Got good surf pics?
Am I complaining?
Little bit. Just a little bit.
The futile attempts to keep ahead of the falling snow.
getting to me. Don't know why this year it bothers me and not others.
But it is. I know there are those who welcome the snow, mostly due to
the alternative pastime of snowboarding. And I admit, there was a time
when I was really into it. Not that I still don't enjoy it, because
I genuinely do. It's just this year, with the many sub zero cold days,
coupled with the never-ending snow storms has, well... It got to me.
I think it all started with the blackout back around Christmas.
I know, there are some of you out there reading this, who have no idea what life is like here in Northern New England during the Winter months. You can't possibly comprehend what our winters are like. It's one thing to look at photos and read about it. But to actually live through a bad one, well, it sometimes has life changing consequences.
I now know why some people say "The hell with this" and just bail on the winters. I get it now. Don't know why it has taken me this long to see the logic behind bailing on our winters. But it has.
Look before any of you think, whoa, Ralph is going to bail on his cherished New England winter scenes, guess again. I might be complaining, but I'm not quitting. I'm not going to give up. I never, ever give up. I'm just bitching for a change. Besides, those who know me well enough will testify, that I actually look forward to snowblowing the driveways. In fact, there are some who say, that I am slightly possessed when it comes to clearing the white stuff out of the driveways.
Truth be told. There's something rewarding about finishing snow blowing the driveways. It's some sort of macho achievement. Not unlike the feeling of mowing your lawn. When you finished a hard snow session and you look back at the perfect snowblown driveways. Snow all over your face and all over your clothes. And you 're frozen to the bones...well it's a good feeling.
Because you've once again, made room for your vehicles in the deep white stuff. Same with finishing up after doing the perfect cut lawn. Those my friends, are good rewarding feelings. I wouldn't want to change those feelings.
Except for maybe, a month or two in the tropics.
Is it me, or do you guys see the parallels to the way weathermen gauge snow falls, and the way we gauge wave size? I mean it's always 2-3" or 4-6" or 6-8" or 8-10" or 12-18" when it comes to snow accumulations. And when we call wave sizes it's usually the same. 2-3', 4-6', 6-8', 8-10' etc etc. There are never odd numbers in either case.
Speaking of wave size. My buddy Tony called me the other day when it was 50 below zero and said there were waist to chest high perfect waves in front of his house. And no one was out. Waist to chest high perfection with no one out. I really thought hard about it and almost went for it.
Then I let the dog out and felt how cold it really was. Then I thought better of it. Is this another sign of the times for me? Have I finally reached the point where fun sized, empty perfection is worth passing up due to the severe cold?
I guess it was true this week.
There was a time in my life, when I would go out in any condition the cold harsh New England winters would throw at me. But work, and other responsibilities dictated otherwise this week. And to think, just 9 years ago I surfed every single day for one year here in New Hampshire. 365 consecutive days. And if you check your journals, the 2000-2001 winter was not that easy.
There were some very cold days. But that was different. I was surfing for a cause. Not for the simple sake of getting wet, and catching a few waves. But I have to say, a big part of me, wanted to paddle out that day this past week, just so I could prove something to myself. And that is...I am still stoked to be able to surf here in the Winter.
For those of you keeping score. I have yet to surf in 2009.
looking through the new SURFER mag the other day and was once
again horrified at the latest "Slab" spot. This one
is off the coast of Northern Cal or Oregon. And like all
the other 'slabs' before it, this one is equally sick. Have we really
gotten to the point in this lifestyle or sport, where people will try
and surf anything that looks potentially dangerous and makeable? I guess
I answered my own question. Yes we have.
words, surfing these "slabs" looks anything but fun. And you
really have to ask yourselves. Would they surf these things if there
was no coverage in the surf media? My guess is no. Although, I'm sure
there are those out there who would and more than likely will in the
future. But dam it just looks crazy to me.
There's an old saying, "If a heavy looking spot is empty, there's usually a good reason why."
Last week's column generated quite a few emails from the masses. I need to Thank all of you who sent me those uplifting, positive emails. It was very thoughtful of you to take the time to address those negative subject matters. I know it was difficult for a lot of you parents with kids who are entering their teenage years, and others who have lost loved ones to the darkness I wrote about. But I think we can all agree, that if we can save one life from that darkness it was well worth it.
I hope we never have to deal with either one.
The Nevins photos of the Children of the Dump in Nicaragua really brought a lot of response from the surf community. And after communicating with both Brian and a few others about the plight of the children of Centro America it turns out that there is in fact organizations that will accept donations. I will post the websites of two organizations that deal with the poor families directly.
The first website is lovelightandmelody.org This is the organization that Brian deals with directly and there is plenty of info there for anyone to donate and or get involved with. I've posted the remaining photos from Brian's amazing trip below. If last week wasn't enough of a reminder for us all that we should be thankful for what we have, then this week's Nevins photos will be.
I am posting this other website for those wishing to donate to those in need in Central America. This a great organization that helps poor farmers in Central America, including Nicaragua. www.sustainableharvest.org was founded by NH native and UNH grad, Florence Reed (read about Flo in UNH magazine: http://unhmagazine.unh.edu/sp05/plantinghope.html SHI provides tools, knowledge, and assistance in implementing sustainable farming methods that dramatically improve people's lives.
thing SHI provides is knowledge, and that the people then work
hard to make these improvements themselves. Not only that, but these
methods are somewhat self-perpetuating, as the techniques are often
passed along from neighbor to neighbor.
Readers can go to www.sustainableharvest.org for more information or to donate. PLEASE put a note in the comments section of their online donation page saying this donation generated from "www.ralphspic.com".
you again for your support. If you have any questions, please feel free
to contact SHI by email firstname.lastname@example.org or
In either case. You should check out these websites and see what they are doing to help out these families in Central America. Especially if any of you ever plan on surfing there someday.
Now for some of my weekly observances;
suppose any of you heard about PETA's ridiculous statement about
renaming the Fish in the world's oceans "Sea Kittens"?
I swear to you all, PETA wants to rename Fish "Sea Kittens".
Why? They figure that by naming the Fish 'Sea Kittens' people will not
want to harm them.
has stated that they are willing to adhere to a Ceasefire. That's great
news for the many displaced civilians on both sides of this conflict.
And I reiterate what I said after the November election.
will support President Obama 100%. Because he is our president,
and the last thing he needs, is a hoard of embarrassing BUSH
type haters bringing him down. Let's ALL Support President Obama
and hope that there will be change coming.
still time to score one of Brian Nevins's canvas print orders.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of
The Week Especially: Ed O'Connell, John Carden, Brian Nevins,
Bernie Baker, Jamie Wade, Kevin Doherty, Lenny Nichols, Chris Shipley,
The Phantom, Ross Kunkel, Bob Consentino, and Chris Thompson and
all the others.
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
1972 The Late Steve "Neddie" Nelson
2009 Today This COLD Snowy Week in New England
2009 Pics from Beyond New England
Today- Below are the
Final 2 days of the "Darkness of the Dump" photos by Brian
called Day Eight as a Good Day and left it at that. It's hard to see
how any day here could be a good day. But we'll take Brian's word for
Nicaragua January 2009
Nicaragua January 2009
The Final Day and Brian writes again....
just got home late last night. It's nice to be in a warm bed in this
beautiful -500 degree weather.
final note from Ralph. I hope you all had the chance to really sift
through these images
2009 Pics from Beyond New England January 2009
Surf Shack .
2009 The Phantom Hits it again. Destination (Nevermind).
Johnny got invited to Barack's party. Pretty neat eh? We all wish the
BEST for President Obama.