Print Story As Summer Staggers To An End...
By wiredog (Mon Sep 04, 2006 at 07:13:48 PM EST) (all tags)
$BigProject is out the door, so I maybe can diarize here a bit more often. Been reading and sometimes commenting, but not diarizing.

Of course, $NextBigProject could arrive At Any Time, so we'll see. Inside: What I Did This Summer, Keeping Up With The Weird Medical Problems Meme, and Much Much More!

Actually, summer isn't quite over yet. One more beach weekend, then it's done. So what did I do every weekend at the beach? Started to learn how to surf. Here's a picture of me on my board:

Scary, isn't it. The usual beach day begins with a 7AM wake-up. Eat breakfast, out in the water by 8, paddle around until 10, when surfing stops. Go to 7/11 for doughnuts and coffee. Lunch is a burger and fries from a burger joint on the beach. Roll back to the house around 3 or 4. Shower, eat dinner, hang out, eat ice cream or funnel cake, in bed by midnight. I've actually lost 10 lbs this summer. Paddling a sufrboard around, especially a 9'4" surfboard, is a real workout.

I'm not yet a surfer. I can stay upright on the board, took 4 surf sessions to figure that out. I can catch waves, took about 6 weeks to get that. Mainly figuring out which waves were catchable, and when to start paddling. I have stood up and ridden waves exactly once. In knee high surf. Clean knee high surf. I have become a connisuer (sp?) of the wipeout. I can go over the falls, pearl, get closed out-on, and generally do everything else that results in the sinuses getting powerwashed.

I've been having a blast. Next summer I am going to consistently get up, and do so on decent waves. Maybe even waves like we had last weekend.

Last weekend Tropical Storm Ernesto rolled through. Friday was 60 MPH winds, with higher gusts, tons of rain. Driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge I could feel the resonance waves in the span (it's a suspension bridge). Not Galloping Gertie waves, but you could feel the bridge move. Very weird.

Saturday we went to the beach, saw 20+ foot waves hitting it (Ernesto had been pushing them up the Atlantic for a couple of days), and decided not to surf. Storm surf is impressive. You can feel the impact of the waves when they break. Sort of a "Whoosh-BOOM!"

Saturday evening the waves were only(!) 15 feet, so several friends decided to try surfing them. They got out (took work), got one ride apiece, and decided that that was quite enough. Too much debris in the water, and going over the falls on a 15 footer is aesthetically unpleasant.

Sunday they were running 6 to 8 feet, with sets of 10 to 12 feet. Since they were smaller I decided to go out and try to catch some.

That was incredibly stupid. I had no business being out in that. Especially on a longboard. I almost made it out past the break when one of those sets rolled in. (30 second later and I'd've made it (and then been really fucked, as I'd've had to get back.)) I'm paddling out, almost there, and this bid ass wave rears up in front of me. Right in front of me. Then it sucked me in. Literally. It pulled me in, right up the face. Then over the top as it broke. Then if fell on me. Pushed me under. I came up for air after it had gone by. Before I could get a breath the second wave in the set did the same thing. Suck in, around, boom.

There were 5 waves in that set. No chance to get a breath between waves. Took about a minute to get through all that. Sure, holding your breath for minute is easy. If you're sitting in a chair. When you've been paddling, hard, for several minutes trying to get out, and then get slammed around by the waves, it's another story.

The last wave spit me out, towards shore, and I could breath again. So I paddled back in to shore and sat in my beach chair shaking for about an hour. I don't think I've come that close to dying of (my own) stupidity since I gave up drugs.

People who knew what they were doing (and only a bit better than I am) had a great time that day. The waves were overhead, clean, and breaking deep. Friends who've surfed a lot said it was the best they'd ever seen in Ocean City. As good as the average Hawaiian wave. Next year I'll be able to handle them.
Oh, almost forgot the Patented HuSi Medical Problems Meme: I've developed Meniere's Disease. An inner ear disorder that can cause hearing loss and vertigo. Fortunately I've just got the hearing loss. In the right ear. It's a build up of fluid deep in the ear. So I can't hear low frequencies in that ear, and the high frequencies are distorted.

Due to a childhood injury subsequent to a playground disagreement I'm already pratly blind in my left eye. Blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, if I lose a limb you can start calling me "Lucky".

Sigh. Only one more weekend of looking at flocks of Wild North American Boobies. Ah well. Winter's coming and, with it, the chance to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a honey. Need to acquire thoase things. Maybe now that I'm a svelte 205 lbs instead of a fat 215...
< Ya know when ya hear that one song? | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
As Summer Staggers To An End... | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Hmm, I guess I can forgot learning how to surf by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 03:53:44 AM EST
by only spending one week a summer at the shore. But, I'm happy you're getting the chance.

I got pounded a few times with the boogey board, and that was in 2-3 foot waves, I can barely imagine what a real wave would do.

Depends on the shore by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 04:27:41 AM EST
If you went out for a couple hours a morning and the same in the evening day every day for a week, in Hawaii or Costa Rica, you'd learn. That's how some of my friends did.

They were in really good shape before they went out. Surfing uses muscles that no other workout does. It requires strength and endurance.

You don't see too many fat surfers.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
vertigo ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 05:25:34 AM EST
I've been losing my balance for quite some time now. But I guess that's a different kind of vertigo.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I think we all get the mental vertigo by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:10:11 AM EST
from time to time.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
some forms are easier to deal with than others by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 07:48:56 AM EST
Fortunately, I've got the type that just hurts me.

But switching subjects, do I understand correctly that you're just losing hearing in one ear? I don 't think they can correct the distorted high pitches, but (assuming your loss in the low range doesn't get into the `profound' level) a few hundred bucks ought to by a hearing aid that does wonders. Just be sure to get one with a T-Coil and then get a HATIS set so you can pick up any audio device through your hearing aid with the magic of an FM loop.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Hearing aids won't work. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 08:49:38 AM EST
The problem is a fluid build-up deep in the inner ear that causes the various moving parts (which move in response sound) to not move properly.

Well, a cochlear implant might, but the hearing loss isn't that profound. And it's not the loss of the low that bothers me, it's the distortion. If I'm in a crowd the distortion in the right ear creates an interference with the entire auditory system. Kind of interesting, from a technical perspective. Kind of scary when you don't know what's happening. Loss of some hearing coupled with wicked distortion in what you do hear and you wonder "Is this the first sign that my central nervous system is unraveling? I did do a lot of acid..."

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Heh by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:07:49 AM EST

Between your surfing, Herring's wakeboard, 256 and myself still skating and MostlyHarmless learning to fly, it looks like the HuSi mid-life crisis is in full swing (although I suspect 256 is still technically "young").

Good on you for just doing it.

[PS. Seeing as you're longboarding, have you seen this?]

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
As Summer Staggers To An End... | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback