Friday, November 30, 2018

november thirtieth

Five for November 30th:

Paid forward. A sweet old lady waved me to the counter and bought my cup of coffee at QT this morning while I was gassing up the van. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. Not a bad start to a Friday.

St. Denis. In all the virtual towns and cities I’ve been to since I started playing open-world, sandbox-style video games, I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed than I was by my first visit to the New Orleans-inspired city of St. Denis in Red Dead Redemption 2 last night. Absolutely unbelievable.

Heavy hitters. In attendance at the Rancid/Faction show last night in SF were- that I know of- Ron Wilkerson, Dennis McCoy, Jim Thiebaud, Rick Thorne, Mat Hoffman, and Steve Caballero (who of course was playing). That's a pretty solid dose of legends under one roof.

Cool stuff. Giant owl on the lamppost outside our house, fresh shave, popcorn Friday, Rollback BMX Rob Darden podcast, afternoon flatland.

Weekend action. Not a whole lot happening this weekend. Maybe checking out Wild Lights at the Zoo, Seth’s rock show at Foam, skating/riding session or two, hanging with the goobs, running my weekly 5K.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

november twenty-ninth

Five for November 29th:

Progression. Did a little street riding this morning before work, and laid down a few solid double-peg stalls on a concrete ledge in the Loop. First time ever actually doing those. Felt awesome.

Last night. George and I chilled up in the attic while Lisa and Jane were at a Girl Scout meeting. The juxtaposition of hearing Finding Dory playing behind me on one TV while robbing people with shotguns in RDR2 on another was interesting. We also crushed it on Mario Kart 64.

End of the line? I’m thinking 2018 may be the last year for this blog. Seems like I say that every year, but I’m pretty much over it for real this time. Half a million page views later, this has gone on way longer than I ever really expected it to. With Instagram and everything, it’s all kind of redundant. We’ll see, but that’s how I’m leaning.

Cool stuff. Michael Cohen pleads guilty of lying to congress, SMA “Street Heat” reissues, Boar’s Head, fresh-ground Kaldi’s on auto-brew, Janey art.

Quote of the day. “Another day, another presidential remark on climate science so divorced from reality it’s numbing.” -Alexander Kaufman

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

november twenty-eighth

Five for November 28th:

Lip tricks. Made some good progress on legit 5-0 grinds, 50/50 grinds on deck, 50/50 stalls to feeble 180 out, and actual feeble grinds (vs. stalls) last night.

SoHa. Cheap food and a roaring fire for another two-dollar Tuesday. The tradition will probably keep on through winter just to have a reason to get out of the house, and we can bribe the kids into good behavior with promises of root beer and lemonade.

Giving Tuesday. Congrats to Lisa for a job well done yesterday, successfully raising almost nine grand for the Women’s Foundation.

Cool stuff. Bubble gum, lunch at Seoul Taco, Tommy Guerrero Road to Knowhere on Spotify, potential evening 5K, Elf on the Shelf season.

Quote of the day. “The President’s comments read like a cat walking across a keyboard. Scientists compile peer-reviewed evidence for nationwide presentation, and this guy responds with gibberish. If you’re still buying what he’s selling, guess what, folks: You’re in a cult.” -Seth McFarlane

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

november twenty-seventh

Five for November 27th:

Urethane and Masonite. Hitting Ramp Riders tonight with Andy, and whoever else shows up. I’ve really been digging the regular weeknight sessions again- it’s a cool thing to have to look forward to through the winter months.

Quote of the day. “You were forced out of the Trump Administration for saying white supremacists were “not the problem” days before Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville killed 3 people. Pretty sure we’re on the right side of history if you’re my opposition.” -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Sebastian Gorka

Stars align. Got an unexpected envelope full of spiff cash yesterday tossed on my desk yesterday that completely covered the gaming TV and at least part of the copy of RDR2 I binge-purchased over the weekend. No beating that!

Cool stuff. GT four-piece bars, carnitas at Ranchito, Red Bull Curb Kings 2018, Nine Club Chris Cole podcast, free bearings.

Tuesday soundtrack. Riot, Minutemen, Exhumer, Helstar, The Cramps, D.R.I., Municipal Waste, Kreator, Metal Church, Pestilence, Budgie, Fu Manchu, Oblivians.

