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fizzymagic

Fraudulent "Performed Maintenance" logs

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

In a case like that where the evidence is really irrefutable (photos from the finder showing the cache right where I'd put it and the logbook including the signature of the finder prior to her DNF), I'd sleep comfortably logging an armchair OM explaining all that. In hindsight I would've preferred that option rather than going through all the hassle of trying to report the blatant false positive to HQ.

And if I was a reviewer (heaven forbid that ever happening!) I'm sure I'd be happy accepting an explanation like that from someone who's copped a false positive on a cache that's not easy to physically visit at short notice.

I think it's important for reviewers to use their judgment and continue to use the CHS as a tool to help them.   I haven't looked at your profile but I get the impression your a good cache owner.   I have to believe that your reviewer would see the same.   I say this because I don't necessarily  believe you should need to have "irrefutable" evidence if your cache owner history is a good one.   This shouldn't be about punishing good cache owners.    There's nothing wrong with giving the benefit of the doubt to someone who's earned it.  

Edited by justintim1999

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Just now, justintim1999 said:

I think it's important for reviewers to use there judgment and continue to use the CHS as a tool to help them.   I haven't looked at your profile but I get the impression your a good cache owner.   I have to believe that your reviewer would see the same.   I say this because I don't necessarily  believe you should need to have "irrefutable" evidence if your cache owner history is a good one.   This shouldn't be about punishing good cache owners.    There's nothing wrong with giving the benefit of the doubt to someone who's earned it.  

The impression I got from the reviewers on Sunday was that they really just want to see that the CO is still active and across the issue/non-issue that the CHS has pinged. Out-and-out fraudulent COs are thankfully pretty rare here.

As for me, well I do have one disabled cache at the moment that's had a physical waypoint muggled, which I discovered yesterday when doing a routine visit, but plan to have a replacement out there after the school holidays in a couple of weeks. Otherwise I think that CHS ping is my only blemish.

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5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The impression I got from the reviewers on Sunday was that they really just want to see that the CO is still active and across the issue/non-issue that the CHS has pinged. Out-and-out fraudulent COs are thankfully pretty rare here.

As for me, well I do have one disabled cache at the moment that's had a physical waypoint muggled, which I discovered yesterday when doing a routine visit, but plan to have a replacement out there after the school holidays in a couple of weeks. Otherwise I think that CHS ping is my only blemish.

I too have a multi disabled right now.   I disabled it after reading a found log.   I don't consider it a blemish at all even though it's been disabled for about 2 months now. The key is to keep the information flowing with your reviewer.  I should be able to get around to it soon as the snow is now almost gone. 

 

Ahh,  you too do routine visits.   Nothing wrong with being proactive.   

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Just now, justintim1999 said:

I too have a multi disabled right now.   I disabled it after reading a found log.   I don't consider it a blemish at all even though it's been disabled for about 2 months now. The key is to keep the information flowing with your reviewer.  I should be able to get around to it soon as the snow is now almost gone. 

 

Ahh,  you too do routine visits.   Nothing wrong with being proactive.   

Ah, the benefit of living in this part of the world where the water's always liquid so I don't have to worry about snow and ice :).

I generally visit my more urban hides after each school holidays, as that's when they're most likely to attract little fingers poking around in places they shouldn't. Patonga's Grotto gets a visit after each find as people can't seem to put it back properly, but it's only a ten minute drive from home. The more remote ones (Upper Mullet and The Great Train Heist in particular) I only want to visit in winter when it's cool enough for me to do the hike without keeling over (and the snakes are hibernating), but they're remote enough that muggling's very unlikely and, like most of my hides, are tucked away in dry rock cavities so they won't get wet or suffer from direct sunlight.

I also keep a Word document listing all my hides sorted by the date of my last visit, so I can see at a glance which ones might be due for a visit. Currently the oldest on that list is Red Gum Cascade, which I last visited just on a year ago, so that's in my sights for the coming weeks (again it's a pretty isolated bush-bash to reach and tucked in under a rock overhang out of the weather, and the last log was a find in February).

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13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Ah, the benefit of living in this part of the world where the water's always liquid so I don't have to worry about snow and ice :).

I generally visit my more urban hides after each school holidays, as that's when they're most likely to attract little fingers poking around in places they shouldn't. Patonga's Grotto gets a visit after each find as people can't seem to put it back properly, but it's only a ten minute drive from home. The more remote ones (Upper Mullet and The Great Train Heist in particular) I only want to visit in winter when it's cool enough for me to do the hike without keeling over (and the snakes are hibernating), but they're remote enough that muggling's very unlikely and, like most of my hides, are tucked away in dry rock cavities so they won't get wet or suffer from direct sunlight.

