/*23 Breaths: March 2011*/

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some perspective

March of the Duck Feet

with all this talk of  lost fins, I thought it would be nice to contemplate some waves and conditions, in which  the whereabouts of your flippers are the last thing on your mind.

Just one more good wave

"eh you loose a fin? it no matter with feet like that!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Have you seen my fin?

Southy was last seen dangling off my left foot! Has been sited frolicking in shore break in Encinitas.

Lefty has a kool tattoo on the bottom of his flipper that says "South"

I really didn't lose my fin "southy".  

I have taken great care to train my fins from the time they are little flippers to come when I call them.  

It takes a lot of time spent at a tide pool with flipper treats and a whistle but it is well worth the effort.

Perhaps a post on fin training at a later date. 

But if you where looking for an inexpensive way to make your own fin tethers here is how we did it back before fin training became the rage. The new ones are more comfortable but these work as well as anything. Guys used to make them out of shoe strings but the cotton does rot after a while. Use nylon, it still rots but it takes longer

First you need some stout cord.  I put a couple of knots at the end of the cord. Thread  it around the side of the fin strap. Once you have the fin on you'll tie the two ends on the other side of your ankle.

Do you like your photos under flashed or over flashed? I have included one of each for your viewing pleasure!

 Inside ankle shot - *you can tie a knot here where the cord criss-crosses to keep the leash permanently attached.

Looks like I don't have a chance as either a product photographer or as an ankle model!
I like a square knot, easy to tie and will stay tied, maybe more importantly it's  not too difficult to untie with cold fingers.

(Never show pictures to your kids, mine said "look dad you've got kankles"! like a fool I had to go look it up...)

If you do loose a fin many local surf shops have a "single fin" barrel where you can buy just one.

In my local area both the Frog House in Newport Beach and Shelter Surf Shop in Long Beach sell single fins.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crystal Tuesday

Can't get enough of this stuff

Monday, March 28, 2011

chest deep

I 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, 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 metamorphosize into the shape you need along the inside rail and then add a dash of body English. 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 I get sucked up the wave face.  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. 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 with out 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 slam 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

Friday, March 25, 2011

23 Feet

Stumbled across this the other day and I thought I'd pass it along.

They had me at 23

23 Feet is film about a community of people who have made the conscious choice to live simply to do what they love in the great outdoors. Three women set out across the west in their 23 foot, 1970 Airstream to search for the stories of people who have turned their backs on the creature comforts of society to live in school buses, vans, and other small spaces. From an inspiring campfire chat with legendary Yosemite climber Ron Kauk, to hearing the powerful story of a woman who changed her whole life for surfing, 23 Feet gives an intimate look at the ups and downs of dedicating your life to your outdoor passion.

Click on the link below to check out the Kickstarter info.

Nice thing about this sort living/traveling, there is always room for a mat and fins!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This video from the Handplane Goodness site

Come Hell or High Water Trailer from Woodshed Films on Vimeo.

Great stuff!

Brown fish hand planes, The Wedge, body surfing pipe, riding fast food trays and Mark Cunningham sums it all up.

Come Hell or High Water Trailer

Another interesting film by Chris Malloy and Woodshed Films Coming in Fall 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I haven't shared links with you all lately so today is the day!

First up is the new blog from Andrea, Dirty Hippy.

Dirty Hippy is photos, art and her musings about the surf culture, fashion, design and eco consciousness.

Another fine blog from San Diego! They must put something in the water...

Next up is not necessarily a surf blog but once again the shared perspective of someone who surfs.

Lloyd Kahn is the editor of Shelter publications and former Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog.

These days Mr. Kahn is still developing new books and is working on his latest "Tiny Homes".

His blog content varies but at least once a week you get the latest surf and swell report from local coast.

Always something interesting as Lloyd shares the treasures he finds along the way.

Lastly, if you haven't been checking the Daily Bread lately, now is the time to jump back in the groove.

Jason wanderings have led him, not to some South American secret point but to the beautiful shores of Maui.

I'm sure while raising the average FICO score of everyone at the "Sly Mongoose" he will find time to post some great new photos of the Valley Isle.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Going back

Every so often I come back to this Harold Ward pic (that's him out on the shoulder tripping the remote shutter) and just stare at it for an hour or two.

Monday, March 21, 2011


"In like a fire hose out like a ball of wax"
or is it
"In like an arachnid out like a cow"
maybe it's
"In like a spark plug out like a bit of twine"

However the old nursery rhyme goes,

It has rained (or wanted to) just about every weekend

Since forever.

Now that I have a barometer implanted in my back I'm getting very good at predicting the weather and I have developed that "special" relationship with my heating pad.

I would gladly trade these things for a few good waves.

