Archive for March, 2012

Rocking Antipathetic

Saturday, March 24th, 2012


The image above is of Becky Gordon (Miss Nascar, as I like to call her). She is the sister of Jeff Gordon, champion Nascar driver. I shot this image in Mexico. The surfboard was Dave Hopkins’. The suit was one of a grip of wardrobe suits I brought along. The time frame, was approximately six months, post 9-11.

Pretty girl, American flag board, suit, and smile while representing a very American sport as a job and avocation. Yep I really went to Mexico and did this. Why?

antipathy |anˈtipəθē|
noun ( pl. -thies)
a deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion : his fundamental antipathy to capitalism | a thinly disguised mutual antipathy.
ORIGIN late 16th cent. (in the sense [opposition of feeling, nature, or disposition] ): from French antipathie or Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs ‘opposed in feeling,’ from anti ‘against’ + pathos ‘feeling.’

My job is to be antipathetic at times. I make people uncomfortable with my Art and antipathy. Hell, I make me uncomfortable.

Later this day in a local bar, Becky and I watched Jeff stuff his car into the wall. I heard her gasp.

Racing and antipathy are both sort of like that. You barrel into a turn, in an effort to maintain your speed and line, while exiting towards your goal with the maximum amount of speed possible.

If you feel completely comfortable, you may be doing it wrong.

Here is a great RSA on human nature and Neural Psychology. Gives new meaning to the slogan: “Just do it”

I learned first hand, in racing cars and bikes, that there is incredible truth in the saying: “Fortune favors the brave”.

Just don’t expect it to be comfy. It won’t be. Not if you really want the victory.

No one gives it to you, the prize. You must take it.

The Importance of Water

Friday, March 23rd, 2012



The image above was shot in Maldives, an island Nation which lies approx. 1200 SE of India and in comprised mostly of water.

The man in the frame is Jon Rose. I am not sure why, but frequently my work tends to be prophetic in nature. This message above is a good example of that.

For those of us who live our lives around the Sea, the significance of water is an ever present issue for us. Life is all about Flow. In fact, one of the groups which I am a member of, Triiibes, just put on a global retreat here in Ventura along the theme of Flow, which held deep significance to all who attended.

When I was on Bali earlier this year, I ran across the story of a man who brought clean water to over 50 villages on Bali which exist in an area with little clean drinkable water. That man had been Jon Rose. He went on to found this organization, Waves for Water.

There is little which is as important as water to man, and this blue ball which he lives on. It is no secret that just as Nations use oil as an economic lever, and go to war over it, there is a looming battle over water rights Globally, Nationally, and yes one is possibly even coming to your own town. You can see it as clearly as a wave headed to shore. Why? Because water is life, and if you control life, you have power.

It is no secret that my little town of Ventura, is getting ready to do the same thing: exercise greater control over water and the fees which it will charge for access to it by local residents. In fact, we have a telltale of the direction in which they plan to go with water. They hired a PR firm for a distinct purpose. Now you may be scratching your head a bit about this. PR firm? What?

Ventura has a history of late, related to our City Manager who was brought in to work here from another town (where he was fairly unpopular) in order to implement a tenet termed Sustainable Urban Redevelopment. That has not gone well for him here. Many of us are ready to run him out of town on a rail over his management track record which has brought the City all manner of wonderful income and personality downgrades, and cost us a fortune in money and Community Unity.

Red light cameras, parking meters, onerous and proacative code enforcement where you need (legally speaking) to pay a permit fee for basic elements of home maintenance, and now this, a threat of radically increased water fees to help offset the massive fiscal loss of all the other programs. My town invited the devil in. They may need to perform an exorcism.

Water is globally agreed on as a basic human right. Watch this and get a glimpse of how water rights affect us.

The latest wave looming is in water. Rumor has it that residents will be seeing more increases in water-sewer rates to the tune of a fairly substantial and potentially fiscally debilitating increase, that will serve to both line ailing City coffers as well as milk local residents over the performance of our City Mgr, which is underscored by dire economic times.

But water?

Of course.

Recently I received a letter from the City, advertising a VERY cool film called Flow. Flow is all about the value of water. The film screened here in Ventura at the Ventura Film Society’s festival a couple years back. I am well aware of it, and the dire message it delivers regarding the war for water.

