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Difranco

Needs Maintenance

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So I've been going out lately and having moved to a new area, there are a lot of fresh caches for me to collect.   Many of the caches haven't been found in a while or the logs indicate that the cache has a problem but hasn't been remedied.   Anyway a cacher that is local has taken offense because I've marked several of their caches as needing maintenance in the last week.   They don't wan't me to find anymore of their caches or stop marking them as "needing maintenance"  and only make a note in the find log that there's a problem.  I was informed that it was "bad etiquette" to mark a cache as needing maintenance.     Though if I had hundreds of hides, it might be tiresome maintaining that many caches.

I have mixed feeling on this...  I don't want to generate bad feelings with another cacher - especially a local one, but at the same time if someone who isn't local is visiting, if they know a cache isn't in good shape, then they might choose another cache for their adventure.

So is it bad etiquette?

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Not at all. There's something wrong with a cache that has a soaked and soggy log therefore maintenance is required and that's why GC gives us the ability to note it as NM.

I reckon that CO is acting a little precious. If he doesn't like NMs he should keep an eye on the condition of his caches. If can't do that then he has too many.

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32 minutes ago, Difranco said:

So I've been going out lately and having moved to a new area, there are a lot of fresh caches for me to collect.   Many of the caches haven't been found in a while or the logs indicate that the cache has a problem but hasn't been remedied.   Anyway a cacher that is local has taken offense because I've marked several of their caches as needing maintenance in the last week.   They don't wan't me to find anymore of their caches or stop marking them as "needing maintenance"  and only make a note in the find log that there's a problem.  I was informed that it was "bad etiquette" to mark a cache as needing maintenance.     Though if I had hundreds of hides, it might be tiresome maintaining that many caches.

I have mixed feeling on this...  I don't want to generate bad feelings with another cacher - especially a local one, but at the same time if someone who isn't local is visiting, if they know a cache isn't in good shape, then they might choose another cache for their adventure.

So is it bad etiquette?

 

I did and will continue to do the same thing. The good news is I have not seen or heard of any complaints except one. There was objection to a NM log on a slimy mess with moldy swag as not needing any action. Many eventually get archived, some get fixed . It's all good.

 

My opinion is that if a first time cacher came to this cache would they want to return? Will they have a positive experience?

 

 

Pont them to GCH or the other way. Asking you to not find their caches is not ok in my opinion.

Edited by MNTA
OP was cut off added last sentenance

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It's good to hear you've started a dialog. Make friends and try to see if you can convince him that it's a *friendly* gesture to flag a problem for the CO with an NM so he can go take care of it. That could lead to the broader question of whether the CO needs to go out a fix problems at all, since that might be the more significant problem you're facing. If you have trouble getting him to see the light -- it might take time -- talk to him about the possibility of you helping out with his maintenance tasks. It seems quite likely that the culture in your new area doesn't really expect problems to be fixed, and, if so, you'll have to work hard to swift the culture in another direction, and getting them in the habit of fixing caches might help even though it's you doing most of the work.

 

I would understand if you got shy about posting NMs, at least for a while, but I'd continue to look for his caches and post the appropriate NMs, perhaps trying to add a light-hearted air to the friendly disagreement the two of you are having over whether NMs should be posted. Good luck!

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Caches around here take a beating from the winter weather.   So nearly everything is buried in snow, not to mention the hard freezes.   So I've been hesitant to replace containers, because many cache containers are substandard for the climate.  (Decon canisters, 35mm film, pill bottles, etc.)  So I dont nit pick, and just note minor things - torn zip lock, damp logbooks, etc when warranted.  I do this to let COs know that maintenance is on the horizon.

 

This particular CO in question, I asked about an 'easy' roadside cache looking for a hint.   They said they'd check on it in a week.   3 weeks goes by asked if they checked on it, never hear back. They replace the cache a month later, they make an owner maintenance log.  I go out and make a quick find.

 

I noticed that they have deleted several of my NM logs though the attribute remains on their caches.  One the cache container has been obliterated.  No owner maintenance.

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20 minutes ago, Difranco said:

I noticed that they have deleted several of my NM logs though the attribute remains on their caches.

The reviewer can still see it.

