Tag Archives: Terracaching

Atsion Mansion

15-04-17 TCEJZ

TCEJZ
39.741867 -74.725717

Had a little time to kill today. It seemed like the perfect time to stop by here and find the needed information. While the weather has just recently broken, the bugs were out in full force. No tour today but fun.

Thank you for this terracache that entertained today.

****

Fritz and I drove up here after school. We found the required information quickly. The bugs were indeed out. Fritz rationalized that bugs got their name because they bug us. Smart boy, there.

A guy was looking around the map area. When he saw me he asked if I worked here. No, but how can I help. He and his girl had a reservation to camp at Gorfrey’s Bridge. They apparently had just snaked all the way through via Quaker Bridge to here. Whoops! I helped them out and how to get back to where they needed to be.

Still the Same

As I pore through the 6000+ posts here on the blog, tidying up things to go public again, I am reliving many past experiences. I have rekindled my liking of locationless caches as I go through each of these.

In my head I keep thinking of reconnecting with the game. TerraCaching has new owners and they finally got things going again, albeit in an odd fashion.

Locationless GPX files are built wrong so GSAK can’t read them. I have tried to help out with that. Nothing will come of it because they don’t want to bother Clyde. Not a good business decision.

But more alarming is my request for all the LC numbers so I can hand-build my database. Skepticism aplenty.

I did get your email about the list of LC numbers and was curious as to why you needed this information on all of our caches both active and archived. Currently, we are using all of our resources to work through issues on the site and have added this to a list of potential member driven reports. We do have plans that would allow you to pull certain reports from the site, but this is still a ways into the future. Unfortunately as to organization, the future assignment of LC waypoint IDs is very different from the TC1 database, so I fear that order you are requesting will not be very beneficial into the future.

Reminds me of The Who . . .

Meet the new boss Same as the old boss

I suspect I will refrain from pursuing returning to this game. From the looks of the web site, these folks don’t understand how their players get information. We like lists and searches. They went for pretty. It is slow and clunky. I dare say, v. 1.0 worked better than this new one does.

Oh well, less time I need to spend there.

Bloodcache

14-09-08 LCGA

LCGA
39.509535,-75.027483

I like clearing DNFs, especially ones that are nearly sever years old.

As I wrote then, I had given blood once and that was for my job. A small vial was taken.

Advance forward to May 2013. I was cornered by a couple of my brother Knights at our chicken barbecue and asked if I would head the blood drive for the assembly. I asked if I had to donate. Then I explained my reluctance.

I planned the event for the beginning of August 2013. I coupled this with a project for Toastmasters in leadership.

The day of the event came and all went off well. I felt proud that so many people came to donate their time and body for others. I decided I should rise to the occasion too. I donated my first pint that day.

A week or so later, I received my donor card in the mail. Every 56 days one can donate. I have now donated five times. I am hooked!

As this drive came around, I remembered this locationless. I have been revisiting all these old hunts as I hand-fix this blog. I grabbed my GPSr and stick in my pocket for the drive.

It’s good to give. It’s good to clear DNFs. I am happy to have this one in the good column! 🙂

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

At 11:58, 15 July 2014 I received an automated call that began, “Hello seniors!” It was for some medical alert device. Needless to say, I am not amused . . . Commissioner Quinn helped me/my group. I’ll hand it to him, he came through when a constituent reached out for help . . . Grown man discussing the leadership qualities of another man who has proven himself in an area he is a mere spectator all the while exhibits absolute horrendous sportsmanship publicly in his arena is priceless . . . Why do we have to battle my daughter to bathe? Isn’t bathing one of those things everyone does? Tiring . . . As I clean up the blog with the many iterations that caused some code weirdness, I came across all my TerraCaching logs. Given TC.com has just re-launched and is totally unusable as far as I am concerned, the links in the posts have been relegated moot. Such is life as the Internet evolves . . . I’ve noticed that my blog reading is down since Google discarded Reader. I still read blogs, but not as intently and not as many . . . That moment when you realize someone defriended you on Facebook. Obviously I only added value while this person served a one-year term. Term is up and so am I . . .

I’ve Been Censored

I’ve been censored and I didn’t even know it.

I’ve been poking around the Terracaching.com lately. I went looking for something I had written in the forums long ago. I couldn’t find it. I searched by the different handles I had. I couldn’t find my posts. So I went to my site. I knew I had posts that linked to my posts directly at TC.com. Yup, my posts are all gone. Sure, you can see remnants of them in the responses to my posts, but my posts are gone.

Holy smokes!

I suspect this happened when I attempted to re-join in 2011 and Cash/ScottO fucked up my account. Poof! I don’t exist.

Oh well . . .

Terra Fizzle

A little more than three years ago, AK announced that Terracaching.com was going to close after years of broken promises, abandonment, and neglect. Actually, he didn’t announce it, ScottO did.

Assuming that there is no other interest in taking over the terracaching.com, as of December 31st, 2010, the site will shut down. Any premium memberships still in effect at that time will be refunded for the balance of their remaining duration.

Even the leader of the site couldn’t envision anyone wanting to take on this dead site.

Yet, someone did. Cash108 did. Why, I haven’t a clue.

He took over as of January 2011. That is a little over three years ago. In those three years we heard all the same tired promises AK gave.

The site looks the same as it did when AK relinquished control. That is the same site design that was issued in the spring of 2005.

There was a promise made last week that some of the new site would be rolled out today.

What a disappointment.

After more than three years of new ownership, a blog with no useful information and a new store was issued. There’s a new look. It is more modern, but also dated.

