Monday, December 29, 2008
I took off from work and went to Ski Liberty today. I probably shouldn't have, I really should have been at the shop.
I have been reading two different books the last couple of weeks. I have been reading Laird Hamilton's new book, and also Eddie Would Go, the story of a Hawaiian life guard and pioneer big wave surfer Eddie Aikau. Eddie would routinely go out to rescue swimmers and surfers when conditions were so bad no one else would go. (The book is about way more than just surfing. I highly recommend it.)
Anyway, I woke up this morning with a million reasons not to go. I thought about it while I drank my coffee, and you know what......Eddie would go, so I went!
It was good. I needed it. Thanks Eddie.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
1. It really messes up your eating habits. Lunch is whenever you can get it. It is usually 2 hours after you really want it. You have to slam it down, or else you might not get to eat it. Dinner comes way too late. Watch a little TV go to bed on a full stomach....not healthy.
2. I don't like what retail has done to the Christmas season. Instead of being a great time to spend with family and friends, it is an incredibly stressful time of the year. In most cases the profitability (or lack there of) of the year comes down to December. You can have had a great year, and then a bad Christmas can erase a whole year of hard work. Sometimes a good Christmas can save a bad year. This year has been especially challenging with the economy. If it is busy you have to work hard. If it is not busy, you have to work harder.
Over the years I have pretty much come to accept the bad eating habits. I know that for much of December, I will have no life outside of the shop. Sarah really likes the holidays and she tolerates my general grumpiness (thanks dear).
For the most part , I really like what I do. It is fun and satisfying when we sell someone the right surf, snow, or windsurfing board. It is even more fun to hear about how stoked they are when they get to use it.
Time to get in the shower. HO HO HO it is off to work I go.
Seriously.........Happy Holidays To All!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
For many years I have gotten up early on Thanksgiving morning, put a Turkey on the smoker and then headed off to Patapsco for a mountain bike ride. We threw the smoker away this summer, and instead of heading off to Patapsco, Sarah and I bundled up and headed over to the boat. (We thought about going to Whitegrass to play in the snow, but couldn't justify it for a day.) It took a while to get the diesel to crank over in the cold weather and it looked doubtful that we were going to get to leave the dock. With a little warming from a space heater and some coaxing from John's battery charger, we got the sucker fired up. We had a short but glorious sail into Annapolis Harbor, back out across the bay, and then downwind back to the slip at John's. I wished we had more time for what will probably be the last sail of the season, but I had a 12 lb bird in the fridge that I had some plans for. Some is better than none.
As a side note, on the way over to the boat, WRNR played "Alice's Restaurant" and we didn't quite get to hear the end when we got to John's house. After sailing, we got back to the car and turned the radio, only to pick up Alice almost exactly where we left off......Awesome!!! Thank you Arlo and WRNR!
Without stopping at the dump to drop off garbage, I proceeded home and fixed a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and something new this year asparagus wrapped with prosciutto...... yum.
If anyone likes, I can send you 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one....
Monday, November 24, 2008
I rode my mountain bike at Patapsco yesterday. I have been a longtime gone. I can't remember the last time I rode my mountain bike. I think it might have been the 1st part of October. It hurt so good. It was cold (40 degrees) but with bluebird skies, it was a great day to be in the woods. I had not been on the bike for more than 5 minutes when I ran in to Theresa and Chris Richardson from the Bike Doctor in Waldorf. Theresa races pro for Cannondale . It got me thinking how cool it is that there are not many sports that pros and recreational participants can be on the same field of play at the same time. Not that I would want to, but I'm probably never going to be on the field at Ravens Stadium at the same time with Ray Lewis. At least when a pro biker blows by me, the only thing usually crushed is my ego ( they are so fast and I am so slow). If I ever met Ray, I've got the feeling lots of other things would end up getting crushed!
I love to sail and windsurf. I'm having a great time learning to surf and stand-up. Snowboarding is awesome, but I can't imagine life without the bikes. Whether it be Patapsco or Canaan. Moab Utah, Helen Georgia or Monterey California, the bike has taken me some really cool places. The friends I've made through bikes.......incredible.
