15 Percent Concentrated Power of Will

That is what it took to write this post… not really, but it has been along time coming.  Here’s a look back at some the best pictures from 2008. My photo blogging took a bit of nose dive last year after June 1st due to the lakes closing in Madison.  When you drive 45 minutes to practice and don’t get home till 10pm or so, you just don’t have that much spare time.  The camera was still busy, so here’s a look back.
As those that follow the site know, my ski season started early in 2008.  January 26th to be exact. I went south to get some skiing in, but not very far.  Just a mere 30 minutes.  The ski site looked like this…
And the water was cold…
But it wasa fun…
The the skiing too a hiatus for a few months.  It took till the beginning of May before we back on the water…
But it has to complain when your nights on the water end like this…
A week later, the Best Dam Barefoot Race took place.  It was a little cooler this year, but still a whole lot of fun.
As May wound down, we had some very nice weather, which we made good use of…


Then, the rain hit, and it hit hard…
Leaving us with this…
And this….
So Mad-City headed about 45 minutes north, to Lake Wisco, to practice.  One of the nice things about that is we had nights that looked like this at the end of the night…
And this…
And resulted in fun practices like this…


My boat also made a few trips to Lake Wisconsin too. One of the better trips was on July 4th.  It took phone calls until 1am the night before to finalize the plans, but they were finalized and we skied on some nice water in some great scenary.


When State arrived, the rain made another cameo appearance…
But it didn’t stick around too long…
And it was still a whole lot of fun…
And we put on one hell of a good show…
Resulting in this…
The following week we did a road show in Portage, so I had a chance to do doubles again…
And then the next week we did yet another road show, this time on Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, there were 4 foot rollers there to great us…

Finally, Nationals arrived.  After a season of driving, late practices and little sleep, our Nationals show went very well…

And after our show, we hit “The Bar”…

Our efforts were rewarded…

After Nationals, the Madison lakes slowly reopened, so then we just had some fun….
And more fun…
And occasionally, we needed supplies delivered…
So the nights would end like this…
But then we’d go out again the next night…
I did get to hit the ramp a little…
And the water…
Finally, fall arrived, and the last trip out on the lake…
Then winter arrived and more nights would end like this…
So that’s the 2008 in pictures.
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Barefoot Worlds Coverage on Tales from the Foot

Barefoot Worlds are going on right now in New Zealand.  The best of best are over there tricking, slaloming and jumping.  KSO is trying to defend is title.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world, at least those of interested in barefooting, are curious to know what’s going on over there.  So far, there hasn’t been much, if any, official coverage, but I have managed to track down some sources to keep tabs on what’s happening.
Instead of having to scour the internet yourself looking for info, I’m doing that for you.  Just head over to my barefooting website Tales from the Foot.  That link will show you all the World’s Barefoot coverage that there is to know about so far.
While you’re there, feel free to browse around the whole site.
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Time for a Crash Course

For those of you that think that doing these crazy tricks on skis, or your barefeet, or hitting the ramp is easy, just watch this video.  It features skiers from a professional ski show trying out the new stuff in their spare time and this video shows all the crashes these people go through to land that big stunt in the ski show.

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Finally… Some Almost Warm Weather

Finally had a chance to bust out the boat last weekend on Saturday morning and have a good time on the water. I forced everyone to have a early wake up, even though it is a late start for skiing, still early as we all adjust to a summer morning skiing schedule. I called for people to be at the lake at 830am. As I pulled in just a couple minutes late, I saw Sandy and John waiting. We launched the boat as Teri called to say that Rob and her were “almost” there. About 15 minutes after we got the boat in the water, they arrived, through no fault of Rob’s, or so he claims. Next time, I plan to just tell Teri 30 minutes earlier than the rest of us. They did bring some trail mix for everyone to snack on though.

