Thursday, October 2, 2014

Just because

Not bumper stickers, hyperbolic rants, nor memes are going to make someone see things your way. You’re never going to change anyone’s mind with aggressive, provocative diatribes that equate to poking them in the chest saying “you’re wrong and you’re stupid and you should think like me!”

 And if you did happen to change someone’s mind through the aforementioned methods... they are stupid and you wouldn’t want them on your side, anyways.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Week in the Life of a Middle-Aged Portland Oregon Surfer

Monday, 7:30 a.m.
I’m tired, probably feeling a wee bit of the after-effects (not gonna call it a hangover) of drinking too much over the weekend (again.) I surfed Saturday though. Still riding a bit of that stoke. I can still feel that second-to-last wave that really got my juices flowing. I replay it in my head over and over and over. I should have pulled a harder cut back though- screw my back.

 I also should have gone for that wave that looked like it had just a bit too much vert on the face. It didn't even close out! Don’t be such a wuss next time!

I’m checking the forecasts for later in the week. Too early to know for sure what it’s going to really be like.

Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.
Ahhhhhh it’s only freaking Tuesday! I’ve spent way too much time on Surfline today. The stoke is pretty much worn off. Friday is looking good I think. Why am I on Craigslist looking at surfboards again? I just bought yet another board that will have to be hidden in my garage until who-knows-when.

Wednesday, 10:45 a.m.
Dammit, dammit dammit! Perfect conditions at the Cove! Dammit! I could skip out of work early, make the 1.375 hour drive to the coast and get a solid hour+ of surf in before it’s pitch black out. Dammit! Kid has soccer practice tonight though! Dammit!

Thursday, 2:15 p.m.
Okay, Friday is looking okay, and it’s my regular rotating Friday off. Cove looks good, Shorties looks fair. Okay, on the road by 6:30, in the water by 8:15. But wait, crap, is showing a short period swell now and wind out of the north. What the hell?!? Swellinfo is showing all green and wind out of the east. Mixed swell? Dammit! Should I make the drive? Dammit!! I hate these stupid forecast sites!

Friday, 4:45 a.m.
Too dark to see anything on the webcam at the Cove. No matter. I bet everything is blown out. Wind switched onshore. I hate you all.

Friday , 6:30 a.m.
Okay- I can kinda see something on the webcam. Looks like crap at the Cove but maybe Shorties is okay? My surf buddy is texting: “what do you think?”

Friday, 6:35 a.m.
Forget it.

Friday, 8:15 a.m.
Surf buddy text: “Let’s go to P.C. It looks clean!” Too late. Wife is awake and I’m put on lockdown for household assignments. Dammit!! But wait… Saturday is looking good.

Saturday, 6:00 a.m.
Loading the truck, caffeine flowing, double-checking gear (yeah I should go ahead and bring 3 leashes… you never know.) Do I pack the 8’4” just in case? It’s supposed to be 5-7’ but the tide is high. No, because then I’ll have to leave it in the back of the truck if I don’t use it. Okay- 7’3” speed egg then. No, wait, maybe the 7’8”. Should I try the 6’4”? I’m getting too fat to ride that thing anymore. Dammit! I need to roll.

Saturday, 6:04 a.m.
I’m on the road- I’ll be in the water by 7:45 at the latest. Metallica!!

Saturday, 6:08 a.m.
Dammit!!! I left my booties in the garage!

Saturday, 6:10 a.m.
Okay- no worries, back on the road, cranking Queens of the Stone Age! Yes! 

I get ready to merge onto highway 217. Yeah gas station guy- that is a surfboard sticking out the back of my truck! Don’t be all jealous! In the water no later than 8:00!

Saturday, 7:45 a.m.
Well, the Cove looks decent. Yup, screw it. Not going anywhere else. But damn, that wind is picking up a bit…

Saturday, 11:50 a.m.
I scramble over the rocks back to my truck. I need to have a serious conversation with my wife about moving to the coast. I could telecommute. I’m sure my boss would be cool with that. I wonder what time my wife works tomorrow? I could leave super early and be back home by 10:00. Ooooohhhhh look! That house has a for sale sign on it! I wonder if any new boards are on the shelf at Seaside surf?  Maybe I’ll swing in and browse a bit.

