Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let's do the Numbers

Shaper's Index for February, 2009.
Average number of Tecates handed over to shaper upon pickup of up new board: 24
Average number consumed on the spot by customer, shaper, and shaper’s lovely wife: 5
Number of times in the last five years shaper has been offered a ‘giant bag of weed’ in exchange for a custom-shaped surfboard: 4
Number of times blog author has accepted said offer: 0
Average water temperature in Bodega Bay, California: 52.5
Number of sessions blog author didn’t wear booties at his home break last year: 0
Percent of sessions in which blog author did not wear 5/4 wetsuit last year: 5%
Number of times blog author has vomited due to duck-diving induced ice-cream headache: 1
Number of times blog author has left the water due to crowds in NorCal: 0
Percent of EPS blanks shaped this year: 10
Percent change from last year: -10
Chance that my buddy Gus will drop in on someone during a session: 1:1
Number of times he’s been forcibly removed from the water by a girl for said offense: 1
Ratio of full cutbacks to barrels by my buddy Jason in 10 years of surfing OBSF: 5:4,196
Number of shoulder surgeries my buddy Jason has had in ten years of surfing OBSF: 2
Percent of non-surfing friends that asked me last week if I was going to surf ‘The Maverick’s’: 50
Likelihood my glasser is not wearing her mask today: high
Last date my glasser told me she was feeling "tired": yesterday
Number of times blog author has missed a day of teaching due to irresistible wave forces: 2
Number of students blog author has seen in the water on said days: 2
Percentage of times blog author invoked the (fictional) teacher/student confidentiality agreement, “I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me” during said days: 100
Average number of fin boxes on boards shaped this month: 5
Percent change from February, 2009: +50
Ratio of surfed days in February before birth of first child, after birth of first child, and after birth of second child: 15:10:5
Percent this bothers blog author: 0
Chance that a board shaped this week is an 8’ cedar stringered rounded-pintail Broadsword: 1:2
Number of times a passing car has honked at blog author, who realized too late that dangly manparts were exposed while towel-changing: 2
Number of times blog author overheard unsolicited John Steinbeck references in local lineups this year: 2
Number of times blog author was called ‘dude’ in local lineups this year: 0

Monday, February 15, 2010

The War Pony Chronicles: St. Valentine's Edition

What a weekend for surf enthusiasts in Northern California.
The sun stopped pouting and came out of its room, waves of varying size and life-ending potential were served up like scripted folksiness in a Sarah Palin speech, and sweet sweet love was in the air.
Managed to score some waves, spend some time in the shaping bay, lunch on some fish tacos, take the girls to the park, fire up the grill and crack a local zinfandel with m'lady--and that was just yesterday. Feels like spring!
The local beachie, where waves are like a box of chocolates.
The surest sign that spring has arrived, however (besides asthma), is the first time the fan cranks up in the shop. Although scientists earlier today created the hottest temperature ever (4 trillion degrees celsius), my shop's come pretty close. Nowhere near that on Sunday, but it's always comforting to hear the soft whir of the fan over my industrial-strength earphones...
Anyway, forged from the heat of spring, the bittersweetness of dark chocolate valentines, and the birthdays of presidents 1 and 16 was local she-ripper Caroline's 6-something War Pony.
You can't spell SHRED without SHE.
The War Pony is a souped-up fish for our steeper northern breachbreaks. Curvier, slimmer, cedar stringier than a traditional San Diego style fish.
But I've not forgotten about you Northeasterners, or Clevelandites, or Michiganders, as you prepare for another round of snowy winter weirdness, and will share a moment from my weekend that was not entirely blissful: my three-year-old little lady enjoys running ahead of me on our beach walks, which can be inconvenient, but isn't discouraged due to its pride-inducing moxie. Yesterday, as I basked in a euphoric post-surf glow on one of our rare windless afternoons at the coast, I watched her spring, gazelle-like, toward an amorphous, dark relief in the sand. As I got closer, I recognized the form as bloated, decomposing seal, upon which she was suddenly seated. Closer still, and I was able to identify her right hand--perfect in its pink, cherubine innocence--probing deep into the swampy mammal's sagging eye socket.
My firstborn, pride of my loins, was overjoyed. "Daddy!" she cried, "it feels like wet Cheerios!"
And then, as if tying a red sating bow atop a box of candies for St. Valentine himself, removed her hand, held it briefly to her glowing face, and asked me, smile as pure as light, "wanna smell?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Father and Son

For a short time in third grade a secret admirer left celery in my locker. The individual sticks were neatly trimmed and placed in small sandwich bags. The first few offerings were anonymous, but later featured notes written in a girlie script.
Then my vegetable devotee began to get creative. Once, there were a few scratch-n-sniff stickers included. Another time a slender packet of ranch dressing accompanied the celery. A note read, “celery and ranch is cool!”
And for a brief time in the third grade, it was cool.
Until I learned that it was not Rachel Stein leaving me the celery, as I had hoped, but my sister. My mom made her do it out of fear that I wasn’t eating enough leafy greens.
What does this have to do with this 5’8 double-wing quad fish for Northcoast surf enthusiast David? Not a lot, other than to point out that it’s nice to have family looking out for us once in a while.
Accompanying David’s order was this 5'10, 80's inspired resinwork grom fish for his son.
Much cooler gift than a sweater.
Speaking of Father and Son, Cat Stevens penned a song under that title, converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusef Islam, ditched his music career, gave a sizable chunk of his fortune to humanitarian causes, sort of called for the death of Salmon Rushdie, then performed on The Colbert Report. In that order.
Just in case you’re keeping tabs.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Situation Identification

A pause for some of this:
And a little bit of this:
Before we return to our regular programming: