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"Log is full" Needs Maintenance: did I violate etiquette?


robotpie
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I've been geocaching since 2013 but only on occasion — 85 finds at present — so I'm not new to it but I'm not very accomplished. Last week I logged a Needs Maintenance for a log that seemed to be full. I can't swear that I wasn't mistaken. I didn't expect it to be controversial, so I didn't make a photographic record or anything, but we'd flipped through it looking for empty space and ended up halfway down the last page. The cache owner, I just noticed, posted a breathtakingly snide note back saying that the log could not be full, and belittling my relatively low find count ("Someone with 81 finds since joining in 2013 shouldn’t be putting a needs maintenance" etc., etc.).

 

Did I violate common etiquette here? Best I've been able to figure from searching the forums is that some people take it personally, and other people think that Needs Maintenance just means needs maintenance. I thought I was being helpful. If I'd ever gotten around to placing any of the caches I've thought of, I would certainly want to know when the log needed replacing or anything else needed attention so I could fix it.

 

(To head off one possible response, I know now I could have notified the owner privately. I'm not sure I was aware of it before, but even if I was, it didn't occur to me because I thought this was exactly what Needs Maintenance was for.)

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In the new style logging workflow, "Logbook is full" is the first option.  (See screenshot below.)  So yes, a full logbook is a valid reason to log "Needs Maintenance."

 

There might be a factual question about the word "full."  If there is room to sign "halfway down the last page," that is room for quite a few more visitors to sign.  An alternative would have been to mention in your "Found it" log that the logbook is down to half its final page.  "Full" means there's no spot left to squeeze in a signature or initials.

 

image.png.d6f79e1c980d906da728a7e6a5f93fb7.png

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31 minutes ago, robotpie said:

Did I violate common etiquette here?

It is absolutely appropriate to log a needs maintenance when the log is full. But based on your description I'm not sure the log was full. I think in this case I would have mentioned it in my find it log.

But a full log is absolutely a reason for a Needs Maintenance! 

 

Several have posted on the forums mentioning their experiences when a needs maintenance log is posted only to find out the entire other side of the log is empty. 😁

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Keystone said:

There might be a factual question about the word "full."  If there is room to sign "halfway down the last page," that is room for quite a few more visitors to sign.  An alternative would have been to mention in your "Found it" log that the logbook is down to half its final page.  "Full" means there's no spot left to squeeze in a signature or initials.

 

If I was the CO, I'd much prefer to be alerted to a logbook being almost full than being already full. If it's almost full, I can get out there and replace it at my leisure before it comes full, but if I don't find out about it until it's a problem, it's then too late.

 

I'd much rather an NM about an almost-full logbook (or any other maintenance issue) than just a mention in a log, because the latter is the sort of thing I could easily overlook if I'm in the middle of something else when the notification email comes in. I really don't understand COs who get annoyed by NMs for minor maintenance issues, as it's nearly always better to fix those before they become major maintenanc issues.

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It was a really small logbook, like postage-stamp sized. There wasn't room for more than 1-2 signatures left so i felt "full" was justified, for the reasons barefootjeff just posted.

 

Obviously I really hope it wasn't a stupid mistake. I was sure it was full at the time. I'd go back and check but it's 100 miles and an expensive ferry ride away.

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40 minutes ago, robotpie said:

I've been geocaching since 2013 but only on occasion — 85 finds at present — so I'm not new to it but I'm not very accomplished. Last week I logged a Needs Maintenance for a log that seemed to be full. I can't swear that I wasn't mistaken. I didn't expect it to be controversial, so I didn't make a photographic record or anything, but we'd flipped through it looking for empty space and ended up halfway down the last page. The cache owner, I just noticed, posted a breathtakingly snide note back saying that the log could not be full, and belittling my relatively low find count ("Someone with 81 finds since joining in 2013 shouldn’t be putting a needs maintenance" etc., etc.).

 

Did I violate common etiquette here? Best I've been able to figure from searching the forums is that some people take it personally, and other people think that Needs Maintenance just means needs maintenance. I thought I was being helpful. If I'd ever gotten around to placing any of the caches I've thought of, I would certainly want to know when the log needed replacing or anything else needed attention so I could fix it.

 

(To head off one possible response, I know now I could have notified the owner privately. I'm not sure I was aware of it before, but even if I was, it didn't occur to me because I thought this was exactly what Needs Maintenance was for.)

I read the log that you mentioned. I completely disagree with what they said about someone with your number find should not be logging a needs maintenance on a full log. 

The number count is irrelevant.

 

However the cache owner's description of the log book doesn't quite match your description, so in my opinion something's up.

Edited by Max and 99
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4 minutes ago, robotpie said:

It was a really small logbook, like postage-stamp sized. There wasn't room for more than 1-2 signatures left so i felt "full" was justified, for the reasons barefootjeff just posted.

