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The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 26, 2010 2:01 pm
by self-deleted_user
For all your random complaints and least I find it therapeutic to rant and at least pretend someone cares :P does no help to rant to myself I know why I'm frustrated! (I don't intend for this thread to become a bag of arguments or yelling about certain people or whatever, just to kinda "anonymously" let off steam about something that is ticking you off to get it off your chest!)

My current rant: Vertical gear. Everyone loves *their* system. *Their* way of doing things. And everyone assumes *their* way is the way *I* need to do it. I am getting SO many conflicting suggestions on what to get, what I thought I liked I'm being told is wrong, stuff I know I don't like I'm told i should...What. The. Hell. And the worst part? I don't even know enough to know who is telling the truth. And probably, everyone is right, because it is what works for them. But I don't have the luxury of trying things out, of knowing what I like, of what works for me. And not big things like what system overall to do. Little things even. Like which 'biners - which FREAKING BINERS - are the "right" ones! At this point, I have to travel for anything vertical anyway. And for January TAG, Tenzin already got a kit borrowed from uni for me in case I can't get one put together in time. Would I feel better in my own gear that I know? hell yes. Do I know my own gear? no since I don't have any, no difference practising down there with borrowed vs. my own. Do I know what I need? I thought I did, but now I'm so confused I don't even care enough to try this anymore. And yes, I know people are just trying to be helpful and I appreciate their efforts. But it's *not* helpful how this is being done. And then they just say "well just pick something!" Well, I"m so confused now I don't know what the hell to pick. What if I get the wrong thing and fall and crash and die? It's not worth it. And yeah, I got monies for christmas and birthday for this...but so what, I get one or two uses out of it this year? Seems an awful lot of money to spend. Too worried I'll screw it up. I thought i had a clue, thought I knew what I was going to get (I had that bit of training here with Aaron and I liked the setup enough, seemed simple enough to use). But I'm so twisted up I can't even think straight about it now. So much for wanting my own gear, there is no way I can think through it clearly enough for a while, I need to take a step back and forget about it for a while to clear my head.

...and in the meantime it's tempting to just use the money for a better light, and plan more cave trips (since I have to fly to get anywhere to cave). :roll:

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 26, 2010 9:07 pm
by Chads93GT
Here is a solution to your vertical rant. Go with a frog system first. I did. If you get sick of it because youa re slower than your ropewalker friends, then spend another $200 and buy the components to build a ropewalker. You can still use BOTH systems at the same time, that has a lot of advantages. Nothing wrong with having both systems. Start simple. go complicated later when you understand what you are doing on your own.

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 26, 2010 10:59 pm
by self-deleted_user
Oh yeah I'm getting the frog (what little bit I've been on rope was always frog) but it's the pickyness about like, which freakin' 'biners are the right ones (and I don't mean just when do you want locking vs nonlocking, although that has been argued too, but also which style within those are the best!), or no not this screwlink that one...grah. *shakes fist*

I find the frog easy - I can go up the rope faster than I go down >_> but that's because I am, as I am told, boring, and like to creep down the rope at a snail's pace. But, I do have strong legs from years of karate and now playing capi and the progress up the rope with frogging seems to be all in the standing up part, and that movement is pretty effortless for me. then I can ribbit as I climb which is fun to do :big grin:

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 26, 2010 11:03 pm
by Chads93GT
ehh biners are mostly personal preference, but I always use the SMALL lockers, not the big ones you can fit your hand through> I used black diamond neutrinos. I think thats what they are. anyway, I use them to link the cowstails/safety's to the ascenders. Always use lockers on the permanent stuff, always use lockers when rigging. I use non lockers for the short end of the cowstail and for accessories or biners I use to hang stuff from my harness. Everyone uses different stuff, but I prefer smaller, lighter lockers, when using lockers on my rig ;)

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 26, 2010 11:15 pm
by self-deleted_user
Well if they are personal preference, people should say "well I like..." not "Oh no! that's wrong! you need..."
There is a difference in those two statements!

