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Fraudulent Finds - Can you report?


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While geocaching I noticed that a user had recently "found" all of the same caches that I was going for (probably over 20 caches, that I saw, there's probably more).  The problem is, I don't think they actually did find them.  

 

  • They wrote only "TFTC" on the online log
  • Didn't provide pictures
  • Didn't sign any of the actual logs - I looked!
  • Marked "Found" on caches that were in "Need Maintenance" state, had multiple DNF for the whole year (I couldn't even find them), and caches where people straight up said the cache wasn't in it's intended location and needed replaced (that kinda thing).

 

This upsets me, and I did send the user a message.  No response, go figure.  

 

Is there anything I can do about this, report the user, etc?  This is morally wrong and definitely against the game standards.

 

 

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There's not much you can do o0ther than a PM to to each cache owner. It is up to the CO to do something about false logs.

 

My usual action is to log my find with something like "......I signed my nic on the log below (last name on the paper)" or sometimes "...it was cool to put the first ink on the log since (date of last find on the paper log)"

 

The person who false-logged won't likely see my log, but the CO and all subsequent finders will, and they can draw their own conclusions.

 

Good luck.

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You're dealing with people here and as we all know, some have no morals or pride. Cheating, pretty much themselves, with geocache find count is a small thing but if you're like me, makes you wonder what more important things they cheat on. This has been happening within our hobby since the beginning and the easiest thing to do is not focus on it. Myself, I just roll my eyes when the bragging starts, especially when I know the bragging is coming from a person that I know has cheated fudged on their find count.

 

Edited to add: As K13 pointed out, you can contact affected cache owners and then let them deal with it, if they even want to. I wouldn't do that unless I knew the cache owner and had an inkling they'd be interested to know. Of course, you can certainly delete the false logs on your own caches.

Edited by Mudfrog
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Unfortunately, the Terms of Use on the site do not take into account whether you get "upset", and things like morality, are only vaguely hinted at, and the bar is very low for that standard.

 

If it were me, I would tend to focus on the things I can fix, rather than trying to regulate people's behavior.  Of all your bullet points, this one stands out as a possible actionable item:

 

Quote

Marked "Found" on caches that were in "Need Maintenance" state, had multiple DNF for the whole year (I couldn't even find them), and caches where people straight up said the cache wasn't in it's intended location and needed replaced (that kinda thing).

Depending on how aggressive you want to be, you could post additional NM logs on those Listing pages, in order to get the Cache Owner's attention, or go straight to the NA, if you feel you've given the search a pretty good effort, and are pretty confident that the container/log is missing.

 

Pursuing the issue much beyond that, tends to get people labeled as "cache police".  Depending on how long you intend to stay in the sport, and how thick your skin is for criticism and harassment, you'll have to judge if it's worth your time and effort.

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I'll agree with K13 and Mudfrog : Personally I'd only contact the C.O.s to  mention doubtful logs if I knew them , it might seem overly officious otherwise.

If I see something like this (and it is not uncommon, unfortunately) I sometimes take a photograph of the log clearly showing the signatures and add it to my log. The only other thing I do is remember the caching name, and not place any credence on their logs in future if I'm checking to see if a cache I'm having trouble with has been found recently.

 

When I maintain my  caches I often post a log photo, especially if I'm replacing a log, and always if I'm going to archive a false log . That way if the cacher quibbles about the find, I have the evidence already there on the cache page. No-one has contested the few archivings I've done.

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1 hour ago, cachemeoutsidepgh said:

Is there anything I can do about this, report the user, etc?  This is morally wrong and definitely against the game standards.

 

In some cases, there may be a throwdown community replacement container, in addition to the real one.  I'll see online logs with only occasional actual signatures on that real log.  This happens most often when it's a trashy Micro in a bad spot.  I really can't tell if it's a throwdown or just a lotta of the type of people who claim a "find" because they were in the general area.  Maybe the one I found was the throwdown, who knows, it has no responsible Cache Owner.  But it tends to look like it's hard to find, and that people actually aren't finding it.  Remember that The App defaults to "Found It", I don't see an outcry over that, and I don't see any App reprogramming going on.  Kinda makes "Virtual Cache Rewards" worthless, don't it? B)

 

After finding several of these in this run-down shopping center, I might post a photo of the log sheet with the sparse signatures, and mention how awesome it is that I'm the first to sign the log in X months. And then I move on. :)

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, cachemeoutsidepgh said:

Is there anything I can do about this, report the user, etc?

