Ed's thoughts

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast... a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards." - Ed Abby

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fear and...Loathing?

'Bombora' is Australian surf slang for a big wave that breaks far away from the shore. A combination of large swell, offshore winds, and underwater sandbars yesterday resulted in prime bombora conditions. The good news is that I rode some of the biggest waves of my life. The bad news is that I got blasted by some of the biggest waves of my life.

As a 4 meter wave broke over me, there was a moment when I did not know what was going to happen. My mind flashed to the death of a local surfer two weeks ago, and then to the MacGyver repair job on my leash. If my pulse were not already over 120 bpm due to paddling, I'm sure it would have shot up further.

But that's probably nothing compared with the bombora that hit the markets last Thursday as the Dow dropped nearly 1,000 points. The CBOE volatility index is also known as the Wall Street 'Fear Gauge.' It rose 25% on the week that saw all markets give up year-to-date gains. The financial bombora built through a combination of concerns over Greek debt, uncertain but key UK and German elections, allegations against Goldman Sachs, and probably another thousand factors both known and unknown to the general public.

I spent a lot of time in the water this weekend thinking about what Monday might bring. The UK has a hung parliament, exit polls show Angela Merkel's party may be in trouble, more riots in Greece, and...oh yeah, the BP techno-fix big box containment plan seems to have failed in the Gulf of Mexico. The worldwide sentiment that seems to be shifting rapidly from fear to loathing is clearly demonstrated in the North Rhine-Westphalia regional election in Germany. Essentially, the Germans seem to be sending a message: Fuck the Greeks.

But there's no time for loathing here. Monday has dawned blue sky and sunshine. The swell held overnight, and the winds remain offshore. The weekend crowds have left. See you later.

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