Monday, November 30, 2009

5 Questions Follow Up: Support Locals

A few Mondays ago I was lamenting that a local icon may close his shop in the near future. Quite saddened by this prospect, I decided that I would make sure to visit and spend money more often.

Yesterday was one such day. The store proprietor was in front and friendly as always. I went inside and as pleasant as he was, the woman behind the counter was not. Greeted immediately with, "Is there something you need?" I was taken aback. The following few moments that I spent trying to get what I needed was spent with me feeling talked down to and given the word "no" over and over. I left.

Needless to say, I am not too excited about supporting this shop further. Sad. Reviews on Yelp are mixed also.

For now, my money will stay with Rider Shack and ZJ Boarding House when I am close to home; Girl In The Curl and Killer Dana in OC; and Ventura Surf Shop in Ventura. The latter I visited over the weekend when I needed some extra straps to keep my stick on the racks. This shop was helpful and super friendly. Everyone behind the counter and on the floor was awesome.

Why does the Zuma Jay experience bother me so much? It's no secret that the economy isn't exactly the best for anyone, much less the independent shops, so why would you treat those customer that do come in like dirt? The surfing industry isn't exactly taking in money hand over fist right now either. When I walk in to a smaller surf shop, regardless of location, they are helpful and really want to earn your business. Usually. I'm not saying that someone needs to fawn all over me and wait on me as if I were the Queen herself. I do, however, expect that when I am asked a question that I don't get snooty or nasty answers.

My five questions today are:

1. When you are treated poorly at your local shop do you return?

2. If you are given bad service do you ever think that maybe it was just an off day for them and you will return to give them another chance?

3. What constitutes bad service for you?

4. At what point do you escalate a bad experience and look for a concession?

5. Should I give Zuma Jay's another shot?

UPDATE: December 1: Well, I did go back and give them another shot. I am very pleased to say that they must have been having a bad day when I last visited. The same person helped me and they were quite awesome! I'll keep spending money with them as the chance arises!

Friday, November 27, 2009

High Surf Advisory My Foot

So I skipped the early morning post to get myself out to my local surf spot. I was awaken by those words that surfers love to hear pass the meteorologist's lips: "high surf advisory, 8-10 feet".


I was meeting up with two of my buds today that are just starting out so I had to choose my location carefully. One has been in the water with me a few times before and nearly took my head off with her board. I say nearly because it is one of those foam deals and that is why I am still here in one piece today. It's all good though, we joke about it. Today she asked to borrow a board so I was going to stay clear of her since it's a real one.

We got to the spot and it looked good - head high as promised. By the time we got in there were a few sets and I caught two but was really lame on them. The third one I was thinking, "This is it, I'm shredding this one!" Then I felt a tug on my leash and something ram into my foot. I turn and one of the fellas had accidentally grabbed my leash as he paddled, which caused his board to run into me. He was extremely apologetic. I wasn't mad. I asked him if he was okay and then paddled off.

Yeah, I know. Not everyone is so nice about that sort of thing. I am just not interested in having issues while I am in the water. Heck, I could be in the office today. Instead, I'm in the water. With friends. For a few hours.

Not a bad deal.

I wasn't even mad at the reports that said high surf. There were a few good sets but then it was like a bumpy lake. Oh well. It was all still better than going to the office!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks And Give Back

Yeah, the economy isn't so great and it's important to be as smart as possible with your money. You know what this means? Non-profits, charities, and those that must have fundraisers to exist are having an especially difficult time. I'm employed, have a place to live, food, nice golf equipment, 3 surfboards, and plenty of clothes. I am pretty sure I have a few bucks to spare for someone else that needs it.

Do you have plenty to give thanks for? Here are some links to those that would appreciate if you could spread some around to them:

Sponsor A Filly: The Portland Fighting Fillies are a new WFA team and they can use your help. Follow the link to sponsor a player. There are other sponsorship opportunities as well. Click over to Wendi Kali's blog and ask her how. This is the inaugural season for this team so they can use plenty of support.

Surfrider Foundation: This organization started on the beaches of Los Angeles County so it is near and dear to me. Their mission and reach has expanded so you need not be close to Los Angeles or the coast in order to benefit from their work.

Heal The Bay: Dedicated to preserving the waters in my immediate area, this organization is also close to my heart.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Yes, another that is very close to my heart as I spent five years of my life volunteering/working for this rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility.

