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Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968689 by Maude
Nov 25, 2018 1:12pm
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I guess I feel like if someone told me no three times about something, especially three big noes that, be they misperceptions or not, will diminish their enjoyment of boxing, I'd just let it go. Yes there aren't as many boxers, but I want the new ones to be excited from the get-go, not half-reluctant and lukewarm at best. True, they might try it and be sold on it, but I tend to feel like people who can't say no outright, but who try their damnedest to do so, should be heard at the first no. It's okay to correct misperceptions, but not every hobby is really for every person. I just want boxers who are super excited to box, even if they only find five a year.

For what it's worth, if my first finds had been lamppost boxes? I never ever would have continued doing this. My first find was a beautiful tribute box for a man who died of ALS and the stamp was really lovely. It (a) taught me something and made me feel connected, however briefly, to the person that planted it (b) showed me what carvers can do, even though I didn't know how to carve and didn't feel learning at the time (c) took me to a cool spot, taught me how to use a compass and I stumbled into what an SPOR is and (d) showed me that something could be hiding in plain sight in a place I'd visited twenty times before.

It is true, there is a box for every boxer, but I feel like every drive-bys should be a little more than just racking up a number. A huge number of carvers have tons of stamps laying around. When I first started planting, I did so primarily with other people's stamps. I think what I would have told your friend is this: not everyone needs to carve or plant to box. It's perfectly fine to find them only and you can give back to the community by bringing duct tape to fix boxes, empty logbooks to replace the wet ones, and plastic baggies to replace the busted ones. There are many ways to contribute that don't have to cost much, be it financial, physical, or emotional.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 1:18pm
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Does anyone know where someone can find a set of small stamps for a bargain?

Yes, the stamp exchange on this site. There are often people offering stamps.

Also, you can send me your address through AQmail and I will send you some simple carves I have around for you to plant. They aren't super special but if planted in interesting places with a reasonable logbook and box, they may lead to your goal of more and hopefully satisfied letterboxers.

FORAYCH - Jeff
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968689 by Maude
Nov 25, 2018 1:29pm
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Spoon feeding adults just doesn't make sense to me.

Well said.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968692 by FORAYCH
Nov 25, 2018 1:50pm
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I also have a very simple carve I am willing to send you if it meets your theme.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 2:01pm
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I think the troll comment might be a bit much but having said that....

I see no reason to "dummy down" letterboxing to appeal to your friend or anyone else who isn't interested.

But the impression is they are deep in the woods in hard-to-get to spots.

Who's impression? Yours? In the four months you've been boxing is that your impression? Then you've missed something somewhere. There are varied ways to box....hiking in deep woods, urban boxes of many kinds, lamp post boxes (of which there are tons), drive-bys of different kinds, boxes inside business establishments, small city parks, urban areas that have trails, parking lots of different places, cemeteries. And I'm sure I haven't named them all. I've spent entire days just driving from cemetery to cemetery.

There are plenty of "easy finds". There are plenty of boxes that don't mean long hikes in deep woods.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 2:01pm
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But the impression is they are deep in the woods in hard-to-get to spots.

I am curious where someone just being told about letterboxing would get that impression. Most of the people I have spoken to about letterboxing have never heard of it and so have no pre-conceived notions at all. If you start off telling them about that great hand-carved stamp you found recently after a five mile hike that hadn't been found in years before then THAT is the first impression they are going to form.

If you start off telling people about all the great people you have met or the fun you have had boxing with your kids or the great exercise you are getting now going after boxes in nearby parks and walking trails then THAT is the first impression they will have.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968697 by PI Joe
Nov 25, 2018 2:07pm
Board
If you start off telling people about all the great people you have met or the fun you have had boxing with your kids or the great exercise you are getting now going after boxes in nearby parks and walking trails then THAT is the first impression they will have.

Good points. I didn't even think about the social aspect of it.

