Behind the Record

Well, my humble little blog about water skiing has officially gone world wide. One of the organizers of the recent world record for number of skiers behind one boat has thanked me for the coverage of their many attempts and finally of their record.

David Bennett, one of the organizers of the event grew up in a family without a boat, but his family did join a local family based ski club and learned to ski and now will ski on just about anything… trampolines (on skis), ladders, milk crates on disks, bench seats and even computer keyboards and laptops. He’s taught nearly 1000 people how to ski.

For those of you that have built the show ski pyramids in the states, here’s something you may find interesting, They used an awful lot of ropes for that record…

That be a whole lot of ropes that they had to get the same length. Put that together with the engineering to devise something to pull that many people from a deep water start and you have quite the record.

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Lots of Skiers [an update]

January 30, 2010 – 110 skiers up, 99 made it 1 nautical mile

Over in Tasmania, they are still trying to break the record for most skiers behind a boat. On January 30, 2010, they managed to get 110 skiers (of 120) up on plane from a deep water start, but only 99 skiers made it the nautical mile required for it to be a record.

They plan to try again and soon. Be sure to check out their website for more details, pictures and videos.

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Bags of Chips or Bags of Air?

/off topic

Inspired by a friend that joined a Facebook group, I decided to write this post sharing a few details about why bags of chips contain so much air.

First off, the bags are packaged by large machines that weigh out a specific amount of chips to put into the bag. Since chips vary in size and shape, there needs to be extra space for the packaging process. As the chips are shipped to your local grocery store, they tend to ‘settle’ into a more compact space. Yes, this is the common reason given by most people, but it is only part of the reason.
Second, the bags of chips are typically shipped in large boxes. The air in the bag actually acts as packing peanuts and protects the chips from becoming crumbs. Without the air in the bag acting as padding, or spacing, for the chips, a large box containing many bags of chips would soon be all crumbs, which nobody wants. Try to crush the chips in a brand new unopened bag. Tag a bag of chips and squeeze it between the palms of your hands. Now not so hard that the bag will burst open, but enough to theoretically crush some chips. Chances are that air you complain about is doing a pretty good job of protecting the chips from any significant damage. So there are two options for this step, either put the extra air in the bag to protect its contents, or put styrofoam packing peanuts in with the chips and I’m off the opinion that this would be a bad idea.
Now I like my bags of chips, specifically Cheetos, and I would like the bags to be as full as possible, but I also want chips or Cheetos, I don’t want a bag full of crumbs. So next time, instead of complaining about the half bag of air, be thankful for the half bag of chips you have. It could be a full bag of crumbs.
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K’Nann on ACL

/off topic

Since setting up my DVR to record Austin City Limits on PBS so I wouldn’t miss the Pearl Jam episode that aired in November 2009, I’ve been treated to a lot of really good music. Some very familiar (Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Dave Mathews Band) and some that I hadn’t heard of. It is of one of these that I’m going to tell you about.

The episode from this past Sunday featured the artist K’Naan and Mos Def. Mos Def I’ve heard of (and can’t say I’m a huge fan of), but K’Naan was a complete unknown to me. I had never even heard the name.

The performance by K’Naan was amazing. His family is from Somali and left the country in 1991. His life growing up wasn’t easy and he uses his music to give you a little bit of insight into that life. You can check out the full episode online here. Really, you need to watch it. I’ve posted an excerpt of it below.

Mos Def performed for the second half of the show. Still not a big fan, but did like his song called Micheal which is a rendition of a Micheal Jackson song. The song right after that one, Quiet Dog I believe, was also very good. I did like him as Ford Prefect in the Hitchhikers Guide.

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Did You Hear the One About the Water Skiing Elephant?

So I know a lot of people have heard the tale of the water skiing elephant. I think Rykert and his dog Nola or the keyboardists over at the CRB mentioned the impressive pachyderm at some point, but I’ve actually managed to have my automated Google-bots track down the source of this legen- wait for it, and I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant because the second half of this word is -dary story.

