BCGA Part 3

I got up this morning to an email from the President of the BCGA.

The tone of her email is I am being disrespectful of her and the Executive.
The comment in her initial email yesterday was why I waited till I did to tell them of the problem. There was no Thank you for telling us and no could you help us deal with this.
The fact was I didn’t learn of the problem till late the night before. I went to bed after midnight and woke around 9 AM yesterday.
I then went and did my personal things I had to do and then got back to work looking at this some more and drafting an email.
The email was sent at my earliest possible time.
Yes I took them to task about the problem because this isn’t the first time this has happened. This is the fourth time this has happened and the BCGA has not learned from the previous three times.

The situation here is the BCGA is being disrespectful of the membership for first making a web-page live when they had no idea of how the software they were using worked.
Then they tried to make “special” logins for the Executive which they tried to hide their info so it wouldn’t be seen by others. The problem was it still told one in the URL. This says to me that they didn’t want their information public so lets do it for ourselves and to the heck with the rest of the membership.
They got caught and now trying to make it look like it is my fault.

I made a point of telling them to take the live page down till they get all the problems sorted out. That didn’t happen because they know best.

In last nights post I said it will be interesting to see if the continued problems would be fixed this morning. The answer is no they are not fixed.

So who is being disrespectful?

Posted in BCGA | Tagged , | 2 Comments

What is the BCGA Part 2

A few weeks back I asked on here what is the BCGA and got some interesting feedback.

One which is posted here is by the old webmaster himself. While I didn’t identify him he chose to do so himself.

I have had a conversation or two with Henry in the past about the web-page and while he admits he is not a HTML expert but a programmer for other computer languages. So Henry shouldn’t be charging full price if you are not qualified in it.
My thoughts on this have been for the last several years have been, when one is in over their head say something or ask for help. Henry didn’t do that.
Henry says “I have not ‘web mastered’ the site in 2 years.”. Really Henry did you not run the Election for the BCGA in the spring of 2014 or 2013? Sorry but that is within the two years.
So Henry here are the facts:
March 04 2013 the BCGA Executive authorized a payment to you for $303.78
September 23 2013 the BCGA Executive authorized payment to you for $731.25

Of the last amount above $157.50 was for the Election along with $45.00 for membership updates during the Election. Imagine what the cost would have been if you not given the BCGA a break? I have no idea what the membership updates were during the election. I am not sure why you were doing updates of members when the only thing you were to do was fix the voting modal if there was a problem. Look I can’t fault you for this but I fault the BCGA for not looking elsewhere.
A 3rd party voting company was around $120 when I last checked.

I suggested 3 years ago that we move to a different method by contracting to an outside company to cast the votes. This way is is fair and impartial. That was turned down because the Voting Module was considered better and cost less, I just proved above this wasn’t the case.
So Henry my head was not up my ass as you have suggested and yes I do know how to read a calendar. It would appear that you Henry don’t know how to read a calendar. So to help you understand this March 2013 would be 26 months and September 2013 would be 20 months. There are 24 months in 2 years and you said it was over 2 years ago. Does this help you now?
Oh yes by the way, you did declare this on your income tax as income didn’t you?

This brings me to the BCGA’s Newsletter yesterday. I have for three years been harping on the BCGA to go outside and use a 3rd party for voting. Yesterday the BCGA announced they have done just that with the addition of servers and the company located in Canada. This too has been a bug of mine since the USA Canned spam act of allowing the collection of information on USA based servers. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, if it is on a USA server it is fair game.
I congratulate the BCGA for taking this bold step.

It is funny how the BCGA has come around to some of my suggestions over the years.

Now I saw something that really puzzled me in yesterdays newsletter. I was looking at who is elected and not running and saw All That Glitters as a Director at large. No where on the BCGA could I find any mention of this in recent minutes nor a current list of who the Executives were. It was not till almost dinner before a post was made on the forums explaining there was a resignation and an appointment.
This should have been done prior to the news letter going out.

What I did notice in reading the many months of recent minutes there is not one report at the Executive Meetings from the Treasure. Why?

Now if the BCGA would only remove the the Drivers Licence requirement for membership this would be even better as the BC Privacy Act does not allow for this type of use.