Fresh Air Fund: This organization is dedicated to giving city kids a real summer vacation. You know, the kind with camping, hiking, swimming, and all those awesome outdoor activities.

These are only a few places that one can give to. I've not even covered the tip of the iceberg for deserving charities.

So today, I encourage you to give thanks and give back to those who need you.

What are some of your favorite charities?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday Non-Sport Blogspotting

Yes, I read much more around the internets other than sports. My RSS feed is full of variety. Sure there are a plethora of golf and surf blogs, but I really enjoy stupid humor as well. Today I decided to be goofy and share some of the fun blogs out there that have nothing or almost nothing to do with sports.

One of my favorites that deals with sports and humor is Up Next In Sports. It's a bit like LOL Cats but with your favorite sports figures.

Speaking of...I definitely follow I Can Haz A Cheezburger and I Haz A Hotdog.

If you need some, um, encouragement try Very Demotivational.

Autocomplete Me is a fun time-waster as is Totally Looks Like.

If you like to make scrunchy, ohmygosh-face then check out Cute Overload and Daily Squee.

I have several more but I'll save those for another day!

What do you like to follow other than sports?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NBA Style: Looking Good is REQUIRED

Today's post is from Heather Zeller, founder of the new blog A Glam Slam. Heather blends her love of sports and fashion - part of her bio states: "People have always found it strange that my two favorite things seem to have no connection at all. I can rattle off NBA stats one minute and share my favorite new fashion trends the next. I split my time shopping online designer sample sales while checking on the day’s scores. My two dream jobs are a fashion designer and/or a sideline reporter." I can relate!

NBA style has evolved from short shorts, high socks, and Chuck Taylor’s to baggy shorts, ankle socks, and Air Jordan’s. From Dr. J’s afro and Pistol Pete Maravich’s shaggy ‘do of the 1970’s to Dennis Rodman’s signature pink, blue, green, or yellow hues of the late 1990’s. From Dwayne Wade’s decorative band-aids to Allen Iverson’s black shooting sleeve. From a fashion free-for-all to, gasp, a dress code. Yes, the NBA needed a makeover and in 2005, NBA commissioner, David Stern, implemented a mandatory dress code for all players.

Stern's rules required all players to dress in “business or conservative attire” while arriving to and departing from a game, on the bench while injured, and when conducting official NBA business like media appearances. This change did not come without controversy. The dress code banned fashions often associated with hip-hop culture: jerseys, do-rags, large jewelry, and Timberland-style boots.

But now in its fourth season, who would have thought a dress code would actually improve the players’ fashion sense? A growing list of NBA stars have ditched the hip-hop threads for designer duds, making it just as exciting to see their off-court style as it is to watch them dunk and block shots on the court.

LeBron James, a “fashionisto” in his own right, says: “If you look good, you play good, I’ve always believed that.” ( With the 2009/2010 season in full swing, A Glam Slam takes a look at those who look good:

Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets, Forward

Carmelo Anthony’s style has certainly evolved since his arrival in the NBA. Thanks to his new stylist, Khalilah Williams-Webb, he often sports more mature, elegant looks. Nowadays, he favors sleek, colorful suits and he’s rarely seen without a pocket square. Perhaps this tie and pocket square are a tribute to his alma-mater, Syracuse University?

Devin Harris - New Jersey Nets, Point Guard

Devin Harris rocks a cool and casual vibe, which has come to be known as his signature style. He often pairs a dressed up top half including a blazer, dress shirt, sweater and tie, with a laid back bottom half, blue jeans. And even Gotham Magazine has taken note, as they’ve deemed him one of “New York City’s 100 Hottest Bachelors.”

Gilbert Arenas – Washington Wizards, Point Guard

Gilbert Arenas always throws his jersey into the stands after a game. And he changes into flashy, yet stylish outfits such as this modern, “inside-out” tuxedo suit. When he’s not wearing high-end fashions, he’s designing them. Arenas has his own line of Adidas footwear.

Chris Paul – New Orleans Hornets, Point Guard

A former “GQ Man of the Year,” Chris Paul is always on point when it comes to his fashion sense. His off-court style includes a mix of casual looks and designer suits. And he’s often seen traveling in style too, with his Louis Vuitton Damier toiletry case.

For more NBA style stars, check out’s best dressed style gallery.

Check Heather out at A Glam Slam and welcome her to the blogosphere!

Monday, November 23, 2009

5 Questions About Gifts For Sports Fans

I seem to get a lot of questions from people that go something like this:

"My (niece, son-in-law, friend) is a big fan of (insert sport here), what is a good gift for them?"

Being that it is that time of year when there are many gifts being exchanged I thought I would help out and make a few suggestions based on some of the questions have had in recent weeks.

1. What do I buy for a hardcore surfer?

First off, unless they specifically ask, don't buy them wax. Everyone has a particular preference and there are many types of wax so do everyone a favor and skip this one. What you can get that is both valuable to a surfer and easy on the wallet is a subscription to Surfline.

2. What would be a nice gift for a lady golfer?

All lady golfers are not created equal. Don't assume that simply because you have a woman on your list that is an avid golfer that she'll go crazy over a pink towel and tee set. Why not buy them a towel set that has a logo or activity that you know they are fond of other than golf and include a gift card? It seems more well thought out that way. The gift card can be to their favorite equipment store or to their local course.

3. My sister is a huge (sports team) fan, what's a good gift that isn't cheesy?

Cheesy would be their team shirt in the tired, old pink theme. Don't get me wrong, I have a pink Dodgers shirt and hat and a Buccaneers pink shirt also but I have many more that are the actual team colors. The NFL Shop online has some very cool styles but be careful assuming that the Alyssa Milano gear is the stuff that we all want. The truth is, unless the person you're buying for is petite and thin, many of these designs will fit poorly and annoy the recipient.

4. How do I buy my (sports fan) tickets to a game?

This can be tricky and pricey if you aren't careful. If you aren't a big sports fan yourself and haven't been to the particular venue, get some advice. While I would be grateful for Dodgers tickets in the Pavilion, the truth is I've never sat in those seats and would forgo buying for a particular game if that were all that was available. Bottom line - do your homework.

5. I'm lost - what should I buy for my (sport)-lover?

What else do you know about them? Do they have a local surf shop, golf supply, or mom and pop t-shirt shop they frequent? Why not get them a gift card there? If they are really regulars you can ask the folks behind the counter. Store personnel are a great source of information for gift-giving, especially in the independent shops. You might also try just a gift code to Amazon. They have a very large variety of sporting goods and a lot of great prices.

Good luck! What do you think is a good gift for a sports fan?

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Fantasy Football Team Bites

I don't really care that both of my Fantasy Football teams are stinking up the place. Sure, I'd like to win. Honestly though, there is so much that is ruled by chance that you could spend hours and hours doing the research every week and still lose. We've got a trade deadline today and everyone is trying to get my QBs in both leagues. In one league I have Matt Schaub and Tom Brady and in the other I have Kurt Warner and Matt Schaub. One proposal asked for Matt Schaub for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. As if.

The most frustrating part about Fantasy Football this year? One of the commissioners! Check this out - this person sent me a text message and bet me $50 that the Magic would beat the Lakers in the Finals. This was before the Magic even won the last game. Yeah, you read that right - I got the text before the game was even over that the Magic clinched in. At any rate $50 is the buy in for the league. They want me to pay! What the heck? Am I crazy? Is this person being unrealistic? We both owe each other $50 so how is that not a wash? I'm a little peeved about it because they have been hounding for weeks and put up excuses like "we didn't shake on it". Now I got a threatening text this morning that my team would be deleted? I thought Fantasy Football was supposed to be fun?

Am I crazy? What would you do?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mid-November Blogspotting

Open Mic: The Women's Football Talk group has a new show that debuts tonight. Women's Football Open Mic will be hosted by Wendi Kali. Wendi has been a guest for 5 Questions as well.

Glam Slam: Speaking of football, today's post on A Glam Slam discusses the future of college football fashion. This is a newly launched blog, check it out!

Did I Already Share This?
I can't remember if I ever shared the link to the Twitter Girls of Photo Ball Marker. PBM are a fun company with a fun product that is a great gift idea.

It's Getting Dark Earlier:
This doesn't mean that you can't still try to squeeze in a round of golf in the afternoon. I tried this just over the weekend and so did Heather. I'm guessing my round was a bit warmer though.

Bad Golf:
Yeah, I play plenty of bad golf myself. The One-Eyed Golfer has an interesting post about a documentary that covers a tournament that I want to enter. The Average Man Invitational has a big prize and very low requirements. I'm gonna try to catch the application window for next year and see if I can get in!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - November 18, 2009

If you've been a frequent visitor over the life of this blog you will have noticed that I have a rather short attention span when it comes to sports. Bring the next shiny highlight on the screen and I've already forgotten what it was that I was doing in the first place. It doesn't bother me at all, I just go with it. Honestly, I don't understand why I should only follow one sport! For me, that would be completely impossible. Don't get me wrong - I truly admire those who can focus on only one sport. I would probably be a much better golfer if that was all I did. Heck, I know I'd really shred in the water if I only concentrated on surfing.

