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SF Bay Area geocachers


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For those of you who saw and gave up on Operation Futari back when it was originally posted, and are no longer watching it, it is now much easier. The first two stages became inaccessible, so I redid it to be just the final stage. The current posted coordinates are the correct final location, so all you have to do is go there and read the end of the story. The story is now shorter and easier to read, too, since I took the graphic with the code sheet off. There is no need since there is no Japanese language or decrypting to be dealt with.

 

I was also successful in retrieving the cache container for VTA Quiz from the construction area, so it is fully accessible, too.

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Congrats, TeamJiffy! May was a much slower month for me than the earlier months of this year.

 

Too bad about Operation Futari. One of my favorite caching moments came shortly after wondering "Wheat? I must have done something wrong. Where am I gonna find wheat?"

 

I'm thinking about creating a mailing list for new Bay Area cache notifications (for people who want to be notified when a cache is created). Good idea? Bad idea? Should I just use Yahoogroups?

 

My newest cache is The Little Pictures.

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Congrats!!

 

I'm going through geo-withdrawal - DTs and all that. Three days and no caching.........too much going on at home and believe it or not, work commitments. For the first time this year I didn't even make my monthly 200. June will even be much slower due to other commitments.

 

BTW - I did break 1200 on 5/29 during another all day cachathon with bthomas. You ready to join us on a future all-day outing?

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The Little Pictures

 

Well, there's definitely the use of steganography in the photos, and I've solved the steganography keywords for all 15! icon_smile.gif But, I have no idea if we'll be able to find the cache this evening - there's lots we are supposed to do this evening. And if Monday comes, no telling when we could look... icon_frown.gif

 

-Jif

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quote:
Originally posted by vdbalamo:

BTW - I did break 1200 on 5/29 during another all day cachathon with bthomas. You ready to join us on a future all-day outing?


Way to go! And no thanks, that just doesn't sound fun. I like the slow and steady pace Joani and I do. Your cache trips sound like too much work. icon_smile.gif

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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My birthday is July 5, which happens to be M&J's cacheversary. I'll probably be at 120something by then. They will be at... Who knows! And I've been caching since approximately May of last year!

 

The boys and I got to our 100th find on Saturday. Which cache was it? "Thirsty?"! I never would have guessed that this would be the one. We did all micros that day, 8 in total. More caches than I have ever done with the kids in one day, by far. They were real troupers, but then, they were excited about getting to 100 as well.

 

Now we are shooting for 200 by Christmas. Maybe we will even surpass it.

 

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

Becky Davis

San Jose, CA

Live geocaching help 1-800-ASK-KEEN extension 0324998 - call when you're out caching and you get stuck!

Buy Tupperware for cache containers.

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quote:

I'm thinking about creating a mailing list for new Bay Area cache notifications (for people who want to be notified when a cache is created). Good idea? Bad idea? Should I just use Yahoogroups?


 

I like this idea. I would subscribe.

 

Yahoogroups is good, but I'd make it a private group (not listed on the website) and just advertise the link here. I get a TON of spam sent to "groupname-owner@yahoogroups.com" for the public groups I own.

 

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

Becky Davis

San Jose, CA

Live geocaching help 1-800-ASK-KEEN extension 0324998 - call when you're out caching and you get stuck!

Buy Tupperware for cache containers.

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I just broke my first 100! I'm having so much fun finding all of your caches...I'm starting to get a feel for everyones unique style. I'm also starting to appreciate just how devious you guys can be when you want to. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Cache you soon...

 

Happy Halloween

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Woof! - congratulations!

 

...on your first 100. It took Fy and I almost 5 complete months to find our first 100, so you are off to a brisker start than us! Geocaching is lots of fun, and meeting the local group has been a pleasure. We hope to meet you at an event one of these days!

 

Jif

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Two little-noticed kablooey and The Rat caches

 

I happened to look at my list of closest caches to work today (I sometimes hunt caches during my lunch break).

 

A few days ago, The Rat placed one relating to English grammar. Only a few folks have found it.

 

kablooey put out a cache on May 4th, a month ago, that nobody had solved - so I tackled it and gave it a FTF.

 

Find those great new caches, folks! They deserve more visitors!

 

[Note: Edited to fix a grammatical error in the sentence describing The Rat's grammar cache. icon_eek.gif]

 

-Jif

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quote:
Originally posted by beckerbuns:

 

I like this idea. I would subscribe.

 

Yahoogroups is good, but I'd make it a private group (not listed on the website) and just advertise the link here. I get a TON of spam sent to "groupname-owner@yahoogroups.com" for the public groups I own.