Monday, November 26, 2018

november twenty-sixth

Five for November 26th:

Holiday mode. Thanksgiving is over, the tree is up, the house is decorated, the lights are on, and the kids are jazzed.

Red Dead. Went all in this weekend on a new 32” flatscreen for the attic, refurbished Xbox One, and copy of RDR2. It was bound to happen sooner or later, so may as well be when all of the aforementioned is all on mega-sale. Two chapters in and having barely scratched the surface, I can honestly say it’s the most amazing game I’ve ever played.

Long weekend personal achievements. Ran a 5K, rock to fakies on the backyard quarterpipe (I suck at going fakie), first legit side glides on flatland, some kid at the skatepark asked me if I was pro.

Cool stuff. Heated seats, Jerry Hsu podcast, set up the Jason Jessee V8, Main Street xmas action/dinner at Bottleworks with the goobs, Blockhead hoodie, cash spiff.

Ups and downs. These dramatic shifts between sunny and 60 degrees one day and gray, overcast, and18 degrees the next are wreaking havoc on my throat, sinuses, and sanity.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

november twenty-first

Five for November 21st:

Thrashin’. Super fun old man skate jam at Ramp Riders last night. Good crew of people in attendance, including a dude who used to ride for Tracker and Consolidated who was completely slaying the mini ramp.

Quote of the day. “The upside is, Republicans don’t trust the media and will continue to eat romaine lettuce.” -Darren

The real test. Can I avoid hitting the “buy it now” button over the next few days of Black Friday online sales? Gonna do my best, but I can’t make any promises.

Cool stuff. Watching Animal Chin with Jane, near sixty degrees, work coffee restock, two-dollar Tuesday at SoHa with Lisa and two grumpy children, powder-blue 80’s inspired 2019 Cardinal team jerseys.

Long weekend action. Four days off with (mostly) nice weather and not a ton of plans, save the normal Thanksgiving fare. Probably putting up the tree, getting a run in, potential swimming, skating, and riding. We’ll see what happens.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

november twentieth

Five for November 20th:

Sore legs. I assumed that because I rode my bike to work almost every day between April and November, I’d be able to get away with running a couple of miles without much issue. Not the case, as I could barely walk down the stairs the last couple of mornings.

Transition therapy. Ramp Riders skate session going down tonight after the kids go to bed. Feeling reenergized on skating lately, which is awesome, as I was more or less completely burned out on it most of this year.

Rock of ages. Charlie Watts will be 78 before the conclusion of the Rolling Stones 2019 US stadium tour. How these guys are all still alive, let alone out there doing world tours is anyone’s guess.

Cool stuff. Jane’s school pictures, morning brick manuals on the Gonz, found my gloves, playing Donkey Kong Country in the attic with George, gogi bowl, lunch break freestylin’, Blood And Steel Cedar Crest documentary.

Tuesday soundtrack. Mastodon, Jawbreaker, Enforcer, The Shrine, Groovie Ghoulies, Circle Jerks, Naxatras, Grand Funk Railroad, SNFU, The Dictators, GBH, Heartburns, Pelican.

Monday, November 19, 2018

november nineteenth

Five for November 19th:

Running. Picked up my first ever actual pair of non-department store running shoes yesterday, and did a couple of miles on the indoor track with Lisa. Felt great- infinitely more enjoyable than a treadmill. Planning to make that a regular thing over the winter.

Can’t argue with science. The Cliché Is True: You Really Are as Young as You Feel. I believe this with every fiber of my being.

Weekend highlights. Dinner at Salt & Smoke, Steak n’ Shake with my little dude, riding flatland at Berra Park, Jane’s girl scout bonfire, birthday-partying the Clifton Heights crew, sinking three shots in a row from the free-throw line at the Y, beating Super Mario Brothers in front of a room full of awed children.

Cool stuff. Snow has all but completely melted, Seoul Taco with Tom and Brian, mid-fifties for the long weekend, cheap midschool Haro jersey, protein box.

Quote of the day. “’Rake the forest floor’ is the brain-vomit of a mediocre man who misremembers something he once half-heard and never fully understood at the time but now considers himself an expert on the subject and oh, the absolute and serene confidence of a moron is indeed a thing to behold.” -Jeff Tiedrich

Friday, November 16, 2018

november sixteenth

Five for November 16th:

Sick girl. Jane is on the mend from a 100+ degree fever complete with sore throat and near-completely lost voice over the last few days. Some meds, water, and binge-watching She-Ra on the couch seem to be doing the trick.

