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Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:49am
Thread
I heard about it a few times on parenting websites/message boards, as fun family activities. My twins were little at the time, three or four... so it really started for us as something for the older daughter to do with me. To this day, she still gets mad when they come along - she says, "Heartsquare is just me and my mom, you two are just tag-alongs!" She enjoys it the most, so often still I take just her along with me.

We had started hiking around that same time. Originally I thought of letterboxing as a separate activity - we found our first box in our local library! But when we attempted to hike as a family, there was a LOT of bickering about which path to take, or whether to follow a path at all! Letterboxing was PERFECT because it gave us a destination, and usually exact directions to follow.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:52am
Thread
I may have the nerdiest answer: it was a thread on the Chronicle of Higher Education forum in which people were talking about their hobbies. It sounded fun, so I googled it. I was teaching an additional class at the time and finishing my dissertation, so I had to wait until the end of the semester. By that time, we'd been hit by an epic blizzard (think closed highways and no mail delivery), but being snowbound gave me time to read The Letterboxer's Companion cover to cover and try carving a sig stamp.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 7:56am
Thread
It's amazing how a chance encounter led to years of fun. My granddaughter (then about age 11) and I were walking through the local sculpture park. A lady and her 2 sons who were visiting from IL were strolling along looking at a paper and stopping and starting. I finally asked her if she wouldn't mind telling me just what they were looking for. She very kindly explained just what letterboxing was all about and invited us to join them in their search. The box they were seeking seemed to be missing, but she pointed me to an activity that my grandkids and I could share.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890595 by Rocklun
Mar 11, 2015 8:27am
Thread
Too bad we can't opt out of appearing in the Hall of Fame,

We can opt out of the Blue Diamond thing, or at least we used to be able to. I don't know if that's still the case. But we can opt out of other features so I would assume there is code that can be written to opt out of the Hall of Fame.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890617 by MissMoon
Mar 11, 2015 8:33am
Thread
We can opt out of the Blue Diamond thing, or at least we used to be able to.

Yes, we still can. I've thought about doing that (and did do it, at one point). The thing is, most people don't opt out, so if someone is searching for boxes and see that none of mine have BDs, they might assume that my boxes aren't worth looking for. So I continue to display them.

But we can opt out of other features so I would assume there is code that can be written to opt out of the Hall of Fame.

Maybe. But it's probably not worth the effort, especially since I don't care all that much.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 8:37am
Thread
Like some others, I began as a geocacher after reading a blurb about it in the local paper. My DH had a crude GPSr, we gave it a try and we (mostly I) were hooked. I retired before he did and went by myself or with the dog if it was remote hiking.

Went looking for a geocache and instead found a letterbox placed a mere 6 feet away. Was struck by the hand carved stamp. Also found the cache and so left notes in both containers about - "if you are searching for the ____________, this isn't it; look around some more." I remembered the LBNA link on the Geocaching site and explored it when I got home.

Did both hobbies for a short time, but that was about the time of the advent of microcaches in geocaching which I found very frustrating what with the trashing of a 30 foot area looking for something 1-2 inches big. (I had long ago quit trading of 'treasure.') I love the hunt, but am much more interested in finding something worthwhile at the end. Letterboxing does that for me.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890572 by Sir Braemoor
Mar 11, 2015 8:44am
Thread
O.P. request:
There have been 88 finds and no attempts, which is satisfying, but why couldn't I have seen that at a glance instead of having to count

One possible reason for fulfilling that request:
But, once the Rubicon has been crossed, the best approach, IMHO, that will make the website the best, is to simply accept that it is human nature to compete, and not really worry about attempting to thwart that as the basis of a design decision, especially if there are non-competitive benefits to adding or automating the feature.

I think it's possibly a valid reason just to make the website the best it can be IF that is what a webmaster wants. I suppose a case can be made for automation for the sake of automation, but that turns into a lot of work! I don't think I'd want to be webmaster if that was the only motivation! I think I'd prefer to think in terms of benefits to the website on a larger scale.

So I'd be inclined to think more along these lines:
I personally don't see it becoming any more of a hideous competitive free-for-all if the feature the OP is requesting is automated,

Basically, that's more of an assessment of what the possible outcome could be if the change was implemented. Ummm... yeah, I wouldn't be terribly motivated to implement it if I thought that! And then I'd have to factor in is it worth my time to implement?

