Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hoka Hey

Hoka Hey!

though the translation is a bit off, it is commonly translated as "It is a good day to die!" though the translation and use is somewhat suspect and generally seen as wrong.

What is correct is that Sioux warrior Crazy Horse used to scream it to his men as they rode into battle.

It really means, "let's ride" and he would usually say it in conjunction with 'it is a good day to die'. But over the years the meaning of the two phrases has morphed into one, and since languages evolve, what once meant one thing now commonly means another.

So for my purposes here, 'Hoka Hey' will forever mean 'It is a good day to die!'.

And it may be. For some.

Not for me.

Hoka hey is also the name of a grueling motorcycle challenge that runs some 7000+ miles from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska.

It takes nearly two weeks to complete it and there are rules that make it even more difficult.
For instance you do not know the route from leg to leg. You are given the route for the next leg at each check point. It is ran completely on secondary roads. You have to sleep next to your motorcycle. No hotel rooms.

Entry is limited to 1000 participants who each pay $1000 to enter. The winner, defined as the one who rode the course in the least amount of time, wins $500,000.

But it is not the possibility of winning a lot of money that intrigues me.

It is the challenge.

And beyond that, it has caused me to ask myself a question:

When was the last time I was challenged?

I'm not talking about being challenged at work, or some emotional driven challenge, I am talking about a challenge of physical and mental endurance.

Some might say that the ride I did last year with a few friends would qualify. We did nearly 100 miles in two days. Others might say that rising to the challenge of my health concerns and taking action to correct them would qualify.

But not me.

That is just life.

And as we go plodding along through life, where is it that we find that we have, don't have, or no longer have, what it takes?

It all becomes a never ending quagmire of meetings, routines, and long check out lines.

And we get softer.
Not just of body, but of mind.
And worse yet, of spirit.

Yes, we get softer of spirit.

And that should be criminal.

Hoka hey!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dearest Betsy...

I thought of you today.

I seriously doubt you ever think of me.

I don't know how the conversation got to that point but there you were.

And next thing I know I am rambling on about you, and Tom (I really do not remember his name), and Pizza Hut and everything.

I realized one thing at the end of my rant....I am the exact guy I want my daughter to never know.

We ran it into the ground at a break-neck pace.

What were we? Eighteen? Nineteen?

That cigar box full of shake in my glove box. Rolling joints in the middle of the night on our way up North, to wake at first light in the front seat for the dawn patrol at The Inlet.

Late night drinking by whichever landmark you can think of. The airport. That gator infested lake in the middle of that empty field alongside those buildings.

I remember falling asleep while making out with you in front of my crappy apartment.

You were one of what I would grow realize to be a long string of girls, and eventually women, that wanted nothing more than to be loved, and I was that guy that took everything and left.

You were not the first one I walked on, and sadly, you would not be the last.

And maybe that is now my penance for being That Guy.

I was what is now my worst nightmare for my own daughter.

That V8 in my T-37 would rip the rubber right off the tires if I let it, and I let it do so often.

Rusty, rough, fast, reckless, I was a lot back then.

So were you.

And so was that T-37.

Long may you run, long live the warm nights, the youth that went too fast, the cars that went faster, the waves, the weed, the drinks, and the organic matter.

And may God forgive us all for our idiocy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weekend Update # 18

So a couple of days early, but considering tomorrow's Holiday....

Let me first welcome Samuel to his first Thanksgiving.

dude...you are in for a treat!

Well...the lack of teeth this year may get in your way, however there will be more.

At the very least you can gum at that delicious turkey, succulent stuff there buddy!

Maybe develop a taste for the cranberry....

Some meat from the thigh with the gravy...

Buttery rolls.

Or my favorite...the candied yams.

Regular candied yams.

No ginger. (Fish!)

Maybe some stuffing.

Stuffing...why do we even call it "stuffing"?

We no longer stuff the bird with it.

It's a side dish.

We shouldn't even call it stuffing anymore.

Poor stuffing.

Been relegated to the roll of a side dish. And in comparison, not even as important of a side dish like say.....candied yams.

Hell, I would imagine that the buttery rolls play a bigger ...uh...role in the meal than the now-defunct and quite sad "stuffing".

No longer a main dish, just a pile of moist bread crumbs with hints of sausage and essence of celery.

It's not even that attractive to look at.

Truly, it is now the step-child of Thanksgiving. And not a cute step child either. Just a serving dish of non-descript brown and specs of light greens.

And why?

Why did we go from the glory days of stuffing to this sad existence?

There was a time where family stuffing recipes were coveted. Wars were fought over stuffing recipes I am certain!

And now...nothing but a sad expectation that it must be there.

