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Geocaching Highbrow


Snoogans
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High•brow: Of, relating to, or being highly cultured or intellectual: as in- They only attend highbrow events such as the ballet or the opera.

n.

One who possesses or affects a high degree of culture or learning.

 

The geocaching "Highbrow" movement is really perplexing to me. Sometimes it really seems to me that some people actually think EVERY single cache MUST take them to some fantastic place with an exotic view and convenient parking and be filled with precious jewels. If not well, the cache is just so much more geotrash. (Yea, yea, overstated but still...) Next comes the complaint thread that all caches that don't meet THEIR aesthetic be banned, or some new designation be given them so they can exclude them on their searches.

 

I think of these people as (I'm going to coin terms here, so remember where you heard them): The GPC Club, (for the Geo-Politically correct) and The ARG Club. (The Anal Retentive Geocachers Club.) Some belong to both clubs, but it's the latter that provide the most entertainment.

 

OK, we hear mottos like, "The language of location," and I think some of us take it a bit too literally.

 

Sheesh, this isn't rocket surgery. It's boxes of junk in the woods, or where ever someone sees fit to place one and can get it approved. Since when did EVERY single cache have to have some awesome intrinsic value to be worthwhile?

 

This is still high tech hide and seek. Isn't it? Not high tech, only traditional caches, in beautiful settings, with convenient parking, and sparkling restrooms, hide and seek.... Right? So what difference does it make who, what, when, where and especially why? If an approver found it worthy to be posted then I count myself lucky to have another choice of a cache to hunt, OR NOT to hunt if it doesn't seem like my kind of fun.

 

This is my favorite geocaching quote:

 

"Failure is a hard pill to swallow until you realize the only failure you can really have in this sport is the failure to enjoy yourself."

TotemLake 4/26/04

 

I think I'll go hide some urban micros now....... <_<:):):P:P:)

Edited by Snoogans
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We have caches located in shopping centres, in nature reserves and in the middle of nowhere. Each and every one of them has been fun to find, some offering considerable physical challenges to even get close.

 

While opening the container is exciting - I mean, hey!, I found it!!!!!!! - it doesn't bother me what is in there.

 

Neither does it bother me where it is - finding it is ALL the FUN!!!!

 

I get immense satisfaction getting to the cache. Finding it is the bonus.

 

It's a GAME, dammit, and the choice is yours whether you want to play or not.

 

I say - bring 'em on - I want MORE!!!!!!!

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Since when did EVERY single cache have to have some awesome intrinsic value to be worthwhile?

"Every" cache doesn't.

 

Heck, even the majority of the urban micros I've done was fun. Sissy don't like them because they generally aren't physical enough. I like'em because you get to use your stealth skills. Some of the best fun we've had is a Jax run at night.

 

I think you are getting micros and caches with absolutely no intrinsic value confused.

 

Yes, I would argue "intrinsic value" has nothing to do with incrementing your find count.

 

I could go on and argue the question of the number of people who would be disappointed if all of the caches in debris fields disappeared versus the people disappointed that they exist.

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This would be less of an issue if more accurate/complete information was found in cache descriptions. When's the last time you read these:

 

"Cache is located in a junk-filled ditch."

"Contents are bottle caps, rocks, and a rusted knife set."

"Cache is located inches from the pavement of a congested highway."

"Children and pets will have to wait in car at this one."

 

I've been to several caches where these things ~should~ have been mentioned, and yes I was dissapointed. Ane yes, I probably would have hunted for them anyway.

 

Best Wishes,

-Bob

Edited by Bobthearch
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You know, I'm not that big a fan of micros, but then I realized something yesterday when I was on the forums.

 

I live with a non cacher. Whenever we go out somewhere, I generally make her go caching with me. (she'll log one day, I'm sure of it.) If it weren't for micros in light poles, I'd never get any 'a cache here and there' caching done or I'd have to go alone.

 

Caching is wonderful. All caches have their place.

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...and who makes the decision about the level of intrinsic value?

I'm not sure there is a threshold on the level of value. Only that there is some.

