/*23 Breaths*/

Monday, June 29, 2015

'till we couldn't see the sets coming...

It was probably the chronic sunburn
but surfing the glass off
was always like surfing in a bathtub
a salty one 
with dozens of my closest friends...
but for a handful
of days
the wind would quit
the wave faces
would become
sheet glass
and we would all
see how long into the
sunset after glow
we could still see
the sets coming

Friday, May 29, 2015

no rain

Pondering this morning
today being the last Friday in May
taking in the whole May-ness of it

we had three rainy Fridays
or at least the threat of it
this month
almost unheard of
in these parts

it should be nice today

I know it won't rain
because the newspaper
we still get one of those
although I forget why

well the paper came
without it's
flimsy plastic cocoon

those newspaper guys
they know the weather
so no rain

ps I think there's surf too...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Enjoy the weekend

cold wind blows in off the water

a new low moved down the coast

with a chance of rain

for the third week in a row

in May?

at least the tomatoes know what time of year it is

Enjoy the weekend

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

beyond description

to be fair
when I first started surfing
I was young
and inexperienced 
in the ways of the world
I was seduced

the sun increased my supply of vitamin D 
by a process known as dermal synthesis
tanning my hide
bleaching my hair

the salt water
twisted and stretched my young body
in new ways
while it tossed me
like a dog
with a new toy

the surf
demanded that I
give up the illusion
of control
and learn to go
with the flow

late night and early morning
low clouds
a 1 2 3 foot
running from the south west
for the next
100 days...

The first commandment of surfing is
after you paddle out 
I'm going to teach you to swim,
at least in the days before the leash...
by the end 
of which ever summer it was
I was in pretty good shape
and stoked 

Monday, May 11, 2015

on a Monday

some light fog
has crept into the coast
"on little cat feet"

the addition moisture
amplifies and muffles
the morning sounds

I feel like
Professor Xavier
sitting on my porch

I hear a tire splashing
in the gutter
4 blocks away

I can smell the sage
on the hillsides

all whilst
a cup of coffee


a local bird
Jimi Hendrix'
lilting thru
the star spangled banner

on a Monday

Thursday, May 7, 2015


or as we like to refer to it here at 23B
I can't think of anything to post ...

I don't mean I personally own one
but they are part of the wild life
in my local urban setting

I also have a cat
although I don't really think of our relationship
as an owner and property
more like
a uber rich alien life form
vacationing on this planet
and the staff
who's job it is to wait on the
rich clients
hand and foot
hoping to make their stay
more pleasant
(I will let you figure out who is the alien and who is the staff,
other then to tell you I have never been so over worked for so little pay in my life)

But I mention all of this to explain why I get up every morning and accompany my client, er I mean cat on this morning walk around the estate.
To sniff here and there, perchance to mark the territory with that crazy little backwards dance cats do when they spray.
As I enjoy the predawn and my double double espresso that brings me back to life every morning
whether I want to or not
I have been witness to the morning symphony of the birds
I think the whole thing is keyed to the morning increase in temperature
as the insects start to stir the early birds in search of the elusive worm
the birds get their cow bell on
it starts slowly and grows
the bees add there bass hum
the humming birds come in on the down beat
and the whole place goes nuts
Every New Years concert you have ever been to
every morning
just for me and the cat
who couldn't care less

So where am I going with this?
no where
but to say
it's warm in the morning now
high pressure is building for the rest of the week
it's going to warm up
from all reports the water is as warm as it gets
and it's only May
The high should make the morning winds a little more manageable
go get in the water

Friday, May 1, 2015

Out toward whatever comes

I'm sitting chest deep in the shore break washing machine waiting for another wave.

The new sandbar created by runoff from the recent rains was getting along nicely with the dropping tide and with the addition of a new SW swell to the fading yet still potent NW.

Of course most people were sitting to far outside to pick up these inside gems and that was fine by me. The truly great ones were far and few between. Everything had to come together just right. Too much NW and the wave just closed out.  Too much SW and the wave raced along, just too fast to catch.  The match I was looking for were combos of both swells and roped along the new inside bar. 

I had caught two already and I was hoping for one more before I called it a day.

I had almost given up when a peak popped up just to my left.  I have always liked a good no paddle take off when I rode standup boards and I enjoy it just as much on the mat. The take offs weren’t totally no paddle, but more a little positioning adjustment to get up under the lip before it pitched and a little flutter of the fins to change direction from being sucked up the wave to hurdling down the face.  

