"When you go to hide a cache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot.
If the only reason is for the cache, then find a better spot."
.... Briansnat


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Midwest GeoBash 2010

This year we made certain we arrived at the GeoBash with time to stop and say hi on Friday evening. We planned to stop back Saturday long enough for the Reviewer Panel. Ali participated in the panel for the first time this year. I would have volunteered as well, but there were a number of early recruits. The crowd was large, friendly, and interested. As always, Trippy was a perfect master of ceremonies.

For a perfect summer Saturday, the crowd was large.

Liz and Ali with Signal

What is Rex C's hand doing with Signal? Is he saying give me all your geocoins? :-) It was fun to see Rex and say hello.

MWGB is always a super social event. KOI had a great spot in the campgrounds for a little meet and greet area.

Horseshoe Man continues to practice at the fairgrounds horseshoe pits.

After the reviewers' panel and a few pictures with Signal, we delayed our trip to Michigan and some caching long enough to try out the Oregon for our first Whereigo. The action mostly seemed to be a lot of walking back and forth to find the right spot to open the next stage of the cartridge. I'm still not convinced this is a long-term cache type. My Droid will now do Whereigo, but I'm not sure I care.

We stopped in Wauseon for lunch at their town festival before heading north to Hillsdale. Allenite has a really nice series in Lewis Emery Park. The afternoon was unusual for us since we grabbed our second virtual in as many days.

It was a nice event. We were glad we had the chance to attend.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Really Unhappy with Garmin

Ali downloaded the firmware update for her Garmin 450 and tried to install it. The 450 locked up during the install and refused to re-start. Being the nice person she is, she sent an e-mail to their on-line tech support service asking for help. Tired of waiting for them to respond to their e-mail tech help line, she called and sat through the endless hold waiting for help. The phone tech tried three things over the phone; failed with all of them; them said the unit had to be returned. He graciously promised service within 7-10 days of receiving the unit. The day after the phone call, the nearly useless e-mail tech support response arrived. It suggested trying step 2 of what the phone tech tried. Beyond that, there were no suggestions of what to do if the unit wasn't fixed or a number to call since she had tried to do this through e-mail. There was basically nothing but useless, lousy customer service.

I've got to hand it to Garmin. Their customer service behavior was so poor that they finally irritated one of the most patient people I know. After a couple of days she sent an e-mail voicing her unhappiness. The jerks responded with a pat on the head, no offer of better service than the promised 7-10 days, and most likely two lost customers. After 7,000+ finds and six Garmins we are wondering if we should go to a different brand. It wouldn't be so bad if this weren't the second Garmin she has purchased to fail while nearly new. A few years ago, we were in Niagara Falls to spend a few fun days caching with a friend. At the start of that trip her few-month old 60CsX barfed and died. If my work schedule had gone okay, we would have been caching in Europe with friends this week while Garmin had her Oregon.

She bought the 450 to replace her old PDA. Palm units are dinosaurs and both our PDA's have constant issues. She really wanted the new Garmin 62s, and I was going to get that for her and use the Oregon as a replacement for my PDA. Now she has flat out said NO to buying the 62s. It's a little stupid on Garmin's part to abuse two long-time customers (we bought our first Garmin in 2002). Garmin has this problem. They know they have this problem. They just don't care.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Jersey Delorme Challenge

This was the second Delorme Challenge for us in nine days and the one that would finish our vacation. We spent the majority of the day at Batsto Village once again enjoying a chance to play tourist. On our way to the challenge, the blimp was tracking along with us for a good portion of the way. I wasn't aware that the NJ Delorme cache owners provided this super guide service. ;-)

In the end, this Delorme final was just a pleasant walk in the woods. It was quiet. It was fun. After the Delorme find and a few photos, we headed off for a longer walk and a few more caches before calling an end to the day and making our way west.

Of course, Lucinda and Signal joined us for the celebration.

Powered By Me...

So what's next? I gotta admit the caching in New Jersey is super, but three years in a row for vacation???? Ali just told me that there is now a Delaware Delorme Challenge so it looks like we will start next year in Delaware; find that challenge; and skip over to New Jersey on the really cool ferry that lands near Cape May for the back half of our vacation. Maybe I can finally visit Lucy the Elephant for some Waymarking. Although, if I visit her, then the anticipation will be over. (and I'll have to stop whining that we never get to visit Lucy)

As for other future Delorme and county challenges, we are getting really close with the Ohio Delorme Challenge (9 pages) and the Ohio County Challenge (10 counties) remaining. They will be next... maybe next year. Most of the areas we need are in southeastern Ohio. Lake Katherine in Jackson County is a pretty special place and would be great to visit in the spring. Hmmm... maybe a long weekend. Beyond that, who knows? Most are out of our reach. Maybe Washington State or somewhere in New England. If we ever decide to do the Seaway Trail, we'll get a lot closer with New York, but I think that state is just too big.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

It's Here!

The official GeoWoodstock IX Blog has arrived. Take a look and check back often. We'll be adding labels for attractions and restaurants, stats for you number geeks (like me), local links, and LOTS of photos of Warren and the surrounding counties. If you want to see something that's not there just post a comment and we'll do our best to deliver.