When the water is cold; surfing becomes more of a chore. You have to slap on the wetsuit and having to endure countless lines of churning white water becomes a headache.

We seek out the most protected spots.

Sometimes we do not even paddle out at all.

But summer changes that.

The most awful days become our playground.

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Forum Surf Party from The Boardheads!

Forum Surf Party from The Boardheads!

These are just some odds and ends I found. Most are extremely poor quality but you can see what I am doing. Some were printed from something else and given to me.

Group photo from 2ndlight.com forum party. I am off to the right.

Group photo from 2ndlight.com forum party. I am off to the right.



The 2 items above are from forum parties for 2ndlight. They also prove that I like backside 360s!

Tchau amigos!

And thanks to Jim and Doreen for taking some of these photos!

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The Rise, Downfall, and Dumb Mistakes of Zim, Finn, and Shim – Part 3!

Party Time! Excellent!

So I wrote in the last installment, Zim, Finn, and Shim were hitting a bit of a snag because the trio had whittled down to just uno. The lone writer (me), was beginning to burn out but really wanted to keep going. So one day I just decided that I had to return to writing and go full bore!


In our current age, we are all aware of internet trolls. They visit even the most mundane websites and attack others from behind a fake profile. Some are actually harmless and funny and some are done to mock something the creator dislikes. But we can agree that for the most part; trolls are a pain in the butt.

As I began to read through my old copy of the Surfer Magazine, I instantly noticed something odd.


The first thing I noticed was a letter from Zim, Finn, and Shim announcing our return. Of course I also had to put in a dig at Mr. Novak…sorry Walt! Then I noticed something else. As I began to thumb through the letters; I saw that many were also written by me. Some were written about the articles. Some were positive and some were negative. All written under different aliases that I created. Like the first letter.

All written out to manipulate the outcome of the letters that the readers would sift through to high-light the Zim, Finn, and Shim posts.


I have a few fatal flaws and one is that I sometimes am too loyal. There are times when you have to think about yourself and bail out! But there I stand. Alone on the deck of the vessel while the captain and crew are rowing off to safety.

The fine folks at Bullfrog Suncare Products held a contest for the Story of the Year so I entered that as well. Imagine my excitement when I won! Now imagine my excitement many years later when I realized that I won a printed advertisement and won as Zim, Finn, and Shim instead of as myself.



Flat Line

As before, our triumphant return quickly became me working at a frenzied pace for a few more issues to be printed and then just finally chucking in the towel. The trio had become history. As for my writing, it too also died. Only to be resurrected occasionally to write sappy letters to ex-girlfriends or to create Please Come Back! letters after I did something wrong. At work, I was also the chosen one to write boring training manuals and mundane PowerPoint presentations.

Thanks to this blog though; I am back to writing. The passion is back and in a small way; Zim, Finn, and Shim will not be forgotten.

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The Rise, Downfall, and Dumb Mistakes of Zim, Finn, and Shim – Part duh.

Looking somewhat cool at the Surf Expo with Charley Baldwin of CB Surfboards.

Looking somewhat cool at the Surf Expo with Charley Baldwin of CB Surfboards.

Off and Running

After our initial success, we began to write more letters. We would meet up and find a topic and then insert odd beatnik inspired lingo; painting a picture that we were like the kids from Scooby-Doo. Driving around in a van and having odd experiences in the surf.

Over time, the dynamics of things began to shift. Joe was eying a move to Hawaii and I really do not think writing was his bag anyway. So things shifted over to Tim and I to create our short works of prose.

The Surf Expo

The Surf Expo is a convention that happens several times a year in Orlando and it draws all of the major surfing companies and the circus that comes with it to check out the newest lines. Thanks to my sponsors, I was able to get the whole gang in. Once inside, we got the brilliant idea to flip our badges inside out and to scribble Zim, Finn, and Shim on our badges. To our surprise, people had read our letters and people actually spoke to us about them. What cool cats we were! We were list F-List celebrities!

Mr. Walt Novak

I have never met Mr. Novak. Now, I have figured out that he is the father of North Shore surfer, Flynn Novak and he likes to write letters to the editor as much as we do. Maybe even more since I have seen him write letters to The University of Hawaii and to the paper in Honolulu. He even wrote a book so writing must consume his passions.  But way back then, we wanted to see our names over and over and frowned when once again the editors chuckled at another of Walt’s responses. This guy was a major thorn in our sides! But he was also the fuel to our fire.

So the letters continued. But now, after months of writing, Tim began to realize that there were other things out there…Things like women and parties. So I soon found myself trying to keep the magic alive.

During this period, I stopped writing myself. What could I do to continue this?

