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Logging Dnf's


Gizmo & Brazin
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I know there has been discussion before about the reasons to log your finds and DNF's on line vs. only signing the logbook. I want to say thank you to those who do log online. I had a DNF logged yesterday from a highly experienced cacher. It was a easy find and by logging the DNF it alerted me there could be a problem. I checked the cache this morning on my way to work and sure enough.....gone! :) I have already disabled it and will have it back before the weekend.

 

So, thank you to all those who take the time to log online. It's not just about the numbers; it helps us keep track of the caches we have placed and alerts us to problems.

 

Plus, I LOVE reading the comments about the caches I have placed! :)

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I log about 99% of my DNF's. The only DNF's I don't log are those where I didn't spend what I consider a reasonable amount of time looking. For example, if I have about five minutes to check around for a cache (because the wife's waiting), and I don't find it, I really don't consider that a thoughtful or thorough search. But if I spend ten or fifteen minutes searching, and can't find it, I always log a DNF.

 

AFAIC, a DNF is good feedback to the cache owner, and no reflection on me. Plus, the sport is all about me having fun searching for something hidden - not about my cache count, or DNF count.

 

That's my $0.02 - that, and another $1.27 will get you a cup of coffee.

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As long as I spent a fair amount of time on the cache without finding it, I log a DNF. Only had 2 that I didn't log as a DNF. One was the park was closed. I posted a note on this one. The other I went after on an extremely cold day. Was crossing the creek, and my dog fell in the water. Didn't want her freezing to death, so called it quits. Never even started looking for the cache. Didn't log anything on this one.

 

F_M

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I can see where DNF's would make some people feel incompetent; but I think that's a hang-up. After all, if you've hunted enough caches, you're gonna have DNF's! Then one day you wake up and realize that some of your most memorable hunts were DNF's (or at least started that way).

 

I know that many of us think DNF logs can be more interesting, more fun to read, and are often more humorous than 'Find' logs. Plus, they provide a nice history of the cache and of your own geocaching adventures. That's why I leave my own DNF logs in place online, even if I go back and actually find the cache later (when I add a 'Find' log, of course).

 

I love the DNF logs that others post on my own caches; there aren't a lot (on most of my hides, anyway) and in nearly every case I always email the hunter to THANK him for the honest DNF log and offer to give him additional clues.

 

Some hunters in my area don't post their no-finds. In that case, they miss sharing some of the fun of geocaching with the rest of us. I think that those who are able to admit (and laugh at) their own No Finds are having the most fun with this game, and are always more beloved among fellow cachers than those with 'spotless' find records. - GL

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I don't see any shame in logging a DNF. You can't find every cache on the first try and it alerts the owner if there could be a potential problem. I also like reading ALL logs for my one and only (so far) cache hide so I appreciate them.

 

I logged a DNF on all the ones I attempted to find but didn't. No embarrassment!

 

Team Yatta hid it's first cache last week. A few experienced cachers emailed me about not finding it but only one or two actually logged a DNF. I went to check our coords on our cache because they let me know they didn't find it. I found our coords were dead on and the cache was still there. I told them to keep looking. :)

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I log my no finds when I feel like I really looked for the cache and came up empty handed. Like was said earlier, if I just gave the area a quick once over and had to leave for whatever reason, I do not log an "did not find" because I "did not really search". On the other hand, I have had people log dnf's on some of my caches when they did not even stop to look around. Stuff like "drove by the area, but it was muddy and I was wearing good shoes". To me that is not a no find, that is a no hunt. But each to his or her own, that's the beauty of this game. I agree that my dnf's are some of my most memorable geocaching experiences.

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I have had people log dnf's on some of my caches when they did not even stop to look around. Stuff like "drove by the area, but it was muddy and I was wearing good shoes". To me that is not a no find, that is a no hunt.

This kind of logging should be discouraged. This unnecessary irrelevant spam like logging can very likely push useful information off the pages of pocket queries.

In fact a DNF has nothing to do with shame. It is the duty of a responsible cacher to provide info that the cache might need maintenance or warn future cachers about hazards. A DNF could even allude subtle hints to it's readers.

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I have had people log dnf's on some of my caches when they did not even stop to look around. Stuff like "drove by the area, but it was muddy and I was wearing good shoes". To me that is not a no find, that is a no hunt.

I log DNFs whenever I don't find the cache, whether it was because the cache is extremely well hidden, it was plundered and isn't even there, or I'm wearing my good shoes.

