Friday, May 30, 2008


Boise, The City of Trees. Been a long time since my last visit. Like 18 years. Lot's of changes, growth, sprawl. Happens even to the best of 'em. I like the high desert, the feel of this college town. Got here in time to settle in to the Grove Hotel (no WIFI and parking is $ for GUESTS!!!!), but one of themost comfortable beds I have ever slept upon, so I will find the brand upon my return this morning, as I am blogging from Tully's where the WIFI is free (and the coffee is hot). Had dinner last night at the Spaghetti Factory then went to see Indy Jones and the Crystal Skull. One out of two ain't bad. God, if two of the best filmmakers on this planet can team up to create trash of this magnitude, maybe it's time I got off the RCV trail and head back to Hollywood. My biggest choice during the two hours of suffering was whether to A) Leave, or B) Fall asleep. Poor Indy. However, right across the street Blade Runner is playing this afternooon at 4. The Ridley Scott cut in 70mm. Now THAT is a track you can run your Harrison Ford!!!!! Off to meet the race staff and get set for Sunday. Did I say I like this town?

Lot's of bikes in Boise. The Capitol (under construction). I love street art and big murals. Hotel art (it's good in the room too).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Look what I found while out looking for the tie-wire this afternoon!! These delectable little morsels go for about $44/lb. The blond morell (shown here after the harvest) go particularly well as a trio with fresh asparagus and wild rice. A medium to large glass of South African Cabernet Pinotage shall make this evenings meal a rare treat. Funghi fresca.

'Cause tomorrow we head to Boise for four days of Denny's and whatever. Not quite the same. Buon appetito!

Freedom not Safety

"Freedom, not safety, is the highest good."

-George Washington Hayduke. The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Hading to Idaho, tomorrow for the Boise 70.3. New camera settings designed to provide more focus continuity and better depth of field during the heat of battle. One less thing for me to worry about. Hope it works. Wish us luck RCV fans.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Those of you that have been onboard for a while know that yesterday was Day 11. Race Day. Coming off the 8 week illness compliments of the 35 total air hours to and from Australia, I had a precious 11 days to prepare for the Memorial Day Triathlon in beautiful downtown Elma, WA. I have been racing there since 1997, and even managed to eek out a victory back in 2004 or 5. That was a big day for little me. My only race of last year was in Elma on a freezing steel gray October morning in the pouring rain with nine others. That's right, nine. But it was still a race and therefore represented all the glorious things that racing provides. Safe, thrilling, testing, demanding, challenging, proving, vindicating, all of those and many more, always personal, always collective.

I needed an answer about base. Despite an eight week layoff (and dramatic reduction of overall training gong back to 2006), could I still manage a "decent" effort relying on base alone? Or, like so many other things, was that history too? So the eleven day ramp was fun, back to the training laboratory, a goal, a mission. And after a series of 5K runs, a couple of short rides and a 25/5 brick on Saturday (and Sunday's taper), yesterday we hit the course.

Overcast skies, about 50 others this time and a chance for redemption. A victory of my own definition. To test the theory, hoping like hell that I won't need to start from scratch. Bob shouts GO and we're off. I could write more about the swim than the four minutes it took to complete the 300 or so meters, and now the 'official" clock starts. Thirteen flat miles at max and then a three mile run. The Softride formerly known as The Great Panuzi was feeling her oats, passing the faster swimmers by the handful, until the pack was whittled to the elite riders up front. Being an out-and-back I began the count, hitting the turn with nine ahead. Time to push some buttons, get some answers. Now the back, butt, hip pain lights up the left side like a welder has stuck a oxyacetylene torch to my side. Form, bring the knees straight up, balance it out side to side, and keep the pressure constant over 360 degrees. Get aero, stay low, breathe deep, relax. Sing that song. Two more down, seven ahead, two miles to T2. The welder keeps it hot, but suddenly, from somewhere, the realization is that I WILL NOT MELT. I see Gandalf the Grey screaming at the Ballrog in that classic Middle Earth confrontation, "You WILL NOT pass". And I am now out of race consciousness and on a quest. There are lives in the balance. I hear bagpipes. I smell smoke. My thumb reaches for the lever and with a valiant breath, Panuzi is commanded into high gear, 56 teeth mashing at Mach 5, wind warning smaller craft. I have an opening, a slight chance, odds against, BUT the stage has been set. I have the chance to do the heroic.

And this is why we race.

Under what conditions will we stop? How hot does the torch need to be? At what point will we give up, throw in the towel, hoist the white flag? What are we truly made of? What character traits are to be manifest under these "interesting" conditions? Who are we?

So the test wasn't about the physical at all. It was, and is, about the spiritual. Finding more about who we are and who we want to become. I had forgotten and it took the heat of battle, the race, to rock and recall the memory. We are so lucky to be able to do this. And to the five who finished before me, I salute you, to the 45 who finished behind, I applaud your efforts and ask a simple question, knowing this, define victory.

Tom Demmerly of Bike Sport Michigan writes of this in a much more elegant manner here:

Monday, May 26, 2008

King Pyrrhus

This is sweet.

