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JPreto

No caches allowed in places with entrance fees?

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My very first cache (and note, this was clear back in 2008) overlooked the 18th hole of a public golf course from a public street, and publication got bounced because I mentioned in the listing that the course had been designed by Trent Jones III.  I had to remove the reference to the designer to get it published -- too commercial.  Had explained carefully the public nature of the entire thing when submitting, but to no avail.    https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC19G82_sbs1-side-bet-on-18?guid=86963bda-5153-4959-80c7-e4371e33e2bf

 

HighCountryAdmin's guideline  interpretations were often a bit of a guessing game. 

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1 hour ago, ecanderson said:

too commercial

I had to remove a reference in a multi cache, where I wrote something like, "You will be able to take a break and get a cup of coffee." Yet there is a food attribute. I don't see the difference. It would be wrong if I had written, "Stop by at Maria's cafe for the best coffee and cake in town; you won't be disappointed." Now, that would be too commercial. There were several coffee shops, so not pushing a business, and anyway I don't know who runs them. To me, and others I cache with, saying coffee is available is equivalent of saying there is a nice view. Cafe breaks are part of going out to geocache. Recently I geocached with a visiting German cacher. It was the same with her and her friends she informed me. They want to stop in a cafe. When travelling I have chosen certain caches to find, because of the mention of a cafe. Walk, view, nature then cafe, or drive, cache, cafe, drive, cache. We tie them in if possible. All part of the experience. Not really under the topic 'Entrance Fees' though...or maybe as it involves money it is. Cafe culture is quite big here, at least in the cities and large towns.

Edited by Goldenwattle
Addition of last sentence.

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13 hours ago, Keystone said:

It is great to see an example from the other side of my state, where the guidance on entrance fees was applied consistently.

 

Perhaps I'm blind, but I can't find any "guidance on entrance fees" in either the Guidelines or the Help Centre. Here we have some national and state parks that charge parking fees, some that also charge a day-visitor fee regardless of how you arrive, some places that are only accessible by train or ferry (no roads) which charge a fare, even some off-shore islands that are only accessible by air or an ocean-going vessel (big fares). It'd be nice to know in advance what's acceptable and what isn't.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

...It'd be nice to know in advance what's acceptable and what isn't.

 

That's all...we're not asking much.  And any guidance from this thread is inconsistent.  Is an entrance fee a deal-killer or not?  Yes, no or sometimes?  We hear of every cache being different, and we hear of rules being consistently applied.  And to help the discussion along, I cite - matter of factly and without argumentativeness and with a genuine willingness to learn - an actual example that I found confusing and unfortunate, because of the quality of the cache, its non-profit and governmental ties and the beautiful location.

 

What follows?  One reply dripping with sarcasm, and one crisp rejoinder that didn't explain anything.

 

Disappointing.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Perhaps I'm blind, but I can't find any "guidance on entrance fees" in either the Guidelines or the Help Centre. Here we have some national and state parks that charge parking fees, some that also charge a day-visitor fee regardless of how you arrive, some places that are only accessible by train or ferry (no roads) which charge a fare, even some off-shore islands that are only accessible by air or an ocean-going vessel (big fares). It'd be nice to know in advance what's acceptable and what isn't.

 

As each case similar comes up for a hider, aren't we asked to talk to our Reviewer ?     

When we're talking about varying regional policies within every country in the world here , I guess I don't understand what kinda set, catch-all  "guidance"  you'd expect from HQ.   :)

Even if we could make some sort of "list" similar to the Regional Policies Wiki,  it'd take some time to create.   

 

 

Edited by cerberus1
addification :)
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58 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

As each case similar comes up for a hider, aren't we asked to talk to our Reviewer ?     

When we're talking about varying regional policies within every country in the world here , I guess I don't understand what kinda set, catch-all  "guidance"  you'd expect from HQ.   :)

Even if we could make some sort of "list" similar to the Regional Policies Wiki,  it'd take some time to create.   

 

 

Well Keystone saying "the guidance on entrance fees was applied consistently" implies there is some guidance, somewhere, that we're supposed to abide by, yet the Guidelines, Help Centre and regional wiki are all silent on the question of access and parking fees. There's not even anything in there saying to check with your reviewer so how are you supposed to know to do so? A quick PQ reveals 137 caches in my state with the "access/parking fee" attribute, including two that I recently adopted that have a $12 parking charge, and the very existence of that attribute implies that some caches having access/parking fees must be allowed, yet here we have an example of one with a $10 access fee to a government-run arboretum summarily archived and somehow that's consistent?

