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How Often Do You Notify a Cache Owner of Maintenance?


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I love how one thread leads to starting others. Was giving my humble opinion in a recent thread about DNFs and this thought came to me. Be it a cache that is in bad shape, most likely missing or has a broken button and a toothpick for swag. How often do you actually flag maintenance for a cache?

 

I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?

 

What do you think?

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If the owner is active the maintance flag isn't needed. They are aware and they will get to it a time and life allow.

 

If the owner is not active the maintenance flag won't do any good because it will be ignored like the cache.

 

The only folks who the flag will help are the ones who filter their pocket queries based on that flag.

 

Personally I always forget to undo the flag when I maintain my caches to the flag waves eternal. Oh Well.

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I just loaded all my logs, to check for the number of Needs Maintenance I've logged, and it's not an option to look for it. Interesting.

 

I'd guess I've logged few or maybe even no Needs Maintenance logs (maybe that's why I don't see it as an option?). As RK has said, if hte owner is paying attention, it's no help, and if they aren't -> it's no help. I'd say it's usefulness may be to other cachers seeking the hide - if they don't want to hunt soggy broken caches, they can avoid those with the red cross - but so many of them go uncleared by owners even after repairs are made that it's of marginal use.

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Last week we should have posted a "needs maint." but didn't. The owner is an active local who has probably taken care of business by now. In that case we logged a Found It and emailed him privately to tell him of the damp log and the water that we dumped out- condensation.

 

In the event that our sneak-o-scope peters out we honestly log a DNF and try again later. If the swag appears to have been trashed we remove the obvious trash and put in 3-5 nicer items from our never-empty cachepack and note doing that in the Found It log.

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I love how one thread leads to starting others. Was giving my humble opinion in a recent thread about DNFs and this thought came to me. Be it a cache that is in bad shape, most likely missing or has a broken button and a toothpick for swag. How often do you actually flag maintenance for a cache?

 

I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?

 

What do you think?

 

Lack of swag or "bad" swag is not the owner's responsibility. That belongs to the cachers themselves. I would never dream of posting a Needs Maint log for that reason alone.

 

As RK mentioned, Needs Maint logs are rarely really needed. A comment about the condition of the cache in your Found It log is sufficient for most active and responsible hiders. On the other hand, I suspect that one or more Needs Maint logs that have gone unacted on, followed by a Needs Archive log would probably be more of a warning flag to the reviewer when it came to archiving a neglected cache.

 

RK also mentioned that a responsible ower will take care of problems "as time and life allow"... the only thing that I have to say about that is that life rarely would prevent a cache owner from temporarily disabling a cache until "time and life allowed" actual maintenance to take place.

Edited by knowschad
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After allowing for time and all those things that life brings, if the cache has a needs maintenance log or two and the cache is reaching the early stages of neglect, please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, but a copy of that log goes to the local reviewer and they will check it to see what action should be taken. The cache owner also gets a bit of atention.

 

Cache maintenance is important. Nasty caches with soggy logs, mildew, and cracked lids do not add much to this hobby of ours. Please post a Needs Archive log if you think it may be needed.

 

/steps off soap box.

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After allowing for time and all those things that life brings, if the cache has a needs maintenance log or two and the cache is reaching the early stages of neglect, please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, but a copy of that log goes to the local reviewer and they will check it to see what action should be taken. The cache owner also gets a bit of atention.

 

Cache maintenance is important. Nasty caches with soggy logs, mildew, and cracked lids do not add much to this hobby of ours. Please post a Needs Archive log if you think it may be needed.

 

/steps off soap box.

Needs maintenance only works if it is used as a step between simply reporting problems and posting a Needs Archive log. In fact, Needs Maintenance was added because some people were reluctant to post a Needs Archive log. The Needs Maintenance should mean - "There have been several finders who have reported issues with this cache and the owner has not followed up. Here's one last warning before people start posting a Needs Archive." Posting a needs maintenance sets a Maintenance Needed attribute. Perhaps having this attribute would spur the cache owner to finally do maintenance. It may also inform other hiders so that they may bring material (new container, dry log pages, etc.) to fix the cache for the owner. Reviewers are not informed of a Needs Maintenance as they are about a Needs Archive. However, some reviewers may run PQs to find caches with Maintenance Needed set and may post a reviewer note or a Needs Archive to mark the caches needing maintenance that haven't been fixed in a while. No need to post a Needs Maintenance unless a cache owner hasn't responded to prior issues. There is no requirement that the owner enters a note or Owner Maintenance log so this means that several finders are reporting a similar problem. Post a Needs Maintenance to elevate it to the next level. If there is already a Needs Maintenances and the owner has had a reasonable time to fix the problem then do as Moose Mob suggests and post a Needs Archive.