 

Obviously I really hope it wasn't a stupid mistake. I was sure it was full at the time. I'd go back and check but it's 100 miles and an expensive ferry ride away.

I reckon you did it right. I also strongly agree with Jeff.

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1 hour ago, robotpie said:

It was a really small logbook, like postage-stamp sized. There wasn't room for more than 1-2 signatures left so i felt "full" was justified, for the reasons barefootjeff just posted.

 

Obviously I really hope it wasn't a stupid mistake. I was sure it was full at the time. I'd go back and check but it's 100 miles and an expensive ferry ride away.

 

Whether it's got space for only a couple more signatures, or in the case of a sheet of paper, one whole side is full, I'd appreciate a NM or a mention of the issue in any log type.  Because it's time for me to place a new log.  Doesn't bother me.  I've probably made an awesome new postage stamp sized book and I'm aching for the excuse to place it.

 

But if I can cram even just my initials onto a full, ancient log sheet, even in a signature spot that faded completely away 15 years ago, I don't make an "NM" log for a full log, just because, you know, I don't wanna get my head bit off.  I just type "log is full, so I signed where I could" in my online Found log.  Yeah, because of cache owners who are like, "Someone with [Number Here] finds since joining in [Year Here] shouldn’t be putting a needs maintenance".

 

But if there's already an unaddressed "NM" for the log being full, I might do an "NA".  Don't tempt me. B)

 

Edited by kunarion
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Max and 99, it is that one. What are you saying, that there is room for more signatures per page than I said? (I mean obviously you haven't actually just been to the cache and looked at it in real life.) There are other pics from that cache that show room for six to eight signatures on the page. If my memory is accurate, there were a couple of lines filled in on the last page; my wife and I occupied two more.

 

I guess I thought "imminently full" counted as full for maintenance purposes. If that was wrong I'd like to know about it (although I still think the vitriol I got in response was likely uncalled for).

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11 minutes ago, robotpie said:

What are you saying, that there is room for more signatures per page than I said?

I have no way of knowing that. But to me it looks way bigger than postage size. It looks like about 12 signatures per page, maybe even more if you squeeze them in. 

 

 

 

Edited by Max and 99
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6 hours ago, robotpie said:

The cache owner, I just noticed, posted a breathtakingly snide note back saying that the log could not be full, and belittling my relatively low find count

 

I have received few logs that stated a full logbook. When checking the cache I have found that the logbook is not full at all. Never deleted a find because of false statement in the log but deleted some because there is no signature. In your case, you could contact the help center https://www.geocaching.com/help/ and ask to restore your log because it is deleted without appropriate reason.

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12 hours ago, robotpie said:

(To head off one possible response, I know now I could have notified the owner privately. I'm not sure I was aware of it before, but even if I was, it didn't occur to me because I thought this was exactly what Needs Maintenance was for.)

One advantage of a Needs Maintenance log over private email is that others can see the Needs Maintenance log, allowing others to know what the situation is. (And that includes other seekers and potential seekers, as well as volunteer reviewers and lackeys.)

 

I would use private email for things I didn't want public (like an exact description of where I re-hid a cache that I found sitting in the middle of the trail), and NM logs for everything that can be public.

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12 hours ago, robotpie said:

 Last week I logged a Needs Maintenance for a log that seemed to be full. I can't swear that I wasn't mistaken. 

 

Did I violate common etiquette here? Best I've been able to figure from searching the forums is that some people take it personally, and other people think that Needs Maintenance just means needs maintenance. I thought I was being helpful. If I'd ever gotten around to placing any of the caches I've thought of, I would certainly want to know when the log needed replacing or anything else needed attention so I could fix it.

If it felt right to you, cool.  You didn't hurt anything...  :)  It helps others think maybe there's an issue (or not).

Maybe it depends on the CO.  We act on logs, and enter a reply within a day or two we'll be out to fix.

Oher COs seem to wait until someone places a NM.  But sometimes that can be a while (that "I don't want drama" thing...).

Some odd reason, the rare time people just said "log is full" in their log,  it was. We did have a couple small caches then.

- But every time we got a NM with "log full", the other side of the paper log was always untouched. :D

People have even entered NM when we had hardcover books and Rite in Rain 4x6 notepads in others.  Back pages blank...

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There are a bunch of issues here, actually, but to answer the question you asked: until GS out of the blue made "log full" the most important possibility for logging an NM, no one I know used NMs to report a full logs. A full log just isn't that important. The only one hurt by the log being full is the CO -- he will miss signatures if he wants to check them -- so there's no particular reason to raise the issue to the system level by filing an NM. No, I wouldn't call it a mistake in etiquette, just a natural mistake that's understandable since it's encouraged by GS themselves. Personally, I don't care whether you file an NM, but you can be just as helpful by mentioning the full log in your find log.

