Frame Work


This hurricane season will go down as one of the most catastrophic seasons on  record. These storms have done damage to many I know scattered from the mainland United States to the Caribbean. My heart weighs heavy for anyone whom has been affected.

For me, working on the coast in a resort has put surfing on a different priority. Once the resort and town are damaged, surfing must take a second seat to correcting and repairing the property in which I am employed. This happened last year during Hurricane Matthew. Instead of surfing, I spent long days helping to clean up down tree limbs and other debris.

For some though, the storms did deliver. Classic surf came to some spots and destroyed others. So at times, finding the best spot was a crap shoot. I would say that as far as myself taking on some challenging surf went: I completely lost out. I had two early-morning sessions in the most convenient surf spots which unfortunately were not as big as other spots. But, I did surf and I am thankful for that!




Short sequence of me at my local spot




So I bet you think that I am disappointed…

Not at all!

I rode a 5 foot 5 Tomo during this swell and for many middle-aged surfers; this would not seem like a good idea. I always receive questions about my board and I always tell people the same thing. If you focus on the odd nature of the board then you will never ride it well. I just catch the waves and do what my experience tells me to do and that is to pay attention to the wave and do the turn that fits in best with what the wave seems to be doing.

Going further to life in general, people spend to much time focusing outward. Asking questions such as what is my co-worker doing and how can they afford that? What if this goes wrong and someone decides to break the rules? Where is this person going?

The answer is that you can not control the actions of others. You can not make someone do what you think is right. You can not make someone vote the way you feel they should vote. You can not force people to be valiant or saintly.

You can control your own life and your own actions.

So I spent my day working on my surfing and making the choice to enjoy the experience with the other surfers who also came out. One guy came down from Massachusetts on a business trip which is a long ride so I made him feel welcome.

I also was grateful that I was able to surf with a few friends whom I have not surfed with years. One of them, Matt Sawyer, grabbed his camera and was cool enough to get a few shots of me riding.




So yes, I did not get to surf the best waves of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Maria.

I did get to surf with some good friends, get some photos taken, and enjoy a few relaxing days of practicing.


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Looking Inside


The last 6 months have been draining to say the least.

Looking at my drafts folder in WordPress, I have written at least 5 posts on some variation of my feelings in regards to those events. Some have social sprinklings. Some political. Some spiritual.

All written but none good enough to be considered worthy of a push of the Publish icon.

But I do have a big takeaway and it is worthy of a try. It is also counter-intuitive.


I will not lie. I have prepared for war. I gathered information. Wrote reports and was ready to drop bombs. My finger itched to get retribution. This mindset spread through my life. I found myself eager to go to social media and try to point out how other people had wrong views on our current social and social climate. This only caused more stress.

But on another level, my life was taking a different turn. I began to look to other mindsets and I stripped my ego and anger away and just pulled far back. Then it all fell into place.

In an environment of small-minded people. Back stabbers and pot-stirrers; I could turn my attention to them and become them or look in another direction. I turned my attention inward. The more I focused on myself, I could see the very people who thought of themselves as role models were merely average. And others in higher positions saw the same.

Your Model Life

Imagine buying a model airplane and some glue. Then taking every intricate part in one hand and the glue in the other. And now imagine yourself not looking at the parts but instead, you are focusing on the actions of your neighbors outside your window, your family, and the television.

What will the airplane look like once the last piece has been stuck on?

This plane represents the plane of your life. This is what you jump into daily and expect to fly off to a better way.

This is the problem of many.

We are bogged down daily with impossible tasks that only end with bad results. Trying to change the feelings of people around us who feel that they are right and that you are wrong. The end resulting in people unfriending us on social media or fights breaking out and nothing is solved.

Watching the actions of others at work or in public instead of focusing on what we can do to better our own lives. Then feeling shocked when the review comes back as average or someone else is promoted. Or the savings account is almost negative. Or we feel out of shape or depressed.

These are problems that you can tackle and solve. Problems that will have an impact far greater than worrying about terrorists or bogeymen. How long are Teds breaks and why he is going to the restroom so much?

The focus just has to shift from looking for problems outwards to looking inward.



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Noise to Note! #142

Noise to Note!

