Monday, June 2, 2008

It's coming up on that time again

Having whetted our teeth on the Great Virginia Race, we are slowly gearing up for the Great America Race. More soon to follow, if I can remember to post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Leviathan Chronicles

Wiberty or Death

1 DC


3 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
4 A2 1:00
10:10 AM 1:41 PM 4:31
5 Bloodshot

10:10 AM 12:26 PM 2:16
6 Enemies of the Common Good

10:10 AM 12:25 PM 2:15
7 Fellowship of the Van 1:00
10:10 AM 12:45 PM 3:35
8 Lost in Place

10:10 AM 1:12 PM 3:02
9 Millers 1:00
10:10 AM 12:41 PM 3:31
10 Stillwater

10:10 AM 1:12 PM 3:02
11 Team Lazlo

10:10 AM 2:08 PM 3:58
12 Richmond 1

13 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
14 A2 2:00
4:48 PM 7:56 PM 5:08
15 Bloodshot 2:00
3:29 PM 7:57 PM 6:28
16 Enemies of the Common Good 1:00
3:40 PM 8:11 PM 5:31
17 Fellowship of the Van 1:00
4:22 PM 7:55 PM 4:33
18 Lost in Place 2:00
5:32 PM 8:03 PM 4:31
19 Millers 2:00
4:15 PM 7:40 PM 5:25
20 Stillwater 2:00
3:47 PM 6:40 PM 4:53
21 Team Lazlo 2:00
5:31 PM 9:00 PM 5:29
22 Richmond 2

23 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
24 A2

10:12 AM 1:00 PM 2:48
25 Bloodshot

10:12 AM 11:54 AM 1:42
26 Enemies of the Common Good

10:12 AM 1:42 PM 3:30
27 Fellowship of the Van

10:12 AM 1:26 PM 3:14
28 Lost in Place

10:12 AM 1:45 PM 3:33
29 Millers

10:12 AM 12:57 PM 2:45
30 Stillwater

10:12 AM 12:24 PM 2:12
31 Team Lazlo

10:12 AM 1:46 PM 3:34
32 Charlotte (just for fun game: score not included in total times)

33 Bloodshot

5:04 PM 7:35 PM 2:31

7:30 PM 9:40 PM 2:10
35 Millers

Not timed

36 Stillwater

5:05 PM 7:10 PM 2:05
37 Carpe Fluvium


- Bonuses -

39 A2
1:00 off total time

40 Bloodshot
1:00 off total time

41 Enemies of the Common Good
1:00 off total time

42 Fellowship of the Van
1:00 off total time

43 Lost in Place
1:00 off total time

44 Millers

45 Stillwater
1:00 off total time

46 Team Lazlo
1:00 off total time

Grits & Gumbo

1 Nashville


3 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
4 A2 3:00
10:00 AM 3:33 AM 8:33
5 Bloodshot 2:00
10:00 AM 2:50 AM 6:50
6 Enemies of the Common Good 1:00
10:00 AM 4:58 AM 7:58
7 Fellowship of the Van 2:00
10:00 AM 5:15 AM 9:15
8 Lost in Place 3:00
10:00 AM 3:02 AM 8:02
9 Millers 2:00
10:00 AM 3:41 AM 7:41
10 Stillwater 1:00
10:00 AM 3:35 AM 6:35
11 Team Lazlo 1:00
10:00 AM 4:30 AM 7:30

13 Atlanta


15 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
16 A2 1:00
10:00 AM 3:30 6:30
17 Bloodshot

10:00 AM 3:30 5:30
18 Enemies of the Common Good 1:00
10:00 AM 3:30 6:30
19 Fellowship of the Van 1:00
10:00 AM 2:50 5:50
20 Lost in Place 2:00
10:00 AM 3:30 7:30
21 Millers

10:00 AM 2:20 4:20
22 Stillwater

10:00 AM 3:30 5:30
23 Team Lazlo

10:00 AM 3:30 5:30

25 Savannah


27 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
28 A2

10:15 AM 1:50 3:35
29 Bloodshot

10:15 AM 11:58 1:43
30 Enemies of the Common Good

10:15 AM 11:53 1:28
31 Fellowship of the Van

10:15 AM 12:53 2:38
32 Lost in Place 1:30
10:15 AM 1:28 4:43
33 Millers 1:30
10:15 AM 12:38 3:53
34 Stillwater

10:15 AM 1:50 3:35
35 Team Lazlo

10:15 AM 1:04 2:49

37 Panama City


39 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
40 A2 1:00
11:20 AM 1:50 3:30
41 Bloodshot :40
11:20 AM 12:47 2:07
42 Enemies of the Common Good 1:00
11:20 AM 3:00 4:40
43 Fellowship of the Van :40
11:20 AM 2:10 3:30
44 Lost in Place 1:00
11:20 AM 1:40 3:20
45 Millers 1:00
11:20 AM 2:05 3:45
46 Stillwater 1:00
11:20 AM 1:40 3:20
47 Team Lazlo :40
11:20 AM 3:05 4:25