 

I'm not sure how to interpret "breathtakingly snide". Of course the CO shouldn't be rude, but since he told you the log in the actual cache couldn't be full, you should be thinking more about whether the cache you found was authentic or something other than what the CO hid. I suggest avoiding any preconceptions about the CO and, instead, just explain what you found. That could lead to the two of you discovering where the disconnect is between the full log you found and the mostly empty log the CO thinks is in the cache.

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This is the reason I showed the picture from the gallery of the logbook. It didn't seem to match what the OP described. That log book in the image seems to allow an awful lot of signatures even if you have to go back to any page and sign sideways, anywhere!  So I wondered if they had signed a different log. 

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34 minutes ago, dprovan said:

There are a bunch of issues here, actually, but to answer the question you asked: until GS out of the blue made "log full" the most important possibility for logging an NM, no one I know used NMs to report a full logs. A full log just isn't that important. The only one hurt by the log being full is the CO -- he will miss signatures if he wants to check them -- so there's no particular reason to raise the issue to the system level by filing an NM. No, I wouldn't call it a mistake in etiquette, just a natural mistake that's understandable since it's encouraged by GS themselves. Personally, I don't care whether you file an NM, but you can be just as helpful by mentioning the full log in your find log.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by an NM raising the issue to the "system level". To me, an NM is just a heads-up to the CO that there's something needing their attention, and that's largely how it's used in these parts, but I do realise the CHS has changed the game in that both NMs and DNFs now potentially invoke reviewer intervention. In the past I've overlooked maintenance issues mentioned in passing in a Found It log, probably because I was in the middle of something else when the email came in and didn't pay close enough attention to the fine detail in what was a fairly long log, so I'd really prefer an NM for any maintenance issue no matter how trivial, simply because it sets a flag that I can't easily forget about. I think it's sad that that this otherwise helpful functionality is now being discouraged for minor issues in order to allow NMs to be treated by the system as if they were NAs.

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Looking at the previous gallery picture showing the logbook from a year ago, it does indeed seem to have a capacity of six logs per page, be written on both sides of the pages and close to the end already then. After that there's some 45 online logs, so if it is the same book it must be full now. And the most recent picture doesn't seem to show a logbook that has been replaced in the last year.

348e4bce-e11b-40ed-843f-235686c508ce_l.jpg.bfeb8c81114adbfb6b4f801294add85f.jpg

Of course it is OK do post an NM for a full logbook, regardless how many finds you have or how long it took you to accrue them. I never do it if the CO seems inactive though, as that puts an otherwise working geocache at risk of archiving.

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18 hours ago, robotpie said:

 

 

17 hours ago, robotpie said:

I was thinking of a large stamp, I guess? You're right though, it was a slight exaggeration. Shame on me for that.

 

Anyway thanks all who have responded so far, it's very heartening. Although I will certainly use a private message next time, or nothing at all.

I would not recommend a PM.  Log the NM then edit it to add the reasons for doing it. Don't take any comment by CO personally, you get all types.

BTW. This OT but I did notice in one of your recent finds, Kissing Rock or something similar(?). A recent finder found a bison tube but cache description indicated a Regular.  I would be tempted to log an NM in that instance (politely) pointing out the discrepancy.

Edited by colleda
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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not sure what you mean by an NM raising the issue to the "system level". To me, an NM is just a heads-up to the CO that there's something needing their attention, and that's largely how it's used in these parts, but I do realise the CHS has changed the game in that both NMs and DNFs now potentially invoke reviewer intervention.

Filing the NM requires the CO to do something. The least he has to do is post an OM to clear the flag. That's what I meant by system level. (I was intentionally ignoring the CHS...but of course that makes things even worse.) It's the next step *above* being helpful. A comment in the find log gives the helpful information. Filing an NM provides exactly the same information, but in addition forces the CO to respond. I ask myself why that difference is important to the person filing the NM.

 

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

In the past I've overlooked maintenance issues mentioned in passing in a Found It log, probably because I was in the middle of something else when the email came in and didn't pay close enough attention to the fine detail in what was a fairly long log, so I'd really prefer an NM for any maintenance issue no matter how trivial, simply because it sets a flag that I can't easily forget about.

So that's fine, you like people to post the NMs on your caches when the log is full because that's convenient to the way you play. But surely that means you have to acknowledged other COs that do not want NMs posted because *that's* convenient to how *they* play. "I like people to post NMs on my caches when the log is full," is a perfectly reasonable position. "Everyone should be forced -- or at least encouraged -- to post NMs on full logs," is an entirely different issue.

