/*23 Breaths: April 2012*/

Monday, April 30, 2012

I want it to be Summer!

Strike that

I need it to be Summer!

I'd like to thank John van Hamersveld for creating the image above.
For a lot of us, this is THE summer poster
(If it only had a mat)

I want to have no idea where my booties are

and if I were to come across them they would be bone dry!

I want to follow a storm and a swell and not think if we are going to get too much wind and rain with it

I want to have my doctor say, "Prana (yes he calls me Prana) you seem to be missing patches of hair on your body. I only mention it because it really sticks out, otherwise you're hairy as a hamster". (God Bless 'em but he doesn't surf.) I explain that the patches on my chest are missing because I spend time paddling on a waxed board. Sitting on the board takes the hair off the my legs. There is no more hair on my feet because of the rubber fins. At my last physical, on the form under the section for feet he wrote "feet appear normal for a adult male Hobbit". Doc is a real pill!

I want to wake up to blinding light in the morning

I want to wear my small fins, the ones that fit only when I'm not wearing booties

I want to go to sleep when it's dark and 78 degrees out

I want to wear my long armed spring suit just for the sun protection

I want to wake up at first light and have it be 78 degrees out already

I want my local traffic to be so horrendous that the only reasonable way to get to the beach is by bicycle and that's what I proceed to do. Pedal to beach, park right in front and jump into the water.

I want to wear the same trunks and flip flops again for 56th days in a row

I want the only clothing decision I've made in weeks to be, should I reapply sun block again?

I want to wear welding goggles all day because it's so bright outside

I want to have forgotten where all my closed toe shoes are

I want my pollen allergies to act up horribly from all the flowers blooming because I know the best cure is rinse my sinuses with salt water, not from a neti pot but by taking off deep, way to deep.

I want to sleep on the beach

I want to have a reliable geyser of salt water tucked away in my sinuses only awaiting for me to look down for a stream of water to erupt

I want to have a sunburn on my sunburn

Sunday, April 29, 2012

compare and contrast

The eighties

or surfing before aerials changed everything


the early seventies when things were still groovy

what ever that meant

Saturday, April 28, 2012


It's psychedelic surf Saturday

in case you were wondering

Friday, April 27, 2012

Going Pro

As it's been pointed out in the popular trades that there are pro surfers and free surfers and then there are the rest of us.

Pro's and Free's apparently make gobs of money (that would be gobs spelled somehow with an "M" as in millions for a multi year contract)  for advertising the brand as much as surfing. I can't really blame either group. I would rather be checking my bags through to Indonesia or even checking out the local beach break than driving to work on the 405 Monday thru Friday.

Since it seems that I will never be a Pro or a Free I will just have to amuse myself as best as I can.

Que sera sera

Part of that "amusing myself" thing has been my past two attempts to start running on a regular basis. I have gone down in flames the past two times but I am coming up on number three and as it is well known "third times the charm". Both of the previous tries ended up with injuries and I thought it best to fully recover before I continued on.  This time I will run the meager mileage that everyone tells me I should start with and slowly increase distance as my body adapts. Ok good I can do that. But when I say start with a short distance and slowly increase it I mean slow like "the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism" in the Austin Powers movie. Imagine someone telling you that you can surf for only 15 minutes a day then next week we will let you increase it by ten percent. That's right folks if you are good and nothing falls off you can run for another 90 seconds a day all next week!

You have to be kidding me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

So many good things happening

"Come Hell or High Water" may not actually be playing this weekend but I needed a shot of a theater

This weekend, actually starting today and running thru May 3 is the

Newport Beach Film Festival 

So many great films, so little time!

The Lost and Found Collection has had to add another show

and you can see Manufacturing Stoke too.

You should buy tickets online before the show.

You don't want to be standing outside of a sold out show, milling around, your wife giving you the stink eye thinking to yourself "I wish I would have listened to Prana, he told me to buy tickets ahead of time"  

The list is long and their are lots of fine films you may not be able to see anywhere else so check em out


Just as the adrenaline starts to subside The Hand Plane Hoedown is scheduled for  Saturady May 5th

I will be bringing mellow yellow and my 4th Gear Flyer Fatty for anyone interested in giving it a go.

