Chasing a Dream: One Wave at a Time

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Clarification: My goal is to race from VA to NJ on a Waverunner (jetski) to raise awareness and money for a anti-bullying campaign.

Chasing a Dream: One Wave at a Time

I am fortunate to have enjoyed observing the advancements in personal water crafts over the past three decades; my fascination with jet skis began at the age of fifteen, leading to a role as a jet ski instructor in New Jersey in my late teens and early twenties. Growing up in a water-loving family created a lifelong love of the water, and jet skis served a dual purpose: fueling my teenage interest in speed, to be perfectly frank, and providing an opportunity to travel from Points A to B with the benefit of observing nature along the way. In recent years, I have searched for ways to share this enthusiasm with others, and more importantly, combine that love of jet skis and the water with a philanthropic component. My career has predominantly involved the security sector, which has afforded me the opportunity to assist others on multiple occasions, and made me increasingly aware of the necessity of support for those in need. Philanthropic campaigns to assist at-risk youth and “stomp out” bullying have always drawn my support, and social responsibility themes, particularly in terms of respecting human rights, are appealing to me.

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It has been stated, “No one person can change the world, but we can each do our part.”

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I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I began the process of planning this endeavor two decades ago, but when life became very busy at the turn of the century, I put this goal on hold, hoping to reach a point in life where I could resume a dream of combining my passion for jet skis and philanthropic causes. I do not want to regret anything in life, as that is not how I want to leave this planet, nor do I want to be false when telling others to go for their dreams when I have not finished fulfilling mine.

I want my son to look at his dad and say, feel, and/or think I am proud or tell his friends, “That’s my dad!”. I never want him to feel ashamed or bullied for fighting for a positive cause in which he believes. I would like for my son to know that he can overcome and reach his star in the sky regardless of obstacles in his path.

I genuinely believe in people’s ability to change the world into something better. I believe each one of us has the ability to create a canvas unique to each of us to share with the world and guide someone who has yet to find their unique way of letting their canvas to be expressed.

Too many young adults leave our planet before they even start living; many never have the opportunity to attain their goals and dreams. Bullying needs to stop across the board and our youth’s self-esteem needs to grow. If just one thing can spark a child’s dream, then why not give them something for which to strive other than the correctional facility or worse, a life ended before even starting?

So, what is this dream that I intend to fulfill? My goal is to navigate a personal water craft (jet ski) from Virginia Beach to Brick, New Jersey to show to our youth that no matter how much someone or something holds one back, or how degraded one feels, that it is possible to leave the darkness behind. It is possible to stand up for themselves, and there are people on this planet who do understand, and want them to pursue their goals, reach for the stars, and persevere no matter how many times they are knocked down.

So, what is the purpose of this funding campaign? Funds received will go towards the jet ski trip from Virginia Beach to Brick, NJ. During this campaign, I will also be actively seeking support from anti-bullying organizations as I attempt to fulfill my dream, and raise funds for anti-bullying efforts in the process. Thank you for the support and donations towards not only fulfilling my dream, but supporting a vital cause.

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The breakdown of costs will be going towards the following:

·         A large percentage is going to the anti-bullying campaign and stomp out bullying initiative $5000.00+

·         Technical Advisors:  i.e. mechanics, ”Paid Licensed Captains” stationed vessels  along the route for refuel, safety checkpoints, support, and EMT’s, possible medical doctor  $3000.00+

·         Partial amount will go towards the Personal Water Craft for this undertaking for safety reasons.

·         Go-Pro cameras for documenting the trip $500+

·         Music and video support- media consultant for website, maintaining, creating, editing, and producing multiple short clip videos, picture collages, a documentary video, YouTube Channel, and publications related to this campaign.  3000.00+

·         Personal safety equipment that is not already available: i.e.- Emergency locator, helmet, more flares, smoke,  extra VHF long range two way radio $1500.00+

·         Everyone who contributes towards this endeavor will receive something regardless of how small or large of a donation. $2000.00+ in give a ways.

·         Your names, organizations, or businesses will be added to the overall documentary: If permission is granted.

·         All donors will be mentioned if permission is granted

·         Paper supplies

·         Ink

·         Card Stock

·         Envelopes

·         Thank You Cards for everyone who is involved

https://www.gofundme.com/chasing-a-dream-one-wave-at-time

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Clarification: My goal is to race from VA to NJ on a Waverunner (jetski) to raise awareness and money for a anti-bullying campaign.

To Think or Not to Think

20161221_160829-animationHello readers, I sit here looking at my screen deciding on the topic for today’s post. I recently returned from a great kayaking workout on December 31, 2016 and my creative juices are flowing. It’s a tradition I stick to every year regardless of weather. One thing I will continue to state is if you are going to venture out onto the water during winter months, be safe, be prepared, and be smart.  Just the other day another kayaker lost his life and this type of loss is always disheartening to hear. My sympathies go to the family of this man.  20161214_082557020161214_08280220161214_111941So, what do I write about? Money, social media, my son and his priceless expressions I get to enjoy watching, my thoughts on socially controversial topics, my future book in the editing phase, boats, planes, trains, automobiles, etc.?  Scientific innovations?  The 7 wonders of the world?  Entrepreneurship? I would like to talk about anything that may motivate someone to do something that he or she enjoys. I can sit here, yell and scream, but let’s face it.  Although I do not mind being assertive, because some need that tough love shit to get motivated, I would prefer to keep this post positive, a tint of humor, with a dash of entertainment. I guess my near death experiences could be a topic of interest? (There have been multiple experiences, and it is scary thinking about it.)  For example, think about a soft cover jeep rocketing into the exosphere only to come back down to the troposphere, with the tail slapping a tree, igniting on fire like spaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and landing into a creek at the bottom of a cliff. That one was a mouthful. I walked away from that experience with a different perspective. We can talk about water accidents, too – i.e., hypothermia, heat exhaustion, crashes, deaths, blacking out, and my, oh my, the list goes on.  So, where does one begin to write when there are so many topics from which to choose? Just what do writers decide to write about when there are so many potential options?    What drives the writer?20161214_15192820161214_152038A thought came to mind and one of which I am confident a few readers may have experienced.  How many of you may have had at least one person tell you one of the following:  Don’t think too much; You’re overthinking it; You are thinking too much; or my favorite, Your brain must be on fire.    What the osmosis is that?   I would like to hear from the readers and their thoughts on why people might say such things. Please add them to comment box below.

I am just free writing and trying to show my sense of humor. It’s a new year and new possibilities.

I would like to think that there are plenty of individuals on this planet that think about everything or whatever factor that piques their interest, and especially if it benefits not just oneself, but others as well?  Consider the term “think tank”.  People get paid for thinking and who wouldn’t want to be paid for thinking on multiple levels? Now, the likelihood that each of these individuals has a degree (or multiple degrees) is high, but what about those without a degree who are paid for using a skill that think tanks love? If someone has a talent, or capability to brainstorm with certain given subject matters for which companies or entities pay, should these individuals be allowed to use their gift even without paper credentials?  What do you think?   I’m curious to hear your thoughts.20161214_16130020161216_120024Here is another question. Do our memories become opportunities for reflection during certain times? Do we as humans continuously think about some topic regardless of anything we might try to do not to think? I kayak to do just that and sometimes kayak for longer durations than other kayaking workouts, but I know I am still thinking, using my brain, my frontal lobe working together with the motor and sensory cortexes, shaking hands with the broca’s area so I can write this post with some humor. I want to think. I enjoy thinking. I want to use my brain. I want to learn. I want to continue growing and utilizing that muscle. I would like to think that others would as well. We are all students in this life; in my opinion we all continue learning daily.20161219_17061520161231_083241I guess I found something to write about after all, because I just keep on typing. The brain. I love it. Just the term, “brain,” is intriguing.  What an unbelievable organ we each possess and yet so many people take for granted how vulnerable we really are when it comes to our brains.  The following example made me scratch my head, however.  One day, while hanging out with a few individuals, the subject of due process in the court of law, particularly, the topic of torture, whether sanctioned or not, became the topic of conversation, particularly where we each stood on this subject.  The person who initiated this subject matter opened a can of worms with this topic, because no one wanted to talk about it and when he asked what my position on this matter was he almost started a fist fight with me when he heard my response, simply because my response was not what he wanted to hear.  He immediately became confrontational.  How ironic considering the question he posed!  The good vibes in the area completely vanished as he, the originator of the question, became agitated from the logical responses I provided – prior to being interrupted by his temper. Have you ever watched a minnow swimming in a small cup? The minnow is in a small cup bouncing and flopping around.  Interestingly enough, we barely spoke after that day – purely over a difference in perspective for a question he posed to the group.  The others in the group were reticent on the topic, but I firmly believe in speaking my mind, particularly if someone opens the door on a topic which interests me.new-jersey-december-2016-530tripWe should cherish our freedom of speech, my readers.  If you ask a question, particularly one that is on a complex and highly-emotional topic, you better be prepared for an answer. Did I think too deeply on this post? About what shall I write next? After today we have another 363 days of learning to go for this year.

See you in the next post.

May your 2017 be a good year.new-jersey-december-2016-508tripnew-jersey-december-2016-264trip

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Blind leading the blind

Blind leading the blind:

The infamous “out of sight, out of mind” phrase…These sayings are ones many of us tend to recognize; my favorite is one I have heard all throughout my life since childhood, “See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.” This fascinates me to no end, because it can be misrepresented, influenced, and/or exploited for many justifications from individuals, organizations, and corporations. However, for this blog post we will stay with the simple individuality paradigm and not get too philosophical. I admit I am enjoying this blogging and I on occasion use the terminology of “out of sight, out of mind” concept myself. To me it is a great mantra for trying to block thoughts of returning to smoking cigarettes. Hands down cigarettes will kill you and once you start there is just no stopping the “out of mind” part.

So, let’s consider job-related safety….Whether an employee is a supervisor or the janitor, safety comes first.  All too often, businesses, particularly those which cater to the public, put the business first, and safety second, or perhaps a distant third or fourth…. I’ll use two hypothetical scenarios here. Some background first: If you are in charge of a business which caters to the public (i.e., leisure / recreation, vacation spots, etc.), safety is paramount; revenue can still be the number one goal, but safety should be the number one priority. When working with the public, particularly in outdoor / indoor activities (think water sports, physically demanding activities such as rock climbing, etc.), keep in mind individuals will be exerting some form of energy. As such, encountering individuals in distress is a part of daily responsibilities.

For this first scenario, let’s say you encounter an individual with a minor / non-life threatening injury such as sprained and/ or broken ankle. You already know that person is in some kind of pain. For scenario two, an individual could be in distress from heat stroke/exhaustion – and exhibiting the classic signs – convulsions, nausea / throwing up, etc. As the individual in charge, your responsibility is not only for yourself and your fellow employees, but also for any individual visiting your workplace. In other words, to echo the opening of this blog, no one can be “out of sight, out of mind”. Following emergency protocol, and just as important, an employee handbook (as most places of work do have some guidelines in place for staff and supervisors), is vital for the safety and sanctity of the work environment. For both of these hypothetical scenarios, one does not have to be a doctor to help or state to someone maybe you should go to the hospital to be on the safe side. This includes all employees from the aforementioned janitor to the supervisor; for the latter, and this includes individuals above the supervisor (i.e., upper management), following safety precautions is just as important as it is for the lowest individual on the totem pole. All too often management is blissfully unaware of potential safety concerns, and relies on proper communication with their staff members. This is where “out of sight, out of mind” is absolutely unnecessary; conveying safety concerns to upper management is as vital as completing paperwork or responding to email messages.

So, next time you say, “out of sight, out of mind,” ask yourself in what situations would you actually remember this. These days, I use it for cigarettes….Damn cigarettes.

See you in the next post!

The ultimate 550

The ultimate 550:

At a top speed of just under 50 mph, the sound is nothing short of music being played at a concert and could be heard for miles. Suffice to say two engines later, I learned how to take a pounding on the water with this bad boy. A few concussions, split chin, a few broken fingers, torn ligaments, and a lot of bruises… But hands down the greatest times in my life time were on this crazy machine!

Rain or shine I was in it! Anywhere. Anytime. It was a drug of which I could not get enough. This was my drug of choice. So, now let me talk about one specific excursion, which still makes me laugh today anytime I remember it. This day was just another summer’s day on the water. Then, the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up; meanwhile, everyone is huddled inside their homes. I, however, fueled up “The Pink Beast” with High Octane Cam 2 and an extra cup or two of higher octane based race fuel. This little machine did not just look good for show, but it was also a beast under the bright neon colors. This machine just “wanted” to explode when the throttle was tapped and hit the water, hence the name “The Pink Beast”. That was an engine of marvel my readers. Straight up custom paint job and engine were as one: neon pink, blue, yellow, and black. I was secure in my sexuality and could care less what anyone thought.

