Surfing Vancouver Island  

Foondroppings 23  

B O W- WoW!

05 November 1999

I just picked up my copy of the Book Of Waves and............WOW, it's a keeper.

I've read a few reviews here on the ng and it intrigued me enough to want to own one. What a thoroughly delightful book. Great pictures and presented very well. Even MrsFoon admired the prints and commented how unusual the images seemed.

And it's not just a pretty pitcha book either. There are detailed and literate discussions on wave formation and surf breaks with diagrams illustrating the different concepts. Some of the math stuff is a little hard for me (liberal arts major) but it's not much different than I could expect to get from Mad Dog, Doc, or Jose. Much of the mood type text and quotes from Walt Whitman, Lord Byron, Jack London, Bill Shakespeare etc, are evocative prose intended to both compliment the pictures and stimulate a feeling of understanding about the ocean and those who feel drawn to it.

At first I intended to put this down at my beach place, but nooooooooo wayyyyyyy. This is the book I will go to for an ocean fix when I'm feeling landlocked and jonesin to surf. I recommend it especially to anyone who is far from the ocean and would like to see it in all of it's many faces.

I was interested to see that the color separations were done in 175 line screens at AGEP in Marseilles, France and printed on a four color sheetfed offset press by PROOST in Turnhout, Belgium. From my perspective the production values were superior with registration being very precise, which is hard to do at 175 line screen. The dull-coated paper was a good choice allowing the ink colors to sit up on the stock, but not have the glare that would come with a litho-coated (glossy)paper. I would have spot clear aqueous coated each color plate to make those puppies pop off the page, but in all it was a very pleasing presentation of color work.

I especially enjoyed the picture index in the back which credited the photographers and listed his choice of film and equipment. It was very interesting to read the short comments on taking the pictures that were also included with some. MrsFoons observation that the uncaptioned pictures numbered in Roman Numerals would be difficult for anyone who had not taken Latin. I smiled knowingly having taken and failed 4 semesters of Latin in College to get my language credits, and came away only with simplistic catch phrases for my efforts. "Carpe Cerevisi!" Seize the Beer! Luckily they put B&W thumbnails next to the numbers to help identify them.

Props to Drew Kampion, Patrick O'Dowd, Steve Pezman Jeff Girard, Art Brewer and Phil Roberts, for a nice book that has some surfing content.

Though I only got the paperback version, it will be a very welcome addition to my small library of sea related books. In addition, for my trip, I bought Eric Larson's "Isaacs Storm"- about the hurricane that leveled Galveston, in Sept 1900. Some light reading.

Mo Hollow

-No Akamai Foon

Doc wrote:
This is how he gets his revenge on us math types, guys. And I think he's succeeded. But good.

Doesn't everyone know this stuff?

Okay, guy, ya got us. Now, for your further revenge you can tell us just what THE HELL ALL this MEANS, DAMMIT! In excruciating detail, just to rub it in even more. Enjoy yourself. It's your turn, after all.

Most color pictures, when printed by offset printing presses (Ink to blanket to paper) are made up of zillions of little dots. If you look close with a magnifying glass you can see em. How do they do that? Well it's not simply bunky, so I'm only gonna give you the remedial version. And believe me, there's an entire level of this business I do not know much about, but it gets really technical when we start talking advertisements for cars, cosmetics using 5 or six extra colors, or very high quality art or medical books or presidential portraiture that have extremely high quality production values.

Take your average color picture of Mark Sisom crushing a fat Hatteras lip in the early morning sun at the Guidopalooza. If you're smart you took a color slide. Now Mark is willing to pay big bucks to have this slide printed in his autobiography -"What are YOU looking At?" He takes this slide to a printer who has to transform the full color picture into 4-color process so that it can be printed by the press. Most pictures can be recreated in 4-color process, that's 4 basic process inks, cyan=Blue, Magenta=Red, Yellow, and Black cmyk. The printer will take the color slide and put it on a high quality drum scanner that separates all the colors of the slide into the 4 process colors. There are digital scanners that do the same thing creating a digital file that can be output to film, but there's a big disagreement in the industry whether digital scans, or digital pics for that matter print as well as orthodox scans from a drum.

