Friday, December 28, 2007


The Gordon House

Well worth a tour if you're a fan of architecture - the design and setting got me very excited about what can be done in a small, simple, and affordable space. Pure genius.

My favorite aspect is this: visitors often remark both how well the house blends into the setting and how from inside it feels as though you are outside. It's true.

Monday, December 24, 2007

dark and wet

Photos copyright 2007 Gazelle

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

pv cove

Photo by Grannis

Okay, enough of the heavy posts for awhile. This is not one of my favorite Grannis images, but it brings a smile to my face when I think of all the times I surfed here, and the sheer joy of surfing at spots that involve a little hike through nature to get to the water. We've got a few of those here in Oregon, and it's all part of the experience.

As for the Cove, I can say two main things about it - it can handle very big swells, and it was one of the few places in Santa Monica Bay I'd risk surfing during or after the rains - lots o' kelp offshore and lots of permeable surface as the runoff rushed down the cliffs. Oh, and one more important thing to know when it rains in L.A. and there's a big WNW'er running - south-southwest winds blow offshore here...

P.S. I hope to have some new photography to share soon, and some more archival shots when I get the time to scan 'em in.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

beware the hair helmet

who are these men of power with their wealth, pasty complexions, and perfect hair?

Monday, December 17, 2007


Mallory Knox told it like it was. As a species we've been very naughty, and a solid scolding from Ms. Knox is long overdue. But it could be that it's too late for such a scolding to do any good.

This century will no doubt be a defining one for us and the planet. I'm simultaneously horrified and excited by the many possibilities. What will China do with its billion plus people, its political system, its environment, its economy? Will the USA elect progressively dumber and increasingly nefarious leaders? Will Islamic terrorists get their fanatical little hands on nuclear material and detonate a "dirty bomb?" Will we figure out that the wonders and absurdities of the marketplace are not the be-all and end-all? Will mass extinctions and climate change seriously start slapping us in the face? Will we wise up? Probably not, but I can't abandon hope entirely...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a wish for a simpler life...

Often times I daydream of trading debt, bills, insurance premiums, traffic, pollution, taxes, noise, crime, and lots of dumbasses for tradition, ritual, beauty, and a sense of connectedness to community and the elements. There's an undertow to this line of thinking, and the end result could be good or maybe not very good at all...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

tree with a view

Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Rhodes, Greece

Monday, December 3, 2007


Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

Sunday, December 2, 2007

humans from earth

Humans from Earth by T-Bone Burnett

We come from a blue planet light-years away
Where everything multiplies at an amazing rate
We're out here in the universe buying real estate
Hope we haven't gotten here too late

We're humans from earth
We're humans from earth
You have nothing at all to fear
I think we're gonna like it here

We're looking for a planet with atmosphere
Where the air is fresh and the water clear
With lots of sun like you have here
Three or four hundred days a year


Bought Manhattan for a string of beads
Brought along some gadgets for you to see
Here's a crazy little thing we call TV
Do you have electricity?


I know we may seem pretty strange to you
But we got know-how and a golden rule
We're here to see manifest destiny through
Ain't nothing we can't get used to

We're humans from earth
We're humans from earth

Friday, November 30, 2007

more corndogging

Mark & Dirk, two enthusiastic Laguna Beach High "punkers," as they were known by the preppies, stoners, and jocks of the day. Mark formed a band in Laguna and also negotiated a space to play occasional weekends in a warehouse section of Laguna Canyon, away from potentially complaining homeowners. We called our little club "The Inferno" and even made a banner to hang behind the stage. The gigs brought together kids from the surrounding towns and we broadened our horizons a bit. This all went down at the close of the Cuckoo's Nest era in Costa Mesa, the best club the OC has ever known. I managed to see a couple gigs there before the city shut it down for good. The Nest was a place you could usually see about 3, sometimes 4 classic bands in one show for around 8 bucks. Like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Agent Orange... maybe 999, Dead Kennedys, Adolescents...or maybe the UK Subs, Fear, Flipper... or perhaps something a little darker like 45 Grave, Christian Death, and Funeral. It was counterculture heaven in a sea of bland suburban hell.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Venice, Italy

Monday, November 26, 2007

Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

I would most certainly rather be traipsing through this tidepool, over those rocks, and through those distant mountains than working right now...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

watching pt. 2

Photo copyright 1999 Gazelle

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

we were fuckin' corndogs pt. 2

Laguna Beach High School punk contingent, 1981-82 school year. That's me 4th from the right. The coming-of-age journey to gigs, drunken parties, girls, counterculture, and arrests for curfew violations was in full swing (or slam)...

