/*23 Breaths: November 2011*/

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


As I mentioned in a previous post I was able to get into the water last weekend.

It had been a while and I was happy to enjoy the warm air and glassy surf conditions.

I paddled out along the state beach in a place with a small peak and a relativity small crowd of three.

I had gotten a couple when we were joined by a couple of grimmies.

Grimmies being a historical term now.  Having been replaced by the term grommets in general usage.

(although Kook is making a comeback and has some slightly different connotations)

These two young surfers had all the signs of just starting out.

Boogie boards (yes I still call them that) ill fitting wetsuits and one pair of fins shared between the two.

New to the sport

That said, they seemed to be having as much fun as anyone out.

Maybe more.

It made me ponder

I know that I,
surf better
now that way back then

But do I have more fun?

Has the overcrowding
and the competition for dwindling resources
so evident on land
spread to the sea
and robbed us
of that most cherished dream

“seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

News - North East West South

surfing alpaca

From the National Weather Service for Southern California



Gardening note --

In addition to the implications to the local surf conditions I would suggest that you make arrangement's to protect any winter crops you may be growing.  The strong Santa Ana's, sometimes called "the devil winds" can be hard on any new growth. A good watering would be in order and if your plants are exposed then some wind protection might be advisable too.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Winter or Spring

Jelly Fish or Kitchen Scrubber?

Saturday and Sunday were beach days
out of necessity
Winter is here which means
Spring like temperatures.
Hot and Dry
With a side order of off-shore winds
Standard Thankgiving Feast 

The flag doesn't lie. No wind here.

By Sunday the swell had dropped but the weather was so nice you had to get in the water
just because.

I rode the Fatty today. 
A great day for it.
Just perfect.
Thanks Paul!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I believe in the healing power of salt water

I slept on the beach hoping it would clear my head
but my dreams were filled with images
that would have given Hieronymus Bosch pause

garden of earthly delight

I awoke to find a decent swell and a outgoing tide

I had no choice but to paddle out
and hope that 
the surf
would clear my mind

I paddled outside
and was suddenly swept out to sea
among humongous waves

My only chance was to catch a wave and try to make it back to land
fortunately I was on a mat!

snagged  one of the larger ones and surfed for hours continuously sliding toward what I hoped would be the shore and safety.

When I finally reached shore I found myself, suprisingly enough,back home in SoCal.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Something strange

Something strange on this trip
or normal really
things are looking far too regular
could it be?
am I really here?

Let me sleep on it

Meanwhile check out the UK Mat Surfers blog while I compose myself

Friday, November 25, 2011

At the after Turkey after party last night, I met some people,

who knew some guys,
who had a friend,
who knew some people,

who knew a guy who was the guy who takes care of the plane of the King of Spain!

or something like that.

Things aren't real clear this morning, did you know they have wine in Spain?

Neither did I. But they do and it's good.

So this morning we took a plane  ride and checked out the surf

They called this place "La Reina"

everyone is way friendly here,

they laughed the whole time in the plane.

Really getting the hang of the language here.

Total immersion

I understand almost every word!

Good Stuff

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from 23B

Must be the place! Check the board!
Arrived in Espainia and waiting to meet up with Big G.

Nice place and the waves are insane!

Totally spaced that today is Thanksgiving.

So to make it all homey and stuff I watched this on YouTube 47 times sitting on a bench in a park by the hotel

Some people walking by heard the video in English, we started talking and they invited me to a little impromptu celebration with some other expats

Good Stuff!

More Alice

Here is a link to Arlo Net in case you are wondering what he's up to (a lot)

Big thanks to matt23 and everyone else playing the 23B home game!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Off to Spain

After some trouble with his email account Graeme has asked me to meet him in Spain for a surf!

Mundaka : photo Karen ASP/Covered Images

He says he has a great hotel right next to a trippy park in front of the famous break!

He says bring all your cameras, cash and credit cards.

Funny he didn't he didn't say anything about mats and fins!

I have to hurry to catch my flight out of LAX will post soonest.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Traditions

I would post this once a week but once a year during Thanksgiving week is probably better.

Sorry about the ads in front but you know how it is.

Just in time as kitchens all over America are spinning up to fever pitch. Or maybe you are just looking thru Yelp reviews for somewhere close by.

Either way enjoy the day.

Locally we have a long standing tradition of off shore winds on T-day. Not necessarily any surf to go with it but at least some winds.

BTW, this post isn't quite as good as the one I originally wrote, the comedy, the drama, the witty repartee, the deep life changing observations about the universe. Yeah it was a good one but then I had computer issues. If I had a Mac I could say "a leopard ate my blog post" but no mac here. Just a under powered Dell without enough RAM, too small a hard drive and that crumby windows XP OS.

I will probably suspend the breath for a  couple of days during the holiday (thur-sun) or maybe not. I try not to make too many plans, they always change anyway and so I just try to go with the flow.

