Tuesday, June 30, 2015

june thirtieth

Five for June 30th:

So long June. Apparently this was the wettest St. Louis June in history, which definitely sounds right to me. Normally I love this month, but this one was kind of a bummer, at least in that respect.

Weird Al in St. Louis. This picture made my day.

Fourth of July. Plans for our second annual “watch the Forest Park fireworks from our front yard with a few friends and neighbors” party are coming together. Hopefully Jane can go the distance.

Cool stuff. Homemade vegetarian Buddha bowls, cheap 20” TIE fighter pilot, Bernie Sanders Makes History By Raising More Money Than Every GOP Presidential Candidate, Erik Elstran & Luc Legrand - Grand Belgrade Hotel, AC/DC finally coming to streaming services.

Tuesday soundtrack. Minor Threat, Dead Moon, Samhain, Husker Du, the Go-Go’s, International Noise Conspiracy, GBH.

Monday, June 29, 2015

june twenty-ninth

Five for June 29th:

Flood of ’15. Spent the better part of two hours yesterday evening in my basement, sweeping water into the sump pump with a broom as it flowed in in real-time. The joys of home ownership.

Date night. Hit up Mai Lee last night- our first night out since the baby was born- for some of the best Vietnamese food we’d collectively ever had. That place just gets better and better. Definitely one of my favorite restaurants in town.

Foxpaw. $89 and 3.5 hours later, and my freshly-cracked iPhone screen is replaced with a shiny new one. Kinda pricey, but cheaper than replacing it and a few days quicker than scheduling a “genius bar” appointment at the Apple store. Recommended.

Cool stuff. George at one month, four-day workweek, Confederate flag down, rainbow flag up: this is the American pride we've been waiting for, birthday cake at work, Bree Newsome, postcard from North Korea, Assault Skateboards HMC guest deck, hanging out with my girl.

Skating. Managed a couple of quick sessions at Webster over the weekend- one solo, one with Andy. Fun to get out and roll around in the mild weather.

Friday, June 26, 2015

june twenty-sixth

Five for June 26th:

Supreme court legalizes gay marriage nationwide. It really happened. This is definitely the proudest I’ve been to be an American in as long as I can remember. If you’re on the other side of this, you’re on the wrong side of history.

The 900. Did Tony Hawk steal it, as was alleged in All This Mayhem? The answer from everyone on the planet (with the exception of Tas Pappas) appears to be a resounding “no”. That one got put to bed pretty quickly.

Waterlogged. If there’s one bummer about our house, it’s the fact that every time there’s a heavy rain, the basement inevitably gets wet. Needless to say, I had a long, unwanted date with a push broom, sump pump, and dehumidifier this morning.

Cool stuff. Homemade oatmeal cream pies at work, getting paid, burgers and beers at 3 Kings, Snakebite Ron Wilkerson podcast interview, Iron Maiden grip tape back in stock at Infinity, Tired Video two.

Weekend action. Two days of good weather coming up, which is exciting. Hangout with Anna and Allison tonight, George’s one-month birthday tomorrow, getting some skating/bmx in, Hell Night at Fubar, exchanging a propane tank, and kicking it with the crew.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

june twenty-fifth

Five for June 25th:

Clifton Park Movie Night. The second installment of the Friends of Clifton Park movie night in CHP- Ghostbusters- takes place on August 15. Last year’s was a raging success and this year will surely be even better. Food trucks, beer coolers and Bill Murray. Be there.

Kid time. The good: this morning I had my longest stretch of uninterrupted solo George time I’ve had yet. The bad: Jane was still sleeping like a champ all the way up until I had to leave, and I didn’t get to see her at all. The good: we got some Facetime in.

Skating. Some quick curb action on the way in to work, plus a late-evening Webster skatepark session with Andy going down tonight if the weather cooperates.

Cool stuff. Amazing Airstream restoration, new picnic tent, 3 Kings for lunch, classic Mondays with Mike V episodes, Jane’s first trip to Grant’s Farm, fresh CSA haul, Jon Stewart hits another homerun.

2016 Presidential hopefuls rebranded as black metal bands. It’s so much better than you could reasonably expect.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

june twenty-fourth

Five for June 24th:

Four weeks. Little George hit the four-week mark today, and officially turns one month old on Saturday. The coolest and sweetest little dude ever. It’s amazing watching him slowly starting to grow up and take it all in.