As you know, I have been unraveling a thread, connecting some seemingly random dots, to make sense of our current global plight. At its most banal, I could have heeded the advice of Deep Throat to "follow the money", but I suspected that after all this time and water under the bridge, that the Presidents Men would have wised up by now and learned how to cover their tracks a little better. And they did. It has taken us a LONG time to get to the heart of the matter. Billions of dollars have been cleverly diverted into the sheltered off-shore accounts of an elite few. The cost to the planet and its innocent inhabitants? War, famine, pollution, cancer, crime, imprisonment, taxation, and a dramatic loss of basic liberties. We have been lied to, cheated, swindled, abused, exploited, murdered and maimed. The military industrial complex has won.

A Pyrrhic Victory.

King Pyrrhus of Epirus (now Greece and Albania) after a small skirmish with the Romans commented, "another victory like this and we are ruined". That sentiment is an emphatic historical metaphor regarding the most stunning bit of news (that hasn't yet made it to the mainstream) I have seen in twenty years. Can I repeat that? THE MOST STUNNING BIT OF NEWS IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.

In connecting the aforementioned dots, the plethora of rendered research pointed to two culprits, (besides George and Dick): SHAREHOLDERS and WALL STREET. Remember, we are following the money here. The lines between those dots suddenly is looking like double yellow florescent street paint, with arrows. So imagine my surprise and absolute elation this morning when I came across this column in the Seattle Times:

Hurray for us!! And I don't care (today) that the victory was less about "tree hugger ideology" than business profits. Fact of the matter is, that this is exactly what needs to happen for global change (consciousness) to slowly climb the branches and take a look at the view from the top of the trees. Whoa, there's a forest here!!!!!

Considering the complexity, importance and monumental challenge in this fight, even a Pyrrhic Victory is huge.

For everybody.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tuesday's at 7

I was pretty surprised to see BOTH Canada and Mexico in the top five. Do you mean to tell me that, being geographically and economically sandwiched between these two oil exporting behemoths, that we can't broker a deal to keep oil prices at a somewhat "fair" level? But I guess we need to beef up security at the border crossings at Blaine, Osyous and Nighthawk (keeping BC Bud out) and build 30 foot walls in Texas (keeping Jose y Maria out). Ay carumba.

So the three part "where I am going with this" thread has been concluded. We found out that:

1) Alberta is the leading oil exporting provence in the country that tops the US import list. Oh, Canada! And how 'bout them Oilers?

2) That almost 75% of the cost per gallon goes for light sweet crude. And that all federal, state and local taxes have doubled along with the profits to the supplier(s). Meaning that GOV INC is sitting on a derrick of untapped revenue (WHICH THEY CAN DIVERT TO MILITARY SPENDING) in order to (completing the circle) continue to ensure the unrestricted flow of oil in the Middle East. Got that? How sick is this?

3) The global economy is no longer spearheaded by the USofA, and we are in deep kimchee as a result.

4) There are entire nations on the brink of disaster as a result of the foolish attempt to use food as fuel. We need change. We need it now. And we DO NOT need more of the same politicians cut from the ineffective cloth of the past 50 years (sorry John and so long Hillary). Your (our) priorities are NOT to violently commandeer and democratically control oil so we can drive our cars, BUT TO CHANGE OUR ATTITUDES ABOUT OIL CONSUMPTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Si o no?

5) That the only resource we have, as collective responsible individuals, is to change our consumption habits, use less (way less) fossil fuels, and take it one day at a time. Call it OBA, Oil Burners Anonymous. We meet every Tuesday at 7. Please car pool.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


A Crude Pie

(You can click on the chart to enlarge)

Slices of the petrol pie, aka who gets what. This chart, compliments of the good folks at NPR, dishes up the take on every gallon sold in the US. Puts a whole new spin on the NAFTA ramp up. To those of you who think that the US is in Iraq because of oil, and that as policy one shouldn't negotiate with terrorists, and facing the FACTS that the Senate just passed ANOTHER funding of the debacle in desert, this time to the tune of 165 billion, where then, does the profit go? Hint: A lot closer to home than you think. Or, better yet, answer this (honestly): If Team Bush had of said that the reason we are invading Iraq is to stabilize (sweet) crude oil supplies to ensure sub $2/gal gas for the American drivers for the next 10 years as we work towards alternative fuel technologies, would the current percentage of the populace see the quagmire as "acceptable". Hummmmmmmm.

And this just in from the "How the 10,000 Things are all Connected" Department.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Answer is

Name the red province (ooopps there's a hint) and its current geo-political-economical importance.

This is a three part blog. Kinda like connecting the dots on-line. For those of you who want to take a stab at where I am going with this, you may post your guesses (with cogent commentary) at anytime before the cat in the bag is revealed on Memorial Day. If anyone happens to guess correctly, the grand prize is a $10 Starbucks card. Really.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Silence is golden. Amen, brother. We did the second annual Ride of Silence last night around Winslow (or better, the area formerly known as Winslow) to commemorate our fallen cycling brethren. Seems that just yesterday we lost another one up in Bellingham. The event was attended by the usual cast of characters, and although a decent number showed up, I was a little disappointed in the total. So be it. It was nice to see all the club spinners out in force and taking part in a peaceful community reminder that we all share the roads. I had to laugh (silently and to myself) at the IDIOTS in their cars who were offended that the Police would block a few intersections for a few minutes so a few cyclists could honor those who have been mowed down by cars, trucks, busses or trains. I wish they would have issued a FEW citations.

