As the pandemic isolation and working from home continues, the days and weeks are blending together. It seems like only yesterday we started this, yet simultaneously it feels like forever. Like one long day. Looks like I’ve likely got another month of telecommuting, which is fine with me. No desire to go be around the public right now. Maybe never much of desire again, actually, unless they really find a vaccine to this virus.
I see a lot of people online saying the death rate “isn’t really that high.” They seem oblivious to the fact that where this thing gets bad the hospital fill up, the medical staff gets sick, and right there you have real problem regardless how many Covid-19 patients die. And a lot will die. But do you really want to go to the ER with stroke, or heart attack, or need cancer treatment, or whatever, only to find the hospital totally full of people that there is no place for you? Or your loved one? Or your neighbor?
So yeah, this is the rant I refrain from posting on social media 20 times per day. Instead, I block the stupids and move on.
I haven’t gotten out to skate the last couple of nights. Will try again tonight. The weather is fantastic today, but of course I’ll be working until 6pm. Probably just as well. I’m an evening skater anyway.
Just rolling around. Getting used to this board. Cockfight likes a more severe concave and nose/tail angles than I really prefer, but I do like the board. Just makes it hard for the freestyler to move his feet around. I don’t get this desire to have your feet all locked in. Anyway, hope everyone is well. Just posting this stuff to try to stay connected.
Like many obsessive skateboarders of my generation I spend a lot of time ruminating over my gear, even though it makes very little difference as to how I actually skate. Time on the board, rolling, skating, and yes…practicing, make the most difference. A lot of skaters don’t really practice. They just go skate, which of course creates “practice”, but they don’t really do it in a real intentional way. Freestylers do, however, practice. I think the really good vert skaters do too. Maybe a few street skaters do, but generally freestylers and vert skater are not the kind of people who dabble in things.
Anyway, regarding compulsive equipment worrying. I tend to think a lot about wheels. I complain that there aren’t enough wheels available in the lower 90s durometers. But then for most of my street skating I end up going back to hard wheels. I guess I’ve gotten used to them. I wouldn’t use them in most of the ditches down in Austin, but for the kind of skating I do around here they have become normal to me. I’ve been using some plain old Spitfire Bigheads for ditch skating and street for a while. They are not the best quality urethane, but they are cheap, and for some reason I like the particular “clunk” they make when they hit the ground. They are relatively smooth for a 99a wheel. Are they the best performance wheel? No, not even close. They are usually adequate for my needs.
However, I’m a big fan of Bones Street Tech formula. I was clued into these by a friend in North Carolina on a skate trip back in about 2007. I started using their 54mm standard profile, and I have to say they are the best newschool hard wheels I’ve had. They are hard as shit, but weirdly also resilient, and have a smooth ride. I’ve honestly never had a bad Powell wheel. They make their own wheels, and they’ve been doing it a long time, and every wheel they’ve ever made has been great in its intended niche. These STF just don’t wear down much at all!
Here’s my current set, that I’ve been riding for over two years. These look better after two years than a typical wheel does in a week. And I am hard on wheels. My boards last forever, but if a wheel isn’t durable I wear ’em out fast. I do lots of sliding.
Bones 54mm STF after at least two years of riding.
Bones 54mm STF after at least two years of riding.
Brand new set of Bones 54mm STF.
For comparison, here is a brand new set I got a year ago, but have had no reason to start using! Weird thing is, these wheels just look like plastic. When you get them they have that look of a toy story boards’s wheels, but they are just superior.
I have friends who swear by the Spitfire Formula 4 wheels, and I believe them. I’m sure they are fantastic, but man, I feel like I’m about done buying anything but Bones STF. The only drawback is they make fewer of their profiles about 54mm. But That’s fine. These work for me.
Yesterday I started a 3-time per week internet radio show. Radio Lefty.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:30 is the second show. They are an hour long. I’m taking a late lunch on MWF so y’all can eat, then I’m eating and “spinning records”. Just an effort to have some fun and connect with friends during this pandemic and the associated isolation.
