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  1. I see more Hyundais on the road than BMWs, but that doesn't mean that Hyundais are the superior cars. That's because, in your analogy, BMW's cost much more than the Hyundais. In the GPS world the prices in each category run similar and an overwhelming Garmin market share was no accident. No, my point is that popularity is not a valid way to determine quality or value.
  2. I see more Hyundais on the road than BMWs, but that doesn't mean that Hyundais are the superior cars. That's because, in your analogy, BMW's cost much more than the Hyundais. In the GPS world the prices in each category run similar and an overwhelming Garmin market share was no accident. Garmin units have free (and legal) maps available at various online 3rd party sites and you can even make your own (after the learning curve). I wish the other manufacturers would realize that the ability to make and load maps made from freely available vector data (shapefiles) sells alot of GPS units. I like Delorme units but Magellan totally lost me with their Triton fail and I never looked back. It's possible that Maggie got their act together with the new eXplorist line but their mapping options dissapoint me (see above rant about making your own maps).
  3. Greetings from Finland! This thread just seems so cool and brand new avatars just amazing!! I can not do anything reasonably to pics, so hopefully some nice fellow would help me out. So here is my try. As my MC is BMW avatar might based on that figure. And it would be nice if it have geocaching/groudspeak logo colours in the middle. That just belongs there, right? It would be nice to replace text BMW with my alias hikerbiker... or shortie HB And one more thing. I'd like to get some more action to lame pic by adding front part of this MC to down right (inside) the coin. More nice ideas? I just can not wait to see what you can do with these
  4. the fuel prices have hit us. a lot harder than you. thats why we pay 5 times more than you. i fail to see "how you can say drive a heap of crap 2500 miles". i fial to see how you could moan about a 2 litre BMW. which will do over 40 mpg. and will be a lot more comfortable than a big lumbering truck.. ive driven 10,000's of miles per year, and could do it very comfortably in a 2 litre or less car. and thats on UK roads that are a lot faster then ones in america. and i think a 1.4 diesel will pollute a lot less than a 7 litre petrol. in fact i know it does as we pay tax based on the pollution levels. and why is it an american truck with a 5 litre engine can barely make 200HP, when british manufactuers can get more than that out of a 1.6 engine. the only difference is your safety equipment is you have a bigger drivers airbag, as less people wear seatbelts in america. so need a bigger bag. EURO NCAP safety tests are more stringent than USA equivilents. and i speak from experience, as my family live in north america, and drive north american cars. which i have driven. i will stick to my european comfort thank you. find me a better built american car than a BMW, mercedes or audi and i will buy one. but not until then.
  5. What do you think a business is? It's really just one or more individuals working to provide goods/services to others. The people who run companies have an obligation to provide financial information to the company's owners/investors. In the case of a public company, that includes potential owners/investors, which includes pretty much anyone, so they have to make such information public. That isn't the case for private companies like Groundspeak or the Chinese take-out place down the street. They're under no more obligation to make such information public than you and I are. Feel free to ask people (whether individuals or private companies) for private financial information. You have the right to ask. Just don't be surprised if they don't comply. And regarding the "support the site" comments: I don't support the site the way I support non-profit charities. That is a gift, and I receive no tangible value in exchange for my gift. I support the site the way I support local stores, by giving them my business. It isn't a gift. I'm paying for goods/services. But when I like what the company does (whether Groundspeak or the Chinese take-out place down the street), I'm happy that they profit when I do business with them, because that means that they will continue to run their company, and they will continue to provide the goods/services that I enjoy. Thank you for this post. I probably deleted four attempts at a response yesterday. Your post made the point much better than any of my attempts. That was indeed a nice post! Who doesn't love a Chinese food analogy? Better than the tired ice cream analogy. So much arrogance in these threads over the years, people even being called freeloaders for not ponying up $30/yr., especially when I'd say it's half at most of their revenue. Besides all that, the answer has been right under my nose the whole time. I myself work for a privately owned company of about 50 employees, about the same exact size as Groundspeak, Inc. Our sales are usually 5-6 Million dollars a year. The owner drives a BMW, owns a Yacht, and has a pretty nice house (I've been in it). Is he a millionaire? I'd say no. So I dunno, are there any Beemers in the Groundspeak parking lot?