Yesterday represented the fourth day of my return to training, and please remember, dear readers, that the goal was to train for eleven days and race in Elma on Memorial Day. Every morning since Sunday I have done an easy little 5K in the park to start the day and then a ride in the evening to cap it. I thought a relapse was in the works last night as my lungs were tight with excess mucus. Yuk all over again. But today I feel like the proverbial million ducks, so the dilemma is: Longer or faster?

The Wildflower fruit fly issue has been resolved I hope, as the video is rendering as I blog, which provides a perfect opportunity to get in the aforementioned longer or faster run. Which I will do pronto with RCV fingers crossed.

Also re-watched Michael Clayton last night after the ride. Saw it the first time in Chicago when I was back there for Steelhead last summer and was moved by Clooney's performance and the overall "ethics" of the back story. I really like this movie, especially ONE scene where Mick (Clooney) is driving his son Henry home from a birthday party where we meet his family, including his rehabbing brother-in-law, Tim. As they drive away Mick stops the car in the middle of the street to tell his nine year old son about his future, and how it will be OK, and he won't be one of those people (like Tim) who (seemingly) has shit fall out of the sky around him all the time. It is a GREAT scene, touching and almost painfully sensitive. The kind of scene you don't see much. Mick is flawed, he knows it, and as a parent, wants his son (who lives with Mom) to recognize that he isn't predestined to grow up smoking crack or stealing tires. That he is special. And he is.

And we are. Amen and amen.

(l) Chuck listens to Kim's opening remarks. (r) Tammy listens to the remarkable bagpipes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Do I have to tell you that there is a fly on my window? It is distracting, isn't it? It is also annoying and in every sense save one*, it totally ruins the photo. That is the segue into my excuse as to why I have been slow to blog of late. Flies. And more precisely, fruit flies. And more grographicialy precise, California fruit flies. I bring this up because as you are aware, two weeks ago we were in NorCal to shoot the Wildflower Triathlon festival's two main events: The long course and the Olympic course. I thought we had nailed the shoot, but upon download and digitization it seems that on Saturdays long course a team of intrepid fruit flies had convened for their annual meeting on the lens of the Canon A1. This at mile 50 of the 56 mile ride, meaning that they are there, bouncing about for almost twenty minutes. AND YOU THINK THAT ONE FLY IN A STILL IMAGE IS BAD. Think about four in HD video for 6 miles!!!!!

I have tried everything in the book, from garbage mattes to rotoscoping to get them out of the video. To make matters worse, the Sony HC5 backup cam does not have a manual shutter speed control making the smooth cam operation in post look like hell when aligned against the heavenly rendered footage from the Canon. Three days with gradients, overlays, key-frames and croma/luma values. Nothing works. Why isn't there a video fly-swatter? A can of Raid on a button like the spray paint function in Photoshop? There is three days, gone.

At last I settled on a manipulation the scale and moving the center point of the clip. It is a little harsh at the onset but after your eyes adjust to the change in scale, it's OK, and the best solution. The same method will apply for Sunday's short course, where the fly is in the sky area meaning I can Gaussian blur it out as blue. There is the next three days and then off to Boise next week. Ordered another 7" TFT external monitor this morning, so that will help with the focus issue. Now I just have to figure a way to keep the bugs off the lens.

* It is not a ruined photo if you are taking a shot of a fly on a window.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Went into Ace Hardware to buy some 1" sheet rock screws. The application is for the new "bathroom" pocket door, where one needs to use a short screw because a long one will penetrate both the rock and 3/4 frame panel and inflict a nasty scrape on the door. This I have learned from experience. So I made the trip into town adding this stop to my errands list which also included Safeway. On my prior visit to the local grocery store I was brazenly complimented by the cashier for having every item that I purchased a sale item. No shit. So imagine my consternation when I see that the price of screws (why this should surprise me is another matter altogether) has gone thru the roof. A pound of sheet rock screws is now $4.99. One day these little bastards will be individually marked with a insipid price tag like apples are now. I quickly left the store in utter disbelief and went across the street to Lumberman's, where I haven't been in a while since the Home Depot opened in Poulsbo, an easy 11 miles up the road. My math is this: The Exploder gets 18 mpg on 305, so a RT to HD is 22 miles, or $5 in fuel. Plus I get to visit my favorite store, Central Market while in the area, stocking up on bulk foods and international goodies. Meaning, that if I can save over $5 in lumber, building supplies, or dried legumes, it's a go. My loyalties are being tested, and as I would much prefer to shop locally, the bottom line is cost. I am not alone in this. And, more is to come on this subject, guaranteed. But back to the screw. Lumberman's had 'em for almost half of the Ace price, but still a gouging $2.99/lb. So I commented at the counter and the clerk said it is because the Chinese manufacturers, vendors and politicians play fast and loose with the supply and demand ratio to max profits. You already know the punch line, so I'll spare you the redundancy. But yes, we are. Again.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Wednesday night at 6:30. Marge Williams Business Center. There are 90 million cyclists in the US. 770 were killed in 2006, 90% in mixups with cars. Typical fallen rider is a sober male, over 16, not weaning a helmet in an urban city between a major intersection on a summer evening. Let's contribute to these stats in a positive way by showing solidarity and raising awareness on Wednesday night.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Feeling nowhere near perfect I set out for Day Two's adventure. My lungs are still smothered in oily smoke, I have a strange pressure on, or near, the pre-frontal cortex, my left foot is sore and I would much rather read some Proust by the pool than explore the new connecting trail between Battle Point Park and The Grand Forest. But that is the mission, hike it at a brisk pace, and then pick up the Quintana Roo and ride her the five miles home. Could be fun. Almost brick-ish. Almost immediately I feel better, out walking in the Northwest's version of spring, a cloudy subfusc of threatening gray skies. The trail is cool and I applaud the Park Department for their efforts. We have had our differences in the past, but this time they done good. The trail winds and drops, hooks and climbs, covers a bog with an s-shaped bridge, and abruptly halts at Miller Rd. Note to BIPRD: You might want to put a stop sign here as Miller Rd traffic over the years has become more of SR 305 West than a connecting arterial. The last thing you want to have happen on your hike is to get flattened by a Fred Hill cement mixer. Onward thru the Grand Forest, I take one wrong turn and circle the route twice getting in some extra work in my new Brad Pitt hiking sandals (Thank you D), before exiting the trails at Mandus Olson and pushing on to Kims, where, after the 1:30 warm up, I find the bike with a very low front tire. Oh well, pedal up, take a slug of Revenge and ride 'er home. Slowly. Can't believe how much leg strength I have lost in only seven weeks. Even in low/low I struggle up the three hills home and am totally cooked after the just under two hours workout. What a wimp. The remainder of the afternoon is filled with finishing the Wildflower RCV video, prepping for the trip to town today, re-hydrating and napping. What a wimp. Two down and nine training days to go. I may not make it. How many bridges to Elma? Did I previously comment on my wimp-dom? God, what is going to happen when I go to the pool? Bridges, they connect. Walk across. Keep moving. Focus. Ouch, that word again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pain & Gain