Yesterday while doing research for the above I came upon a very troubling item with the new BCGA web-page. The new webmaster left many back doors open to the website including the ability to view the membership list to the forums which totals 5025 members.
I was able to see peoples caching names then their first and last names. This on the surface may not seam like much, but it is. The practice for registering on Forums goes back to to the start of newsgroups and forums where one uses a “screen name” to post under. This is done to stop harassment of people and to protect them.
The BCGA violated their own Privacy Policy by doing this and one can bet that even a apology will be issued.
I learned something else interesting that the BCGA Executives registered them selves differently than the rest of us on the site. I found a test membership that show they were playing around trying to hide their first/last names and just have their caching names appear. The problem with this was the webmaster did know exactly how to do this so the names of those he tried to change appeared in the URL line of the browser.
So the question is what makes the Executive so special?

I was searching on the BCGA site and it is so screwed up that I went to Google and did a search.
Let me explain how this works. Google and other search engines send out bots several times a day to search for new pages and changes and then list them on the search engine. Now there are ways to stop these bots from looking at your page by entering some code in the header to tell the bot what to do with that page. You can say no to the bot or not index links on the page to name a couple. If you do nothing then the bot defaults to look at everything.

One may not think this is a problem but here a scenario that I was made aware of today. A member registers on the site under their legal name with their geocaching name. Now they are known by a different name to the caching world to protect them selves from a past abusive relationship. Now the legal information gets snapped up and catalogued in Google. Google then marries the two names together because of the caching name. If that spouse ever does a Google search then that person has been outed.

Google provided me a link to an open directory on the BCGA site. I could see everything back to the start of the BCGA. The interesting part was being able to view files I am sure the BCGA didn’t want to be seen. What puzzles me is files that were typed one day and then back dated on the site itself. Why is this?
There is an easy way to close these directory folders and I have to say it was likely one of the first things I was taught when I built my first page.

This afternoon I sent an email to the BCGA advising them that there were problems. I advised them to take the site down and fix the problems and get the site done right before making it live again.

Early this evening I received an email from the BCGA and it said that the problems were fixed and they were not aware the membership list was view able. I was then scolded because I did not advise them earlier of this. Well I have a life and it took some time to draft the email to them to explain the problem.

Well I checked right after the email and some of the problems are not fixed.
The BCGA has locked everyone out from being able to change their personal information and how to subscribe to different things on the site. SO how do we do this now?
I had advised them not to bring the site back online till all was fixed, but hey they know best.
The BCGA has once again been advised that they still have problems.

As I told the Executive tonight sometimes they have to swallow some pride and admit they are in over their heads and ask for help.

Lets see if it is fixed by morning…

Posted in BCGA, Geocaching | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

What is the BCGA?

The question I have heard for the last year is what happened to the BC Geocaching Association (BCGA).

I have no idea I have told fellow cachers.

I suppose one has to ask are they even around anymore? I have had no email from the leadership saying otherwise, mind you I wouldn’t expect one either even though I am a member.

You know for an Association that says they represent Geocaching in BC one would be hard pressed to find out how.

Lets look back at the last year on some things. The Executive started cacher on the month but that lasted 3 months and was done.

The website is down for the count and no one can log in because the so called webmaster can’t fix the problems because the code is so out dated. What was he being paid for at the tune of over $1000 a year? I told them there was a problem some 3 years ago and they didn’t believe me then. They then left the backdoor to the email program open not once not twice but three times. It was then I sent an email to all members to not reply to anything because every member was getting a copy of their private information.
I was then suspended all be it temporarily from the site for this because they wouldn’t listen to my other two requests to fix this.
The BCGA has taken to sending out Spam in the form of emails for new cache listings in BC. These listings are often months old. There is also no way to get removed from the list because the web page is broken.

So exactly how many events have the BCGA held in the last year or so? I would say two (CITO’s maybe) because they have tagged onto the Metro Vancouver Geocachers group. I have seen no posting of minutes or anything else they have done. We have had one Director step down as well.

The BIG one is we have the 15th Anniversary of Geocaching coming up and there is NO event in BC hosted by the BCGA? What we get is an event hosted by Katcogo the President of the BCGA called Celebrating The Big Blue Switch.
When one reads the page it says towards the bottom “Rumour has it that there may be an announcement with some exciting news from the BC Geocaching Association”.
Really I hope this news is saying the BCGA is no more.
The announcement though should be sent to the membership prior to being announced at the event.
It says a lot when the BCGA can’t even host an event about Geocaching when they are the ones they think representing Geocaching in BC.

