Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Final

I'm sad.
Well okay I'm kinda happy, but still kinda sad.
The good news is that things went off without a hitch!
As planned.
Like a well oiled machine.
Or something.
We got started early this morning:

The tent for the stage was already up by the time I got there.
I had already gone off and set up another small tent for the ride to the Marine base.
Things were a bit chaotic in the beginning, but then it all settled down and set up went smoothly.
Folks lined up for the 5k run:

These folks, for the most part, were our crowd.
We were busiest in the first two hours since we had the runners and all the bicycle clubs.
In fact, I thought we were starting off really well:

We had bicycles!

Of course we had regular type bicycles too.
Then, it all just sort of wound down.
I had hoped for at least a couple hundred more people, but from what I heard, word just didn't get out.
Most folks said we did good for the first one, but I had higher expectations.
All of the vendors said they did well but I felt sort of bad that crowds didn't appear like I had hoped.
They did have fun though:

Myself, I spent most of the day checking on things, making sure all was going well.
I did ride my bicycle around the parking lot after we were done, you know, sort of a victory lap.
Okay not really.
A victory lap I mean.
I don't really consider this a success.
I was encouraged by a couple of folks who said we need to keep doing this, and that hopefully this isn't the last one.
Well after today, there's a lot we need to fix and do better.
As I said earlier, lot o'folks said we did good for a first event, seeing how things went so smoothly.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about that.
It just seemed like it sort of went unnoticed, community wise.
Anyways, I learned a lot and met some nice folks.
Being around other bicycle people is always good and I got eat some great food.
I'm sure I'll feel better about this down the road.
If I ever get back on the road.
If you know what I mean.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

24 To Go

Actually for me, it's less than 24 hours out.
I'll be waking up with the Sun, and getting out to the event site around 6:30am.
Today we went out and set the no parking signs along the run route, they have to be out 24 hours before the event.
We also cleaned up the parking lot we are using and I did some mapping out of the place so we sort of know where everyone is going to be.
We managed to fill 17 stalls out of a possible 24, which is not too bad but we only got four food vendors.
I was hoping for at least a couple more.
No burritos.
The party tent guys set up first, followed hopefully by the stage guys, then the vendors.
Then the chaos begins!
Oh Boy!
Or it may be oh boy.
If you know what I mean.
I'll be carrying a camera around with me, you know, to try and catch all that Hot Kailua Action.
I think.
I mean I'll be really busy, but I'll try and stop to take some pictures.
Maybe some video.
Everything is pretty much planned out, but I'm sure I'll have to use some of my Jedi Improvisational Skilz once things get rolling.
We've tried to plan for all contingencies, but even I, the Seer of the Future, cannot plan for everything.
Which sort of scares me some.
As long as no one gets seriously injured and nothing blows up I think we'll be okay.
I hope.
Lemme tell you, it seemed like it took forever to get here, but here we are.
Less than 24 hours out I mean.
Tomorrow, no Early Edition, instead a Special EXTRA Humungasoid Final Edition.
Wait for it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Banners Up!

The rest of the banners are going up tomorrow.
As will the no parking signs for the street.
I gotta say, although I'm excited to see this thing go off, I'm also going to be really glad when it's over.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Four Days Out

The event horizon.
No kidding.
Everything is getting sucked in, never to be seen again.
Sort of.
I personally don't have much to do right now.
Intentionally as I'm really busy trying to keep 120 or so kids busy and learning.
All around me though, things are just a flying around!
Like emails I mean.
We finally got our street permits!
The police have been calling wanting to get a handle on just what is happening on Sunday.
The most asked and most unanswered is how many people do we expect to get?
I wish I could predict, but none of us have any idea.
We hopes and expectations, but in reality the only time we'll know is when it finally gets started.
The other committee members are all stressing out finalizing what needs to be finalized.
We got our banners today and need to go out and hang them.
Thankfully we got another truck to go out and pick up the no parking signs and garbage bins, for my brother is getting sent to Maui on Friday so he had to back out of helping me.
Friday will be tight as we'll be setting them signs out along the bike/run route.
Another last minute change was the addition of a canopy tent to cover the stage, just in case we get some liquid sunshine.
I've also been compiling a cell phone list for the event so our volunteers can get call someone, you know, just in case.
We've had a couple more volunteers jump in and lemme tell you, we need them.
I have to say though, I'm really surprised we got all this done with the committee we have.
Throughout all of this, there was a core team of about 7-8 people who worked really hard to put this all together.
Which in hindsight is pretty darn amazing!
None of this would be happening if it weren't for them.
To think, all we're getting out of this is a stupid shirt.
Or something.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Final

