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  1. I wouldn't consider travelling anywhere at present, unless it was for an important reason, such as medical. Europe is having a surge in Covid. Fine to talk about future trips in years to come, but to talk about a trip this year appears to be living in an alternative universe, where there is no Covid. As for myself, I don't know when I will be able to travel overseas next (our borders are closed); maybe not even next year, unless the few remaining Covid caches in Australia (I think about 15 new cases today) can be eradicated and we can make a bubble with NZ and perhaps some Pacific Islands. Even some state borders are closed to cross border visits. My last new country was PNG in February.
  2. Wow! Lots of new caches. Yet you and your friends are complaining? That seems odd, particularly since there's every reason to think the established COs that are on the ball enough to put out caches when the trail is available are odds on favorites to have better caches and do better maintenance than your friends who only just recently got the bug and could well lose it as easily as they got it. Anyway, teach your friends that they can reach out to the owners and talk about them making some room on the trail. Just emphasize that if the CO makes room for them, that it would be really embarrassing to you, as their mentors, if the cache they hide on the trail don't compare favorably to the caches the CO pulled for them.
  3. Hi all, A couple of geocaching video creators from New Zealand recently shared an interesting talk about the events leading up to Selective Availability being disabled. I thought it was really interesting and wanted to share it here. From the video description: "This Cache Walk is a talk by Jason Kim from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, Washington, D.C. He talks about turning off the Selected Availability (SA) feature in 2000 which increased the GPS accuracy to the public allowing the game of geocaching to begin." I hope you enjoy this.
  4. Why would they need to hide geocaches to battleship the finals? They could just use the saturation checker without actually submitting any caches for review. This is not the first time this topic has come up. Here is one of Keystone's replies to one of the earlier threads: So, suppose I tell you that your proposed location is 110m northwest of the final coordinates for "Cacher Conundrum," a five-star puzzle cache that only four people have ever solved and logged in the past three years. Armed with that intelligence, you track down the container and sign the log at the same time when you move your cache to a spot that's 162m away. What do I get for being helpful? A flaming email from the CO of "Cacher Conundrum," who also posts to three Facebook groups, and files a complaint with Geocaching HQ that I gave away secret information and ruined the puzzle cache. Having had that happen to us enough times, reviewers nowadays are constrained to be less forthcoming with details. Depending on your reviewer, you may get a hint, like "you are less than 161m from "Cacher Conundrum," GCABCDE, or you may get a hint that you should strongly consider moving to the southeast, or you may not get any guidance at all. So, that's how come. In a world where people hack lab caches and share the final coordinates of puzzle caches in Facebook groups, the inevitable outcome of such a feature would be to spoil every puzzle cache, multicache and Wherigo cache, plus a fair percentage of letterbox hybrid caches. There are people who like placing and finding these cache types. Geocaching.com has chosen not to alienate them by ruining the ability to keep the actual locations a secret. "But all I need is a distance and direction," you might say. So, the cheater simply enters enough coordinates into the planner tool to permit them to hone in on the actual location through triangulation. Think that can't happen? Talk to the travel bug stalkers who watch for drops of trackables in unpublished caches so they can figure out the locations and log a pre-publication "FTF." Talk to the group of cachers who hid traditionals in every conceivable spot within two miles of a 5-star puzzle, knowing they'd eventually "battleship" their way to a hit, and then they could do a scorched earth hunt within that area. I foiled them by publishing their cache even though it was 200 feet away from the puzzle final. Reviewers are smart humans*, you see, and that is better than an automated system. *Many reviewers are dogs.
  5. For me, there are a few bad cacher types, on various degrees of bad. They have one thing in common: No regard for others. - Cache saboteurs. In the worst case, they damage the cache, intentionally or not. They break locks, pry boxes open, disassemble what should not be taken apart. Others leave it in a bad state that ruins the experience for others, not putting things back properly. - Throwdowns. Didn't solve the puzzle? Just put in a fake log! Didn't find the cache? Or couldn't reach it? Hang a petling at face hight and pretend it is the cache. - Copy-pasters. Looong boring logs about nothing (just to fake that author badge) and not a single word about the cache, on a special, unique cache with much work in it. Yes it is legal. Legal to be impolite. I don't mind a TFTC much, but getting piles and piles of these boring copy-paste logs on something I have worked hard on... it makes me considering quitting the hobby. Really. - People who can't communicate. People who misunderstand everything, takes offense when you try to help them, or don't respond. Can be both COs and finders. But now I'd better think about the good cachers. Cachers who have fun and let me know it. Cachers that are careful. Cachers that you can talk to.
