Monday, April 1, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.30. RAC Wrap

RAC Summary

Overall the Ride Across California 2013 was a lot of fun.  It was a test for the parents as well as the kids on how to keep their kids hydrated, motivated, and allow them to have fun.  It also was put together in a way that would challenge but not destroy kids and it was an adventure, not a destination objective.  The trip included things that the kids would enjoy doing and wasn’t focused on just getting to the ocean.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.30. RAC Day 7

Today is the final day of RAC.  I will be making a one more post as a sort of RAC wrapup to bring it all together however.  Go to Day 1 post to see what RAC is.  

Dinner was awesome.  It was pizza and lasagna from a local restaurant.  Later, they had a small fire with marshmallow roasting.  I think Mari Lu fell asleep in about 3 seconds after a day of riding and then playing all afternoon.

The ride today is somewhat like the last day of the Tour de France, a victory lap.  It’s a ride, not a race so the reward will be to put the front tire into the pacific, completing our river-to-riptide ride across California.  We slept well and are ready to ride.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.29. RAC Day 6

This is the sixth of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

My leader, Mari Lu, and I slept like babies last night. In addition, it looks like Mari Lu's health will allow her to ride today, that's the best news. My butt is no longer killing me (it only took 5 days to get to this point) and the trip is nearly over.

I haven't eaten since lunch the day before so I'm hungry. This AM's breakfast was the best. There's a lot of buzz about how nice the ride was going to be and people are really looking forward to it. There's bound to be some downhill given we are at 4100 ft. and we need to get to sea level.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.28. RAC Day 5

This is the fifth of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

Today is the last day of the mountain stages, and it's big. But as always, let's start with the evenings sleeping arrangements. I expected to sleep well tonight, and Mari Lu would also sleep well given the amount of playing and cycling that we had for the day. That turned out to be extremely true, neither one of us budged an inch until I awoke at 0330. My tummy wasn't feeling so well and as I walked over to the bathroom at a fast clip I had a strange feeling that I may not be the only one. As I was exiting the restroom I found that a line had formed outside. This is not good, in fact this is very bad. Mari Lu woke up at four and then again a little bit later to use the restroom.  Epidemic!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.27. RAC Day 4

This is the fourth of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

My cold was in full force when I went to bed. I suffered last night. There was no air flow, it was hot and sticky and if I was going to blow my nose I had to get up and go outside so as to not disturb the others sleeping in the community center. I got to sleep at 0200 and at 0215, I awoke to a five alarm cramp in my hamstring. It was a rough night.

The wind was howling until 0530 this AM. The talk today is still all about yesterday's crucible for the fifth graders. It was really a good experience for them. They really got to find out what they are capable of and what suffering really is.  There is nothing like that as a test for most 5th graders.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.26. RAC Day 3

This is the third of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

I woke at 0430 and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up an decided to shave. Gary Rossi was doing the exact same thing so we decided to make some coffee together and chat while we waited for the sun to come up.

While filling the coffee pot up, Gary ran out of water so I took the pot to the sports coolers to add some. What went into the pot was some gatorade flavored water. So we drank Kona gatorade coffee. Pretty nasty but it just added to his list of stories.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.25. RAC Day 2

This is the second of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone for Ride Across California (RAC), so excuse the spelling and formatting. Go to the day one post to find out what RAC is.

Today was a long ride, 53 miles. It started with a wake up at 0600. I'd been awake for a while listening to a dog bark but I slept well, as did Mari Lu. She woke only once to use the restroom. It took her a bit to figure out where she was though. I think Jeanette slept ok.

Breakfast was eggs, hash browns and mini cakes. Not bad for a catered fare. ML helped me pack up, and I mounted the goal zero solar panel to the bike to charge the cell phones.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Captain's BLOG 2013.03.24. RAC day 1

This is the first of many daily logs that I'll make via my iPhone so excuse the spelling and formatting.

The day started with an earlier than expected wakeup for a Sunday. Spirits are high. Mari Lu can't wait to get going. Juan is leaving earlier than us for a scout outing. He'll be taking a canoe down the Colorado river for five days while Jeanette, ML and I ride across California for six days on our bikes. Ride Across California (known as RAC here forward) is organized by the YMCA and Gary Rossi. RAC was started years ago by a teacher for fifth graders to build confidence as they get ready to start middle school next year. Mari Lu has been training for this for 3 months.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cactus Only Know How To Be Cactus

A cactus only knows how to be a cactus.  If you are poked by a cactus plant, it’s not the cactus’s fault, it’s doing what a cactus does.  Without the cactus, you would be missing a portion of the texture of life.  You wouldn’t know pokey/scratchy (and a special pain that a cholla cactus can bring) and therefore life would be just a bit duller.  Also, without the cactus, the pleasure of soft, supple, smooth rose petals would have just a bit less punch.  

