Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Usually the day after any long run, I experience a lot of pain. It's even worse after a triathlon, since I'm usually pretty well soaked before beginning the run. There are a few ways to protect you from the pain, but there are times when you either forget about the pain, or proper protection is inconvenient (such was the case on Sunday's race). Anyway, I was thinking about some sort of surgical procedure to alleviate the pain. So, I actually started researching procedures, and saw this page. Looks even more painful...I guess I'll just stick with the nipguards.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Sunday was the Tinman Triathlon (800m Swim/40K Bike/10K Run). It started at 5:45am, with a much earlier show time. I was pulling into a parking lot in Waikiki as a lot of drunks were stumbling to their cars. Of course that made me reminiscent of the old days, but now I've come full circle...starting my day as they end theirs'. One thing I knew is that both of us were going to feel like crap by noon that day...just with different means to arrive to that same end. Ultimately there's some gain in mine, and all these folks had to show for their night was a smaller wallet.

Overall, it was a good race. I had my typical lousy swim. Although I didn't drift into the breast stroke or doggie paddle, I was slow...I was in a nice rhythm with the freestyle, but it took forever. Knowing I had a lot of time to make up on the bike, I hauled ass through the transition and jumped into my shoes sans socks. Took off accelerating quickly until my chain popped off...thought I had it back on track when I jumped back on and the crank locked. Spent awhile looking for the problem and noticed the chain off track jammed in the derailleur...anyway, that took a couple minutes to fix. Then I took off again, up the hill around Diamond Head and lose the chain again...this time, it destroys my uphill momentum. Other than that, the ride was good...passed lots of folks, particularly those that had trouble handling their tri-bikes in the rain. I was glad I was on a less aerodynamic road bike that handled well on the wet streets...I saw lots of folks with road rash at the finish line. The run was a pleasant surprise. My 10K was just a few seconds off a 10K I did a few months back...I had low expectations for the day, since I hadn't really focused on running. I was amazed that the run wasn't slow after the transition. It's normally pretty painful for me to go from bike to run.

This was a fun race...was dreading it before, and even regretted signing up since I had to miss a 'round the island group bike ride. Glad I did it...it will probably be awhile before I do another tri...I should probably master the swimming first.

Here are the results.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Still Praying...

This prayer's still up on the PPT website:

"Pray peace upon the city of Baghdad and the nation of Iraq, asking God to defeat his enemies there and bring about His greatest plan for that nation..."

I'm not sure how long it's been up, but God's not listening. Or, he's waiting until September to present his plan after Gen Petraeus reports to Congress.

Here's a good website about prayer.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hoolualea Ale--Bottled

Finally bottled the Hoolualea Ale tonight. I meant to do it a few days ago, but since bottling's the biggest pain in the ass it had to wait. Drank a few before bottling, so I'm sure I cut a few corners. Instead of really sanitizing the bottles as I'd done in the past, I threw them in the dishwasher. I did follow some of my Sensai's advice and rinsed the mouth out with some Jack Daniels before siphoning the ale into the bottling bucket...if you haven't tried gargling with some JD, it's a real treat. The beer looks pretty clear and I think it will taste decent...it had a pleasant taste uncarbonated, and the secondary fermentation really helped clear up some of the nasty yeast remnants. My early beers were full of sediment.

Doing the Tinman Triathlon on Sunday...good thing I did some carb-loading tonight with beer and cake.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Banana Harvest

We harvested our first bunch of bananas. I cut down the bananas and removed the tree, while Carter poured a bucked of dirt over Jack's head. The next step is to ripen these things...best I can tell from my online searches is that I need a room full of ethylene with a controlled temperature of around 68F. Most of the banana info online is for the standard Cavendish variety. I can't find much on the apple banana.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Developed a new technique for getting Carter to listen to me. I now threaten him with the Supernanny. He's never seen the Supernanny, but the legend we've created is that she lives in England, flies on a broom and can descend on the house almost immediately when she senses something going wrong. I knock on the wall, and Carter immediately snaps to attention, thinking the Supernanny is at the door. At that point, he's extremely nice to Jack, while he tells the Supernanny to go back to England. The Supernanny has replaced other bogeyman, to include the "muffin man" and invisible alligators that will bite your feet if you jump out of bed. The muffin man and alligators have since lost their magical powers...Carter has befriended them. Hopefully Supernanny will last a little longer. She's been a very powerful weapon over the past few days.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

2012...End of Time

The Mayan 2012 prophecy offers an alternative to your run of the mill, Book of Revelations end times theory. The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Discovery have devoted a lot of time to the Revelation subject, probably due to the 'Left Behind' series and its popularity. The Mayan prophecy is intriguing, probably because I don't know a whole lot about it. Every time I listen to Coast to Coast AM, or any of the other fringe media programs I come across, folks speak about the Mayan 2012 prophecy as if it's common knowledge. I'm going to pick up this Daniel Pinchbeck book as soon as it's in paperback. In the mean time this article, originally from the NY Times, is a good synopsis of this prophecy and some of its believers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Can We Blame Iraq's Problems on God?

