Saturday, December 16, 2006


Nice wave

Big Drop

Pipeline Masters

This video happened just as Brandon and I had to leave in order to get him to the airport. Go to the Vans Triple Crown Website to see some more professional shots and videos of this breathtaking event. This day had it all (and we were only there for an hour and a half) -- near death experience, "Let's make sure he's ok!" a broken board washing ashore, several free falls from 10 foot waves into 20 inches of water, crazy good tube rides, cameramen getting in the way, and all around good surfing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Link to the funniest thing I've read in two years.

If you know Mark Brewer, you know he's a funny guy. If you don't know him, you will know he's a funny guy. Read This.

Finally: Disc Golf in Hawaii

In a moment of sheer serendipity, I stumbled across a co-worker who plays disc golf. Turns out there are two of my co-workers who play the monthly tournament sponsored by HDGA (Honolulu Disc Golf Association). There are a group of committed individuals (who perhaps should be "committed") that procure a one-day permit to set up a temporary course on one of O'Ahu's many parks.

The course for November was on the North Shore, and was originally designed by the two co-workers I was to be playing with. I hadn't played (throwing at baskets) in almost two years...this should be interesting.

Playing in a structured, formal disc golf tournament is very interesting if you can get past that nagging-inner-jock-tormenter that is screaming "NERD!"

There were three divisions: 1. Open 2. Am (amateur) 1 3. Am 2 -- Being new, the organizers placed me (graciously) into the low division- AM2.

I finished a solid 10 strokes behind my Am1 co-workers, but won the Am2 division by a full three strokes...not bad, but I should have been competing in the Am1 bracket.

Oh, and the best part...I hit a truck...hard...for money.
There was a closest to the pin (CTP) contest (put in a dollar, and the winner takes the pot). It was on the second hole and I threw my disc with the full intention of just putting the thing in the basket. If you've ever thrown a frisbee 150 feet, you know that aim is sometimes difficult. So, I let the thing go and I think it looks good, but then it kinda keeps going, headed straight for the road and a two stroke out of bounds penalty...Then miraculously, a Ford Ranger enters my peripheral vision and intercepts my disc perfectly blocking it's escape to out of bounds. After avoiding the angry-slow-down-and-look-at-you-though-I'm-not-sure-what-just-happened look from the driver of the truck, I walked over to the pin, looking for my disc. About five feet from the pin, nestled tightly against the base of a 50 ft pine was my beautiful Innova Champion Tie-Dyed Orc (with a slight smear of Ford Ranger gray on the top). I win the pot! That is a plan fiendishly clever in it's intricasies.

Sorry no pictures for some reason...I was too engrossed in the action (read: walking) to pull the camera from the bag.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Love this picture...uh oh, another techno-baby

Is this cheating? One house two costumes...

The walking didn't last long

Best trick-or-treat house

Be afraid!!!!

Little pumpkin-head

Trick or Treat

I went as, ummmm, a Canadian

Brothers Laughing

A video of Nathan laughing at older brother Lucas on Halloween night. Check the backup superman costume/pajamas for the end of the night. BRILLIANT!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

For the Brandons (Schenck and Bruce)

And for anyone else that I've had a conversation with about the north shore...

Last Thursday, October 12th, 2006, marked a very important day in my life. It was the day I checked the last item off of my "Things I need to do while I live in Hawaii" list.

After school, I took my board and a more experienced surfer with me to the North Shore of O'Ahu, to a break called "Leftovers" just past Laniakea beach and Chun's reef. The rain added to the drama of the first "winter" swell of the year. The swell was supposed to be on the decline, but as we arrived, there were glassy conditions with 8 ft waves (faces) with the occasional 10 footer poking through (for those of you who don't know...that's big, the waves in my surfing pics are about 2ft).

As I tried to swallow my heart, we grabbed our boards and walked down the volcanic rock decent to the water. Picking our way around the sharp rocks, we walked out to waist deep and put our boards in the water. I immediately sensed that something was different...the water felt thicker? heavier? stronger? no, none of those, just different. Following specific reef avoidance instructions I began the paddle out. Surprisingly, paddling out was a piece of cake. I almost got seasick from the waves rolling underneath, but nothing was breaking over my head. We paddled out to the lineup and I sat up on my board to get the lay of the land. As soon as had I sat up, a 10ft wave jacked up and began to break immediately to my left. As the silence of the gray afternoon was shattered by thunderous crash of thousands of gallons of water, my legs went numb. I decided to paddle out a little further just to watch, and await my impending doom.

So I sat. I watched people successfully paddle, drop-in, ride the wave, bail, and paddle back out all without dying several times and saw my anxiety began to decline (from paralyzed-with-fear to I-think-I-can-feel-my-legs), some idle chatter from my surfing buddy and another fellow DOE employee we met in the water helped.

