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October 24th, 2010
The Surf Count of Waist High Or Better is over. Once there's a 3 week gap in the count. We start over. As of now...we are back to square one.

I love being a dad. I knew that I would from a very young age. I knew it ever since
I was teenager. I just knew I'd take to being a father like most dads before me and after me. And being a surf dad? Well, that's one of the fringe benefits of living here
on the seacoast. I loved being able to teach all my kids about the ocean and surfing.
It was and has been a very rewarding experience to say the least. It still is. Being able to share the ocean with my family is still something I look forward to. Whether we are paddling out on a fun sized day at the Wall, or just hanging out on the beach. I love being on the beach with my family.

But it's not all fun and games being a dad. Oh hell no. Sometimes it's stressing.

Like teaching my kids how to drive a motor vehicle. That, my friends is stressing.
And all you dads out there who have small children, take a good look at your child, toddler, or baby, and try to imagine that child behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Are you stressed yet bunky? No? Well you will be. Trust me. You will definitely be stressed when your kid wants to drive. I taught all three of my kids how to drive. Hell,
I even taught my wife how to drive. None of them was easy. And look, before any of you think I'm giving them the entire drivers Ed course, well, that's not what I'm talking about. No sir. Not even close.

I'm talking about the basic introduction to the wacky world of motorists.

And make no mistake about it. It is wacky. And I don't care where you live. It's freaking crazy. People texting and yakking on the phone, going through stop signs and red lights, drifting in and out of their lanes.
Oh yea, it's wacked. I know you see them. Maybe you are one of them. Yakkers and texters. Everyone is on their damn cellphones. Everyone. I don't want to point fingers, but you know who you are. So teaching my kids how to drive in this environment, well that's nerve wracking.

All my kids went through Drivers Ed. Or rather, will go through Drivers Ed.

My youngest is still with me, learning the basic principles of driving. And we are a ways off from getting the basic driving techniques down. Braking. Directionals. Turning. Backing up. Accelerating. Traffic lights. All of the stuff that we seasoned drivers take for granted, we have to teach our children. All of your bad habits must be corrected before you attempt to teach your child how to drive. Like rolling through a Stop Sign. My son did that on one of our driving adventures. When I yelled for him to stop. He yelled back to me "But that's what you do dad!" And so now you are forced into the "Never mind what I do you little &#$@*$. You have to come to a complete
and full stop." Like I said, it's not easy.

And for all you dads out there who are about to teach your kids how to drive, you need to remember one thing. You do NOT have a brake on your side of the vehicle. In other words you can't slam on the brakes like the Drivers Ed teacher can do. You just have a loud voice and the ability to grab the wheel. And sometimes that's not enough. Teaching my youngest how to drive these last two weeks has been a challenge to
my very sanity. Starting with the very first time we hit the paved roads.

She turned out of our road very slowly, and then turned up onto the main road, and
then it happened. Without warning, she had a complete laughing fit. Seriously. She had a total laughing fit, that she could not control. It freaked me out. It was like something out of a Jack Ass episode. Her uncontrollable laughing. Tears in her eyes. Shortness of breath. It was like she had heard the funniest thing in her life and could not stop the insane laughing. She had turned into a Laughing Hyena.

"Stop laughing! This is not funny! Are you kidding me? STOP Laughing!" I yelled.

But the more I yelled, the more she laughed. It was like she had suddenly turned into Linda Blair. "Who the hell are you? What happened to my daughter?" I yelled. I finally had to grab the wheel and have her step on the brakes and shut the vehicle down. Thank God it was at a place where there was little traffic. But it kind of freaked me out. "Are you going to be OK?" I asked. "Yes dad, I'm sorry, it was just a nervous laughing fit." But I have to tell you all, I was on edge after that.

"Look, kid, you can't do that again. OK? Daddy can't handle that crazy shit. Alright? Are we OK?" She looked at me and fought back the crazy smile and burst of laughter. "I'm OK Dad. I can do this." She reassured me. "Ok then, let's try this again." And we slowly drove off. I mean slowly. I wouldn't take my eyes off her. When I finally felt comfortable, we headed down towards the beach.

I wanted to drive down by the ocean, but I knew that would be a disaster. I'd be distracted by checking the surf every two seconds when I really needed to be keeping an eye on my student driver. So we went through the neighborhood and then went home. I chalked up her first road test, as a nervous reaction that more than likely would not happen again. And I was right. Her second lesson was laughter free, but it ended up being way more scarier. Way more.

