Saturday, August 30, 2008

B-Fit B-Day Challenge

Several months ago I learned about the Birthday Challenge. I thought it was pretty cool. I don't know how many people really do it. Frankly, I don't really care. The important thing is I was going to do it. Actually, this was my birthday present to Tri-Rich. The idea is that you swim the number of miles in your first number (4). I think the original idea has you swim your first number * 1000 yards. So that would be 4000 yards. Well, that is pretty weak. So what did we swim? 4 FREAKIN MILES, BABY! Have I ever done that? Yeah, right. That's a long way. To keep track we brought a small white board to make marks for every 10 laps. The first couple of miles wasn't too bad, but by 3 miles, my shoulders were starting to ache. 4 miles later (132 laps) we jumped out of the pool. 1 down 2 more to go. Next was the run. Lucky for us we only had to run 1 measly mile. Easy. With Olivia riding her bike and being our pace setter, we ran around the neighborhood for less than 8 minutes. Last but not least, we had 41 miles on the bike. Normally, this would have been a piece of cake. But 41 miles later, we were done. We both were tired and ready to call it a day. I'm not sure if it was the heat, or what but 41 miles was tough. We didn't even really hit many hills. Oh well. We did it....and I can't wait to do it again in 4 more months.

Happy Birthday, Tri-Rich

This guy deserves a GREAT birthday. Rich turned 41. We got him balloons including a big Patrick balloon. Jake made a poster with many of Rich's past finishing times (tris, runs, marathons, etc). I also made a poster and listed all of the things Rich loves. What a great friend he is. I love him like a brother.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Welcome, TriZac!

Way to go, buddy!

Hey, can you make it a smiley face?

#712 and a smiley face on the left calf. Great day to race. I guess I'll just post a few pictures before the race. We don't have any pictures yet during the race. This particular venue is where it all started for me. This would be my 3rd time here. Last year I beat my time and I was looking to do it again. I even thought that maybe a 2:30 time was within reach. That was before I got sick coming home from Australia. I'm not going to make any excuses. It is how it is. I wasn't completely up to snuff and I was still coughing and struggling to breath under heavy exercise.

The race setup was a bit different. In year's past, when you came out of the water you ran up the road for 1/2-3/4 of a mile to the transition sone. This year a new parking area allowed for the transition zone to be right next to the water. I always wish the athletes had a bit more space to setup but what are you going to do?

The venue is very pretty. We are lucky to live here. Conditions were prime. Water temps are probably low 70s, air temp at 9:00 this morning was probably in the 60s. I wish I would have had a sleeveless top since I got a bit toasty. My swim was decent although I really thought I could go sub 30 minutes. Oh well, next year. Heavy breathing and coughing just doesn't help.

One of the reasons we don't have any pictures after the swim is because our photographer, Zac did his first triathlong today! Major props to him. He is 16 and one of the youngest that competed today. He was awesome! Next year I hope that JJ joins him.

So, at this point we don't have our splits but I can describe a bit how the bike and run went. I was quite pleased about the bike. Of course my bike computer stopped working so it was just go as hard as you can and stop trying to pace yourself. A few weeks ago we rode the course and we averaged about 21 mph. I think we were probably a bit faster than that. Pretty good for not running on any fancy racing wheels.

Then things started getting interesting. Coming down the last mile or so into the T zone I was doing the usual stand up stretch, get ready to run stuff to hopefully avoid the cramping I had last year. Just as I was approaching the dismount, I unclipped, and started to get off. First of all, I was approaching WAY too fast. As soon as my cleats hit the pavement, they skidded and I was falling. I landed on top of my bike and continued skidding on the pavement. Next thing I knew I was bleeding all over the place. Falling caused my leg muscles to completely cramp up and I soon was in TONS of pain. Maybe not "I'm having a baby" pain but "Crap, this really hurts pain". I picked myself off the ground and made it to my bike rack. The paramedics were quick to arrive and they worked on me while I was trying to put on my gay socks. "Are you going to run?" they asked. Duh! After what seemed like FOREVER, I hobbled out of T2. With TriRich by my side, we completed the 10K run. It was painful, I had tons of cramps but after about half way I was able to run. We finished together and as with Oceanside, we rolled across the finish line.

