/*23 Breaths: 2013*/

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Solstice !


Congratulations

If you are living in the northern hemisphere

the days will now start to get longer

the rebirth is at hand

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To view the moon



out in the pre dawn

to guard the cat

I stop to view the full moon

but I can't see it

over the noise of the freeway

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Hollow Daze


As a native Southern Californian

I have a warped view of the seasons

This is Christmas time

Warm day time temps

Chilly evenings

and afternoons spent hunting down

the right tide swing / sandbar combinations

with luck there is even offshore wind

Saturday, December 14, 2013

You better be good...

I don't mean to be jumping on the "be good" band wagon

especially at this late date...


but I could swear I saw Santa Claus getting out of this Rambler

at Trader Joes...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crunches like an apple tastes like a grape!

Been watching the back n forth on the FB pages for the Wedge crew(s) so when I saw this in the grocery store yesterday I knew it was important enough to photograph and post on the internets.



True it's no cat but it is a body surfing ape with a hand plane

They said body surfing

(and by extension mat riding etc)

could have have no future

no ER or ING

because there was no commercial potential

no way to sell people things

they don't need and don't really want

by associating them with talented riders

of waves

But there has been a change

if we live in a world

where a talented ape

riding a handplane

can be used to sell

grape flavored apples

then anything is possible.

now stop the world

I want to get off

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa Baby

Santa rocking the kayak this year

And so it came to pass...

we find ourselves in the middle of the pre - holiday rush

Massive trucks, loaded down with our collective GNP,

roam the streets ejecting packages, 

soon to be presents on every street and row

I myself take this opportunity

a flat spell in the fall

to add another 10 pounds of blubber

those butter cookies are so delicious!

"the better to play Santa", I tell my self

But will the mini-mat even recognise me?

Will the Omni with DRP even float this mass?

Maybe I need to look thru the plus size racks

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

one something to almost 3 o'clock

3 to 6

inches

with slight offshores



I sit and contemplate the cosmos

things are just how they are

so

it doesn't take long

Monday, December 9, 2013

What do you want for Xmas?

just in time for the holidays 
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)


I suppose there is some stuff required



(I ALWAYS get email from 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 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

(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!)

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gentlemen and Women, Start your engines! Lotus 7



Paul Gross

It's like he never rests

I have it on good authority that he has only slept 15 minutes in the last 23 years

So what does he do with all that extra time?

He refines his surf mats

Check out the latest here

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday - please add to cart


December 1
80 degrees and sunny
Old man winter
wears shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops...

Humanity is slowly caving under an tidal wave of emails
enticements for buying more
stuff
At the Not-Thanksgiving-Any-More, Black-Friday, Cyber-Monday sale

Everything at fire sale prices amazingly similar to
MSRP

My advice,
(oh here we go...)
is that you turn off all of your
devices
and step outside
remember back
to a time when holiday magic
was just that
instead of a growing debt
to be paid back in monthly installments
after adding an 18 percent change

take a walk
maybe somewhere with trees
but a nice beach will do
try and remember the magic
of those old holidays
presents under the tree

maybe

but maybe it was just
a feeling
a slight pause
before life
began to rush by

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

You can get anything you want


I have always liked me some freaks

although I was too young to fully participate in the 60's

I do find that I am a "student" of the era

The music is legend,

although depending on your personal musical history

that is debateable

as it should be.

(I missed the 60's music and "came to age" during the disco era,

I'm still bitter about that...)


The movies made during the 60's were also very interesting

from a sociological perspective,

as they reflect the changing tide of the era...

Here is a little something to watch

while the turkey cooks



You will be singing the title track for the next three days

PS.  Please don't go to the mall today, take a nice walk instead

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

You know how I went on

at length

about the rain over the next few days?

Well

as it turns out

The latest computer models show no rain

(or not much)



You don't need a weatherman

so rain or not

maybe offshore

but still flat



For all you on the road today, travel safe

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Take 23


Kind of falling down on the job
here at 23B
Your one stop shop
on the internet
for news
weather
and sports ...

