Friday, December 29, 2017

2017

Five for 2017:

Highlights. Despite the national/social/political turmoil, 2017 was actually pretty awesome. Some highlights include: turned 40, work/family trips to California, Florida, and Lake of the Ozarks, took Jane to the RV show and a bunch of toy shows, had a super successful Blind Eyes reunion and some Jag-Wires fill-in gigs, got lunch with Stephen Egerton, hung out with Steve Zing and Liane Curtis, bike ride and dinner on the Katy Trail for Lisa’s birthday, summer days at the pool, celebrated both Jane and George’s birthdays at the playground, served on a jury, logged hundreds of miles of road-bike commuting, and built the kids a backyard fort and just generally had an awesome time being a dad.

Family. Lisa continues to blow me away with her unending patience and dedication to the kids, her work, and social justice. Between endlessly searching for the best school choices for Jane and George, going to protest marches and Black Lives Matter rallies, taking the kids on “surprise adventures”, researching healthy food and lifestyle options and working to try to further education opportunities for the underprivileged, she still finds time to get up and go to yoga almost every day at 6 am. Jane is as sweet, smart and opinionated as ever- blossoming into an amazing artist over the last twelve months- and George turned from a complacent, babbling toddler into a sharp, train-obsessed, super verbal little boy seemingly overnight.

Progression. In addition to a ton of road riding, I really picked BMX back up this year and have been getting back in to flatland riding in a big way, along with ramp and street. On the skating front, I’ve made a bunch of strides from innumerable daytime sessions at the ditch and the Schnucks curbs, throwing down long slappys, frontside disasters and a ton of other tricks I couldn’t even come close to at the beginning of the year.

Top shows. Iron Maiden, Red Kross, Descendents (who we got to watch from the stage), Hell Night, Essential Knots, Blaze Bayley, MCF, The Sword, Ghost, MDC, Toxic Reasons, Exodus, Obituary.

2018. I always contemplate ending this blog as I’ve been doing it for so long and in some ways feel the content has become kind of redundant, but at the same time I’m still enjoying it, so I guess we’ll get at least one more year out of it. Seeya in ’18.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

december twenty-eighth

Five for December 28th:

Workaround. YouTube via the Firefox browser on Fire TV is literally exactly the same interface as the now-deactivated YouTube app, which means we don’t have to mess with changing over to a Roku or some other YouTube-supported platform after all. Bam.

Pizza day. One of the outside firms we work with is bringing in pizza today for everyone. While I won’t be partaking, it was a nice gesture.

23 Mag. I’d seen some stuff on this site before, but just yesterday discovered their treasure trove of archived vintage BMX magazines. Veritable tons of old BMX Plus, Freestylin’, Go, BMX Action and more to read through and drool over.

Cool stuff. Fresh shave, evening water-sliding, George’s star sheep (“it jumps over the moon!”), O’Toole out.

Minor bummers. Slow leak in one of my tires, brake light out, lost a tooth filling this morning.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

december twenty-seventh

Five for December 27th:

One year of clean eating. On this day in 2016 I cut bread, cheese, candy, soda, beer, artificial ingredients and empty calories out of my diet, and what started as a thirty-day challenge turned into a solid twelve months of feeling better than ever before while shedding somewhere in the range of 30 lbs and knocking 4-6 inches off the waist. Kicking off my fortieth year in by far the best shape of my life feels like an awesome and unbelievable achievement. Here's to many more.

The big chill. 4 degrees outside for the drive in to work this morning, with no real relief in sight. Weeks like this make me question why I continue to live here. Luckily most of the rest of the year is to my liking.

Animal Chin Ramp Steps. A friend of mine hipped me to the existence of this video last night. From what I can tell, it’s basically a bunch of compiled introductory segments that were filmed for a ramp building how-to video that ultimately never got made. Check it out and bask in the weirdness.

Cool stuff. $19 QFX J-7 cassette boombox, Homeless BMX videos on YouTube, Trump From Russia With Love, Ranchito with Tom and Brian, office fruit, morning Wild Kratts with Janey and Thomas races with George.

Free evening. Steam-rooming and hot-tubbing directly after work at the Heights, followed by either a Ramp Riders bike session, Mr. Show Trivia at Fortune Teller, or sitting on my ass on the couch.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

december twenty-sixth

Five for December 26th:

Xmas 2017. Great four-days off with the family. Lots of amazing food, gift giving/receiving, and general holiday merriment, framed by a couple days of snow for good measure.

Janey. My little girl lost her first baby tooth over the weekend, with another wiggly one coming up right behind it. She handled it like a champ and got a visit from the tooth fairy and a crisp one-dollar bill out of the deal.

Getting action. Whatever balmy-ish weather we had over the last few weeks is long gone at this point, but that didn’t stop the fun: Hit the two-story indoor waterslide at the Heights with Jane, popped off a few bonelesses in the backyard, got in a couple of really good flatland sessions and sledded/snowboarded at Clifton Park.

Cool stuff. Powell Vato Rat deck and Caballero sticker from Lisa, paleo coffee cake, found my Starbucks card, fresh salmon, paid off the CC, new fire pit for the backyard.

Tuesday soundtrack. Circle Jerks, Dust, Alice Cooper, The Black Keys, KMFDM, Love and Rockets, Mountain, GWAR, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Voivod, D.R.I., Venom.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

december twenty-first

Five for December 21st:

Shortest day of the year. Even though we’ve barely scratched the surface of the wintry weather to come, it’s all uphill from here as the days get longer and we inch back toward spring.

Jessica Jones. I’m not really sure why I abandoned this show initially, but I’m back on board and digging it. Next up: Iron Fist.

Hip-hop treasure trove. Someone apparently traded in a huge collection of vintage hip-hop cassettes at Vintage Vinyl recently, cause I scored seven tapes worth of Run DMC, Eazy-E, N.W.A. and Digital Underground for $0.99 each yesterday- and that was just a little bit of what they had.

Cool stuff. Three free Ramones coasters, morning space adventures with Jane, grande dark roast, Ranchito with Tom and Brian, House of Eight Legs RFT article.

Long weekend action. Four days off coming up for some Christmas celebrations, Hell Night at Sinkhole, flatland session or two on the Haro Sport, swimming/hot-tubbing at the Heights, and generally enjoying the last extended weekend for awhile.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

december twentieth

Five for December 20th:

Internal clock. The fact that I’ve slept till 7 am twice in the last few days gives me hope that it’s finally starting to recalibrate to the time change. I’ve never had this much trouble getting my sleep cycle on track after losing DST, with 5:30 wake-ups starting to become routine.

Pot luck, round two. Our annual sales department holiday pot luck is going down today, hot on the heels of the wildly-successful thanksgiving version. Tons of good stuff, much of which I won’t be touching, but what’re you gonna do?

Xmas swag. Popcorn tin, Martin Strings portable cooler, bag of Goshen Moonstone coffee, cookies from neighbors, metal chopsticks.

Cool stuff. Fresh tube of Blistex, A $4 Billion Dollar Reason Why Your City's Innovation District Needs a Skate (and Bike) Park, iPhone photo dump, 18" video-gaming flatscreen TV from Aunt Harriet (thanks!).

Quote of the day. “If you liked hearing baby boomers complain about how they did everything for us and no one appreciates it, you’ll love the next 40 years of Generation X.” -Maija

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

december ninteenth

Five for December 19th:

Kickoff meeting. In the office early today for the 2018 kickoff. There’s going to be some pretty killer stuff coming down the pike with Alvarez, Dixon Drums and a bunch more. Excited to see some of the stuff in person in Anaheim next month.

Night errors. Fell asleep on the couch last night for probably 30 minutes, which of course threw my whole night off and I didn’t end up getting back to sleep until after midnight. It’s amazing the charge your brain can get off a half-hour catnap.

Banza. One thing I’ve learned after a year of whole-eating is that it’s easy to sub for pasta and grains. Want noodles? Spiralize some zucchini. Want rice? Get some riced cauliflower. However, the king of the non-pasta pasta is Banza, which are chick-pea noodles that are completely indistinguishable from the real thing. Game changer.

Cool stuff. Egg white bites, playing robot dad with George, pre-loading my office coffee maker, Haro: The Rise of BMX Freestyle, Vol. 2, Elevation bar restock, the steam room at the Heights.

Tuesday soundtrack. Fu Manchu, Iced Earth, Grateful Dead, Emperor, The Shrine, Death Breath, Cheap Trick, Saxon, The Vandals, Accept, Budgie.

Monday, December 18, 2017

december eighteenth

Five for December 18th:

One week until Christmas. And I’m still wearing shorts.

It died so others could live. The 2006 GT Performer Chad gave me a few years ago before he moved to London has proven the ultimate organ donor, with the kneesaver bars, brakes, wheels, tires, pegs and seatpost all parted out to different projects.

Date night. A line stretching around the block thwarted our plans to check out Shake Shack last night, so we re-routed to Retreat for some cocktails, salad and poutine.

Cool stuff. Free Dig poster and Source sticker sheet, $50 Starbucks gift card, Sledge Hammer! complete series on YouTube, 12 ft HDMI cable, new socks, blueberry RX bar.

Office quote of the day. "The only way I'd move to St. Charles is like, if my family was in danger."

Friday, December 15, 2017

december fifteenth

Five for December 15th:

Net Neutrality. Come on, people. This was an Obama-era regulation so obviously, it had to be done away with. You all know how this works by now. Here’s hoping the rage of the populace over this obvious perversion of law prevails before it gets any further.

Feng shui. Came in and did a ton of cleaning and de-cluttering at my desk this morning. It was starting to feel like the walls were closing in. Definitely nice to change things up every once in awhile.

The Defenders. About four episodes in, and it’s awesome, as most of the Netflix/Marvel Ubiverse series are. I never finished Jessica Jones, so I should probably go back and revisit that at some point.

Cool stuff. Salted caramel Halo Top, 2017 photos ordered, free Source BMX t-shirt, $1.42 Lineage Sport, Seth interview and new tune, found my sunglasses.

Weekend action. 60-degree Saturday on the horizon and a weekend ultimately free of too many concrete plans. Hanging out with the kids, possible bike tooling/riding with Greg, date night with Lisa on Sunday (Star Wars?), any remaining xmas prep.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

december fourteenth

Five for December 14th:

Bad dream house. George woke up around 1 am, apparently having had some sort of Henry-related bad dream, the details of which Lisa couldn’t quite decipher. I think this may be the first time that has ever happened. Luckily everyone managed to get back to sleep without much trouble.

The bigger issue. While I'm happy with and encouraged by the Alabama results, the fact that it was such a huge surprise that the guy who diddled a bunch of kids in his car didn't win by a landslide speaks volumes about where we're at right now as a country.

Parenthood. I did a loud, Nelson Muntz-style "ha-ha!" to my two-year-old son yesterday evening after telling him that I get to boss him around for at least the next 16 years.

Cool stuff. Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory About Alabama Election Gets A Brutal Reality Check, leftover Sugarfire, GT Demo Tape on YouTube, watching old Kevin Robinson footage, free coffee.

Quote of the day. "Yes, President Donald Trump has sexually harassed women. This concludes my ethics investigation." -Lindy West

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

december thirteenth

Five for December 13th:

Night shreds. Plans to hit Ramp Riders were aborted due to the fact that they were closed for their holiday party. The session was re-routed to Brian’s garage mini, where much raging went down and good times were had.

Free lunch. Sugarfire bbq at work today, along with a giant table full of assorted junk food I won’t be going anywhere near.

Alabama. A whole bunch of white southern Americans are waking up this morning to the horrifying realization that yes, black people can vote. Ruh-roh.

Cool stuff. Sold the Salba, watermelon Luden’s, afternoon flatland plans, George’s new (much-needed) haircut, xmas Vato Rat.

Quote of the day. “You just watched a grown man and thrice-elected public official learn that there are people who aren't Christian.” -my brother

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

december twelfth

Five for December 12th:

Stripped down. Took me about 45 minutes last night to get all the rusty hardware off that Brad Smith board. Replaced the dry-rotted bushings in the vintage Indys and switched out the bearings in the Rat Bones to something that actually rolled, and set them up on my McGill. No sense letting good hardware go to waste.

Sick buddy. George came down with a fever yesterday, undoubtedly inherited from his sister who had one over the weekend. Poor dude. Parental immune systems are holding strong, for now.

Giant Robot. Thumbed through a few old issues the other day. That magazine was so damn good. Fun fact: Martin and Eric’s monthly “ten things” lists were more or less the inspiration for this whole blog.

Cool stuff. Hackers on Pluto TV, cheap rear Tektro for the Performer, Koto jacket, late skate with Andy at Ramp Riders tonight, Turning Corners: A St. Louis Skatepark Project.

Tuesday soundtrack. Cro-Mags, Zeke, Mercyful Fate, Rodriguez, Morbid Angel, Mastodon, Priestess, Riverboat Gamblers, Neil Young, Fu Manchu, Dwarves.

Monday, December 11, 2017

december eleventh

Five for December 11th:

Good start to a week. Before I even got inside the building this morning, my buddy Dennis handed me a vintage Uncle Wiggley Brad Smith complete skateboard with Rat Bones and Indys and said "Merry Christmas". Thanks dude- totally unexpected and beyond radical.