The wild thought I realized this morning was that I have barely written about much of anything but surfing and golf in the last few months. This hit me when I heard a news headline as I woke up and heard that the Galaxy are in the playoffs? Wow, where have I been? Disgusted with the whole Beckham thing last year I guess.

Actually, I have really been trying to DO as opposed to WATCH. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy being at a stadium or even watching a good match up on television. Over the last year I've really been more focused on DOING. I can't sit quietly for long periods of time. I've got to get out and be active.

No matter the season or region, there is something that you can be DOING. Seriously. Get off the couch or bar stool and do something.

What are you going to do?

Today In Sports History - The Birthday Edition

Happy Birthday to: Warren Moon, Gary Sheffield, David Ortiz, and Jason Williams

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Happy For Michelle Wie

She has her critics and she has her fans and now Michelle Wie has her first LPGA win.

Bring her name up on certain forums and it's sure to polarize the crowd. Honestly, I've seen more bashing of this young player than anything else. Sure, there have been interesting choices made in her career but I just don't get why there is such animosity toward her. I mean really, she's just a young woman that plays golf. How is that so threatening? I can only imagine how she feels about everything that is said about her. Hopefully she just lets it roll off her.

This year is shaping up great for her though. First the Solheim Cup and now her win over the weekend! Congratulations Michelle! Here's to many more!

How do you feel about Michelle Wie?

Monday, November 16, 2009

5 Questions About Supporting Local Businesses

What does this have to do with sports?

Yesterday I headed up PCH like I do every Sunday morning to hit my favorite surf spot. When I was almost there, I realized that I had left my surf booties at home. Knowing the spot I was going to was covered in a rocky bottom I was in for a rough time if I didn't stop and pick some up or drive back home and get mine. I wasn't far from a surf shop so I decided to stop.

I found a new pair at Zuma Jay's and had the pleasure of a conversation with Jay himself and his daughter. I should clarify - it was a pleasure to speak to them but what they had to say was not pleasurable at all.

Zuma Jay's has been around since the mid-1970s. Ever since I knew what surfing was, I knew what Zuma Jay's was. Everyone that surfed in or around the area from County Line to Venice and beyond were well aware of Zuma Jay.

So what's the problem? Well, this local brand used to have a few locations and was quite busy. Now, the "big box"-type retailers are pushing out the smaller, independent shops like this one. A local icon was now barely staying open. Surprise, surprise.

This is no different than most any other industry where the Wal-Marts, Dick's, Shoe Pavilions, and Golfsmiths are taking over. Small skateboard shops are replaced by Sport Chalet. The local clubmaker is out of business because a Roger Dunn moved close by.

Sure, I like a good mall or big store every so often but I really love the small, family-owned shops too. Zuma Jay's prices are as good and sometimes better than the big chains around town. In fact, many of the small shops like Zuma Jay's or Rider Shack have very competitive prices and something that the big stores can never give - personalized service. When I go to Rider Shack they remember me and each of my surfboards that I have purchased or brought in to repair. They even let me bring my giant bloodhound in the store with me to shop! I'll bet Jay will remember me also. In fact, I decided that I need to make more regular stops to make purchases at Zuma Jay's.

Now the questions - these are for you. Well, they're probably rhetorical but I wanted to get them out there:

1. What independent shops in your local area cater to your sport?

2. Do you patronize the independent, local shops more than big box retailers?

3. Which type of shopping experience do you prefer?

4. What would stop you from shopping at an independent shop?

5. Wouldn't you like to keep the variety out there and have the smaller, independent shops stay in business?

Check out my update on November 30 to this post here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

If you're one of those surfers that likes to surf hurricane remnants please be careful. When I was in college on Florida's west coast I would watch everyone get out there and try to swim and/or surf in the hurricane-induced waves. Yes, watch...I'm not a big fan of surfing white water crap. At any rate, please be careful and know your limitations if you go.

If you're here in SoCal you can catch more surfable conditions this weekend and the Jim Beam Surf Tag finals in Huntington Beach. This first annual event has a relay competition where each surfer must catch three waves and then return to the beach to tag the next team member.