Just a few more things to take care of.
Small little day of the event things that can sort of wait until the day before.
I gotta say, I'm actually looking forwards to this whole thing.
In fact, I'm getting all excited.
For one thing, I'm really interested to see just how many folks show up.
I'd be happy with a couple hundred, but really, in my worst case scenario there'll be more like a couple thousand.
I say worst case for there's no way our event area is meant to support a couple of thousand folks on bicycles.
No matter which way I've looked at it, Kailua just cannot support an influx of that many people.
Okay, maybe it can, but it will be tight.
Like maybe major gridlock.
Thankfully I'll already be here.
Of course there's always rain.
Which we have not provided for.
So if it rains, we're not quite sure what we're going to do.
In some ways, I does seem like we are way above our heads, especially if this event becomes a large draw.
On the other hand, we had to do it someplace, and this place seemed like the best place.
At the time anyways.
There's no way we can predict what we will draw, and it's been the topic of discussion a couple of times.
By my best estimate there will be at least a couple hundred, those folks that are invited and those that will be doing the 5k before we start, and folks just wandering in.
Kailua on the other hand is a pretty quiet town with not much going on during the weekends.
In other words there's not much for the locals to do so when there's something to do, well the locals usually turn out.
Even if it's just to see what the hell is going on.
In our meeting today, spirits were high.
If everyone is like me, they are ready for this thing to fly.
I can't believe it's only one week away.
One more week until Something  Wonderful happens.
I hope.
It's wonderful, I mean.

Sunday Early Edition

Where has all the time gone?
Seems like I'm always doing something.
Long gone are those leisurely days on the couch, watching Law & Order and eating potato chips.
How I miss those days!
Now I find myself mostly at the computer, reading and answering emails, preparing lessons and logging in grades.
Lemme tell you, I need to get out more.
Which is what bicycling was all about.
Getting out more I mean.
Now I sort of find myself reverting back to where I was, King of Couch(KotC), except this time I'm not really idle.
I mean I'm getting stuff done, stuff that needs getting done, but I'm not getting the stuff I want to get done well, done.
Not well done like a steak, which I usually take medium, but well done like getting it done.
Like riding around on a bicycle.
Okay, part of what I'm getting done involves riding bicycles but it's different cause it's about other folks riding bicycles and not me riding a bicycle.
So I need to come up with a plan.
Some kind of plan where I actually set aside some time to get out there, on the road, and get some wheel spinning time.
I haven't turned a pedal in seriousness since April, meaning I haven't ridden more than five miles in a stretch since the Haleiwa Metric.
Hell I'm not sure I can go five miles!
Well okay, not really.
I'm pretty sure I can go at least five miles.
If you know what I mean.
So I've been thinking(good thinking, not bad thinking) that it's going to take me some time to get back in my prime.
I'm not going to be able to go out and just peel off like 25-30 miles like before.
So I'm going to have to start off slow like.
Oh I'm sure there's going to be lots o'huffing and a puffing involved, with industrial strength perspiration dripping into my eyeballs and such.
Fact is, I sort of miss it.
The huffing and a puffing part.
Not so much the industrial perspiration.
First thing I got to do though, is find my bicycle.
Seems I've misplaced it.

That's my weekly ironing all piled up.
I think my bicycle is in there somewhere.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Almost There!

