Thursday, November 30, 2006

Skate Videos

I don’t want to become yet another of the uncountable hordes of bloggers that write something to the extent: “Wow, youtube is so cool. There are so many great videos there. Let me show you some” Suffice to say, I am yet again driven ceaselessly into the past, this time down the path of skate videos from my more flexibly-jointed youth. I tend to gravitate towards the videos I never owned and only watched endlessly in Pete’s basement. I sadly cannot find the Madcircle video out there.

Tim and Henry’s Pack of Lies – Blind Promo

Video Days

101’s Falling Down

Kris Markovic in the Color Video

Kris Markovic in the 101 Promo (I remember it either came in a sleeve advertising Golf Tips or Smoking Cessation tips)

Rick Howard in Goldfish

Ed Templeton in New Deal’s Useless Wooden Toys

The Walgreens on the Archer Ave of my youth never seems that far away. I still wear skate shoes out of habit. And youtube has facilitated another reason to endlessly look to the past.

(such a lazy, link ridden, post…)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In the past I have thrown a few (read: plethora of) good natured spears at Madison’s half-cousin-twice-removed city – Portland, OR. I stand by them, but since I have now visited that cool town I will likely temper my jabs while also defending them via a vague ‘Hey, I was kinda local for 48 hours.’

Portland had rain, as promised. But returning home to Wisconsin on Sunday night and approaching my truck in an external lot yielded different November surprises. It had snowed a few inches and with the sun and sub 32 degree nights I was given about 2 inches of ice in the entire bed of my truck. The top was a little slushy. That makes it very easy to come screaming off when you find an empty part of the lot, put your vehicle in reverse, hammer it, and then slam on the brakes. The snow is all gone now, not because the weather is back to normal, but because Wisconsin is being uncharacteristically kind this week. Portland’s rain may be the target of some jokes, but I only kid because I love. If there is going to be snow it should at least get cold enough to make some ice. Pond Hockey needs to begin soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Amazingly, Portland was rainy

It is very difficult to try and accurately capture all the interesting and new things I enjoyed in Portland, OR visiting Melissa and Paul. As much as I visited them purely out of our longstanding friendship, I can't help but feel that there is also some silly sense of electronic-blog visiting in the mix. I guess that's life in 2006.
Aside from being in the company of gracious hosts, I was shown:
-- The Pacific coast and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, OR, where I bravely ate a tasty fried oyster sandwich.
-- Burnside skatepark, which was the religious portion of the trip (Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages).
-- The mighty Powell's bookstore.
-- Downtown Portland along with overcast stolen glances at mountain ranges crying out for a summer return trip.
The trip was all too short, but wonderful nonetheless. In the above photo we can see that Sam is obviously fascinated by my superior verbal ability to caption photos before passing them on to others. I will hopefully be back soon in the summer with some camping and hiking in mind, along with the spelunking the rain robbed us of by washing out the road to Mt St. Helens.
For reasons I honestly cannot understand, Bigfoot keeps finding his way into my geographical life. I canoed in northern Wisconsin this June and overlapped in time and region with a Bigfoot expedition. I can appreciate that he dwells in the dense forests up north, but apparently he's moving south for the winter. In the first report, Bigfoot tried to snag a doe off of a pick up. In the second, he leaned against a tree and hung out. All within 60 miles of Madison -- close to Milwaukee actually. Its things like this that make me proud, while also offering a smile and a shrug, when telling people I have adopted Wisconsin as my home.

Monday, November 06, 2006

When I turned 24 I announced the beginning of my "Year of Fear" -- after Bob Probert, #24 on the Chicago Blackhawks. For quite a while Bob was the most feared fighters in the NHL, and to this day is easily one of the greatest fighters of all time, if not the greatest. People always seem to talk most about his reclamation of the NHL heavyweight belt in the Domi fight, but I am partial to the Marty McSorley fight.

The following year I chose to announce that I was a "Quarter Century Man." Silly, but something to hang your hat on. It seemed more interesting than just telling people I was 25.

The funny and quirky attempts have drifted into the ether as time has marched beyond my mid 20's. Anyone know a witty brand for 31?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Work being busy and not having a computer makes blogging slip just a bit from my grasp. All work and no play makes Homer a something something.

Halloween in Madison usually means some combination of dressing up, getting loaded, and standing on State Street till the cops tear gas you at 2am to send you home. For men there were many Borats, some pirates, a bunch of other misc things, and strangely more than a few 6ft-plus inflatable penises. The women had costumes far across the board, though it seemed that the overwhelming majority followed this simple formula:

Costume = sexy/slutty +

Sexy Cop? Many. Sexy Nurse? Yep. Sexy Wench? Check. Sexy Mechanic? Saw one. Etc, etc, etc.

Before all of that terrible sexiness in the 30 degree Wisconsin night, I raced the Scaredy-Cat alleycat race earlier that evening. We all met on picnic point, ensuring that the start of the race would find us all barreling down the dirt jogging trail to get back to pavement and city streets. There weren’t too many joggers or dogs on the path as we freight trained through the woods and if it sounds like a clusterf***, it is because it was. Its an alleycat and some confusion and non conventional cycling challenges at the beginning are to be expected. You roll with it. As much as we took off like bats out of hell, the race was clearly structured in a way where finishing order didn’t matter – it was all about hitting the stops in order and getting the most points. That was made crystal clear in the beginning, yet everybody still has to ride balls out, at least to the first stop. That’s how alleycats go. We bobbed for apples, scavenged for playing cards down a hill with optional weights(I went for 20lbs – Jason went for 50lbs – most went for none or less than 20lbs) loaded in our bags, told dirty jokes, put condoms on our bike seats, and other things that have drifted out of my mind at this point. Since the weather was nice and Madison isn’t as riddled with bike thieves as Chicago, I saddled the Orbea, hoping to finish higher than I usually do in these things. I’ll never win an alleycat, but I was pleased with my placement. All around it was an excellent time -- the stops were interesting and challenging, and the after party had great food and beer and hospitality. I only regret having to leave in the middle of the skid contest.

I rode home, finished a too short phone call, jumped in the shower, and shuffled quickly to Real Chili for my 10pm Halloween shift. In short, it was packed beyond belief, we were able to stay on top of customers and the clearing of tables, and in the middle of the blasting hip hop and vulgarity spewing employees we managed to survive. There was almost one fight, and yes it included an employee. At 2am the cops cleared State St and while that is an excellent idea for many reasons, for our little part of the world it meant that our customers dried up. That part sucked. So we slowed down much earlier than expected and I ended up walking in my apt at 4:10am – after the clocks moved back. All in all a fun night. Good costumes, good attitudes, and good tips.