 

I mean, some people find value in picking through garbage. Some people's standard of living is a cardboard box and eating out of a dumpster. Most of the time that value is higher than the alternative. Does that mean that one has to offer that lifestyle up to others? Do you think they wouldn't make a better life for themselves if they could? Who would choose such a lifestyle?

 

This is a hobby where one chooses to do what they do. No one forces you to place a crappy cache, you choose to. But by placing a crappy cache you force others to have to wade through your chaffe to hunt the ones that are worthwhile.

 

I've got a drawer full of film cans. I could even put a decent log in them. I could blanket this area with 100+ thoughtless micros in a few days in effect doubling the cache population. I've got the resources in my office right now. But I choose not to. Why?

 

Because I wouldn't do that to my fellow cachers, that's why.

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It's boxes of junk in the woods, or where ever someone sees fit to place one and can get it approved. Since when did EVERY single cache have to have some awesome intrinsic value to be worthwhile?

 

I'll not begrudge anyone who finds pleasure in these; however, there is enough of the mundane in my life that I'm really not interested in seeking caches simply because they are there. I want some value, whether it be a scenic view, a historical interest, or a curious whatever. It's not just a box of junk in the woods or an approved place. It's the adventure. It's the untraveled newness of an area I haven't explored. It's the magic, whether it be in my home area or across the US or across the world. If I fly to Chicago or drive to Upstate NY or walk on the Appalachian Trail, I don't want to find a cache at the local 7-eleven. If I'm going to plan a trip, I want to find a cache that has some worth. Going to the local mega-store parking lot to find a lightpost is not adventure for me. Guaranteed, I won't search for one of these, even on some of my more exotic destinations, of which I can claim a few.. But if that's what people want, more power to them. I'll watch my cache count jump by one or two to their hundreds with no envy whatsoever.

 

Ok, I'll say it: I do look down on the "boxes of junk in the woods, or where ever someone sees fit to place one and can get it approved" caches. I think every cache should have some intrinsic value. Less is More.

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I always wondered if that classic quote from Caddyshack ("Ahoy Paloy!" - Spalding to Danny at the Yacht Club) was a CORRECT, satirical usage of the term "hoi polloi" (which means "the masses" or "common people" (see definition), not to be confused with "hoity toity" (which is believe is what we'd be referring to here as "high brow")), or if in fact it was a MISUSE of the term. But I digress.

 

Less is More.

 

Couldn't agree more! One of my cache hiding mantras: Just because a location CAN support a cache doesn't necessarily mean that it SHOULD.

 

<shameless plug> Dave's Note to Local Hiders </shameless plug>

 

-Dave R. in Biloxi

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Opinions are like elbows. Most people have one or two and here's mine. As recent beginners in geocaching, we appreciate all types of caches. The simple mini's are nice when the kids are along and want a "quick-fix". The more difficult ones that require some hiking, more thought, etc. are fun for myself. The kids don't see the fun in hiking a mile or two one way to find a cache yet. When we go out for the day geocaching, I try to tie easy and hard ones together so all are happy. Also, I am not a rocket scientist, but I sure can tell if it's going to be easy or hard just by the map on the Geocaching website. So if you really don't enjoy the easy to get to ones (i.e. parking lots), do a little investigating and don't go if you don't want to.

 

Keep all those caches coming! BIG, small, whatever, wherever. We'll decide if we want to do them or not.

 

That's my 3 elbows worth. :lol:

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Because I wouldn't do that to my fellow cachers, that's why.

 

Thank you. I sincerely appreciate it.

 

-Bob

Me too.

 

I have the bottles, and the logs, I could go nuts. The result would be a cloud of crappy caches that would spread, like a miasma of the fumes released from packing houses burning hides, over my fair city. Just as I don't miss the stench of burning hides from the packing houses, I do not see where the advantage of cache pollution is.

 

If caches had time outs, where a cache could only be active if it reached a certain number of user points or maintained a certain user point/time ratio, and then it was on "life support" where it could be dropped if it didn't get more use or get revitalized in some way by the owner, then I would be less distressed by this, because they would eventually go away.

 

They don't though.

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...I have the bottles, and the logs, I could go nuts. The result would be a cloud of crappy caches that would spread, like a miasma of the fumes released from packing houses burning hides, over my fair city. ...