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Needs maintenance only works if it is used as a step between simply reporting problems and posting a Needs Archive log......If there is already a Needs Maintenances and the owner has had a reasonable time to fix the problem then do as Moose Mob suggests and post a Needs Archive.
I very much appreciate a cacher who posts a normal log and then drops me an email explaining the cache situation. That gives me a chance to go resolve the problem before the next person seeks it or at the least post a note myself or temporarily disable it if I can't get to it right away. That way for the average cacher the maintenance was transparent, they never knew it needed maintenance and they never knew it got it. But this only works with a responsible cache owner who acts promptly.

 

Posting a needs maintenance log and listing all the problems of the cache and container in the log can be negative and can disuade people from seeking the cache even if it's been repaired or replaced. Kind of like if the airplane you're getting ready to board had a notice at the doorway saying "Yesterday replaced right engine after fuel line leak". Might of been repaired and totally fixed but still doesn't leave you a warm fuzzy feeling when you take off ;) Some things are best to be handled behind the scenes if possible and just let the regular folks enjoy things.

 

"Ignore the man behind the curtain...."

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Not sure if "How Often" is really correct for logging NM...as more of when NM is used...

 

Bad/No Swag...really isn't a Maintenance issue...

 

DNF's...really isn't a situation where I would log NM either...personally, I will check a cache if it reaches 3-5 DNF's...I can't and don't expect cache owners to run out to cache after ever single DNF that gets posted. I have had pleanty of bad days where I can't find a cache and later that day, if not the next, someone finds it right after my DNF and calls it "The easiest cache I have ever found!!!"...now that hurts ;)

 

If the cache is somehow broken or damaged or wet log, sure, I would mention it in regular "Found It" log. typically, I only use NM if I am revisiting the cache for some reason. Kind-of along the same lines as others have stated...if the onwer is active, they will see what you wrote...if the owner isn't active, the NM log will not help anyway...beside letting others know of the situation.

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After allowing for time and all those things that life brings, if the cache has a needs maintenance log or two and the cache is reaching the early stages of neglect, please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, but a copy of that log goes to the local reviewer and they will check it to see what action should be taken. The cache owner also gets a bit of atention.

 

Cache maintenance is important. Nasty caches with soggy logs, mildew, and cracked lids do not add much to this hobby of ours. Please post a Needs Archive log if you think it may be needed.

 

/steps off soap box.

Needs maintenance only works if it is used as a step between simply reporting problems and posting a Needs Archive log. In fact, Needs Maintenance was added because some people were reluctant to post a Needs Archive log. The Needs Maintenance should mean - "There have been several finders who have reported issues with this cache and the owner has not followed up. Here's one last warning before people start posting a Needs Archive." Posting a needs maintenance sets a Maintenance Needed attribute. Perhaps having this attribute would spur the cache owner to finally do maintenance. It may also inform other hiders so that they may bring material (new container, dry log pages, etc.) to fix the cache for the owner. Reviewers are not informed of a Needs Maintenance as they are about a Needs Archive. However, some reviewers may run PQs to find caches with Maintenance Needed set and may post a reviewer note or a Needs Archive to mark the caches needing maintenance that haven't been fixed in a while. No need to post a Needs Maintenance unless a cache owner hasn't responded to prior issues. There is no requirement that the owner enters a note or Owner Maintenance log so this means that several finders are reporting a similar problem. Post a Needs Maintenance to elevate it to the next level. If there is already a Needs Maintenances and the owner has had a reasonable time to fix the problem then do as Moose Mob suggests and post a Needs Archive.

 

This how I approach a cache needing help.

 

If I have an extra log, or a few supplies, i've replaced soggy logs. Once, I noticed a string of "this cache needs help" logs on a cache so I brought a new container and log.

 

Here is a great example of a cache where the next step would be a Needs archived log.

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I just loaded all my logs, to check for the number of Needs Maintenance I've logged, and it's not an option to look for it. Interesting.