I'm going to hit the waves in the morning tomorrow and then play 18 around noon. I am going to finally load up that awesome new Mia Shawn bag that I won from Real Women Golf. I've got new shafts in my two new drivers and a new shaft in the 3-wood also. Oh yeah, I've even got some new balls to use - it will be just like my birthday! Woo!

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Director of Fandemonium Contest

The inbox had some cool contest information this morning:

The NFL and are currently engaged in the NFL Director of Fandemonium search. The NFL Director of Fandemonium position is a chance for a huge NFL fan to receive exclusive access to NFL events, including:

o NFL Draft: Announce a pick at the 2010 NFL Draft (April 2010)

o NFL Kickoff: Act as backstage talent wrangler at the 2010 NFL Kickoff concert (September 2010)

o NFL International Series: Participate in on-field introductions at the 2010 International Series Game (October 2010)

o NFL Thanksgiving: Serve as an on-field broadcast liaison for the NFL Network 2010 Thanksgiving Game (November 2010)

o NFL Super Bowl: Join the coin toss ceremony at Super Bowl XLV (February 2011)

o NFL Pro Bowl: Select a play from the sidelines during the 2010 Pro Bowl (January/February 2011)

o Publish blog posts on and meet with top NFL executives

To enter, or refer a friend, you visit this website. The contest runs until 11/16. Sounds like a cool job to me! I put in my entry!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - November 11, 2009

I Don't Care What You Say:
I am a Phil Mickelson fan. At the beginning of the year my friends and I followed him at the L.A. Open like giggling schoolkids and enjoyed every minute of it. Yeah, I am probably biased since he's a tall lefty and SoCal native but we all find fandom in familiarity of some sort. I was excited when he won over the weekend at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Call him FIGJAM all you want, I think he's awesome.

Golfers Love To Shop:
Pink Diva Golf has put together a “Girls Golf” Holiday Shopping Guide. The guide focuses on the online retailers that focus on women's golf. Check it out!

From our friends at Fresh Air Fund: One out of four school children in the U.S. has vision problems, and 86% do not get their vision checked before age 12. Many Fresh Air children do not have access to affordable vision care. Glasses break, are too expensive to replace, or are never prescribed in the first place. And often as a result, children's performance in academics, sports and activities suffers.

For the fifth summer in a row, OneSight offered to bring their traveling optical clinic to all five Fresh Air Fund camps. Together with OneSight's Vision Vans – and a team of local doctors and volunteers, OneSight provides free eye exams and eyewear to thousands of children in need each year.

This summer at Fresh Air camp, OneSight's staff screened 3,295 children and counselors, gave 1,757 eye exams, and made 1,629 pairs of glasses, with 1,458 of them on-site and 171 specially driven in. The team stayed at Camp Hayden-Marks for two camp sessions, to make sure every child who needed the gift of sight was screened.

Although you might think some children would be reluctant to be prescribed glasses, most of them are delighted. They've been missing out on the world around them for too long. (Being able to pick out their own frames helps, too.) Our friends at OneSight told us about a boy at Camp Mariah who ran to the Vision Van before the team had even begun setting up in the morning. “You guys have the van, right,” he said, clapping and jumping up and down. “The one that I can get glasses from?”

Today In Sports History

1997 - The WNBA expands to Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Happy Birthday to Mark Sanchez

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yes, Bethany Hamilton Is Inspiring

Last week I was posting about a few folks that I found inspiring. My posts were not inclusive as there are many folks that I find inspiring. Each does so for different reasons and some more than others.

One of my favorite surfing buddies asked me why I didn't mention Bethany Hamilton in these posts. Well, it certainly isn't because I don't find her to be a source of inspiration. She just wasn't on my radar that day.

Back in 2003 Bethany was only 13 but already an avid surfer. She was out in the water and the unthinkable happened when a shark bit off one of her arms. A lot of people would never get back in the water after that. Not Bethany. She is still shredding today. In fact, as I was surfing the internet over the weekend I noticed that there was a new video of her getting barreled. Check out her calendar on her website and you'll see that surfing is still her life.

Yeah, she's quite an inspiration.

The person that asked me why I didn't include her last week is pretty admirable herself. Check her out here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

5 Questions About project BLUE

1. What is project BLUE?

It's not a charity. It's a plan of action.

project BLUE is an initiative by seven of the leading and competitive brands in surfing, who have come together to develop a co-branded, limited edition product line where a part of the proceeds go to the non-profit Surfrider Foundation. The goal of project BLUE is to give surfers and beach lovers an easy way to plug into Surfrider’s mission to protect to the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches.