The first time I saw a packing plant, now that was something. Going in were fresh cows all covered in dung. They must of been shaken up a bit in transit. Coming out on a conveyor were empty skins which were dropped into a large bin. It made me wonder as they moo'd if they were aware of thier brothers skins being collected within sight of their line.

 

Amazing. Well worth the visit, and a lame urban micro to bring me there.

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I glean many insights to life from my slightly less than two years old daughter.

 

Her perspective is wonderful. Life is so innocent.

 

She's a pretty lenient judge on caches. Every one we've found together (ok, only 8, but we're knocking 2-5 more out each weekend) she's been absolutely delighted to find.

 

Does it matter that it is in a "nonsensical" location? Absolutely not, the glass beads made the trip worth it!

 

Does it matter this or that cache "only" has buttons in it? Absolutely not, standing on a rock looking at gorgeous view of the lake made the trip worth it!

 

Does it matter we only got to walk 50 feet from a parking lot to find it? Absolutely not, riding along with Daddy in his jeep and listening to bagpipes made the trip worth it!

 

Does it matter we had to walk 2 miles to find it? Absolutely not, sitting on Daddy's shoulders and chattering (and drooling on his GPSr) made the trip worth it.

 

Alas, what I have learned about Geocaching from little Sarah:

 

It is the joy of doing something outdoors, preferably with someone fun to be with, that gives geocaching "intrinsic value."

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If caches had time outs, where a cache could only be active if it reached a certain number of user points or maintained a certain user point/time ratio, and then it was on "life support" where it could be dropped if it didn't get more use or get revitalized in some way by the owner, then I would be less distressed by this, because they would eventually go away.

 

They don't though.

OK this is partially why I posted this thread.

 

Ummmmm, why would a cache (you didn't place) that is beneath your standards cause you distress? All you have to do is ignore it.

 

I've seen many a lame cache and just shaken my head and moved on. On those same caches, I've seen people post genuinely happy finds because it was their first ever geocache, or their child found it and was just overjoyed, etc. Who are we to judge their experience? OR the motive of the person that hid it? Geocaching.com approved it as being within the guidelines. That's enough for me. If it's not up to my standards, I'll ignore it. I don't NEED to see a pretty red check mark on caches that are beneath my quality time allotment. I have no need to regulate them off the planet either.

 

Why would you want to limit other's enjoyment of a cache that doesn't meet your standards? Geocaching experiences are too individually subjective for a point system to work.

 

I'll give you an example:

 

I went on a cache trip, by boat, with a group of friends to do 2 caches, in three star terrain, on a HOT June day. It is one of my favorite geocaching experiences ever.

 

On the other side of the coin, one of our group brought a new girlfriend with him. It was her first outing and come to find out; It wasn't exactly her type of fun and I'll leave it at that. Let's just say that their child was born half muggle. :lol:

 

In this 2 person poll, how would the caches rate?

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On those same caches, I've seen people post genuinely happy finds because it was their first ever geocache, or their child found it and was just overjoyed, etc.

Your examples don't hold water.

 

The quoted example only indicate the cachers are new and with any new activity just doing it has satisfaction. Besides, the cache doesn't have to be lame to be enjoyed. A cache most poeple would enjoy will do. Not trying to discount the opinions of newbie cachers, but face it, how are they to really judge until they've experienced a broad range of caches?

 

Your friend's girlfriend might not like the outdoors. She might have come along just to be with her new beau. Regardless, value can only be judged by those who would value it if it had any.

 

If you discount the cachers who find caches only as an excuse to increment their find count, you'll find that experienced cachers will judge caches by worth. Sure, you can shake your head and just move on. Sure, you'll say something polite in the log. You can leave them for newbie to find and be delighted.

 

I'll even grant that some hiders have absolutely no imagination, but that doesn't mean anyone's cache has to have been placed with no thought.

 

I think it a rare cacher indeed that a cache has to be lame to be enjoyed.

 

So, answer me this, why are some many people catering just to them?

