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Week of Worlds at The Wakeboard Camp

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The WWA World Championships are this week in Orlando. That means that this is a crazy week at work. Crazy awesome though.

So just today, I coached in the morning. I had one of three boats. I had a family of a father and two sons. They all improved and started to figure out proper jumping position, so that was cool. Also riding on the lake was Ben Greenwood and his crew of riders competing in the tournament. Kurt Robertson and his buddies were out there as well getting tuned up for the competition.

Here is a list of moves I witnessed today, just when I was nearby. Pete Rose (Marcos Torres and Ben Greenwood), 720s (Bob Sichel and Ben Greenwood), backside 540 (Paulie Koch), and many other great moves. There’s even a 13 year old girl doing switch 540s, both heelside and toeside. Yeah.

If you don’t know what any of this means, come to Florida and I’ll teach ya! Life is pretty good here. I even got to ride and did me a roast beef tantrum. Woo!

Just Buy a New One

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Nothing says “I don’t know anything about personal cleanliness or managing my money” more than a soap dispenser that squirts watery soap mess all over your hands, wrists, and counter top when you stand at the sink of somebody’s bathroom, only wishing to practice good hygiene.

My philosophy is that it’s worth the money to just buy a new one. This goes with many things like such as (see what I did there?) most toiletries (bar soap, toothpaste, etc.), car tires (learned that one the hard way), and um, well right now I’m running short, feel free to help out in the comments.

Back to hand soap.

Seriously, it’s so much harder to get the hands clean with watered-down hand soap. You have to pump a lot more times, you are guaranteed to make a mess all over the counter, and you leave without really feeling like you have clean hands. All for what? Maybe saving a quarter per year? Maybe a dollar if you go crazy with it? Hand soap is crazy cheap, just buy a new one.

false unitSo, me being who I am, I searched the old INTERNETS for some pictures or something on this phenomenon. Apparently, you could kill somebody by adding tap water to your hand soap. Yep, it’s murder. See, tap water in soap can be a nice place for pseudomona bacteria to grow, which is the subject of this lovely picture. Psuedomona means false unit, which is totally awesome. It can lead to some sort of nasty bacterial infection, which could possibly lead to problems bad enough to kill people who already suffer from serious health problems like diabetes. Here’s the nitty gritty.

If you have a hard time believing that, take a glass of tap water and let it sit for a week then take a drink. You wouldn’t want to do that right? Yeah, not so good. So if you add tap water to your soap to save a penny or two at hygiene’s expense, you’re actually throwing hygiene right out the window and just smearing bacteria all over your hands. Nice work frugal idiot.

Just go to your local dollar store and get a new supply that will last you many months anyway (since you add water to soap, I assume you don’t respect hand-washing and probably skip that whole scene after just taking a leak, you dirty bugger).

And finally, I just played a game online against somebody named Gerd Hums.

End of line.

Blueberries

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The title has nothing to do with this post, it was just the first word that came into my brain when the cursor was blinking in the Title field.

Opening Thoughts

Just a bit ago when I went to write this post, I found that all of my sites were down, hosted by the same company. I checked their own site and it was also down. Everything was back up a couple of minutes later, but I managed to do some calculations during that time. They guarantee 99.9% up time, which gives them a little under 9 hours per year of down time. That’s a bit shy of an hour per month, which they have gone nowhere near. So well done BlueHost, well done. I still like you.

Wakeboarding

Life is good, as it has been ever since I moved to Florida. Here are some fun things that happened this week. I landed a tantrum to blind with an indy grab for the first time. That’s a fun one. I have ridden with plenty of good friends this week, and during one set I tried a double flip for the first time ever. That scared the snot out of me, which was really fun. Here’s the video: (It’s poor quality, but here is the link to the high quality version.)

Then today, I went riding with my friends Ben Greenwood and Trevor Hansen. After that, we came home and Trevor took a look at the video above there.

Trevor is, to date, the only person to land the move I tried, a double back roll, on a normal wake, as in not using a double up. (I’ll put the video below) He gave me a thumbs up and proceeded to coach me and break down the video to help encourage me to try it again and land the thing. That was pretty awesome in itself! I just tried the move on a whim, and now I feel motivated to land a double invert on a wakeboard. I mean come on, I have been coached by the only person in the world who has done it wake to wake. That’s awesome.

