Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A more formal introduction

This journal is intended as a place where those who are interested can follow Team Ramrod as they prepare for the Mongol Rally, which as formerly mentioned is an 8,000 long group road trip from London to Ulan Batuur, Mongolia. Although it is possible to go through Russia for the majority of the trip, our route will most likely take us through the central asian republics of the likes of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan before a final jaunt through Russia into Mongolia for the final cross-country trek to the ending point. Registration for the rally opens this upcoming Sunday, March 19, and team Ramrod intends to use this opportunity to join the ranks.

There are a number of obvious questions to be asked at this point, most of which can be answered best by a quick visit to the Mongol Rally Website. This journal will cover more team-specific issues in addition to detailing the process we go through to make this event happen.

First, introductions! Most Mongol Rally teams are made up of two people; team Ramrod is Justin Wood and Patrick Tewson (author of this post).

Justin Wood is a filmmaker, musician, and engineer who currently works at Microsoft. He met Patrick, a beer- and caffine-swilling electrical engineering student and musican-to-be at the University of Washington, when he came upon Patrick surrounded by angry ninjas who were determined to steal the Tibetan book of the dead, entrusted to a younger Patrick by the Llamas of that nation as a last-ditch effort to save the text from the occupying Chinese army. Quickly realising the severity of the situation, Justin unleashed a hellish wave of musical fury from the electric guitar he happened to carry with him at all times, chasing the ninjas away and inspiring Patrick to what would become a life-long fascination with electric instruments of all kinds, and saving the book of the dead in the process. The two became fast friends and Justin learned of many things from the young intellectual Patrick, including of the wonders of Maclaren engineering and motorsports in general. Since that fateful day the two have gone on to make films, play videogames, woo women, form bands, graduate college and drive to California.

Patrick currently works as a software engineer at the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, and plays in I like Danger?, and indie folk band, in addition to occasionally peddling his tunes under the moniker American Meat Institute.

Justin has a spacecraft in his living room, no kidding. He has previously competed as an engineer and driver as part of the UW's Society of Automotive Engineering race car team.

Future information regarding the intended route of the team, Patrick's progress in learning Russian, progress with visas, registration status, and other preparations will be detailed in posts to come. Stay tuned!

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