 

A note of warning about Yahoo Groups. I joined another group there about a year ago. They required an e-mail address, so I gave them one (one I had left over from a business I no longer use). Within 3 or 4 months the spam deluge hit, and I get maybe 20 spams a day there, and nothing else. The group itself got trashed - all records/messages/members lost. Yahoo said it was hackers, and couldn't be restored. The group died but the spam lives on. That e-mail address is toast, and I wouldn't join another Yahoo Group for any reason. Yahoo sells its subscribers' e-mail addresses, and doesn't make any bones about it. The "free" service is paid for by advertisers who want your address.

 

I also don't see the need to have a group for purposes of new cache notification. This can be done automatically by e-mail through pocket queries and by website just by inputting the zip code or coordinates on the Hide and Seek a cache page. If the point is to get instant notification (more often than the daily pocket queries), then the Yahoo Group wouldn't serve that purpose, since there is no connection between when a cache gets approved and the group. It would only work for those caches the owner chooses to e-mail the group about. They can, and sometimes do, do that here on this board, so I don't see the advantage.

 

I'm sympathetic with the idea of finding a way everybody can get quick and equal access to the new cache approvals, but I think that has to be done through geocaching.com. Even the cache owner doesn't know when his/her cache has been approved. A voluntary group is going to be too hit-and-miss to be of much use, I think. This is all just my humble opinion, of course.

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

I'm thinking about creating a mailing list for new Bay Area cache notifications (for people who want to be notified when a cache is created). Good idea? Bad idea? Should I just use Yahoogroups?


 

The Rivercity Geocaching Society members use a mail list to post new caches and other info for the members. I don't how it is set up, but it is great. rcgds.net

 

This is also a great tool for new caches:

New Cache Alert

 

I hope the links work!

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While I respect the good intentions of kablooey, I have to agree with The Rat. Yahoo groups are a really mixed bag.

 

If we want to give our friends on the forums a ‘leg up’ on the cache, we can simply post a text copy of the puzzle, or do what kablooey does - put it on his web site.

 

-Jif

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If we really want some sort of notification system, I can just set up a majordomo list server on one of my linux boxes and just have people self subscribe to the list. One of the few ways to keep safe from spam is to have your own server. Let me know if this interests anyone and I'll set it up.

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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quote:
Originally posted by The Rat:

I also don't see the need to have a group for purposes of new cache notification. This can be done automatically by e-mail through pocket queries and by website just by inputting the zip code or coordinates on the Hide and Seek a cache page. If the point is to get instant notification (more often than the daily pocket queries), then the Yahoo Group wouldn't serve that purpose, since there is no connection between when a cache gets approved and the group. It would only work for those caches the owner chooses to e-mail the group about. They can, and sometimes do, do that here on this board, so I don't see the advantage.


 

I brought this topic up (dangling preposition) because one cacher asked for a better way of being notified about my new caches. With cache approvals taking as long as 48 hours (or longer...how long did Black Adder take to get approved?...it was placed 5/31, I don't remember seeing it yesterday), I've been listing some of my caches independent of the approval system. This puts the FTF hunter at the whims of the creator rather a website's volunteer worker. Of course, the website may decide not to list some or any or all of my caches in the future. It wasn't necessarily my intention to create a system that would track the listing of all new Bay Area caches.

 

Marky: I much prefer majordomo to Yahoo Groups; so if you want to create a newbayareacaches list or even just a newkablooeycaches list, that'd suit me just fine.

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Hemlock is probably just trying to enjoy being a cacher. Maybe he, she (or they) just don't want to be bugged by people asking about approval status. You'd probably be safe in assuming that Hemlock likes to be logged in a lot. But with delays in approvals, followed by bursts, perhaps their work takes them away for periods of time.

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Actually, now that I think a little more about it, I'm surprised that people claim that Yahoo Groups! is a spam magnet. I guess I should run a little test with a unique email address. I thought it was nearly impossible to find out the email addresses of people on a Yahoo Groups mailing list unless you're the list owner.

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

Actually, now that I think a little more about it, I'm surprised that people claim that Yahoo Groups! is a spam magnet. I guess I should run a little test with a unique email address. I thought it was nearly impossible to find out the email addresses of people on a Yahoo Groups mailing list unless you're the list owner.


Not if you buy them directly from Yahoo. Yahoo doesn't promise to keep the e-mail addresses private, and they certainly don't. Besides, there is always packet sniffing among other techniques.