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Well Keystone saying "the guidance on entrance fees was applied consistently" implies there is some guidance, somewhere, that we're supposed to abide by, yet the Guidelines, Help Centre and regional wiki are all silent on the question of access and parking fees.

 

I am not a reviewer, but from talking to some I am aware that:

1.  There is guidance from Groundspeak given to reviewers, that we non-reviewers do not see.

2.  In the UK, the reviewers meet regularly, and sometimes agree specifics of how a guideline will be interpreted in the UK.    Some of that they document as a UK specific guideline that we call can see, but not everything they discuss gets documented.    For example, we have UK specific event guidelines.    https://wiki.Groundspeak.com/display/GEO/Hosting+a+Geocaching+Event+in+the+UK

The commercial UK guidelines are general and just refer to the global guidelines.  

 

I don't think this is a conspiracy,  I think it is to keep things simple and allow flexibility by the reviewers.      In the UK the reviewers allow a "nominal" fee.   I've not seen a precise definition of "nominal".    They also take into account who is charging the fee (e.g. is it a non-profit org).   

 

On this and many topics, there is a trade-off between consistency and flexibility.      As well as complexity.    To really ensure consistency you need to precisely document many details, and keep them updated.    (E.g. if you document a limit of $5, you may need to revisit that every few years based on inflation).    

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11 hours ago, redsox_mark said:

I don't think this is a conspiracy,  I think it is to keep things simple and allow flexibility by the reviewers.      In the UK the reviewers allow a "nominal" fee.   I've not seen a precise definition of "nominal".    They also take into account who is charging the fee (e.g. is it a non-profit org).   

 

On this and many topics, there is a trade-off between consistency and flexibility.      As well as complexity.    To really ensure consistency you need to precisely document many details, and keep them updated.    (E.g. if you document a limit of $5, you may need to revisit that every few years based on inflation).

 

I'm not saying there's a conspiracy and I'm certainly not saying there shouldn't be flexibility, but I think that, given there's a well-used access/parking fees attribute, there should at least be something in the Guidelines or Help Centre that says in general terms what access/parking fees are or aren't acceptable, or at the very least telling us to document any such fees on the cache page and/or in the reviewer note. Until now I didn't realise that access or parking fees applying to otherwise public land like a national or regional park could be problematic, and I still don't know what information a reviewer would like to have. For example, in many public places here, the job of collecting access or parking fees has been contracted out to private businesses who cream something off the top for their profits; is that a problem under the commercial guidelines? If so, is that sort of detail even easily obtained? Are transport fares to a cache with no road access deemed to be access fees? Does it matter who the transport provider is? It just seems too much of a minefield not to have any guidance at all in the Guidelines.

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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

parking fees

Parking fees shouldn't be regarded as a 'necessary' fee, if a person can walk or cycle there with no cost.

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29 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Parking fees shouldn't be regarded as a 'necessary' fee, if a person can walk or cycle there with no cost.

 

There are some where walking or cycling isn't really an option for a cacher of average fitness, for example GC4MKET which is about 10km each way of steeply undulating road from the park entrance where the parking fee collection booth is, or the caches at Wondabyne where the only way in is to pay the fare for the train ride - yes, I suppose you could walk down from Girrakool but it's 12km each way along a rough dirt track with lots of steep elevation changes, rock-hopping and steps (no way you could take a bike) and in any case there's parking fees at the Girrakool trackhead. As long as cachers are aware that they'll have to pay something, I don't see why it should be a problem.

Edited by barefootjeff

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On 6/28/2014 at 2:59 PM, JPreto said:

Why car parking is allowed then? It´s a profitable enterprise that manages the parking and you have to interact with the employers, dubious definition then...

 

There are certain cities where there is no free parking for visitors so a ban on parking fees would ban caches in those cities.

 

On 6/29/2014 at 8:32 AM, TriciaG said:

My guess is that it's around perhaps because it's grandfathered in. The rules change over time, and grandfathering happens a lot.

 

Disney World, Epcot, and Sea World all have very old grandfathered Virtuals. Probably none would be published today.

 

On 6/29/2014 at 10:53 AM, kunarion said:

I once thought of a newspaper box selling "Cache Times" or whatever, that requires $2.00 in quarters. Drop in two bucks, open the door, and the money gets refunded into the change slot. "Bring eight quarters and a pen". It's the kind of cache that maybe "works" in one place on the planet, but I think it would get approved in that one place.