 

There are people like this. I once made several NM on caches on a power trail. A month later nothing had been done to replace the full logs, so I made a NA, but only on one of the caches (not all that needed maintenance), and said something like I didn't want to make a NA, so only making one as a nudge. The CO came back at me angrily and told me they expected other cachers to replace their full logs for them. Then he wrote an angry note on the cache page. "Due to a troublemaker within the community, I have disabled this cache until it can be looked at. Please do not be malicious - it is a GAME only and people do have lives and family which come before caching." on every cache that needed maintenance, whether it was a cache I had made the NM on, or someone else had, but that was aimed at me. The reviewer came in and said a NM was not malicious.

 

In case anyone questions what I wrote in the NM, this is it:

Needs MaintenanceNeeds Maintenance

Needs a new log.

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Here is a sample of what I write.  This cache hadnt been found in a year or two --  I think an animal got into it.    I mark it as the container is damaged with the NM go into detail in my found log.  I think I'm being malicious and there were several on this route the CO had set up that needed maintenance - so maybe it 'felt' malicious getting several in the same day.   I have my family with me, and they each have their own accounts, but we don't all log NM -- one is enough.    I do try to be positive and helpful -- here's a sample, though others are more brief.

 

cache log.JPG

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If you want to direct the CO to some official GC guidance on the subject, here are two links:

 

1) Maintenance expectations of a CO: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=57

 

2) Guidance to a finder on how and when to log a NM: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=107&pgid=434

 

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3 hours ago, Difranco said:

Caches around here take a beating from the winter weather.   So nearly everything is buried in snow, not to mention the hard freezes. 

I like how you're sympathetic to the CO's plight. Some seekers act so entitled that I sometimes side with the COs being annoyed even when I agree they could do better at maintaining their caches.

 

3 hours ago, Difranco said:

So I've been hesitant to replace containers, because many cache containers are substandard for the climate.  (Decon canisters, 35mm film, pill bottles, etc.)

I don't replace containers. That's not my job. When I suggested helping the CO, I meant working with the CO. If you are willing to replace containers in the name of improving your local cache quality, talk to the owner first and discuss what would make a good container, whether for a cache you're willing to go back to or a cache you're going to go to for the first time that you know from the logs has issues.

 

Although actually fixing caches is a nice side effect, the real goal here is getting the CO to think more about maintenance and container quality and anything else you don't think he's thinking about enough.

 

3 hours ago, Difranco said:

So I dont nit pick, and just note minor things - torn zip lock, damp logbooks, etc when warranted.  I do this to let COs know that maintenance is on the horizon.

In my opinion, in the environment you are talking about, complaining about broken baggies and dampness *is* nitpicking. I wouldn't post NMs about those. Yes, admittedly they are things that suggest a need for maintenance, but they're always going to be problems in a climate like that, so pointing them out in find logs is the way to go, leaving it up to the CO to decide when they need to be dealt with. This is one of those things to push more to the friendly, non-log part of your relation with this CO, in my opinion. I'd wait for a while to get a feel for the culture and the overall quality before deciding which issues to push via NMs. Of course, more obvious cases such as broken containers need to be flagged for maintenance as soon as you discover them.

 

3 hours ago, Difranco said:

This particular CO in question, I asked about an 'easy' roadside cache looking for a hint.   They said they'd check on it in a week.   3 weeks goes by asked if they checked on it, never hear back. They replace the cache a month later, they make an owner maintenance log.  I go out and make a quick find.

I'm less sympathetic to you in this area. COs have their own lives. Like most of us, they sometimes overpromise. If I were you, I'd focus more on the successful find of a nice cache without judging the CO's performance.

 

3 hours ago, Difranco said:

I noticed that they have deleted several of my NM logs though the attribute remains on their caches.  One the cache container has been obliterated.  No owner maintenance.

This is just another sign that they need council and education. I have no idea what your NMs look like, but even if they're the most polite and helpful missives on the planet, I suggest starting the conversation with something along the lines of, "I'm so sorry you felt like you had to delete my NM. What did I say that made you feel like it you couldn't leave it in the log?" And, of course, sneak in "Oh, by the way, I don't think you know that deleting the NM doesn't clear the NM flag. You should post an OM to explain what you did to correct the maintenance issue, and that will clear the flag for you."

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2 hours ago, Difranco said:

Here is a sample of what I write.

