As the race has begun, it has done well attracting cachers to come find the TB’s. I stopped out today to drop off some stragglers who finally arrived and found that the amount of TB’s inside has taken a noticeable dent. However, something that has come to my attention is that some cachers have been dipping the TB’s. So, today, this announcement will come with some advice to all cachers who have an entry in the race.

Originally, I had planned on preparing some small “No Dipping” tags to attach to all the entries.   In the flurry of work and preparing the cache, I forgot to do that.  So, to help decrease the chances of it happening, it is recommended that all cachers involved in the race add a line about no dipping to the “Mission” section of their TB’s if you haven’t already.

“Please do not dip me into multiple caches.  I will not gain extra points for the those caches you dip me into and it affects some of the numbers used to calculate the standings.”

Just so everyone is clear, there is an exception to the dipping rule, but proof is required.  Since many of the TB’s are too large to fit in smaller caches…the Buckeyes TB is a PERFECT example…, dipping is allowed on an FTF only if the cache container is too small to fit the TB.  This will require that a photo of the TB, alongside the cache container and freshly signed FTF, as proof.  Also, this photo will count for the FTF points, but will not count for the photo points.  Hey, the FTF points are worth more anyway.

Hopefully, that helps everyone understand this rule a bit.

Since some of the racers are starting to get picked up, and because it looks like a few are beginning to leave town already, I have come to a decision.  Those of you who offered to help with deciding on Checkpoint Caches have provided some guidelines to setup.  Tomorrow, I will post the guidelines for checkpoint caches.  Also, as I go through the my e-mails (and there are a lot of race related e-mails), I’m going to begin announcing some of the first official caches tomorrow as well.

I had planned on creating a graphic that could owners of checkpoint caches could place on their cache page to help identify it as a checkpoint caches.  If there is anyone out there with some experience with graphic design that would like to take a shot at this, go right on ahead.  You’ll get credit for you work.

I am still working on the contestants page so hold on a bit for that one (it should be up this week).  I decided to get the programming done offline to speed it up a bit.  The first stage is complete.  That was creating a spreadsheet of the Owner’s name, Reference #, Tracking #, and GUID # for each TB.  If you haven’t heard of the GUID # before, you can see it if you load up a TB profile from a TB that you’ve handled other than your own.  You’ll notice a roughly 32 digit letter/number combination at the end, proceeded by guid=.  When you type in a Tracking or Reference number, it doesn’t show that in the address.  To find it, you need to examing the source code (programming language) for the webpage.  It sounds complicated, but once you get into the rhythem, you could pull down all of the above information for a single TB about a minute.  And that number is important for building that graphic.

Step two is using the info to actually write out the programming.  It’s not that hard, it just takes time.  I’m about 1/3 of the way through this step.

Step three is copying all of the info from step two and putting it onto the contestants page.

Phew…if you got through that without an aneurism than congrats to you.  Now about updates, as I’m sure some of you are wondering how I’ll keep track of points.  Once again, a spreadsheet will come to the rescue.  But, you can help.  Once a week, I will go through the list of TB’s and establish which ones have moved.  Next, I will update my list of points.  Finally, I’ll update the rankings, which will be viewable on this site.  So how do you play into this.  I would recommend that all of you help keep track of you own TB.  If you see a mistake, contact me.  If you are correct with the mistake (imagine tracking 79 TB’s instead of just one), than I’ll update my records. I plan on doing this once a week, either on Friday or Monday.

Thanks for everyone who has sent some thanks for all the effort.  The biggest reward is seeing this small idea I had turn into something this big in only two weeks.  It has been better than expected.

I’ll also add that I received another donation today.  Truscott has donated $7 towards the cause.  While he has added that he knows it isn’t much, he was right in his message to me that every little bit helps.  This will be money well spent on items for the Prize Pool.  Thanks Truscott.

Oh, if you haven’t noticed, and I can already tell a few have, the new banner photo is of all 76 TB’s that originally were in the cache when it started, minus a few.  I had this great idea of putting Sylvester up on the edge of the cache container hanging over Tweety, ready to pounce.  He ended up being joined by a few others.  And what happens…the blog’s programming requires me to crop the image to make it fit.  ARGH.  But, if you are careful when looking at the photo, you might notice a few other jokes I added in.  For example, the landspeeder going up against Bullet Bill, the Lego Fireman standing by Fire Chaser.  Oh, and Scooby has had an accident on the corner of my coffee table.  He was a baaaad dog.

LOL…and let’s not ignore my own Chocolate Racer looks a bit drunk sitting next to the Belgian Beer.  It helps to know that searchJaunt sent a fake message about sending me the keychain in remembrance of all the great Belgian Beer I had during my last “visit” in case someone at Port Authority was wondering questioned the package.  LOL.

Can I talk anymore about the race…sure I can.  But it’s late and I’m signing off for this update.