Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Boca Boy





It's not easy, eating right in the road, he admitted. The road is set up to accommodate the hectic pace of this modern world, quick check out, easy access, everything to go, fast food. Gotta get from here, Point A, to there, Point B asap. Pronto. Stat. Time is money. Saw an inpatient five year old at a four way major intersection yesterday with a cell phone texting fast and furious. Poor kid, he thought, there will be plenty of time to play beat the clock, enjoy this sunny moment in the sun and be a kid.

Since my dive of a room was next to two road icons, a Olive Garden and a Denny's, I dropped some coin at each, needless to say, more for convenience that healthy eating. The staff at OG was young and energetic, a grad school waitress one class away from a degree in Economics, another student who wants to visit the seven wonders of the world upon graduation, a single Mom bartender doing a double shift and a waiter who's Dad recently did Ironman Florida. All good kids and the crisp salads, warm bread, and minestrone soups were terrific. The portabello ravioli was a touch bland, but everything else was grand, so thanks gang, and good luck to you all.

Denny's, otoh, is always an adventure. Clientele wise. You just never know who will pop in, and in what condition. Last night I was the only game in town and we had some fun with yours truly playing the dumb vegetarian from Seattle looking for a decent dish. Neither of the servers had ever been asked about the Boca Burger, let alone actually served one,so I was a touch concerned and thought briefly about having yet another French Slam, but, I had come too far with the skit to wimp out by that time, so I had them fry one up for me. Very comical sometimes playing the fool, he thought. Comedy can be easy as long as you don't try to cerebralize it by trading themes with Bill Maher, Leno or Letterman. Hey this is an empty Denny's, I should be able to try out some new material, bada bing. So I order and eat. Fries and a vanilla shake to complete the input of saturated fat. I ask if the staff would like to appear in my blog alongside the infamous soy burger (which I am surprised is not $12.50 due to fuel costs and subsidies). They agreed and earned my largest all time Denny's tip ($10) as a result of their effervescence, charm and diligence. The burger was a touch leathery however, so the moral of this entry is to stay with the french toast and eggs, unless you have an urge to do stand up.

I am at the business center at the Tampa airport waiting for the flight to Denver and then on into SEA-TAC. Have lots to do in less than 24 hours as me and Kurt hit the road for Wildflower at noon on Wednesday.

Some more pix from Florida.

One of the best RD's around, Phil La Haye.
After you race, there is one last leg, carrying your bike over a steel bridge to the parking lot. Considered by many to be cruel and unusual, and by others to be just another obstacle to overcome. (like cropping jpegs)
The mall where I got the iPhone cable. A mall is big when it has a Lexus dealership inside.
And lastly Kelly, Lori and Sheri at the Denny's on Busch St, in Tampa, sitting behind their pride and joy (and my dinner) the infamous Boca Burger. Thanks gals.

I will try my best to get a entry in while home, but if not, stay tuned for yet another RCV road trip down I-5 for Wildflower. I think this might be my tenth trip to the event affectionately known as the Woodstock of Triathlon. It's a free concert from now on boca boy, he laughed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Those like Me

I have been waiting for this, he said. At last SOMEBODY has finally had the gumption, verve and acumen to write between the lines. See through them first, then write about them. Obama has taken some heat of late over his comments about the middle class being bitter about the current state of their plight and clinging to guns and gods in retaliation. If I were stumping in Pennsylvania I would pick an adjective a lot stronger than bitter. How about, 'pissed off', how about 'mad as hell', how about 'fucking outraged'? Those all work better, IMHO, he thought.

And how black is the kettle calling this pot black? Elitist? Out of touch? Oh, really?

So here is the latest on my election wish list: I want a candidate who is and who will:

  • Be as innocent and naive as one can possibly be and still compete in this incredibly convoluted and rigged electoral process.
  • Be able to see the truth, tell the truth and live the truth.
  • Have personal integrity and values unrelated to campaign donations.
  • Do what is right, not what furthers a political agenda.
  • Represent the wishes of the people, not the Military/Industrial complex.
  • Adhere to the Constitution.
  • Not murder, torture, exploit or threaten our brothers and sisters of the planet. Even of they cannot aide or abet our current agenda.
  • Not have corporate ties, industry apron-strings, a map of where the bodies are buried, favors to be named or skeletons in the closet.
  • An inquiring mind, a creative approach, a gentle spirit, a ready smile.
  • Deeply concerned with the environment, pollution, global warming, alternative energy, and the right of all Americans to freely seek health, personal expression and happiness without wiretaps, warrants, security cams, the TSA, Homeland Security, more prisons, a wall to keep Mexicans out, (but the NAFTA profits and cheap labor, in).
  • A true separation of church and state.
  • Thinks that a gay lifestyle, abortion and anything else dealing with one's body and with whom he or she shares it with, it up to them.
  • Admit that we lost the 'war on drugs' about 20 years ago. Admit that the 'war on terror' is being sponsored by the war industry to meet 21st century profit expectations.
  • Want real change. Not just from the neo-cons, but from the entire system that is no longer meeting the needs of the many. And that means the bitter, the pissed off, the mad as hell and, even the fucking outraged of America. Those like me, he thought.

A new silent (and bitter) majority


Robyn
BLUMNER

tbt* COLUMNIST


B arack
Obama may have been a little too blunt in his now infa­mous quip about how the economic insecurities gripping small-town America manifest themselves, but the word “bitter” perfectly sums up my feelings these days.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve watched my country get hi­jacked by a group of self-serving incompetents who have little con­science about sending young men and women to die in an unnecessary war, while putting the bill on a credit card for the next generation.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve seen some of the greatest moral handiwork of modern civili­zation — the Geneva Conventions — get treated as if it were the naive ramblings of out-of-touch do-good­ers. I’ve watched the founding prin­ciples of our nation — the inalien­able right of due process of law and the checks and balances of three co-equal branches of government — treated as a copse to be mowed down en route to the unitary executive.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve stood by as the wealth of our nation has been concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite while the middle class struggles to financially tread water. I’ve seen our tax policies shift to benefit this small group, starving our national treasury of needed re­sources and making it far less pos­sible to prepare for the future by in­vesting in infrastructure, education and shoring up Social Security and Medicare.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve watched a macabre health care system become even more dys­functional, so that a single accident or illness can destroy the economic security of a family. I’ve seen Big Pharma use its lobbying muscle to keep Medicare from negotiating better drug prices. I’ve observed as health insurance companies with their inflated middle-man profits add immeasurably to the cost of care while trying to deny coverage and services to their customers. I’ve heard our leaders whine about “so­cialized medicine” any time a com­prehensive fix is suggested.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve seen industry insiders put in charge of regulatory agencies so that worker safety and environmental protection are eroded in the name of increased profits. I’ve watched as sci­ence is subverted to ideology. Where facts on global climate change are ignored or manipulated to fit a po­litically driven script. I’ve seen the Department of Justice transform into the legal arm of the Republican Party.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve watched the dismantling of the wall of separation between church and state, allowing billions of tax dollars to flow to religiously af­filiated groups that peddle their own brand of faith as part of the govern­ment- funded service. I’ve seen Chris­tian fundamentalism defeat funding for international family planning and constrain the distribution of condoms in places where HIV/AIDS has decimated the population.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve stood by as the national debt nearly doubled in the last seven years due to irresponsible tax cuts and spending on such folly as an endless pre-emptive war that may end up costing three trillion dollars. I’ve observed the privatization of core government functions, such as the handling of security assignments in Iraq by the unaccountable Black­water. I’ve seen billions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction money wasted and lost to a system of endemic cor­ruption.
You bet I’m bitter.
I’ve watched our nation get less secure thanks to the counterproduc­tive policies of the neocons in charge. I’ve seen the populations of other­wise friendly nations turn against the United States, seeing us as the world’s biggest bully and hypocrite rather than its greatest beacon of lib­erty, justice and opportunity. I’ve ob­served that our willingness to abuse prisoners has become a recruiting tool for our enemies, making us mas­ters of our own demise.
You bet I’m bitter. And when more than 80 percent of Americans think we’re on the wrong track, I’m not the only one. Obama chose the right word. The only question is, how long this bad taste will last and how to get rid of it?

