27 November 2006

Drats!!! Foiled Again!!!

My boss said my presence is required on Friday morning and afternoon. I'll end up going to work, stepping out to go to the doctor, and then returning to work. There will be no surfing on Friday.

26 November 2006

Sunday Morning

Oh, I want to go. You know I do. I want to run out of this house, yelling good-bye to my two (oh, three—I forgot about the dog) men, and head down to the beach. I want to . . . but I won't. It's time for the family to kick it at home. I got three straight days of surf. It was almost like being on vacation. Of course, I've never taken a surf vacation so I really don't know what a vacation related to surfing entails. I'll stay home today, wash the dreads, and lift weights.

Yesterday, the waves weren't great. I was nonetheless thrilled to be out in the water. Even when it's overcast, I can find something to be happy about. Once again, the water was glassy. I love the glass. When it's flat, I still love to sit on the board out in the middle of all that glass. The glass was one thing. The dolphins were another. They were everywhere! A few of them even treated us to a show that was better than anything you'll see at Sea World. (I know that some believe a good parent will take her kid to Sea World at the first chance. But why go there and watch dolphins that are essentially captives when you can wait for your kid to get a little bigger, have him paddle out with you, and sit on boards watching the dolphins play in their natural habitat? I spit on your Sea World!!) The waves left much to be desired. That's to be expected when a swell is dropping. I was at the home break though. I always enjoy myself there. I even saw Whiff on his Harley! Nice bike, Whiff. You didn't miss anything. It was way too small for Fugly.

I go back to that specialist on Friday. 11:30 apointment. Hmmm, go to work first? Surf first? Go to work first? Surf first? I think we all know which way I'm leaning! (Truthfully, I may go to work first and then take the rest of the day off. By then it will be too late to surf. We shall see though.)

24 November 2006

Monogamous I'm Not

Fine. I'll admit it: I'm not a one board woman. I simply cannot commit to one board. Today I was back on the Slick. I knew the waves would be smaller than they were yesterday. The only board I wanted to be on was the Slick. Once again, it was the right call since the waves at the home break were mushy and slow. Today's session was the exact opposite of the suffer fest I had in the water yesterday. I rocked today. No, I'm not tooting my own horn and I'm not ready to go on tour with the pros. I just know when I'm surfing well. Today was one of those days. I was only out for an hour and got about 10 waves, two of which were nice little lefts that I rode all the way to shore. One of the locals approached me later, telling me he saw me get "really nice wave". Yes!!! A session is that much better when someone witnesses a good ride. Yesterday, another surfer was telling his friend that I'm a longboarder, "a very good one". Who, me? See, I know something about my surfing is changing. I can tell I'm begninng to surf a little differently than I was even a few months ago. I don't know if I've gained yet another level of comfort in the water or what. It really doesn't matter. I'm glad I'm making progress. Today was fun. It more than made up for the horror of yesterday. I'll get back on the other board and I know what I have to do when I'm on it.

23 November 2006

The Perils of Infidelity

I know I promised, or at least thought, I would love, honor and obey. That was my intention. I swear it. But for the last few weeks, I strayed. I gave my love to another. And now I have to pay for my misdeeds. Soul Brother #1 says he wants full custody and expects me to pay alimony. What was I thinking?

What are you thinking? I'm just kidding about Soul Brother #1. However, I am guilty of cheating. I cheated on my 7'1" board. I said I'd ride it faithfully. Then I proceeded to court my longboard. I even had the nerve to flaunt my relationship with the longboard. No wonder my shorter board is mad at me. Or is it? Perhaps it's the guilt that got to me today. All I know is this board and I were at odds today. It's all my fault. I know I strayed. Now I'm paying for it. I just hope the board doesn't file for divorce. I do love it. I don't know why I felt the need to give my love to another. I guess I'm weak. Perhaps we should simply agree to an open relationship. Will that make things right? I wonder.

Today, I truly sucked. I couldn't get in synch with the shorter board. I paddled out full of doubt. I sat in the lineup thinking about my longboard. I couldn't pop up to save my life. (It didn't help that the waves were walls.) Fear took hold of me every time I saw a shortboard wave come at me. That last minute paddle and pop-up thing is unnerving. When I finally did get hold of myself and paddle like I meant it, I'd pop-up too far back on the board and get pitched. It wasn't pretty. But it's my fault. If I'm going to surf this board, I have to surf this board. Lesson learned.

P.S. I did see Whiff and his Fugly. That is a nice board!!! However, I refrained from drooling for fear that my board would pay me back the next time we surfed together.

21 November 2006


Everybody stop talking about how he used the n-word. This isn't about the n-word. If that's all you heard, you weren't listening. Yeah, he used the word and seemed to be quite proud of himself for doing so. Whatever. What you should have been offended by was the braggadocio he exhibited as he talked about a brother being strung up. That was uncalled for, was it not? If you can't handle heckling, you shouldn't be a stand-up comedian. Dealing with that mess is part of the job. Many a stand-up has put a heckler in his place without going where Michael Richards went.

Some things just aren't funny. They will never be funny. This was one of them. As for his apology, he need not have wasted his breath.

20 November 2006

I Need to Win the Lottery

See, I thought if I threw that idea out there, perhaps karma would allow this wish to come true. Of course, it might help if I actually played the lottery. I don't and I won't. And yet, I still hope to win.

Sunday's session at the home break was nowhere near as good as Saturday's session. That was to be expected. There were still some decent waves out there. Had I not surfed on Saturday, I probably would have raved about Sunday.

What I do remember is someone telling me that Bob now has 10 boards. Ten boards? How in the hell did Bob get 10 boards? See, Bob used to be our local bodyboarder. He was out there every day just like the rest of us were. He was, and is, part of the crew . . . except that he was on a bodyboard. For reasons I don't know, Bob decided to start surfing. That was less than a year ago. And this is why I was wondering how his quiver got so big! Well, I asked him if it was true that he had 10 boards. When he said yes, I made him explain himself. Bob said that when Clark Foam closed its doors, he went to a bunch of local shops and bought the best boards they had, thinking (like so many others) that it would soon be impossible to get a decent board at a decent price. Before I could ask ask how he could afford such purchases, he said something about a low interest credit card. Now I know why Bob has 10 boards.

Tyler's new shop is finally open. I went in today to get some wax. And what did I see there? A surfboard for $2000!!! WTF? Any thoughts I had about selling my Tyler are gone! I'll keep it even if I only surf it a few times a year.

18 November 2006

I'd Give Up Sleep Every Day . . .

for a dawn patrol session like the one I had this morning. Damn, it was good!!! What's so surprising was that I was at the home break . . . and it was that good. I got there early, having told Soul Brother #1 that I wanted to do a DP session; I knew the tide would be best at daybreak. Mind you, I've been so tired of late that I didn't even set the alarm clock to get me up before the sunrise. I get up in the dark during the week. I'd rather not do that on the weekends. What was so cool this morning was Soul Brother #1 woke me up and ordered me to be gone. I guess he figured I couldn't do dawn patrol if, while dawn was arriving, I was still in the bed. (Note: He woke me up four minutes before the alarm would have gone off.) So, I got myself, two boards, and one dog up and out. I hit the Venice Pier first. The energy in the water was good. The shape was not. Hell, I thought, if I'm going to surf in this I might as well go to the home break. Once I got there, I didn't even look at the water. People in the parking lot told me what the conditions were and suggested I take the longboard.

Who knew? I'd forgotten how sweet the home break is when the waves are good. Did I say "good"? I meant great. And I got to surf with Ria, someone I've known for years but rarely have a chance to talk to or surf with. It took us awhile to figure the waves out. The waves at our break are usually fast, walled and pitching. It's imperative that you angle if you want to catch something and live to tell about it. Today, the waves were on the slow and mushy side. Angling the board was not helping at all. It was one of those days when you aim the board straight at the shore, paddle, and do a bottom turn once you pop-up. But once you did pop-up, you were greeted by long, beautiful shoulders. It was enough to make an athiest find Jesus!!! I got great rides. Ria got great rides. Everyone who was out there was getting good waves. I got not one, but two lefts that made me think about packing it in and going home. I usually go months without getting good rides like that. Today, I got two of them within a matter of minutes. It was cool. For awhile, it was just me, Ria, her man (who must have felt like a kook magnet today because some guy decided to paddle right up next to him, at this uncrowded beach, and start asking him about the best way to select waves), Bob, and Surfing Mary (who, as one of the three Marys at our break, was given her nickname because she owns a surf school). Of course, all good things must come to an end. We had about an hour of bliss before, one, the crowd arrived and, two, the high tide began to slow the waves down. I still stayed in for awhile. It was still pretty damn good. After a few more waves and a near-collision, I called it a day. For me, that first hour was epic. Good waves. Good company. Good weather. I don't see how a surf session can get much better than that.

