my foot hurts

my foot hurts

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my foot hurts

my foot hurts

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A break from writing

The hair, the shorts, the tee, the tube socks, the board… it’s all freestyle.

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An Interpretation of Icons and Symbols

Man is not a Tabla Rosa, a blank slate, waiting to be shaped by the external world.  Man is instead filled with organismic, instinctual drives and eager to act upon them. The primary drive Freud called Libido, a life giving force of sexual energy housed in the unconscious recesses of the brain known as the id.  He viewed humans, like all animal species, as being born at odds and in competition with their environment.  Men and women are hard-wired, like animals, to pursue simple gratifications such as eating, love making, power and aggression.

Evolutionary Zoologist Desmond Morris’ groundbreaking book, The Naked Ape, describes humans as the “sexiest primates alive”.  Much of what we assume as “human” evolved through several million years of sexual selectivity.  Morris argues that many core physical attributes separating us from other primates relate to our unique sexual relations.  Unlike other primates, humans evolved to be relatively hairless- the lack of hair enhances the skin contact and pleasurable feelings associated with sex.  The male has by far the largest penis of any primate; the female is “always in heat” yet she can only conceive a few days per month.  Further attributes such as large breasts, full lips, and ear lobes serve no real purpose other than to catch the eye of the opposite sex.  Many of these evolutionary changes from early primates are thought to support longer term male/female pair bonding. 1

I never thought

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Socrates shares a lesson for surf schools

Consider the following parable.  One day a youth sauntered up to Socrates and said he had heard of the revered teacher’s reputation for truth and wished Socrates teach him.  Socrates welcomed the youth and asked him to go on a walk.   When they arrived by the water’s edge, Socrates knelt by the bank and indicated the youth should join him.  He asked the youth what he saw in the water.  After the youth’s initial reply, Socrates asked him to look closer. Several such exchanges occurred until the youth’s nose nearly touched the water. Suddenly Socrates grabbed him by the hair and forced his head under water. The more he struggled, the harder Socrates held him down, until, after several flailing minutes, Socrates released the youth, who desperately sucked in the air. Socrates turned to face him the youth and said, ‘When you desire to know as much as you want air, then come to see me.’ 1

There has been an exponential rise in surf schools over the last decade.  Yet didactic surf instructions subtract from the very nature and romanticism of the sport.  Many students are tourists or weekenders who will never become surfers.  Instead, they’re looking for a “surfing experience” that is safe, controlled, and idiot proof.  For those, I have 5 lessons free of charge.

1.       Learn to swim and paddle

2.       Learn your stance (leash goes on back leg)

3.       Watch other surfers closely and learn from them

4.       Reflect on each session

5.        Surf schools are an anathema.   Avoid didactic lessons.

Like the student approaching Socrates, one must first be immersed in surfing in order to grasp it.

1.       Atherton, John. Philosophy, Risk, and Adventure Sports. Chapter 4, Philosophy Outdoors, First person physical. New York, NY  2007. p 43-54

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Downfall

I know we’ve had Swedish viewers logging on over the past few days.  I decided to find a bit of Volvo history in the cards, maybe some Ace of Base, I dunno.  Looking for a diamond in the Google rough, I unfortunately came up with a lump of coal.  Here’s a quick history, mostly provided by Wiki.

The name Volvo is derived from the Latin Volvere which means ‘to roll’ or ‘to turn’, as in ‘to turn’ off a cliff or ‘to roll’ into a field of cow dung.  The company began its car production division in 1926 and over the next 50 years became known as one of the world’s finest automobile manufactures.  Volvo’s early vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden’s rough roads and cold temperatures. This durability became a feature of Volvo products. In the 70’s and 80’s, as obsessive safety standards came into play in the U.S. (thank you Ralph Nader), Volvo became the premier safety vehicle for families.  Pre-Y2K Yuppies from all over sought the Volvo, second only to Mercedes and BMW.  Well, that would be third I guess, but the Volvo brand was highly respected.

In 1999, Volvo sold its car division Volvo Cars to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion. The Volvo trademark was shared between Volvo AB, on its heavy vehicles, and the unit of Ford, on its cars. Over the next decade Volvo began a decline in quality and performance reviews.

In 2008, Ford decided to sell its interest in Volvo Cars; in 2010, Ford sold the brand to the parent of Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile for $1.8 billion. That is a whopping 80% loss in value (inflation adjusted) in just 10 years.   Note to big business……..Jumping on the surfing band wagon won’t save you.

Consumer Reports once gushed over their reviews of Volvo.  Then came this excruciatingly painful promo:  Think Kelly Slater – Think Baywatch

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Master Oogway

“Quit, don’t quit? Surf, don’t surf? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present.”

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