Monday, December 15, 2014

End Of Days... Last Wave, Last Ride, notes from the Rogue

"Colder! Piercing, searching, biting cold." -Charles Dickens    47F and no hood. 47th-48th Street. 12/14/2014
   Two of us. That's all there was occupying our lineup that extended about two blocks. Mid morning surf featuring knee to thigh high sets that occurred about once every ten minutes or so. Plenty of flatlines and drabs in between. Seemed like we kept a watch on each other to see who would say "f*#k this!" first. It's the middle of December and the end of a northeast blow that kept the central Right Coast agitated and unclean over the paste couple of weekends. A northwest offshore cleaned up the past week and yesterday morning was my first and last chance of the season. Found myself getting frustrated tryin' to ride somethin' outta nuthin.' Not a lot of power with high tide moving in. But once I settled in, and my hands numbed up, I was able to reel in a couple of decent backsides. Damn, it was cold. All I could do to focus on the horizon. Sitting for a bit through another flat spell I eyed a slow lurching swell; what was to be the last wave of the morning... soon to be the end of my surf days. Dropped down the short thigh high left break towards the jetty swinging the nose away from the jetty's piling at the last moment, my left side skeg gracing the underlying floor as I carved into a shallow bottom turn to finish, the sand robbing momentum. Last ride.
   Wrapping the leash around the board's tail, I was looking forward to that post session cup of joe. No hot anticipation of the cold rinsing to come. As I exited the surf I could not help but gaze back at the next set coming in. Seemingly getting bigger. Like a Siren; calling me back in. For the briefest moment I entertained the idea of paddling back out with the leash left coiled. Brit cold water surfer Gabe Davies got it right, "once you start surfing, you'll be lost forever." Still lost I suppose.
Bayside no more inviting.

Much needed D&D Joe...right now, the best season's greeting.

  Anchor Brewing of San Francisco puts out a yearly Christmas beer called Our Special Ale. Spiced and brewed differently every year, the 40th Anniversary edition was our offering last night. Pours a clear mahogany with a finger and half tan head. Slight lacing. Roughly 11 IBUs it is lightly hopped for a bitter, dry finish with a malt stringer filled with notes of ginger, cinnamon, tea, and plum. Flavors of toasted caramel, light bready coffee, and a hint of brown sugar. Yet the entire experience comes off light to medium bodied at 5.5% ABV. Two or three of these go down pretty easy. Easy drinking. A decent winter warmer. I rated this a B-.
The Giant Sequoia. Keeps it's youth far longer than
any of it's neighbors. Juvenile in every feature at
the age of old pines, "The Big Tree" is Nature's
forest masterpiece.                           -John Muir

"Surfers are generally a fearless lot, but when it comes to surfing with sharks,
a sighting can put fear into even the toughest surfer."    -Surfing With Sharks
Merry Christmas from "the Man in the Grey Suit."

Monday, December 8, 2014

Overcoming The Dark Days, notes from the Rogue.

In need of the Maytag repairman.  Castles at 37th. 12/7/2014

Feeling the season.  Castle in the Sand.

   It is the season of darkness.  The sun is gone by 5. Days maniacally shortened. Not enough sunlight to go around, especially considering the clouds and rain lately. Temps have been chilled, but not freezing. Water hanging in the low 50's. I was looking towards this past weekend anticipating my last "get wet" day of the year. So a Nor'easter blew into town pretty much stirring the Atlantic up into a churning mess. Not to be. Dark days to be sure. In church this weekend the sermon was about surviving the dark days of the season. The stress, the doubt, the money, the depression, the lack of surf. I suppose it gets to a lot of people. Myself, I feel the stress of needing to get shit done. The shopping, the decorating. Short work month, but the same sales and shipping requirements. I have a family genetic problem that plaques me... procrastination. And as I watch my kids grow and mature I have seen that same defect has been passed along. I'm attracted to it. Even my woman has it. Pile on the stress baby! But, the treatment is simple. And this treatment doesn't just help me to survive, it helps me to overcome. Friends. Family. Simple. This is a photo blog of Thanksgiving. Christmas should be a blast!


The Star...The Bro...The Bird
Thanksgiving Day, Smyrna, DE. 11/27/2014
Evo's Secret Spot, an Altbier perfect 
for the colder seasons' celebrations.
6.3% keeps the consumption down,
40IBUs makes for a crisp finish.

Zu Zu's petals, what's all the hub-bub Bub.

Yeah right, red suit, white beard...
Down the chimney? With Presents?

Not football, Foosball.

Proud uncle


OCMD Inlet, 11/28/014

Hibernation Ale.  Great Divide's take on
an English style Old Ale.  A rich malty 
warmer for the coldest days, and nights.
And the 8.7%ABV helps. A nice balance
of hops at 37 IBUs.

Brothers Watt

Gotta Love Thrashers Fries!

Family.  Boardwalk & Inlet. Ocean City, MD 11/28/2014

Mother's Birthday...80 years strong!
Adriana's Winterfest of Lights...
Northside Park,  OCMD 11/30/2014

A child's wonder.
Family overcomes...always!