See my ass in part 1.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Photo copyright 2007 Gazelle

Recently, I've travelled a bit by plane, subway, and ferries. Aside from those times when you meet an interesting person and engage in conversation, it's watching people that passes the time better than anything in these circumstances. The things people do and say, the clothes and accessories they wear, the mannerisms - all this makes for high quality, cheap entertainment. Maybe that's part of what Walker Evans had in mind with his subway portraits...

"Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long."

- Walker Evans

It's high time I plot some new photographic staring and eavesdropping.

Monday, November 12, 2007

change in the weather

Photo copyright 2007 Gazelle

Sunset over the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Washington.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

island style

Photo copyright 2007 Gazelle

Cattle Point, San Juan Island, with Lopez and Orcas Islands in the background. Hanging in the San Juans is a bit like hanging in the Caribbean of the Pacific Northwest - always relaxing, beautiful, and very funky.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Photo by

"Inside the vital Gnaouan circle of drumming, I was linking up disparate bits of musical teaching, connecting threads running back through those tonic rhythms that had first stirred me in youth...Here were the cadences, figures, and motifs I'd heard Elvin Jones play in New York with Coltrane, embedded within a continuous culture: drumming as conversation, healing, and sustenance. Preserved through exile and slavery, the Gnaouan drummers still exorcised and entertained in the markets and oases of southern Morocco. The rehabilitating energies of the drums acted directly upon me, assuaging months of drifting and doubt. Emotions rose and receded, mixing with tears and smiles. I felt restored, filled with a new desire to play. I'd arrived at what I'd come south to find."

excerpt from Native State: A Memoir

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

california girl

Photo by Edward S. Curtis

This is what a California girl would have probably looked like before the Spanish and Americans changed everything. She is a Pomo girl (N. California tribe centered in the present day areas of Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties, and renowned for their superb basket weaving skills).

Although the photographer is a controversial figure due to the fact that a number of his images were staged or historically inaccurate, his anthropological writings, wax cylinder recordings, and photography were often the only records of their kind. He seemed genuinely sympathetic to the plight of the Native American people, and had a master's eye for composition. His life spanned the period of the "Wild West" through the atomic age. Most of his Native American images were made in the late 1800's through the early 1900's.

Monday, October 29, 2007

montreal 2

Photo copyright 1994 Gazelle

St. Lawrence Riverfront

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

old farts in love

Photo copyright 1999 Gazelle

Ruth & Melvin, my paternal grandparents, photographed at ages 94 and 99 respectively.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

big brother speaks

Myanmar. Photo from NY Times, October 21, 2007. Click image to enlarge and read the instructions...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

they want to destroy it...

Some of you may remember my post on Munich's fun river wave. I learned recently that the city is considering destroying the break over "safety" concerns, apparently without good reason. See this article, click on the petition link, sign it, and be sure to click through the gallery of pics connected to the petition site. What an amazing resource this is for landlocked urban surfers - a wave you can ride till you drop.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

like no others

After Captain James Cook first sailed into Botany Bay in Australia, he noted his impressions of the Aborigines he encountered. Apparently most hardly paid any attention to the large and strange ship sailing into the bay. He wrote in his journal: "They may appear to be the most wretched people on earth, but in reality they are far happier than we Europeans. They live in a tranquility which is not disturbed by the inequality of condition: the earth and the sea of their own accord furnish them with all things necessary for life...they seemed to set no value upon anything we gave them, nor would they ever part with anything of their own...All they seem'd to want was for us to be gone." If only all those to settle Australia shared Cook's sensibilities.

Perhaps these Aborigines somehow knew what their destiny would be with the arrival of the white man, and they generally ignored the strangers in the hope they would become disinterested and simply leave. But of course that's not how it worked out - ahead was disease, intentional poisonings, mass slaughter, hunting for sport, and cold-blooded murder (among other atrocities). The Aborigines were to be treated as subhuman, and at least on Tasmania, would be completely eradicated in a matter of decades. What's remarkable about these native people is just about everything. They lived almost as anarchists, typically with no chiefs or governing councils, possessed very little sense of property, had no clearly traceable ancestry to other people of Australasia, and were full of mysterious and unique traditions. We don't even know exactly how and when they came to Australia. It is almost as if they came from another planet...

