Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turning into Don Cornelius

Friggen Awesome. I hope anyone who reads this also clicks on that to see the full glory that was the thing that always pissed us off as kids because it signaled the end of Saturday morning cartoons as it typically aired at 12 or so on Saturdays before college football came on.

Ah, but I digress (whats new?), back to Don. My Boat "The Soul Train" I first considered to be long and unwieldy. And, It's true to a minor extent. The Contour of the Animas's hull certainly does not contribute to it tracking straight, however, that curve will also make it easier for me to roll so.... what evs. A few weeks back Justin and I went out and got her in some class II borderline III water for the first time. More importantly he spent a lot of time working my total lack of technique. I have been back out alone 3 times since on relatively flat water to practice. But I really hadn't felt any huge break through until today when stuff finally started to click. The effective pulling force of my strokes has probably gone up %50 and the work load on my arms has been cut in half. I was twisting and dancing with the water. I had my shuffle in my head and I was making my own little music videos. Good paddling is smooth and looks effortless. JUST LIKE DON CORNELIOUS! Spooner likens it to calligraphy, it's a great analogy really. Now the ultimate thing would be if Don Cornelious was highly trained in Calligraphy...
Today The Bent Creek section of the French Broad was running about 2400 or so and the water is REALLY starting to clear up. You can see about three feet into it. Which is rare for a flow rate this high. There is a river wide ledge that is about a foot and a half tall. The geologic feature makes two small standing waves that are each about 20 feet wide and are separated by a 10 foot wide flume of fast smooth water that rolls but does not crest. As I spawned upstream I noticed that my improvement in technique was really shooting Soul Train up the river with not much effort at all. I then Eddied out below the aforementioned ledge and started poking the bow of the boat into the froth. The wave was kind and I slipped in to some tentative surfing. I probably spent 10 minutes just sliding about on both sides of this baby rapid and had surprisingly little trouble crossing the flume as it too was kind of surfable, or could at least be *treated* that way. The afternoon sun shone into the submerged rock ledge and you could see large particles of sand and tiny pebbles spinning wildly in the hydraulic of the rapid. I could see how the presence of my bow was altering the flow in these undercut regions by the dancing of the pebbles. I was rapidly getting comfortable with the surfing so It was ok to watch the sand dance and just feel the boat move and respond with a lean or a quick push or pull of the paddle to stay in the sweet spot. Then I moved into the flume and calmly attained the next calm water 50 yards upstream, a few weeks ago I probably could not have done this at all, and If I had it would have taken a lot of frantic thrashing arm draining strokes. A feeling of pleased surprise washed over me as a Micheal Franti Song came on the Shuffle.
A Little further upriver a larger set of riverwide rocks that are bigger and less uniform create a wider variety and size of surfable waves. I just whip over there and start sticking my nose into all of them moving at will from eddy to eddy including tiny ones that I would not have caught even a week ago. I spend a full 30 minutes playing around on these waves and then head back down stream as I need to get a little 30 minute jog in on the trails before dark. As I return to the easier ledge wave I giggle at how much easier it now is. I paddled straight into it and started surfing with much more understanding of what was going on and what to do. The same held for the other even smaller waves that put me on edge a week ago. Smooth, easy, stylish. That is How Don Does it. And the more I learn the more I know that it isn't Soul Train that is hard to handle. Rather, it was and is operator ignorance. But man does it feel good to keep learning the subtle little things that make the boat do what I want faster and more artfully.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have nothing to say, and, I, am, saying it.

John Cage you strange strange man...
4:33 for your listening pleasure. What-tha-F$%#-ever. I personally would see fit to summon a thunderous fart 69 seconds into this "song".
Oh and look here, you can BUY the sheet music for this if you really want to play it.

Anyway, it's true. Life has rocked along at a steady clip with no real "news" to report. I am getting myself on the water a lot in my kayak that I have dubbed "Soul Train". My buddy Justin has been kind enough to take me under his wing to teach me what I will need to handle a kayak properly. Side note, many of the ladies have dubbed Justin and I a bromance.
1. They just hatin' cause they jealous.
2. yeah, it is. I do enjoy acting like a smart ass and punishing my liver with this cat. We pretty much grew up doing the same stuff. He is definitely "my people" Spooner called that one.

Just started running a bit as the fall soccer season grinds to a halt. Nothing on the lady front. Work is busy as ever. When I see folks I have not seen in months I really have almost nothing interesting (and factual) to tell them.
I have two and a half hours to kill before the soggy and cold regular season finale of Jack of the Wood FC... a rough season by any metric. And I can say with a high degree of confidence that our sister team, Green Man Untd. is going to hand us our asses in clean neat deli thin slices. But whatever, I like playing for Jack of the Wood. They are my peeps. I don't care to whore myself out to a winning team full of strangers. I played my uber successful futball from age 6 at glen arden elementary all the way to state finals my senior year in high school. Winning was expected. Here its a blessing. Just balancing karma I 'supose.

So what is this post REALLY about?

Quizzo team names.
first, I must say that we have pulled second place 2 weeks running now and that really helps make the drinking cost less. BUT for the last 3 months I have made a conscious commitment to come up with team names in efforts to win free pitchers of beer. It's been going well.
I am going to try and go back and think of some of these names.

reaching way back, there was "The University of Michigan Center of Excellence" when ASU upset Michigan in football.
Jane Carter has one of my all time favorites with "If Clinton didn't inhale then how did he come to Asheville High?"
And I think Spooner used something her ?brother? said which was, "It's all fun and games until someone soils the yoga mat."
some of my recent gems are.

Show me on the Doll where the stock market touched you.
Obama supports big girls, initiates the cash for chunkers program.
What we have here is a failure to Co-masturbate (you nazi)
In a perfect world she would have stuffed the tennis balls down kanye's throat.
NASA adopts hit it and quit it policy with the moon.
Summers Eve to Sponsor Next Moon mission

And I am starting a stock pile of non-secs (for when nothing fun happens in the news)
Quiz me in the morning and just walk away.
Pearls of wisdom strung smartly into a necklace for you muh lady.
Spooners "No means Yes, Yes means Harder"
Don't Post Porn Joy, Unless she says "It's OK"

and there are others... I think of them and then they float off into the ether, but no more because I will just update this post and drop them here.
Since the post, 5 additions.

"Every Kiss Begins with Kay, and some Kisses end in KY"
"Four Calling Girls, three french tarts, two skanky hos and Tiger is really sorry."
"The worst white thing to hit the eastern seaboard since the pilgrims"
"Toyota: Moving Forward, Whether you like it or not."- Spooner finished this team name after I popped the first part.
Spooner alone gave us.
"Obama White house New Yorker and the Economist Mag subscriptions, still trying to cancel Bush's highlites subscriptions."
"UNC Poised to win Gold in Mens Downhill in Mens Downhill Basketball."

Now team name winners, retired into the HOF.

"Smarty Pant Sweater" (Pronounced Smarty Pants Wetter)