Go, Do, Be.

Categories

10/29/2014  — 

A Wave

Big Wednesday. It happened the other day: one of those weeks where the buoy graphs are flat except for a sharp peak right in the middle of the week. Some storm from some far-off place sent a burst of energy our way, then stopped.

I got up a little late and saw that the bridge was jacked-up. After texting and sitting on the fence a while, I decided to just go and do it.

The paddle-out was TOUGH! I haven't been surfing nearly enough to be in shape. Also I don't remember exactly what happened on Tuesday night, but something I ate for dinner (or possible second-dinner) wanted to let me know that it was still hanging around.

I paddled for about 45 minutes, nearly barfed once, nearly gave up once. Somehow I was able to recover, find a little riptide and get outside (where I could sit and recover further).

Anyway, eventually I got lucky with a pretty sweet wave. I got luckier a few days later when someone pointed me to this:

IMG_2206a

Sweet!

12/27/2013  — 

A wave

Oh that was a good one. Merry Christmas!

It was pretty big out there today. I made it outside and caught a few. At one point I found myself sitting away from a group of guys when a set came in. The first two waves were nice looking and I was about in the right spot, but I let them go by. A few of the nearby guys were paddling toward me as the third, biggest one of the set came through.

A little voice in my head said, "I think I could make that."

Then I heard a loud voice from outside my head saying, "GO! PADDLE HARD!!!" That was the winning vote. I turned, paddled, and made the drop.

Yeah, I got munched right after that picture was taken. I'll figure out how to make the most of those barrely sections at some point...

Thanks Brien.

09/08/2009  — 

Story of a Surfboard: 1963 Bing

I found an ad for this one on Craigslist a few years ago. At that time I had been watching a bunch of old videos on YouTube and drooling over pics of early Bings on classicbingsurfboards.com was really curious about how these old boards felt on a wave. When I saw the ad for an old 9'6" bing, I jumped on it.

The guy who sold it to me said that he had done some repair work to the nose. He added the paint to the deck (probably to cover up some of the work on the nose), but mentioned that that was common for boards from this era. He offered the following advice about the leash-hole in the tail:

"Someone drilled that leash hole. Not me. I don't use a leash -- with two exceptions. 1. when there are rocks that will break your board. 2. when you know there's a shark in the water."

Bing Copeland, added some info about the board's history:

"Your board #2699 was ordered by a local Hermosa surfer named Steve Lupo on August 3, 1963. I'll send you a birth certificate for your board to your email address.

Bing"

Sure, enough, Bing shared a Birth Certificate (pdf) from his log book when the board was born on 8/3/1963. Super cool!

This thing has taken a beating. 2" balsa stringer, neat red lamination job, big d-fin. What's not to love about it? In the water it really screams (once it gets going). It's kind of like riding a torpedo. I rode this board exclusively in all conditions for a little over a year. It really helped my surfing: strength, balance. Maybe even style.

Low rocker
D-Fin, leash hole
Tail
Split-eye Bing Logo
Tail and Belly
Bottom, patches
Serial No: 2699
More Bottom
Deck

Lots of gaps in the story. Who was Steve Lupo? How did this thing end up in Santa Cruz? I hope to add a few new stories before the stringer rots through.

Oh yeah: Skip Hoard snapped my pic at Linda Mar one day. I ran into this pic on the wall of a cafe after a morning session.

Pic on the wall at a cafe

03/26/2009  — 

Twitter-Based Surf Report Flowchart

I've been mucking around with Twitter and Facebook lately. There are a few folks who have been using these services to post info about how the surf is. I don't live close to the beach (yet), so I like to see what's happening before I jump into the car and make the trip.