* The rain is actually ok but if we could move it to the middle of the week when I'm trapped inside and let the weekends be clear and offshore I would appreciate it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

You will recall that I had a few items on the list this weekend.

A quick surf - this one didn't work out like I planned as morning wind a bit of rain was enough to keep me in my bed until mid morning.

Plant the garden - this worked out a little better!

Added the compost and turned over everything

Three Sun Gold tomatoes (across the front)
Two Heirloom tomatoes (second row)
Greens (Swiss Chard, Mustard greens and Collards) middle back row
Herbs (Basil (for the pizza!) French Thyme (non daylight savings variety) on the right
Celery (back row left) did you know Huntington Beach used to be the celery capital?

Still to plant - climbing snap peas on the wire fence in the middle and a row of Sunflowers across the back.

Now it just a matter of putting my heating pad on 11 and settling in to read and wait for the rain!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The cocooning continues

That really hard for me to to say.

Babbage difference engine

The weather this weekend is "variable" as they like to say in the weather forecast biz, with a "chance" of rain on Saturday and rain "likely" on Sunday.

Just when on Sunday is still up for debate and depends largely on how far north you are.

I just ask the magic 9 ball.

It says, "if you go outside and get wet, it's raining".

So the Plan A as we laughing like to call it is to sneak in a surf on Saturday morning then plant all the nursery items we purchased last weekend

Then collapse in a horizontal state and recuperate all day on Sunday.

I have a couple of  books for Sundays' horizontal-ness.

I haven't read this one yet

I hear that it's good, all steam punky and all.

Now here on 23B,

the "All Neil All the Time" station,

is something going out to all our friends to ease you into whatever you have planed

Love the lap steel guitar

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking to Nature

Since the earthquake and tsunami, like a lot of people I have been watching events unfold and trying to process the massive scale of the destruction, the lost of life and possible down stream effects of the radiation leaks from the damaged reactors.

I really haven't had anything come to me that I wanted to write about.

I found it blooming in the kindling pile

A branch I trimmed off the tree last fall.


Kendog sent this over yesterday, a catchy tune.  I can't get it out of my head.

Thanks Ken

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


One of my favorite GD songs. I hope you enjoy this studio version.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Augustus Owsley Stanley III

Dancer, Chemist and ground breaking sound man,

Mind Expander

Heavy dude in the sixties

Monday, March 14, 2011

gardenus interruptus

Last year

My back has been doing a two steps forward and one step back tango lately

I never really know how the day will go until I wake up to find out.

Sunday was a great day! Warm day nice weather sunny sky.

The back decided it was going to be a bed rest or walking day no sitting allowed.

Off to the local nursery where we found some of our favorite cherry tomatoes

(I may get a sun gold tomato tattoo)

Loaded those up with some herbs, two blueberry bushes and three bags of planting mix.

Took it all home where its sits,

waiting for the garden plot to get turned over and amended with the compost bin.

I hope this includes me

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring ahead?

Dear Sir or Madam,

Twice a year I send you a note stating my displease at the way in which you arbitrarily manipulate my time references.

Every time (and I use the phrase loosely) you choice to ignore my pleas and continue to move the hour.

Please decide on something and stick with it!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan hit by Earthquake and Tsunami

Prayers and wishes for mercy and safety go out to the people of Japan and all of the Pacific Islanders effected by the quake and Tsunami.

Google's Person Finder Tool


International Red Cross / Red Crescent

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Darker than the inside of a Cow

The best thing about having kids is that I could return to spending Saturday mornings parked in front of the TV watching cartoons.

Ren and Stimpy would terrify any child I know. Adults will find it incredibly strange and hysterically funny. It's hard to find an example that covers the range of this show, Powder Toast Man, Scottish Haggus man, and who could forget Log or the lumberjack song!

Rocko his dog, his friends and neighbors living in O'Town and keepin' it real. Not quite as edgy as Ren and Stimpy but bizarre in it's normalcy.

Real Monsters, once again not as edgy as Ren and Stimpy but there is something you have to love about a character that juggles his own eye balls!

Angry Beavers, what more can you say? The old episodes are more difficult to get than an interview with Thomas Pynchon!  The Halloween episode is legend! The kids can watch it while you roll on the ground in tears of laughter!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finless Friday

yea I know it not Friday

but a guy can dream can't he?

Besides Without Fins Wednesday just doesn't sing

First up an interesting piece on Alaia surfing.

I saw this over at Korduroy.tv.

The second piece is even more retro but has some alaia and kookbox surfing along with some bodysurfing and the latest in bathing costumes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Water Polo Anyone?

So it been a busy week (and it's only Tuesday)

Thanks for everyone playing along with my more recent posts.