Something I just got in the mail,

I made a quick trip to Spain on a short vacation unfortunately i got mugged at the park of hotel where i stayed,worse of it was that my surfmat and fins were stolen at GUNPOINT leaving me mat-less right now. I swear it's was a horrible experience for me,i need help flying across the water and the authorities are not being 100% supportive even thought there is a good swell running 2-3 feet overhead! but the good thing is that i  till have my stoke. I need some cash to get on a mat back home. please let me know if you can help. I would appreciate your reply.

I checked and our friend seems to be OK nevertheless let this be a lesson to all of us to be mindful, careful and  to stay out of the park next to the hotel after dark.

Au revoir

Monday, November 21, 2011

Murakami's latest

Great read.

Sunday started with a dog walk under bight skys and some might say warm temperatures.

About half way through the walk that first gust of pre storm wind came, scattering fall leaves and drawing my attention to darkening skys.

The rest of the morning was spent battening down the hatches and preparing for some rain.

Watching a new storm come in is a gift, meant to be opened immediately and shared with loved ones.

After noon when the rain started in earnest.

There wasn't anything better to do other than brew up a pot of tea and tuck into Murakami's latest.

Great stuff.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Mat Movie

I hadn't seen this one before

I like it

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hey Ho Let's Go Surfing

a new film by Nathan Oldfield for the Critical Slide Society

Hey Ho Let's Go Surfing from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.

looks fun and at the very end you catch a glimpse of Leo and maybe Mateo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fluid Dynamica

If you haven't seen Thinkmat's video you are in for a treat

Shot from his custom packback.
Now everyone uses a GoPro.
But this was shot on film.

Jonathan same mat as above, also hand made from scratch.  

  Photo by Ken Samuels 

Stoke-a-boca, Cottons Point  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Turnip Greens are Laughing

 So a chance of rain again this weekend means I may or may not be in the water anytime soon

But the greens have jumped up a lot in the last two weeks

 Turnip Greens

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

4 2 6 weeks

Photo by JDUB

There comes a time

every year
in the fall

my injuries
the rain




to keep
me out of
the water

4 to 6

we are maybe
half way through
that now

I do
the easy yoga

every day
watch the weather map


to get

Photo by Jason

Monday, November 14, 2011

Normal weather

Weather is finally the "normal" for the OC

Beautiful sunny warm days with chilly evenings

Where are my Ugg boots?

I did a run up from Newport Beach to Long Beach on Sunday.

Since I wasn't driving I had a good chance to look at the surf.

It was one of those classic fall afternoons

The weather had cleared

The sun was shinning bright

The temperatures had risen enough for me to trade my long pants and Uggs for shorts and sandals

The wind was having trouble deciding if it wanted to blow offshore or just glass off altogether

And there was swell!

I found these pictures on the internet

The waves yesterday were bigger and the tide was lower.

Good Stuff!


It occurred to me sitting and watching the rain on Saturday

The water comes down flows thru the water table

becomes part of the sun / foliage system or

flows into the ocean to be evaporated

back up into the clouds.

For a moment I realized that my whole life is just a phase of the water cycle.

or maybe I'm just a drip

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Watching it rain

I love to sit on the front porch and watch it rain.

A jacket a hot cup of tea usually a hat

Watching the snails come out and play

The local bird stop by and have a go at the worms coming up out of the grass

Hummingbirds zoom by and visit the sage.

But nothing like this

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Surfing in the Rain

Searched YouTube this morning and found this little gem

Miscellaneous pros surfing in Chiba Japan back in 1991.

Tom Curren at the end of the clip (2:37) steals the show with a board with no lams or stickers.

Was this the one that caused all the trouble back then?

Friday, November 11, 2011


Only 365 more shopping days until

This weekends storm of the month has the forecasters stymied


it's complicated

but it does look like some happy blending of swell and rain for the locals to sort out.

bright sun

and low tide

a small yet earnest couple of swells

meeting like old friends

at a new sand bar

this one dream

or the next one

don't be late

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Blue

Nice weather during the week
followed by rain over the weekend

Just Blue

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Greens, reds and yellows

Happy 70th Mr Greenough

The internets, they keep track of these things.

Meanwhile in a sub-urban backyard somewhere in southern California...

The greens love the rain.
I hold off on thinning out the planting until after the snails have had their fill.


Swiss chard showing a bit of color in the stems

Mini Mess O' Mustard Greens

Frame grab from Crystal Voyager

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Greens and red and blues

The picture above caught my eye with the caption, "Alaska faces one of it's worst storms ever"

Alaska has some wicked storms so this bears watching.  

I can't tell if this one will send us wave or just pound the Alaskan coast.

(Stupid economics degree)

Winter weather in SoCal is green light red light game played with wind and water

First some gnarly storm in the Gulf of Alaska set swells in motion.

Those swells bear down in whatever direction the storm was moving, as well as waves of energy traveling out to the left and right of that direction.