 

In addition to the info above, you can report it to Groundspeak via the Help Center.  While I can't guarantee they will act, they have deleted finds and locked accounts for abuse like this in the past.  Not sure if it makes a difference that you're not an owner of any of the affected caches.

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1 hour ago, cachemeoutsidepgh said:

This upsets me, and I did send the user a message.  No response, go figure.  

 

Is there anything I can do about this, report the user, etc?  This is morally wrong and definitely against the game standards.

 

If it upsets you so much, you could email the CO to give them a heads-up.  It's their caches...

You sent the "faker" email?    On caches not yours?   It was years before I started ticking people off.  :D

 

We read all of the cache page before heading out, so usually remember some of the past finders.

Similar to hal-an-tow,  if we see an obvious faker on other's hides,  maybe we'll take a log pic, or add a brief "some fakers here..." in with our log.

We also may post the log for no sig when I do an OM on our hides, and delete their Found IT (on the higher-terrain hides).

 - Tough to fight when the evidence is there.   

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I didn't really pay attention to the latest souvenir run from Groundspeak - think it was called Hidden Creatures and the more caches you found within a month the more souvenirs you got?

 

Was it 100 finds to get them all?

 

I heard about one guy who armchair logged the whole 100 caches just to get the souvenirs because, of course, you can do that as you get to keep the souvenirs even if all your found logs get deleted.

 

Wouldn't surprise me if they were mass logged using GSAK or similar either.

 

All for a little square of pixels.

 

Takes all sorts I suppose.

 

 

 

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I know a guy that has found a grand total of 2 physical caches since the start of the Hidden Creatures promotion.  However, he has "found" -- i.e. armchair-logged -- over 100 lab caches during the promotion period, and has obtained all the souvenirs, despite the language in the GC help center that lab caches will not result in souvenirs.  I've been giving him a hard time about his habit of armchair-logging labs for months.  When it comes to other people's caching habits though, I'm of the mindset that I can't change other people's behavior; only my own.  I know that my finds are legit.  If other people want to game the system, that doesn't affect me unless I let it.

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3 hours ago, Theophi1os said:

If other people want to game the system, that doesn't affect me unless I let it.

 

...until it does affect you and others, like in one of the scenarios described by the OP:

 

7 hours ago, cachemeoutsidepgh said:
  • Marked "Found" on caches that were in "Need Maintenance" state, had multiple DNF for the whole year (I couldn't even find them), and caches where people straight up said the cache wasn't in it's intended location and needed replaced (that kinda thing).

 

...because that false "Found it" log could mislead the CO and other cachers into thinking that the cache really is there.

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Just now, The A-Team said:

 

...until it does affect you and others, like in one of the scenarios described by the OP:

 

 

Or the CO with many old virtual caches gets fed up with the fake logs and archives his/her caches. (After working many hours on finding the answers for a few old virtuals halfway around the word, the caches were archived only weeks before we got there).

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Groundspeak leaves it up to the cache owner to delete fraudulent logs.  However, there are circumstances when Groundspeak needs to step in but they won't.  In fact, I found a geocache that the previous person didn't, assumed it was missing, placed a throw down, and logged it as found.  This cache owner quit the game awhile back so needless to say, he/she isn't going to delete this fraudulent log.  I brought this to the attention of Groundspeak and even provided photographic evidence of the actual log and geocache.  All Groundspeak said was, "We will deal with this situation appropriately."  Yet, the fraudulent log still stands.

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10 minutes ago, OCamera said:

Groundspeak leaves it up to the cache owner to delete fraudulent logs.  However, there are circumstances when Groundspeak needs to step in but they won't.  In fact, I found a geocache that the previous person didn't, assumed it was missing, placed a throw down, and logged it as found.  This cache owner quit the game awhile back so needless to say, he/she isn't going to delete this fraudulent log.  I brought this to the attention of Groundspeak and even provided photographic evidence of the actual log and geocache.  All Groundspeak said was, "We will deal with this situation appropriately."  Yet, the fraudulent log still stands.