I'm never all that sure that the coordinates I'm getting from my GPSr are any better than what the CO got from his GPSr. And even if I suspect a failure on the CO's end, I always try to pitch it as a strange anomaly the CO will surely want to check on. Calling the posted coordinates "wild" puts the conversation into an "I'm right, you're wrong" area that's not very conducive to educating the CO.

 

And that's just good general advice. Since you just moved to the area, you might want to wait a while to get a better feel for whether GPSr signals are as reliable there as you're used to. For example, I live in an area that's generally open, so I'm sometimes surprised by how variable my GPSr gets when I'm in a city or a forest or steep terrain. Not just because the coordinates *you're* getting might not be as reliable, but also to have more sympathy for COs that don't account for it even when you know how to.

 

Other than that, I have no problem with your find log describing all the problems, and I'm assuming at least one of you posted an NM describing those problems. And also don't think I'm complaining about suggesting better coordinates. I support posting an NM when the coordinates appear to be way off, I just think it's more useful when the observed problem is described without editorial terms such as "wild". After all, the *observed* problem is that your GPSr showed something other than the posted coordinates. Leave out your opinion about what that says about the posted coordinates or the person that posted them.

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11 hours ago, Difranco said:

So I've been going out lately and having moved to a new area, there are a lot of fresh caches for me to collect. 

Many of the caches haven't been found in a while or the logs indicate that the cache has a problem but hasn't been remedied.   

Anyway a cacher that is local has taken offense because I've marked several of their caches as needing maintenance in the last week.   

They don't wan't me to find anymore of their caches or stop marking them as "needing maintenance"  and only make a note in the find log that there's a problem. 

I was informed that it was "bad etiquette" to mark a cache as needing maintenance.     Though if I had hundreds of hides, it might be tiresome maintaining that many caches.
I have mixed feeling on this...  I don't want to generate bad feelings with another cacher - especially a local one, but at the same time if someone who isn't local is visiting, if they know a cache isn't in good shape, then they might choose another cache for their adventure.

 

It's not only a good thing, but the guidelines expect us to.   :)  

Is it only this cacher, or a few others.  We found out one time (an NM...) that a community "has an agreement" not to create action logs.

 - Well, that doesn't help those out of their area...   ;)    Exactly how I told 'em too.  They know they can't write that on the cache page...

I feel the "visiting" cacher really isn't a consideration in this example.  Whether they "choose another cache" isn't your problem.

 

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  4 hours ago, Difranco said:

So I dont nit pick, and just note minor things - torn zip lock, damp logbooks, etc when warranted.  I do this to let COs know that maintenance is on the horizon.

In my opinion, in the environment you are talking about, complaining about broken baggies and dampness *is* nitpicking. I wouldn't post NMs about those. Yes, admittedly they are things that suggest a need for maintenance, but they're always going to be problems in a climate like that, so pointing them out in find logs is the way to go, leaving it up to the CO to decide when they need to be dealt with. This is one of those things to push more to the friendly, non-log part of your relation with this CO, in my opinion. I'd wait for a while to get a feel for the culture and the overall quality before deciding which issues to push via NMs. Of course, more obvious cases such as broken containers need to be flagged for maintenance as soon as you discover them.

I wasn't clear here.  I don't post NM for minor things like the items listed --  I just typically note them on the Found log so they know depending on conditions (weather, cache traffic, etc) that they may have cache maintenance in the future.     For example, I did a cache (different CO) the other day where a precious log by another cacher noted the logbook was damp but still useable about 3 weeks earlier, when I got to the cache the container was full of water and the logbook was soaked -  I emptied the water and dried it out the best I could with a small towel.  But I had to mark the cache NM because the logbook was unsalvable.   The other cacher in the case did what I would have done in their shoes -  the cache is still serviceable so no need for a NM.

 

Quote

I'm never all that sure that the coordinates I'm getting from my GPSr are any better than what the CO got from his GPSr. And even if I suspect a failure on the CO's end, I always try to pitch it as a strange anomaly the CO will surely want to check on. Calling the posted coordinates "wild" puts the conversation into an "I'm right, you're wrong" area that's not very conducive to educating the CO.