The tank is full, and all functions tested properly. The wind is still picking up, so I know it’s going to be a nice ride. After putting on my vest, off I go. Everything is still calm, because I am in between coves and the bulk of the weather has yet to arrive. I reach the mouth of the bay and I can already see the whitewash curling over the water. Instant 4 footers and I was just in utter bliss, because I knew they were going to get bigger. I am just at the mouth of the bay and I am about to venture out into the unknown, but I knew my machine was running at peak performance and so was I.

The storm hits and the wind just started screaming, but I was on a mission of pure unadulterated adrenaline. I focus, slow my breathing, crouch down and gun it. The engine is screaming; the waves are slamming against my body like a freight train; and I am alone on the water by myself, meaning there was no room for error. In between each wave interval I would see sky, the water, and land, then nothing but a wall of water. I could also see the land goers watching me in disbelief, but I could care less. I knew my machine’s capabilities as well as my own, so I was secure in what I was doing. When the weather conditions are in a full blown meltdown, and you are in control, you also hope your machine does not give out on you. So you brace your body in such a position so that when you go airborne you don’t get thrown from the machine into the abyss. As you’re airborne you throttle down so not to seize the engine. The water comes up fast, so throttle up and keep moving forward. This is a nonstop dance of orchestrated ballet between you, the elements, and your machine. The wind and water are hitting your face and could only be described as getting slapped in the face open handed, but you can care less, because this is all part of the moment. Everything is in unison.

Keep in mind I was in full control of what I was doing, knew my limitations as well as my machines and came into shore when I knew my time was up. The last thing I wanted was to be stranded in the middle of the bay in those conditions. I return to the dock; the neighbors are in disbelief that I went out in the storm. Hey, I am just enjoying my summer afternoon before I have to return back to my job at the bar…. When you get a day off, you take it! The memory is priceless, and will continue to make me laugh at the reactions of bystanders. The storm sustained winds of 30+mph and gusted up to 60 at times. Priceless summer day…

See you in the next post!

Natural selection

Natural selection :

Natural selection:

Picture this: Water is swirling beneath your feet as sand pebbles intertwine and squeeze their way through your toes. Suddenly, the feeling of someone pulling you overtakes you; you try to resist and stand your ground, but you are just sinking…. Then         you        take     one        step          forward         and          then          another….

The start of the water rushing towards you seems like a movie, but it’s that moment when you face yourself. That is just the rip-current from the beach and water intersecting one another. Now the water ripples are starting to rise and hit your chest. The water splashes upward, outward, engulfs you. Your face cringes so you don’t get the water into your face or eyes. Still with me? That is just a natural reflex; just go with it and keep moving forward. Now you are feeling the initial effects of floating, and the gravity in your body shifts. Now you are in 3- to 5-foot ripples and the salt is a smooth taste of pure adrenaline and you can’t get enough of it.

So, you are now swimming arm over arm kicking into the sea. The water is rushing over your head, down the spine of your back, past your waist, and past your feet. The sensation of pressure is slightly moving your feet around. Use your feet as rudders.

Now you are moving deeper into the water and the waves are moving, swirling, dancing like fireflies on a clear night of infinite stars. The sound around you is slowly muffling the world as you watch the water spray off of the surface of the water. You see the tunnel, white wash, and spray; the smell and taste of salt engulfs you like that first reflection of a sunrise coming over the horizon. You’re in the damn ocean. You’re alive! The sea embraces you without hesitation.

So, why title this entry “Natural selection”? Think of it as like Archimedes’ principle; when you are in the water surfing, swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating, or just out on the water for any activity, everything is displaced and everything comes together as a singular moment that will become a memory and a sense of accomplishment.

Swim on, folks!

See you in the next post!

Some favorite quotes to end today’s entry:
The awareness of our own strength makes us modest.

(Paul Cezanne)

Pessimism never won any battle.

(Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.

(Thomas Merton)

If you cannot find the truth within yourself, where else do you expect to find it?