Here’s the aforementioned video:

Sorry, the video can’t be embedded on here. That’s something about online videos that bugs me, not allowing people to put them on their site, but whatever, that’s for another time. Check it out on Trevor’s blog here: Trevor’s Double Back Roll.

Nice huh? Yeah, he’s good. So is Ben. He landed a lot of different 720s today and a couple 900s.

Non-Wakeboarding

I get thoughts from time to time of what to blog about. I usually forget those by the time I sit back down at this desk. I’m okay with that, but perhaps I should try to work on fixing my retention method. So all I really have right now is this link for you:

Go Away: Hilarious email conversations between a talented graphic artist and people who have crossed him. The top post is a great place to start reading.

The Butt Cut 2010

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Well I suppose it’s finally time for the tale of my Earth Day 2010 butt laceration incident. It was a lovely Thursday here in Florida and just so happened to be Earth Day. I went to McCormick’s Cable Park with some co-workers and our Swedish contingent who were in their last of 4 weeks with us. There were a lot of people at the cable, so I took a few laps, got warmed up, crashed on something I don’t remember now, then got back in line. The line took a good 20 minutes to get through, so when I got going again, I didn’t want to fall. That plays a part in the story. You can click the pictures for bigger versions.

Rainbow Rail

Bec on the rail. The red circle is where the collision took place.

For those of you who aren’t aware, a cable park is a place where us wakeboarders are pulled around a lake in a circle by a mechanism that runs along a cable strung tightly up about 30 feet above the water. It lets us ride without a boat and practice fun things like sliding across solid objects, known as rails and kickers.

So on lap 1 of my second ride that day, I hit the rainbow rail (shaped in an arch, just like a rainbow) and misjudged it, so I jumped off to the side of the rail where the rope could pull me back toward the rail. I was riding on the water, and felt the rope trying to pull me back into the rail. I knew I should let go, but not wanting to get back in line, I decided I should try to avoid the inevitable collision with said rail.

Bad decision.

With less than 10 feet of rail remaining, I got pulled right into it and was flung around to where I got pretty disoriented for a minute and had a few painful spots all over my body, namely my elbows and my buttocks. The water was murky, so I couldn’t see the damage. All I knew was that my butt felt the same as my left arm, which just had a medium size raspberry on it, so I didn’t panic.

After swimming to the shore, I noticed my shorts were ripped open pretty nicely, so I pulled them back and saw quite a bit of raw Billy butt flesh. I couldn’t see it too well because of my life jacket, but I decided to get to the office quickly so I could get some first aid action on it quickly.

Rainbow Close Up

Close up of what cut me. That small angled gap acted like a knife.

Once outside the office I took my jacket off and had a good look at the damage, it was pretty significant. Jesse, the girl I had paid to ride for the day, was sitting outside, and I let her see the wound. She got pretty wide-eyed, then told me how to get to the nearby hospital.

I wasn’t in much pain, and needed to get my belongings, so I took the walk (maybe 100 yards) back to my stuff. Still only minor pain, so I proceeded to show off my fresh gash to all the people I knew. I warned them all that it was very gory and they shouldn’t see it if they easily get sick. The reaction was the same from most people: very wide eyes, some expletive, and disbelief. We took pictures and all that good stuff, then I drove myself to the hospital with Cassie, the daughter of my boss who had just cut her foot open on a bike earlier that day.

At the hospital, I was in the unfortunate position of having a few guys standing behind me looking at my exposed backside making comments. Once the internal stitches and surface staples were in, those guys standing there looking at my butt made remarks such as “That looks real nice.” That was a bit odd.

Anyway, I’m all healed up now and I literally have a bad ass scar. Pun intended! We had a fun staple removing mini party at my house and I even got to take one of them out myself. Thanks to Ben for providing the proper tool and my nurses Kathy and Allison.

Okay, now that it’s all said and done, here is the link to some very graphic pictures of the butt. I haven’t put them in this post because of how gross they are. Enjoy! Warning: Very graphic butt laceration pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Honk

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Again, this is another non-butt update. I’m still mid-healing process. I find it’s better to let the thing heal up so I can post the whole story. Just a little more time.

Something I’ve noticed over the years is how careful you need to be when using your horn while driving. I learned to really appreciate the power of the horn when I lived in New York for a couple of years. People there are very quick to let you know if you are slowing down the flow of traffic.

