The day started at 3:30AM. Did it have to? Absolutely not - my flight wasn't until 6:20AM. It was just one of those mornings of waking up an hour prior to my alarm clock and not being able to go back to sleep. Today, I was to fly out to Molokai for work, specifically to help the Molokai Community Health Center with an IT infrastructure assessment and to install the flat screen for their video teleconferencing system.

I got ready, jumped in my whip, pulled out of the driveway, and as I made my way down the street, I discovered an accident diverting traffic around the block. As a result, it took me approximately 45 minutes to make it to the freeway (and 15 to drive to the airport). I checked in, deciding that my briefcase with a few tools was nominal enough to carry on the plane. TSA however, felt otherwise. They deemed one of the tools too big to carry on the plane (an 8" plier) and had me check in my bag. The Island Air personnel at the counter let me know that my bag may not make it until the 8:35 flight since we were cutting it close. Whah!?? Ok, whatever. I proceeded to the gate only to find that my plane was absent (sort of like the "great" in my "great day"). I turned to the Island Air counter and kindly asked the personnel if gate 77 was the correct gate and she abruptly replied, "yup," pointed to the airplane as it headed toward the runway and unlike a customer service representative she stated, "that's your plane. GONE!" WTF? Seriously. I know I already sound like a complaining bitch but, this lady was rude. "Next flight, 8:35AM," as she handed me a ticket (that was already printed out for me?).

A few hours off my mark, I finally made it to the health center and proceeded with my assessment in conjunction with a local vendor. Information Technology, as we all know, can present some challenges but, this day was extraordinary. Small hurdles seemed appeared out of nowhere like the aliens in the finale of Space Invaders, ganging up to destroy me. I finally had a moment to install the flat screen and as my colleague and I removed the new tv from the box, dismantled the old system, and placed the old and new screens side by side, we realized that the new screen would not mount to the bracket. (Insert UUUGGGHHHH! here.) All said and told the day was less than stellar. It was as if I had accomplished many things, all of which I did horribly - sort of like baking 500 bad tasting cookies.

I returned to the assessment and the technician who was assisting me asked that I load an agent on all the servers. When I completed the task, I called the technician to let him know, hoping he could verify that the agents were properly loaded before I departed. He was on another call and since it was close to my departure time (and I wasn't going to miss 2 flights in one day), I decided to leave.

I arrived at the airport, returned the car, and as I was walking to the check in counter, the technician called to let me know that 4 out of the 5 agents loaded correctly (insert another UUGGGGHHH! here). I explained to him the other things that I felt were incomplete, needed addressing, and all of the things I would need to complete from Oahu - truly a bummer of a conversation. As I looked down, kicking the roaches to make sure someone felt as crappy as I did, there it was in all of its glory.... A 20 dollar bill. Maybe this day won't be so bad after all.

During an interview at the Pipeline Masters, the newly crowned 2009 WCT World Champion, Mick Fanning, was asked about mind games in the water. Specifically, he was asked if he played mind games in the water. He simply replied that his focus is on his game and that by focusing on playing games, he would only "stuff himself up". I have met many people who garner enjoyment at the detriment of others. Interestingly, as if Newton's 3rd law of motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) could be applied to emotions, the same things that make these people happy, when applied to them, made them unhappy. Mick Fanning was simply reinforcing the idea that if he concentrated on playing mind games on others, when the same mind games are played on him, he would be affected adversely.

I'm a true believer that the world is playing games around you and that one should be aware of what's going on. In other words, if you can play the game, good. Do you have to play the game? That's up to you.

The pros always make it look easy. The amazing part however, is not how good they look or how fluid they are, it is the journey they traversed to get there.

Dreams were made and broken December 12th, the 3rd day of the Pipeline Masters as Mick Fanning won the World Title and Joel Parkinson, who surfed past me as I was wading in the shoreline, lost his heat and lost his chances for the World Title.

Earlier that day, the folks from Billabong interviewed my friend and I regarding who we thought would win the World Title and why. I quickly exclaimed, Mick Fanning and gave my reasons. When asked what I thought would happen to Joel, I adamantly explained that he would fight another day (next year). These 2 will always be in World Title contention, not because they surf fluidly or because they are skilled but, because of the journeys they are willing to take to get there.

I've always dreaded working out - the running, the lifting of weights, the bleh... I would always drag myself home, drawing out most of my day at work, driving slowly, and lethargically donning my workout attire. I viewed my workout as a way to improve my body's physique and health yet, really had no motivation to do so. Tonight I watched a show on FitTv featuring Laird Hamilton. And so what if? What if I changed my reason for working out? What if my motivation was not to improve my health and physique? What if my reason became to challenge every fiber of my physical body to do what my mind wanted to do instead of scaling back my mental possibilities to cope with the limitations of my body?