49 New Orleans


51 Team Penalty - Bonuses - Start Time End Time Total Time
52 A2 1:00
7:30 AM 10:50 4:20
53 Bloodshot 3:00
7:30 9:40 AM 5:10
54 Enemies of the Common Good 3:00
7:45 10:38 AM 5:53
55 Fellowship of the Van 1:00
6:15 9:30 AM 5:15
56 Lost in Place 1:00
6:15 10:45 AM 4:30
57 Millers 6:00
6:15 7:45 AM 7:30
58 Stillwater 1:00
6:15 9:35 AM 4:20
59 Team Lazlo 3:00
7:30 10:38 AM 6:08


A2 Bloodshot Enemies of the Common Good Fellowship of the Van Lost in Place Millers Stillwater Team Lazlo
2 Day1 9:39 8:44 7:46 8:08 7:33 8:56 7:55 9:27
3 Day2 2:48 1:42 3:30 3:14 3:33 2:45 2:12 3:34
4 Day3 Bonus Round Bonus Round Bonus Round Bonus Round Bonus Round N/A Bonus Round Bonus Round
5 Starter Clue Bonus N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1:00 N/A N/A
6 Wiberty or Death Totals 11:27 9:26 10:16 10:22 10:06 10:41 9:07 12:01

8 Day4 8:33 6:50 7:58 9:15 8:02 7:41 6:35 7:30
9 Day5 6:30 5:30 6:30 5:50 7:30 4:20 5:30 5:30
10 Day6 3:35 1:43 1:28 2:38 4:43 3:53 3:35 2:49
11 Day7 3:30 2:07 4:40 3:30 3:20 3:45 3:20 4:25
12 Night7 4:20 5:10 5:53 4:15 5:30 7:30 4:20 6:08

14 Grits & Gumbo Totals 26:28:00 21:20 26:29:00 25:28:00 29:05:00 27:09:00 23:20 26:22:00
15 Cumulative Totals 37:55:00 30:46:00 36:45:00 35:50:00 39:11:00 37:50:00 32:27:00 38:23:00

17 Final Standings 5 1 4 3 7 DNF 2 6

These were pulled from an E-mail from Josh W., many thanks Josh for the stats, and a wonderful set of races!!!

Basic stats.

Miles driven by A2 (thats me.) - 3749, round trip from D.C. to New Orleans, and back again.

Cash spent on everything - approximately 5,000 dollars, and dammit, we were good and portabled booze so as avoid bars. (Except Nawleans bars, we consider that charity.)

Number of ridiculous drunken arguments that helped on a nightly basis - 6

Number of ridiculous arguments that had no helpful aftereffects whatsoever, but we got to sleep without intentional bloodshed on a nightly basis - 7

Number of non-smoking hotels who will find my snail-trail of cigarette butts in remote stairwells ( except Panama City, where we all kinda used the embers to chase off vermin) - All.

Getting a wonderful young waitress in Savannah, as well as an ancient and wise Bell-Captain in Atlanta to both grin, and say, with glee, "STINKPICKLE!"


And Visa can bloody well drop the the damn interest rates on our card, Forthwith.

There's yer sign.

Alex off, Dan is logging in my stead, back after I inspect the local bathrooms and ponder what next to post.

We will have full post-race coverage on the Ocho, (we have Bulgarian women's curling on a backlog here on the TiVo, so gimme a few) but they forgot to respond to my last E-mail and ESPN has been quite recalcitrant in returning notes about air times etc., so work with me here.

Oh hells, these are OUR bathrooms. I hate road trips. I'm off to check the rest off the house, our thoughts go out to those that raced and got the dreaded late-night phone call from the insurance adjuster regarding damage to homes and vehicles - please let us know if A2 can assist in any way, we've had a tree try to take out our house before, we know the feeling, and are quite willing to lend transport, hugs, etc.

To all the Teams who raced with us, it was fun, informative, and a royal pain in the ass.

So when are we doing it again?


P.S. We'll do our best to update a day-by-day breakdown, but much like many other teams, we are scattering to the wind for work and other necessities, please forgive.

Friday, July 13, 2007

day .5, the Great America Race.

We haven't even started racing, and we're already a bit punchy. Mind, part of this is a result of travel to the start destination. Anji picked me up in Baltimore today. Traffic wasn't particularly bad, but we started getting goofy before we even hit Washington city limits.

Driving through the city of Washington is always a little weird. Entering from Baltimore, you see the sad decrepitude of most of the city; then there's the old '30s Hecht Company warehouse and the Arena--things that are an integral part of Old Washington but which mean absolutely nothing to the vast number of the town's modern inhabitants, 98% of whom were born somewhere else. Before long, we encountered the traffic hell that was created back in the '50s when some brainchild decided to route some of the major city streets under the big circles. Before we landed in the weird little hotel--apparently built as an apartment house in the '50s and refaced as a hotel in the '90s--we had:
1) annoyed, but not surprised, Washingtonians by cutting halfway across Thomas Circle;
2) flung a cigarette butt at a terrorized touron family;
3) gotten sidetracked by K street's insistent path under Washington Circle; and
4) broken several traffic laws in one fell swoop accompanied by Anji's declaration "Watch THIS!!!"

Now: This comes after the last week of hideous preparation. Alex managed to drive himself into blithering oblivion, but solved the Evil Clue of Death. I, on the other hand, was reduced to wandering about the house, drooling and walking into walls (to the great consternation of my cats) but couldn't solve it.

We now have the start location (which I will not yet disclose) and have been bopping about the hotel room like tipsy banshees. I am hoping that we don't have to spend too much time in Washington tomorrow, because I want to solve clues in Richmond, and have a drink at the Jefferson.

--this post courtesy of Dan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


We finally made it out of D.C. this afternoon, and I'm hoping to have more coherent notes up soon, just checking in.

It was a good race, and taught us a few more lessons, some about how we run the team, some about human error (i.e. - you USE the chance card in Jail, you don't get it there, therefore PRISON is NOT a viable code.... - our bad,) and better still, the concept of adopting a solo racer into our crew.

We are posting our translation of the starter clue today, A1 mentioned to me that there are forums, and I, in my idiot mode, said something smartarse back, to with which she replied "pearls before swine."

LOL, I just found the notes about Lucky & start points. I'm a doofus.

We came in 2nd place, and apparently irked the Richmond VA veteran teams by having the audacity to show up an alternate race - c'mon guys, you are gonna kick our collective butts anyhow, let us get some tacky bling for the mantle :D

We are simply waiting for the REAL owner of our prize to come and demand that we restore it to his wrought-iron fence-post.

To Jason, please check in, you were a welcome addition to a zany team, and your ability to run down an upwards-moving escalator was the subject of many bar drinking tales. Already.

("OMG he's going down THAT one!" "Is he o.k?" "Yeah, and he beat all of us using the right escalator - just grab that metro train.")

My tiny little brain is full, I'm going to bed, see you all in D.C. Saturday morning.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sorry, we've been a tad busy...

Eventually, I'll figure out how to link the starter clues we get in PDF format, but until then struggle on using your imagination. We had 2 races after the Mini-Cooper event, and either we got lucky, or Anji simply rocks at solving clues, along with Dan and Mo, both of whom teamed up on separate races to help us bring in the 1st place. So, to date, we have raced 5 times, taken 6th, then 2nd (grrr, by 20 seconds, darnit!) and then 3 straight 1st place victories.

We are headed to Washington D.C. this weekend for the Lucky 7 race, meeting up with trusty Dan for a practice run through the city that will be our first challenge next weekend, en route to Richmond, VA for a breather at home, and most likely a lot of late night laundry work.

We will have the comps with us, and as such, will all do our best to update all 3 of you who are reading this. Enjoy the 4th of July holiday, and I'll try to give a better race breakdown when I'm not trying to solve the starter clue they sent us, which will probably be held accountable for the anyureism I'm about to have.

This stuff is HARD. I'm a cook, not a cryptoanalyst, dammit!

More later.

Best quote overheard as we walked away with our lovely tacky trophy, "Whoa, watch out for them - they're Serious Racers!" stated by one team to another whilst surreptitiously pointing at us.

If they only knew how amateur I am - or is that immature? Again, thanks to all fellow A2 race members, Ute, you were awesome this weekend, glad to have you join the roster. I wouldn't put it on your resume for post grad work, tho...

OK, time for a nap before the 4th Grill-out and cypher solving.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Yo Mo Mini? Nah, Maxi

Day of the race.

