Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The Leaping Beauty blog has run its course. Thanks for reading.

I feel that my most unique contribution to the web is my photography, so I'm going to keep my purely photo related blog, Gazelle Portfolio (, up and running. I'm in the process of transferring most of my images already posted on Leaping Beauty over to the other site, and will continue to add new images over time.

Maybe next year I'll start a new blog on my upcoming homesteading adventure, but I'm going to be very busy doing a lot of things I've never done before. Plus, I might not have enough electricity to run a computer at night. What a shame that would be...

Monday, December 1, 2008

best damn webcam sunset I've ever seen

This sunset even looked pretty cool from Portland, but not quite this dramatic. A very fine day to be on the beach in PC.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

cob rules ok!

Build it by hand, yourself, and learn how little space and stuff you truly need. Learn also how it feels to live in the earth, rather than on it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a nice freakin' view

Above, looking NNW to Backyards.

And here, looking NE at Velzyland

We were spoiled utterly rotten for 10 days.

Monday, November 24, 2008

dark mood

Photo copyright Gazelle 2007

i don't like mondays

...when I have to work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

we need a surfing president

hell yeah, and stylin' too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

another missed opportunity

If I wasn't leaving for Hawaii this week, I'd really feel like a loser.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

so ridiculous i just barfed in my mouth

Jessie Puglisi, 22. (Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

"Those who work on the base — or are married to someone who does — seemed as reliably Republican as the state of Nebraska itself. “Obama is the anti-Christ,” said Jessie Puglisi, 22, whose husband is an airman. “I don’t really agree with any of his policies. My husband feels the same way. He won’t even buy a magazine if Obama’s face is on it. We hang out with a lot of military people, and they all feel the same way.”"

The question is: does she actually know or understand any of Obama's policies? More likely she doesn't like that middle name.

Read article here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

behind the orange curtain

Real Housewives of Orange County

My family moved to the OC in 1971. Back then it was still touched by an earlier surf, beach, art, and hippie culture. Although we lived in what has now become an "exclusive" beach town, our neighbors then ran the gamut from flamboyant homosexuals to doctors to plumbers to beach bums (and pretty much everything in between). We had trailer parks for retirees and we had a few mansions. It was colorful and fun and safe. The beach ruled and I grew up doing just about everything you can do by the sea: bodysurfing, bodyboarding, skimboarding, spearfishing, ab diving, tidepooling, sailing, fishing, and by 1977, stand up surfing. It was fucking great.

The sad thing about all this is that the experience I had there is no more. Laguna in particular has become Beverly Hills by the sea and has been for some time. Now when I visit, the plastic surgery and very expensive cars and silly posturing and crowds are everywhere. It's sick and it's absurd and it's just the way it goes, I guess.

Rest In Peace, funky, sleepy, beautiful OC of the past:

Friday, September 26, 2008


This is not the first I had heard of the Somali pirates. But when I read it, I began to smile to myself. Not that I'd want to be a pirate or be captured by them, but I am an anarcho-primitivist, after all. Reading about them has me imagining the future collapse of civilization.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

the good & the radical

"The good life is never stable, never secure, never easy and never ended. It is a series of steps or stages, one leading into the other and all, in their outcome, adding, not subtracting; augmenting, not diminishing; building, not destroying; creating, not annihilating."

-- Scott Nearing, 1965

Helen and Scott Nearing

The Good Life Center

The Thoreau Institute

P.S. My wife gets credit for exposing me to the Nearings and The Good Life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

down the toilet

From a NY Times Op-Ed piece, Sept. 17, 2008:

I talked to a Wal-Mart mom, Betty Necas, 39, wearing sweatpants and tattoos on her wrists.

She said she’s never voted, and was a teenage mom “like Bristol [Palin].” She likes Sarah because she’s “down home” but said Obama “gives me the creeps. Nothing to do with the fact that he’s black. He just seems snotty, and he looks weaselly.”

Good thing she's never voted. Unfortunately, though, lots of people who make decisions based on similar reasoning do vote.

On a related note, Republican leaders point to Palin's ability to field dress a moose as a qualification for office.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

holy crap, i'm an anarcho-primitivist

I can't do anything concrete about it yet, but I am scheming how to drop out. Get off the grid, grow my own food, live in an intentional community with family and perhaps a few like-minded individuals. I've become a bit of a curmudgeon, but with good reason, I think. This is because most people are two-faced idiots that I've had enough of. It's because I no longer want any part of our present socio-economic system. It's because our electoral system and politics are crooked and distasteful. And I don't want to spend this life fighting it and struggling among the masses. I just want to live out my days doing things that truly matter. Like growing food and building tangible things, whether they be practical or creative or relational (or all in one). Oh yeah, and rewilding, too. What a great word and concept.


P.S. Belatedly, my wife gets credit for exposing me to anarcho-primitivism

Thursday, August 21, 2008

spanish hills

Photos copyright 2001 Gazelle

In and around the village of Toro, Galicia, Spain

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Bali bamboo

Thursday, August 7, 2008

i need to believe in super heroes

Darfur photo from NY Times

With crap like this going on, we need all the help we can get.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

dry and crispy

Photo copyright 1995 Gazelle

It's getting to be that time of year...

Summertime scene near Circle X Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains, CA

Sunday, August 3, 2008

rope and a broom

Photo copyright 1994 Gazelle

Play time in Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico

Sunday, July 27, 2008

be a man!