  6. I'm a Boy Scout GC Merit Badge Counselor as well. It was alluded to above, but one of the biggest headaches with teaching kids about caching EVEN if they all get it (watch out for the uninterested kid in the back) and buy into all the etiquette, respect for the CO's effort, time and money and the collegiate nature of the hobby (NOT "US (cachers) vs. THEM (hiders)", but rather a collaboration) is that they now know about something REALLY KOOL and they HAVE TO tell everyone about it! So, they talk about it and "C'mon; I'll show you!" And, it's gone; a nifty ammo can left at the mercy of uninterested, uninitiated kids with no perspective on the game. MAYBE, your Scout is left standing there shouting, "Hey, wait! You can't take that with you!" What a spot to put them in. What I've done, especially with younger Scouts is start with and keep pushing the concept that GeoCaching is like a club; a club that's an honor to be a part of, and you're being trusted with secrets that CANNOT be shared. As sacred as the Cub Scout Oath! Would you tell any of your friends where your family keeps the secret Hide-a-Key outside your house? This is the SAME THING! Play it up for all it's worth; you'll be exposing the time, money and effort of a lot of local people to the whims of little kids. ALSO, if you take them hunting, consider reaching out to a few local CO's and asking them if they mind if you take Cub Scouts to their hides. If the local Cub Pack went after mine, I might not be all that enthused.
  7. Really good point. I will make sure to emphasize this when we talk with the scouts.
  8. When I have taught kids that age geocaching, I've spent about half an hour explaining the basics of geocaching to them, with lots of hands on props. For example, I pass around containers of various sizes, I pass around examples of trackables, and I pass around examples of trade items. Then I take them out to practice geocaching. For a one-hour class, I will have set up a couple dozen hides in a small outdoor area near my classroom, and then I have the kids stay behind a line and raise their hands when they've spotted a hidden container. If I have more time for an actual geocaching hike, then I take them to a park or open space some distance away from home so we can find actual caches there. (The half-hour talk can happen at the trailhead right before the hike, or it can happen beforehand with a brief reminder of the rules before the hike.) I specifically DO NOT take them to find urban/suburban caches in the neighborhood. Even if I trust all my kids completely, I don't necessarily trust their friends and classmates who hear about hidden treasure in the neighborhood.
  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, 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.
  10. 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)
  11. Yes, I used the basic stuff to glue the paper down and do the initial seal over the top, then sealed it with spray-on acrylic outdoor furniture sealer. I think I ended up with two coats of Mod Podge and three coats of sealer. The sealer I used is Dulux Duramax which is supposed to be pretty good for wooden outdoor stuff. Assuming it doesn't get scratched on a sharp edge somewhere, breaking the seal and letting the water in. I've heard people suggesting nail varnish as being relatively robust, or mixing up some epoxy resin / UV resin but I don't have either available.. Totally agree. My preference is to make TB proxies in etched aluminium though my current method isn't working as well as I'd like (correction - the results are pretty good, it's the hours of prep and lead up work that I'm trying to streamline). I also tried simple letter and number steel punch on aluminium which is great for making a quick and easy proxy (about six minutes for this one) but I need to slow down and use some guides or something to help keep the lettering even. I'd also really like to make things by melting and recycling HDPE plastic but that's better for swag than TB's (mass produce the same thing over and over again once the mold is made). Due to my wife having lung issues I'm reluctant to do anything that will generate a lot of chemical fumes. Which also takes resin casting off the table. I'd prefer to, as you suggest, use water resistant / proof labels, but my main consideration is keeping costs down. If I can buy a standard TB for AUD$9 (average price to get one shipped here in northern Australia) and it's going to cost me $10 or more to make the proxy, then I may as well just send out the original TB. I have scrap aluminium and the punch set, so that method is almost free for me. I had some leftover sheet wood, sealer and paint from another project, so I wanted to use those up on something - hence this idea. The most expensive part of these was the mod podge, which I can use on other projects as well. On my math, these cost me just shy of $2 each to produce (plus the cost of the TB's, but I keep those at home and only send proxies out). It would have been less, but I had the first couple of attempts that didn't work out. Unless I factor in my time, then they would be horribly expensive and it would be cheaper to just go to a laser engraving place and get them to make some professional ones with their industrial laser. That would be pretty cool! But with this method, I still have a lot of material left over, so if I wanted to make another dozen it would almost be free (other than time and buying TB codes) and the cost of printing the designs onto paper. Plus I also take pleasure in making things and trying out new methods. Agreed, which is why I started my first post with an apology. It's my old sales training rearing it's ugly head - make the headline attention-grabbing, anger-inducing or have an error and people will talk about it. Very rude of me. Also agreed, but the average life expectancy of a TB around here is 3 - three months or three caches - then they disappear. If these are travelling long enough to start deteriorating from age or the elements then I'll be delightfully surprised. At which point I can either create a new one to re-release or post a replacement out to whoever has the old one. Overall I'm mostly happy with how these turned out and I'll be releasing them soon. I did make a deliberate mistake in that they don't have a hole to add a hitch hiker, because I figured if I left a hole through the wood with a ball chain, it would rub and cut open the seal - leading to water, swelling and destruction. I don't think I'll be making any more in this style anytime soon (maybe next year?) but I am looking for other options on how to make low-cost, durable proxies that can travel around. I got hold of some nice scrap 3mm (1/8in) aluminium which could make some nice GeoCoins, but I don't have the tooling to work with this size material yet.
