31 January, 2008


In Santa Rosa CA., there is perhaps one of the finest museums' I have ever visited. Not fine because of the quantity of the works presented, or of the myriad of names of famous painters and sculptors.

Fine because I grew up as a fan of the comic strip "Peanuts" by Charles Schultz. My dad was to be found at the breakfast table or the dining room table in the evenings with his nose in the newspaper. He would chuckle when reading the funnies and it was inevitable that when queried as to the source of the humor, the cause was of course, Peanuts.

My wife and I took the day this past weekend to visit the museum. I have been wanting to go for a long time and this was about the first chance we have had. I wasn't disappointed at all. Not only does the work presented invite the fan to glow in fond memories of strips we know. It also allows the viewer to go back in time and get a feel for the skill and love that was put into those strips. The 2 images here are from the very entry. Simple lines, but they speak volumes of the characters they depict.

Here is a "close-up" of the one of Linus. I always appreciated the calm and pensive demeanor Schultz always imbued in this character. I was never inspired to use a 'security blanket' because of this guy, but I have always appreciated the peace of mind one would bring.
Now, about this point, you're probably wondering why the heck these pictures are so small. Well, it was a big screw up on my part. Two actually... First, I forgot the digital camera. Totally spaced out and left the bugger at home. Then, somehow, the settings on the phone cam had been reset to minimum instead of the VGA setting.

The museum was nicely done. It wasn't so crowded that you felt that you might be missing a bunch of work. It's 2 stories high. On the bottom part is a small video viewing room that had a nice overview of the artist. Outside of that in the first hall were some cases with some of the strips as they had been inked and submitted for reproduction. It was cool to see the actual cut and paste of the logo on the box pattern and often inked on as part of the strip would impede on that.

On the outside walls are these two images of Charlie Brown and Lucy. Funny how we call him by first and last name, but all other characters are only a single name. I have always been a fan of Lucy (Van Pelt) in her Psychiatrist role. She was given a wisdom that was of course beyond her years.

There are also lots of articles and supporting notes that talks to the artistry and skill of the artist. A few times, you read how Schultz was able to, with just a few simple lines, relay strong emotion with which we all can relate as well as pathos.This image does that as well as any I have seen.

There are also a few other images like the one here to the right. This is a really nice painting of Snoopy in his pilot form. This character was a favorite. I never really nailed down why. It could be the Quixotic effort to take out the Red Baron, or it cold be the pilot part of the character. Either way, I like this a lot.

Now, in the main hall as you enter past the ticket podium, there is a floor to ceiling piece that you see here below. It looks light here. The deal is that this piece is made of ceramic tiles, over 3,000 of them. The artist that put this together (not Schultz), used strips that were night-time strips to make the "lines".
When you are up close, you can read each strip. didn't read a lot of them as that's not the point. It's a really neat bit of work. In the men's restroom (and I suspect the women's room too I assume), there were some of the same comic strip tiles in a trim strip around the walls. I was quite surprised that they didn't have any of those for sale. I would have bought a bunch of those.

There is more in the place including a replica of the office where Schultz did his work. After this, we walked across the road to see the Redwod Empire Ice Area, or more commonly known as "Snoopy's Home Ice". It's a full size ice rink where annually I believe, there is a Senior Citizen hockey tournament. I wonder if the NHL has inducted Charles Schultz into their Hall of Fame. I did a cursory search but didn't find anything obvious. Seems like a slam dunk...

Then, across the way is the 'real' store where they sell all sorts of things "Peanuts". There is also a large hockey supply section. Upstairs there, is more history of Peanuts and some of the pictures of the Sr. Citizen hockey tournament teams. I liked this neon sign for Snoopy's Ice Cream, which I never saw in a store...

All in all, it is what I was hoping it would be. It was a stroll through fond memories, fun strips, fine artwork, and what is clearly a work of love for an artist that has touched many lives. Not the least of which was mine. A tip of the hat to Charles Schultz and to this museum.

p.s. - It's also a "Research Center". I failed to ask what they research there...


Just received my ThinkGeek advert email. I don't mean to advertise, but this ad is just damned funny:

ok - ya, I' just jealous of the accent... sigh.

30 January, 2008


I bought one of these from ThinkGeek.com and it arrived this week! The picture of me skating in an earlier post is direct from a negative - that's why there/s dust and crap you don't get in pure digital.

I've dug up my portfolio and am scanning a few things, mostly as a test process. Here is a picture I took as part of an assignment for a class a friend of mine and I took in our senior year of High School via San Diego State. It was a week long trip to Yosemite. At the time, the Lower and Upper River camp sites were still open. This was from the shore of our site on Lower River:
It's an absolute favorite of mine. A 16x20" version has been hanging in our house for many years now. About time I had it re-printed. snif... I miss the days when I did this work myself.

So, over time, I'll share some more of my historical work that includes a lot of concert work, of which, unfortunately, I only have a fraction of what I had. I'll tell more about that later.

