Friends and Family

This video is 5+ years old but for some reason it has gotten a barrage of plays and comments today on youtube.

The BIRTHDAY BUTTER is an Alameda tradition. You have to swim through the gauntlet -- swimming butterfly -- while all of the other swimmers splash and rock you with waves from their kickboards.

Kari had a work function in Puerto Rico and managed to hop over to St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and visit Kirk and Cara.

Coincidently, her visit was just before Kirk's 40th birthday. Happy Birthday Kirk! At this moment he is celebrating on St. John with Cara friends, and I sure can't blame Kari if she wishes she were still there. Kirk zipped her around on his little boat to some choice snorkeling spots around St. Thomas and St. John. (Little did he know that a party was being set up in his honor for later.)

Kirk also partook in his trademark hunting routine. He puts on his snorkels, mask, and glovesand dives down w/ a little crow bar to scare up some crustacean. Bingo! THAT'S a big lobster. Kari is usually vegetarian but in this case: "it was pretty good, I guess, for lobster."

This was Simon (age 7) on Christmas Day 2008. Chinese-made but fits him like a glove.

On November 1, Simon competed in his first Kuk Sool Won (Korean martial arts) tournament in Oakland. There were teams from all over the country and our Alameda-based team placed 4th overall.

Simon competed in the 7-8 year-old blue belt division and won 2 medals (3rd and 4th place.) If you ask me, he kinda got slighted in the judging but I am heavily biased. (do I need to tell you that?)

He had a great time and was thrilled to win his first medals. Some of his friends did very well, such as 5-year-old Antoine who won a gold and 17-year-old Jason Chen who successfully defended his title as Second Degree Grand Champion. We watched most of Jason's events, which included swords and other weapons.

Most of the pictures in my gallery were taken by Antoine's dad from down near the ring. Maria took tons of pictures and you can see them in the link provided. Scroll down to the bottom and click "slideshow".

Next year, I will try to video w/ a tripod from vantage point of the bleachers. The lighting is horrid in there so ACTION is where it's at, and I'm even tempted to shoot in black-and-white.

Here we are riding our bikes around Yosemite. The waterfalls were dry but we had a blast cruising around.

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