The blog could be useful at some point, but I sincerely doubt it will be used for good. The store is a joke. All that is there is the same dated merchandise from 2005. Seriously. No new design. No new products. Nothing. Of course, you can’t purchase a premium membership there. For that, you need to go to the old store.

The blog promises discussion of the formulae. I am skeptical.

First off, what discussion? Post the formulae and there doesn’t need to be discussion. But they won’t do that. After Cash108 took over, I registered with RDOwens. I attempted to play nice. They totally botched my old account (no join date now). I asked about the formulae. Cash stated that would never be shared.

That was enough for me. As I taught my students for years, you can’t play a game if you don’t know the rules. For some unknown reason, neither AK nor the new owner thinks their customers deserve that information.

A businessman is entitled to his business model.

Dear Terracaching Owner

Cash108,

Once upon a time I played the Terracaching game. I bowed out years ago when AK abandoned the site. I congratulate you on attempting to revive the game.

I read your post highlighting some of the troubles you are experiencing launching the site. Perhaps some insight from someone outside the process will provide perspective.

In the data conversion and the equations we are having an issue with LC_TPS, and UCR, and naturally MCE won’t match current site because we switched to only cache finders.

Interestingly, on this date in 2007 I wrote:

Terracaching is still wrestling with the quality issues on its site. It seems like the man behind the curtain AK has put the rating system on the table. Immediately, the loud voices began speaking about how finders should “out-rate” non-finders. Of course, that is nonsense as my experience with the Geology Is Fun terracache showed. I traveled three hours to find a cache that was not maintained. Upon reporting that the first stage was ruined and there was no way to complete the multi, I received absolutely zero feedback from (my sponsor) the cache owner. He turned around and gave the coordinates to the final stage to another cacher to log a few days later. Now, if all the bloviators have their way, my experience with this would matter little. Their feeling is that my thoughts on this cache would be as important as someone in the Netherlands who happened to look at the cache page. That hardly seems fair. Then again, the system isn’t fair. As I have pointed out any number of times, as long as the formulae working there are kept secretive, it doesn’t matter what the criteria are. One cannot effectively play a game if he doesn’t know the rules.

MCE, UCR & OTHER FORMULAMATIC ISSUES
You also wrote:
“So the MCE is getting a revamp as it was using UCR and a rating pattern from the raters, in addition to giving weights to people that lived closer to the cache vs people that lived further away….then if you take into consideration, that if a user has not been active on the site over x time, then their rating, does not count or has a different modifier., then various factors that are not the same on the new site (badges).. AND of course the MCE of a cache impacts the UCR of the cache… then you see part of the problem,… “
Which all comes down to a bunch of garbled nonsense as no one knows what any of that will result in.

In one of the updates ag08 posted, it was stated, “Cash108 and ScottO have also dedicated many hours to figuring out how MCE and UCR work to try to make an effective transfer.” That pretty much tells the community that you don’t even know how the points system works. That was one of the issues AK experienced. He took a tried-and-true system, Skydiver’s Geocaching Point System, and attempted to add other metrics to it. In the end, those additions failed.

I teach elementary school students. One of the projects we complete is for the students to create a board game based on a historical figure. One of the most basic tenets of the project is that the student establishes a clear objective for the players (first one to get to the end, etc.). To that end, students also write rules for others to follow while playing the game. One of the criteria for grading the students is how easily their classmates can follow the rules of the game.

The introduction of MCE and UCR at Terracaching.com muddied the game. The metrics did not measure what they purported to measure, had problems functioning, and were never adequately explained to the customers. The players of the game could not follow the game because it made no sense.

I encourage you to address this. I am a proponent of simplicity. That presents two approaches: 1. scrap MCE and UCR, or 2. be transparent. Share the formulae with the players (customers) so they can at least see what is going on. The players will see things much differently than the architects. Don’t be scared to have a business model that embraces your customers.

NEW SITE
While it’s been more than three years since you took over and I am certain you are feeling the pressure, I truly believe the release of the blog and the store have done a disservice to your brand. The blog is full of placeholder text. It looks as though a few posts were thrown together. It does not show three year’s work. The store is disappointing. I expected to see a new brand image. I see the same items from 2005. It looks like leftover stock.

MIGRATION
It was stated you are going to move over all the old data. I know that is a difficult decision. I had ~500 logs, most with links to photographs as the listings required. In 2008, through no fault of my own, I lost control of the domain those images were hosted on. AK had long stopped working on the site and refused to run a simple search and replace to update the images. In the six years since, the file structure on my site has changed and no search and replace would be possible now as I long stopped designing anything for what I thought was a dead site.

With you wanting to migrate all the data, I wonder how you are going to handle such data. As it stands now, and has for years, the cache pages present long lost information. A new site with a new skin is going to continue to present long lost data.

Why? To preserve the points? That is the only reason to do so. That can be legitimate, but it also keeps someone like me from ever re-joining as I wouldn’t use that account. I don’t want to be associated with 500 crappy logs (because of the broken links) that serve as a reminder of a dated system. If I join with a new account, I will be precluded from loggingthose same caches as it will throw the points off. If I re-join and don’t log previously logged caches, then why play? It is about the points afterall. Terracaching’s appeal is because there is something different. If that is removed, there is no reason to play.

Most of what I wrote here was shared in the forums. You undoubtedly read all that and everyone else’s thoughts too. You crafted a path that you felt was in your best interest as owner of the site. As it is seen, that does not include me.

This has been an interesting journey for me. I will not share this letter for I recognize there is chance of gain for me. One thing I do see that is promising are the challenges. I could join under the alias “Grass Stains” and complete the 2014 Challenge.