12.26.2009

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's resolution is that I will be back after the start of the new year. Right now, that's as good as it gets. But it's a promise. I don't promise things often but I do promise this.


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and my thoughts and prayers are with you for a wonderful new year. See you in January.




Pau.




- hfs

12.16.2009

Going dark

The milblogging world - this blog included - will be "going dark" for a bit in support of fellow milblogger, CJ Grisham. Maggie has the details but the crux of the matter is,

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective. C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.



The Army Times has a great article about the situation that you might want to check out. And feel free to help CJ out as he defends his name, his word, and his Army career. I find it reprehensible that his command not only failed to back him up on this but that they actually threw him under the school bus, so to speak.


And I realize that there has been a dearth of posting lately so my blog "going dark" for a bit really isn't anything remarkable. But blogs like Blackfive, This Ain't Hell, From My Position, and BostonMaggie will be silent as well in support which says a LOT (we all know that it is very tough for Chuck to keep his mouth shut).


Should you feel inclined to help CJ out, here is the info:

You can donate to CJ's Legal Fund by logging into PayPal, go to the send money page, and put in his email: dj_chcknhawk AT yahoo DOT com; or, you can send donations directly to:

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893




Pau.




- hfs

12.08.2009

Big waves on the North Shore

I am still alive.


Hawaii had a killer swell come through earlier this week - the likes of which have not been seen here since 2004. Therefore, the Eddie Aikau Memorial surf contest was ON. "The bay called the day" and easily 1/2 of O'ahu was on the North Shore to check it out. Including me. And the kids. Who played hooky.


When I was 13 or 14, my parents let me go spend a few days hanging out with my brother who was living in the El Segundo/Manhattan Beach area with his family. I spent a lot of time with my nephews and their friends hanging out down at the beach and really started to get to know "the surfing world" - well, as much as a sheltered, valley kid could. I got to know names like Tom Curren, Sunny Garcia, Kelly Slater...and now, here I am 23 years later, living in Hawaii and enjoying the opportunity to head up to the North Shore to check out one of the most prestigious surfing events ever.


Wow.


So here are some of the pictures I took. I wish I had a better zoom - we were up on the hillside above Waimea at a Hei'au (ancient Hawaiian temple area) so I wasn't as close as I would have liked to have been. Next time.


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Pipeline. Locally known as Ehukai Beach.


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Waimea. We were up at the Hei'au above Waimea which afforded us an unobstructed, yet far-removed, view of the first heat.


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More of the first heat.


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More.


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The first heat in between sets...waiting for the next swell.


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The crowds were INSANE. Local police estimated in excess of 30K people - more than have ever turned out for a surfing event on the North Shore. In a space about the size of a high school football stadium.


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More Pipeline. We had driven up past Waimea before sunrise and stopped at Pipeline to check out the waves. They weren't as impressive as they were at Waimea but they were still incredible.


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More Waimea. Yay for zoom lenses.


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And more Waimea. The waves started off the morning hovering right around 40' on the face. They then died off a bit - dropping down to about 15'-20' around lunch time. After lunch, they picked back up and were up above 40' through the end of the competition.


This last one is one my friend S. took and I just love the way it looks almost like he's walking in snow.

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Pau.




- hfs