Saturday, May 28, 2011

Losing Skin

A few weeks ago I totally blew it. I was taking a nice cruise on my longboard with Ethan; first real skate of the year. We went to the regular spot; just a little neighborhood up against the mountain with enough slope to hit 35 mph if you get into a proper tuck and take it straight on. With months of garbage weather I had not skated for quite some time, aside from an occasional pushing cruise down my street, which, if you have ever skated over 25 mph, you might agree is not that exciting anymore.

Anyway, on just my second ride down the sloped street, at about 30 mph, I caught some heavy speed-wobbles. That is what you call that moment when the board is uncontrollably shaking back and forth under your feet. If you don't know how to stabilize while in motion (a technique I have not mastered), you WILL get bucked off. Now, I have fallen many times. I know very well how to bail at that speed. I would normally fall forward on my hands and knees (gloves with thick plastic and knee pads) and ride it out. No pain, no problem. But this time, i totally panicked. I decided to stand up and try to run it out....at 30 mph. What am I, Superman? No, I am not. I cannot run 30 mph. As soon as my left foot touched the ground I was down. My left hip and both elbows took the entire impact of the asphalt. As soon as I hit, I knew I would be feeling it. The results were captured in photos, though I have chosen not to post those photos here. They are a bit gruesome. I'll just say I lost some serious arm skin and ended up with an enormous bruise on the left. The wounds had a difficult time healing, but have finally mended. The human body's ability to heal is truly remarkable.

This was by far my worst wreck to date, but one I can look back upon as a lesson learned. I am not indestructible. And now that I am finally healed up enough, and have picked up some new knee pads and added elbow pads to my collection of safety gear, I am anxious to try again...but I will most likely keep it to 20 mph for a bit and work back up to the 30 plus. I owe it to my elbows.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Molly and Music

So I posted, in the past, a video of Molly grooving to some of my music. Well, she loves all sorts of music. Of course, whenever it's one of my bands or recordings, she instantly recognizes it and loudly states, "That's daddy's song." If Fleet Foxes or Aloha come on, it's, "TURN IT UP." If it's something a little more up-beat and/or dancy, it's, "Mommy Daddy look," as she is in her car seat grooving out in some way through the constrictive straps that hold her down. She loves music. Over the weekend as we were listening on shuffle, Morning Light by Aloha came on. See vid.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A great show 2010

This was a great one. We were the odd band out and didn't have much of a chance to win, considering the 'left field' from which we came to play, but it was way fun and a privilege. This vid has some highlights and interviews.




Check this one too. A bit more of us.
Another on VIMEO

Google Yourself

Have you ever Google'd yourself? If you say no, you're a liar. Come on, everybody has. It's funny to see what weird crap comes up. I found that I am a weird old guy with nothing important on my website, a basketball player at Stony Point High School (up for college recruitment), an Investment Manager in Rochester UK (and a large number of other positions on LinkedIn), and some Belgian gal. And, although it is rare to actually find yourself on page 1 of a Google search, I found my Flickr page. Not that impressive, but whatever.

Not that I am that interesting of a person; I don't need to be Google page 1, or even page 100. However, I happen to be one of those who does some things in my life that I DO want to see page 1 on Google. And with some hard work I have achieved this. For example, Google the simple term "Bird Eater" and the very first link I see is my Myspace page for Bird Eater. If you search "C-Style" the last link on page 1 is my Big Cartel store for C-Style. Search "Pilot This Plane Down" and the first 5 links on the page go to our store, our Last.fm profile, and a dead link not worth specification. Yay Chris, cool me, right? Not the point. The point is that Google is rad, and blows my mind.

Also good finds on page 1 for Day of Less and Harmony Homes Utah

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Longboarding

I'm not one to stay in my comfort zone. I enjoy trying new things; sometimes even when the new thing seems something that is so not like me. Sure, as a kid, I thought skateboarding was rad. I tried skating at the age of 8 when I got my first board. That one lasted a short time, and I got a new one when I was like 12. I remember that one had a preying mantis on it. I tried to do a thing or two, but could never keep up with the other neighbor kids who were getting the asymmetric boards (today's common 'street skateboard'). I could never even ollie, let alone bust out a kick-flip. Needless to say, I gave up pretty quick. But I never forgot how much fun it was to just push around, even at the slow speed of a short skateboard.



About five years ago, my interest was rekindled when I saw a longboard at a Zumies. I put it on the ground and gave a little push. The feel of the soft, giant wheels gliding on the smooth concrete floor felt like a cloud, and I knew that if I could just get one, I'd be fulfilled. It took some time and connections, but I finally realized that my theory was completely true when I acquired a longboard within the last couple of years. An old friend Jake, I found out, had a longboard company in Ogden. He hooked me up with his best board, the Buddha's Streaker. There was no turning back. That very day I completed my first power-slide, and within a couple of months I was increasing speed and developing my slides. Don't get me wrong; I'm far from a champ. But I am somewhat fanatical and always pushing myself to learn more and develop my style. Right now, I can say that longboarding is one of my favorite activities, and I get so much thrill, satisfaction, and stress relief out of the sport. It is great exercise and will keep me young for years to come. I don't think I ever had it in me to skate a half-pipe or grind a rail. But I don't need to. I am pretty sure most of those guys, though INCREDIBLE at what they do, have nothing on me when it comes to speed and sliding. I skate too.





Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Molly

I love my little girl. Molly is incredible. She is more than I imagined she could be. My life is forever changed for the better. Her laugh, her voice, her face, her smile, her ridiculously advanced vocabulary, her attitude, her imagination...She loves her toys, but would rather play with..well, NOT toys. She loves to eat, but fights it at meal time. She loves to watch movies, but once the movie she asks for starts playing, she wants to watch another one. She can run me in circles until I'm dizzy or frustrated, but then she offers a simple, sincere "I uv you daddy" and it's all better. We call her teeny, tiny, little, and occasionally I call her Sweater (name chosen by members of Bird Eater..it beat other nicknames such as Plague Bringer).

Bowling for Molly's 2nd birthday. She loved it.

Christmas time. She loved it.

video
Jon and I wrote and recorded this song; the next morning I played it for Molly. She loved it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recording

One of my greatest thrills in life is playing music. The difficult part about it is that so much time goes into every aspect. For example, writing a song takes several hours of trial and error, followed by hours and hours of practice time to get it right. Finally, when enough songs are written and perfected, a performance is scheduled. Hours are spent on promoting online and taking fliers to every record store and coffee shop in town. Each band sits and waits for a turn only to play 25-35 min. Where is the value for me? That is the best 25-35 min I've had since the last time I played.

Recording is the exception. It takes even more time; in fact, it probably averages out to about 10 hours of effort per song as each instrument and vocal piece is recorded separately along with  the editing/mixing/mastering, not to mention the time spent adjusting the gear and tone that sound best recorded (there is no 'magic' formula). But the big difference in recording is significant; the final product will last forever. When I'm an old man and can hardly remember the performances that I pushed through, I will always be able to hit play and hear exactly what I have done. Recording is timeless, and even if the style is eventually outdated, it is a piece of me that will always live on. It is my art and my creation.

This one is Bird Eater.

Practicing

Performing

Recording

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Harmony Homes

I try my hand at many different things. Recently I have been helping Harmony Homes of Utah get a bit more attention online. When remodeling your home, it is important to make sure you are getting the best value and experience out of your contractor. Harmony Homes serves Northern Utah with over 15 years of experience. The majority of its large list of clients consists of referrals by people who were very impressed with the work that Brad did. He can do anything and is able to make very creative suggestions when a customer is not sure what to do. I suggest you give Harmony Homes a try; at least meet with Brad and get a free estimate and conceptual drawing of the project. You can also see some other valuable offers. Find out more about Harmony Homes at Harmony Homes Utah and see what I mean, or call Brad directly at 801-628-2190.

http://basementvalues.com

Music Is Important.

It's simple, really. I mean, not that anybody else will, but I do care. I have a bunch of awesome crap that I care about, and it could be something that you care about. Probably not; but just in case you do, I'll go ahead and share it.

For starters, I care about music a great deal. I'd say 80% of the music I really care about will not line up with the general public. I try not to go all elitist about it, but it might come across that way because of the indie/underground/local nature of the bands and the strange genres and severe lack of radio play. Long story short, I just think some of the greatest musical talent comes from artistic individuals with complete control over their creations, rather than artistic individuals who are paid large sums of money by somebody else to make music that some d-bag decided everybody should like. Granted, some great tunes can even come out of the scenario, but you have to admit, some sounds are really overdone and commonplace. I'd like to think that independent artists can bring something new to the world and receive some substantial recognition for it.

This is not to say that I don't appreciate some very big artists. I am crazy about some of the most popular musicians in the world. There is no denying that some things are just really good. To me, it's all about the integrity of the project and, really, whether it moves me.

Finally, I will admit, I have been in several bands, am currently in a couple, and plan to be in more. I, of course, would like to think that someday my own efforts are recognized. I just don't have the financial support that the big shots do. So, with a very small audience at my disposal, all I can do is love what I create and hope others care enough to find it.