Honk!I figure there are three types of honks: friendly “hello” honks, heads up honks, and straight up rage/anger honks. I drive a 1999 F-150, which has one of the best stock horns in all the automotive world. It’s got about three or four different horn tones at once, and they are all loud and abrasive. That means I can really lay on the rage/anger honk, but need to use some precision on the other honks. There is a fourth “honk” but that doesn’t involve a car, my friends Didi and Dotti would understand.

Friendly “Hello” Honk: This one has to happen in quick little taps. It must be at least two honks, and can be probably no more than four. Any less and you sound like you’re a bit mad or something. More on this in the next part.

Heads Up Honk: This almost has to be two quick little honks. The reason it needs to be two though is something I learned a bit ago.

There was a weird turning lane situation where I was going to turn left, and a car was rolling toward me in the same turning lane waiting to merge with my oncoming traffic. I turned in a bit earlier that I should have I guess, so I tried to give two quick Hey I’m here honks, but I girly-pressed the second honk and it had no sound. I think that sent the wrong message. I ended up going back to my right, into my previous lane and driving around the other car. The large woman in there didn’t look too pleased with me. I was honestly just trying to avoid a crash, and she thought I was mad at her or something. Kinda dumb.

Rage/Anger Honk: This is my favorite, especially with my horn. This one you kind of arch your back, get your shoulders right in there digging into your seat back and fully extend your arm, getting plenty of pressure on the palm of your hand pushing deep into the horn. I prefer to go for at least 3 seconds, sometimes for up to 6 or 7 seconds to really let it set in.

Here’s my best use of this horn. At an intersection years back, I was stopped at a stop sign. I was set to turn left, and there were a few cars lined up across from me at another stop sign wanting to go straight through the intersection. So, the first car had the right of way. I let him go, and in this intersection, we weren’t exactly head on, we were shifted further to each others’ right than usual. So I started rolling out to get my left turn in quickly so the second car at the sign wouldn’t have to wait too long.

Well, that car’s driver didn’t feel it was necessary to stop, and I’m not somebody who likes to be disrespected like that. I had mostly made my turn, so I was nose-to-driver-side of this car. I laid on that horn buddy! The guy gave me a “Hey it’s cool that I just cut you off” wave, and I held the horn, with eye contact, until that wave turned into him showing me his longest finger. Yep, classy move buddy.

That got me to laugh pretty loudly. My horn has the effect of making people feel panic, which I love to watch happen. I don’t know, I’m a nerd and I love to kind of let people know how I feel about them.

This post is kind of lame, yeah, but it had to be put out there. People, use your horns! It’s a lot of fun, but be careful to not make them sound to angry. Even on the small taps, you’ve got to put some muscle into it, or you’ll just be awkwardly pushing on your steering wheel only to have nothing happen.

So get out there and start honking! Oh, also, don’t honk when you’re picking somebody up at their house. Seriously, be a decent human and go knock on their door. Maybe send a text. Just don’t sit out there and lay on your horn, so inconsiderate! OKBYE

Butt Injury #2 Prelude

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Word is out that I’ve injured my right butt cheek yet again. It is all true and as I type this I have 10 staples holding my new butt hole together.

I’m waiting for the right time to blog about the whole thing, which I figure will be within a couple weeks of when I get the staples removed.

I’ll have a nice detailed story just like I did when I tore another butt hole in the same cheek just under a year ago. I will tell you now that this one was a wakeboard injury and that the gay jokes will still be aplenty. Last time I got a large piece of wood jammed into my butt, this time I got a new butt hole torn by a rainbow. Yes, that’s right, a rainbow.

So hold tight, the story, along with very graphic gory pictures, is on its way.

I Want You to Meet Somebody

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You're really nice, reliable, considerate, and not my type.I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it in here before, but as a single guy around 30 years old, I’ve been put in so many ridiculously awkward date set up situations; you married people just don’t understand.

I realize that this only represents a small percentage of married couples, so I apologize to the majority of people who would never think to do such a horrible thing. Thank you.

I really don’t know what it is about people, namely married people. And, as a member of a very socially active church, I think things may be even more annoying for me than if I wasn’t religiously active.

