Democracy Inaction… no, wait… In Action

It was actually Reggie who hepped me to Biden having been declared the winner of the marathon. “I heard something on the radio; it wasn’t coming in very well, but, maybe, it might be…”

I had a radio. Tuned it in.

Now maybe it’s different in your part of the woods, but out here on the frontier, we have folks who’ve been driving around in big-ass American trucks with big-ass flags. Trump flags, police support flags, and American flags. Within a few minutes of the announcement, Reggie started showing me memes on his phone, each one funnier than the last.

“I guess,” Reggie said, “all the Trump people will have to fly their flags at half mast.”

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This rig needed a repaint anyway. Nice wheels, you might notice

It turned out to be kind of a weird day, all in all. Reggie had helped me finish up an interior project, with the plan of heading for an exterior job. Oh, but, against the forecasts, it was raining; and it was still early. Magically, it seemed, I noticed rows of American flags along the main road in a place I had sort of assumed was a red pocket in a blue state.

Oh, maybe they were just getting the flags set up for Veterans’ Day, which was originally called Armistice Day, a holiday established at the end of World War II, celebrating the cessation of hostilities in what was, briefly, called the war to end all wars.

If only.

ANYWAY, since the day was shot for painting, a surfer might want to go surfing. YES, I know there’s no surf on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but I was persuaded to go by Trish, still kind of upset that I didn’t call her when I found out the news, and a little shove from Soul Rebel Keith, who convinced me probable waves today are a better choice than possible waves the next day. OKAY.

I’m glad I went. There may have been some waves; I did pass some of the same vehicles coming back toward civilization that I had passed when I was headed toward a job in the morning. This could be taken as good or bad. I just kept going.

A common thing one hears when asking about how someone else’s session or attempt at a session went is, “It was really pretty.” It might be a code. Yesterday, then, was beautiful. I did give Reggie credit for the half mast comment when I cruised up to a fire on the beach. It wasn’t the only story of disappointed Trump supporters.

We do own a few American flags; none really big ass sized. I think I’ll stick them out. Democracy, we have to agree, is fragile, and always in jeopardy. It is said that all it takes to lose it is for good people to do nothing. Good people did something. You don’t have to agree; I just don’t know how you can’t. Not that I want to argue

Peace. Armistice.

Oh, yeah; we do have an almost big-ass Seahawks flag. I’m flying it.

Is it Over Yet?

People want to know.

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While we’re waiting, why not medicate? Fake News. I meant meditate on all the good times…

MEANWHILE, it’s stormy out on the Olympic Peninsula and the buoys are down. The buoy analyzers are doing some sort of maintenance and they floating wave readers won’t be back in service for awhile. There are some raw data spreadsheet things, but for those of us who don’t know how to read these things, and don’t know which hour is hour one, for example… it’s hard to really know before you go.

So, probably the best thing for surfers to do to avoid being skunked is not going. Risky; and I’m not even including already-and-potentially-even-more pissed off folks one might encounter enroute, men and (some) women, all still flying big ass flags from their trucks (no, not like the Taliban in Toyotas, American made trucks), wanting more votes counted, less votes counted, whichever; folks who might be even more pissed off and red-faced in a blue state should the national results be suddenly announced.

Peace.

Suggestion: I’ve found a peace sign is pretty much taken as a flip-off; have to recommend keeping your windows rolled up and hands inside.

I can’t help imagining the people picking up all those Culp signs spread around the Peninsula, vehement supporters asking each other if they’re contributing to the guy’s fund, seeing as (note the use of the vernacular, or, in the vernacular, talking all downhome-ish) the place where he was the Sheriff of and sole police dude in the town defunded the fucking police.

Yeah. Sad; but he can always go back to being a successful contractor, and, as a start, those signs that are actually made of plywood… probably worth twice as much as when they were originally made.

Hmmmm. Thinking. No, I’m going to work. I mean, the buoys aren’t giving us results, might as well.

Peace. Really. All it takes for peace is for each of to decide to not be a… thinking of a word; no, not a-hole or dickhead, that would be provocative. No, can’t really come up with one that describes a person who goes along with the will of the people in a democracy. I guess one could say, “Let’s just all be, yeah, democratic in our republic.” I added the ‘republic,’ not wanting to appear partisan, or, again, provocative.

