one does NOT go to an urban store hide with a rating of 2 expecting to have to scale walls and make a 4-foot down jump on to concrete.... even if the cache listing has a rather ambiguous "be careful" in the description, which could just as easily mean "watch out for truck drivers at the nearby loading dock" or "keep a weather eye out for store employees". That particular cache has about a 70% DNF listing, which is almost certainly because the terrain listing leads most to disregard the actual hide spot. I understand that the hider doesn't want to give too much of a clue with the terrain listing, but the hazard level deserves more than a 2 IMO.
  16. Fun thread! My "handle" is fairly simple.... if you speak or read Cymraeg (Welsh). It means "Big Dog" - Ci = dog, Mawr = big. (Sentence structure is a bit different, with adjectives normally coming *after* the noun rather than before.) WHY "Big Dog"? 1. I've been training dogs since I was in elementary school, used to work as a dog-walker - taking packs of dogs on 2-hour off-leash hikes, not going 'round the block on leash - and compete in NADAC agility with my own dogs. Doing all of that, I've operated from the principle of being pack leader... LONG before anybody ever heard of Cesar Millan. 2. I'm a smallish person; just under 5' tall, and weighing (depending on time of year and activity level) between 98 and 110 lbs. My ex is 6'5"; my current dearly beloved is either 5'10" or 5'11", and both his kids (who are in middle school) are already considerably taller than me, which makes me seem even smaller by contrast. Adding 1 & 2 together, you get a running joke about me being "the big dog". And as to why in Welsh, my grandfather was born in Cymru, and my sister lives there and is fluent; me, I only have a smattering, but I love the language anyway.
  17. Did you read the encrypted note posted a month before you went there? It states clearly that the cache is illegally placed on Tribal land; I have to wonder if the person who posted it also notifed the tribal police. And reading back through the logs, there are NUMEROUS notations that others had concerns over the cache being placed where signs clearly told them not to go, going back to 2003. There's also a note in '02 saying that the cache is placed on off-limits land and is being archived, then a note a month later saying "apparently permission was obtained. All in all, though, I'm surprised that thes cache is still in existence. I'm also surprised at the large number of people who chose to trespass AFTER reading the sign, just to get the cache. :-P
  18. Got no idea what the consensus is, since I've only been caching for a month, but it seems to m that if it wasn't OK to log after the fact, the site wouldn't provide the capability for choosing the date on a log. As far as not remembering the exact date, if it were me I think I'd do two things: Carry a small notebook in my caching backpack, or in the glove compartment of my vehicle, and make a quick note of the date and cache name in that - IOW, keep a personal log. If I forgot to do that, I'd log the visit on the site with a date CLOSE to when I found it, and note in the log that I may be off by a day or three because I got delayed in logging & don't remember exactly. I doubt most people would have a problem with that, although I have already noticed via reading the forums that there are SOME out there who take this a wee bit too seriously.
  19. Argh! Actually, *I* wrote that; I'm using Fandrel's computer at the moment, was logged into geocaching.com as myself, clicked the forum button, and apparently it auto-logged me in under his forum account. Oh well - he's the one who introduced me to Cuz balls in the first place. His dogs are also great at destroying toys, but the Cuz have lasted... Which I actually came back to the thread to post that the link I had in the first post doesn't seem to operate quite correctly - however, if you type cuz in the search box, it'll pull up the listing for both Good Cuz and Bad Cuz.
  20. Heh. Just what the world needs, a wikipedictionary. 1. Considering that whoever wrote #1 mis-spelled about every third word in ENGLISH, I have to suspect that his/her "walla" is another instance of someone mishearing a foreign word. 'Tis a moot point regarding the "walla" of this thread, however, since it's not the same misheard word, nor was it used in that context. (At least not to either my or Greying Jay's interpretation.) 2. If you scroll down a few more definitions, you'll find at least two "definitions" of "walla" which are paraphrases of what I wrote, albeit in somewhat harsher terms.
  21. Yup. Them are the originals - some of them the same ones Grandaddy used to give us girls 35-40 years ago.
  22. Yup. My paternal grandfather was a member of a spinter sect of a splinter sect of a splinter sect of sort-of-Baptists-mostly-looney-tunes-definitely-hypocrites-born-agains (1) and used to give me and my sisters Chick comics. What he never knew was that as soon as he left, we read them and howled with laughter... even when we were as young as 6 or 7. Which is why my parents (2) never had a problem with Grandaddy's prosletizing; they knew their kids had enough intelligence and common sense to see through it... just as my father had by about age 11. As adults, none of us are Christians.... we (there are 4 of us) are one Amma devotee, one agnostic, one New agey semi-flake-semi-Christian, and one Celtic-oriented NeoPagan with smatterings of Zen Buddhism. We're all very spiritually oriented people with good principles and values, with friends of many persuasions ... and we all STILL think Chick comics are hysterically funny. Which brings me to my point, after much rambling... ever occur to you "censors" that A. someone might have put in the Chick comic to give others a laugh and B. even if the leaver was serious, you might try - like my parents - trusting others to have common sense about 'em?? The ONLY thing I would think it 100% appropriate to remove from a cache as a matter of "censorship" would be graphic porn (since kids cache). (1) They kept getting in fights with each other over what was "sin" and who was going to be "saved" and splitting into smaller groups; my father left home at 16, partially to get away from it. To give you an idea of the mentality: When my cousin got married, a. the preacher said in his prayer "And we thank God that we are saved!" - then remembered that there were non-sect members present and quickly said "Well, SOME of us are, anyway." (I am NOT making this up!) b. The sect considers it a sin to play musical instruments... so the bride walked down the aisle to a RECORDING of Lohengrin's March. Guess it was ok for the person who made the recording to go to hell for the sake of the bride. (2) My parents are what I consider "real Christians", IOW people who actually try to live their lives by what Christ taught. My father, after leaving the insanity of his upbringing, became a Lutheran; Mam is the daughter of a Methodist minister.
  23. I'm new to caching myself, but... to have all the maps you might need/want on a unit the size of a Garmin eTrex, you'd have to have HUGE amount of memory... which would undoubtedly raise the price of the base unit a *lot* higher. Which is why, I believe, the detailed street maps are sold seperately; if you buy the Metroguide for North America, you get all of the street maps (rural too) for U.S. and Canada, then load just the maps you need at the moment. To give you an idea of how much space the maps take up - I have a slightly older monocolor Legend (bought on eBay for $70), which has 8 mgs of built-in memory for maps, doesn't take memory cards. The maps for JUST the Baltimore metro area, north to just below Wilmington DE, in a path about 40 miles wide, take up all of the memory. IOW, I can't even put the entire state of MD on it - so it would clearly take a couple hundred mg of memory to put the entire Metroguide on it. And speaking of Metroguide... the newest version, which as I understand it is just out, is Ver. 8. I picked up a new-in-the-box copy of Version 7 on eBay for $65 - works just fine. Yeah, it may not have the latest housing developments in it, but if I'd gotten into geocaching just a few months ago, it's what I'd have anyway. Also, I'm curious as to how you're coming up with a price of over $300... is that for a software package, or for memory cards with the maps preloaded? If it's for memory cards, what's the base capacity?
  24. Or giving the Sais back the land Lafayette helped the U.S. win....
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