I think the laughing fit was still fresh in her mind as we drove off for lesson number
two the following week. She was stone faced this day. But her concept of turning and staying in her lane was lost. The very first turn coming out of our road, she swung out so far you would of thought she was driving a tractor trailer. "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!!
We are too far out!" I yelled as we found ourselves in the oncoming lane with oncoming traffic. To correct the big wide swinging turn, she jerked the wheel back
and over compensated the correction. "AHHHH....slow down!" I pleaded. Up ahead
was the traffic light. She raced towards the light, which happened to be Red.
"Slow down, you need to stop!" I screamed as I tried to step on the phantom brakes.

Oh what I wouldn't of given for a set of brakes on my side of the vehicle.

I looked at her when she finally stopped. I was expecting the laughing fit. But instead
I saw something else. A look of confusion and fright. I knew I needed to change tactics. "It's OK kid, we just got off to a rocky start. You're going to be OK." She shook her head. "OK dad. Where are we going?" "We are going straight...we're going to take a left up ahead." I said nervously. At this point I was not sure who was behind the wheel. The laughing Linda Blair or someone new? I did not know. I just knew this was not my youngest sweetheart daughter. I was shaking in my seat.

As we approached the turn I reminded her to put on her directional.

She did as I asked as she simultaneously hit the gas pedal. We took that turn like we were coming in the home stretch of the INDY 500. I know I heard the rubber burning
as we leaned into that turn. I scanned the street and sidewalks for any small children, dogs, and or elderly folks out for a daily stroll. Because if they were out there, they would of all been in danger. We were coming in hot. My daughter had become a fighter pilot strafing the enemy with her COBRA Helicopter.

"SLOOOWW DOWNNNN!!! I yelled as we whipped through the neighborhood. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of her teachers from Junior High School. She had a look of shock on her face. I sheepishly waved and motioned to my daughter as if to
say "Can you believe she's driving! Ha, don't they grow up fast."

At the end of the road was a stop sign. "We need to stop at that stop sign. OK?"

"OK dad." And she came to a complete stop. Only she stopped about 25 yards from
the stop sign. "Ahh we need to be a bit closer to the stop sign so we can see who's coming." So she stepped on the gas and sped up to the stop sign and hit the brakes. "God please help us. " I secretly prayed. "OK that's good" I said. But it was anything but good. My palms were sweating. I tried to catch my breath as I explained where
our next destination was going to be.

"Ok we are heading for the Post Office." I said waiting for a reaction. But she had none. She had no idea that we would be coming up to the turn lane that even seasoned drivers fear. Why I went this route will be a mystery in our household for many years to come. My wife later couldn't believe I had taken our child on this route.
I guess in hindsight it was the wrong thing to do.

But we were committed to the task at hand.

I made the mistake of telling my daughter that "Even I hate this turn..." She looked at me with scorn and disbelief. And the looks were warranted. This is the turn where NO ONE and I mean NO ONE gives you a break. You are on your own. The traffic was zipping along in both directions. The exiting traffic from the small mall was relentless. And once drivers caught wind that my daughter was timid and quite possibly new at this, they took full advantage.

But I was being super patient.

"Don't pay any attention to the drivers behind you. Let them honk and get up tight.
You just concentrate on getting out into the main flow of traffic. I will tell you when to go." I calmly told her. After several long minutes that most drivers would of already taken, I saw the moment of truth. "OK kid get ready. Step on the gas!" Why I said those words will also be a life long mystery. Because, step on the gas she did. Oh boy. We shot out of that on-ramp like we were in a drag race. I halfway expected the chute to open to slow us down. I'm sure my face was contorted from the G-force acceleration.

"SLOW DOWN!" I yelled above the rumbling tires and bouncing frame. We came into the turn lane that would bring us into the Post Office at about Mach 10. We were literally bouncing through the parking lot. I reached for the mail that was up on the dashboard and flying all over the place. "OK slow down and pull into one of those parking spots..."I said as I watched in horror as my daughter passed all 6 open spaces and proceeded to pull up behind a vehicle that was starting to back out. "NOOOOO not here. STOP! STOP! Please stop the car!" I yelled as she came within inches of the vehicle before stopping. Meanwhile, the vehicles behind us had caught up and they boxed us in. I tried to get her to put the vehicle into reverse, but I couldn't find reverse. My daughter started yelling at me"Dad you're putting it into neutral!"

I guess I didn't hear anything at that point. I'm sure I was in a semi state of shock.

I had to get her to exit the drivers side so I could maneuver the vehicle so that everyone could get on with the business at hand. I went in and mailed the letters and came back out. My daughter was upset. "So that went pretty good." I said. She would have none of it. I drove off and got us back to a safe street where she drove a little more. We both agreed that maybe we should take a break and call it a day. So we went home and told her Mom about our driving experience. My wife was pretty upset at me for having her drive that route. I deserved all the abuse I got.