I have not churned out a good edition of Noise to Note! in a while so it seems now is a good of time as any to get back on the proverbial horse.

For this installment, I am going with a cover of a great song by The Stone Roses. The song is, I Wanna Be Adored. I think that this cover does the song justice as well as one I put on soon from a band called Iris.

Since this band is not a household name, I am going to put on a secondary track as well.

Monsters are Waiting – I Wanna be Adored.

Monsters are Waiting – Nobody


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A Picture and a Few Words


People prize autographs. Scribbled upon squares of paper towels or upon artist controlled photographs. Well, a few days ago I found my prized surfing magazine. A magazine that has various autographs written inside of it.

So I was a young kid with a case of idol worship. In my eyes, some of my surfing heroes basically could walk on water. So imagine my feelings when I met some of my favorites and I was able to sit in a quiet area and we were having adult conversations. After one day of a contest, I came home and thought to myself that nobody would believe my tales. Sure you were hanging out with a world champ…so I found a pretty fitting edition of Surfing Magazine and took it with me back to the contest.

Looking back, my perception has changed as an adult. As a 15 year old, I failed to pick up on some of the politics that were playing out. My magazine presents a snap shot of that period of time. You see the magazine that I picked out was far different than most surfing magazine set ups which seem to consist of stories and each story features a different group of participants. This magazine has multiple shots of a small group of people and even the profiled athletes are in other sections of the  magazine.

So, during a conversation, I would pull out the magazine and then ask the unknowing target to sign it. After they took the magazine, each surfer would sit down and thumb through the pages until they found a photo that resonated with them. A few times I even suggested another photo but the surfer would not really be into that photo and would tell me that they liked some other photo better and then they would pen something onto the relevant photo.  Looking back, I can see how the choices fit into what was going on with them at the time.

Peter Townend

Peter was a former world champ. Long before social media came into play, he seemed to be well ahead of the curve as far as creating a marketable character was concerned. He was part of the Bronzed Aussies which was a surf team that was comprised of Australia’s brightest talents.

When presented with the magazine, he quickly thumbed to the ad and signed the photo as part of the Bronzed Aussies. Shrewd!


Cheyne Horan

Cheyne was in a state of transition when his young future concubine handed him the surfing magazine. Magazines, of course, come out months after most of the events inked across the pages had occurred; so Cheyne appeared in this magazine as part of the Bronzed Aussies. The reality of that time was far different. He was on the verge of a long journey of self exploration. So when he saw himself in the same ad that Peter Townend previously signed; he opted out as he had split from the team. Instead, he chose a small photo in a collage. A photo that forced him to spill his words off to the side of the page.


Larry Bertleman

Larry had several choices as well. As a kid, it perplexed me that he chose to sign a picture of the underside of his surfboard skipping across the wave instead of a photo that clearly showed one of my favorites ripping. Now, I get it.

Shaun Tomson wrote to me about speed. But I think he was speaking of the human creating the path. Larry spoke to me about fins and board designs. Designs that could help him go where he wanted to go. Directions his former boards could never muster.

This was Larry’s homage to his partner…his board.


Shaun Tomson

Shaun liked the speed blur angle of this photo.

To Steve: Speed is the Essence.

I have always carried his words in my head when I hit the surf. Speed opens up possibilities.


Jeff Crawford

Jeff had more choices than anyone. He had a feature interview in this edition and he looked at every photo in a deliberate manner. Finally, he opened to the page and smiled. He picked this back light beauty at his beloved Pipeline.


Wayne Bartholomew

Rabbit went the perfect route. The photo was big and unlike Peter Townends choice; he ensured that there was no doubt that he held the world title.


Dick Catri

Jeff Crawford is sitting next to Dick in this photo and he passed this up for the tube photo.

So I was pretty psyched that I had all these signatures in my magazine. So psyched that I told Dick of my great fortunes.

Dick picked up the magazine and began to thumb through the pages. Finally, he came to a page and picked up a pen.

You forgot someone! He began to scribble on a page.

Little did I know that he was in an ad but he knew. Finding it years later and seeing that he signed it means a lot to me now that he has passed.


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Stubbies Pro Trails


Lou Bell, Matt Kechele, and myself at one of the Stubbies Trials.

