/*23 Breaths: December 2012*/

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Christmas Gift Wrap Up or the Monday into Tuesday Gala Celebration

* First off, I am a week late with my annual Christmas gift guide (yes I know "I'll never work in the surf industry if I can meet a deadline. Specially one that offers advise on what to purchase from the advertisers" BIG surprise there

** Second, this is another one of those posts where half of the text is in parenthesis in an attempt to convey a "comical aside" sort of deal (which is darn hard to pull off in a blog post) 

If that doesn't "float your boat" or perhaps "inflate your pool toy" would be a better analogy, try playing the home game and write your own cleaver quips as you go along...

so without further ado (every wonder what an "ado" is?) 

The top 10 gifts to get a surfer are...

(drum roll please)

Well to begin with you don't need ten new things
(maybe knowing that is the biggest gift in itself)

Surfing is an experience maybe a lifestyle but not a product

(you can't buy a set wave from The Queen)

(Even if you did walk around the point handing out 100 dollar bills to all your new friends you are bound to miss someone and you are going to get stuffed)

I suppose there is some stuff required

(I ALWAYS get email from hairy naked body surfers who will argue the point and then send pictures)

but we tend to get more and more and more stuff, 

(especially here in the land of plenty)

some of the stuff never get used, a waste of the materials and energy that went into the manufacturing process and  lots of this stuff ends up in a landfill. 

(I'm not  buying that's a thoughtful gift for your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren who might be cultural anthropologists)

So what do you need?

(do peaks come in a ten pack with a side of off shore winds?)

More importantly during the gift giving season, what do you need that someone can buy you?

Grandma is more likely to pick up the pop out from the offshore sweatshop than the custom board from your local shaper.

(It had all those pretty plastic flowers and it came with matching shirt and trunks dearie)

(If grandma is jiggy with it and knows your local shaper (happy belated birthday wishes go out to Gary Hanel BTW) then goody for you and your obviously outstanding genetic lineage. Grandma may have even gotten handplanes for all the grand kids this year.)

Ok so where does that leave us?


(wax on wax off)

I had a standing order for surf wax for all gift giving occasions for years

(If you see me at the beach, ask me, I have some)

(hopefully the humor of a mat rider with a huge stash of wax is not lost on you)

There are some even neat wax scrapers available

(beats using a credit card, oh you cut those up? good!)

(judging from the layer of ice on well EVERYTHING outside this morning you would probably get some mileage out of an ice scraper for the car this year. just sayin')

So where are we now?

more is out

less is in

waves come in sets
But don't come in a store.

The truth is no thing you can buy will make you feel like this

"Family treasures can't come thru the front gate"

So ask for a new beach towel.

That one in the car trunk stinks!

If it's a magic towel so much the better

So that's it for the Monday 23B post I'm off to make preparations for tonight's celebration.

Tonight we celebrate a Monday turning into a Tuesday here in the local time zone,

Always cause for much drinking and merriment...

Friday, December 28, 2012

the surfer's lament

Every night I go to bed

thinking the same thing

"at O ' dark - thirty tomorrow I'm in the water and charging!"

of course the resolve of this solemn oath

has to pass the acid test of  40 degree mornings

and the penalty points occurred

when you uttered those words

after 2 am

brrrr baby brrr

maybe  I'll check it

after the morning

high time

goes down

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

just by getting wet

Photo from the California Surf Project

So if the current air temperature is 39degrees

and the water is the stated 58

I could net a 19 degree increase

just by getting wet...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Soltice 2012

So here we are

The rumors of our


greatly over


Just another 

trip around the sun

Today being

the point were

our planetary


speed wobble

tilts the

northern hemisphere

away from the sun

But remember

at this moment

our southern hemisphere

Brothers and Sisters

friends and lovers

are basking 

in the height of


We are all one



Now please

put your gun down

and come to the table.

You have nothing to fear.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

23 B end of the world post

Much has been made of the Mayan calendar.

While I am in awe of many of their engineering  and astronomical achievements I really have no basis to judge the calendar,


check out the image in the very center

a human face

tongue sticking out

the only thing missing

is the sound of the raspberry


Which would be after all very hard to convey in stone

Well played Mayans!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Omni - a Latin prefix meaning "all"

Conditions looked questionable so I decided not to make the drive down to the Whomp-a-thon in the ever funky Leucadia.