  12. Nope, but I know of several geocaching vloggers who are trading swag for money found in caches and donating the money they collect to St. Jude's Children's hospital as part of the Geocache Talk podcast's "Podcast of Hope" (St. Jude's fundraiser) this year. They're calling their effort "Coins for Kids".
  13. Oh, and the lack of pagination is a fairly hilarious UI failure by the way. Talk about Unintended Consequences.
  14. Any news on this matter? Talk to us!
  15. I was trying to use the new search on my phone to look up my recently found caches. I gave it an honest try. I went in to do a couple simple searches. WOW it feels like 3 steps backwards from the old search! First and most importantly: Having only one parameter viewable at a time is extremely inefficient and results in a significant loss in functionality. Let's say I want to find the terrain rating of several caches I found a couple weeks ago. First I click on my link to All Geocache Finds. Now I scroll down (scroll, scroll, scroll) to find the cache from a couple weeks ago. But it's only showing the found date so now I have to click terrain. Click the 3 dots. Click terrain. Now I'm back up at the top again! Scroll, scroll, scroll back down. Finally found it! Now how about the difficulty? Sigh... Click the 3 dots. Click difficulty. Back at the top. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Now when did I find that cache again? Double sigh... A simple task that used to take me seconds now is a huge chore. Here's a sample screenshot that shows JUST terrain on my phone: Also, where's the GC code? How come the GC code is missing on the mobile version, but not on the desktop version? I do, however, like that in the mobile version it does not say "Traditional", "Mystery", etc next to the cache icon. Next, I was surprised that while some caches take up only 2 lines (for both the title and the cache owner), some caches take up a whopping 5 lines! There's also an additional line added to tell me the cache is PREMIUM (6 lines of text are wasted in the screenshot below to tell me the various caches are premium). Talk about inefficient! It doesn't look very good at all, either! On the old search page, the columns were long enough such that the title and cache owner would ALWAYS fit on 2 lines. Next, I think there's a bug: my found date just disappears after some point? And finally, something a little strange, but when I'm at the top of the page, some caches show as 3 lines. But when I scroll down and the title rows freeze to the top, suddenly some of the caches switch to being 4 lines. It almost makes me sad to see how inefficient and buggy this new system is compared to the old search. As a tool with the intended use to be searches of recently found and owned caches, I just don't think the functionality is there.
  16. Well, first of all, to answer your question, of course you log the find. Why wouldn't you? As to the outraged property owner, what did you do to make him mad and why couldn't you resolve it? Did you talk to him or just ignore him? It seems as if you were in the perfect position to resolve his problem, but that requires you immediately accept his position as valid and apologizing profusely on behalf of the geocaching community and trying to understand his position about where his property was and whether the cache is on it. It could just be on his property, or it could be you accessed it through his property even though there was another way to GZ. For all I know, you tried to do all that, and he was just irrationally belligerent, so I'm not accusing you of doing anything wrong, but I think it's important to recognize that even irrationally belligerent is a valid response if the cache was -- or just you were -- really were on his property. As others have mentioned, naturally you'd post an NA in addition to your find unless you work out with the property owner that there really isn't a problem with the cache itself, and even in that case it sounds like the lease you need to post is an NM explaining what needs to be done so that this person's property rights are violated.
  17. The old search is still there. They just have to change back the links, talk about an easy fix. Of course that would mean admitting they were wrong.
  18. 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.
  19. Sent my info to Laval K-9: 2.27.21Name received from Laval K-9: 3.6.21Sent my gift: 3.10.21My gift arrived at destination: 3.15.21I received a gift: 4.19.21 I had the surprise of a mission in my mailbox tonight! Thank you Semmels123! The Triceratops coin is impressive and the light up tag is cool! I totally noticed yours when I was doing the Geocache Talk "live coverage" of the Texas Counties Finishers Event. Thanks for all the Kansas and sweet treats too.
  20. Compairing numbers as always - the more the better!? Who is the "better" hider? It is not about the numbers but about many other factors. I "only" have hidden 37 caches in 12 years (plus events which I don't count). My current goal is to hide one (in numbers: 1) cache per year so even less then before. My latest mystery cache took me more than 100 hours of creating and in this time I could have thrown out 100 simple traditionals. So please do not look for the pure numbers if you want to "judge" others. I don't want to compare my overall effort in cache hiding to someone with several 100 hides. And I know that there are great cache owners who created one cache that took them years to build - I don't want to compare with them either. It is not about the numbers but about if you (!) like the caches. And that's subjective, of course, so I don't want to talk about cache quality here (*). :-) Jochen (*) Mine are the best, of course! :-)
  21. And there's the difference. I don't agree with the highlighted statement. Again, we're asking different questions. I agree we're discussing our opinions. I don't pretend to be presenting the only correct answer. But I'm justifying my position, I'm not just pushing one answer. So, for example, please explain why the number you think is better is concrete and meaningful. I think we all agree that all registered geocachers isn't meaningful. I'm using the time period of the last month because it excludes people that have already quit, particularly the fly-by-night phone cachers that everyone loves to complain about. The complaint against that is it cuts out the ardent but occasional geocachers, which I don't deny is a valid concern, but I see absolutely no way to count them concretely. I've also explained why I think I'm interpreting the OP's question as more about boots on the ground and why it seems unlikely they're thinking about people that talk about geocaching without actually looking for geocaches. In other words, I'm discussing our opinions to flesh out what numbers we could actually count and what meaning they'd really have. The observation that we all have different opinions is as obvious as it is unhelpful. What I'd be more interested in are actual ways to count something that would produce a more interesting result, not just people complaining that I'm not including this or that group that they hold close to their hearts.
  22. Each summer I usually host two ice cream socials but haven't hosted one since 2019. I've hosted 16 ice cream socials in the same location, a great homemade ice cream shop nearby. I also enjoy hosting GIFF events, I rent a movie theater out and people donate to help pay for it. I'm in NJ but I get attendees from NJ, NY, PA, and CT regularly. It's a lot of fun. Of my 102 geocache hides, 40 have been events. I've learned that "if you host it, they will come. And talk about geocaching."
  23. Like "child molesters and people who talk at the theater."
  24. Hi, the new system won't upload my fieldnotes at all as in my visits.txt file there are more than a thousand drafts from the recent years and the system tells me that it can't upload more than a 1000 drafts at once and nothing happens. So I conclude that it tries to upload all of them. So probably it is just for the first time as I have never used the new system before (because of that reason!)? That's not very self-explanatory so thank you very much for your information. If I understand you correctly I have to upload an empty visits.txt ONCE to activate the "don't upload drafts before ...." feature and next time using the new system it will only take the newer ones? But if I ever switch back to the old system I have problems again as the systems don't talk to each other? Thanks again. Jochen
  25. I agree that you've pointed out a problem we should consider. It actually never occurred to me before that there was no checking of ALs for overlap, but I suppose that's because there are no rules against overlap, as far as I know. Should there be? I have no idea whether there's any kind of approval process for ALs, but if there isn't should there be? All valid question. The specific example strikes me as a big "meh", though. You friend decided to switch back and forth. More power to him if he finds that the best way. I'd be more inclined to do them one at a time, ignoring any redundancy, and possibly using it to advantage by enjoying the park a second time on another day to do the second AL. I'll certainly concede the example and join you in discussing it. But, in the end, I don't consider this a problem and would have no trouble with the resulting rules and procedures continued to allow overlapping ALs. I'm particularly concerned about forbidding two ALs exploring completely different aspects of the same area. I'd be OK with that if we talk it through and decide to do it, like traditional cache distance requirements, but I'd also want to consider a more EarthCache approach where ALs can be close as long as they don't overlap in subject matter. To me, the only clearly demonstrated problem here is that AL creators have no way to find out about each other so they could avoid such overlaps if they wanted to. Any thoughts about what we can do about that? I have no interest in doing an AL, so I don't know whether there's anything mechanisms already in place that failed in this case.
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