We can honor a painful experience by marking it in some way, bringing ourselves into a more conscious relationship with it. We might mark it by creating a work of art, performing a ritual, or undertaking some other significant act. Sometimes all we need to do is light a candle in honor of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve learned. No matter how small the gesture, it will be big enough to mark the ways in which our pain has transformed us, and to remind us to recognize and value all that comes our way in this life.

So there is pain today on several levels. I have physical pain as a result of the run yesterday and the additional stress put upon my respiratory system as a result. I am still hackin' up some terrific specimens and tried to sleep all night with a headache and lung irritation (to no avail). Then there is the deep inner pain as a response to my shortcomings on solving the RCV Canon focus issue (and no mater the degree of difficulty and the manufactures rep even saying this morning that there is nothing he can recommend other than buying a better rig with a bigger viewfinder), it troubles me completely. Big pain.

I suppose in the big picture this is small stuff. I am not in Burma, China or Gitmo. I can walk and talk and for the present, am employed. I have leftover lentil soup (with eggplant) from last night. I have books to read and projects to finish. There are a handful of people that love me. And I try to love them back. The sun is promising to shine today and I have dreams. So I put the ibuprofen back and save them for a time when I REALLY need them.

And the pain subsides. For now. Thank you pain for another reminder, see ya soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


My brother calls last night as I am in deep relaxation mode listening to some vintage Eagles (Best of My Love from On the Border). He is in the midst of one of his daily brainstorms and this one is about a new T-Shirt idea he has concocted. He says that it is now cool to be square. As in geek square. Cool now means no drugs, no cheap Tokay, no slackin, no irresponsibility, no riots, revolutions or revolts, no "statements", no weird clothes or fashion styles, no free love (stds) and none of that hippy shit or punk crap. It is just cool to do what you do, do it well, and not to worry about what the "cool" people think (because they're not cool anymore). So, he explains, Square is the new cool.

He says, "waddya think?"

That's cool.

No really.

I think it's cool. It always has been.

Do you think we could sell some T-shirts?

A few.

How much would it cost?

Depends on how many. (it was a lonely night)

How many can you sell?

I am a distributor now? (and I would be alright if I could go on dreaming, but every mornin')

No you are consultant.

Am I on the payroll? (I wake up and wonder, what's gonna happen today)

Yes, as of right now.

What is the pay? (you see it your way and I see it mine)

You get a free t-shirt.



Got it. (but we both see it slippin' away)


A Single Step

A single step

It began with a single step. A 5K in the park. It is 7:45, crisp, cool, silver-grey skies. I was up early editing video and suddenly felt the call. Took it out very slow, feeling each foot strike, the right hip flexor tightness, the heel crack on left foot, the lungs feeling like an attic filled with cobwebs, ankle tendons stretching....It was great. Cruising at very low speed, testing the depth of breath, relaxing, saying hi to the other runners, walkers, dog owners. Feeling like there was a purpose, a goal, something to work towards. The second lap of the two 1.6 mi loops was a little more stressful and I could feel the demand on my lungs and pipes, but the muscles seemed to be OK and lower back was never an issue, so I will rate the return as a tremendous success, (even at 29:55). We'll see how the body responds to the recovery phase.

Dean called from Malibu with some suggestions on the Canon focus issue, and even volunteered to call one of his Industry buddies to see if we might be able to test one of their new HD cams that might help. Company is called and they have a plethora of Hollywood testimonials. Their HD lipstick cams are $14,000 so the test will be probably the only way I will ever get to use one. But ya never know....

