Sunday morning my friends Eric and Brandon joined me for a standup paddle workout off the Malibu coastline. It was an unusually warm day for mid-winter and we set out for a short jaunt to the pier at Paradise Cove, a little over a mile up the beach. We were cruising along at a good clip, and almost there, when a pod of 12 dolphins surprised us by surfacing near us heading in the opposite direction. And when I say near, I mean some of them were within a few feet – maybe inches – of our boards. Eric suggested we turn around and try to catch them. I was skeptical that we could go fast enough, seeing how quickly they had passed us, but after watching for a minute or so and seeing that they had slowed, we gave chase. Within a few more minutes we had caught up with them, almost as if they had been waiting for us, and we proceeded to paddle slowly with them for the next mile or so. It was incredible to see 12 of these magnificent creatures surface and dive – and expel their loud breaths – within just a few feet of us for so long. I’m sure they were having as much fun as we were. The water was fairly clear, so we could see them down to about 12 feet below us as they looked for food. A few were quite young, but several must have weighed 500-600 pounds. The three of us were in awe of how lucky we were to have hit upon just the right conditions. As we cruised south along the coastline in this motley little parade, many of the beach residents started gathering on their porches to check out the action. We drew quite a crowd.
First I got this email from reader Rodney:
As I read yet another awesome recipe on your blog today I realized that you frequently include different varieties of pepper. As someone coming from a lifetime of bland Midwest eating I wanted to suggest a future post on all things pepper. I have no idea of the degree of hotness, best or most common uses, or even where to get them. Chipotle, serrano, pasilla, jalapeno, …the list goes on. If I was more educated I could then substitute the appropriate pepper if your recipe included a variety that was too hot, too hard to find locally, or whatever. No need to reply, I just wanted to make a suggestion. Thanks again for the ongoing education!
And then this comment from reader Stacey:
In the early days of Mark’s Daily Apple we used to have a little fun every now and again by covering ludicrous processed food monstrosities. There was the pizza cone, the deep fried potato on a stick, the deep fried macaroni and cheese ball, the Oreo pizza, and the chocolate chip pancakes and sausage on a stick to name just a few. To call these things “food” is almost an insult to all the natural, whole, real foods that nature has given us. “Junk food” is the go-to term for this garbage, but can’t we do better? How about “synthesnacks”? “Fake-o-food”? “Machine-o-meal”? “Foodraceuticals?” Meh. It needs some work. (Coin your own fake food term in the comment boards.)
Well, we were looking through the archives, feeling nostalgic, and this got us wondering what sort of new crackpot culinary creations are making the rounds on the net.
Here are some of the latest worth a good laugh (or a few tears…):
Dear readers, it’s time to get real.
I realize that most of you probably don’t think you need a lecture. You may not need any further motivation. You’re eating good, whole foods, getting daily exercise, and things are going well. For the most part, Grok gazes upon you with twinkling, approving eyes. But what of newcomers? What of the average doughy citizen happily bumbling along in blissful ignorance, unaware that his or her dietary habits and devotion to Conventional Wisdom might actually be counterproductive to those goals implicit in all forms of life, great or small? Survival, contentedness, and prosperity. Surely he deserves a harsh check of reality.
I got this email from a reader a couple months ago and was reminded of it when I stumbled across some old race photos recently.
I saw your photo on your blog post called Washboard Abs on a High-Fat Diet, No Ab Workouts and No Cardio and it got me wondering what you looked like as an endurance athlete when you were younger. Did you look like a typical long distance runner with hardly any muscle mass to speak of? You’ve noted that you used to eat a high-carb diet. How, if at all, do you think this played into your body composition at the time? Also, do you have any photos to share?!
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