Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I just returned from a coffee run and was glancing at the front page of the Marin Independent Journal (the news paper of Marin County where I live)while pouring my afternoon cup o' joe and it seems that even with April/May being the deadlist period of the Iraq war for the U.S. and Bush, in his infamous wisdom imposing new sanctions on Darfur (I'm still wondering who will have the guts to impose some freakin' sanctions on him!), five British citizens are kidnapped in Baghdad, U.S. Gerneral Peter Pace undercounts the American war deaths and Cindy Sheehan steps down from her protesting Bush and the Iraq seems that all the Independent Journal can come up with for headlines is that Delta and Dawn the wayward whales are heading back out to sea and something about cows being shot in West Marin.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Circling the Drain

Lately I’ve been wishing and hoping that people would spend the same amount of time and concern with knowing more about the war in Iraq and all of the underhanded dealings the Bush administration has been pulling as they do with knowing all about professional athlete’s statistics and contracts and the results of American idol.
Then again, that would be like asking people to drive less, get off of their cell phones more and quit treating stop signs as mere suggestions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Afternoon Siesta

This Friday, May 18 at 1:00 Pm (PST) Yours truly will be getting interviewed on Coastal Airwaves on the West Marin radio station KWMR. You can listen in on your computer by going to:

Click on the "On Air" sign with the little cow on top of it and follow the prompters. What could be easier? An all pull-out from Iraq? Yeah, one would tend to think so, but....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I guess I’m more of a traditionalist than I thought.
I went surfing early this morning. By early I mean dark o’ clock early like usual. This is why it’s called dawn patrol. I was alone this morning which in these crowed times is more than unusual and I was also without my buddy, John who either drives out with me or meets me there.
I got to the sea wall as the sky was only beginning to turn from Indigo to a cobalt blue before becoming a sort of battleship gray and did my usual surf check with cup of coffee in hand. It was a nice, crisp morning as there was no wind to speak of and the full moon was disappearing and the stars beginning to fade. Very nice, indeed.
Anyway, to non-surfers a surf check is generally going by surf spots and seeing what the surf conditions are like. Good? So, so? Naw, I’m going back to bed and so on. Lately I’ve been noticing that this practice seems to be on the verge of becoming extinct.
I watched the swell for a while being aware that the tide was at slack and would soon be turning and coming up. I also noticed that a lot of sand was off of the beach and that sand bars were starting to form. The surf was breaking both right and occasionally left, 3’ to 4’ and only a couple hundred yards off of the wall itself. I haven’t seen it do this in quite some time and I was pretty stoked to be sure.
After about 25 minutes of observing the swell and making sure that it is consistent I suddenly noticed that guys were coming down to the beach with there wet suits already on, expensive boards under arms running for the break! “What the heck?” First, one lone guy and then two guy’s right after him and a couple of minutes later and two more guys. I didn’t know any of these people. When I drove up this morning I was the only person there and I was also the only person on the wall checking the conditions as well and now there are five people in the drink, without even looking just running into the surf ignorant as all hell.
Boy, was I ever missing John’s infamous smart-ass remarks at about this point. Being a couple of old guys, John and I have seen some funny shit happen at the beach over the years and it never fails that you almost always get some arrogant “new-be” not check the surf first and end up running down to the water in wetsuit and with the high-end board under the arm only to find it flatter than a pool table. We just shake our heads and chuckle into our coffees as the “new-be” either slinks off without looking at us, or they go out and bob around in the cold water as shark bait. “Yeah, showed us!”
I do realize that with free web sites and cell phones and all the other modern gadgets that people are finding out what the surf is like before they even see the water. Hell, it’s said that over half of the surf population doesn’t even live by the water! I once on a lark was able to check the surf at my local break from a computer when I was on vacation in the Peruvian mountains! It’s just that crazy now.
Still, I’ve just been a student of watching the weather and knowing my surf spots and how they work in certain weather conditions. This is what they call old school, I suppose. And let me tell ya’ this old school method has paid off as I’ve had plenty of great surf with just me or me and my friends because the computers were claiming it was flat or whatever it is they claim and we were out in the water enjoying quality surf.
After watching the Neoprene Lemmings flail into the water I figured I better get a move on if I want to get some surf myself. I returned to my truck and suited up. The funny part about all of this was that with the time I put in observing the surf this morning I still was able to surf for two hours alone in my spot because the other knuckleheads who were in such a hurry ran over to the usual, popular spot and fought with each other for a decent session. I, on the other hand enjoyed the morning alone with my thoughts and the ocean riding wave, after glassy wave.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I had just recently spent part of a day in my hometown. I actually drove and walked around a bunch of areas and places I spent a good portion of my childhood in and was amazed at how in one sense everything had changed and yet even the air seemed to smell and feel how I remembered it all of those years ago. I hadn’t done this since the mid-1980’s so it was quite an eye-opener.
After visiting a cousin I was shocked to hear how many kids we grew up with or went to school, little league or church with have either passed away from cancer, accidents or an alarming amount by there own hand--not to mention the ones who are now either incarcerated or homeless and live under freeways and push shopping carts.
I was also surprised to find out that the few people that had moved away are now back living in town again. What’s up with that? There seem to be very few of us who moved away and stayed away. I can count them on one hand.
There was one boy who I met in junior high school who was a very talented guitarist and preferred to play jazz over rock, which I found very cool and just so beyond what any of our other contemporaries were doing. He didn’t do drugs and was a really mellow, cool guy. My cousin had told me that he had passed away from a drug overdose a few years ago and I couldn’t believe it. My cousin also told me about a girl I had known since grade school and how she had died a while back from breast cancer. This was almost more than I could take.
During the long, multiple hour drive back to the bay area where I have been living for the better part of 25 years I had these two people on my mind the whole way and could see their young faces and how I remembered them as little kids, as high school kids and then how they looked when I had last seen them.
The next day I couldn’t get them out of my head so I tried to look them up on the internet.
I was elated that the boy I had known since junior high school is alive and well playing guitar in New York City and doing quite well too boot! However, I couldn’t find anything on the girl.
I guess this is all part of life. This is how it goes and one must take it as it comes. Everything is different and yet nothing has changed.