First the weather
...MOVING INLAND THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LATE THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. COASTAL STRATUS SHOULD RETURN FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING IN ADVANCE OF THIS LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM. WHILE THE HEAVIER PRECIPITATION MAY REMAIN JUST OFF THE COAST... PRECIPITATION SHOULD GRADUALLY SPREAD INTO THE COASTAL WATERS INLAND TO THE MOUNTAINS LATE THURSDAY THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING. SHOWERS SHOULD DECREASE FRIDAY MORNING AND END FRIDAY AFTERNOON OR EVENING. GENERAL AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM ONE QUARTER TO ONE HALF INCH INCH NEAR THE COAST TO ONE HALF TO ONE INCH IN THE MOUNTAINS WITH AMOUNTS GREATER TO THE NORTHWEST AND OVER THE COASTAL WATERS AND LESS TO THE SOUTHEAST. SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER TO AROUND 6000 FEET WITH A FEW INCHES OF SNOWFALL ABOVE 6000 TO 6500 FEET WITH 4 TO 8 INCHES ON THE HIGHEST PEAKS...MAINLY ABOVE 7000 FEET.

and next week there's another storm
rain in the Fall in SoCal
go figure

As least the rain and wind won't be messing up any swell...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A cold wet offshore wind

Those words don't normally go together in a sentence

At least in a description of the weather

around here

but as the current low pressure system moves East

the back side should get us

some off shore flow

and some rain

and snow in the higher elevations

Since I surf

in the vicinity of the local river mouth

(River Mouth is what they call the places in SoCal where treated and untreated sewage is unceremoniously dumped into the ocean "No Dumping Drains to Ocean", yes but it is the official plan to deal with storm run off...)

but I digress

to put it plainly

no surfy surfy

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

long slow exhale



so we find ourselves

with the holidays

fast approaching

stacked up like dishes

on the Sunday morning

after the big party

Did you see Elwood

when he put the lap shade

on his head?

But before the frivolity,

begins in earnest

please take a moment

to ponder

to wonder in deep solitude

the many meanings of the season

the long slow exhale

that is the Fall

followed by the fully exhaled pause

that is the very heart

of Winter

Then Spring

the deep inhale

that starts the cycle

anew

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rain


I hesitate to call it rain
as it is somewhat of a insult to
real rain

but still

the marine layer was deep enough
to cause some
precipitation

and this morning
in the predawn darkness
everything is wet

and the cat is
upset

which is
perhaps
a truer
measurement

of it

but for me
the streetlights are out
and the cloud layer
brings a
welcome
quietness

to my morning
rambles

PS - some rain, perhaps real rain on the Wednesday night into Thursday and the weekend forecasts here in SoCal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Birthday Celebration

Today, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
(November 18, 1888 – February 28, 1989).



Learn more here

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Clean up on the pool toy aisle

I can't stop watching this


Found it over at Surfmatters

Awesome video of Jason in the tube on his mat.

PG is having his Holiday Mat Sale

and all I can do is watch survalence video of some poor clerk who fell for the ole "Hey Ernie pull this inflation cord and see what happens" gag.

Classic

Friday, November 15, 2013

Clear, Dry and 89

the Fall

sort of usual
so far

although it's hard to tell
what usual is anymore

Areas of High
and Low pressure
playing
Hokee Pokee
over the Western States

so this means
Clear, Dry and
89 on Wednesday
then 66 and a chance
of rain on
Saturday

Perfect

I love
the Fall

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I still haven't figured it out



This Fall
has been the time
of the great
sunrise

or

sunsets,
if you aren't inclined
to get out of bed
at the appointed
hour

There is something to be said
for the comfort of
warm blankets and
the steady
rising and falling
of my spouses breath,
or is it that the cat?

