/*23 Breaths: 2015*/

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Turkey and Giblet Feast Classic

That was his favorite
Whenever he wouldn't eat
anything else
and the buffet would stretch on for miles
the little can of Turkey & Giblets
would turn his head
and he would munch away
in that noisy way
the tumor adding another layer
to the symphony that was
Fluffy eating

RIP Fluf

Sunday, September 27, 2015

my favorite season

It's my favorite season
you know what that means
the tourists have gone back from whence they came
warm water
crossed up swells from the north and the south
maybe even offshore winds

but mostly

instead of being
a cranky old man
yelling at kids to
"stay off my lawn"

(just to be clear I really don't have a problem with kids on the lawn (dirt patch as it is due to the drought, but at this point it's a cranky-old-man-union thing and you don't want to get out of sorts with the local...)

but I digress...

now instead of being
a cranky old man
yelling at kids

I'm that kindly old gentleman with the cat and the seasonally appropriate coffee mug who is always sitting typing on his porch in the morning...

Friday, August 14, 2015

ode to an E

i knew it was coming
i've been preparing myself
but it always comes suddenly


time takes us all

stress plays a big part
so does the oxidation
that defines life

the subattomic bonds
(everything happens at a subatomic level)
that always held things together
were not longer equal
to the forces that want to tear them apart

without warning
it was just gone
not with the sound of a thunder clap
not during a climaxtic bend
at the end of a solo

nothing so grandiose

this morning
as I changed tuning
from open G
back to standard
concert pitch

my high e string broke

Monday, August 10, 2015

Except for the figs

Late summer
the tomatoes are spent
the native sages have grown, flowered and faded
as much as they can
in a drought year
several trees died
nothing did well
except for the figs....

the surf
such as it is
in the summer
has had a few moments
but nothing
that will remain
in memory
for very long
"remember the thunder from down under?"

the crowds, the tourist
have had a field day
infesting the beaches
but no riot at HB this year...

the last few days
a cold snap (upper 70's) for August
always a warm month
I have noticed the change of season
the plants
they don't have calendars
they ARE calendars...
they know and
are turning
completing the circle...

so now the temps will
crank back back up in a few days
but still

the weather will cool
the kids will go back to school
and things will change

back to normal
back to the fall

Thursday, July 30, 2015


when I was turning 19
I remember thinking
wow my last year as a teenager...
there were things that needed to be done
I have no idea what it was
probably a new board
but now
having entered into
my last of my 50's decade
what is left to do?

Pema Chodron says,
"Could it be that whether we are awake or asleep,
we are simply moving from one dreamlike state to another?"


quite possibly true

so this moment
I sita
listening to the birds chirping
the cat snoring
I sit

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The boat weather is gone

replaced with a
micro climate
hovering over
a thin strip of land
a desert
and a large

this morning
low clouds
muffle the
and the cat's purr
with the early
as the loudest

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


It's like living on a boat
not the "let's have rum drinks while sitting on the fan tale and complain about docking fees"
living on a boat
but the real life
everything I own is wet and mouldy

I feel like Opus in Bloom County
a penguin that has a chronic personal moisture issues
but I digress..

the cat
he hates the rain
any kind of moisture really
he hates each individual drop

right now
he has been out doing his morning routine
checking the perimeter for
who knows what
and now his tail is wet
and of course
this is my fault
as his staff
I exist only
to do his
or I get a quick claw
to my mouldy leg

Summertime and the livin' is easy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Well that was different

more rain in two days in July
than in most of the years "rainy season"
for a while
in some sort of
heat stroke / mojito delirium
I thought the east coast and west coast
had been swapped
I ran down to the beach
for some sort of swellular confirmation
but the results were inconclusive...
so we just waited it out
with just netflix and a fan
on the plus side
my lawn got watered
local officials have subsequently
issued a warrant out for hurricane Dolores
for violation of the strict no water ordinances....
as far as vacations go
I've had worse
but I think
I really don't like
South Florida...

Monday, June 29, 2015

'till we couldn't see the sets coming...

