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BETTER PRIZES!!


Pantalaimon
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I'm writing to advocate people putting a smidge bit better prizes in the caches they find. I cache in the Massachusetts area generally, and I'm tired of finding things like one chess pawn, a small plastic dinosaur, and other useless, uniteresting prizes in caches. I'm not saying you have to spend a bunch of cash on the cache, I would love to see a scratch ticket or two, a yo-yo or some other rinky-dink toy that people will get at least A LITTLE enjoyment out of. I mean, I understand that most of the fun in geocaching is in the hunt... but its disappointing to see cheesey prizes all the time. My and my cache-mates give homemade CD's, packets of Red Sox and Patriot stickers, scratch tickets, small toys, and other little impulse type items we find while we're shopping around. It doesn't take much to leave a somewhat thoughtful prize.

 

Well, that's my two cents.

 

Taz

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i totally agree. if you cant leave anything other than garbage then dont leave anything at all. i put a lot of effort into putting nice things into my cache. and yeah the cache is more than just the trinkets- but obviously people like finding them or we wouldnt all be putting them in our cache. id rather see an empty cache with a log book compared to a cache with a bunch of dirty plastic figurines, or things you find on the side of the road before you get there. it just seems gross?

whats that movie?- play it foward- if we all put some thoughtfull stuff in our caches everyone could get a treat once in a while- rather then the people who take everything and replace it with litter they find on the way there! hahaha.. im being sarcastic, but its true to a degree.

either way- have fun everyone,

 

northwest20 icon_razz.gif

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i totally agree. if you cant leave anything other than garbage then dont leave anything at all. i put a lot of effort into putting nice things into my cache. and yeah the cache is more than just the trinkets- but obviously people like finding them or we wouldnt all be putting them in our cache. id rather see an empty cache with a log book compared to a cache with a bunch of dirty plastic figurines, or things you find on the side of the road before you get there. it just seems gross?

whats that movie?- play it foward- if we all put some thoughtfull stuff in our caches everyone could get a treat once in a while- rather then the people who take everything and replace it with litter they find on the way there! hahaha.. im being sarcastic, but its true to a degree.

either way- have fun everyone,

 

northwest20 icon_razz.gif

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I agree. We have just started geocaching and in some of the boxes we have found some neat things, in others not so. Mostly it is neat stuff.

 

We also realized that there are quite a few folks out enjoying this hobby with their kids, so my 4 year old son and I have been making home sewn "treasure bags" and putting them in the caches we visit. It's in-expensive and really simple to sew. It's not fancy, but we thought at least some little kid out there would get a kick out of it.

 

But we sure are enjoying our adventures!

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I place a pencil in each cache I find. I do this so each cache I have found has something to write with. As for the other stuff. I never even look at it.

 

Maybe I'll swap George $'s but that's about it. I'm in it for the tupperware find.

 

====================================

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

====================================

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I logged on today to address this topic, and here it is already posted! I agree. I have a cache I placed in March, stocked with nice goodies. Now it contains a few used pens, odd keychains and little else. There was about $3.00 in change in the bottom of the container, but when I returned a couple days later to restock it and take the money as compensation, it was gone! Nobody claimed they took it in the logbook. icon_mad.gif

 

So my suggestion is to leave a prize of at least the same if not greater value than what you take, if you even take one. I know of a few Geocachers who take nothing but leave several nice goodies. Our hats off to them! icon_cool.gif

 

Let's all do our part to keep the ball rolling. icon_razz.gif

 

[This message was edited by Slower Pace on August 13, 2002 at 01:59 PM.]

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I logged on today to address this topic, and here it is already posted! I agree. I have a cache I placed in March, stocked with nice goodies. Now it contains a few used pens, odd keychains and little else. There was about $3.00 in change in the bottom of the container, but when I returned a couple days later to restock it and take the money as compensation, it was gone! Nobody claimed they took it in the logbook. icon_mad.gif

 

So my suggestion is to leave a prize of at least the same if not greater value than what you take, if you even take one. I know of a few Geocachers who take nothing but leave several nice goodies. Our hats off to them! icon_cool.gif

 

Let's all do our part to keep the ball rolling. icon_razz.gif

 

[This message was edited by Slower Pace on August 13, 2002 at 01:59 PM.]