 

I would really like to see finds and their log removed from those who state in their log that they placed a throwdown. 

 

The problem would be that people who throwdown will stop posting that they threw down a cache. However,  it might help stop the practice when throwdown comments do not appear in logs. Seeing throwdowns comments in logs makes them appear sanctioned, encouraged, and rewarded. 

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8 minutes ago, OCamera said:

Groundspeak leaves it up to the cache owner to delete fraudulent logs.  However, there are circumstances when Groundspeak needs to step in but they won't.  In fact, I found a geocache that the previous person didn't, assumed it was missing, placed a throw down, and logged it as found.  This cache owner quit the game awhile back so needless to say, he/she isn't going to delete this fraudulent log.  I brought this to the attention of Groundspeak and even provided photographic evidence of the actual log and geocache.  All Groundspeak said was, "We will deal with this situation appropriately."  Yet, the fraudulent log still stands.

 

Guess I don't understand. 

The issue is an absent CO not maintaining their hide.  A NM or NA should fix that.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Guess I don't understand. 

The issue is an absent CO not maintaining their hide.  A NM or NA should fix that.

 

 

 

A NM sends an e-mail to the CO notifying him/her that there is a problem.  Since this person quit the game, I highly doubt that anything will be done.  A NA sends an e-mail to the local Reviewer that there is a problem with a cache.  The Reviewer can disable a cache or archive it if necessary, but can't delete logs.  So, in this particular instance, this cache is most likely going to end up being archived and the fraudulent log is going to stand...

Edited by OCamera
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On 7/24/2018 at 12:21 PM, Team Microdot said:

I didn't really pay attention to the latest souvenir run from Groundspeak - think it was called Hidden Creatures and the more caches you found within a month the more souvenirs you got?

 

Was it 100 finds to get them all?

 

I heard about one guy who armchair logged the whole 100 caches just to get the souvenirs because, of course, you can do that as you get to keep the souvenirs even if all your found logs get deleted.

 

Wouldn't surprise me if they were mass logged using GSAK or similar either.

 

All for a little square of pixels.

 

Takes all sorts I suppose.

 

 

 

After seeing what I have seen of people I am not surprised...

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12 minutes ago, OCamera said:

A NM sends an e-mail to the CO notifying him/her that there is a problem.  Since this person quit the game, I highly doubt that anything will be done.  A NA sends an e-mail to the local Reviewer that there is a problem with a cache.  The Reviewer can disable a cache or archive it if necessary, but can't delete logs.  So, in this particular instance, this cache is most likely going to end up being archived and the fraudulent log is going to stand...

Yep.

A NM starts the cache health score, and in my area most Reviewers make scans time-to-time for those not attended to.

An NA eventually gets a cache with an inactive owner archived.  The issue is an inactive owner no longer maintaining their hide.

This "fake finder" just a result of that cache.   :)

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We have seen instances where "finders" had their finds vaporized and accounts even locked by HQ.

 - But most IIRC, had to do with numerous fake finds, in large areas or multiple states, sometimes all within a day or two.

 

 

Almost forgot to mention, playing one night on google, I bumped into a weird one.

There's one who has a bookmark on caches asking for Throwdowns, on caches.

 - At least one cache (the first and only one I looked at) says "PS: This cache is "Throwdown Welcome", please check the bookmark for detail"  right on the cache page.  Kinda surprised many are still active with that wording.

 

ETA  checked four more and they have it too.

Edited by cerberus1
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12 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 - At least one cache (the first and only one I looked at) says "PS: This cache is "Throwdown Welcome", please check the bookmark for detail"  right on the cache page.  Kinda surprised many are still active with that wording.

Surprised that caches such as these that owners abandon all responsibility for maintenance asking finders to do it for them haven't been spotted by reviewers.

Edited by Team Christiansen
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8 minutes ago, Team Christiansen said:

Surprised that caches such as these that owners abandon all responsibility for maintenance asking finders to do it for them haven't been spotted by reviewers.

 

It is called delegation. It happens all over the world. It means that responsibility can be shared and transferred. Deleging does not have anything wrong with it if it works. Sometimes delegation fails and the the cache owner has to bear all responsibility.

