Jump to content


+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by mikeslomka

  1. What happens if you operate a motor vehicle without insurance and get into an accident and kill or seriously injure somebody else?? The money comes out of your pocket, that's what. Police departments carry insurance, just like any other business, homeowner, driver, etc. The biggest difference is that you as a vehicle owner(or business owner, or homeowner) don't have people filing frivolous lawsuits against you on a monthly basis. If a police department doesn't carry this insurance, and they are sued, that money comes out of the city's pocket. Even if the city is completely in the right, there is still a chance that a liberal judge or jury will award a ridiculous decision to the person who is suing the department. Wayne County, Michigan(where Detroit is located) is legendary for awarding giant decisions to plaintiffs in suits against police departments, even if there is a mountain of evidence completely exhonerating the department. Even if the departments won every lawsuit(not going to happen) it would cost them more than double what they actually pay out. Our department lost a suit last year because a person claimed that they were denied medication, when they told us during booking that they weren't on medication and they never asked us for it. The person also suffered no injuries. The city paid out more than I made in the last 7 years. If the city continues to pay out large sums of money, then the citizens of said city are going to be very unhappy when their tax bill triples to pay for all of the money being paid out to lawsuits. Then they are going to fire everybody at the top and get new people in who will be 100 times more cautious then the previous guy. So the administrations try to reduce liabilty by being overly cautious. In this instance, was anybody hurt? Nope. Putting aside the human aspect for a moment, do you know how much it costs to train a police officer? The training that they get is specialized and very costly. Now add even more specialized training like EOD. You are talking about an investment of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Not to mention how bad it would look on CNN if little bits of some bomb tech ended up all of the street. Now, how much did it cost to blow up an unknown device? A couple of thousand dollars at most. Not to mention, the officers got some very valuable training experience. Again, I'll say that IED's are made specifically to look like everyday objects. That is why they are so effective. And I'll ask again, were you there? Do you know that they didn't try to call the roads department. I can almost guarantee that somebody in the dispatch center was trying to track down a supervisor or somebody in the know at the roads department. Nobody from Boston PD or the Boston roads department has responded yet to this thread so nobody here knows for certain what happened. I guess it's more fun just to say that the bomb techs are idiots and continue on with irresponsible speculation. Maybe the next time your city has a bomb scare, you can go on down there and lend your expertice. Just walk up and let them know if it's a bomb or not. then when they move way back, you can open it up and root around in it. You may even get lucky the first few times and not get blown up.
  2. I saw a cache a couple of days ago that looked remarkably like this one. A large piece of PVC with a rounded edge inside of a hollowed out log. During the war in Viet Nam, the enemy used to booby trap ammo cans all the time. Ask a Viet Nam combat vet if he would have ever opened up an ammo can that he found at an enemy camp. The whole purpose of IED's is to disguise them and make them look like some mundane object so that people won't think twice about it. Unless somebody here is on the Boston PD bomb squad, and knows exactly what went on, then you are being irresponsible in questioning their intelligence, dedication, and professionalism. In this case, the object did in fact turn out to be something mundane, but it could have just as easily been something different. Nobody here knows what type of intelligence that they were able to gather. Maybe the only person that could get the information for them had gone home for the day and was unreachable. We don't know. In law enforcement, we get frequent updates that aren't released to the public. Sometimes these updates say that there have been non-specific threats to major cities. Boston would definitly qualify as a major city. Folks, the fact is that we have entered the global terrorism game. We managed to stay out of it for a long time, but now it is here in our own backyard. Law enforcement is still learning how to deal with this new threat. Cut these guys some slack. We don't have the experience that the Israelis, the Brits, or the Germans do. Eventually, we will catch up and these types of things won't happen any more. Hopefully since this incident happened, somebody from the streets department has put together a list of the locations of all the traffic counters. Since I got into geocaching, I have thought that it would be a very good idea to keep the local pd's up to date on the caches that are being placed in their area. The responsiblity does not rest squarely on the shoulders of the the men and women in law enforcement. They can not be expected to know everything about everything. Look around the place where you work. A police department is made up of the same type of people. Because they are pulled right from the population. I'll get off of my soapbox now.