I'm not suggesting my coords are any better than the COs, that the  CO did anything wrong or incorrectly, nor is it intended to be a complaint -- its merely to provide another data point / sample that is all.  Bouncing / "wild" signals are just that - unstable; and the more samples you have the better average you will receive.    I've also seen where different GPSr brands seem to come up with significantly different GZs for a cache so it wouldn't surprise me if there are generational differences between GPSr -  I don't know what others are using.   Where I'm most used to caching, where you are constantly under a rainforest tree canopy -  its quite common for cachers to list alternate coords to help other cachers because the GPS signals tend to bounce wildly.

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5 hours ago, Difranco said:

This particular CO in question, I asked about an 'easy' roadside cache looking for a hint.   They said they'd check on it in a week.   3 weeks goes by asked if they checked on it, never hear back. They replace the cache a month later, they make an owner maintenance log.  I go out and make a quick find.

 

I noticed that they have deleted several of my NM logs though the attribute remains on their caches. 

One the cache container has been obliterated.  No owner maintenance.

 

In case you didn't know, Reviewers can see deleted logs, so it's possible that one's already aware of this "CO".    ;)  

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3 hours ago, Difranco said:

Here is a sample of what I write.  This cache hadnt been found in a year or two --  I think an animal got into it.    I mark it as the container is damaged with the NM go into detail in my found log.  I think I'm being malicious and there were several on this route the CO had set up that needed maintenance - so maybe it 'felt' malicious getting several in the same day.   I have my family with me, and they each have their own accounts, but we don't all log NM -- one is enough.    I do try to be positive and helpful -- here's a sample, though others are more brief.

cache log.JPG

 

Looks okay to me, followed by a NM.   Curious though, how "wild" were the coordinates ?   Thanks.  :)

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

There are people like this. I once made several NM on caches on a power trail. A month later nothing had been done to replace the full logs, so I made a NA, but only on one of the caches (not all that needed maintenance), and said something like I didn't want to make a NA, so only making one as a nudge. The CO came back at me angrily and told me they expected other cachers to replace their full logs for them. Then he wrote an angry note on the cache page. "Due to a troublemaker within the community, I have disabled this cache until it can be looked at. Please do not be malicious - it is a GAME only and people do have lives and family which come before caching." on every cache that needed maintenance, whether it was a cache I had made the NM on, or someone else had, but that was aimed at me. The reviewer came in and said a NM was not malicious.

 

I've seen power trails which are really a series of caches on some sort of path, and read about / watched video of these extreme power trails like the E.T. Highway-like series.  With the latter, I think there is an expectation from the CO and the power trail finders that there will be this sort of hot-swapping thing going on with the caches, replace-stamp-replace sort of thing.  If the CO thought that's what was expected he should have written an OM log with that written in it instead of doing nothing.  But normally I'd expect the CO to check on the full log and replace it.

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2 minutes ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I've seen power trails which are really a series of caches on some sort of path, and read about / watched video of these extreme power trails like the E.T. Highway-like series. 

With the latter, I think there is an expectation from the CO and the power trail finders that there will be this sort of hot-swapping thing going on with the caches, replace-stamp-replace sort of thing. 

If the CO thought that's what was expected he should have written an OM log with that written in it instead of doing nothing. 

But normally I'd expect the CO to check on the full log and replace it.

 

You've been around enough by now to know if that's written anywhere, it'll probably be temp-disabled by a Reviewer until it's fixed.  :)

Instead they'll moan n whine about folks "ruining" things by not just playing the game...

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6 hours ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

sort of hot-swapping thing going on with the caches, replace-stamp-replace sort of thing.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by that, as I don't know this in Australia. However I have read here that sometimes the cache is picked up, sighed while someone else drives to the next cache, then left there and the next cache is picked up. Is that what you mean? I have never found that happening here. That's not supposed to happen and many cache logs have the cache code and name on them, so that would muck things up to move them. If I were the CO I would be very, very annoyed to need to go out and replace all the caches in the correct place.

 

If a log needs replacement, that's up to the CO to replace it. If they find that too onerous, then they have too many caches and shouldn't have placed so many. I have limited the number of caches that I have placed, because of the need to maintain them. Which reminds me, I must take a walk today and visit one of my caches, as yesterday it was reported that water had got into it.