I have been a longtime gone, but man, it felt good to be back.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Earlier this week a strong low pressure system rolled up the coast bringing strong east winds. We awoke Tuesday morning with a pant load of wind only to find the water blown out of the sound. I rigged a 4.0 and walked out towards the sound. I reached the channel and hopped on the board. For about 20 seconds, I was in pure ecstasy as I flew across the water. A split second later I came to a grinding halt as my 8.5 inch fin found bottom. I swear I walked halfway to the mainland and never found deep enough water to sail. Long walk home. Mother nature wins again.
Later in the afternoon, I did get a session at the Canadian Hole. The wind was straight off shore and very gusty, but I was happy to get out.
Wednesday morning the winds had clocked around to the northwest as the front moved up the coast bringing heavy rain, strong winds and sound side flooding. We moved the cars across the street to higher grounds. The winds were blowing a steady 40 with gusts close to 60! I rigged my 3.7 sail, grabbed my little board, and proceeded to get a good ole fashioned ass whipping! What fun.
Thursday morning dawned windy, so we rigged early and headed out. The wind backed off throughout the morning and I just couldn't get my sail size dialed in. I was on the 4.5 when I should have been on the 5.0. I was on the 5.5 when I should have been on the 6.5 . I still had a lot of fun, but I think I spent as much time re-rigging sails as I did on the water.
We sailed a bit Friday morning, but the wind didn't last long and we headed off to the light house to check out the surf. The waves were not huge, but they had some juice to them, and I had to knee paddle the SUP to get through the shore break. Once out, I paddled down the beach to get away from the crowds at the jetty. I caught a few waves, got wiped out more than once, and generally had a pretty good time.
Saturday morning Sarah and I, and Mike and Christi checked out of the house and headed to the Hole where we were treated to one of the nicest days of the trip. Warm and sunny, 20 knots out of the south. Mike sailed for a few hours before heading back to Maryland. Sarah was on her Madd and a 5.0, and I was on my new Naish 95 AT and a 5.5 sail. I sailed well past sunset and had to de-rig in the dark. What a great day on the water.
Sunday, Sarah and I took the Sup's out in the ocean in front of our hotel. We paddled around with a school of dolphins for a while and I even managed to get a couple of nice rides. We had a killer Tuna Wrap from Cafe 12 and headed north to visit our friend Trip Forman at REAL and demo a couple different paddle boards. My personal Sup's are the 12' wood Laird from Surftech and the 11'6 Naish. The Jimmy Lewis 11' was the first board I ever paddled and I still think it is one of the best all around boards on the market. I got a chance to paddle the 10'6 All Around, the 10'8" and the 10' surf. All excellent boards, and we carry them in the store, but for the time being I'm going to stick with my bigger boards. As Trip said, "it is hard to go too big, but easy to go too small." It was great to see Trip, and he and is business partner Matt have built a fabulous store and kiteboard school on the water.
Monday we began our day with a couple of Apple Uglies at Orange Blossom and the checked out of the hotel. Iwindsurf was calling for it to blow and we hung out at the Hole for a while, but it never happened. Sarah and I drove south to Frisco and took the SUP's out a Izzy's. The waves were no more than ankle biters, but they were still rideable on the big floaty boards. Sarah caught a couple and was stoked. I was stoked too, it was awesome. It was time to go home and it was a great way to end our vacation. We had a couple stops to make on the way home including another stop at REAL to get some gear for the shop. It turns out on Tuesday, Jimmy Buffet was there to buy some gear and then went SUP at Izzy's that afternoon. It would have been really cool to run into him at the shop and even cooler to have run into him on the water. Oh well, I guess better to be a day early than a day late!
It was great playing in the unfrozen snow, and hopefully soon we will be getting to play in the frozen snow!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A lot of nothing going on since the last entry. Shortly after returning from Florida last month I caught a cold. I coughed real hard and tweaked something in my back. I could barely move for a week.
Two days after I blew up my back, I missed one of the best windsurfing days of the year. I don't know which hurt worse, my back or not getting to sail. I bought an inversion table, I've made a bunch of visits to my chiropractor, gotten a couple massages and I'm finally getting my mojo back. $$$. Yeah!
My back was still pretty stiff last Sunday, but Sarah and I went out for a mellow 30 mile bike ride, followed by a late afternoon sail. It is hard to believe the fall is upon us and there won't be many days left to use the boat. We stopped in downtown Annapolis and had an enjoyable dinner at Aqua Terra. I had three mini crab cakes. One was Asian style, one was Chesapeake style, and the other Thai. Yum! Sarah had Scallops, Lobster rolls, and something else. Lets play then eat.