At the risk of harping on the fact that the original poster has been boxing for a grand total of four months, what kind of impression can someone that new *give* to another person? She can't say she has made life long friends, gone to many wonderful events and met great people.

Again...good points.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968689 by Maude
Nov 25, 2018 3:34pm
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[...] and OH MY! carves

There is one of those around here that I'm thinking of. It is in an indoor location, and I don't even know if they know it is there. The difficulty comes in figuring out the clue that gets you there.

Stealth is also required.

It helped that when I found it we had three people so that we could have two look-outs.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968690 by wassamatta u
Nov 25, 2018 3:49pm
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not every box has to be a masterpiece, but every box SHOULD have SOME redeeming quality!

That's what I'm trying to do with the lamp post box that I'm thinking of doing. As soon as I saw the image, I thought that it should be a stamp. It will certainly be a challenge for me to carve. If/when placed it will be my very first drive-by.

If someone is insistent on just the lowest-of-low-hanging fruit... well, that's why there are Munzees.

I chase those too, but not nearly as much as I did at my peak. My goal is at least one per day. I think my peak day during the last month was a dozen.

But isn't Pokemón Go even easier to get?

Maybe not, because the virtual munzees that I mostly get don't even require that I get out of my car; I just need to get within 150 - 500 feet, depending on the virtual munzee.

However, that doesn't show the amount of effort required for my letterboxes. I just checked on my traditional plants, and the closest requires walking a few hundred feet, and is findable in the winter. (It will be replaced soon.) I have a series that is 1.2 miles each way, on level ground. The longest distance is 1.4 miles each way and about 200 foot elevation gain.

I like planting and finding a variety.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968691 by PiggyJaunt
Nov 25, 2018 3:58pm
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For what it's worth, if my first finds had been lamppost boxes? I never ever would have continued doing this.

My very first find was a simple carve in a park where I have two geocaches. I was looking for the letterbox, but I didn't have a stamp back then. When I finally carved my own stamp, this was the first letterbox that I stamped it into. Then I started finding other letterboxes.

In my geocache hybrid letterboxes I have always planted hand-carved stamps. Except for my very first one they are cross-posted here. That first one is too far from any distinct landmarks to be able to find without a GPSr.

Except for one geocacher whose mother is a letterboxer (and carves his stamps), all of the geocache letterboxes I've found have used store-bought stamps. I'm trying to bring geocachers over to this obsession hobby. I've got a few nibbles, but no bites yet.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968698 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 4:15pm
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At the risk of harping on the fact that the original poster has been boxing for a grand total of four months, what kind of impression can someone that new *give* to another person?

Please don't dump on the new person. We were all new once.

That being said, she is trying to do something to bring in new boxers. The consensus is that lamp post skirts are the lowest form of drive-by boxes. As a geocacher (and munzee-er) there are easier ("lower" if you like) drive-bys: fire hydrants and STOP signs.

Now, after saying that, I'm planning on a small series to be planted on lamp posts and a fire hydrant. However, I'm getting creative with the clues so that it should still be fun. One of the reasons I'm doing this is to see how small I can make a stamp and still make it worthwhile to find. For anyone has found my Dreamtime: Antelope Herd, that border with the antelope was carved on the side of a piece of OZ. That is the size that I'm aiming for, but with more detail.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968690 by wassamatta u
Nov 25, 2018 4:34pm
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I agree, and sometimes you have look for a letterbox that sucks!
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargainI
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968685 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 4:44pm
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Share an interesting place that you yourself enjoy visiting! This adds your voice and vision to your plants. A scenic vista, historical location, great hike, or even your favorite ice cream stand(a double reward or a bribe for noxer tag-a-longs) Those are nice places to send a new boxer & all the other boxers in your planting area.

Also try your hand at writing a clue based hunt. Something as simple as "Go to the town famous for . . . " "then find the park named after our 16th president" "take the trail that's a real buzz (bee trail)" Then it becomes an interesting hunt when searchers have to piece a few things together.