 

I'd guess I've logged few or maybe even no Needs Maintenance logs (maybe that's why I don't see it as an option?). As RK has said, if hte owner is paying attention, it's no help, and if they aren't -> it's no help. I'd say it's usefulness may be to other cachers seeking the hide - if they don't want to hunt soggy broken caches, they can avoid those with the red cross - but so many of them go uncleared by owners even after repairs are made that it's of marginal use.

 

It's there. Go to your profile, to the "My History, Details, and more..." page. Click Geocaches to get to the "Details about my owned and found caches" page. Click "Needs Maintenance"

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I log a "Needs Maintenance" when a cache needs the tender loving care of the owner. I've logged several, but they're still fairly rare. Specific instances:

- Log is full completely full. If I can just toss in a new scrap of paper then I'll mention it in my "Found It" log instead of a SBA, but this doesn't work for nano caches or full micros.

- Detroyed or significantly waterlogged log. Wet logs are normal and only worth a mention; I'm talking about a soggy piece of pulp that used to be paper.

- Serious damage to the integrity of the cache. Like one I found recently with a large hole in the bottom (maybe caused by an escaping Hamster?), and one where it was a custom container (plastic apple) hanging from a tree that had fallen apart and scattered the contents all over the ground.

- Dead hamsters in cache (ewwwww).

 

I won't post a SBA for a cache that is "obviously missing" (maybe I just found a decoy?), or a "wet log" (it happens), or a poor quality cache container (not everyone cares about this), or missing pen/pencil (I always carry my own, and often leave one there).

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I love how one thread leads to starting others. Was giving my humble opinion in a recent thread about DNFs and this thought came to me. Be it a cache that is in bad shape, most likely missing or has a broken button and a toothpick for swag. How often do you actually flag maintenance for a cache?

 

I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?

 

What do you think?

Well, one quick response, regarding the fact that in your thread subtitle you listed "no swag" as a flag issue for triggering a cache maintenance note. To me, a cache full of crappy swag, or a cache containing no swag at all, is NOT AT ALL a cache maintenance issue, and rather, is simply a clear statement and demonstration on the part of the local geocaching community of the kind of swag they prefer to leave in a cache. And, once a cache has been emplaced with some good swag in the first place, at the time of its initial publication, I never see replenishing/replacing swag as a role for the cache owner, but rather as an optional task/role for that subset of the local geocaching community which has chosen to/chooses to, visit the cache.

 

And, I would never issue a "needs maintenance" log just because I cannot find a cache, as that would be incredibly short-sighted, incredibly egotistical and incredibly narcissistic and selfish of me, because we all know that just because we DNF a cache, that does not mean that the cache is missing! In fact, far from it! On the other hand, if I notice that I am logging the fifth DNF in a row on a simple Difficulty 1 or 2 cache that previously had enjoyed a long run of finds with only a rare occasional DNF, and if I spent at least an hour at the cache hide site, then yes, I might consider filing a "needs maintenance" log in that case, or better, just a note to the cache listing page asking that the owner check on it, because it seems that something is wrong.

 

Overall, it is very very rare that I file a "needs maintenance" log or an SBA log.

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...please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, ...

 

Is this the new NM log? Just log a SBA and call it a day? If the cache can be found. It's viable. The SBA is for SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THERE IS NO TIME TO WORK WITH THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES. Thus falling on the non responsible reviewers.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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<snip>

 

And, I would never issue a "needs maintenance" log just because I cannot find a cache, as that would be incredibly short-sighted, incredibly egotistical and incredibly narcissistic and selfish of me,

 

<snip>

 

I issue "needs maintenance" logs on Vinny's caches daily. Sometime, I vary it with "Needs Archived", or "Needs to be Eaten by Goats" or "Needs to be Abducted by Aliens".

 

But I'm sure there is no connection to what Vinny said above. ;)

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...please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, ...

 

Is this the new NM log? Just log a SBA and call it a day? If the cache can be found. It's viable. The SBA is for SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THERE IS NO TIME TO WORK WITH THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES. Thus falling on the non responsible reviewers.

Sounds like you completely missed the post. Want to go back and read the whole post and try again?

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...please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, ...

 

Is this the new NM log? Just log a SBA and call it a day? If the cache can be found. It's viable. The SBA is for SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THERE IS NO TIME TO WORK WITH THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES. Thus falling on the non responsible reviewers.