 

I would like a mechanism to be notified of new caches promptly by e-mail, but I have to wonder about setting up another system - Yahoo Groups, separate server or whatever - for this purpose. At some point you start to compete with geocaching.com. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but what if the new caches aren't approved by Jeremy/hemlock et al? Or approved a week later? By the time the general public (i.e. non-users of the alternate system) find out, the cache will have been signed by the "insiders" and it will seem like a clique system - insiders get all the FTFs. If the alternate system is widely promoted and and is free, and the general public joins, then you have a system that requires a lot of management, and also competes directly with geocaching.com. Despite the autocratic nature of Jeremy's world, there is something democratic about the way new caches are done now. At any given time, with a little luck someone can do a search and be the first one to see a newly approved cache nearby and get the FTF. Not telling the owner when his or her cache is approved prevents them from telling their buddies and creating a class system of insiders and outsiders, at least to some extent.

 

I'm not totally opposed to the idea. I just think it needs to be carefully thought out to avoid either dumping a lot of work on some local volunteer or polarizing people, or both. I also consider this to be the most thought-provoking thread we've had on this board in a long time.

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

 

I brought this topic up (dangling preposition) because one cacher asked for a better way of being notified about my new caches. With cache approvals taking as long as 48 hours (or longer...how long did Black Adder take to get approved?...it was placed 5/31, I don't remember seeing it yesterday), I've been listing some of my caches independent of the approval system. This puts the FTF hunter at the whims of the creator rather a website's volunteer worker. Of course, the website may decide not to list some or any or all of my caches in the future. It wasn't necessarily my intention to create a system that would track the listing of all new Bay Area caches.


 

Yes, Black Adder took several days to get approved, and that is perhaps a bit annoying. Howver, that is still faster than the approvals for my first few caches, which always took a week a more, even when there were no questions from the approver or any problems with the placement.

 

As for faster notification, I assume people have figured out how to find the (approved) caches placed by another member. For those who need a walkthrough, go to the Hide & Seek a Cache page, search for caches found by that member, when that comes up, click on the profile link for that user (located in his log). When that comes up, there is a link showing the number of caches owned and placed by the member, in x/y format. Click on the one for caches owned and that brings up a Nearest Caches page with just that user's owned caches. Bookmark that page, and then all you have to do is go to your bookmark whenever you want to see if kablooey (or whoever) has placed anything you didn't know about. It's also a handy way just to see what kind of caches the person has placed before - important for puzzle caches.

 

Now if I could just use this to tell me what's going on in Little Pictures. I'm stumped at the moment.

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Gotcha. Actually, Yahoo will keep your email address private IF you set your Marketing settings correctly AND keep them set correctly (they've been known to get reset when you do anything to change your account). Anyway, I'm not a fan of Yahoo Groups because they include advertising and junk on all the individual messages as well.

 

There's already a class of insiders and outsiders. Ron Streeter is an insider, and he intentionally creates caches that exclude outsiders like me.

 

It's precisely for the reason that caches might not be approved for a week that I think we need some alternate system. I don't intend it to be exclusionary or privileged in any way. In fact, if it's just my caches, I'll probably add a link to each of my cache pages, allowing people to sign up for notification of my new caches.

 

The current system requires all users to keep polling the website every five minutes (if you're Marky or marwagsalot). If there are 10,000 users doing that every five minutes, it's more efficient to push the information out. (The website offers that feature, but it only runs weekly, making it essentially useless for some of us.)

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One thing everyone should know: the new approver (he/she/them) understands that puzzle caches don’t give the real coordinates. Being clueful in this manner, this(these) new approver(s) is(are) bright enough to say “please give the real coordinates.”

 

If you don’t do this, then your cache approval will be needlessly delayed.

 

-Jif

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

I don't intend it to be exclusionary or privileged in any way. In fact, if it's just my caches, I'll probably add a link to each of my cache pages, allowing people to sign up for notification of my new caches.


 

Well, this seems odd. I tried to go to your web site and my browser told me I didn't have permission to access the site. There was no link or instruction on how to get permission. I assumed it was a private club for friends of Blue.

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quote:
Originally posted by TeamJiffy:

One thing everyone should know: the new approver (he/she/them) understands that puzzle caches don’t give the real coordinates. Being clueful in this manner, this(these) new approver(s) is(are) bright enough to say “please give the real coordinates.”

 

If you don’t do this, then your cache approval will be needlessly delayed.

 

-Jif


 

This raises another important point about having an alternate method of posting new caches. The reason the GC.com approver needs the real coordinates is not just to determine whether it is close to anothercache, but whether it is dangerous (near RR tracks, etc.) This is obviously for liability reasons.