Again, peace.

Since I’m really not into medication or meditation, and I do believe surfing is pretty good for stress relief, and the forecasts did call for… no, I’m going to go work. Really. I’m sure the buoys will be straightened out by Friday night, the election should be… wait, let me check… no, not yet; too early to call.

Oh, and thanks for voting.

Voting Day- Caught Inside

Or maybe, having voted, many of us are caught outside, hoping for a lull or a wave we can ride back to shore, to safety, to… no, I really don’t want to twist the metaphor any farther; it’s six-thirty am on November 3rd, the news choices available on my computer offer the usual chaotic mix of rhetoric and propaganda and conspiracy and probabilities and opinions from Civil War to a sudden outbreak of peace and goodwill, a vision of bonfires with s’mores and laughter and acoustic guitar music contrasted with images of heavily armed civilians with three flags on every pickup truck; screaming, yelling, chanting. a pirated version of “Highway to Hell” playing in the background.

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Made it over that wave. Oh, shit. Paddle!

Dystopia, utopia; too early to tell. Good luck to all of US.

BUT, WAIT, to pivot back to the hyper-stressed metaphor; if you’re paddling out on a day you dared yourself to surf, and you do get turned back by seven wave sets, taking each one on the head, and the rip has already moved you many yards down the beach, you do have the option of taking one in, riding the soup, maybe hitting a little reform on the inside.

AND THEN THERE’S the scenario where there’s a channel, and you do get out. Every surfer has had the experience where you scratch like crazy, just barely get over one wave, and then there’s another, bigger, farther out. And then another; and, eventually, you’re out there past the break, quite possibly alone, afraid to go for a smaller wave because more waves are hitting the horizon.

EVENTUALLY you will have to make a choice. TAKE A MOMENT, think about how you have handled the situation.

WAIT, I just, probably because I did take a moment, thought of another scenario: You’ve just been thrashed on a ride and you’re doing the ‘back on the horse’ thing, a revenge wave; just one. This means you didn’t take the thrashing, head for the beach; another choice.

ANOTHER CHOICE: You get to the beach, to the edge of the water, and you see that it’s something you just don’t want to participate in. Too big, too out of control, too dangerous. Do you do the walk of shame; back to the parking area completely dry, or do you go for a couple of those reforms, get wet?

I HAVE, in my lifetime of going into the ocean, made choices; I’ve gone for the outside outside bomb, I’ve given up on making it out and ridden the soup in, I’ve caught a revenge wave, I’ve been turned away by lifeguards from waves I was not prepared for physically or mentally (and I was grateful for their intervention); if I say I have a fear of waves, it’s because I’ve been held down, been wiped out, been dragged across rocks, been hit by my own or other people’s boards, inhaled water rather than air, been caught in riptides, had to swim in in rough conditions; I know what waves are capable of.

RESPECT.

SO, TODAY, let us hope that all Americans have respect for democracy, for the institution of voting without fear or intimidation, of one vote for each of us, for every vote getting counted, because every vote counts.

If you didn’t vote, please enjoy your walk of shame, and please do not participate in any post-session discussion without acknowledging your failure to even step into the (metaphor beaten to an unrecognizable state) water.

Our Uncle Sam is Older than Biden and that Other Guy…

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“Hey, man; hey, woman; you just have to vote!

…combined, and way more important. Our current presider has taken wayyyy more power for himself than any real American who believes in checks and balances and rule of law could possibly be comfortable with.

Now, no one really wants to surf with a wave hog (I say with blatant and obvious hypocrisy); no one wants to surf with someone who dictates who else can be sharing the water (not me this time; referencing crazy localizers intimidating or blatantly threatening folks just trying to enjoy the glide); no real surfer could really be supportive of… wait… okay, I’m still trying to figure out who could support the current commandeerer-in-chief, other than rich folks who have reaped massive financial rewards at the expense of roads and infrastructure and the actual and shrinking middle class; and my best assessment, so far, my best comparison, is to the kids who sat in the back of the class, couldn’t keep up with the curriculum, and ridiculed and made fun of those who tried to learn.

When silver-spooners talk about the ‘elite,’ they really seem to be speaking of, you know, like, uh, smart people. Some people, otherwise nice, decent folks, are, I have to believe, just victims of the most successful Huckster since P.T. Barnum. And then there are those individuals who claim Donny T is just like them. Wow.