...'cause as they say, "The journey of a thousand miles....."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Come in Mars

Come in Mars

Alright. It is settled. My dear friend has (inadvertently) laid down the challenge. She says, "I signed up for the Memorial Day Triathlon in Elma". This is what I hear: "You are too weak and frail from your recent bout of flu and bronchitis to race. You probably would have to walk most of the run anyway you are so woefully out of shape, and since you haven't been in the pool since last year, you might drown, so just pump up my tires please, bring your camera, and try not to get in the way." GRRRRRRRR. It's Venus and Mars.

Yes, it is settled. Counting tomorrow, I have eleven days to train. Eleven? I can't even schedule a taper with less than two weeks, and all I can really do is get good and sore in that time, not really get in any semblance of race shape. Who am I kidding?

Yeah, so what, gotta start somewhere. Lucky for me it's a sprint and not an Ironman. 300 meters in the water, a 13 mile bike and a measly little 3 mile run. Hey, I WON this race just three years ago! Sleepwalking I can win my age group. Right. Get a plan.

The Plan: Since I am still hacking up occasional toxins, I need to start slow. An easy 5K in the park. Followed by a trip into town on the bike Thursday and a visit to the pool on Friday after my visit to CT HQ. Saturday will repeat, and with regular stretching and additional vitamin and protein intake, I should be fine. TAKE IT SLOW. Drink lot's of water and monitor your "progress". This is supposed to be fun. Try to curb your gigantic ego and start using the empty cup. This time it will include strength, yoga and pilates. Ramp it up slowly.
And schedule a massage from Tamara for the day after the race.

This should be fun, like finishing my third Vineman in 1999 (after a two week virus induced taper). Mars, out.

In the Park

Took another trip across the street to the park today on my fixie. Yes sports fans I am getting stronger by the day. It wasn't so much to be fast, it was more just to take in huge lung fulls of crisp spring air and take a look at all the changes brought about by sun, rain and time. I also wanted to look at the two marimbas in the kids playground because I have wanted to record them for years now and this morning took two more giant steps to seeing that thru. I ordered a pair of mallets from Musicians Friend (come to find out that 21" medium-hard rattan in navy blue suited my tastes, needs and budget), and have the new Zoom H2 4 channel portable recorder set with a 4GB SD card. There are no more excuses as we say. And as I am now rendering both the Wildflower long and short courses and plan on downloading the race highlights tomorrow, by Friday I just might have some scoring material to augment. I know that you are on the edge of your chair in anticipation of this monumental mix of triathlon footage and alternative fusion world percussion. I am hearing something like Chariots of Fire meets the Rhythm Devils at Woodstock (for martinis). Or not. Might even have a twinge of Ennio Morricone for you G, B & U fans (like me). So You, as I, will just have to wait and see what emerges from the bubbling cauldron of sampled media collected on the tireless trail (where quite a few of the 10,000 things are found) of the RCVman. God, did I say Friday, now it has to be "good" with an introduction like that. And as the pewter bullfrog and nesting bald eagle atop the cell tower as my witnesses, you have my solemn vow that my best effort will be a major component in its creation. Maybe I should go to the park more often.

Monday, May 12, 2008



As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20, or sometimes, 20/30. There were 30 days this past April and the protocol of RCVman's Ten Thousand Things blog is designed to add one per day. Sometimes, like at Wildflower's Lake San Antonio, where communications mirror those of the Old West, I get a little behind. Such is life dear friends. As a review we have initiated a monthly feature that lists the daily topics in chronological order, this to look at the flow in script like terms. To try to make some sense of the randomness of the effort, I suppose. Or not. Ya never know. Regardless, here are the April 30 things, a microcosm of the ten thousand. I am seeing Robert Downey Jr. and Somantha McGlone hosting this one.

Culturally Modified Trees
Port McQuarrie
Plan B
Wrap Up
Homemade Potlatch Soup
Nails 1 (GWB)
Mr. 70.3
The Bush
My 2 cents
Nails 2 (AP)
St. Pete
Those Like Me
Boca Boy


Sunday, May 11, 2008


One of my favorites of Mom (and me) circa 1992 0r 1993, either way a long while ago. In her honor I humbly send my best wishes to all the Moms out there today. I remember once asking her why if there was a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, there wasn't a Kid's day. Without missing a beat she said that everyday was kid's day. Makes me happy I'm still a kid, and proud that I was her kid.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Boys of Summer

Ah, the Boys of Summer. Got out of the house for a spell today, testing the wellness water. Did some errands, shopping and stopped by the ol' ball yard to watch the kids at play. Lot's of memories housed between the lines, some good, some very good and others nightmarish. More, probably much more, on this later.

Top L-R: Coach Michael D. Lynch asks for five from one of his Blue Jay players. The Pirates on the pine awaiting their turn at the plate. M. Elliott Lynch was on the disabled list for todays contest suffering from the stomach flu, (although he seemed OK when I dropped of the custom cap from the Florida trip and the boomerang from OZ). In the background stand the opening day starting lineup for the 1963 Seattle Rainiers. These boys could play, I can almost hear Don Henley say.

Friday, May 9, 2008

St. Anthony's Trailer

At last. Featuring the suave and expert testimony of World Champion Spencer Smith. For some reason this clip encoded rather well, so maybe the combination of the 25th anniversary of St. Anthony's, Spencer's eloquent tips on training and the new capture settings on the RCVcam, create the magic. Hocus Pocus keep that act in focus. Presented for your enjoyment.