It was probably the chronic sunburn
but surfing the glass off
was always like surfing in a bathtub
a salty one 
with dozens of my closest friends...
but for a handful
of days
the wind would quit
the wave faces
would become
sheet glass
and we would all
see how long into the
sunset after glow
we could still see
the sets coming

Friday, May 29, 2015

no rain

Pondering this morning
today being the last Friday in May
taking in the whole May-ness of it

we had three rainy Fridays
or at least the threat of it
this month
almost unheard of
in these parts

it should be nice today

I know it won't rain
because the newspaper
we still get one of those
although I forget why

well the paper came
without it's
flimsy plastic cocoon

those newspaper guys
they know the weather
so no rain

ps I think there's surf too...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Enjoy the weekend

cold wind blows in off the water

a new low moved down the coast

with a chance of rain

for the third week in a row

in May?

at least the tomatoes know what time of year it is

Enjoy the weekend

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

beyond description

to be fair
when I first started surfing
I was young
and inexperienced 
in the ways of the world
I was seduced

the sun increased my supply of vitamin D 
by a process known as dermal synthesis
tanning my hide
bleaching my hair

the salt water
twisted and stretched my young body
in new ways
while it tossed me
like a dog
with a new toy

the surf
demanded that I
give up the illusion
of control
and learn to go
with the flow

late night and early morning
low clouds
a 1 2 3 foot
running from the south west
for the next
100 days...

The first commandment of surfing is
after you paddle out 
I'm going to teach you to swim,
at least in the days before the leash...
by the end 
of which ever summer it was
I was in pretty good shape
and stoked 

Monday, May 11, 2015

on a Monday

some light fog
has crept into the coast
"on little cat feet"

the addition moisture
amplifies and muffles
the morning sounds

I feel like
Professor Xavier
sitting on my porch

I hear a tire splashing
in the gutter
4 blocks away

I can smell the sage
on the hillsides

all whilst
a cup of coffee


a local bird
Jimi Hendrix'
lilting thru
the star spangled banner

on a Monday

Thursday, May 7, 2015


or as we like to refer to it here at 23B
I can't think of anything to post ...

I don't mean I personally own one
but they are part of the wild life
in my local urban setting

I also have a cat
although I don't really think of our relationship
as an owner and property
more like
a uber rich alien life form
vacationing on this planet
and the staff
who's job it is to wait on the
rich clients
hand and foot
hoping to make their stay
more pleasant
(I will let you figure out who is the alien and who is the staff,
other then to tell you I have never been so over worked for so little pay in my life)

But I mention all of this to explain why I get up every morning and accompany my client, er I mean cat on this morning walk around the estate.
To sniff here and there, perchance to mark the territory with that crazy little backwards dance cats do when they spray.
As I enjoy the predawn and my double double espresso that brings me back to life every morning
whether I want to or not
I have been witness to the morning symphony of the birds
I think the whole thing is keyed to the morning increase in temperature
as the insects start to stir the early birds in search of the elusive worm
the birds get their cow bell on
it starts slowly and grows
the bees add there bass hum
the humming birds come in on the down beat
and the whole place goes nuts
Every New Years concert you have ever been to
every morning
just for me and the cat
who couldn't care less

So where am I going with this?
no where
but to say
it's warm in the morning now
high pressure is building for the rest of the week
it's going to warm up
from all reports the water is as warm as it gets
and it's only May
The high should make the morning winds a little more manageable
go get in the water

Friday, May 1, 2015

Out toward whatever comes

I'm sitting chest deep in the shore break washing machine waiting for another wave.

The new sandbar created by runoff from the recent rains was getting along nicely with the dropping tide and with the addition of a new SW swell to the fading yet still potent NW.

Of course most people were sitting to far outside to pick up these inside gems and that was fine by me. The truly great ones were far and few between. Everything had to come together just right. Too much NW and the wave just closed out.  Too much SW and the wave raced along, just too fast to catch.  The match I was looking for were combos of both swells and roped along the new inside bar. 

I had caught two already and I was hoping for one more before I called it a day.

I had almost given up when a peak popped up just to my left.  I have always liked a good no paddle take off when I rode standup boards and I enjoy it just as much on the mat. The take offs weren’t totally no paddle, but more a little positioning adjustment to get up under the lip before it pitched and a little flutter of the fins to change direction from being sucked up the wave to hurdling down the face.  

The bottom turn on a mat is a composite movement and done properly, a thing of beauty. You take the speed you gained racing down the face, then squeeze the mat allowing it to morph into the shape you need along the inside rail and then add a twist of body English and a dash of fin tip. The result squirts you out and along the face of the wave going faster than you were going before and that was pretty fast. Out toward whatever comes. In this case what was coming was the nice thick pitching section I was hoping for. 