Like fruitcake.

The answer is...we were told to not stuff the turkey any longer. It was a food safety hazard.

"They" hammered it into our heads.

Hell I think there was even a School House Rock about it.

All in the name of safety.

That is why the once proud stuffing is no longer it's own namesake.

Forget that for 200 years Americans prepared and ate turkeys prepared with stuffing.

Sometimes I am surprised that the human race survived all of these years without knowing how dangerous our world is.

I must be truly one in a million.

Not only am I the winning sperm, but as a kid I used to ride my bike all over with no helmet, played with lawn darts, swam freely in the ocean, climbed trees, and on occasion...ran with scissors.

And the scissors we had when I was a kid were the full on razor sharp kind. Not the dull safety scissors we give our children these days.

Yet I am semi-normal and intact.

Of course the same "they" that have sold us on not stuffing a turkey are the same "they" that made it a law that the label on Peanut Butter must include the words " Contains Peanuts".

So I say fight the system!


Allow the stuffing to recapture it's glory days!

Stuff that bird!

Run with scissors!

Rip the label off of the peanut butter and just know in your heart that it contains peanuts!

Just remember to roast your turkey to an internal temperature of 185 degrees using a calibrated meat thermometer inserted into a meaty part of leg without touching bone.

Gobble gobble.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend update # 31

One fish, two fish, red fish.....

So here we are....

Friday November 21st 2008.

Welcome to the weekend.

Tonight is our "Pizza and Movie" night.

There are other ingredients, but we don't want to excite the children.

We began this shortly after being married. a friend gave us a pizza stone and some other pizza related stuff and said it was one of the secrets to a happy marriage.

Who are we to argue with such things?

So we began making our own pizzas.

Now, it is no secret that my dream job is Pizza Guy.

For those who have not heard me go on and on about this dream I will offer the abridged version.

Pizza guy is the best job ever.

you must be pizza guy in a pizza joint where you hand toss the dough.

When you are back there in the kitchen throwing dough, girls think you are cute, guys think you are cool, and kids want to be you.

When the pizza is made wrong, is delivered late, it is not pizza guy's fault.

If you are pizza guy in a neighborhood and you go into the store down the street, people almost celebrate you.

"Hey Pizza Guy"...they might say.

Or..."Yo..Pizza Guy".

And if you are in the right pizza place...you can be scruffy and unkempt...and it just adds to your mystique....

Alas...I am not Pizza Guy.

I was once. But not now.

I wonder if it is like that old adage.."If you don't surf now...you never did"?

So if you are not Pizza Guy now...maybe you never were?

Something to ponder.

I don't know where I was going with this...but I really wish I was Pizza Guy today.

But I am not.

I am Fish Guy. Not to be confused with Fish.

Fish Guy is not as well received as Pizza Guy.

Mainly because Fish Guy smells....like fish. Or Fish.

Not pepperoni and semolina flour.

And let's face it...pepperoni smells better than fish. And usually better than Fish.

Well...maybe not.

But probably to most.

You ever been on a plane and someone opens up a pepperoni stick? That spicy, beefy smell takes over the whole plane.

I want to be that guy.

Pizza Guy...eating a pepperoni stick on the way to some place cool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Update #12

The wheels on the bus go around and 'round, around and 'round....

So here we are...

Friday November 14th, 2008.

I have been told many things in my life. None of which actually has helped me.

One thing that I should have been told as a kid is that one ay my Summer vacations would come to an end. Oh and that one day I would have hair growing out of my ears and that that hair would be grey.

Other than that, I pretty much had to figure things out on my own.

I think I did pretty good.

I found this on MSN this morning and decided to see how Manly I really am.

Turns out...I am even more manly than I should be.

And that is good...since I was unable to find a deer this year, I was beginning to question it.

100 Skills Every Man Should Know: 2008's Ultimate DIY List
Brains and charm are fine, but a real guy needs to know how to do real stuff. After months of debate among PMʼs expert editors, hereʼs our lineup of essential skills for the competent man.

1. Handle a blowout - Yep. Just change your shorts, or leave them behind.
2. Drive in snow - I prefer to drive in snow. It's like grown-up bumper cars.
3. Check trouble codes - Sure...turn the key on, turn it off, turn it back, count blinking lights. Check.
4. Replace fan belt - I impressed Jen with this skill on our second date. Nothing says manly like a cell phone call "Yeah...sweetness...can you come pick me up just off the freeway downtown...."
5. Wax a car - Mr. Myagi would be proud. You should see me paint the fence.
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle - sure..but for a real challenge I like to conquer all things in the road too.
7. Use a stick welder - I was not aware you could weld sticks together...wouldn't they burn?
8. Hitch up a trailer - Oh yeah. However backing up said trailer down a boat ramp while holding a beer is a true mastery.
9. Jump-start a car - If you had ever seen the cars I used to drive, you would understand the level of expertise I have in this. Like a Ninja.