Sounds like you completely missed the post. Want to go back and read the whole post and try again?

 

The only important part was what I quoted. Wasting the time and effort of reviewers is not something I'm big on. Perhaps you would like to better expalin why you are suggesting that the SBA be used in cases were the cache only needs some TLC.

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A slight exageration on the folks who found my damp log. They only had to deal with cattle, cowpies, mosquitoes, dead things, and thorns.

===========================================

Trecked 6 miles to get to this cache. At the trail head we were mugged. They busted my buddy and I up pretty good, broke the windows out of our rig, stole our GPS and Barbara Streisand CDs. Fortunately we had a compass and a print out and decided to get the cache anyway. About 5 minutes into our hike a thunderstorm broke out. I’m sure the rig will get wet, but we decided to press on ahead. The storm only lasted about 10 minutes and the sun broke out. The humidity is about 300% and we can’t dry off. The mosquitoes have come out and I swear we can’t flick the ticks off fast enough. We were so busy swatting mosquitoes that we didn’t notice the poison oak until we were in the middle of the patch. It’s going to be bad. Not long after the poison oak we found a bramble with ripe blackberries. They were abosolutoly perfect and we ate our fill..until we stepped on the bear who had gorged himself and was napping it off. The bear woke with a roar scaring us. We both had an involuntary response, then ran fast and far. We didn’t look back and didn’t stop until the stinging was unbearable. We had been running through nettle. We stopped to assess the situation and um…freshen up a bit. Unfornatly we had stopped on a ground hornets nest and they were angry. This time we ran and didn’t stop when we hit the river. Whenever we came up for air the hornets would sting our heads. Eventually they tired of this, we did freshen up and swam to shore. It’s a good thing we had found a pool of slow moving water. Once out it took about 20 minutes to gently pull the leaches off but we got it done. Our map was gone but having memorized the terrain we took a guess and actually found the cache without incident. The log was damp. WHY THE HELL CAN’T OWNERS MAINTAIN THEIR CACHES. NOTHING ANNOYS ME MORE THAN A CRAPPY CACHE AT THE END OF AN ENJOYABLE HIKE!!!! THIS CACHE SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THE OWNER BANNED!!!!!!

Edited by Renegade Knight
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If we find a cache that has a full soggy logsheet, we will usually add a dry logsheet in a baggy, and note what we did in our log.

 

I believe we logged a need maintenance on one cache that had only a lid left...and we could see the rest of the cache down in a pipe. We couldn't get the stuff out of the pipe, yet this cache could be saved with a bit of work.

 

We also logged a needs maintenance on a simple 36mm film container, because it already had about 10 needs maintenance logs on it... (it was pretty funny).

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...please post a Needs Archived log and the reason it needs attention. Perhaps it doesn't need archived, ...

 

Is this the new NM log? Just log a SBA and call it a day? If the cache can be found. It's viable. The SBA is for SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THERE IS NO TIME TO WORK WITH THE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES. Thus falling on the non responsible reviewers.

Sounds like you completely missed the post. Want to go back and read the whole post and try again?

 

The only important part was what I quoted. Wasting the time and effort of reviewers is not something I'm big on. Perhaps you would like to better expalin why you are suggesting that the SBA be used in cases were the cache only needs some TLC.

I am a Reviewer and I asked for SBA logs on caches showing neglect. I did not ask for every damp log book nor am I giving 24 hour notice on a cracked lid. My post was clear that the caches that should be reported to the local Reviewer (via SBA log) are those caches that are developing a history and the owner has already been previously notified.

If you don't want to make the SBA log entry, then I will not ask you to. For those folks that are willing, please don't be afraid to be helpful.

Thanks

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One cache I found recently was in pieces. It was a pill bottle. I found the bottle, the log and the baggie but not the top. I signed the log and reassembled as best as I could. Logged the find and then also a Needs Maintenance b/c it was in need of IMMEDIATE attention.

 

I recently DNFd a cache after wedging the cache log too far into where it was hidden and couldn't get it out. I was 95% sure it had been the cache, but not positive. In that case, I logged a note and kept an eye on the cache. It would have been embarrassing to log a Needs Maintenance only to find that what I had been trying to get wasn't even the cache!

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I am a Reviewer and I asked for SBA logs on caches showing neglect.
Hat tipped in thanks to all reviewers!