Tim Horton’s. The Maplewood location is officially open. Will it live up to the hype? Checking it out this weekend, come rain, sleet, or snow.

Some good news. The Supreme Court just admitted it’s going to rule in favor of marriage equality, Alabama quietly removes Confederate flag from state capitol, Fox dumps Sarah Palin.

Cool stuff. Possible afternoon Webster skate sesh, Iron Maiden Book of Souls tattoo, issue-free dentist appointment, new percussion toys for Jane, Extinction is Not on the Agenda: the Story of the Street Plant Mammoth, upcoming shows: Motorhead at the Pageant and 7 Seconds at the Demo.

Playing drums. Been getting the itch to play with actual people again on an actual drum kit. Nothing serious. Who wants to jam?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

june twenty-third

Five for June 23rd:

Webster Groves. They have a rad little slab-style skatepark at the rec plex next to the old Splash park that I completely forgot existed, and it’s literally 5 minutes from my house. Free and lit up in the evenings! Gotta hit it soon.

Ray Underhill. Powell is rolling out a reissue of the classic first Ray Underhill graphic- which would be awesome, but they have seemingly decided to stick it on a completely different shape than the original. Still pretty cool overall, but not really sure I understand the logic behind that decision.

Walmart. Apparently they are removing items promoting the Confederate flag from its stores and website, much to the chagrin of mouth-breathing, rascal-driving rednecks everywhere.

Cool stuff. Getting the front lawn mowed, playing with Jane at Clifton Park, pink paratrooper, lunchtime freestylin’, leftover pizza, Plan B: True and High Fidelity on Netflix.

Tuesday soundtrack. Ideal Free Distribution, Fox and the Law, Metallica, Black Hollies, Samhain, Deep Purple, Mushuganas.

Monday, June 22, 2015

june twenty-second

Five for June 22nd:

Father’s day. Thanks to Lisa, Jane and George for making my third father’s day (as a father) the best ever. Being a dad rules. Looking forward to many more.

The Mothership. We are now the proud owners of a 2009 Honda Odyssey minivan, which is like sailing around in a luxury cruise liner after being crammed into Lisa’s old Fit. DVD player, zoned AC, power everything, sun roof, stow and go- the works. We’re going to be rolling in serious style on this summer’s vacation road trip.

Skating. In addition to father’s day (and the summer solstice), yesterday was International Go Skateboarding Day. Luckily, the weather cooperated for a bit and I managed to get a session in at JB between rainstorms.

Cool stuff. President Obama Marc Maron podcast, Ben Raybourn old school Dew Tour run, Jane getting in some quality cousin time, Tony Hawk’s All This Mayhem response interview, amazing Blockhead reissues, afternoon flatland sesh in the works, Clifton Heights puddle patrol.

Burned out. Finally had a window yesterday to get some work done on the back lawn, which was overgrown to an absurd degree following a week of steady rain. It was a tough job, but if I didn’t get it done then it would have gotten past the point of my meager garden tools being able to make a dent in it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

june nineteenth

Five for June 19th:

Jon Stewart on Charleston. There's a reason everyone is posting this today. Do yourself a favor and watch Jon Stewart once again perfectly, sadly articulate the reality of a completely heartbreaking and ultimately avoidable situation.

Baby George. Hard to believe my little dude will be a month old next week! Such a super sweet and amazing kid already. Lisa got his first documented smile photo yesterday, which I can’t stop looking at.

Old bones brigade. Hit up Ramp Riders last night for Andy’s birthday skate jam with a whole slew of dudes I haven’t seen in a month or more. Good times despite the fact that it was sweltering hot, completely packed, and I skated like crap.

Cool stuff. New issue of Ride BMX, hitting Ranchito, Let’s Go Skate! Powell Peralta Midwest tour video, Sumatra coffee at my desk, popcorn Friday.

Weekend action. Looks like the relentless rain of the past week is winding down tonight for a mostly sunny weekend. Activities include possibly looking at vans, Father’s day get-together with family, Go Skateboarding Day on Sunday, hacking my way through my overgrown lawn, and spending time with the crew.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

june eighteenth

Five for June 18th:

New Iron Maiden. Day made: Iron Maiden’s 16th studio album Book of Souls is getting released on 9/4, with four songs clocking in around 5 minutes each, which gives me great hope. Up the Irons.