 

My criteria is that when I press GOTO, the hunt is on. Often, that means in my driveway about to head to the cache. I've logged two DNFs for caches that I was still more than a mile away. Once because the ferry across the river to get to the cache broke, and another because the river flooded the entire park where the cache was located.

 

To me those were hunts just like any other, so when I didn't find the cache, I log a DNF.

 

Jamie

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I almost always log my DNFs, because once in a while, I'll plan a DNF day, and spend it seeking those I've missed in the past. The DNF logs on my personal cache page help me remember which ones I've missed, and what happened. It's also easier to revisit the cache from my log list, to see if others have had luck after my DNF. If there are more DNFs logged, then I know that one is likely gone, and I will not waste my time on another try. My occasional DNF days are always fruitful and I end up finding every one of my former misses, except the one nemesis cache. Hey, now that the snow is gone, I have to try that one for the fourth time. This time, I think I know the answer, but finding it in snow was not going to happen.

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Team Yatta hid it's first cache last week. A few experienced cachers emailed me about not finding it but only one or two actually logged a DNF. I went to check our coords on our cache because they let me know they didn't find it. I found our coords were dead on and the cache was still there. I told them to keep looking. :unsure:

I would have told them: No feedback on DNF's unless they are logged.

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This is an interesting topic...before reading this thread, I would never have thought about withholding a log on a DNF.

 

I guess to most, I'm still considered a newbie with 16 finds and 2 DNF's. From the beginning, I made the assumption that these are more about notifying the owner of a potential problem than about tracking my success rate.

 

We're all in it for the fun and not the accolades, right? Speaking of which...where ARE the accolades anyway? Someone's holding out on me...

 

PCG

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I log about 99% of my DNF's. The only DNF's I don't log are those where I didn't spend what I consider a reasonable amount of time looking. For example, if I have about five minutes to check around for a cache (because the wife's waiting), and I don't find it, I really don't consider that a thoughtful or thorough search. But if I spend ten or fifteen minutes searching, and can't find it, I always log a DNF.

 

AFAIC, a DNF is good feedback to the cache owner, and no reflection on me. Plus, the sport is all about me having fun searching for something hidden - not about my cache count, or DNF count.

 

That's my $0.02 - that, and another $1.27 will get you a cup of coffee.

I follow the exact same procedure as TheNomad. Couldn't have said it better myself. And I'll echo the sentiment that it's fun to go back and read DNF logs - they're usually the best ones.

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I log DNFs whenever I don't find the cache, whether it was because the cache is extremely well hidden, it was plundered and isn't even there, or I'm wearing my good shoes.

 

My criteria is that when I press GOTO, the hunt is on. Often, that means in my driveway about to head to the cache. I've logged two DNFs for caches that I was still more than a mile away.

I don't agree with this approach for the reasons letherman pointed out and more.

 

I believe that posting a NOTE is a better way to notify the cache page that I didn't find it for those caches where I didn't spend enough time to fairly log a DNF.

 

False DNF's might discourage other cachers especially travellers. 95% of our cache finds involve driving between 200 and 2000 miles rt. To get ready for a trip I sometimes scan hundreds of cache pages. DNF's get dropped immediately.

 

DNF is an efficient way to alert an owner or other cachers that there might be a problem. Occasionally I will check the DNF comments to see if the person really tried or even just to take up the challenge to find something someone else missed. Usually though my time is too limited to go after DNF's.

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For some, DNF = some kind of failure and is a blot on their record. It all depends on your perspective.

 

You can keep your stats in any way that pleases you. If you want, you can award yourself your own blue ribbons for races in which you have never run. But you can't fool the person in the mirror. The person in the mirror has the only opinion that counts.

 

I record all our Did Not Fails. (We hunt as a team. One woman. One dog. And a humanoid.) Our stats stink. 20 for 34 = .588. So why record all of our setbacks? Because we had fun on every, single one of them. Our logs are there to remind us. The .588 means nothing! The 34 means everything!

 

Would I geocache if we never found anything? No! But I would still chase the blonde through the boonies. Not sure about the dog.

 

BB

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By my last count, I had logged 195 DNFs. I pretty much log DNFs similarly to JamieZ. If I had the intention of going and looking, but for some reason didn't end up finding the cache, I'm going to write about it. I like my log entries to be a fair representation of what my caching experience is like. Almost like a blog, but not quite.