So now I'm home (well where I call home) and I'm feeling pretty good. I want to go for a run in the morning and see how I feel. My front wheel will need some fixing up but other than some scratches the rest of "Donkey" came out okay. No stitches for me. Just some nice road rash, and a nice bruise on my right leg. Still, the question stands. "Why do you tri?" Because I can.

A sight rarely seen

I'm not shy to post this. TriRich thought it funny. I really can't say I have too many (if any) pictures of my butt. So there you go. Certainly much smaller than it used to be. So what's going on here? Getting ready for body marking this morning before the Jordanelle Tri.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friends Down Under

My visit to Australia afforded me to see and visit with good friends. One of these was my friend and colleague, Andrzej Druzynski. Since my Polish is not too good, I normally just call him Andrew. Andrew and I met a number of years ago when I was working in South Africa. He lived there but was becoming more and more uneasy about living there. Shortly after I left he decided to move to Australia. So while I was in Perth, he and I were reunited and I got to meet his beautiful wife, Alicja. We had good food (hot waffles and ice cream) and some interesting items (bubble tea). Most enjoyable was our long talks about spirituality, God, and life in general. Quite fascinating discussions. I hope we will be reunited much sooner than this last time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Please be safe

So to more fully enjoy our trip from Perth to Freemantle, we opted to take a ferry down the Swan River. The boat driver seemed to stuck on all of the homes that line the river and how much they cost (millions to tens of millions). Notice that no pictures are here. Just didn't care. What I did care about was this dangerous possibility of falling off the boat and not living to tell about it. Seriously, do you REALLY need a sign like that? Of course I stayed COMPLETELY away from the railing. Too risky. I did lean over to catch a possibly sighting of this man-eating wildlife. Saw nothing. At least the Australians seemed to be more concerned about this said wildlife getting sick than the poor sap that is no more.

Caversham Wildlife Park

There are just a few more pictures that I want to post to remember my time in Australia. Shortly after arriving in Perth I took Super Todd to a wildlife park to 1) feed the kangaroos and 2) meet some koalas up close. I'm not quite sure what the fascination with the koalas are. They sleep on average about 20 hours a day mostly living on leaves. No energy whatsoever. Is that a life?

This is the dominant male of the group. Actually, it's really the ONLY male of the group. Doesn't he look intimidating? He has a dozen or so girls in his group to keep him happy. Any boy babies that he helps create are moved away once they are big enough to leave momma's pouch.

My favorite pose. Just stick your head here and rest for a day or two, maybe a week. Who knows. A rare picture of a momma and her baby.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stepping up to Second grade

Olivia as usual was up bright and early, happy as a lark, super excited to be back at Renaissance Academy. Decked out in performance dress, she is the cutest (and smartest) of the Davis children.

Watch out or I'll pwn you

Jake, officially a freshman this year is looking to be BMOC at Mountain Ridge Junior High. He loves sporting all of his new UCL Pride gear.

School Time (yeah!)

JJ, now a junior at Lone Peak High School was very excited to start school this morning. He loves his Obey shirts and the feel of new shoes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life is beautiful

I had to take a few minutes to record how I felt this morning. Out for a morning run a bit cold but I had to do the bridge-to-bridge loop here in Perth. It's about a 10K distance. On my iPod I was listening to "Life Is Beautiful". I couldn't think of a more appropriate song. Life is indeed beautiful. Here is part of the lyrics:

Life is beautiful, but it's complicated,
we barely make it.
We don't need to understand,
There are miracles, miracles.

Stand where you are.
We let all these moments pass us by.

It's amazing where I'm standing,
There's alot that we can give.
This is ours just for the moment,
There's alot that we can give.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Perth Temple

Snapped these pictures this morning after getting out of church. The temple is right next to the meeting house for the Dianella ward.