I'd personally try to "steer clear" of light poles ;)
(unless there was a significant attraction there & you couldn't plant it anywhere else)

Good luck & happy planting!
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968705 by Oberon_Kenobi
Nov 25, 2018 4:49pm
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Please don't dump on the new person. We were all new once

Excuse me, I am not "dumping" on the new person by making the very valid point that a new boxer of only four months cannot really give anyone else a true impression of letterboxing because a boxer of only four months has not yet the experience to have developed a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing.

Do not make me out to be the bad guy because I chose to make a valid point. Thus making yourself the good guy.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968708 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 5:33pm
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Please don't dump on the new person. We were all new once

Excuse me, I am not "dumping" on the new person by making the very valid point that a new boxer of only four months cannot really give anyone else a true impression of letterboxing because a boxer of only four months has not yet the experience to have developed a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing.

Okay, they cannot give "a true impression of the entire world of letterboxing." However, they can give a closer idea of what new letterboxer sees about letterboxing.

Do not make me out to be the bad guy because I chose to make a valid point. Thus making yourself the good guy.

I'm not trying to make you out to be the "bad guy". I am attempting to defend the point of the "new guy" who is trying to bring in new boxers.

The original poster (NandJ) was relating what was discussed with one of her friends. From this discussion NandJ came up with the (proposed) solution of planting more drive-bys in lamp posts. I'm saying that, despite the consensus of not liking lamp post boxes, do what you want.

However, there have been some people who have offered to carve stamps to plant. I have also suggested that there are places to plant that aren't parking lots but are also not far from parking. Though in wild places there are fewer distinct landmarks making it more difficult to plant where you can make simple clues for beginners.

I'm sorry that I said something that caused you to think I was making you into the "bad guy". I certainly didn't mean to do so. I'm certain that somewhere in these forums I've sometimes "dumped on the new guy", but in general I'm for treating the "new guy" with "kid gloves" so as to not scare them off, and in treating neologisms with "scare quotes". ;-)
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968708 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 5:55pm
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So i’ve Read though this thread with interest and dismay. Among all the posters , including Miss Moon, I’m the been boxing the longest. Not as active as I was in the beginning but still hanging in there. I have seen this same thread again and again. New boxer, excited about this wonderful hobby, wants to share it with the world. Good for them, I love it too and want more people to enjoy it also. But most people just don’t get it. The best way to get someone interested is to take them on a cool trail, with interesting clues and a good carve at the end. A commercial stamp in a lamp post is not what we are about.
What are we about? Art, nature and life long friendship, and for the love of god hiking.15 years ago I met a crazy lady in the woods who became one of my closest friends. She dragged me and her motley crew on many letterboxing adventures. I was at her side when she died. That’s what this is all about.
We need to evolve into something greater not diminish our selves to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Long rant and I’ve had a glass or two of wine. In the old days of the big list we would joke about putting on our asbestos underwear to prepare for the flame war, well I’m putting mine on now.
MizScarlet #164. My number would be lower but I thought AQ was just a flash in the pan.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 6:06pm
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I have discovered that the base of many commercial lighting polls have a plastic box that covers the bolts where the light is bolted to the concrete base. That box just lifts up - and is a great place to hide a small urban letterbox.

Unfortunately, wasps like to nest in those light-pole boxes, as well as in guardrails (another popular urban hide location). If you plant 20-30 of these boxes in light-pole boxes, chances are pretty good that someone will encounter a nest at some point. New letterboxers who get attacked by angry wasps are probably going to be a little turned off by the hobby.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 6:52pm
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When my best friend first told me about Letterboxing, I thought it a ridiculous idea... that was until we went on a family va action together and tagged along on her hunt for a letterbox! Sometimes folks don’t get it. I didn't until I actually went.

Maybe offer to take potential Letterboxer out hunting?

I’m also a big supporter of the idea of “quality vs, quantity “ when it comes to planting letterboxes...

Lisa
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 7:00pm
Board
What about a slightly different approach?