  6. Only $30.00 to be an elitist for a full year! I can't believe how great this is; I can't afford a BMW or a second home in the Caymen Islands, I have to clean my own home and mow my own lawn, and I have even been known to purchase used items from thrift stores and garage sales so I never in all my dreams believed that I could be an elitist. WOW, I have finally made it, maybe next I can become a republican...maybe not.
  7. Bug's Motor Works, I Hope Buff BMW Bug Makes Major Mojo Winning Wandering Wrangle Beemer Go Zoom! Or, recursively speaking, BMW Motor Wayfarer
  8. My rusted, cracked windshield, muddy, s**tbox of a 1997 VW Golf (with a geocaching logo in the r/rear window, BTW). My numero uno cache machine. I've located caches while with my wife in her new BMW but I'm tired of hearing "do you have to open that filthy thing in here?" so I enjoy using the Golf.
  9. It does seem like a fair offer - but perhaps you can still contact their Customer Service Manager up in Joburg for a last try. I agree with your principle that it is a software problem - but the lack of warranty etc. is a bummer - I guess a bit like expensive BMW and Mercs that have Electronics that stop the car working - and only way out is to replace the black box at a high cost. Hope you get joy.
  10. You give up the BMW for a Toyota Tacoma so you have plenty of ground clearance to park on the side of the road. It's true! Dang! And I really liked that car.
  11. I was awarded a BMW company car when I was about 25. I had it three days before the wife acknowledged that my Mondeo had gone. She hated it, and it made me drive like a BMW driver. My next car was a Volvo V70, which was fantastic. I could ignore the rules of the road as long as I went slowly and shrugged alot to make it clear I was a stranger to the area.
  12. I'm a noob, and like Jeremy I'd like a commentary on "rule changes". Having said that, it doesn't matter if the forums are a cross section of cachers or not. People will gravitate to what they find useful. I also participate in a Boy Scout forum, and the very few posters there are absolutely no way in heck a respresentation of Scouting in general. Both forums are useful and fun, so I'm here. Its like the auto industry: Since I don't drive a BMW, the BMW club is useless to me. I'm still a car owner, just with differences.
  13. There may be many reasons why a persons find count is what it is. Besides that person may really get the bug and pick up their level of finds to one that you may find to be of value and their input worthy. But if they get the feeling their input is not worth anything early then they may never bother kicking it up. Good to know you think of those people as bums. But the person that hasn't bought the BMW in your example has not used the service of BMW at all so no they probably would not bother listening to that person. But the person that buys one car every year or every ten years or only once for that matter has used the service. And sometimes what the person who has only used the service once thinks is important, maybe there is a reason they only used it once. I would only add that I know of at least cacher that has been a member since July of 2002 and has 24 finds. Close to your 10 a year line in the sand. I also believe that gc.com gives a great deal of weight to what this person thinks on how the company should be doing business. I could be wrong on that point but I feel pretty sure they have the ear of TPTB.
  14. In the context of the validity of someone's opinion, I don't think the find count matters. In the context of trying to decide how a company should be doing business, it matters a lot. If a person who buys a new BMW every year has a suggestion on how to improve service, they should probably at least listen. If a bum who hasnt had $20 to his name for the last 5 years tries to tell BMW how to run their company better, I doubt they will give it a second thought.