10. Perform the Heimlich - I know the basics. Have not ha a chance to apply it though. Any volunteers?
11. Reverse hypothermia - I don't get hypothermic.
12. Perform hands-only CPR - Now how do you perform hands-only mouth-to-mouth? Open their moth and wave your hand in their face?
13. Escape a sinking car - I have not had this test yet. Unfortunately there is no practice. It has a pretty steep learning curve.

14. Carve a turkey - I can carve a Turkey. However I cannot carve a pumpkin. Go figure.
15. Use a sewing machine - Yes. But I prefer to call her honey.
16. Put out a fire - Save for that one tree on that one Fourth of July...I'm good.
17. Home-brew beer - Oh yeah! Drinking it...again... like a Ninja!
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric - I had nothing to do with it.
19. Move heavy stuff - Isn't this why we have Mexicans?
20. Grow food - When I was a bachelor. Now I have Jen to keep the fridge clean.
21. Read an electric meter - Why would I have to do that? They have a guy who comes out and does it.
22. Shovel the right way - Yes. I had Jen shoveling yard debris earlier this week. Check.
23. Solder wire - Yep. Though do not try to use your soldering gun to burn your initials into the head board.
24. Tape drywall - Yep. I have watched Rocky do it enough times to get the gist of it.
25. Split firewood - Yeah...but why would I want to? I have seen how much work that is.
26. Replace a faucet washer - What...and make it stop leaking?
27. Mix concrete - I don't like to mix my concrete. Sort of a concrete separatist myself.
28. Paint a straight line - I'm lucky if I can walk a straight line. I like my painting to be more ....interpretive.
29. Use a French knife - not sure...though I would like a bidet.
30. Prune bushes and small trees - The wind seems to take care of that all by itself.
31. Iron a shirt - Yep. Buy "wrinkle free". Done.
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper - I wish I could fix my flapper. Pretty sure Jen wishes I could too.
33. Change a single-pole switch - Yeap....it's easy. Just sit there with your dollar bills and order another beer. After three songs, they switch all by themselves.
34. Fell a tree - If it is already fallen...what is there to do? See #25.
35. Replace a broken windowpane - Plexiglass and Duct Tape.
36. Set up a ladder, safely - There is an "unsafe" way of doing it? Really?
37. Fix a faucet cartridge - I didn't even know they had cartridges.
38. Sweat copper tubing - My pores are not big enough. But I bet Chuck Norris could.
39. Change a diaper - It Depends.
40. Grill with charcoal - There is no substitute.
41. Sew a button on a shirt - Trick question. Real shirts don't have buttons.
42. Fold a flag - Learned that in the Army. I should get bonus points for that.

43. Treat frostbite - Drink the beer faster.
44. Treat a burn - See # 43
45. Help a seizure victim - Depends on what they are being seized for.
46. Treat a snakebite - Bite it back.
47. Remove a tick - Don't light your genitals on fire with a burning stick from a campfire...that's for sure.

Military Know-How
48. Shine shoes - How do you shine flip flops?
49. Make a drum-tight bed - Again...bonus points for learning that in the Army.
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup - Inverted Ranger Push Ups girly boys....

51. Run rapids in a canoe - Even more impressive is being able to run them outside of the canoe.
52. Hang food in the wild - Duh....with rope....
53. Skipper a boat - Though my navigation skills in the fog may be suspect, I have not sunk one yet!
54. Shoot straight - Jen would say that I don't...
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike - Don't touch the front brake. Really....don't.
56. Escape a rip current - With and across. Like being married. Do not fight against it.

57. Build a fire in the wilderness - Anything is possible with gas.
58. Build a shelter - Yes. But not erect a tent with more than two poles.
59. Find potable water - In the soda and chip aisle.

Surviving Extremes
60. Floods - Stay in the boat.
61. Tornados - Stop drop and roll. No wait....duck and cover.
62. Cold - Bring her flowers.
63. Heat - Turn the A/C on.
64. Lightning - Eat more fried chicken parts.

Teach Your Kids
65. Cast a line - When she was younger she could cast 10 yards...behind her.
66. Lend a hand - And charge interest.
67. Change a tire - Realize it us that changes.
68. Throw a spiral - She hit me with one of her notebooks last week.
69. Fly a stunt kite - I am using her for human kite experiments.
70. Drive a stick shift - ESSENTIAL knowledge!
71. Parallel park - We will be lucky if she can Singallel park.
72. Tie a bowline - A what?
73. Tie a necktie - Trick question. They come tied.
74. Whittle - As soon as we get her past butter knives and forks with corks on them.
75. Ride a bike - Done.