 

In this case, I'd say the least important failure is for you to forget, since if the full log is mentioned once, it will be mentioned again. It turns out that it works the opposite way for NMs: if an NM's posted, people rarely post a redundant one. Even though the flag remains set, the forgetful CO will forget the flag is set just as easily as you've forgotten the comment in the find log.

 

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I think it's sad that that this otherwise helpful functionality is now being discouraged for minor issues in order to allow NMs to be treated by the system as if they were NAs.

I think this is a very valid point, but, once again, I think the argument cuts the opposite way from the way you've taken it. While I agree that COs should accept any NM with good grace, it's just a fact that *this* CO *didn't*. So now we have to wonder if the OP and anyone he talks to won't be discouraged from posting *any* NMs because he got flak for posting this NM about an inconsequential problem.

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

Filing the NM requires the CO to do something. The least he has to do is post an OM to clear the flag. That's what I meant by system level. (I was intentionally ignoring the CHS...but of course that makes things even worse.) It's the next step *above* being helpful. A comment in the find log gives the helpful information. Filing an NM provides exactly the same information, but in addition forces the CO to respond. I ask myself why that difference is important to the person filing the NM.

 

So that's fine, you like people to post the NMs on your caches when the log is full because that's convenient to the way you play. But surely that means you have to acknowledged other COs that do not want NMs posted because *that's* convenient to how *they* play. "I like people to post NMs on my caches when the log is full," is a perfectly reasonable position. "Everyone should be forced -- or at least encouraged -- to post NMs on full logs," is an entirely different issue.

 

I'm curious, then, why the three canned NM messages on the new logging page are "Logbook is full", "Cache might be missing" and "Container is damaged" if you're not supposed to use NM to report a full logbook and, as we've been told in other threads, you're not supposed to use an NM if you think the cache might be missing. They might just as well rename NM as DC (damaged container) and be done with it. I'm certainly not saying using NMs for full logs should be forced, and maybe it shouldn't be encouraged (although as a CO I really would like to see it encouraged) but it shouldn't be chastised either. Last time I looked, replacing a full logbook was supposed to be a CO's responsibility.

 

4 hours ago, dprovan said:

In this case, I'd say the least important failure is for you to forget, since if the full log is mentioned once, it will be mentioned again. It turns out that it works the opposite way for NMs: if an NM's posted, people rarely post a redundant one. Even though the flag remains set, the forgetful CO will forget the flag is set just as easily as you've forgotten the comment in the find log.

 

I've yet to receive an NM on any of my caches so I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming that, on the Cache Owner Dashboard at least, there'll be a banner at the top saying that a cache needs attention, similar to the one that appears if you have any disabled caches.

 

Edit to add: Rather than get multiple mentions of a full logbook, I suspect it's more likely someone would just quietly stuff in whatever scrap of paper they happened to have on them. If that's the desired outcome, well problem solved I guess.

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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16 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm curious, then, why the three canned NM messages on the new logging page are "Logbook is full", "Cache might be missing" and "Container is damaged" if you're not supposed to use NM to report a full logbook and, as we've been told in other threads, you're not supposed to use an NM if you think the cache might be missing.

I can only speculate why the people that developed the new logging page made the mistake of include log full as a choice, let alone the first choice.

 

I always advocate using an NM to point out that there's reason to think the cache is missing, so I can't really address that point. I do worry a little about the phrasing, since you can never really be sure why people can't find the cache. It might be missing, it might be out of position, it might be rated wrong, the coordinates or hint might be wrong. But "might be missing" isn't a bad way to characterize it, except that underscores the problem of this being a canned message since it doesn't require explaining *why* you think it's missing.

16 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

They might just as well rename NM as DC (damaged container) and be done with it. I'm certainly not saying using NMs for full logs should be forced, and maybe it shouldn't be encouraged (although as a CO I really would like to see it encouraged) but it shouldn't be chastised either. Last time I looked, replacing a full logbook was supposed to be a CO's responsibility.

You're being fooled by the user interface only giving a limited number of canned choices into thinking their list is somehow exhaustive. An understandable mistake, but it underscores the basic problem with this canned NM approach: it encourages people reporting problems make that same mistake of thinking that if the problem they want to report isn't in the list, they shouldn't report it. Well, "shouldn't" isn't even right: they *can't* report it. Even if they decide an NM is appropriate, the interface suggest that just saying "other" is good enough.

17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I've yet to receive an NM on any of my caches so I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming that, on the Cache Owner Dashboard at least, there'll be a banner at the top saying that a cache needs attention, similar to the one that appears if you have any disabled caches.

I wouldn't know either because I never look at the "Cache Owner Dashboard". I'm assuming most people don't, so having a maintenance issue flagged there doesn't strike me as very interesting. But if it *is* interesting to a CO that likes to have his caches with reported full logs flagged there, then he can file his own NM to remind himself. Ooops! GS doesn't let CO's do that anymore because it isn't logical. Oh, well.