So why is Ventura doing this? How much is 2 plus 2? Why does the City need a PR Firm to “raise awareness about water”? Why are they using the local chapter of Surfrider to help promote it?

Pretty simple to figure that green washed corrupt mess out now, isn’t it?

Think about that collective of villages on Bali and Jon Rose who helped them.

Now reverse that.

There you have what the City of Ventura and it’s Mgmnt has planned, if one cannot afford to pay the rate increase.

There are a vast amount of undercurrents which surface, and can suck a city into the stream of ill health. In this one you are seeing the affect of an inappropriate Philosophy of Governance which sees Citizens as serfs, bound to provide assets for the Feudal lord to dispose as he sees fit.

Ever hear of  the term, Permaculture? Think on the affect of a 100-200 percent increase of water rates for homeowners engaged in permaculture systems, which are thought of by many, as THE preeminent way forward for communities

I would really like to see my City Council fire Rick Cole and his Cronies.

N0 City needs this type of thinking.

And about what they will actually DO with the funds?

“Everybody wants clean water, right?”

In this link penned by a sage Attorney, in a publication Entitled Res Publica,  is a very informative look at how water and sewer funds were diverted into other social causes. That is illegal. It was done here in Ventura, by the City Manager.

Repression and bad Govt are frequently behind a green mask these days, or offered in the guise of increased sustainability, health or a benefit of some sort for the Community. But all too often today, it is a mere charade, and is a game of musical chairs done with a veiled but specific intent, to extract funds from a populace, to cover failed economic policies and drying up income streams for Muni Govt.

If a Community aids and or abets this, it dies a little death.

No flow.

Seth Godin had this to say today on Extending the Narrative.

The image below was shot at the entrance to Downtown Ventura. This is the tone being set here by people not from here. It is NOT the tone of my Community. They are the polar opposite of this. So why invite that in, ever?

Time for a purge.

Time to flush out the corruption in Govt.

It needs to begin where we live.

Water is life. Make it a priority to preserve your water and access to it. Work to keep it clean.

Be aware.

Here is a remarkable story about water. It is both detailed and rather long, but well worth a read.

Here is another great and easy to absorb piece suggested by Paul Jenkin, our local water expert who is a Science Advisor to Surfrider Foundation. It is called The Cycle of Insanity.



“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first as and only legitimate object of good Government” -Thomas Jefferson

Triiibes 2012. What: Is Happiness

Friday, March 16th, 2012
Donna and I Tribes 2012 Flow

Donna and I Tribes 2012 Flow

This post is being made from the top floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. As I post it the broad bay view windows overlook the ocean I swim most days. The Coastline is beautiful, waves meander though and a few pods of surfers sit along the lineup on up to the top of Surfer’s Point. A storm approaches.

Much goes on in this retreat. There is a level of emotional connection that has all of us at times finding ourselves tearing up and at others, laughing hilariously. But more that the see saw bridge of emotions, we are building community by plant seeds and simultaneously reaping the rewards of crops sown years ago. It is fantastic and transformative in ways that I cannot explain here.

The following is the transcript of my presentation to my friends and Tribe members. Incredibly grateful to them for coming here, from all over the world. Ventura is showing them what she is, inside and out. These are generous, compassionate, educated, connected, men and women who know how to think, develop and seed the world. This is their Retreat.

Imagine that.

I sent this title to Grant Simmons, our Tribes project coordinator, along with my three words, which are Home, Wonder, and Ocean. The theme for this little chat, actually was never meant to be a question. It is a statement of truth, elemental to my life and work.

My fiancé Donna, is always on me about my creative work being expressed in too cryptic a manner. This title statement, could possibly be another case for that argument. I am a bit cryptic. I truly do not want everyone to get it. I have a reason for that.

People need to want something in order to find value in it, and move forward. There needs to be desire.  If one just throws everything out into the playing field of art and life, it becomes like so much dust in the wind. It never takes root and bears fruit.

I think great benefit lies in harmony , and in the happiness of every one. I truly think that life is better when all understand:

That happiness, is about the what of our lives. Not the why, not even the how, but the what.

Yep. What, matters a lot.

