News Round Up

I just renewed the domain for this blog another year so I might as well pretend I'll get my money's worth by making a post today. And then I'll promptly forget about this space for a few months. Unlike the last several winters, we are getting rain this year, lots of rain!

The photo on the right is Pinto Lake from a few weeks ago when it flooded all the way out to Green Valley Road. This is among the most polluted and nasty water in California, I can't imagine what the bacteria did to the crops it flooded.

In other news, I've now joined the world of 3D printing. Prices have come way down and it is now entirely possible to get a decent printer ready to go out of the box for around $200. I originally ordered an Anet A8 DIY printer kit from a site called GearBest. They took my order, took my money and then let me know they were planning to sit and do nothing for more than week because of the Chinese Lunar New Year. I cancelled that order and bought a Monoprice Select Mini through Amazon that was delivered two days later.

After some initial bumps in coming up to speed, I've now gotten a whole bunch of excellent prints out of it and am making useful and cool stuff. Our long term current printing project is to create a whole bunch of those castle wall blocks and build our own castle. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and includes gates, towers, fortifications and more. I found the files on Thingiverse which has an amazing variety of cool things to print. It has been lots of fun to have and it makes every morning a bit like Christmas to come down and find something new under the printer nozzle (yeah, not quite as poetic).

I'll post some photos of the castle as it comes together as well as some of the other fun stuff we've printed out like these very cool low-poly(gon) Pokemon! That's Totodile, Bulbasaur and Squirtle in semi-clear and black PLA. There are others but they've been absconded with by my youngest child and may have even been sold! We are ordering some colored filament to keep making them!

Other stuff? Let's see, with the winter storms, it has been a bit harder to get out and surf lately. Poor conditions and timing have made things tough but Sully and I surfed a little last weekend and I went out for a short surf yesterday on water that was too windy and wild to be out long on. Seriously, the abs workout I get just from maintaining my balance is impressive!


Holy Half a Year Since I've Posted Here

The title pretty much says it all. I haven't posted over here in almost 6 months. I'd love some integration into Google+ to cross post here when I post something significant over there.

But nope, the ol' cut and paste and post is still the state of the art.

How about we throw in some pretty pictures? Looks like they've made some changes to how photos and graphics are dealt with, it was kind of hassle to get this text alongside the photo.

Not sure how it'll work with the other two photos below. Oh well, quick post is quick. Hope you all are well!


Catch Up Post

Its been a little while since I've caught up over here and that's a shame. Especially since I spend a majority of my online social media time on Google properties already (and Blogger is a Google property) but it seems like Blogger's been kind of forgotten about in the move towards more dynamic and interactive socialization.

Anyway, starting off with a couple of stylized photos from recent weeks. Both were snapped and then processed in an iOS app called Superphoto that has a ton of cool filters that it was worth the couple of bucks.
Some more photos that are far better and more amazing via Twisted Sifter.

I had a short Twitter argument with a deranged Hillary supporter by the name of Maggy. Go say hi, she's super fun and not totally insane at all. Nope, nope, nope. See how many tweets it takes for her to dismiss you as an idiot BERNIEBRO. I got it in 4! And then she blocked me because I can't bend the knee for Hillary. No wait, that's not quite true, I WON'T bend the knee for Hillary.

I am part of the #BernieorBust movement. I will not be voting for Donald Trump nor will I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. They are, in large part, two sides of the same richer than fuck and don't give a fuck coin. I cannot support either of them because they are beholden to the 1% and couldn't be bothered to give two shits about the lower and middle class (functionally the same thing these days).

The argument that Bernie supporters MUST support Hillary Clinton is a complete fail on the part of the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Parroting Bernie's positions on issues isn't going to fly, not when she scampers back to Wall St. for more money at every turn. And we're supposed to actually believe her bullshit when she says she'll reign in the Big Banks? No, sorry, Hillary, we're simply NOT that stupid and the insults and smear and attacks aren't helping either.