Had to post this today for a couple of reasons: 1) It is a great read, 2) I agree wholeheartedly with the author, 3) I have failed on MANY an occasion to tactfully share my reasons, and 4) I have been busy all day finishing up the St. Anthony's trailer, and hence, disposed. Hope you enjoy. I will have the trailer up tomorrow, promise.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Riding the Crit

There are many of us out here in creativity land that can use a refresher course in how to deal with criticism, he thought while looking at the dailies. Not everybody likes my idea of cool, my treatment of reality, or my methods, manners, or morals. Does that mean I have failed, am failing or will fail???? No, no a thousand times no. It took me a long time to get to the realization that A) Nothing is personal, B) If you are going to be an artist you must be willing to face the music (and sometimes it's dissonant, and, C) That all criticism can (and should) be used for growth, improvement and advancement. In dealing with the daily dose of feedback (yes there was a jarring negative), I came upon the following commentary and though it worthy of inclusion. Hope you agree, he said, as he reached for another pepto.

Criticism is essentially feedback, in which there are two parts: giving and accepting. In this article we discuss accepting criticism and how it can work toward our success.

Gautama Buddha's preaching was interrupted one day by a man unleashing a flurry of abusive invective. Calmly waiting for his critic to finish, Buddha asked, "If a man offered a gift to another but the gift was declined, to whom would the gift belong?" "To the one who offered it," the man replied.

"Then," Buddha declared, "I decline to accept your abuse and request that you keep it for yourself."

Or as Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon), in the movie Superstar, so eloquently put it, "I am rubber, you are glue. What you say bounces off me and sticks to you".

Buddha and Mary knew one of the main rules to accepting criticism: one does not have to accept it!

Criticism is essentially feedback, in which there are two parts: giving and accepting. In this article we will discuss accepting criticism and how it can work toward our success.

The first rule of accepting criticism is understanding the motivation behind the criticism. Understanding this motivation helps you decide how valid the criticism is, and whether to accept it or not. Here are some of the more common reasons why people criticize.
• Out of jealousy. When others are jealous of your work, they will criticize with the intent of damaging your self-esteem. It is usually easy to spot this motivation because the critic will usually have something to gain by your failure.
• Out of anger or frustration. Often when someone gets frustrated they misdirect their frustration and start playing the blame game. This blame is dished out in the form of undue criticism. Most of the time, this criticism is outrageous and even laughable to those with a clear head. This kind of criticism can easily be identified by the tone and the words used to criticize.
• Concerned for one's own interest. People have different tastes and preferences. Some critics will criticize based on their own personal preferences. Now this can be a perfectly legitimate form of criticism, as in the case where the work criticized is especially for the critic. Take for example someone who hires an artist to paint a portrait. The one who is being painted is justified in criticizing the work based on his own personal preferences, since the work was specifically done for him.
• Concerned for mutual interest. This is the most common form of criticism given by customers and employees. They criticize with the hopes that changes will be made that will better their situation and the company/individual in general.
• Concerned for your best interest. Criticism made by parents, loved ones, or good friends is usually done with your best interest in mind. This is important to realize because it is this group of "critics" that are usually the most resented for their criticism.

The second rule of accepting criticism is choosing to accept it or not. Based on the motivation of the critic, do you think this criticism has merit? If so, how much merit does it have? Accepting criticism is using the criticism to better your work or performance. Rejecting the criticism is not letting the criticism affect your work, performance, or especially your attitude.

The third rule is responding to the criticism. This is where most people damage their reputations and good will by reacting to the criticism negatively. A response is reaction with thought. In this case, we have already thought about the motivation of the critic and chosen to accept it or not. No matter what our response is, it should be stated positively.

Why is accepting criticism so difficult? Here are some of the top reasons:
• Other people do not know how to criticize properly. Most people criticize in such a way that makes us very emotional. However, we know that we cannot control how other people express themselves, but we can control how we internally respond to their criticism. Practice self-control.
• We often take it too personally. We must remember that it is our actions or performance that is really being criticized and not us.
• We fail to put criticism in perspective. If you have created a work of art that thousands of people admire, and a few express dislike, realize that you cannot please all of the people all of the time. It is true that for every one person who criticizes, there are probably ten more that feel the same way, but even with these numbers your work or performance is being enjoyed by the majority.
• We fear failure. Trump does not make great deals all the time, Benjamin Franklin did not always have good inventions, and Schwarzenegger certainly does not always make great movies. Our fear of failure, rather than acceptance of it, causes us to often deny the truth or at least be blinded by our own ego. When criticism is just, we must accept it graciously, learn from it, and move on.

Critics often expect harsh reactions to their criticism, probably because that is the way most people respond. Not successful people. Shock your critics by thanking them for their feedback and if you choose to accept the criticism, share with them what way you plan on using their criticism. If your critics say things such as, "You suck!" or "Your work sucks!", don't ignore it. Ask them to elaborate as to what about you or your work they dislike.

