Came across a review in the paper, writer coming to town to do a reading. Guy (Chas Smith) writes for surf magazines, and has done a book
which is mostly about the North Shore of Oahu where surfing is a Big Deal. Fascinating stuff almost none of which I knew. The dark underbelly, which is not something you think of when you listen to Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys singing about waxing down their boards and all …
Lot of good material, albeit the presentation is, um … somewhat obnoxious at times. Smith apparently fancies himself a writer in the Tom Wolfe/Hunter S. Thompson mold, i.e., the "new" journalists. For those you who don't know, this kind of writing revolves around the teller as much as the tale, with the narrator front and center. How it all affects him is more important than what is going on. I generally prefer more transparency in a story, but if it is done well, it's okay.
Smith, a clothes-horse, spends way too much time talking about his neato keen shirts and cool shoes, and how he looks is so important to him that writing about how crappy surfers dress is a major part of this, and apparently every other story, he offers. It detracts from the material, but on balance, I'd recommend the book.
Speaking of clothes …
When I learned to play guitar, I did it in the classic position, that is, the waist of the instrument resting on my propped-up left leg. Balanced thusly, the back of the guitar didn't usually touch my waist so I never had a problem in what guitar players call "belt-buckle rash."
The uke, on the other hand, sits closer and on my lap, so I have gotten a couple of fine scratches on the back, which is no good. So I have been playing with my shirt-tail out.
Then I discovered something called a "musician's belt," aka "mechanic's belt." This is a design wherein the buckle is underneath a leather overlay. Keeps the metal from scratching your musical instrument, or if you are a car mechanic, from scratching a customer's paint job. A clever device, this.