(he snores like a band saw)

But what makes us
choose to give up all that
for a decidedly chilly
sunrise experience?

I have to say that since
I got the "new" wetsuit
I don't think about the water temp
as much when I'm in the water
good stuff

I still haven't figured out
how they turn limestone
into neoprene though

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Birthday

One more piece of cake and I'm gonna pop











Monday, November 11, 2013

Apple and squash season

sort of a long one today
meet you at the end



It has been long enough since my last go out
not sure just how long
but my booties were dry
so yes,
too long.

I can't really say what motivated me
I was happily seven chapters into the latest Pynchon book
(very good BTW)
feet up, hot cup of tea at the ready
when suddenly I had that urge
tugging me shoreward.

Fall
which I have mentioned before
is really the best time of Summer

But different

The morning was cold
and I arrived at the beach
in a sweat shirt, Uggs and a hat
I had jeans on as well... get your minds out of the gutter

and the change into my wetsuit
was a tad chilly
the wind was off shore

as it turned out
that really didn't seem
to help the swell
out much

I love the Fall
perfect conditions
the water is still warm
and no swell

the walk up
to elevensies
was cut short

way too crowded
for this little
surf

so between
tower 15 and tower 13
at a spot I christened
fourteenies, I don't know why
I paddled out

The Omni with drop pontoons
came alive on a couple
of good ones

when the ride
is indistinguishable
from flying

because that's
what it is

flying

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Two-fer Tuesday



Yeah I know it's not Tuesday but Twofer-Thursday just didn't cut it...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This is it

Mattitude down shifting and redirecting 
getting ready for the inside section


This is the best time of the surfing year around these parts

The summer crowds are gone (replaced by the winter crowds sadly)

The northern Pacific wakes up 

and if you are lucky the water might still be warm

This is also the time of the offshore winds

that can groom any swell into a thing of beauty

and burn your house down 

if you are unlucky

Enjoy the Fall

This is it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

two hours before sunrise


I have tried

Lord knows I've tried

but the cat

just doesn't "get"

this whole daylight savings time deal.

To be honest I don't care for it much myself

but since this has been the "good" change

and I theoretically get to sleep in a bit more

I won't break out my arsenal of reasons why

they need to leave the arbitrary time reference points

alone.

Be that as it may,

Mr. Vicious (Mr. V if you know him really well or have a tuna in hand)

he don't care.

If it was time to get up yesterday

two hours before sunrise

then today we get up

two hours before sunrise

Maybe if I could teach him how to read the clock...

Monday, November 4, 2013

It will never last ...


I am back amongst the living

I would like to thank all of you that reached out to me with your best wishes for a speedy recovery

Nothing serious

Just a cold virus 

and while the common cold

has decimated the population over the years

with the invention of chicken noodle soup

and antibiotics to fight any secondary infections

it's more a nuisance 

than anything else

I did miss Halloween and a decent swell 

on the plus side 

I have cut back on my

daily caffeine intake

substantially

It will never last ...

no thing ever does

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day of the Dead


Every year same thing,

I no longer jump up and down on the couch screaming

"I can't be sick it's Halloween!"

(Dressed as a flying wombat or something it's surprising my parents could keep a straight face)

but the change of season has found me the host to a cold virus.

Not real sick (thank heavens) but sick enough to know that I should just take it easy for a few days,

work half days and

repair to my lair and let the cat,

who has grown to the size of a Bengal Tiger in the sickie selfie above,

keep the treaters back and use me as a hot rock to sleep on....

There is always next year

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed



It's funny to see all the musical heros of my high school days

passing away

back then

I thought we would never die

and we used to BLAST THIS ALBUM

all the way to the beach in the morning

well I had it on 8 track

but be that no never mind

Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner

"a little classical music for you there kids"....

Friday, October 25, 2013

The revolution will not be televised ...

but portions will be caught on GoPro



As I was exiting the water yesterday I was blissfully tired,  my body was flooded with endorphins and I was thinking about why more people don’t ride surf mats.

