Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surviving the elements, Snow at the beach, 80 degrees in December

Last Wednesday I got home from my daily sheenaigans at the beach and checked my answering machine.  what's that you ask?  I don't care for using my cell phone too much and thus rely on land line (well not really) I Use Ooma for voip service, that hooks up too a ragular phone does not require a computer and provides free phoinse service for life.  Any how I checcked my messages and I had calls from 3 different people telling me go try out for Survivor.  Auditions were the next day at the Morongo Indaian casino near Palm Springs (about 100 miles or so inland)  I have always been fan of the show and have considered trying out in the past but did I really want to drive that far?  I watched the show that night and saw the advertisement myself,informing me that interviews start at 9:00 a.m. and that you could start lining up at  If I wanted to get their by 6 a.m. I would have wake up before 4,  I decided to leave my house around 5:45 a.m. figuring this might make the line longer but I had a couple books I wanted to read anyway.

I arrived at the Casino at about 7:30 I I had packed a a back pack full of food clothes and reading material. I was expecting to be sitting in a line all day outside on a cold windy day. After meandering through rows of empty slot machine I found where I was supposed to line up but their was no line?  After a few minutes some guy came up  to me and gave me a pink wrist band and told my to return at 9:25. (Sweet no line.)  I was then handed a a free $10 slot play coupon if I signed up for their winners club.

Hope and optimism are both very beautiful things. I really despise how Casino's feed on people's wishful thinking.  As I walked around the casino a saw a lot sorrow of people's faces starring at the blinking lights.  My guess is that most of them had been at it all night.  A night of poring money into a slot machine can really wear a person down.

I am not a risk taker, I try to calculate nearly everything I do ( I also often don't listen to myself which can cause quite a conundrum).  I am a gambler, but only when I feel the odd's are on my side.  I wasn't gonna put any of my money in the machine but a free $10, sure why not. I signed up for the winners club and also received a free buffet coupon (did not open till 11a.m.  I was told my credit would not show up for  30 mins, so I found a table and copped a squat.

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.  More important to me than money is good food in my belly and I was well prepared.

Cha -Ching $$$

It was about 9a.m. and I figured it was time to break the bank with my free slot play.  I hit up a .02 slot machine, I was betting the max $1.50 a pull, after about 5 minutes I had netted $8.70 time to cash out.  Big pimpin. Even if the casino offered me free suite in an effort to reclaim their money I would have had to decline. :)

I waited in line for a total of about 15 minutes, before being ushered into a conference room with the other 60 or so people in the 9:30 group.  Other interesting people in my group.  Old native American Dude, Snake Dude,  Office Guy who said he had tried out 18 times before, Super buffed out African American guy, White trash no bra Cougar lady,  and girl dressed in blinky lights.

Then their was me: Barefoot runner, drunkard /future president and certified dumb ass.

After the conference rooms we signed a few papers and then were each put in front of a camera for 1 minute to explain how cool we were. (i could have spoke for hours j/k)  I actuality I felt pretty stupid and pretentious as I rambled through my idiocracy.

I was all done by 10:20.  I had expexted to be there until at least till the late afternoon.  The buffet didn't open till 11:00 a.m. and I had already packed a lunch.   About 15 miles away on the journey home was the Yukaipa  Disc Golf Course.  

As I pulled up to the course my phone rang (i do use my cell phone on occasion)  It was a friend of mine offering me a ticket to see the Survivor Finale on th 19th live at CBS. (Synchronicity at work)  Nice, this way I'll get a chance to see what it's like from both perspective's.  A good friend of mine (through Disc golf) is also one of the head set designers for the finale and it will be cool to go see his work in person.  

I had never played Yukaipa before and was pretty excited.  On a normal day of Disc Golf it's common for me to play 5 or more rounds of golf.  However my ribs were still not healed from my bike accident the prior week.  If you have sore ribs throwing a Frisbee is about the most painful things you can do.  But I was here and how could I resist playing at least one round
I stripped down to my shorts and was ready to play.

The course was beautiful, the grass was soft and moist and my spirits were high. That is until my first throw, "Ouch" my ribs were not happy.  Although painful my drives were decent but my putts were falling a little short. Yukaipa is about 2,500 feet above sea level which means slightly thinner air.  This meant my discs would fly just a little bit more overstable (fall to the opposite direction they are spinning) and drop out of the sky a hair sooner since they had thinner air to glide upon.  I adjusted my putt and canned a couple 60 footers.
Water Hazard

Hole six plays about 325' over water before a 10' wall and a 3' fence.  The basket then sits about 10' away from the ledge.  I can throw my side arm up to about 375' under perfect conditions but realistically I'm comfortable up to about 315'.  When I throw sidearm in shoes I drag the toes of my back foot on the tee pad for balance (at my peak I bought about 10 pairs of disc golf shoes a year)   This allows me throw the disc with much more accuracy and provides me with the confidence to add more power.  

I was playing barefoot (no toe drag unless I want blood) and with bad ribs,and  the hole was out of my comfort zone.  There was the option of laying upto the left at about 250' if my ego would let me. I decided to go for the birdie.  I pulled out my favorite driver a $25 Champion Destroyer from the 2008 Japan Open.  This disc has been with me a long time and tends to flip over easily if your not careful.  I really should not be throwing this shot.  With little confidence i hucked a low drive way off the mark, out of my hand it never had a chance as it barely careened into the wall below the basket and into the water. "doh" I had just lost my favorite driver, their were about 20 fishermen around the lake giving me that "what a dumb ass look." A bit dejected with my stupidity I decided to see just how stupid I really was.  My first shot never had a chance and their was little reason for me too think my next shot would be any different.  I'm sure the fishermen were wondering how many disc I would donate to the lake.