Since I was now a little low on the wave face I lessened my grip on my outside rail, which flattens the mat making it slow its’ forward trajectory and the water rushing up the the wave face elevated me on the swell.  Once I was higher on the wave face I just need to re-squeeze the outside rail, moving the air in the mat to plump my inside rail, just like a ballpark frank. Then you just lean forward, twist slightly and enjoy the view. 

The view, in this case, was pinching down at the end.  I had no complaints but I was now fairly close to shore and but it looked like this wave was going to end with a slap down.

There are several ways to end your participation in waves like this.  Pushing off the mat and free falling to the tube floor is always a good one.  Easy to do and generally resulting in only a minor beating while your mat washing up on shore without you.  While I mulled over some possible exit strategies the decision was made for me by a slight warble of water coming up the wave face.  This particular bit of water slowed my forward progress enough to embed me in the lip.  The lip, now really the roof at this point, paid me no never mind and proceeded to invert my mat and I and slamed both of us on the sand.

Fortunately the mat was fine.  My body had broken its fall. 

But I never did find my other fin.    

All photos by Jason Hall @ Daily Bread

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

more books of cool little bits

I was looking for a topic at the local library the other day
and stumbled across this book

little bits
from biographies (Miles Davis, Art Pepper, etc)
(neither of which can be found in whole at the local library...hmmm)
really great stuff

So far I am making a list and it looks like this one book
will begat dozens of books that I really want to read
I love it when that happens

There are a couple of new ones from Gary Snyder that have been good too

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Report

I haven't done a book post in a while and since the nice man in the big brown truck brought a package from Amazon (killer of good local bookstores everywhere) I thought it was time.

It hard for me to classify Liza's book so let me tell you about my experience with it. I found it in the local lending library and took it home for a read.  Although it was only 284 pages (I can polish off that in an evening with a decent cup of tea) I was only just started when my loan was up. The reason being that this isn't your usual story book. Part almanac, part history and language primer and part garden diary. This is something that deserves to be enjoyed over time. So I bought a copy and plan to give it the year or more it deserves.

OK I have weird tastes in reading material. Japanese and Chinese poets that have turned to dust between 2 and 5 thousand years ago are my favorites. The trouble is I have no gift for languages or translation from the original texts. Red Pine has such a gift and fortunately for me is spending his time working with all the greats just so I have something to read in the evenings after dinner. What a guy! I can't overstate the importance of the translator for this type of work. I suppose you could get a piece of software to do the literal translation. But a good translator and Red Pine is much more than good  brings more to the work than just translation. Let's say you find an old and forgotten cook book from several thousand years ago and coincidentally you are hungry. You could run the book thru a translator and get ingredients and some old world instructions like "Ye needs to travel on the kings highway to the miller...".  This isn't helpful and you are still hungry. What a translator like Red Pine does is to live with the work long enough to translate the feelings and meanings behind the words. To return to the cooking analogy, you drop off the text to Red Pine pop down to the pub for a pint and when you come back he has translated the book but more importantly he has used it to cook dinner!

Good Stuff

I've read this one before and it is definitely good enough to read over. The stories (or story's if you like to torment the English majors)  are simple enough. A bunch of college kids wander in a semi orderly fashion thru the GNW looking to find, climb and study the big trees. That the colleges, Reed college and Humboldt state university tend to attract (or do they turn them out ?) some interesting characters, should give you a feel for the character of the book. Interesting, quirky and easy to read again and again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth day - 2015

Nice earth shot above

Looks like a hurricane in the US gulf coast and there's a good size low in the North Pacific.

I like shots like this because you can see the earth as a whole without the artificial country boundaries we arbitrarily establish and then change.

It's a view somewhat above the normal human concerns.

That storm in the Gulf coast doesn't care that it's going to hit the US.

If conditions were right it might be heading more to the west and into Mexico.

That's just how it is.

No problem.

Of course I mean no problem for the storm, thousands of lives depend on the landfall of the storm.

The point being that it is a big interrelated organizational structure that earthlings can barely grasp. 

But since it's Earth Day, 

take a breath 

and let it out

and try to feel the planet

No luck,

that's ok

Belated Happy Birthday to John Muir.