17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Edit to add: Rather than get multiple mentions of a full logbook, I suspect it's more likely someone would just quietly stuff in whatever scrap of paper they happened to have on them. If that's the desired outcome, well problem solved I guess.

Exactly. I didn't want to confuse the issue about filing logs by pointing out that normally the actual problem of a full log will resolve itself when someone that carries spare logs just adds more log to the cache. Even COs that don't like people doing maintenance on their caches can't really complain about someone adding more log as a temporary fix until the CO gets around to doing whatever he considers proper log maintenance. Yes, the "quietly" part can be a problem, but I don't see that much. In my experience, when a seeker adds log, they typically note it in the find log.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

Yes, the "quietly" part can be a problem, but I don't see that much. In my experience, when a seeker adds log, they typically note it in the find log.

 

On a cache I did last Sunday, which was hidden in 2006, there was the original spiral-bound logbook plus several folded-up sheets of paper that had been subsequently added, which took a fair bit of folding and unfolding to figure out which one was the current one. Looking back through the online logs, there's mention by someone in their 2016 find log that the original logbook was nearly full but I can't see anyone after that saying they added a sheet. Maybe it was the CO, as they're still active, but there've been no OM logs and the only WNs are for TB drops by previous finders.

 

I'd still like to know why logging an NM for a full log (or nearly full log) is such a BAD thing. Replacing a full log is supposed to be an owner's responsibility, so they're going to have to go out to the cache and address it whether it's in an NM or just an aside mentioned somewhere in the midst of a long and detailed Found log, and logging an OM afterwards to clear the flag isn't such an onerous task, is it? Or is it really just to facilitate set-and-forget COs so they don't have to bother with trivial things like full logbooks?

 

I can understand a reluctance to log an NM on an old treasured cache when the owner is no longer active, as reviewers now seem to be pouncing on unaddressed NMs and treating them as NAs, but a general rule against logging NM for anything that isn't a critical issue seems a step too far. Things were a lot simpler back when an NM was just a sticky heads-up to the CO and reviewers only became involved if someone followed it up with an NA.

 

I know I'm an oddball CO, but I put a fair bit of effort into my logbooks, making laminated cover designs and using waterproof "stone" paper if the cache is in a potentially damp location. My story-telling caches, like the Bushranger series, have the story's denouement in the front of the logbook. For my smaller containers, the logbook is usually hand-made, slicing and dicing stone paper sheets and adding laminated front and back covers with artwork specific to the cache. On those ones I can easily add more pages if the find rate is higher than I expected and I'd much rather do that than have someone just throw in a scrap of paper and perhaps even turf the old logbook. Getting an NM when the log is nearly full, or for anything else that needs my attention regardless of how trivial it is, is something I'd find really helpful.

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On 11/11/2021 at 1:19 PM, barefootjeff said:

Getting an NM when the log is nearly full, or for anything else that needs my attention regardless of how trivial it is, is something I'd find really helpful.

More helpful than it just being mentioned in a find log? That's the question. Wouldn't you run out and deal with it right away even if it was only in a find log?

 

But, by the way, it would make some sense to file an NM about a damaged log for a cache where the log is so important to the cache. But I think those caches are rare exceptions, so I don't think the UI should be designed to assume every cache is like that and every CO wants that.

 

On 11/11/2021 at 1:19 PM, barefootjeff said:

I'd still like to know why logging an NM for a full log (or nearly full log) is such a BAD thing.

I don't think logging an NM for a full log is bad, just excessive. I certainly advocate a CO being understanding, since an NM isn't a big deal one way or the other. But I do think we should consider what making filing NMs for full logs does to the seeker/CO relation. My claim is that a full log is a minor issue, a very tiny step up from "the inside of the container is a little dusty." Reporting it as a problem that the CO *must* react to seems a little entitled to me, as if the CO is a servant to wait on the seeker, not a friend the seeker is playing a game with.

 

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23 hours ago, dprovan said:

Reporting it as a problem that the CO *must* react to seems a little entitled to me, as if the CO is a servant to wait on the seeker, not a friend the seeker is playing a game with.

 

Not only that, if reviewers treat a NM as that the CO must visit and verify the cache, then caches with small logsheets that need constant replacing, if noted by NM logs, could make for some needlessly repetitive maintenance runs to replace a sheet of paper. Of course a CO could have no problem doing that, but at the same time a CO may be okay with someone slipping in a new sheet. It could be debatable whether the CO should be auditing the logsheet signatures with the online Find logs, but that gets pretty extreme and difficult especially when groups (or individuals) may sign with a name other than their username(s). 