Everyone calmed down enough and I thought it would be a while before I gave her lesson number three. I spoke too soon. A little over an hour ago she approached me
and said ."Dad we need to go back out driving. I'm ready to try this again."

I gave her a hug and said how much I loved her and how proud I was of her. And told her we'd head out as soon as I finish my column. She and her Mom smiled as they
left my studio. When I knew they were out of earshot, I reached over and swallowed
a couple of Motion sickness pills.

"God please help me..." Oh do I ever love being a dad.

Now for some of my Weekly Global Observances:
OK, so you have all heard about the fatal SHARK Attack in California yesterday. Some poor Bodyboarder was attacked by a big shark (again) and was more than likely mistaken for a seal (again). Look none of us should be surprised by any of this. There are sharks out there. We all know that. And we ALL know that surfers (especially body boarders) look like seals. And we ALL know that Sharks eat seals. Do the math. If you surf in and around a large seal population guess what? Bam! Your chances of being hit by a shark just went up.

But honestly, you can't let the errant shark attack deter you from surfing.

How many people do you know who have been attacked by a shark? How many people do you know who have been killed in an auto accident? Are you going to quit driving a car because it's so dangerous? No of course not. The sensationalism that goes with each shark attack does not help in this phobia. Personally, I never think about sharks. Ever.

Seriously, even when I know there are sharks where I'm surfing. I don't care.

Don't get me wrong, if I see one, or hear one, I'll make my move accordingly, but I am not changing the way I live my life in the ocean because every other year, some poor surfer gets attacked by a shark. Watch me get attacked now. But if I do? Well, they were here first. I don't and wouldn't blame the shark for attacking me. It's his world. Besides, we don't taste very good. We'll more than likely get spit out. I do want to say that we all send our condolences to the family of the shark victim.

Lindsay Lohan is back in Rehab. This time until January. Someone alert Jake Bird.

How about them Patriots? Deion Branch and company put the dreaded and feared RAVENS out to pasture last weekend. And this week we play the San Diego Super Chargers. The Chargers are favored by 3 points. We'll see what happens. And we'll
see what happens with the new ruling of violent hits on the side of Defense. Last week Merriweather hit a player and sent him off to loopy land. As a father of a college
player I don't want to see the violence that is associated with these awful hits. While on the other hand, I don't want to see the game turn into Flag Football either. They need to be more aware of the intentional helmet to helmet hits.

Let them play the game

Speaking of playing the game. The BOSTON BRUINS seem to have a hell of a team this year. Those two young 18 and 19yr old Rookies Taylor Seguin and Caron are tearing up the ice for B's. It would be nice to see the area turn back into the thriving Hockey Town of yesteryear. Those were great times when the Bruins were on top of the NHL. Be fun to watch a Boston team do well after the Patriots are through. We all have to look forward to the Celtics with Big man SHAQ and now the Boston Bruins.

And we can all feel better knowing that the Yankees are ALL done for the year! Ha!

NEW SURF FREE OR DIE MOVIE to be released on NOVEMBER 20, 2010.

Get well soon super Surf Mom Kim Grondin. We ALL Love you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JoEllen Bunton October 29th!
HAPPY (would be) BIRTHDAY Eva Fatello she would of been 85 on Oct 28th!
REST IN PEACE Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver) October 16th.
HAPPY safe out there.
Don't forget to Check the DAILY BLOG on My CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY. (Click
On the Banner on this page.) Started on July 26, 2010 ENDS July 26, 2011. A Wave
a day for 365 consecutive days. Just click on the banner ads on this page.

beyond Surf Pics!
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Remember my friends...Surfing Heals All Wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.


CLICK ABOVE for DAILY "Catch A Wave For Molly" BLOG
Click YESTERDAY Banner Below to see new Old Surf Pic Page

Yesterday October 24,1985... Duffy and Kevin at The WALL.
(Below) Back in the 80's my good friend Thom Moore took up surfing and surf photography. He shot these pics one sunny afternoon in October of 1985 after a Nor'easter blew through town the day before. I remember this day and how perfect it was. And I also remember how un crowded it was too. Look how young Duffy McCarthy looks. And look how unchanged Kevin Grondin looks.
Photos by THOM-A-HAWK

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.

Click on the photo above to see the larger version.