2. Who is involved in project BLUE? Why is project BLUE unique?

The brands involved in project BLUE are a who’s who of surf. Billabong, DAKINE, Electric Visual, Famous Wax, Nixon, O’Neill, and Reef are the current partners.

To those with just a cursory knowledge of the surf industry, O’Neill and Billabong are obvious competitors. However, many of the project BLUE brands make bags (thus competing with DAKINE), Billabong owns a sunglass brand that competes directly with Electric, DAKINE makes traction pads that compete with Famous Wax’s pads...the list goes on.

3. What products are in the project BLUE lineup?

The products in project BLUE change regularly with each brand’s selling season, but the following is a brief overview of what each brand is contributing.

Billabong: The boardshorts for men and women, made from Billabong’s Eco-Supreme Suede fabric. Comprised entirely of recycled plastic bottles, Eco-Supreme Suede is responsible for diverting more than three million plastic bottles from landfills. Also in the lineup is the Platinum B9 wetsuit, featuring a shell made from 90 percent recycled materials.

DAKINE: The Recon (men’s) and Oceana (women’s) backpacks. Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, each features and each featuring a seam sealed wetsuit pocket, insulated cooler pocket and other organizer sections.

Electric: All of Electric’s polarized sunglasses will fall under the project BLUE initiative in 2009. They’ll be shipped in packaging made from recycled materials with printing that uses soy based inks.

Famous Wax: Famous’ Green Label surf wax, which is petro-chemical free, along with professional surfer Timmy Curran’s Eco-Timmy traction pad, made from 40 percent recycled foam.

O’Neill: Each season O’Neill releases a collection of t-shirts and/or fleece for men and women, made from organic cotton and printed using soy based inks.

Reef: The Redemption Fanning sandal for men (made from recycled car tires, among other eco-friendly materials and feature a bottle opener integrated into the sole). The NWS sandal debuted in August and features an innovative construction that minimizes waste in the production process, in addition to using recycled materials.

Nixon: Four different watches, for men and women, with innovative features such as tide charts/ranges, in addition to unique crown placements ideal for athletic use.

I had the opportunity to test out one of the women’s watches by Nixon over the weekend, the Small Channel T for project BLUE. The watch has a limited-edition blue color and is Swiss made with a five-hand design with tide, moon phase, tidal range, and seconds sub-dials. There are quick adjusting buttons designed for easy setting of tide and moon phases and the watch is waterproof to 100 meters. The watch hands also glow in the dark.

Setting the tide and moon phase hands is stated simply in the directions that are included and quite simple to do. In addition to the easy-to-read format of the directions they have a silly sense of humor. At any rate, I set the tide on Friday night and it kept up with what the tide charts said for Saturday and Sunday. I was in the water both days during the morning high tide so I know it worked right. (The tide didn’t flatten out the waves for me completely, fortunately!)

The feature that is touted the most about this watch is that the dial placement on the crown is intended to stay out of your way during athletic activities and not dig into your wrist. I was quite interested in this feature, being a lefty. It had never occurred to me that this would happen as it hadn’t happened in the past for me. The moral of the story and lesson learned – wear this on your left wrist and it won’t dig into your hand when you surf.

Overall, I really like this watch and plan to use it regularly.

4. Who is behind project BLUE?

project BLUE was developed by Vipe Desai, a member of the Surfrider Foundation’s national board of directors and the director of marketing for Monster Energy. The goal of project BLUE isn’t to encourage consumerism, but rather, to help consumers support a charity that’s important to them in a fairly easy manner. Vipe believes philanthropy is a mature subject and organizing charity fundraisers or otherwise soliciting donations is a difficult task for many to participate in. project BLUE gives beach lovers an easy way to plug into Surfrider next time they find themselves in need of a new backpack or t-shirt.

5. Where can I find out more about project BLUE?

Current products, promotions and news updates are regularly posted to the project BLUE website and through the site’s presences on various social networks such as Twitter, Social Vibe, MySpace and Facebook.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Inspiration Continues

Yes, I am in one of those moods. If you can read between the lines over the last few weeks or so you may catch that I'm up against a bit of a challenging point in life. Nobody is sick, in trouble, or lost; I'm just taking on some new things and encountering a few speed bumps along the way.