Slowly, I began to paddle the right direction to catch a few waves with no intention of completing my task. After about thirty minutes I began to think that I could do this. I saw what looked like a smallish wave coming through and started paddling, hard. I got to the point where the wave jacked up and I was looking down the face...(imagine lying on a plank from a second story balcony) and oh wait, there's my surfing buddy straight down in front of me. I'm thinking, "I'm going to land right on top of him" so I take one last look down the face of this wave and pull up, harmlessly sliding down the backside. I saw the flick of spray as Corey caught the wave and then the thing collapsed in a fit of white. "Ummm, he's dead," I thought. Then 20 seconds later, he pops over a wave about 100 yards to my right. Cool, he's alive.

"So, he didn't die and he's just slightly a better surfer than me. I can really do this"...I look over my shoulder and there is a big wave bearing down on me. As I begin to paddle with renewed determination, I realize that the wave is already decending on top of me. I heard myself "eeep" and then feel the blow of the wave hitting me simultaneously from the top, bottom, front, and back. I was flung from my board and slowly became aware that I was being flipped over and over as the wave tumbled toward shore. I covered my head and waited for my body to start floating toward the surface, then swam the remaining three feet. Just asI was thinking, "I really need to breathe soon," I broke the surface, and inhaled sharply like a newborn that just got smacked. I had one second to think, "That wasn't so bad" before I realized that the next wave in the set was about to do the same thing to my hapless body. I managed to hurl myself atop my board and paddle outside the swath of destruction of the next wave, paddle back outside, and try and regain sanity. That's what we (in the surfing community, ha!) call "taking one on the head" or "getting caught inside."

I had a few more near catches, several mistakes, and took at least two more on the head and then I caught one. It was nothing spectacular and it lasted for maybe 5 seconds before I failed to outrun the whitewater and flipped over backwards, but I did it. I rode a wave at Leftovers.

I surfed the North Shore.

I can't wait until next time.

This is the best pic I could find of Leftovers. The wave looks slightly smaller and not nearly as clean as it was on that fateful day. That's still a monster wave though...and it's about to eat dat braddah.

Things are getting interesting around here

Quick update post.
Sunday morning at about 7am, I stirred to the feeling of my bed being jostled. It got to the point where I almost asked JoAnna to stop tossing and turning because I couldn't sleep. Then I thought, no, she's been up with Nathan...better not say anything...and promptly fell back asleep. I heard the power go off (in that I heard all the fans power down) but it didn't really register because we had been having some decent rain storms here...Lucas woke me up at around 7:30, (whispering) "Daddy, we gotta play games..."

I got out of bed, JoAnna followed. We'd been up in our quiet house long enough to eat cereal and then JoAnna's cell rings. Her mother says (speakerphone), "So, what's going on in Hawaii?" It dawned on me.

"WE HAD AN EARTHQUAKE!!" I said, and awaited the details from someone 5,000 miles away.

Apparently, there was an earthquake on "Hawaii," known as "the big island," just about 200 miles away registered at 6.7 on the Richter scale. There were 40 subsequent aftershocks that registered up to 4.5 magnitude. Mostly minor damage, no fatalities or serious injuries reported. Here on O'Ahu, I guess people had pictures fall off the wall, dishes break, etc...but nothing of the sort in the Horsman household...Lucas said that he felt his bed shaking, but then I asked him if he could see giant pandas running through our backyard and he said yes now I don't know what to believe.

The big thing is that we were without power for 26 hours. No big deal...JoAnna said, "Well, if there was anywhere to be without power, it would be Hawaii." Then it rained all day.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Better surfing picture

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Surfing at White Plains

I guess this video needs some explanation since it makes me look like a terrible surfer. We were limited by equipment - I was as far out in the water as the zoom on the digital camera would allow. The surf (as you can somewhat see) was epic yesterday, in the 5-9 ft range, but the bigger the surf, usually the smaller the shorebreak (at least at this particular beach)...So, with my mom acting as cameraman, we shot about 6 attempts and, sadly, this is the best one.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

woo-hoo! 6 Day weekend!

With my mom visiting from Canada, I decided to take 4 days off work this (next?) week. I will be taking advantage of the extra baby care available and getting in some much needed surf-time (especially with the 5-9 ft swell building as I type)...oh, and also spending time with my mom, wife, new baby, and best boy...

Here's what we did today...
First, we went to church (hooray nursery workers!)

Then we drove to the north shore and went to the Dole Plantation to look at the Pineapples...

And ride the train...

And feed the massive amount of Koi...

And pose for cute pictures...

Then, we went up the road to Laniakea beach...

To see the turtles...

And pose for more cute pictures...

And then we fell asleep on the way home...well, not me...I was driving.