Thursday a.m. Catalog meeting postponed, second pot of strong coffee brewing, jamming Marked Men, diving in.

Too many birthdays. About six friends getting the ol’ Danzig birthday card via Facebook today. Consider yourselves lucky.

Cool stuff. Dawn patrol boardslide sesh before the drizzle started back up, Juice Magazine Kevin Harris interview, Beth Bombara album premiere, new blender for morning smoothies (Jane with the assist), Mike Vallely X Games Real Street part.

Gyro grill. Checked it out yesterday with Tom, and will definitely be hitting it again soon. Super fast, food was amazing, prices were reasonable. Psyched for a new and quick lunch option.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

june seventeenth

Five for June 17th:

Newborn photos. A small gallery of pictures of George (and a few of the rest of us) got posted yesterday, and they came out great. Can’t wait to get a few of them framed up.

Java. Picked up a little five-cup coffee maker last night for my office. K-cups are just a massive waste of money and resources, and I was tired of contributing to it. Now I can fire up pots of awesome coffee all day and not feel like a total asshole. Winner: everyone.

Crappy weather. Nothing but rain in the forecast for the rest of the week and almost all weekend. Plans for bike commuting, lawn mowing, and pretty much everything else being on indefinite hold is a huge bummer.

Cool stuff. ‘86 Socko AFA contest on Youtube, Schafly Summer Lager in abundant supply, “Checkers” cereal with Janey, Thrasher Clive Dixon interview, new fan for the back room, yogurt popsicles, locking down a session at Ramp Riders.

Worst dude ever. Not many of these guys out trolling St. Louis skateparks, but I’ve definitely seen them around every now and then. Hilarious and well worth a watch.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

june sixteenth

Five for June 16th:

Sweet Z’s. After a couple of rough nights and long days, George (and subsequently Lisa) had a much-needed excellent night of sleep. Lisa is the ultimate trooper- and in case I haven’t said it enough, truly the best mom ever.

June 21. Not only is it Father’s Day, it’s also international Go Skateboarding Day. Two of my favorite things celebrated on the same day? Count me in.

The bottomless thumb drive. I am currently in possession of a Lexar flash drive that has seemingly limitless storage. I’ve been dumping three to four hundred photos into it every couple of weeks for probably eight months or more, and it just keeps on keeping on. Best $4.99 I’ve ever spent.

Cool stuff. Ken McCray RFT article, Savannah Slamma on Youtube, lollipops with Jane, Gawker’s Moment of Truth, These Are the Sad Remains of the Soviet Space Shuttle Program, Gyro Grill in the Loop.

Tuesday soundtrack. Black Fast, Melvins, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Hellacopters, Cerebral Ballzy, Rites of Spring.

Monday, June 15, 2015

june fifteenth

Five for June 15th:

Parenthood. A combination of Jane coming down with a fever out of nowhere, a newborn that wants to eat 24 hours a day, constant threats of rain, and oppressively muggy temperatures all weekend made for a pretty exhausting couple of days. Alas, it’s all totally worth it.

Free lunch. Who says there’s no such thing? Company anniversary lunch today. All you can eat BBQ and other randomness. Keep your plate.

Jeff Grosso. New season of Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding started up recently and the latest crop of episodes have been awesome, which is no surprise. Hands down one of the best things on the Internet.

Cool stuff. Friday night flatland, Sunday morning skate sesh at JB, Golden Grahams, Kink BMX East Coast Road Trip, smokehouse almonds.

The Loop. Construction on the pointless, gimmicky “Loop trolley” officially kicked into full gear over the weekend, with a full lane of already-congested Delmar closed and a parking lane converted to handle the rest of the traffic. I am all for public transportation, but this thing is a fucking travesty that is putting the last nail in the coffin for any level of cool-factor the Loop may have still had.

Friday, June 12, 2015

june twelfth

Five for June 12th:

Hanging out. Had Mary and Keith over last night to meet George, eat pizza, and drink Summer Lager on the back deck. We need to kick it with those guys more often. Looking forward to their wedding in July.