 

I did not ask for every damp log book nor am I giving 24 hour notice on a cracked lid. My post was clear that the caches that should be reported to the local Reviewer (via SBA log) are those caches that are developing a history and the owner has already been previously notified. If you don't want to make the SBA log entry, then I will not ask you to. For those folks that are willing, please don't be afraid to be helpful.
Agree with that but those that are "willing" are not always knowledgable... had someone after their 2nd find (and the first was a 1/1 PAG) and can't find a well camoed difficult hide in 5 minutes, posted a "Needs Maintenance" and writes a "there were a lot of people around and the cache is gone" log... ::sigh::
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Okay. I admit that I dropped the cache into the river! (Beautiful pedestrian bridge, by the way.) I apologized profusely to the cache owner, who changed the terrain rating to 5, until he had a chance to replace it. And I didn't even get a smiley! I dropped it before I got a chance to sign the log!

I have not had good reactions from cache owners on the few that I've suggested SBA. So I take the chicken route, and e-mail my reviewer. "Cache XYZ is rated 1/1.5, and is listed by the finders as 'a very easy find'. It was last found two years ago, and has four DNFs (including mine). The cache owner has not signed on in a year. You migth want to check on this one." Reviewer notified cache owner, who made it 'unavailable'. Sounds like reviewer will archive it in a few months.

Okay. so, I'm a chicken. This method works for me. It's not often that I do this.

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A slight exageration on the folks who found my damp log. They only had to deal with cattle, cowpies, mosquitoes, dead things, and thorns.

===========================================

Trecked 6 miles to get to this cache. At the trail head we were mugged. They busted my buddy and I up pretty good, broke the windows out of our rig, stole our GPS and Barbara Streisand CDs. Fortunately we had a compass and a print out and decided to get the cache anyway. About 5 minutes into our hike a thunderstorm broke out. I’m sure the rig will get wet, but we decided to press on ahead. The storm only lasted about 10 minutes and the sun broke out. The humidity is about 300% and we can’t dry off. The mosquitoes have come out and I swear we can’t flick the ticks off fast enough. We were so busy swatting mosquitoes that we didn’t notice the poison oak until we were in the middle of the patch. It’s going to be bad. Not long after the poison oak we found a bramble with ripe blackberries. They were abosolutoly perfect and we ate our fill..until we stepped on the bear who had gorged himself and was napping it off. The bear woke with a roar scaring us. We both had an involuntary response, then ran fast and far. We didn’t look back and didn’t stop until the stinging was unbearable. We had been running through nettle. We stopped to assess the situation and um…freshen up a bit. Unfornatly we had stopped on a ground hornets nest and they were angry. This time we ran and didn’t stop when we hit the river. Whenever we came up for air the hornets would sting our heads. Eventually they tired of this, we did freshen up and swam to shore. It’s a good thing we had found a pool of slow moving water. Once out it took about 20 minutes to gently pull the leaches off but we got it done. Our map was gone but having memorized the terrain we took a guess and actually found the cache without incident. The log was damp. WHY THE HELL CAN’T OWNERS MAINTAIN THEIR CACHES. NOTHING ANNOYS ME MORE THAN A CRAPPY CACHE AT THE END OF AN ENJOYABLE HIKE!!!! THIS CACHE SHOULD BE ARCHIVED AND THE OWNER BANNED!!!!!!

Now THAT is funny! Great log.

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<snip>

 

And, I would never issue a "needs maintenance" log just because I cannot find a cache, as that would be incredibly short-sighted, incredibly egotistical and incredibly narcissistic and selfish of me,

 

<snip>

 

I issue "needs maintenance" logs on Vinny's caches daily. Sometime, I vary it with "Needs Archived", or "Needs to be Eaten by Goats" or "Needs to be Abducted by Aliens".

 

But I'm sure there is no connection to what Vinny said above. :)

Sionevil, I must apologize, as you posted your note above on July first, and I have only just found it today, six days later. So, I apologize for my tardiness in responding, for I have been a tardy geostallkee, and we all know that no one likes a geostalkee who is slow to respond to harassing notes! As for your creepy comments above regarding your as-usual creepy behaviors regarding my highly-esteemed Psycho caches (which, I will have you know, are the hottest and most popular caches in the world, according to a recent poll published in the fabled and esteemed newspaper of world record, USA Today), well, after all, you are a nasty and evil geo-stalker, and what can I expect? :D

 

:):P:P

 

By the way, you and my other geo-stalkers, as well as all of my own geo-stalkees (sigh...) :angry::D , are gonna have to "tough up" and "tough it out" soon, for a period lasting about two and a half-weeks, because I will be in Malaysia and Borneo island on a consulting job from July 15 through early August, and I usually have very limited Interwebbie access during my Asian travels, and thus, as has been my normal practice during my travels, I will likely be gone from the Groundspeak forums for a few weeks.