It's a messy issue, imo.   But likewise I won't post a NM on a full or wet log, unless the container also needs some TLC. I will though announce it in my log; then the CO can either choose to maintain the log, or the next finder may know and decide to bring a fresh sheet. *shrug*

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Not only that, if reviewers treat a NM as that the CO must visit and verify the cache, then caches with small logsheets that need constant replacing, if noted by NM logs, could make for some needlessly repetitive maintenance runs to replace a sheet of paper. Of course a CO could have no problem doing that, but at the same time a CO may be okay with someone slipping in a new sheet. It could be debatable whether the CO should be auditing the logsheet signatures with the online Find logs, but that gets pretty extreme and difficult especially when groups (or individuals) may sign with a name other than their username(s). 

It's a messy issue, imo.   But likewise I won't post a NM on a full or wet log, unless the container also needs some TLC. I will though announce it in my log; then the CO can either choose to maintain the log, or the next finder may know and decide to bring a fresh sheet. *shrug*

I check each log against each other. Groups should have their names listed on one of the logs. When I have been in a group and it's been a group signature, the organiser of the outing listed who attended in their log. We had all signed a day log, giving our names.

So far, I have had no problems checking off groups. It's usually individuals who give problems; mostly beginners who - doh!! - can't figure out what that strange list of signed names indicates. I think this is an IQ test :rolleyes:.

 

I try to be helpful and log NM logs, as I hope others will do when my cache need maintenance. NM is not a personal attack on anyone; it's a helpful tool to assist the CO to know their cache needs a visit.

If a cache is broken, has a hole in it, letting in lots of water, needs a new log or it's soaked, as well as missing (as long as you are sure of this; otherwise log a DNF), log that NM. Especially when problems have already been mentioned in logs.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Not only that, if reviewers treat a NM as that the CO must visit and verify the cache, then caches with small logsheets that need constant replacing, if noted by NM logs, could make for some needlessly repetitive maintenance runs to replace a sheet of paper. Of course a CO could have no problem doing that, but at the same time a CO may be okay with someone slipping in a new sheet. It could be debatable whether the CO should be auditing the logsheet signatures with the online Find logs, but that gets pretty extreme and difficult especially when groups (or individuals) may sign with a name other than their username(s). 

It's a messy issue, imo.   But likewise I won't post a NM on a full or wet log, unless the container also needs some TLC. I will though announce it in my log; then the CO can either choose to maintain the log, or the next finder may know and decide to bring a fresh sheet. *shrug*

 

Perhaps there's a disconnect here. Maybe it's no big deal if the original log is just a sheet of paper and someone other than the CO replaces it with another sheet of paper, although I do find it a bit disheartening when I open a cache to find there's half a dozen scrunched-up tattered pieces of paper squeezed into a container that was barely big enough to hold one, because each time one of them filled a helpful finder shoved another one in.

 

But I guess my logbooks are a bit atypical, like this one:

 

Logbook.jpg.cf850b2583f7049ad105e5c829f0b196.jpg

 

The cover is printed on photo paper card, with the log itself made up of 20 sheets of waterproof stone paper and another piece of blank card on the back, all held together with a copper staple. Each sheet has six lined spaces on each side so there ought to be room for a couple of hundred signatures, an order of magnitude higher than the likely number of finders it will ever get, but it would only take a bunch of people using a whole page for their signature and it could easily run out of room. Should that happen, it's easy enough for me to add more sheets and replace the staple, as I did recently on another cache with a similarly made logbook that had been out there for some years and was well past half full. But for that to happen I need to know about it, preferably before it actually becomes full. As I see it, providing a good experience for the finders is my job as CO and part of that is making sure the logbook is in good nick and not supplemented with scraps of paper.

 

I now have 46 active caches out there (soon to become 47 I hope), making me the most prolific hider in my region. I try to design my caches to be long-lasting without needing any particular attention and most of the time that seems to work, but if there are any problems I want to know about it in big letters no matter how trivial it is. Generally things are pretty quiet around here, with just the odd log coming in now and then, but during the school holidays this area can get a lot of visitors and on rare occasions I can come home from a day of caching and find there have been dozens of logs on my caches while I've been out. Murphy's Law says that buried in amongst those between the fifth and sixth paragraph of some long-winded log will be a hint of a problem that doesn't sink in while I'm scanning through them, or I'll see someone mentioning a broken pencil (or perhaps a full logbook) but we then have a week of rain and by the time it clears I've forgotten all about it. The beauty of NM logs is that they're both attention-grabbing and sticky, just what my 67-year-old easily sidetracked mind needs sometimes, well maybe a lot of the time.