Here's one of today's prayers from the PPT:

"Pray peace upon the city of Baghdad and the nation of Iraq, asking God to defeat his enemies there and bring about His greatest plan for that nation..."

So that's it. Franks didn't have a plan for the aftermath. Neither did Paul Bremer. W certainly hasn't had one. A lot of the Republicans have put their faith in General Petraeus...or so goes the latest GOP talking points. But, now we know who's to blame. God has not brought forth a plan! When Petraeus delivers his assessment to Congress in September, God should be there with him. He needs to come up with a plan and present it to his hand-picked leader of the free world, W.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The President's Prayer Team?

Was walking around the block tonight, and noticed a sticker on a neighbor's car. He's a member of the Presidential Prayer Team. I'll have to read more about these guys later...I knew there was some serious bible thumping going on around here, but didn't know it got this political.

Here's one of the things the PPT has tasked its members to pray for today:

"Pray for President Bush today as he visits the Nashville (TN) Bun Company before making remarks on the budget at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville... "

What might happen at a bun factory that requires this precautionary prayer?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Minding your own...

I was heading back to work today on my mountain bike. I didn't fasten the straps on my helmet due to the fact I had just finished a fast 1hr ride in the midday Hawaiian heat. Needless to say, the helmet's pretty nasty after a ride like that, so I just cover my head rather than put the sweaty straps over my chin...it's only a 1 mile ride to work, and I do a casual spin on the MTB. Anyhow, as I'm turning the corner onto the main road a guy at the stop sign yells out his window "Sir, you need to fasten the straps on your helmet". What motivated this young man to say that? Does he have a vested interest in my helmet being strapped? Is this a personal crusade of his, akin to my crusade against jackasses on cellphones that nearly run me over on a weekly basis? I have a vested interest in jackasses getting off the cellphone, because they're a threat to my survival. How is my strap-less helmet a threat to this guy's survival? Why does he care? In the end, I just gave him a polite wave and thought "at least the guy used proper etiquette when admonishing me".

That incident spurred another thought on the way to work, as it made me recall other unsolicited, somewhat ballsy admonitions and concerns other junior military members have expressed to me. The most recent happened last week at the doctor's office, when in the waiting room a young airman looks at my boots and says "you should let me shine your boots"...found that ballsy, maybe rude, but odd. I didn't know how to respond other than to say "wow, you have shiny boots, i bet you'd do a good job. mine do look bad, but that's not important to me." I don't think I'd ever comment on the boots of someone senior to me...guess I don't have the balls.

The other memory is from several years ago. I was in Korea, nursing a big hangover, but still in my uniform at the food court. I felt awful, and probably looked a bit nauseous. Out of the blue, a young airman came over to me and said, "Sir, I noticed that you look troubled. Would you like me to pray with you? I think you need Jesus in your life." Needless to say that one really threw me off...never thought I'd be accosted by an evangelical on a military base. Although there are lots of those in the Air Force, most know when to keep their mouth shut, and they'd agree that they shouldn't try to convert another military member that is not their peer, regardless of whether they're at work or drinking a cup of coffee at a food court. Secondly, this guy's in Korea...how could've not assumed I was hungover like everyone else and just left me alone. Or is this how the guy works? He sees us hungover sinners and tries to convert us when we're most vulnerable? How is this in his interest?

These are three instances, where I would probably say nothing...is it that these people are more interested in looking out for their fellow man? Does it make me more selfish that I wouldn't correct someone doing something "unsafe" so long as it doesn't affect my own safety? Is it that I am somehow less proud about the appearance of a uniform if I neglect to tell a senior officer his boots aren't shiny? Can't I assume that he can judge his boots' shine for himself and would shine them if he gave a shit? Should I try to impose my religion or lack thereof onto vulnerable hungover sinners next time I'm in Korea?

Monday, July 16, 2007

New Used Bike

After 9 years of riding the same Lemond, I picked up a new (used) road bike last week. It's a 2006 Felt F2C. Got an incredible deal from one of the guys in the local bike club. The bike's done a couple of things. First, it has motivated me to get out and ride...did 160 miles last week, the most I've ridden in years. I even did a 5:30 am ride before work on Friday...beats the hell out of spin class. Secondly, it has made climbing a hell of a lot easier. I've been riding a lot of hills over the last few months on the Lemond, dragging the heavy frame over some of Oahu's steeper climbs. The higher gear ratio and light weight of the carbon Felt makes the climbs much easier. The last benefit from purchasing the bike is that it's cured my bike envy...at least temporarily.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Must document the latest on the Holualea Ale: Moved it over to secondary fermentation, checked the gravity at 1.012. So, we're looking at approximately 4.5%-5.0% alcohol content.

