Friday, November 30, 2007

cable companies

You know what is annoying is when cable companies decide to just cut perfectly good wiring. Now they have to come back and charge me extra AND worst of all string up yet another eyesore wire from the telephone pole across the skyline running into my studio. This is if I want to get internet and cable TV.

Why whyWhy why Why? It was good the way it was. Now i gotta have another ugly wire ruining my pretty blue sky. At this rate, it's just a matter of time before my skyline looks like this:

Jaipur, India after Comcast was thru with 'em

Linda Marginal

morning surf at Linda Mar this AM. Was planning to meet a guy and possibly buy a surfboard from him, but I was running late in the morning and then didn't find him, and I forgot to bring his phone # to call him back. But oh well. I was on the fence about the board anyways. Anacapa Glider 6'6 20'' x 2 3/4''. I definitely want a board with some volume but that might almost be too much. Probably not though, maybe I'll try to meet him again on Saturday. $250 for it, been used 3 times. Pretty good deal. Although I was more excited about it before I researched Anacapa a bit and fuond out they're foreign pop-outs, not nearly as cool as supporting your local USA shaper. Bit of a debate amongst the surf populace about those foreign made boards and how folks feel about them. I'm probably more on the side of it's OK, there will continue to be a market for US made local shapers even w/ these foreign ones coming in at a lower price...

Anyways surf kind of sucked. Pretty mixed up out there. Still tried to make the most of it, took a few closeout beatings, caught 2 waves that were decent that I managed to actually get a bit of a ride on, and got some exercise, so a good morning. Nice, cold, but sunny. New wetsuit is TOASTY, oh yeah I got a 5/4/3 XCel with a built in hood on Tuesday night off Craigslist from a guy in Santa Cruz. It had only been used a couple times. $80. Now that is a deal.

But then I got a speeding ticket on my drive back, so, I actually came out about even (or probably in the red once my insurance company is done with me). Bleh!!! I was going 73 mph in a 65 and I got a ticket. How crazy is that???? There was NO traffic either. Ridiculous, worst luck ever.

Tonight poker tournament at Zac's. Will have 11 guys or so! I'll try to continue my winning streak, I'm 2 for 2. Took down Joel's Turkey Tourney over Thanksgiving and came up the biggest last time we played at Zac's as well. I was happy w/ TUrkey tourney game, felt I played well and made some good reads. Will try to keep that going.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kauai in Pictures

gettin' busy

Been extra busy at work this week! Very little time for Horace posts.

I did surf yesterday morning at Linda Mar. With a fellow Googler, Paul. He was a really nice guy and I enjoyed meeting him, surfs very good as well (grew up in San Diego, went to UCSC), so I'll probably surf w/ him again. Good stuff.

Friday, November 23, 2007


It's a beautiful cold but sunny day here at home w/ the family in Orygun. Yesterday we had Bun & Papa over and had some turkey, our big entire family gathering will be tomorrow, but this was a good warmup. As is tradition we made turkey cookies. Good to be home, missed the festivities last year in India.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

dawn patrol

Fun Linda Mar session this morning. Decided to dust off the old Randy French surftech, more commonly referred to as "the leaf" due to it's leaflike deck color, and see what I can do. I can't say I was extremely wasn't thrilled with my results, but it often takes a session to get used to a board I haven't used in a while. That board is kind of an odd shape though, it has this huge center fin on it and it seems a bit narrow throughout. I will check the exact dimensions soon as now I'm curious, if it's the board or just me. Will update soon.

Anyways was out there from 7:15 to about 9, in to the office by 9:45 -- if only traffic could always be that light. If you weren't already aware, there was a big oil spill in SF a few weeks ago...beaches have been closed and there's been a lot of news about it, it is a pretty big deal after all. But fortunately the beaches are now open again and the water seems safe. I'm doing OK still at least, haven't passed out at my desk. And there were probably 40 or so other guys out there as well. As for the surf, it was pretty good Linda Mar conditions, kind of a lot of closeouts but good quick waves if you can make 'em. I make some and miss some. It's good to have some wipeouts though, Santa Cruz waves tend to be just so nice I don't wipeout often...taking it too easy. Challenging the faster steeper closing-outier waves is good for me.

So there is a guy who takes pictures at Linda Mar a lot and posts them on his site: He was there this morning and took a lot of photos, but unfortunately none of me. I must've been going too fast. Because he did manage to catch this guy who was falling and flailing all over the place near where I was for a time I'll make sure to surf right in front of the photographer so I can get famous also. :)

Headin' home for Thanksgiving tomorrow morning, looking forward to it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"call it, friendo"

Good movie (No Country for Old Men). Talking to Zac about it now.