> San Clemente State Beach
> Date: Saturday, May 5th
> Time: Sunrise to ???

This is not a contest in any way, shape or form. Just a day of fun (ie. Fish Fry) to celebrate the handplane. NO POSTERS, NO BANNERS, NO SALES, NO T-SHIRTS. All word of mouth. This event is for everyone, from the first time garage made handplanes, to the super refined handplanes that are being sold in shops. If you're into the food tray thing, bring that too. There will be representatives with Demo Planes from Hess, Surfcraft Co-op, Enjoy, and Brownfish, plus any and all other company's are welcome to bring handplanes for the masses to try-out. Please spread the word via facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Also, a good old fashioned phone call to your Bro would be greatly appreciated.


Then last but not least, just as the soreness is starting to diminish and your sunburn is starting to heal

It's back to the theater for the San Diego Surf Film Festival

So many good surf movies in one place (Bird's Shed) your head will explode!

I Guarantee it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a simple joyful pleasure

Photo by Ken Samuels

Riding a mat is not like riding anything else,
but at times it's like riding everything else.

It's not like a body board.

Yes, you have fins. Yes, you are treated like a lower life form in the lineup for no good reason. But there is a whole lot more going on with a mat that isn't with a body board. You do reshape the body board as you ride but not nearly to the extent as you do on a mat.

Mattitude off the top at speed, while reshaping the mat and getting ready for the next section
photo by Ken Samuels

It's not like a short board.

First there is no ER or ING so there is no mass marketing machine telling you how cool you are if you have the right t-shirt and surf the "right" way. There is no "three turns to the beach" mentality in surf mat riding. But seriously, when you are riding a mat you are surfing the wave in a more intimate way than you could possibly do when riding a fixed fin hard board. You can't really say you reshape your short board on the fly to fit the ever changing wave face. The "moves" are a lot more subtle and aren't really maneuvers at all but optimizations to fit the context of the wave at the moment.

It's not like a long board.

Well maybe it is more like a long board. Position surfing, working with the wave, an emphasis on trimming and finding those spots on the face that provide bursts of speed. And the tube riding, eh well then again, maybe it's not like a long board.

Sideways thru the end of the outside waiting for the inside section to set up
Photo by Jason of Daily Bread
It's "like jet-propelled bodysurfing"

This is right from the horses mouth. Some people say that a mat is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy, and it is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy. But it is even better when it is dredging and pitching. Don't take my word for it. Go look and any of the George Greenough's tube shots. Most were done while he was riding a mat. There is a feeling of connectedness with the wave that really helps when you are trying to sit in the tube. You can see the wave changing ahead of you and you can feel it, thru the mat, underneath you. You make small changes in the ebb and flow of your slide as the wave ungulates around you. Usually done while unknowing cackling your lungs out, at full speed.

Photo by Harold Ward 
(He's that dot in the channel remotely activating the camera on George's back. He has his hands full) 

I have kept you a long time but here is one more comparison.

I surf in one of the more crowded areas of Southern California. But I surf alone. I surf it like it a early 60's longboard, lots of soul but maybe not that exciting to watch. But I am having a blast! As much fun as those first days as a super stoked grimmie in the shore break at Huntington. I hope to, someday, be a part of the mat revolution. Faster, more turns, more "total involvement". But right now it's like the 1950's or early sixties and I don't see another mat rider for miles and if I saw someone with a mat I would pull my car over and chat because I either know them or I share something very important with them.

So my final comparison is that mat riding is a lot like surfing used to be, a simple, joyful pleasure shared amongst friends.

Chiledub, Tom, some kook with a blog and Ken Dog. Post session conference (this ain't no bored meeting!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


“What light through yonder window breaks?”

In this case it's not the Juliet or the moon but the sun.

Driving around the streets at 6am it was full light out

Light enough to distinguish the homeless on the street from one another

Light enough to see the dark clouds gathering on the horizon

Precursors of tomorrows storm or just low cloud remnants from yesterdays sprinkles?

