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  1. An open letter to Groundspeak administration: In the early 2000s a fledgling company, looking to expand its product line and thereby increase its customer base, imported a database of benchmarks that its customers could search and log from what is now know as NOAA. Over time the customers provided the necessary additional products (geocaches) to allow the company to survive and grow. To Groundspeak’s administration benchmarks became a forgotten backwater as evidenced by the benign neglect that the platform has endured for many years. Now this same administration wants to remove benchmarking and its remarkable compendium of logs and photographs, one of the elements that helped the company survive its infancy. Let’s examine the reasons that they have stated for this wrongheaded decision: The game is global and benchmarking is a United States pursuit. As others have stated, there are multiple geocaching pursuits that are all or nearly all US based among them the APE cache(s), the original stash plaque and various events limited to HQ and environs. So “globalism” does not make a compelling argument. Very few people engage in benchmarking so it doesn’t make economic sense to support it. This should be entered in a dictionary of “self fulfilling prophesies” as a quintessential example. I can think of no other segment of the Groundspeak universe that has received as little marketing and promotion as benchmarking. For quite some time you have had to stumble over it to find it compared to everything else. I know some people that primarily looked for benchmarks during the early part of the pandemic before much was known about the virus’s survivability on caches or other surfaces. Imagine what a boost it would have been to the hobby if Groundspeak had actively promoted benchmarking during that time. The code is old and upkeep is costly. Who’s fault is that? I am certain that the code running the geocache part of the platform is not from 2002. I’ve lived through outages (that I fully understand) caused by multiple upgrades over the years. The ONLY reason we are at this juncture is because administration decided not to spend the money years ago to do the maintenance needed on the benchmarking side. Now we, the paying customer, will pay the price by losing part of the game. Shame on you, Groundspeak, for failing to spend our money wisely. Speaking of spending our money wisely, now I turn to the excuse that the benchmarking code is getting in the way of new and exciting projects. I have no idea what those are because no one has shared that information. Unlike some members of this board I have no faith, based on the last decade of “innovations” some of which have gone by the wayside, that I and many like me will find them a good trade for removing benchmarking. Imagine if the money lost on some of those “innovations” had been directed at upgrading the benchmarking code. Groundspeak likes to talk about the “Language of Location” The language of location in the United States was established by the survey crews that gradually established the network of horizontal and vertical locations that enabled the building of roads and bridges, homes and factories, canals and railroads, cities and towns that made the USA. This was often backbreaking work in inhospitable conditions. It required axe work and lugging surveying chains as often as using precision instruments like theodolites. These precisely measured locations (whether horizontal, vertical or both) are still used today, even in the era of the Global Positioning System, to make sure that water doesn’t flow in the wrong direction, houses aren’t built on the wrong property and for many other reasons. As benchmarkers we have helped find missing markers and reported those that have been destroyed. As august a presence as Dave Doyle, retired NGS chief geodetic surveyor, recently said in the Benchmarking forum “Many thanks to so many who have posted great pictures and hand-held positions that I've been able to harvest and improve the quality of tens of thousands of stations in the National Spatial Reference System.” Perhaps if Jeremy, Bryan, Elias or one of the more public facing lackeys had ever made the hike to station Buttermilk, (https://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=LX4113) the oldest surviving triangulation station in the country, they might have experienced the same sense of awe and history that I did when I visited that site. But none of them did, despite traveling to many parts of the USA to promote Groundspeak and its activities (and, for many of the lackeys, to geocache.) They might have learned with a little research that Ferdinand Hassler, the first superindentent of the US Coast Survey, spent two weeks in June of 1833 with his wagon of instruments and his survey team setting this mark. I’ve been to the Original Stash Plaque and the Tunnel of Light APE cache. They are certainly historical but not remotely in the