It was a warm sunny day…

There I sat on the guardrail taking in the peacefulness of the river basin that stretched out before me. Songbirds chased each other through the trees that grew out of the embankment of the marsh. I leaned back and felt the warmth of the sun. Oh yeah, I was supposed to be at work 40 minutes ago!

But first let me digress. My department is very small and contains several job groups. When one person calls off for their shift; it would be the equivalent of losing ten employees in a larger department.

So imagine the groan I let out when I received the second text message in regards to a call out and this person was perhaps one of the best employees on my team. Thankfully the first one came the day before…Just as I was leaving work. So I had already committed to waking up early and getting a good start on the day.

As I turned the ignition key, I instantly noticed the gas gauge…low. Way to low to make an hour journey to work. But I was not worried because I was leaving early and the city traffic would be light.

As I approached the big intersection, I noticed the local gas station was entangled by a web of yellow caution tape. I surveyed every inch. Every pump but two were operational and a line of cars were fighting and jostling to get pole position to be the next at the pump. No thanks!!

So I drove onward, still in the direction of the highway I needed to get onto.

At the next mega-super gas station, it was bristling with action from pumps 1 to 60. I pulled in and entered the doors. When I got inside, I was shocked to see such a chaotic scene. Three long lines of customers, mainly landscape teams, stretching almost to the door. They were segmented by their neon colored vests and they were chattering among each other in foreign dialects. Some waving their breakfast sandwiches in the direction of the frantic cashiers.

The employees of the mega-station were a mess as well. Managers staring and pointing at screens and rubbing their foreheads. Running outside and calling on the radios to the employees who were pushing at buttons and turning a key.

I am sorry for this issue folks but pumps 1 through 60 have been rendered inoperable. No gas is available at this moment.

A collective groan came from the store. Now I must drive way out of my way to the next gas station and my valuable extra time I have given myself is becoming just the usual amount of time.

After fueling and driving, I get on the highway to slow traffic. Then later as I am approaching a long two way stretch in the middle of a river and a forest; I see all the cars far, far ahead swerving and turning and red brake lights slamming on. The entire operation goes from 75 m.p.h. to 0. Soon emergency vehicles slide by in the grass and after that came the helicopters.

So I noticed how beautiful the river was and instead of sitting in my car being upset like the rest of the miles long line; I left my car and sat in the warm sunshine and watched it all.

Guess what? At work my employees came in and figured out what was going on and started their day like they do everyday. When I came in, things were rolling along.

So I could have stressed out and decided that my day was ruined. But I didn’t. Later as I came into a room, I peered out the window and saw the ocean. And a cruise ship. And the dunes. This is where I work every day.



My view at work. Good days or bad.

Was this a bad day for me or a blessed day?








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Noise to Note! #107

Noise to Note!

I guess in life there are people like the artist known as Flying Lotus. People that are loved by artists. Yet, barely raise the eyebrows of the majority. Or record company executives.

Yet, the famous still clamor to be on his albums…his persona commits to the music…and the public tunes into Katy Perry.

Flying Lotus – Robo Tussin.

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Heading Towards Home


Today I attended a memorial service for an old departed friend. It was being held at a beachside town where I used to spend a lot of time but I must say that my feet had not touched the water there in countless years.

When I go into detail about my youth, I always start with Hawaii. It was my one and only home for years. We did move to Virginia for a few years when I was very young but long before I even thought of surfing we had packed up and moved back. Then we moved to Florida and my life changed.

I guess I began to lead a double life.

I remember one great swell and I was skateboarding by my house. A few of the skaters looked sad.

The waves are great today someone spoke…and we are missing it.

The waves are great I said. It was a really good day today. The other skaters wondered what I meant.

Did you go surfing today?

Of course!

So this was my life. Split between friends who lived miles apart. A lot of driving!

Welcome Home!

In the past few months I have heard this mentioned several times and yet, each time it was from someone cities…even continents apart.


My home is in Brazil. Where I can wait for my wife to finish work and play with my dog.


My home is in Florida with my family and my house.


My home is in Hawaii.

So I might not be able to pick a favorite but to answer the person today…

Yes…it is nice to be home.

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Noise to Note! #106

Noise to Note!

After a short vacation of 3 and a half weeks, I have decided to return to the grand mansion.

Since yesterday was Halloween and all…here is Social Distortion performing Mommy’s Little Monster from way, way, way back.

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Off Work

Somehow I am in Brazil!

Somehow I am in Brazil!

Bom Dia!

I am away from the super Sidewedge computer. Be back soon.

This is what I  see.

Poor Brazilian driving

Poor Brazilian driving 

What the!

What the!

As an American, my love of giant cups of coffee will ensure my return.

Ate logo!

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Noise to Note! #105

Noise to Note!

Calm music to ease fast times.

Labisch – Rain.

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Working Together


Fall had finally arrived here in Florida. A weather system to our north pushed groomed sets around Cape Canaveral and straight into southern Brevard County.

I arrived beachside very early in the morning. As I drove down A-1A, I found parking lot after parking lot to be full which is pretty crazy for a Thursday. Then I pulled into a popular park and found some empty spaces which was odd considering the crowds at the less popular spots.

The place was a buzzing. People quickly got changed to get into the water. Once I paddled out, I felt the same vibe as perfect waves spun past me. The water was alive. It was also alive with fish. Schools of baitfish to be precise. Every few minutes a dolphin would breach or a large Tarpon would roll and suck in the prized fish.

So I went to work.

After about an hour, I sat watching the horizon for some signs of a incoming set. The current was sweeping southwards and the schools of mullet were off in that same direction. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a small black blob began to form just below the surface and a few fish jumped out of the water. The blob spread quickly and now was over thirty feet in diameter. Then the action started. Angry tails and fins whipped through the black and fish were jumping for their lives.

It did not take long for this cauldron to overtake me. All around me were splashes and the water fizzed like a Jacuzzi.

Then came a set. I assumed the push up position and balanced my limbs away from the water. Then I noticed to my left a torpedo shape knifing through the fish. A shark.

Sharks normally can see what is going on but in this situation; they close their eyes and just swim and eat. The shark whipped back and forth and very quickly I drew a line from him to me. Collision course!

So I readied myself and then we collided with a thump. The shark realizing that he has ran into something stopping him from his quest to engorge himself and me wanting to keep out his way.

So I began to let him work his way by and I moved my board to let him pass under. All the while trying to keep my hands free of his mouth.

So after a few moments, it was over. The shark got by and the bait pod moved on with the current. Then the churning subsided and disappeared leaving me sitting in a calm ocean.

I had to regroup for a few minutes of course but calmed down knowing that this was just a meeting of two different worlds at the beach. The shark wanting to get the fish and me wanting to get the waves. Neither having any interest in bothering the other.

I went back to work again and actually caught one of the best waves of the day right after the incident.

Thus is fall in Florida.

Here is a video to show what you can expect if you are caught in the middle of a bait pod. Video by BlacktipH.

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