Zac and my IM conversation:

call it, friendo
that guy is the ultimate bad ass, but he's also lame because he kills everybody
haha selin and I watched that movie in Santa Cruz Saturday. sold out theater. 50ish or so woman in the seat next to me would let out a scream about every 15 minutes
Sent at 5:56 PM on Tuesday

Zac: haha
no movie for old women

Clever, Zac.

Wavecam has pretty much the best surf check webcams I've come across. They're free, they don't have ads on them, and you can move them around and zoom in and stuff. I've managed to deduce exactly where the Pleasure Point webcam is, so it gives me a pretty good indication of what is going on outside my front door when I'm sadly stuck in the office in Mountain View.

Unfortunately, thousands of other people seem to share my same sentiments. Wavewatch ranks the webcams daily by number of visitors, and good ol' Pleasure Point is consistently the #1 visited webcam. Very consistently in fact, almost always. And keep in mind they've got a lot of webcams aimed at some pretty primo spots: Steamer Lane. Malibu. Huntington Beach. Oceanside. Head over to Hawaii: Pipeline. Sunset. Even some east coast spots. So that just goes to show you how popular Pleasure Point is of a surf spot amongst the webcam checking masses. It's probably the #1 destination for valley surfers heading over the hill. Which is OK -- I was one of them for a long time and in most respects I still am -- but it certainly does make for some crowded lineups.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekend surf

Great Santa Cruz surf weekend.

Saturday: firing, big out there. I went out at PP and managed to pick off some good long ones out there around 2nd peak area. It was definitely crowded though, and not just any old ordinary crowd...there were some rippahs on it. Dang these guys are good, throwing buckets of spray all over the place. It's cool to see that up close and personal, but man I really wish I could have some of those waves to throw my teaspoons of spray on. But just watching those guys is educational. I saw some really good cranking bottom turns, it's fun to watch and see these guys setting up for those as you're paddling over the shoulder of the wave, knowing you're about to get splashed as they come out of that bottom turn and tear the top off the lip of the wave behind you. So, most of the really good waves are already taken, but, there are often waves that some of the more courteous sharing rippahs will pull out of as it gets to 2nd peak area, which if you're paying attention, you can pick off. Or, sometimes a guy will crank that cutback a bit too hard and bury a rail or something, giving another pick-off opportunity for those watching closely. So that's what I did, picked up the scraps and also sat a bit further in, where I could still get some good ones that were breaking wider than 1st peak. I surfed the Kingfish, which is a good board out there. If it wasn't so crowded I'd surf my fish or something smaller out there next time...but man it really is crowded. Just catching a wave is hard enough, but it's not over there, once you're on it get ready for some bobbing and weaving to avoid any collisions. Most guys can get out of your way but I wouldn't want to be coming at 'em out of control. All that being said though I did catch a lot of waves, and I'm getting better. Trying to carry over some of my up close observations to my own surfing. Note that it would be WAY easier if just some of these classic spots were LEFTS, so I could surf them frontside which despite probably having about half the experience on I can probably surf a left twice as good as a backside right. Why can't there be good lefts in Santa Cruz? Life just isn't fair sometimes.

So I had my fun out at Pleasure Point. Stokemaster reports indicate Steamers was even bigger, middle peak pumping out some bombs. I'm sure good fun could also have been had out there around Indicators too, but then that would require driving 10 minutes across town.

