Monday, November 28, 2011

Festival News

We are excited that our latest documentary Wild Eyes: The Abby Sunderland Story has been accepted into the San Diego Christian Film Festival which runs from Decmber 27-30, 2011.

There will be workshops for film makers and a family day featuring films that the whole family can enjoy together on Tuesday the 27th.  Wild Eyes is tentatively scheduled to screen on Family Day with a Q & A with Abby and myself afterwards.

The festival web site is  Check them out for more details on locations and schedules.

I am currently working on an exciting project that is consuming a lot of my time.  I can't elaborate any further at the moment but will fill you in at the appropriate time, hopefully in a few weeks.

My latest adventure is that I will be speaking on Wednesday morning to the middle school students at Ventura Missionary School.  Hopefully, it will be inspirational and motivational as well as a lot of fun for all of us!  Hoping they listen to me more than my own middleschoolers!

After speaking, I'll be running down to Marina del Rey to captain a client's boat for the first Christmas party of the year.  Hoping that the warm weather will hold for a few more days!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

What a great day - up and at it with a 5 mile run with the dog.  Returned home to those wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen enough to make one salivate with anticipation.  There is sure to be a great feast later.

Lots of blessings!

I know we can all find something to be thankful for.  It is just a matter of perspective.  Just yesterday I awoke with a spontaneous idea of painting the kitchen and one of the bathrooms.  Now I would have to say that there were a couple of times yesterday when I thought spontinaity was not such a good thing.  Like when Paul, my one and a half year old, decided to slip into the kitchen unannounced to help his dad, only to dive straight into the wonderful roller pan full of paint while I was in mid flow of rolling out the kitchen ceiling.  Totally taken off guard, I was thrown into the chaos of dealing with the situation.  It would have been easy to get angry at this one but I decided to be thankful to God giving me an inquisitive little boy.

Paul helping me paint!

Earlier in the week, it was great to see Andy Finch from the Amazing Race while he had time during a layover at LAX.  Before his flight left for Reno, we had lunch and got out on the ocean.  He and his team mate from the Amazing Race, Tommy Czeschin, both retired from being pro snow boarders and have been doing extremely well on the Amazing Race.  It was great to share tales of our different adventures.

Andy at the helm

Fun on the sea!

When it all comes down to it - this is a great day that has been set aside for giving thanks.  Amidst all of our trials, I want to encourage you all to keep a positive outlook seeking God through all of them.

Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

MLS Cup Final 2011, Los Angeles

A big thanks to Marco Bizzarri from La Curacao who gave my son, Toby and I, VIP tickets to the game.  What an outstanding game.  With the Home Depot Center packed with more than enthusiastic fans, the LA Galaxy took on the Houston Dynamos in the MLS Cup Finals last night.  Okay, yes, the weather turned it on as well.  We could have been back in my homeland - the good old UK.

It was a fitting end to the soccer season.  The day before the game, my kids' soccer season with AYSO came to an end as well.  Both my daughter's U14 team that I coach and Toby's U14 team had good seasons.  It was great to watch Toby put in the extra effort in training this year which paid off as he was selected for All Stars.  Jessie, too, is an avid player and has been training hard, determined to improve her game.

Both of their teams tied their last games - narrowly missing the playoffs.  It would have been nice to continue but, all in all, a good conclusion to the regular season.

The LA Galaxy vs Dynamos game was the icing on the cake.  I was called by Marco mid week letting me know that he had 2 extra tickets to the game.  What a great surprise!  The LA Galaxy were in rare form dominating the play and quelching the break aways from the Dynamos.  The Dynamo's goalie was kept quite busy most of the game until London Donovan in the 75th minute put the ball in the back of the net.  This was the second of two goals scored, the first being disallowed by the questionable offside that was ruled by the officials.  David Beckham played incredibly well having pulled his hamstring early in the week.  He was a little more reserved than normal but delivered what was necessary when needed.

I hope he will be back next season.  It is a rare treat to watch one of soccers all time greats in LA.  The fast pace, the excitement, the supporters, the win - what a great game!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Amazing Race Recap

G'day to all

Who's not busy?  What a silly question.  I remember way, way, way, way back in my distant past a very wise man lied to me.  You may say,  "Why was he wise then?"  Let me explain.  I was taught more in one year from this wise older man than I had learned from many others in more than twice the time. Then you may ask the question, "Why did he lie then?".   Good question.  It was unintentional I'm sure.   

I was 10 at the time and the man, known as Mr. Howe, was my school teacher.  He was one of those extremely rare gifted teachers that has probably impacted 1,000s of lives in an incredible way during the course of his career.  He was not only a great educator but he had a way of captivating the whole classroom with his many tails and adventures.   You could hear a pin drop as he would come to the conclusion of his stories. 

Well, during one of his random teachings, he was talking about the future.   He talked about phones that you would carry around and be able to call anyone anywhere.  He told us they would be about the size of a cigarette packet.   As usual the whole classroom was mesmerized as he embellished on his outlandish tails.  He went on further to explain about the efficiency of technology and computers.  And yes, with all this technology, he told us  we all in the future would be working a 3-4 day week.  And there you have it.   My dear, old schoolteacher lied. So I'll pose the question again.   Who's not busy?

