Thursday, September 01, 2005

Communication breakdown, it's always the same.

So, I was in an office building today, and I had to take a leak.

I went to the bathroom, and there was a urinal and a stall.

There was an older guy using the urinal, so I went into the stall.

As soon as I got into the stall, the guy introduced himself,

"Hi. Lloyd Mandeville."

Now, I think this is a bit weird. Friendly, certainly. But still weird, so I say,

"Hi, I'm Joe!"

Then, my new friend Lloyd said, "Is the property still available? Because I would like to take someone through it."

My brow furrowed in confusion. There was a pause.

"Are there renters?"

By now, I have realized the guy is talking on a hands-free cell phone while he is peeing.

I begin to laugh, hard enough to cause difficulty with my aim.

Apparently, I am not as skilled at multi-tasking as Lloyd.

Take, if you want a slice, if you want a piece, if it feels alright. Don't come over here and piss on my gate. Save it. Just keep it off my wave.

Yesterday's run was rough, for no real reason. The weather was cool, perfect for running. I felt fine. I even took a day off. It was a route I have done dozens of times in the last couple months. In fact, I ran it on Saturday, and had an extra bounce in my step. Strange.

It is weird how psychology plays such a role in something like running. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it starts out hard and gets easier after you get a couple miles in (this hapens most frequently). Sometimes, you have to kick yourself in the ass just to get out the door and take the first step.

Inevitably, though, you always feel better after you do it.

Last night, we watched Riding Giants, a documentary on the evolution of big wave surfing.

It was a great movie. The evolution has been incredible; these guys are doing things that people hadn't dreamed of ten or fifteen years ago. Tracking it chronologically also had the effect of building to a climax (nearly unheard of in a documentary); as the sport developed, and tow-in surfing came into vogue, the waves get bigger, the athletes get better and the footage gets more and more mind-blowing.

If you think Laird Hamilton is just a pretty boy who married Gabrielle Reese and does American Express commercials, this film will disabuse you of that notion in a hurry. He is one of the most elite athletes on the planet.

He and his buddies pioneered tow-in surfing and strap-in surfboards, which allows them to ride 60-80 foot faces at over 35 miles an hour. The footage is seriously jaw-dropping, and builds to a final wave that Laird Hamilton caught somewhere in the south pacific, near Fiji, I believe.

The wave wasn't nearly as big as others they show him riding, but there is a reason they saved it for last.

It was stunning to watch. Here is a still picture of the ride, but you have to see the video footage to understand the raw power involved...

Note that he is dragging his right hand, not his left, which is what would naturally happen. He was creating drag to keep from getting sucked backwards up the wave and crushed in the closeout. As it is, he disappears in the tube and chaos of the closeout for a few seconds and comes rocketing out. It is a ride worthy of multiple viewings.