 

This should be acceptable anywhere because the coins are a tool, not an admission or purchase fee.

 

On 11/28/2018 at 9:29 AM, igator210 said:

I even know of a virtual inside an airport. The only way to get to GZ is to have a boarding pass.

 

Modern guidelines would prohibit that. Those from the early days of geocaching did not.

 

On 11/29/2018 at 8:59 PM, wmpastor said:

Here is the information for all to evaluate.  First, while run as a non-profit by a non-profit university, it is also the "official arboretum" of the state of Pennsylvania, so there is a direct municipal connection that the reviewer seems to have overlooked.

 

I find this surprising because last year I visited the NC Arboretum which has a similar nature of arrangement yet has many caches there. However, I think all the caches were placed by the Arboretum, which may affect the issue.

 

The PA Arboretum also sounds like part of the problem was a lack of disclosure by the CO. If the CO had been forthcoming perhaps something would have been worked out, especially after appeals.

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24 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

There are certain cities where there is no free parking for visitors so a ban on parking fees would ban caches in those cities.

 

Logic fail, sorry.  You must live in a car culture.  It's still possible to walk, bike, or take transit, no?

 

My favourite caching holidays are to places like Hong Kong that are downright hostile to cars.  I take the train everywhere, then walk.  I never even consider a car.

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18 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Logic fail, sorry.  You must live in a car culture.  It's still possible to walk, bike, or take transit, no?

 

My favourite caching holidays are to places like Hong Kong that are downright hostile to cars.  I take the train everywhere, then walk.  I never even consider a car.

 

Guidelines should be as standardized across the world as possible. 

 

Even "car culture" is not consistent across countries. NYC and LA are both huge metropolitan areas, but your transportation options are very different. 

 

Some of the towns I've been to that only have paid parking aren't even that big population (under 20,000 people). They just choose to have metered parking everywhere and since they are very spread out walking isn't necessarily an option, especially seasonally.

 

I'm not opposed to caching via public transit and foot (works great in Washington DC), but realistically it's not always an option. 

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On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2014 at 10:53 AM, kunarion said:

 

I once thought of a newspaper box selling "Cache Times" or whatever, that requires $2.00 in quarters. Drop in two bucks, open the door, and the money gets refunded into the change slot. "Bring eight quarters and a pen". It's the kind of cache that maybe "works" in one place on the planet, but I think it would get approved in that one place.

 

 

19 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

This should be acceptable anywhere because the coins are a tool, not an admission or purchase fee.

 


This is an interesting point of view: "The coins you put in a newspaper box are a tool, not an admission or purchase fee."

 

Not with you on that one.

 

FIRST of all, you don't get the coins back (unless you're using a 'slug-on-a-string') and I've never seen instructions that say anything like "To open this cache, stick a screwdriver (a 'tool') in the slot and break it off."

 

Secondly, coins in a newspaper box could be either an admission fee OR a purchase price!

 

If you take a newspaper while you're in there, then it's a purchase. That is, after all, the primary reason for the box's presence. No different than gong into a store.

 

If you DON'T take a paper, then you're entering the company's space (or part of you is, anyway) to grab the cache, and they charge a price to open the pox and stick your hand in, hence, it's an 'admission fee'.

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5 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

This is an interesting point of view: "The coins you put in a newspaper box are a tool, not an admission or purchase fee."

 

Read more carefully. The cache I was referring to was not a normal newspaper machine, but a faux one that was specifically stated as refunding the coins when opened.

 

I agree using a real newspaper vending machine involves a purchase price and, perhaps more importantly, a serious lack of permission from the newspaper company (plus the commercial issue IK mentioned).

Edited by JL_HSTRE

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1 hour ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

This is an interesting point of view: "The coins you put in a newspaper box are a tool, not an admission or purchase fee."

 

Not with you on that one.

 

FIRST of all, you don't get the coins back (unless you're using a 'slug-on-a-string') and I've never seen instructions that say anything like "To open this cache, stick a screwdriver (a 'tool') in the slot and break it off."

 

Secondly, coins in a newspaper box could be either an admission fee OR a purchase price!

 

If you take a newspaper while you're in there, then it's a purchase. That is, after all, the primary reason for the box's presence. No different than gong into a store.

 

If you DON'T take a paper, then you're entering the company's space (or part of you is, anyway) to grab the cache, and they charge a price to open the pox and stick your hand in, hence, it's an 'admission fee'.