 

I won't replace a cache or log without permission for most caches. I have an on going agreement with one CO that I can service her caches (they are spread all over Australia and even a few overseas), so I will fix them. And recently I went away and I was given some new logs and a new cache to fix up some caches for another cacher that I know, when they found out I would be visiting a town where they had placed some caches. I was happy to do that, as that CO is still keeping an eye on their caches in the area where they used to live, either by revisiting the area themselves, or organising another to do some maintenance for them. They haven't just placed and forgotten their caches.

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On 7/14/2020 at 2:12 AM, Difranco said:

Anyway a cacher that is local has taken offense because I've marked several of their caches as needing maintenance in the last week.   They don't wan't me to find anymore of their caches or stop marking them as "needing maintenance"  and only make a note in the find log that there's a problem.  I was informed that it was "bad etiquette" to mark a cache as needing maintenance.

 

Using the Needs Maintenance log to indicate a need for maintenance is like using a turn signal to signal that you're turning or changing lanes. It's using something exactly for the reason it exists.

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To be fair, "Snake den too close almost stepped on one" isn't a typical reason for leaving a NM log!

The others that remain certainly seem to be entirely legitimate.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

To be fair, "Snake den too close almost stepped on one" isn't a typical reason for leaving a NM log!

Yeah, I've logged a DNF because I found a snake den at GZ, but I wouldn't log NM for one. What is the CO supposed to do about the snakes?

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6 hours ago, niraD said:

Yeah, I've logged a DNF because I found a snake den at GZ, but I wouldn't log NM for one. What is the CO supposed to do about the snakes?

 

Snake Charmer by memoangeles | GraphicRiver

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9 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Using the Needs Maintenance log to indicate a need for maintenance is like using a turn signal to signal that you're turning or changing lanes. It's using something exactly for the reason it exists.

Yeah I thought that was a strange reason.  

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8 hours ago, niraD said:

Yeah, I've logged a DNF because I found a snake den at GZ, but I wouldn't log NM for one. What is the CO supposed to do about the snakes?

 

I've had NMs posted for bees in the stump that my cache was hiding in. I could do something about it. I disabled the cache. Some people are allergic. Then I checked the cache a couple of weeks later for bee activity. None that I could see so I OM/enabled the cache. If the bees were a permanent feature I would have moved the cache to another stump, or archived it. Getting stung is not a good geocaching experience.

 

I recently posted an NM on a cache because a dove was nesting in a small tree that the cache was in. She was so still that I thought she was fake. I reached up to take the fake bird off of the fake nest. It flew up and onto a branch. I took a photo  of her and posted it with my NM disable request. Seemed like the kindest thing to do, request that the owner disable until the chicks leave the nest. The owner did just that. :)

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

a dove was nesting in a small tree that the cache was in.

I have found eggs in the tree hollow next to a cache.

Birds' nest.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 minute ago, Goldenwattle said:
1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

a dove was nesting in a small tree that the cache was in.

I have found eggs in the tree hollow next to a cache.

 

A couple of my caches have brush turkey mounds nearby which are active from July to December.

 

BrushTurkey.jpg.0b2ed882f088626a4073b81bd3a77897.jpg

 

I have one in my back yard too. They're part of the landscape here and aren't particularly bothered by people, so I'm not about to disable or move those caches. Anyone who thinks the brush turkey is the cache deserves what they get.

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

A couple of my caches have brush turkey mounds nearby which are active from July to December.

 

BrushTurkey.jpg.0b2ed882f088626a4073b81bd3a77897.jpg

 

I have one in my back yard too. They're part of the landscape here and aren't particularly bothered by people, so I'm not about to disable or move those caches. Anyone who thinks the brush turkey is the cache deserves what they get.

I'd give them a wide berth and thank whatever deity that they're not cassowaries.

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6 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I've had NMs posted for bees in the stump that my cache was hiding in. I could do something about it. I disabled the cache. Some people are allergic. Then I checked the cache a couple of weeks later for bee activity. None that I could see so I OM/enabled the cache. If the bees were a permanent feature I would have moved the cache to another stump, or archived it. Getting stung is not a good geocaching experience.

 

 

 

Many thanks for being willing to do this. One encounter with a single wasp got my dog three times in the head and my son on the hand and wife twice when they were checking on the dog. All swelled up nicely and it ended the hike and the the further caches on that trail. Son never wanted to return to that same area. The funny thing is we doing a multi titled "Birds & Bees & Blackberries" Everyone recovered nicely after a little Benadryl for all. 

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