Same old stuff. Again. Just to show I’ve been skating.
Music is Antelope, from Dischord Records.
In no particular order.
I have high hopes for the upcoming Dune film. Hoping it isn’t dumb like the one from the 1980s. The SyFy channel’s Dune mini series have been pretty good.
The weather has been cold, and on the weekends rainy, and I’ve not been skating since December. Hoping to work in a session this weekend if weather permits. I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction and working on some gaming stuff. Life is going through a rough patch right now, but we will overcome.
When it’s cold and shitty outside I like to sit and look at my boards. A guy on a FB group (you know who you are!) had people post pics of their most ridden boards, if they have more than one. It was a fun post, and an excuse for me to stare at my boards.
So here is the current lineup of boards I actually ride, from left to right.
Mode Pool board, 9 x 32.5, 14.75 wb. Indy 159s and currently 58mm Speedlab Slappy Hour wheels. 1/4″ riser. This has been my main street and ditch board for a while. I normally use 54mm Bones STF, but wanted to try some larger diameter wheels and see how much smoother and faster they would be. I do like these wheels a lot, but the board does feel much clunkier.
Mode Postcard double kick symmetrical freestyle board, Indy 109s, Mode Sunburst freestyle wheels. no risers. Gray (hard) Venom eliminator bottom bushing on the side I use as the back of the board, pink Venom Eliminator (slightly softer) in the front. Except for dabbling with some Mode single kick decks a couple of years ago, this has been my main freestyle shape since about 2014. I’ve used quite a few. It is long for a FS board with a 13.75″ wheelbase. 29.5 x 7.4. Great board. Great setup.
Mode 8.25 Connor Burke model pops. The standard Mode pops, with Connor’s old graphic. Indy 149s, currently with the softer 99a Bones STF 54mm wide cut wheels. I like these wheels a lot. Fantastic for the surfaces I skate. I love the harder ones too. Just depends one what I’m doing. I use this board for ditch skating and street/freestyle. With 1/4″ of risers, it rides high. I do that to minimize tail drag when I’m spinning 360s. A little grip under the nose for doing caspers.
When times are shit, it is important to take stock of what isn’t shit.
Besides the pandemic, we are facing some serious issues, but in some respects were are lucky. We have the resources we need to face these challenges.
So, here are a few things I appreciate this year.
The other night we watched an episode of the original Star Trek — A Taste of Armageddon. This was episode 23 of season one.
These shows hold up well. I don’t watch much prime time TV these days. Actually, I don’t watch any, so this next statement is just me talking trash, yet I stand by it with all the conviction of a Trumper saying no one would ever vote for Joe Biden. Here is the statement…
No prime time show now deals with the variety of topics that the original Star Trek did. From this episode, about a computer-simulated war with real casualties, to overpopulation, to racism and more, this show covered a lot of ground, and did it well.
The versions you see these days, sadly, have much better computer graphics substituted for the special effects shots. They look great, but I’d rather see the old ones. They aren’t critical for the story, and is it really necessary to go back and “fix” everything?
Toward the end of this episode, there’s a great scene where Spock, the ambassador, and three enterprise crewmen run into a room to rescue Kirk, only to find that he has single handedly captured 8 or 9 people. Do not mess with Kirk. There’s also a great Kirk soliloquy I always call ” I will not kill TODAY,” about humankind’s killer nature and our ability to overcome it. I can’t do it from memory, but like most of these shows I can speak it all right along with the cast.
I enjoy reading the history of these shows and films, and learning a bit about the actors. Gene Lyons, who played Ambassador Robert Fox in this episode, died at 53 in 1974. This episode was broadcast in 1967, so he only only lived 7 years after this was aired. I suppose he would have been 46 at the time he made this. He looked a lot older ot me. He died of alcoholism. Apparently Lieutenant DePaul was played by an actor names Sean Kenney, who played the disabled and burned version of Captain Pike in the episode The Menagerie. I always figured the same person played Pike in the wheelchair and in the flashbacks, but no.
The idea of the antihero is so played out. Wolverine, Batman, all that stuff. Tiresome. Star Trek didn’t have that. It always lifted the human spirit up.
This is a trick I’ve been working on. I guess it’s a trick. It’s more like series of little movements. The goal is to connect them with no hesitation between the little pivots. I’m getting closer. A few years ago I learned a similar series of moves I called the Magic Weasel, inspired by my friend Stefan Albert, in Germany who moves like a magic weasel. Smooth. So this is also inspired by him.
I like moves like this because they are useful in a freestyle contest run but are also fun on a street board. I practiced it today on my 9″ wide Mode pool board and my 8.25″ Mode pops. I’m going to try adding another 1/8th inch riser to the pops, and moving up to some 56mm wheels for better tail clearance during 360 spins.
As I’ve worked on this, I’ve come to understand a few things about it that make it good.
Anyway, I worked on this for an hour today. They started sort clunky and got better. Back at it tomorrow. This is how I do things. I just do that same thing over and over and over until I’ve got it.
Yesterday (Friday, at about 6pm, I started a weekend long social media and news media blackout. I need a break from everything. Going to skate, write, read, and relax, and not worry about things I can’t do anything about. So pretty much what I should be doing anyway.
I’ll post some stuff on Instagram though. Not much there to upset me.
Today it has been one year since my mother died.
It’s that day again. Birthday of Carl Sagan, who I wish was still around.
I 100% hate the current administration, hate white supremacists, hate guns, hate abuse of power.
I also 100% hate seeing skateboards used as weapons.
The skateboard is a tool of self-expression. Seeing it used as a weapon in any context sickens me. Skaters – leave the boards at home when you go to a protest. Take something else if you need to defend yourself.