Lets also look at the mess the BCGA made with the Metro Vancouver Parks 500 m rule. There has been rumours that this was caused by myself and two other cachers because of a “so called power trail” we were putting in from Fort Langley to the Golden Ears Bridge. The truth is we could have placed well over 80+ caches along this route if we wanted but we didn’t. We had many things to consider like the problem on Vancouver Island for the Mega Event and puzzle solutions. It turns out that during correspondence with the BCGA and reviewer the number of caches over the distance worked out to 500m between caches on average. The BCGA thought this was a good number. I did get wind of this and sent a letter to the BCGA saying don’t use this number as there are many things that come into play. It was further stated that 500 m would pretty much kill caching in Metro Vancouver parks. I am guessing since April 01 2013 there has not been more than a handful of caches placed in parks because of this rule.
The BCGA soon found out how bad this rule was and did not and will not go and revisit it.

It is also interesting how the President shows up at the Metro Vancouver Geocachers Events to monitor what is going on and what is said. Really you are worried about this group? What you need to worry about is how to clean up your own house. Stop ordering coins you can not sell.

Now lets see if the announcement on Saturday is the BCGA turning the switch off, one can only hope. It would be interesting to see how many actual BCGA members are there.

Posted in BCGA, Geocaching | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What are stats?

It has been a while since I last posted on here. It isn’t because I haven’t had nothing to say or no trips, far from it.

I run another site on cruising and that has been taking up my time. I have posted over there on two trips that I cached on.

You see I did a cruise last September from San Francisco to Sydney Australia for 24 days on the Celebrity Century.

This cruise allowed me to do the first cache placed in Hawaii on Oahu. This cache was not as easy but well worth the hike. This was followed up by a virtual called Wahine Hapai. This was special because it was Equinox and a special ceremony is held on that day.
You can read and see the photos on the Celebrity Century link above.
There was caching on Maui and Haleakala Volcano Earthcache. I mean it doesn’t get much better than this.

There was Bora Bora Tahiti and the shear beauty. The photos posted in the link above just don’t do it justice.

There was the arrival in Sydney and the caching around the harbour. Then there was the train trip up to a Lane Cove State Park to do Australia’s first cache called Lane Cove.

So we can discuss numbers, for me it isn’t amount of caches I have found but some of the unique places I have been. I have been lucky to travel around the world and cache in so many interesting places. For me it was 4 more countries and 1 more US State.

I no sooner returned from Australia and another great deal popped up where I could cruise around South America.

This cruise was a 14 Day cruise on Holland America’s Zaandam leaving Buenos Aries and arriving back in Santiago Chile.

There was some great caching in each and every port.

I said above about caching in Hawaii that it doesn’t get much better than this, I have to report I found a new high. We were off to do a cache on the Falkland Islands which required a 18.5 km hike. The cache was called The Narrows and it offered great views of the island. Now one should note that one doesn’t get to walk through a old mine field everyday and this was no exception.
Once we did the cache and left the area it was rounding the next corner that took us by surprise.

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How many times do you run into a Penguin while caching?

There was a stop that I was looking forward to and that was Ushuaia Argentina. This was the southern most part of South America at least by road. When I did the southern most cache here and I was walking back to the ship it dawned on me, I have also done the northern most cache in Canada in Inuvik, NWT and now done the southern most cache on the road in South America. Just how many people can say that?
This trip allowed me to cache in 4 more countries bringing my total to 32.

Yesterday I passed my 8 year anniversary of Geocaching and looking back on it I have had a lot of firsts or highlights. I have completed a country. I have cached as far north/south on the road in North and South America. I attended the first ET Highway event that started power trails. I can say this that I am not keen with these as they have changed the numbers.
So for me it is how you yourself look at the numbers. I have done 105 FTF’s in a day set a personal high of 479 caches in a day.
Really what it comes down to is the people I have met along the way and around the world and the places I have been and seen. Trust me being in Istanbul on Friday afternoon to look for a cache with your 18 year old daughter when the call to pray has just happened is exciting.(well maybe not for her) There was getting a cache and slipping on shale to avoid a rattle snake that required a trip to the ER and surgery later. There was the time I was busy taking a photo with one leg in the car and one out and resting on the door when the car started moving down hill slowly. It doesn’t help when the passenger takes it out of drive and into neutral and it starts to go faster. We called this almost being run over by my own car.