 

Sionevil, can you handle it? Really? Like, can you? However, I WILL have a Malaysian mobile phone (they call them "mobile phones", and not "cell phones", over there) with me, and perhaps you can trick Sue into giving you my Malaysian mobile number so that your harassing 3 AM phone calls (remember to do the time zone conversions, sweetie; I will largely be near Kuala Lumpur, and also in Sarawat state) to poor little helpless me :D from the Autovon phone at the dismal dreary tiny near-abandoned Air Force base in God-forsaken Nebraska may continue unabated.

 

 

:D

 

:D

 

 

:D

Edited by Vinny & Sue Team
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If the owner is active the maintance flag isn't needed. They are aware and they will get to it a time and life allow.

 

If the owner is not active the maintenance flag won't do any good because it will be ignored like the cache.

 

The only folks who the flag will help are the ones who filter their pocket queries based on that flag.

 

Personally I always forget to undo the flag when I maintain my caches to the flag waves eternal. Oh Well.

 

As a cache owner I prefer it when someone logs a needs maintenance. If the weather is nice, over the course of a week I can get dozens of found it logs and might not read them all right away. If however I see a Needs Maintainence log it catches my attention and I make sure I read the log immediately.

Edited by briansnat
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Not often.

 

I only use it when I see a significant issue that I as a finder cannot address.

 

In my opinion the NM log is sometimes greatly overused. As a cache owner in just the past 6 months I have seen Nm logs posted for:

  • Camera is full
  • Rest area temporarily closed for maintenance.
  • Poor quality Swag
  • Logbook pencil not sharp
  • missing cache - (found 2 days later and many times since)
  • too many weeds near cache
  • etc

In my opinion - none of those are issues that require me to run out immediately and check on the cache. Sure I have also received some legit ones but these silly ones are just too much.

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Not often.

 

I only use it when I see a significant issue that I as a finder cannot address.

 

In my opinion the NM log is sometimes greatly overused. As a cache owner in just the past 6 months I have seen Nm logs posted for:

  • Camera is full
  • Rest area temporarily closed for maintenance.
  • Poor quality Swag
  • Logbook pencil not sharp
  • missing cache - (found 2 days later and many times since)
  • too many weeds near cache
  • etc

In my opinion - none of those are issues that require me to run out immediately and check on the cache. Sure I have also received some legit ones but these silly ones are just too much.

 

I agree that these situations are over the top, but the NM log is still an important tool that I wish was used more often and not taken as a personal affront by some owners. It means a cache needs maintenance, that is all.

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I posted some NM logs for four caches by a local caching couple. In two cases, the container was not waterproof and the logs were paper mache (one was a magnetic electrical box cover, the other was an actual container that held about an inch of rainwater). Another was hung from a tree, but the cord was stuck and the last several finders had reported problems with it. I also could not get it down. And lastly was one that I DNF'd and only afterwards noticed that the previous DNF was with someone that had found the cache before (and has well over 1K finds to her name) and they still didn't find it.

 

So, I waited several weeks (almost a month) and no action had been taken. So I sent the owners a VERY polite email (taking care to point out that I was aware of real-life situations, etc) and suggested that all they need to do for now is to temp disable the caches until they have time to get to them... just to keep other cachers from wasting their time and gasoline.

 

Here is the response that my polite email got me (I'd post my email, but I no longer have it):

 

what are you? the f**** cache police? Why do you care so d*** much? Are you obsessively going through all 119 listings we have, just to see if they need maintenance? man you obviously have ALOT of time on your hands. did it, i don't know, EVER occur to you that maybe, i don't know - something HAPPENED to one of us??? this is pathetic, and another reason why i don't want to meet cachers like you. i DID DISABLE the caches you were talking about, so honestly, leave us alone. you're quite annoying.

