Thursday, August 28, 2008

Assaf Lotan - cancer survivor

I just saw a video posted by a high school buddy of mine, Assaf Lotan, who is now a fellow cancer survivor. He gave a great speech at a "Survivor Day" at Cedars - Saini, and I wanted to share it via my blog. We often hear about Lance Armstrong and other famous people with amazing stories, but we don't hear as much about the regular people who had the same disease, survive with the support of their friends and family, and have their own inspiring stories & lives. Assaf does a great job of telling his story.

Here's his video:


As a side note, I'm the high school friend he mentions who survived colon cancer. Gotta love the shout out.

New Favorite Environmental T-Shirt


I think I have new favorite t-shirt. It makes so many great statements at once! Environmental, transportation, political... and personal.

You can order them from Widgethouse.com via CafePress.

In the mean time, I'm off to pass gas... er, um, I mean, ride my bike to work.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leadville Trail 100 - Lance vs. Dave Weins

I think I have a new favorite video site! superhumanmag.com. They have a great 8 minute video covering the 2008 Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, in which Dave Weins edged out Lance by 2 minutes, setting a new course record of 6hr 45min, breaking the prior record by 15 minutes.

Here's the site & video:
http://www.superhumanmag.com/content/view/763/92/

Apparently around mile 45 or 50 Lance dropped the hammer and blew apart the group for 6 or 8 that made up the lead pack. Weins was able to go with him and the two of them worked together for the rest of the race. There are a few sections of trail, namely the "powerlines" climb that just about everyone, including Dave Weins, walks. When they were at the bottom of it, Lance asked if they were going to walk or ride. Dave said walk, and Lance said ride. So they rode it. Very impressive. But what I think is most impressive is that Lance was able to make up ground on Dave on the descents. Dave Weins is a former mountain bike world champion, and Lance is not know for his mountain biking skills, until now. Apparently Dave wasn't taking any chances, as he didn't want to flat, and Lance was willing to hang it all out.

Enjoy the video, and I hope you see you and Lance on the Leadville start-line in years to come, assuming I can get in via the lottery.

Monday, August 11, 2008

UPS.com rocks

Maybe it's that I'm just easy to please, but I've gotta say, I'm very impressed with UPS.com. One of my co-workers told me that shipping via the USPS was less expensive, but after trying to navigate their site, which isn't nearly as user friendly, I decided to head back to UPS.com. In fact, I had filled out all of the UPS forms, then closed the window figuring I'd use USPS.com, but after trying to do what I wanted with USPS.com and not getting exactly what I wanted, I went back to UPS.com. I was frustrated thinking that I was going to have to re-enter the shipping info a 3rd time, but when I click on Create-A-Shipment it asked me if I wanted to continue with the last shipment that I had started. Awesome. A few clicks later and I was printing out the label to tape to the box. Better yet, you don't even have to schedule a pick-up. You can hand a package with a printed UPS label to any UPS driver. Pretty convenient if you ask me! So if I'm in the shipping store, I go with USPS since it's usually cheapest, but if I'm shipping from home or the office, I definitely go with UPS.com.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Camp Hollywood Swing Dancing Camp in LA

I just got back from a fantastic weekend of swing dancing in LA at Camp Hollywood. It's a 3 day camp with 4 hours of instruction a day, several competitions & exhibition dances, and dancing 'till all hours of the morning with some of the best swing bands in the country! This is the 3rd year I've gone, and wow is it ever fun! Below is a compilation video of most of the moves we learned in the Advanced and Masters track classes. (they break up classes by Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Masters)



As you can see, this year was heavy on Balboa, Charleston, and Air Steps aka Aerials. And WOW was it ever fun. The instructors come from all of the country, and even all over the world. If you've ever watched a Lindy Hop video on line (like Kevin & Carla's dance to Benny Goodman's Bei mir bist du schoen) and wondered if you could learn from them, you can, and you can do it at Camp Hollywood!



Kevin is now dancing with a new partner, Emily, and in their Master's class they taught us several moves from their current performance routine. It was awesome! However, I have a long way to go before I dance with his style.

I even got to dance to one of my two favorite bands, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five. My other favorite band is Stompy Jones, but I get to dance to them every Tuesday and Thursday night in San Francisco, so we didn't stick around for their Sunday performance.

And here's a video of what we learned last year. As you can see, LOTS of good moves being taught at Camp Hollywood:


I hope to see many more of you there next year!

Swing out! Swing waaaaayyyy out!
-David

PS. If you're looking for swing dancing shoes, I wrote a Hub about it. Check it out! http://hubpages.com/hub/Swing_Dance_Shoes
I also have a Hub or two about Where to dance in San Francisco.