A friend and editor of mine, is the writer Drew Kampion. He always signs his e mails with a statement of Philosophy.  The statement reads this: “Life is a wave, and your attitude is your surfboard.

I used to scratch my head a bit when I would run across that in correspondence, as we worked building magazine projects.


Smart man, DK. Great editor.

Here is a surfboard. One of mine. I began building surfboards at the age of 12. By the time I was done doing that, I had built close to 40 thousand of them. Surfboards are actually very specific craft. Good ones are designed to be sort of a magic carpet for the mind of the rider. My Hawaiian heritage taught me that a surfboard is a sacred and personal thing. A good surfboard builder implements his knowledge of craft and sea into the board design, in order that the person getting the board, is able to approach the ocean in his or her’s, own individual manner. Think of them as magic carpets of the mind. That might help.

I have been in the Ocean all of my life. For me, it’s home. It is where I go to learn, find respite, and recharge. It taught me a lot about the importance of flow, and happiness. It still is a conduit of that. Probably why I see it as so important to connect people to it in my current work as a Creative.

I don’t ride it much any more, or many of the boards I have kept as a result of my life in the sea. But I have them.

You see, one day I saw my flow stop in surfing. I hit a wall so to speak. It was not a bad thing. Simply just a thing. A what. So when that happened I had to get a closer look to see what the what, was.

My introduction to surfing was generated in a specific instant when at the age of 4 at Manhatten Beach, I saw a guy ride a longboard in to the beach one afternoon, backlit by the sun on a Summer day. I remember specifically knowing that this would be my world.

As my life progressed I found myself building surf boards for my friends, and doing all sorts of sports, as I wound through school and what eventually proved to be a career in Surfing and yes, surfboard building. In time that morphed into working and building several companies, including my own, which threshed out as being a retail corporation with a surfboard manufacturing entity in the middle of it all.

My philosophy in surfing was that as a surfer, one should ultimately be able to do, whatever (pause) one could think of, to do on a wave. The idea was to develop an ocean, mind, board connection so I could explore what was possible. You see, surfing for me, only was really exploring What. (Potential)

It was a carrot, which kept me in the water, hour after hour, day after day, for 32 years. Imagine spending 32 years in the ocean. That is what I did, and I managed to do it all over the world in oceans everywhere. Tough job really, figuring out how to commodify, what was really a lifestyle. But I managed to do that.

In process, my wife and I had two sons, my company grew and I developed a plan to exit the surf industry at the terminus of a very detailed business plan’s fulfillment.

But surfing, and the Ocean were always there. I was always hungry for my next ocean experience. It NEVER stopped, that yearning to achieve: what.

I could not have known that one day, at 42 years of age, I would be paddling out on this board, which really was something I made for riding large waves, and not for the sort of small to medium size day at Rincon point, just North of here, that I would run smack into: what.

As a professional surfer, I had made my career riding shortboards. In the world of professional surfing, those are the craft of choice, the journeyman’s tool so to speak. Out of all the boards I built, probably 30000 of them were shortboards. Maybe 1000 were big wave boards, sort of built along the lines of this one.

I have a crystal clear memory of the moment I ran into what. The interesting thing however, is that the actual details of my moment of clarity, of revelation, which were contained in what was to be a defining wave in my life, are a little bit blurry. There is a reason for that. But I am going to let you figure out what it is. There is a little bit of cryptic me for you.

Now Rincon is a rather long wave. We call the place Queen of the Coast.  This day was maybe ceiling high. The swell had been pretty big for a few weeks and I had been riding this board a lot. The waves were dropping off a bit, and I probably normally would have chosen a shortboard to ride, which would have been better suited to what I would normally do on a wave.  For some reason I grabbed the 7’8 gun.

It was an innocuous wave that I caught.  Nothing special about it on the surface of things. Stroking into it, I recall a keen sense of drive inside of me, and for a period of what was only probably a minute and a half, all those years in the water, exhibited themselves in a very complex series of maneuvers on that wave. At the end as I accelerated out of it and into the flat water off the back of the wave, it hit me.

I had just surfed a wave not perfectly for my sport, peers, judge or anyone else but perfectly for me.