(Dogen)

First job

First job:

First job:

That first “REAL” (i.e., post-college) job…So, let’s say, as one fresh out of college, your individuality and superiority are as lofty as a skyscraper. Hope you have a trustworthy repelling partner as an anchor, because that’s a long way down….

Especially at age 5

I ran across a YouTube video recently, and it reminded me of how a 5 year-old might reenact a Barney episode, but in slow motion. Picture Barney jumping up and down on a bed throwing money up into the air while spanking another individual’s butt….Yep, pretty bad, and what a great example, huh? The only thing that was missing in this video clip was the Barney outfit. When a “fresh-out-of-college” individual acts like a child, particularly when employed in a pretty decent job and a graduate of an esteemed institution, this makes me wonder about the future of our nation….See where I am going here, folks? This is our nation’s future!   I would be interested in your thoughts, readers. Any comments?

Some favorite quotes to end today’s entry:

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. (Charles R. Swindoll)

The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life. (Plato)

See you in the next blog post!

 

WATER LESSONS

WATER LESSONS

When I am on the water or near the water I am happy. So, when I kayak or when I have been the person behind the wheel of any vessel; I take this pretty seriously. Why? Because the water has no mercy and the inherent dangers are, in my opinion, multiplied more.

                                                              Great informational class

This is a two-part water experience. The first was an interesting night kayak trip. Note: Whenever you are on the water at night extra risks are as plain as the nose on your face. So, be prepared. I was kayaking one night and I personally enjoy when other boaters say hi or at least wave. I was just finishing up a 4 mile paddle. The sky was clear, full of stars, and everything was serene. I was alone the entire time out and had the entire area to myself. On my way back to the docks, there was a pontoon boater who thought he was the designated water patrol and wanted to show off for his family and friends; suddenly I was the focus of attention.

Often the presence of mind and energy of a person remote from the spotlight decide the course of history for centuries to come. (Stefan Zweig)

Visible and Reflective

The water was glass and visibility was 100%, but I guess for this one young man showing off; he didn’t notice all my lights or reflective gear, because he very nearly ran me over. I think if his girlfriend didn’t say something to him he would have. To all the night boaters out there: Stay alert! 15 feet away is a little close in any circumstance – but even more so when one’s speed is around 18-22 knots and I’m just sitting there watching you to see what my next course of action would be. I saw both occupants’ facial expression of “Oh, shit! I almost ran this person over.” Yup, yes you did. After that, two other boats came racing past me just about 35 feet off my starboard. This was a great night on the water. I was pretty pissed off after this excursion, one that I had intended to be a nice relaxing, calm, enjoyable time on the water.  Common sense should prevail. Navigational safety rules indicate that the vessel without a motor has the right of way; in other words, a motorboat would be able to move out of the way just a little quicker than, let’s say, a kayaker. Think of a car versus a pedestrian on the road – same concept. Make sense?

Visible and Reflective on a PFD & Kayak

The second example goes back to a jet-ski accident I was involved in years ago. So, I did something I never did on a PWC; I showed trust as a passenger. We were on a quick little RXP, doing around 65 and the driver who was inexperienced decided to do a sharp turn into a wave. “NOT COOL!” I was in slow motion; I flew like Superman up and over the driver while, watching the sky and water doing somersaults. There is absolutely nothing you can do in these situations except go with the flow and hope you make it out. Some humor. I was knocked out! The last thing I remember was inhaling water, watching the water and hands reaching out as I was coming up from under the water. Get that? The driver pulled me out of the water with the assistance of 3 other motor boats circling around. After that point, I recall nothing. To this day I still have no memory of the rest of that day. So, for those weekend warriors on the water, watch what you are doing, because anything can happen in a split second and the water has no mercy if you do not have anyone around to help. Fortunate I was!

See you in the next post!

Some favorite quotes to end today’s entry:

The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense. (Thomas A. Edison)

Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education. (Victor Hugo)

At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security. (Jodi Rell)

All I’m trying to do is survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me. (Tupac Shakur)

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. (William James)

I’ve never responded well to entrenched negative thinking. (David Bowie)

The game embarrasses you until you feel inadequate. (Ben Crenshaw)

And because it is Brooke Foss Westcott’s birthday I wanted to conclude today’s entry with his thoughts:What we can do for another is the test of powers; what we can suffer is the test of love.