If you haven't read his work yet then take a stroll on down to the library and pick up a copy of any of his books.  

Good stuff 

Enjoy the day

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

a brown lawn is a good lawn..

After last night's "rainstorm"
I think we may be putting the
umbrellas away
for an indefinite period...

With another year of extreme drought
the state is getting into the picture
with laws and codes
and what have you

Rest assured that industries
with big money
will simply pay
a fee for a variance
just a cost of doing business

So what about the rest of us?
Some mindful attention
to watering and landscaping
will go a long way

Native plants do very well here
with minimal water
and as always
a brown lawn is
a good lawn...

That said I got the backyard garden planted!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

23 Breaths Custom Surfmats

Some of you may know that I have been working on my own customized mat.

I am happy to report that many years of painsteaking R&D is over and I am happy to offer my mat to the charming, gullible and mattifferous public.

This particular model comes in any color you like
as long as it's black
so I have decide to call the this first of many models the


Pricing is flexible at this time but will run in the 1 to 2 thousand dollar range.
(hey these puppies are petroleum products bub!)

Please send your checks and money orders to 23breaths@gmail.com


23 Breaths said...
the first run of 250 mats has completely sold out! A new run will be available as soon as I get back
from the grocery store. Thank you 23Breaths
APRIL 1, 2008 9:29 AM 

Anonymous said...
I got my new mat in the mail today. Thanks for the quick turn around! I really like the mat everything about it seems fun. It even has the words GLAD embosed all over it. I do keep losing air as the twist tie on the back keep coming un done. Can you help me?

23 Breaths said...
Anon, I was great to get your check, I mean to meet you. The losing air is all part of the low inflation deal. The mat will ride better trust me! Once you find optimum inflation levels you may want to tie a knot in the bag, I mean mat to keep the inflation just right!

23 Breaths said...
Well I'm back from the store and the next version of mats will be white in color and be in a new model I call "tall kitchen" model. This will be both a big wave and small wave version. As always the mats have the patented "conventional inner/mid chamber" and the whole mat is contructed of .001 mil polyproleane. There will be a slight increase in price as my cost of manufature has risen dramatically!

MR said...
I'll take two!

23 Breaths said...
MR – as soon as your certified check passes thru my labyrinth of Swiss bank accounts and is converted to gold bullion your mat(s) will be in the post!

twinfin said...
Do you take certified monopoly money? I hear it spends the same as cash depending on where you are at.. what other uses would you recommend for this seemingly, too good to be true wonder product? Will it make my teeth whiter?

23 Breaths said...
twinfin - as long as it is CERTIFIED monopoly money. I had I guy try to buy a mat with phoney monopoly money! The nerve! The mat will indeed make your teeth whiter and make both your FICO and SAT scores go up.

twinfin said...
Thanks for getting mine out so quickly.. Im a bit embarassed to say this but I took it down to the beach this morning and I left it next to the showers for a second...by the time I turned around, a large dirty man resembling Santa Claus had taken it and draped it over his body and run away..what a bummer...he did kida look stylish tho.. Do you think hes on to something?

23 Breaths said...
The new and improved mats are in very high demand! This sort of mat theft should be reported to the authorities! Did you happen to buy the optional replacement insurance with your mat?

Bob said...
My sincere apologies, but I am going to have to cancel my order. Turns out I have an ample supply of your same model mats in my basement. I'll just have to re purpose the existing contents. On another note, do you know where someone might be able to dispose of 3 cubic yards of hobo pieces?

tres_arboles said...
Screw it, I'm getting my matt at Costco! David, Seattle

23 Breaths said...
Bob - haven't we talked about this before? Put the hobo down! 3 trees - All the cutting edge surf gear comes from costco! the only draw back being that you have to buy 500,000 at a time...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Philaes' Travels

Met up with matters,

Matt (born to it he is), Mattitude, and David Song on Saturday

"Meet you at Hotels..."

I knew I was getting close...

The problem being Huntington's "master plan"
allows for hotels from one end of town to the other
besides I'm looking toward the surf and have never
quite got the hotels figured out...

Which one is the Hilton? The little one? ok...

Fire rings are square in HB...

I eventually squinted thru my astigmatismatic haze and found them

and a decent south swell waiting for me

I took a few turns with Philaes, (nice mat G!)

and discussed the finer points of mat design with Matt and Mattitude.