I was not really thinking per se, I was doing. I had just done it. I had discovered my what. That what, was flow between the energy contained in the sea, and me. And in that instant, I recognized that I was done with my growth in surfing.  I had finally caught up and run against the answer to my what. It was a strange but very rewarding feeling. I cannot say it was happiness, it was more a sense of mastery, a knowing, that okay I can DO that at last, I get it!

I did not realize it at the time, but that incredibly rewarding moment, was the harbinger of great change in my life. Because I had located my what. My goal. Which I had inwardly assumed would be unreachable.

That is how man is wired.  We all need to find our what, because in that we create motion and movement-flow, which in a essential linchpin to happiness.

In this same time frame as that epiphany laden moment, my company was at a crossroads of growth, going from factory and two stores to my business plan of five locations where which point, I had planned to sell the entity off and move into something else. I have never really enjoyed being a CEO or a leader. I tend to be happiest pushing others along to succeed. Just how I am wired I guess.

In the middle of all of this, for a number of reasons I had made the decision to divorce my wife and change  few things in my life, but was torn on what to do regarding all of the business sprawl which I had created as well as how the impact of all the change would impact everyone in my life.  We had amassed quite a bit of stuff, and along with that came a debt of responsibility to both family, employees, surfboard craftsmen, Community and more.

I think of my process in discovering what to do about all of this, sort of like me spazzing out. In many ways I had run into a wall. That wave  which was such a defining moment in my life, really had seeded the need for change. What I was experiencing was a cessation of flow in my life. I needed to again find my what. One thing for sure that I was certain of: happiness was far from my cluttered little world.

One evening, a fire started in the hills here. It was during a clearing wind event and I was watching from down here by the beach as the wind fanned the blaze, and it began to sort of rocket through the town. I was a personality on a morning radio show at the time, where I did a surf report, and a few other things occasionally. One of those other things, was live reporting on events like large swells and fires etc. So I rang in to the station and we began a public service type live report on the fire. Since my Ventura retail store was front row center on the fire, I drove over, hung up my cel, telling the on air guy, Rick, that I would call back from the shop landline in a moment.

I unlocked the back door of the shop, and in the light of the fire coming through the display windows, I saw a guy dressed in black, wearing a ski mask. LOL. I still see all of this in slow motion by the way. Today it sort of cracks me up. I remember thinking “Here we go. Hope he does not have a gun” And then the guy charged me. He was holding a backpack.

I recall him swinging it at me and thinking “why is he swinging a backpack?” as I braced myself in a martial arts stance. (The guy was pretty big) I figured I would just use his momentum and my elbow to whip him and knock him out. The brick in the backpack hit my skull at about a millisecond before he smacked into my elbow and we rolled out the back door.

Our little scuffle went on awhile and I was talking to the guy the entire time. In the course of trying to figure out what was going on I realized that this guy was not going to let me go. I was a witness. He was a criminal.  Eventually in one of our on the ground, then back up exchanges, he came back with a pipe and I made a choice after fending off a couple times. I decided to just go with it and let him connect. He did that a few times and I let myself go limp, feigning unconsciousness. To this day, I think he thought that he had killed me.

He dragged my body into a pile of boxes by the back door of the shop and went back inside. By the light of the fire as I held my breath I saw him turn back and look at me and thought “Shit he knows I am alive” then he turned away, and went back to finish robbing the shop.

I got up and ran to the Karate dojo located in a building round the corner. To this day I am not sure why exactly. I think maybe it was instinct. The street in front of the shop, was a madhouse with people and cars everywhere. At the glass door of the karate studio, which was locked I could see two students inside sparring. I banged on the door. My bleeders were spraying everywhere. The two students ran into the back of the studio and I thought, “oh shit, they are not going to help me”. But in a moment, the Master of the studio came out.

“Who did this to you?” He did not know who I was. I was too badly beaten. Through shredded lips, I managed to communicate that it was me, the guy next door, and that someone was in the store robbing it.

A couple hours later I was lying in a hospital bed ready to be stitched up. A few people had come by to look at me. One of them had a mirror and gave it to me.  As I looked in the mirror, I finally saw why everyone was so upset. I was a bloody mess. It looked like I had just taken a bath in blood. Scalp wounds kind of do that.

Beatings can be a psychologically traumatic. As I came out of this, in process, and began the work of running my company, managing the divorce and all that attendant mess, I did something very familiar. I jumped back in the Ocean. But this time I brought a camera. It was my therapy.