Tamir Rice's killer faces potential murder charges. It’s a bad week to be a cop who gets off on committing brutal crimes against minorities and getting away with it. Let’s hope the grand jury makes the right decision on this one.

Cutting loose. Afternoon flatland jam yesterday (getting painfully close to pulling a couple of tricks I’ve never done before) and got in a few short and sweet curbslides in the Loop this morning.

Cool stuff. Reuben sandwich at Vernon’s, 50 things that are definitely, 100 percent confirmed punk, new issue of Juice magazine, getting paid, vacation creeping closer, spinach and feta wrap.

Weekend action. Iffy-looking weather on Saturday and Sunday means iffy plans. Lots of hanging out with the kids, hopefully getting to the park once or twice, coffee at Rise, chilling with Seth and Lindsay on Sunday, and whatever else comes along.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

june eleventh

Five for June 11th:

Pro tip. If you were invited to an event via Facebook but can't attend, simply just not going is a million times more preferable to the organizer than a post on the event page explaining why you won't be there. Take it from a guy who has done a lot of them. If you really feel like you have to quantify it, just send the person a message.

AV Club on Calvin & Hobbes. Calvin didn’t have trouble focusing on the world around him; he had trouble reconciling himself to the fact that the world around him was such a disappointment. The reason the strip appealed to people both young and old is because Calvin was feeling underwhelmed at a college graduate level.

Bachelor Brigade. This picture of Tony Hawk's bachelor party skate jam yesterday has been making the rounds, and is just 100% pure stoke. Makes me want to set my Hawk reissue up and take it out.

Cool stuff. Dennis Enarson/Pat Casey backyard jam, homemade chili, new double stroller, Aldi Larabars, afternoon BMX riding.

R.I.P. Christopher Lee. Bummer news. Tonight might call for a Lord of the Rings marathon. Or at least, half of “Fellowship of the Ring” before I fall asleep on the couch.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

june tenth

Five for June 10th:

Shakespeare’s Pizza. Even though I never lived in CoMo, I spent plenty of time at Shakespeare’s over the years- it was the locale of quite a few date nights with Lisa early on in our relationship. Weird and sad to see it empty and gutted. You bastards better leave Booches alone.

Columbia House revisited. My friend Annie conducted an interview for Onion AV Club that is a must-read. Pound for pound some of best insight (and funniest quotes) on the demise of the recorded music industry ever compiled in one place.

McKinney cop resigns. Kinda bummed that he had the luxury of resigning of his own volition and not being summarily stripped of his badge and thrown out on the street, but this is a good start. So really all that's left is for him to be arrested and imprisoned for assaulting a minor and I guess we're good.

Cool stuff. Jane going to Circus Flora today, affordable Street Plant decks finally for sale, lunch with Tom/afternoon solo sesh, evenings on the back patio, Matt's real chocolate chip cookies, new set of mechanical pencils.

eBay Watch. The newest installment just went up and is chock full of amazing stuff, including an unreal G&S Neil Blender “faces” deck, a never before seen Brand X, and some pristine Zorlacs, amongst others. I could look at these all day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

june ninth

Five for June 9th:

Riding the abandoned Silverdome. Setting aside the fact that this is essentially just a giant glorified Red Bull advertisement, this is seriously has to be one of the most insane video edits ever. Unreal.

Kid garb. On Sunday Lisa said to me "you really need to get George a Thrasher onesie. You always said you were going to with Jane and you never did". How can I argue with that?

Flatland. Super fun, sweltering sundown session last night at the usual spot. Came closer to sticking boomerangs than I ever have before, but didn't quite roll away clean. Next time.

Cool stuff. George’s best night of sleep yet, new issue of Transworld Skateboarding, cheap water table for Jane, the Brooklyn skateboard collector and historian, Star Cops, Real GTA, afternoon cruise, salami sandwiches.

Tuesday soundtrack. The Clash, Servotron, Man or Astro-Man?, Dead Kennedys, Tilts, Los Straightjackets, Off!, Dillinger Four.

Monday, June 8, 2015

june eighth

Five for June 8th:

McKinney, Texas. You have to admit, that tiny little pathetic cop's adrenaline-fueled commando roll was pretty damn funny, if nothing else.

