Saturday, December 29, 2007

X-mas in Conn-X-ticut

(The above picture was not taken with black and white film. New England really looks like this.)
The old lady and I just got back from New England, and I feel I owe the entire region an apology. In the past, I'd refer to New Englanders as grumpy. Or worse. I was convinced that an unfortunate stew of adverse weather conditions, lingering Puritan ideologies, and a lack of good Mexican food produced bad attitudes.
During our visit we didn't see anything even resembling the sun for ten days. At one point, it was raining, snowing, and ice was falling from the sky. It was as if some monster-god was fishing around in a bucket of Hate, then hurling its contents by the fistful toward the helpless earth below.
During this time I wore a hat indoors and took two showers a day just to warm up. I went outside exactly one time, and that was to snap the above picture of a neighbor's house because I was convinced this was a bad dream and I wanted proof. Grumpy.
Yet the New Englanders marched toward their appalling fates with glee. They stuffed plastic bags into their boots, grabbed shovels, and went to work--mid storm--before the falling temps turned their driveways into luge runs.
My four-year-old niece woke up early (snowing. Raining. Hailing) every morning, ventured outside in the dark in an oversized snowsuit, then reappeared several hours later soaking wet, a giant grin stretched across her chapped, blue lips.
Now we're back and north swells are stacking up for what looks like weeks of fun. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Single, Santa)

I get bored looking at shaping room pictures. Everything looks great in a shaping room picture. Something about the side lighting, the foam dust settling onto your lungs, the a.m. radio crackling out classic Merle Haggard tunes...
A few weeks ago, I tried to sell an old couch on craigslist. Granted, it was not a pretty couch. It was not not a new couch. It was not a couch free of dog hair.
No takers.
An idea struck: I'll prop that couch up on my shaping racks, as everything looks great in a shaping room picture.
I posted the new pics, then sat back and waited.
The couch was picked up less than thirty minutes later by a stoked Sonoma State student who not only gave me the asking price in cash, but threw in a forty of MGD. Now that's business!
Since then, I've taken to propping up all sorts of things on the shaping room racks in order to enhance their aesthetics, if only for a moment. Taking my new discovery to its logical extensions, I began to photograph some elements in my life that need a bit of sprucing up, via the shaping room. Here are a few examples with their results:
1. My mom. She looked great, though a little dandruffy after a few minutes. Christmas card quality.
2. The interior of my wife's minivan. This made us both feel better. The sidelights obscured the Cheerio army camped under the baby seat, and brought a pleasing glow to the Diet Pepsi can pile.
3. My abs. Things haven't been going well for my abs lately. Propped up on the shaping racks, though, everything looked different. Recommended.
Soon, however, boredom set in, so here are some shots from the kitchen. If all goes well, I might shoot some new board pictures in other rooms. Perhaps I could feature boards in various states of repose on furniture, preparing a delicious meal, or even a few tasteful boudoir shots...
In the meantime, here's a 6'6 single fin for my buddy Tripp. Sleek as a tuna, fully modernized bottom contours, tuned-in rails and rocker, a single wing pulling in to a pin tail--this Flying Saucer has Clean Ocean Beach written all over it.

The Rusty Flex fin is the icing on this Christmassy cake. It heads up to the Fattyshack next week for a full spa treatment--all-over board tint, racing stripe, and gloss-and-polish finish.
Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Perfect Sandwich

Start with one newly-polished slice of coke-bottle tinted longboard deck.
Slowly add (might want to ask the kids to leave the room at this point) Neil Diamond's 1973 Hot August Nights album cover. It won a Grammy, so you know it's good.
Do not substitute other celebrated 1973 albums, such as Carly Simon's No Secrets or David Cassidy's ironically titled, Rock Me Baby.
In a pinch, The Who's Quadraphenia or Stevie Wonder's Innervisions will do.
Top with another slice of coke-bottle longboard deck from a different angle, this one highlighting what appears to be a dirty tailblock. I don't know what's on the floor of Fatty's shop, but I suggest wearing shoes.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Winterfish Redux

Have you seen this? The Bodega Bay Buoy (Station 46013) calls the direction of this humongous swell "WSW."
I call it "Whatever, I'm Heading to a South-Facing Beach." The problem is, south facing beaches will probably be maxed out, too.
But since our station is to persevere, we have to forge onward. And we have to forge with the right stick.
The right stick for me is the above pictured 6'1" Winterfish.
I'm not quite ready to hang up the 5'8" quad fish (see my "Love Affair With The Quad Fish" post) just yet, but neither am I stoked to paddle her into double overhead, heaving shorepound.
Enter the Winterfish, a board I'm excited to paddle into double overhead, heaving shorepound (see my "Lies I've Told on my Blog" post).
This board is pulled in at the nose and tail. It's a quad, so it sticks to the face of a steep wave like something that's very sticky. It's got a single wing. It's got shortboard volume and rocker, but it's EPS, so it floats like a thicker board. This one is 6'1".
I am not even close to being 6'1", though I sport freakishly long arms.
The Winterfish and the dog enjoy spending time on the Persian rug. The dog seems a bit perturbed by the surfboard. The surfboard, however, rests quietly without judgment--a model of Zen calm.
Take care if you paddle out this week.