You can tell it's summer in Long Beach when Zeep the Sheep, the plastic mascot of Fire Station 2, models his latest Speedo suit (after apparently surviving a shark attack) (see photo).
• Another sign of the wonderful weather is the explosion of yard and garage sales and swap meets this time of the year (though I admit I wasn't so happy about the shopper who parked in my driveway one Saturday morning and, when I asked her to leave, said, "Oh, I'll only be a couple of minutes.")
• But generally I love the excitement, especially the signs with all their misspellings, such as "Hugh Sale" (see photo) and "Ton's of Crap." ( I think a"Yard Sail" sign that I once spotted was a joke.)
And perhaps the "Dope Yard Sale" near my house (see photo) was also a put-on. Lord knows, I searched and searched for its source, figuring that I owed it to my readers to sample it. Oh well — the "Dope Yard Sale" concept doesn't have the same shock value it had a few elections ago.
• The sales techniques for some of the garage/yard sales are interesting.
One Long Beachite, instead of offering cookies and punch, volunteered to tell visitors "Free Jokes" while they shopped.
• One resident who was having trouble atttracting shoppers offered "Nude Nude Nude Live Continuous Dancing (by Bill)" (see photo).
I'm especially drawn to the sales that have a hint of danger — such as the Los Alamitos event whose sign said: "No Dogs, Snakes, Rollerblades..."
I suspect nude-live-continuous-dancing Bill approved of that last prohibition.
You can't talk about summer without a mention of the ocean, and, of course, the surf. (Set aside the fact that Long Beach, with its breakwater, is more of a lake than an ocean.)
I read in the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo magazine that some grad students are trying to develop "a smart surfboard... Sensors embedded in the fin would send information like paddling rate, number and length of rides, and position on the board to an app, which the user could analyze to improve performance..."
Gee, things have changed since zonked-out So Cal surfer Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) declared in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982): "All I need are some tasty waves, cool buzz and I'm fine."
Surfers embracing nerds ... who'd-a thunk it!
Surfer Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at @sharvey9.