My mother-in-law used to tell a story about Christmas gifts back on the farm she grew up on.
There was no extensive sales and marketing of the holiday. No "Black Friday" no "Cyber Monday", no riots and no one was trampled to death trying to get the last marked down Tickle Me Elmo. Her favorite gift was an orange. You see by December the fresh fruit from the family farm was in short supply and something like a simple orange was quite a treat.
The "Holidays", no matter which ones you choose to celebrate, were different back then. Sadly there is no bridge to go back to those simpler times. We are all alive in times that perhaps call for a different approach.
First admit that what we are celebrating as Christmas is an economic holiday. The sales from gift giving prop up the economy from the manufacturing segment through transportation, retail, grocery and hospitality. Everyone is touched and arguably everyone benefits. Except those who try to find the measure of things without cash value.
So create your own holiday traditions.
No color coded days of the week, no special codes for a discount, no charge card bills to pay off later.
Notice and celebrate the change of the seasons.
Be kind for no good reason.
Share what you have with someone.
Take the whole family to watch the sunset.
It doesn't have to be much but you do have to do it with intention and awareness and of course you have to repeat it next year to make it a tradition.
I was just sitting on the porch with the cat, drinking my morning coffee, thinking about the meaning of life.
It turns out that the meaning of life IS sitting on your porch with the cat, drinking coffee.
I met up with Tom T. on Friday at the Boneyard and got to try out the Blue Streak Omni.
My first impression is that the Omni is so fast it's going to take me a while to figure out how to ride it. As fast as it is I think the real advantage is in its handling and maneuverability.
I like the breaks in the front half of the grip. By introducing a break you can change your grip pressure by small amounts without interfering with your connection to the mat on your side arm. The chest area is open and I put in more grip stripes in the back. I wanted a mat that allowed me ample grip in the hand and forearm but that left my upper torso free to roll and twist. I also left more of the rear outside rail grip-free to cut down on drag.
So how does it ride?
When you are perched on a wall you can alternatively squeeze or let off on the front corner. This lets you subtly move the air in the mat. Squeezing moves the air to plump up the inside rail and you go a little faster. When you let off and the air moves to a more neutral position, then depending on your body position you can either move up the wave a little higher in the pocket or if the wave has flattened out, lets you drift sideways.
This subtle movement of air inside the mat and the resulting variable changes in riding characteristics are what make the surf mat the most advanced surf vehicle available. The Omni displays all those favorable characteristics and turns on a dime.
Paul will always be tweaking the mats as he builds and rides them up in SB, and along with everyone in the global mat community I am always looking forward to what he will come up with next, but right now I am just looking forward to getting more time in the water with the Omni, this mat is all time!
and other sundry enlightenment and bliss related stuff...
waves and deck grip.
First and while I have waxed long and hard about the Fall being my favorite time of year, it can also be well, not my favorite time of year.
Swell can be a hit or miss deal. Ideally you have multiple crossed up swells as the Southern Hemisphere continues to pump out the goods while the Northern Hemisphere roars to life and immediately gets down to business. All the while being groomed to perfection by gentle off shore winds.
You can also get small or shall we say meager swells from either hemisphere that don't add up to nothing. Usually, for some sadistic reason unknown to me, this usually occurs with enough off shore wind to blow the little swell back to whence it came.
Leaving us with epic flatness.
oh and then there is the tide.
If you have run your boat aground you would like this tide.
Huge tidal swings every day starting with enough water in the morning to float a battleship.
Nice to look at as you swing by the beach on your morning surf check or as I like to call it "going out to breakfast again"
The Second is the grip. I won't go into this in detail because Paul has done has done such a good job of it over at Surfmatters
Let just say the I after I get this mat done I don't want to hear the word Vulkem and surfmat spoken in the same sentence for a while.
It's not that it's undo-able. I have resurfaced my other mats several times.
It's just that I am so ill equipped for the challenge.
I don't even own a roll of tape
I type for a living, starting and stopping processes and procedures.
"Providing business concentric services to our customers" whatever that means.
So it goes like this.
My mind will spin endlessly through the millions of options while I slowly collect the necessary items.
This usually happens between between 1 and 3 am but really continues through out the day and pops up unexpectedly in casual conversations. "Yes honey I do love you! Very much my snookie - oockums! Say don't you think wavy lines of Vulkem would work great on the mat?! Now honey bunch why did you throw that lamp at me?"
Then suddenly, all the items needed will arrive. Usually at the same time as one of our pesky little "rain storms" I use the quotes because anywhere else in the universe it would not qualify as rain, more of a dewey event perhaps but not rain. So then I wait, like the caged tiger of Vulkem I have become until the weather clears.
Then in 15 minutes it will be done.
And despite many, shall we say cosmetic flaws, it will work awesome.