So each day before work, I would rise before dawn, load my gear, pull on wetsuit and fins, and swim out alone. In time I began to find my what again, that curiousity and challenge, which for so long had propelled me in surfing.

Funny that how my what, and flow were in the Ocean. I was not surprised by this.

I decided to liquidate the company. My wife and I got through our divorce, and what transpired over the course of the next ten years became health to myself and family, and developed into my career in Creativity. I am simplifying it of course. There is not a lot of time for me to communicate the entire tale. Nor could you manage to stay awake for it, I am guessing.

And truthfully, in my line of work it really is NEVER supposed to be about me, so I remain a little bit uncomfortable with discussing me and my experiences.  In fact after all those years it looked very attractive to finally be able to become: anonymous. Ironic I know, as I stand here today having done so much in such a  relatively short career time frame.

But I hope that in doing so, in baring some of this, that you may avoid needing the enlightenment of your own lead pipe smackdown. You see, what that guy did not know, is that Hawaiians have really dense cranial bone structure . If you look up hard headed in a dictionary you will likely see a picture of a Hawaiian.  Hell, I am probably the poster boy for it: hard headedness.

What I would hope that some of you take away from this time together, is the importance of happiness in our communities, families and especially in our selves. Your future ought to contain happiness!

Man is, at his essence, really just an energy signature. We come into this world via our Mother’s womb as such. We go out of this world in much the same manner: an energy signature, moving, somewhere.

If we look for our what, well in that, is flow. In flow is happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. If you want the benefit of happiness, pursue your what. You will find your future there.  Maybe it will come find you.

Here is a wonderful little film from a colleague on the East Coast. I hope that you enjoy the storytelling of Dana Saint.

dana saint


Talking Story

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


When I was very young, my Father explained to me how history was documented in Hawaii. He told me that it was passed along from Father to Son, and that if the chain was ever broken, that the family History could be lost as time passed. So I grew up with the concept of the story being a  relatively sacred thing.

As my career in imaging grew, it was based on the telling of stories in the context of my image creation. I would always, no matter how surreal the work became in expression, root the piece in  aspects of Historic Truth. The exact timbre of the truth communicated was always, by design, supposed to correspond as closely as artistically appropriate with the subject.

This week I had a fairly rare occurrence. Someone posted a video on my Facebook wall, and asked that I watch it. At the end of the half hour piece, I was heavily impacted by the message of the film. I sat in front of the monitor and pondered how I felt. The person was asking me to pass the film and it’s message along.  To both tell and verify their story by my assent to that act.

I thought awhile, and did not share it. With a sigh, I realized that something did not seem right to me. A close friend of mine, a Deputy District Attorney once took me aside after my company had experienced a couple episodes with Con men (short for confidence) in our retail stores and factory. He said that if something ever struck one as being “too good to be true” that in all likelihood it really was a lie of sorts, based on what we wanted to hear. Frequently, he said (and I found this to be very accurate in perspective over the years) that the Con man himself really believes what he is saying, or at the very least, maintains his aura of confident assertiveness in the telling of the tale.

So I began the process of vetting the truth of this film. It just seemed all too perfect, emotions manipulated neatly in a seamless combination of perfect production values, that belied great skill, a lot of time and as I know first hand, a substantial budget to cover the phases of production, post production and distribution.

That film on my Facebook wall was Kony 2012.

So for two entire days, I looked into the aspects of the history of an age old conflict in Uganda, which the story loosely and creatively chronicled, and began to look more closely at the manner in which the story was told. The closer I looked, the more appalled that I became. As I point by point dissected the film, unraveled my emotional entanglements, figured out the why, when, where, who and how of the film, I was appalled, but really not that surprised, that in essence, at it’s core, I was being conned.

As a last point of vetting, I rang a colleague up. L’s warm voice came on the line and in the background I could hear voices and commotion. “Hey L, where are you?” “In Washington at a  National Journalism Convention. How are you? What’s up?” I offered to ring him back later but L said that he had a 7 minutes, so I said simply: “Kony 2012″. L was silent for a few seconds then responded. “What do you want to know?” “Everything”

So L stepped outside the conference and used his 7 minutes to tell me what he KNEW. Not what he thought. Journalists are great that way, the real ones. The details he described showed me a methodical background check that led all the way from various NGO long term aide workers on the ground in Uganda, right to the fund raising efforts and disbursement of funds in the NGO which the film fronted and talked story for. As we rang off, L promised that he would send me a link to someone he respected who was on the ground in Uganda, so I could read firsthand, that person’s story. And we said goodbye. 6 minute phone call. The link arrived and I posted it into my vette document.