Neither is the deafening silence from the Clinton campaign in the wake of yet another seriously fucked up primary event, this time the bogus convention in Nevada run by a Clintonista, supported by Barbara Boxer's lies and then propelled into the news machine by a complicit and bogus media "presence" (that apparently wasn't even present).

Yeah, sorry. #NeverHillary #NeverTrump #BernieorBust #FeeltheBern

In other election news, Rachel Maddow's chosen sides and chosen poorly. She's no longer an objective news source as she's very clearly decided that Hillary Clinton is and should be our next president and that's that and we should NOT question her or her surrogates when they sodomize the democratic process over and over again. Nope, we Bernie supporters should get ready to support Hillary except that's not really acceptable to a vast and ever-increasing number of us.

Anyway, what else has been happening? I've been making a whole bunch of time lapse videos with my SJ4000 "NoPro" action cam. This one is of the Wednesday evening regatta off Indicators (near Cowells and the wharf) in Santa Cruz.
I have a whole bunch more on my channel if you feel like checking more out. And some surfing videos as well. Here's one of the walk down from West Cliff to Cowells and then out into the surf. Or click this link to the same video and jump ahead to the paddle out about 2 minutes in.

Its no surprise that I absolutely love Santa Cruz and love living here. And with the weather starting to get better and better, the time off from work is that much more awesome! This weekend saw my youngest son and me out catching waves together. I still need to get my older son more involved but he's not a big fan of being cold and wet and we've been having some trouble finding booties that fit (and don't cost $60).

And this next weekend is Memorial Day and the weather is forecast to be excellent which means I'm going to get out and surf until I can't surf anymore!


The Best Changes Are the Ones You Don't Even Notice

Change is something we'd conditioned to rail against. At its most basic change represents impending death and doom. Change is entropy, change is chaos, change is change.

But sometimes change happens and we don't notice it, changes occur beneath the level of our consciousness and we're able to continue as if nothing's changed at all.

Change is the only constant there is. Nothing is ever the same from one instant to the next despite appearances to the contrary (which are really just our own flawed observations). The basic tenet of existence is that existence is a never-ending series of changes.

Learning to embrace change takes time and effort and practice but is worthwhile in the long term in the reward of lowered stress, easier adaptability, flexibility and capability.

I've made a few changes on the back end to the blog here. Hopefully they'll make no impact on readability or access. The changes sure did make it easier to manage my domain though and that's a welcome change.

What's changing in your sphere that you embrace? What changes do you dread?


Surfing Contests, Practice and Skills Improvement

Sunset over Its, 2/11/16.
Today is the Titans of Mavericks surf contest up in Half Moon Bay and it is nothing short of amazing to watch the waves these guys ride.

More so since I've become more and more of a surfer as I've progressed through my SUP evolution from flat water cruising and exploration to a mostly dedicated SUP surfer. I can't lie, its still really nice and a different kind of fun to go touring without worrying about swell, other people and everything else.

Something I am thinking about and realizing more and more is that I need to practice my in the water skills more. Not my on the water skills, I'm pretty good at catching waves, steering through crowds of people (though I will almost always seek to find emptier spots since my envelope to catch a wave is substantially larger than a surfer's, also a source of their gripiness about SUP's in general). In the last week, I've had a couple of getoffs that have resulted in my board becoming a weapon and smashing into me.

The first was when I tumbled forward off the wave and the board came down on top of my shoulders with the initial hit concentrating on the left side. Aside from some tenderness when I touch it, there's been no problems from that one. The other was from a fairly short outing yesterday where I got tumbled and my board bashed me in the chest. Again, no immediate harm or pain, just a little wind knocked out and then complicated by getting caught in the wash zone for a couple of minutes.

We have another three day weekend ahead and good weather on tap. We'll be getting some new booties first but then we will be spending a good chunk of time making sure they work!

Oh and here's a short video I shot with my chest mounted cam over the weekend. This will give you a decent idea of what its like to strap on a leash and head out into the surf on a big SUP!