The earth continues to deepen it tilt and light outweighs the dark here in the northern hemisphere

at least in my part - I don't get out much

Moves the dawn patrol option just that much earlier

but it makes the spoils that much sweeter

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ashes of laughter

A deep marine layer and some generalized depression has me thinking about a longer post maybe once or twice a week here at 23B.

So while I try to write a thousand coherent words

Crank it up and enjoy

Ashes of laughter
The ghost is clear
Why do the best things always disappear?
Like Ophelia
Please darken my door.

Saturday, April 21, 2012



So for a while
I have been loving / hating my new running shoes
(although to be clear the shoes don't run but neither do I)

The neon colors that are "IN" this season are not really my cup of tea
(I really don't think of neon as a color, to me it's more of a photoshop effect)

But there was something that I couldn't put my finger on that was making me warm to this colorway

But then one day as I was looking thru the pile in the man cave,

clearly marked


so there you have it

Which brings me back to the title of the post

Decisions decisions


One more thing

The blogger editor  (which has nothing more to do than to keep track of these things, it is after all what computers do) tells me that this is my one thousandth  post.  I read a lot, perhaps too much, into these milestones and lately I've been thinking that I'm done here. So while I ponder these things go outside and enjoy the day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Further on up the road

Levon Helm pasted away the other day

The drummer, mandolin player, guitarist, and vocalist for The Band was 71.

The Band served as backup to some of musics finest front men and women.

Usually you post a clip of Mr. Helm drumming, singing lead or playing mandolin on such classics as "The Weight", "Up on Cripple Creek", "Ophelia" or "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".

All worthy clips and I suggest you delve into this music at your leisure.

I'd like to share this one with you now

Backing up Eric Clapton on "Further on up the road" Levon and the boys are so good that when Clapton's guitar strap comes off  (50 seconds in) he gets a the rest of the measure to recover then Robbie Robertson jumps in for the next few bars before passing the lead back to Clapton. Clean. Seamless. If you weren't watch the video you would never know. The Band was tight!

This was the beauty of  The Band and the reason that for thirty years they were sought after performers on stage and in the studio.

Levon Helm, sometimes keeping the beat, sometimes stepping up and singing several songs that are American classics was in the middle of all that.

We should all be so lucky in our professional lives.

Rest in Peace.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Increases for Various Annual State Park Passes

California State Parks today announced it will be raising the price of four of its annual passes as of May 1, 2012.
Day use and camping fees will remain at 2009 levels.
The passes to be increased are as follows:
Annual Passes to be Raised

Annual Pass from $125 to $195
Golden Poppy Vehicle Day Use Pass from $90 to $125
Boat Use Pass (Sticker)from $75 to $100
Limited Use Golden Bear Pass from $10 to $20

The last major fee increase was in August 2009, when State Parks raised the price for day use and camping, but did not raise the price of the above listed passes. This increase will bring the price of the annual passes more in line with the standard of 12-15 visits to pay for an annual pass. State Parks is not sure of how much revenue this will generate in the short term, but roughly estimates between $1 million and $1.5 million per year more for state parks as visitors get accustomed to the new prices. This is not enough to prevent park closures brought about by the $22 million reduction in the State Parks’ budget, but it will help mitigate the severe service reductions at parks remaining open throughout the system.

Link to the  CA parks pages

In my neck of the woods almost all the beaches are controlled by the state so a state parking pass is a must.
It's as critical as a cup of coffee in the morning for a successful wave hunting expedition.

BTW $195.00 is 53 cents a day up from average cost of 34 cents a day at the old prices.

Such a deal!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

skateboards and mental health

ok then, skateboards and mental health go together.

Got it 

how about tow boards and insanity then?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The best part of my day

The best part of my day is leaving the 405 freeway onto the 133 connector road.

I think about turning off on the 133 south which is what the highway folks call Laguna Canyon road and driving to the beach.

All my beach stuff is in the car right?!

I can get a date shake for breakfast and do some body surfing.

Lay on the beach in the sun for a while.

Check out the boards at the Thalia Street surf shop and hang out in town waiting for the tide to change.

Play some Frisbee.

Wouldn't that be nice.

