Noise to Note! #103

Noise to Note!

When I used to play guitar a lot, I loved the feeling of having an army of effect boxes sprawled out in front of me. It was like giving an artist new paint brushes and new hues of paint.

Then I watched as the music industry modernized and watched detached sound guys control all of these aspects for the performers.

Thankfully, I ran across this video featuring the return of Ride.  They are back and armed with a rack of every effect pedal you could want!

Ride – Seagull.

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Scribbled – More From the Lost Era

Wave...Meet young a-hole!

Wave…Meet young a-hole!

One of my fellow bloggers wrote a story about her disdain for those obnoxious kids that one can encounter at the beach. If you surf, you know the ones. In a pack. Loud. Trying to back paddle you. The top-notch kind of kid that causes you to scour the beach hoping that they came out minus a parent so you can tie them to the beach access crossing with their leg rope.

As I read the tale she wrote, it made me chuckle. Why? Because I was that little jerk.

If you have read enough of my blog, you would know that I was not a young Charles Manson my whole life. In fact, as a kid I was down right friendly. The problem was that I was growing and collecting baggage at a rapid pace.

By the time I reached Florida, I had all of the cards dealt to morph into a teenage monster. I was growing in size and had established a pattern of being friends with some kids who were not as stellar as my other friends from Ewa Beach. So my father devised a plan that would save the family some headache and we would all live happily ever after.

Well, one thing my father did not take into consideration was asking if the neighborhood was filled with kids who were a few notches short of being social deviants. He also did not factor in that a kid from Hawaii who was dreaming of a famous surfer might become a bit pissed off if you moved 5o minutes from the beach and the kid would then be at the mercy of car pooling to go surfing.

What happened next was really a no-brainer. Pissed off kid begins to hang out with a small herd of young derelicts and quickly changed from happy kid to angry menace.

God Bless Parents

I have to hand it to my father. Being a former surfer himself, he must have really wanted to kick me in the groin for being such a tool but instead he let some things slide. For example, what are these objects behind me in the photos? Pops cleverly tried to disguise the facts that I was an extremely ill-mannered youth.

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Dear random surfing guy…Sorry for this!

However, when surfing with angry kids, you should paddle with conviction so the terror does not get to his feet while you are trying to figure out which way to go.

-Dad! You were supposed to zoom in and crop these people out of the photo! Geeeeeez!

Breaking the Law!

Surfing in the prehistoric days was no joke. There was always a few of those nice seasoned surfers that did not mind removing the fins from a kids board if they were out of line. So I had a few gentleman explain to me that if it was not for their like of my father; There was a trash can on the beach that I would have been stuffed in.

On the flip side, I have other warm and fuzzy memories of a few standard surfers out to enjoy their well earned time off by getting in a quick surf session.  Sadly, they made the wrong choice of questioning me about my aquatic antics while I was with a group of my fellow angry teens. This lead to them being surrounded by a mob of surfing hyenas and I remember them fleeing the water with us not far behind yelling obscenities.

But as explained in my previous post, I grew tired of the drama and decided to cut my tangled kelp-mess that covered my head and became a much friendlier presence in the water. Or…I just learned to sit farther out and now I only catch the best waves!

Less hair is less anger!

Less hair is less anger!

See what a good haircut can do for you!

Give Peace a Chance!

Ha ha! Well, truth be told, there were a lot more years of hi-jinx and crazy surf trips. Going to punk shows, clubs, and concerts. However, the drops in stopped and so did the awful pictures from that short downturn. I learned to smile and to be a more positive person. Getting more positive people in my camp helped too. When you surround yourself with people who are trouble; you are inviting trouble into your life.

That is how I changed from a life of scribbling to learning to create a picture.

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Noise to Note! #102

Noise to Note!

ABC had a lot of great pieces in place to rule the 1980s. A singer with a distinctive voice. Great songs and musicianship. But at some point, line up changes and other factors caused the demise of the original band.

Thankfully, the band has been playing some gigs and Martin Frye sounds great as ever.

ABC – All of my Heart from the iconic album, Lexicon of Love.

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Scribbled – The First Part

scribbs

A few months ago, I was a machine. Every move in my day was calculated and I felt that I was a model of efficiency. Looking back, I could see that I was efficient because it was a life void of anything beyond work. Out of work, I had hours to spare with nothing to do except to make up tasks and carry them out.

Then came the tipping point.

Family trips, work, job interviews, clothes shopping, mailing documents to foreign embassies, and a multitude of other items. All this has lead to me feel as efficient as a child’s scribbled drawings.

A Scribbled Time

Sometimes, like the deep drawing pictured above, we hit a period or two when we become personally like the jumbled lines. We are not in a place where we are acting like ourselves or we have compromised our beliefs. For some, this can be the start of a long, downward spiral.

In my first year of high school, I found myself sliding quickly into a place where I did not want to be. My personality had changed. I grew my hair out. I was hanging out with a crowd that was frequently finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. There was a lot of drugs and a lot of underage drinking.

I had stopped surfing in contests and my behavior in the water was appalling. I was very frequently dropping in on adults and due to my increased size and my anger; I was often engaging in verbal and physical altercations with my fellow surfers.

I was in piss poor shape on about every level.

Straightening the Lines

I wish I could say there was a defining day where I felt the hand of Jesus touch me and his voice told me to change. But what really happened was a slow process of me seeing things for what they were and a feeling of guilt that weighed me down.