same class as finding Station Buttermilk. The only things that have come close are finding TU2116 (https://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=TU2116) a benchmark placed by the Republic of Hawaii (check your history boys and girls) in 1896 and GS0206 (https://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=GS0206) a gravity station in Death Valley (there are as many types of “benchmarks” as there are geocaches, some as rare as webcams.) None of the solutions that have been proposed on this forum have the same functionality as the current system. Waymaking does not have the database, NGS DataExplorer does not have the photographs and NOAA certaily does not want recovery notes every few months on the more popular and easily found stations. Finally, eliminating benchmarking from this site would be the equivilant of burning down a unique and valuable library, a library that has played a far more valuable civic role than any other aspect of this hobby. The current situation of low usage and old code is primarliy the result of decisions, conscious or subconscious, made by Groundspeak’s administration over the years. These same people can fix the problem by spending the money to revamp the system and market the activity. To rather spend money to move the hobby further from its roots toward more instant gratification may result in short term gain but long term loss. I urge reconsideration of this decision. Benchmarking is this community’s connection to the history of geolocation. Let’s strengthen that connection, not lose it. Michaelcycle and Susancycle
  2. I got a taste of what when I had a temporary mobility problem. I broke my right ankle while looking for a cache. Finally after almost 3 months I could try to cache again but I had to be careful. So I picked T1 caches. It was a lesson in frustration. I ended up driving sometimes for hours to find a cache I could do wearing an ankle brace and using a cane. I'd walk a kilometre on a nice crushed stone level rail trail and when I was 50m from the cache I'd stare down a steep rocky slope with a little 3 foot wide creek at the bottom that needed to be jumped over. Or I'd get to a cemetery but the cache would be a 50m trek at the back of the cemetery into the woods through thick brush and fallen trees. It happened far too often. I complained here in the forums but got little sympathy. Mostly the talk was about the minutiae of what T1 means. And how handicapped people need to bring someone with them to do the retrieving. Unfortunately few people can empathize with the problem. Why post a cache as a T1 if it isn't actually a flat accessible surface all the way to the cache? At least post a T1.5. Why not err on the side of a terrain rating that is a little higher (a T2+) than too low. It's probably a statistics thing. T1 is probably covetted for grid fillers and challenge enthusiasts. I agree, it is cruel.
  3. Yes, after my recent run-in with this that saw months of cache preparation go down the gurgler, I'll give it as many up-votes as I can. This is supposed to be the Year of the Hide and there's been much talk about the contribution COs make to the game, but this is something that would actually be really helpful to cache owners. The Help Centre says "Solve nearby geocaches, including Mystery and Multi-Caches, to discover hidden stages" but that's of no help once you've found those solved mysteries and multis because all you see on any of the site's maps is a smiley face at the posted coordinates.
  4. Just like GC didn't update the database with new info from NGS, NGS does not have all the recovery info and pictures that have been posted here. Can't compare the two, sadly. Please note, if anyone submits information, to keep it professional, and only update it if it hasn't been in a year or more, OR, if something major has changed. No names, no funny stories. Those are used by professionals, and whatever you put in there is never deleted, never removed, and will be publicly available forever. I'll be removing the links to the GC site from my Android app and GE plugin then. They were useful before, with additional pictures and all, but if they're all gonna be wiped, there's absolutely no reason to link to GC anymore. Whatever this new project is, I won't even be interested. Frankly, if GC shows it 1/10th the love that it showed benchmarks in the last 22 years, the 'new project' will be gone in 5 years, and I don't have the time to set up a new API and program in new info trading for something that's not gonna last. Sadly, same here. I was a premium member for one time, and when BM code updates stopped happening, it wasn't worth it. I don't geocache, it bores me. (And the one time I DID? Someone stole the geocoin.) While the BM Forum has died down to a quiet whisper, I still checked it regularly, and enjoyed the talk and banter. Disappointed, but not surprised that it was going to happen, just am that it happening this soon. [Edited by Moderator to remove potty language.]