OKAY, too painful to think about that, suddenly imagining Big Boy in camo, climbing, with assistance from willing assistants, into his big ass truck with the gold-plated naked lady mud flaps and the chrome gun racks.

Again, and, as always, I really would rather talk about surfing… so, after two Strait sessions in which I only avoided total skunkings by having a big enough board to catch very small waves, I did find some really fun and uncrowded waves (flat on the Hawaiian scale, waist-to-chest high Juan de Fuca scale). So fun.

As I told several of my surfer friends, having one good session makes enduring two less good (but still good) sessions seem more, uh, okay. Oh, I’m sure I expressed this is less awkward terms. Maybe not. Adam Wipeout, who just knew it was working but had to work, said, talking to me on the phone while I was at Costco, that my stoke-meter seemed to be ‘pegged.’

It was. We write off less than epic sessions as ‘practice,’ almost forget about them when we get real waves. The real election is on right now. It’s going off; hope you’re participating.

I Got My Ballot and I know Just Where To Stick It

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realsurfers vote, Kook, yeah, okay; please do… vote!

Trish and I got our ballots in the mail Thursday. I was, as usual, in a hurry, and, as usual, late, didn’t have time to fill it out, but I was going to Port Townsend; so, I checked out the drop box at the Jefferson County courthouse. Looked pretty secure, set in a parking lot next to the box for dropping off tax payments. I didn’t see an armed guard, but didn’t see any armed militia dudes, either, so, yeah; come Monday… our votes will be in.

It’s not that I don’t trust the mail. I always have. Always did; ever since (late 1950s) I sent in cereal box tops for some sort of sure-to-be disappointing toy (allow six weeks for delivery- What?). In the late 1960s I sent in film I’d shot (or my friends had, at my request), super-8 millimeter moving images of my friends and I (mostly me) on surf adventures and escapades. I can’t remember if I had to pay for the developing, got a free roll, or the other way around.

I love the U.S. Postal Service. In a small town, our Post Office is where you run into folks, be that good, bad, or awkward. We’ve had a box in Quilcene, Surf Route 101, Washington, for 42 years. Love USPS, but even if I wasn’t aware of the Trump donor given the position of head of the postal service, tasked, evidently, with screwing it up; not for voting; not this time.

ANYWAY, I would really rather write about surf and surfing and surfers and such, but it’s a weekend, there may or may not be a swell, there are definitely surfers and surf enthusiasts and surf fans and surf entourage members heading out. HERE’S why possible swells show up more often on weekends- PRAYER.

SO, if you’re out in the water or hanging on the beach talking about ‘this one time, back at surf camp…’ I won’t be there. So, more waves for you and yours. “Good luck,” I always say; let’s just agree to believe I mean it.

IT IS A SACRED RIGHT, the right to vote, a secret ballot for the candidate of one’s choosing. Not arguing the ‘choosing’ part, and I don’t want to necessarily sway your decision, but, right now, I’m CONFIDIN’, I am casting my vote (dropping it carefully into the better-be-secure lock box) for Cool Cat… (rhymes with ‘confidin’). Yeah, and Harris, too.

OH, WAIT, hope you weren’t kept in suspense, there’s no way I’d select Lord of the Flys Mister Pence. AND, even though his smile’s delightful and he’s so pleasingly plump, I feel ill every time I’m subjected to… belch, burp… Fuck it, you know who.

AND, WAIT, probably because I am pissed and whiny about having to work (mostly because it’s not raining, partially because it’s iffy, surf-wise, and it’s a weekend, partially because I do, historically, whine when I can’t go surfing), I want to mention I keep imagining how long D Trump would last in a contentious lineup (as most lineups, increasingly, are) before someone calls him out for getting in the way and just plain sucking.

“Hey, you see that last wave; surfed it bigly; ‘uge air, endless bottom turn; some say it’s the biggest bottom ever; so, huh? Oh, you missed it? Even better. Ask Hannity, ask Graham; Bill Barr; that hot babe we’re getting situated; they’ll tell you… I’m the best, I’m the best; yea, me!”

NOVEMBER 3rd is too long to wait. VOTE!

As far as waves; as, again, I always (whimper, whine) say, “Next Time!” BUT, for this critical election, THIS TIME!