Pictures made for a newspaper average an 85 line screen. Kind of coarse. That means a screen of dots of 85 lines per inch. Average quality books use 133 line screen, better quality books, 150. The Book of Waves used 175 line screen which means many more dots per inch,which increases the ink density but creates precise quality problems. At 200 line screen we are gettin into extremely fine art book production, medical book quality, or presidential portraiture.

When the four films for the four colors are created, they must be angled at precisely 15 degrees to each other. If they aren't a moir occurs in the pictures, ugh. When a perfect matched set of screens is printed a circular configuration of dots called a Rosette is created. This tells the printer he is close to correct registration. Among the many hundreds of factors that go into color printing, ink order, type of paper, tack of the ink, pressure on the blanket, dot gain or the increasing size of dots due to many factors and even humidity can affect the outcome.

The bottom line is, producing a color image from the initial picture to the final ink on paper can be affected by approximately 4000 variables. In my entire 25 years of color printing, have never seen a perfect color printing job. In many way, computers have taken the guesswork out of color printing and these days using desktop publishing tools like photoshop, it is actually possible to create a better looking final picture than the original. I once asked the boys at Surfer how many of their pictures were electronically altered from the original to the final printed version . They would not answer me, so I took that to mean all of them. You think all those perfect shots really exist in real life? Not by a long shot. Many are tweaked to add color, erase blemishes, shadows, enrich backgrounds, foregrounds, and make the shot "picture perfect."

The pics in the Book of Waves are of very high quality. And the printing process they used to recreate them in the book was of equally high quality. Steve Pezman and co. know how to produce a quality product. Most surfing magazines don't know or don't have to, considering their audience.

To give you an idea how limiting this process is. There are a few million colors in the visual spectra. Photography can capture about 500,000, 4-color process printing can recreate about 80,000.


You say you got a Resolution

29 December 1999

As the sands of time slowly dropped through the wasp waisted center of the hour

As the runaway train of time sped down the mountain of civilization on a one way course to oblivion......NO!!!

As the Tsunami of time hung hugely over the city of life, poised precariously before dealing it's deadliest blow.....Not a chance Foon.


Should all of us survive what will soon promise to be among (depending entirely on who you talk to) the most horrifying, entertaining, boring, upsetting, frightening, joyous, stimulating, unnerving, repulsive, hateful, deadly, discouraging, and hyped events of modern time, I hope we can all look back and say this so-called momentous event was even more over rated than the coming of Comet Kohoutek, considering it isn't even the beginning of the next millennium.

I suspect that the real cataclysm of psyche will happen next Tuesday when the Hokies of lowly Virginia Tech, hand the Seminoles of Florida State their most humbling asswhupping defeat. That will be something momentous.

In years passed I have taken a few moments before the abyss of a new year to mention a few modest resolutions, hoping unlike the million of others who sincerely do, to actually accomplish one or two

There have been my promises:

  • To lose weight, or at least not gain any.
  • To exercise more, or at least not less.
  • To cut down to one cigar a week, or a least two.
  • To look fondly at a donut, instead of devour it.
  • To drink less Jack Daniels, at least not more.
  • To surf as much I as can, without excluding other aspects of my life.
  • To be gentle with my relatives when I tell them I prefer to go surfing rather than visit them.
  • To honor, respect and love my wife even more, for without her I would not be here.
  • To be friendly and courteous to members of the newsgroup and to remember not everyone likes to read my blatherings, er....droppings.
  • To avoid overanalysing the writings of others.
  • To pay more attention to grammar and spelling (HAH)
  • To forge new friendships with members of the ng.
  • To lay aside old misunderstanding with members of the ng *
    * (Subliminal message - to overthrow the evil empire of Darth Lemming and his minions and establish peace and tranquility for 1000 years.)
  • To take out the garbage without being told.
As you can see, I have been marginally successful in my efforts to improve myself. Fact is, there was only one resolution I truly pursued this year and that was my promise to visit Hawaii in my 50th year. In this and the resulting experiences I was wildly successful. Credit goes entirely to the Hawaii chapter.