My Google-bots sent a link to a YouTube video uploaded by JPizzle1122. Who is JPizzle? Well, he is Jonny Paula, “the host of YouTube’s only interactive movie review show.” (That doesn’t mean anything to me either.)  In his January 13th episode he decided to review the Final Destination (not the original one that was OK, but the one from 2009 that was in 3D) and Honky Tonk Freeway. What is Honky Tonk Freeway you ask? I haven’t heard of that movie you’re saying. Well not many people have. It was a 1981 box office BOMB staring Beau Bridges and Beverly D’Angelo (before either of them were stars) and some others that you’d probably recognize from other great 80’s movies.
The movie even warranted a Razzie award nomination back in 1982 for Worst Original Song (“You’re Crazy But I Like You” by two people you haven’t heard of). It also featured such memorable quotes as “Yep…goin’ to the Super Bowl. Gonna sell me some cocaine.” Needless to say, this little gem pulled in about $2 million total in box office revenue back in the day. With all the “soon” to be stars in this movie, it’s probably worth watching in the way that you have to look at a car accident. You can even get it on Netflix.
Now I know you’re asking yourself how does a water skiing elephant fit into the movie Honky Tonk Freeway? Well, the premise of the movie is a small Florida town is going to get by-passed by a freeway. And by by-passed, we mean by-passed. Not even an on-off ramp. People won’t even have the option to stop. In an effort to “stop” the freeway, the small town mayor and the business decide to come up with tourist traps (for lack of a better description) that’ll make people want to stop. One of those tourist traps is Bubbles the Water Skiing Elephant.
Bubbles the Water Skiing Elephant
By now I know you’re itching to see the movie review that inspired me to write this bit of useless droll. So without further ado, here is Episode 10 of Movie Night – Water Skiing Elephant Killed in Bizarre Swimming Pool Accident… enjoy…
And now you know… the story behind the pachydrm that is proficient on pink pyramid boards. Wedge Out!
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The Crazy People in Tasmania Are At It Again

The Horsehead Water Ski Club in Strahan, Tasmania is going to try and break the world record for number of water skiers behind one boat again. The attempt is set for January 30, 2010. They’ve been trying the last couple of years, but have encountered some engineering difficulties that prevented them from succeeding.

The current record is 100 skiers from Oct 18, 1986. Here’s the picture of everyone up on skis…

And if you want to see some video of it, here it is…

In 2008, they tried to break the record with 121 skiers. What will they try this year?
For more details, be sure to look around their website.
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Naked Water Skiing

Who knew that hangovers + nudity + waterskiing + near hypothermia = community event to boost business. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a community event to boost the communities business. They first tried the Bun Run (that’s what they call it on) out on New Year’s Eve, but that didn’t work so well (put a dent in the supper business), so now they do it on New Year’s Day and it’s been working well for 30 years now. Granted it’s happening in California, so the water is a “balmy” 46 degrees, but that’s still cold.

You can read the full story here.
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More People Preaching that the BCS is Good

I love the BCS Twitter feed. It is so much fun to read…
First, they point us to this article that basically says a playoff would dilute the regular season for college football. That is bunk. If you have a 16 team playoff field that is populated with the 11 conference champions and 5 at large bids. Schools need to ensure a conference championship to punch an automatic ticket to the playoff. Every game will still count. If by chance they come in second in their conference, they’ll be competing with about 110 other schools for the 5 at large spots so they’ll need an impressive resume to punch their ticket so they’ll need some big name out of conference wins to help get an invite.

This article basically says the BCS is good because it provides lots of money to schools/conferences that get to participate. I was still under the impression that college sports were still sports. Yes, they can’t loose money, but they do need to break even and sports like football (and b-ball and at some schools, hockey) need to pay for the rest of the non-revenue sports, but isn’t the ideal behind it that it is still a sport. (Pro-sports are a whole ‘nother can of worms.) Isn’t the NCAA suppose to help their member schools maximize the revenue of the sports. Not the revenue of their business?

It also says that for the 2 teams that make to the championship game, they’ll have to go through so many extra games that the risk of injury increases and becomes to great. Whether they play a single bowl game or 4 games to win a championship, they’d probably end up practicing the same amount of time do the risk of injury isn’t really that much greater.
I’m sick of hearing about everyone complaining that congress spent some time creating a law that says that the BCS can’t call the winner a champion. I’m guessing the discussion went like this… Hey, the way the BCS decides a champion is bunk. Let’s force them to make a playoff. Here’s a proposed law. All in favor, say Aye. And then they went back to healthcare discussions.
And if the NCAA Football is a business worrying about providing lots of money to the conferences and schools, why are they even concerned for the well being of the players? They aren’t. They use it as a distraction to protect their friends that run the bowls and makes a boat load of money for organizing a football game that the student athletes will remember for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait to hear a player shout out in excitement “I’m so proud to be the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Champion. It is the crowning achievement of my college career.” Oh wait, that’ll never happen.
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