About half past my morning six shots of espresso I decided that perhaps a surf check might be in order.

Long story short I got another go out on the new Omni in lieu of  braving the crowds at the local mall.

I sent Paul the following note as soon as I got home,

"Only two feet maybe three on the sets but with enough offshore to make it look really good, maybe better than it really was but I digress... I like to do this sideways stall at the top, right after take off, you never know when the swell could hit a sandbar and cover you up but if that doesn't happen this drifting sideways at the top of the wave is nice because you can pick the steepest moment to drive to the bottom, get maximum speed and throw a turn. Not a hard move really, it mostly depends on getting the timing right but it requires a mat that is ultra sensitive to the wave and responds immediately to your body movements to do it well."

The Omni does it all and the mat keeps getting better every time I ride it.

The rarely seen gray back mat rider photographed is his native environment
It's hard to imagine him walking upright with that huge belly being supported by those tiny little legs
One of the wonders of nature

I can hardly wait for the next go out!

Go check out Lloyd's blog for some good stuff on GG.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cold and Flu Season

Tis the season

for buying stuff

while the good folks around you

are coughing

up a lung

and don't get me started

about what is in the rain


so on a semi regular basis

I takes me a few supplements

Turmeric and Ginger (the root on the right)

should be in everyone's home medicine chest

most of the rest are specific

for my situation

Garlic (the bulb on the left)

cannot be underestimated

in it's properties

to spice up a meal

and to

keep people back

which is half the battle

in avoiding

a cold

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Before we all paddle out for one more wave

let's take a moment

to watch

one breath

come and go

come and go

one breath


Monday, December 10, 2012

super powers

I have super powers

I can walk across a swimming pool

and not get wet

I can fall into a bathtub and not spill a drop

I can walk into the shower

fully clothed and

remain completely


I have a new mat,

a new wetsuit

and I can't

seem to

get wet...

I go thru the day

like an old sponge

used then rung out and left upon

a shelf

Slowly curling up,

salt crystals forming on my skin

dreaming of water

The new board curse is upon me

Friday, December 7, 2012

Even the easy way is hard enough

The dead of winter finds me enjoying 70 plus degree afternoons after 40 something degree nights.  A whole year’s wardrobe worn in just 24 hours.  Down fill for the pre dawn chill, Polar Tec for the mornings, and cotton for the warmth of the afternoon then as the sun begins it’s downward arc the whole thing reverses. In Southern California you never get to put everything away.

I’m basking like a lizard on a rock in the warmth of the early sun enjoying the last cup of the sunrise pot of tea. The morning’s chores completed and the afternoons not as yet quite defined.

I know I really should bathe the dog but she knows this and always outsmarts me by looking like she is so enjoying her mid day nap, knowing full well that I am a sucker for a good nap and will let her sleep.

This time of the year, north of the equator we should all intentionally take a moment, even if it’s only one breath and appreciate that we are likely to make it.  I have mindfully listened to the old stories and I’ve come to appreciate that it was not always so. Children coming back to school after the winter recess often meant that school chums, often whole family units had succumbed to the diseases we now regularly dismiss with a dose of aspirin or antibiotics.

It’s a deeply ingrained appreciation and respect for the challenges of another winter. Not that we would be able to take advantage of the after Christmas sales or even the next good swell. But every creature’s deepest desire lay down and for the most part silently locked away in their DNA is to make just one more trip around the sun. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I get up early

too early

so early the cat


and goes back to sleep

The dog would have

at least relocated

before going

back to sleep

But then I get on the net

and see that

the virtual world is in fact



"insomniactics and gypsy hacks"

all connected by

the thin blue line

of the



and I feel

a little better

Monday, December 3, 2012

winter is here

 Photo by Graham Day whose birthday is today!

As a taste of winter graced our local shores

I sat miles from any local beach

But how does the saying go?

Been there done that....

It is arguable, of course

but I would have to say that this was the first

regulation winter swell

rain or threat of rain

water quality suspect (not really suspect I'm sure it was terrible)

NW swell

some local news person talking about 15 foot sets

People having a good time surfing medium sized, somewhat bumpy, chilly little bumps that taste vaguely like rain mixed with 30 weight oil and whatever toxins laying around in what comprises the drainage for SoCal?

Yep winter is here