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Some Skateboard Stuff I Like

Some skateboard stuff I like. I used to be a Gravity longboards and Randal trucks guy, but since the companies have been sold I don’t really have any kind of longboarding company loyalty (other than ABEC-11 and Retro wheels, which rule). I’m listing stuff here that I own and use (well, I haven’t used the Moonshine deck, but they deserve props).

Mode Skateboards – maker of freestyle boards and really good FS wheels.
Moonshine Skateboards – vert board company that fully supports freestyle.
Cockfight Skateboards – Texas based company that makes good vert, ditch, and street boards. Good dudes.
Bones Wheels – yeah – not the “little guy”, but they make Bones STF, which I really like. For my way of skating street and ditches, they work quite well. I’ve found them to be exceptionally long lasting as well.
Tracker Trucks – they make the Fultrack- best freestyle truck around, forever.
Khiro Bushings – really good bushings
Reflex Bushings – from ABEC 11. More good bushings.
Ace Trucks – good trucks with good quality control.
Frank Pocellis Laminates – this guy laminates his own blanks before he cuts the boards. Really good stuff too!
OJ Wheels – though Bones STF is my go-to wheel, I have found the pro signature OJ wheels to be quite good. It is my understanding that they are poured here in the US, but some of their price point stuff is not. Anyway, good wheels.

 

Kafka and Crumb

Yesterday at work I picked up this graphic novelization of the life of Franz Kafka, by David Zane Mairowitz and art by Robert Crumb. It’s kind of a study of Kafka’s life and personality and how they relate to his writing.

I’m no scholar of Kafka, but I’ve read a bit and I’ve always been fascinated by him. I liked the film Kafka with Jeremy Irons too. This book delves into his life in Prague, in the Jewish ghetto (I recommend you click on this link, and then read about the history of this area and how it came to be — eye-opening), his relationship with his apparently super oppressive father, and goes into the antisemitism in that part of the world, which predates WWII and the Nazis by many decades (if not centuries). I knew something of this based on my visit in 2007 to the Jewish Museum Frankfurt, Germany, as well as the Dachau concentration camp. It was pretty staggering to see the antisemitic cartoons and pamphlets in these places. The ground was fertile for Hitler’s atrocities.

But back to this book.

Gotta love the Crumb artwork. Really perfect for this project. Especially for Kafka’s angry father. You can tell how much Crumb hates men like this just from the artwork. I’m sure he identifies with the personality of Kafka as well. If you haven’t seen the documentary Crumb, you should watch it. Really good. A fascinating person.

The book contains comic versions (with commentary) of some of Kafka’s works, including of course, the Metamorphosis, as well as the Burrow, the Trial, In the Penal Colony, and others. I had not read the Burrow, but now I must.

 

This Fall

Assuming there is an actual Fall this year, with nice weather, rather than going from blistering miserable summer right into cold and shitty winter, I want to take a skate/reading/writing roadtrip in the new car. It’s nice to have a new car. It’s nice to skate. It’s nice to read and write.

I need to plan this, but damn, I think it might be too late to do a good one, as my work schedule is already kinda set. Will have to see. Would like to drive to skate with friends, and when driving listen to audio books and podcasts, and when not skating find a nice place to read and write.

I’d like to drive out to West Texas. Maybe start in El Paso, skate with some friends there, and then down south a bit, see the desolation and soak it in, then to the border/Harlingen, then head down to Southeast Texas/Galveston, do the same thing, then up through Central Texas. Would like to camp at Palo Duro Canyon.

 

Ollie

Went out to the little ditch I skate tonight and practiced my ollies a bit. I don’t do a lot of ollies. Honestly, sometimes they just seem like a lot of effort. But when I do practice, I have a pretty good ollie.

This one wasn’t as cool as this vid-cap makes it look, but apparently I did get in the air a reasonable height. Will keep working on it. I find it a bit harder to do a good ollie on a bank, like this, than on flat. I shot this video on my iPhone, and damn, the full size version of the captured image is really pretty good!

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