We are just about 9 days out from Hele On Kailua, Hawaii's first Cyclovia event.
The tables and chairs and stage have been ordered, as have the street barriers and road closure signs.
Banners are being designed along with our shirts though those won't come in until right before the event.
We are still picking up some food vendors which is good thing, and I think we'll be adding more folks right up until we're ready to go.
I still need to arrange for a truck so we can lay down the cones and street signs, and we have to arrange a time to pick everything up and drop it back off.
The local power company, Hawaiian Electric, couldn't supply us boom truck to help with banner hanging, so I'm going to have to borrow a ladder from The Warehouse.
As you saw, we got our posters and flyers via the City and County and we are in the process of distributing them across town.
I'm a bit more confident now in the success of our event, despite some of the negative feedback we got in from some merchants.
We still have to work out parking and some other things, but for the most part everything is in the process of being taken care of.
This week is going to pass by fast and furious and all the committee members will be in high gear!
All this and moi having to adjust to my new responsibilities at work.
Which at this time are not letting up.
New teacher stuff like seminars and meetings and student paperwork and new lesson planning are all added to the mix!
No wonder I came home yesterday and promptly took a long journey to Slumberland.
Now, I could just get someone to iron my clothes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Special thanks to Mark John Mangayayam, a recent high school graduate who will be off to art school on the mainland, for doing the logo design!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Early Edition

Two weeks to go!
Time to put the pedal to the metal.
So to speak.
Last night was our primary election and we lost a supporter.
One of difficult things about holding our event now was that most of the politicians were in re-election status, working hard on campaigning, unable to help us.
They also weren't sure if they would be around after last night so giving us the full support we needed just wasn't there.
Understandable, but unfortunate.
For us anyways.
Okay, 14 days out, what's left?
I still have to call and arrange the street barriers and reserve a dumpster and set up our stage and tables and chairs.
Other folks are busy arranging and coordinating the activities and events and we still don't have as many food vendors as we would like.
No one doing burritos and I'm really sad.
That could change by event day.
Like I said, this thing is going to take up to the day of the event to come together.
Oh well.
I gotta say, I'm sort of worried, but not worried.
Mostly about the turn out.
I mean I'm pretty sure we'll have a good crowd, but sometimes I can visualize like 50 folks milling about complaining about how boring and stupid the event is.
I suppose I shouldn't worry about it too much, you know, hold it and they will come and all that sort of thing.
Still in the back of my mind there's this worse case scenario going on and I can't help it.
I've sort of been slacking off these past few weeks, with my new job going on and all but now it's time to get back on it.
I've delegated some stuff out to other folks who aren't as busy, but now I have to get done what I need to get done!
Can't be fading into the home stretch don't you know.
Something Wonderful should be Something Spectacular!
I hope.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Flat Tire iLand

Get it?
iLand? Hawaii? I live on an island?
So anyways the other day, via the wonder of FedEx, a new era was begun over at the Flat Tire Central Command Center(FTCCC).
Lemme tell you it was interesting watching this thing fly over the Pacific Ocean, fly over this iLand, over to the Big Island, finally landing here as promised.
Oh it was touch and go for a minute as things got delayed over in Shanghai, and once it hit Anchorage, I didn't think it would make it.
Then, like a miracle it hit Oakland and in the blink of an eyeball it was in transit to Flat Tire Land!
Cudos to FedEx!
So anyways, my old computer is now officially retired.
It's about six years old, that's like seventy six in computer years and it was time to go.
Well okay, not really as it was still doing a fine job despite having to reboot every once in a while and being torturously slow.
Still it managed to bring to you, the reader, over one thousand posts!
Goodbye old friend.
So to the new:

Oh yeah baby!
I've crossed over to the Dark Side.
Who's your daddy?
The new Powerbook Pro oh my! Retina.
As I said before, I'm not an early adopter, but one look at this screen and I was sold.
I drank all the Kool Aid.
In one gulp.
Boy did it taste good.
Sort of.
So I go and order this bad boy and then like the banana head I am, I start reading the mail.
You know, all the online banter and rumors and reports.
Not good.
Screen image retention, bad battery life, all sorts of quirks and grumbles.
Did I worry?
Sort of but I was really sold and still am.
Sold I mean.
So far my battery is doing fine and I've set the screen saver to kick in after like ten seconds.
Okay, not really.
More like three minutes which is too quickly but you never know.
Anyways, what sold be besides the screen, which is nothing less than spectacular by the way, was the touch pad and how freakin easy it is to use.
Makes my mouse seem archaic and frivolous and almost useless.
Really, it's that good.
The touch pad I mean.
Okay, the bad as there's always a bad.
Working with files and stuff is totally alien to me and I couldn't find a file if my life depended on it.
Seriously if you held a gun to my head you'd have to do what you have to do cause I have no clue where files go.
The screen is sure nice though.
There's also some commands that are lost on me even if I knew where to find them and it took me like twenty minutes to figure out how to post that image.
Before I forget:

The chicklet style keyboard is also a bit of a change and it will take getting used to.
Who needs a keyboard when you got wait for it: Dictation!
That's right talking to yourself fans!
I don't even have to type!
I've played with it for a bit and I have to say it feels pretty stupid talking to your computer especially since it doesn't talk back.
Maybe my next post will be totally hands free.
The really bad news is that Adobe has yet to configure CS6 for the new screen so I'm going to hold off buying it until they update it.
It's bad news for this is what I bought a new computer for.
I loaded this thing up with 16 gigs of RAM so that I could work with those kinds of apps and now I have to wait.
I'll probably get Aperture from the appeVil store to hold me over as I have no ways of shrinking down my images.
Lot o'space they take up.
Not really worried about that as I plan to run an external drive to go along with the 256 SSD hard drive.
The flash drive makes this thing really quick and I'm afraid I'm now spoiled.
Power up takes like fifteen seconds compared to the minutes on my old machine.
One more thing I want to touch on and that's how Apple approaches the marketing of their products.
The box this thing came in makes you feel like bought a hand crafted instrument, not some mass marketed electronic device.  If presentation was everything well, you feel like you got everything.
If you know what I mean.
Okay I'll stop now and if you want more info on this thing you can search and read all about it.
The Flat Tire has entered a new generation of computing!
Maybe I'll get all crazy and actually do a post about bicycling!
Or something.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No, Not Yet

First of all, you guys are crazy!
I mean really.
No way was I even thinking of Electronical Italian Goodness.
Okay, not really.
I did think about it, if only to wonder how much it was going to be.
Athena EPS at least might be in my ball park.
Then again, it may not.
Be in my ball park I mean.
Though if you, the reader, have been following along at home, you know that the ball park around here is pretty large.
Especially if it's bicycle blingness.
So anyways, today the FedEx person stopped by!

Hey waittaminute!
This box is kinda small.
Way small!
I mean it's like smaller than a breadbox and I was hoping for something a bit larger.
If you know what I mean.
So what could this be?
Okay, I jest.
Stuff like this is tracked via the Flat Tire Secret Consumer Goods Command Center(FTSCGCC), with high tech over the horizon radar and Xray machines and GPS tracking devices:

So I already knew what it was.
Or what it wasn't.
What it wasn't is still being prepared by Hobbits wearing anti static cover-alls and booties on their shoes breathing canned oxygen and nitrogen.
Special goats were sacrificed for the kid gloves and the Hobbits wear hair nets so they look like they are serving lunch in the school cafeteria.
By the way, school lunch is one of the reasons I became a teacher and today we had spaghetti.
Oh yeah.
I'm also kidding about the goats.
I mean I got brushes with squirrel hair so maybe them gloves are actually made from kids.
You know, small goats.
So anyways, I'm still a waiting, waiting for the Electronical Goodness that should be here next week.
No it doesn't shift 11 gears in one fell swoop, though for what I paid I might expect it to.
Shift my bicycle gears I mean.
No, what's coming is a new dawn, a new beginning for things over here at The Flat Tire.
Oh yeah baby, things are a changing.

No Early Adopter Am I

Not usually.
I'm the sort that sits back and waits until the dust settles.
All the bugs are sorted out.
Proven records and all that.
Except this time.
This time I took the plunge.
Into icy water.
Not the usual warm tropical waters I'm used to.
In this case though, there's no buyers remorse.
Despite the eVilbugs.
No, in fact I'm looking forwards to it.
Quirks and defects be damned!
Normally I'd be all besides myself, cursing even at my stupidity and brashness.
You know, telling myself I told you so even when I never told myself anything.
I mean I did this so fast, without my usual impeccable research and hemming and hawing and indecision and waffling.
I hit that Buy It Now button so fast, it was well, Super Sonic!
So now I do the research.
Now I find all sorts of goofy reports and ugly testimonials.
I am not deterred.
I should be.
Some of the reports are pretty bad.
Returns and more returns and replacement parts and yada, yada, yada.
Okay look, no first generation thingy is perfect.
Well for what I shelled out, it should be.
Sort of.
Well okay, it should be.
For what I shelled out.
Anyways, it's too late now as right before my eyeballs, the online status changed from maybe, to shipping out!
Right before my eyeballs!
Oh my!
Giddy with excitement am I!
Sort of.
I mean the eVilness better work correctly right out of the box or...
I'll be returning and returning and replacing and yada, yada, yada.
As long as there's light at the end of that tunnel, I'll find comfort and resolve in knowing that I got something new and wonderful.
Yeah, no early adopter am I.
Except when it comes to gadgets and thingamabobs.
If you know what I mean.
Oh FedEx man, where art thou?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Final