That morning I’d had the same conversation as a hundred times before, “what is that your’re riding? It sure goes fast …” and a couple of kids even recognized that it was a surf mat “yeah I saw a guy riding one at Salt Creek the other day”.

So why am I the only one out riding the most advanced wave riding craft on the planet?

Why haven’t the masses caught on?

When Greenough changed everything about wave riding with his kneeboard Velo the cutting edge board riders (McTavish, Young etc) were quick to cut their board’s length down and change the fins to something more organic and functional. Surfing maneuvers, like nose riding and drop knee turns which had been cutting edge on 9’6” 50/50 railed logs were replaced by more radical bottom turn top turn combinations and significantly more time was spent in the tube.

The best professional wave riders on the planet were hungry for “total involvement” and a style of surfing which was less surfing the board and more about surfing the wave. 

The top pros, for the most part, have fallen back into that same rigid surf contest based definition of what constitutes surfing once again.  Just as nose riding (a sport within a sport) once ruled surf contests, aerials are now the ticket to winning your heat and assuring the continued corporate sponsorship all pro surfers rely upon.
  
Will there be a paradigm shift moving away from the current definition of contest surfing as the gold standard and back to a “the best surfer out is the one having the most fun” definition of a good day in the surf?

I think so.

Free surfers or pros that no longer let the “three turns to the beach” mentality control their approach are on the rise, some are even retaining full corporate sponsorship.

Even more important is that everyday surfers are beginning to include alternative surf craft in their quivers.
The recent Hand plane Hoedown has drawn international attention. Paipo, Alaias and body surfing are all making a comeback, not that they really ever left. So long as wave riders for go their leashes, waves will be waves and toss said riders ass over tin cup requiring a body surf to the beach to recover their surf craft. When "surfing" is not so narrowly defined as standing up on a board, the full spectrum of wave riding can be experienced not as separate pieces but as part of the whole enchilada.

Standing up on a Alaia or a fish, lying down on a mat or a Paipo or total imersed body surfing or using a handplane.

Surfers just want to have fun!

Remember the kids I mentioned as the beginning of the post? After I had shown them the mat I was riding, a Fourth Gear Flyer, one of them asked me what I did when I lost the mat in a wipe out. I replied that since I had fins on and was probably still in decent position in the lineup I would just body surf for a while then pick up my mat and continue surfing it. A wipe out wasn't a failure it just required some shifting gears to continue the stoke.  The poor lad, raised on a steady diet of magazines and contest video had never considered that surfing could be anything more than the one dimensional exercise that he saw the pros do in the magazines.

The revolution is in the works but it still hasn't reached the  farthest or in some cases even the nearest corners of the surfing world yet.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the shoes

A bit of a Holloween, Days and Nights of the undead, Surf story...


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
Vans
going to waste

I have 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 to work
but that's another post)


Immortalized as the prefered footwear of surfers in
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Vans have been around for ages (Founded: March 16, 1966)
One of there big draws was they came in different colors and materials,
other that blue and white canvas Keds or Converse
Surfers are hip and unique individuals
so we all had to have something different on our feets...
They had a store right across the street from my high school
the shoes held up well,
and the box was useful
My seashell collection currently resides in one on my closet top shelf

Vans were indeed my shoe of choice for decades
I'm partial to the two tone blue slipons...

So
I wouldn't
let
these shoes go to waste

First I soaked them
in a bucket
for days

but alas

they would never be
snow white again

So and idea came to me
as all ideas do
during my morning
caffeination

I am a sloppy
coffee drinker
and I know
it stains everything in its path
stains it good

so in full Cyrus Sutton DIY mode
I would use a half pound
of the weird espresso
to stain them
a nice
mocha brown

after a week in the coffee bucket
no change!

They were

the shoes

that wouldn’t

DYE!

(ohhh scary)

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

and again



practice, practice, practice

Yes the same song as yesterday

(in real time I have moved on)

I like to focus on one thing

bottom turn, chord change, growing greens

until I get it perfect

"perfect" in this case

meaning it finally occurs to me

that there is no such thing

every occurrence of a thing is it's own perfect instance

just a perfectly whole, complete variation on a theme

and that chasing after an ideal

is a doomed enterprise.

Things get easier then

you can relax

go with the flow

as the kids used to say

in the 60's.

Enjoy the changes

the differences

each flaw

is filled with gold

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When I Paint My Masterpiece



Surf conditions

are promised

to be

"pretty fun"

tomorrow

Monday, October 21, 2013

I gotta get away from this day-to-day running around



Another fine fall Monday

Looks like a good week ahead

A bit of an uptick in the swell

Neil Young live version of the title song from the Everybody Knows this is Nowhere album

Released May 14, 1969

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Everybody loves Raymond


of course I personally would love him just that much more if he were to jog to the north-west for a bit and then hang an abrupt right...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall is the best part of Summer



Another nice thing about the Autumn time

is that you can literally wear your entire wardrobe in a day

the mornings are a bit chilly

so Ugg boots and a hoody are the call

by mid-day or early afternoon if you live closer to the beach

you are back to the usual formal uniform

flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt

add sunglasses and a hat if you are going outside

very nice

these last few

crumbs of summer

which around here

can last thru January

but by the late afternoon

you are changing into long pants

and maybe wearing a light windbreaker

on the after dinner walk around the neighborhood


Nothing to do with today's post but I couldn't find this picture when I was looking for it earlier. 
I had planned to include it in the annual "surf car" post and couldn't find it. 
Found it so here it is.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hobbies, Habits and Addictions



And so it comes to pass

That I spend more than a few

of my afternoons

in thrift shops these days.

It was bound to happen

I am, quite possibly,

"the cheapest man on earth"

Sadly no beer commercial,
I guess
"Stay cheap my friends"
just doesn't have that ring to it...

To me it's a lot like fishing, in that,
you never know what you are going to catch

Remind me to tell you about the time I found two pairs of Patagonia trunks in my size for 5 dollars.

I get them home and try them on and find 5 bucks in the wax pocket!

Gotta love Patagonia...I didn't even know they had a rebate program...

So anyway yesterday there was a box full of VHS surf videos

I'd seen most
and didn't want to see the rest
I've grown tired of watching fins out tail slides set to speed metal

But these two promised to be interesting

Any of the Tom Curren Seach series is going to be worth the watch
(I'm hoping this is the one that re-ignited the interest in twin fins and fish)

and something about the title Fluid Combustion seemed familiar.

So for 50 cents a pop, I pulled the trigger

no wait it was half price day at the thrift store

make it 25 cents each

Like I said, I'm cheap...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's here*


I asked for it

pined away the spring and summer

waiting for

the earth tilt

to be just right

warm days

down right chilly nights

(yes I found my Ugg boots)

some not unreasonable water temps

and some interesting combinations

of swell

and offshore

wind

Fall

It's here


*at a northern hemisphere location near you! some restrictions apply, for instance if you are at a southern earth hemisphere please wait six months for delivery...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tropical Storms? Yeah we have two of those...



500 AM PDT MON OCT 14 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...
EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES
ON TROPICAL STORM OCTAVE...
LOCATED A FEW HUNDRED MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST
OF CABO SAN LAZARO MEXICO...
AND HAS INITIATED ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL STORM PRISCILLA...
LOCATED ABOUT 700 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN TIP
OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA.

Nothing says "Fall" more than a two pack of hurricanes

*If these storms were called "Biggie Big" and "Snoop"
I would say we have a "Tupac of hurricanes"

But they aren't
and I can't
and on this chilly Monday morning
I think we are all a little bit
happier
because of that...

Have a good week