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On those same caches, I've seen people post genuinely happy finds because it was their first ever geocache, or their child found it and was just overjoyed, etc.

Your examples don't hold water.

 

The quoted example only indicate the cachers are new and with any new activity just doing it has satisfaction. Besides, the cache doesn't have to be lame to be enjoyed. A cache most poeple would enjoy will do. Not trying to discount the opinions of newbie cachers, but face it, how are they to really judge until they've experienced a broad range of caches?

 

Your friend's girlfriend might not like the outdoors. She might have come along just to be with her new beau. Regardless, value can only be judged by those who would value it if it had any.

 

If you discount the cachers who find caches only as an excuse to increment their find count, you'll find that experienced cachers will judge caches by worth. Sure, you can shake your head and just move on. Sure, you'll say something polite in the log. You can leave them for newbie to find and be delighted.

 

I'll even grant that some hiders have absolutely no imagination, but that doesn't mean anyone's cache has to have been placed with no thought.

 

I think it a rare cacher indeed that a cache has to be lame to be enjoyed.

 

So, answer me this, why are some many people catering just to them?

First off, I have a new geocaching quote saved to my clipboard. Good one! Thanks:

 

I think it a rare cacher indeed that a cache has to be lame to be enjoyed. 

 

So, answer me this, why are some many people catering just to them?

 

I can agree with that without straying from my point. It's my opinion that your statement is true in some areas.

 

You left my point out of your reply:

 

Who are we to judge their experience?

 

Just because they are new doesn't make their experience less valid. Less educated. Less ummmmmm, what's the word I'm looking for?

 

Oh yea! HIGHBROW.

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Call me high brow.  Caches in crowded parking lots do not excite me.

It's perfectly okay for you to be selective on which caches you decide to go to. However, you should also realize that what excites you might not excite "cacher z". Let's take handicap cachers, as an example. A 2 star terrain cache isn't going to excite them much, unless they can somehow make it to the cache site (then it would probably be pretty exciting). A parking lot cache that they can wheel up to (I'm assuming a wheelchair bound cacher in this example), search for, and find, will most likely be very exciting. If it's near a place to go eat afterwards, all the better.

 

Cache and let cache!

 

--Marky

Edited by Marky
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I'm not judging their experience. I'm judging the cache and the experience offered, not what one gets out of it.

But aren't you judging that "offered experience" based on your own subjective standards?

 

In over 100 finds, we've done caches that ranged from urban micros attached to lightposts, to a virtual at the top of the second highest peak in SoCal requiring a 12 mile hike. Every single find has given us something. Obviously, we've enjoyed some more than others, but I have yet to find a cache that made me think "I should have just stayed home", or "I wish they hadn't placed this cache".

 

Even a bad example can be a good example of a bad example! ;)

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Even a bad example can be a good example of a bad example! ;)

Yes, if only it were JUST an example! If an area has been BOMBED with those, they become the "standard", not the exception. That's the point, I think, that many on this thread are trying to make. Newbs will judge the game based on their early finds...if an area is bombed with lamppost hides, that becomes the "example", and either we lose those newbs ("What's fun about THIS?"), or the sore festers ("Oh OK, I get it, I'll hide some MORE of these and I'll get those neat EMails too!").

 

I address that here: Dave's Note to Local Hiders

 

-Dave R. in Biloxi

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...Newbs will judge the game based on their early finds...if an area is bombed with lamppost hides, that becomes the "example...

Thats one reason I don't advocate "finding a few caches before you place one" I like people to think on their own and come up with their own style of hides.

 

At the same time those newbies are perfectly capable of saying "man I can do better than this" and then they can. Geocaching isn't rocket science. The gist of the game can be learned in all of 5 minutes.

 

One of the nuances of the game that we pick up is a sence of the thrill of the hunt based on where the cache is at. I know just from looking at my GPS map if it's an urban micro, short trail hike, something differerent and so on. Skewing a cache day towards the type I'm feeling like at the moment isn't a hard thing to do.