If you are poked by a cactus, you don’t get mad at it, its just being a cactus.  If you are poked, you aren’t mean or shout obscenities at the cactus (or worse).  The cactus only knows how to be a cactus.  Now I don’t recommend that you hug a cactus, but just appreciate it for what it is.  It’s beautiful in it’s own way and it adds to the total texture of life.  

Now substitute people for cactus.  I’ve known people that were a real a cactus, but they don’t know how to be anything more than who they are but I’m glad to have experienced them.

- Chris Claborne

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Living Within Uncharted Waters

Uncharted waters normally meant that you were sailing into an area where the charts hadn’t been created yet, therefore it meant sailing life got exciting.  The sailor no longer knew the location of a shoal or sand bar that could change her day or sink her ship.  If the charts are old, then you may be in uncharted water.  Life is like being in uncharted waters all the time.  Change is constant so the charts you thought you had for your life are worthless.

For some, change is scary.  Getting up in the morning I don’t know what it will be like, who I will meet or what problem I’ll need to solve.  The experience I had at my friend’s funeral was different than expected.  The audience reacted better than expected to my presentation.  Traffic was funky on my way home, much different than yesterday.  If I embrace this idea of change, accept that I will navigate through life’s uncharted water, things are better somehow, even fun.  Embrace what comes, it’s the truth.  Truth doesn’t give a shit if you like it, it just is.   

Will my computer dream tonight?

- Chris Claborne

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life Is Like A Song

Life is like a good song.  If you focus too much on that fact or that you want it to last longer, you’ll miss a bunch of notes.  Just listen to the song, be the song, have hot backup singers.
- In memoriam Tony Cesena

- Chris Claborne

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why Is There "Beautiful"?

Beautiful,  I submit, is not just an adjective, but something we feel.   Sure, it’s a word that we commonly use to describe something or someone, but beautiful isn’t a typical adjective.  Beautiful is  not like other adjectives.  Adjectives like color, or smell that you use to describe something aren’t really “felt”.  

Beautiful is something that you experience as a positive feeling or “high”.  Beautiful is a nice experience, probably a release of some chemical.  When you see something and experience beautiful, it’s something that you don’t want to look away from or easily stop experiencing.  

Beautiful is similar to the experience men have when they see a pretty girl.  For men, when they see a pretty girl that they are attracted to, there is a tiny chemical released that makes it pleasurable.  Being a man, I can’t really explain it, but the tiny release of oxytocin is a documented fact.  Men are slaves to their chemistry.  I can’t speak for women, but I would imagine it’s similar (scientists say the mechanics are similar).

After experiencing “beautiful” when seeing a sunset and the clouds on my way home from work, I wanted to stop on the freeway and just look.  As usual, my geek came out.  Why do we have the experience “beautiful” as part of our reaction to some things?  I can understand why we receive a chemical high when seeing an attractive girl, survival of our species.   Foods have a color or taste that is pleasurable to us humans so that we are driven to keep eating things that are good enough for our survival so that we make it to the age where we can make more little humans.  

What is the purpose of “beautiful”?  Why is there such pleasure in seeing a sunset, or watching the birds while at the beach, or looking at your favorite artwork.  Why is there such pleasure in just watching beautiful things?  Most things about us are darwinistic in their origin, they help us survive to an age where we can procurate.  What role does or did the feeling of “beautiful” play?  What is the purpose of beautiful.  

Send me your thoughts on this.

-- Chris Claborne

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just Live!

When I wrote my silly little post on Facebook the other day I knew it would never truly carry the context or the totality of my thought.   It was a quick blurb to communicate what I was thinking at that instant to the world.  I was standing outside grilling some meet for dinner and drinking a glass of merlot, my normal Friday routine.  It was cold and very clear.  I looked up at a single star in particular, thinking how small my little planet is from that star's viewpoint (we're probably not even visible, like our problems).   I thought about all of the drama, arguments, and worries that people have.  There are tons of things that people are consumed with every day at work, at home, in our town, within our culture, society, and planet.   Many people are so consumed and absorbed with all of this drama, that they lose perspective to the big picture.  In fact, they spend so much time doing this that at times they forget to just live.