Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Safety Dance

I would hate for anyone not to see this at least once in their lives.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 5:58 PM 0 comments

Monday, October 29, 2007

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 5:14 PM 0 comments

Maui X-Terra race

Friday afternoon I picked Marianne up from work and we flew over to Maui for the X-terra championship. We stayed in a B&B in Kihea a few miles down the road from the race. We hadn't been to the south shore in almost 10 years and it's becoming crowded like everywere else. Slept in Saturday and went and registered.

A few things that jumped out at me walking around the host hotel was that in contrast to Ironman Hawaii, everyone seemed to be ripped, there were very few older competitors, and, my hardtail MTB is an ancient piece of crap. I told Marianne I may experience an asskicking this race.

I rode the practice course that afternoon and it blew my mind. The course is in a dusty, rocky, desert area on the side of Haleakala. Most of the downhill was so rough it was hard keeping the wheels on the ground long enough to make steering and braking inputs. Trying to make a decision on tire pressure was tough. To much, and you bounce off the trail like a super ball, too little and you'll break a tire or wheel. I went with extra hard tires and it seemed to pay off.

My race went off without a hitch. I really enjoyed the swim, lot's of steep climbing and run ups on the bike, Tried not to get discouraged when duel suspension uber riders came barreling by me on the downhill, and had a really steady run. I probably passed 100 people fixing tires and wheels on the course, so going slower and in control worked for me. As it was I still feel as though I doubled my MTB skills on that one ride. I was blasting though a few stretches that shocked me when I actually made it.

So I finished much better than I planned. 124 out of 500. 68th fastest run. Results are here
Fun stuff. Now focus turns to IM New Zealand in March.

posted by Marianne and Bryant at 4:13 PM 4 comments

Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Ferry

Sunday afternnon after a bike ride down to the North shore Marianne and I met Mark and Deb downtown for a ride on the Hawaii Superferry. This company wants to start a service between the islands were you could take your car with you instead of flying and renting a car. They've been planning this with the state for 3 years but in a typical Hawaii scenario the first time it tried to pull into Kauai a small bunch of anti-everything protesters jumped in the water to keep it from docking. Now it's tied up in the courts and legislature whether it's going to start up or not. The protestors have a hundred lame reasons why they don't want it but they're mostly a subterfuge for just being against something. The same kinds of bored warriors howled about building the H3 over the Pali years ago but now they happily drive on it everyday. I have sent my last check ever to the Sierra club which has jumped on this idiotic bandwagon.

The ship is pretty amazing. It's totally manueverable,doesn't need tugs, lightweight, big and fast. You could water ski behind it. We just went out for a cruise along the coast were I took these pictures of Honolulu and some cruise ships.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 10:45 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

" LOST "

After we got home from the race Sunday afternoon I pretty much slept until 4:30 am Monday morning when I woke up and started my new Job! That's right, J-O-B. I've been saying that I would give myself a year after retirement until I started anything and this October time was up. So I decided to be a television actor.....

I had been corresponding on e mail with a casting director for the television show "Lost" which is filmed here on Oahu the week before and landed a gig as an extra for some scenes in the upcoming season. The shoot was downtown Honolulu in the YWCA building. We checked in, went through wardrobe, hair and makeup for women, then they drove us to the catering tent for breakfast across the street from the shoot. It was a courtroom scene and extras were needed for the jury and gallery. It was a blast watching what goes on behind the scenes and the crew and cast were very friendly to all of us lowly extras. The two stars of the show that were on set Monday and Tuesday were Evangeline Lilly who plays Kate and Matthew Fox who plays Jack Shephard. Looking on the Internet fan sites it seems a lot of people worship these actors and this show. I can see how actors lose sense of the real world sometimes. Everyone wants a piece of them. A little creepy. I will be watching the show this season though, ha!
I also met many cool people who have been doing extra work here on Oahu for years on shows and movies like Magnum PI, Thorn Birds, North Shore, Godzilla, and Jerry Seinfeld AMEX commercials. This might be my new calling. I figured the shooting would be repetitious but I didn't know how bad it gets. Over and over, different camera angles, different lighting, different inflections for the lines. On Monday we shot one 30 second scene about 25 times in 4-5 hours. But oh man do they feed you well on set. Catered Breakfast, lunch and snacks all day. So we worked 12 hours on Monday and about nine on Tuesday. I almost landed the part as the sheriff who stands by the door when the original guy couldn't make it on Tuesday. The extras wrangler brought me and one other younger guy to the director to choose which one of us looked the most like the original. It wasn't me. So if your watching the scene were Kate is on trial, pay attention to the sheriff. When the camera cuts back, it's a different guy. I'm second and third row center in the gallery in the suit and tie. Fun stuff.

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posted by Marianne and Bryant at 3:09 PM 3 comments

End of a long day

At the awards ceremony we we're psyched how well both HACC a and b teams did. Our men's team garnered second place overall and Marianne and I's B team placed third in the co'ed division. So we all went home with cool medals to remember the race with.

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posted by Marianne and Bryant at 3:01 PM 0 comments

The best parts of these races are the wee hours of the morning when everyone is slap happy from lack of sleep and a rider comes in all amped up doling out the latest intel on the trail conditions. We had a great group and we kept each other laughing all night. Come morning the sun came up, the trail dried out and we all got a few more fast laps in. With the last rider having to be in by nine, it worked out that I could ride the last lap and not have to go fast because there wasn't enough time for two more laps but enough that I could ride the course slow and take these pictures.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 2:44 PM 0 comments

The course itself climbed up the North side of the valley on jeep roads headed into the jungle towards the back of the valley, then came back out ona singletrack on the South side. With the rain that started falling in the back of the valley the trail became, should we say challenging? I was pulling grapefruit sized globs of mud out of my frame on one of the night laps because both wheels were too gunked up to spin. A blast with the hose after every lap was a requirement for a while until it started to dry up.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 2:27 PM 0 comments

24 Hours of Hell in Paradise

We set up camp that evening with Ben and constructed HACC command central. Tarps? check. Generator? Check. Beer? Check. We were ready. Endured a nice rain and windstorm that night and helped our other team mates set up the when they pulled in the next morning. The HACC fielded two teams of 5 riders each, a men's and a co-ed team. At nine o'clock they started the race with a Le mans style run to your bike start and we were off. Our goals were no mechanical problems or bad crashes, and no missed handoffs. We attained these lofty goals although the definition of a bad crash was revised a few times.

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posted by Marianne and Bryant at 2:14 PM 0 comments

24 hours of Hell in Paradise

Last Friday evening I loaded up the truck and picked Marianne up at work on our way to Kualoa ranch for a 24 hour mountain bike race. Normally you can't camp or ride MTB in this valley which is all private property so this was an excellent opportunity to do both. Our Mtb skills have really gotten rusty since we left Tucson, and with Maui Xterra coming up I needed practice.
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 2:04 PM 0 comments

Monday, October 01, 2007

Honolulu Century

Sunday morning was the Honolulu Century which is organized by the Hawaii bicycle league. There were 4000 participents this year. Marianne, Marie, Scott, Debi and and a handful of other HACC riders participated and had a good time. It was really humid so my camera decided to stop functioning soon after we started. Marianne and I kept a strong pace the whole day and finished in a little over 6 hours. Japan Airlines sponsors the ride and there are a large number of Japanese tourists who participate. Many of them seemed ill prepared as far as equipment and conditioning. We saw a few pushing their $90 huffy mountain bikes with 30 miles or more to finish. Ouch!
posted by Marianne and Bryant at 1:57 PM 2 comments