Okay, I just had to give a shout out (sounds kind of a dumb thing to say) to all of the athletes competing in the Olympics. I watched quite a bit of the opening ceremony but I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed the events thus far. I've watched volleyball, field hockey, gymnastics, even a bit of horsey competition. But by far the most enjoyable have been the cycling (road races for men and women) and the swimming. Has the swimming thus far been anything but phenomenal? I watch in complete awe as those fish just crank out those strokes. I wish they would show just a bit more from the camera angle under the water. It is just a treat and I am glued to the television. Anyhow, I will continue to enjoy the next couple of weeks. Go athletes from whatever country you might be representing.

Sunday in Perth

Okay, I have a few other pictures and stories to share from earlier in the week but I thought I'd just take a few minutes to share (or just record for my sake) how Sunday went today. First off, I was SO happy to be able to sleep in. It felt SO darn good to get up at 7 instead of the ridiculous hours I've been doing for the past week. Then a good hour run through the city of Perth. It included a run up to the top of a hill through some dense brush (just couldn't stay on the trail could you?). Then we went to church at a local meeting house. Using the LDS meetinghouse locator it wasn't too hard to find the church. We happened to pick the church that was right next to the Perth temple. It was nice to go to church today and it once again strengthens my testimony that this work is true. Afterwards we were invited to Nick and Marilyn Geracitano's home for dinner. There were a number of members that came along with a few people that are currently investigating the church. I'm so grateful for these kinds of opportunities that I get to meet such wonderful people from all over this world.

This is why I enjoy teaching

Dear Jeff,

I’m “A”. I wish you would remember me, your Thai student, who learned with you in Melbourne. I would like to send you so nice pictures of you, me and our friends. I will leave for Adelaide on 10th August in early morning. I will live there for couple weeks in the hotel before going back Thailand on 23rd August.

I would like to tell you that you are my idol teacher, who makes me smile, laugh, and really happy whenever I met you. I hope you would also happy to be my teacher. I will keep our contact forever. I would like to thank you for your kindness. I will think of you whenever I’m facing problems.

Warmly regard,


Footy at the MCG

So Friday night we went to our first "footy" match at the Mebourne Cricket Ground. Australian rules football is a fast paced game similar to rugby, soccer, handball, and football. The field is HUGE so I would imagine the players must be in pretty good shape. On Friday we watched Geelong (the best team in the country) slaughter Melbourne (the worst team). The stadium looked mostly empty but when we learned that there were 36,000 people we guessed that it was a pretty big stadium. Back before renovations the stadium could hold 130,000+. Now it's around 100,000. Watching the game was entertaining and trying to figure out the rules and strategies was fun.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Even during the winter I would recommend a visit to the RBG. They had rainforest section, a number of flowers, and a greenhouse area. Note the screen on the palm tree to keep those darn possums from climbing up and having a feast. I can't remember what type of flower the pink one was but I thought it quite lovely.

Shrine of Remembrance

I was able to visit the Shine of Remembrance in Melbourne. The is a memorial for fallen soldiers in various wars. It was quite interesting to read their stories, see the pictures, and take a few minutes to remember those that fought for freedom and peace. I would recommend a visit there if you're in Melbournene.

Mebourne by night

Quite the beautiful city by night.

Melbourne by day

So I just finished a week in Melbourne. Southern part of Australia. Winter time now so it is a bit chilly. You could run around wearing shorts and thongs (flip-flops) but it's just a bit too cold. Second biggest city in Australia with just under 4 million people. The Yarra river runs through town. Since they have hosted the Olympics ('56) and Commonwealth games ('06) the city has a number of sports venues. Probably the thing I will remember most is the wide variety of food. Each night we had something different (Italian, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese).

