One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


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    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    Polar Bear Swims 2008 - Hansen Dam & Cabrillo Beach

    Mom and Me 2008

    My family's tradition continues: Polar Bear swims at both the Hansen Dam Swim Lake at 8am (48 degrees) and then at Cabrillo Beach at noon (52 degrees).

    This year was especially fantastic because my mom made my Grandma's old recipe for black-eyed peas and corn bread. Oh my GAWD was that good.

    Here are some more photos:

    The Family, 2008 here we come!

    What I want to be when I grow up.

    PS. A BIG! thank you to Green Foods. I have been using Green Magma everyday before lunch for the past 3 months. Doing that along with drastically cutting animal products has brought me down to a much lighter 160lbs. from a previous constant of 175lbs. Happy.

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    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Latest Paintings of Ona by Chase Chen

    Titled: Reading (she is reading A Series of Unfortunate Events)

    Titled: Feather

    We are a very lucky family. Our good friend Chase Chen whom we have known since he practically got off the boat from China has become our family's personal artist who just happens to paint masterpieces. Such is life.


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    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Rickshaw (Pony Cart) Suspenders

    Running with Rickshaw Suspenders
    HANDS are FREE
    As many of you know, I have been using a pony cart as a rickshaw since last December (Xmas present).

    One thing that has made it less comfortable is having to hold the rails while I run, which takes away the extra horsepower the arms can give when you pump them.

    Well, today I used some braided hemp cordage to make some suspenders to hold the rails in a balanced position. Furthermore, I used the dog's harness at the front like a girdle to hold the rails against my midsection and give me the ability to get forward motion by pushing from my hips.

    I was able to develop a comfortable pace pulling my wife through the neighborhood. Much easier than when I had to hold the rails and pull the rails forward with my arms.


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    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Hercules Back on the Wagon for the First Time

    Hercules has found a new passion: pulling Ona on the Horse Cart.

    I finally figured out how to rig our pony cart for him by using old inner tubes tied around the handles.


    PS. All is well until he sees another dog or horse. Then it is full-speed ahead followed by a crash.

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    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Polar Bear Swim 2007 - Dos Lugares

    Ona and I made it into the January 2nd Daily News

    After the swim - Endorphin kick

    Ernie has participated every year at Hansen

    Ona braved the cold too.

    Polar Bear Swim 2007: Part 1
    Location: Hansen Dam Swim Lake

    We woke up at 7:30am. The swim began at 8am, so we had to move it in order to get there on time. Sun was out, but it was quite windy. This year I stayed in the shallower side of the pool and ran and porpoised my way to the finish.

    Very happy to see many regulars at the pool, including the famous Ernie, a.k.a., Headwig. He has participated every year the Polar Bear swim has been held at Hansen Dam.

    Swimming in cold water is extremely exhilarating. I think it must get the endorphins pumping vigorously. I did not feel cold on exiting the water, and this year there was a really nice fire pit and big fire burning at the finish. Very nice.

    I hope to do it again next year. We are off to Cabrillo Beach to participate in the Polar Bear Swim there.

    Polar Bear Swim 2007: Part 2
    Location: Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, CA

    I am pretty sure I am the only person in all of Los Angeles who participated in both City sponsored Polar Bear Events, one at Hansen Dam and the other at Cabrillo Beach.

    It just so happens that we live within walking distance of Hansen Dam and my mother within walking distance of Cabrillo. So, it has become a family tradition to swim in both locations on New Year's Day.

    Cabrillo was fantastic. Water was quite warm, around 58 degrees. I was among the hearty souls who swam out to the buoy and back, about 1/2 mile.

    My mom made some terrific stew that I had as soon as I got out of the water. I also had a nice glass of Port. Come and join us next year.

    Before the swim


    After the swim.


    Barefoot Ted's Adventures

    PS. You can read about last year's swim here. Ona made the Daily News last year, and apparently, we made it again this year.

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    Sunday, December 31, 2006

    Goodbye 2006 Rickshaw Ride

    I pulled the ladies over 5 miles today. We ran over the top of Hansen Dam. The ladies were getting cold. I was hot. Damn, that's a good workout, especially after doing 26 mountain miles yesterday.

    I look forward to more of this cart training. Wore my Vibram FiveFingers, my favorite barefoot shoes. We got a lot of attention. Perhaps we'll start a new fad. It sure would do a lot of folks a lot of good to get outdoors together. 2007, the New Year for family exercise.


    Barefoot Ted's Adventures

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    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    Christmas Rickshaw Ride

    I got the ladies a rickshaw (pony cart) for Christmas.

    I have been taking them on jaunts around the neighborhood. I am going to get strong pulling this thing around.

    The cart is really nicely made. The handles are oak with leather. I bought it used from Mutiny Farms owner Bob LaBounty, the little farm with peacocks down the street. I am going to revarnish it and use it around the neighborhood...barefoot of course.


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    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Lake Nacimiento, California

    Spent the weekend with Luis Escobar and Family at Lake Nacimiento.