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have you found any differences between the quality of items left in themed caches compared to regular ones? We have a themed cache and have actually had very litte trash put in it. Of course it has only been out for a little over a month, but has had many visitors as its a letterbox hybrid. We want to put more out, but are unsure if we should stick with a theme or just do a regular one and see how it goes.

We always trade up, in fact we were at an almost empty cache the other day and we ended up filling it up a bit as there was quite a bit of trash in it (empty battery boxes etc.). We also have come up with a "trademark" item that we hope people will enjoy, they are handpainted pewter figures of hobbit type characters and I think those alone are definately an up trade! icon_razz.gif

 

"Don't dream it....be it."

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have you found any differences between the quality of items left in themed caches compared to regular ones? We have a themed cache and have actually had very litte trash put in it. Of course it has only been out for a little over a month, but has had many visitors as its a letterbox hybrid. We want to put more out, but are unsure if we should stick with a theme or just do a regular one and see how it goes.

We always trade up, in fact we were at an almost empty cache the other day and we ended up filling it up a bit as there was quite a bit of trash in it (empty battery boxes etc.). We also have come up with a "trademark" item that we hope people will enjoy, they are handpainted pewter figures of hobbit type characters and I think those alone are definately an up trade! icon_razz.gif

 

"Don't dream it....be it."

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It is a bit disheartening when you are trying to get others interested in the sport and when you get there, your friends think it was a waist of time. I do tell them it is for the adventure, but the kids don't see it that way. We are not saying to stock the caches so that you are broke, but to place things that are useful. In the cache that I am placing in the very new future, I have placed some school supplies and toys for the kids. Let’s go and make things better!!

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My kids would love the treasure bags: heck, I'd love the treasure bags! icon_biggrin.gif

 

One thing I'm planning to do next spring is make up little kits with a pot, seeds, and peat starter pellet so that people can grow their own flowers. When the seed packets hit the shelves, I'm going to stock up on small flowers, like Alyssum and Lobelia. (The tiny blue ones.)

 

Another thing I've found to be pretty popular is small Lego kits. I was able to find the McDonald's ones on eBay, and they were very affordable. Since they're real Legos, and are compatible with other Legos, people don't seem to mind that they're Happy Meal toys. icon_wink.gif

 

Shannah

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My kids would love the treasure bags: heck, I'd love the treasure bags! icon_biggrin.gif

 

One thing I'm planning to do next spring is make up little kits with a pot, seeds, and peat starter pellet so that people can grow their own flowers. When the seed packets hit the shelves, I'm going to stock up on small flowers, like Alyssum and Lobelia. (The tiny blue ones.)

 

Another thing I've found to be pretty popular is small Lego kits. I was able to find the McDonald's ones on eBay, and they were very affordable. Since they're real Legos, and are compatible with other Legos, people don't seem to mind that they're Happy Meal toys. icon_wink.gif

 

Shannah

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I encourage people to trade equally, and I have notices on all my caches that people should contact me if they are full of crappy items - BUT - on the other hand, I don't really care what kind of goodies are in a cache that I find.

 

I want to keep my caches stocked with nice stuff, just because I know some people really are into "the stuff" as much as the hunt. That's not me though... and usually, any item I grab from a cache, I'll end up putting in another cache somewhere else anyway.

 

When I first started, I was thinking about keeping each item that I took from a cache I found, and having a little collection of weird crap - but eventually the novelty of that wore off.

 

I don't need a collection of goodies to apprecate the hobby - the online log of my hunts and hidings are enough for me.

 

--==< http://home.columbus.rr.com/rubbertoe >==--

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This thread comes up often. Personally I don't expect to get rich from Geocaching and I agree that the thrill is in the hunt. But after spending several hours traveling to and looking for a cache, it's kind of disappointing to find a leaky gladware container, containing a soaked log book and a few dirty plastic soldiers and broken McToys. And it's twice as disappointing to any kids and novice Geocachers you may bring along.

 

Placing a nice cache, with useful and interesting items, shows that you give a crap about the sport and the people who will look for your cache. Some finders may care a lot about the contents, while many others just want to get to the log book and couldn't care less about the items inside. A cache owner has to realize that both types will be looking for their cache.