Personally, all I see from the original request is someone who wants to have the total number of finds on their box counted up for them. And I can't see any benefit to the website for doing that or a mass of people who would even care about looking at that from a marketing standpoint. But I could be wrong.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 8:47am
Thread
I read about it in the Charlotte Observer newspaper in 2003. The newspaper planted a box and gave clues to it each week. I didn't do it at the time but clicked out the article since it was interesting. A year later I found the article and that's when it began...
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890624 by The Wolf Family
Mar 11, 2015 8:59am
Thread
Oh, that sounds fun! I like the serialized clues idea.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890586 by Green Tortuga
Mar 11, 2015 9:10am
Thread
Ryan, just call me curmudgeon

Can U Really Mean U'D Go Explosive On Non-prems?
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890598 by S and D
Mar 11, 2015 9:39am
Thread
I really appreciate all that the site offers and wanted to support it fully, even the stuff I don't care about.

*hugs* =)

-- Ryan
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890604 by dingus dufus
Mar 11, 2015 9:40am
Thread
Btw, do we have tin foil hat as a premium hat option yet?

I still need to replace all the hats with better, high-quality icons. I'll keep my eyes open for a tin-foil option for when the time comes. =)

-- Ryan
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890617 by MissMoon
Mar 11, 2015 9:44am
Thread
I would assume there is code that can be written to opt out of the Hall of Fame.

There comes a point when the effort required to write and maintain "opt out" code just isn't worth it, and the Hall of Fame is one of those. I don't think enough people would use it to make the time and effort worth it.

We can opt out of the Blue Diamond thing, or at least we used to be able to. I don't know if that's still the case.

You can still opt out, but I have to admit that it's one of those options that annoy me being there just because so few people actually choose to use it.

-- Ryan
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890488 by Boots Tex
Mar 11, 2015 9:53am
Thread
but why couldn't I have seen that at a glance instead of having to count, since the capability is clearly in place?

On the toolbar at the top of the AQ page, one can select My Page and select My statistics and then select plants. One of the pages which will come up is a summary of the top 10 of one's most commonly found boxes. So you don't have to count for your top ten letterboxes.

P.S. I really enjoy these pages.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 9:58am
Thread
A few years back I lived in FL and a friend of mine mentioned it. I never really payed much attention as she explained it and forgot about it.

Then I moved to NC and was reading a book about some people who were Geocachers and the caches were turning out to be dead bodies. When I was finished reading it, I went online to check out Geocaching and then remembered that my friend, years back, had mentioned something like this. I contacted her and she told me again about Letterboxing. I went out and found my first box and was hooked!

I now live in VA with many boxes to find, and still sneak back into NC to see my sister and get a quick box every now and then. I'll be back in FL soon to see the rest of my family and friends, and also get some more boxes.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:03am
Thread
What a great thread! So many of you have some really neat stories. I first heard about letterboxing from the September 2006 Family Fun that I was reading at my sixth-grade daughter's orthodontic appointment. The blurb mentioned LbNA, so that got us started. The addiction didn't kick in until I learned about AQ, which I joined March 30, 2008. I couldn't believe all the boxes listed there. I've found at least one box every month since April, 2008. Now I'm really looking forward to my college-sophomore daughter coming home for spring break so we can get some March boxes!
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:05am
Thread
An article in a 2004 issue of Parade magazine introduced me to geocaching. I was anxious to get started but had to wait on a mail-order GPSr. While waiting, someone on one of the geocaching forums mentioned letterboxing -- something I could look into while waiting on the GPSr! The GPSr showed up sooner than expected, and I found my first letterbox on a drive from Tallahassee to Orlando (there were none in Tallahassee at the time) for Thanksgiving weekend and found my first geocache later that same evening.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890581 by MissMoon
Mar 11, 2015 10:07am
Thread
The rating system, along with ribbons and diamonds awarded to different boxes are symbols of competition.

Not to me. I consider them recognition of accomplishment.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890643 by Kirbert
Mar 11, 2015 10:22am
Thread
Not to me. I consider them recognition of accomplishment.