 

While we all resent the constraints of this sort imposed by our tort law, reality demands it. An alternate posting method would inevitably draw cache placers who cannot get the cache placed due to a dangerous aspect. I can guarantee you that the first time someone gets splattered by a train, or, worse from a liability standpoint falls off a cliff and gets crippled while geocaching, whoever advertised the cache, as well as the cache owner, will get sued. Presumably GC.com has insurance. Does anybody else reading this board?

 

I happen to feel that the relatively minimal risk involved in geocaching is part of the fun, and we might all think that a cacher is responsible for his/her own safety, but the law doesn't see it that way. The Contra Costa County Transit District was just held liable for many millions for doing nothing more than placing a bus stop by a street. A pedestrian crossed in a marked crosswalk, the first two cars stopped, but the third rear-ended them and knocked car 1 into her. The crosswalk wasn't controlled by the district but it was held liable (Supreme Court upheld verdict) for giving the person a motive to cross the street there.

 

I know, I defend against this stuff for a living.

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quote:
Originally posted by TeamJiffy:

One thing everyone should know: the new approver (he/she/them) understands that puzzle caches don’t give the real coordinates. Being clueful in this manner, this(these) new approver(s) is(are) bright enough to say “please give the real coordinates.”

 

If you don’t do this, then your cache approval will be needlessly delayed.

 

-Jif


 

At first I was reluctant to give out my coordinates, for the obvious reason that the approver is probably also a cacher, and probably has a bunch of cacher-friends who would like to know these things, and be the first notified of new caches.

 

But after all, I don't care to give out the coordinates. Anyone is free to cheat in Geocaching. Just log visits you never made. Almost nobody checks the signed logs against the web logs. This is not a competition. If you cheat, you're basically cheating against yourself, not others.

 

Still, why could GC.com not have caches approved by out-of-state approvers ? That would be so much better. Don't you think ?

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

 

...

It's precisely for the reason that caches might not be approved for a week that I think we need some alternate system. I don't intend it to be exclusionary or privileged in any way. In fact, if it's just my caches, I'll probably add a link to each of my cache pages, allowing people to sign up for notification of my new caches.

 


 

I agree with The Rat that one should not shortcut GC.com on this, and certainly not create a group of insiders that gets notified of unpublished caches. When I agreed I would like to get a notification, it's only when the cache is approved.

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quote:
Originally posted by The Rat:

Well, this seems odd. I tried to go to your web site and my browser told me I didn't have permission to access the site. There was no link or instruction on how to get permission. I assumed it was a private club for friends of Blue.


 

That is kind of odd. You tried clicking on The Little Pictures link above? I just tried it here from work, and it functions okay for me. I don't really have any friends; so my private club is kind of small.

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quote:
Originally posted by kablooey:

That is kind of odd. You tried clicking on http://www.bluescollectibles.com/geocaching/sjlittlepics.html link above? I just tried it here from work, and it functions okay for me. I don't really have any friends; so my private club is kind of small.


 

No, when I click on that link, it works. I clicked on the link on the geocaching.com web page for this cache right under your name that says User's Web Page. I assume that if someone wanted to see what caches you have placed recently (or in the past) they would click on that page, not the one for just one specific cache. I don't see the point in listing as the public URL on your profile a page that requires some special permission. It's rather like putting out a Welcome mat and then siccing your dog on anybody who rings your doorbell. If you want to open up your caches to the public, I would think you would remove the need for a password or cookie of some kind. That's sort of the point of the Internet in general and the WWW in particular. Here's the error message:

 

You are not authorized to view this page

HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden

Internet Explorer

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quote:
Originally posted by TeamJiffy:

What “The Rat” is referring to is this: This link doesn’t work.

 

It is kind of unfriendly. Sort of like having a friendly dog you invite others to pet, and then when they try, you start throwing welcome mats at them.

 

-Jif


No, I think it's more like having a welcome mat that you invite people to stand on but then cover it with friendly dogs if anyone tries to stand on it.

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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quote:
Originally posted by TeamJiffy:

Hey Rat (boy do I feel uncomfortable calling you that!),

 

Congratulations on your 200th find!

 

-Fy, and Jif too


 

Thank you. I didn't even realize it was 200 until after I logged and saw the cache page, so I had to edit the log. Thanks too for the nudge on Little Pictures, but mostly for the fine puzzle caches. You and kabloo, PhilippeGPS and Componenx, fizzymagic and Lamneth keep me going. I haven't gotten to scrollofMapping's contributions yet, so I guess I haven't exhausted all geocaching has to offer just yet. I really should get up in the mountains more, too.

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Howdy Folks,

 

just wanted to say hello, am new to this fascinating hobby and finally found a good incentive to get my (old?) bones moving.