Today I have something extra special for you

First the Forth online issue of Body Surf Austrialia is available here

*Thanks to Jamie for posting the link on FB this morning

I really like body surfing shots.

You don't see that many because you can't sell them

Poor product placement

But every surf photographer has a bunch of good ones

If you ever want to send me an email and want it to be the one I open first

put  "Insane Mat Wave" as the title

Tom did and I opened it straight off

Grant "Twiggy" Baker and Sean Payne Surfing Namibia from Silver Bullet Productions on Vimeo.

Warning this clip has a bit of a preamble I think they hit the water around the 4 minute mark but it is worth it.

Thanks Tom!

Monday, March 7, 2011

This just in!!!

Negotiations have been tense but the producers wouldn't go for Kendog's choice of soundtrack band


Ken said it's "my way or the highway" on this you bunch of Hollywood suits!

So the remake is back to square one

and you'll probably see Keanu in the lead role

Which is ok I guess, but I really wanted  a ride in the Maybach and I think I can hear Bagjuan and Chiledub sobbing from here.

"15 percent! We would of had 15 percent!!"

Kendog says, "No big ting!"

BTW I loved the music!

More Exciting Blade Runner Details*

leaking out of the top secret contract negotiations,

at an undisclosed location with some of the Hollywood elite.

Kendog's management team have leaked a few of the perks he requires to star in the upcoming remake of Blade Runner.

Ken requires that the water at Malibu be cleared every morning at dawn.

He doesn't intend to surf at that time but he does meditate on the "true meaning of life at lower inflation levels" every morning and all those people splashing in the water "harsh his vibe".

The producers felt it would be no problem to clear the water.

Kendog also asked for, and got several shooting variances in the script.  If the hills behind Malibu were to burst into flame as they are wont to do, primary shooting for any scenes scheduled for Malibu will be immediately moved to Rincon.  (A backup villa on the point has already been leased for Kendog and his entourage).  The reason behind the move was not security or the possible health and safety risks for the cast and crew, but Ken was adamant that no dust settle on his new Maybach. (Also a perk from the production company)

Ken is quite taken with the car which he describes as, "almost as good as a mat!" but not quite as good as his regular car known as the "Bat Mobile".

Bone Yard Productions which is filling the executive production role on the project has been a hotbed of activity as of late.

Here two of the company's high level executives take a break from counting the bales of cash that movie executives had sent over before the negotiations, "just to make sure everyone is in a good frame of mind".

Several new roles on the production team have been inked since our last update.

Dirk Brandt will be serving as the films director.  A great choice considering his string of past hits and his experience working with Kendog. Asked how much money Dirk was getting for the project he replied, " imagine the biggest number you can think of ... and then double it!"

The mysterious Greyman productions will be handling the international distribution for the film. When we asked him for a quote he corrected our previous information and stated for the record that he would be handling international and interstellar movie distribution as this "movie is gonna be big baby big!" When we asked for additional information he responded, "no big ting man, the UK crew got skills!" and then disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Tom Threinen has signed on as script consultant, cinematographer and director of 2D and 3D media. This was a surprise move by the studio but one that will assure the look of the movie is true to it roots.  The announcement set off a flurry of speculation as to if Don Redondo would make an appearance in the film.
When asked what the producers offered to lure him back to the coast after his long hiatus in the desert, he simply replied, "I just had a craving for some of Rosa's Hotsauce and I just can't get it in Henderson".

*If you didn't read Friday's post this one will make less sense than usual so start there then read this one.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blade Runner prequel sequel?

In other news Alcon entertainment has brought the rights to make a movie based on the characters and settings of Blade Runner, the 1982 sci fi classic about a replicant-killing cop who falls for a fembot.

The new story line revolves around a mat rider with bio mods which include tiger blood and Adonis DNA

Charlie Sheen was slated to play the lead role since has had the bio mods previously but Mr. Sheen's people say he is slated to begin work on his new self produced show "Winning".

Hollywood insiders now say that Ken Dog is rumored to be the current front runner to reprise the role of Rick Deckard.

KenDog here seen between scenes in a publicity still from his latest block buster "Mat Men from Mars"

Repeated attempts to contact KenDog's production company, Bone Yard Productions Unlimited for confirmation of these rumors failed.

However just before post time this photo arrived but without any further explanation.

It seems to indicate that Ken was available for the project but that his management firm of BagJuan and Pete would require either two percent of the gross (each), two gazillion dollars up front or perhaps world peace. 

UPDATE! - News has reached us here at 23B that Ramsnake has signed on to play the part of  Roy Batty.
Batty was played by Rutger Hauer in the original film. Rumors that Ramsnake will also provide a score for the film are unconfirmed at this point in time.