I suppose they are. I probably put more weight on the comments people leave on a box (mine, or someone else's) than on whether the box has been rated highly enough to have a BD. But, since people use different criteria to rate boxes and/or don't comment on boxes, I don't know if one method is a better indicator of quality/accomplishment than the other. Fortunately for us, Ryan is very accommodating of different people's styles and so gives us a rating system PLUS the ability to leave comments.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 10:56am
Thread
While researching a hiking trip to Dartmoor, I read about the history of letterboxing at Dartmoor National Park. Hubby said I could try it while on the vacation. Even without clues, I found lots of stamps/boxes.

Returned home and didn't think about letterboxing for a few months. In August of 2008 I wondered, "Does this hobby exist on this side of the pond?"
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890571 by Green Tortuga
Mar 11, 2015 11:13am
Thread
You aren't so stupid that you don't understand the difference--you just don't care about the distinction... So consider them gone.

Thank you. Sincerely. You may not agree with my point, but you understood and respected my perspective, which is all I ask.

K
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:24am
Thread
While at the zoo one Saturday I was talking with Abbycat & she said she had been doing letterboxing stuff. She explained Atlasquest & letterboxing and that people carve their own rubber stamps. I immediately said I couldn't do that, but I went home and dug out a rubber top stamp I had in my collection and immediately went out and got almost all the boxes in Springfield. After that I met Housepitality Hostess and she gave me one of her gouges and showed me her LTCs. I was off and carving and visiting places I'd never been. Even learned (kind-of) how to drive the St. Louis highways.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890619 by Rocklun
Mar 11, 2015 11:33am
Thread
The thing is, most people don't opt out, so if someone is searching for boxes and see that none of mine have BDs, they might assume that my boxes aren't worth looking for.

Anyone who judges whether my boxes are worth hunting based on whether or not it has a diamond, I don't want looking for my boxes anyway.

K
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890623 by The Wolf Family
Mar 11, 2015 11:39am
Thread
Personally, all I see from the original request is someone who wants to have the total number of finds on their box counted up for them. And I can't see any benefit to the website for doing that

My point was that the feature was already there for several years, but was arbitrarily removed when the look of the page was changed as part of the ongoing smart phone updates. Speaking of which:

Or you can hover your mouse cursor over it.

No, I can't.

K
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890643 by Kirbert
Mar 11, 2015 11:44am
Thread
Not to me. I consider them recognition of accomplishment.

Nonsensical semantics. You are being recognized for accomplishing the feat of creating a box that was rated better than others by your peers. That is the definition of competition.

K
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:49am
Thread
How did you “discover” letterboxing?

My sister, who was a letterboxer, told me about it. We live on opposite sides of the planet, so we don't see each other very much, and the first time I confess I didn't really take it on board very much - I was more concerned with family news. The second time she told me about it, we were both staying with my father to support him through a medical crisis, and there was a lot more time to talk and share. She showed me her logbook, and I helped here solve some enciphered clues. I introduced the hobby to my husband and kids when I got back to New Zealand.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 11:50am
Thread
I read an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday, August 7, 2004, titled "The game's afoot", about the first gathering of letterboxers in Georgia at Stone Mountain Park. It said "more than 50 letterboxers from 9 states are expected to attend, and they'll be scouring the park for the 10 boxes hidden there."

There was a photo of a plastic container with the words "This is Not Trash This is a Letterbox" printed on the top and another of a logbook and signature stamp. It was described as hunting for a treasure with no intrinsic value by following clues posted on the internet to find boxes that other letterboxers have hidden. It sounded like something fun to do while walking Scooter so I saved the article and did some research.
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890635 by Green Tortuga
Mar 11, 2015 12:05pm
Thread
I'll keep my eyes open for a tin-foil option for when the time comes. =)

Or a collander for the pastafarians among us?
Re: F-summary
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890619 by Rocklun
Mar 11, 2015 12:10pm
Thread
Yes, we still can. I've thought about doing that (and did do it, at one point). The thing is, most people don't opt out, so if someone is searching for boxes and see that none of mine have BDs, they might assume that my boxes aren't worth looking for. So I continue to display them.

Same here.
Re: Early FRIDAY DISTRACTION for 3/13/15
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #890574 by Jiffy
Mar 11, 2015 12:27pm
Thread
My husband and I were Tangleboxing (a summer event here in Yamhill County,Oregon) at one of the parks and ran into a lber who introduced us to lbing and have been lbing ever since.