I would not be posting that video on my Facebook wall, but I would talk a little about the value of correct Philosophy in storytelling.

There is an age old saying about the past and it’s documentation, which illustrates the importance of not just good intentions, but purity of heart. “History is always written by the winners”

Ethically, without an embrace of the truth in a matter, there is no real purity of heart, and that story telling experience which ensues, well, that can alter History, and affect the manner in which a culture moves forward to great negative affect.

Storytellers therefore, have a somewhat sacred trust to maintain and abide by.

I have seen a lot of subtle lies in film and media. Sometimes they are blatant, as in Stop Kony. Frequently they are more subtle, as in the rewriting of MOH Michael Monsoor’s death account to suit the storyline, in the recently released film, the doco turned feature “Act of Valor”. The lure of a “good story” is always there to tempt the storyteller to bend or weave truth, according the their own reality.

EVERYONE struggles with the truth, in media and content development. Myself included.So many voices exist, telling so many tales and frequently something that sounds reasonable gets passed on and becomes a part of a bigger work. That is the architecture of deceit. This is how it comes and creates a reality that can deceive many. It is true, that saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

I know a lot of Film Makers, Directors, Writers and various Creatives. The bulk of the ones with professional standing have a high bar for Truth, especially the ones whose careers burgeon under the label of being an “artist” .


So maybe as Social Media accelerates rapidly forward, we ought to hold people accountable a little more often. What you see or read or hear may be a lie. Everything you read is NOT true, but may be someone’s version of a lie wrapped in the guise of Truth. It is not all grey out there. Really. Truth matters.

Each one of the images in this blog tells a story. Each tale is rather pure. I like the fact that life is often much stranger and more beautiful than fiction.

I am outraged by the insult that film maker issued with Stop Kony. I want to simply type these words as my message to him.

      Fuck You

But here is the deal. No one wins in that. Not really. Because outrage must transform into education, and forward progress, or my own story telling itself, will become darker, and filled with less light.

So I will refrain from a long diatribe and simply ask people to think about what they are being told. Is it sounding too good to be true? If so, just do a little something. Turn the light on. Our Society and Culture need that.

Then go tell your own story. I am sure it will be wonderful.

Lastly, here is a fantastic piece about Jeff Skoll, on storytelling, in one of my favorite reads, Daily Good.

K38 Rescue: Precept and Example

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
Shawn aboard "Jay"

Shawn aboard "Jay"

I sent Shawn Alladio a note yesterday afternoon. Here it is.

At least TRY to have a good time tonight, will ya? This is important.

Here is her response.

Shut up! LOL


USCG STAN Team training. Columbia River.

USCG STAN Team training. Columbia River.


That pretty much sums up what many of us feel, who are on the back end of rendering service, when accolades come our way.

Shawn was headed to an awards ceremony. I knew about it. Barely. It is not what we talk about. But a friend had reminded me, and I knew that Dr Andrea Neal, was down to see her in the midst of what for all of us, was an impossible week. And we all keep track of each other. Teams and families are like that. And it was Shawn actually, who taught me to always be watching, everything. Apex Predators. It is how anyone who is under her authority is taught to be.

Here is a basic element of K38 philosophy, that is an embed in our psychology. One of thousands. But an important one.

“Think like a victim. But act like a rescuer.” I am going to let that sink in. Volumes have been spoken and written on this.

Learning Flow

Learning Flow


Even now as I type this, I know that Shawn is headed up to Washington for work. I wish I was with her. We were up last year working with the STAN team at  the USCG Base at Tongue Point, and out on the Columbia River Bar. I liked it, and the Advance Helo Rescue Swimmer guys. It was good to us all, the time together.