What a fun day in Hawaii. Hopefully, by tomorrow night, I'll have an actual video of me actually surfing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Simpsons Season 8 Arrives.

Upon reflection, this would have to be my favorite season of the Simpsons. Many critics would insist that the animated powerhouse peaked at season 5 (or 6) and "jumped the shark" during season 7. In my mind things are just getting good.

For all Simpsons fans, Season 8 contains at least one of your Top 10 favori
te episodes, in my case, 3 of my Top 5.

"You Only Move Twice" -- Homer moves the family to Cypress Creek to work for Globex Corp. and a new boss in Hank Scorpio. Hank, unbeknownst to Homer, is a supervillian threatening the world with his Doomsday Device.
Key Dialogue: Homer: Sir, I need to know where I can get some business hammocks. Hank Scorpio: Hammocks? My goodness, what an idea. Why didn't I think of that? Hammocks! Homer, there's four places. There's the Hammock Hut, that's on third. There's Hammocks-R-Us, that's on third too. You got Put-Your-Butt-There, that's on third. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot... Matter of fact, they're all in the same complex; it's the hammock complex on third. Homer: Oh, the hammock district!

"El Viaje de Nuestro Jomer" -- Homer attends the Springfield chili cook-off, eats Wiggum's "Guatemalan Insanity Pepper," and goes (suprise!) insane. He wanders off on a spiritual quest where he meets a wise coyote voiced by Johnny Cash.
Key Dialogue:
Ralph: "You don't want to drink a candle mister!" Homer: "Maybe I do son, Maybe I do..."

"Mountain of Madness" -- This episode takes us on a Nuclear Power Plant company retreat into the mountains where Burns and Homer are trapped in an avalanche.
Key Dialogue:
Homer: "Lord, bless this rocket house, and all who dwell within the rocket house."

While these three are my favorites, also included in season 8 are the introduction of Frank Grimes (pictured left) in "Homer's Enemy," Bart's educational trip to the gay steel mill in "Homer's Phobia," and Homer, the Beer Baron, in "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment."

And for X-Files freaks (and you ARE freaks), Duchovny and Anderson appear as Mulder and Scully in "The Springfield Files." Classic scene: Moe with Lenny and Carl carrying Shamu back to Sea World...Moe: "Oh, who thought a whale could be so heavy?!" Another classic: Scully: "Now, we're going to run a few tests. This is a simple lie detector. I'll ask you a few yes or no questions and you just answer truthfully. Do you understand?" Homer: "Yes." (lie detector explodes)

Factoring in these episodes and your standard commentary on all episodes by Matt Groening, this DVD is another stellar addition to any collection.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Little Nathan...

Back to the grind

This week marks the one month back to school date. It's hard to believe that in mid-August school has been in session for a month already. Take me back to the long summer where school starts after labor day...

Changing schools has been more of a positive than I could have imagined. At the elementary school I was the only counselor to 550 K-6th graders, now I am on a team of 7 counselors to a school of 1250 7-8th the math...that's about 300 students per counselor -- trick question -- because 3 of the counselors work with our high-risk kids. It's nice being on a team. Someone to answer questions, provide resources, handle other responsibilities, etc.

The kids are 100% different, the elementary was about 75% white, 10% black, and 15% other. At Ilima, ethnicity is spread fairly equally between Hawaiian and Filipino, with white and black being a sparse minority. The racial tension is unlike anything I have experienced. During the first week of school, there was a brawl involving 10 kids of Hawaiian and Filipino descent. The interesting thing to note was that several of the kids were of a mixed ethnicity. (Meaning: They were fighting with the Hawaiians even though they are half-Hawaiian). Police have been to the school for violence related issues more than 10 times in 20 days of school.

One major plus is the average age of teachers and support staff at the school. I would say that half of the staff is in their first 7 years of professional employment. (VS. several teachers at the elementary school that had been teaching AT THAT SCHOOL since the year I was born).

The other bonus is that I am coaching the 7th grade girls and the 7th grade boys basketball teams. Right now I am working with the girls and the boys start in February. This is something that I've wanted to do for years, and now that I've gotten started, I really enjoy it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


At the beach...

holding on...Nathan at 6 weeks

Friday, August 04, 2006

Gone Daddy Gone

Not to try and compete with Eisley's groove (on Sam Bills' blog), but to add to it...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

For the Fans....

I recently read over on Erik Fisher's website that NBC is airing new "webisodes" of The Office during the summer layoff...There are currently three 1-2 minute shorts available for free viewing here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Another picture, c'mon...

What's in this colon?

He finds this exhibit "humerus"

Mad Scientist

At the museum

Look at those little boogers.

Ant invasion -- that was wierd.

Ready for church.


Look at that haircut...

So serious