The worst part of the day is when I snap out of the daydream and merge with the other cars as I turn north on the 133 and head away from the beach and go to work.


Good stuff all over!

A nice video of ABS over at Surfmatters! Not to be missed

The films to be included in the San Diego Surf Film Festival have been released!! Check here for the list!

Lots of trailers for the films so surf on over and check it out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Surf Music

You ever wonder what Vladimir Putin does to blow off steam at the end of the week?

Apparently he straps on the turquoise Strat  and plays a mean guitar.

Thanks to Pete for the heads up on this clip

Just kidding this is Martin Cilia see more of his work here

To say that surf music runs the gamut of music styles is still an understatement.

 For generations surfers have fed the fires of their surf stoke with some pre go out music.

For me it depends on the day.  The weather, the expected surf conditions and what I have been listening to lately all have a say in what I listen to pre surf.

I guess it comes down to whatever rings your cow bell.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

50 cent

On our morning walk we happened onto a garage sale with a box containing a few books for sale

You may be familiar with Wayne Levin as one of his black and white photographs was used as the background image for the "Come Hell or High Water" poster.

This one looks good as well

Anything about Rell Sunn is a keeper. I'm really looking forward to this one!

I may never learn to speak Hawaiian but if I want to try I have refrigerator magnets to help me remember the words.

The best 2 dollars (the books were 50 cents a piece) I may have ever spent!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Underdogs Run Free

Here is some Michael Peterson.

I need to go fix the fence that blew down last night

Friday, April 13, 2012

Riders on the Storm

I'm enjoying a cup of coffee this morning
A change from my usual yerba mate
because rain and coffee just seem to go together

You could say "Hey, it's not raining yet! The winds quit last night and the storm was delayed"
But we here at the massively sprawling 23B world headquarters
we like to be on the edge, ahead of the curve, the vanguard if you will.

So with that in mind we present Riders on the Storm

A song from the Doors 1971 album LA Woman

It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 here in the states.

Today alternative lyrics provided by none other that our very own Valerie!

Sweatpants in your car (dum da dum dum dum)
When you're surfin' near and far (dum da dum dum dum)
Take off your wetsuit there (da da, da da)
You'll stick to your underwear (dum da dum dum dum)
When your butt is cold and wet commandos are the best
Sweatpants in your car!

*This was the last song recorded by the members of The Doors, as well as Morrison's last recorded song to be released. The single was released in 1971, shortly before Morrison's death, entering the Hot 100 on 3 July 1971, the day that Morrison died.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Handplane Hoedown

Photo by Jason Hall

Here I am wondering how I got there.  Always the sign of a good ride in the shore break.


Brown Fish is calling for a gathering of the hand plane kind.

Here are the details from the FB post

> San Clemente State Beach
> Date: Saturday, May 5th
> Time: Sunrise to ???

This is not a contest in any way, shape or form. Just a day of fun (ie. Fish Fry) to celebrate the handplane. NO POSTERS, NO BANNERS, NO SALES, NO T-SHIRTS. All word of mouth. This event is for everyone, from the first time garage made handplanes, to the super refined handplanes that are being sold in shops. If you're into the food tray thing, bring that too. There will be representatives with Demo Planes from Hess, Surfcraft Co-op, Enjoy, and Brownfish, plus any and all other company's are welcome to bring handplanes for the masses to try-out. Please spread the word via facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Also, a good old fashioned phone call to your Bro would be greatly appreciated.

Sounds fun!

Photo either Jason or JDub 

While not a food tray I can assure you that fun can be had on various forms of alternative craft. 

I haven't been out and about for a while so I would like to head on down and check this one out.  I don't have a hand plane per se or even a proper food tray I will most likely bring my one handled serving tray. Funny story, the other handle was lost in the famous "I invited the Great Dane to Thanksgiving" fiasco of 89.  Despite it's mellow yellow plasticity it surfs ok. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Magnitude 8.6 quake off Indonesia

A magnitude 8.6 earthquake has occurred off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

A tsunami watch has been issued for the entire Indian Ocean.

Details are few this morning but I don't see how this could be anything but bad.