 

Wow!  I didn't expect this thread to become so derailed for that that thing I typed 4 years ago. :bad:

 

I should have explained that there is no such newspaper called "Cache Times", and you don't really "buy" anything. Should I start a new thread?  Nobody really seemed excited to discuss it til now.  THERE IS NO NEWSPAPER AT ALL, it's a fake printout inside the door of the box. My idea was, that you place $2.00 in quarters, the box refunds the entire $2.00 when you open the box.  You can set them to do that. YES I KNOW IT MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED,  IT WAS ONLY AN IDEA.  I thought it was a cool idea, because muggles would be unlikely to pay $2.00 for a fake "newspaper", since they can see there aren't any "newspapers" inside, likely don't carry $2.00 in quarters, and they don't know they get the money back when they open the door. YES I KNOW NOBODY ELSE THINKS IT'S A COOL IDEA.  Anyone who hates the cache could skip it. :)

 

Important: An entire expensive steel newspaper box Geocache, the kind where you simply open the door to reveal an ammo box, the whole thing was stolen one night in Peachtree City, Georgia.  So there's no danger of me attempting my idea anyway.  For now. B)

 

Edited by kunarion

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57 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Read more carefully. The cache I was referring to was not a normal newspaper machine, but a faux one that was specifically stated as refunding the coins when opened.

 

I agree using a real newspaper vending machine involves a purchase price and, perhaps more importantly, a serious lack of permission from the newspaper company (plus the commercial issue IK mentioned).

 

It would have to be my own box, there are no newspapers at all.  It's entirely a Geocache idea.  This would be good as a whole new thread, not just because it seems unclear to everyone but me that I'm talking about a Geocache idea with a Geocache in it.  No newspaper, no newspaper company at all.  I would buy the box and set it up "in the one place on earth where this might work" (a place which I have not found, such as a cool place for a Geocache while an unlikely place for a whole newspaper box to be stolen, yet it seems like a place where one may see a newspaper box), and set it to refund the money when the door is opened.

 

My question is why requiring various specific required tools for some puzzle Geocache is OK, but requiring the specific "tool" of $2.00 in quarters, that cache would not be published.  You don't purchase a product.  There is no newspaper, you get the $2.00 back when you open the door.  If you "pay $2.00" and get it right back, that's not really an entrance fee.  It's a tool to open the box.

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

My question is why requiring various specific required tools for some puzzle Geocache is OK, but requiring the specific "tool" of $2.00 in quarters, that cache would not be published.  You don't purchase a product.  There is no newspaper, you get the $2.00 back when you open the door.  If you "pay $2.00" and get it right back, that's not really an entrance fee.  It's a tool to open the box.

 

I have seen caches like this in operation besides yours.  (I'd thought I had gotten at least one of yours besides this one, but apparently not.)  I would deem the quarters as a required tool, not admission fee, as long as one  gets one's money back.

 

It's only a fee if someone keeps the money.

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33 minutes ago, hzoi said:

 

I have seen caches like this in operation besides yours.  (I'd thought I had gotten at least one of yours besides this one, but apparently not.)  I would deem the quarters as a required tool, not admission fee, as long as one  gets one's money back.

 

It's only a fee if someone keeps the money.

 

Yeah, that's been my point all along. Where were you for the past 4 years while everyone insisted otherwise? :ph34r:

 

(OK, sure, any existing ones may have been grandfathered, I don't know)

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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21 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

Logic fail, sorry.  You must live in a car culture.  It's still possible to walk, bike, or take transit, no?

 

My favourite caching holidays are to places like Hong Kong that are downright hostile to cars.  I take the train everywhere, then walk.  I never even consider a car.

 

I very rarely rent a vehicle while traveling.  I think that only time was when I've traveled to Costa Rica which would mean that I've found geocaches in 28 countries either walking, on a bicycle, or using some form of public transportation.

 

More than the dependency on a car culture, there seems to be an assumption that geocaching is exclusively about driving from place to place to find geocaches.  Although geocaches may be mostly close to where one can drive to, to me, geocaching doesn't start until after one has left a vehicle and started navigating to GZ, which can often be very far from one parks a vehicle.  Before that it's just driving.

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Read more carefully. The cache I was referring to was not a normal newspaper machine, but a faux one that was specifically stated as refunding the coins when opened.

 

I agree using a real newspaper vending machine involves a purchase price and, perhaps more importantly, a serious lack of permission from the newspaper company (plus the commercial issue IK mentioned).

