Sunday, March 30, 2008


Sue and I saw The Boss in concert last night at Key Arena. Wow. The man stills rocks like nobody else. Two and a half hours of non-stop, high-energy, rock and roll. He performed about half of the songs from his latest release, Magic, which left plenty of time for old favorites.

It's hard to believe that the last time I saw him was 30 years ago in Austin, Texas on the 'Darkness' tour. And it's been over 15 years since my vinyl copy of that album was packed away; but the lyrics all came flooding back. I found myself standing and singing Badlands at the top of my lungs with 15,000 other people.

Most of the E-Streeters were there. Danny Federici is still ill and we were told that "Patti sends her love. We've got three teenagers now, so she's home guarding the fort. As I was getting ready to leave for the tour there were kegs of beer showing up, pot cookies coming out of the oven. I thought 'I better leave Patti here to take care of this'".

Nils Lofgren and Little Steven are still amazing on guitar and Max is an absolute madman on drums. Clarence was there and played on many songs but his energy level seemed much lower, and he was often off to the side of the stage.

The concert ended with rousing renditions of 10th Avenue Freezeout into Rosalita into Born to Run and by the end I was physically spent. Amazing show.

The drive home was interesting. We had driven into Seattle around five o'clock and walked around the Seattle Center in cold, drizzly, weather. As we approached Redmond on the drive home we started noticing snow on the side of the road. By the time we were driving up onto the Sammamish Plateau the snow was deeper and we were starting to see the all-too-familiar sight of cars abandoned on the side of the road. In the Pacific Northwest snow is expected to stay in the mountains where we can find it when we want to ski. We're built for rain; our roads go straight up the sides of hills and we have no snow plows. Fortunately, my mighty Subaru had no problems getting us home.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

101 days

Our little ticker on the left there says that we now have 101 days to go! Whoo Hoo!!

I've been continuing my training, riding my bike around our neighborhood. Each lap is about 4 miles and it has some decent hills. I try to do it as a sprint, forcing myself to do an extra lap when I'm ready to quit. I imagine myself caught inside on a big day at Tonggs, paddling like mad against wave after wave, wishing I could go back in time to early spring and work out harder. And voila! My wish is granted!

I've also filled out the paperwork, and by the time you read this I'll be a member, once again, of the Redmond Athletic Club. It's just a few blocks from our AT&T office, so I'll be able to pop over there in the afternoon to work out. I used to belong back when I lived in Redmond and it's a great club. No pool, but I was never much of a lap swimmer anyway.

For anyone into the JamBand scene, here's what's in my iPod when I'm working out.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Like a pack of hyenas

The scene is circa 1989. A large south swell has been pushing into Waikiki over the course of the weekend. By Monday, most of the hardcore wave riders have been hitting it pretty steadily and are starting to feel sated. The vibe in most lineups is mellowing out. The sun is heading towards evening, but there's still time for a late session. The stage is set.

Chris, Bob, Ron, and I decide to take the boogie boards and grab a few waves at Old Man's. It's a nice mellow left breaking near San Soucci beach. My guess is that the name is derived from it's proximity to the Outrigger Canoe Club and the Elks Club and the fact that many of their members surf there.

As we paddle out through the channel we can see the set waves rising up out of deep water like lumbering mountains. A good break for long boards and the occasional outrigger canoe. Shortboarders are at a definite disadvantage, and we boogie boarders even more so. At a break like this we become scavengers, hovering near the shoulder and hoping for a wave that swings wide. Paddling for a wave and pulling out when the surfer further up the line catches it.

But like a pack of scavengers growing hungry we protect our turf. Eventually we catch sight of an intruder. A surfer off to the side, shunned by the herd, has moved into our hunting area. A wave swings wide toward us, we paddle, but the surfer has position and we are forced to back off. But he doesn't catch it! These waves are bigger than he has surfed before and he can't commit. Sensing fear, the pack circles, waiting.

A set comes. Two waves, three, the fourth swings wide toward us. The surfer paddles and the pack makes its move. "Whooooot!" "Yeah brah! Get 'em" "Go bruddah!" "Paddle! Paddle!" He cannot resist the cheers, he paddles hard. The wave lifts his board and he gets to his feet for an oh-so-brief moment of glory. Sadly there can be but one outcome; the wave was already feathering when he started to paddle. The board rushes down the face of the wave and and pearls when the surfer fails to make a bottom turn. The three following waves sweep him away.