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Am I the only one that looks at a cache location on a map before I go look for it? Its pretty easy to tell if a cache is in the city or the woods by this simple expediency. I like four wheeling, I like it a lot. I like caches, I like them a lot. Before I go four wheeling I look at the cache map so conviently provided by GC.com. I pick a few caches, print the pages, download the way points and I'm off. Using this method I have never been disapointed by finding that the cache was a film canister in a light pole. Hard to belive but true.

 

On other days I want to get out of the office at lunch. I'll do a cache search on my office coordinates pick one or two caches and head out. A quick stop at Mc Dees and I'm caching. I might find a film can, I might find a piece of gladware, whatever, it clears my mind and I do better work when I get back.

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not enjoying a cache is different from wiching it had never been placed, or that i hadn't gone.

 

i've seen a few i consider useless. i try to remember that somebody loves them.

 

my response is to read the description and some of the logs (or at least skim those, since reading too close might give me more clues than i want.) if it sounds like i wouldn't like it, i don't go.

 

there are days when i will positively scream if i have to do another puzzle multi. (yes, you heard me, you people who know me...) and lately a park 'n' grab is just what i want. it don't hurt my knees and i get to hunt something.

 

if i feel like going snowshoeing, obviously i'm looking for something else.

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Geocaches are like food. There's junk food, McDonald's hamburgers, 5-course gourmet meals, and everything in between.

 

My attitude towards caches are like my attitude towards food: I don't care what food anyone else eats, just as long as they don't eat either massive amounts of beans or garlic and then get into an elevator with me. Phew!

 

I'll take a nice microbrew cache with a side of home fries please. ;)

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Hey Snoogans! Thanks for the honorable mention!

 

I don't know if it's highbrow or not, but I do prefer to go to caches that take me someplace interesting over standard urban caches. I'd like to think this is a concious effort not to get burned out on geocaching like some high numbered finders have found themselves based on going after everything. Caches I typically go after provide a physical challenge with rewarding views, or the rewarding satisfaction of having met the challenge to push myself into a realm I normally wouldn't have gone. Mostly, I cache these days because of the opportunity to meet new and interesting people whom I can now call friends and that to me is the most valued reason of all.

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I think it kind of obvious not everyone is on the same page here.

 

I got the impression from the OP that being "highbrow" was about being snobbish on the quality of the cache, not the genre.

 

Being an micro doesn't necessarily make it a low class cache. The fact that it's a rotting, split tennis ball with a napkin log tossed along side a nondescript section of highway does.

 

Just because it's an urban cache doesn't mean it's a low class cache. A nice easy, well maintained cache in a well manicured park with a swing along side the harbor is a nice cache. A wet film can crammed behind a conduit behind some Hess station that doesn't even have bathrooms--oh, joy.

 

It's not the genre that makes a cache good or not.

 

I'm glad someone brought up food. You can equate urban micros, scenic hikes, devious hides, or strolls in the park with fast food, 5 star dining, sampling exotic foods, or home cooking. Any of those can be great. Any of those could be not so great.

 

There are good cooks. There are so-so cooks. There are even bad cooks. But, then there are cooks who will put out a dish that is not even palatable.

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...Newbs will judge the game based on their early finds...if an area is bombed with lamppost hides, that becomes the "example...

Thats one reason I don't advocate "finding a few caches before you place one" I like people to think on their own and come up with their own style of hides.

 

At the same time those newbies are perfectly capable of saying "man I can do better than this" and then they can. Geocaching isn't rocket science. The gist of the game can be learned in all of 5 minutes.

As usual, RK, I'm generally in agreement with you on this. However, you know from participating in many of these same threads with me that my "crusade" is more about the BOMBING of areas with these types of caches, as opposed to MODERATION of them. One or two (or even a "handful"), fine...50, 60, 100, or more...NO, NO, NO! And while I agree that most cachers, newbs or not, are intelligent enough to make their own judgments, I also know from clear evidence that the sore continues to fester in many areas. You know how much I travel, RK...I've seen it firsthand. So, like it or not, the "copycat factor" IS an issue. I wish it weren't true.

 

-Dave R.

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Am I the only one that looks at a cache location on a map before I go look for it? Its pretty easy to tell if a cache is in the city or the woods by this simple expediency.

Ahhhhhh, but they do. (Most of 'em anyway.) You and I both know it.

