A “Real” Sailor for Halloween

October 31st, 2005

Halloween roomates

My friend Alex and I spent the weekend sailing and got our Basic Keelboat Certification (BKB) though Monterey Sailing and the NPS Sailing Association. Our “Capt. Dan” was very experienced sailor and helpful instructor as we learned to maneuver our 22′ boat around the Monterey bay through wind, fog and the most tricky – no wind. =)

Just in time for Halloween, I found an awesome sailor jacket at the Goodwill — which I thought was perfect now that I can finally call myself a “sailor” (even though I’m just a civilian at the Naval Postgraduate School). Thanks to Rachel and Ken for the great parties this weekend! Among the Halloween Pics check out the Bannana, Criss Cross and Sailor roommates…

Tibetan Monks in Monterey

October 23rd, 2005

Tibetan monks from the Gaden Shartse monestary came to visit Monterey the weekend of Oct. 22nd, giving translated lectures on their teachings, spiritual blessings, and astrological readings. This 18 month tour of theirs takes them around the United States in a fundraising drive to support their 5,000 fellow monks in the monestary back in southern India. (post added Feb 2006)

Bill McKibben on the Environment

October 17th, 2005

Renowned environmentalist and author (End of Nature, The Age of Missing Information) Bill McKibben spoke at MIIS earlier this week on Oct. 13th. I wish I had taken notes, because what he had to say was quite profound and tended to invoke some self reflection, but he also did it with a sense of humor in an easy going conversational manner. Some of the key points I remember taking away from his talk include:

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Training for a Marathon

October 17th, 2005

On Oct 11th, my friend Kyle Hoback emails me his Chicago Marathon time of 3:43:00 and pictures to prove it! My last serious long run was a half-marathon in May 2004… over a year-and-a-half ago. Back then, it was Kyle too who incited me to run this race, as I trained for the full marathon. I followed Kyle over to Norway to study abroad and now I’ll follow up with a full marathon – a lifetime plan of mine that I had put on the back burner recently.

Now I’m training for the Big Sur International Marathon in April 2006 along Hwy 1 – considered one of the best and most scenic marathons in the world. As I’ve just started training, I’ll only assist with the Big Sur Half-Marathon next month, but will be running in the Big Sur River Run this weekend – Oct 22nd. Just today, my friend Mario joined me out in Pfeiffer Big Sur SP on his bike as I went for a 45min run around the park. The race this weekend will be my first since my TNT half-marathon! I’m a bit nervous and just working to keep myself injury-free and strong for the upcoming run.

Kayaking in Monterey

October 2nd, 2005

It’s been almost one month since I last posted and a lot has happened! I had just prepared a final Norway presentation at school to encourage students to study abroad, was packing up for the drive out to California on Sept 10th, had a long drive and met my Aunt Grace and her new husband Russ in Pismo Beach, visited San Jose briefly to see my mother fly home as I flew down to San Diego for Toorcon that weekend, started school, finally got moved into my room, and have started graduate school in Monterey. =) So now that that is over, I went kayaking today!!!

I was reading the Paddling Big Sur article in September’s National Geographic Adventure magazine before coming out to Cali, and told myself I really wanted to try this! So, today I heard of a 50% off deal on used kayaking equipment at Monterey Bay Kayaks downtown and checked it out. As I started talking with the gentleman there, explaining that I’ve never kayaked before but am looking to get involved after reading said article… he says, ‘Yeah, that’s me in the article. They sure took a lot of pictures though.’ Yes, it was Bryan Jones – the guide to Big Sur kayaking in the NG article. I got my copy signed too! Sweet.

I tried out some of their used kayaks on sale for 50% off (new price) including: a river kayak ($325) without a skirt though-so it filled with water quickly, an open-top surfing kayak ($350) that was pretty fun in the waves and self draining, and finally one touring kayak ($450) that was a bit big… but comfortable and probably good for open water kayaking and keeping dry with a neoprene skirt. I have my eye on that one, but I just bought textbooks, a mp3/video toy to gamma test, and lots of travel expenses lately. Waiting for my first paycheck! Also need a bike for commuting to school.