Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Airing out the Inbox

Sophocles once quipped, “The true mark of a man lies in his email activity.” Amen. Modern social anthropologists, like yourselves, long ago forsook sifting through the garbage of humanity in search of answers, choosing instead to focus their lenses of scientific voyeurism onto more digital affairs. Is someone aligning themselves with terrorists? Check their email. Is there one amongst us who shops Amazon with Les Affaires abandon? It’s in the inbox. Do thoughts of adding girth to his flaccid schvantz occupy the lion’s share of your teenager’s time? I wouldn’t recommend it, but a quick AOL search would reveal the answer. You see, only email can fill in the blank spaces on the map our character.
That is why, under the banner of honesty and full disclosure, every third Tuesday I fling open the doors of the HHG inbox from the past few weeks. Onward into the unknown!

Dear HHG,
Is it possible my husband Paul ordered another board from you within the last month? I ask because there’s a blue longboard with double pinlines in the garage that I haven’t seen before. When I ask him about it, he just mumbles and points at our son. He's eight.
Thank you,
Paul’s Wife Who Is Saving Up For The Down Payment On A New House
Under the Shaper’s Disclosure Act of 1999, it is not compulsory for me to answer your query. However, I will say that as of last week, Paul is one step closer to a free sandwich*. Also, when he picked up something the other day (not saying what it was that he slipped into his new 9’6 board bag), he did mention how much he loved you, and how understanding you are. Maybe not in those exact words, but still.
*The HHGSC (HeadHighGlassySandwichClub) offers a free sandwich** from Traverso's, a Santa Rosa tradition for four generations, for customers who reach a certain number of board orders. In order to stave off a run on new orders, I won't give the exact number, though it's between five and seven.
**Sandwich includes one (non-alcoholic) drink, but no chips, as chips are ridiculous.
This may, or may not be your husband's new stick.

Dear HHG,
Is Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73 the best fall-related ode?
Yours in poetry,
Tina from Marina

Hi TfM,
No. It is clear Shakespeare never visited California during this most lovely of seasons when he penned, “when yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang/Upon those boughs which shake against the cold…”
Instead, let me recommend Keats’ To Autumn. At just 24 years old, he nailed it right from the opener: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…”

How do you know when you’re getting old?
Humbolt-er Every Day

Do you make strange noises when you sit down?
Do you ever wish your board were 2” thicker?
Have you ever opted out from a surf session to work in your vegetable garden?
Wait, that might just be me...

Dear HHG,
I’m thinking about relocating—does Sonoma County have good surf?
California Dreamin’

Dear CD,
No, SoCo does not have good surf. Especially last week.
San Diego does, though!
What we do have is excellent wine. Let me recommend Trentadue’s Old Patch Red (2005). A 2008 Sonoma County Harvest Fair winner in Best of Class, and a steal at Bottle Barn right now for $9.99. The convenient screw top makes it even more appealing as a daily drinker.

And with that, I seal the HHG inbox for another month.
Don’t forget this Thursday’s Surf Movie Night at Santa Rosa’s Toad ‘n The Hole Pub in historic Railroad Square. This month’s feature is going to be solid. Festivities begin around darkish.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Spitfire

On a warm summer’s day in 1940, Adolf Hitler commanded his air force, the Luftwaffe, to bomb the hell out of England.
The United Kingdom, with its trademark gusto, dispatched the Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain, the first campaign ever fought entirely by aircraft, was officially underway.
The Luftwaffe had firepower, but the British had heart. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth refused to leave Buckingham Palace, inspiring the nation with their pluck. The Germans seemed indomitable with their Messerschmitt Bf 110s (nicknamed the Zerstorer or ‘Destroyer’), a fast twin-engine, long-range aircraft.
But the RAF had a feisty retort: the Spitfire.
Designed with clean lines for speed and elliptical wings for agility, the single-seater Spitfire immediately began kicking ass. It could accelerate faster than the Zerstorer, bank in tighter arcs, and fire more rounds.
The result: the RAF, powered by vigor and the Spitfire, handed the Nazis their first defeat and turned the war around. Not too shabby.
San Francisco shred enthusiast Giles is lucky enough to have a real-live war hero in his family. His stepfather served in the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Wanna know what he flew?
The Spitfire.
He was 19 years old.
Each of the color marking on a Spitfire conveys meaning--the yellow rail bands and black-and-white stripes communicated their allied association, while the British flag was represented by the red and blue circle (interesting fact: RAF and American fighter planes during WWII ditched the red part of the circle, as they could be mistaken for Japanese aircraft). The pilots put red tape over their guns to keep them from freezing, as seen in the pigment 'patches' in the nose of Giles' board.
Every color on this board is pigmented resin.
A mistress of understatement, when Leslie saw a drawing of the task before her, said only, "I'll need to order more tape."