  15. Hi guys, Thanks for all the interest in the thread... here's my 2p worth: Firstly, it must be said that stonefisk travels in style The Suzuki Jeep doesn't pass go because it's too much like the Toyota RAV4/Honda CR-V - it's more a lifestyle car than an offroader. If I did go down that road (and plans are afoot) then it would have to be a used (possibly ex-military) Land Rover Defender 90. They're just cool. And as for geocaching in one - it's very, very practical but those long motorway trips would be a pain. The BMW 316 has been up for consideration due to its looks, reliablity (those engines have been known to do up to 4 million miles) and all-important RWD setup. Unfortunatly this comes at a price, as insurance companies have "roundabouts and rain" in mind. Insurance quotes for a BMW 316 are 40%-50% more than a similar priced Cavalier/Mondeo. At least that's what I got back. But as for price - these E30's go for £400 upwards, so it would be one for the future. inukshuk merits special attention for his Merc Estate. These were built to cover huge mileages and many still do. A local taxi driver I know here is heading for over 500k on the clock in one without major worries. They also look cool and would carry 5 adults and gear to an event without a bother. Sadly, for me the engine sizes are too big at the moment (I'm 23). I really would love one... Lance, my friend in motoring and pilot of the 'cruise ship' (he said it, not me) that is the Citroen C5... my MkII Golf GTi restoration project has not gone away (you know). you can tell the wife that I did manage to get the smell out of the car after the 7 days on the road during the "Cache O'The North". It did take an afternoon and a "New Car Smell" tree, as well as a trip to the car wash but now she looks loverly again. As for a used VW... you see, they're not madly reliable cars either - don't believe everything you hear. Considering one as a used car for geocaching... I looked at a 1995 MkIII Golf Estate for a bargain price - but the basic spec is very poor - the 1.4 CL didn't even have power steering, and the 1.4 barely gets 60bhp out. Space it may have, but it won't tug 5 lads and equipment into North Wales. In fact, only the GL/GT/GTi/VR6 versions have anything decent in them... and there's the insurance hike again. A Citroen diesel was on the shortlist, the engine and mpg is supposed to be fascinating, but as The Hokesters say, doubts hang over the car itself. As for the Ford Focus, they start at £3,000 (1999) and I dare say, are just a bit too mundane for me. I have driven them and am always suprised, particularly by the handling and especially the zetec engined ones. mattwaggie - a Pug GTi would be just lovely - they're going cheap too. Sadly, it would have to be a 1.9 and the insurance is crazy on it. And you'd have to either chain it down or fit an aftermarket immobiliser and alarm. Me, I'd go for a Fiat Uno Turbo. Just for the noise. So... you're probably curious as to what I'm hankering after... well, I'm not sure yet. It'll all come down to whether I can wedge the GPS between dash and windscreen.
  16. You probably still can't get a Focus for that little without it having done a 1/4 mill miles but if you could raise the money to go for a 1.6 then that is the best petrol car you could get for your money. You could get a Suzuki jeep for this kind of money but avoic ones that have had any flarey, chromy things done to them because they are bound to have been boy racered and that just doesn't do Suzukis any favours. Avoid anything with a lot of electic gadgets if you are paying this sort of money especially if it is French or Italian! A quick search on AutoTrader.co.uk (for my area of course) revealed this 1993 K Reg BMW 316i Motordrive 4 Doors, Manual, Saloon, Petrol, Red. alarm remote controlled, Bmw alloy wheels, Body Coloured Bumpers and Mirrors, power steering, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Sunroof. which if it drove well would be a reasonable buy, should be reliable, parts reasonably priced second hand, etc. Email me through profile if you want any more advice. 10 years in the motor trade and as an MOT authorised examiner I know what makes it through when it gets to this sort of value. P.S. No offence if anyone owns anything french, italian, suzuki or broken - these are general observations only.
  17. Wazat

    The Sandpit

    Looks like you have a contender to join you - perhaps this guy should be recruited to caching? BMW Offroading What are those roads? I think that Bats already can disclaim the off road part of this guy when he saw where i took the Corsa.... and that was only at the start of the path.... I think maybe I need to get a camera fitted to the car.... Tinkerbell-GP took a video but it was from too far away as she decided that been in the car was not for her.... I will try and see if I can get the video and post it.... I have one of me going through flood waters too, but that was on roads.... no fun there....
  18. Looks like you have a contender to join you - perhaps this guy should be recruited to caching? BMW Offroading
  19. It's a BMW F650GS motorcycle. Tomorrow when I have time to take a pic of it i'll upload one here. My car is a BMW 325i and I really don't take it off the pavement, especially with the sport suspension and low profile tire. Rocks tend to reek havoc on those!. But when you live really close to a National Forest some cachers tend to hide them off the beaten path! LOL. Which I want to do and now I can. Ken
  20. I saw a BMW with one of the magnetic TB tags on it this morning in Tacoma. We were on Portland Ave around 8:00 (yes I was late for work, again). They turned left onto I-705. I snapped a picture of the TB tag with my phone but I don't know if I'll be able to make out the number. We'll have to see when I get home and can zoom in farther.
  21. I learned of the golf ball thing on one of my first cache hunts in a park in a local suburb. The parking area is up on a hill, with the rest of the park sloping downwards to a lower flat area, bordered by a thin row of woods, with some very fancy houses behind it. (the houses face a lake, with thier backyards facing this park.) Apparently the parking area provides a nice Teebox for people to hit out into these woods - people who dont know there are $300,000+ houses, BMW's, Mercedes etc sitting just behind those trees. Well As Im searching, I begin to collect these old range balls to use as lake balls in the future. Just as I zero'd in on the cache stash spot, I heard a loud crashing coming thru the woods behind me. I turned around just in time to spot one of the homeowners coming at me in a rush, very red faced and cursing! He is looking for the *S.O.B* that was hitting balls about 10 minutes before I showed up- Apparently one found his Lexus's hood - a second his wifes BMW Convertible's rear window. Here I stand, with a hond full of golf balls... . . . It took some fast explaining, showing him my maps, print out & GPS'r - I told him we were standing within 2 feet of it, and showed him the arrow. I walked around a cluster of trees to grab it, then went over to him and showed it to him. He finally believed me, but warned me to never return to hit balls, "Or Else" I signed the log quickly, and waited until he turned his back to replace the cache before retreating double time to the truck. Im pretty sure the homeowner was ready to do some seriuos A**kickin, and I wasnt waiting around for him to change his mind. So, now whenever I see them - I hestitate to grab them- In a cache? I have only ever seen junk balls- and personally consider them geo-garbage.
  22. Ah, but you were missed Solly - as Europe's top cacher you'd have fitted right in! - An excellent and well attended event, with the bonus of trackable GeoGnomes (I got you one Alan, to pass on or send out) and cheeses of various bigness to chat to too. A great atmosphere and no one tried to hit me; always a bonus. Big thanks to Go catch, Alibags, DalekMeat for my cap badge and all those who attended this (BMW) Mini Mega That said, I hope you had a cracking day of your own and the Father of the Bride speech went well. "I don't think of it so much as losing a daughter as gaining a spare room..."
  23. I guess I should cancel my campout that weekend with 30 Boy Scouts to whom I am introducing Geocaching. Why would this be necessary when the tool/process to fix poorly maintained caches already exists? I vote for removing the "u"! My Grandma used to tell me not to point at others because there were always three fingers pointing back at you...In other words, I have enough to do without somebody else minding my business for me! Dear Sir, We, the neighborhood association, have decided that your BMW is not kept clean enough and is not waxed often enough for our taste. Persuant to TPTB, we are allowing your neighbor to take ownership of your valued BMW and your first born child(For labor costs and their hair was not cut to the specified length.) Yes, we know that others have yet to wash and wax their car but we had to set a precedent with someone! Yes, we would like to mind our own business but, well, err, we didn't have Skeeter's Grandmother to instill her wisdom upon us and have too much time on our hands. Sincerely, Your Friends, Much Love, The Neighborhood Association. BTW- I have a pick-up truck, no beemer here! EDIT- to add BTW
  24. I notice that a lot... if everyone actually traded up then we'd have more "I took this gold bar, is an BMW and appropriate trade?" threads in the forums. Not everyone who caches finds enjoyment in the same things you find enjoyment in.
  25. Anton you are reading my mind. This will be my last post and I will do another new one on this topic next year. I included snippets for those interested in doing this trip for background information. Ok, also to get your attention. I hope I use the correct spelling for the towns. If not then I apologize. You can travel all the way to Kaszungula with a Bitumen road from Gaborone. If you reach Nata you can also turn to the western side and you can carry on to Maun. It is amazing to see the progress compared to 1966 when only 10 km was paved. (This could be wrong; this was received via my peers in Botswana) I will do my best to make the events accessible to all cachers and to make it reachable with a normal vehicle. It is one of the reasons why we need to hold one of the events in Gaborone itself for the Botswana leg. Anyone can attend with any vehicle and you can go home the same afternoon or cross the border and stay over somewhere in RSA. Or you can stay in Gaborone at Oasis and return the next day. To make it a 4x4 event only is a little bit unfair as we immediately exclude 80% of the caching community. Only after publishing we will be able to say if we are going into the wilder places and if we are staying on the tar road and near the town. Only when the cachers agree will we go to the bush. Maybe better to say - sand. Most of the worthy places are however off the beaten track. If there are any objections then we stay on the 2 ply lanes. This final answer will also depend on the number of 4x4 vehicles that will attend, if any. I normally do remote areas with a minimum of 4 vehicles but prefer not more than 8 at a time. Also interested to note that Botswana has a population of about 1.7 million people and 80% of them live on the eastern side. The country consists of about 580 000 square km. This will give you some idée of the spread of people. Even when you travel with a normal vehicle you need to travel in a group; vehicles can break down. There are only two types of vehicles. Those that are in the workshop at present and those that will visit in the near future. Night driving is a no go at all times; but then again so is the rest of Africa. In this country you will see more than enough donkeys. They do not move they just stay on the road. The higher you go and the more to the western side the less the people and sometimes the more the elephants. There you do not hit any thing on the road and you do not get caught in a speed trap. Use the hooter at all times and go around people and animals as far as possible. The police are well organized and you have 48 hours to pay your fine at the nearest police station, sometimes they demand payment on the spot. Do not even try to bribe them; jail will be the next stop for you and the family. Do not be late with the payment and do not ignore the summons; they are quite effective and you will be arrested at the next stop. Speed limits are more or less to the SADC requirements. General speed is 120 km/hr, semi urban is 80 km/hrs and 60 km/hrs for urban/build up areas. In the bush you need to be careful. Sand tracks are sometimes deep, you have to keep momentum and revs to make sure you do not get stuck. Here petrol machines do much better than a diesel. Diesels tend to run too hot in sand. Also you need to stay in the track at the same time. In the sand the small narrow tyre as fitted on the old Land Rovers do much better than the wide ones as fitted on BMW. If you meet another group you must be alert - the inexperienced drivers could climb out of their tracks and then there is no control. Most of them are foreigners that want to rough it and they do make use of hired 4x4’s with no or little experience. Maybe it is not kind and maybe it is not right but I treat all of them as inexperienced and then there are no surprises and I expect anything. Sometimes I will also pull off the road especially when I see they do speed. Elephants should be treated with respect if we go the bush, we will meet them somewhere. If some of the bulls are in their muster season you could be worried. They do mock attacks – drive away from them at speed and they will keep on coming and they will enjoy their game and you will be doing the sweating. Best is to stop, switch the engine off and stay where you are; it is hard to do while the mind is saying something else and the feet wants to run when he is charging but you need to do the right thing. He will soon loose interest if you do not get scared and he will carry on with other things. You need to know the difference between a mock attack and a real one. Do not switch off when he does the real one – not nice to be a hamburger patty. Yes, I will not stay in the bush with any type of tent. In Lesotho we had to face a 50 km/hr wind but here you face a wild kitty that has food on his mind and honestly we are the bottom of this food chain so I do take care. Accommodation is sometimes a pain. You can not arrive at a location and expect to find something. Some of the reserves will not give you access at the gate if you can not produce a letter stating that you are booked, even with empty accommodation. The tour operators in this area do block bookings - sometimes up to 20 people. Three days before the expected arrival date they will cancel the booking if they have no sufficient numbers. When you leave RSA you need to have the accommodation resolved. That could be the biggest challenge. But for the rest - it is a relatively low risk trip. For the next couple of months we will need to plan and we will need to do some reconnaissance of this area. BruceTP will be booked but then there is no more space in my vehicle. It will happen sometime in June 2010 and it will be in the Gauteng school holiday and it will be about 10 days long. Hopefully I will be close to my 2000 mark. During winter the sand give you a little bit less problems and you do not need to go through 1 meter of water. But it is also the time when it is busy. If you drive sensible you will not get stuck or better - you have a good chance not to get stuck. But you have to learn to stop the normal way and to reverse back onto your own track and then forward and then back again. This will compact the sand and you will have the chance to get momentum during pull away. Blow down of tyres are essential and a pump must be carried with a tyre gauge. The secret of sand driving is in the tyres and to learn not to spin the tyre off the rim. The way I will precede is a simple way of starting the plan but it ends as a complex chain of events. I look at the tar roads, then I look at anything of value on that road such as scenery and caches, if there is a border crossing then I do some checks and balances as each and every border post sometimes have their own rules. For those interested in the planning I do make use of a decision tree to get to the best option for the average cacher. I then look for possible gathering places such as public places where there are some sort of open spaces and if possible where no arranged booking must be done such as restaurants or where an entry fee must be paid. I ask for permission to hold such an event from the property owner and that is sometimes quite a hurdle. I then recheck the route and test for accessibility with a normal vehicle and I check for any negatives and or risk elements such as high crime areas and I adjust the plan if anything is found. We then do a recognisance trip and we have to make sure that the plan is working. Only here we start to add days required to get there. The plan is simple – I am going to move around and I will not stay too long at one location. I am planning to leave extra time to do the final event in Gauteng – probably delayed with an additional week. The aim is also to meet with the owner of the location where the event will be held. Only when all is resolved we will proceed publishing the event. I will in all probability do a similar one every two years. But that depends on the reaction of the cachers and on their recommendation and the way they experienced it. Also it is important to note that they we do contact some of the cachers that visited the area and I will ask for info, hints and anything that we should be aware of before publishing the event. For sure, if the plan materializes and only one cacher arrived at the event then no further events to the North will be done in the future unless the next cacher sign the listing with his name in blood. No, do not use the screen – I will not see it. If there are two people then I will rethink the next one. I hope Groundspeak will allow me additional time for the event. It is for the benefit of the cacher. You need to make sure that precautions are taken against malaria and the accommodation must be resolved so additional time is needed as this is not the ordinary event. I think they will understand and if any obstacles then the reviewer will have to assist to explain the circumstance to them and why it is needed. On the other hand such an event in these remote areas should not be a problem – after all how many events will be on top of the new listings in Botswana? At least the cachers are warned of a potential chain of events that will be done next year and they are in a position to start planning and to get the resources needed. The plan was broadly discussed and you should have an idea how and what is involved. Do not worry, with this one I will lead from the front from Gaborone back to RSA. If I am not there then the team lost me somewhere in Botswana. During January we should be in a position to give the red light or the green light. You then need to decide to do the jump or not to jump. This year I am not going on leave due to this plan. But to see Botswana you have two choices. You pay the tour operator an arm and a leg or you get a group together at much less cost. It is time to convince the wife….. Gerhard
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