 

I must add, however, that this is an EXTREME case, and really took me by surprise. My guess is that there was something else going on and I simply triggered an emotion. I was particularily struck by the part in green... not that its any excuse for a reaction like that, but it may point to a cause.

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If the owner is active the maintance flag isn't needed. They are aware and they will get to it a time and life allow.

 

If the owner is not active the maintenance flag won't do any good because it will be ignored like the cache.

 

The only folks who the flag will help are the ones who filter their pocket queries based on that flag.

 

Personally I always forget to undo the flag when I maintain my caches to the flag waves eternal. Oh Well.

 

As a cache owner I prefer it when someone logs a needs maintenance. If the weather is nice, over the course of a week I can get dozens of found it logs and might not read them all right away. If however I see a Needs Maintainence log it catches my attention and I make sure I read the log immediately.

Ditto. If I see a string of DNFs (3 or more) I go check the cache, otherwise I count on Needs Maintenance notes to tell me if there is an issue.

 

Cachers around the south are generally pretty good about replacing wet logs and replenishing depleted cache swag, so I don't get many NM notes, but I appreciate them when I do.

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I read every log posted to our caches, so I think it's silly and annoying when someone posts a needs maintenance, there was no need, the only reason I like them is that I have a notification set up so I get emails on them around here and if it's a cache that I don't own but I don't think the owner will fix the problem then I can go "save" the cache for them... that's what I use it for.

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I like the NM option. I read all of our cache logs, but if our caches get a lot of action (like they did this holiday weekend), I may not get all of the logs read the day they come in, so I have a DNF & a NM filter setup to flag those messages. I'll read those first, and if there's a problem, I can disable the cache right away.

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I have never posted a NM log. I have however sent may private emails to cache owners to let them know about a problem after noting in my found it log or DNF log so the next cacher will know about the problems. I agree about the swag if it is empty so be it it is not the owners responsibility to keep it full of good swag someone has not been traiding up or let alone even.

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Another reason I like the NM log is that I can periodically run a PQ on my caches and check for any that have the NM attribute set. Sometimes I do miss them and this is a quick way to run through my caches to check for problems - but it only works if finders use NM logs.

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So I'm new and on my 10th find, I put in a NM. I was going to just email the owner but changed my mind because the problem was that someone had put in a cute but not well thought through ink stamp kit. The ink had leaked out and covered everything with green, including my fingers. The container also had some cracks that had been reported before in some of the logs. But in the interest of anyone else who might go find it and didn't want to look like they had been warpainted (like I did), I put it up publicly in the logs. The owner immediately posted an apology and archived it, not having the time or interest to fix it (according to her log message). I don't know for sure but I think I did the right thing.

 

Sally

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So I'm new and on my 10th find, I put in a NM. I was going to just email the owner but changed my mind because the problem was that someone had put in a cute but not well thought through ink stamp kit. The ink had leaked out and covered everything with green, including my fingers. The container also had some cracks that had been reported before in some of the logs. But in the interest of anyone else who might go find it and didn't want to look like they had been warpainted (like I did), I put it up publicly in the logs. The owner immediately posted an apology and archived it, not having the time or interest to fix it (according to her log message). I don't know for sure but I think I did the right thing.

 

Sally

 

You did, but they didn't.

Apparently the cache is still lying out there as geo-litter.

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One time ever:

 

This cache:

H. P. Bike Ride #7 GCW52A

 

Looks like not much has happened so far. My "Needs Maintenance" log is still the last log on the page.

 

When I did the Log, I first felt a little bit of guilt doing a Post like that, but the cache probably is still on the Ground, instead of attached to it's magnet on the metal object, up off the ground. Being on the ground I immediately thought of the Wayne County Parks dept. that would be using grass trimmers right around the spot.

 

I have seen some discusting caches in the past, but never posted "Needs Maint" Logs before, but this one is in danger of being picked up by County Maint. or somebody else.

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One time ever:

 

This cache:

H. P. Bike Ride #7 GCW52A

 

Looks like not much has happened so far. My "Needs Maintenance" log is still the last log on the page.

 

When I did the Log, I first felt a little bit of guilt doing a Post like that, but the cache probably is still on the Ground, instead of attached to it's magnet on the metal object, up off the ground. Being on the ground I immediately thought of the Wayne County Parks dept. that would be using grass trimmers right around the spot.