There maybe some breaking news regarding KenDog's contract soon, so keep your radio tuned to 23B on your FM dial!

No that's not right... 

but we will post updates as they become available.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A great day today!

Why you may ask is today a great day?

It's true that there are may criteria for greatness

and it varies from day to day, place to place and person to person.

But there are several reasons that today is a great day.

First there is another of my pieces over on The Inertia  this morning.

As a personal favor to me if you could visit the site and click on the Like button at the top of the story I would greatly appreciate it!

Go there now! Just remember to come back

Ok Thanks a lot for that I really do appreciate it and The Inertia is really an interesting site with lots of good stories etc and I check it daily for updates.

Second off in today's ranking as a Great Day is over on SurfMatters

Really funny piece on the whole Charlie Sheen thing.

It reminds me of the old Robin Williams joke about  "Cocaine being God's way of telling you that you make too much money".

You give anyone a million five for doing an eighteen minute show every week what do you expect?

Sad really but kind of like the train wreak that you can't look away from.

But really, "Adonis DNA" and "Tiger Blood" you just can't make that stuff up!

But I do hope he gets help.  Good actor with a great delivery of dry comedy.

But the real reason that it's a great day is...

drum roll please

Ya know how you wake up some days and think wow it's a Saturday and you kind of lay there in your warm blankets relishing in that special deep post sleep glow when suddenly your spouse screams "OMG it's 5:30 we're gonna be late! and you suddenly come to grips with the reality that it's really Tuesday and you are gonna be late, the freeway is gonna be packed, you have a meeting this morning that you haven't prepared for so that sucks and since you are running late you won't be able to stop and get a decent cup of coffee and will have to drink that nasty stuff at work that sits and bakes in the metal pot until it in no way resembles the beautiful brown drink of the gods that coffee should be and you lay there and you haven't even gotten out of bed yet and the whole day, nay your whole life is already completely ruined?

Well me too.

But today, dear friends today I thought it was Wednesday when I got up.

Now nothing really wrong with a Wednesday. Wednesday is hump day and there is nothing bad about that. Without Wednesday, Tuesday would slam right into Thursday and we can't have that. And you know your boss would make you work Saturday to make up for it. So Wednesday is OK by me.

But as it turns out it's not Wednesday it's really Thursday! Now Thursday my friends is the day we wake up and the work week tide has turned! It's the day we gird our loins (does that really mean what it sounds like?) and draw our swords and change into the rest of the week knowing that we have made it this far we will probably survive until the weekend. Not as good as Friday mind you. But Friday is in a class by itself. Friday is the gateway to the weekend with all the greatness that maybe contained there in! So Thursday doesn't quite compare.

But it is Thursday and that beats the heck out of Wednesday any day of the week.

If you were waiting until the end of the bit here to go and check on Like over at The Inertia.

Go there now!

This piece dedicated to all the weekend warriors who labor all week in cube farms everywhere only to find the surf flat and or blown out on the weekends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brokedown Melody

In the mood for some Brokedown Melody this morning

The movie has of course been out a while so there are several cuts available from the various at home Spielbergs'.   These two are my favorites. The cinematography sets the "woodshed" projects apart from most of the other surf movies currently being produced today.

I really liked the body surfing in this last one and the tango beat really sets an interesting mood.  I suppose that's why they give two different Oscars for music.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I need it to be Summer

Iconic super color saturated image of Summer by John Van Hamersveld

I need to shake off this winter slumber

I need to wake up to blinding sun shine first thing in the morning

I need that smell of summer, part coastal sage, part hot asphalt, part surf wax

I need to call the surf report and hear for the 100th time, "there is a south west swell running from 2 to 3 feet"

I need my hair to bleach out to snow white with the consistency of dry straw

I need to wonder how many days the water temperate will stay above 70 before plunging down the chilly 50's with the arrival of a big south swell.

I need to wear the same clothes, trunks, flip flops and t shirt until people start asking if these are the only clothes I own.

I need to decide if I am going to surf in the morning or in the afternoon, then surf both just like yesterday and the day before.

I need to forget what day of the week it is.

I need to go to the surf movies and know the California crew by first name, the Hawaiian crew by surfing style alone and have thought to myself "hey I was out that day!" at least several times during the movie.

I need to quit my job because, "this could be the biggest swell of the summer!" and they can't give me the time off.

I need to have my significant other tell me that I am getting too much sun and really need to apply more sun screen.

I need to have surfed so many days in a row that I seriously think about taking a day off , and then don't.

I need to have ordered a new board at the beginning of summer and have ridden it enough to think of it as my old board and have ordered another one.

I need to be surfing just before dark and think to myself "just one more wave" and spend another hour and a half in the water.

I need it to be summer.