 

--Marky

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I log a DNF if I spent enough time searching for it that I feel like I got skunked, but in the log I'll also state the reasons for the DNF so the cache owner knows why I logged it as such.

 

As a cache owner I'd love to know if there's potentially something wrong with my caches so I can go check on them either via DNF/note logs or e-mail. Personally, I'd prefer some sort of log.

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some of my best logs are DNF's.

 

i do not usually consider having hit "goto" an actual hunt. i often hit goto for caches i KNOW i'm not looking for.

 

if i find the parking lot and decide i'm not going to look for the cache, i don't bother with a log. if i actually LOOK for the cache, i give it a log. if i have not found it simply because i have run out of time, i may post a note if i think i'm coming back to finish the search soon and there are still a reasonable number of likely hiding spots. i simply consider that to be an incomplete search.

 

if i make a complete search or i give up, i log a DNF.

 

i had a guy make a DNF log on one of my caches. in his log he states that he wasn't really in the mood to actually LOOK for it, so we logged DNF. now that's all fine and dandy, but he was the first one to make any sort of log after the container went missing and was replaced. so to people who do not read carefully, it's still missing. that is not helpful to me.

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I always chuckle, when I see a "Found it" where they say something like: "it took me 3 tries to find it..." and you look at the rest of the log and not one DNF from them.

 

I think not posting a DNF is more selfish than it is anything else. Come on, let the rest of us enjoy your failure! ;)

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I just saw this "find" today and it seemed so outrageous that I wanted to share it.

 

(I'm thinking I should start collecting the most outlandish claim of a find....)

 

we looked and looked for this cache and was unable to find it but we know we were in the right area because of hint will consider it as a find unless cache owner checks out and verifys that cache is still in it's place!

 

;)

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I pretty much log DNFs similarly to JamieZ. If I had the intention of going and looking, but for some reason didn't end up finding the cache, I'm going to write about it.

Yes, but is it fair to the cache page to log DNF if a cacher didn't exert a reasonable effort? Jamie Z says that even from a mile away in his car or from across the water if the Ferry broke down he would log a DNF.

 

Why not post a NOTE instead? Notes can be just as intertaining and perhaps a more accurate and fair representation of what happened.

 

I have no problem posting a DNF on a cache page. I track them and other caching activity on a spreadsheet. I have two columns for DNF's to separate the one's where the container was missing before I got there from the ones where I got skunked.

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I just saw this "find" today and it seemed so outrageous that I wanted to share it.

 

(I'm thinking I should start collecting the most outlandish claim of a find....)

 

we looked and looked for this cache and was unable to find it but we know we were in the right area because of hint will consider it as a find unless cache owner checks out and verifys that cache is still in it's place!

 

;)

I've seen some interesting found logs also. This might make for an interesting forum topic, but I would suggest not including the cacher's name (it might be considered bashing and result in the forum being locked).

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I pretty much log DNFs similarly to JamieZ.  If I had the intention of going and looking, but for some reason didn't end up finding the cache, I'm going to write about it.

Yes, but is it fair to the cache page to log DNF if a cacher didn't exert a reasonable effort? Jamie Z says that even from a mile away in his car or from across the water if the Ferry broke down he would log a DNF.

 

Why not post a NOTE instead? Notes can be just as intertaining and perhaps a more accurate and fair representation of what happened.

Again my first take is do not log anything unless you actually searched. Superfluous information only pushes potentially useful info off the querie page.

 

However if someone is going to be obstinate. Then a note would be more appropriate. Many cachers use Spinner. I have mine set to change the icon in my waypoints to a skull and bones if there are more than three DNF's. A little warning that the cache might be missing.

A DNF just for thinking about searching results in false info on my, and possible others, waypoints.

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...Many cachers use Spinner. I have mine set to change the icon in my waypoints to a skull and bones if there are more than three DNF's. A little warning that the cache might be missing...

That's too bad, some of my favorite cache hunts are the ones others couldn't find.

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We don't have very many DNF's yet, but we always log the caches that skunk us. We don't feel that there is any 'shame' involved in doing this at all...