Sunday: Swell dropped but still plenty of energy out there. To lose some of the crowds and hopefully get some punchier (uncrowded) waves, I packed up Selin's car (we were driving it this weekend) with my 6'2 fish and headed north. Went all the way to Wadell. But it was so foggy up there I couldn't even barely see the waves from standing on the beach, and while I was looking for uncrowded this looked practically empty, so I turned back around and headed back to civilization. Stopped in at Pearson Arrow shop and got a free Surfing magazine (last month's -- they'll often give them away, awesome). From there I headed over to Natural Bridges. Not much happening there so I drove a bit further down West Cliff and saw a couple guys out at one of those numerous little coves so I decided why not, surf was looking fun head high or so and it wasn't crowded, and I could surf a new spot. So I parked, suited up, and scrambled down the rocks. Next time I'll probably take a different route, what I did worked but it wasn't the easiest way down (watching from the water I saw other guys taking the easier route, next time I'll follow them). Session was great! These are the little spots I would never surf a few years ago -- my surfing has progressed a long ways from then. Im pretty confident about handling myself in most conditions -- ask me this again in a few months when winter really gets here -- but I feel comfortable about not getting myself in too much trouble out there in the ocean. I'm cognizant of what is going on and what is too much for me. But I still just really dont like mixing it up with those crowds of shortboarders, jockeying for position and making real tight take offs. It all comes to more confidence, I'll get it, but I think most anybody would agree with me, aggro crowds are no fun. Anyways back to the surf...I got some good, fast, fun waves at a new spot, on my little board, which I surf better every time I'm on it -- Kauai was good practice. AGAIN, rights, but what are ya gonna do. Highlight: I got barreled...sort of. Well, I definitely got barreled. I just didn't make it out. That still counts right? It was awesome. I pulled in to this real quick wave, pigdogging it, and it was like what is going on and there was all this water around me, yet I was still sliding sideways down the face of the wave towards light, mind you i'm practically crouching on my board as this is far from a stand up barrel or anything even close to that, but the sensation was there...water dumping all around me but I'm still moving out of it...until it picked me up and rolled me over completely. Awesome moment though, I was pretty pumped! Nobody saw it to confirm how sweet it really was, but, I'll always have the memory. And now it is forever immortalized here on Horace. Which is what Horace is all about! Memories.

Other things. Guys were nice to me out there. When it was most crowded there were maybe 12 guys or so out. As I do mostly given my semi-grom status (I'm old, but not old in surfing years. Not compared to these guys who were born in the water) I sat mostly furthest inside and picked off the scraps. Still get good waves, but not the crown jewels. But the crowd thinned out, and by the end of my session it was just me and I think 3 other guys or so, and they were really nice. I moved further out and they were yelling me into waves if they weren't going to catch them or if they were too deep, making chit chat with me, thanking me when I didn't drop in on a wave that was debateable if the guy was going to make a section or not (he did)...that kind of stuff. I felt so accepted! It was nice, progressing in both my surfing and my social surfer status on the surfer totem pole.

So I surfed for maybe about 2 hours. Went home and Selin and I headed to the flea market, which, sadly, will be coming to an end after Thanksgiving. A hospital or something bought the property (which is also a drive-in movie theater at night) and is going to make it a maternity ward or something I think. Not like we went to the flea market that often, but it's sort of sad, but a maternity ward is good to have too I suppose. We were hunting for TV rabbit ears so I can pick up the broadcast TV channels at home, now that my cable was disconnected. We found what we were looking for plus a new frisbee. In fact we actually found more of what we were looking for -- first found a broken pair of traditional rabbit ears, cost $1. Frisbee, cost 2$. Then we found another TV antenna which we also bought, $2. THEN we found the mother lode of antennas, but as I'd already bought 2, I couldn't buy another. And he really wasn't interested in trading my 2 for one of his, he got annoyed and said he had enough already. It was closing time after all. But oh well the little $1 rabbit ears worked pretty good once we got home, I get about 4 channels now! Caught the end of the 49ers game at home, they sure do stink. And choosing to kick that field goal at the end of the game? What the hey? Down 7 what good does a field goal do you? Not like there's anything to lose, Nolan should get some balls and go for it. He should also never punt again while he's at it, I mean it can't get much worse for you can it? At least do something entertaining!!

After 49ers debacle I took Kingfish back out for an afternoon/evening session, 2nd peak. Caught some more fun ones, crowd was down a lot from Saturday. Not so many rippahs, I can catch a lot more waves . Good stuff, paddled in as sun was going down.

Great Santa Cruz surf weekend.


Check it out, new Yaris! I washed my new car the other day and decided I better get some photos of the little gumshoe while it's clean and shiny and new looking. So after work I parked it in the parking lot underneath a streetlight and took some sweet looking rice-rocket too fast too furious style shots. It's a pretty awesome looking shiny car, and is fun to drive, I'm enjoying it.

