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Mon, Dec. 31st, 2012, 12:52 pm
2012 in pictures

Since 2003 I have been keeping a picture diary of sorts. I do it mostly to remember the good times and great people in my life. This is my picture recap of 2012. I am fortunate to have so many great people in my life and I had a blast looking at pictures from this year for this recap.

If you’re curious that blog is at www.carlosblogs.com

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In what is now officially a tradition we went to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City for the 2nd time in 2012. We are looking forward to the 2013 trip.

Sundance Marquee

At the HP tent

Sofia's first snowfall caught on camera.

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I definitely feel like I’m getting older and my friends are starting to have kids. I don’t say that in a negative way. I’m quite happy seeing my good friends go on with the next step in their lives and establishing their families. In February my good friend Brenda was married and I went out to Florida for her wedding. I am very happy for her and Larry.

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An educator who meant a great deal to me passed away this year. Mr. DonLucas was my Latin American studies teacher and Varsity soccer coach at Fairfax high school.

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I wish it weren’t true that Mr. Donlucas had passed but he leaves a legacy of caring, empowerment and love. He is respected by thousands of students who walked through his doors and one can only hope to be as loved as he was.

Gracias por todo, professor. Que en paz descanse.

Words I wrote about him: http://calmenda.livejournal.com/218133.html

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38 degrees when race started

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A big congrats to Danny for completing his first marathon. While I vowed never ever to do another marathon I wanted to tag along for Danny’s first marathon. Danny’s work ethic was impressive as he logged mile after mile training for Napa. Congrats Danny! I think he has the running bug now (and may have given it to Claudine).


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Some punk-***-b***** stole my Orbea Orca from my garage in SF this year. Believe it or not I wasn’t that upset about it. Definitely been working on not losing my temper. Thankfully a lot of people helped me out and I was able to replace it.

Orbea Orca with Ksyrium ES wheelset

I replaced it with a Matte Black Orbea Orca.

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Sofia’s dad was a great help in my cycling this year. Sofia’s dad helped me through my first century ride (Marin Century) and was with me for my first Solvang Century ride.

At the finish in Solvang with Mr. Hendrix


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I had a great year with the SF Tri club. After 2 years of being a member I joined the board of directors. I was pysched to get new uniforms courtesy of Terry L.

Failure was a great motivator for me. I tried to climb Mt Hamilton 2-3 times before I finally achieved it later in the year. The first 3 times were too hot and I wasn’t in enough shape to pull it off.

GGTC'er joins us for the ride.  Picture courtest of Tona.


Our new uniforms. Thanks Terry!  They look great.

Reaction in a car: awesome. Reaction on a bicycle: f********ck.



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View from the Walnut Creek BART station

Walnut Creek Panorama Mout Diablo Valley

In April 2012 Sofia and I moved in together to Walnut Creek, California.

After 6+ years of living in SF, Sofia and I moved to Walnut Creek, California.

The most common question I get is: why?

So far, I really like Walnut Creek.

Some reasons:

1) Warm weather. Walnut Creek seems to be 10-15 degrees warmer than SF. Being from Los Angeles this feels more like home.
2) Proximity to BART. Since we are right across the street from BART it’s a 40-45 minute BART ride into San Francisco where both of our offices are off BART stations.
3) Cheaper rent. Our combined rent in SF was $2,200+. In Walnut Creek for $1,600 we can get a relatively new apartment with parking, pool, gym etc whereas in SF you live in an old, small place with no parking or amenities.
4) Walnut Creek has tons of open space and access to great cycling.
5) Suburban people. So far everyone has been really nice. Crime seems nonexistent around here and at the risk of sounding like a snob I like the idea of being in a place where I don’t have to worry about those things like I do in larger cities.

Am I deluding myself into thinking Walnut Creek is better than SF? No. I LOVE the city. Since I am in SF Monday - Friday for work I feel I get the best of both worlds.


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I am proud to be a part of a new program that SFUSD is funding.

Young Dancers was created to capture the spirit of the film "Mad Hot Ballroom" a film documenting the joy of young students participating in New York City's ballroom dance competition. Started in 2011 by San Francisco School Board of Education President Norman Yee, the program began with 4 schools and
was created to provide access to quality dance instruction to public school children. In 2012 Young Dancers provided programming to 12 SFUSD schools. Over 12 weeks program students learned tango, salsa, merengue, waltz and swing. The final was held at Lincoln High School and over 400 parents and students were in attendance for the dance competition showcase and finals.

Below are some videos from the semifinals that will give you an idea of how excited the kids are to be a part of this program:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54dNBKgYoo8



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Amongst other firsts were a focus on climbing. This year I was able to climb Mt Diablo, Hamilton and Tamalpais in one year. I had a great time doing this solo and with good friends. Some of my attempts succeeded and some were utter failures but I had fun nonetheless.


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poker


A great new addition to my life is playing poker. I recently learned to play and have enjoyed playing with the guys.


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Many moons ago I was working for the Marin Education fund and was a mentor a great young student by the name of Miguel.

This year he graduated from the College of Marin. I am very proud to see how far he has come since I first met him through hard work and dedication.


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When we weren't doing the swim clinic... pool games were played

One advantage of living in the burbs where it is 100+ degrees in the summer is having pool parties with friends. This weekend we had a bike ride + carne asada bbq and pool party thanks to Sofia and my mom who helped with the cooking.



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I have a thing with taking pictures with signs. Pics or it didn't happen?

From the east peak of Mt Tam at 3,089 feet

I got in a climb up Mt Tamalpais this year. Definitely the most pretty of the 3 major peaks in SF.




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At the finish line. First tri since 2002. Wooohoo!

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After 4 knee surgeries and a close to 10 year hiatus I completed my first triathlon since 2002 this year. I entered in the Silicon Valley Sprint triathlon as a warm up for my Vineman 70.3 Ironman. My swim was TERRIBLE. No exaggeration there but it forced me to get in the pool and train hard for Vineman.


Getting ready for the 1.2 mile swim @ Johnson's beach

I faced my fear of the water big time this year. The tri club went up to a Vineman training weekend and swimming the actual swim course helped settle my nerves a bit even though my swim was terrible.


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I completed my first half ironman 70.3 in 2012.

No exaggeration when I tell you I didn’t think I’d be able to complete the swim. Thanks to a few failures and terrible swims I got my butt in gear and was able to complete Vineman.

Race report here: http://calmenda.livejournal.com/219398.html


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I had a great time in Los Angeles this year visiting my mother and brother.

Mom and I on tandem biking through Santa Monica and Venice. Had to Strava it. Habit.

My brother Steve

Mom and I on our super cheap tandem.


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Also had a great time outdoors with good friends in non-triathlon related activities in 2012.

At Point Reyes national seashore

At Point Reyes



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While the season was quite disappointing I was able to attend several Cal games this year and enjoyed the tailgates Jared took me to. I look forward to many more season of Cal football no matter how much they suck (or don’t suck hopefully).

The new stadium looks great. Beatiful day for a game


Bacon, waffles and fried chicken. Tailgate heaven

Friends at the game - we are going to have to talk to christina about getting some blue and gold



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While the picture is blurry (thank you Colma fog) Sofia and I got our first car. Woohoo! We got a 2013 Volgswagen Jetta.



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Con los muchachos de San Rafael high. Como que nos hubieramos puesto de acuerdo con las camisas moradas. Foto por: Edgardo Martinez

A big congratulations to Edilzar (former student at San Rafael High) who was married this year. I wish him a long and happy marriage. It was great to see him and some former SR students who I enjoy keeping touch with.


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Despite vowing never to do it again I did my 2nd Tough Mudder in Tahoe this year with the Snuggle Bunnies. As usual it was an AWESOME time.

Team shot. Couldn't have asked for a better team. Great group of guys.

Post race beers. Best Dos Equis I have ever had. What's more manly than beer and pink shirts while wearing spandex?

Who doesn't like free beer after a race?

Race report here: http://calmenda.livejournal.com/220323.html





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Sonoma County is SO beautiful

Levi’s Gran Fondo kicked my ass again. I missed the cut off by about 20 minutes. 2nd time I failed at this one. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to get it in 2014.

Race report here: http://calmenda.livejournal.com/220517.html



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Congrats to Jared and Vicki and their first home!

Congrats to Jared and Vicki on their first home!


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Obligatory photo at the top of Mt Hamilton.

Fun with the fisheye mirror @ the top of Mt Hamilton

After failed attempts over the summer finally climbed the tallest peak in the bay area (Mt Hamilton).


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My climbing efforts were rewarded with a water bottle for people who climbed the 3 peaks in one year. Woohooo! The things I do for free gear.

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The leaves were beautiful on the way up to Mount Hamilton

At the top of Mt. Hamilton - James Lick observatory


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Heading to Cal game in new shorts and shirt from back in the day.

I may have gone a little overboard in my Cal v StanfUrd outfit.


Surpringly got a lot of laughs from Stanfurd fans on the shirt.



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The bride and groom

Two of my best friend Jennifer Kremen and Piotr Prokop were married this weekend.

I met both in 1999 and were some of my first friends at UC Berkeley. I am so happy for them and wish them all the best. They are both like a brother and sister to me and look forward to being a part of their lives in the years to come.


I need to tone it down. In what I think it was one of the funniest pictures of me there is me trying to catch the garter at Jenn and Piotr’s wedding:

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Whoa.

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Sofia and I



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We had a great time with Sofia’s parents this year. We were lucky enough to join them up in Tahoe for their wedding 30+ year anniversary (sorry, forgot the exact # of years).

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I think 35+ is a record for us and we had 15+ missing

Love my family and we had a great 35+ person Thanksgiving dinner in beautiful Los Angeles weather.

I was happy to see my cousin Fredy and uncle Tito who I haven’t seen in years. Love you guys and hopefully I can make it out to Dallas in 2013.

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Guys photo (not a lot of us)



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I am proud of the SF tri club for celebrating its 10 year anniversary. The club is such a big part of my life and I am thankful for all the awesome people I have met through the club and how it has supported me.

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Our first niners game. We wanted to experience Candlestick before they move to Santa Clara (boo).

Sofia and I went to our first Niners game.

It was a great time with friends!


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Sofia invited me to run with Malibu half marathon with her and friends. Such a BEAUTIFUL race.

Sofia Carlos vineman visor sf tri couple malibu

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It was great hanging out with Whitney, Margaret and Joe.



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Can you spot Sofia? Look closely. Try hard.

Ok, this picture may rank up there with my garter catch as funniest picture of the year. Sofia waiting in a line for pan frances with 40+ latinos in Los Angeles. Can you spot her? Can you? :-)




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A big props to our good friend Claudine for completing her first marathon. Claudine put us to shame with her work ethic and speedy legs. Congrats CC!


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This year Sofia and I celebrate 4 years of being together.

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Last but not least I am looking forward to 2013 and spending time with family and friends as we always have. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

All in all I am thankful for a great year and I consider myself fortunate to have the people I have in my life and those who have passed away who will never be forgotten I and look forward to many more blessed years.

Mon, Dec. 31st, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
jonayla

Don't tone anything down Carlos, you're awesome just the way you are.