 

As a matter of fact we just finally went back and FOUND our last unresolved DNF (from August!) this week. It was so satisfying to put that little smiley there after getting skunked the last time... ;) The funny thing about it is that this time around we practically walked up to the cache where the last time we scoured the area for almost an hour. Of our two hunts the DNF was the more memorable of the two and why wouldn't we want to log that?? B)

 

On a related side note... We haven't noticed anyway to see the number of DNF's a cacher has logged or which caches they have attempted. Is there any way to do that? Of course you see it on the cache page but so what? The only way we know how many DNF's we have logged is by going to our page and counting them. Just curious, it doesn't matter to us either way but would be interesting to see which caches may have stumped other cachers.

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Again my first take is do not log anything unless you actually searched. Superfluous information only pushes potentially useful info off the querie page.

Point well taken. I'm sure there is a balance somewhere in all this.

 

I enjoy reading NOTES and DNF's as well as FINDS on ours and other's caches. It is all part of the human communication aspect of this game. I have been shortening my new cache descriptions and even revising some of the old to make it easier for PDA caching but I'm not ready to minimize the logged communications to the cache page yet.

 

To keep on task here (the sub-task anyway) whether Spinner and PDA's are used or, in my case, the search and reading of each page prior to heading out the door, FALSE DNF's usually help contribute to rejection of the cache for the day's search.

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I enjoy reading NOTES and DNF's as well as FINDS on ours and other's caches.

Absolutely. DNF's can contain very important info. They can be fun to read. However logging "I drove past the parking area but it looked muddy so I didn't stop." is on the verge of spam.

 

Martman. The skull and bones doesn't make me avoid these caches. I like running out to one that hasn't been found for awhile. However when I plan a run of four or more caches in a day. I tend to avoid multiple DNF's.

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[Yes, but is it fair to the cache page to log DNF if a cacher didn't exert a reasonable effort?  Jamie Z says that even from a mile away in his car or from across the water if the Ferry broke down he would log a DNF.

 

Why not post a NOTE instead?  Notes can be just as intertaining and perhaps a more accurate and fair representation of what happened.

Well.. if I intend to find a cache, and then I don't find it, that's a DNF to me. For the most part, intent is defined as hitting GOTO.

 

I'd post a note if I revisited a cache to grab a TB, or maybe checked the status of the cache after someone claimed it was missing, or maybe I wanted to add something to the cache page that didn't involve a hunt. In my mind, a note is indicative of something other than looking for the cache.

 

But when I set out to find a cache, I will log a find or a DNF. It's black or white.

 

For example, a few days ago I went on a cyclecaching trip. I printed a list of seven caches I wanted to find. The second cache, I got within about 200 feet from the road, but I could see the cache was down through a muddy field. Being on my bike, wearing shorts and cycling shoes, I was unprepared to go any further. The terrain was too difficult for me (at the time) so I logged a DNF.

 

The circumstances of my DNFs are always explained, so anyone who is truly interested can find out where and why I turned back.

 

Jamie

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For example, a few days ago I went on a cyclecaching trip. I printed a list of seven caches I wanted to find. The second cache, I got within about 200 feet from the road, but I could see the cache was down through a muddy field. Being on my bike, wearing shorts and cycling shoes, I was unprepared to go any further. The terrain was too difficult for me (at the time) so I logged a DNF.

If you did not go look for it how can it be a DNF?

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If you did not go look for it how can it be a DNF?

Well, I feel that I did go look for it. I mean, when I was a couple miles away, I set my GOTO, I looked at the map and determined the best way to navigate to the area, then I purposely rode the route to get there.

 

Once I was nearby, I surveyed the terrain and learned that I hadn't prepared well enough to continue my hunt. This wasn't a simple drive-up.

 

I understand your position that I wasn't in the nitty-gritty of the search. I simply have a wider search area for the hunt, since I consider getting to the cache part of the challenge.

 

Not only is a DNF a good indicator to the owner that the cache may be missing, but DNFs are a good indicator to potential hunters that the cache is not a gimme.

 

A bunch of DNFs on a cache page, to me doesn't necessarily mean that the cache might be gone. It could mean that its a tough find, and I'd better expect a long search.

 

Jamie

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Thanks for the lesson. Being brand new to the game I've been to a couple sites where I couldn't find the cache. One of them was listed as being difficult and devious, so it didn't suprise me that I couldn't find it- especially because the keen-eyed part of our team wasn't with me. I didn't even expect to find it when I went there, was mainly scouting around and checking out the terrain. When I left, I didn't consider the hunt over. In my mind we're still looking- the first place we're going this weekend is to find it. So I didn't log it as DNF. After reading this thread, though, I looks like I should have logged it as a DNF. I thought that was only after you've given up looking for it. Sorry.