I’ll skip really telling any history about set ups I’ve avoided and given in to because that would take too long. I will say that the best thing that has ever come out of any of the “dates” is a good steak dinner and some useless conversation that will never cross my brain again.

See, for some reason, people, mostly church people, feel that they are the ones who know exactly what I am looking for. They have just the girl for me. They often times tell me this immediately following our first introduction. For all they know, I may not even speak English! I’m just a tall, tan single guy (the handsome part is very debatable, the tall and dark part are easily proven) who has a tendency to treat strangers with kindness. These people see a guy like that and jump all over the opportunity to try and add some jewelry to my bare hands.

Now, here’s what baffles me. I would argue that the single most important decision of a person’s life is deciding if they should or should not marry their current boyfriend/girlfriend and spend the rest of their life with that person. So why on Earth would a middle aged married person have any thought at all that they probably know of a girl unlike any that I’ve met before, and will be the one to sweep me off of my feet. Of course there are many variables that lead up to the ultimate decision, but let’s look at the logic of that stranger being right about what my type of girl is.

It's not me, it's you.First, let’s look inside the brain of the schemer, the one trying to set me up with their sweet-spirited girl. What could their reasoning be that could take them so far as to offer to buy me dinner if I but go on a date with this girl? Do they want to feel like a savior to me and have me be forever indebted to them? Do they just thrive off of prodding people into HUGE life decisions on a whim? Do they imagine that I’ve only met horrible girls who eat onions and asparagus, never floss, and haven’t heard of soap? Do I look like a desperate loser who would wet myself if I ever tried to ask a girl out? Do they think I’ve never dated a girl? Do they think I have no taste or horrible vision? Or maybe, just maybe, do they happen to know a 6 foot tall girl with the looks of Kim Kardashian and the personality of Zooey Deschanel’s character in Yes Man who happen to love wakeboarding? (By the way, if you know this woman, please disregard this post and do send her my way.) So far, that last one has never been the case.

Now, I know that none of these schemers actually, deep down, don’t care if I just meet her and say “No thank you.” Nobody goes to that kind of effort for that result, they just don’t. They all want me to date and marry the girl. Think about it. Why would they want anything else? This is the perfect match! I won’t just date her and then leave, get dumped, or dump her, then it wouldn’t be perfect! I will marry her and we will live happily ever after!

Let's take things to the previous level.Okay, so that’s obviously how I see these people who insist on setting me up with their gentle ogre friends. Now let’s look at some things that seem much more reasonable to me, but never seem to happen.

Strangers never introduce themselves to me and suggest a restaurant to me. They never tell me that they just bought some new socks and they are super comfortable and then tell me where to get them and how much they cost. I’ve never been approached and given directions to a stranger’s favorite place to shop. And nobody has ever hunted me down to share with me their secret to building the perfect grilled hamburger. Why not? Well, in today’s society, that would just be weird!

I’m fine with all those previous things being thought of as a bit too personal to just blurb about to a complete stranger. So, answer me this: Why would ANYBODY EVER think it isn’t strange to suggest to somebody exactly whom they should decide to marry and deeply love the rest of their entire life? I mean really, think about it! All of the things in the previous paragraph would affect a tiny part of my life, and if I didn’t like the pointer, I wouldn’t really be changed too much. I’d either gain from it or just shrug it off. But a relationship affects you for the rest of your life.

I don’t really have a big concluding thought other than if you are one of these people who like to set people up on dates, PLEASE STOP! Tell people about your favorite salad dressing or shampoo or something. STOP TRYING TO RUIN LIVES! When you set two people up on a date, all four people are almost always going to get hurt. You and your spouse are two of those people, the one who got canned obviously will be hurt, and the one who did the canning will have to feel and/or look like a jerk. It’s a lose/lose/lose/lose situation!

Oddly enough, it’s been almost a year since I was talked into going on one of these dates. I ate the food, watched a movie in a theater and took off. I haven’t spoken more than 20 words to anybody involved in that night since, and none of those words were about said night. I’m just constantly baffled at people around me.

I realize that in many set-up type of situations, the schemers are “friends” or acquaintances of the poor target (me). I just see that as a much stronger reason to respect me and let me take care of my own HUGE life decisions.

Now that I got this off of my back, I’m excited to confront the next person who thinks they can waltz in to my life and magically send me spiraling into a storybook tale of everlasting love. This volcano will erupt!