Swimmer killed in Shark Attack

April 27, 2008

A swimmer at a local beach was killed on Friday after being attacked by a shark. The poor guys ordeal was plastered on the TV for a bit. And certainly will have some local follow-up stories.. but that’s not what has caught my attention.

What I did notice was my attitude as a surfer.

Initially I craved all the information I could get… and then.. after hearing enough.. My brain did a funny thing. It said, “Well.. he was a swimmer.. not a surfer.”.. As if laying on my surfboard somehow protects me from the man in the grey suit (shark).

I don’t know how the triathaletes are reacting.. He was one of their clan. .. and as a surfer I acknowledge the similarities in our ocean activities… but for some reason.. my brain creates some distance.

Perhaps my love of surfing is so great that I know I won’t stop doing it.. Just like a golfer doesn’t stop golfing when someone gets struck by lightning.. But.. you _can_ see storm clouds.

We ocean-goers like to think we can sense the storm that is a shark. We say it’s “sharky.” And we notice things like changes in seal/sea lion activity.. but for the most part we don’t mention these activities until after someone has a shark encounter.

Another thing has already happened… surfers are wondering if this attack will mean less crowds in the water. This is disturbing. Here a fellow ocean lover has met his fate in a terrifying manner. His legs were mostly bitten off.. held on by his wet suit. His family certainly finds no solace in the fact that the shark didn’t stick around to finish the job.. No solace that the shark probably mistaked this healthy, retired man that was doing something he loved .. mistook him for a seal. … well.. perhaps there is a bit of solace in the fact that he was doing someting he loved.

But.. here it is a horrible situation.. and surfers are wondering if it’ll help them get more waves this year.

Don’t get me wrong.. I have these same thoughts.. I’m hoping that less people come to the beach so that I don’t have to fight for a parking spot. I don’t want to have to dodge people in the water. I’d love more waves.

I dunno.. I guess it is a peer pressure thing.. It feels like we’re supposed to change our habits because one of the herd got killed.. like the herd of zebra at the watering hole have all bolted for the hills.. but I’m still thirsty.

Maybe that’s what makes us surfers and triathaletes and boogie boarders and snorklers and other ocean lovers.. The fact that we know what could happen out there. We’ve accepted it. We’ve weighed the risks. We’ve decided it’s worth it.

So.. if someday I get bit by a shark.. and I don’t make it back to the beach.. Well.. Damn.. That wasn’t worth it at all.. was it.  But, I’m still gonna surf.


Toll Troll is afraid of the public

April 8, 2008

Stop the Toll Troll

Well aparently the Toll Troll is afraid of the public listening to defense of their project. Perhaps that’s because they have no real defense. The bottom line is they want to make a boat-load of money.. and Californian’s don’t one of their last natural areas to be torn asunder…

.. the Toll Troll says they are open to a public meeting in Orange County.. fine.. any place.. any time.



Clint Eastwood Terminated by the Governator!

March 29, 2008

Here we go again.

The Toll Troll just won’t die. I know in Dungeons and Dragons that a troll can regenerate (First Edition anyway).. well.. the Transportation Corridor Authority (TCA) has appealed the California Coastal Commission’s ruling.. The ruling that a recorded setting crowd of concerned CITIZENS were on hand to witness.

Alas.. a CITIZEN isn’t a big business… CITIZENS care about their quality of life.. big business cares about.. uh… money.. duh.

This is a bad idea.. putting a road through San Onofre State Park. It’s planned to carve right through an area inland that was set aside to make up for developers carving up another hunk of land… this inland parcel was set aside to be maintained in perpetuity.. meaning ya ain’t allowed to mess with it.. but the TCA has polititians under their thumbs and polititians have never paid attention to the rules approved by CITIZENS.

Arnold decided to take steps to ease the way for overturning the Coastal Commission’s ruling.. He fired Dirty Harry!.. Canned the Outlaw Josey Wales.. the Man with No Name got the Axe…

The Governator decided to let Clint Eastwood go from his position on the California Parks and Recreation Commission. But Dirty Harry shouldn’t feel too singled out. Also Terminated was Arnie’s brother-in-law.

Just goes to show you.. Money is thicker than Blood.

National Brotherhood Week

February 28, 2008

For some reason I got to thinking of this song… I remember it from my childhood… this one and Tom Lehrer’s WWIII song, “So Long Mom (I’m off to drop the bomb)”…

 As a kid these were fun songs to sing.. they ryhmed.. the adults reacted in interesting ways and were impressed that I could memorize things…

As I got older National Brotherhood Week would surface every now and again into my conciousness… by then I could understand the words and they held water. I knew they were sarcastic… but both messages were good. I’d think of it when I saw someone giving lip-service to a cause that obviously went against everthing they’d ever done..

