Water Time

Goodbye, tumblrers!

Hey peeps! Hope all is well in each of your lives, and where things are going rough that there are better times to come soon : ).

I’ve decided to discontinue my tumblring for good, and want to say goodbye. I’ll miss y’all! (If you’d like to stay in touch, please drop me a note— I’ll keep this here for a couple of days).

My reasoning is this: I grew up a reader. I was a big reader by second grade. While other kids were playing sports or video games I was drawing and reading. Now, here, I find myself no longer a reader, and I can’t/won’t accept that. My brain has become too… twitchy and unsettled. I can’t lose myself in words anymore, and that’s really not ok with me. I think the internet in general is largely at fault for this brain tweak. A friend is making a new business website for me, and I’ll be needing to manage that, and I’m keeping my FB page as it’s my primary outlet (work hermit) for keeping in touch with old friends. That seems like too much right there, so tumblr has to go.

There’s a sadness that comes with shutting it down, but my focus will be on the positive. I miss myself. I want to be more focused, more present. I want to work harder and be stronger. I like my life, in spite of the difficulties. I’m ready to like it even more.

If you’d like to stay in touch, please don’t be shy. I think writing/emailing is totally different for the brain than thumbing through imagery, and I’m stoked to keep open lines of communication : ).

You’re all wonderful, wonderful people. I’m sending hugs and big smiles.

~Ben

I had a fun weekend : ). I love paipos.
photo: Kat Hammond

Life is good.

James Vincent McMorrow - If I had a Boat

This is beautiful.

Someday. With lumber/surfboard racks. And perhaps a wood flatbed. 

My legs are a mess. My left leg is chewed up from being dragged over rocks after a wave during the great recent Wednesday south swell; my right leg is covered in road rash from hitting pavement hard after running into a piece of lumber at night, in the dark, while skateboarding; and both are liberally peppered with poison oak (my first) from the same Wednesday, bushwacking (needlessly) into a true classic CA left point that was firing in the am. 

I’m approaching 38 and am a touch weirded out by the number. … but I suppose I’m doing a pretty good job of it : ).

kulolo said: Ten favorite woods!

oh my goodness. well, let’s see (in no particular order)…

1. Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Beautiful, clear, long, straight lengths. Smells like heaven. At ~31lbs/cubic foot it’s a medium light weight, and has nice longitudinal strength. Was primarily my go-to for bending stock for kayak and canoe ribs, but I’m starting to think it might be my #1 for paipos and alaias (Kulolo! do I pluralize those with an ‘s’???) too. Like Koa in Hawaii, it’s sacred wood for the people of the Pacific Northwest, and I can see/feel/smell why.

2. Avocado. Subtle beauty, nice coloring. Has a wonderful spicy smell. Carves nicely. Makes me think of CA and home. Fun to carve spoons from. My stock has come from prunings in Avo orchards— so the trees are still alive and producing fruit for market, and that tickles me : ).

3. Western Red Cedar. Quite a range of color, long, straight, clear lengths, lightweight at ~23lb/cubic foot— traditional west coast planking stock for boat building. Smells amazing— somewhat more floral and a touch fainter than AK Yellow. I use it for the longitudinals in the kayaks I build, and the skins and rails in my hollow wooden surfboards. It makes me happy.

4. White Oak. A staple domestic boat building wood. Tough, heavy-ish, hard, bends *amazingly* well and as such is used in the bent frames of boats. The quartersawn face has beautiful strong ray flecks. The primary wood of the American Arts & Crafts movement, where the ray fleck was put on display and ammonia was used to fume the oak and make it a darker color. I like building shop furniture from large pieces of White Oak. Smells lovely (like wine! er, wine smells like oak, because it’s aged in oak casks).

5. Walnut. A woodworkers’ favorite in the states. Works nicely, finishes beautifully. Smells like junior high woodshop classes. Peruvian Walnut is a touch lighter and good for paipos. Cali Walnut (Claro Walnut) is colorful and really pretty. Fun to get in logs from local arborists as urban salvage.

6. Pine! Too much overlooked. A “cheap” wood, but it’s quartersawn face, upon close inspection, makes me happier than diamonds. Lusterous. Lovely to work, and that Pine smell is hard to beat. Yellow pine is a classic east coast boat planking wood. I’m finishing up a Sugar Pine paipo today : ). Genus: Pinus. Pronounced penis. Now you know.

7.  Redwood. mm, I’ve used some old growth salvage redwood (fenceposts!), and it’s just so beautiful. Can be quite hard and look like a dark Mahogany. Figured (flamed) Redwood is truly spectacular. My personal paipo is figured Redwood and I love it. New growth redwood is super hard to work to a clean/smooth surface, owing to the contrast in hardness between the earlywood and latewood. Early Cali plank surfboards tended to be Redwood. Early San Francisco was practically built of Redwood.

8. (cheater) Fruitwoods! Pear! Apple! Cherry! Lemon! Hard, lovely to carve, beautiful. Green, fresh sawn Pear wood smells like candy : ). Lemon trees have yellow wood with subtle grey streaking. Apple crooks were used traditionally in small craft boat building. Cherry is an American classic for furniture/cabinetmaking.

9. Maple. So hard (and hard to work!). Great for vice jaws and furniture. Grows in a nice variety of figures, from flamed to quilted (gorgeous!).

10. Black Locust. Sooo hard. If I owned land I’d grow (fast growing) Locust for boat building as an even-better-than-White-Oak. Strong. Pretty. Extremely rot resistant. Amazing for boat frames. 

… lotsa stoke for Mulberry, Koa, Sitka Spruce, Red Gum, Port Orford Cedar, Douglas Fir, Birch and and and! : ). ahhh, wood. yes.

Thanks, amigo Kulolo!

ask me my top 10 whatever-ya-want

okie doke.

(Source: alskeletons, via the--luminarium)

A new Walnut paipo! Um, it’s purty. 

oh, man. want!

My first poison oak. hrmm. At least it comes with good memories : )

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy.”

—   Kurt Vonnegut 

(Source: laviesepoursuit, via beccaradiating)

Full moon night surf : ). Meh waves, but the sky and water were gorgeous. Wee hints of bioluminescence. Sea lion spy hopping. A great image of my friend catching his last wave in, glow stick (instead of a leash) trailing, and the lights on campus throwing him into silhouette as he slid towards shore.  

Cold, then warm in the blast of the VW heater on the way home, then a glass of wine, and I’m sleeepy. Happy and sleepy. G’night, peeps. You’re beautiful!

“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?” And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”

—   Junot Díaz (x  

(Source: feministjewishfangirl, via layeelah)