When faced with adversity I look for sources of inspiration. No matter how many challenges I may be facing, there is definitely someone that has overcome more difficult circumstances. In addition, I believe that nearly everyone you meet is a source of inspiration in one way or another. You can take a page out of someone's book any time.

I've got a very busy day and rest of the year coming up so I am finding inspiration to succeed everywhere. I need to. Yes, I am in on how corny I am. Deal with it. I like to focus on being positive.

Here are a few other people that I can be inspired by on any given day:

Sofia Mulanovich: Check out the video and watch her surf. Enough said.

Lindsay Stordahl: Dedicated runner, outdoor enthusiast, animal advocate, and all-around cool chick. Lindsay's focus and dedication is something I enjoy following on her blog That Mutt.

Mike Southern: Golf instructor extraordinaire Mike is such a thorough and thoughtful writer. He's even taken on a lefty golfer and is writing an entire series about the golf swing that describes the lefty perspective. Check him out on his Ruthless Golf page.

I also have quite a few friends and colleagues that inspire me in little ways all the time and they just don't realize it!

Who inspires you? Where do you look to for inspiration?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some People I'm Inspired By

Today I just took a look around and decided to write about a few of the people that inspire me. Whether in a profound or simple way, everyone in today's post is someone that I admire and feel I can learn something from. This is not a complete list, just what I am feeling today:

Jesse Billauer: In 1996, Jesse's life completely changed when he became paralyzed in a surfing accident. Since then, he founded Life Rolls On and is back in the water. Life Rolls On exists to be a resource that provides hope and is an advocate on behalf of young people whose lives have been affected by spinal cord injury. His foundation merged with The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation this year.

Heather Jones: She's dedicated and focused on her goal. When she misses it by a fraction, she's got a sense of humor about it. Heather is the mastermind behind Real Women Golf.

Wendi Kali: She's determined that at age 40 she will have her best year of football. Follow her progress, dreams, and frustrations on her blog My WFA Days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - November 4, 2009

Cold Water Classic California: The O'Neill Cold Water Classic California is in Santa Cruz this week. You can catch live action online here. That reminds me of something a few friends and I used to do some years ago. We'd leave SoCal on a Friday night, sleep on a local's couch/floor, and wake up to surf Steamer Lane. Ah, those were the days.

Ski: Skier Grete Eliassen has a cool new video out. I was sent this teaser but don't have much other info about it. Even her website only has the video. Stay tuned.

Can I Just Say: I love scaring my fellow surfers, divers, and swimmers in the water. I especially love freaking those out who try to tell me that they just saw a shark because they are trying to make me nervous. That said, check out this picture. Now go take a swim. Haha!

Today In Sports History

1955 -Baseball Hall of Famer Cy Young dies at age 88

1988 - First NBA game at Charlotte Coliseum - Hornets lose to Cavs, 133-93

Happy Birthday Steve Mariucci

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My First Surfing Competition

Over the weekend I was a contestant in the Haunted Heats surfing competition that was hosted by ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica. This was the first of what is planned to be an annual occurrence.

This was also the first time I entered a surfing competition of any kind. In spite of surfing for most of my life I am definitely not a pro. I also discovered that longer heats would really be very beneficial for my performance. A ten minute rest between catching waves would be great. It's a drag to realize that I'm not in optimal shape.

And no - I didn't win any of the awards. The viking was best costume, the Teletubbies were best surfing interpretation of their costumes, and the tiger shark was best overall. I did, however, score a very sweet swag bag from ZJ, make some new friends, and get some great pictures. In addition, how often do I get to have a group of friends come watch me act like a complete dork while I surf in a costume? I can't wait until next year.

ZJ has a flickr album with more event pictures and you can also follow them on Twitter. The shop also has a fan page and profile on Facebook as well. I also discovered a blog from another contestant that had a great costume!

This competition brought me to the realization that I need to be a bit more serious about my workout routine. I've slipped a bit lately. Although I spend several hours in the water every weekend it is not constant activity. When I am not being timed I sit on my board and catch my breath when I am tired. I'll chat with others while waiting for sets and just chill. Usually, a wave every 20 minutes is good for me. I need to step that up because spending time on the driving range and playing a round of golf every so often isn't contributing to my cause. Sure, I have great upper body strength but I really need to work on endurance!

What will I do? Well, to start I've got an elliptical trainer here at the house that is missing me quite a bit. We used to have a standing date at least 4 mornings a week. That starts again today. Wish me luck.