  5. This is just another thing that GC is taking away from me, all of those places and logs and pictures that are just going to be deleted forever. My dead husband and I spent many hours, miles and love of a sport that is now going to be gone. I could come here and at least relive those times he and I had together. So, this is truly goodbye GC. On November 1, without our benchmarking logs and without being able to go to Off Topic to talk to friends that I had made there, there will be no reason for me to return. You have caused me many tears and heartache this year. There is nothing else you could do, as we had archived all our caches before John died in 2019. So this year you killed off, Off Topic and now Benchmark Hunting plus deleting all mention of any of the logs and the Benchmark forum as well. I have a very bad case of heartache right now, thanks to a place that we used to love coming to and where I could come to be with people who remembered John. There, I have had my say, and I know it won't mean a whit to anyone. But, it had to be said. Sincerely, Shirley Bloomfield
  6. Wow, that's impressive. I sometimes wish TB's could talk, and let us know the story of their journey between the logs. Was it someone that simply stopped caching and found the TB's after a while and sent them out again? Someone that passed away and their partner / relative / friend set the TB's free? Did someone buy them at a garage sale not knowing what they were? A TB hoarder who was visited by the ghosts of caches past?
  7. Ironic that you include Wherigos on there. Talk about something you all have let stagnate forever that had so much potential that just became quizzes and reverse solvable before you go junk. Benchmarks are a part of history. No move of a level playing field, actually. It's there or it's not. Just like a cache. OMG what a concept. And even when it's not people still log it as a cache. Cool - so other parts of the world don't have benchmarks. SO? Kinda like a HQ or Maze or Giga icon. Sure, maybe they get around, but to the masses? Rationale for this is weak. Nobody: Nobody: Cachers: Benchmarkers: Newbies: Literally nobody ever in any way shape or form: Groundspeak: Yeah, let's go ahead and stop doing something that takes us literally no effort and that, while only a small group of people love it they really do love it, and just up and cancel it for no reason whatsoever with nominal notice and call it 'progress'.
  8. No, it's the same issue that I described previously. Comcast is now throttling Weekly Mailer messages we attempt to send by deferment, so our server keeps retrying until the message is accepted or expired. In this case, it took ~4 days. Here are the logs: Sep 30 13:40:36 signal2 postfix/error[18592]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=0.1, delays=0.1/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta34.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 14:21:55 signal2 postfix/error[27076]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=2478, delays=2478/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta24.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 15:15:28 signal2 postfix/error[26069]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=5692, delays=5692/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta10.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 17:31:19 signal2 postfix/error[21426]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=13842, delays=13842/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta19.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 21:50:24 signal2 postfix/error[21488]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=29388, delays=29388/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta25.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 02:20:11 signal2 postfix/error[17888]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=45575, delays=45575/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta25.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 06:50:08 signal2 postfix/error[14401]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=61771, delays=61767/4.3/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta28.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 11:20:24 signal2 postfix/error[10233]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=77988, delays=77967/21/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta09.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 15:50:18 signal2 postfix/error[5719]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=94181, delays=94167/15/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta30.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 20:20:06 signal2 postfix/error[1014]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=110369, delays=110367/2.6/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta29.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 00:50:09 signal2 postfix/error[29149]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=126572, delays=126572/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta12.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 05:20:20 signal2 postfix/error[24714]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=142783, delays=142764/19/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta32.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 09:50:20 signal2 postfix/error[20450]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=158983, delays=158965/19/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta27.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 14:20:05 signal2 postfix/error[15686]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=175169, delays=175165/3.9/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta02.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 18:50:05 signal2 postfix/error[11213]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=191369, delays=191365/4/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta21.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 23:20:32 signal2 postfix/error[5842]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=207596, delays=207564/32/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta26.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 3 03:50:18 signal2 postfix/error[1119]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=223782, delays=223765/17/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta12.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 3 08:20:09 signal2 postfix/error[28593]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=239973, delays=239966/7/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta38.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 3 12:50:08 signal2 postfix/error[23322]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=256172, delays=256167/4.6/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta17.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 3 17:20:18 signal2 postfix/error[18820]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=272382, delays=272367/15/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta08.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 3 21:50:19 signal2 postfix/smtp[13687]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147]:25, delay=288583, delays=288567/15/0.3/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta18.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 4 02:20:12 signal2 postfix/smtp[8287]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147]:25, delay=304776, delays=304768/6.3/0.3/0.7, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250 2.0.0 YxL81m02s3RP4Bm0QxL95o mail accepted for delivery) And I still don't get one.