 

Well, it was SUPPOSED to be a humorous reply to a humorous initial post. Guess I needed an emoji.

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There are caches where a fee may be required, depending on circumstances. I know of a caches where there is a fee if I come at the cache from the west, but no fee if I come from the east. In the Pacific Northwest (Washington/Oregon), most of the National Forests require a pass, but it is enforced on a vehicle by vehicle basis, and only at select trail-heads. Should one of these bi-polar caches be marked with the Parking Fee required attribute or not?

 

And then there are the caches where a fee is required, yet their is no mention of that on the cache page. This may have been because the fee was added after the cache was listed, or it may have been oversight on the CO's part. The reverse is also possible, the cache might mention a fee that has since been eliminated. (Yes, it can happen, Mt. Hood National Forest has proposed eliminating fees are several trail-heads.) Or, the nature of the fee has changed, because the ownership or management has changed. 

 

I am having difficulty seeing how we can have clear, concise guidelines that can cover all of the cases. 

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On 12/3/2018 at 5:25 AM, Viajero Perdido said:
On 12/3/2018 at 4:58 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

There are certain cities where there is no free parking for visitors so a ban on parking fees would ban caches in those cities.

 

Logic fail, sorry.  You must live in a car culture.  It's still possible to walk, bike, or take transit, no?

 

My favourite caching holidays are to places like Hong Kong that are downright hostile to cars.  I take the train everywhere, then walk.  I never even consider a car.

 

Unless the trains and buses are free, you'd still have to pay a fare which is likely to be a similar value to what paid parking would cost for the time required to find a cache. Why should public transport fares be considered differently to access/parking fees, especially in those places where walking or cycling from the nearest free access point isn't an option?

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Why should public transport fares be considered differently to access/parking fees, especially in those places where walking or cycling from the nearest free access point isn't an option?

Not an option???   You mean something like this...

 

image.png.20f4c77569589904da6cb1c497862c62.png

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22 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Why should public transport fares be considered differently to access/parking fees, especially in those places where walking or cycling from the nearest free access point isn't an option?

 

Well, because that's not how the guidelines work.

 

Everything costs money, directly or indirectly, anywhere that has a monetary system.  There ain't no free chicken.  However, the only applicable geocaching guideline to fees is for entry.  How a cacher gets to the access point is their own lookout.  Unless parking or transport is tied to access to the geocache location by some sort of proprietary means (e.g., they won't let you in unless you're on a paid tour bus, or without a receipt from the pay parking lot outside), it shouldn't violate the commercial guidelines.

 

A reminder of the pertinent excerpt to those guidelines:

 

Quote

Cache pages perceived as commercial will not be published. Commercial content includes any of the following characteristics

. . .

Suggests or requires the finder do any of the following

  • Go inside a business
  • Interact with employees
  • Purchase a product or service

 

As a cache owner, I don't want to tackle having to postulate every conceivable mode of transport to a geocache.  I doubt Groundspeak envisions me taking this role, either, and until they say otherwise, I ain't gonna.

Edited by hzoi
didn't finish my e.g. thought
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16 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Unless the trains and buses are free, you'd still have to pay a fare which is likely to be a similar value to what paid parking would cost for the time required to find a cache. Why should public transport fares be considered differently to access/parking fees, especially in those places where walking or cycling from the nearest free access point isn't an option?

 

If there really isn't any free option, you are right. But typically, there's always some option.

  • You can take a paid transport to Machu Picchu like 99.9% of tourists, or you have an option to hike there for 2-3 days on you own. There is an option.
  • You can take paid cablecar to the summit of mountain, like 99.5% tourists do - or you can train climbing for years, get experience and climb it on your own. You have the option.
  • You can take boat trip to the sea cave with 99.6% of other visitors. Or you can make it with your own boat / kayak - it is free-access option.

There are many ways how to pay for access to get to cache location.

If there is at least one free option, available for general public - I think that cache is OK to be published from commercial guidelines perspective.

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 12:06 AM, Touchstone said:

Not an option???   You mean something like this...

 

image.png.20f4c77569589904da6cb1c497862c62.png

 

dadgum! Another six or seven days to get that %#@@$%& song out of my head.

 

THANKS, Touchstone!

 

 

 

----------------------

Edited to comment: "dadgum" was NOT the word I used when I originally wrote this post. The website changed it on the way in, but y'all probably figured that.

Edited by TeamRabbitRun
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