76. Install a graphics card - Call the Geek Squad.
77. Take the perfect portrait - Turns out they don't allow cameras in those kinds of bars.
78. Calibrate HDTV settings - Call the cable guy.
79. Shoot a home movie - Jen won't let me.
80. Ditch your hard drive - They make nice Coasters.

Master These Key Workshop Tools (Let me just say that everything is better when you use tools)
81. Drill driver - Yep.
82. Grease gun - I use this to apply butter to my pancakes.
83. Coolant hydrometer - Works great in testing the specific gravity of beer.
84. Socket wrench - Two handed even.
85. Test light - I like to hook up my timing light to my truck, turn the truck on. Turn the garage lights off. And then crank Blue Oyster Cult "Don't Fear the Reaper".
86. Brick trowel - Oh yeah. I use these to apply jelly to my sandwiches.
87. Framing hammer - Why would I want to frame it?
88. Wood chisel - These are great for cleaning stains from the linoleum.
89. Spade bit - I prefer Club bits.
90. Circular saw - What...like there is a triangular saw?
91. Sledge hammer - Peter Gabriel never answers his phone.
92. Hacksaw - I like a Gene Hackmansaw. Every third rotation it squeaks.
93. Torque wrench - More torque is not always good.
94. Air wrench - My air guitar is even better!
95. Infrared thermometer - A what?
96. Sand blaster - Tip: Do not use to correct hang nails.
97. Crosscut saw - Self explanatory.
98. Hand plane - Yes. But the neighbors look at me weird when I spin in circles making engine noises.
99. Multimeter - If it can be metered...I meter it.
100. Feeler gauges - The signs always say "Do not touch the dancers!".

I think my manliness is in order.

What about yours?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

There's salt in that oil...I swear....

The reality of economic times has begun to sink in at work.

Losing money.

Hemmoraging actually.

Like someone cut the jugular with a fillet knife.

With friends of mine going down and my own future uncertain, stress has begun to take it's toll.

Now...don't get all worried....I do not believe I am going anywhere....but there are no guarantees...and I am very aware of that.

In the history of my life there has always been one place I could go to get a grip, to see things from a healthy perspective, to be reminded of what I really care about, of what is important to me.

Now at the risk of upsetting my lovikins.....I must admit....it has never been a place of accompaniment, but of one of solitude.

The ocean has fed my hunger, quenched my thirst, and given to my soul more than any place I have ever known.

Sitting upon the warm waters, the cold waters, sun on my bare back, rain on my neoprene'd shoulders, salt on my lips, mist in my ...well...I have no hair....

The incredible peacefulness provided by some simple physics and timing. The glide across the water. The brutal punishment of being our of sync. The burning of tired shoulders and sun burned retinas.

The incredible release of laying a weary, salt/sun drenched body down to only dream about another day...one more wave....

One more.

I can remember mom standing on the beach growing impatient wanting to leave the beach and get on with more important things. My friends beckoning me. Girlfriends, and later, women, glaring at me as I looked away and with one finger in the air proclaimed..."one more!". As if they could hear me, audibly, or in any other way.

I always spoke a different language. The syntax was the same, the words correctly pronounced, but for some reason, nobody ever understood.

Times are different these days.

I live 90 minutes form the beach. Burning a bad day off in the water with the setting sun is a lot more involved than it once was.

So much has to go into this act of self indulged penance that it is often more than I can muster on a weekend let alone in the throws of a stress filled afternoon.

However, there is still one place I can go.

It ain't quiet.

But somehow it manages to provide a piece of that wonderment, of solitude, of self indulgence.

Simply put, there is not much that wrapping your self around 88 cubic inches of flat black and chrome will not put to rest.

Especially when you run up into the triple digits.

So here is to this life.

Here is to those moments that give to each of us in our time.

Here is to the remembering, the clarity, the sight, of what should truly matter to each of us...or not....after all...it is your life...not mine.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Going back. Again.

This love/hate.
This on again/off again.
The longest standing love affair of my life.

When will I get it right?

Every damn love song could be applied here.

Well, maybe not Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Then again....

I seriously doubt I am the only one who has struggled with this over and over and over again.

It drives me nuts.

I wish I could walk away.

I wish I could dive in head first.

Anywhere but in the middle.

This limbo...my purgatory.

A handful of outings in the last year.

Then one outing in crappy conditions, and I am all in.


There should be a 12 step program.

Here we go.

For the last time.