Though I don't buy into the Millennial hype and faux importance of the event, I have determined that year 2000 will be the beginning of some less selfcentered activity for me. I figure it is about time I start giving back to the sport I love in more than just word or money. Action is called for and I am on the threshold of motivating my large comfortable carcass to do something worthwhile. Timpani Roll please. (No, NOT an eggroll!!)

In the past I have contributed to the Surfrider Foundation through the equivalent of the United Way. But this year I donated directly and significantly, receiving their newsletter (and annivesary t-shirt which is gorgeous and will no doubt wear threadbare) I have come to learn better of their many good works and feel I must support them in more than just lipservice. In the coming years I hope to work in whatever capacity I can to further the causes of Surfrider in the Delmarva area, (though I don't know if I will join them in their Potomoc River paddle)

What got my attention in the Making Waves newsletter was a little item about Jim Perdue. Jim is the CEO and heir apparent to Perdue Farms, one of the largest Chicken producers in the US, and argueably one of the largest polluters of Delmarva waterways. I came to find out Jim is not only a surfer (in Ocean City) but "has approached the Ocean City Chapter of Surfrider Foundation to discuss the possibility of working together on these issues and becoming a supporter of the chapter."

I mean if a zillionaire Chicken Farmer can do that, then it's about time I got my flabby butt in gear. My sincerest desire and resolution is to become more actively involved in this worthy organization (even if it isn't such a good place to cruise chicks, but their parties look good) And if you haven't, maybe it's time you did too. (No pressure here, just look inside yourself and see if you can make a resolution to join or participate.)

I am very pleased to note that our own Tim (Mad Dog) Maddux is listed as a member of the Surfrider Environmental Issues Team. Good on ya Tim.

So if you all manage to survive the collapse of the Space Needle in Seattle, the crashing of your crappy little Tandy 286 computers, and the last post from a guy named Foon :) What would your New Years Resolution be?

-End of the Millfoonium


16 February 2000

The German short-haired pointer named Auggie had taken a fierce liking to my left leg, and was humping it like some demon possessed, windup toy on speed. I extended my index finger in admonition and started to say, "Now Auggie...." When a set of snapping canine choppers came a fraction of a inch from taking it off at the first joint like a muskrat trap, followed by a growl that murmured deep in his chest. Stunned at the ferocious reaction, I just sat in the hard bottomed Zodiac boat we were riding in and tried to decide if Auggie was in fact smiling up at me. Considering he was doing, next to hunting, his second favorite thing in the world...... No not humping my leg, riding in a fast moving open boat, I could actually make out some sort of a doggy smile on his face. I turned to his owner to see if he would call off the overly affectionate pooch, but he was just about ready to ask me a question.

"What in hell is a Foondoggy?" This interrogatory coming from a grizzled old-timer named Jesse, a mountainish man born in the Blue Ridge and who in fact had trained various breeds of hunting dogs for forty years. Auggie was his very favorite.

I looked into the deeply lined and permanently suntanned face trying to guess if this guy had a sense of humor. Unfortunately I'd heard he had a deadly temper and it was the reason he now made St.Augustine, Florida his home. More on that story later if I have the time. If what I heard is true, it's a gooder.

"It's me...... what you see is what you get. Basically it's a netnickname I use on the Internet but it's kinda taken on a life of it's own."