 

Anyone can take a gladware container, dump out their junk drawer into it, toss it in the bushes behind a park bench and publish the coordinates. Unfortunately some do

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Kelle

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About Mctoys... I recently unearthed a box of mini beanie babies that I got several years ago (I have my mother-in-law to blame for *that* temporary insanity - she got me into it). They're still in their original bags, so I was considering placing them where I thought kids would be likely to be caching with parents. Is this type of stuff considered 'junk' by most, or just the Mctoys that look like they've been in the 'free' bin at a garage sale? (now THAT I can understand...)

 

I walk the Maze of Moments, but everywhere I turn to, begins a new beginning, but never finds a finish..

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Like new in their original bags? That's a great cache item. Go for it! Heck, even a new "McToy" in its original wrapper is a good item.

 

I think what pisses some people off are obviously used, often dirty, or broken "McToy" type items. Stuff that just as you described it, looks like it came from the free bin at someone's garage sale.

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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I agree completely that the fun of geocaching is to get some exercise and the thrill of the hunt. But it is also nice to find something fun or interesting in the cache. I always try to upgrade the caches that I find. But there have been a couple of times that I have just been so disappointed with a cache content that I just sign the log and move on. I mean, a couple of pencils, broken toys, and a tin of sardines is not what I am looking for in a cache! icon_confused.gif Try to place things that you would be happy to find! Have fun :

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I agree completely that the fun of geocaching is to get some exercise and the thrill of the hunt. But it is also nice to find something fun or interesting in the cache. I always try to upgrade the caches that I find. But there have been a couple of times that I have just been so disappointed with a cache content that I just sign the log and move on. I mean, a couple of pencils, broken toys, and a tin of sardines is not what I am looking for in a cache! icon_confused.gif Try to place things that you would be happy to find! Have fun :

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You don't have to spend a fortune to stock up on nice prizes, either. The other day I was at my local Staples and chanced upon the clearance aisle. They had tons of pencils, pens, gelpens, and various other stationary items for .50 each. Stuff like a box of 12 highlighters that rang up as originally $14.98. Everything 50 cents. Needless to say, I stocked up and will be distributing freely for awhile.

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quote:
Originally posted by Taz et al.:

I'm writing to advocate people putting a smidge bit better prizes in the caches they find. I cache in the Massachusetts area generally, and I'm tired of finding things like one chess pawn, a small plastic dinosaur, and other useless, uniteresting prizes in caches. I'm not saying you have to spend a bunch of cash on the cache, I would love to see a scratch ticket or two, a yo-yo or some other rinky-dink toy that people will get at least A LITTLE enjoyment out of. My and my cache-mates give homemade CD's, packets of Red Sox and Patriot stickers, scratch tickets, small toys, and other little impulse type items we find while we're shopping around. It doesn't take much to leave a somewhat thoughtful prize.

 

Taz


 

Well, I guess one man's meat is another man's poison. I once spent quite a while pursuing a little plastic whale from cache to cache in the hope I could finally get my hands on it - I *really* wanted a plastic whale. I'd rather have a plastic dinosaur than home-made CD's with pirated music on them, and I'd much rather have a plastic dinosaur than Red Sox or Patriot stickers, or scratch tickets.

 

Lately I've been leaving behind whizzer whistles, mini flashlights, two different kinds of bouncy balls (smileys and frosted looking), whistles on stretchy bracelets, glowsticks, and gliders. If there's nothing I really want from a cache, I generally leave something but don't take anything, hoping that others will do likewise and caches will improve rather than run down.

 

Are those good enough, or should I dump it all in the trash and go get something else?

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Well I'm a new to the sport but have had a lot of fun so far. I have found that I get a big kick out of being at a store and seeing an intresting item to into a geocache. I have a nice stockpile already. Now I just have to find the chace's to put them in. If it is not somthing you would like to have, then it most likly not somthing someone else would like to have either.

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WHile cleaning out my home office today, yes hell did freeze over, I found a box of swiss army knives I had forgotten about. would these be acceptable as cache items. Or, would they be a bad choice given the Zero tollerance about weapons in todays post 9/11 world?

 

Lapaglia icon_cool.gif

"Muga Muchu" (forget yourself, focus).

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WHile cleaning out my home office today, yes hell did freeze over, I found a box of swiss army knives I had forgotten about. would these be acceptable as cache items. Or, would they be a bad choice given the Zero tollerance about weapons in todays post 9/11 world?

 

Lapaglia icon_cool.gif

"Muga Muchu" (forget yourself, focus).