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For example, a few days ago I went on a cyclecaching trip. I printed a list of seven caches I wanted to find. The second cache, I got within about 200 feet from the road, but I could see the cache was down through a muddy field. Being on my bike, wearing shorts and cycling shoes, I was unprepared to go any further. The terrain was too difficult for me (at the time) so I logged a DNF.

If you did not go look for it how can it be a DNF?

I would have to agree with Sagefox. I would leave a note. This would warn other cachers going for it that the area is muddy and to prepare for that. Simply driving to the area and then deciding you are going to pass does not constitute an actual search. ;)

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Thanks for the lesson. Being brand new to the game I've been to a couple sites where I couldn't find the cache. One of them was listed as being difficult and devious, so it didn't suprise me that I couldn't find it- especially because the keen-eyed part of our team wasn't with me. I didn't even expect to find it when I went there, was mainly scouting around and checking out the terrain. When I left, I didn't consider the hunt over. In my mind we're still looking- the first place we're going this weekend is to find it.  So I didn't log it as DNF. After reading this thread, though, I looks like I should have logged it as a DNF. I thought that was only after you've given up looking for it. Sorry.

The big payoff for us as a cache owner is the logs that people write. It doesn't matter if it is a note, a DNF, or a find. We love to read the story. As previously noted here the DNF logs are ofter much more interesting, amusing, and enjoyable than a quick found log.

 

edit spelling and punctuation

Edited by nonnipoppy
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I appreciate it when someone posts a DNF on my caches. It is a good heads up that there is a potential problem with the cache.

A note or an e-mail to the owner will do the same. By logging a DNF, you are also very clearly letting the other cachers know.

But a good portion of my DNFs are just there for a good story. Nothing is wrong with the cache, it's just too challenging, and the story of the hunt is worth sharing it. I have one DNF logged on a virtual where I turned around almost a mile short of the location, because of blowing snow at negative temps, poor visibility above treeline, and bad avalanche conditions. My take on this is, I tried and couldn't find it.

OTOH if nothing new and interesting happened between the previous unsuccessfull hunt and this unsuccessfull hunt, I think it isn't worth a second DNF log. One is telling it all already.

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During the winter, I appreciate DNF (or notes - I don't really care) to alert me that a cache may not be winter accessible.

 

A DNF with a message "Couldn't find it" is useless though. A DNF with a message "Area has 3 feet of snow. Dug around in various spots for a while until I gave up. Will come back in Spring." is useful.

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We had 3 DNF's out of 5 caches that we hunted for yesterday. I logged them last night, and this morning there is already one of the caches that has been disabled due to it being stolen. It is sad that the cache is gone, but at least I found out WHY we couldn't find it, and prevented someone else from going on a wild goose chase looking for it.

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People talk about shame with a DNF when there shouldn't be any felt. I think that it would be a good idea to include them in the user's stats in some way that would be postive, such as attempts made. I can even see it leading to bragging rights, such as "I've made x attempts at finding caches!" Bet that'll get people to start logging all of thier caching activity. B)

 

On second though, I think that the user's cache page should include the listings:

 

- Caches searched for

- Caches found

- Caches not found

 

Put in that order, the count for the total number of caches that the individual looked for will always be the highest one.

Edited by Lone Duck
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I think that it would be a good idea to include them in the user's stats in some way that would be postive, such as attempts made. I can even see it leading to bragging rights, such as "I've made x attempts at finding caches!" Bet that'll get people to start logging all of thier caching activity.

Mmm... I like that!

 

Previously, I had been against publicly displaying DNFs, simply because I feared it would discourage people from posting them.

 

But posting attempts... now that's cool, because finds aren't the only fun part about geocaching, it's going out there on the hunt.

 

Jamie

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I think that it would be a good idea to include them in the user's stats in some way that would be postive, such as attempts made. I can even see it leading to bragging rights, such as "I've made x attempts at finding caches!"

Interesting idea and I'm not against it. But it is an odd, two-part category. Skunked when the container is there is one aspect and a Container Missing DNF is another.

 

My spreadsheet says overall no-finds are 9.6% of total cache finds with locationless caches factored out. (I haven't factored out virtuals because of the time it would take to search through our record to root them out.)

Results are:

 

5.6% Skunked

 

4 % Container Missing

 

These ratios have remained constant throughout 600 physical cache finds.

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