 

I have seen some discusting caches in the past, but never posted "Needs Maint" Logs before, but this one is in danger of being picked up by County Maint. or somebody else.

Post a "Needs Archived" on that cache and make room for a new cache to be placed. The owner hasn't logged in since October and there is no indication that anyone plans on fixing it. Once archived, you can place your own in the vicinity.

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I love how one thread leads to starting others. Was giving my humble opinion in a recent thread about DNFs and this thought came to me. Be it a cache that is in bad shape, most likely missing or has a broken button and a toothpick for swag. How often do you actually flag maintenance for a cache?

 

I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?

 

What do you think?

16 times over the last two years it seems.

 

I would post a NM right away for things I just to be of medium importance. Usually this is something like the cache is badly damaged somehow (eatenly, smashed, soaking full of water), and needs competely replaced (IMO at least). Most recent NM was a cache I found that hadn't been visited since last fall. The cache was intact more, but since the last visit had been chewed on by an animal, which let in some moisture so everything inside was damp, AND several hundred ants had set up a colony inside, ALSO the coords seemed to be about 50ft off (though it seems that may have been a preexisting problem).

 

I wouldn't post a NM for minor problems like full log, slightly damp container, etc. I would just say those things in a normal log. If I looked threw the the online hisotry and seen that other people had meantioned the same problem over the past few months then I would post a NM for it in hopes it draws more attention from the owner. Personally I don't sit around really each and every log email... so it might be a while before I notice 'the log is getting full' type things, I assume others are the same way. I do however always look at DNF, NM, and most Notes.

 

"I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?"

I wouldn't post a NM for DNF unless I found something that looked it might have been part of the cache. Though more than likely I would probably just send a email directly to the owner about it... No point in flagging the cache as possiably having a problem, when it could really be I just can't find it.

Also, some people either don't like to use NM, or just don't know how they work. Some caches get flagged, the owner fixes and months later the owner still hasn't removed the flag :)

(sometimes long existing NM also highlight caches that should be archived and removed because the owner is long gone).

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I love how one thread leads to starting others. Was giving my humble opinion in a recent thread about DNFs and this thought came to me. Be it a cache that is in bad shape, most likely missing or has a broken button and a toothpick for swag. How often do you actually flag maintenance for a cache?

 

I can't tell you how many times I have seen multiple DNFs or the cache is wet and contents are ruined but no one puts in a maintenance flag. Why not?

 

What do you think?

 

I am very protective of my caches and keep close eye on them. I read logs daily sent to my Email about who found or didn't find one of my caches. If they need maintenance, I usually make it there within 24 hours of finding out. I also randomly check on each cache throughout the month, make sure they are muggle free, dry, have logs etc.

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Not often.

 

I only use it when I see a significant issue that I as a finder cannot address.

 

In my opinion the NM log is sometimes greatly overused. As a cache owner in just the past 6 months I have seen Nm logs posted for:

  • Camera is full
  • Rest area temporarily closed for maintenance.
  • Poor quality Swag
  • Logbook pencil not sharp
  • missing cache - (found 2 days later and many times since)
  • too many weeds near cache
  • etc

In my opinion - none of those are issues that require me to run out immediately and check on the cache. Sure I have also received some legit ones but these silly ones are just too much.

 

I agree that these situations are over the top, but the NM log is still an important tool that I wish was used more often and not taken as a personal affront by some owners. It means a cache needs maintenance, that is all.

 

Not really true. What a NM or SBA has come to mean is that the cache didn't meet the cachers expectations for the hunt. I rarely see a NM or SBA log thats actually valid. All to often they are posted by armchair cachers or n00bs that couldn't find the cache.

 

The intent of the NM and SBA flags are good, but in practice they've become a nuisance.

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One time ever:

 

This cache:

H. P. Bike Ride #7 GCW52A

 

Looks like not much has happened so far. My "Needs Maintenance" log is still the last log on the page.

 

When I did the Log, I first felt a little bit of guilt doing a Post like that, but the cache probably is still on the Ground, instead of attached to it's magnet on the metal object, up off the ground. Being on the ground I immediately thought of the Wayne County Parks dept. that would be using grass trimmers right around the spot.

 

I have seen some discusting caches in the past, but never posted "Needs Maint" Logs before, but this one is in danger of being picked up by County Maint. or somebody else.

 

 

Wait...what????

 

You actually tossed the cache back onto the ground without any attempt to conceal it?

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