Northern California has some of the most gorgeous beaches I've ever seen.  There's that incredible combination of mountain and coastline that I will probably never get used to.  But there's one big problem.  The water is too darn cold.  Five seconds in the surf and your toes have turned black.  What's the deal?

Why would you waste all that time and energy creating a fabulous coastline and then fill it with cold ocean?

Now, you natives are going to tell me that I should wear a wetsuit.  Have you ever seen a grit-eating twinky lover wearing a wetsuit?  That extra lard is gonna have to squirt out somewhere.

For me, the thrill of the ocean is getting immersed in it, testing your ability to body surf those waves right on to the shore.  If you don't end the day with both knees scraped you haven't tried to ride enough waves. 

During a recent vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC I was observing the relative body-surfing talents of my family members.  Both of my brothers are very athletic but the youngest is "Joe Adventure Race" (yes we have those in the south, and no, there are no pitch forks involved.) So "Joe" has a huge competitive streak and also has a 6 foot something "Joe, Jr" to contend with all of a sudden.   His son has suddenly begun to tower over him and being the competitive sort, ole Joe isn't taking too kindly to being in the second position.  So he and his son are both body-surfing with a vengenance.  Since I had spent much of the day missing all the good waves (my timing is not the best), I decide to just watch them for a while.  It got to be pretty funny.  Ole Joe would line up at precisely the same time as Joe, Jr.  Both heads would disappear under the surf in a flawless surfing maneuver.  Then all of a sudden, I'd see two heads pop up and a series of fisticuffs would immediately ensue.   Joe, Jr. would be hollerin' at the top of his lungs while Joe, Sr would be laughing and ducking to avoid connecting with the blows coming his way.  It seems Joe Sr. kept trying to even the odds by grabbing his son's feet on every surfing attempt. 

It got to be so predictable that I decided to sit on the shore and watch the two of them - each trying to out perform the other.  The funny part is how similar the two of them are.  I can remember the father being exactly like his son when we were growing up.  Makes me feel good (and a little proud) that the competitive one has bred his own biggest rival.   

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