  3. You're wrong. The Sheriff and/or politicians didn't set up the rules. Overly letigious individuals who are trying to strike it rich against the government set up the rules. Judges who want to legislate from the bench set up the rules. Risk management and insurance companies set up the rules. When a local government pays out millions of dollars because they didn't respond properly to a call, they develop a policy that responds to all policies the same way. If they blow up a cache, then they blow up a cache...or a traffic counter, or whatever. Nobody ever got sued and ended up paying punitive damages out of their own pocket for over-responding to a situation. And until you have spent time going through a lawsuit where you are being accused of not providing a consistent level of service, you have no idea what it is like. If that would have been a bomb and people would have been hurt or killed, people would now be screaming that the police should have noticed it and should have done something. Anybody that was injured would be suing the city of Boston, along with the families of anybody that died. Since x-ray machines only "see" solid objects, and not mushy stuff like c-4, semtex, or any other number of homemade explosives, they don't do much good in a situation like this. What the bomb techs most likely saw was a bunch of wires and stuff, and instead of sending a guy over to open it and possibly loose a human life, they did the safest thing and just blew it up. People like to blame law enforcement for over-reacting, but there is a reason for it. My department has a 19 page policy on pursuits. Why? Because about 12 years ago, and officer chased a guy and it resulted in the death of 4 teenagers. The city payed out millions of dollars and after that a policy was created that spelled out exactly what the reason was for a valid chase. The same is true for our 16 page OWI policy and our 32 page domestic violence policy. It's cheaper and safer to just blow up a suspicious item than it is to attempt to get inside of it and see what it actually is.
  4. I'm getting ready to place my first 2 caches tomorrow. In them is all stuff that I paid a buck for(except the FTF). If it all goes missing on the first day, then I will happily go back and replace it all with more dollar store items. I don't think that there are many people who geocache strictly for the swag. In fact, if I had to make a guess, I would say that most of this swag just travels from one cache to the next. I keep some stuff in my pack that I use for trade. If my kids don't want it, or it's not appropriate, it will go into another cache somewhere down the line. Let's face it, if you go out and spend a hundred dollars on a GPSr(a very cheap one), and more money on a PDA, and $50 on a tank full of gas, how excited are you really about a toy that you could get from McDonalds with a happy meal. Or any other little bit of swag that most people leave. Now if somebody could tell me where they left last nights winning mega-million ticket, I may have to go raid that cache!!
  5. I am 33 years old, and for the vast majority of those years, I have heard about poisin candy or razor blades in apples, but I have never seen 1 case where it happened. I have seen it in horror movies, but never on the news. I have also helped work the x-ray machines at the hospital to have the little darlings x-ray their candy, and never once found a pin or a razor. As far as keeping kids busy, how about a treasure map with pictures instead of words. Place the treasures some where within 5 feet of the whatever you drew and let the kids search away. Coupons for ice cream at McDonalds are good finds, as well as quarters and beannie babies(those things are worthless now). As a last restort, try a little bendryl and orange juice. They'll sleep right through the event.(By the way, that was a joke)
  6. I once helped to close down a large chain big box electonics store for 3 hours because somebody called in a suspicious bag in the parking lot. By the time it was over, Michigan State Police bomb squad had x-rayed somebodies laundry and the store had lost quite a bit of income.