From the Tampa Bay Times

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hot

It was a smoker this morning at the 25th St. Anthony's Triathlon, in sunny St.Pete (winter home of the Yankees and Legends Field). An incredibly deep Pro field spashed in at 0650 followed by almost 4,500 age groupers, relay members and the ever vigilant Team in Training. (Go Team). It was a stunning start with an appropriate orange sun rising over the 74 degree waters of the Bay. Our main 70.3 man, Andy Potts was the first one out of the water, but fellow CT'er Matt Reed caught him on the bike and eventually bested him at the finish by 20 seconds. Reed's bike split of 54:10 was the fastest of the day. That is a 27.5mph avg. kids!!! Sarah Haskins took top female honors, going under 2hrs (YES) and looks to be in fine form to rep Uncle Sam in Bejiing come August. Them's the fax jax and even though I am personally boycotting the Games (used without permission), acknowledgement of Matt and Sarah's performances today probably won't land me in a Tibetan gulag. The top ten Pro Men and Women is below for your bewilderment.

Grabbed some great video at the start and Don and I did TWO complete 24.7 loops on his powder blue Honda Gold Wing, mixing it up smoothly with the field. Race director Phil La Haye and his staff do an outstanding job with this event and the clenliness, security and ammenities out on the semi-technical course go along way to keep this event the 3rd largest Oly distance in the world. It is a fun day, well run, well supported and well attended. The RCV, despite the lack of elevation gain (or loss) will be a winner as Phil told me yesterday that there are annually almost 800 first time particiipants. And that, dear friends, is where the growth is. Since I was lugging around the Canon A1 all day shooting HD, I didn't have a chance to get many stills. The ones I did manage don't do service to the spirit of the race, so, with your kind permission, I will beg for a week to Kung Fu the trailer together (which I know you like) and post the highlights via video vice jpeg. Cool? No, hot. Very hot. 90. I feel like Jimmy Buffett's hibachi. So adios amigos, I am going somewhere for something shady and wet.

Top 10 Elite men

1. Matthew Reed (USA) 1:46:34
2. Andy Potts (USA) 1:46:52
3. Greg Bennett (AUS) 1:47:43
4. Craig Alexander (AUS) 1:49:41
5. Richie Cunningham (GBR) 1:50:39
6. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:50:42
7. Stephen Hackett (AUS) 1:50:47
8. Marcus Ornellas (BRA) 1:51:42
9. David Thompson (USA) 1:51:50
10. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 1:53:20

Top 10 Elite women

1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 1:59:24
2. Rebeccah Wassner (USA) 2:00:34
3. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 2:01:52
4. Samantha McGlone (CAN) 2:02:35
5. Becky Lavelle (USA) 2:02:56
6. Julie Dibens (GBR) 2:03:04
7. Nina Kraft (GER) 2:03:31
8. Cynthia Wilson (CAN) 2:05:04
9. Bree Wee (USA) 2:05:18
10. Alicia Kaye (USA) 2:06:11

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Preparation






Preparation.

As many of you will remember from yesterday's installment, we had an interview scheduled today with former ITU World Champion Spencer Smith. It was videotaped and as I travel light these days and don't haul around the portable production studio (like the good ol days), you'll just have to wait until I get back to HQ and wrap it around the highlight reel. Because that is what it was, a real highlight. Spence is one heck of a nice guy and a serious monster when it comes to racing and training. He shared several of his secrets with us and I am very much looking forward to creating the piece. So stay tuned for that one.

Weather is supposed to be in the vicinity of perfect for tomorrows main event, 88 degrees and some cloud cover late in the afternoon. We're pretty much set and ready to roll, although all I know at this point is that I HAVE a bike, just don't know any details. My guess is a Gold Wing which is fine, big, comfy and smooth.

A few photos from a long day at the expo where I spelled Adam for a few hours and then hung around for the media work. Even managed to get in my first run since OZ, an easy 32 minute effort along the waterfront. So I might be on my way back. God, I hope so.

Photos: Another shot of the Vinoy, this is the reception area.
Richie of Orbea showing off their top-of-the-line carbon fiber ride, fully loaded at $7,500. Hey, speed costs money (how fast do you want to go?) Justin posing with the kettlebells. More on this later. And lastly Adam at the CT booth. Look at all that advertising for the RCVs will ya? I think we had a good (one day) show.

Early to bed tonight, as wake up call is 0345. First wave goes off at 0650 and I have to dress the Gold Wing an hour before the swim start. Race day, You gotta love it!!!

And keep that word in mind. Preparation. Turn it up. Way up.

UP/OFF




We are starting yet another new feature today. This one is called Up/Off as in "Turn it Up" or "Turn it Off". You are in control of universal volume. This road post is the beta version, we'll sex it up when the Global Production Crew returns from Florida and California. You should get the idea PDQ. Coments and suggestions to the UP/OFF feature are, as always, encouraged. Without further banter:

  • OBAMA /clinton
  • SEATTLE /oklahoma City
  • STEVE EARLE /paul McCartney
  • TIBET /china
  • FACT /spin
  • EMU DUNG /bullshit
  • SPINACH /steak
  • SUPERMARKET /stockmarket
  • STEVE /bill
  • CO-OP /ceo
  • NPR /cnn
  • LISTEN /blab
  • COLORS /white
  • BIKES / cars
  • GUINESS /bud
  • PEOPLE / politicians
  • LEVIS /dockers
  • GEORGE CARLIN /george bush
  • OPEN SOURCE / copyright
  • LEFT / right
  • LOVE /fear
  • DALAI LAMA / il papa
  • PORTALS /fences
  • NCAA /nascar
  • INTEGRITY / image
  • ORGANIC / exploited
  • MEDIATORS / lawyers
  • YOU / me

Friday, April 25, 2008

St.Pete

Couldn't stand it any longer. On the way back from the Expo I googled the Apple Store in Tampa and swung by to purchase a new data cable so I could upload some photos. Here are a few. Top to bottom and left to right.
  • The patio of the Vinoy Hotel where rooms are $399 tonight and tomorrow. My room at the Days Inn is $59.
  • Florida Freddie showing off his Mini-Cooper and all its triathlon friendly features. Say that fast.
  • Swim leg is 1500 meters. Our friend here is planning on having the best seat in the house come Sunday morning.
  • The swim start at Spa Beach. It'll look a bit different when 4,800 line up Sunday.