Jesse stared at me even more curiously. "You're one of them computer geeks? And by the sound of it you're a damn Yankee too? Shit boy, all ya gotta tell me now is you wear a tu tu to bed and I got you figured for the kind of guy who gets thrown outta boats like this like an anchor." I could see Jesse was my kinda guy. Funny man. I think.

The boat was a small 18 foot Zodiac that was bringing a few of us back at high speed along the Intercoastal waterway from Jacksonville after a morning run up there......just to be on the open water, and to get a few beers.. My college bud, Goose, was the owner of it and many toys I would get to play with while I was visiting him at his part time, semi-retirement home in St.Augustine Beach. I'd left MrsFoon in Ft. Lauderdale the day before and drove the 4.5 hours up I-95 just for the fun of being on the open road in 70 degree weather in February. The big Crown Vicky rental car I'd gotten as a free upgrade had barely broken a sweat cruising at 80-85 mph. I blew through 2 speed traps but it musta been a Krispy Kreme moment for the smokies, they never looked up, even though I was playing some South Miami Salsa station loud enough to wake the dead.

The purpose of this little side trip was to hang with an old friend, meet some new ones, and get a real sense of the St.Augustine area, a place I can honestly tell you I knew little about until now. Goose is a businessman who has leased his company for the next two years and will split his time between East Squirrel Nipple, North Carolina, and a newly renovated 4 bedroom ranch just 3 blocks from the beach in Florida. Among the other toys he's bought himself as a reward for incredibly hard work running a Racehorse training facility, and working in the garment and retail sales industries for years are; a 1999 Porsche Boxster, and a 2000 GMC Denali SUV.

Goose don't surf, though I tried a dozen times to get him interested. Just maybe it was the time I sent him out in March, in storm surf with a 10 foot board, a leaky wetsuit and a "have fun Goose," that has turned him against the sport. Too bad, he would have been a natural; Athletic, fit, hardworking, graceful, dedicated, well groomed, drop dead handsome and murderously loyal. I love him like a brother.

Knowing I was not going to stand around and watch him hit golf balls all day, Goose introduced me to his neighbor, Sonny. Sonny is a veteran East Coast surfer who traveled a bit with the pros in the late 70s and still keeps a quiver of various sizes in his garage. Goose handed me off to Sonny one morning and told him to take care of me, ‘cause I break easily. We dawn patrolled on a perfect Thursday morning riding along St.Augustine Beach in Sonny's 4 door truck right on the sand. After a half dozen miles he picked a random spot and we surfed lazy, incoming tide- shoulder high swells in warm air and cool water (low 60s). I was delighted to have a midWinter sesh in such nice conditions, though the musculature was saying I was not going to like the way I felt the next day after a long layoff.

After the sesh Sonny and I went to the nearby Lighthouse Cafe where we met Jesse, and another good ole boy, Buck. All the men were retired, working part time or as needed jobs. (Actually, Jesse was a fugitive from the law, but that's sorta like a retirement) They all met each day at the diner after morning activities like surfing, hunting, golf, fishing, etc. to chew the fat and make a plan for the rest of the day. Those activities could include, more surfing, more golf, more fishing, more hunting, or new stuff, like a quick trip down to Daytona to watch the NASCAR speed trials, or a couple a day trip down to the Keys for some flat boat barracuda fishing, or a trip into the interior of South Florida to catch some gator, or boar.

The thing that interested me was that they were masters of their own time. Buck and Sonny were married, but had Carte Blanche from spouses to do their thing. Jesse was a weird dude, but game to do almost anything different considering most of his life had been spent hard scrabble working clearing trees and raising his dogs. Now he worked when he had to doing odd jobs and there were plenty to keep him busy if he wanted. Mostly, he hung around with Sonny and Buck.

