Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy chaunukwanzha

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Session 177 - Sun Dec 21 - OB

Sunday Dec 21 aka WINTER SOLSTICE, 10-2, 6'6 Haut

Rinse rest repeat...back for more. Conditions still small but still clean, cleaner in fact, some good waves to be had. The best of 'em I managed to kook out on, that was a bummer. Had our full crew, me, Joel, Ramin, Josh, and the tropical board club definitely represented out there, got a bunch of waves. Was raining for a while, fun to surf in the rain. Everybody eventually took off, Ramin and Josh took Joel with them, I swapped out to the pink peace funboard and started hogging a bunch of waves, fun board for the day's conditions. My wetsuit is pretty phenomenal by the way, stayed out there for hours and never even began to feel a hint of coldness. I need to fix those little tears ASAP though, before they progress to something worse.

I hope that this doesn't mark my final session of '08, but, there's a chance it might...I caught the ONLY non-canceled OAK-PDX flight last night and am presently typing this looking out the window at what is literally probably a foot (ok maybe 6 inches) of SNOW. In all my years of Oregon living, never seen anything quite like it. Soon as I finish this post and finish my WFH responsibilities, I think I'll go look for Joel's snowboard in the attic and go for a spin around the neighborhood...

Back to surf -- I don't know if I'll be back in CA before the New Year but chances are pretty slim. ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY SEVEN sessions in '08...pretty good, but 180 woulda sounded better. 177 is such an odd number, not very satisfying.

Surf in Oregon??? Ya never know...

Session 176 - Sat Dec 20 - OB

Saturday Dec 20, 10-2, 6'6 Haut

Order has been restored in the cosmos! I finally surfed again on Saturday. Was long overdue. Flatness in SC so stayed in the View Fri night and drove up to SF, where my brother was staying. Swung by Ramin's to get a leash (well 2 leashes) as I stupidly did not have any with me. (How did that happen?) Anyways thanks buddy, much appreciated. Sweet board rack. Picked up Joel off his street corner (16th and Mission, great street corner btw, lots of activity, but Joel I think that turf is already very well claimed, might have to look elsewhere) and we drove through town to get to the beach. Surf was small but a few fun ones coming through, clean conditions at least. Woulda liked a fish or something but the 6'6 gets the job done. Joel as always got cold really quick (get a new wetsuit already!!) so he went in. I stayed out, and was shortly joined by Ramin and Josh, which helped liven up the session and keep me in the water a bit longer. Eventually couldn't leave Joel any longer so headed in. We went and got a sandwich and a beer, pretty good stuff.

It's crazy how out of shape you can get with just a week or 2 layoff from surfing. Thank goodness for the easy (non-existent!) paddle out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blazers win!

Brandon Roy! 52 Points! Blazers win!

Portland 124, Phoenix 119
Preview - Box Score - Recap 

  J. RichardsonG40:026-124-71-2-91500000517 
  S. NashG35:555-141-34-4-1901116100315 
  S. O'NealC37:207-110-05-7+23623011319 
  A. StoudemireF39:166-130-011-11+11880121423 
  G. HillF27:464-41-10-0-602230002
  M. Barnes29:057-85-63-4+11322011422 
  L. Barbosa17:525-71-11-1+150531101112 
  R. Lopez7:191-30-00-0-311000012
  L. Amundson5:230-00-00-0-701010000
 Percentages: .569.667.862 Team Rebounds: 8
  B. RoyG43:4914-275-719-21+121560012152 
  S. BlakeG38:258-154-72-2+1114100400222 
  G. OdenC17:204-50-00-0+322001205
  L. AldridgeF38:048-120-00-0+163521301516 
  N. BatumF16:300-10-00-0-111000101
  J. Przybilla30:272-30-01-4016210104
  T. Outlaw24:137-140-30-1+33611001114 
  R. Fernandez17:242-52-40-0-212131001
  S. Rodriguez7:290-30-20-0-400100001
  I. Diogu6:150-20-01-2-1324000001
 Percentages: .517.478.767 Team Rebounds: 9
 Game Info
 Technical Fouls:  None
 Arena: Rose Garden, Portland, OR
 Officials: Gary Zielinski, Monty Mccutchen, Tony Brown

I love the Blazers.


11 days now, with no surf...I'm going through withdrawals...shaking as I type this...need a fix, just one more, I'm good for it, just one more...