Shawn Alladio, Serious instructions with K38 Mavericks Team

Shawn Alladio, Serious instructions with K38 Mavericks Team

I appreciate that Shawn invited me into her world so many years ago. With all the controversy of late, regarding the marginalization of women, and commentary surrounding a radio personality, who intentionally verbally degraded a female Law student on air, and a bunch of decrepit, corrupt politicians doing what they do, I was a bit taken aback, and had to figure out what the uproar was about.

I have an entirely different baseline about service, and women.

I have never had an issue placing myself under the command of a woman. Maybe because I have been under Shawn’s for so long, and her’s is efficient. So well run in fact, that she somehow finds herself in the unenviable process of having to deal with accolades from time to time. We ALL hate them. Any of us in service positions do them to serve. Though gratitude is great. (It is wonderful being appreciated) What we all aspire to do, is to educate, inspire and push OTHERS forward.

Here is the tricky part. When one leads by both precept and example, people lock onto the example first, and precept last. That is why frequently, our culture lends itself to the development of a cult of personality. But leaders, real ones, (politicians by their job description, are not leaders per se) know to actively resist iconization.

Precept and Example

Precept and Example


It weakens your team. You want a strong team, a vital community, that by it’s diversity and understanding and respect of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, you may grow. That is our precept. Get it?

I learned a heck of a lot as a professional athlete (what I was, prior to being a businessman and a photographer-film maker). If one wants to be successful, you hone your strengths, refine those, but you train your weaknesses. Weakness is what kills your performance, and jeopardizes your goals long term. Shawn and I have been discussing this. I know she is writing on the subject. I look forward to the read.

Onboard Instruction

Onboard Instruction

In recent years, K38 Rescue, headed by Shawn Alladio, and a global collective of Rescue Professionals  trained by her, has raised a standard that did not formerly exist. This standard follows the design evolutionary process of the Personal Watercraft, PWC, or RWC (Rescue Watercraft), as we are now beginning to call these boats. A new generation of craft is about to come into our watery arena.

Shawn has applied her company assets as a civilian contractor, and as what I would call a Patriot, thrown everything into training with various branches of our Military and aiding in the development of the usage of the RWC in Military Rescue and various other ops. In a world full of bullshit artists who try to attach themselves and brand by association with the elite of our armed services who are water based, Shawn refuses to talk about it.

So I am.


Because Shawn by her service, has literally changed the course of History, in the usage of the personal watercraft for Rescue, and developed a detailed training modus that builds warriors out of boys who just liked fast toys. I know. I am one of them. Her understanding of, and education on Rescue theory, can revolutionize a life.

Shawn Alladio, Colombia River Bar

Shawn Alladio, Colombia River Bar

It has made a huge difference in mine. I have learned how to better, do no harm, as I go forward into a production. For eight plus years she has tolerated me, my lens and my Hawaiian hard headedness. I think she sort of fixed me. I needed that. I became a Rescue Boat Operator.  Never my plan, it is just what occurred over the years. I highly recommend it, in spite of the boot camp nature and long cold wet nights K38 training involves. In fact, after awhile you really begin to look forward to dark and inclement conditions. Tougher. More challenge.

Training is Living, Living is Training

Training is Living, Living is Training

So last night, this is what happened.

Shawn received an award, presented by the NSBC. Shawn Alladio was inducted into the National Safe Boating Council Hall of Fame on March 7th 2012. To illustrate how remarkable this is, understand that much older men with decades at the helm of other types of craft under their belts, would be typical inductees. Shawn, a female, and private contractor, and a PWC proponent, was being congratulated and honored on her command and the success of her vision. Important thing.

In her world, there really is no such thing as equality. Equality will drown and kill you. It is all about service and strength.

Here is the K38 Rescue blog. She is a member of NASBLA, and a woman whose love of the Sea and Ocean experiences are vast. I am really grateful for what she has done for my Community, the tribe of people who live in and around the water. The skills she mentors  in not only save lives, but enable us to set higher standards, in all that we do.

Headed down to Camp Pendleton

Headed down to Camp Pendleton


The only real reward for that, is in seeing others thrive, and coming home at the end of the day, to those who love us. But no matter how hard we train or how diligent we are, each of us acknowledges that it is grace that leads us home. I know someone who regularly falls asleep to this song.  The source of Grace is praise. I use it a lot. We all should.

Golden Reward

Golden Reward

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.