  9. No, it's the same issue that I described previously. Comcast is now throttling Weekly Mailer messages we attempt to send by deferment, so our server keeps retrying until the message is accepted or expired. In this case, it took ~4 days. Here are the logs: Sep 30 13:40:36 signal2 postfix/error[18592]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=0.1, delays=0.1/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta34.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 14:21:55 signal2 postfix/error[27076]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=2478, delays=2478/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta24.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 15:15:28 signal2 postfix/error[26069]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=5692, delays=5692/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta10.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 17:31:19 signal2 postfix/error[21426]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=13842, delays=13842/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta19.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Sep 30 21:50:24 signal2 postfix/error[21488]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=29388, delays=29388/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta25.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 02:20:11 signal2 postfix/error[17888]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=45575, delays=45575/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta25.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 06:50:08 signal2 postfix/error[14401]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=61771, delays=61767/4.3/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta28.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 11:20:24 signal2 postfix/error[10233]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=77988, delays=77967/21/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta09.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 15:50:18 signal2 postfix/error[5719]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=94181, delays=94167/15/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta30.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 1 20:20:06 signal2 postfix/error[1014]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=110369, delays=110367/2.6/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta29.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 00:50:09 signal2 postfix/error[29149]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=126572, delays=126572/0/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta12.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 05:20:20 signal2 postfix/error[24714]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=142783, delays=142764/19/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta32.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 09:50:20 signal2 postfix/error[20450]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=158983, delays=158965/19/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta27.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 14:20:05 signal2 postfix/error[15686]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=175169, delays=175165/3.9/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx1.comcast.net[68.87.26.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta02.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 18:50:05 signal2 postfix/error[11213]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=191369, delays=191365/4/0/0, dsn=4.0.0, status=deferred (delivery temporarily suspended: host mx2.comcast.net[76.96.40.147] refused to talk to me: 421 imta21.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net comcast Try again later) Oct 2 23:20:32 signal2 postfix/error[5842]: DBBC5702B75: to=<earl.anderson@comcast.net>, relay=none, delay=207596, delays=207564/32/0/0, 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2.0.0 YxL81m02s3RP4Bm0QxL95o mail accepted for delivery)
  10. I should clarify: the OP is more than welcome to learn how to tree/rock/whatever-climb. I'm not trying to gatekeep this sport. But because it's being presented as "I want to find a couple caches that are high up in trees, where can I buy rope?", I am anxious for the OPs safety. It is not the right mindset here. The question they really should have asked is "where can I learn how to climb trees/rocks/whatever safety." OP: Learn how to climb rocks/trees/whatever in a rock/tree/whatever-climbing class. Use the gear provided by instructors. Make sure you are comfortable. Talk to the instructors. They will be more than happy to help you find rope, harnesses, etc. They are the experts, not random strangers on a Geocaching forum.
  11. This puzzle cache was a 5 difficulty and went unfound for a couple of years. It was eventually found, and has since been archived. I have what I believe are the right coords. Any one know what the GC number was, and anyone know anyone who found it, who I can bounce my coords off of, and talk about how they solved it? I have picture of the puzzle, it was a short story, with the coords buried in it.
  12. Hello Very new to all this but I'm completely hooked already! I've hidden a cache near my house. Today, when I was sweeping the drive, a treasure hunter came for the cache. When she'd logged the stash she came over to talk to me about the gadget I was using to get the weeds out of my drive. Should I have mentioned that it was my cache??? I wanted to but didn't know what the etiquette was.