I spent Monday morning on the massage table, and then followed it up with a 35 mile ride. I thought about an evenning stand up session, but I decided to take it easy on my back.
It was windy yesterday, and I blew off the Wednesday night mountain bike ride and went windsurfing. Leo and I had a sweet session off of Greenbury Point and Whitehall. It was blowing about 18 and I was lit on my 125 board and 6.5 sail. I was rusty and my gibes and feeble jumps weren't pretty, but it was still a whole lot of fun. We sailed for a couple hours before heading in. I can feel it today but I think my back survived.
The Annapolis Sailboat Show starts today. I think I will try to do a dawn patrol on the SUP and check out the show from the water before work on Friday.
pic: Sunday Sunset
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Today is my 50th birthday. Thanks Mom and Dad. It doesn't seam like it was very long ago I was a little kid riding bikes around the neighborhood. Several weeks ago I decided that for my birthday that I was going to do a 50 mile bike ride to celebrate. My buddy and business partner Mark agreed to work for me on his day off so I could play on my Birthday. Many thanks ( I think).
If some is good, more must be better, so I started thinking about what else to do. I came up with five for fifty.
#1. Go for a 50 minute SUP session. Oops, I went out and and paddled for an hour and a half.
#2. Go for a 50 mile bike ride. Except for the flat tire 8 miles from home, I had a great one. Ended up with 53 1/2 miles.
#3. Get a massage. I thought it was at three, turns out it was two. Oops (again). Nancy was kind enough to wait for me, and even kinder to give me a $10 discount for my birthday.
#4. Go windsurfing. I got home from the massage, grabbed my gear, and you guessed it....I got in a 50 minute twilight sail. Sweet!
#5. Play then eat. Sarah and I celebrated our birthdays (hers was the 3rd) with dinner at the Chart House. I had the Filet Mignon, she had Prime Rib. Not like I had any extra room, but somehow I managed to choke down the complimentary Mud Pie.
All in all the first 50 have been pretty damn good. I have been blessed with many special people in my life. Some of you I still see or at least talk to from time to time, some of you I have just met, some of you I have not seen in many years, but you all are part of me, and I thank you all for being my friends and the part you have played in my life.
Peace and much love,
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Mark and I closed East of Maui on Monday for the Third Annual Labor Day Luau and Surf Safari.
A rough count looks like we had more than 30 people join us for the party. We had a great day on the beach with plenty on food, friends and even a little bit of wave action. When Sarah and I first arrived the tide was in and the waves were small, so Mark and I ventured out on the SUP's. We paddled a good distance up the beach to give us some elbow room. There were a number of crash and burns, but we got a bunch of rides too, including what was was probably the longest ride I have ever had in my life. FUN FUN FUN! We came in and chowed down on the subs that Danny from Three Brothers had brought to the party. YUM!
The tide changed and the waves picked up a bit and it was time to grab the longboards and paddle out. Danny was catching a ton of long rides on is big Infinity. Mike Meer finally got his new Takayama wet and was totally stoked. Even I caught a few waves on my 9'6". The happiest camper had to be Anna K. Not only was she wearing her beautiful new engagement ring, but her fiance, Josh got his first ride on his Joel Tudor. Way to go Josh. (Both for catching the wave, and catching Anna. You done good.)
Tammy's daughter Amanda wanted to give surfing a try, so L-Go volunteered to take her out and giver her some pointers. She never got to her feet, but she got a couple rides on her knees. If she keeps at it, she will probably out surf us all by next Labor Day.
Keeping with the theme, let's play then eat, Mark fired up the grill and everyone chowed on burgers and dogs. We watched the wild ponies completely destroy an unattended food basket just up the beach. The herd decided they were ready for burgers and made an advance towards our little party. We formed a human barricade around the food, and L-Go guarded all of our boards with an paddle. The ponies continued down the beach looking for an easier target. After the excitement was over, Mark's brother Matt grilled up some pound cake and then topped it with a pineapple, jalapeno salsa.
We cleaned up the food and carried some of the boards and gear back to the car. I went back out for one more short session on the SUP, and got a couple more rides.