Let's play leapfrog

On Sunday we took a stroll through the park here in Melbourne. Lovely day. When we came across a group of people acting like frogs. We stopped to ask and they were actually doing some parkour training. If you don't know about this you can check out a number of youtube videos. Fun to watch but I'll stick to SBR (swim, bike, run). After looking at the picture I snapped, maybe I should have named this post "say no to crack".

Bathroom sign

So what is your interpretation of this sign? Does it really mean that you shouldn't stand on the toilet while taking a leak? Hmmm. Do people really do that? Too funny.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Possum, Possum, who's got the Possum

On our way back from the theater tonight we run into a passel of opossum There were pretty curious to watch as they certainly were not afraid of the people walking along the sidewalk. Many of the trees are covered on their trunks with a mesh like material to prohibit the opossum from climbing up the trees. Kind of cute, yet kind of creepy.

Now THAT'S a movie

Both of my boys have seen Dark Knight (JJ at least a couple of times). I wanted to see it but being in Australia I didn't think I'd have the chance. That's when we found out that not only is it playing here, it's playing in an IMAX theater. Can I tell you, it was WAY cool. If you have the chance, experience it IMAX style.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Westwater Canyon

Well, it's high time that I post a write up of the river trip. I was invited to join a number of guys in my neighborhood for a quick day trip down Westwater Canyon. I hadn't been here since I was a teenager, chasing Katie McComber and listening to Pink Floyd in my dad's truck with Mike Bascom. That's a long, long time ago. Anyhow, we left Thursday night and it took about 4 hours to get there. Some slept out with the bugs under the stars. Me? In a tent. After eating yogurt, bagels, bananas, and cereal, we were off. The first 7 miles or so is pretty calm so there was time to get in the water and float. Water wasn't too bad. We paddled in 5 man rafts. There is no way you could take something like down that part of the river. We had about 2 hours of good rapids. I got thrown a couple of times from the raft, one of which stole my hat, bandana, and sunglasses. Darn! It was pretty dang fun. We stopped at a couple of places to cliff jump. Nothing too serious. We had yummy sandwiches for lunch and were off the water by mid afternoon. While we were waiting for the cars to come back and get us, we played this fun game called - Run-down-the-boat-ramp-slide-across-the-underside-of-the-raft-and-get-thrown-through-the-air. It was a riot. If I get other pics I'll add them to this slideshow. Thanks, Ryan! Please let us come next year.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


How cool is this? Read more about this and other cool travel gadgets here.

Stay a.....w.....a.....k.....e

After a 20+ hour journey I arrived here in Melbourne, Australia. It's winter time and 16 hours ahead of home. I'm sure I looked like a fool in my shorts and flip flops while the Aussies were all bundled up in winter coats, scarfs, and gloves. It snows outside of Sydney just a few days ago. The weather was actually quite nice. The goal today? Stay awake. Just a couple more hours and I'll be able to crash. I"m looking forward to it. Last time I was here in Australia, I got up each morning around 4:30-5:00 and ran and swam. But that was in the Spring. Not quite as much daylight now. We had Chinese clay-pot meal for dinner and a walk around the town. Even though there aren't any leaves on the trees, the gardens are quite nice. The city is quite nice and I look forward to a good week here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Yummy yummy

Okay, just a quick post. Back in May we planted our garden. We were really excited to see so many vegetables grow . Although I haven't taken a picture of it recently, it is growing just fine. Kath commented that she wanted to see a picture 2 months later so that she could get a good laugh. We've been eating snap peas for a few weeks now but tonight was a big feast. First of all, Jake picked a bag full of bush beans. I simply steamed those. We picked a bunch of red leaf lettuce and cucumbers and made a tasty salad (the tomatoes aren't quite ready yet). The fun part was digging up the red potatoes. I had never grown them before and Olivia was simply fascinated with this. She loved digging and finding them. We filled a grocery bag. I took a number of the smaller ones, sliced them, sprinkled some dill and microwaved them until soft. Yummy Yummy. So with our salad, fresh beans, red potatoes, we grilled some tasty flat iron steaks. Oh, and the other night I made zucchini bread. I'll share my recipe later.