Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Afar of Ethiopia

Four years ago, representatives of a Southern California Presbyterian church sat in the barren dessert of eastern Ethiopia and listened to the pleas of the nomadic people who have lived there for untold generations. “Please come help us,” the leaders of this ancient people group implored. “We are forgotten.”

For countless centuries, this isolated people group numbering 1.7 million has roamed Ethiopia’s harsh desert in search of water and feed for their cattle, sheep, goats, and camels. Limited vegetation on the arid land, coupled with poor veterinary service and outdated skills in livestock care, contribute to low productivity among the herds—and poverty among the Afar people.

The inhospitable environment in the Afar region has discouraged visitors, deterred government assistance, and virtually cut off the people from outside influences. As a result, little socioeconomic development has occurred in Afar communities.

The Afar people live in the poorest state in Ethiopia, a country where 45 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Only 7 percent of the Afar read and less than one-quarter have access to health care. The Afar lack access to clean water and suffer from low crop productivity, human and animal diseases, and environmental degradation. Without intervention, the people will continue to suffer from recurring famine and disease.

In 2004 I was priveledged to travel to visit the Afar with World Vision and see the work they do. "Life changing" is not nearly adequate a phrase to describe the trip. We were able to see the effects that clean water and mosquito nets have on the Afar. Infant mortality from malaria was cut nearly in half, basic education has begun for boys and girls, basic agricultural techniques greatly increase the food supply for these pastoralist peoples. I hope to go again but the treasures God revealed on my visit still shine bright in my memory.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dick Dale classic

No pics, just classic surf guitar

:followed by the original version

Monday, April 28, 2008

morning glory

The surf didn`t look like much from the road, but there was the occassional nice section. Beautiful morning!

I`ve ridden this board for 14 years, off and on, and it`s still fun.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday 4/27

Surf was weak and the water is still cold, but it was definitely a glorious morning to be at the beach.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By Brad Melekian

April 21, 2008

For San Clemente surfer Greg Long, this past winter was a remarkable one. In the course of one tumultuous week in January, the big-wave rider and his crew scored the largest waves any surfer has ever ridden – well over 70 feet at the Cortes Bank, 105 miles off San Diego – then, days later, Long won the Maverick's Surf Contest at the notorious big-wave break in Half Moon Bay.

And on odd weekends before and since, Long has tirelessly patrolled the California coast in pursuit of big-wave sessions that nobody will ever read about, committed to the pursuit with a bygone focus, tuned in to big-wave riding, it seems, for its own intrinsic rewards.

Perhaps not so intrinsic anymore.

Two Fridays ago, Long received recognition for his unique commitment – winning a Billabong XXL award for Biggest Paddle-In Wave of the winter and, to the surprise of nobody, an XXL award for Best Overall Performance.

The big-wave awards show – well-attended and considered the capstone to the year's events in big-wave surfing – was a validation of sorts for Long, whose dedication to big-wave riding is remarkable in itself, but is even moreso considering that he has been without a major surf industry sponsor for well over a year.

While most surfers earn their livings through endorsement deals with surf clothing companies, Long has been without major sponsorship since his former employer OP dumped its surf team.

Steadfastly committed to big-wave surfing, however, Long has paid for his big-wave excursions out of pocket, emptying his savings to keep himself steeped in giant surf.

“Surfing big waves has been a passion of mine since I was about 16 years old and the last two years I have been completely obsessive-compulsive about it,” Long said at the awards show. “It's what I truly love doing, being out in the ocean when it is at its wildest, and riding these big waves.”

Long, who last year won an XXL award for Biggest Wave of the Year at a break known as Dungeon's in South Africa, caught his winning wave for Paddle-in of the Year during a December session at the big-wave break Killer's at Todos Santos Island off Ensenada. The best overall performance award is given annually to a surfer who shows the most commitment to big-wave surfing throughout the season.

For a surfer who has struggled to keep himself in the surf without being paid for it, the prize money may go a long way toward fueling more big-wave missions for Long. The paddle-in award came with a $15,000 prize purse, which, along with the $5,000 prize for the overall performance award, should buy Long some time before he has to get a day job.