Could you invite this person along for a small letterboxing adventure? Sometimes it can be hard to adequately describe letterboxing in words.

If she doesn’t want to do heavy hiking, you can take her on a short easy walk or quick road trip. You could take her to one of the letterboxes that you thought was exciting and interesting. That has the added bonus of knowing the box was recently found, too. Go through the logbook together and show her all the different types of signature stamps. There’s usually a wide range of artistic talent, and they’re all able to enjoy letterboxing all the same.

Worst case scenario: she’s still not interested and letterboxing just isn’t her thing. But hopefully you still got to spend some quality time together.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968713 by Rocklun
Nov 25, 2018 7:33pm
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Unfortunately, wasps like to nest in those light-pole boxes, as well as in guardrails (another popular urban hide location). [...] New letterboxers who get attacked by angry wasps are probably going to be a little turned off by the hobby.

Good point. As a geocacher, I've found my share of wasp nests while searching for caches. I've, fortunately, only been stung once seeking under a lamp post.

I've never seen a wasp nest in a guard rail, though that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. As much as I've been in the mountains in northern Utah, I've only ever once seen a rattlesnake in the wild. Other geocachers are surprised that I've only seen one.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968711 by Mizscarlet
Nov 25, 2018 7:53pm
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In the old days of the big list we would joke about putting on our asbestos underwear to prepare for the flame war, well I’m putting mine on now.

I keep mine at hand at all times just to be safe.

But most people just don’t get it. The best way to get someone interested is to take them on a cool trail, with interesting clues and a good carve at the end.

That is an excellent point that I don't think anyone has made. Letterboxing is a activity that is singularly difficult to explain. In order to really begin to "get it" is to do it. And even then most will not get it. And so what? It's a very unique activity, not for the masses. It has a special quality about it that simply does not and will not appeal to huge numbers of people. I don't see that as a problem.

A commercial stamp in a lamp post is not what we are about.

I agree that they are not what we are about but I have no problem with boxes in lamp posts. Not everyone can hike. Not everyone wants to hike. I think there is room for hikes and drive-bys. That's a discussion that has been repeated ad infinitum as I know you know...the old not all boxes are for all boxers discussion. But I think it is true. I'd rather see people go for lamp post boxes than not box at all because they can't or don't hike. I'll go for a lamp post box if it sounds halfway interesting because I like the stealth aspect of it. But don't just stick the box behind a mall garbage can for no freaking reason. But I digress.

We need to evolve into something greater not diminish our selves to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Well said #164. :) Judy would be proud.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargainI
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968685 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 7:53pm
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I think that things that are hard to begin are hard to begin.

This assumes that most letterboxes are hard, they aren't. The things required to do them just doesn't appeal to your friend. It sounds like to me (based on your description of your conversation) that your friend just isn't interested and is looking for a way to politely bow out. Nothing wrong with that, letterboxing isn't for everyone.

If your friend isn't interested in carving or hiking (at least a little), all of the lamp post hides in the world will not convert her to letterboxing. As has been pointed out why risk alienating a large group of potential LB'ers trying to please one?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the occasional skirt hide but there needs to be something special about it. A unique carve, a unique spot, a unique set of clues. I ask you this in all seriousness: if you plant a string of 25 skirt hides with coordinates, whats the appeal? As mentioned upthread if that would be something she might enjoy, introduce her to Munzee. It's exactly what they already do.

Maude: Spoon feeding adults just doesn't make sense to me.

And that's really the thing. I've tried to introduce several Geocachers to letterboxing. These are people that already hike and follow instructions to Tupperware in the woods. But so far I haven't converted anyone. People either 'get it' or they don't.

Finally, please don't view this as a pile-on. I'm glad you've joined us and I hope you stay. I also appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to bring converts in. You just have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

:)
DZ
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 8:23pm
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It's like a video game - sort of. The first few levels are really easy to get through and level-up. It keeps the player interested.