  13. If you don't need the vicar in the zone after the player talks to him, you could move the vicar to the next zone as the first command when you talk to him. If you still need him around in the current zone, you should be able to disable the command, at which point the player app is supposed to be smart enough to recognize there isn't an object in that zone anymore that has that command. If that's not the case--it really depends on how the player app handles things--disabling the command and then toggling the zone's enabled state should do the trick. So: - On Talk() - - Disable Talk command - - Set zone.Enabled = false - - Set zone.Enabled = true - - Do things for Talk
  14. Please can you advise how to shut off the talk to command for each zone. I am doing a Church Wherigo and I want the vicar to pop up at each question point. As such he is in zone 1, has a talk to command, asks a question, gives commands to move on or retry if answer wrong or right. I am stuck at the next bit, as in how do I turn off the talk to, or attribute it to one zone only so I can do a further talk to at zone 2...
  15. Not wishing to sound negative, but these days that's not as easy as it looks. Some years back, a large multinational media company bought up all the regional newspapers in Australia and, under the pretext of COVID, shut down the print editions and put the online editions behind their national newspaper's paywall. Notwithstanding, though, there have been occasional radio segments about geocaching, both on the local radio stations and the state-wide broadcaster, and I think at one time a presenter on one of the local stations was actually a geocacher. We also had a mega nearby in 2018 that got a lot of local publicity and I'm pretty sure Geocaching NSW ran a series of newcomer-welcoming events in recent times. As far as I can tell, though, this type of publicity has a pretty low success rate, with most of the longer-term cachers around here coming into the game by either knowing an existing cacher or discovering it through their own browsings. I saw it in an article in an outdoor adventure magazine, though I'd heard of it prior to that but hadn't paid it much attention, but it was only by actually going out into the bush on my own terms and finding some caches that I really got hooked. Just reading about it, listening to a talk or even watching a demonstration won't do that. I don't know what the number of cachers as a percentage of population is nationally but I'd imagine it'd be pretty low, probably about one in ten thousand. The muggle population of my local area (the Woy Woy Peninsula) is about 36,000 and the whole of the Central Coast is about ten times that, so our number of cachers probably isn't that low as a percentage, it's just we don't have very many people to start with. I think the bigger problem we have here is that the focus of the game has shifted from outdoor adventure to quick points-scoring. The newer P&G caches around here don't seem to have any shortage of finders, like GX8P7PD at Terrigal that was published in April and has 23 finders, or GC92TXE at Mooney Mooney that was published in February and has 21 finds. Top of the list on the Central Coast is the Adventure Lab bonus cache GC9M49Z that was published in January and has 35 finds. It's the bushland hides that are really languishing, like GC9QR5W that's only had one finder (me) since it was published in April, yet I really think it's the non-P&G hides that keep people in the game long-term. For me at any rate, if the only caches available in 2013 had been mint tins in parking lot guard rails, I'd have lost interest in a matter of weeks.
  16. The approach I've used for locations that haven't already had official geocaching policies has been to ask who I should talk to about getting permission. I don't ask "random employees" for permission. But I do my best to find someone who might know, and then ask that person who I should talk to.
  17. Your town has caches owned by several different folks that are at least logging into the website in the last few weeks and granted 200ish caches within 30 miles is not a large amount I bet the number of folks that feel similarly are higher than you'd guess. My point is business as usual is not going to change things so try something different, all we hear is doom and gloom. From old GS blog: "`But there might be one you own that most local geocachers have already found and the location is not frequented by tourists. It could be time to archive it and free up the area, or you might consider creating a new and improved cache!" As I recall this blog post was not well received here, but I agree with it. Talk to the local hiders. Try something new something different. Encourage your unknown neighbors to hide new caches. Not everyone goes to events so they may be out there. Take that rusty tin with mushy log and throw it away and replace it with a shiny new cache. I had a local cacher approach me if I wanted to join their competition to find lonely caches as I had recently found 2, do something with hides maybe. Click on any new finders and see if they are local and encourage them to join. Just trying to help
  18. Here is the message I received, I'm not available, so I thought I put it out there. Please reply if you contact Michelle, so she doesn't get hammered. ______________________________ Does your brother know of an avid geocacher that would like to give a brief 10 minute talk about geocaching and travel bugs…possibly including a few personal stories? If so, do you mind passing their info to me and I’ll forward to Doug, please? The time commitment would be on 4/12 from 4pm for 10 minutes and they could stay until 6pm when the event is over or only stay for 10-15 minutes. Thanks so much!! J Michelle Michelle Watson College of Technology and Innovation 6049 S. Backus Mall, Sutton Rm 301L Mesa, AZ 85212 (480) 727-1881 phone
  19. Come watch Geocache Talk on Sunday night - this podcast show's topic is desirable attributes, which may include talk related to identifying gadget caches At this point though, the Field Puzzle attribute is most relevant to identifying potential gadget caches.