Oh, and BTW (use of caps intended) I ran into Spencer Smith at the Expo and had a great chat. Some highlights:

RCVman: You are looking fit my friend.
SS: I am feeling as good as ever since the crash.
RCV: That was 2005?
SS: Yes, but sometimes at night it feels like yesterday.
RCV: You're not racing Sunday?
SS: No, I am doing Gulf Coast, Ireland and UK 70.3
RCV: Ireland?
SS: Yeah, a brand new event, already up to 1,500 or so.
RCV: Wow. You're still on a Planet X?
SS: Oh yeah, sweetest ride around.
RCV: Riding CompuTrainer?
SS: Just hill repeats for power. No RCV mate.
RCV: It's OK, I understand.
SS: But I think it's a great idea.
RCV: Would you say that on videotape?
SS: Absolutely.
RCV: Shall we say tomorrow at ten?
SS: My pleasure.
RCV: Have a great day Spence, see ya tomorrow.
SS: Cheers mate.

God I love this sport.

NAILS 2

Nails it. Your tax dollars at work in Iraq. Let's get out now. Stop loss. Cut the carnage. Stop the pols bullshit spin on democracy. Vote for whomever "pledges" to get us out the fastest, and take care of matters of Homeland Sanity.

This from USA Today this fine Friday morning: Military personnel who have yet to be accounted for:

  • WWII: 74,384
  • Korea: 8,178
  • Vietnam: 1,763
  • Cold War: 165
  • Iraq: 3
  • Gulf War: 1
A mind numbing 74K from the last 'good' war. This one is about oil. And God. It is about the god of oil. It is causing trickle down consequences of catastrophic proportions, as seen in the wisdom of the quote, "a hungry man is a dangerous man." And, my dear friends, the responsibility starts with us. We (OMG) are the people, as in "We the people". We elected the current regime to lead us thru these challenging and complex times. We have failed. They had ulterior motives and used us much like the wolf uses sheep. The 29% or so of apologist folks still in the flock (and still on the payroll) are saying that at least we have cheap wool and lanolin. BUT YOU'RE STILL SHEEP lamb chop. As Bill Maher so perfectly put the other night, if you had elected Colonel Sanders as president, do you think that the cost of a bucket or a barrel of KFC would go up? You elected an oilman, what did you expect?

Sorry to drag a bunch of innocent animals into this discussion. Hey, at least rice is cheap.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

AP


Took advantage of my night off in Tampa to go see the new Al Pacino flick, 88 Minutes. I was the only one in the 'plex. I think there was a reason for that (and not because next door Horton was hatchng a Who). The reason is that this movie stinks, so I am giving you all notice up front, that if you MUST see it because you have seen everything else he has done, then wait a few weeks (days?) and put it in your Netflix queue. It pains me to say this for two reasons, 1) I love AP, 2) It is (somewhat) shot in Seattle. To Hollywood I guess Vangroovy, BC is close enough.

I have also taken editorial liberty to list my ten AP faves. So PLEASE rent one of the following if you haven't already seen them, because all of these are from 50 (Sea of Love) to Heat (1000) percent better than 88 Minutes. Trust me on this.

AP Top Ten

  1. HEAT
  2. Godfather II
  3. Scent of a Woman
  4. Donnie Brasco
  5. Godfather
  6. Scarface
  7. Glengarry Glenn Ross
  8. Godfather III
  9. Sea of Love
  10. Any Given Sunday

My two cents now costs a dime

Was tipped to this article from my friends at Slowtwitch.com

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTBiOTY2ZTAyMWQwYTJkMDIwMmFiZGY4YzAxM2VkNjc=&w=MA#more

And before we go any further I would like to say that I am going to say what I have to say. And I totally assume the risk of offending people in the process. If, reciprocally you have a contribution, please say what you have to say. At the risk of offending me. I am easily offended and need all the practice I can get.

The Bush

Getaway Day. Off to Florida, Tampa again, this time for the filming of the (rather famous) St. Anthony's Triathlon. The big names will all be there working for a big early season payday, as well as about 5,000 age groupers. There is even a special class called Elite Age Groupers that start after the pros but before the (evidently) general triathlon rank and file. Should be a fairly easy shoot, if there exists such an animal, or if I can use "easy" in this context. I probably shouldn't, because as we have seen, and to quote Ian Anderson, Nothins' Easy. Da, da, da. And I am now expected to produce no video short of perfect. St. Anthony be with us.

We caught the 0520 with ease, RG was even early, cruising down the dark drive at 0415 as I was stumbling down the stairs with feet that felt like they had just walked over a bed of coals. Going to try Nu Skin upon return. We visited Daniel at Dennys and had the usual French Slam preflight meal, then headed across the street for the TSA ritual and leg one to Houston. These folks have the audacity to name this zoo after a Bush. Get this liberal tree hugger the heck outta here, please. On the flight I managed to catch a few pages of the latest Mens Journal (Harrison Ford on the over) between notes to self on the iPhone and a conversation with my neighbor on the aisle who had just returned from Kauai and had some helio video. He was interested in RCVs and the technology, so he earned one of my new business cards. Serious bad breath tho bro. There was a great feature in MJ about Ayahuasca and Sapo, two H-drugs from the shamanistic jungles of Peru (back in the serious bush). Here is a sampling that I found particularly well crafted and full of the type of truthful humor only pending pain can elicit:

"I could hear Hairo singing a particularly lilting melody that sounded soft and wet and all about sex. The pussy passage, as I called it, and it held somehow my personal history of love-a tone poem of ecstatic triumphs and cruel abandonments, the wake of hurt feelings and tears an ordinary man leaves in his career as a prick."

That, my friends, is a beautiful dosing of naked truth. This airport, however, is not. Hence, it's name I guess. Time to get to Tampa.

And, bad news department, I forgot to pack the cable that connects the iPhone to the MacBook laptop, so this will be a text only trip. Further, I have less than 24 hours after return from St. A's and our road trip departure to Wildflower, so I will try to load all the photos next Tuesday. I know you are holding your breath. And just so you are in the media loop, I like St. Petersburg way more than Houston (even though I have alraeady changed hotels). Yes, there is irony everywhere, I am staying right across the street from Busch Gardens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OZ



I am tardy on this. Heck, most of the folks who raced 16 days ago are fully recovered and out riding again. I wish I could say the same. This dang virus simply WILL NOT GO AWAY!!! I am going to try to add a touch of Vitamin D to the mix and find an hour or two in St. Petersburg this week to soak some sun. Good news from CTHQ is that they want to bump up the OZ RCV to number four in the queue, immediately after 1) St. Croix 2) UK and, 3) Louisville. That might make s
ome of me mates down unda feel like rippin it for next years event. Hope so. Next post will be from somewhere 'tween Seattle and St. Pete. Me and RG hit the RCV trail at 0430. On ya.

Monday, April 21, 2008

iTunes

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewIMix?id=279192242

Beach Boys Lyrics



This song kills me. Always has, always will. The reference to the car is 100% metaphorical. Duh. We even tried it a couple of time in spin class. Good effort, interesting results. I thought I'd try iTunes to publish the set list but they for some reason only used 7 of the 18 songs from that set. Maybe I got censored by the music gods, dunno. The above link should take you there if ya wanna 30 second sample of this musical masterpiece by Brian Wilson. Or you can splurge and buy it for .99 cents. Talk about a bargain. It is particularly important today, and I dedicate it to, my dear friend who is having a tough time of it lately. All I can say is: Don't Worry Baby (Everything will turn out Alright).

Chalkboard


Top Ten Reasons to Live a Life of Integrity
Written by Michael Angier

You might think that it's a no-brainer why one should live an honest life. But it's apparent to me that a life of integrity is the exception rather than the rule. How many people do you know who are honest all the time?

We could make a case about the morality and the "rightness" of living honestly. Religious leaders have been advocating this for thousands of years. It's doubtful that even they could provide a true model of integrity.

I believe in the moral and ethical value of integrity but I also think there are very practical and worthwhile reasons for living an impeccable life. Here are ten:

1. Trust. In order to be successful in business or hold a responsible job, a person must have a reputation of honesty. Resources are not entrusted to people who have proven themselves as untrustworthy.

2. Good Health. I have no research to support this, but I'd be willing to bet that people who tell the truth are healthier. They have less concern, less stress and feel better about themselves. This has to translate into better health.

3. Pride. I've yet to meet a liar who has any real pride in themselves. Any good leadership training will stress the importance and value of having pride in what you do and who you are. If your reputation is grounded in deception, your opinion of yourself is poor indeed. Being honest just plain feels good.

4. Peace of Mind. If you cheat on your income taxes, you may get away with it, but you'll probably always worry that you'll get audited and face fines, extra charges and even jail as a result. Your reputation would also be tarnished. When you deal honestly, you have peace of mind. It's impossible to worry and be happy at the same time.

5. Remembering. It's been said that no one has a good enough memory to be a good liar. When you don't tell the truth, you have to INVENT it. When you do, you'll often be asked to recall your rendition of the truth, and you may not be able to do so because you forgot what you said. You KNOW the truth, but you can't remember your version of it. Very embarrassing. Besides, it's hard work to continually come up with false stories.

6. Good Sleep. If you lie—unless you have no conscience at all—you'll often lose sleep because of your fears of being found out. Your worry and your guilt will keep you awake. A good night's sleep is one of life's many pleasures and honest people sleep better.

7. Confidence. Many people have excellent "bull" detectors. They know—at least at some level—when you're being fake. If telling lies is your modus operandi, you know that these people will often see though your fa├žade. There's no way to have real confidence in oneself when you're walking on "bull."

8. Good Relationships. Relationships are the jewels of our lives. Some would argue that relationships ARE our lives. And breeches in trust are the death knell of relationships. When trust is gone, there is no foundation upon which to build. Relationships lacking in trust seem hollow and shallow. They lack joy.

9. Legal Problems. We don't have to look very far to see the legal trouble people get themselves into from dishonesty. Lying in a court of law or to an officer of the law is literally AGAINST the law. Conversely, if you have no secrets, you can rest easy and its hard for anyone to blackmail you.

10. It Doesn't Work. All too often our deceptions and duplicity are discovered. In the information age in which we live, it's even more likely that lies will sooner or later be seen for what they are. Dishonesty is just plain inefficient.

The right thing to do is seldom the easy thing to do. But it's worth it.

http://successnet.org/cms/Top-Ten-Reasons-to-Live-a-Life-of-Integrity.html


In my kitchen, about to undergo spring remodel number four, hangs a chalkboard. It is by the door that allows the chilly Northwest winds to enter at will. I am a hacker when it comes to finish carpentry, unlike my brother Michael who is a master, so I keep a rolled up blanket at its base to deter some of the chill. I use the chalkboard as a task list, shopping list, a analog spreadsheet for my running times, a place for pithy quotes, and to jot phone numbers, e-mail addys, etc, etc. I wrote the current memo yesterday, and then found this site and list this morning. Much like the 10,000 things, it all sorta fits, if ya try hard enough to allow it to come inside. Much like the wind and much like random input. I have to tell the boss today that an expensive project simply cannot be completed (Lanzarote's soft focus is unrepairable). Yesterday I sat and thought of a thousand excuses. None of them wash. The only one that does is that I, for whatever reasons (and those have all been addressed and rectified) failed to keep the camera in sharp focus during the event. Simple as that. Now I have to follow some of my own rules and tell him the truth. He will not be happy. By tomorrows post I could very well be unemployed.

At least then I'll have the time to fix the door. Regardless, I am going to start right now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tips



Ran into Darcy this afternoon at Wal-Mart. (There I said it--and yes, more on this later). Hadn't seen her for at least two years, since the Gym changed hands and she and Loretta and Renea moved down the street. She is so nice, personable and honest. We had a great chat at the end of the detergent aisle. She asked about my relationships and for once I was able to muster the eloquence to sum it all up somewhat poetically. And she mentioned TIPS, the movie that I casted her in while she was preggers with Carson who is now 5. THAT was five years ago? So I dug up the trailer and posted it for your review. Darcy plays the waitress. The customer is Jayne Russell, who passed away last year from cancer. She was one classy lady. Tips is one of my favorite children (all movies are our kids, some good, some not-so-good). My buddy Jim Major from the Big Island wrote and recorded the soundtrack, a song he wrote for NBCs 2003 Ironman production. They never used it, so I did. It's called Cadence. So here's to Darcy and Jayne and Jim. I feel better just talkin' about 'em. You can find Jim at www.jimmajor.com, Darcy at Island Fitness and Jayne by going outside and looking up at the stars. And that is my tip for today.

MR. 70.3



Congrats to Andy Potts for winning the 2007 70.3 World Championships and to me for finally figuring out how to add YouTube video to the RCVman 10,000 things blog. Now we can have some real fun.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

NAILS 1


Almost daily when surfing the web for categorical substance (fact, trivia, validation, TRUTH) one comes across choice tidbits that further the cause. As we have no agenda other than to illustrate the farcical paradox of man's futile attempts at evolution in an interesting and artful way, we humbly introduce NAILS, as in "That nails it". Political humor (a paradox if ever there was) is of course, one of the 10,000, and deservedly so. This gem from Eric Devericks at the Seattle Times.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Stories

When Grandmother tells yet again of the chimney fire that blazed onto the roof and almost burned the house down, and recounts how each member of the family did this and that, the story is boring only if you listen with an ear for fact. But the story is also a lesson about concealed dangers, about protecting "home", about family collaboration, and about the character of each of the "characters", whose styles emerge through the emergency.

Why must these stories be told repeatedly? What is the story trying to tell beyond Grandmothers telling, and why are Grandmothers through the ages repositories of stories? These stories, repeated and repeated, over and over, show the lore-making, mythologizing function of the psyche, which turns the disasters and celebrations of the family, of the town, into foundation stones that give background and underground to the patternless flow of daily events. By means of repetition the psyche forms significance to the ordinary. It is as if the soul begs for the same stories so that it knows that something will last.

Stories, songs, sagas, sonnets, syllables and symbols. We tell the tale to entertain, inform and caution. Told often enough and long enough it becomes lore. Part of us now because it was passed by those who have gone before us. We are all story tellers, keepers of the legends, stewards of the song. I think we need more stories of the past, fiction or not. KIng Arthur, Jesus of Nazareth, Johnny Appleseed, William Wallace, Frodo of the Shire, Luke Skywalker, Babe Ruth, Amelia Earheart, Confucius, Kwai Chang Caine, Helen Keller, Buddy Holly, all heroic, all kept alive thru continued and repetitive telling of their tales. On film, on disc, in print, on record, by the campfire, in the great hall. The truth finds a way to be told. "To suppress a truth, is to give it force beyond endurance." - Master Kan.

"Tell the tale and sing the song", he laughed, "you got to make the morning last."

Opening quote from James Hillman's "The Force of Character and the Lasting Life"

Simon & Garfunkel Lyrics

Thursday, April 17, 2008

US

US

They aren't asking the right questions.
This looks more like password than a Presidential debate.
Who can spin the best under the pressure of a live national audience?
So I over-exaggerated, YOU get off a chopper in a war-zone and tell about it!
Yes, he said some unkind words about me, but hey, I FORGIVE him.
No, she will not be on the ticket,
No, he will not be on the ticket.
Yes, he can beat McCain,
Yes, she can beat McCain.
I have baggage, filled with experience.
I have baggage too, filled with hope.

We are so shallow. The economy has jettisoned to the number one issue. Yes, gas is $4.00/gallon and you have to make some hard decisions about the bingo commute. Meanwhile, The Bushies long tern agenda (to control oil from the source), now has no less than 40 countries on the verge of revolt because their basic staples of life; Corn, rice, and wheat are either being used for hybrid fuels or the associated transportation costs (diesel) have tripled in the last year. Inflation is out of control, energy costs are soaring, the coast of a loaf of bread and a wedge of cheese now eliminates a sip of wine to accompany, and consumer confidence is about as high a centipede's underbelly. And the war goes on.

I want to say this here and now. There two dirty little secrets running betwixt and between all this gloom. The rich get richer in times like these. Monopoly teaches us to buy houses when their owners are bankrupt, and then wait out the storm and cash in when the market recovers. The Oil Barons are laughing at us as we just keep fillin 'er up. While on Wall Street the 'players' trade on something so slimy and manipulative as "futures and market uncertainties". There is one DLS. The other is the elite class known as Share Holders. How many times have you heard a guilty-as-sin CEO cite this group as the reason for his unscrupulous actions? As in, "I owe it to our shareholders to lie, steal and cheat to meet third quarter projections? Add kill. BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN IRAQ. Do you think that a shareholder at Mobil/Exxon annual meeting stood up and said (after the record profits were applauded) that maybe the blood/gas ratio could be softened in the next quarter, just this one time? Look the other way folks, hide your head in the sand. We have met the enemy and it ain't the Iraqi, Afghani, Somali, Bosnian, Serb, Chinese, French, Catholic, Muslim, Hispanic, Israeli, Black, Female, Gay, Commie, Liberals........ IT IS US. The collective us, all Americans. And our revered system that allows all this carnage to take place under the guise of freedom and democracy.

So when Obama says he stands for hope and change. I say BRING IT. Bring it for the people who need the maize, who can only afford to barter for rice, and who would starve without wheat. We can take care of ourselves.

So why don't we?
LinkLinkhttp://www.democrats.org/a/2008/04/saturday_open_t_64.php?comments=1#comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Homemade Potlatch Soup







Homemade Potlatch Soup

The Daily Om (click on the icon above) is a warm and welcome website that I visit on a regular basis for a reminder that the spiritual component is 1/3 of the mind/body/spirit ideal. And perhaps if there was an objective rating system (of fair and impartial judgment) to prioritize the three, I am quite sure that it would have some disclaimer alluding to the ebb and flow of each. There needs to be a balance for all three to thrive, grow and evolve.

"Like right now my poor body is struggling with the most basic of functions, breathing. Meanwhile, I sense this longing for a spiritual connection perhaps to push the idea that while my body will eventually wear out and I will have to find another place to live, the "I" in question is my soul, my spirit, my consciousness, and hence the need for the comfort in the presence of the One," he ventured, "I don't need my body for that, and all the thinking and philosophy in the world won't help me with a question that has no answer."

His meditation on spirit drifted to the potlatch article and it's beautiful message so he again brought his attention back to the present moment. Inhale deep and slow, suppress the cough, relax, exhale. I feel lighter, is that as a response to the meditation or from that fact that over a week he lad lost five pounds, his mind asked. Calm the mind. Ease the body. Nurture the spirit. Whoahhh, what is that smell? Ah, the homemade vegetable soup and it's delightful doughy dumplings are wafting a scent upstairs that elicit an immediate Pavlovian response. Detach. Breathe. Let it go. The nourishment of the body can wait. And you can read more about the Sartrean Weltanschauung later. But right now the Spirit has center stage. Count your breaths like each will be the last. Focus your resolve and intent. See yourself without a nose. You smell nothing. The olfactory void. There is no smell therefore there is no temptation. I wonder if there is hot french bread alongside, the mind asks, seeing an opening and not liking to play second fiddle, and soup might strengthen our lungs and fuel the recovery, quips the body, suddenly in a supporting role. Once more he brought it back to just sitting and breathing, tempted, tested, tried.

1-2-3-4

Potlatch, yes, I will give away all my money. There, it is settled. Let's eat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

1099

The annual Spring Sale is on at CompuTrainer, www.racermateinc.com and as added value you can, for a limited time, get an RCV as part of the deal. That's right folks, a $100 RCV (Coeur d'Alene, Hawaii or Arizona) free with your purchase of a CT Pro 3D. Nice. So if your work schedule or real life priorities preclude you from getting to spin class, doing an outside 50 miler, or keeping the fitness you have worked so hard and long to achieve, take advantage of this yearly offer at CT, and ride indoors, safe, dry, happy, and motivated. Seriously, riding the Queen K allows you ample time to multi-task (got Kids?).

The above logo is being considered for our production crew's flight jackets. I like it. Any comments from you design professionals is appreciated.

Today is rather infamous. April 15. My home/business phone number is 842.1099. It was my choice when I decided to bring it home and go total indi. It still gets laughs and winks. And today is its birthday!!!! Sadly, a quick wikipedia check shows that in the year 1099 the major historical news was from the Middle East where The Crusaders (as directed by Pope Urban II) were successful in the overthrow of Jerusalem. Carnage, bloodshed, massacre, violence, fear, hate, ego. Allah in the name of God. This report sums it up:

The First Crusade was the most successful in that it actually accomplished what it set out to do - conquer Jerusalem. But it had its problems. Responding to the Pope's challenge, thousands of peasants rallied to the cause motivated by a combination of religious fervor and the desire to escape their squalid condition at home. Led by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless the hapless rabble marched across Europe to Constantinople, only to be slaughtered by the Turks soon after crossing the Bosphorus into Asia Minor.