Staycation. Definitely not bummed on the upcoming four-day weekend. Haven’t really had any legit time off since the Florida trip in early May. Plus, it's Lisa's favorite holiday.

On this day in 2012. The vaunted Haro/Vans collaboration was announced to the world. In hindsight, I wish I'd bought everything in the line when it was readily available, but at least I have a pair of low-tops and jersey to show for it.

Cool stuff. New Nick Watts edit, good leftovers, Skateone friends and family discounts, Dig/Snakebite Bruce Crisman podcast, popcorn Friday.

Weekend action. Unearth at Firebird, Ramp Riders afternoon session, neighborhood kid birthday-partying, riding some much-needed flatland, hanging out with the goobers.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

november fifteenth

Five for November 15th:

Pre-winter wonderland. Well, the kids got a snow day, if nothing else. The roads in were totally passable until I hit the north county border, where plowing/salting becomes less of a priority for reasons everyone living in St. Louis should be familiar enough with by now.

Mt. Gnar. Hoping to get the snowboard out to the unforgiving hills of Clifton Park tonight to shred the powder before it all melts over the next couple of days.

Jag-Wires. Their four-song Mascara EP is up on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure. Good to finally see these dudes get some stuff out into the world. Go check it out.

Cool stuff. Peanut butter Kashi, Meeting Joe Johnson, $100 thrift store-to-eBay profit, going down the Threatin wormhole (google it), more Red Dead 2 video overconsumption.

Flatland. I’m bumming on how little I’ve been able to ride lately, which is entirely a result of the shitty weather, early darkness, and near-total lack of indoor options- especially given the burst of progression I had toward the end of summer. Hoping to keep my chops up as much as possible over the winter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

november fourteenth

Five for November 14th:

Fall concert. So proud of Jane for powering through a croaky, hoarse voice and going in to school to perform with her class at their fall concert this morning. Needless to say, the kindergartners stole the show.

Last night. Two-dollar Tuesday dinner at SoHa with the goobs followed by a super fun mini-ramp jam on the Ban This Cab with the old man brigade. Not bad for a dark, frigid evening.

Snowblind. Not even the middle of November yet and the first significant snowstorm of the season is about to hit, with 5 to 8 inches predicted for tonight and tomorrow. The office is on call for a possible shutdown, which I certainly wouldn’t complain about.

Cool stuff. Free stack of old Ride BMX mags, smoked almonds, Netflix She-Ra reboot, Guatemalan coffee, Space Brothers podcast.

Quote of the day. “I'm tired of watching people die just so the dumbest person in your family can unload a .50 caliber bullet into a pumpkin.” -Kris Wernowsky

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

november thirteenth

Five for November 13th:

Snow. Guess my hopes for a mild winter are probably not going to come to pass, as we’re already on our second snowfall of November with more coming, and the temperatures getting down to miserably cold levels. Seems like summer was literally yesterday.

Xmas practice. The kids are in full-on holiday mode. How they’re going to make it for the next 42 days, I’m not sure. This morning I was made to don a Santa hat and wrap some of their toys in construction paper for them to rip open.

Tonight. Old man skate session at Ramp Riders going down with Andy, Jason, and whoever else decides to show up. Come on out and grind some coping.

Cool stuff. Chrome Ball Lance Dawes interview, hitting Ranchito, Catching Up with Bill Neumann video, cheap Valterra Skate Zombie in Alton, free Starbucks K-Cups at work, Nine Club Marc Johnson podcast.

Tuesday soundtrack. Vista Chino, New Bomb Turks, Oysterhead, Youngblood Supercult, Discharge, Girlschool, UFO, Beastie Boys, Napalm Death, Hanoi Rocks, Dead Cross.

Monday, November 12, 2018

november twelfth

Five for November 12th:

Jolly Roger garage sale scores. Huge Independent Trucks banner and normal-sized OG Gullwing and OJ Wheels banners for the attic, lightly-used sets of Vision Proton and Teamrider wheels, Circus deck w/ rails, two BMX tubes. $30 all in.

Trivia Night. Fun evening with the Kennard crew at St. Mary’s. The amount of killer food that was brought in offset the spirit-dampening difficulty of the questions that were asked. Definitely the hardest trivia night I’ve ever been a part of.

Tis’ the season. The kids got their yearly leaf-pile jumps in last night before dinner, which also means I finally raked the backyard after our tree shed itself bare over the last week or so. Six full lawn bags later and you can see the grass again.

Cool stuff. Ripping solo skate session at the Belleville park, leftover cabbage and kielbasa soup, two solid flatland rides, got the oil changed in both cars, playing trains with my big buddy, Jane went to see Aladdin at the Fox in her pajamas, Key Lime La Croix restock.

Waiting is the hardest part. Jane lost a tooth this morning, which had been hanging on by a thread. She immediately came downstairs, decorated an envelope, put the tooth in, went back up to her room, put it under her pillow, and laid in bed in the dark with her eyes closed hoping to catch the tooth fairy in the act.

Friday, November 9, 2018

november ninth

Five for November 9th:

Life is strange. Got a text last night from my buddy Jason, who was in the middle of hanging out with Judd Nelson and Eddie Vedder at an EB fundraiser with his wife and daughter in New York.

Consistency. Ramp riding skills are improving every time I skate lately. Why? Because I’m bringing the same setup each time, and not changing it up every single session, forcing me to contend with varying truck tightnesses, wheel hardnesses, and changes in convave. Took me about ten years to figure this out.

Quote of the day. “Remember just last week when the president told you it was the caravan you were supposed to be afraid of, the caravan he is strangely not talking about much since the election? Well, the caravan didn’t shoot up that bar in Thousand Oaks. Which caravan did the shooter belong to? None of them as far as I know. The caravan didn’t kill 11 people in that Pittsburgh synagogue.” –Don Lemon

Cool stuff. Jane swam the whole length of the pool at her first swim lesson, grande thanksgiving blend, getting paid, new Ramp Riders ten-pass, lunch break slappies in the Loop, upstairs furnace is repaired, shelf lighting.

Weekend action. Going to the gym, raking the backyard, Kennard trivia night, maybe catching Roky Erickson at Duck Room, Jolly Roger garage sale, skating/riding.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

november eighth

Five for November 8th:

Rad dads. Between the six old guys sessioning the mini at Ramp Riders last night, there are twelve children- some of whom were in attendance and riding with us. Hopefully they’ll think it’s cool watching their parents ride skateboards and have fun with their lives instead of just working themselves to death in between NFL seasons.

Wishful thinking. A long time ago I told my little brother that if he stayed completely in the middle lines on Atari's Pole Position and didn't veer off the course or over the line even once, a secret road would appear that would take the car through the mountains in the background and into a video game city. He sat there for at least 45 minutes trying to do it before he gave up. I'd like to think that with this act of brotherly shitheadedness, I somehow willed open-world gameplay as we know it today into existence.

Steve Caballero. 54 years old today and still completely crushing it. This gives me great hope for the future- or at least the next decade or so. Happy birthday to the greatest of all time.

Cool stuff. Attic rock band jam with the goobs, two twenty-minute U-City flatland rollarounds in the morning and afternoon, selling my Simpsons Playmates figures on eBay, Brooklyn Trump statues for dogs to urinate on, medjool dates with almond butter.

Quote of the day. “How sweet that the law Scott Walker supported and signed into law in Wisconsin to limit challenges to the election process now stops him from seeking a recount of his loss yesterday.” –Stephen Houdlsworth

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

november seventh

Five for November 7th:

Local big picture. Even though this backward-ass state continues to vote against its own best interests in the leadership department, medical marijuana passed along with a statewide minimum-wage increase and needed changes in redistricting and ethics laws.

National big picture. Democrats retake the house, flip seven GOP governorships, several heartening first-time minority/LGBT congressional appointments. Blue wave? No, but significant victories nonetheless. Time to focus on 2020.

Kev-dave. Happy birthday to my oldest bud/bandmate/partner in teenage crime, who turns 41 today. 26 years later and we’re still making the same dumb jokes.

Cool stuff. Lunch break flatland at the church lot, pumpkin RX bar, No matter what happens, at least we are done with Paul Ryan, free k-cups, morning puppet shows with Georgie.

