Monday, June 30, 2008

"And now... The best band in the known universe!"

Mute Math IS. I have seen Mute Math live in concert three times. I hope to see them again soon. I walk away from the show thinking "I can do that. Why, WHY haven't I been doing THAT all along?"

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ten Minute Run

Not hardcore, maybe considered anti-Skater attitude... none the less, skating for exercise has benefited me in every area of my life. I started doing this one day when I was home from work for lunch. I didn't have time to pad-up so I just jumped on the ramp and went for it. (I've had my share of skate related injuries and I don't want anymore pain so when I skate without pads I don't try anything.) I skated for ten minutes strait, without stopping. Fakie, pump, kick-turn, Grab kick-turns... after ten minutes my muscles were pounding. Thus the ten minute run was born. This type of workout on a daily basis has given me more energy for full on "pad-up and attack" skate sessions! Try it. It takes discipline to refrain from pulling tricks, but be diligent. Focus on the building / warm up aspect of the Routine. Set aside ten minutes to ride for your health. And quit smoking those @#$% cig's!

About the pic: This is a self portrait using the D-50's timer. Do you know how hard it is to get a timer shot with the skater near the top of the turn? My Body position is weird in the shot because I was trying to float up there as long as I could hoping the flash would pop.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wow! Are you o.k.babe?

My wife rocks! She is an Awesome snowboarder, wonderful mother, gourmet cook, artist and skater! She has only been skating a little while but her approach is very aggressive.... maybe too aggressive. Here is a mini-ramp clip of my sweetie from a few weeks ago (before we built the new ramp addition) you know how this ends... don't worry, she wasn't hurt, go ahead and watch the clip a few times and laugh... she and I did.

Mulberry Blues

Cloud cover cooled the desert to seventy-nein degrees. The heavens threatened rain. "There is time for a quick session" Optimized the lone skater. But the Mulberry tree had other plans. The shade that once proclaimed an open invitation "Build the ramp here!" now shook its angry branches in the wind. Purple Death rained from the sky. The skate warrior fought valiantly, wielding push broom and water hose. The flat bottom battle field was now a wasteland of sticky-slick berry blood. All his His efforts were foiled. Could he call for reinforcements? No. Reinforcements would not come [they were on a skate trip to Crested Butte].
He lamented, shaking his fist toward the twisted leafy overhang. For a moment all was silent... and then it came.... the ominis sound of natures power filling the the back yard with fear...
"I am the Mulberry tree! My roots grow deep in this soil." "I was here long before that sorry pile of dimensional lumber and screws." "If you stand in my way, I will paint you Purple!"

The minute I got the ramp clean, a gust of wind put me back at square one.

ya, so I didn't get to skate today. I tried... I REALLY tried.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I found it!

Last Wednesday night I went to g-ma's house to pick up my brother P. When I got there he handed me an beat up skateboard. "It was my old NASH Executioner. Wow! What an incredible piece of poo... and yet it has historical significance with me so I will have to find a place for it with my keepsakes. I think I actually learned to kick turn on that old Nash. I bought it at Dave Cook sporting goods in 80.... something. I never liked the graphic. The "EX" was the only pig shape that I could afford at the time. It was not my first skateboard. I owned several banana boards. One banana board was pretty cool. It was orange plastic with a small kick nose and tail. I wish I could remember the name brand.

Monday, June 16, 2008

P's So called ghetto ramp

Ghetto ramp shows up at the best place on earth!
Or maybe it is "The ramp formerly known as ghetto ramp". P dragged this thing all the way from the eastern slope in the back of a U-haul. It was pretty beat up and looked dangerous, so we thought it was a good idea to go ahead and skate it. A few days ago P scrounged together a few extra bucks and bought new masonite surface for the ramp so we had to sess (or "sesh" as P calls it) the ramp today.

In rare form. Ya wont see very many pics of me skating without pads or a helmet.My lil bro rocks!

Ramp art. Turn Jackers BE WHERE!
My sib's are Rock Starz!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Grand Father's Day Bampa!

Here's one for the FAM!
Bampa [center]is small in size quick in movement. He's a regular Jackie chan. We got him out on my mini ramp the other day (It was great). He goes and goes and when the work's all done he sits down in the recliner and catches a few z's. I love Bampa. I think I got much of my energy from him (but then again, we are a whole family of energizer bunnies).

I [top left] am the oldest (and smallest) of three skate-rocker siblings. I have three kids [all over the pic] of my own and I am loving every minute of it. Mom [not pictured] wanted a picture of the grandkids (and the great-grandkids) with Bampa. My Nikon sb-800 flash only had enough charge for one shot. Next time I'll just yell..."no great-grandkids are allowed to look at the camera. Than they will mind!


This morning I was having my alone time [sitting on the throne] when all of the sudden the whole family burst in on me and shouted "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY Daddy!" yep, there they all were, mommy and the kids all smiling ear to ear and staring at me... just sitting there. "We made you father's day cards!" said D excitedly. It was priceless.

Fun on the ramp

I love having a ramp in the back yard. Though very small, it is endless fun. The new addition is only about six feet tall. There is no vert but it is still fun. I got the first coat of paint on this afternoon(after a much anticipated first session).

p: "Do you like my new hair do?"

me:"Yeah, you kinda look like Paul Simonon"

p:"uhh, I don't know who that is."

me: "never mind. Hey D, smile!"

"Git your pads on boy!... wait.. let me get a picture first, your mom will think its cute." ~slam~ crying, I told you so's, fun picture to show.


"Can I take a picture daddy?" "Sure D, point the camera at us... at us... AT US!" ~click~ Great shot D! You rock!

Big B an ME

I love my big B. He is only three and learning to wee in the potty. These are the best days ever!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yard Sale Friday on Friday

Friday is usually Yard Sale day. After Early morning Band Practice we catch a few Yard Sales on the way in to work! A while back I stopped at a yard sale to get a TV so the kids can watch "The Incredible's" in the play room. The TV was heavy. I spy an old Sk8 in the corner of the dudes Garage. I ask if he would throw it in with the TV and he said "Sure". SCORE! I now have an old Duraflex aluminum with Banzai trucks and unknown Wheels. If anyone knows what these wheels are, please let me know.

Nostalgia Tuesday on Friday [very early Friday]

We have all been putting in extra hours, working hard on the new ramp. I haven't had much time to Skate or shoot pics. Seth from S.S. Enterprises confirmed that Nostalgia is death. With that in mind I reflect on the not so long ago past with these pics. (hey, I can't quit my nostalgia cold turkey.)

I call this "lazy boy rock"

The new addition should be complete this weekend. I hope to have pics soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What a difference a day makes

I have once again neglected my blog. For this I do have a good reason. I am adding onto the good ol backyard ramp! The following pictures of the ramp tell the story best.

The Ramp Sunday morning

A trip to Home Depot, A Birthday lunch for Mom, a dessert at Grandma's and several hours later... we had both transitions and the flat framed. On Monday night we framed up the decks. On Tuesday night I had a Recording session. Tonight I hope to get the sheeting done.

The ramp Tuesday night.

The addition is just under six feet tall, eight feet wide with six foot ten inch transitions and eight feet of flat bottom. I attached the coping using an ingenious technique that I found online.

I have incorporated a natural "feature"/obstical on this ramp that I hope will make for a more interesting ride.

Tonight I hope to finish the Sheeting.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rainy night, sunny Friday!

Band practice is at 6:45am on Friday (actually Tues, Wed, Thur and Fri). This morning it was all foggy outside. It has been raining here way more than normal. I know why. I have been reading lots of Northwestern Skateboarder blogs . Oregon weather has been in my thoughts and presto... the power of the mind! Now, I'm thinking of 78ºF and sunny! Here is a pic from a few days ago. The "D-man" is working on dropping in. WILL HE DO IT??? We will see.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Music Wednesday (on Thursday)

I didn't get this post in yesterday like I had hoped. Music is one of those things that is hard for me to talk about (now my wife is laughing hysterically). I have SO much to say about music that I don't even know where to begin. Call this post an attempt to organize my thoughts into a crooked line of misfits.
Without any further ado here are ten (this one goes to eleven) albums that have shaped the Vekster's musical taste.

1. Def Leppard, Pyromania
One fifth grade day while riding the bus to christian school I found myself ordered to the front of the bus as punishment for questionable behavior. Mr. Miller the bus driver / principle must have felt a little bad for scolding me. He cleared his throat and made a cavalier attempt to relate. "So, what is your favorite song?" he exclaimed while making a sweeping bus turn onto Broadway. "Rock of ages" I stated with the excitement of a cow in mid graze. "Ooo that's a REAL goodie!" he asserted. I had to snicker. He was referring to the famous hymn and I was referring to Def Motha frekin Leppard! Pyromania was the first full album I owned (sort of). My friend dubbed me a tape from his record.
2. Duran Duran, Rio
I have many fond memories of riding that bus to Cornerstone Christian School. One day a cute classmate turned to her friend and said "Simon Le Bon's voice is soooo sexy!" That was it... I have been a Duran Duran fan ever since.

3. The Beastie Boys, License to Ill
This album changed everything. I bought the record from a kid at school. I made a dub tape for my walkman. I used to ride my Skyway TA out the airport and back listening to that tape over and over. My favorite song was "The New Style"

4. Dead Kennedys, Give me convenience or give me death.
"Hello, I'm punk rock, I'm going to destroy everything... so we can start over... and maybe do it all right this time". Punk Rock is misunderstood, misinterpreted, misappropriated... and I LIKE IT! Life Sentence is by far my favorite track. The words are so fitting. I have been known to do a pretty good Jello impression.
5. The Cure, Standing on the beach
The Cure, The Smiths, New order, Depeche mode. I listened to a lot of Collage radio through this time. I skated, I played drums in a few bands. I drove a Subaru wagon. Good days!
6. The Cult, Electric
I hear this album and I think "Summer" (the season). The whole album Rocks ( except for the last song) Possibly the most listened to album I have ever owned. I want to learn Duffy's solo on "love removal machine". I have tried to cop it but somthing is not quite right. Someday I'll get it down.
7. Jane's Addiction, Nothing's Shocking
When you hear the intro to mountain song, you just go "YES!!!" "Down the beach" Is an audio picture. The bass guitar work on this album is so musical and signature. I love to play along to this album on bass guitar.
8. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate machine
Trent Reznor: another one on my list of people I would like to work with. The first time I heard this album I was hooked. It was permanintly installed in the tape deck for several months.

9. Helmet, meantime
This album is rock. Its hard, musical, unique, flawed, real and it's the best music to go with a good day of snowboarding.
10. Mute Math, Mute Math
Mute Math is the most creative group of musicians in the world today. the only thing wrong with this album is that they did not re-release "Reset" again on this album. Mute Math possess a supernatural ability to take you on a journey of epiphany.

11. Oingo Boingo, Boingo Alive
Danny Elfman. Danny Elfman. And then there's Danny Elfman. My good friend Travis H introduced me to this band. I thank Travis for much of my musical exposure. I can't think of one band that Travis introduced me to that I didn't like...except for maybe "the meatmen".
Wow, I didnt even get to mention Fugazi, Bad Brains, Public Enemy, skinny puppy, front 242, The Dead Milkmen, mae, orange 9mm, Ulrich Schnauss, The Sex pistols, the Ramones, Midnight oil, Men at work, Bob Mould, nitzer ebb, The Ministry, wall of voodoo, Billy Idol, Uniform Choice, T.S.O.L, G.B.H, the Circle Jerks, Filter or the list goes on forever. Thank God for the Ipod. Now all my music can live together in harmony!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nostalgia Tuesday

In an effort to stay regular with my posting, (more fiber in my post diet?) I have come up with themes for each day of the week. Monday, I will have the "Goal Post". Tuesday I will have "Nostalgia Tuesday" and Wednesday... well I haven't thought it through that far yet, So we'll see what good things Wednesday has in store when it gets here!

This week I have a picture of me (circa 1987-ish) on my old ghetto ramp at 191 T-son Road.

This is some variation of a front-side grind (my skate terms are not what they used to be). I was about fourteen or fifteen in this picture. You can see I loved Tracker Trucks. I skated Tracker exclusively for years. Why? Who knows. I liked them. I also really liked that Sims Jeff Phillips deck (R.I.P. Jeff). The Phillips was the last board I purchased with a focus on art and aesthetics. After the Phillips I only chose boards for function. I often painted over the bottoms as soon as I got them. What a shame. Kids, never ever throw out art completely. There is a balance between art and function that is LIFE.

I kept that old thrashed phillips deck for years. Regrettably I threw it away during our last home move. And to think... I could have dumped it for at least $30 on ebay.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Goals

So, I am toying with the Idea of doing a goal list every Monday. Seems like it might be fun. So here we go.

THIS WEEKS GOALS (In no particular order)

1. Finish that Video for the Piano guy
2. Finish my wedding video (8 years in the making)
3. Hang out with my family every night
4. Write a song
5. Learn a new song on guitar (paperback writer)
6. Skate

This weeks tricks to learn:

1. Air to tail
2. Front side 50
3. Fakie to front side 50
4. Fakie disaster
5. Front side disaster
6. Back side board slide

If I learn everything maybe I'll post a vid.

Time Flies

Here are a couple of pics of me with my brother and sister. The first pic is from 2002 the second pic is from today. Its fun to see people change... and stay the same.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


We are definitely taking full advantage of having the mini ramp in the back yard. Here are a few pics from Sundays short but fun afternoon session.

This is my little sister Andy. She has totally got the skate bug!

My brother P. Front side grind.

Me. Front side air on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Photo P. Shell