You can listen here, or get on mixlr.com and have fun in the attached chat room.
During this work at home phase of my life, we’ve been getting up and going for a walk first thing. Since I’m sitting on my brains most of the day, it’s nice to get the blood circulating first thing.
Today rather than just walking around the neighborhood, we drove up to the campus of UT Dallas, a couple of miles up the street. We got a good walk, and I actually jogged a couple of times. I have to say, I understand why people have a hard time “getting in shape”. At first it felt HORRIBLE. Now, I’m just a little bit overweight. Not horrible, but not lean. I have two physical things I like to do, skateboarding and aikido. So exercise is just an unintended consequence of doing the things I enjoy. But neither is really great for cardio, and if you haven’t run in a long time, it is kind of jarring. If you are overweight at all, you notice the movement of the flab on your gut. It’s disgusting. And it’s crazy how middle-age hits. All of a sudden you just don’t have the cardio you once did.
So we were walking and we’d pick a short section and say “jog to the stop sign. After the first couple such intervals the jogging felt a bit bit less horrible. Is it really possible to forget how to run and have to relearn it? I guess it must be.
Anyway, that’s what we did this morning. The walking in the morning is good. I kind of like it. I doubt I’ll really start “running”. I did that years ago, made great progress, and after a few months developed iliotibial band syndrome. I stopped running, let the symptoms die down, and started running again, and it came right back. No amount of stretching kept it at bay. It’s pretty painful.
Haven’t posted here a lot lately, as I’ve not gotten a lot of freestyle in so far this year. I did manage to get to Florida at the end of February, right before the Covid-19 shit hit the fan, and skated with my friend Terry Synnott for three days. It was super fun and good to be back on the freestyle board. Looking forward to building on my freestyle this year, in total solitude and isolation, of course.
Also, since the World Freestyle Roundup was cancelled and they replaced it with an online event due to the pandemic, I entered, and I’m representing Mexico. My wife’s family is from there, and I love Mexico. So they are represented.
Just posting this because I think it looks cool. The grip tape that came on my Bustin Boombox was super coarse. Not as bad as pizza grip, but a lot rougher than regular grip tape. Man, I don’t need that in my life. I left it on the nose and tail, ripped it off the whole middle section of the board, and replaced it with pieced together remnants of normal grip tape.
Well, this pandemic is happening. [insert comments about pandemic and politics and how stupid people are here]
We’ve been essentially “sheltering in place” for the last week, and today Dallas County issued a Shelter In Place order. Hoping that neighboring counties will follow their lead this week. Pretty foolish not too. I get to telecommute this coming week. After that, supposedly, as part of team B, I’m supposed to go in to work and “distance” from my colleagues. Which I don’t really see working very well or helping us to stay well. I don’t see how we can make it work, and I don’t see this ending any time soon. It seems probable that this is going to go on a long time. Not being pessimistic. Just realistic. Our goal is to stay healthy and not get this until there is a treatment or a avoid it with a vaccine. So who knows what the coming months will bring. Changes perhaps. But for now, we are good, and now is really all there is, and “now” is gone before you experience it.
Hope you, my friends, are all well and being smart.
Yesterday, New Years Day 2020, we went for a walk in a nearby nature preserve. While we do enjoy the preserve, it is pretty close to the highway (like everything around here) and you can easily hear the drone of traffic.
The only time you don’t hear that is after it slows and/or there is an ice storm and the roads are empty. You don’t realize how much noise there is in the suburbs until such a time, then you go out and it is actually quiet, and it is just glorious. No cars. No AC units.
I recently saw these dudes compared to the Alva crew on a video, and it was mentioned how much cooler the Alva guys were. Fast forward 30 or 35 years. Every one of these Powell guys still rips. With the possible exception of Mullen, who looks like he’s damned near crippled himself from insanely obsessive practice. Make of that what you will. These guys are all rippers.