Or as they say in English, I was gifted an orange duffel bag. Let me set the stage and describe my initial moments of ownership. It was a nice bag. I really appreciated that bag. That bag filled me with joy. I unfolded the bag to reveal the original 2009 paper tags still attached. The bag smelled new - like a new, orange, freebie, duffel bag should smell. I was overjoyed. I also received a nifty orange Nalgene bottle as an accoutrement to my beautiful orange duffel bag and while the bottle was incredible, it did not have the same whiz-bang as the bag. If this bag were an individual, it would have been the elderly gentleman in the Dos Equis commercial. The bag was amazing. It was suave. It was debonair. All the cool kids had one. It was not only aesthetically modern, it was aerodynamic, and theologically sound. If a bag could do somersaults, this bag would have won 9 gold medals. It would have won the Triple Crown and also been the 10 time World Champion (with Kelly Slater in close contingency). If it were a delicacy, it would be caviar with a drop of mustard (because on earth, nothing is that perfect) . If the bag were a scholar, it would have trumped Einstein. If it were Trump, it sure as H E double hockey sticks (HELL) wouldn't have flossed an awkward looking hairpiece. If it were a hairpiece, the prince would have used it to climb up in order to escort Rapunzel down. If it were a superhero, it would have been the son of Jorel. If the son of Jorel had one, he would use it to tote his red and blue PJs, saving the main pocket for his cape. If this bag were any more resilient, it would have been Gumby with the Arnold Schwarzenneger's muscles (pre-weirdness) and Fabio's hair. Incidently, they used the same model of bag in Oceans 13 to carry the money out of the casino because it just had that level of badassery. Had they put the label "Badassery" on my beautiful orange duffel bag, Merriam Webster would have had to revise the 2010 edition dictionary to include it. If my bag were a genius, it would ponder random and tangent thoughts. This bag was so gnarly, it would have surfed 50 foot Waimea on a McDonald's food tray. This bag would have come with all 7 of the purple hearts it earned had it not been so humble as to turn them down in respect for its fallen comrades.

Oh, the possibilities... I would use that orange duffel bag pre-magnanimous surf days. I could picture myself, my orange duffel bag, my surf board, my towel - we would be singin' (because singinG is for boring people yet, singin' is not) in the car together on our way to the beach, each of us having a small part in the holistic surf session sense. The duffel bag would carry my sunblock, my towel, and my surfboard wax. The possibilities were truly endless then like a fork scraping the plate for the last morsel of pie, something happened... Rampage sat in my bag.

It's okay. As she stepped out and I inspected and scrutinized every single strap, zipper, stitch, and thread, I knew that this bag and I would be friends for a long, long time. It was everything I had just blurbed about and more.

I will still use this duffel bag. It will still be my badge of honor. It will be the VIP cards of all VIP cards. It will give me additional discounts on already reduced items. It will still be my star quarterback. It will go where no man has gone before and laugh in the face of William Shatner. I hope each and every one of you can also find that "orange duffel bag" in your lives. An ode to my orange duffel bag. =)

...was an amazing trip. I've always known Kauai to be rather rainy, cloudy, and wet. The weather this weekend however, was beautiful! We drove around to the north shore for a quick sight seeing trip. The surf was disorganized, ugly, and seemed to offer very little for the few surfers who were in the water. The flowers were in full bloom, the homeless were creeping (and yelling at the homosexuals,) amongst the shadows of caves, and Puka Dog ran out of veggie dogs. Like anything else, this trip had much to offer, we just had to dig it out. Lemons = lemonade right? We stayed at the magnificent Grand Hyatt, thank you to the Whitford family and Pentair. The service was impeccable, the facilities were top notch, and the people there were very cheerful. It didn't hurt that I had great roomies and there was no shortage of shenanigans! Good times, I tell yah. Thanks Jess and Rampage. Maui '10 here we come!

Ok, we've all done it - snaked someone's wave. Sometimes it's an accident and sometimes that wave face looks soooooo juicy that we just have to burn a brutha or sista. So what do you think? Snake? Or no snake? At least it was a nice wave and nice off the lip!

Snapping photos at the O'Neill Pro was a little difficult because the break at Sunset is so far out. But what can you do? Lemons = Lemonade, right? =) All in all, it was great. The sun was out, free Rockstars were aplenty, people were smiling, the kids had a chance to play in the shorebreak, and the pros were giving a good show.

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