I also keep a Word document listing all my hides sorted by the date of my last visit, so I can see at a glance which ones might be due for a visit. Currently the oldest on that list is Red Gum Cascade, which I last visited just on a year ago, so that's in my sights for the coming weeks (again it's a pretty isolated bush-bash to reach and tucked in under a rock overhang out of the weather, and the last log was a find in February).

It's a sound maintenance plan and one I'd like to see other cache owners adopt.  I try to visit mine at least twice a year.  A mandatory maintenance visit can counts as one.  I do this for two reasons.  First I like to check on the caches in spring and fall.  Spring to fix what mother nature inevitably damaged and fall to try and winterize them for the coming season.  Second I actually like the areas I have caches in.   I like walking those trails so for me maintenance is enjoyable and not a choir at all.

 l realize (thinking about my own situation) that all caches can't be routinely visited on the spur of the moment for a verity of reasons.   I think that's why some sort of reporting process for possible false positives is necessary and I'm not sure fake OML's is the answer.  

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4 hours ago, Team Microdot said:
4 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

Over all a bad thing but In Barefootjeff's case (and others with high D/T caches that may get a lot of false dnfs)  it could have been a good thing.   I think GS should re-think their position on allowing fraudulent OML and come up with another reporting mechanism which would accomplish the same thing.  

That seems like a lot of work when there's an existing mechanism which does the job.

I think that depends on what you consider "the job" to be.

If the job is merely to stop the "false positive" CHS nag emails, then yes, the armchair OM logs do the job.

If the job is to inform the team responsible for the CHS of a situation where the CHS generated a "false positive", so the team can fix/improve the CHS system, then no, the armchair OM logs do not do the job.

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2 minutes ago, niraD said:

I think that depends on what you consider "the job" to be.

If the job is merely to stop the "false positive" CHS nag emails, then yes, the armchair OM logs do the job.

If the job is to inform the team responsible for the CHS of a situation where the CHS generated a "false positive", so the team can fix/improve the CHS system, then no, the armchair OM logs do not do the job.

I think that depends on how the team is structured.

If the reviewers are part of the team then a suitably detailed armchair OM log would do the job just fine.

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20 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The impression I got from the session on Sunday (and I stress this is only an impression - I wish now I'd recorded it) is that the action of the CHS sending out its email puts the cache on a reviewer's watchlist, so they can see later on which caches were pinged and what the CO response was if any, and from that decide if any follow-up action needs to be taken. So if that's the case, the reviewers would see the OM. I also got the impression that some of our reviewers were more keen on the CHS than others. They also said that ignoring the CHS email isn't a good idea as that would suggest to them that the cache is abandoned.

Oh, that's very interesting. When they first started sending these automated CHS warnings, we were specifically told the message itself was the only artifact, so a widespread claim at the time was that if you didn't agree with the note, you could just ignore it and nothing else would ever happen. I don't know if niraD has more modern knowledge, but when he steps up and says "don't ignore it! report it!" now, I've always taken his reaction as being in the context of that standard because his point has always been that the CHS will never improve if no one ever tells GS what it's doing wrong.

So thanks for the update, although this just underscores even more what's wrong with a secret mechanism with rites known only to initiates. We gone to automated CHS warning being no big deal to them having essentially the same impact as an NA log filed by another geocacher.

8 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

I've yet to hear from any reviewer that the CHS is a burden especially when, from what I've heard, the use of it is entirely optional.  To the contrary, every reviewer, that has chimed in on the CHS,  indicates that it's a valuable tool.

They find the CHS a useful tool because they're now responsible for patrolling cache quality and taking unilateral action. And, no, not optional: a reviewer in one of these threads told us that GS told reviewers that they must create a CHS based patrolling procedure for their area. My point isn't that the CHS invented extra work. My point is that the reviewers should not have the burden of finding bad caches, so they shouldn't need the CHS to begin with. Having been saddle with the burden, then of course they're finding it more convenient to have a tool that helps them deal with it.

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8 hours ago, justintim1999 said:
8 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Unless it's a fraudulent find.

Take all the finds for one day.   How many do you think are fraudulent?

Are you saying that you would only count finds on the same day after a DNF to drop the DNF logs as impacting the CHS.  Here are a couple of common scenarios.

Scenario 1:)

Geocacher A looks for a cache, can't find it (assume the cache is actually in place and needs no maintenance) and posts a DNF.

A few days later Geocacher B (or even Geocacher A) finds the cache.