The details for my little commute-killer:

2007 Toyota Yaris:
bought new about a month ago. It came with the tricked-out wheels, and I had them custom install the roof rack. By design Yaris is a pretty bare-bones vehicle (what do you expect for a start price of about 12k) but mine's got some options...air bags, ABS, Ipod jack, power windows, power locks. It's also a manual transmission -- which has been a big part of the fun. I've never owned one before and before this, I'll admit my manual driving skills were pretty poor. I've driven stick a few times in the past, but never consistently to get good at it. Selin, remember the drive to Manteca to pick up the foosball table in Dan OC's borrowed stick shift pickup? Don't tell Dan, that was a bit of an adventure! Anyways I'm a lot better now. I won't be driving the Yaris to SF I don't think any time soon...SF hills? I'll ease into those...but...I've got some basic skills now. I'm becoming a real man!

So there you have it, my first brand new car. Paid for and all mine. It's a great little car, and mine is a pretty slick looking version. Oh and I didn't even mention yet -- 40 MPG! Take that gas station!!!

Word(s)of the day 3

Here's a history lesson. Was talking to my mom who was talking about my grandpa, and the vocabulary he uses, from the 50's. My gramma and grampa (henceforth referred to by their common names, bun (gramma) and papa) this past weekend with the help of the family moved from their 2 level condo in Lake Oswego to my other grandparents old single level house in Beaverton. It's better for Bun so she can get up and down the stairs, she was struggling with that at their old place. So now she can move around much easier. I hope they like it there. This is the house brother Joel has been working on fixing and remodeling and putting a ton of work into, so I'm glad it's going to good use. It's strange to think of visiting Bun and Papa and not having them in their old Red Fox Hills condo, that's where they've been for so long.

Anyways to the point -- vocabulary/history lesson.

Mom was talking to Papa and he uses the old 50's words to describe things. Here is (loosely interpreted) quote:

"I don't get up off this davenport, I like it so much. Can you get me the hassock?"

Now for you and me that above sentence may have you scratching your head. But to Papa, it's just what things are.

dav·en·port: 1.a large sofa, often one convertible into a bed.

has·sock: 1.a thick, firm cushion used as a footstool or for kneeling. (What you or I would call an Ottoman)

And just for good measure, here is one more:

drain·board: a working surface beside or on a kitchen sink, formed and inclined to drain into the sink. (Now this one is obvious, but in Papa-speak, it is basically any counter, not just the drainboard by the sink)

Hope you enjoyed, I'm off to watch the Andy Griffith Show!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Surfing Sells

Random internet browsing brought me to this random internet clip: a 1965 Hamm's Beer commercial, featuring surfing. I think the 60's were a surf explosion time of popularity kind of like now, with surfing being used to sell everything from cars to credit cards and yes Hamm's Beer! Too bad the Hamm's Bear doesn't surf in this clip, that woulda been better.

Is Hamm's still around these days?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Word of the day 2

So in follow up to my earlier word of the day post, I looked online at some of those gadgets you can add to the Google homepage that automatically give you a word of the day. And while they're all well and good and all, problem is I knew all those words. So I'm not going to bother with that nonsense. My word of the day will probably be more like a word of the week. Or word of the month. I'll keep it real -- will try to have my ear to the ground and when I come across a new word will try to remember it and look it up and put it on here. Kind of like I did with Pariah. I should have known that word, I know it now that I type it, what was I thinking a few days ago? stupid.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Surf photography

I need to get more good surfing photos. Of ME. This new waterproof active camera Selin got me should help -- but I need some assistance on the photographer side. Selin is a very strong and dedicated land based photog, but to really make the (relative) tiny waves I surf look good, I need somebody there with me. In the water, close up and personal. Consider this an open invitation -- if you want to be my dedicated water photog, let me know. Just think about it, your photos can be viewed here on this very blog by (maybe!) a grand total of 3 people! :)

Also, I need to figure out how to get this new camera of mine to take faster photos. There's gotta be a setting to change. Right now the lag between one photo and another is literally about 2 seconds. Unless I go back to Pavones, that's simply not going to cut it. Most of the time, the sad reality is I'm lucky if my ride lasts 2 seconds total. So I've got to get that figured out as well, or I wind up with a lot of splash photos/closed out wave photos/wipeout photos/bellyride photos/basically not photos I want photos.

So, the above being said: I'm really looking to get some more good photos soon with this new camera. For now, here is the best photo of me surfing taken (that I know of) to date, courtesy of reknowned land based photog Selin from our Kauai trip. (I did not find the cable needed to upload photos off my camera, but instead I went and bought a $15 digital media card reader.) Check me out...