In the meantime, the nobility of Europe raised an army of thousands that made its way through various routes and with much mishap to Constantinople. Unfortunately, many of these crusaders could not wait until they met the Muslims on the field of battle to demonstrate their religious zeal. As they progressed through Europe many Jewish communities became the target of their wrath and thousands were massacred.

In the spring of 1097, a host of over 100,000 crusaders joined forces on the eastern side of the Bosphorus. The combined army then fought its way along the coast of the Mediterranean reaching the gates of Jerusalem in June of 1099.

Did you catch that? Led by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless? Hapless rabble?

Today, as I sign a check that will aid and abet our misguided leadership in their modern religious zeal, I can't help but wish I could somehow get a call from Walter the Penniless at 842.1099. We're still hapless rabble fighting the same futile war financed by taxation with overzealous representation.

All that took place 909 years ago. It was 1099.

"I think I'll go for a ride", he said in a tone of complete resignation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Inspiration


Inspiration

(Move me brightly)

Just a few of the many people that have provided me with inspiration. In no particular order. He was fond of saying that to get things accomplished, be they of the arts, labour, or love, one needs the proper combination of time, money and inspiration. Of the three, I'll take the latter, trusting that with enough, it will discover the ways and create the means.

Jerry Garcia
Rachel Carlson
Steve Prefontaine
Francis Ford Coppola
Scott Tinley
Lynn Brooks
John Lenon
Michelangelo Buonarotte
Dan Millman
Dalai Lama
Richard Bach

And every woman with whom I've shared an intimate and intensely inspiring portion of the path.

"I guess", he volunteered, "that's because it's motivational to have somebody to do things for, someone to show your work to when completed, someone with whom to share the inspiration of creation."

Inspiration, move me brightly, light the song with sense and color;
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to terrapin.

Counting stars by candlelight, all are dim but one is bright;
The spiral light of venus, rising first and shining best,
On, from the northwest corner, of a brand new crescent moon,
While crickets and cicadas sing, a rare and different tune,
Terrapin station.

"Is that love?" he again wondered.

Woodcut of Garcia by Tim Vincent of Cedar Eclips.
Terrapin Station lyrics by Robert Hunter, music by Jerry G.

"Can you hear it?" he asked, inspired.

Grateful Dead Lyrics

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tea

Just in case you happen to be reading this outside of the grater Seattle area, please allow me to briefly editorialize the weekend. I had a nasty virus and spent the bulk of the last three days in the studio rendering RCV video, specifically the Switzerland re-work, and it looks, in my most humble of opinions, very much better. Maybe that is an understatement, it looks freaking' killer. OK, there, I bragged. I wish I was as good with external color correction as I am with HD video, as yesterdays 78 degree spectacular, was replaced rather rudely by the drizzle and grey of today. No matter. The Dalai Lama is in town and making beautiful headlines as he plants the seeds of compassion in the Emerald City. You can actually feel his presence, and since Thursday, even though my lowly abode has become a toxic waste dump as a result of my non-stop tissue blowing, a calm has settled in gloriously from downtown Seattle all the way out here to Bainbridge Island. And with our typical cantankerous weather trends matched with this childish global violent behavior, that is saying a lot. A calm in the storm. Seeds of compassion. World Peace. Non violent revolution. Where have I heard this before? Was it another lifetime, or this past weekend? His Holiness keeps lovingly reminding us that we know all this, we have know it all along and are just not compassionate enough to rise above the easy default trappings of materialism, greed, anger, intolerance and fear. So, what may you rightfully then ask am I going to do to demonstrate that I have heard the song, feel the power and wish to assist in the cultivation of those spiritual seeds? (Editors note: Be very careful here!)

Correct, grasshopper, I am going to have a cup of Lemon Zinger tea. And then,

I am going to sit quietly and give thanks to everyone I have touched.
And everyone who has touched me.
I am going to offer a prayer to those that need one.
And forgive myself (one more time) for my many sins.
I am going to try harder, to do more, better and smarter,
With more attention, compassion and love.

Then I am going to bed. See ya tomorrow, thanks for the tea.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

True Class is No Act




You ask what you need to succeed well in this sport. I believe the most important thing you need is a solid support team and a team that you believe in. I have had this my entire career. You cannot second guess your support team. Many people will tell you your doing things wrong or give you all the reasons why you should be doing things a different way. You need to believe in your team and believe in what your doing. It is this that you will draw on when the going gets tough and if you doubt this then you have nothing.

You need to have a sound belief that you can do it and the courage to chase your dreams. Along the way you will always have the knockers and the ones who draw huge satisfaction out of your failures. Distance yourself from these people. They dont understand that the real losers are the ones who dont have the courage or the conviction to actually try and achieve a goal. They are usually these people themselves.

You need to have good discipline and work ethic but be smart enough to understand the fine balance of this sport. Triathlon is a single sport that requires training in 3 disciplines. Many people forget this important fact.

Jabba says you need to be angry. I agree I always raced well on anger but it needs to be centred and focused. Anger projected the wrong way can be distructive.

I think the basic key to success is belief, discipline and consistency.

This posted forum reply by Macca (unedited) further validates my belief that he is one of the true class acts in the sport of triathlon. I was in the media stands directly behind the sacred grounds of the finish line in Hawaii last year and watched him win the Big T Kahuna. His first words were of thanks to his family, his pals and his fellow competitors. He then emotionally spoke of his belief system and how it had, now, today, also been validated. He is one classy guy. And needs no acting to prove it.

For many years now, he marveled, regional class was rewarded with a pithy and trite (yet honest) little complement he bestowed upon those he met from the region. Up until today it had only one area that qualified. Now it has two. The compliment: "I have never met anyone from Montana that I didn't like". Add Australia. Mate.

Friday, April 11, 2008

ONE


Bottom of the ninth in Tibet.

Recovering from the virus he had smuggled past the TSA on the flight from Australia, he was painfully amused (and achingly satisfied) that the Dalai Lama was in town for a few days to spread the good word on compassion. He was going to be making a presentation at Q West field, a bureaucratic boondoggle of a sports arena if there ever was one, tomorrow afternoon. On the same day the Seattle Mariners, playing less than a nine iron chip shot from Q West in Safeco Field, another colossal tribute to the rampant and out of control capitalistic entertainment movement, where it is somehow acceptable to vend peanuts for five and hot dogs for seven dollars, would be competing for what is referred to in the industry as, "butts in the seats", with His Holiness.

I was once a baseball fan, he admitted, but since the great players strike of 1984, no more. It's a business, and they're after my dough. I was just another number to tack on to the attendance figures so that the marketing department could justify another rate increase. I got tired of the players striking because $200,000 a year wasn't enough, while the homeless camped literally outside the stadiums in cardboard shelters panhandling for spare change.

So I said adios to baseball long ago, baseball the business, not baseball the game. There was still a beauty to the game that was unmatched by its cousins of the grid, the hardwood or the ice. And today this wondrous irony and perfect paradox is in sharp focus. The Zen of baseball with the Buddha hitting cleanup. A doubleheader of mindfulness. A meditation on the infield fly rule. Here and now, hit and run.

He was also pleased, and said in an earlier letter, that as a result of the Dalai Lama outdrawing the M's 55,000-30,000, that there was hope for us all yet. Maybe we are finally beginning to understand that compassion is more important than the suicide squeeze.

Or, as he recalled a joke his pal Eddie the Tie once shared: "What did the Dalai Lama say to the hot dog vendor?"

MAKE ME ONE WITH EVERYTHING.


Top photo: The Dalai Lama delivering opening remarks at the 35th meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
Bottom: M's skipper Rene Lachemann delivers a diatribe to ump in 1984 in the Kingdome, where Q West now stands. Back then, hot dogs were a buck two fiddy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Deconstruction



If the trip home is as smooth as the trip here, it'll be OK, he thought. It was still raining hard in Port Macquarie, with today being the geataway day. Funny thing about time, he left Sydney at 2:40 and after 14 hours in the air to SF and another 2 up the coast to Seattle, he got home at 2:49 the same day. Lovely, tell that to my lumbar.

It appeared that the NEW and IMPROVED (there is a reason why that is an advertising and promotional catch-phrase) RCV format of shooting mid-pack from a motorcycle using the Figrig Pro-Plus, and the tweaked camera settings, provided the best video yet. The color was superb, contrast crisp and overall dynamics a 100% improvement over last years initial effort. Call it a learning curve, call it R&D, call it experience, one thing was for certain, this video was HOT. The Sony HD5 however was NOT. Pictured above is the deconstruction of the camera as he tried, successfully, to recover the tape from the battered camera body. Trough the process, he was amazed at the technology in its construction and design, and was now anxious to splice the tape together and see if the drama captured on HD was equal to the live version.

It had been a good trip, productive despite the rain. The real work begins upon return to the post production process, where all the effort of capture and creation is deconstructed, pixels are re-arranged and the final product is assembled.

Sometimes the best way to build a better product is to take apart what you have and put it back together, pice by piece. In that regard it's a lot like triathlon, and even more like life; Easier with a little love in the mix.
Cheers, mates! Hope to see you in Busseltown in December.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wrap-Up

Ironman Australia 2008 wrap up

It's all over but the start of training for 2009 folks. Last night we attended the awards gala in soggy Port Macquarie and had the privilege of meeting some exceptional athletes and race administrators. Mike Reily was in fine form and the athletes, age groupers and pros alike, all had a smashing time. I need to get back to logging video so here are the top ten with a photo of each group on stage. Goodonya mates!



TOP TEN MEN

Patrick Varney 8:31
Mitch Anderson 8:40
Matt Hecht 8:42
Tim Berkel 8:44
Luke McKenzie 8:46
Luke Bell 8:56
Matt White 8:59
Nate Stewart 9:03
Raimo Raudsepp 9:04
Kevin Cutjar 9:06




TOP TEN WOMEN

Chrissie Wellington 9:03
Kate Major 9:09
Melinda Cockshutt 9:50
Prue Oswin 10:00
Sarah Pollett 10:00
Allison Coyle 10:00
Joanne Bennett 10:05
Amelia Pearson 10:10
Emma Weitnauer 10:20
Kirsten Malloy 10:23

Sunday, April 6, 2008

PLAN B






Plan B

"Always have a back up plan", he remembered from the Korean martial arts movie, and yesterday was a perfect example of the wisdom in that adage. There isn't a lot of options if you are shooting video from a motorcycle and it rains. You can wrap the camera in a rain coat like a hot bean burrito, but the lens still takes on all the moisture, grime, dirt, mud and steam from the road and sky. It gets ugly in a hurry. I had met with the bike captain earlier and suggested that a covered golf cart with open sides and front might work, but he scoffed it off as "too big, it's two wheels or nothing". Faced with the reality of traveling almost 9,000 miles at great expense (more on that later) and coming home with nothing but video of the beach being pelted by non stop dollops of rain, was not particularly pleasant. Sure, everyone would say, "well, what do you do?", but the issue du jour, was that there was, or should be, a contingency plan (of some sort). He had about an hour to devise one. And coming home with nothing but his Canon in his hand was simply, not an option.


Saturday night ended peaceful enough, another beautiful sunset, early dinner and final prep of all gear, charging of batteries, checking the check list one last time and peaking out the window prior to sleep. And don't forget to set the clocks back an hour for daylight savings time, mate.

At about three in the morning he heard it. THAT sound of a monsoon on a cold tin roof, falling hard and falling fast. Big time rain, not like a light Seattle woman rain, this was a fall that would sink inches into the soil and quench vegetation thirsts for months to come. If the Koala's can stay dry through this day they will feast come June and July he thought.

Back to the back up and race time is down to minutes, under now clear, but still threatening skies. There was no way he could control both cameras in the rain, so one had to go on auto, while he focused all his effort and attention on the "A" rig, meaning that the original vest set up was going to be cumbersome at best. He finally decided to use the Manfroto vacuum mount at the front of the BMW RT 1100 and fix the Figrig to the left frame, low angle. That way he could monitor the Canon, barely seeing the viewfinder, being it on the left, and have some confidence that the Sony was all the while shooting away off the front. OK, here's your plan B, let's give 'er a go.

Mike is a very adept rider and gentlemen to boot. Asking a volunteer to ride a huge touring bike at the speed of a cyclist is a true test of patience, and strength. But we went off with the best of intentions and caught a break in the rain until about 30 minutes into the three lap course. Now what? Roger is gong to be furious that we have interrupted the GPS data, but we are now on the verge of losing everything, so we pulled into a service station and waited for a break in the rain, After about twenty minutes we got one and away we went, out towards the turn around. Decent video in the diffused light, but by now both cameras were taking on moisture. After the turn and heading back we hit a swell. A wall of vertical water, no wind, grey almost turing to black. No cover just a few shrubs and a few small eucalyptus trees. We pulled over as the race leaders sped past and tried to protect the cameras and clean the filthy lens'. Make adjustments, roll with punches, play delt hand. At that moment it appeared that the rains, with no wind might be here to stay, meaning that we hadn't even captured one complete loop.

I was getting soaked while Mike put on his foul weather gear, and I again looked towards the heavens, offering a silent prayer with a deep sigh. "What do you want to do", Mike asked innocently. Resisting the urge for sarcasm, I asked how far to the next town, or place of cover. "About 2K" was Mikes reply. "OK, we're not going to get any video out here, so let's high tail it to cover and re-group", I said starting to take the Canon out of it's shoe and store it under his jacket for the ride. "We should go fast then since no video"? "Yes, get us out of this mess with all haste, mate".

Oops.

As soon as we hit 100Kph the Sony came lose from the suction and went flying past my right arm like a drunken pelican. Or, like only a drunken pelican can.

"FUCK, STOP, FUCK, STOP"

Mike saw it too and was already looking for a hole between the two lines of athletes coming and going in either direction as I looked behind to see the camera still bouncing down the wet tarmac, bikers swerving to avoid this sudden, and potentially catastrophic thing, which by all appearances looked to be a large sea bird lost on it's way home from a day long happy hour.

"FUCK"

We gurneyed the victim to the bike, roared to a dry, covered aid station, and like the lyrical rat in a drain ditch, began to sort things out. Mike went for coffee, and when he returned he inquired about the bird. "DOA", we're done to one." It was raining on our parade, big time.

So we wait, cold, agitated, wet, knowing that the prospects for better weather were about as good as me winning the local lottery without a ticket. Some plan B.

Since this is a blog and not a novel, I'll give ya the rest of the days events in one paragraph. Miraculously, the clouds cleared and we were able to continue. We used the vest for the subsequent second, third and fourth laps, getting some decent video, albeit a little blocked by Mikes left arm, clutch hand, and windshield visor. It rained sporadically for the remainder of the day and we ended up getting about four hours of total video, which I am hoping will give us one complete good lap of RCV video. The synergy of video to GPS will be a chore but I am going to log every mile later today so that we have a hard copy from which too refer when the going gets tough. I looked at about two hours worth last night before the total physical meltdown and it will be OK. The four hours of shooting took its toll. His back was on fire, from the stress of holding the camera at the necessary angle and distance from the vest. It was a painful and difficult shoot. But one that we wouldn't have had now in the can, it it wasn't for Plan B. Or as we joked after the long day was done, "In the pelican can."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Color

"Some people see only in back and white, shades of grey at best", he acknowledged after the meeting. I suppose it takes a lot of courage and more than a little flexibility to see the potential of change. Colors instead of monochrome. A vibrant challenge designed to extract as much, or more, as the opportunity offers. Sure there is risk, but would you rather sit and watch someone climb a mountain, or gear up and trek yourself? Managers, directors, those with "power" seem to see the black, the binary, the fear vice the free, the illusion of order rather than the reality of chaos. Tightness versus trust. Ego and control to cooperation and support. Within every controlled environment lives a healthy and vital counter culture, You are color blind indeed if you can't see the rainbow or the trees.
The good news was that his assigned motorcycle pilot, Mike, got the picture almost immediately, and they discussed semantics and esoterics after a visit to the local BMW dealership to look at the RT 1100, the bike they would be sharing for five hours starting tomorrow morning at 0700. They would meet again today at 3:30 to set up, configure, tweak and test the moto-mounts. They had finally received permission from the race officials to start 45 minutes after the pro wave and to do three laps, or the entire 112 miles. This took some doing and was a little painful as the opening commentary attests. But now they were set and needed this day to prep and also some cooperation from the weather gods. It rained a touch this morning and here at 0800 was still misty enough to cause malfunction to cameras, not to mention moisture on lenses. That was the bad news, with no back up plan for rain, as there were no cars allowed on the course. Not even black and white ones.

Yesterdays scouting of the course was helpful. The first ten kilometers was thru town with some nice climbs and a few technical parts. Then a long, semi desolate flat leg to the eucalyptus forest where he gaged the trees mature enough to allow in sufficient light, and lastly a nice tight two way out and back and the return to town. Three loop course. All in all a beautiful venue, with some decent climbs, rollers and grades; a great opportunity to start the season with a bang. There were even signs posted about kuala and kangaroo crossings, so maybe the magic of OZ would manifest as cameras were rolling. I'll have some pictures of the moto-mount test tonight, and then out until tomorrow night as, at last, race day dawns.

"Tact and diplomacy, rainbows and tall ships", he questioned himself aloud, "what part of ego have you yet to understand?"

Top photo: At the top of Town Beach Hill heading back to transition.

Middle: Phil and Wendo at the CompuTrainer booth. Looks like the Queen K is on the scren.

Bottom: A spectacular rainbow points to the swim course early this morning. Color, ahhhhh.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Port Mac


G'dday Mates! This is what I saw on my first walkabout this lovely April morning in Port Macquarie (named after the first Gov'na in 1818.) It is so stunning here that I had to get back to my room (on the jog trail), download the pix and post them for your enjoyment.

All the photos are part of the Ironman venue. Town Beach is the top of the first hill climb out of town, Oxley Beach (footprints) parrallels the run and the painted rocks follow the trail all the way back to the finish. There was free yoga on the beach at sunrise, roadies en masse out hammering, surfers catching some nice little four foot lefts, joggers by the handful and a runrise right out of Hollywood. This place rocks big time.

Wendo and I are going out to do some pre-production scouting this morning. The sun will be an issue for the first leg as the course heads pretty much into the rise, but shooting from a moto will narrow the focus to the riders just ahead of us and in frame, cutting the "panaramic" framing we have shot up to this point, so that is a plus, still, the challenge is to get the dynamics increased and that means color. And lot's of it.

Heaading out for my run, gonna try a 10K along the beach, if back holds up. Wish me luck. All the best.

Truth

Tuesday, April 1, Seattle, WA
Out for Port McQuarrie, Ironman Australia the first RCV shoot of the 2008 season. After a quick stop at CT HQ, RG taxied me down I-5 for UA flight 683 to OZ. 14 hours in the air from SF. Painful, yes, but the flight wasn't full so I had two seats to attempt to get some rest. The food was not worthy of the name. Got in on time and headed up to Port, as the locals call it, checked into the motel and expo. Hooked up with Phil and Wendy Stanton, the OZ CT reps and we had a logistics chat with the race officials at a fabulous meet and greet dinner. This is a beautiful place and I am quite sure it will provide a stunning backdrop for Sundays race footage, despite the challenges of which I will detail later today. And there are lots of them.

On the flight over I had the pleasure to fly with the managing editor of Triathlete magazine, www.triathlete.com, TJ Murphy. A super nice guy and accomplished triathlete himself. He is doing Louisville and was inquiring as to that RCVs release date.

Here is some copy I scribbled on the bumpy connecting flight from Sydney to Port. I lifted the theme from the Deepak Chopra book I am reading, Buddha.

"At the onset and sometimes well into triathlon training, there is a question of fitness, an illusion of preparedness that can sabotage the athlete come race morning. This false bravado, thinking you're ready when you're not is like seeing yourself at the finish line when you still have work to do in the saddle. The reality manifests as heavy legs, an aching back an depleted electrolytes come the run. You have been cooked by the illusion. You are done. Start walking and start the excuse spin. Your race training and preparation was an illusion, the smokescreen hubris induced by endorphin flow announcing the engine finely tuned when in reality is was merely at idle. Please don't feel alone. Both 56 and 112 are daunting distances, constantly humbling even the strongest of competitors.

The RacerMate Real Course Videos turn illusion to truth. There is no escape from the reality of a 10% grade or five plus hours of steady wattage over 112 miles. The truth is that nothing short of race day will give you as accurate a dose of triathlon reality. Twenty four point eight, fifty-six or one hundred and twelve miles of real course video replaces illusion with truth. The truth about you. And sometimes the truth hurts. Do you want it today or on race day?

Real Course Video from CompuTrainer. Sometimes the truth isn't pretty.

"But it's always in color", he added gingerly, not wanting to diminsh the scope of the task at hand. "we're after quantum improvement. Focus, light, resolution, framing, dynamics, contrast, inspiration and motivation." That's all. No drama, mate.