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A Swiss Army Knife would be an excellent cache item. I know I'd be delighted to find one.

There is an earlier discussion devoted to knives in caches. A few people had a problem with

it, but the consensus was that they were fine cache items.

 

Just use a little common sense and don't place it in a cache next to a playground. One person was concerned about prison work crews finding the cache and using the kinfe to gain their freedom.

That was a bit far out IMHO, but maybe its a good idea not to place it in a roadside cache, where these work crews operate

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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My favorite place to get cache stash stuff is the camping section at WalMart!

 

071.gif

 

There is a TON of stuff for under $2. I stock up on glow sticks, waterproof matches, brass matchboxes, flashlights, whistles, compasses, etc., etc.

 

I tend to go a bit crazy there!!

 

quote:
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers (1879-1935)
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I've putsome thought into what to leave. We have a new dollar store close by, and I mean a big one. I have found excellent items there and have been impressed with the quality. I have stocked a cache with items like shot glaseses, playing cards,keychains that oink (one of my favourites). I try to bring and place a few items in each cache, some that are good for adults, like little key chain screwdrivers (cheap but clever and hard to get) surgical brushes (great for gardening and workshop cleanups). I try to spirit away some of the many McToys we have accumulated but I try for the more interesting ones. My upcoming caches will have balloon animal tying kits in them. These are small kits I have made up, very inexpensive but fun and thoughtful. And thats the case with any gift isn't it. It's the thought that counts.

 

Maddman icon_biggrin.gif

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I've putsome thought into what to leave. We have a new dollar store close by, and I mean a big one. I have found excellent items there and have been impressed with the quality. I have stocked a cache with items like shot glaseses, playing cards,keychains that oink (one of my favourites). I try to bring and place a few items in each cache, some that are good for adults, like little key chain screwdrivers (cheap but clever and hard to get) surgical brushes (great for gardening and workshop cleanups). I try to spirit away some of the many McToys we have accumulated but I try for the more interesting ones. My upcoming caches will have balloon animal tying kits in them. These are small kits I have made up, very inexpensive but fun and thoughtful. And thats the case with any gift isn't it. It's the thought that counts.

 

Maddman icon_biggrin.gif

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If you go to a cache and the contents are in bad shape, tell the owner in your post. He/Her may not know about the contents of their cache. It may have been plundered and put back. I don't think most of us don't want to have our caches looking junky.

 

wavey.gif I maybe lost - but - I'm making good time!

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I've checked the profile of several of those looking for better cache items. I shudder at the thought of "prizes". I find these people have very few finds. For you newer cachers, notice that the more experienced cachers often mention interest only in signing the log. Folks, it is the journey, not the destination! We like to find "Something", but usually only take memories and satisfaction. Keep at it. You'll come to understand.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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quote:
My and my cache-mates give homemade CD's, packets of Red Sox and Patriot stickers, scratch tickets, small toys, and other little impulse type items we find while we're shopping around. It doesn't take much to leave a somewhat thoughtful prize.

 

Taz


 

It's all in the eye of the beholder. Someone elses taste in music or sport teams may be junk to some. I agree with equal trading but after a while it becomes just the thrill of the hunt. I normally read the log and enjoy the areas

 

geosigbuscard.jpg

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I am new to this as well one thing I did like was the homeade CD suggestion something I thought might be useful is to have a cd with some of the neat software you can find to use with your GPS and enhance it I was surfing Google and found some awesome software. If there is not too much objection I will also include in the cache's I find an AOL cd as they are becomming kind of a collectable. And no I am not going to be trading a kewl Item for a freebie AOL CD that defeats the purpose and is almost like stealing.

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quote:
Originally posted by Dalamar:

I will also include in the cache's I find an AOL cd as they are becomming kind of a collectable.


 

How and why are AOL CD's a collectable? I can go down to my local Cumberland farms a collect a whole displayful of them!

 

----------

"Wan't" and "differen't" are not words.

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It's good to see that some people agree on the idea of better prizes. I just wanted to make a few responses.

 

First, one person replied that I'm doing Geocaching for the wrong reason if I'm looking for better prizes. My only response to that is that no one should be dictating my reason for Geocaching. OBVIOUSLY my only goal isn't to find a prize, because I'm leaving better prizes (in my mind) than I'm taking.