Geocaching is about the places one can go and visit and learn. Today we see the park and grabs that really are just about the numbers. When I first started if you got 10 -15 caches in a day you were doing great. I have heard it said that if I can’t do 25+ I am not going out. Maybe this is why puzzle caches are a thing of the past?

All this started because a friend who cached called Nevgar took me on a cache to show me. So it is his fault that got me doing this.

Oh Yes my caching name isn’t Philatsea for nothing……

Posted in Geocaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ketchikan Alaska

Today was another great day for weather.

I have never seen Ketchikan with this few people because we are the only ship in port.

The plan was leave early and get the caches in the downtown core before it gets busy. The first stop was Bin Caching TB Hotel then off to Fish-On. I am glad there was no one here when I arrived as at the height of cruise season this one would be difficult to get. I have to say I liked this one as well.
from there I moved along the water front to the break water and did a cache where out on the tip called Well…Here I am! I was getting here that proved interesting as the local homeless use it to hang out on and one has to make their way over and around them.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan – I know no kidding…

Trail above the city

Trail above the city

City Park

City Park

Creek Street

Creek Street

Sailing from Ketchikan

Sailing from Ketchikan

sailing down the channel from Ketchikan

sailing down the channel from Ketchikan

Well...Here I am! cache is down there somewhere

Well…Here I am! cache is down there somewhere

It was a great few days caching while on this cruise. I cruise to cache because it takes me to places I would not cache otherwise. I get to go to places that almost all passengers don’t go. While this was the first time I have cruised carnival it wasn’t bad but I would prefer to cruise other lines. I think the purple dining room was just too much.

Purple?

Purple?

I did have 1 DNF here and while I was told by a passerby it was there in fact it was missing.

You can read my full Carnival Miracle Review

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Glacier Bay, Alaska

This morning we picked up the National Park Rangers at 0630 as we entered Glacier Bay.

It would be interesting to see if we would make it right to the end of Glacier Bay due to a large amount of ice still in the bay.

I would do 2 Earthcaches while we sailed in Glacier Bay.

I have been to Alaska 7 times before and today would mark the best day I have had for weather in Glacier Bay. It would reach about 17°C and clear. There was no wind as well which is rare for Glacier bay. The wind normally comes down from Grand Pacific Glacier and is cold.

Glacier Bay - Does it get any better than this?

Glacier Bay – Does it get any better than this?

Reid Glacier

Reid Glacier

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From here I gathered my information for John Hopkins Glacier Earthcache

Lamplugh Glacier

Lamplugh Glacier

Hanging Glacier

Hanging Glacier

Marjorie Glacier in the distance

Marjorie Glacier in the distance

Marjorie Glacier Calving

Marjorie Glacier Calving

Marjorie Glacier up close

Marjorie Glacier up close

Sailboat between us and Marjorie Glacier

Sailboat between us and Marjorie Glacier

Looking at Grand Pacific Glacier

Looking at Grand Pacific Glacier

This is where I did Margerie Glacier – Glacier Bay National Park Earthcache

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Grand Pacific Glacier - It has really receded since 2008

Grand Pacific Glacier – It has really receded since 2008 – note all the dirt

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Pilot Boat picking up Park Rangers

Pilot Boat picking up Park Rangers

While exiting Glacier Bay we were treated to many whales in the area.

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Leaving Glacier Bay

Leaving Glacier Bay

Tonight we were treated to a real treat, The Northern Lights appeared from about 2230 to 0230.
My photos didn’t turn out like the ones I am posting because I have a Cannon PHD camera (Push here Dummy).

Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises

Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises

Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises

Photo taken by Mr. Radu Carnival Cruises

I have to say this was a great day caching/cruising…..

Posted in Geocaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Today must be Skagway, Alaska and the Yukon

I woke up this morning late as my alarm didn’t go off for some reason. I had also tried to use the phone for a wake-up call but that has been having problems this cruise. I had booked an excursion from the ship to Carcross, Yukon. The idea was I had met another couple of Geocachers just prior to sailing on this cruise and agreed to go on this excursion with them. The problem was they divided us up on different buses.