But Long, who has made a habit of splitting his prize winnings evenly with fellow competitors in the past, wasn't hoarding his earnings. He kept his tradition alive at the XXL Awards show, telling the packed house as he collected his winnings that he wanted to buy everybody in the room a beer.

It seems it's only a matter of time before a major surf company wises up and offers Greg Long a job. And when that happens, he won't be doing anything different than what he's doing now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Couldn`t get out there to surf this morning but it looked good as I went over the RJ bridge, had to work all day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

missed out

Work took precedence over recreation today. I miised a fairly good morning at RJ`s I bet the water was still cold. 
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Miguel Del Toro

Check this bomber...

Sunday services

Cold and gray this morning, but the head high combo windswell brought some decent sections. Water felt very cold ,eveh through a 4/3 wetsuit.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Yesterday and today

What a difference between today and yesterday! I`m glad I got out Thursday afternoon. The surf today fell apart early

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Home sweet home

I saw the sunrise in Mississippi this morning but got home in time to surf a clean little SW swell. I was on a short term mission trip that was very rewarding but it sure is nice to be back home.

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Friday, April 11, 2008


I wanted to surf today and had the time but it just wasn`t good. The Pacific was pretty limp today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pay attention

Trestles update- TCA doesn`t want to take "no" for answer

Posted on April 08, 2008 @ 10:34 AM

From Friends of the Foothills:

The LA Times have reported that the Transportation Corridor Agencies have requested that the Secretary of Commerce deny the public a hearing regarding the appeal of the Coastal Commission's recent denial of the Foothill-South toll road. Why is the TCA trying to quiet public opinion? Perhaps they are worried that the public can defeat them.

In their letter to the NOAA, the TCA states that the Coastal Commission had a "circus atmosphere" and that if a hearing is granted with the Commerce Department our "objective is to drown out any objective and dispassionate consideration of the serious national interest issues with intimidation and political rhetoric.

However, in a recent TCA meeting Director Bill Campbell remarked that we were not unruly and on how nice we were. And since when is the public not allowed to speak out regarding how their public lands are used?

The TCA also states that the hearing was unfair because not all of the project's supporters received a chance to speak at the hearing. However, they are not the only ones who did not get to speak. Many people, both for and against the project, did not get to speak in order to control the length of the meeting.

The TCA also took exception to the location hearing, stating the "location [was] calculated to maximize attendance by Project opponents. However, the TCA agreed to the hearing location. How can they now say the hearing was unfair? Furthermore, TCA never explains why the Del Mar location was more conducive to project opponents versus supporters.

Finally, in the LA Times article Lance Maclean states "The TCA is not opposed to a public hearing, as long as it's held in Orange County, where the project is located, and as long as it's conducted in a business-like format." However, no where in the letter does it say the TCA would agree to a hearing as long as it is in Orange County. It specifically asks that the Commerce Department deny the Coastal Commission's request for a public hearing.

Don't let the TCA quash your voice! Please write a letter to the editor setting the record straight! Send your letters to the LA Times. Please include your full contact information including your name, address, phone number and e-mail. Also, please keep your letters to under 150 words.

Words: Robin Everett, Sierra Club's Friends of the Foothills

had the time....

I had time to surf today but the conditions were meager, I was best off staying at work. Maybe tomorrow.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

cold windswell

These pictures don`t tell the real story. Cold water, west wind blowing and relentless short period swell, but as you can see, sometimes you could be in the right spot.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008


Nice sunrise but you could see signs of south wind as I drove down.The ocean had a slight bump and the waves were soft. Went home for church instead.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

finally on Friday

I finally managed to make room in my workday to surf today. Conditions were good on the dropping tide and the crowd was manageable, the peaks bounced around to where everyone was in the right place sometime. Should be good early tomorrow
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Foto`s at Fifty MPH

Went looking for surf today but no luck. Still enjoyed the ride. Empty beaches , clear views of Catalina, the smell of wood smoke along Bolsa Chica, it`s all good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


No surf for me, it was small and work demanded all my time. The only water I saw was at Hannah`s swim meet.