The bottom line for me is, photography has always been a passion. I'd love to get back to it. For now, revisiting this old work and doing some cleanup and balancing floats my boat.


I used to skateboard more when I was younger. Like I surf a pseudo-longboard now, when I skate, I have a long board too.

Somewhere in this house, there is a picture of me riding down Coronado St. in O.B. This was something like, 1978 or 1980. I can't find it, but when I do, I'll post it up. For now, here's another picture about the same time period - skating in Ramona Estates before the streets were crowed. Hell, before the streets were actaully used by cars...

Anyway, I saw this:

It took me back. Okay, well, it's not the same, but, kinda...

20 January, 2008

Wrestling - REAL wrestling

Saw this on the Yahoo.com home page today:

I can't wait to see the "pro" wrestlers try that. Probably won't happen as you can't do that with a folding chair under your arm...

Props to the wrestler who went on to pin and win.

19 January, 2008

Shark Bite

I posted up my mavs write up to the Surfer Magazine discussion forum. Someone asked if I had had thought of great white sharks when i was out there.

I did, but, like I said in the forum, I just don't think it's a problem... The guy above seemed pretty cool about his encounter. I surf. If I get taken down by gus, I'll want you to repeat - "It beats dying on the freeway."

17 January, 2008


via videosift.com

Devo rocked - 30 years ago... I still love this version as much as Mick does, maybe more

Sleeping with people

In the "Godfather", Don Coreleone is given a fish to be told that one of his men is "sleeping with the fishes"...
What do fish give each to their big guy to let them know that Benny Bass is "sleeping with the humans"? Dunno, but, I keep this picture on my cell phone wallpaper...

15 January, 2008

I met hate...

...on a parking metre in San Francisco. Weird, huh?

13 January, 2008

The Maverick's Surf Contest - I went, I paddled, I watched - front row!

No, I mean it. I really went. I started my day by not sleeping much the night before - I think I landed a total of about 3 hours of sleep. You'd think I was actually hand picked by Clark himself to compete. I arose at 4:10a because I wanted to park near the "trail head" and skip as much crowd action as possible. Plus - I'm a dawn patrol surfer anyway, so it's really the only way to go.

I made my way up I-280 to highway 92 West to head over to Half Moon Bay. That road takes you up the northern end of the Santa Cruz mountains. As I crested the top and began the drop-in to the coast, The Ventures "Hawaii 5-0" came up on my iPod. A better intro the this years Mavericks surf contest, I cannot imagine. It rocked!

I was at the shore in my wet suit with my 8'5" Minard tri-fin before first light. As the light broke, I surveyed the conditions as I have never been out at this break before. I don't surf big surf - at least not *this* big, and it's a foreign break to me. To the extent possible, I wanted to make sure I could actually get out and not be defeated by the inside crap. I finally made a plan for the alleged half-mile paddle to the observation area. It seemed a little crazy - but I figure it's nothing compared to folks that actually surf the place.

As I took to the water in front of the main tower (the tan shape just above the white rectangle in that picture) on the beach from which the play by play is made, I have my target through to the outside. I planned it well as the place I entered had a good rip current that helped me get out. Everything I've read about Mavericks says it is a half mile out. I call bullshit on that my friends. It's a mile if it's a metre... Maybe I picked a bad spot...

I took a fairly good rinse cycle on one set wave that penetrated the rip. It held me down pretty well - more than I would have expected from inside junk or more than I had ever experienced before from something of this size - which on the inside wasn't more than about 6 to 8 feet. I resurfaced and continued the paddle without further interference of note. Slowly the flotilla grew closer.

As I arrived at the group of boats, surfers were taking off on a set. AWWWOOOO!! I had decided at the last mavs contest that paddling out would be fun and a much better way to see this monster go off. How right I was will be clear shortly.
As it turns out, I was able to sit literally in the front row and watch an amazing show. I'm not sure how long I was out in all - I entered the water at 7:00 AM sharp and was walking past the small parking lot near the point at about 10:00 AM.

Here are the pics with only my commentary as I haven't a clue what heat each is from and who is who...
It was amazing to see, right up close, these guys dropping in on big waves. Mind you, these waves were not as big as Mav's can get. don't get me wrong - I have no desire to actually ever try that...

I finally moved up closer and joined the crowd of other observer/surfers. Plus this guy on the boogie. He said he was hoping to catch some before the contest started but that it had actually started a little early. Imagine that - on a boogie board. Dang.

Here is an un-surfed wave. As it passed through this crowd, one of the guys acted like he was going to take off on it. Seeing as how it was a competition, I think he thought better of that - didn't want the organizers (and probably his friends) to get pissed.

I had taken a sling bag along with me in which I carried a couple of disposable water cameras. The other pictures above are from an older one. The rest are from a newer one made by Polaroid.
It seems like I start getting closer here. I did, some, but also - I think this lens is a little better.