Back to the skiing… We didn’t freeze, calm water and lots-o-sunshine. John, Teri and I did some footing, Sandy did a little slaloming, Rob got dragged around on the boom (much to our entertainment), and then we busted out my new surfboard. I won’t go into details about the day, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking… We took lots of them, and here the best of the pictures…


John threw some tumbles…


and one foots…


and did we mention he likes to test out his barefoot shorts…


I just did some footing… here I am in front
of the hospital I’m spending a lot of time in now…
(Work reasons, not health reasons)


Teri demonstrated a tumble turn on the boom


John wanted to have some on the boom too


Sandy busted out her slalom ski to rehab her knee…
her she throws up a wall behind the spray from the boat


A better picture…


Here I’m making sure the surfboard works


Teri on the board from up high…


and down low…


That wave looks huge!


John actually looses the rope now and then…


No rope…


But sometimes needs it back


Rob learned how to surf…


Here’s he on top of the water…


Here he’s about to go upside down…


It wasn’t that warm out though…
Sweatshirts made the day very nice
Sandy’s catching some rays here


And here’s the backdrop for our skiing, the state capital

Back to my earlier comment about dragging Rob around on the boom… he tried he hand (or feet) at barefooting. Now he’s not a small person and tested out the boom. He threw up some big splashes with some of his tumble up attempts, even dosing the camera once. We decided to catch them on video. I need to do a little editing and set the videos to music for maximum entertainment value. Be sure to check back.

Links: Picasa Web Album

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22 Miles of Booze, or There and Back Again, a Drinking Tale

This past Saturday, the Best Dam Barefoot Race took place in Beaver Dam, WI. This year, I suited up with Bugsy, Beau, Dano and Marky to go the distance. Russ was driving for us in his Malibu.

Beau, Bugsy, Wedge, Dano and Marky Ready for 22 Miles of Fun

The weather this year, although not warmer than last year, was better than last year. The winds were much calmer, making the race like a Nascar Race. One slip up and you’re not going to win. For the race results, go check out Tales from the Foot. Basically, they messed up a pit stop and lost the race.

We didn’t have delusions of winning, we just wanted to finish. Shortly after the winners finished the race in a mere 23 minutes, we approached the turn around boat. The story in the bar afterwards goes that we stopped for a “drink” before making the return trip. We’ll neither confirm nor deny that, all we’ll say is that we were happy to see the turn around boat and they were happy to see us.

We finished the race, riding the feet of Marky, Dano and Beau while Bugsy and I did our contributions by giving them some recovery time and entertainment. Admittedly for all of us, it was a rough day. I’ve been on the water once, Dano a couple time, Bugsy did a 3-Event tourny (but hadn’t footed) while Beau and Marky suited up for the first time. None of were really ready for 22 miles, but we went anyways. Towards the end of race, the cold started to take affect, but then we finally spotted the bar and the finish line and rolled across the finish line 63 minutes and 43 seconds after we started.

But when the race finished, the party began.

We put the boat away, dried off and made our way into Dawn and Woody’s Moonlight Bar for food and drink. Before anything got too wild, we parked our cars at the Bell residence and car pooled back to the bar. We planned to have a good time.

As we arrived back at the bar, the karaoke was starting up. Beau, Dano and Marky had to head back to Madison for various reason, but we had reinforcements show up. Sandy and Beth were there to cheer us on, John arrived a little later, Teri was there as well with her own team and Douch arrived for the party as well. Many of us took turns on the stage… Sandy and Teri sang many songs, Pa Bell took the stage, Bugsy graced us with a boy band song, I did some Fishin’ in the Dark and got to sing along with Black Betty.

It took a while to get them to play Black Betty. First they said they’d already played and couldn’t play it again. Then I called them on the fact that they had already repeated several songs that night. Then they were like we don’t have a karaoke version and I told them I knew the words. After Douch made a comment about wanting ot hear it, they finally relented. It took way too much work to get that song played.

While I snacked on some cheese curds, Ann quizzed me on how I thought they were. I gave them 3 stars. They had a good batter on them and were white cheddar so they were pretty decent. We agreed that the curds at Old Fashions would be 5-star cheese curds and the variety served at The Coliseum Bar and The Dane in Fitchburg 4-stars. Ann then tried a cheese curd and agreed they’d be a 3-star cheese curd.