Yeah, I know...not that exciting.

Friday, July 6, 2007


If you've got $20K to blow and have always wanted your very own tank, check out the JL421 Badonkadonk Tank available from Amazon. They'll customize it for you...not sure if that includes weapons. You may have to weaponize this beast yourself. You can buy anything on Amazon...I was shocked that you could buy this thing, used nonetheless. But I never thought I'd be able to buy my own tank through Amazon.


It's 5am, heading off to spin class. As I was checking my e-mail, I noticed that I could hear my neighbor's sprinklers running...they were running when I went to bed last night. Note that it also rained.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 4th of July

A little late, but I just read the latest special comment from Keith Olbermann. Keith usually says what I'm thinking, albeit without all the F-words and d-bags that I usually use when referring to these 2 individuals. January 2009 won't be here soon enough.

Ho'olaulea Ale

This is a post that is sure to bore my loyal reader from Smoaks, but I need a good way to document beer recipes and dates I brewed. Here's today's:

Ho'olaualea Ale (Recipe from Hawaiian Style Homebrew)

Grains: 1 lb. Medium Crystal Malt (80)
1/2 lb. Dextrin

8 lbs. Pale malt extract

Hops: 1 oz Chinook at 60 minutes
1/2 oz Cascade at 10 minutes
1/2 oz Cascade at 0 minutes

Yeast: White Labs 001

Original Gravity: 1.046

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Down Goes Kobayashi!

Woke up this morning in time to catch the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating competition at 6:30 am. It was a dramatic event, since 6-time reigning champ Takeru Kobayashi came into the competition with rumored jaw soreness. It was a close battle. American hero Joey Chestnut came out early posting a couple of 10-dog minutes early on. He was up by 5 dogs at one point using the Chipmunk method. Kobayashi stayed steady throughout the competition...he looked strong, and any doubt about his status was quickly erased. Kobayashi used a variety of techniques, including the Chipmunk method, his patented shake which clears his throat...he also alternated between separating dog from bun and shoving the whole thing in his mouth. Kobayashi closed in on Chestnut in the last couple of minutes, even pulling ahead by a quarter of a dog at one point. In the end, Chestnut pulled through, and Kobayashi suffered a reversal. Chestnut brought the Mustard Belt back to the good 'ol US of A and set a new world record with 66 dogs! What a way to begin the 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More Than Meets the Eye

It's only been 1 day since the release of Transformers and I'm getting antsy. I need to see this movie. The anticipation is too great to bear. Reading this Slate article, despite its nostalgic preference for the original, makes me want to see it all the more...I don't care that the favorite cartoon of my youth was all one clever marketing ploy. It was a damn good story, with kickass robots kicking the shit out of each other. It didn't matter that it was silly that a flying robot with weapons would transform into a fighter jet with guns...seemed redundant at the time, but it was still badass. It didn't matter that Megatron (for my less-educated readers, he's the leader of the bad guys) was a robot with guns that defied the laws of physics by transforming into a handgun small enough to be held in the palm of the hand of a robot who was smaller than him...still, it was badass. Of all the 80s cartoons that were just half hour long advertisements for toys (He-Man, MASK, GI Joe), this was clearly the best. The movie may not live up to the expectation (much like Star Wars Episode I)...then I can write a condescending post like the d-bag from Slate.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Strap And The Google

So, I was wondering how someone from Smoaks, SC or Brandon, MS finds my blog. Typed Strap in The Google, just to see if it came up. I did find this as the #2 entry. Kinda scary...especially the chin straps. Someone did put a lot of effort in this wiki entry...even scanned in photos and detailed instructional diagrams.

When someone asks how I got the name strap, I hope this isn't what they're thinking about.

Smoaks, SC

Decided I needed at least one fancy blogging tool if I was going to make it in the blogosphere, so I installed this Neocounter (to your right) in order to track the location of my blog visitors. Most of the locations I've seen so far make sense to me...places where I can pinpoint who the visitor may be. All except one location that came up today...Smoaks, SC. Even though I lived in SC for 3 years, I've never heard of Smoaks.

I feel somewhat privileged to have a Smoakian visit my site...there are only 140 Smoakians living in 68 houses. There's an 85.71% chance the visitor from smoke is white. Only 28.8% of the household have children under 18 and a whopping 57.6% contained married couples. The largest age group is 45-64, and for every 100 females, there are only 91.1 males. So, more than likely my Smoakian is a married female around 55 years old...she either has children over the age of 18, or has never had children. She is white, and has an income of around $27,750 per year.

If you're a Smoakian, please leave a comment and tell me if I'm that far off base.