My plans for bank skating were ruined yesterday when I got to the little ditch I’ve been skating for 41 years. There was water running from one of the alleys that run on either side running into the ditch. This has never happened before.
This was my first trip to the ditch since they rebuilt the alleys last year. The edge of the alley has been rounded and lowered a bit, so that water now flows right into the ditch, rather than into the street. I suspect that during the summer, given the Texas proclivity for washing cars and watering lawns, it will be very hard to find the ditch dry from here on out.
I must admit that this very much soured my mood.
But that’s life as a skateboarder. Spots come and go. Even long running spots like this one eventually get ruined or outright destroyed. The skateboarder’s mind must be adaptable, and it is.
Here’s a goofy thing I made after leaving the ditch. I didn’t really skate well after the mental assault of my ditch being messed up, but whatever. The mission goes on.
‘Cause I got my own world to live through and uh
And I ain’t gonna copy you
This is the first in a series of posts I’ll probably abandon after I do a couple and forget about the series. In this series, I will list a few skateboard tricks in each post that I am working on. Might be sequences too. You may now know what they are, because I do lots of weird moves that don’t really have names. I suspect that Tony Gale might figure them out. Anyway, here we go.
Today – bank skating moves. I love bank skating. I’m partial to big, flat banks, where I can spin and slide and whatnot.
Backside carving Walk Around to fakie
Frontside carving Turn-In to fakie
Frontside slide to fakie to 1-footed fakie 360
Carving backside 180 slide into backside 540 spin
That’s it. Hoping to get out to the little ditch I skate and try these today.
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.
I hate that there is a pandemic, and I really hate that people are suffering, and dying, and that people can’t work. I hate it.
But I have to say, I like working from home. I get a lot done. I like being able to walk to the front of the house and see my wife during the day. I like not having to spend nearly an hour of my day in the car. I like being at home, not eating any restaurant food, losing a lot of my gut already. I like getting up, going for a walk with my wife instead of having to drive to work, and then going for another walk in the evening instead of having to drive home. I do miss my colleagues. I love my profession, and I’m proud to be part of it, and the people I work with are of the highest quality. I miss my Aikido dojo, getting together in-person with my gaming group, skating with a friend or two from time to time, and being able to go to the store without wanting everyone else in the store to disappear (I’ve only been once — we are doing grocery curbside pickup — pop the trunk and they put the stuff in. No contact).
I miss these things, but there are some parts of this lifestyle, as noted, that aren’t too bad. It stinks that we have to have people getting sick and dying to rediscover our lives, and realize that we’re being run ragged most every day of our adult lives.
I think the republicans are seriously afraid that people might enjoy having a lot of their life back, and that people might suddenly understand that 75% of the shit they are buying isn’t needed or really of any value at all.
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.
For those who only read this blog and not the many other places I annoy people, here is a video I made. Sometime all you want to do is roll and turn. Also, I use Vimeo because it doesn’t suck like Youtube.
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.
I took this image, or rather a friend took at, at my now ruined mellow hill skating spot, I think in 2014. The Camera was a Canon PowerShot ELPH 300HS. I really like this little camera. It has a great burst mode as well.
The early sunsets and temperatures of winter always suck. This is the first time I’ve been able to have a good freestyle session since October 2019. I did OK. It just takes me a couple of sessions to wake my feet up for the year. I always start the year just working on footwork, trying to get my feet moving smoothly. Afterward, as usual, I came up with stuff to work on tomorrow.
This is my board from the 2019 Paderborn Germany freestyle contest. After each of these trips I get all my friends who were in the contest to sign the board, plus any of them who are there but not skating in the contest (judging, taking photos, etc). This past year was especially meaningful because it was the first time my wife was over there with me, meeting my friends from the UK and Europe, and experiencing what a special event it is. Magical, really.
2019 was a hard year. This contest was in July. For the past 5 years I’ve known that any time I leave the country I may have to return at any time if my mother got sick. Amazingly, we made it through two weeks in Germany with no emergency calls from home. By mid-November, my mom would be gone. It seems likely that I will have to skip Paderborn this year, but I’m looking forward to doing a run there for my mom in the future.
Anyway, I officially retired this deck tonight and set up a new one. I’m pretty easy on boards. Rough on wheels, but my boards usually last about a year, depending on what I’m doing trick-wise.
My board from 2019, used at the 2019 Paderborn Germany freestyle contest. I got 3rd in the “Legends” (old bastards) division.