What does it mean when somebody says, "Be a man!". What should it mean? Should it even be said at all? How about "Be a human!" instead?

This book is painful to read. Not because it's poorly written - it is extremely accessible, especially considering it was researched and written by an academic. What's painful is reflecting on what "masculinity" means in this society and what modern, mainstream porn adds to the mix. Powerful stuff that should be reflected upon by all of us, male and female - it represents a dialogue that should be (but isn't) taking place everywhere in this country.

Friday, July 25, 2008


"One warm spring night we staged a revolution. All the Junior boys, thirty or forty of us, spontaneously decided not to go to bed. We ran loose on the grounds most of the night, stalked by the entire faculty...A few legitimate captures were made by the younger men on the staff, but there was no doubt most of us could have held out indefinitely. I, for one, was confident to the point of bravado, coming out in the open three or four times just for the fun of being chased. Can there be anything as sweet for a child as victory over authority? On that warm night I touched heights I will never reach again - baiting a thirty-year-old man, getting him to chase me over my own ground in the darkness, hearing his hard breath behind me (ah, the wordlessness of the chase, no words, just action), and finally leaping clean, leaping effortlessly over the brook at exactly the right place, knowing he was too heavy, too stupid as an animal, too old, and too tired to do what I had done. Oh God, my heart burst with joy when I heard him fall, flat out, in the water. Lights flashed in my brain. The chase was over and I had won. I was untouchable. I raced across the meadow, too happy to stop running."

Frank Conroy, Stop-Time

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

pitchfork rebellion!

So I was reading about Oregon Forestry laws and history recently, just trying to understand how and why such an often progressive state could have such unsustainable logging practices, and I learned some interesting stuff. There is a citizen group founded about 3 years ago in Lane County's Coast Range area called Pitchfork Rebellion. These are rural folks tired of the big logging companies' practice of clear cutting and dousing the neighboring hills (and their families) with herbicides. They don't like the naked hilltops, choked streams, or the resulting mudslides either. Who would? There's a big rally set for this Sunday July 27th in Portland.

Apparently when Oregon's forestry laws were passed in the early 70's they were somewhat ahead of their time. Now they are lagging sadly behind the times and are considered by many to be the weakest protections for the forest in the Western US.

Monday, July 14, 2008


In honor of my friend Breno's new enterprise of importing Brazilian surfboards made by one of that country's finest shapers, I give you Jorge Ben, live.

Surf around Breno's website - he tells me the boards should be priced comparably to US made boards. These boards are different than what we are commonly seeing up here in the northern hemisphere - check their lineup of standard shapes here. Check out the Popozuda, or Big Butt, below -

Sunday, July 13, 2008

habib koite

July 30, 7PM, only 10 bucks at the Oregon Zoo Amphitheater!

where's the surf?

Photo copyright 2008 Gazelle

I'm in serious need of a surf, but as in this image the beach is not in sight...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

heavy attitude

Those of you not living in Oregon will probably not recognize the significance of this July 4th weekend photograph. It's of two dory boaters seconds after running over a 14 year old surfer and completely severing his arm at one of the coast's most popular surf breaks. I hope they are ashamed. I also hope that the local prosecutor charges them and the kid's family files a civil suit. They deserve to suffer a little for this unnecessary accident, and the callous attitude. And no, I don't feel sorry for struggling working (or recreational) fishermen irritated by surfers in the way - deal with it, kooks. All activity comes with responsibility, so own up and act appropriately.

photographer describes scene

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Photo copyright 2008 Gazelle

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

three fingered jack

Photo copyright 2008 the peak in the distance.

It's a Beavis and Butthead name for a mountain if I ever heard one.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

steady flow

Photo copyright 2008 Gazelle

Metolius River, Oregon

The Metolius flows directly from deep spring headwaters, which makes for a steady and mellow flow all year round.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

going postal

The voices of people were the same, no matter where you carried the mail you heard the same things over and over again.
"You're late, aren't you?"
"Where's our regular carrier?"
"Hello, Uncle Sam!"
"Mailman! Mailman! This doesn't go here!"
The streets were full of insane and dull people. Most of them lived in nice houses and didn't seem to work, and you wondered how they did it. There was one guy who wouldn't let you put the mail in his box. He'd stand in the driveway and watch you coming for two or three blocks and he'd stand there and hold his hand out.

- excerpt from Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

old & grey (in color)

Photo copyright 2008 Gazelle

Dead tree trunk, Black Butte, Oregon

On a totally unrelated note, I've added some new you tube links in my "Watch & Groove" section to the right. Sadly, some links had to be deleted since the videos had been removed (I'm gonna miss Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up"). But for those of you that are interested, I found a nice fresh crop - a great live version of "Autonomy" by the Buzzcocks from around 1990, some essential Clash, namely "Tommy Gun," "Train In Vain," and "Ghetto Defendant." Also, check out the two amazing Black Sabbath concert clips from 1970 - "Fairies Wear Boots" and "War Pigs." Maybe all this old music is related to my post - it clearly demonstrates what an old (though not yet grey) fart I've become.

P.S. "Pump It Up" is back, but probably won't last long - check that footwork!

Monday, June 23, 2008

high and mighty

Photo copyright 2008 Gazelle

The McKenzie River, between Sahalie and Koosah Falls, Oregon

Sunday, June 22, 2008

whaddya got for me?

Photos copyright 2008 Gazelle

Begging ground squirrels, Black Butte, Oregon, elevation 6436 ft.