  7. I think that the OP was a little curt("How about a hint we can use."), but the cache hider was WAY out of line. Then the OP apologizes and amends his log, and the cache hider fires back at him again. The cache hider also makes a comment about how many finds(or lack thereof) the OP has. This may get me in a bit of hot water around here, but I have to say that I have seen this attitude quite a bit here. I have had the good fortune to run into some very nice local cachers that have been very helpful, but on this forum, I have seen at least 2 threads where somebody asks a legitimate question and "senior" members have made a joke out of it. Just because somebody is new, doesn't make their viewpoint/question/concerns(about a cache) any less valid. To the OP, blow off the cache finder. Avoid his caches like syphilis. You took the high road and you can be proud that you did so. I agree with whoever said that it's a good idea to use the preview post function and read it again. If I'm angry when I write a post or an email, I always ask my wife to read and see if I'm being to snide. If the cache hider is reading, quit taking yourself and your caches so seriously. THIS IS A GAME. Instead of blowing up at a new person, take a minute and calmly explain to him or her the situation. You may want to be polite to a person that you don't know, you could be meeting them deep in the woods tomorrow. Of course, that's just the opinion of a newbie.
  8. I certainly wouldn't go that far. That's like saying that Microsoft has good karma. Microsoft cornered the market early on and made some very wise(if not ethical) business decisions. The fact is that geocaching.com is really the only major game(no pun intended) in town right now. However, if they continue to alienate the subcultures(locationless, virtuals, etc..) then eventually somebody else will find that market very viable. That being said though, it's their site and they can run it however they want. If I want to go out and do virtuals, I'll go looking elsewhere. If another site comes along and is willing to provide EVERYTHING that I want, I'll stop using gc.com. I don't think that there is a serious danger of that happening in the next few years though.
  9. It would probably be ok if you went to a large PUBLIC park where there are other people on the trail. Some ladies may be nervous if a guy that they are going on a first date with said, "Hey, I know, let's go 15 miles into a National Forest and then hike another 5 to the most secluded spot that we can find." What some women would hear is, "Hey would you mind carrying this duct tape and hachet?" My wife and I went SCUBA diving in another state on our first date. When I got to her apartment, I put her mind at ease by handing her my cell phone and asking her to call her best friend and tell her exactly where we were going. She said that she already had. If I were going to take a girl caching on our first date, I would print an extra copy of the cache page and have her give it to her roommate, best friend, sibling, parent, etc. Believe me, it will go along way to reducing the ax murdered vibe that she may be getting from you. It should probably go without saying(but I'll say it anyway) that you should follow it up with a nice dinner, or a picnic at the park. If you are both of legal drinking age, pack in a bottle of wine(or a six pack of good beer if she is a really cool girl). As far as sharing hobbies with your spouse/partner/significant other/long time companion, my wife and I share some hobbies, and some we don't. We have both learned to appreciate the time that we have spend away from each other. We learned early on that being joined at the hip wasn't a good idea for us.
  10. My headlamp is made for coon hunting. It has to be worn on a belt, and comes with a hard hat. On the high(bright) side, I get about about 3 hours on a full charge. On the low side, I get about 12 hours. It also has a walking light that I can run for about 4 days. That hard hat does come in handy. There have been quite a few times when I took the pointy edge of a branch right to the hat. I may have been very painful had I not been wearing it. The downside is that it costs about $325. The upside is that the highside makes it look like daylight in front of you.
  11. I think that he handled it very well. Had he just made a rude comment and driven away, the restaurant owner would have never allowed the cache to be left there. By sticking around, he gave himself some credibility, and the situation worked out for the best in the end. That being said, had the cache owner gotten permission when he originally placed the cache, this would have never been an issue. The employee would have looked outside and said, "There's another one of those geocachers out there." and that would have been the end of it.
  12. My GPS, extra batteries and a knife. That's all I need to survive in the wilderness!! Ok, I'm just kidding. I carry: Small trade items Compass Extra batteries Hat Sunglasses Pens Cache pages Good hunting knife(always keep it sharp) Lighter ID Cell phone Extra socks Gloves 2 water bottles All in to a big hunting waist bag. I'm still new, and I haven't done any that are deep in the woods, where I would have to be gone a whole day, but I plan on putting something together for that eventuality.