13 November 2006

I Stole This . . .

from Surfy Surfy. I love me some Rob Machado and thought this drawing was too cool not to steal for my own blog.

The man responsible for this drawing is Miles Thompson.

12 November 2006

Sunday in the Saddle

I actually wanted to surf today. I thought about it. I obsessed about it. I moped. I did everything I do when I'm not sure I'll get the go-ahead from Soul Brother #1 to surf. And after all that, I went for a bike ride. My man is trying to get back in shape and I have what looks like a new bike (same parts, different frame). It was time to get back on our stallions. I was also a bit freaked out yesterday when some of us at the home break realized we kept drifting into brown, warm water which we quickly decided was poop water (or red tide). I'm getting better at saying no to questionable water and chose to let the waves get ridden without me.

However, I did go out yesterday. Once again, the home break delivered some nice rollers. They actually had shoulders! I couldn't believe it. Two days in a row. And I got to spend most of the session with Grace and Ria, both of whom make me laugh. With Ria's recent surfboard purchase, there are now two Slicks at the home break. Yes, I was on my longboard. I didn't even bother to take the shorter board. I think, in retrospect, the waves would have cooperated but I wasn't sure. Still, I was more than satisfied with the waves I got on the Slick. Now, of course, I'm back to loving longboards more than ever and wanting another Slick again. (Ignore me and these ever-changing moods. I'm a Gemini. This vacillation is typical of me.) Why did Ria tell me there were some new Slicks in at my favorite shop? I ran down there today with Soul Brother #2 to take a look. Yep. My Hap Jacobs is gone. I did see a new Slick I can work nicely with. I think I may do some board trading soon. I can part with the Channel Islands 7'0" single fin since I now have a Merrick 7'1". I don't much like the way the former surfs anyway. I'm also thinking of parting with my funboard. It's on loan to a friend right now. I never think about that board. It was supposed to be my transition board. I used it for awhile and then made a big jump (in terms of size) down to the Merrick. So there's no need for it in the quiver. Ah, what to do? What to do?

10 November 2006

Gotta Love Those Doctor's Appointments

Apparently, I've got some medical issue going on that is confusing the hell out of my doctor. I've done this test and that test, only to have them show nothing. What happens next? You get referred to a specialist. Well, what's so good about the specialist? Nothing really, except his office gave me an 11 a.m. appointment. No, please!!! Not the 11 o'clock appointment! Anything but that!! Okay, fine. I'll go to your appointment, but please don't make me surf before I arrive!! That would ruin my entire day! Thanks to this appointment, I got a chance to surf before heading into work. What a nice way to start the day. The waves were crappy when I got to the beach. They were crappy throughout most of the session. Then, for whatever reason, they got good (or at least good enough). During this 20 minute window, I went from a wave count of 1 to a wave count of about 7. I only stayed in the water for an hour. I wanted to stay longer, but I was more than happy with what I got.

08 November 2006

Last Saturday at San O

Dry hair paddle out with the dreadlocks in full effect.

What was this? A mutual admiration society or something?

Uh, yeah. The crowd. This was the one peak that was working (at least where I was).

Me. Nowhere near the crowd and content to have a little peace and quiet for just a bit.

Uh, yeah. The crowd . . . again.

Board caddy. This girl could surf!! And, as you see, she was also nice enough to retrieve her friend's board and paddle it back out to the lineup while still on her own board.

Once again, Soul Brother #1 was the photographer. Too bad he didn't catch me up and riding. But, then again, he was playing with Soul Brother #2; it's a wonder he got any pictures at all.

07 November 2006

Cutting to the Chase

Now that the weekend is long gone, I don't feel like blogging about it. I'm making myself write something though. The purpose of this blog is to help me track my progress in surfing. So, I am making myself talk about the weekend.