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Many reviewers, myself included, will not publish a cache when the owner welcomes throwdowns as part of the cache description.  I cite to the cache maintenance guideline and the help center article about throwdowns.  The cache owner is responsible for maintaining their own caches, and getting others to do that work for them is not an acceptable maintenance plan.

 

Of course, if this type of language is added post-publication, that would only come to a reviewer's attention if they happen to read the cache page (reviewers are geocachers, too) or if the cache receives a "Needs Archived" log or a low health score notice.

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24 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

It is called delegation. It happens all over the world. It means that responsibility can be shared and transferred. Deleging does not have anything wrong with it if it works. Sometimes delegation fails and the the cache owner has to bear all responsibility.

 

This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of delegation.

 

Quote

Delegation is the assignment of any responsibility or authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work.

 

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26 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of delegation.

 

Did you even read what you quoted from Wikipedia?

 

50 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Many reviewers, myself included, will not publish a cache when the owner welcomes throwdowns as part of the cache description.

 

That seems to be reasonable because the CO is obviously trying to avoid all responsibility. Buy you will allow a cache if the maintenance has been delegated to another person. For example, if geocacher A owns cache which is too far away for him but geocacher B, who lives nearby,  agrees to maintain the cache.

Edited by arisoft
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48 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Many reviewers, myself included, will not publish a cache when the owner welcomes throwdowns as part of the cache description.  I cite to the cache maintenance guideline and the help center article about throwdowns.  The cache owner is responsible for maintaining their own caches, and getting others to do that work for them is not an acceptable maintenance plan.

 

Of course, if this type of language is added post-publication, that would only come to a reviewer's attention if they happen to read the cache page (reviewers are geocachers, too) or if the cache receives a "Needs Archived" log or a low health score notice.

 

Sometimes I wonder if certain COs/groups are immune?  Both from encouraging throwdowns, and never performing maintenance?

"NOTE: there should NOT be any DNF's. Take a few spare micro containers and logs with you. If you find a cache is missing, just replace it (claiming a find) and move on--better for you and much less work for the 'CO'!"

 

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1 minute ago, arisoft said:

 

52 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Many reviewers, myself included, will not publish a cache when the owner welcomes throwdowns as part of the cache description.

 

That seems to be reasonable because the CO is obviously trying to avoid all responsibility. Buy you will allow a cache if the maintenance has been delegated to another person. For example, if geocacher A owns cache which is too far away for him but geocacher B, who lives nearby,  agrees to maintain the cache.

That's different, because it is a formal maintenance plan that is documented as part of the review process.  Throwdowns are the quintessential informal maintenance plan.

 

Note that a cache that's replaced or maintained with the owner's consent isn't a "throwdown."  Such arrangements are handled privately between the CO and their helper - NOT through open invitations on the cache page.

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2 minutes ago, arisoft said:
29 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of delegation.

 

Did you even read what you quoted from Wikipedia?

 

I certainly did - read AND understood it.

 

Did you?

 

Did you understand that the person delegating retains full overall responsibility

 

57 minutes ago, arisoft said:
1 hour ago, Team Christiansen said:

Surprised that caches such as these that owners abandon all responsibility for maintenance asking finders to do it for them haven't been spotted by reviewers.

 

What you quoted ISN'T delegation. It is abandonment of responsibility.

 

Hopefully you can now see the distinction.

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2 minutes ago, Harry Dolphin said:

Sometimes I wonder if certain COs/groups are immune?  Both from encouraging throwdowns, and never performing maintenance?

"NOTE: there should NOT be any DNF's. Take a few spare micro containers and logs with you. If you find a cache is missing, just replace it (claiming a find) and move on--better for you and much less work for the 'CO'!"

 

Looks like a win-win situation for those who dare to participate. :lol:

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3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I certainly did - read AND understood it.

 

Let me guess - you also have experience ;)

 

6 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

What you quoted ISN'T delegation.

 

It is crowdsourcing, sort of delegation too.

 

Another nonsense quote from internet:

"Reputation-based approaches allow a crowdsourcing system to identify reliable workers to whom tasks can be delegated. In crowdsourcing systems that can be modeled as multi-agent trust networks consist of resource constrained trustee agents (i.e., workers), workers may need to further sub-delegate tasks to others if they determine that they cannot complete all pending tasks before the stipulated deadlines. Existing reputation-based decision-making models cannot help workers decide when and to whom to sub-delegate tasks."