Edited by barefootjeff
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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I now have 46 active caches out there (soon to become 47 I hope), making me the most prolific hider in my region. I try to design my caches to be long-lasting without needing any particular attention and most of the time that seems to work, but if there are any problems I want to know about it in big letters no matter how trivial it is. Generally things are pretty quiet around here, with just the odd log coming in now and then, but during the school holidays this area can get a lot of visitors and on rare occasions I can come home from a day of caching and find there have been dozens of logs on my caches while I've been out. Murphy's Law says that buried in amongst those between the fifth and sixth paragraph of some long-winded log will be a hint of a problem that doesn't sink in while I'm scanning through them, or I'll see someone mentioning a broken pencil (or perhaps a full logbook) but we then have a week of rain and by the time it clears I've forgotten all about it. The beauty of NM logs is that they're both attention-grabbing and sticky, just what my 67-year-old easily sidetracked mind needs sometimes, well maybe a lot of the time.

I understand the concern, but can you tell us how often this actually happens? When you describe your log books that sound like they can be arbitrarily large and the rare visits, even though sometimes there are rushes, I'm having a hard time understanding how a log could have gotten full without you noticing more than a couple times in your career, even before I consider how a conscientious CO such as yourself is unlikely to leave a cache unvisited for very long regardless of what logs have been posted.

 

As to the last point: use the same mechanism to remind yourself to check your cache as you use to remind yourself about all the other things you need to remember in your life. You don't get an NM posted for your mother's birthday, right?

 

And after saying all that, I totally agree it would make perfect sense for someone to file an NM to report the very nice, cache specific log in your high quality, well maintained cache was nearly full. That's rarely the case that people are reporting with NMs declaring full logs. In fact, that's one of the points: with good reason, you'd want them to report that the log is getting nearly full, giving you time to add those pagers before the log runs out of room. But the canned NM can only report that it is now full.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I understand the concern, but can you tell us how often this actually happens? When you describe your log books that sound like they can be arbitrarily large and the rare visits, even though sometimes there are rushes, I'm having a hard time understanding how a log could have gotten full without you noticing more than a couple times in your career, even before I consider how a conscientious CO such as yourself is unlikely to leave a cache unvisited for very long regardless of what logs have been posted.

 

I've never experienced the joy of having one of my logbooks filled to capacity, although GC4X42A, hidden in 2014 and with 307 finds, was getting close to that point when it got muggled last year and I archived it. One of the caches on Sydney's northern beaches that I adopted in 2018 got a new logbook at the time as it had been muggled, but it's in a popular tourist spot and has had 142 finds since then. It has a fairly substantial logbook (200 pages) but I've noticed quite a few people are taking up a whole page with just their signature so it might need replacing in the next few years.

 

Over the years there have been other minor maintenance issues that I would have been on top of quicker had the previous finder logged an NM, such as the one I've mentioned before where a cache was left out in the open and the finder, not knowing where it was meant to be hidden, just covered it with sticks and bark and made this rather vague comment at the end of quite a long log: "In fact it was somewhat exposed. Signed the log and returned the cache to its hide, hiding it a little better than it was." I'd just assumed it was poking a bit out from under its ledge and they pushed it back in, but no, when I finally cottoned on after being told about it by another friend who'd been chatting with that finder, it was a couple of metres away and just sitting on the ground. Other minor things like missing pencils, which nobody's mentioned in their logs let alone logged an NM for, I've discovered on a routine visit. Just in the last month I discovered that one of my Sistema containers had its corner smashed, which no-one bothered mentioning:

 

20211115_074747.jpg.da50064989596310c9008e217d37d568.jpg

 

This aversion to using NMs because they might annoy COs who don't want to do minor maintenance just seems like a backward step since that log type has some good features for those COs who do care about their caches.

 

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Other minor things like missing pencils, which nobody's mentioned in their logs

That's one thing I wouldn't think to mention, because I never expect to find a pencil. I expect to bring my own pen, and others to do likewise. Even for my first cache, with no instruction from anyone, I brought a pen to sign the log.

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1 hour ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

 

Raise your hand if you typically use Facebook or some other calendaring application to remind you of family birthdays, and what's worse, actually NEED it.

 

This forum needs a sad little froggie-face emoji.

 

I have a calendar hanging on my wall in my office. I use an online calendar design program to design my own calendar, adding local holidays, people's birthdays and my own photographs. Then I pay money, and a physically copy is mailed to me.

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58 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

That's one thing I wouldn't think to mention, because I never expect to find a pencil. I expect to bring my own pen, and others to do likewise. Even for my first cache, with no instruction from anyone, I brought a pen to sign the log.

 

All my caches have pencils in them and it says so in the description, in part because one of the more prominent cachers in this region never has a pen with him but also because it saves me having to deal with "forgot my pen" photo logs, except the one who didn't bother opening the regular-sized container as it never occurred to them that there might be a pen or pencil in it (there were two in that one).