The swell and side current has spread the group out so

I didn't see David until he showed up with camera to record the event.
(check Facebook for pics)

Still one of the great things about mat riding is that we actually like to see someone else riding the same surfcraft...

I mean how often do you hear board surfers say "Oh look other surfers...yippy!"

We are still living in the golden age of mat riding...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Travels of Phileas

Graeme is as generous as he is a talented surfmat designer / creator.

He made a new mat and sent it out to the surfmat community to have a go...

Such a beautiful gift

Have a read about the project here

at the his custom surfmats page

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Funny Story

So I have this thing I do

when I go surf

mostly like everyone does

coffee, drive, park, check it, suit up and go

my personal twist

is between the check it

and suit up phase

I pretend that it's the 1950's and there is no one else there

the beach in totally deserted

I have to admit that after removing my glasses

and inserting the earplugs

it's not a huge stretch ...

So there I am

"in the 50's"

when back in the present

someone is calling my name...

Either I'm getting good at this

or I really am deaf and blind

as I totally missed the fact

that one old friend and one new friend

were also suiting up two cars away!

I'm just not blending into this future as well as I'd like...

Monday, March 23, 2015


You have seen the shell

You read the book where Captain Nemo roams the depths in his wondrous submarine

You have bought the pass

(You mean you haven't bought your Nautilus Pass for this year's

San Diego Surf Film Festival yet?

Great movies, Great people, Great Food

and you are in San Diego...Good Times

Get a room and make a long weekend of it

Perfect start to the Summer)

But have you ever seen one eating cheese crackers?

The nautilus is a pelagic marine mollusc of the cephalopod family nautilidae, the sole extant family of the superfamily nautilaceae and of its smaller but near equal suborder, nautilina

Saturday, March 21, 2015

as the sunrises

a bit of south wind this morning
it must be the weekend

thousands of surfers will
trade dreams of
glassy tubes
for a plate of eggs
and coffee

I'm sitting on my porch
keeping and eye
on the cat
or is it the other way around?

Watching another Spring morning
as the sunrises

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring

As I sit and watch the sun rise

It's a little chilly

this being the week after

and the week before

another spring heat wave

(yes temps in the 90's next week)

and I have to admit that I am

a touch confused with this

meteorological ripsaw

this spring.

normally we are given

to endless fog

with a touch of morning

south wind

but the plants seem to enjoy the heat

Who am I to question the weather?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's Summer

Apparently we had our Spring

somewhere between Christmas and January 23rd...

and now it's Summer...

I have airbrushed the hordes away from the picture above

but a close look at the surf,

small with a touch too much south for this beach

yep it's Summer

not to mention it was 90 plus degrees ...

A bit of serendipity on the trip back to the car,

I ran into a previously unknown fellow mat rider,

that in itself an noteworthy event...

but then

he blew my mind when he whipped out this alt surfcraft

Hand crafted, honey comb core Paipo

Shaped by Mike Marshall, local hero and shaper for Harbour Surfboards

My pics (as usual) fail to capture the awesome contours in this craft but you could tell that Mike knew what he was doing when he made this one...

A very auspicious start to the summer to be sure...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What's the holdup?"

In the pre dawn
I spoke to the cat
I explained about Benjamin Franklin
about daylight savings
saving lamp oil
about more light in the evenings
I even mentioned
that coyotes were waiting in the dark
down at the corner
all he did
was look at his
and say
"You let me out last week at 6:23
It's 6:30 now
What's the holdup?"

Monday, March 9, 2015

Let me tell the second mother this has been done

Spring arrives (Offically) March 20th

more or less

temperatures forecast

to be in the upper 80's

and hitting 90 degrees on Saturday

a fair amount of south in the swell too

all kinda early...

maybe someone gave

our blue marble a nudge

perhaps we have put too much carbon in the atmosphere

I saw the whales migrating over the weekend

if they start boarding spaceships

and heading to another planet

we'll know we are in trouble

Friday, February 20, 2015

23B - the heart of the internets

Spring is coming
Leashes ruined Surfing
The water is polluted and there are too many people

All topics you heard about first here

at the heart of the internets


So as I dig deeper into
the center of our
everyday reality

go check out more
of Lloyd's trip
to Kauai


He is checking out Ambrose' quiver

Good Stuff