Our prayers go out to the people effected by the quake

Some more information from EarthSky. Conditions may not be as bad as first thought

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reduce Reuse Recycle Repurpose

Way back in time (before surf leashes) body surfing wasn't considered such an off shoot from the surfing tree. Everyone lost their board at some point and everyone would body surf in. If the waves were good for body surfing you would leave your board on the beach and whomp. It was all surfing.

Then it all changed over night! If there were 30 guys out at a peak 10 would be surfing, 10 would be swimming in after there boards and 10 would be paddling all the way back out after retrieving their board from the beach. Suddenly all 30 guys, from kooks to accomplished watermen were all sitting on the peak waiting for the next set.

Some with some without
While leashes did open up some spots that were too rocky to surf for the average surfer, the really good guys were already surfing there because they didn't lose there boards like the rest of us. So what leashes really did was to open the last few good spots to the crowds

 Photo Grannis

No one trusted leashes in big surf for a while.  The early leashes were made of stretchy surgical tubing attached to a suction cup on the nose of your board, the other end went around your wrist. When you lost your board the wave would pull it and then it would come flying back at you! Nose first. There were injuries. It was kind of cool to pull the nose of your board around when doing an off the lip etc. Oh and contests didn't allow the new device for a while. It was considered cheating. When the new ankle leashes came out everyone drilled a hole in their fins to attach it to. Leash plugs hadn't been invented yet. (I don't know where you attached your GoPro)

One of the things I really like about the mat is that it is leash free. I can go for months and not lose it then lose my mat three times in a day. Since I'm already wearing fins it's just an opportunity to whomp. But sometimes I will just float around and watch the waves. Lately I have even traded the mat for a handplane or just a bigger pair of fins.  Bodysurfing is perfect for some on shore close outs.  

A beautiful shot making the rounds on the net. It seemed like a good way to end this ramble.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Have a good week

After all the multicolored chicks, eggs and unicorns you have seen on the inter webs I thought you deserved something different. While we are on the subject why aren't octopuses the official Easter animal? They lay eggs which gives them a leg up on bunnies and they can and do change their own colors un like the eggs you spent all weekend dyeing. Just sayin'

Ample evidence that Spring has sprung was everywhere this last weekend.

Warm air temperatures contrasting sharply with the still chilly water temperatures though.

Then there is this little warning from the NWS


So maybe not time to put away the Winter wear just yet.

I spent the long weekend doing some chores around the house and doing battle with some Easter candy.

I the end I reined supreme and the candy in question is no longer available

I ate it all.

That'll show em.

Running (or perhaps at this point waddling) has been off the schedule for a week as my bloated tendons deflate to their normal dimensions.

I had been skipping yoga as well but something in my candy induced haze led me to the mat for a little asana on Sunday.

I have also  been pounding ginger and turmeric like they have been going out of style. Good stuff!

Since I didn't start today walking like a zombie I'll take that as a good omen. but I will probably waiting on the running for another week.

Have a good week

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Parade

Watching Easter Parade is a long standing tradition at our house

They stopped showing it on the TV so I went out and bought the DVD.


"Fred Astaire was awarded a life membership in the National Skateboard Society At age seventy-eight, he broke his left wrist while riding his grandson's skateboard" 

From Lloyd's Blog

Saturday, April 7, 2012

my pure sugar little colorful friends

So a part of a total lack of running and yoga (the plan here is to let my body rest and repair)

I have taken to eating my body weight in Easter candy

every day!

All while scouring the internet for articles on Achilles tendon repair.

No two authors agree so I'm on my own

just me and my pure sugar little colorful friends

and an ice pack

PS Don't try this at home! Remember I'm a professional experimenting with my own body on a closed track 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Garden

I thought I would post a garden pic it being spring and all.

Up front we have a row of red and green lettuce

Behind them the tomatoes are working on their root structure before bursting into bloom to provide me with tomatoes for the rest of the summer. (at least that's the plan. what really happens is up to the tomatoes)

The tall green stuff with the yellow flowers are Mustard Greens which have gone to flower.

To the right is Swiss Chard  on the left is Celery

There are a couple of pack of strawberries in there somewhere.

I usually grow them in strawberry pots but I'm thinking about putting them in the ground this year.