In that scenario, it seems to me that the DNF log just means that cacher A could not find it, thus should not impact the CHS score.  Even if a week went by between the DNF and the Found It, the *current* status is that the cache does not need maintenance, and there is no need for an OM log.

Scenario 2:)

Geocacher A looks for a cache, can't find it (assume the cache is actually in place and needs no maintenance) and posts a DNF.  

Geocacher B looks for the cache a few days later, can't find it, drops a throw down, and posts a found it log.

Now there are two caches at GZ, thus the cache would need maintenance to remove the throwdown, and the CHS score should *not* change until the OM log is posted.

 

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58 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Oh, that's very interesting. When they first started sending these automated CHS warnings, we were specifically told the message itself was the only artifact, so a widespread claim at the time was that if you didn't agree with the note, you could just ignore it and nothing else would ever happen. I don't know if niraD has more modern knowledge, but when he steps up and says "don't ignore it! report it!" now, I've always taken his reaction as being in the context of that standard because his point has always been that the CHS will never improve if no one ever tells GS what it's doing wrong.

So thanks for the update, although this just underscores even more what's wrong with a secret mechanism with rites known only to initiates. We gone to automated CHS warning being no big deal to them having essentially the same impact as an NA log filed by another geocacher.

They find the CHS a useful tool because they're now responsible for patrolling cache quality and taking unilateral action. And, no, not optional: a reviewer in one of these threads told us that GS told reviewers that they must create a CHS based patrolling procedure for their area. My point isn't that the CHS invented extra work. My point is that the reviewers should not have the burden of finding bad caches, so they shouldn't need the CHS to begin with. Having been saddle with the burden, then of course they're finding it more convenient to have a tool that helps them deal with it.

Look at it as a business and bad caches are bad for business. 

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12 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Look at it as a business and bad caches are bad for business. 

Geocaches are not Groundspeak's business. Geocache listings are Groundspeak's business.

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5 minutes ago, niraD said:

Geocaches are not Groundspeak's business. Geocache listings are Groundspeak's business.

Bad caches/listings can lead to bad experiences and bad experiences can mean fewer paid members.    Good caches/listings can lead to good experiences and good experiences can lead to more paid members.    So it's in GS's interest to try to weed out bad caches/listings and encourage good caches/listings. 

I for one don't blame them in the least for trying to be more hands on.  

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6 hours ago, niraD said:

If the job is to inform the team responsible for the CHS of a situation where the CHS generated a "false positive", so the team can fix/improve the CHS system, then no, the armchair OM logs do not do the job.

As long as the system relies on counting DNFs as its means of determining cache health, no amount of tweaking by the team is going to fix it. If they increase their threshold to reduce the incidence of false positives, it'll also let through more caches that really need maintenance. DNFs are simply a terrible measure of cache health because most of the time they have nothing to do with the state of the cache and just mean the seeker couldn't find it on the day.

The Help desk wasn't interested when I tried reporting my false positive a year or so back, they just told me it's a COs responsibility to maintain their caches, and I guess that's understandable since if they tweaked the algorithm in response to every false positive report they got from a CO they'd end up just chasing their tail. Feedback from reviewers who get to see the bigger picture of its overall success rate I'm sure would be a lot more helpful to the developers, and I would hope that at some point, someone will ask themselves whether counting DNFs really is the right way to go.

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14 hours ago, niraD said:

Geocaches are not Groundspeak's business. Geocache listings are Groundspeak's business.

Reminds me of another box listing site...LBNA Letterboxing North America. A database so full of listings for containers that were no longer there that the site became known as 'LetterBox Not Available'. 

Edited by L0ne.R

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16 hours ago, justintim1999 said:
17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I also keep a Word document listing all my hides sorted by the date of my last visit, so I can see at a glance which ones might be due for a visit. Currently the oldest on that list is Red Gum Cascade, which I last visited just on a year ago, so that's in my sights for the coming weeks (again it's a pretty isolated bush-bash to reach and tucked in under a rock overhang out of the weather, and the last log was a find in February).

It's a sound maintenance plan and one I'd like to see other cache owners adopt.  I try to visit mine at least twice a year.  A mandatory maintenance visit can counts as one.  I do this for two reasons.  First I like to check on the caches in spring and fall.  Spring to fix what mother nature inevitably damaged and fall to try and winterize them for the coming season.  Second I actually like the areas I have caches in.   I like walking those trails so for me maintenance is enjoyable and not a choir at all.