I staggered out of bed looking like someone already ran me over, like a pair of pre-washed jeans after all night out clubbing. With a deft grasp of the obvious, Anji remarked, "O Jeez, is it pouring out." This does not bode well for racing, so I, in typical morning fashion, grunted noncommitally and lurched into the shower, a rather pointless move, as I would later discover.
We had a beeeooootiful Mini Cooper S loaner waiting for us, and all I could think about was, Do I have 30,000 dollars to buy the damn thing if we wreck it? The unfortunate answer was, as expected, Nope.
We progressed through our pre-race flurry of gathering: water bottles, maps, cell phones and chargers, reference books on the area in which we would be racing, etc, all getting piled into backpacks and purses. I walked the dogs on a pitifully short run, just out in the downpour long enough to get us all soaked, and let them pee out most of their tanks. (On a side note, I am INCREDIBLY proud of our young boys, they were perfectly behaved during our 7 hour absence!)
We gathered all our gear, and headed out to the awaiting Mini. When we reached the car (Anji is driving to the dealership, the starting point, I'm to take over after the race starts), we both noticed that opening any of the car's doors caused an unbelievable amount of water to pour inside from the roof. This is not a design problem on the Mini's part, it was simply raining THAT much. Hmmmmmmmmm. See note above about somebody else's 30k car, and getting the interior messed up. Not good for a race where 3 people will be lunging in and out of said car at many points along the way to collect clues and directions. In the rain.
Our teammate called just as we were heading out, saying she would meet us at the dealership, to our relief. Mo is a champion finder of short-cuts in our home city of Richmond, and was later to prove invaluable, navigating us to victory. Off we went.
Anji was feeling a tad nervous, to the point where her knuckles were white under the tension of driving this hotrod through what was now a torrential downpour. Halfway there, I offered up the option of simply returning the Mini, and using my Chevy Avalanche for the race, what with the 4x4 availability and the rubber heavy-duty floor mats - if we were gonna get a car wet and dirty, I'd far rather it be one WE owned. Anji instantly agreed. Much as we loved the Mini (see earlier posts for the fun we had the night before), we didn't want to be responsible for messing her up, and I wanted to be in a vehicle I knew well, and could trust, considering my somewhat rough driving style. The folks at Crown Mini were very understanding, and immediately returned my truck keys (surrendered the prior evening as a hostage to allow us to take the Cooper) and wished us the best of luck. I'm pretty sure they know we'll be back as soon as we can afford another car payment plan :D
By now, race nerves were showing, I couldn't even eat one of the bagels offered, and barely got half a cup of coffee down. I was ready to GO! But first, the rules had to be announced, waivers signed, and initial clues handed out.
The last was the (obviously, Duh!) most important to us, and when we finally recieved our dossier, we fell upon it like a pack of starving hyenas. Once we'd set our race strategy and course (there is no set progression of sites to visit, racers are able to solve any of them in any order), we were off.
We managed, amazingly, to solve 4 of the 6 clues in 45 minutes flat. This was a combination of sheer dumb luck, and an astounding visual memory of the City of Richmond, mostly owned by Mo, who had apparently discovered every back route and short cut this town had to offer. The next two clues were a bit rough, but we muscled through them, and Some really DEEP puddles (I remarked that if we'd brought the Mini instead of the truck, we'd need snorkels) and made it to the final clue site.
Which wasn't there.
Turns out, we'd run the race SO quickly that the organizer herself hadn't had a chance to get to the end location before us, and ended up chasing after our team to allow us to recieve, and subsequently solve, the final clue. Clue solved, our official time recorded, we returned to the dealership (the end party/award ceremony wasn't to occur for another hour) and dropped off Mo, with many heartfelt congratulations and thanks. Mo, you are ALWAYS welcome to join our race team!!!
We returned to the picnic/award area, and had a great time chatting with other racers, cheering them as they pulled in, team by team, hearing the mistakes, near-misses (several teams apparently got warning tickets from local police for erratic driving) and successes. The times were finally announced, and A2 Racers were named the fastest team, winning the 1st place trophy, (a mini Mini on a pedestal, very cute), and a nifty gift certificate to the Mini Accessories store.
We returned home, elated, drenched to the bone and exhausted, but very happy with our day's efforts.

We have our next race Saturday night, Anji's birthday, and I can't wait :D

We Won!

After placing in the top 10 in the Greater Richmond Race, we sorted things out, licked our wounds, and said, ok, next time.
In the race in Chesterfield, we lost by 20 seconds, even though we got there 14:40 ahead of the next team, and took 2nd place. Fair Enough.

We called and asked to borrow a Mini Cooper S from Crown Mini of Richmond, and they were wonderfully gracious and friendly, and let us borrow said Ubercar the Saturday evening before the Race Day. That sucker must be packing an atomic power pile.

6:58 pm "Hon, can I drive it home?"
"why not, you're the one doing donuts in the parking lot, and I Think it is cute."

7:00 "exactly."

7:15 "oh fine, I've got my ubercar driving bit out of my system, take her home."

7:19 "um hon."


"yer doing 87 in a 55"

"OMG sorry!"


A little while later, she'd found a nifty road with lots of curves, and graciously turned over the driving to me.

"Um hon."

"yer doing 65 in a 15."

Needless to say, our next car, if they get all-wheel drive, is gonna be a Mini. Thank God I don't have teen-aged children. I'm bad enough as it is.

Tomorrow: why we used the Avalanche and won.