Today-Saturday-October 16th, 2010 Nor'easter Leftovers

(Above) I shot this at the Wall after I thought the swell was gone.
Saturday October 16, 2010. Photo By RALPH

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) The empty Wall peak. Saturday October 16, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) I shot this late in the day at the house. See what you can do with Old wetsuits. Saturday October 16, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Billy banking on there being a wave face to play on after this bottom turn. Friday October 15, 2010. Photo By RALPH
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Bull Moose seen wandering through Hampton, NH this past week. It's the RUT.
Blame it on the Rut. Tuesday
October 19, 2010
. Photo By CORY
Today-10-16-2010 Ed O'Connell Leftovers

(Above) My friend Tony loves this photo of me. I like it too. Ed stood around in that blistering wind waiting for a shot like this. I'm glad he waited.
Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Ed's empty wave shot. Actually, it's one of several. Check out the gallery.
Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Our friend Rick Evans. Still charging like the rest of us Old Guard Surfers.
Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Down the line. Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) I really look casual here. But I have to admit. This was a difficult session for me. Those waves were so fast. And not very forgiving. Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell * Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Nice shot Ed. I love the hollow rights at 10th Street. Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) This guy was truly styling out there. This is a nice photo. If you know this Longboarder tell him about this pic. I'm sure a high res version of this would make a nice Holiday Gift. Saturday, October 16th, 2010. Photo By Ed O'Connell
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

REST IN PEACE Mrs Cleaver...

(Above) The late Hugh Beaumont and the late Barbara Billingsley. June Cleaver (Leave it To Beaver's Mom) passed away last week on October 16, 2010.
Photo via the Internet

(Above) My late Mother and father. My mom Eva would of turned 85 on Thursday October 28th. This photo is on their gravestone. Happy Birthday Mom. Photo By RALPH
Today-October 2010 Baja Trippin by Corey Howard

(Above) Kyle Howard's wicked awesome Baja trip with his brother Corey and buddy Casey. October , 2010. Photo By Corey Howard
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Baja trippin with Corey, Kyle, and Casey. October , 2010.
Photo By Corey Howard

* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

Today-October 20th, 2010 The North Shore Wakes Up

(Above) This photo was taken on the north Shore a few days ago by the Master himself Bernie Baker. One can only imagine what the next few months will bring.
Photo by Bernie Baker.
Click on the photo above to see a LARGER version

Click above graphic for Daily BLOG or to DONATE to the Fundraiser.


The RUN REDUX Trailer October 2010 from Ralph's Pic Of The Week on Vimeo.

Did you know that the word REDUX is pronounced "REEDUCKS"? I did not know that. I was always trying to be hip and pronounce it with a French Accent like, "Reedoo". Turns out, I was wrong (again).

Any way, this is the trailer for the FINAL edited version of THE RUN. It has all new footage from 2010 and the best of 2009. I knew last year when making the RUN, that I would be in trouble with that particular unique concept.

Because the RUN of waist high or better surf never really slowed down. In fact, the RUN count of waist high or better is 80 out of 85 weeks. And honestly? I'm measuring the wave faces with an imaginary yardstick. If the wave face is waist high (3 feet) then that's what I'm calling it. But 80 out of 85? That's insane!

There's some good surfing and some great waves.

The music is by all local bands. QWILL, KINGS HIGHWAY, TODO BIEN, BEFORE THE CRASH, and BIG HANDSOME DADDY. That's a lot of talent right there.

So the DVD will be released On November 20, 2010.

Hope you like the trailer...oh yea, that's QWILL singing "Hanging On Thread" in the Trailer.

Surfing Heals All Wounds.






(Above) All Rise: 10th Street District Court of Surf Justice is now in session, the
Honorable Judge Ralph G. Fatello presiding. CASE #79 BLATANT DROP IN OF

(Above) Steve Dillon's World in California. October 18th, 2010.
Photo By Steve Dillon
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Under The Pier in Southern California. October 18th, 2010.
Photo By Steve Dillon
* Click on the photo above to see the Whole Gallery.

(Above) Saturday October 16, 2010 New Hampshire. Photo by Mike Murray
* Click above to see the whole Readers Gallery!

(Above) Mystery Left. From The Phantom COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) Mystery tube and rider. From The Phantom COMING NEXT WEEK!

(Above) What and where? From The Phantom COMING NEXT WEEK!

*Click masthead above to read the original ISM story.

(Above) Put the cursor over the images above to see happens when you DROP in on someone. You become Invisible. Simply put the mouse over the photo to see the original photo and then marvel at the results of what happens when the criminal becomes invisible. *Put the cursor over the photo to see the Real image.
Photos by Ed O'Connell

Today 2010
"Look a Flying Fish!"

(Above) According to the SURFER Poll 67% of all attempted Airs are never landed. Here's another failed attempt at the Wall 10-16-2010 Photo by Ed O'Connell









































































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