Yes, oftentimes I visit my hides just for the hike. For the record, I went out to Red Gum Cascade this morning and everything's in pristine condition. The only thing that's changed since I hid it in February last year is the 14 names in the logbook - no dampness, condensation, mould, fading, cracking or anything. One of these Sistemas stuck under a dry rock ledge out of the sun and weather will last for many years without needing any TLC.

 

20180405_105020.jpg

Edited by barefootjeff

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10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

DNFs are simply a terrible measure of cache health because most of the time they have nothing to do with the state of the cache and just mean the seeker couldn't find it on the day.

Might be more accurate to say in isolation DNFs are simply a terrible measure of cache health because most of the time they have nothing to do with the state of the cache and just mean the seeker couldn't find it on the day.

Once they multiply they become a more useful measure of cache presence. The cache could well be perfectly healthy - just not where it's supposed to be ^_^

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

Might be more accurate to say in isolation DNFs are simply a terrible measure of cache health because most of the time they have nothing to do with the state of the cache and just mean the seeker couldn't find it on the day.

Once they multiply they become a more useful measure of cache presence. The cache could well be perfectly healthy - just not where it's supposed to be ^_^

Or it could just be a tricky hide, like the one I found a few months back that had ten consecutive DNFs prior to that, and it was right where it was supposed to be. Not every cache is an obvious P&G, and even those can get Blind Freddy DNFs by the likes of me.

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:
12 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Might be more accurate to say in isolation DNFs are simply a terrible measure of cache health because most of the time they have nothing to do with the state of the cache and just mean the seeker couldn't find it on the day.

Once they multiply they become a more useful measure of cache presence. The cache could well be perfectly healthy - just not where it's supposed to be ^_^

Or it could just be a tricky hide, like the one I found a few months back that had ten consecutive DNFs prior to that, and it was right where it was supposed to be. Not every cache is an obvious P&G, and even those can get Blind Freddy DNFs by the likes of me.

Absolutely - so weight the DNF's in accordance with the given D rating. I strongly suspect this already happens. I also think this has been discussed previously at length.

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Just now, Team Microdot said:

Absolutely - so weight the DNF's in accordance with the given D rating. I strongly suspect this already happens. I also think this has been discussed previously at length.

Yes, it has been discussed elsewhere at length.

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15 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

Bad caches/listings can lead to bad experiences and bad experiences can mean fewer paid members.    Good caches/listings can lead to good experiences and good experiences can lead to more paid members.    So it's in GS's interest to try to weed out bad caches/listings and encourage good caches/listings. 

I for one don't blame them in the least for trying to be more hands on.  

I felt like I needed to follow up on this comment because I don't want anyone to get the impression that GS is some sort of greedy corporate entity.   Paid memberships are important in keeping geocaching viable.   Without them it wouldn't be the game we've come to know and love.   I get the impression that, although necessary,  the money side of the business is the least important aspect of geocaching to GS.   They've always offered a free membership and over the years that hasn't changed.    GS has always been an active participant in the growth and direction of the game but it seems more so lately.   Why?   Could geocaching have reached a point of size and scope that requires something more than community reporting to manage it?   Maybe it has something to do with the declining numbers we've seen in the recent past.   Has the perception of the game taken a downward turn?   I have no idea but I do know that owner maintenance has become a focus point and in my opinion that's a good thing.

What we fail to understand is that if Joe Scmo fails to maintain their cache it's not they who get the black eye.  It's GS and geocaching that take the hit.    I laugh when I hear people talk about Groundspeak as only a listing site, as if they are a silent partner who has no skin in the game.   Yet it's Groundspeak who's vilified when things start to go sideways.  The onus is put on them to fix the problem in a way that will satisfy everyone.

That's a tough spot to be in especially when your only suppose to be a listing site.

Edited by justintim1999

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

What we fail to understand is that if Joe Scmo fails to maintain their cache it's not they who get the black eye.  It's GS and geocaching that take the hit.    I laugh when I hear people talk about Groundspeak as only a listing site, as if they are a silent partner who has no skin in the game.   Yet it's Groundspeak who's vilified when things start to go sideways.  The onus is put on them to fix the problem in a way that will satisfy everyone.

Hmm, I've never heard Groundspeak being villified about Joe Scmo's abandoned caches, it's always "that bastard Scmo and his rubbish hides" that gets talked about at events. The big problem I see in all this is that their way of fixing the problem doesn't, and probably can't, satisfy everyone.