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 12:17 am
by NZcaver
Sungura wrote:Well if they are personal preference, people should say "well I like..." not "Oh no! that's wrong! you need..."
There is a difference in those two statements!

Exactly. Welcome to the world of cavers and opinions, Amy.

Some cavers find it hard to accept different ways of doing things which are just as safe and work equally as well. Being proficient with one's own system doesn't necessarily mean one is suited to teach/advise others what may or may not work for somebody else. Don't be afraid to borrow and try gear (if it's offered) and when somebody tells you "that's wrong" feel free to ask WHY. You don't need to automatically accept all the answers and advice you get, but file them away in your head for future reference.

On the other hand, sometimes you just want to cut to the chase and get advice on a basic system that works without making a thesis out of it. Since you already mentioned choosing the Frog system, I'll forward some advice I gave to new vertical cavers when they asked me recently about systems. Check your messages.

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 11:47 am
by BrianC
Chad made a great point. The frog system can convert to walker using some equipment from frog setup. Frogs are great for most cavers, and easy to use as you have stated. Biners are personal choice, I use 100% all locking. All of my biners are Kong basic locking except the biner on my rack is a different color so I can identify it easy on my side. Personal choice. I otherwise like all my biners to match, it makes them easy to use. Has some good information to see!

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 12:35 pm
by LukeM
I know this thread was started to let everyone rant, but I can't resist adding my 2 cents to your predicament Amy. If it isn't too much trouble I would borrow gear from Tenzin for now, and whenever you can. Put off buying for now. If you have the opportunity to check out and use other people's gear, use that opportunity. This way you can start to learn what you like without spending any money. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to use a variety of club gear for a few years before getting my own and I knew exactly what I wanted by the end. Granted, it can be stressful having to figure things out each time you go caving, or having to practice more to be ready, but you will learn how to adapt and think critically about gear rather than just settling on something that may or may not work the best for you.

Don't worry too much about 'biners. Get some that you know other cavers are using that are within your budget. None of them will spontaneously fail because you got a Black Diamond vs a Petzl.

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 1:53 pm
by self-deleted_user
/me rants about how her rant spouted off various people trying to give yet more advice which was exactly what she ranted against :doh:

And a rave (aka positive rant!)! I just ordered my gear :clap: will be here Thursday, it's basically the system that I used for training about a month or two ago and *liked* and Friday taking it all out to Aaron's and he'll help me put it together, I can practise a bit in his garage make sure it's all working for me right, do adjustments needed and whatnot, and bingo good to go for my flight down to TAG on the 1st. (which, also has more practise days planned before doing a cave.)

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 6:42 pm
by wyandottecaver
LOL. As others have said there is a difference between "works" and "works best for me". I'm sure just about any system recommended will work. Only experimentation and caves will show you what works best for you.

I was gonna recommend knots. You can have a whole setup for about $20 plus a biner and harness. A young strong athletic lass like yourself shouldn't have any problems. Of course that would be just evil of me.... :big grin:

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 8:43 pm
by self-deleted_user
:P yes that would just be evil of you but you called my "young strong and athletic" so I don't mind. (I don't really consider myself the latter two so d'aww :) ) I do know how to tie some knots! Various versions of a figure 8, the i-forget-what-it-is-called but you basically wrap the rope around and around and around and around and then back up and down through it making a spiral shape, and I think it's called a butterfly? makes a cute little loop. Sorry, I'm bad with names and terms they just don't stick in my brain. Show me how to do something and I remember it for a longggggggg time though.