Recently I found an old YouTube video of the Stubbies Pro Trails which brought back a huge flood of emotions. Mainly…a lot of cringing.

You see, I also have found a lot of old videos of myself surfing and old super 8 films as well.

I have been through a lot of phases and surfed through a lot of the evolutionary moments of surfing. Some were great and some were well-intentioned but really missed the mark.


Me riding the sucky twin fin. Yet, still getting 5th place.

As a grom, I thought I had a good style and for a kid I was able to surf in a mature manner. Then came my twin fin phase and the contests. My first board (after moving to Florida) was awful. Sure it worked in some conditions but the star systems fins seemed to break like crazy and the wide point was to far forward. My second twin was great. It is similar to what I ride today. An aquatic skateboard. Then came my big break – a sponsorship with Natural Art.

My first boards were duds. This was due to Rich not knowing my surf style but even more due to me not knowing what to order. Plus, my spastic surfing did not compliment the boards either. I also had a wonderful gift of damaging my boards so I was borrowing boards that were completely wrong for me. This goes hand in hand with some of the surfing in the video. Talented surfing and a lot of extra hand motions. Many of the surfers featured in this video molted into smooth as butter rail surfers. It was just the times. Flat twin fins with surfers being judged on how much they could move their boards around. Going with that, the video of me during this time frame makes me cringe to say the least.

Thankfully, Rich Price began shaping me some thrusters and the rest is history.

Finally when you reach the end of this video, check out my dad! He is wearing the Stubbies purple tank top and he has on a blue hat. He is holding the trophies that Pat Mulhern and Charlie Kuhn received. I was somewhere off camera watching.


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Saving the Reef in Satellite Beach


Part of Brevard County has been blessed by nature by not only having a great swell window but it also boasts an inshore reef area that attracts a wide variety of marine life. This natural barrier is currently under attack by local politicians who want to use the extremely wasteful dredge and fill method which will cover what they say will be 10% of the local inner reef. One politician stated that this must be done to protect the condos and to increase the important revenue source of tourism. I will agree with this fellow on this account because tourism is indeed important to the state economy although one can argue that Indian Harbour Beach or Satellite Beach are hardly duking it out with the Disney corridor or Miami as a tourist destination. If the concern was indeed tourism, then one would argue that building a wall of solid condominiums down the shoreline would not lend itself to tourism when a visitor would have a difficult time knowing where to park.

To counter this poorly thought out reasoning, I will now turn to a state where the value for your buck model is a lot higher and that would be Hawaii. As a kid growing up in Hawaii, you learn some nifty lessons. Some places can kill you if you are not careful.  Some very popular beaches have a few areas that have rather jagged rocks or reefs. There is also expanses with zero development. Oddly enough, people seem to book tickets there and many come back. That is because people enjoy scenery minus convenience stores, multi-story hotels, parking meters, and mini golf courses. They get their share of this in the cities and towns where they come from and want something more…natural and un-tampered…like a barge dumping sand over rocks with sub-standard bottom fill.


Children understand that a reef area means exploration

When I first came to the area, there were large fields of sea oats that we found trails to get to the surf through. The trip across the reef made the experience unique and the water was teeming with turtles, dolphins, and some sharks of course. Then more and more condos began to cast a shadow over the lineups making it prematurely darker as the sun was setting. But from the shoreline outward it was always an escape from the increasing traffic on A-1A.


Far from being a lifeless area of rocks


Is the inner 10% unimportant? What side is this bird hunting at?

If you read this and want to take a few moments to sign a petition then I thank you very much! If you are not a local…better! The commissioners seem to believe that tourists are not happy with a natural environment. There is a comment section to express your feelings at the end of the petition.

For a more scientific theory of the reef, please read the petition. The reef is vital to many animals including the turtle population.

Photos by Sara Cassidy.



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Am I Alive?



Well, thankfully yes!

It has been more than a struggle the past few weeks. Key management members at my place of employment have gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa and have taken some staff with them.

So I have been thinking of subjects and driving to work. Sadly I have been letting the more than 8 hour shifts put a damper on my creative outlets but like anything that involves change; sometimes there is a period of adjustment before things iron themselves out.

So I am alive and looking forward to rejoining the world of the living…

– Steve

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