  13. Years ago, while practicing surveilance and coutner surveillance, some Delta Force recruits found a (sizeable)drug stash hidden inside a small planter in a busy shopping mall. For grins, they decided to set up a surveillance on the area and see if somebody came back for it. Not only did somebody come for it, but then someone else came and left money. Then a short time later, there were more drugs in the planter. They clued in the police, and this led to a very large arrest. A higher end dealer was using this as a way to keep himself isolated from the lower dealers. The exchange was never done hand to hand, and he was always careful about when he would make drops or pick ups. I don't recall the dates and names, but I have it in one of the books in my collection. I will try to find it and edit this post with that info later. Just because you wouldn't think that a doper would hide his stash, doesn't mean that he wouldn't think about it. I admit that it isn't a lamp post skirt, but the same principle applies, and if one guy thoguht of it, I guarantee that somebody else is using a similar scheme.
  14. As somebody who has carried SCUBA gear on his back over 3 miles of trails to get to a dive sight that I could have snorkled or done with a pony bottle, I can say that if I packed out all of my gear, my wife's gear, and my daughters gear because we thought that we were doing a scubacache, only to find out that the cache is actually a micro on a guard rail next to the lake, I would be livid(by the way, this is the worst run on sentence that I have ever seen, much less typed). Also, there is a bit of planning that goes along with doing a dive SAFELY, so that has to be taken into account. I understand that it would be very easy to check google maps, or any other map program, but think about the scenario that I used above. The cache owner places it next to the lake instead of in it. In the long run, I don't like any nanny state, so I say be responsible for yourself. Check everything that you can before you go out. Email the cache owner to verify, then if you get there and it's a lie, make a big stink out of it. Post a log that reflects what happened and then post a thread here about the cache owners dishonesty. Eventually, cache owners and cachers alike will learn to govern themselves. Or maybe not. How is that for straddling the fence?? I should be a politician!!
  15. In my 8 years, I've delivered 3 babies over the phone, had to make one girl stop pushing because a foot presented first(one of the 10 scariest calls of my career), and was present in the O.R. when my wife had both of our kids by c-section. The one call that I talked the husband through the birth is still recorded at the p.d. where I work. At the end when the sirens are apporaching, you can hear me get choked up.
  16. Emergency dispatcher for almost 8 years now. Before that, I was a police reserve officer. For a long time I thought that I wanted to be a Polcie Officer, but I found out that I am really good at what I do, so I decided to stick with.
  17. This is Daisy, my bluetick coonhound. Since she turned out to not really care about racoons too much, I'm going to start taking her out to cache with me. Here's Fletch, he's a dalmation mix that we rescued a few years ago. This dog is smart as can be, and listens really well. My wife is an obedience instructor and uses him to do demonstrations with. Since he can also jump on to the roof of most regular cars, she decided to enter him in agility competitions. And this is Mickey, my squirrel dog. He found a cache before I did the first time that I took him out with us. He may be small, but he thinks that he about 180 pounds.
  18. Many local parks near me require an admission fee. For the Metroparks, it is $20 per year, and that covers all the parks. I believe that you can also get yearly passes for other park systems in the area for close to that. I guess it just depends on the location. If the location is a place that I want to go, I'll pay to get in and find caches. If I don't want to go there, then I probably won't pay. I have no problem with commercialism, because I have free will. If I don't want to go somewhere or purchase a product, I don't. There are no amount of caches that would entice me to go somewhere that I don't want to go.