Around the house. Mowed, weeded, installed a new outlet cover (with Jane’s help), emptied the dehumidifier in the basement about nine times, remembered to take out the trash, and replaced the busted handle on the front door.

Skating/riding. Didn’t get much in this weekend, but did manage a quick and dirty solo sesh on a newly-discovered smooth white curb and a few early evening dork-arounds in the back yard. Also squeezed in a sweaty flatland ride on Friday evening. Better than nothing.

Cool stuff. Slip n’ slide, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Depot dogs, CWE Einstein’s, getting some drumming in, amazing new Per Welinder reissue colorway, Former South Carolina Officer Is Indicted in Death of Walter Scott.

Family photos. Don’t let the deceptively calm mood of the pictures fool you- this was a morning of sheer, Jane-fueled chaos. Luckily we were able to get a few good ones out of the deal. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

Friday, June 5, 2015

june fifth

Five for June 5th:

National donut day. Even though every day is donut day, today is national donut day. What does that mean? Who knows. Eat a donut. Also, good to see St. Louis Hills Donut Shop finally getting some love. Best apple fritters on the planet.

Flying solo. Lisa is home alone today with the two kids for the first time since her maternity leave began. Looks like things are going pretty well so far.

Wellston PD. Officially disbanded yesterday after a “series of embarrassments”- although I would argue that “embarrassments” is too lenient a term. Good riddance, and keep 'em coming.

Cool stuff. Feels like Wednesday but it’s actually Friday, busting out the Haro Freestyler Vans, afternoon cruising, catching up on South Park, Left Hand Milk Stout.

Weekend action. Making any sort of social plans on the weekends is out the window for a while with a newborn in tow. That said: Sloppy Seconds tonight at Fubar (big maybe), taking some family pictures, hopefully sneaking in a skate session somewhere, hitting a few parks with the crew, and doing some stuff around the house. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

june fourth

Five for June 4th:

Baby G. Officially turned one week old yesterday. Celebrated with his first bit of tummy time and followed it up with a great night of sleep.

Ride BMX. Evening solo mission to some neighborhood speed bumps, ditches, and parking lots went down yesterday evening after the family was in bed. Good times.

The bridge. An unofficial last jam at Kingshighway is going down on June 13th with a 24-hour skate session, bands, and food- although I’m sure people will be skating that place up until the bulldozers roll in. Nicely done STLToday article/video on it as well.

Cool stuff. Nonstop Fun in St. Louis (featuring my good friend Paige Brubeck), Villa road trip – Magala, Ring 5A for the Secret Skateshop of Washington Heights, goofing off in the backyard with Jane, Edith Wharton reviews the Starbucks now located in her childhood home.

Thursday soundtrack. Led Zeppelin, the Sword, Descendents, Baroness, Motorhead, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Guns n' Roses, DEVO.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

june third

Five for June 3rd:

George Picker. Our amazing son was born last Wednesday, May 27th, clocking in at 21” and almost 9 lbs following a very quick, issue-free delivery. Full head of hair just like his sister. He rules, and I can't wait to watch him grow up.

Jane. She is proving to be a great big sister already; super sweet with George and helping Lisa out with taking care of him any chance she gets. She’s also not falling into any of the weird sibling regressions we kept hearing about (at least nothing serious), which is a huge relief.

Lisa. There are few things in the world that can be more taxing than being the mother of a newborn, but Lisa handles it with a level of love, patience and stamina that I can hardly imagine. Best mom and overall human being ever.

Cool stuff. Dear Skating H-Street team shirts, Merritt Trifecta BMX multi-tool, Santa Cruz Eric Dressen deck, new issue of Thrasher (with sticker sheet), taking Jane to Turtle Park, pair of kid-sized Adirondack chairs and Target gift card from my rad coworkers, Rolling Stones Brown Sugar alternate take, evening curb sesh at Deer Creek.

Thank-you's. Doris for watching Jane for a few days, various family and friends for making/bringing food, Denise for taking care of a ton of my work while I was out, Anna and Allison for taking Jane to the botanical garden when we needed a break, Brian Scheffer for fixing up my e-drums for $20, the superb staff at MoBap, and everyone else for the well-wishes and good vibes.