Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Need Your Help!

Hi guys. I don't typically get my blogs mixed together - waymarking is for waymarking and the dog blog is, well, for the dogs. But I could use a little help.

Many of you out there know that I am really active in dog rescue. I am the grant coordinator and a foster parent for New Rattitude, a national rat terrier rescue non-profit. With the hit that the economy has taken, it is meaning a big increase in the number of dogs that are being surrendered to shelters. On top of that, many puppymills are being shut down (a great thing). Just a couple weeks ago, two operations that shut down created close to 300 rat terriers that needed immediate rescue or they would be put to sleep - that takes a lot of money and a huge volunteer force. On top of all this, charitable foundations have had big losses in the stock market this year which means less grant monies being made available to animal welfare groups.

Here's the easy way to help (unless you have some spare cash lying around that you could flip into the New Rattitude Paypal account. :) Two animal welfare Websites are holding contests right now and the winning group gets a $25,000 grant in one contest and a $10,000 in the other. In the first contest at the Animal Rescue Site, they are also giving the top vote getter in each state $1,000. In this contest people vote daily for their favorite animal shelter/rescue group. Voting continues through December 14th. All you have to do is save the link in your favorites and go to the site at least once a day. Some folks say you can vote on every computer in your house, a few times a day (you know, so everyone in the family has a chance to vote), but you didn't hear this from me. Right now New Rattitude is 1st in the state of Georgia (where we are incorporated) and 28th nationally. This is down from the 17th place position we held for quite awhile, so we can use more voters.

Just type New Rattitude in the "shelter name" line and choose GA for the state (no city is necessary.) This will bring up the shelter's name and a vote button. Vote daily! Please!!

The second Website with the $10,000 grant is Care 2. They are also randomly drawing shelter names weekly for a $1,000 prize. This one is even easier, because you only have to vote once.
So there's my waymarking pitch for the dogs. If you want to learn more about Team Hikenutty's crazy fostering adventures, be sure to check out our dog blog. Heck, one waymarker has even adopted one of our foster dogs so who says waymarking and fostering can't mix!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Off-season Waymarking

It just seems like there's no time to find any cool waymarks these days. My waymarks have been limited to either crossposts, or ones that are somewhere around town and in categories that don't interest me. You know, the fast food category waymark that I pull off the arterial to get on the way to the dry cleaners. That kind of thing. Bo-ring.

It sucks because now that the school year has started and the wet, cool weather along with it, there really isn't time to get out for a fun day trip. The weekends are full of winterizing and yardwork, and driving Hikenutty, Jr. around to rehearsals. There's no time for a nice day trip up to the islands or east, into the mountains, or better, a weekend out at the coast. Nope, the closest we get to saltwater is peering out the bathroom window at the tiny sliver of the Puget Sound that amounts to our "water view". Don't you just hate it when responsibilities get in the way of your fun!

So, maybe this week I'll stop to waymark the wagon wheel on the housing development sign near the grocery store, or the demonstration garden next to the dog park, or the Methodist Church on the way to the mall. I could really use a waymarking day trip though. I think we'll need to plan one soon - a hike or country drive. We're in Washington, so we just need to pack up the summer clothes, and get the rain suits back out. If you don't let yourself get wet here, it could make for a long waymarking drought.

The photo above was taken in one of Washington's wettest places, the Olympic Coast. The sea star was enjoying a reliably, cool, moist day in Olympic National Park's Ruby Beach area.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fearing a Visit

Do you ever waymark something that you hope no one will visit? A waymark that shames you? Only the gridders know what I am talking about. No one else out there would stoop so low. Recently, I haven't done many of these, but being a gridder I try to waymark at least one of each lame McGutbomb type category that ends up on the grid.

I still have no idea why anyone would want to waymark these. I guess if you had this deep love for a specific hamburger joint, maybe I get it, but I just can't understand WHY someone would have a deep abiding love for a fast food place or a grocery store.

One of my most embarrassing waymarking moments was when a waymarker posted a note to my waymark for the Wendy's "restaurant" in our town. Their log was one word - "Why?" I totally agreed with them and E-mailed explaining myself with the shame of an addict - trying to make excuses for this habit of mine that led to photographing fast food locations. Oh the shame! The humiliation!

Thankfully that was one of the only visits I remember receiving for my commercial waymarks (non-indie commercial, that is.) I may have visits to my Sonic Burger waymark, but that isn't as shameful to me for some reason.

So, remember, only YOU can stop commercial waymarking! Vote no when you see that next category that comes up and makes you scratch your head. And before you create a category stop and ask yourself, "am I creating this because I'm dying to see waymarks of these places or am I creating it just because I want to start a category?" If you want to start a category so badly, check the forums. Often good ideas are thrown out that never end up going anywhere. Contact the person who had the idea and see if they mind if you run with it. If it's someone like me, they'll probably be relieved that someone else will be doing the work to get it started.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Out of the loop

Boy, I am so out of the loop lately. Here I am continuing to curse the forums and they are actually working now!! You guys could have told me! Well, Bruce actually did tell me.