You don't really need to answer it, as the answer is already known.  Well, it had to happen.  Laurence and Zac Sunderland where eliminated from the Amazing Race.  And what a race it was!  We both enjoyed the challenges and the many new experiences that we encountered.  OK, most of the new experiences.  We could maybe leave out the Renaissance Dancing for Zac, and I can just say that the rabbit stew I savored last at Heathrow Int. Airport at one of those English restaurants, was remembered with savored relish after our little challenge with those rabbits. 

What you guys did not see was that we had gone through 4 different rabbits before we got one of those wonderful creatures to jump the course .  Oh yes,  your patience is tested in every way conceivable. 

We met and enjoyed the company of all of the other teams.   Knowing that all were going for the one prize, made it a challenge at times.  All the teams were dealing with variable circumstances, heading for the same goal and quite a divers cross section of characters. 

It was sad to see Ethan and Jenna go out so early in the race.   As the teams got eliminated, although sad, I adopted the attitude - rather them than us. I will always remember the elephant ride up the rain forest stream as one of those great experiences that I ordinarily would have not have done. 

The race was good and bad to us.  No one wants to be eliminated in the first round and no one was.  I think all teams were surprised to see Bill and Cathy at the Taiwan Int. Airport terminal, but that just meant that the next leg was a double elimination.   That's all we needed.  I remember clearly Zac being the last person to be hooked up to rappel the 200 feet into the cave.   I'm not sure what he did down there but he was able to overtake 2 teams.  Things were looking brighter and then more by chance than purpose, I spotted the sign on the table at the orphanage that clearly stipulated that teams needed to hand over all the money in there possession.  

What a game changer that proved to be!  Yes, we did make our fair share of mistakes like the buckets with the sheep.   But our most memorable was getting off the 1st class bus and running 3 miles back to the bus stop during the heat of the day. I clearly remember during a briefing before the race being told no first class travel. 

Oh, yes I was told that TV will make you look 10lbs heavier.   That is absolutely not true.  It added 30 pounds to me!  Now I don't know if that was done in the editing bay or not but I'm working hard on loosing that 30 pounds but it keeps finding me.

If you think that the race looks hard and physical, it's not at all.  It's very, very, very, very, ery ery ry ry yyyy............... haaaarrrrrdddddddd. Part of my preps for the race involved a 20 mile hike, 8 mile runs, 5 mile runs, and some speed training.  I could have done with another 2 months of prep.  This is definitely not for the faint hearted.  

I've competed in triathlons and marathons (2 hours 58 minutes personal best a few years ago), but the Amazing Race will definitely put you through your paces mentally and physically.

Andy and Tommy became close friends early on in the race - helping out one another and a few times running a foot race to the mat.  Having a like-faith was the main thing we had in common.  Bill and Cathy, oh yes, our dear older friends... next time I see the delightful couple I will have a few words to say already rehearsed and chosen carefully. "So you chose to U turn a struggling father of eight children? "  That's all I will say and I will turn to walk away  leaving them just enough time to feel uncomfortable enough, before I'll break the ice and congratulate them for running that leg of the race well.

So, will I be watching the Amazing Race this Sunday?   Absolutely not!   You may think that that's a bit unsportsmanlike.   What could be more exciting than watching the Amazing Race?  Well, I was called out of the blue, two days ago by Marco, Zac's manager, who is involved with one of the major sponsors for the LA Galaxy soccer team.   Marco has managed to get 2 VIP tickets for the  MLS Cup Final this Sunday at 6.00pm.   I am excited.   Toby, my 14 year old son, and I will be at the game.   I hope some of you will make it. 

I will watch The Amazing Race online later.  Looks like a great leg. 

The Amazing Race "it's Hard but Good!!'

Sunday, November 6, 2011

WorldWind Gets Busy

LA Cancer Challenge
It was great to be a part of the Hirshberg Foundation LA Cancer Challenge last weekend.  Because of the Halloween weekend many people dress up and run in quite an array of costumes that made the event all the more colorful.  What a bustling hive of activity that seems to gain more support every year.

This was a well-planned event where many of the participants have been personally affected by this horrific disease.  Our family enjoyed the many vendors and hanging out at the kids' zone.

Lydia and Katherine
It has been a truly rewarding experience for WorldWind Productions to be involved with supporting this cause especially after losing my father-in-law to Pancreatic Cancer and more recently the passing of Patrick Swayze and Steve Jobs.  We hope that any of you who have been affected by Pancreatic Cancer will join with us to raise money for research for a cure.  "You can hope or you can help."

Krikorian Premier Theaters
Many of you who followed Abby's trip may know that Krikorian Premier Theaters (KPT) were a big part of making Abby's trip happen by coming on as one of her major sponsors.  Our relationship with KPT is continuing with the release of the documentary Wild Eyes:  The Abby Sunderland Story documentary DVD.  Between November and January they will be playing the trailer for the doc during the previews at all of their theaters.  If you live near one their locations, we encourage you to drop in and catch a show in support of them.

Amazing Race
What a great season of the Amazing Race!  It has all of the usual fast-paced exciting and challenging tasks with the fear of elimination always hovering.  The Amazing Race airs on CBS Sunday evenings at 8:00pm Pacific.  Team Laurence and Zac are definitely giving the other contestants a run for their money!!