Now I listen with the ears of someone who is “old” to today’s college kids… and the words still make sense.

It seems so silly… so simple… I know.. I know.. that’s the point of the sarcasm.. But just think.. What if everyone woke up tomorrow and decide to get along. What if when something lousy happens we just say, “bummer” and move on… not villify the por sod that made a mistake the lead to our misfortune…

Hell.. it’s when Jesus said, “just blame me.” … or words to that effect… but.. well.. odds are that you’ll wake up tomorrow and blame someone for waking you up.. or swear at the car in front of you.. or look at a person on the sidewalk and assume you know everything about them.. and hate them for it…

Hell.. blame me.. hate me.. and be done with it… I’m just some electricity on the net anyway.

Near as I can tell… National Brotherhood Week was the last week in February.. so .. happy National Brotherhood Week… shake hands with someone you dispise…

Ya never know.. maybe tomorrow is the day we all wake up and are nice to each other… it could happen.. right?

All it takes is you.


February 21, 2008

Multi-Cultural Markers 

I’ve always found it interesting when people talk about where they “come from.”

Not their home town… though, that can be a fun talk too… No.. it’s when they talk about their family tree.. their roots.. lineage..

It used to be a big joke.. You know.. how everyone is related to some king or patriot.. Hell, myself?? I’m a descendant of Myles Standish (aka Miles) That not-really-a-pilgrim Pilgrim.. The man hired by the “Pilgrims” to be their military advisor… I use “” around “Pilgrim”.. because at Plimouth Plantation (Plymouth Plantation) they use the term, “The English Colonists at Plymouth (many people call them “Pilgrims” today)”.. and they use the term a lot..

That’s on my Dad’s side… believe me.. The way my Grandma went on about it you’d think we all had something to do with who he was… alas.. we came AFTER… but I digress.

On my Mom’s side the Ace that we drop is Thomas Paine… yes _that_ Thomas Paine.. the one who wrote, “Common Sense.”

I guess I never thought twice about it.. I mean.. sure..  I’d read an embarrassingly small bit of Common Sense a LONG time ago.. and lately thought about it while watching our country’s citizens give up their rights.. (and recently with the fight against the Toll Troll!) But really.. what did they have to do with me.

The older I get… the funnier the whole thing is… except that it isn’t funny at all. It’s racist… and that’s sad. Sad because I should be able to be proud of any of my relatives without it putting anyone down.. bear with me..

As I grew up things slowly sunk in. While working at a ski resort in Colorado I got to hang out with some people from Australia. And we got to talking about being “from”.. and to be “from” Australia means to be one of the convicts that got shipped over to the penal colony…. so they all have a Scottish relative that they are “from.” (I hear that’s slowly changing.. I hope so!)

South Africans.. white ones.. well.. it’s a Dutch versus England thing if memory serves.  English? Sheesh for such a small Island each chunk has it’s own dialect and, from my experience, they get extremely defensive if you guess the wrong region (hint.. don’t guess.. guess something like New Zealand and let them laugh at you.. it’s better that way.)

I’m getting way off point… but maybe that’s the point.

Why do we have to define who we are by our racial lineage. And if we must do so.. why do we always leave out the entire story? What do I mean by that?? Well.. we’re all mutts.

I was watching … geez, it was a while ago.. anyway.. I was watching a PBS show where a guy was doing genealogical work on a group of famous black people. It was interesting to watch as their actual dna was tested to show where they were “from.” It was interesting on many levels.. One simply because I’m “white” and can’t know what it’s like to be always seen as a color… But the fascinating thing was how they all hoped to be from Africa. It was obvious why they wished it so… They gave plenty of stories of how it was looked at among their peers to be whatever shade of “black” they were.  I’m not going into the detail here.. ya gotta watch the show… which I don’t have a link to.. but here’s a link to the follow up show, “African-American Lives 2.”

The reason I brought up that show is because it shows how silly the idea of being of any “race” is.. I mean .. sure.. we’re all of the human race.. but that’s the point.

Some of the people were shaken to find that while our society was busy putting them down they were actually mostly “white” in dna. And it wasn’t visually apparent what the dna was going to reveal.  I used to say that I’d be willing to bet anything that any “white” had “black” dna in there… Not a thing to tell some people if you want to keep your nose from being punched.

But why would they punch your nose? I mean.. really.. it’s not who they are.. Their lineage doesn’t define them any more than I define Thomas Paine… does it??