I too began to lose myself in the fun. But there in the back of my mind was the lingering question.

Spring Cleaning

Recently, I was involved in yet another poor attempt at cleaning the house when I found some boxes under my bed. As I dug through one box, a magazine appeared and I knew instantly why it was separated from the millions of others I own.  I started to thumb through it.

It was like a blanket had been pulled off an old forgotten toy. There was the answers to what I did and I how it went wrong. I grimaced from my stupid move but I had to shake my head and laugh as well.

The grand finale is on the way!

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Old School Skating 2

So of course I dug up some more skating pics!

Jim Payne's Ramp - Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Jim Payne’s Ramp – Ewa Beach, Hawaii

This is me as a small tyke learning the basics. A good 4 feet from the top but looking stylish!

Rodney Mullins

Rodney Mullins

Look! A real skater! Rodney Mullins at the Sundek Classic.

Me at the Bone Town Gutter in Orlando

Me at the Bone Town Gutter in Orlando

Burdines Wall

Burdines Wall

Look! He is climbing the rickety slide. What can he do wrong?

Look! He is climbing the rickety slide. What can he do wrong?

Rail slide!!!

Rail slide!!!

The last two pictures are the earliest known photos of me training for my future career as rail grinding, dare-devil! Since this photo appears to be filmed from a half mile away; my parents were obviously not concerned with my high risk personality!

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Noise to Note! #89

It does not matter if it is from the 70s or 2015, as long as it has a redeeming quality to it; I will like it. That can be anything. Great lyrics, performed with some extra spark, a great groove…you will know it when you hear it.

So our selection for Noise to Note! is I believe in Miracles performed by the funk band, Hot Chocolate.

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The Rise, Dumb Mistakes, and Down Fall of Zim, Finn, and Shim – Pt. 1

Letters to the Editor! Wheeeeeeeeee! Photo courtesy of the guardian.com

Letters to the Editor! Wheeeeeeeeee! Photo courtesy of the guardian.com

This intro is more for the younger folks who read this. I know you are aware of how things were so different thirty years ago or earlier and believe me; they were! I grew up in a time when our current society was taking shape and it was an ungraceful entrance. Today, technology flows in a seamless manner. In the day, technology was great for you. But only in certain times and moments. Then it was a battle. A terrible battle between other devices of technology and other people. Nothing flowed. For example, your home computer was fighting your phone. If someone called your phone while you were on the computer; you could be booted off! How is that for fun!

Another aspect to remember was that we did not have e-mail for the most part and very few cell phones existed in the 1980s. So you did a lot of writing. And visiting the Post Office. And waiting.

If you read an article in a newspaper or in a magazine, you wrote a letter about it and maybe it was printed in the Letters to the Editor section. That was about 6 months later! So nothing was fast or instantaneous.

Oh the dark ages of humanity!

John R.

John was a local surfing kid who ran his mouth a bit to much for our liking. He would tell us how great he was and when we asked him to paddle out; an excuse would come about.

We knew John well. And we knew his car. So imagine the delight when we drove by a very packed beach and saw his car in the parking lot!

We pulled in and it was a dream scenario. People littered the sea and shore and John was catching mediocre wave after mediocre wave. I also just happened to have my Kodak Instamatic camera.

Wading out, we mixed right in with the red tourists and stood a few yards from John. A wave swung in and the pictures were taken. Laughing, we ran out of the water and drove to the nearest Photo-mat to have our pictures developed.

A few days later, they were ours. Tim, Joe, and myself set out to write the perfect letter to the editor and we addressed ourselves as Zim, Finn, and Shim in a homage to The 3 Stooges.

A Mere 6 Months Later!

The phone rings!

You suck!! You guys are assholes!!!

John was not happy at all.

What is wrong?

You know what you did! John was now reaching a boiling point. So I got in the car and drove to the store.

There was our letter printed in Surfer Magazine! With a picture of John R. clumsily riding in some white water.

As for the letter, it basically hailed John as Florida’s new surfing hero. It contained overly dramatic descriptions of his skills and his rides such as he rose to his feet in exhaltation like a Hawaiian king and how his style even challenged the greats like Mickey Dora. The accompanying picture showed how much of a joke the letter was and the fine folks at Surfer Magazine must found our character assassination witty enough to print.

Needless to say, John did not speak with us for a while.

Going up!

After this innocuous birth, a small fire was ignited in us. Someone from a magazine actually thought we were funny and this one letter was a ticket to popularity. So after a surf session, we sat down and penned another letter and mailed it out.

Just as quick as that (six months later!), another letter made an appearance in the magazine.

The frenzy began!

Letters. Stamps. Stardom!

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