I sent a message from my phone this morning. Even though the surf was lame. The message was published all over the place (microsyndication). Here's how it worked:

  1. I emailed a photo to twitpic.com which...
  2. updates my status on Twitter which...
  3. the @StokeReport user follows. If my tweet contains "SMLM", stokereport will publish my tweet on stokereport.com (and even pull the image off twitpic it seems, nice!).
  4. also, http://greacen.com has that little widgety thing over there on the left. Your browser will pull the image from twitpic and put it onto this page.
  5. also, Twitter will pass my status update on to Facebook.com

Guess what? Most of these nodes along the way have their own RSS feeds for others (services or people) to slurp & read.

Thinking about this plinko-esque publishing flow is a little dizzying. I've been working on web site flows for a few weeks now. It's often helpful to map out a flow to see what's really going on. Graphviz is an open source tool for producing network diagrams and flow charts that I've been using for mapping high-level flows. Here's what a map looks like for the publishing flow I described earlier:

digraph TwitterSurf {
size="6,6";
ratio = fill;
node [style="rounded,filled,bold" shape="box" fillcolor="skyblue"];

/* Set up specific shapes */
Phone [style="rounded,filled" shape="oval" fillcolor="grey"];
"RSS Aggregators" [style="rounded" shape="box3d"];

/* relationships */
Phone -> "twitpic.com" [label="Email with attachment"];
"twitpic.com" -> "twitter.com" [label="twitter api"];
"twitter.com" -> "facebook.com" [label="facebook/twitter bridge"];
"twitter.com" -> "stokereport.com" [label="if post contains 'SMLM'" style="dotted"] ;
"twitpic.com" -> "greacen.com" [label="widget/embed" color="red"] ;
"twitter.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;
"facebook.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;
"stokereport.com" -> "RSS Aggregators" [label="rss feed" color="darkorange"] ;
}

If you ignore the []s, it looks like a terse version of our list up above. Here's the flowchart those instructions produce:

Surf Report Publishing Flow

Kinda neat, huh? I find the way this goes from text to sitemap really intriguing. This -> that; that -> next; other -> next; makes sense to me. Graphviz does a great job of putting this all together in an easy-to-digest graphic.

There are a few rails front ends to graphviz (demo) that might make a web tool for this possible. I could see this becoming a handy planning tool for our organization.

Questions:

  • Anyone ever use a tool like this for making sitemaps or high-level flows? What tools work well for modeling these interactions?
  • What other publishing tools are you using to propel your tweets? (where's my linkedin hook?)
  • Has anyone run into ownership issues with this plink-esque publishing?
  • Does this have a name? Let's call it microsyndication.
  • What's the best way to get metrics for this kind of publishing? Is there a way to measure in this distributed/microsyndicated system? How many people read my surf report?

Thanks for reading.

12/05/2008  — 

The Magic of Surf

I should have seen it coming. I should have known that a sport that depends on the behavior of the moon, sea monsters, and energy that flows from way over the horizon would be dripping with it. Heck, I'm basically walking on water. But still, I'm surprised at how much magic I've found in surfing.

First there's the magic of place... Of course, the secret spots up and down the coast come to mind. Places with shark lore, epic waves, tragedies. There are smaller miracles too. For example: I bought most of my surfboards through Craigslist. Every place I've met someone to buy a board has become a magic spot for me.

I highly recommend you try meeting someone on your commute route next time you buy a surfboard. I bought my last board from a guy I arranged to meet at the BART station parking lot near my house. Now every time I come home, the magic reminds me that there might be waves tomorrow morning.

a magic spot

Then there's the magic of time, which seems extremely elastic when riding a wave. Everything slows down. Why? Because my heart and CNS is on overdrive? Or so I can enjoy the ride? Who knows? Also, photographers talk about a magic hour or golden hour when the sun is just right. Surfers know that the early AM hours are often best for waves because wind tends to stop.

Magic things... magic surfboards. I'm lucky enough to have one. It catches waves in all conditions. Board shapers love to discuss the magicness they've encountered over the years.

It's all true. Every last bit.

04/17/2008  — 

Effing greatest video effer.