Talked with Footstock Dave and Chris Van Zeeland a little bit (he’d seen my other barefooting sight and liked it.) Shot some pool and caught up with some friends from the Must-Skis. All the while, I had a steady supply of margaritas on the rocks. I felt very good by the end of the night and none of us went home thirsty that night.

Here are some pictures from the night…


Wedge, Douch and a One of Many Margaritas


Bugsy on the Dance Floor


T-Bell and Wedge


Bugsy strikes a pose


Bell Duet

Around 11pm or so, we made it back the Bell house for the after bar. We arrived to find the garage fridge nearly empty, but Greg showed up with reinforcements. Meanwhile, Ma Bell kept feeding us with a steady supply of pizza. What some people found amazing was I was eating the pepperoni pizza even though it also had mushrooms on it. I don’t normally eat mushrooms. Correction… I don’t eat mushrooms. Or at least I hadn’t up until then.

Neither Bugsy or Lisa are doing anything particularly interesting…
But look at Ruby drinking some beer while Pa Bell watches proudly!

We made it past midnight and finally called it a night. I claimed a recliner in the Living Room once again and grabbed a blanket and quickly fell asleep.

Sunday morning arrived way too early and Ruby greeted me at 6am with a wake up call. Unlike last year, she didn’t have a pair of underwear with her this time. I was tired, thirsty and very sore, but surprisingly, not really hung over. Around 8am Ma Bell started making some breakfast for the Mother’s Day Breakfast she had planned. Slowly, the rest of the household started moving. I rolled out at 9am so I could make it back for my Mother’s Day festivities.

More pictures on Picasa.

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Breaking the Seal…

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog-casting. Water Skiing and Barefooting season is finally back!

Spring is doing everything in it’s power to push the last remnants of winter away. The weather is slowly warming, and with that, the water is slowly warming.

Unfortunately, the weather and my schedule haven’t been very cooperative this spring. The handful of nice days that we’ve previously had, I’ve been busy. The days I’ve had time, well let’s just say the weather has been a bit wintery. Hell, we’ve even had snow coming down on some of those days. Other days, 50 MPH gusts of wind. All great for water skiing… err maybe not.

But the weather and my schedule finally lined up on Monday. 60 or so degrees, sunshine, calm winds. After texting T-Bell and calling Lisa, I had the magic number for skiing.

After work, ran home to quickly get my boat, put some fresh gas in the tank, and headed to the lake. Teri and Lisa arrived and away we went. The lake’s a little high right now and we all felt the need to duck are heads as we went under the railroad bridge into the bay. I don’t think my head would have hit, but it was definitely low enough to make me think twice.

Once in the bay, I finished suiting up. And unlike last year, where I needed some assistance zipping up my suit…

Last year I needed some help…

This year, I zipped it all by myself. I’m a big boy now… or maybe not quite as big of a boy now since I fit in my suit a bit better.

Anyways, onto the skiing!

I took the honors and took the first run of the year behind my boat. I usually do. Ownership has it’s privileges. Somehow on my first run, I managed to be footing and have slack in my rope. That’s a neat trick. The first runs of the year took their toll on me. 2 sets of 2 runs each. No major runs, but it had it’s after affects. My feet were sore the next day, ear aches from the cold water, and arms that felt like jelly. Completely worth it though… I was back on the water.


Slack in the rope?


Smiling!

Next up Lisa dusted off her slalom ski. After letting the waves calm down from the barefoot circles, Douch took her runs back and forth across the bay cutting up the glassy water.

Lisa cutting hard!

Nice wall!

Teri dusted off her dry suit (not that it was really needed that night) and took her footing runs for the night and the first of the year for her as well.

Teri sporting the dry suit look!

In front of the Capitol

As we headed back to the boat launch, the three of us were treated to a great sunset!

Sunset on Lake Monona

After just a couple runs, maybe totaling 2 miles, I’m off to Beaver Dam this weekend for The Best Dam Barefoot Race. 22 miles of something. Last year it was brutal water, but a hell of a party afterwards. This year we’re crossing our fingers hoping for better water. No matter what, it’ll be a lot farther than I went on Monday.

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