The bottom turn on a mat is a composite movement and done properly, a thing of beauty. You take the speed you gained racing down the face, then squeeze the mat allowing it to morph into the shape you need along the inside rail and then add a twist of body English and a dash of fin tip. The result squirts you out and along the face of the wave going faster than you were going before and that was pretty fast. Out toward whatever comes. In this case what was coming was the nice thick pitching section I was hoping for. 

Since I was now a little low on the wave face I lessened my grip on my outside rail, which flattens the mat making it slow its’ forward trajectory and the water rushing up the the wave face elevated me on the swell.  Once I was higher on the wave face I just need to re-squeeze the outside rail, moving the air in the mat to plump my inside rail, just like a ballpark frank. Then you just lean forward, twist slightly and enjoy the view. 

The view, in this case, was pinching down at the end.  I had no complaints but I was now fairly close to shore and but it looked like this wave was going to end with a slap down.

There are several ways to end your participation in waves like this.  Pushing off the mat and free falling to the tube floor is always a good one.  Easy to do and generally resulting in only a minor beating while your mat washing up on shore without you.  While I mulled over some possible exit strategies the decision was made for me by a slight warble of water coming up the wave face.  This particular bit of water slowed my forward progress enough to embed me in the lip.  The lip, now really the roof at this point, paid me no never mind and proceeded to invert my mat and I and slamed both of us on the sand.

Fortunately the mat was fine.  My body had broken its fall. 

But I never did find my other fin.    

All photos by Jason Hall @ Daily Bread

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

more books of cool little bits

I was looking for a topic at the local library the other day
and stumbled across this book

little bits
from biographies (Miles Davis, Art Pepper, etc)
(neither of which can be found in whole at the local library...hmmm)
really great stuff

So far I am making a list and it looks like this one book
will begat dozens of books that I really want to read
I love it when that happens

There are a couple of new ones from Gary Snyder that have been good too

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Report

I haven't done a book post in a while and since the nice man in the big brown truck brought a package from Amazon (killer of good local bookstores everywhere) I thought it was time.

It hard for me to classify Liza's book so let me tell you about my experience with it. I found it in the local lending library and took it home for a read.  Although it was only 284 pages (I can polish off that in an evening with a decent cup of tea) I was only just started when my loan was up. The reason being that this isn't your usual story book. Part almanac, part history and language primer and part garden diary. This is something that deserves to be enjoyed over time. So I bought a copy and plan to give it the year or more it deserves.

OK I have weird tastes in reading material. Japanese and Chinese poets that have turned to dust between 2 and 5 thousand years ago are my favorites. The trouble is I have no gift for languages or translation from the original texts. Red Pine has such a gift and fortunately for me is spending his time working with all the greats just so I have something to read in the evenings after dinner. What a guy! I can't overstate the importance of the translator for this type of work. I suppose you could get a piece of software to do the literal translation. But a good translator and Red Pine is much more than good  brings more to the work than just translation. Let's say you find an old and forgotten cook book from several thousand years ago and coincidentally you are hungry. You could run the book thru a translator and get ingredients and some old world instructions like "Ye needs to travel on the kings highway to the miller...".  This isn't helpful and you are still hungry. What a translator like Red Pine does is to live with the work long enough to translate the feelings and meanings behind the words. To return to the cooking analogy, you drop off the text to Red Pine pop down to the pub for a pint and when you come back he has translated the book but more importantly he has used it to cook dinner!

Good Stuff

I've read this one before and it is definitely good enough to read over. The stories (or story's if you like to torment the English majors)  are simple enough. A bunch of college kids wander in a semi orderly fashion thru the GNW looking to find, climb and study the big trees. That the colleges, Reed college and Humboldt state university tend to attract (or do they turn them out ?) some interesting characters, should give you a feel for the character of the book. Interesting, quirky and easy to read again and again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth day - 2015

Nice earth shot above

Looks like a hurricane in the US gulf coast and there's a good size low in the North Pacific.

I like shots like this because you can see the earth as a whole without the artificial country boundaries we arbitrarily establish and then change.

It's a view somewhat above the normal human concerns.

That storm in the Gulf coast doesn't care that it's going to hit the US.

If conditions were right it might be heading more to the west and into Mexico.

That's just how it is.

No problem.

Of course I mean no problem for the storm, thousands of lives depend on the landfall of the storm.

The point being that it is a big interrelated organizational structure that earthlings can barely grasp. 

But since it's Earth Day, 

take a breath 

and let it out

and try to feel the planet

No luck,

that's ok

Belated Happy Birthday to John Muir.

If you haven't read his work yet then take a stroll on down to the library and pick up a copy of any of his books.  

Good stuff 

Enjoy the day