Sadly been busy with work and conditions just haven't been working out with my available time windows...this weekend though, definitely surf no matter what. Hopefully will be able to find waves somewhere. Been spoiled over the last month or two, with some pretty consistently epic fall surf conditions, was a good fall/early winter. 

Was down in Irvine for work on Tuesday and Wed morning, would've loved to get a surf in down there but schedule (and my very task-oriented manager) did not allow. Next time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rainy Days

It's been raining a lot lately. And it's also been really, really, really COLD. And, to top things off, it's been really high tide in the morning all week last week when the surf actually potentially was surfable. And before it had rained for 3 days straight. 

Long story short, lots of rain, little surf. I haven't been since last Sunday. I'd have to check the records, but, my guess is that might be the longest layoff of the year.

At least all this rain means...SNOW in the mountains! Will be home in Oregon for holidays and will try to snowboard a few times, and who knows, maybe Tahoe this weekend. Depends on the surf forecast. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008


OK it's not actually Caramello. (Those are pretty good though.) 

But Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points last night. IN ONE QUARTER. I'm not one to heap too many accolades on individual performances on the basketball court (team game), but 33 points in ONE QUARTER is a pretty darn impressive individual performance. 

Here's the recap from SportsCenter. Off YouTube. That's probably not allowed, technically,'s 33 points in one quarter! Come on! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Session 175 - Dec 7 - 4m

Sun Dec 7, 3:15-5, 6'6 Haut

It might be time for an intervention...somebody stop me...

But I got another new (to me) surfboard on Sunday. I know, it's getting a little out of control. But, who am I to pass up a great deal? Or, perfect dimensions? Pretty much just what I wanted, and my go-to 6'8 Taylor is starting to show its age. So, when the deal presents itself, you have to act on it. Drove down the road a bit to Manresa and picked up this new 6'6 Haut. Local shaper, even better. Pretty sweet looking board -- definitely colorful --and the price, well, the price was too good to pass up. Real clean board, does have one ding on the deck that will require my eventual attention, taped it off for now. So, this board will work its way into the rotation...will figure things out after I get a feel for it, but the plan is to force myself to sell at least one board in the next week or two. Easier said than done. 

Getting back on track, took the new board out for its inagural surf Sunday afternoon/evening. Small in town so drove up north a bit, and met up with the SF crew. Surf was a little bit of a crowd, but nothing too out of control...but I for the most part sat either too far out on the shoulder (to avoid the pretty constant paddle-battling going on in the main pack) or too far inside, where most waves I caught would section out on me before could really get much of a ride. Still, managed a couple OK short rides, kooked out on a couple as well (really need to stop doing that), and all in all I think the new board is a keeper. Always fun to surf w/ a few friends as well. 

6:45 am tomorrow morning, OB. I don't know how the surf will be, but I do know it will be freezing cold. Whatam I, crazy? (Don't answer that). Update: It was too cold. I stayed in bed.

Session 174 - Dec 6 - OB

Sat Dec 6, 10-1:30, break for a granola bar back at the car, surf just too dang good to leave, so back in the water for more 1:45-3:30, 6'6 quad

Best OB I've ever surfed*.

Photogs were out, I even went and grabbed my camera, so I'll just rest my typing fingers and let the photos do the talking...

Hollow. Offshore. Pure glass. Head high to slightly over, clean, uncrowded peaks everywhere...even the paddleout was easy. Does it get any better? Not in my experience.

Huge thank you to Dan for the last 5 super high quality telephoto lens photos...great shots. On my way back to the car, I walked past a guy shooting with a huge telephoto lens, so stopped to say hello. Asked him if he posted his photos anywhere, he said no he just shoots friends and for fun, but said he'd email me some...gave him my email and sure enough that night my inbox was full of crisp sharp megazoom goodness. Thank you Dan -- great photos. (and now I want one of those DSLR's even more than ever...thanks a lot!) :)

*I haven't surfed OB very much.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle?

Did some interesting reading on recycling today. Thought I'd share. Further emphasizes that it should really be the Two R's -- Reduce and Reuse -- with the Recycle bit being added on only when absolutely necessary. 

The more I read, the more those single use plastics become unusable to me. Granted, I'm still a long ways from being a non-single-use-savior, but I certainly give my daily decisions in what I do or do not use/consume a lot more consideration. 