 

Which leads me to my second issue. Another individual said that the prizes I'm leaving, although "good" to me, may be junk to someone else. True enough. But at least I'm trying. To illustrate my point, I saw a log last week that said something to the effect of, taking a CD and a scratch ticket, leaving a small plastic dog. I don't think that person is trying.

 

Anyhoo... I knew there would be some disagreement, but its good to see a majority of people agreeing with me.

 

Thanks!

 

Taz

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quote:
Originally posted by Lapaglia:

WHile cleaning out my home office today, yes hell did freeze over, I found a box of swiss army knives I had forgotten about. would these be acceptable as cache items. Or, would they be a bad choice given the Zero tollerance about weapons in todays post 9/11 world?


 

Not wanting to start an off thread, I think little pen knifes, as they are called, are an OK item. Most young kids will not be geocaching by them selves, so the parents have a say.

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And another thing! I agree the destination should be most of the fun, and, for me, it is, However, with caches these days becoming, more often than not now, "tupperware thrown in the woods," I need a little something to cheer me up when I get to the cache.

 

Which brings me to my next posting "MORE THOUGHTFUL CACHES!!"

 

Taz (of Taz et al.)

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quote:
Originally posted by Taz et al.:

My only response to that is that no one should be dictating my reason for Geocaching.


 

Hear, hear!

 

quote:

Which leads me to my second issue. Another individual said that the prizes I'm leaving, although "good" to me, may be junk to someone else. True enough. But at least I'm trying.


 

I'm not one to speak at this moment, since I've yet to purchase my GPS and hit the woods, but I know that I'm putting a lot of thought into what I'm going to be bringing with me to the caches. But who's to know what's of value to someone else? Who can state the value of an AOL CD, stuffed animal, pocket tool, flashlight or plastic dinosaur to another?

 

I know I can't. I'm planning to bring items that reflect who I am and where I'm coming from. Geocaching is a global adventure, and sharing our individual regionalisms, IMNSHO, is part of the fun. Taking the Patriots stickers from New England and replacing them with something that represents my native NYC is something I would do, as would leaving the stickers to be found somewhere farther from their original home. I guess you could say I'm a fan of hitchhiking, watching something as it travels across the nation and world.

 

At the same time, I also believe in leaving something in a better condition than you found it.

 

Just my $.02.

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quote:
Originally posted by C.B.:

At the same time, I also believe in leaving something in a better condition than you found it.


 

Too many people fixate on the value of the item placed. This value is completely in the eyes of the beholder. It is a number that cannot be easily determined. I often use bungies as trade items. Depending on how (and where) these are purchased, their dollar value falls somewhere between less than 50c each or more than $2.

 

Personally, I have no problem with clean McToys in good repair. Others hate to see these a trade items.

 

As long as a person trades even or better (in their opinion) no one should have an issue.

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Sometimes I cache alone. Then I concentrate on caches that are going to provide an excuse for interesting hikes or are interesting puzzles.

 

I carry Tonka minature toy trucks as trade goods for those caches, and have often just left the truck, more as a signature item than as a trade good. The more caches I visit the fewer I look through.

 

Sometimes I'll trade the truck for something that looks appropriate for a kid-friendly cache. Often I just drop those items in the kid-friendly caches when I hit them.

 

Sometimes I cache with my 10 year old granddaughter. Then I concentrate on caches that she's likely to be able to find and that I hope are kid-friendly. She carries her own trade goods but sometimes there's more in the cache that she's interested in than she's got trade stuff for, so then I'll trade.

 

The sort of things I look for are the signature items. These have more sentimental value than monetary value. One of my favorite items to date is one of Iron Chef's "Spoon of Great Justice".

 

I hope to have my own signature item soon, because I find them much more fun than any trade item.

 

To each his own.

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When I first discovered Geocaching a few months ago, the novelty of discovering "hidden treasure" was a bit too much to resist. I felt compelled to trade. Now, I usually sift through the trinkets and occasionally will take something, but usually don't. In fact, I think reading the log book is much more entertaining.

 

However, in one cache I found that hadn't been visited in a really long time, I left a wheresgeorge $100 bill (that's correct, no decimal...I was feeling generous). I didn't make any mention of it in the log, though. I just wanted to see if anyone would comment. Seems I'm still the last to have found that cache, though.

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