As the swell heads in our direction so does the storm that created it. Often times they are out of sync by the time they reach our fair shores. Which is good because nothing ruins a swell like a storm.

What the storm giveth the storm taketh away.

Unless we are sitting under a dome of high pressure, which is not that usual for us.

That forces the storm to track north of us, while the swell continues on in our general direction.

So winter is a happy combo of some rainy days and some warm dry days with swell mixed in there somewhere.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The good time change

So if there is anything I hate more than Monday's
it's a Monday after a time change
I have gone on
at length
about the
utter wrongness
the cruelty
the marginal inefficiency and
just plain aggravation
on changing my
arbitrary time
reference points  

Now you might say
"but prana
it's the good time change"
we get back
the time
last spring

But see it
from my side.
I get up for work at 5
no problem
I've been up since 3

I get up at five
and I've been up
since two

It's not helping

That and since
there is no way to
reset my

I always

** ***

In other news

bodysurfing is indeed the new black
this phase will pass quickly
 because there is no commercial potential
or Mark Cunningham would be a deity

The big SF bodysurfing contest went off over the weekend
Judging from the preliminary marketing
the organizers and contestants
weren't taking the whole thing too seriously
which is good
more fun that way.

The ASP on the other hand
which also ran a contest "Somewhere in SF" over the last week or so
obviously needs to make some changes.

Having given it the serious thought it is due I respectfully summit the following.


1 - radically simplify the whole rating system (maybe something with beads for winning a heat)
2- find someone that can add
3 - come to the obvious conclusion that competitive surfing makes as much sense as competitive picnicking.

Why not do what the magazines have been doing for a while now.
Have the biggest of the Action Sports Retailers  pony up some dough and have there 10 best contract players  (well at least the ones that are reasonably sober and not checked into rehab) perform in a roving "Expression Session". The circus that comes along with the contest can still come along. Stickers can be passed out. Surfing aficionados could argue into the night about the merits of the rodeo-clown-double-uber-flip as it relates to mortgage rates in america or whatever they are taking about "in the booth" (I turn the sound down before clicking on the link, lest I a subjected to the rap)

You just wouldn't have the points.
That undeniable total
showing without a modicum of doubt
the winner

And since no one can add

you don't have that now anyway.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Houston we may have a problem

My wife and I made a small dent in the quarterly "buck a bag" library book sale

Part of today's haul

Books from last time still looking for shelf space.

Books that made it to the bedroom

The man cave book shelves are overflowing


Now I am not, as yet ready to admit I have a book hoarding problem.
Winter will soon be upon us and you never know when the snow will be too deep to make it out of the house,
here in sunny southern California.

Did I mention they had videos?  Wave Warriors! Stoked I hadn't unhooked the VHS player

"Witness Martin Potter's aerial assault on Backdoor"

Hot 1985 North Shore action!

If this is all wrong

I don't want to be right

**  ***
There have been those who have mentioned that I am reminiscent of Burgess Meredith in that Twilight Zone episode, "Time Enough at Last" in my devotion to the printed word

Did you say "buck-a-bag" book sale?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Mine all Mine!

Did you say "Mat Meet"?

From now on I will be using "Henry Bemis" as my pseudonym

Saturday, November 5, 2011


in the backyard for weeks
covered in mud
the result of my son’s nocturnal roaming
thru the back bay mud

It was irritating
a good pair of regulation
size 10's
going to waste

I had worn out
many pairs
over the years

The blue suede ones
in high school
as much as a uniform
as the red ones were that
I wore busing tables at the Cannery restaurant
my senior summer
(I had long hair and had to wear a wig
that's another post)

I wouldn't
these shoes go to waste

First I soaked them
in a bucket
for days


they would never be
snow white again

I am a sloppy
coffee drinker
and I know
it stains

I used a half pound
of the weird espresso
to stain them
a nice

after a week in the bucket
no change!

They were
the shoes
that wouldn’t

RIP James Van Doren co founder of the Van Doren rubber company.

Friday, November 4, 2011

surfy growy rainy

RT over at WWAARRBBLLEESS always has the best stuff.
Always interesting to see how his movies, clips and works in projects change as time passes.
(Does time pass? It's always right now. As true when I wrote it as it is when you are reading it, right now!)

But I digress

Super fun surfing
Watch it twice
Thanks RT!


Lloyd Kahn

I have, on more than one occasion, thrown in some tidbits regarding Lloyd Kahn here on 23B. Builder, early editor to the Whole Earth Catalog (the place for new ideas and information sharing before the internet), runner, beach comber, editor of Shelter Publications, skateboarder, gardener and someone who seems to be having a heck of a lot of fun in the process.


The rain hadn't started yet when I got up at 5.
Ok it was 5:15 gimme a break it's Friday.
Anyway now at 7am it's definitely raining.
Or as we like to say "The cat is not happy"

So  be careful, drive safely and have a nice weekend.