From the NY Times:

And from the always dependable for some thought-provoking-plastics-commentary Surfrider spin-off blog, (and also where I saw the two R's thought) Rise Above Plastics:
First step for me? Soon as I get home I'm taking some of those reusuable cloth grocery bags Selin bought a while ago and putting them in the trunk of my car...I always forget to take them when I go to the store. If I just keep them in my trunk always, I'll have no excuse.

Update: On the way home last night, I stopped at Safeway real quick to get some milk, cereal, and a few other hodgepodge items for dinner. (Yes, I eat cereal for dinner. What of it?). With no reusable cloth bags yet stashed in my trunk, I was bagless. So, I carried my little basket with my 10 or so items through the checkout line, and I asked the bagger to just place my items directly in the basket, which I'd carry out to my car, unload, and then bring back. So I diverted my attention to the cashier, paid and entered my club card #, and what do you know, when I look back at my bagged items....

they were placed in 3 separate plastic bags, and THEN placed into the basket. 


Haha, I had to laugh about it, what are you gonna do...the guy probably doesn't get that request very often. It did make me think though -- it's just so ingrained to use those things, ALL THE TIME, how do you get mindset to shift and change away from it? It'll take time but worth doing. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Session 173 - Dec 3 - JTY

Wed Dec 3, 7-9:30 am, 6'2 KG Fish

True to my word, got up and hit the road again Wednesday. And darn it I was sure gonna get in the water, somewhere, NO MATTER WHAT! So, that's what I did. Ramin met me and actually even delivered a fresh donut upon my 15 minute late arrival. Sorry dude, I know I'm always late, it's pretty inconsiderate of me. Spot 1 LM looked pretty bad. Well, what we could see of it looked pretty bad. There was so much fog you couldn't even see the outside sets. But there weren't many people if any at all and what we could see just looked piddly and weak so we continued on. Spot two was better and there were some tiny little wedgy waves so we got in. We must've made it look good because several others joined us throughout the session. Actually, what am I saying, of course we made it look good, we always make it look good. It's just what we do. Rippin'!!! Joined by Manabu as well later on, all in all a fun morning but the waves weren't really that exciting, small but a few quick little wedges popped up here and there. At least I caught a bunch of them. The best was one that teepeed up into a cool little A teepee and then wedged down the line that I actually was in the right spot on and got one turn in. Ramin said I backdoored it. But no, I teepee doored it. Teepees don't have a back door. Just one flap in the front. And a hole at the top for smoke to go out of.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

if at first you don't succeed...

try again! 

I tried to surf this morning but, I didn't. Not for a lack of driving though. Surf just looked kind of crappy, and really, really, COLD. So I just sat in my car and looked at it for a while. And then I drove down and checked another spot. And then another spot. And yep, then another spot. Should've probably gone at the 3rd spot Not really feeling it I guess. So, just chalk it up to a nice early morning drive.

Drove a full loop from Mt View - Pacifica - HMB - back to Mt View...and right back in to bed for 30 more minutes of sleep. Now that was awesome.  (the missus got these new flannel style sheets. They are AMAZING. So warm. In fact they are calling my name right now. Time to finish up this post....)

I think, all in all, I just needed to go to the beach. Been home in Oregon for the past 5 days or so, no surf, no  beach. But...lots of good times, great to be home and see all my family and friends. That's what Thanksgiving is all about.

Tomorrow morning...repeat the whole process. Pretty confident though that this time around, I'll actually find what I'm looking for. (Thank you internet swell buoys: 8 ft, 13 seconds...thank you internet surf buddies: live updates.)

New flannel sheets here I come!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Selin showed this to me just now, and we had quite a laugh over it. Pretty funny.

Maybe it was just particularly funny to us having spent so much time working in email customer service. Can't say I ever had anyone try to settle any bills with pictures of spiders though. I'd say worth at least a $50 credit, in my opinion...pretty good spider. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sessions 171 and 172 - Nov 22 & 23 - OB and SC

Sat Nov 22, 8:30-12, OB, Ramin's 6'10
Sun Nov 23, afternoon, Cowell's, 9'8 Junod

Wow, talk about two distinctly different sessions...



* Pictures are not actual representations of the day's surf (they're just what a quick Google Images search could find on the interwebs), but I think they illustrate the contrast quite well. 