Shrednesday night. Is the Wednesday evening old man Ramp Riders skate night becoming a thing? Sure seems like it. Hopefully it doesn’t get blown out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

november sixth

Five for November 6th:

Quote of the day. "(Today) is the day we choose between a steaming Jim Crow-era turd casserole with complimentary Klan robes or a party with its feet in the current century. Choose wisely." -Jesse Duquette

Game night. Jane is not quite able to understand the concept of good sportsmanship and not being a sore loser just yet, but that said- I dominated in some Candyland yesterday evening.

Late post. Sometimes I forget this word document is sitting on my desktop unfinished until it’s almost time to go home. Case in point, today.

Cool stuff. OG Monty Nolder and Hans Lindgren Schmitt Stix stickers at SCS, afternoon slappy hour, work gum restock, in and out of the polling place in ten minutes, solo dad night with the goobs, South Park on Hulu, Kele Rosecrans is ripping skateparks again.

Tuesday soundtrack. Valient Thorr, The Well, Buffalo Killers, Oslo Ess, The Replacements, Slow Season, The Muggs, Pallbearer, OM, Fu Manchu, Embrace.

Monday, November 5, 2018

november fifth

Five for November 5th:

Light rails. Took the kids for their first Metro ride on Saturday. Shrewsbury to the Skinker/Forest Park station, went above ground for pizza and poke’ bowls at Zza, and cruised home. George, who is obsessed with trains, was particularly stoked.

Reading rainbow. Jane’s word-comprehension skills are exploding lately. She’s starting to read words on buildings and can find her way around most three and four letter words. It’s an incredible thing to watch.

Silver lining. One nice thing about driving-to-work season is getting a chance to catch up on a veritable ton of podcasts. Been digging into the Nine Club archives lately, which should easily be enough content to get me through the entire winter and then some.

Cool stuff. November Whole 30, replaying Red Dead Redemption, leftover kielbasa, George’s new BMX turndown hoodie, fresh-ground almond butter.

Radical moves. Another progressive riding session on Saturday, rolling cyclones into full-circle swivels instead of just catching the pegs and hopping out of it as I did most of the summer, and a killer mini-ramp skate jam at Ramp Riders with Andy and Jesse yesterday afternoon.

Friday, November 2, 2018

november second

Five for November 2nd:

November. Starting off cold, wet, gray and dreary, which makes perfect sense as we plunge toward darkness at 5 pm season. Blech.

Castlevania. Binge-finished season two last night. So good. “Bloody Tears” playing during the battle for Dracula’s castle was a nice touch. Can’t wait for season three.

Fresh look. The attic skate shop received a long-overdue rearranging last night. Swapped out the boards on the wall and on the racks and got everything organized by brand, nice and clean.

Cool stuff. Halo Top, cryptic internet rumors of Vision Johnee Kop and Powell Hieroglyphic reissues, eight-minute Nick Watts Garage Days 2018 compendium video, Ramplified jam photo gallery, selling crap on eBay.

Weekend action. Savoring the last bit of daylight savings, Hell Night at Ready Room and/or Fine Lines at San Loo, maybe hit the November Toy Show with Jane, riding some flatland/skating, running errands, swim session.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

november first

Five for November 1st:

Halloween 2018. Another huge neighborhood turnout at the playground to get things kicked off, the kids had a blast, pumpkins were brimming with candy and toys, and the rain held off just long enough for everyone to make the rounds. Definitely one to remember.

Foam. I did indeed make it out to see the Iron Maiden tribute last night, but by 11:45 pm the Garbage cover band hadn’t even started yet, and with work looming a few hours away I had to pack it in. Cool hanging with Kevin and Kimi and seeing the Dead Kennedys set, if nothing else.

Loveletters. Season 9 is coming out swinging. Watched the new Airs episode this morning, and it rules. Glad to see this show returning to form after a weird couple of seasons. Still essentially the best thing on the internet.

Cool stuff. 50% off Old Navy Friends and Family coupon, Nine Club Spike Jonze interview, busting out the SC Corey O’Brien hoodie, Blockhead Jim Gray reissues, Elevation bar restock.

Fall colors. We’re definitely at (maybe even past) peak season right now. The tree in the backyard went from lush green to bright red overnight. The only bummer now is trying to locate the dog crap under all the leaves.