It occurred to me that many of us have an idea what we'd like to do in retirement. I know I did. I know now it will never be as I imagined, and in fact could be even more fun than I expected. The leading edge of the Boomers are finding incredibly interesting and diverse ways to spend their after career years, and I for one am fascinated by what I saw in St. Auggie. I met people who create art, write books, do volunteer & charity work, get involved in local environmental issues, give guided tours of St.Augustine, tutor at Flagler College, have lunch at Hooters, surf when there's surf, fish when there's fish, drive along the beach for miles because....they want to.

Engaging these people in conversation talking about their wildly diverse backgrounds and listening to their ambitious future plans to live their lives to the fullest, has given me the most positive attitude about my own pending retirement. No lime green and peach golf pants for me. No faux Rolls Royce golf carts either. That's old retirement.

What did Sonny and Buck do on a whim one day? They called a retired Air Force pilot friend of theirs and paid him a couple hundred bucks for fuel to fly them to Costa Rica for the week, leaving no more than a note on the fridge for the wives. DAMN, THAT'S SPONTANEITY!! They stayed with other retirees they've known from Florida who've moved to Costa permanently. This retirement crowd is a giant network of folks who have the time and means to do almost anything that strikes their fancy. And some of them are getting into things you'd never expect from the geeze squad; skydiving, surfing, jetskiing, Tarpon fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, balloon bungee jumping, marathons, car racing, self-fulfilment and improvement. Inspiring.

Dare I say I believe the Boomer generation for all of their faults, will redefine what retirement is all about, actually they may redefine what life is all about at this rate. I hope I last long enough to see it.

* * *
The Jesse Story, as told to me by Goose who knew Jesse in North Carolina and who got the story in part from the local Sheriff.

Jesse cleared trees for a living, working for anyone who would hire him and his equipment and helpers by the hour. Sometimes it was just cutting trees, other times it was stump pullin and regrading lots. The pay was good but seasonal. The work is bonecrushing hard.

Everyday on the job Jesse would take a couple of his favorite dogs especially Auggie, along with him on the job and let them just roam around sniffing, marking territory and hunting. He never paid them any mind since they would always come trotting back when the chainsaws and tractors stopped for the day.

One day Jesse was clearing woods near some Yuppie's summer house when he sees this joker come out the back of his house with a .22 and take a pot shot at Auggie who was digging in his garden. Everyone in East Squirrel Nipple knows you just don't do that to one of Jesse's dogs.

The story goes that Jesse turned off his chainsaw, went to his truck and got his pump action shotgun, then went up to the Yuppie's house to confront him. The man must have seen Jesse coming, he bolted the door and covered the windows. Now Jesse is a reasonable man to a point and he just wanted to explain to the man the error of his ways. Well unfortunately the man started mouthing off at Jesse screaming that he was going to call the police. Jesse knows every cop for 50 miles and knows exactly who's going to show up and how long it will take them.

So Jesse goes back to his truck, and takes out his biggest chainsaw. He puts on his ear protection, and fires that bad boy up. He proceeds to cut quite neatly a 2 foot square hole in the solid oak front door of Mr.Yuppie, who apparently has decided he wants no part of Jesse and takes off out the other door into the woods. Jesse sticks the business end of his shotgun into the house and lets loose a warning shot into the air. Unfortunately the shot pretty much destroys a $15,000 crystal chandelier that is in the foyer of the Yuppie's house. Jesse screams into the house, "YOU CHICKEN SHIT VARMINT, YOU CAN STEAL MY TRUCK (a junker) AND YOU CAN FUCK MY WIFE (She's dead I found out later) BUT DON'T YOU EVER TAKE A SHOT AT MA DAWGS!!!"

Jesse then grabs a sweater hanging near the door and lets his dogs sniff it. Then he sends them after the guy who runs to a neighbors, locking himself in a garage and screaming into the cell phone for the police..

Well, it turns out Mr.Yuppie is a very high strung lawyer and he is going after Jesse, filing a shitstorm of charges. Jesse hears this, calls the sheriff and asks him what to do?. Sheriff tells Jesse this could get serious since the lawyer knows the State's Attorney General and some other hot shit lawyers and maybe he should take a long vacation to Florida.