Actually no, it's not anything like a video game. It's about as far from a video game as one can get. And personally if I was given the "experience" of finding 30 boxes under lamp posts as an example of letterboxing I'd run away as fast as I could and find another hobby.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968717 by Nature Hikers
Nov 25, 2018 8:26pm
Board
You could take her to one of the letterboxes that you thought was exciting and interesting.

And that brings us back to the new boxer trying to introduce people to boxing. This original poster......to whom I assume you are responding.....has only found six boxes and they were all drive-bys. Not that there is anything wrong with that.....lest I be accused of dumping......we all had just six boxes in our logbooks once. But that's not a lot to choose from. More experience means more boxes to choose from if she wants to take someone boxing.

So perhaps before she plants ....30 was it?.......lamp post boxes, she could get some more experience under her belt finding all kinds of boxes.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968723 by MissMoon
Nov 25, 2018 9:20pm
Board
...lest I be accused of dumping...

Okay, I used too strong of a term there.

I think that we've generated a lot of constructive ideas here.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968679 by NandJ
Nov 25, 2018 11:39pm
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So I have decided to do a series of boxes with small commercial stamps in easy drive by locations -- I have discovered that the base of many commercial lighting polls have a plastic box that covers the bolts where the light is bolted to the concrete base.

I can't help but laugh a bit. I hope the resounding dislike of this idea doesn't discourage your otherwise noble intentions.

But as others have said, if there's absolutely nothing to inspire people in the boxes they find, all the drive-by lamppost boxes in the world aren't going to excite new members.

Hand-carved stamps are nice, but custom-made stamps can be pretty cool. Store-bought stamps, as a general rule, don't interest me too much--but that's not to say they can't be made to work. Picking out random, cheap stamps isn't the way to make them work, though.

Drive-by boxes can provide real benefits too. Some people's health may limit them to drive-by boxes, or they can be used to break up an otherwise long drive.

I understand what you're trying to do--design a box for "everyone"--but a box designed for everyone is a box designed for no one.

I got hooked on letterboxing when the first boxes I found inspired me. The stamp was intricate, the hike was gorgeous and it hit all my buttons! I didn't know if I could ever carve so well, but I wanted to try. As many others have already said, if my first finds were a bunch of store-bought stamps hidden under lampposts with no thought or imagination put into them, I'd have thought, "This is stupid. I have better things to do."

You want to bring more people in the hobby, but remember: a bad experience can drive people away--the complete opposite of your goal.

I'm not trying to elitist (even if I am a founding member of the Elitist Club!), but if you have friends who think store-bought stamps aren't acceptable, prove them wrong by planting a store-bought stamp that can inspire people. Plant a lampshade-box that does inspire people. Prove to people that you can make a genuinely interesting letterbox despite the stigma associated with certain aspects of the hobby.

-- Ryan, still proud of carving the world's crappiest stamp =)
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968711 by Mizscarlet
Nov 25, 2018 11:40pm
Board
MizScarlet #164. My number would be lower but I thought AQ was just a flash in the pan.

*flash!* =)

-- Ryan
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968719 by Oberon_Kenobi
Nov 26, 2018 3:58am
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I've never seen a wasp nest in a guard rail, though that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen

Maybe it isn't as common in Utah, but here in New England, I've encountered wasps/bees in guardrails on multiple occasions.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968733 by Rocklun
Nov 26, 2018 6:41am
Board
It must be a regional thing. Haven’t encountered wasps/bees in guardrails or under lamp skirts here in SoCal.
Re: Finding new letterboxers/looking for a bargain
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #968691 by PiggyJaunt
Nov 26, 2018 7:14am
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I guess I feel like if someone told me no three times about something, especially three big noes that, be they misperceptions or not, will diminish their enjoyment of boxing, I'd just let it go.

This. Some people have a hard time giving an outright "no", this sounds like someone trying to nicely say "no". If explaining Letterboxing doesn't spark any curiosity, then they aren't interested.

GremLandS