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On 11/14/2021 at 7:14 PM, barefootjeff said:

 

All my caches have pencils in them and it says so in the description, in part because one of the more prominent cachers in this region never has a pen with him but also because it saves me having to deal with "forgot my pen" photo logs, except the one who didn't bother opening the regular-sized container as it never occurred to them that there might be a pen or pencil in it (there were two in that one).

In the early years of geocaching, at least in my home area, a pen or pencil was expected.  I received numerous NM logs because there was no pen or pencil.  Of course that ethic changed once the micro became king. Still, I managed to fit a small pencil or cut down Bic pen in my micros.

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8 hours ago, briansnat said:

In the early years of geocaching, at least in my home area, a pen or pencil was expected.  I received numerous NM logs because there was no pen or pencil.  Of course that ethic changed once the micro became king. Still, I managed to fit a small pencil or cut down Bic pen in my micros.

Since NM and OM logs where introduced not before 2006 I find it interesting when someone like you mentions receiving NMs in the "early years"

I remember back in the days mentioning missing pens in my found logs. Still I'm often glad finding a usable pen in caches and I'm striving to provide one in my own caches.

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9 hours ago, briansnat said:

In the early years of geocaching, at least in my home area, a pen or pencil was expected.  I received numerous NM logs because there was no pen or pencil.  Of course that ethic changed once the micro became king. Still, I managed to fit a small pencil or cut down Bic pen in my micros.

 

Pencils in caches are pretty commonplace around here, particularly those put out by the more established players. Pens generally don't last well through our summers, becoming dried out and useless after cooking for a few months. But micros are relatively uncommon in this region, sitting in third place at 23.7% behind regulars at 25.4% and smalls at 43.3%. Large containers make up 3.1% with other/virtual/not chosen making up the other 4.5%.

Edited by barefootjeff
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14 hours ago, briansnat said:

In the early years of geocaching, at least in my home area, a pen or pencil was expected.  I received numerous NM logs because there was no pen or pencil.

 

What's old is new again, it seems, at least in Guantanamo Bay. I replaced several caches that were in disrepair (not mine, but someone's gotta do it), but foolishly I failed to provide a writing implement. The next few logs were "didn't have a pen." OK, fine. I found a pencil sharpener and some pencils (a rare artifact in some offices these days), broke them down to make them golf pencil-sized, and loaded them all up.

 

(Aaaaaaand no one has come by to log any of them since.)

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Veering OT, but I'll be the wet blanket...

I will not put a pencil in a cache anymore.  Realize that "a pen" isn't in the guidelines, and probably for the same reason we stopped.

For years every cache had a pen, and a few pencils when placed.  Sharpeners too. 

Every-single-time we did maintenance, without fail, it'd all be gone. We'd replace pencils (with that sharpener...), and gone.  Rinse, repeat...

We finally decided we weren't going to supply everyone with things they should already have anymore.

The back pages ripped outta our Rite In Rain notepads ticked off the other 2/3rds the most. 

Someone needed to take notes I guess...

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17 hours ago, Hynz said:

Since NM and OM logs where introduced not before 2006 I find it interesting when someone like you mentions receiving NMs in the "early years"

I remember back in the days mentioning missing pens in my found logs. Still I'm often glad finding a usable pen in caches and I'm striving to provide one in my own caches.

You don't consider 2006 the early years of geocaching?

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6 hours ago, briansnat said:

You don't consider 2006 the early years of geocaching?

For me yes but in my view not for a Charter Member.

I started 2004 and in my probably blured memory in 2006 Geocaching was already quite in the mainstream eg with the first Mega-Event and the introduction of Discovery Logs for TBs.

But I must also admit I'm a bit jellous about people like you and that I didn't find out about geocaching earlier. :)

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9 hours ago, briansnat said:

You don't consider 2006 the early years of geocaching?

I personally consider 2006 part of the early years :

 

- Before the introduction of Geocaching App

- Before the golden era of 2009-2013

- Geocache code with only 4 characters instead of 5 so part of the 10% oldest

 

On topic :

 

I would remove "logbook is full" as an option for an NM. It's so minor and there are always a way to sign a cache even if the logbook is close to full.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Like.. "signed outside of the container" - which some often have done around here. :(

Yeah I normally do that inside the container with a sharpie when the logbook is too wet and I don't have paper on me.

1 hour ago, niraD said:

At the risk of taking this thread off-topic... Could you explain what makes 2009-2013 the "golden era" of geocaching?

At least in my area it's the period when there was a lot of new caches being published and a lot of players at events. Now the publishing rate slowed down a lot in some areas and the events are smaller too. The number of cache is even going downwards in Quebec from a peak of 45k cache to now 40k.

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