Everyone else had to head home, but Sarah and I headed up to OC for a little go-kart racing. We split 2-2. We might have to go back to the beach for a tie breaker! It is not like I was hungry or anything, but since the ice cream place was just across the street...........MOCHA MADNESS SUNDAE. Coffee ice cream, hot chocolate sauce, and chocolate sprinkles. Oops, I forgot about the whip cream and cherry. MOO! I think I'm going to stay off the scale for a few days.
Thanks to everyone that came for making it such a great day. We missed those who couldn't make it. Don't forget to mark the calendar for the Annual New Years Day Snowboard Trip and Chili Party. In the winter we play in the frozen snow, and in the summer we play in the unfrozen snow.
PIC'S: Mark & Mark, Danny in cruise control, Josh and Anna, Amanda and L-Go head out, MB wipeout!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Jason Berry is one of my windsurfing customers, he is also a film maker. His company Gripped Films has produced "Off Road To Athens" and "24 Hour Solo" both award winning, full length mountain bike films. Jason has been in Alaska filming for the Alaskan Wilderness League in an effort to protect the Tongass Rainforest. The pictures and the stories about the shoot on his blog are amazing. I can't wait to see his finished project. In the meantime check out
www.jason-berry.blogspot.com, it will blow you away. While there is no one answer to the problems facing the environment, if we all try just a little bit, maybe we can make a difference. I'm sure Jason will.
I saw this on a bumper sticker in Hood River.
"the world is run by people who show up"
Monday, August 25, 2008
Yesterday Mark Saunders, Mike Dant , and I did a road ride in the morning. Sarah is still nursing her injuries from last weeks crash, so she did a short loop with Tammy and Kevin. The six of us left Eastport together, and we all got hung up in the Annapolis 10 mile run. Once we got clear of the race, Saunders started hammering (something about burning up chocolate cake) , it was all Mike and I could do to keep up and it didn't take long before we lost Sarah's group. About an hour in, Mark had to split so he could go to work. Mike and I rode out to Crownsville and back to Severna Park together. I finished up solo at just under 46 miles.Sarah threw together a couple of sandwiches and it was off to the boat. Iwindsurf was not calling for much breeze, but once we we out in the bay it was blowing in the upper teens. We sailed over to the east end of the Bay Bridge, then down the bay to Thomas Point Light, and then back home. As we were heading back up Whitehall we saw one lonely windsurfer ripping it up. I was envious that I was not out with him, but Sarah and I still had a great afternoon on the water.
It is pretty cool that I live somewhere that I can ride in the morning and sail in the afternoon.
If it would just blow like yesterday all the time..........
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Last week I traveled to to Oregon for the 2009 Starboard Dealer meeting. I saw some old friends, and met some new ones. I saw some places I have not seen in a long time, and I saw some places I have never seen before. I didn't want to leave, and I couldn't wait to get home.
A week ago Monday I flew into Portland. I met up with Kevin Thornton ( a former employee and old friend) for a quick lunch. I have not seen KT in 10 years. He looks great. Must be something about the Oregon life style. Unfortunately, he had to get back to work and I had to get on the road, so our time together was much too short.
I arrived in the little town of Netarts Oregon late in the afternoon. I checked into my cabin and headed down to the beach for a quick sail. After a short session on the 2009 Starboard Futura, I grabbed an SUP and promptly sliced the end off one of my toes with the paddle blade. The water in Oregon is freezing and my feet were numb, so it wasn't until I got back ashore that I noticed blood pouring out of my toe. Not good. I bandaged myself up, stopped the bleeding and managed to hobble around the rest of the week.
The week went by fast. We had a couple of early morning Stand Up sessions including a clinic with pro Ekolu Kalama. The mornings were spent with product presentations, and the afternoons with demos. The evenings were spent dining, enjoying sunsets and just hanging out.
In addition to catching up with other dealers I have known for years, I had the pleasure of meeting Jane and Rebecca, the owners of Boardsports School in San Francisco . Two very special ladies, and great dinner companions. With their sidekick, Kipps, meals were always entertaining. Thanks for your company.
Friday morning, I bid goodbye to my new friends, and after a short sightseeing drive along the Oregon Coast, I headed east to Hood River. For those that don't know, the Hood River Gorge is one of the top windsurfing meccas in the world. Unfortunately, they were in the middle of a heat wave and there was no wind. Story of my life.