Criticism is an extremely valuable element to success. Since most success is based on providing something of value for others, it is important to value the opinions of others and change your actions based on good feedback. It is this feedback that helps us to achieve success.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Department of

Got some catching up to do. A week in California will do that to ya. Thankfully we have some time between now and the next event in Boise, ID on June 1, so I am planning on following this departmental schedule in ramping it up:

Health Dept: (DoH) As you will recall, I brought back a nasty virus from Australia. That was a month ago and it hasn't gone away. I think it is squatting. Experts and concerned individuals have suggested that it is now, officially, bronchitis and that I am a fool for not having gone to the doctor for antibiotics sooner. I reply that I indeed may be a fool, but a fool who fights the battle of hypocrisy on a daily basis. I believe in alternative healing, I believe that our bodies can, and will, heal themselves given clean water, fresh air, nutritional quality and time to rest and recover. So in the big picture, what is 30 days? Am I going to go running to Big Pharma and beg for pills to cure my cough, when at all other times I berate and lambaste them for profiteering, price fixing and corruption? See my fix? So I will sweat it out and allow time to heal this wound as it has with so many others. And then....
Fitness Dept: (DoF) I will get my sorry ass back out on the track and start to run again, orthodicless and slowly, enjoying each and every foot strike, in the sun, singing my happy running songs. I will also re-set my trusty CompuTrainer so that I can multi-task video editing as I spin away my blues. Oh, and I will also get back to the pool every once in a while to prove to myself that I can do 1500 meters in less than a week.

RCV Dept: (RCV) With three RCVs available at CompuTrainer, and Louisville launching this week, we are slowly gaining momentum. The comments at Wildflower were 100% positive and as I told Chuck last night, no one said boo about the price. I am putting the finishing touches on OZ, with St, Anthony's on deck and Wildflower (both courses) in the hole. As St.A's is rendering (a week) I will build the trailers for St. A's and WF. That will be fun and is always a delight for me. It's pizzazzz, dig?

Cabin Dept: (DoH) Need to get started (again) on the building project. This year it's three phases: Roof, kitchen and shed. Getting those three done before Kona in October will make me one happy kahuna.

Mind Dept. (DoI) I want to continue to improve all phases of the editing process, use of the HD Cam and web building. Remember folks, that one of the tangent projects to the RCV main course is the "making of" video. As long as I can stay ahead of Roger's encoding and post production work, I might be able to get started. So far I am ahead almost a dozen RCVs. But the big months of one shoot every week are looming, so this might be a project for next year. Still the footage is captured.

Spirit Dept: (DoZ) Meditate more, more regularly and more fervently. Be more thankful. Be more positive, share more with others. And figure this "relationship" thing out. It is spiritual not physical.

Money Dept: (DoF) Take advance steps to ensure that 2009 returns include some consideration to RCV revenue and royalties. Otherwise you might be contributing to the ear-mark of THEIR choice. Not good.

Eyerthing else Dept: (DoTTT) Yes, that's right the Department of the Ten Thousand Things. Be mindful of them all, and all the time. Dial it up. Understand the connection of action to response, doings and consequences, NOT doings and ramifications. It is all connected. Dude. And you can start tomorrow. Or right now. Start Now.

I smile like a rainbow. Or see Shasta peering over Kurts touchdown signal. It is good to be alive (and in the end-zone). Even with bronchitis. He said with a wheeze.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wildflower Conspiracy

Friday, May 2, 2008. Lake San Antonio, CA.

We're baaack. I do love this place, the solitude, an absolute quite where one can listen, if one so desires, to the sounds of nature's original podcast in Dolby 5.1, 360 surround sound. I had forgotten about the wild turkeys and their drunken revelry, the soft cooing of the doves, the wind pushing past the dry acacia leaves, and the piliated woodpeckers keeping incredibly precise time hammering out staccato 32nds while searching for dinner as an encore. And now, you can add four thousand triathletes and their audio commentaries of carbon fiber blues and north-country fleece to the cacophony of man in nature. That may be a redundancy, but their sounds, as well as their sights are not. So here we go. The trek south was uneventful, just another long boring cruise at 70 mph down the I-5 corridor. Gas is a joke, maxing at $4.07 in Redding, CA, home of the planets weirdest people. I mean that. And I have twenty years worth of anecdotes to attest. Ya want yesterdays? We pull into town to get gas and decide that since we are there, might as well get a smoothie. We search for a Jamba Juice to no avail and finally settle on a Baskin and Robbins. The only girl working has an attitude, wishing she was watching TV instead of scooping ice cream for tourists. After a ten minute wait in line (!) I order a banana-strawberry. I can already tell from the way she is making it it is going to suck, but I have already paid, so I am stuck. Kurt by this time has already used the head at a restaurant across the street and decided to not wait in the line because it could be midnight before he gets waited on. He bails for the van and I go to use the 31 Flavors head. It is locked. I ask the gal for the key, she shuffles some papers and says it's locked. I know that, can I have the key please? Well. they locked it last night. Well, whaddya say we UNLOCK it so YOUR customers can use it? I don't have the key. You don't have the key? No, they locked it last night. Yes, I understand that, OK, thanks, have a nice day. Weird.

So we press on southward, Kurt at the wheel now after my six hour, 450 mile stint. I try to rest but my lungs are irritated again and I cannot breathe deep, wheezing constantly like a two pack a day chain smoker. I may never be able to run fast again. This blows on the large scale. Maybe I have the bubonic plague and better get around pronto to doing my will and testament, so that some lucky relative can inherit and manage my debt upon completion of the final chapter. Or maybe I should just go see a doctor, pay the $150 and get some antibiotics. Or get health insurance, or knock off a pharmacy. What a freaktard. The holistic method of allowing time to heal all wounds seems to be failing with this one. What good does it do to spend days, weeks, months building up one's immune system only to have it fail at the first meeting of a new strain of a foreign airborne virus, he asked incredulously.