 

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Recently there were a couple of geocachers who were logging local caches, with very believable logs. 'Lovely day, enjoyed the bike ride, made it it home just before dark', etc. The well written logs were very believable. What made them come unstuck was when they logged a multicache, (we decided it was time we attempted a multicache) that involved finding WPs in 3 Australian states and territories, and a boat ride/plane fight to Tasmania. The owner, logged "I don't think so" and as I had a watch on that cache I saw the log. I then checked my caches and found they had logged 4 caches that are part of a power trail that follows a bike path ('apparently' they had a lovely cycle ride). I checked the logs and there were no signatures and a friend checked his caches and found the same result. We both deleted those logs and I contacted the other cache owners and informed them about these armchair loggers. Reactions varied from annoyance -  'I'll delete their logs and report them to HQ' - to just thank you and then the CO did nothing, which I thought was disappointing to genuine finders.

 

I think some COs don't delete false logs because they don't want to upset anyone. But they do upset people. Those who are genuine finders. Also a suitable cache for a challenge has been ruined by that false log.

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On 7/24/2018 at 9:51 AM, cachemeoutsidepgh said:

Is there anything I can do about this, report the user, etc?  This is morally wrong and definitely against the game standards.

 

We both live and cache in Pittsburgh, so I'm pretty sure I know who you're talking about.  (Were the fake finds from last October?)  You will note that this account was locked (a/k/a user ban) by Geocaching HQ.  Many cache owners deleted the fake finds.  I've deleted dozens when the logs interfered with my work.  There are still hundreds left.

 

So yes, you can report the user to HQ if this happens again, and action is taken in appropriate cases.

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I think some COs don't delete false logs because they don't want to upset anyone.

 

It might be because GS wants everything being positive. You can give favorites, you can upvote posts..... but you can't rate a cache below average (or bad), downvote a post...

 

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I think some COs don't delete false logs because they don't want to upset anyone. But they do upset people. Those who are genuine finders.

 

I've deleted obviously fake finds, and I've asked a few who logged finds and were clearly there but didn't find it to change their log type; but if it ever comes down to me having to go read through the log looking for a name then that's not gonna happen and I'm gonna leave a potentially false log - if that upsets you then you're far too sensitive.

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51 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

I've deleted obviously fake finds, and I've asked a few who logged finds and were clearly there but didn't find it to change their log type; but if it ever comes down to me having to go read through the log looking for a name then that's not gonna happen and I'm gonna leave a potentially false log - if that upsets you then you're far too sensitive.

It doesn't take long with search to find an armchair logger whose name has been given to you.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, Shop99er said:

If they were my caches, and I discovered the phony logs, said logs would be deleted. Done it before, will do it again.

 

Same here.  It's one of the responsibilities as a cache owner as stated in the guidelines.  However, not every CO deletes phony logs, not sure the reason(s).  This activity would be improved if everyone follows the rules.

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10 minutes ago, MRC1925T said:
2 hours ago, Shop99er said:

If they were my caches, and I discovered the phony logs, said logs would be deleted. Done it before, will do it again.

 

Same here.  It's one of the responsibilities as a cache owner as stated in the guidelines.  However, not every CO deletes phony logs, not sure the reason(s).  This activity would be improved if everyone follows the rules.

 

Sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds. I saw some logs on a few of my caches that looked a bit suss, as they consisted of just an emoji symbol, but when I checked the logbook there were names in there that didn't match any of the online logs, including one who I know is legit but sometimes writes her real name in the logbook rather than her caching name and mostly just puts an emoji symbol as her online log (and draws it in the logbook). I suspect they may have gone there as a group but logged online on different dates. Ones like that I just give them the benefit of the doubt.

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We know we're not the only ones who ever got a "Greetings from -------" online logs for trackables and caches  years ago, thinking "Oh boy, here-we-go-again...".

 For some time it was a pain-in-the-can to check. Couple a week, and every time was fake.  Delete, delete, delete. 

I finally stopped looking.  Why bother, it's fake

 - To  find one that  did sign the log - on only onethe area in the middle of more than a dozen .1 apart.

Go figure...

I apologized for being such a knucklehead, and please sign the log again.  They actually understood the issue.   :)

We email each other off n on now.

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