I’m leaving something out, though… Society… the herd… We are a fearful lot.. we humans.. Like Zebras at a water hole.. we let others go check to see if things are safe.. if they don’t get eaten we’ll all rush to the water.. and flee as a Croc pulls one of us down.. ..maybe more like a pack of wild dogs… If we see weakness we exploit it.. attack it..

Weakness… color is not a weakness… but numbers can be. If I can classify you as “other” than me.. and I am in the bigger group…. Ah Ha!! Now we’re talkin’ .. now I’m better than you.

Man.. I’m ramblin’… My point was that race is a pointless word.  A couple of years ago they discovered the “DNA Change” that led to white skin.. It came from a guy leaving Africa 10,000 years ago. .. so there ya go.. we’re all the same…  There ya have it… we’re all from the same stock. Come to think of it.. “White” is a mutation.. Mutant.. there is a word with negative connotations..

I got travelling down this path tonight by watching video of Art from a guy that started wondering about race when he had to fill out a standardized test. “White(non-Hispanic), Hispanic… etc..”  White was the only one with an extra classification. .. the one club it was hardest to be in.  Go figure.. they are.. after all.. Mutants.

I always check the box for “Decline to answer” .. I used to check other.. but someone told me that made me a Pacific Islander.. Cool!!… but I’m really just a Pangea Native.

What’s your color?!

San Onofre… We Won!!

February 8, 2008

Yesterday, Feb 6th, I stood for 14 hours with a big cardboard sign trying to be heard by the California Coastal Commission regarding the Toll Road proposed to slice through San Onofre State Park.

CCC1Toll TrollThe eyes

Going in it looked like a close vote… either 6-4 for the project.. or 5-5 … word was that one commissioner was on the fence.. and we needed that one to stop the project. After the biggest public attendance to one of these meetings EVER the vote went 8-2 against!!

Thank you Coastal Commission for doing a wonderful job. These people aren’t paid to do what they do… The labor union guys that the TDA (toll road) people brought in (and who left at 2pm when their shift was done) made more money that day the the commissioners.. Thank you California Coastal Commission for enduring that and for running a good meeting in trying conditions.

 Well done!

I’ll get some links posted to this page soon with pictures and such.. but right now I’m gonna go celebrate some more.

The next step for the toll road is to appeal… and Bush man (the president guy) has the power to trump the commission.. which he did recently with the Navy’s sonar program that kills sea animals.. namely whales and dolphins… a program deemed necessary to train to find “silent subs” that our enemy has.. I wasn’t aware of the fleet of silent subs that Al Qaeda has. I guess that’s one of those top secrets.

Anyway.. it’s a good day.


The news cast didn’t make me sound that bad… I’m near the end of the video.. actually you can see me in the beginning and end too.. it’s easy to see my skinny legs… but I speak with about 40 seconds left in the clip.

Here’s another local news cast … if you watch the video you can see me looking like a total kuk drifting into the TV’s lineup.

How to actually DO something for your kids.

February 5, 2008

Sorry.. I linked some people here to listen to Clint Eastwood.. that’s here.. 

Here is a letter from  Stefanie Sekich of Surfrider regarding the California Costal Commission’s meeting to seal the fate of San Onofre State Park… Yes.. San Onofre like in the Beach Boys song..

.. oh and here’s a quote from one of the toll road officials: “”We are not trying to put down a state park,” MacLean said, “but this is not Yosemite.”

The hearing will start at 9am and will go all day.  If you are not driving with our bus/carpool you can show up whenever you want.

As you may know, it’s very challenging to know how long the meeting will take.  Public hearings can take a few hours, or can go into the night.  It’s all speculative. However, even if you can show up for an hour, that is helpful.  The more people we have there the bigger the impression we make on the Commissioners– and at this point, public pressure is key to stopping the toll road.

If you are driving yourself, please note there is a $9 parking fee.  However, we will be offering supporters (people who sign in at our booth) $5 in cash to help offset parking cost. This will be “on a first come, first served basis.”.  We will also be passing out lunch tickets on a first come, first served basis.”.  We will have a check in station where you can get a tee shirt as well. Feel free to bring your own signs, but we will also have some.

This is a once in a life time chance to be part of such a HUGE meeting.  We anticipate hundreds of people will attend.  We truly appreciate your flexibility and willingness to take time off of work to show your support for Trestles and San Onofre State Park. 

Continuously check our website for updates:  http://www.surfrider.org/savetrestles/blog/

When: Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Please arrive by 9am.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds—at Wyland.  Hall.  There is a large whale mural on the building

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, CA 92014  – Just off the I-5 in Del Mar at Via de la Valle exit.
Visit http://www.sdfair.com/index.php?fuseaction=maps.home  for complete directions.

Ok.. balls in our court.. drop what you’re doing and show up… please.