We now move smoothly to the big news of the day. And, boys and girls, this is what blogs are supposed to be, FREAKING BREAKING NEWS. Am I right Donny? OK, let me try to set the stage. Friday morning, I am up COD, pitch dark, a trizzilion stars, turkeys, doves, and woodpeckers doin' three part harmonies (I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now) and I gotta race like a piss-horse. It is four o'clock. Several hours later after my third cup of instant coffee by gas stove, we decide to head down to the expo and check it out even though we can't start to set up till 9 and it opens at noon. We never left, early birds swamped us and it was busy. So we're making it happen, doing the expo thing (it is more fun than usual for me because people, God bless 'em, are actually asking good questions about the RCVs, how did you do this and how did you shoot that. So I'm even more pumped than normal. Then it happened. Guy wearing a Red Sox hat walks in, we exchange greetings and we start the rap exchange, this guy is good, smart, talented, curious so thirty minutes later we're still at it and we segue to the GPS/Google Earth data issue. A little back story is important here. We have been having nightmares getting accurate elevations from google Earth on our international courses. So much so that we have asked some of the race directors at these events to help us out by using an altimeter at their races and send us the data, in some cases a year after the initial shoot. Not real elegant. The classic case is St. Croix where the bike start is at sea level. I know this because I was there and it was sea level. But GE says its 60 feet. This causes obvious problems. The Red Sox guy, Dan, I think, (come to find out he's an engineer) immediately says "sure, there is an oil refinery there". I say, yeah, Hess, so what. And he says, "because wherever there is an important industrial or military site, the government, owners of NASA and all the birds that we get GPS data from, scramble these signals so that you can get close, BUT NOT TOO CLOSE, and usually it's about 60 feet off". As soon as my jaw was re-wired to my face, and I asked Kurt if he had hear that, we both almost simultaneously said, "better call Roger".

So there ya go my friends. Once again we have uncovered yet another conspiracy. The ironic humor in all this should not evade any of you that have been following the trail of RCVman for anything longer than a day. This is just too weird to be true. Did they hatch this one in Redding? Is that Mofo Cheney really this devious and sinister? I know that Star Wars is big, but so big that they consider us competitors?

Stay tuned dear blog faithful. This shit is really happening, and I swear I am not making it up. How could I?

Tomorrow the long course (56 miles), Sunday the short (24.8). We're clearing out Sunday after the last event and pointin 'er North. Maybe by then we will have had the conference call with the Joint Chiefs, where I have but one question, "Gentlemen, WTF?"

Saturday night. The day is done, race over, sun setting. Back at camp. It was a long one. Shoot went OK, I had forgotten how bad these out-back country roads are, so took on a little more asphalt chatter that I had expected, but both cameras, the Canon up top and the new Sony HV5 shooting from the low scooter angle provided some stunning live action. The day was perfect, some cloud cover, not much wind and no rain, should be a "relatively" easy chore to smooth cam out the video and remove those distracting road shakes. If todays long course was the cake then tomorrow's Olympic distance should be the icing. If it wasn't for this gawdawful respiratory irritation (worse today) I would have put a five start pin on today's lapel.

The government intervention GPS conspiracy (this needs a acronym) got a little more intricate today, almost Bond-ish. Guy came by as I was spelling Kurt after the bike leg, and I tell him the tale. He says, yeah, he has a buddy who is in the same biz and they (just can't make myself say us or we) have five countries (all allies) that each share one component on the big machine. Five keys to five locks that open one door. One BIG door. That way nobody has the capability to do the dirty deed without four others having a say in the matter. So now I have to go to the UN before we can get accurate GPS data so our indoor trainers can function properly? Do I just call and make an appointment? Do I need to drop a few names? Hire a lobbyist and line some pockets with cash? I repeat; Gentlemen, WTF? Having a glass of wine, then go watch some more finishers and try to find the sweet sleeping spot tonight that will allow both free breathing, back support and protection from the cold. Did I already say how much I love this place?????

Monday was the long drive back on I-5, with a sleep in Dunnigan.

Tuesday morning. Back in the saddle. Cough is worse. I have been INSTRUCTED to go see a doctor. Successful road trip. Next up: Boise 70.3, June 1. Stay tuned RCV fans, as we have taken on yet another mission of International import. That's right, Operation Chaos Busters!!!!! (OCB to you).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Roseburg May

Morning Gang. A foggy, quiet, silver first of May morning in Roseburg, Oregon. Kurt and I are en route to Lake San Antonio for Wildflower. Got in about 7 hours of I-5n and pulled into an Applebees for some grub and never left town, opting for a last good night's rest at the Sleep Inn before hitting the tent and bags for three days of camping. In case you don't know Applebees is cool as a casual watering hole, but horrible as a place to eat healthy food. I have the spinach and artichoke dip every time and it is about 99% fat and 1% other. We have 650 miles to go and all day to do it in, so I might be able to get some pix. The plan is to stop for provisions in Salinas, so I will try to do a report from there, becaue the last time I was down for WF, there was still no cell reception out there in the triathlon boonies. So I'm gonna be out of touch for a spell folks. Sorry, but, them's the fax. Would really like to take this singular opportunity to say HAPPY MAY DAY. At last, it has been a long winter, and we can start to think about long outdoor rides, runs in the sun and flowers stretching towards the sun. Shine on.