It's hard to tell, but on the picture to the left here, the surfer dropping in takes the wave to the left. Most rides at this spot seem to be favored by the rider going right. I don't know why cause the left is smokin...

I'm sure they didn't mean to make this a twin ride. Also, the guy in front is cutting off the other guy - big time blow it in surfing. Not sure how they handle that in contests. In my book, the guy at the peak should get points and the other guy should get bupkis.

Like I said - seems like we're moving into the bowl. Sitting here, the shoulder of the wave is going under us. It's not like we're in position to catch this, but here, you start to get a sense of what the wave actually means. I think it was in the movie, Riding Giants where the narrator says something along the lines of, "It's always amazing when an apparent suicide attempt turns into a great wave. There were a lot of suicide attempts that were like killer waves. I would like to ride one of these really. No - I won't ever really do anything about it...

Here, I wanted to capture the crowd of "front-rowers". Al of these guys are sitting on big wave guns (except the guy on the boogie). All of these guys are locals here. They all know each other. They all know this wave, and they know all of the guys surfing in the contest. Unlike a lot of locals at some breaks, these guys were really nice to me. It was pretty clear I was not one of them. I'm older, heavier, and what the hell is that I paddled out there? Ya - a short long board... oy.

It's hard to imagine that this wave gets bigger. Listening in on the guys I was sitting with, it sounded like it was actually dropping off during the competition. I'm sure these guys were out surfing yesterday. They were talking about going out on Sunday (13.Jan), but I had the definite impression that it just wouldn't be as good. That must have really killed them. It's hard to give up your favorite break - that only goes off every now and then - to a competition of many who are not locals.

I took this picture then looked up - I started paddling. It was fine really - I was never at any sort of risk of getting spanked by this monster, but I'm not one to wait to find out. ;-)

I had been getting cold, so decided that since it's not really practical or logical to just paddle around to warm up, I'd start to head back in. I didn't want to run the risk of hypo-thermia. Oh, and BTW, I'm guessing that the writer of the special overview of Mavericks that lists the water at 40 degrees - is a local trying to keep surfers like me out of the water. I'm guessing it is rare that the water in these parts gets below 50 like, ever...

As I was ready to paddle in, I had been given advice from one of the locals (the boogie boarder - THANK YOU!) on how to get in - just round mushroom rock and catch a ride in. I was already tired from the paddle out and if I followed this sage advice, there would be at least one more rinse cycle was in my future. There were a ton of folks out on Jet-Ski's - most were part of the tournament but the rest were there to enjoy the show. I saw one guy kinda hanging out so I paddled over and asked if he'd be willing to give me a ride in. He said "sure". SWEET! This guy is my savior! I hop on back, hold onto my board and off we go on his red, 1500 CC Super-charged personal boat.

The contest folks only allowed him to get me as far as the imaginary line between the end of the jetty and mushroom rock. So, I hop in the water after thanking him again profusely and finish my paddle in.

That's the step by step detail of my trip. What you really want to know is about the whole event. Personally, I call it an ecological disaster. I might have that wrong. However, out in the line up, I damn-near choked on the exhaust from the jet-ski's and motor boats trolling around the whole time. As well, there was a fine sheen of oil across the whole area of water in the line-up.

The folks watching from shore of course are trampling on wet - soggy earth. Most that had any view of note were getting it from the cliffs where my daughter and I watched it 2 years ago and did our share of eroding the cliffs. This is already fairly soft cliff material that seemed like sandstone to me, at best. As we have had a lot of rain lately, the amount of erosion that had to happen is just horrendous. Plus, as we'll likely get more rain, that damage will continue to be compounded.

Anyway - I had a great freaking time and am really glad I went. I would love to do it again, but realize that I might not be able to get a ride or have the stamina. You know what? Who cares... I'm planning to go again next year if it is called - that will be my 50th birthday gift to myself. ;-)

All images Copyright Daniel Hinojosa - 2008 and not authorized for re-publishing without the expressed written consent of the author / photographer (Daniel Hinojosa)


I named this blog "Surf the El Cajon Jetty" based on what someone had written on their locker door when I was in high school. I think there's a picture of that in one of my year books. If I can ever find that, I'll post it up. Anyway, if the quote doesn't make sense, google map "el cajon ca". If it *still* doesn't make sense - contact a surfer and review the whole thing with them...

Anyway - welcome. I'm Daniel Hinojosa. I live in Silicon Valley and have been here since 1989. I'm a fairly typical Silicon Valley Guy, minus the geek accouterments. Also, I'm a Chicano which you don't find too many of in tech. I'm also a surfer and that really colours my view of life and living. I've been on the net since 1988. Lot's of my previous writings are found on USENET archives by "hinojosa@*.hp.com". I don't work there anymore so don't try any of those emails.

I hope you like what you read here. Comment and let me know what you think...