 

IMO The underlying reason for many highbrow complaints are those pretty red check marks. That counts double for the card carrying members of the ARG Club with a high number of finds. They can't stand to see a page in their search radius that hasn't got that little mark. They absolutely go outta their minds when it's within the first three pages from their home coords. They actually feel like they have been forced to hunt a lame cache so they can clear a page. I find it all very entertaining to see people with advanced degrees and outstanding careers behave this way. (I'm speaking from personal experience.)

 

Example: A cacher whom I have always held in high regard was complaining to a group at an event about another cacher's particularly lame virts. (We're talkin' some of the lamest EVER.) I agreed with his sentiment and had already decided not to hunt this cacher's virts on my own, but I knew their reason for posting these lame virts was for handicapped cachers. (and so did my friend.) I can respect that and still think the virts are lame and CHOOSE not to hunt them. I'm not distressed that they exist. Anyhoo, I suggested to my friend that he just NOT log them and not hunt their caches anymore. His reply was, "I can't not log a cache." The look on his face was priceless. (I assumed that he also meant that he couldn't not hunt a cache either, given his find count.)

 

Does anyone else see this mindset? As in people who are obsessive/compulsive in cache hunting and then blaming the hider for forcing them to not have fun and denying responsibility for their own experiences.

 

This behavior isn't unique to our sport, but I have never seen so much of it in any other group.

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Does anyone else see this mindset? As in people who are obsessive/compulsive in cache hunting and then blaming the hider for forcing them to not have fun and denying responsibility for their own experiences.

I'm beginning to see it more and more, only the other end of the spectrum. I like puzzles, so I hide puzzle caches, fairly tough, but not impossible. I get the feeling that a few don't like them, because they take longer, which means they are on the list longer. I'm seeing more and more of the "glad I got it off my list" logs.

 

I don't take it as a put down or anthing, just something I've noticed. As long as they are having fun keeping that list cleared, I guess that's all that matters. And my puzzle caches are gonna get tougher :o My hide goal is to place one that lasts unfound longer than my record so far B)

 

7

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And while I agree that most cachers, newbs or not, are intelligent enough to make their own judgments, I also know from clear evidence that the sore continues to fester in many areas.

Wow, ummmmmm, wowww. The imagery in that statement...... B)

 

We ARE talking about geocaching right? You know, little containers with logbooks and stuff? Not urban blight, or unemployment, or diseases in third world countries, or dogs and cats living together? I just wanna maintain perspective. :o

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And while I agree that most cachers, newbs or not, are intelligent enough to make their own judgments, I also know from clear evidence that the sore continues to fester in many areas.

Wow, ummmmmm, wowww. The imagery in that statement...... :o

 

We ARE talking about geocaching right? You know, little containers with logbooks and stuff? Not urban blight, or unemployment, or diseases in third world countries, or dogs and cats living together? I just wanna maintain perspective. B)

The perspective thing is what all these discussions are about. Some have it, others don't. The haves will forever try to get the have not's to see the light. For some an epiphany will come along and their attitude will change, others ......won't.

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High•brow: Of, relating to, or being highly cultured or intellectual: as in- They only attend highbrow events such as the ballet or the opera.

n.

One who possesses or affects a high degree of culture or learning.

Who's this "paloy" person you're shouting ahoy to? :o

 

(Hoi polloi actually mean "the common people", not the elite or upper crust.)

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High•brow: Of, relating to, or being highly cultured or intellectual: as in- They only attend highbrow events such as the ballet or the opera.

n.

One who possesses or affects a high degree of culture or learning.

Who's this "paloy" person you're shouting ahoy to? :o

 

(Hoi polloi actually mean "the common people", not the elite or upper crust.)

See my similar post above in this thread. I believe there's been a confusion here between "hoi polloi" ("the common people") and "hoity toity" (couldn't find a definition but the commonly accepted one has to do with snobbery, the upper-crust, etc.).

 

The only place I recall hearing "Ahoy Paloy" was when Spalding said it to Danny in Caddyshack when Danny showed up at the Yacht Club wearing his ship's steward outfit.

 

-Dave R.

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