Obama was at Google yesterday. As just another of the things Google does, all the presidential candidates are coming in for open talks. Googlers can attend as well as a lot of press invites too. It's a bit of a madhouse, in my observation. I actually wasn't able to attend Obama's talk...I was stuck in a advertiser client forum in the room just next door to the main cafe where he was talking...just my luck. But I did sneak out of the forum for about 10 minutes to try and catch a glimpse of him....not happening. That place was packed. I could get close enough to hear but nowhere I could actually view the man himself.

Anyways all the sessions are filmed and posted on to YouTube. I haven't watched this yet myself but here it is if you want to check it out.

Update: I just watched the first part...the introducton. Which is done by David Drummond, a VP here. Funny to watch these things w/ the perspective I have. I used to play pickup basketball with David Drummond on this old portable single hoop in the parking lot outside of the old Google building. Now David Drummond is introducing Barrack Obama. He's always been a bigshot here it's not like that's changed. Just interesting to think about sometimes, where these guys were and where they are now. I've witnessed and been a part of a pretty amazing company growth experience. Where/what do I have to show for it all? Sometimes I get introspective and wonder these things. But those moments don't last for long. Is the corporate world something I'll ever be fully made for? Sometimes I'm sad I'm still here doing the same stuff I've been doing for the last 5 years, there's not many of me left. This is one of those times. But what am I talking about here...enjoy Obama!

(wow he's on a single name only basis. Like Madonna. Hillary Clinton can't pull that off.)

update: it is equally as funny to think back that Google's only bball hoop was once one of those plastic based, water-filled rollable deals set up in the uneven, sloping parking lot out back. And people were happy OK with it. No chance of that happening now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Work: In all day training today, learning all about effective sales. Our training guy is actually pretty good, he's entertaining. Quite a personality, and the content is good. But its interesting to compare all this sales emphasis to what we used to do.

Play: I'm rarin' to go and share some Kauai pictures with you, but I can't find the cable needed to transfer photos from my camera to my computer. It's really annoying me...tonight I'll be buying a card reader device to get around this problem. And then I'll have some pictures up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Word of the Day

Yesterday Selin and I watched the movie American Gangster, Great movie! Really enjoyed every last 160 minutes of it -- yeah it's long but it is a great story, great entertainment, very well acted. Even the rapper-actors are solid! Denzel has really got the role of badass down... nailed it as Alonzo in Training Day, might have nailed it even more as Frank Lucas this time around. And Russell Crowe was pretty good too but it is all Denzel's show, he's really good. Better than George Clooney, who is also good, but Denzel blows him out of the water, no doubt.

Anyways I digress...real point of this post: I think I'll occasionally post a word-of-the-day. To help improve my vocabulary. So, in the movie, one of the characters who (spoiler alert!) winds up becoming a heroin junkie, says that if he and his cop partner (Crowe) turn in the million dollars of drug money they find in a car trunk, they'll be treated as pariahs. This word of course I've heard before and read and seen many many times -- I actually have read quite a lot and consider myself better than the average Joe when it comes to verbiage -- but then later in the night on the drive home we were talking about the movie and I used the word pariah and I used it wrong. Right meaning (outcast) but wrong definition. Selin was quick to correct me and we confirmed the correct definition of the word on her blackberry. But, it prompted me to continue to keep my mind sharp and learning (and remembering!) words. So, there you have it: word of the day.

pariah: pa - ri - ah outcast.
2.any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided.
3.(initial capital letter) a member of a low caste in southern India and Burma.

My words may or may not get progressively harder as time goes on.


Oh and here is a really long but from the first page which is all I've read so far seems pretty good article about the real Frank Lucas, the character Denzel plays in the movie.


Back at work. Catching up on email. Phone calls. Customer questions. Butt to chair, eyes to monitor, getting re-acquainted with this lovely cube I spend so much of my time in...

Reminiscing of Hawaii, that's the life!


Monday, November 12, 2007


We just got back from Kauai this morning, and as any good vacationer should do, we have today off as well to wind down back at home before heading back to the office with a fresh new tan. It's been a while with no posts as I didn't have internet in Kauai, but rest assured that it was a fantastic vacation, Kauai might be my new most favorite island, and I have a bunch of good pictures, sights, stories, surf sessions, and other updates to share soon.

But, for the immediate forseeable future, instead of a heavenly warm cozy nap after the overnight redeye Hawaii flight which is what i REALLY should be doing.......I will be doing ONLINE TRAFFIC SCHOOL. Hoooray. Stupid speeding tickets.

And Brrrrr! it sure is cold here. We left for a week and it became winter in Northern California. Where are my mittens??

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hale Kipa!