Flatland tricks I’m working on. Forward and reverse steamrollers, boomerangs, front yards, double-peg grinds on the Webster sub box.

YouTube. Looks like some dumb schoolyard feud with Amazon is causing Google to yank YouTube from FireTV in January, which essentially means so long, Firestick.

Cool stuff. New (touchscreen-compatible) gloves, fifty bucks in spiff cash, Southwest Diner revisited, hanging out with Greg, Mr. Show Trivia Night, finding the Elf with Jane, Shad Johnson interview.

Foxpaw visit. The battery on my iPhone was already draining at an absurd pace and the charge port was starting to get gummed up and not recognizing cables, but my screen cracking on Friday night sealed the deal. Nice to have everything back to working order, especially with a trip to California coming up next month.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

december sixth

Five for December 6th:

Backyard footage circa ’97. Stumbled randomly across a YouTube video yesterday that contains the only footage of my old backyard ramp (1:59) that I’ve ever seen. Crazy.

Things I’ve been offered for the bike I’m selling on Craigslist. Eight hours of tattoo work, other (shitty) bikes, substantially less money than the “firm” price I have listed.

Free lunch. Sugarfire at the office next Wednesday for the annual holiday feast. Definitely stepping it up this year.

Cool stuff. Free K-cups, Time Person of the Year 2017: The Silence Breakers, morning M.A.S.K. with Jane, Agent Orange at Fubar in August, Ray-Bans.

Long weekend action. Taking off tomorrow and Friday to use up some remaining 2017 vacation time. Loose plans include hanging out with the kids, potential trip to Ramp Riders or Figure 8 trails, selling a bike, going to the post office, Essential Knots at Off Broadway, and the last toy show of 2017.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

december fifth

Five for December 5th:

Stranger Things 2. Finally finished it up last night. If that doesn’t go down in history as one of the best shows ever made, I’ll eat my hat. So unbelievably good.

Thirty years ago today. December 5th, 1987, the 2-Hip KOV Enchanted Ramp Jam went down in Ron Wilkerson's backyard in Leucadia, CA. Probably one of the most famous/recognizable BMX contests ever held.

Quote of the day. “The President stole your land.” -Patagonia

Cool stuff. Half of Tucker’s face in the new issue of Thrasher, Iron Maiden action figures (on sale 12/7 at 2 minutes to midnight), got a buyer for the Decade, homemade trail mix, berry La Croix.

Tuesday soundtrack. In Flames, At The Drive-In, Lizzy Borden, Adolescents, Patti Smith, Deep Purple, Bathory, Montrose, GBH, Bolt Thrower, X, Naked Raygun, The Clash.

Monday, December 4, 2017

december fourth

Five for December 4th:

Last day of spring. Over 70 degrees today, with a drop to more December-ish temperatures starting tomorrow and continuing unabated for the foreseeable future. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Riding bikes. Got a good ten mile (or so) ride in on Grant’s Trail followed by a great flatland session at the lot where I started working on proper forward Steamrollers, plus got in a fun ride with Jane, who was cruising around like a seasoned pro. Good stuff.

For sale by owner. Parting with a bunch of old Misfits shirts and a Powell Steve Saiz complete (SOLD) on eBay, and my ’87 Mongoose decade on Craigslist. Go buy them and help me fund a 2017 Lineage Sport.

Cool stuff. Three-day work week, good leftovers, potential afternoon slappy session, got the front and side yards raked, energy balls.

Tis the season. Got the tree up and the house decorated Saturday, to the unadulterated joy of the kids, who spent the weekend locating hidden elves and watching the train make the loop for hours on end.

Friday, December 1, 2017

december first

Five for December 1st:

December. This year absolutely flew by. I seriously cannot believe it’s already the last month of 2017. That said, it should be a fun one, with a couple of four-day weekends in the mix.

Ramp attack. BMX session at Ramp Riders for the first time ever last night. Had a killer time. Sore in weird spots this morning, which is always a good feeling. Thanks to Greg and Paul for putting up with my lack of ability.

Mike Flynn. “Promised full cooperation to the Mueller team and is prepared to testify that candidate Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians”. I don’t want to count chickens, but in the immortal words of Diamond Joe Biden, this is “a big fucking deal.”

Cool stuff. Egg white bites: round two, xmas gift ideas, Starbucks gift card season, afternoon roll-around, finally digging into the new Stranger Things.

Weekend action. Another sunny and mild weekend coming up. Putting up the tree/decorating the house, possibly (but unlikely) checking out MTX at Duck Room, skate/riding somewhere, hanging with the goobs, grinding coffee.