Friday, February 26, 2010

TODAY


There's a song that goes something like this:
"Yes I understand
that every life must end;
as we sit alone
I know someday we must go;
-----------
A young girl died on Queen K Tuesday night on a section of road -- a hill-- that I've ridden my bike on countless times.

Over the years I've suffered climbing that hill. Raced up it, laughed up it and flew down it. Today, I rode past the place where the car she was riding in was hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver. Debris still littered the area and all I could think was what a sad place that hill is now. A young life wasted and a family torn apart. I didn't know 17-year-old Angela Apostadiro, but after reading about her she seemed like a typical teen looking forward to a bright future. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. You can read the news article here.

Riding past that spot reminded me that we never know when our last day on earth will be. We always seem to think we have tomorrow and we always seem to take today for granted. So, even though we've all heard it a thousand times before, I'm reminding you again to not take today for granted. LIVE, LOVE AND LAUGH. FORGIVE AND FORGET, AND ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

Here's a poem I found online at heidi.blog-city.com. I don't know if the blog's author wrote it but I hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing it.
------
If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep
I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute,
to stop and say "I LOVE YOU"
instead of assuming you know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you",
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day.

That you didn't take extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear.
Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank You," or "It's OK"
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.
--------

Be safe.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

DUDE! THAT'S LANCE ARMSTRONG



This week I got to photograph the greatest cyclist in the world. As you know, Lance Armstrong visits the Big Island a few times a year and it's pretty common when he is here to see him on his bike.

Yesterday was the first ever "Twitter Time Trial." A 14-mile race between Lance and 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship second place finisher Chris Lieto, plus anyone else who wanted to ride it. But I didn't want to ride it. I wanted to photograph it. I mean, this was a historic event: The true cyclist verses the true triathlete. Not only that, but it's the world's best cyclist against one of triathlon's best cyclist's.

I wanted to witness this and all I can say is they are fast. Very fast. They covered the distance in just over 18 minutes and in the end only 15 seconds separated the two. Lance at 18:35 and Chris at 18:50.

Here a few photos from the first ever "Twitter Time Trial"

Oh, one funny note: When I got to work yesterday I told my editor that I photographed Lance and he said they heard a call over the police scanner saying that there were "a dozen paparazzi follow Lance Armstrong down the Queen K." That was an actual call to the police! I think I was the only actual professional photog at the event ... Anyhow, here's a few photos:
















Oh, that's me taking their photo at the end of the video, lol. Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RILED UP IN KONA

So there are a couple of ripples going through the triathlon community here in Kona. Nothing serious but here they are in no specific order:

TURN ON THE HEAT! The powers-that-be who run the island in all their wisdom (I'm being facetious - wisdom and county government are an oxymoron. Well, you can scratch off the "oxy" from that statement) have decided that heating our pool is a waste of money in our current economy.

True, the pool is a luxury item and I can see that spending taxpayers money to heat it rather than say, pay for council members traveling expenses to the mainland for "research" or to rent a bulldozer the county owned then sold then rented back for thousands of dollars a month, could be misconstrued as wasteful. (True story. The county sold a 1991 Caterpillar D8 for $52,083 in 2003, (they bought it for $276,000). It’s since spent more than $427,025 renting it back. A recent contract with the ’dozer’s owner will carry the county through June 30 for another $12,725 a month.) Like I said, an oxymoron!

More than just triathletes and swimmers use the pool, however. A lot of "normal" people use it as well.

My daughter, Rebecca, who is disabled and loves to exercise in the pool, no longer can because the temperature has dropped too low for her to use it and I'm sure there are a lot more people who no longer use the pool because the temperature has become too cold to tolerate. If you are a swimmer you can usually manage to move fast enough to get warm during your workouts, but people, such as my daughter, can't move fast enough to get warm.

You know the pool is too cold when you have to stop after every lap to chip the ice off your goggles, or when the U.S. Olympic speed skating team shows up at the pool for practice. Well, it's not that cold, yet, but I do hear talk that the Kona Ice Fishing club may be joining the pool.

(Need I say more?)

Below is a list of the decision-makers on the island. If you ever use our pool please e-mail them and politely ask them to turn on the heat. Not so much for us triathletes (the bain of existence for many nonathletic islanders) but for those who use the pool for physical therapy, water jogging and just to have fun. Thanks.

Mayor Bill Kenoi wkenoi@co.hawaii.hi.us 961 8211
Deputy Managing Director West Hawaii Wally Lau wlau@co.hawaii.hi.us
Parks and recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald parks_recreation@co.hawaii.hi.us
Aquatics Director Larry Davis aquatics@hawaii.hi.us
County councilman Kelly Greenwell kgreenwell@co.hawaii.hi.us

The other ripple in the tri community here is of great concern for Kona Ironman hopefuls. It seems Ironman is taking away more and more Ironman World Championship Big Island spots every year from the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 (Honu). For most of us that's our only way to qualify for Kona because of costs and travel etc. And to top it off, according to a local triathlete who interviewed an Ironman official, Ironman says that they do not owe the Big Island ANY spots.

Hmm! let's see. Most of us Kona triathletes (we are in the hundreds) volunteer every year at the two Ironman events if we aren't participating. When we participate, again in the hundreds,we pay our money - no discounts given. And we are big supporters of Ironman in the community.

I'm just wondering what would happen if us Big Islanders didn't support Ironman just one year? After all, it sounds like they don't need us, or maybe it's that they don't appreciate us, anyhow.

Well, like I said, there are a couple of ripples. Or maybe it's a splash or a wave, or it could be the beginning of a tsunami. Who knows? Nothing too serious unless you are the one affected. For either issue it may come down to seeing how much pull island triathletes/swimmers have. We do come with quite a support base, though. I mean there's our families, friends, and work associates just to name a few. Pretty much all vote and a lot volunteer at Honu and Ironman.

'Nuff said. On to the next post.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A BIRTHDAY WISH SENT TO AFGHANISTAN

Today is Lance Corporal Daniel Wrighthouse's birthday. Today, actually yesterday for him, he turned 20. He spent his birthday in a war zone, on foreign soil, in Helmand District, Southern Afghanistan. No doubt it was the same as any other day for him. Did he even know the date? That it was his birthday? Did he spend the day fighting people he doesn't hate to protect those he doesn't know? Did anyone tell him happy birthday?

Today, for us, our Marine is 20. Not old enough to drink legally, and barely old enough to vote. If he were here I'd write about some of the funny, embarrassing things he has done over the years as a kid. But that'll have to wait until next year. For now, I pray that God gave him a quiet day. My birthday wish for Daniel is that he had a day filled with relaxation, maybe a friendly football game with his buddies and a few hours of peace with no patrols, IEDs or shooting. I hope he knows how much we love him and how proud we are of him.

We miss you Daniel. Happy Birthday son. Be safe - Love Dad, Mom, Rebecca, Aaron, Jonathan and Rachael.

I found this list of advice from a father to his son that I thought was funny.

1) The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

2) It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

3) Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

4) Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5) Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6) If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

7) Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

8) If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you

9) Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

10) If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

11) If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12) Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

13) Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

14) The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

15) A closed mouth gathers no foot.

16) Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and dark side, and it holds the universe together.

17) There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

18) Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

19) Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

20) Never miss a good chance to shut up.

21) Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

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