Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Yeti

This is a picture of WB local Rob Brown surfing a wave somewhere in Northern California that I pilfered from There are a few more that really give you an idea of how intense this wave is. In some of the pictures you can see it sucking below sea level. Also, notice how thick the lip is:

That's our same local boy about to go over the falls. I can't imagine what that must have felt like. This is one of those mindbender waves that you might not want to surf, even in your head. Could I surf this wave? Not yeti.

I'm sorry, but I love a bad pun.

If you want to see more:

Monday, January 26, 2009


I just started The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It's about Roosevelt's descent of a remote tributary of the Amazon in the aftermath of his failed presidential campaign (which would have been his 3rd term if successful). While stumping in Milwaukee, Wisconsin two weeks prior to the election, he was shot, on stage, by some crazy who thought Roosevelt was trying to establish himself as a monarch in America. The bullet, which was slowed by his heavy coat, his speech (folded in half), and his glasses case, still plunged five inches into his chest. He insisted in delivering the speech as planned in his blood-stained shirt with the bullet in his chest before seeing doctors.

You can't make this stuff up. If I get a little headache I need to lay down. The next time I'm thinking about bailing on a session because it's too cold or too early or whatever bullshit pops into my head, I'm going to think about Roosevelt stumping with a bullet in his chest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Paco Strickland

I took my pretty lady to see our local surfing brother William "Paco" Strickland and his Fabulous Flying Flamenco Brothers (or something like that) tonight. The FFF Bros (master craftsman Greg Eavey and a fellow named Troy Pierce) provided percussion to Paco's virtuoso guitar playing. He really makes that mother sing. It was a great show, very private, about 80 people in WHQR 93.1's 3rd floor gallery. It will air on Saturday night at 9 as the Soup to Nuts Live program. If you haven't heard Paco play before, and you have ears on the side of your head, you shouldn't miss it. Or at least check out his website and find a time to go hear him play.

For info on Paco, see

Greg Eavey's boards

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yes we did.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Check this out:

Holy. Crap.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hand-made Craft

I made something with my bare hands today with wood and tools, perhaps for the first time in my life. It's not complicated, or particularly impressive, but I made it all by myself. Our kayaks (see my other blog) have been resting precariously close to the ground for the several months we've had them, which isn't great for them. I've helped people build things before, but I can't think of anything else I've ever completely conceived, built, and then used before. I bought the wood and put it together without any help at all. This seems a little like a silly thing to be proud of, but I'm thirty, and it's my first real solo project, so I'm going to be proud and if that's silly, then so be it. I learned a little, and I've got an idea or two for improvements, but all in all, I think I did a pretty good job.

This got me thinking about paipos and hand planes. I don't have the space or tools or knowledge for shaping surfboards right now, but I've been wanting to build myself a paipo for a long time. Paipos exist outside of the hustle and bullshit that is our popular surf industry. The skill and tools needed are minimal, and cost is very low. I can get a sheet of marine ply or poplar at the local hardware store and then do whatever I want. This spring, I am going to design, build, and ride my very own wave-sliding vehicle. It won't be high performance, and there won't be some hot kid with all the right moves riding one, but I will have made it, and I think that sounds pretty damn exciting, imperfections and all. My hope is that it will be fraught with the pure, simple, unadulterated thrill that comes with the fundamental act of riding a wave, which is all surfing really is. Free of care, free of worry, free of commercialism. No stickers, no shops, no nonsense. Just me and a piece of wood in a closeout barrel wearing the biggest shit-eating grin you've ever seen.