My wife and I entered our first TRC gimmick rallye in August, 2001. Actually, I drove, a friend navigated, and my wife was a passenger. But since then, my wife and I have been a two-person team (she navigates and I drive), and we've been involved somehow with almost every TRC gimmick rallye—if not as rallyists, then as rallyemasters, precheckers, and/or CP workers. I've also taught classroom gimmick rallye schools.
I was TRC's president from 2005–2007. I started 2008 as a board member at large, but took over as secretary mid-year. I continued as secretary until 2013, when I became president again.
My wife and I also enjoy riding our ViewPoint tandem bicycle, organic gardening, and playing board and card games like The Settlers of Catan, TransAmerica, Lost Cities, The Big Idea, Quiddler, and Saboteur. I also enjoy geocaching, and am a member of Geocachers of the Bay Area.
In 1998, I accepted an invitation to join the Web Design Group, which was founded to promote the creation of creative, informative, browser-independent, and resolution-independent web sites that are accessible to all users worldwide.
I am a software release engineer.
Favorite Missed Gimmicks
Of the gimmicks that we've missed, here are some of our favorites:
- In The Amazing Rallye VIII (July 2013), we missed several gimmicks, including:
- We were instructed to turn on streets with names that began with La or Le, which naturally included names like La Grande, but which also included names like Lewiston.
- We were instructed to turn on Quebec when "in Canada". However, when we encountered Quebec, we were traveling on a street that did not meet the definition of being "in Canada", so we should not have turned on Quebec.
- On the last leg, we caught that RI 1 did not come into effect, and that we could not delete an RI when no RI in effect. But we missed that we could not do a "CRI 1" (Continue working on RI 1) because the definition required first deleting lower-numbered RI(s), and there were no lower-numbered RIs.
- In The Big Bang Rallye (Paradox Rallye Club, August 2011), questions came into consideration based on the execution of the preceding and succeeding RIs. However, two-part RIs were handled in a special way, and were considered deleted (not executed). Thus, these two-part RIs could not bring questions into consideration, or take them out of consideration.
- In The Amazing Rallye VI (July 2011), an on-course CM deleted lower-numbered RIs, thus deleting (and completing) RI 1. This RI used "onto", and completing it put us onto the named street again. Unfortunately, we missed another gimmick and did not record the on-course CM.
- In The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (May 2010), parking lots existed at the start, finish, and checkpoints. After the on-course CP, another gimmick sent us back past the CP where the current RI should have been executed by turning into the parking lot at the CP.
- In The Nice, Kind, Gentle, Fluffy, Easy & Fun Bunny Rallye (April 2010), the GIs told us to turn at "Ben Roe". This took you to a CM that deleted the word "Roe", so the signs read just "Ben". However, this deleted the word everywhere, including the sentence in the GIs, which now told us to turn at "Ben", just like the signs.
- In Lilo & Stitch (March 2010), a "Stop 4-Way" sign was a valid government-erected "S 4" coursemarker. The word "Way" did not exist on signs, leaving "Stop 4". Another gimmick turned the word "Stop" into "S", leaving "S 4". With a bit of reflective tape, the "S 4" sign met the rallye's definition of a coursemarker.
- In We're Off to See the Wizard (February 2010), we were told to visit ("travel upon the street indicated") Colony. The instruction to visit Colony remained in effect, and was higher precedence than the Supp to turn off Colony back onto the RI course. Thus, we should have continued to travel upon Colony to get a second CM. A close second was the CM that should have brought an RI back into effect, since the RI was "the valid instruction corresponding to that number".
- In Things That Go BUMP in the Night (November 2009), an RI told us to turn onto a street name that was printed both upside-down and backwards. We realized that the RI was bad, because at the time, words on signs appeared upside-down, but not backwards. But then we were instructed to delete the RI, which completed the RI. We did not realize that completing the RI put us onto the impossible (upside-down and backwards) street name.
- In Happy Mother's Day (or The Mother of All Rallyes, May 2009), the GIs told us not to turn on streets labeled "NO OUTLET". However, the Mother Instructions that told us to turn on these streets had higher precedence than the GIs, so we should have turned anyway.
- In April's Fool (April 2009), rather than being instructed to complete Supp parts in ascending numerical order, we were instructed to complete Supps in ascending numerical order.
- In Indecision 2008 (November 2008), there were two spaces to record CM AA on the score sheet, so the GIs were written to allow recording CMs in multiple spaces. But in addition to recording CM AA twice, we were also supposed to record CM A twice: once in the space next to A in the CM section of the score sheet, and again in the space that appeared next to the letter A in one of the tiebreaker questions at the bottom.
- In Drive for Show, Rallye for Dough! (September 2008), a numbered Hazard instruction appeared on the RI page. Since it was labeled "Hazard", it was a valid Hazard instruction. Since it was numbered, it was also a valid RI. The rules for both Hazard instructions and RIs applied to this instruction.
- In Get Smart (August 2008), we were told to use a cipher that mapped shapes to letters. Along the route, we encountered a yellow caution sign that depicted a unique street configuration and recommended a speed of 15. The cipher converted the shape of the street configuration to a letter, and the sign became a valid "Q 15" coursemarker.
- On one leg of The Amazing Rallye III (July 2008), we were told when RIs came into effect and went out of effect. We were also told that the exception to that was RI 1, which came into effect after the start traverse. Thus, RI 1 never went out of effect, and we were able to execute it again later in the rallye.
- In Three Strikes and You're Out (April 2008), we received a CP slip that told us to delete a specific sentence from our GIs. However, the sentence that appeared in our GIs was not quite the same as the one we were told to delete. Thus, we could not delete anything.
- In 24 (February 2008), a U was defined as a turn of about 180°. At one point in the rallye, the digit 1 no longer existed, changing the definition of U to a turn of about 80°. A close second was removing every other letter from the "Lynn Way" street sign. Since the abbreviations for Lane and Way did not exist on the "Ln Wy" sign, Lynn Way was unnamed, and therefore no longer a valid road.
- In Courting Disaster (September 2007), just before we entered the CP, a higher-precedence instruction preempted RI 20. After asking us which RI we were working on, the CP personnel gave us a CP slip that told us to CRI 21. However, the definition of CRI only brought RI 21 into effect; it did not delete or take out of effect RI 20. Later, after executing RI 21, we had an opportunity to execute RI 20.
- In Three Strikes and You're Out (April 2007), the GIs said that roads labeled with "Not a Through Street" or "No Outlet" signs do not exist. However, since these signs were neither rallye-erected signs, nor government-erected street-naming signs, they were not valid signs, and the roads labeled by them still existed.
- In Monty Python's Flying Rallye (December 2006), we passed a parallel CM that did not have a valid Supp. We continued past it to a second CM. The Supp for the second CM sent us back past the first parallel CM, which we were supposed to rerecord. Then we were supposed to bring into effect the Supp for the number that now appeared on our score sheet.
- In School Daze (September 2006), an instruction to observe "15 MPH" could be executed at a "30 MPH" sign, because according to the GIs, only the word (defined as one or more letters) needed to appear on a sign.
- In Knights of the Route Table (June 2006), neither L nor R were defined in the GIs. Thus, RI 1 could not be executed, and after completing the initial traverse, we should have continued straight to enter the CP early.
- In Rallye: Impossible 3 (May 2006), RIs with defined terms after the word "AT" could be completed only at the object as defined. Since deleting an RI would complete it, we could not delete such an RI unless we were at the defined object.
- In Monster Bash (October 2005), the GIs told us to execute RIs containing the word "at" by turning where the words after "at" appeared on a sign. Even though "CS" was undefined, we were able to execute an RI that told us to "CS at Cardinal" by turning at the "Cardinal" street sign.
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events (September 2005), Roman numerals were to be read only as their Arabic equivalents, which converted Note C into RI 100.
- In Car Wars III: Revenge of the SI (July 2005), the GIs deleted a street name (everywhere "outside this sentence"). With the street name deleted, an RI became just "R AT", and since nothing appeared after "AT", the RI could be done at any street sign.
- In Alice's Adventures in Rallyeland (May 2005), a gimmick deleted the top sign on any support. The road surface was considered a support, and the CP sign was the top sign on the road surface. Thus, the CP sign was deleted and we were supposed to continue past the CP.
- In Common Sense (April 2005), at the CP, we were told to delete instructions numbered 1 through 7. We deleted RIs numbered 1–7, but neglected to delete Supps numbered 1–7.
- In The Prisoner (March 2005), Number 1 did not exist in the Village, so we could not do RI 1. At the end of the rallye, we escaped from the Village, so Number 1 existed again, and we finally could do RI 1.
- In Critter Chaos (December 2004), we were told to hand our score sheet to the "correct critter" at the on-course CP. The workers at the first three on-course CPs were dressed as critters, but the worker at the last on-course CP was not dressed as a critter, and explicitly told us "I am not a critter." We were not supposed to give our score sheet to this worker.
- In Mystery! (September 2004), a gimmick caused us to read signs backwards. After recording CM AB in the BA space on our score sheet, the gimmick went out of effect, which allowed us to read CM AB correctly. We should have recorded it in the AB space on our score sheet too.
- In Car Drek Enterprize (November 2003), we passed a parallel CM that did not have a valid Supp. We continued past it to a second CM. The Supp for the second CM sent us back past the first parallel CM. Upon re-encountering the first CM, we were supposed to delete the uncompleted Supp parts from the second CM.
- In The Out-of-Towners (June 2003), thieves stole certain words from all signs. At a CP, we received a slip that told us that the thieves had been caught, that their loot had been recovered, and that the stolen words now appeared on all street-naming signs. But that meant that they appeared on all street-naming signs, not just on the ones on which they had originally appeared.
- In Return of Rallye to Middle Earth (February 2003), a variation on the Aristotle prohibited us from completing consecutively numbered instructions at the same intersection. At one intersection, we executed RI 6. Later, after denying a bad CM at the same intersection, a CM brought Supp 5 into effect. Since Supp 5 and RI 6 are consecutively numbered, we should not have completed Supp 5 at this intersection.
- In Volcano (July 2002), there was a CP just past an intersection that was covered by a lava flow to a depth of 10 cm. While we could not drive through the intersection to reach the CP, we could park our vehicle and walk to the CP on the sidewalk (which was protected from the shallow lava flow by a curb that was higher than 4 inches).