Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The War Pony

Leslie called last week and told me to get my tucchus up to the Fattyshack.
"You got a bunch of boards ready and they need to get off my racks," she said. "Including the War Pony."
I had no idea what the hell the War Pony was, but Fatty works with some pretty gnarly chemicals and sometimes forgets her mask, so I let things slide.
The next day found me at the 'shack, loading boards into the minivan. Leslie disappeared, and a moment later strange sounds began to emerge from her shop, quietly at first--mouth harp, whistling, the grunting of several men, and...pan flute?
The music swelled and, right on cue, Leslie emerged with a board held over her head like some giant beast she had killed in the forest and was now bringing back to the village to save us from a long-endured hunger.
(Press 'play' to help recreate scene)

A melody formed, led first by twangy guitar, but soon overtaken by voice and strings.
Suddenly, I knew: the swelling score, the mix of instrumentation that made me want to grunt commands to a nervous looking woman--this could only be Morricone, maestro of the American West, creator of the sounds that launched Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood into Spaghettidom!
Leslie, the War Pony thrust aloft, freshly polished gloss coat glinting in the sun, marched toward me in perfect time with the snare drum.
The music reached a crescendo.
I felt joyous, triumphant, a little thirsty. I wanted to get in a gunfight, squint, chew on a thin stogie, command a child to fetch things for me, entrusting them with my most valuable belongings for I had learned to trust no adults.
Then, the music stopped.
"The War Pony," Leslie said, holding the board out for my inspection. It was a high performance fish I had dropped off a few weeks ago.
"Why War Pony?" I asked.
"Why not?" she asked, shrugging. Then added, "You staying for a beer?"

So the War Pony left its stable and awaited pickup as an official Bedroomer (some boards you just can't leave in the shop), as pictured below.

However, one evening the usually understanding and magnanimous Mrs. HHG caught me staring at a little too long at the War Pony, so back into the shop the War Pony went.

p.s.--that purple carpet was here when we moved in.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Good to be back in our (not so!) chilly waters after spending an unplanned extra day watching lightning storms descend upon JFK. I've always wondered what it's like to entertain a 1.5 year old in an airport for 18 hours, and now I know. It kind of sucks.

Cool inland temps lately have created smooth coastal conditions.

Almost felt warm enough to ditch the hood!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ballad of the Thin Man

TommyT stopped by last month to check out his board before it headed up to the Fattyshack.
“Too thick” he said, turning it over on the racks.
I thought for a moment. “I wouldn’t go any thinner,” I said. TommyT’s about one-night-of-drinking shy of 200Lbs.
“Too chunky,” he replied, sighting the board down from the nose. “Chunky monkey.”
“It’s pretty well blended…”
“Chunky funky.”
“The foil’s spot-on—“
“Chunkin’ donuts,” he said, moving toward the tail. “Chunk in the trunk. Reverse slam chunk. You chunk my battleship…” and so on, seemingly oblivious of my presence.
I told TommyT I’d be happy to thin it out a bit.
“Thin it out by half,” he said, sighting a rail.
That would have netted TommyT a ¾ ” thick board, but TommyT’s not a numbers guy, so I said OK and handed over a mask so he could watch.

“Thinner,” he said occasionally. “Like a coffee table. Like twenty pages stapled together. Maybe fifteen.”
I asked him if he’d ever surfed a board like this in the adult stages of his life.
“It’s going to be under water when you paddle.”
This was a good point. TommyT’s 6’4” with arms like telephone poles. He could probably paddle a car door into overhead beachbreak and never feel a thing.
I got to work, and a half-hour later offered the newly-reduced item for his inspection.
“Tail’s too thick,” he said. “Thick as a brick.”
I paused.
“Thick Cheney. Thick Van Dyke.”
I took a deep breath.
“Thickie Don’t Lose That Number.”
“Any thinner and you’re going to have problems getting into waves,” I said.
Another good point—his board, not mine.

Twenty minutes later and it was done. The tail was thinner than a CD and the rails sported a dime-size radius, but TommyT was stoked. He pulled a beer out of his back pocket and cracked it, grinning.
“Think I’ll be able to get up on it?”
“Imagine what it would be like if I could!” He said. “I’d friggin rip!”

TommyT’s 6’1” hi-pro quad fish, fresh resinwork from the Fattyshack, ready for ripping.

Feels good to be back on the West Coast!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Right Coast Dispatch

From the HeadHighGlassy Recipe Files: the East Coast No-Batter Flatter Combater.
1. Something that floats
2. Fishing rods
3. Shiny plastic ‘squid’ covered with sharp hooks
4. Captain Kenny
5. Knife
Mix ingredients together in a choppy forty minute cruise out to the point, let simmer for a few hours in a sizable rip current while alternating fishing, telling fishing stories, talking about fish, looking for fish, and trying not to throw up. Consume beer if necessary. Hold on to belt loops of lighter fisherpeople when engaged with a particularly feisty specimen.
Team HeadHighGlassy experienced the Atlantic Ocean’s bounty this week on Captain Kenny Eldredge's bluefish/striped bass charter, Kittiwake. Everyone got into some fish, only one person fell overboard, and Captain Kenny wowed us all with a filet-o’-fish demo during the cruise back.

Mrs HHG lands a Striped Bass despite some serious flyaway fisherwoman hair.

Cap’n Kenny. Chillin.

The morning started out slowly--this lonely bluefish was all we had to show after the first hour on the water.
Then the magic happened, and Striped Bass (Stripahs!) began filling the boat.

One of these is a lie: I caught this 50” Stripah, which Cap’n Kenny filleted in twelve seconds.

*All three are lies—I did not catch this fish, it is not 50”, and Cap’n Kenny actually filleted it in eleven seconds. Badass. He's a 12th generation Right Coast fisherman who's got the stoke and a great 'stash. HHG recommended for when things go flat and you're hungry...