  20. Why do some people drive 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane? Why do some people sit directly behind you in an almost empty movie theater, then talk throughout the movie? It's because they're jerks, and they're doing it because they can. If they get a reaction from you, it's all the better for them. Sadly, there's not much you can do about them - jerks will always find a way to be a jerk.
  21. BlueDeuce

    Tech Talk

    In the last few months I haven't been keeping up on the latest changes. I see that now deleting a bug log does result in sending the logger an email. What else am I missing? What else do the TB forum support people want to talk about? (without having it pinned)
  22. marsik123

    Swedish talk

    Hej! I am swedish and would like to know more words and phrases!
  23. We've all had good times caching. A memorable day, a record setting PT run, or finding the perfect spot for a perfect cache by accident. What about the other side of the coin? Lets share our failure days/puzzles/hides.... whatever. I'm really hoping this thread doesn't turn into any sort of negative attack thread, please lets just keep it to our own (or our groups) failure days, and lets keep it fun. Over the last several days, I've been planning a trip for today. Trying to figure out where to go, find somebody to go with me, figure out which caches, etc... I decided on Bodega Bay, CA. 15-20 caches planned, two of which are some of the oldest in California. My son and I were going to spend a special day at the ocean, caching, and just relaxing. That was before I was up all night with stuff flying out of both ends of me like I was Linda Blair. Very, very uncool. Your turn....
  24. So I'm getting ready to hide a few new caches and decided to use a .30 cal ammo can and a decon container for two of them. There is a small military surplus dealer in town so I stopped by to pick some up. I hadn't been there for three years but the last time I was there .30 cal ammo cans were $6.99 and decon containers were about three or four bucks. So I went in and asked for a decon container and they guy asked me weather I wanted the regular one or the geocache version. I ask what the difference is and he says the geocache version just has a note pad and a pencil in it. I ask about price and he says $10 for a regular and $30 for a geocache!!! I think my jaw hit the counter top. I didn't even bother to ask about ammo can prices but I did notice a couple of .30 cal cans sitting on the floor with price tags of $24.99! Don't think I'll be going back there again.
  25. I'm certain I'm not alone in becoming increasingly frustrated about the lack of feedback and information from Groundspeak about the overwhelming dissatisfaction of what looks to be the majority of Geocaching.com's users. As a Premium Member who gave money in good faith to use your service, when that service is seriously downgraded (in my opinion--here in the UK we have no satellite/hybrid maps, and MapQuest is not as accurate as it should be), you have an obligation to address our concerns with more than a "I hope you get used to the new maps." Tell us in plain words what you are doing to restore your service to its previous level, or say straight out that we're going to have to like it or leave it. The vague comments and subtle snipes I've seen from Groundspeak forum moderators are creating even more bad feelings and frustration amongst those who are unhappy about the changes, so instead of allowing them to continue to communicate in this manner, please, I'd like a member of Groundspeak who has the authority to speak on the company's behalf to address the Geocaching.com community. To fellow Premium Members: I for one will not be giving any more money to Groundspeak unless the maps are sorted. I would like to let Groundspeak see how many others feel the same way. Please speak up on this thread to let them know if you will or will not be re-subscribing.
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