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Dec 27, 2010 9:25 pm
by Bill Putnam

Everyone seems to have his or her own opinion on vertical gear, but not all opinions are equally well founded or of equal value. How to separate the wheat from the chaff? Here's a simple methodology consisting of three questions:

First, ask the person lecturing you how many feet of rope they climbed in caves last year. More time on rope tends to indicate a better foundation for an opinion. For a very active vertical caver, this number will be around 6,000 feet. If the number is greater than 12,000 feet, you would do well to consider the person's suggestions very carefully. If the number is less than 1,000 feet, well, maybe not so much.

Next, ask the person about his or her deepest cave trip, and the length of the longest drop in the cave. Again, deeper and longer generally indicates a more experienced vertical caver, though that is not always the case, which is why you ask the other question first.

Finally, ask the person how many different states and countries he or she has caved in. People who have traveled a bit will tend to have more experience with a wider variety of rigging systems, vertical systems, and cave systems. And remember - your system doesn't have to work for anyone but you. Use whatever keeps you safe and comfortable.


p.s. Before someone complains that this post of off topic because it does not contain or constitute a "rant" per se, here's a related rant: I really really really hate listening to or reading vertical caving "advice" and commentary from people who haven't done enough vertical caving in enough different caves and caving areas to know what they're talking about. You don't get experience from reading books - that's just a way to get started. And no matter how many pits you do in your home caving area, if you haven't traveled and experienced different types of cave environments (desert, alpine, wet, deep, etc.) and different styles of rigging and caving (American, European, Australian, alpine, river, etc.) your experience is still shallow and narrow, though you may not realize that. Finally, if you think a 200-foot deep pit or a 1,000-foot deep cave is "deep", you don't know enough about international caving to be telling anybody much of anything. So shut up and cave!

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Feb 12, 2011 3:43 am
by self-deleted_user

So I get up and on the road at 2am to get to cavebuddy/carpooler house to pick him up and get to KY to cave (lives across the state kinda out of the way for KY but eh it's ok) it's snowing some and thin layer on roads, few icy bits under the snow here and there but it's Michigan - yeah something could happen but way better than many conditions I've driven in. Plus, probably local since it's random flurries in the morning hours today. All good.

2:30am "Check Engine" light comes on. I get off the highway and find a spot to pull off and turn off the car. My first thought (since all other gauges are normal, I can't hear anything off, smell anything off) is just to restart it. Let it sit off a bit, did a quick double check of fluids (it was fine but who knows, right?) and looked at anything I could see (I'm not a mechanic but I can check fluids and tell if like belts are bad or coming off or something easy like that to see) it all looks good too. Turn back on the car and still the light is on. I am not one to risk light has /never/ come on and I take good care of my car (it was actually just in less than 3 weeks ago for its oil change and checkup and it all checked out) but a 1000 mile round trip in areas I don't know? yeah...can't risk it. Called person feeling bad about waking them up (it's like 2 hrs across state to their place so they'd still be asleep) but their phone ringing didn't wake them up, left message.

3:00am make it back home safely, still no signs of anything actually wrong. Friend online suggests double checking gas cap because apparently that being off can signal the light to come on. I check that since I did fill the gas tank before I left (same station and petrol type that I always use) but of course it was on fine and it didn't clear the light. I also check for any 24 hr service place nearby - it's 1 hr late now but that's not *horrendous* and if I could get it cleared as being a funk light or something, then I'd be ok with it. No 24 hr place. Called person again to update what I'd tried and that still no dice the only way I can think of to work it is still for them to get themself over here and use their car instead. Not the original plan (they want to save miles on their car right now) but the only way to do it. But they don't pick up so it's just another message.

Now it's 3:40 am, I'm all awake since I went to bed early and got up and been active so my sleep is all messed up, I'm hoping still that they are gonna get the messages soon and maybe we can figure out an alt plan or confirm about canceling.

crap. What is up with this? It's like the world doesn't want me to cave :((((((( I mean even the last trip we were supposed to do when I was in TAG got canceled like 5 min before the meeting up, and now this one gets canceling again while underway with the travel too? I can't win :((((((

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Feb 12, 2011 5:15 am
by NZcaver
Sungura wrote:2:30am "Check Engine" light comes on....