So, Saturday morning, went up to OB and met Ramin and friends. Had a pretty epic fall OB session on Ramin's borrowed 6'10, classic fall conditions, light offshore, head high to 2x OH sets, lefts, rights, just an all in all great session. Nice to surf some waves with some solid size, I want some more. 

Sunday, was in SC, and in town was a different story altogether. Took it easy in the morning, no surf, around noon headed over to check out a sale on the west side and drove past Cowell's and it actually looked kind of fun, in a nearly empty super mellow super calm way. Went home and got the longboard and strapped it on and cruised on over and...the maybe 10 people who were out there at noon had seriously multiplied into 100...crazy! I think every beginning surfer in northern california converges on that spot on a sunny weekend afternoon low tide. So it was a bit of a zoo and was even more mellow than I had anticipated, so I paddled from Cowell's over to the Lane, good exercise. Was windblown and real slop out there but at least some waves, so I hogged my share on the 9'8 yacht and then paddled back to Cowell's and went home. 

In other news I am now completely up-to-date on all my past sessions...was operating from pretty far behind for a while there. Nice!

UPDATE: I forgot our Saturday afternoon/evening session (or should I say session attempt) which was pretty much a mess, our morning glass and offshores had been completely replaced and it was victory at sea conditions out there. Still a good exercise on the paddle and was nice to have everybody out there, including everybody's inspiration Josh on the 8'0 funboard, who dug deep and made it outside. (Way outside). 

Session 170 - Nov 16 - WC

Sun Nov 16, morning, 6'2 KG Fish

Swell had dropped some more, so grabbed the fishy and headed back to Saturday morning's spot. Smaller, but clean, and still fun, and...I surfed a bit better, and didn't even get yelled at! Surfed and enjoyed a nice sunny morning and some good company, even though Joel was lame and studied on the beach instead of surfing.  UPDATE! Joel has corrected me, he DID surf, but he surfed earlier that morning when I was still sleeping off my hangover from a rare Saturday night out on the town to celebrate Selin's friends April's birthday. Apologies for my error, Horace always tries to report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!! 

Session 169 - Nov 15 - SC Beachy

Sat Nov 15, evening, 6'2 KG Fish

Ramin was hanging in SC for the weekend so after our marathon surf and a burrito and some R&R we made our way down to the local beachbreak for a quick hour or so session before the quickly setting sun. Surf was pretty small everywhere else, but was hitting this spot pretty decent, and as such there were some pros/rippers on it, pretty incredible...rather than enter the fray I hung on a secondary but not as good peak and had my choice of 3 foot shorebreak closeouts. Could've probably gotten some at the main peak, but, didn't want to risk getting yelled at 2 times in one day. (really does a number on a man's confidence!). 

Session 168 - Nov 16 - WC

Sat Nov 16, morning, 6'6 Quad

MARATHON! This was a long time ago so I'm gonna be quick w/ this session report. Surf was good to actually really good, clean, fun, not TOO crowded. MY surfing, on the other hand, was a complete disaster...ultra-regress kook mode! I certainly wasn't aided that on my 2nd wave or so, I accidentally dropped in on a dude (It looked like he was going right, promise) and he was none too kind about it. Proceeded to berate and yell and even splash water at me for what seemed like an eternity. (But was probably more like 15 seconds). Yes, I dropped in on him and messed up his wave, sorry man, my bad. Guess I deserved to get scolded. (Nevermind it was a chest high at best insider that slipped through and was closing out in front of both of us anyways, maybe the guy was gonna bust an air over that section). But wow, calm down buddy! I dropped in and as soon as I noticed he was behind me I pulled out. Granted, the damage had already been done, but it was an honest mistake. Guy really got angry though. 

Anyways set the tone for rest of my session because I was definitely off. Let's not dwell on this any longer. Sound good? We surfed for about 5 hours or so, and I eventually started getting positive thoughts back in my head, but it was a rough start. MOVING ON!

Friday, November 21, 2008

If you're San Francisco...

Before you put that flower in your hair, you might want to watch this: 

(Couldn't find a way to post the video directly)

Watched it yet? 

How ridiculous is that? Fox news! Fair and balanced!