    Barefoot Ted's Mermaids

    Picnic-bench Yoga

    Ona Faces Car Trouble

    Ona with FuFu and her FiveFingers which proved very useful in our campground that was full of broken glass and lost fishing lures. Way safer than the flip-flops kids were wearing.


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    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Summer Fun

    Howdy Folks

    Many have been emailing me asking why I have not submitted any news lately. Well, I've been busy running and swimming.

    Since the beginning of June, I have been running the equivalent of a trail marathon every weekend. Most of my daily running is still barefoot; however, whenever I venture into the mountains for runs over 20 miles, I carry and/or wear my Vibram FiveFingers. They are life savers when running on terrain you are not familiar with. I have put over 500 hard miles on a pair, and the soles are still as good as new.

    Some highlights included running from my house along the top of the Verdugo Mountains to the Brand Library and back, around 31 miles.

    Running the last 25 miles of the Angeles Crest 100 course.

    Running from my house to the ocean on my birthday.

    Running 20 miles in the middle of the day from South Pasadena to my house in training for my crewing job for Luis Escobar at this year's Badwater Ultramarathon.

    I have also been swimming a lot.

    Last week, I swam more miles than ever in my life while camping at Hume Lake in the Sequoia National Park here in California. My goal of doing an Ironman as if it were 1890 is pushing me forward in my quest to become an accomplished long-distance swimmer, too.

    Spent last Sunday at our favorite beach in North Malibu: El Matador. Body surfing is glorious.

    So, I am still around and running and swimming up a storm.

    Best Regards, BFT

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    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    Deep Creek Hot Springs

    photos by Roger Klemm

    A cluster of natural hot springs in an isolated canyon in the high desert. Requires a gradual 6-mile hike or a steeper 2-mile one. The Deep Creek Hot Springs are quite a find and will amaze you once you get there. Completely natural and undeveloped, the springs have become popular for obvious reasons. The water is generally clear and an almost perfect temperature (averaging 105 degrees F.), with several pools from which to choose.

    We chose to keep our shorts on, but not everyone did. Freedom of choice is nice.

    I spent most of my time climbing rocks and jumping into the COLD river that runs along the springs.

    Thanks to Roger and Markus for inviting us!

    BR, BT

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    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Chase Chen's Newest Painting: Time Machine

    Time Machine 38" x 80"

    Close up of Ona in backseat

    That's me in the driver's seat. Ona, my daugther, in the backseat. 1966 Beetle, my 40 year old car...still going strong.

    This painting is some kind of masterpiece. It is part of a long series Chase is doing on my family and pets. Another book of drawings and paintings will come out early next year.

    Best, Barefoot Ted

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    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    New Years Polar Bear Swims (plural)

    Flash, Ona makes Daily News Newspaper

    This year, I did two polar bear swims: one at Hansen Dam near our house, and the other at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro near my mom's house.

    Hansen Dam

    Cabrillo Beach

    Video footage from Cabrillo Beach Polar Bear Swim 2006

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    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Yucca Sandal Expedition with Paul Campbell

    Ona and I met with Paul Campbell today. He introduced us to a huge variety of native sandals made from agave, yucca and other materials. He has a fantastic collection that can be seen in his book "Survival Skills of Native California".

    Proud results. Ona holds today's prize

    Paul took us up into the local mountains. We found an excellent spot to test manufacture some yucca sandals.

    Where we turned off the trail

    Our spot

    Looking opposite

    Raw materials

    Necessary tool

    Start the toe

    Finished, dried sandal

    Although I have not had a chance to test the sandals (we only made one today), I know that this are going to work. They are very similar to Japanese waraji. They are lightweight and fairly easy to manufacture (especially if you were making a pair a week). The also are like waraji and AEI Shoes: they flex forward and back, but not side-to-side, which may help prevent punctures.

    All in all, we had a great time and very much look forward to learning more from Paul in the future.

    One of the highlights of the meeting was getting a chance to eat some dried yucca that was over 3 years old. It was delicious.

    Best, Barefoot Ted (and Ona, too)

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    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Like Father, Like Daugther

    Barefoot bounding. Covered in mud. The joy of childhood.

    Best, Barefoot Ted

    PS. Although it looks like she's jumping far, it really was only about a 4ft. jump. She did it over and over and over again.

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    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Hercules Retires from Trails

    It's been a long time coming, but Herky finally has to lay off the trails. It's not that he doesn't love humans. It's not that he doesn't love to run on trails. It's because he likes to attack any and all other species of animal, without provocation.

    I can't take it any more. Sorry Herk, your benched...for good.

    Best, Barefoot Ted

    PS. I think he already likes retirement.

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    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Head in the Sand | All Things Must Pass

    Head sculpted in the sand by Chase Chen,
    El Matador Beach, Malibu, California August 2004

    Lesson: All things must pass

    Best, Barefoot Ted

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    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Ona & Papa drawing by Chase Chen

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