Where the Fugawi? 

Up the creek without a clue? Here's help

8/13-8/16

There's nothing quite as relaxing as spending a lazy summer day at the side of a creek bed, listening to the A's on the radio as you soak your feet in fresh mountain spring water running off one of the Bay Area's many majestic peaks. But nothing can turn a fun day of outdoor activity into something resembling a Oakland Raiders gang tackle quicker than an unintentional spill into a creek bed while rafting. With that in mind, today (Wednesday, 6:30-9 p.m.) the Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed will offer a two-and-a-half-hour crash course (no pun intended) on surviving local creeks using the Global Positioning System (GPS) -- the locating device first developed by the US military to locate downed pilots. Then on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you'll be able to test your newly acquired survival skills during a day at Pinole Creek in Pinole, under the supervision of trained professionals. A light meal will be provided at both events. RSVPs appreciated. For more information, contact Christin Jolicoeur at 510-231-5784 or christin@aoinstitute.org -- Tony Hayes

TUE 8/19

Energy Conference

The Japanese martial art of aikido -- developed by Sensei Morihei Ueshiba -- is noteworthy for using an opponent's own energy to defeat him, through a combination of throws and joint locks. Along with the self-defense, the spiritual and physical health aspect of aikido appeals to a wide range of people. Next Tuesday, fourth-degree black belt Gordon Teekell appears at El Cerrito Library to discuss the principles of aikido, especially its concept of physical and mental harmony and its methods of peacefully reconciling conflict. Teekell's lecture and presentation, "Aikido at Work," is recommended for teens and adults and takes place at 7 p.m. at the library, 6510 Stockton Ave., El Cerrito. It's free. For more information, phone 510-526-7512. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 8/16

Grudge Match?

Try tri again

On Your Mark Events' Tri-for-Fun #3 -- a 400-yard swim in a clean lake, 11-mile paved-road bike race, and 3.1-mile run on a packed fire trail -- is designed for novices, but even experienced triathletes can use it for time trials, training, or perhaps as a grudge match (says On Your Mark). Just bring an ANSI-approved bike helmet, a swim cap, $40, and a measure of true grit to Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, 2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton, this Saturday. Check-in opens at 5 a.m., race at 7. To learn more, log on to OnYourMarkEvents.com -- Kelly Vance

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