And that's how Jesse came to St.Augustine. When he wants to he can still be back in East Squirrel Nipple, in 8.5 hours, but he kind of likes Florida now and the fact the wimmin don't wear a lot of clothes. The weather's not too bad, foods good, hunting and fishing are fair, but he can go back home a couple times a year for good hunting. Just gotta be careful.

* * *
About the end of the boat trip Jesse says, "Auggie must really like you Foon, I aint never seen him take a likin to someone's leg like that."

When I asked Jesse if this story was absolutely true, he looked at me, scowled a little and spit a brown stream into his dixie cup. "Nope.........didn't wear no ear protection and I cut that Goddamn door in half top to bottom."


White Out, Day two

26 January 2000

I looked out this morning, a day after the biggest storm in 4 years. It looked chesthigh in front of our place, with a stiff North wind. The mounds stacked up looking perfect, smooth, white and frozen. The mounds were 5 foot snow drifts - waves of frozen water. The windchill was -8, air temps, 19. Core conditions.

Having spent the last 36 hours indoors I was jonesing to get out and work those waves, but I needed the right equipment. I suited up in my red Dr.Denton's, a pair of baggy flannel lined jeans, a turtle neck sweater, lifting belt, a down vest, duck boots, some wraparound shades, and my Dad's old Navy knit black wool watch cap. I waxed up my ergonomically correct shovel and headed for the door. Of course getting through the shorebreak was a little harder since it had drifted across the front of my storm door. Took me 5 minutes to punch through to the outside.

Outside the breeze lifted plumes of frozen spray off the the tops of the drifts, making the air shimmer and sparkle in the weak sun. Each gust of wind found a new gap in my protective gear and urged me to expedite the task at hand - Digging out the Foonmobile and MrsFoon's ride. I warmed to the work quickly, breaking a sweat in minutes. It wasn't long before I took off the vest happy the hours spent in the gym had made me fit enough to lift hundreds of shovels of snow in 10 lbs incriments.

Finally, the Foonmobile and MrsFoon's car were clear of their hoodhigh drifts of snow, free to join the legions of cabin fever afflicted masses who were driving aimlessly around with no place open to go. But wait.....What was that????

In the distance I could hear the deep toned sonic basso of a giant diesel engine, powering a dumptruck which sported a massive 4 foot high blade. Soon I could see the dirty exhaust as the rumbling monster sped way too fast down our suburban streets, a ten ton juggernaut of steel, noise and flying snow.

In the driver's seat was just the kind of guy you don't want to see. A guy who, though his IQ reaches just into the lower two digits, has managed to get a license to drive this enormous, exhaust spewing steel monolith at 45 mph on residential streets whenever there is a snow storm. The kind of guy who manages to stay up for 36 hours at a time by alternating his beverages of choice between cold black coffee and Wild Irish Rose. The kind of guy who's fatique fried, bloodshot eyes were gleefully leering at me as I jumped back when he sped by throwing up a perfect 4 foot berm of newly plowed snow----right onto my vehicles.

In the pile of tumbled and packed snow I did find my daily newspaper which had been delivered early and buried. Though shredded by my friendly plow jock, I found an interesting picture on page A9. It showed a fully suited and longboard equipped East Coast brother, heading out at Wrightsville Beach in the very middle of the raging snowstorm. For a moment my heart swelled with deep pride. That's my guys!!!

MrsFoon called from the upstairs window and inquired, "Hey Foonboy, you been out there an hour and a half and it doesn't look like you've done a damn thing. What have you been doing.?"

"Daydreaming honey, thinking about Hawaii."

"Well let's snap to it, I'll give you $10 if you can dig out my car in the next hour. You can start saving for another trip."

Reluctantly I closed the paper and dug in for another shovel of snow.


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