(Thanks Jason Min for the gchat status message -- lots of good stuff in those gchat status messages lately...)

gettin' $erious

Don't often post about anything economic here on this blog (don't often post about anything other than surfing, actually)...but this I found interesting.

You might have to click on it to get it big enough to see. (update: clicking on the image doesn't appear to actually do anything. Go to the site here instead.) My (optimistic) interpretation: bad times now (wow, really?)...but it can only get better. Right? 

Thanks to Bill for the gchat status message link, and to the original site here.

Shifting gears, I was supposed to get up and surf this morning but I didn't. My phone alarm didn't go off. It was supposed to turn itself on (I had to turn it off, low battery, no charger) but I must've not set that up right. Stupid phone. Figures. Surf actually looks pretty good.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sessions 166 and 167 - Nov 11, Nov 12 - LM

Tues Nov 11, Wed Nov 12, DP, 6'6 quad

Linda Mar. Dawn Patrol. Waves. Kind of cold, but, Sunny. Wednesday better than Tuesday. Or was it the other way around? It's been a while, and LM dawn patrols have this funny way of blending into obscurity. Let's say Wednesday was better, that sounds about right. Ramin was with me Tuesday, sorry man, shoulda been there Wednesday.

Session 165 - Nov 9 - Hook

Sunday Nov 9, evening, 6'2 KS fishy

Yep, Santa Cruz, sorry to have doubted you. All that's keeping you now from moving higher is...about 20 degrees of water temperature, and about 2000 professional surfers. I've ranted about this before but the surf talent level in SC is so off the charts ridiculous...a lowly valley tranny like me...very quickly get delegated to scrap status.

But when those scraps are as delicious as they were on this particular evening, I can live with that. When the Hook is firing there are few places like it, nonstop perfection, was sweating in my 5/4/3, just a nonstop paddle/wave/paddle conveyor belt. As I said earlier was in full-on junkyard dog mode, keeping an eye on every wave as paddling out ready to pick up the scraps as some sponsored pro buried a rail on his mach speed cutback or botched the 360 air or whatever ridiculous maneuver was on display...I could pick up the leftovers and maybe throw a few drops of spray of my own. Humbling, but I'm not one to concern myself over trivial matters...stay outta the way, pick up what you can, and do your best...that's my philosophy.

Anyways heck of a session, welcome home.

Session 164 - Sun Nov 9 - 38th

Sunday Nov 9, midmorning afternoon sometime, 7'6 kingfish

On our way home from PR, Selin asked me where I'd rank PR on my all-time surf destination list. I was still pretty high on the week's many memorable waves, so I wound up ranking it pretty darn fact actually my #2 of all time -- behind only Costa Rica. (I've scored some sweet LEFTS in Costa Rica). If I recall correctly, my quick list was Costa Rica, PR, Hawaii, Santa Cruz (home sweet home), Baja Mex, El Salvador, Mainland Mex...something like that. (India was an honorable mention for the sake of novelty...unfortunately the waves there were overwhelmingly mediocre at best...but for sheer novelty sake...tough to match surfing in front of an entire village of awestruck onlookers).

Point being, I don't think Santa Cruz was happy about it's low ranking...and decided to do something about it...something like non-stop head high to slightly overhead long racing rights, and considering it was Sunday...not even an out of control crowd.

Session 1 on the Kingfish was just a quick hitter...paddled on out with Thomas for a quick one...after catching a couple at 38th the draw of the bigger better waves on the horizon over at 2nd proved too tempting to resist, so battled the current and made my way over...quickly was rewarded for my effort in the form of a head high or so ride nearly all the way back to 38th. Paddled back over and repeated again, a few more times...wound up getting out at the stairs between 38th and the Hook. Lots of current going that day.

The real gem of a session didn't come together til' later that day...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sessions 157-163 - Tues Oct 28 - Mon Nov 3 - Sandy Beach, Dogmans, Domes, Marias, Indicators, Wilderness

We'll just let the pictures do the talking. 

Sadly though, I don't have THAT many surf pictures...Selin prefers reading her book to searching the lineup for me in the camera view finder, and I prefer surfing to taking photos. Plus, I don't have an uber powerful megazoom supercamera. Plus, my "waterproof" camera broke a few months ago. Maybe one day I'll get one of those mega uber cameras -- they are pretty sweet -- but until then...we'll work with what I've got.

Is it time to go back?