I pulled out a second Champion Destroyer out of my bag.  I visualized the shot in my head ( I had to throw it higher to have a chance). The disc came out of my hand with some heat however it was not even close to as high as I had planned it.  I really did not want to lose another disc.  My body English was trying to coax the disc to lift long after it left hand.  As the disc sailed closer, I realized it had a chance of going in the basket.  It barely cleared the wall grabbed the chains and fell in.  "Holy shit" was screamed by one of the fisherman.  I gave a small fist pump as I grinned from ear to ear.  I was cloud 9 and was receiving accolades from the people who were laughing at my misfortune minutes earlier.  Along the wall below the basket the lake was only about a foot deep and I was able to retrieve my other disc.  The Fate's were on my side.   From the tee pad I could not see the fence guarding the basket.  The margin of error was very slim and my disc squeaked over it mere inches.  It was a very lucky I mean skillful shot.

"Life is good"

I finished up my round bogey free but left a bunch of birdies out there. I really enjoyed the course.  As I left a couple of fishermen gave me the Waynes World "Were not worthy bow." in appreciation of my ACE.

I was out of the course by about 1:30 a.m.  I drove straight to my moms house to wish her a happy B-day (dinner plans for the next evening) and then to the beach for a nice sunset barefoot run.
I had to sacrifice my identity ans shave my chest for this one.
Friday morning another interesting opportunity presented itself.  I had a meeting with an advertising agency in Santa Monica about promoting a company I have worked with in the past.  The meeting went well and they may start using my lovely  face (lol) starting early next year. It was good morning the sun was shining and my spirits were high. Guess where I went?

Pic is from Saturday but who cares.
Getting a little redundant by now, huh? I'm there pretty much everyday.  My body is starting to come together and I almost feel athletic again.  I hit the sand only expecting an 8 mile run but kept reevaluating my goals.  The only thing that stopped me was time I ended up running over 16 miles  before hurrying off to go watch my 
nephew's  winter singing performance.

My nephew's the little dude in the red on the back right side of the stage.

I t was cool to see my nephew sing but this horse totally stole show.

After the performance we took my mom out to dinner at a hole in the wall Sushi restaurant my family loves. (Soba for me).
On the way home we stopped by an area Torrance known for it's X-mas decorations

The local kids camp out in their driveways vending popcorn and hot chocolate.  My nephews were thankful for this
Home built and about 20ft tall

Saturday morning I got a call from Mr Burke, asking if I wanted to do a long run with him (20+ miles on the soft sand)  I wanted to but my body is still not ready to go his speed. The day before was the first time I ran over 15  miles in 2 months and thought maybe I should take it easy.
  (yeah right). 
 I got a late start and didn't hit the sand till about 1:30.  I thought maybe I'd catch Christian near the end of his run.  Once again I had only planned on a short run.  I started at 1st in Manhattan and headed North. When I hit Marina Del ray 6.6 miles later I had no beach left so I turned around.  By the time I got back to my car I had already  ran a half marathon in the soft sand.  I remembered that their was snowboarding going on at the Hermosa Beach Pier, Yes Snow boarding! I kept running and decided to take a a 10 minute pit stop to check it out.

Pier Avenue covered in more than 30 tons of snow
Snow is nice but I prefer sand and sun

When  I reached the South end of Hermosa mile 15 the sun had almost set.
 I kept going another mile and half before stopping again to take in the beauty of it all.

180,000 footprints on the beach this week

I was board and running on fumes so turned the camera on my stride as I ran.  Then I held the camera in the same spot but watched the video of my past steps as I made new ones.  I  felt like I was hallucinating when my legs were out of sync with the camera.

Take that "John Post"

What the Hell if Christian said he was gonna run 20 miles I'm doing 21.  I decided to do a second lap of Manhattan  and ran my last 30 minutes under moon light.

I got up bright and early Sunday morning.  The weather report predicted temperatures up to 80 degrees at the Beach.  I'm there almost everyday and there was no way I was gonna miss out.  My body was sore from my run the day before with a slight strain in my right Achilles.  My weekly mileage goal was 77 and I had already ran 80 (all barefoot and in the soft sand). I ended up going for a real easy 6 miles as I took in the scenery (girls in bikinis in December) I then sat around for awhile on the sand enjoying the sunshine with some friends. After a short Icing of my legs in the bone chilling pacific i went for an easy 4 mile run giving me a grand total 90 miles for my second week back running.

That night there was a huge winter firework celebration planned at the Manhattan Pier. at 4p.m. they had sledding and snow for kids to play in.  I jogged over to the pier about a half mile and met up with my family for some fun.
I wish I was a kid.
Playing in the snow barefoot with my family
I.m about to get nailed by a snowball.

I had planned to meet up with some friends for the firework show but since my family stuck around I couldn't resist spending the time with them
What a bad ass, lol
My X-mas hat from the $.99 store came with puffy paint.  Nothing says X-mas quite like SLAYER, and nothing says SLAYER quite like glittery red puffy paint. Right?
Another great week in the books. 

Chia tree after 1 week
The closest thing to nativity scene you will see in my house.


  1. Love the blog. been following since the beginning. A question ! Do you have a job Pat?

  2. Are you sure you're following the blog since the beginning? You should know the answer by now :)

  3. Job lol? When opportunity presents itself I take advantage of it.