  19. Fill a bucket all the way to the top with whatever type of water that you are planning to sink your cache into(fresh or salt...it does make a difference. Then take your cache container and sink it in the water and weigh the water that spills . Then all you have to do is add more weight than whatever the weight of the water that you collected For example, if your container displaced 10lbs, then add 11lbs(or any amount great than 10lbs) and it will sink. Fresh water weighs approximately 62.4lbs per cubic foot and salt water weighs approximately 64lbs per cubic foot...both of these weights depend on where in the world you are planning on placing the cache. However, if you place an object in fresh water that weighs 70lbs, it is being bouyed up by the force of the water, so it will only feel like it weighs 7.6lbs underwater. Getting it out of the water may prove to be very difficult though. Displacement of water is the key here. You could measure your cache and figure it out mathmatically, but that doesn't take into account the shape of your container. Trust an old divemaster and go with my route. (edited to add content)
  20. I sent an email to geocaching.com last week about trying to set up a LEO only account so that police departments can find out what they are dealing with instead of something turning bad and ending up on the 6 o'clock news. Basically, my idea is this, an account that has all of the benefits of a premium account except that you can not log finds/dnf from it. I would also like see a function where a LEO can pull up only the caches that are located in their jurisdiction, instead of having to wade through a bunch that are close. This information could then be disseminated through state police/county sheriffs, on down to local pds. As a dispatcher, I can tell you that it would be very nice to be able to get this info quickly, in case I needed it. It would also allow me to be able to send an email directly to the cache owner to tell them that somebody had brought in their cache, and they need to come get it, just like in this situation. I haven't heard back from geocaching.com yet though.
  21. To address the OP, I have only been caching a little over a month now and I agree that there are many good, honest people involved in geocaching. I have only met one cacher in person, but he was very nice and polite. It was a nice to meet somebody for the first time and think of him as a teammate, rather than an opponent. I am looking forward to going to my first event so that I can meet some more cachers and learn from them. I would also guess that there are some less than honest people that I have yet to meet. I say this because a few days ago, I accidently lost the coordinates to one stage of a multi. I searched for a while, but I couldn't find it. When I emailed the cache owner and offered to go out and replace what I lost, she emailed me back and told me how considerate I was, and how geocaching needs more people like that. To be honest, that kind of surprised me. I feel that if you break something, you should fix it. I was only offering to make right what I had made wrong. Her reaction leads me to believe that some people wouldn't do that. I also think that we probably don't hear much from the dishonest cachers. If a cache goes missing, most cachers automatically assume that it was "muggles". As far as the debate over sport vs game, I say neither. To me, personally, this is a hobby. I am not competing against anybody for any prize. If other cachers want to make it a competition for the FTF prize, go ahead. I recently posted in a log that for me, it is about the journey, not the destination. But that is a choice that each cacher has to make for themselves. I also enjoy the exercise and the time I spend with my family, or by myself, whichever it happens to be at the time. This is kind of off topic, but here is something else to consider. The arguing and flaming that goes on in these forums are most likely read by the same people that want to ban geocaching. I am active on many hunting forums, and we had to learn that lesson the hard way. It's not fun when somebody uses your own words to show how the group can't stick together on issues. I can't tell you how many times I have read quotes on animal rights forums(we also read their mail) using the words from somebody that I know to prove how all of us are ignorant rednecks. The same could happen here. If you have a group that wants to shut geocaching down, all they have to do is log on to this forum, and they can gather as much ammunition as they want. Just something to think about.
  22. I'm just wondering what the thought is on just signing a log. I have less than 50 caches under my belt, and often I don't have much stuff to trade, so I just sign the log and go. Should I be trading more?
  23. The last run in that I had with tribal police(not caching related) discouraged me from ever visiting any of the tribal lands again. Tribes can be very touchy about their sovereign status. I would say always get permission and get it in writing. Then let the tribal police know that the tribal council has given you their permission. Personally, I would just avoid the hassle and not place something on tribal lands.
  24. This goes to reinforce what many of us in law enforcement always say. We only catch the dumb ones. Thank God there's so many. Just curious, does anybody know if Geosquid got his $100 back, or if these nimrods were ever prosecuted? By the way, Geosquids Kung Fu is very strong.
  25. All of the cachers that I have communicated with via email have been great to deal with. I haven't had anybody get rude or even cranky. I have been reading the forums, and I can see that sometimes certain people do come off as a little too agressive. As another aside, the first real coonhunter that I met was(actually, I'm sure he still IS) an African-American. He was a great guy that spent the whole night in the clubhouse showing my wife pictures while I was out on a hunt. I don't know who got the better education, me or her.
  • Create New...