Finally one evening in a room with a bunch of friends who were smoking weed; the curtain was parted. I knew at that dull moment that this was not for me. Why did I say dull? Because watching a bunch of people doing nothing in a room but listening to classic rock and giggling was more than I could stand. Especially when I wanted to be walking on a beach in a foreign country. Paddling out over a colorful coral reef. This was the furthest from living that I could imagine.

So at sixteen years old, I decided to begin a process of losing my friends and losing my anger. It took a while but it happened. In fact, it actually took until my senior year to get my education back on track.

Rules

Being a manager, it is crazy to me how people just repeat the same negative behaviors over and over and they can not seem to break their dependence on chaos.

I used to hate every day I woke up because someone was going to be on me for a missing assignment, or for doing something wrong. Pretty telling statement.

Once I changed my tune, the stress and negativity was lifted off of me. My teachers were so happy that they started working with me to help me catch up. My parents were happier. The police were transformed from the a-holes that were watching me to just people doing a job.

The end result was that I became happier and doors opened up for me.

And for my old friends?

A recent dinner with some family members revealed that for them things never really changed. Some are drifting about, some are dead, some are using people after being in and out of prison.

They never could get up and leave the bedroom. Their lives are always scribbled lines.

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Dropping In

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It is funny, but in many action sports; the moment of coming down a vertical face is ignored. Yet, what appears to be a moment of nothing is perhaps the most important.

To the casual observer, the rider appears to be doing nothing. Yet, the opposite is occurring. The rider is loading up like a spring. Ready to strike with quick  motions to propel themselves upward to do the big move. All the while getting up the courage to do something and mapping out the plan.

Does this resonate?

You see, for ages I have been dropping down into the flats. Waiting.

These past few months it has become time for me to propel myself upwards. Shooting for the lip.

Part of this came to life today after accepting a promotion working beach-side. This is why I have been a bit inactive lately.

So now I am looking forward to see how far this next move will take me!

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Noise to Note! #101

Noise to Note!

It is the weekend! Relax! Refocus. You can even hike through a scene that looks like an album cover from Yes!

To help you wash away the distortion from work; I present MaLuca – Everything You Do.

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Legacy of Stoke – My Review

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Throughout my life, there has been one constant and that is the ocean.

As a toddler, my father would drive us out to Waianae or we would play along the shores of Ewa Beach. During the winter months, my family would load up in the car and I would run along the shoreline as men in jerseys strolled past me getting ready for their heats in the Duke Contest.

Years later, the bus would plod along Ft. Weaver road. I would grip my books and scan to see how big the lines of whitewater were breaking out on the reefs.

Now I do not live as close but I have always used my location as a way to surf the best spots. If the swell is not good up north of Cape Canaveral, I head to more protected spots south of the cape. This relationship has always worked. Well, until the past few years.

These days I seem to be suffering from the same syndrome that is plaguing Kelly Slater. A disconnect from mother ocean. For us, we have seen so many magic tricks from Kelly that this season we watch in disbelief as the clock runs out and the magic ten point ride never happens. A lot of times nothing comes at all! We just watch 3 minutes run off the clock with Kelly wondering why the sea has turned a blind eye to him.

On my end, it seems to be the same out of sync feeling. Flat days on my day out of work. Doctors appointments and family visits on the decent days coupled with added work hours and emergency meetings. All have affected my flow and even have thrown off my posting on my blog.

Ebb and Flow

I really enjoyed reading The Legacy of Stoke.

The surfers are completely different. They were introduced into surfing through various ways and for various reasons. Many have used surfing as a way to get beyond some major struggles.

My story in print.

My story in print.

I am biased towards surfing. It would be easy to say the book is all about how surfing will magically transform even the most shoddy life and how surfing will lead one to a major awakening.

Sadly, I know far to many surfers who are struggling with addictions or whom have had other issues that made them turn their backs on the ocean and surfing.

To me, Legacy of Stoke, on the surface is a story about the magic of surfing. But the more important theme that runs through the book like a current is about finding a passion and committing to it.  Even through the ups and downs of life. Through the rise and falls of the tides. Through the sun rises and sunsets. We will always have ups and downs and we may feel out of sync but things will turn around if you approach life with passion. In fact, having a feeling of stoke will help you forge through the times when things are not working out instead of dwelling on the negativity.

That is why it is important to share this joy. By sharing your passion with someone else in a physical way such as being a mentor seems to be the obvious way. However, not everyone in the book took others out and taught them to surf. Their stories alone can have the power of helping.

We live in a world where friends sit 5 feet from each other and barely break their gaze from their computers and hand-held devices. Being engaged and passionate is needed now more than ever.

Finally, after reading Legacy of Stoke and reflecting on the content; I also came away with this. Two of the authors were professional surfers. Both have traveled the world and experienced many different kinds of waves. Yet, everyone featured has a passion for surfing.

Finding Stoke

Some days I paddle out and the waves are up to my knees. Even though it is twenty-five feet less than the biggest waves that I have tackled; I still  enjoy myself. Not everyone is going to be an elite level participant. This should not diminish the importance of a persons experience.

Whether your goal is to be singing at a local bar or to be a better parent; one does not have to be an expert to enjoy the experience. Sure it is nice to go to Disney with the family but the reality is your child just wants you to be there. Even if it is playing a board game at home. Just as a surf at the closest beach is just as satisfying as a surf trip to Kirra.

And that is also why I believe that both myself and Kelly Slater will get our mojo back. Our positive attitude will get us beyond our lows until things flow in another direction.

As for Legacy of Stoke, pick up a copy from Amazon and get engaged.

And…I also still give surfing lessons!

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