Here we don't have much of a cache maintenance problem. We have a cache-friendly cllimate, lots of bushland which encourages larger and more robust caches hidden out of the weather and away from muggles, and a community that's willing to step in and log NMs and NAs when a cache goes bad or missing. Any half-decent container stuck in a sheltered spot under a rock ledge away from mainstream muggledom will last pretty much indefinitely whether the CO is active or not - I've found plenty of Sistemas and ammo cans ten or fifteen years old with the original logbook (yes, a proper book with hard covers) bone dry and as good as the day it was bought. Archiving such caches simply because the CO doesn't respond to a CHS email and follow-up reviewer disable as a result of someone logging a DNF because they were looking under the wrong rock ledge doesn't improve the game in my opinion, rather it makes it worse, encouraging easy-to-reach guaranteed-smiley caches at the expense of the tougher more challenging ones.

I know I've started making my hints much more of a give-away than I used to, to try to keep the DNF count as low as possible after my run-in with the CHS. Is that a good thing? Maybe a few more people get quick smileys, but at the expense of the challenge of the tougher hide and the elation of finally cracking it on their second, third or fourth attempt. A side-effect of this one-size-fits-all push for "cache quality" seems to be to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator - roadside D1/T1.5 instant smileys that even Blind Freddy can find with his eyes closed, so no DNFs, no CHS pings and everyone's happy, except me and my mates who relish in those tough hides where a smiley is a bonus, not an expectation or entitlement and a DNF just means I didn't find it today but I'll be back to try again.

Edited by barefootjeff

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Hmm, I've never heard Groundspeak being villified about Joe Scmo's abandoned caches, it's always "that bastard Scmo and his rubbish hides" that gets talked about at events. The big problem I see in all this is that their way of fixing the problem doesn't, and probably can't, satisfy everyone.

Here we don't have much of a cache maintenance problem. We have a cache-friendly cllimate, lots of bushland which encourages larger and more robust caches hidden out of the weather and away from muggles, and a community that's willing to step in and log NMs and NAs when a cache goes bad or missing. Any half-decent container stuck in a sheltered spot under a rock ledge away from mainstream muggledom will last pretty much indefinitely whether the CO is active or not - I've found plenty of Sistemas and ammo cans ten or fifteen years old with the original logbook (yes, a proper book with hard covers) bone dry and as good as the day it was bought. Archiving such caches simply because the CO doesn't respond to a CHS email and follow-up reviewer disable as a result of someone logging a DNF because they were looking under the wrong rock ledge doesn't improve the game in my opinion, rather it makes it worse, encouraging easy-to-reach guaranteed-smiley caches at the expense of the tougher more challenging ones.

I know I've started making my hints much more of a give-away than I used to, to try to keep the DNF count as low as possible after my run-in with the CHS. Is that a good thing? Maybe a few more people get quick smileys, but at the expense of the challenge of the tougher hide and the elation of finally cracking it on their second, third or fourth attempt. A side-effect of this one-size-fits-all push for "cache quality" seems to be to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator - roadside D1/T1.5 instant smileys that even Blind Freddy can find with his eyes closed, so no DNFs, no CHS pings and everyone's happy, except me and my mates who relish in those tough hides where a smiley is a bonus, not an expectation or entitlement and a DNF just means I didn't find it today but I'll be back to try again.

But you do hear rants about how GS has to do something to fix the "problem"  or what they are doing is wrong.   Seems like every time they step in and try implement something it's never enough or it doesn't quite please everyone.   The subject of this thread is a perfect example.  I guess that's the nature of the beast.   Like I've said before,  It will never be perfect but it can be better. 

I get your point about ownerless caches but if we can't get responsible owner to at least communicate,  how is any monitoring system suppose to work?  

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I'm watching to see how many DNFs before this one gets pinged. It's urban bush, 0 finds last 2 years and 4 (logged) DNFs since, no NM and cache is gone.

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32 minutes ago, colleda said:

I'm watching to see how many DNFs before this one gets pinged. It's urban bush, 0 finds last 2 years and 4 (logged) DNFs since, no NM and cache is gone.

If you're sure the cache is gone why not post NM yourself? 

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Just watching to see what happens, if anything.

It's one that I found about four and a half years ago and wondered at the time how long it would last. Lasted longer than I thought, a cache in a tree with a pulley system to retrieve it.

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4 minutes ago, colleda said:

Just watching to see what happens, if anything.

It's one that I found about four and a half years ago and wondered at the time how long it would last. Lasted longer than I thought, a cache in a tree with a pulley system to retrieve it.

What puzzles me are the six people who posted found logs and all indicated that there was something wrong with the retrieval mechanism yet no one posted a NM....... Interesting.    I'd have to agree with you,  I'd bet it's gone as well.       

 

 

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