Oh, and what is my costume? Well, I called it the "undead ballerina". I had a lot of great suggestions and decided that I would go it on my own. The dress was something I picked up at a vintage shop that would not fall off since it was one piece. The gloves stayed on with the help of some bands. My makeup didn't budge since it was colored zinc oxide sunblock.

So who won my contest? Well, the suggestions were Burger King, Gorilla, baseball player, pink Power Ranger, gorilla, squirrel, dog, and a football. At the contest there was a gorilla (mask only with wetsuit) and the King. I have to give the best idea to the King because it was really funny to watch him surf! Congratulations Vince! Shoot me a note and let me know where to send your prize.

Monday, November 2, 2009

5 Questions With Another Football Star

Social media rocks! I meet so many awesome athletes this way and today's guest is a great example of that. Wendi Kali is a dedicated football player that recently realized her dream of raising enough funds to attend the 2010 Women's Football Camp in Las Vegas in January. She is chronicling her training ups, downs, and lessons learned in her blog My WFA Days. You'll see her on the field with the Portland Fighting Fillies for the upcoming season. She's pretty amazing and I know you'll see what an inspiration she is after reading this - I'll let her introduce herself:

I was born in San Diego, CA and grew up in Escondido, CA. I spent a couple of years in the Marine Corps and had my son at a pretty early age. I spent 15 years, off and on, getting my degree in business finance while working full-time and supporting my son and me. Today my son is 19 and attends the Art Institute of Portland and is majoring in Media Arts & Animation. I graduated with a BS in Business from Portland State University in August 2007 and have worked for a chain of pubs & breweries in the Pacific Northwest as a Senior Accountant from October 2007 until now. This December I turn the big 40!

1. How did you get started in women's football? How long have you played? How long do you hope to play?

I first heard about the Portland Shockwave back in 2006 or 2007 and attended a few games in 2008 but, at the time, my schedule wouldn't allow for time to play and practice. At the end of 2008 a lot of things had changed in my life and I fell into a pretty deep depression. A friend of mine got me to finally go to a therapist to turn things around and while in therapy I decided to play for the Shockwave. Football, quite literally, saved my life. I had found my outlet and felt incredibly empowered by it. Last year was my rookie year and I hope to play for as long as my body will let me. It's such an incredible adrenaline rush and a great way to get out all of your frustrations.

2. How do you train for your position and what position(s) do you play? What is your ideal position to play and is there another position that you would prefer to play?

I play Offensive Tackle and Defensive End. I love to play defense and love being on the line because it's that much closer to the action and the quarterback. I haven't been able to get a number in the 'sack' column on the stats yet but I'm working on it. We've started our practices this past month and have been working mostly on form and technique but I've been working out at the gym two to three times a week plus I've been attending Bikram yoga classes this past week. I do some sort of work out every day and focus a lot on the muscle groups I need to perform on the line. I also work on my mind set and determination while working out. Focus, strength and determination are important in this game.

3. What are the biggest challenges playing football for you? The greatest rewards?

The biggest challenges playing football have been the physicality of it and the time commitment. I watch the NFL players and wish I was able to commit my day time hours to working out and getting better for myself and my team like they do. I hope that someday, women have the same opportunity as men do as professional football players. The greatest reward in this sport is accomplishment. We start together as a team and we learn and grow and win as a team. On a personal level the greatest reward for me is the opportunity itself. As a woman who grew up wanting to play baseball and football but didn't have the opportunity to do so because of my gender, I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity.

4. Who are some of your role models? What types of people make the best role models in your mind? To that effect, do you consider yourself to be a role model? Why or why not?

My Grandfather for his joyful outlook on life, His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his compassion, and Junior Seau and LaDanian Tomlinson for being excellent individuals both on and off the field. Any athlete that walks his/her talk, is passionate about their sport, looks to the positive side of life and is compassionate towards others are also great role models to me. People who rise above their life struggles and constantly strive to be better while helping those around them are excellent role models. To that effect, yes, I do consider myself to be a role model. I strive to always be that teammate everyone wants on their team. One they can trust, who supports them and encourages them and can also just listen when needed.

5. If you were asked to give a talk to young people (pre-teen) about playing football what are some of the things you would say to them?

Believe in yourself, always strive to be your best, keep a positive attitude and remember that you will never know all there is to know about football or the position you're playing. Just like in life, there's always more to learn.

I'll be sure to catch up with Wendi again in the near future to check her progress. You can find her on Twitter and follow her blog.