I cruised around the mountain and the lodge for a bit taking pictures and then headed back to Hood River. Still hot, and no wind!
Keeping with my tradition of let's play then eat, I ended up at a little Italian restaurant called Abruzzo. I had a Scallop , Pancetta, Artichoke, and Leek pasta dish that was to die for. The sign over the bar said "Good Friends, Fine Wine, Mellow Music, and Something With Garlic". I was by myself, and I don't drink, but two out of four was still pretty damn good.
Sunday Morning, I had planned on meeting up with some friends for a mountain bike ride on the Washington side of the river. Unfortunately, some last minutes things came up and they had to bail. I ended up renting a road bike and had a nice ride from Hood River to Rowena and back. I rode out to the Hook and met up with Andy Brandt, (owner of ABK windsurfing schools). It looked like it might get windy, and Andy graciously set a board and a pile of sails aside for my use. I returned the bike to the shop and drove back to the Hook.
By the time I got back the wind had filled in, and I rigged up a 4.5 and a 100 liter board. The board was too big, but "sometimes you just have to dance with who you brung." The wind kept building, and I sailed until I couldn't hold on any more. After I had de-rigged and put my gear away, I climbed down to the inside of the Hook to check out the windsurfing lessons. Much to my suprise, a young lady walking by called out my name. The young lady turned out to be Emily Kao the daughter of one of my old customers and windurfing friends, Dave Kao who had moved from Annapolis to Hood River several years ago. Dave and Emily are both teaching for Big Winds. She told me that her dad was sailing at the Event Site, so I headed over to find Dave. He invited me over to thier home for dinner. He and his wife Tamara have rebuilt a beautiful home in Hood River that overlooks the river. The only thing better than the view of Mt. Adams from the dinning room table was the food. Tamara is a excellent cook, and I dined on Salmon with some sort of a ginger coating, eggplant, and sesame noodles. Outstanding! It was great to see them, and they seem very happy living in Hood River. I hated to leave, but I had plans to get up early and head back up to Mt Hood.
Monday morning, 5:15 (oh my god it is early) the alarm goes off. Quick shower to wash away the cobwebs, grab my snowboards and gear and head off to Mt. Hood. 6:45, climb into my snowboard pants and start to put my boots on. 6:48, bolt of lightning shoots out of the clouds. 6:49, haul ass to the lodge. 6:51, downpour. I ended up hanging out a the lodge for over an hour and 1/2, while the rain continued. It is pretty funny to see a bunch of skiers and boarders hanging out in their snow gear and wearing flips flops. At 8:45 the mountain was still on stand-by, with no word on when and if they were going to open. I changed back into shorts and drove back to Hood River. Mountain wins again!
I packed up my gear and met Tim (from Ezzy Sails) for lunch. I headed to the Hook and met up with Dave and Emily. Dave hooked me up with a Naish 95 ATV, a 130 something and a 5.5 sail from the Big Winds rental fleet. It looked like the wind as building, and after being over boarded the day before , I opted for the ATV. Bad Move! I blasted off the beach, slogged out from behind Wells Island, drifted out to the middle of the river to where the wind completely died and the board did a U-Boat imatation and DIVED.....deep. Wind, gone, done, nada. Long swim home. River wins again. Mother nature- 2, Mark- 0.
My flight didn't leave Portland until 10:30, so I wasn't really in a hurry to get back. I took the senic highway and checked out some of the waterfalls. Pretty cool.
As I said at the beginning, I didn't want to leave, and at the same time I was ready to go home.
Sarah picked me up at the airport Tuesady morning. I wish she could have been with me, seen the cool places, done the fun things, and met my new friends. It would have made what was a great trip even better.
Turns out she had done a "superwomen" over the handle bars of her road bike on Sunday after she locked up the brakes to avoid a car that ran a stop sign. She is a little banged up and has some road rash on her shoulder and face. Lucky she wasn't hurt worse. Maybe some mellow music, and something with garlic will make her feel better.
PICS (FROM TOP) Netarts, Sunset,Kipps Jane & Rebecca, Mt. Hood Helmet Head, Mt Hood, Ride to Rowena, Emily Kao, Mt. Hood Storm, Falls.