Monday, October 15, 2007

on fire

Photos copyright 2007 Gazelle

Okay, okay, I know Sissyfish already beat me to it, but I just couldn't resist. I grew up and lived most of my life in So. California - this leaf-turning business never ceases to amaze me...

P.S. One thing that makes the brilliant red colors even more amazing is that science can't figure it out - the yellow is understood as something always present in the leaves but masked in the spring and summer by the green, but the turning red remains a mystery. Sweet!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Photo by Grannis

About 5 years ago I attended a Surfrider event in Newport Beach. The guest of honor was LeRoy Grannis, the legendary surf photographer. I took the opportunity to have him sign a copy of his great book, Photo: Grannis. These are the wise and simple words he wrote: "To Jeff - Hang on to the surfing lifestyle. It will keep you happy and healthy. LeRoy Grannis" Well, I don't live in a beach town these days so I don't know if I'm honestly living a "surfing lifestyle." But he is right - surfing still keeps me happy and healthy. And I guess it's forever in my blood now, 'cause looking at surf images still gets me fired up the same way it did as a kid...

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

Stone-roofed barn in rural Spain.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Photo copyright 1995 Gazelle

Sometimes the strangest things can be a little scary, like this "landscaping" outside an apartment building in Venice Beach, California. The scene, the textures, the shadows - all together they leave me with a sense that this a place where bad things happen...

Or, maybe I'm just getting in the Halloween mood a little early.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Duomo, Venice

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Photo copyright 1995 Gazelle

Downtown Boston.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

it's in the air

Photo copyright 1996 Gazelle

Autumn is here in the Pacific Northwest. The cool air and rain is advancing like the sea and misty air in this image...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Photo copyright 1999 Gazelle

Hong Kong boat pilot, with mean sea dog squint.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Photo copyright 1999 Gazelle

Kecak (pronounced: "KEH-chahk”) is a Balinese musical drama based on the Hindu epic Ramayana. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the performance is awesome to watch. Performed by a circle of numerous performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting "cak" and throwing up their arms and swaying their bodies, it depicts a battle from the Ramayana where monkeys help Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. Nothing quite like having monkeys do your fighting for you…

See the excellent 1992 film Baraka for stunning visuals and sounds of a Kecak performance. I've heard a sequel to Baraka (titled Samsara) is due out next year.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Photo copyright 1996 Gazelle

Cottage in the Dordogne River Valley, France

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

Talking story in the plaza. Laza, Galicia, Spain

Friday, September 14, 2007

late summer r & r

Mt. Hood, with Serene Lake partly obscured in the foreground. Below, Sherman, enjoying the hike in big time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Photo copyright 1996 Gazelle

San Gabriel Mountains, California

I backpacked with one of my dogs to a small lake in the Cascades last week. It was his first wilderness camping experience and he handled it like a pro - didn't even flinch when I put a doggie pack on him.

I will post a few snaps soon - I doubt they'll do it justice but it sure was a rejuvenating bit of peace and quiet and beauty.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

dried out and sun bleached

Photo copyright 1998 Gazelle

Fallen tree trunk, Sequoia National Forest.

Monday, September 3, 2007

santiago de compostela

Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

Different cultures seem to each get some things more right than others. The southern European peoples definitely got wine, olives, and style right. Their style extends to their spaces, more commonly the public spaces. Above, an example...

Friday, August 24, 2007


Photo by McCluskey 2002

An often overlooked aspect of surfing is the experienced surfer's observation skills when out in the water. It speaks powerfully to our primal and ancient connection with the natural world.

We've all seen the seasoned local who is simply dialed in to the spot and conditions - he/she knows where to sit, and knows the boils, currents, and obstacles to look out for. After some solid experience with surfing and a particular spot, you become that seasoned local. You scan the horizon with purpose, in tune with the sea and swells, moving frequently to meet the forming waves at just the right time. It is a wonderful feeling...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Lurking, Spanish Steps, Rome

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

roman holiday

Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Italian soldiers on leave in Rome...