The intruder is driven off and the pack is free to hunt.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Feeding the masses

Listen to a random selection of Hawaiian music and certain themes begin to emerge:
The straight-forward culture of a people who know they live in paradise and celebrate that fact. Life in Hawai`i is good, leaving it is a bummer, pass the rice. When I think about going home I naturally think about surfing but I also think about food.

I think about plate lunch in all its forms; chicken longrice, kalua pig and cabbage, pork adobo, hamburger steak and gravy, tonkatsu. Nestled between two scoops rice, macaroni salad, and maybe a dollop of kim chi.

I also think about how we're going to feed a large house full of people. I'm a damn fine chef when I'm cooking for two but I've discovered that my mad cooking skillz drop off as the number of diners increases. With 6-8 people in the house at any one time, it's going to be like making Thanksgiving dinner every day. So I've started thinking about how to feed the masses without spending too much time at it.

First idea: Smoker! Get da kine pulehu meat smoking on the side. Sue bought me a smoker a few years back and we thought it might get used once or twice in the summertime. Wrong! We use it all the time! Throw on a rack of ribs come back in 6 hours and hoo! Broke da mouth kine grindz. I'm planning to pick one up at Home Depot and give it to one of our local friends when we leave. Our little electric Brinkmann will cook any of these at once:
  • 6 racks of baby back ribs
  • 4 whole chickens
  • 4 lbs of salmon
Now I'm all hungry. More later.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


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Monday, March 10, 2008

How are you getting ready?

Are you stoked? Are you ready?

I'm stoked, very stoked. I think about this trip all the time. Probably to the point where Sue and Fred are getting sick of hearing about it. :-)

But am I ready? No, not really. My goal is to be able to paddle out into a monster swell on the first day there. Ambitious, but that's what goals are all about. To get there I need to get the muscles, lungs, and back into shape. The lungs should be doable; I love riding my roadbike and Sue got me some cold-weather gear for Christmas, so it's just a question of getting out there and doing it. We've switched the clocks so there's daylight available.

Getting the arms and lats back into shape, is going to be tougher but still doable. I've got a beat-up old universal gym in the garage that cost me all of $10 on craigslist; I guess I need to dust that thing off and get on it.

My back though, that's going to take some work. Riding my bike usually helps; that repetitive leg motion seems to help straighten things out. But I think I may need to get back to the chiropractor again. It has helped in the past, but I usually quit when things start feeling better. The problem is that it never really 'fixes' my back, just allevaites the pain after a while. Once I quit going, it gradually comes back again.

Would that have me ready? Probably. Modifying the grayish hue that my body takes on during the PNW winter would also be a good idea, but will have to wait for better weather. And even then I'll have to salve myself with SPF 100 to stay out in the surf very long.

So, again I ask... Are you stoked? Are you ready?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Let's get it started

Hey gang. I'm going to start using my old blog to post information about the trip.

If you go into the archives you can reread the 2006 adventure and start dreaming about what's to come. I know I am.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's on!

Aloha kakou,

Start marking your calendars; in 4 months the adventure begins!

For you surfers, if you've not yet started training, now would be a good time to get on it. Lat pull downs and tricep presses. A good cardio workout would not be amiss as well, in preparation of some long hold-downs. Guitarists might want to revisit some taro-patch favorites so we're all ready for da kine kani ka pila.

Key dates coming up:
3/6 - If you haven't sent in your deposit check, please do so.
4/6 - First 1/2 of the rental payment due.
5/6 - Other 1/2 of rental payment due.
7/6 - Adventure begins.

Sounds like Dan is planning on bringing a couple of surfboards, I'll be bringing a couple of boogie boards and possibly my guitar, Fred already has a board stashed over there. Anybody else planning on bringing any kine?

Anybody have one place they absolutely *have* to go to eat? I know I've got at least a couple: Breakfast at The Hau Tree Lanai and Lunch at Kua `aina.

Malama pono,
Chris P.