 

Will be lurking here a bit to see how things are done, and do a few, more moderate, caches to learn the tricks of the trade.

 

The last one we tackled yesterday was a bit too ambitious, considering that I had to carry my son on my back. But boy, did we feel good after the work out!

 

Thanks to all of you,

 

Cheers,

Markus

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quote:
Originally posted by nostrada:

Howdy Folks,

 

just wanted to say hello, am new to this fascinating hobby and finally found a good incentive to get my (old?) bones moving.

 

Will be lurking here a bit to see how things are done, and do a few, more moderate, caches to learn the tricks of the trade.

 

The last one we tackled yesterday was a bit too ambitious, considering that I had to carry my son on my back. But boy, did we feel good after the work out!


 

Welcome to a healthy addiction. icon_smile.gif When you are starting out, pay attention to the difficulty and terrain ratings and keep to the lower stars. Also, you might want to go after 'regular' sized caches early on and save the 'micro' caches after you have a few under your belt. Unltimately, you get to decide what you do and don't like, and can taylor the experience to your liking.

 

We've been caching for nearly a year now, and we still find ourselves in situations where we are a bit too ambitious (like hiking out of Diablo Foothill Park in the dark on unfamiliar trails, which was just this last Saturday).

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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Oh boy. It sure is flattering that some of you want to know who I am. But I really don't understand all the attention. I'm nobody special.

 

I apologize for some delays in approvals, particularly after the Memorial Day weekend. TeamJiffy summed it up:

quote:
Hemlock is probably just trying to enjoy being a cacher. Maybe he, she (or they) just don't want to be bugged by people asking about approval status. You'd probably be safe in assuming that Hemlock likes to be logged in a lot. But with delays in approvals, followed by bursts, perhaps their work takes them away for periods of time.
And don't forget caching time icon_smile.gif Shortly before the holiday weekend, the other California approver retired, leaving me to deal with the largest state (in terms of cache count) alone. I cleaned out the queue of new caches on Sunday evening, and went out caching on Monday. When I got home late that night, there were several dozen new caches in California to approve. By the following morning there was dozens more. Just like most of you, I had to go back to work, and it took a few days to get caught up again.

 

Since then we've added another approver in SoCal who handles the new caches down there. Approvals are back down to less than 24 hours. FYI I do most of my approvals in the evening, so in general morning submissions sit longer, and evening approvals may happen very quickly. Of course there are always exceptions, such as when I'm caching late, or the spouse wants to go to dinner and a movie. I'm human just like the rest of you icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Puzzle and Multi Caches

quote:
Posted by TeamJiffy:

One thing everyone should know: the new approver (he/she/them) understands that puzzle caches don’t give the real coordinates. Being clueful in this manner, this(these) new approver(s) is(are) bright enough to say “please give the real coordinates.”


Now that there are dozens of regional approvers, all of us are doing this, as we can take more time to give each new cache the attention it needs. On one hand, I would like to ask that when you submit a puzzle or multi cache, that you post a note to your cache page giving those coords. That saves a lot of time because I don't have to ask for them and wait for your reply. But on the other hand, I know there are a certain few people that have figured out how to exploit bugs in GC.com, and they can see unapproved caches. If you're worried about that, feel free to send me an email directly. hemlock@geocachingadmin.com

 

To those that are worried that I might use that info to be FTF: I don't. I use the info to verify everything meets the guidelines, then I delete the email. I'm not personally into puzzle caches, nor do I care to cheat. When/if I do choose to do one, I'll solve it fair and square. Same goes for multis, except I do enjoy them.

 

Notifications

An email list for notifications is a good idea; I know the River City Geocachers use one with varying degrees of success, but it depends on the hiders posting to it. There's an automated system run by a guy in Texas that watches GC.com and emails you when new caches show up on the Newest Caches list. Perhaps thats all you need.

 

At this point I started to write a paragraph about the high standard that GC.com tries to maintain when approving new geocaches, but instead I'll just refer you to this post by Mopar who said it better than I can.

 

Hemlock - The alternative to purple frownies.

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If any one would like a kitten, I have four that need good homes. They are ready to find a home now, I have four other (different litter) that will also be needing a good home in several weeks.

 

If interested you can e-mail me at myequayathotmaildotcom

 

I'm not sure how long I will have the first four as right now I have to many animals.

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quote:
Originally posted by Woof!:

Do I get to post finds on all the caches that marwagsalot finds since they stamp my name in all the log books? icon_wink.gif


If you were to log them with the correct date, and put a note like "found with Marwagsalot" I bet nobody would notice. icon_wink.gif

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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