Amy - don't sweat the little things. In my experience most check engine light warnings are caused by minor anomalies with fuel and O2 sensors. Things to do with emissions and fuel injection etc. Usually nothing critical enough to cancel a caving trip. Of course, your vehicle may be different. But if there's nothing obvious wrong (sounds, smells, performance, handling etc), there's probably nothing too serious to worry about from a practical driving standpoint.

Years ago I drove my old vehicle from Connecticut to upstate NY to pick up a caving buddy for a road trip. The light came on, and I was concerned enough to pay a local mechanic $10 to tell me what was wrong. Turns out it was only a minor sensor issue, and he told me not to worry too much. So we continued on to Carlsbad NM (and back). Every once in a while it came back on periodically. So eventually I bought an OBDII code reader, and cleared it each time it came on. The vehicle survived just fine for another 6 years and 80k miles until I traded it in. So don't worry.

Just noticed this post, and can't resist throwing in a dig:

Bill Putnam wrote:First, ask the person lecturing you how many feet of rope they climbed in caves last year...

Next, ask the person about his or her deepest cave trip, and the length of the longest drop in the cave...

Finally, ask the person how many different states and countries he or she has caved in...

What a load of BS! Well OK, maybe not quite. You might get great advice from a person who travels miles on rope in really deep caves around the world. Or combinations of these. Or you might get crap advice, because somebody is too busy doing their own thing to have the skills and patience to teach others. Or maybe the only thing they can teach is the one way they've always done something. Some of the best big name pit bouncers are great teachers and givers of advice, and others aren't. It doesn't mean they shouldn't be respected, just that everybody has their different interests and strengths and weaknesses.

And since this is the rant topic - here's my one. THESE DAMN SPAMMERS ARE PISSING ME OFF!! Right now the time I'm spending cleaning up after them is eating into time I could be using for other things. Like ranting about stuff. :big grin:

Re: The Rant Thread - let it out!

PostPosted: Feb 12, 2011 5:43 am
by self-deleted_user
Yeah that is what cavebuddy told me...I left messages at 2:30 and then at 3:00 when I made it home safe he didn't get them until he got up about 4am. He's...pretty upset I didn't just continue on to his place and if needed take his car instead. I felt like crying after hanging up with him (this is a new person I've not been caving with yet just met through the SJVG)...I get he's upset too and he's convinced it's nothing as well and my car is likely totally fine (which it may well be) but I guess I"m too much a "be safe" person to risk a potentially bad engine in not the best weather on not the best roads in a long trip, and I was much closer to home (30 min/15 miles) than I was to across state (another 2.5 hrs away). I did what felt safe....I don't feel like that choice got one bit of respect (I definitly got all the upsetness and frustration dumped on me and no mention of "Well glad you made it home safe" or anything it was basically all about that I was stupid to trust the light that something was wrong with my engine because clearly nothing is wrong with it :/ ) but oh well. I hope it's nothing, I really do. But I don't enough about cars to know that, and I didn't know that before he told me on the phone at 4am basically what you just said, NZcaver. To me, "CHECK ENGINE" means...erm...something is /wrong/ don't drive it get to a shop right away! I didn't know they come on for tiny things that aren't issues all the time. I know they *can* but I didn't know that was standard. And I still can't know what it was in my car for another 2.5 hrs when 8am roles around and my shop (which is literally right across the street) opens and can check it. So sorry that being a single female who doesn't know cars nor the area she is going to driving alone in freezing temperatures on somewhat icey roads that will be in some places basically middle of nowhere with a potentially bad engine at 3am in the morning doesn't sound like a smart idea. I was fine with all those issues but the car stuff tacked on pushed it over the edge for the Amy Safety-O-Meter.


And hey, I'm trying to help with spam with reporting it when I see it. I've caught quite a bit :) I apparently have no life and check this forum too much.