Saturday, 1:15 p.m.
Text from wife: “Where R U!?”

Sunday, 12:30 a.m.
(Sipping a beer I don’t really need) I wonder what kind of jobs they have for Americans in Nicaragua?

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Yes! Iowa! -36 degrees this morning with the wind chill. I know that wind chill thing makes it sound so much worse. Okay, the ambient temperature was -9, okay? I've found there isn't much difference between -36 and -6 and 0 these last 4 days.

 I ate at the bar of this Mexican joint in Cedar Rapids around 6:45 or so. The place (or the bar at least) was packed. And everyone was drunk. I listened on as a 50-some-odd-year-old woman talked about how smart her youngest girl was, going to K.U. and all. 'I'm not saying she's really smart,' she says, 'she's just smarter than my other kids, you know?'

 Why did Joe-White-Man-Settler run the Indians out of this place and call it home, anyways?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Why I Will Never Ever Post to Craigslist Ever Again

Want to lose all faith in humanity? Go to Craigslist. Create a post in the "free" section. Observe the idiocy.

And this was just one of many...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stinky Wetsuits

I went surfing on January 1st. What follows is the exchange I had with my surf buddy prior to, and following a fun session in Seaside, OR.

Monday, November 25, 2013


So there was a shark attack last week not too far from where I surf. The guy got away without any injuries though—the big lug just gave his board a little taste-test. I’m sure there’s a wetsuit that got a thorough cleaning this weekend, and for the record, the guy was an out-of-towner. Maybe it was a local shark just keeping the line-up in order.

All joking aside, it keeps you on alert the next time you paddle out after hearing about this sort of thing. That odd swooshing of water a few yards off or the shadow that may or may not have just passed under your board...? You can’t let your imagination run wild but occasionally it does. The worst (or best?) part of it is there isn’t going to be any of that cinematic fin-rushing-up-from-afar crap if a great white does decide to go after you. I’m sure most surfers that have been attacked never even saw it coming. Great whites attack from underneath and it’s usually a case of mistaken identity. Of course that’s no consolation if Jaws takes a bite out of your thigh.

Seals and sea lions are usually on the menu, and incidentally, there’s a seal that frequents my regular break. Whenever I see the doe-eyed little guy it immediately gets my hackles up, especially when he’s closer to the beach than I am: it’s like, does he know something I don’t?
I honestly don’t believe surfing is inherently dangerous. I mean, of course there’s risk involved, but like any sport (and I hate to call surfing a sport) there is definitely a potential for injury. Yet most competent surfers know if conditions are beyond their ability. Sure, accidents happen, but by the numbers, the sheer amount of surfers in the water around the world at any given time compared to the amount of drowning reported, shark attacks, and other potentially-fatal incidents associated with the activity are relatively low.

 And I actually read somewhere that more people get attacked by cows each year than by sharks. 

Of course it’s probably a bit more frightening to have Jaws barreling up underneath you than Lulu the cow giving you a swift kick to the backside. Or whatever it is a cow does when it attacks.

At the end of the day, even though the linked incident took place just miles down the coast from where I usually surf, it won’t keep me from the water. I may pay a bit closer attention to that seal though. If he’s paddling in, I might think about doing the same.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Still Here...

So I won’t even bother with any commentary on my lack of posts of late. Suffice it to say the work that pays the bills overfloweth. The surf has been great as well, so my, uh, free time has been limited.  Just to let you know I’m still alive and keeping the creative juices flowing (or attempting to at least), I thought I’d share a few things I overheard while out and about in the office over the last few weeks. This amused me.

“…so one day it was raining and she showed up to class with an umbrella in a scabbard on her belt…”

“…they weren’t homeless people back then: they were bums…”

“…that’s one thing about software engineers, not only will they go to the renaissance faire, they’ll dress up in the pirate costumes and talk with an accent and shit…”

I also want to take an opportunity to plug another writer’s blog:

The name says it all… irreverent, shit-talking brilliance. I loves me a potty-mouthed girl.