Only three weeks to go before Something Wonderful/Hele On Kailua!
Now we are meeting every weekend, and we'll continue up until the event.
Meeting every weekend I mean.
Things are slowly coming together.
I'm not so involved anymore, since school started back up, but there's still some small but little things to take care of.
I still need to submit our event maps to the city and fire department, and take care of the street barriers and the tables, stage and chairs we need.
I'm more the event site person and I'm leaving the organizing of activities to other capable folks.
Speaking of activities, we got some zumba folks, yoga folks, kids singing folks, and bicycle club folks all taking the center stage.
We also have a 5k run going on before the event and two rides planned.
One goes out to the nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the other comes close to Flat Tire Central.
Out at one of the parks, we have bicycle education and maybe some boot camp fitness type stuff.
So far four of the six bicycle shops on the island are involved, the other two aren't committed.
We also have two major health care providers, with one more in the works.
Lemme tell you, putting this whole thing together is one logistical nightmare, something that can get away from you fast unless you got a good handle on it.
Which I think we do.
Have a handle on it I mean.
Sort of interesting, but there's not a whole lot of community backing or involvement.
I've tried to get in touch with the local chamber of commerce, but have not heard back.
As of today, there are no Kailua merchants other than Whole Foods, directly involved with the event.
More on this later.
There is also a rather intriguing back story to this whole thing that I hope to one day tell, but for now we've decided to keep it under wraps.
Drama don't you know.
If you've been following along at home you, the reader, know that I've pulled some sponsor stuff off our pages and it has something to do with the drama.
Anyways, we are 21 days out and counting.
I can't wait for it to happen and I also can't wait for it to be over!
If you know what I mean.
Here's hoping my head doesn't explode before then.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What a Week!

Only 40 more to go.
Weeks I mean.
Or something like that.
Well I survived my first two full days of classroom instruction!
I gotta say, yesterday I was shutting the windows to  my classroom, you know, closing up, when I sort of got this funny feeling.
Sort of like I've been doing this for a while.
Not deja vu, like I had been there before, but something more, like I was meant to do this.
It's all been a whirlwind, organizing and planning, getting the classroom ready, meeting my fellow instructors, trying to remember the names of my students, and most of all, just trying to keep my head from exploding!
Okay, not really.
My head was never close to exploding.
In fact, that feeling I got was because my head didn't feel like exploding.
I'm no where near a veteran instructor, yet there was this feeling calm, sort of peaceful even.
Like I'm finally where I'm supposed to be.
There's still a lot to be done and I'm pretty far from cruise control, but for some odd reason it's not that bad.
I mean there's still tons to get done, but at the same time, this is what I was built for!
I hope.
Now I can sort of take the week end to decompress and reflect a bit, seeing as how I sort of don't know exactly where I'm going, especially with my CTE class, which if you remember has no curriculum.
I'm really hoping to get back on my bicycle, finally! and get some miles in.
Even if they are just cruising miles.
Anyways, I swear sometimes it's hard to imagine me doing anything else.
Teaching I mean.
Okay, Something Wonderful.
That, has been something of a roller coaster ride.
Up and down, up and down, up and down.
You, the reader, get the idea.
So much so that I'm not sure if I'm on an upswing or down.
Swing, I mean.
We had a major problem that I thought we were over, just before it escalated into something really big!
Big, as in I had a certified letter to pick from the Post Office and I was a bit wary, thinking it was something related to the event.
As in potential legal problems.
Well, it seems that the event is going forwards, despite the setback, and I have to get back on track to see this thing through.
We are less than one month away, with work and all that time is going to pass by Pretty Damn Quick(PDQ).
So what's left?
We still need some food vendors and I have to submit maps of the event site to the city and fire department.
Other folks are organizing the activities so my role has diminished.
You know, work and all.
Hopefully I'll have something good to report in three weeks!
Stay tuned.