Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cuckoo on the Choo Choo

I have a tough commute - Rockport to Boston. Route 128 to rte 1 to 93 to the $11 lot on Sea Port Ave. Then at night I do it all over again in reverse.

To break up the dirge, and to preserve my nerves, I've been taking the commuter rail. It means getting up 30 min earlier, and getting home about an hour later (groan groan), but it's important to mix it up, chill and catch up on my reading. I'm finishing up "Catch a Wave", a splendid bio about Brian Wilson.

It's also good (up to a point) to be around other people. I see more of the city, and have a nice 20 min walk to & from North Station. It's about as expensive as driving & parking, but on Mondays & bad weather days, the drive is obnoxious, so those will be the days you'll find me on the choo choo, chillin' and giving my nerves a break.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tropical Storm Noel

November 4th, the first real swell to hit New England shores since April did not disappoint. The storm actually was the day before, a tropical storm turned nor'easter, with 50-60 mph gusts & driving rain that kicked up a monster ground swell.

Sunday: 830 am:

With the 777 and winter wetsuit loaded in my Honda Civic, my 1st stop was cape Hedge beach. It's a favorite of some friends. No one there, it was big but sloppy. Next stop was the creek side of Long Beach (my fav). The tide was dropping, and it was chest high but totally closed out. More morning sickness.

But the hotel side of Long was HUGE, with double overhead waves and amazing shape. Way too big for me, friends, but take a look at the picture. There was a longboarder out there absolutley killing it, noseriding, doing roundhouse cutbacks, the whole nine. The hot shots on shortboards were amazing. For once, it seemed that Long Beach in Rockport was the place to be. There were some pretty ballsy dudes out there.

It was such a gorgeous morning too, with the waves backlit by the softer fall sunlight, a pretty green/gold. Talking to my bud Jon, I decided that a trip to New Hampshire would be good for me, the tide was dropping here, not the best setup for longboards.

The next stop was the private end of Good Harbor, a passable low tide spot, and a left. A total consolation prize, but it looked fun enough. Screw shlepping to NH. Get in touch with the local trip. I didn't care it was better elsewhere. Here is where I wanted to be. Such a satisfying feeling. Right in my own back yard for a change!

Long story short, I went out in my Winter suit, and caught a bunch of fast, quick lefts over a 3 hour period. Just me & Greg Sacca. The waves were waist plus (see pic), but being so over wieght and out of shape, this was probably the smartest choice for me. Am I ever sore as I type this.

Have I surfed better waves? Yes. Have I surfed better? Hell yes. Were there better waves to be had elsewhere, yes indeedy. So why am I still buzzed? Maybe it was being able to join in the big event in a tiny way. Also, that private corner of Good Harbor seldom gives up the goods, but yesterday, the 777 was the right key to unlock the waves.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roller Derbies Are Fun

Originally uploaded by jmaxh
I was gonna just laze around at home last Saturday. But my friend Karen - Jon's wife - started doing roller derby.

There's always been a strong rockabilly/hot rod/retro all americana fun aspect to Roller Derby. It's a trip that I really dig. But it was so hard to get motivated for anything late on a Saturday afternoon.

It was at the Shriner's auditorium in Wilmington. Cars were parked on the access route, it was packed. The crowd was amazing. Punkers, Indie rock chicks, rockabilly cats & kittens, diesels, rock climbers, surfers, and everything in between.

The action was super! Chuck aside any ideas of amazons in football jerseys beating each other into oblivion. However there was no shortage of striped tube socks and wild tattoos. These girls were total athletes and the speed was amazing. They have great names like "Triple Deck-her" and "Ivana Clobber". I love it.


The rules are still unclear to me, but watching the girls blasting around over a hot dog and a beer cannot be beat.

My pictures kinda suck, it was dark & the shutter lag was killing me. The videos came out great, I need to edit and upload a bunch.

And to think I hesitated. I was stoked, - even scored a killer t shirt. I'll be back in November to watch the Wicked Pissahs go against the Nutcrackers.


see bostonderbydames.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Surfing - 9/15 and 9/16

Between all the commuting to Boston the past few weeks and my recent trip to Montauk, I thought it would be nice to take a load off and surf locally if there was any surf. I was looking forward to reconnecting with the local break and my Cape Ann chums.

Huge Breakthru!

Saturday started off small & rainy, but there was some small knee high lines. A front was due to pass, which usually brings offshore & sunshine. TJ, a local had a groovy ass vintage Bing twinnie (photo above). A fun omen.

As always at Good Harbor, the waves are a bit bigger than they appear from the road. It was closer to waist high. I paddled out with my home girls Janet & Erin, waited a bit to see what the setup was that day -- fun little rights. Long story short, on the rights I was stylie boy.

Not only was I cross stepping, but after a step or 2, I was still on the wave! Gotta love that Tyler 305!

Later the sun came out and the wind really started to crank offshore – windy to the point of being blown out to sea. But who cares, I was landing cross steps like a man possessed.

Why is this important?

You may ask. As a dedicated longboarder of the single fin variety, walking up & down the board is they stylish way to stay in the curl, or breaking part of the wave. That’s the goal here, friends. And a logger who doesn't walk the board isn't doing the main thing that makes longboarding so special - just my opinion. I felt like half a longboarder - incomplete if you will. Shuffling is for donkeys, and after almost 11 years, I’m a late bloomer in that department.

So what’s next?

More cross stepping, and getting closer to the tip - 10 piggies over baby! Also better walking whilst going to the left (or backside or me) that’s harder. But the breakthrough has been made, and it’s only
a mater of time & practice. Atta boy.


The morning looked fun & glassy, but high tide wasn’t until 3:00. Come noon I went back out, but a stubborn easterly flow came up, and while the sun was out (I got burned), it was damn cold. I caught a chill, and was wishing I had a 4/3 wetsuit.

There was a slight bump on the water, and the crowd was obnoxious. The donkeys were out! And none of those fun rights from Saturday. And to top it off, a donkey dropped in on me on my 1st wave. No biggie, I was in a very good mood for some reason that day. I said nothing, not even a “heads up!” To what end anyway? I was even having a nice chat with Ginger Kid. Nice guy after all. As John of Clean & Natural Surfboards once said: “peace should prevail”.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Late Summer Ideas

Back from Long Island

I just got back from my 2nd annual Montauk Long island trip. I’ll keep it short & sweet:

No real surf but good time, Johna, Zachary, his brother & friends were great company - check my flickr pics for more.

I’m happy to be working at Neoscape.

Glo or no-Glo

I’m thinking about living in Gloucester, rather than Arlington/Somerville. Both places rock, but:

Gloucester (America’s home port) is gorgeous. Plus, Gloucester has been very close to my heart all my life, I know just about everyone there. Instant network.

The cons:
Gloucester dubbas and Rockport prigs can burn my ass..