I hadn't wanted to drive down to San Clemente just for a surfboard, especially a used shortboard. However, there was no other way to get it. The guy who sold it was a pain in the ass who said I had to pick it up between 11 and 1. (Of course, when I got there, the board was sitting by the front door with a note saying the seller had to step out and to leave the money under the mat. The only reason I didn't steal the board outright and then lie later about having left the money is because I believe in negative karma). Soul Brother #1, upon hearing of this guy's stipulations, decided the three of us would drive down that morning and stop at San O on the way. Did you hear me? It was his idea. Going to San O. His idea. There's a pod under the bed. I just know it. (If you've never seen Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, you'll have no idea what I'm talking about.) Unfortunately, the tide was a little too high. There were a few peaks here and they were crowded with people. I was in no mood to fight a crowd, so I stayed out of the way. I got one good ride in the hour I was there. The rest of the time I did a lot of paddling for waves that didn't break until they were onshore. I, and everyone else in my vicinity, was also contending with this dude on a huge board who was a total wave hog. Damn longboarders!!! I found out later the guy was on a 10'1" board that was four inches thick. I wasn't in the water long. Even with my low wave count, I couldn't be disappointed. San O is the bomb. The waves are great, yes, but so are the people.

Home break. Beautiful weather. I started out on the 7'1" board. I got frustrated quickly as I watched longboard waves roll through one after another. I caught a wave, gave myself a pat on the back, and went to the car to switch boards. Noteworthy comments a stranger made to me, "Are you always so enthusiastic?" I guess I was smiling from ear to ear. I tend to do that when the weather and the waves come together like they did on Sunday. I didn't feel like I had a stellar session or even a good one. The rides weren't as long as I would have liked. I guess, in retrospect, my session was fine. I wasn't feelin' it so it's hard to tell. My wave count was good though.

04 November 2006

Quiver, Say Hi to Your New Baby Brother

03 November 2006

Hey!! I Thought I Was One of a Kind!

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

02 November 2006

Another Heartbreaking Story About Our Oceans

Report: Seafood faces collapse by 2048

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Clambakes, crabcakes, swordfish steaks and even humble fish sticks could be little more than a fond memory in a few decades.

If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, the populations of just about all seafood face collapse by 2048, a team of ecologists and economists warns in a report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world's ocean, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems," said the lead author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected," Worm said. (Who is catching what)

While the study focused on the oceans, concerns have been expressed by ecologists about threats to fish in the Great Lakes and other lakes, rivers and freshwaters, too.

Worm and an international team spent four years analyzing 32 controlled experiments, other studies from 48 marine protected areas and global catch data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's database of all fish and invertebrates worldwide from 1950 to 2003.

The scientists also looked at a 1,000-year time series for 12 coastal regions, drawing on data from archives, fishery records, sediment cores and archaeological data.

"At this point 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed -- that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating," Worm said. "If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime -- by 2048."

"It looks grim and the projection of the trend into the future looks even grimmer," he said. "But it's not too late to turn this around. It can be done, but it must be done soon. We need a shift from single species management to ecosystem management. It just requires a big chunk of political will to do it."

The researchers called for new marine reserves, better management to prevent overfishing and tighter controls on pollution.

In the 48 areas worldwide that have been protected to improve marine biodiversity, they found, "diversity of species recovered dramatically, and with it the ecosystem's productivity and stability."

While seafood forms a crucial concern in their study, the researchers were analyzing overall biodiversity of the oceans. The more species in the oceans, the better each can handle exploitation.

"Even bugs and weeds make clear, measurable contributions to ecosystems," said co-author J. Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.

The National Fisheries Institute, a trade association for the seafood industry, does not share the researchers alarm.

"Fish stocks naturally fluctuate in population," the institute said in a statement. "By developing new technologies that capture target species more efficiently and result in less impact on other species or the environment, we are helping to ensure our industry does not adversely affect surrounding ecosystems or damage native species.

Seafood has become a growing part of Americans' diet in recent years. Consumption totaled 16.6 pounds per person in 2004, the most recent data available, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That compares with 15.2 pounds in 2000.

Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts' environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

01 November 2006

Because You Asked So Nicely

Check out this site. It's kind of a cross between Point Break and You Tube: Bodhi's Army.