Enjoy the long weekend  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We have a winner!

Product photography will never be my forte but I liked the plants and the shadows.

As many of you may know I spend entirely too much time "surfing" the internets.

During one of these marathon sessions I happened across a contest by Kevin Short.

You have probably seen his work as he has created a beautiful collection of paintings of Trestles done in the plein air style. Really amazing work see more at his website here

I didn't exactly win but Kevin took pity on me and offered to gift me with a item from his collection.

A close up so you can get a better look at the shirt and the shadows

The shirt arrived in short order (no pun intended) and I was struck by it's beauty, it simplicity and the fact that the graphic was on the back.

I only mention this as the current convention is to have the graphic on the front of t-shirts and nothing on the back. T-shirts have always been favored among surfers but during the early years of surfing t-shirts were often plain white or solid colors. Broad stripes were in for a while.  When graphics were introduced, usually as a promotional item for a contest or to advertise a surf shop a large graphic would appear on the back of the shirt with a smaller graphic on the front pocket. Maybe the graphics are alive and have moved on their own accord to see were the wearer is going. Perhaps the t-shirt makers preferred the large logo placement on the front. Either way. Front pockets have all but disappeared, the graphics have migrated to the front of the shirt and the optimal t-shirt has gone from a thick cotton Penncrest to a ultra thin cotton import. Things change. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

if I only had some espresso

An odder day than most in some respects

My dear mother-in-law fell yesterday and broke not her hip but her femur.

So as the family, which is to say my wife, rushes around talking to specialists and case workers and making the preliminary arrangements for what we hope will be a short convalescence I find that my best contribution is to give up my car for the day.

Oh and pickup some groceries when the farmers market opens.

Carry on
Eat your vegetables

A good day to rest, reflect and reframe my current status

I am doing a bit of resting up myself as my best efforts seem to have been too much too soon.

My Achilles tendon has put me on notice that it would no longer stand for such foolishness and the galavanting around must stop at once.

(Well "stand" doesn't accurately describe the condition, more a refusal to stretch bend and fold in a cooperative manner with the other muscles and tissues in the surrounding extremity in a way that would allow forward locomotion of the un-limpy variety.)

Either way the message was clear, a vacation, plenty of ice (sounds terrible unless it's cooling a cocktail) and a strict abstinence from the exercises that bring me such pleasure and indeed helps me hang on to the shreds of what I laughingly like to call sanity in this variable reality.

So I'm sitting here, unexercised, uncaffeinated, on the injured reserve list, stoked that it's all only temporary and that I'm an odds on favorite to go out and do to much too soon AGAIN at the earliest opportunity.

And I'm actually quite happy about that too

Now if I only had some espresso


Happy Birthday to Drew Kampion and Robin Thomson

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

you won't like surfing

"If you don't like the ocean

sitting and waiting for a wave to come

up to your neck in cold sea water

while the wind swirls around you.

if that doesn't thrill you to your core

(at least as much as the cold chills you to the bone)

then you won't like surfing"

Monday, April 2, 2012


There are some mornings when it's just too scary to open the links at the National Weather Service

(at least before I'm sufficiently caffeinated)

The big swell plus offshore event I was hoping for turned out to be swell with side shore winds.

oh well.

Somewhere is was good and for those of you that hunted it down, congratulations

That said the weather although "hazardous" does look nice for those of you that have Spring Break this week.

I kinda like the old format where everyone from first grade thru college was off at the same time, everywhere was crowded and of course the weather was perfect.

If you would like to help out Micheal Peterson's mom  this link to Switch Foot  takes you to the page they set up to accept contributions on her behalf.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bowls or Barrels

Yesterday was grey and windy, misting most of the day

Soup weather

I spent most of the day finishing "Crooked Little Vein"

Dinner was homemade chicken noodle with carrots and chard.

That thing that looks like an antler bone is a chunk of ginger.

Goes great with chicken noodle!

This morning I awoke to clear sky and light breezes

There is a bubble of high pressure due to settle over the four corners.

It could be early and with the bump in the swell,

there could be barrels for dinner!

We'll just have to wait and see