I browsed through a few different threads and it didn't seem like there were any crazy Web-battles going on, which was nice. The constant grousing was really getting on my nerves. It seems like actual debate is an art that has been lost, at least online.

I also missed out on the town hall that Groundspeak held last Wednesday. My plan was to re-learn how to connect to the damn thing because I am hopeless with those types of things and then join in. However, time got away from me and by the time I remembered it was 6:30pm and well into the conversation so I didn't bother.

So, what have I missed in the forums over the last 4-6 months since I've been a regular there? Any major discussions? Any threads that I should take the time to go back and read? Any that I shouldn't read? ;)

Hope all is well with the waymarking masses and that there are good things coming in the near future as far as Website functionality goes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kilroy was where?

So, I was updating the spreadsheet that I keep of the categories and the grid and noticed that half of my grid seemed to be off one space. I wandered up the grid on the Website, looking for the culprit, and there, in the middle of one of my previous bingos was Kilroy, poking his big nose over the grid and mocking me. So unfair!!! This bald punk had stolen my bingo!!! To make matters even worse, I was in D.C. recently and could have grabbed one of the two there that Rose Red and Marine Biologist have posted. (BTW - the photo Rose Red's, posted in the gallery of her Kilroy waymark.)

I'm sure that I'll find one of these at some point, and I have no problem with the category. Just the fact that it was inserted into the middle of the grid. I think the categories are assigned their grid spot according to when the group created the category. So if a category is created and then the group just sits on it awhile, or if it fails and they don't decide to try again until months later, the icon still gets placed according to when the original category description was written, no matter how many categories have been added to the grid since then.

While casual waymarkers may have no issue with that, those of us who keep track of the grid find it incredibly irritating. There has to be a way to fix this. Has anyone else lost a bingo this way? Lost this bingo?

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I never have understood the draw of benchmarking. Other than people into surveying and cartography, I don't understand why so many people are enthralled with these little disks. The historic survey stones make more sense to me, but why the modern ones? I mean, who cares? Why would someone go visit this tiny circle of bronze/brass/whatever the hell it's made of.

Personally I breathed a sigh of relief back when the "European Benchmarks" category was created because I thought that maybe continental BM categories might stop the grid from ending up with a cat for every country - as bad as the State Historic Marker categories. But it didn't stop new specific BM categories from being formed. Recently there have been two new benchmarking categories created. In spite of the European BM category, new French and Czech BM categories have been created. Surely this is a sign that the voting process isn't working to do what it was put in place to do? Are there really that many BM fanatics out there that these new country specific BM categories can pass? I don't think so.

At the top of the post you see a photo of a benchmark. So would you visit that? What about the photo above? It was taken up above the area where the benchmark photo above was taken. Now that view of Deception Pass, Pass Island, and the San Juan Islands is waymarkable. The CCC built arch bridge that I stood on to take the photo is waymarkable. But the 5 benchmarks that are clustered on a rock below? Yeah, I waymarked them to get the icon, but I don't think I've waymarked a benchmark since, and I surely wouldn't visit one unless it had an interesting history and scenic location to make the visit worth its while.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Managing Visits

I remember when I first started waymarking everyone was bitching that they didn't get any visits logged on their waymarks. Now I have times when my mailbox is completely flooded with visits. I suppose a lot of this is because I used to cross-post in every category that a spot would fit in. Now, in a less compulsive phase of my waymarking career, I stick to crossposting in just my very favorite categories. However, my past has caught up with me and I have several popular tourist spots that are stacked a mile high with waymarks and I regularly get people who post a log to every single one of them. Do any of you have these spots?

For me it is typically the Seattle Center and its famous Space Needle that cause my inbox to overflow. I think I have nearly 50 waymarks in the Seattle Center complex and there are likely over 50 more that others have waymarked. Anyone who is a tourist in Seattle stops to either visit or at least gaze up at the Needle so over the summer especially I will look to see 10 or so "'Space Needle - Seattle, WA' has been Visited" subject headings waiting there to be read. My waymarks in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Washington's Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier National Park are other favorites with visitors, as well as my Chicago and more recently, my Washington, D.C. waymarks.

Now I'll admit something I'm not especially proud of. I don't read all of my visit E-mails. I mean, I try to read at least a few, but I don't have time for them all. I've posted almost 2,200 waymarks now and visit logs have almost gotten to the point of being a problem for me. What is going to happen when I reach 5,000? 10,000? So how do you guys manage the visits your waymarks receive? Is anyone else dealing with this? Has it caused you to slow your cross-posting habit? Just wondering.