We left just after 830 AM headed north to the Yukon. The trip north would have us cross the Canada/US border into BC and clear Canada Customs then enter the Yukon. There is about 20 km between the the actual Canada/US border stations.

The tour I bought on the ship was conducted by Skagway Street car Tour. I can say our tour guide was excellent. He had previously worked for US National Parks in Denali and Skagway as well as Alcatraz. He had switched over to Skagway Tours last year.

What I can say is he was very knowable about the area’s we went to and seemed to talk almost non stop for 2+ hours it took to get to Carcross in the Yukon. We only made a couple of stops along the way electing to make the stops on the return trip.

some of the mountains along the way

some of the mountains along the way

We drove past Carcross and went to Spirit Lake Wilderness Resort for lunch. There they were serving home made soup different sandwiches and pie. I chose the chicken noodle soup and it was very good. The pie is also home made. Overall I thought it was a good lunch for being where we were. One has to remember this isn’t a city but a small town of 400 people in the middle of no where. They do a decent job with what they have.

We finished up lunch and headed north for a few miles to Emerald Lake. Okay Emerald Lake is suppose to be spectacular but there was one small problem. The lake was frozen over so instead of seeing a emerald coloured lake we saw white frozen snow on ice. Here I did Emerald Lake Earthcache since we stopped.

Emerald lake

Emerald Lake

Yours truly at Emerald lake

Yours truly at Emerald lake

From here it was a quick stop at Is this the smallest desert in the world? to do the Earthcache.

Once we were done we headed to Carcross where we had about 20 – 30 minutes to walk around. I got off the bus at a stop where there was a cache called Cariboo Lookout. I was the first of the year to find this cache.

View from Caribou Lookout

View from Caribou Lookout

White Pass Train Station

White Pass Train Station

older building in Carcross

older building in Carcross

Tutshi Memorial cache site - it was missing..

Tutshi Memorial cache site – it was missing..

Some of the buildings in Carcross

Some of the buildings in Carcross

 The Great Caribou cache site - it was also missing.

The Great Caribou cache site – it was also missing.

At the Yukon -  BC Border

At the Yukon – BC Border

What was interesting is we arrived back in Skagway and there was almost no one on the streets. This is very different from the Skagway I have seen before. I can say this if you have a chance to do a cruise early in the season it is well worth it.

stop along the way back to Skagway

stop along the way back to Skagway

White Pass Railroad in the background

White Pass Railroad in the background

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway

Downtown Skagway - no one around

Downtown Skagway – no one around

I waited for the bus carrying my friends and they were not able to get 1 of the 2 geocaches that were in BC so a suggestion was made to go rent a car and go get one. I know Geocachers are a weird lot but we will do what we will do to get a cache in a location we have not got one before.

They went and rented the car and I went for the ride. Arriving at the said location on the Alaska/BC border we got out of the car to see that the cache was at the base of rock. Great I thought we have 4 m of snow. Upon further indication I soon realized that it was up above us on the rock cliff. Even better since the snow was what we call corn snow so there was a chance one could break through to the bottom not to be seen till one dug them out. Tony went up the hill while we stayed behind for rescue. It didn’t take long before he was up to his knees then his hips. By the time he found said cache he was very wet. The cache was full of water but we found it. We couldn’t sign the log so I took a photo.

TR1Hemi headed to the cache

TR1Hemi headed to the cache

TR1Hemi finding the cache - full of water

TR1Hemi finding the cache – full of water

Arriving back in Skagway we did a few more caches in the area like “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water“. I had done this one back in 2008 and it is still in great shape and the same log book. I did find my name in it.

TR1Hemi  retrieving the cache

TR1Hemi retrieving the cache

Here are some photos from around Skagway.

Bridge to The Rush is On - GC2B0AZ

Bridge to The Rush is On – GC2B0AZ

Bridge over troubled water

View from Bridge over troubled water – GCGDD7

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Gold Rush cemetery

Gold Rush Cemetery

Arriving back at the port here is the Carnival Miracle

Carnival Miracle

Carnival Miracle

Here is a photo from dinner tonight.

Tonight's Cucumber Soup

Tonight’s Cucumber Soup

Sailing down the canal tonight

Sunset

Sunset

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