Skate - Short Note On Rockered Skates

To Rock Or Not?

Rockering skates traditionally does wheel size:

80-80-80-76

Full rocker or banana rocker does wheel size:

76-80-80-76

The Bauer skates have:

80-80-76-76,

A Hi-Low chassis, Bauer skates are famous for, as they hold the patent, no other skates manufacturer can copy. Its known as an aggressive stance, as the skater leans, with his weight thrown in a forward direction.

Unconsciously, I used a different rocker this week and last. My wheels were wearing at the rear from slides I practiced, and switched the rear two wheels to the front. After rotating wheels, I practiced backwards skate, and heavily wore down what was now the front wheel on right and left skates. It was down to around 72m.

I was now running:

80-80-76-72

I noticed it allowed much quicker turns in the slalom and in general skate. It was done quite by chance, as I had not realized how worn the front wheels on both skates were, till I got home and measured.

I like the set-up. It produces very fast turns and good stability. I'm gonna run with it for a while and see how it goes.


Movie - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Drug Induced Delirium

There's a fine line between genius and insanity, and Gilliam straddles that line with impunity. All his work is marked with flashes of both and show him as one of the most creative directors working today.

Depp produces a flawless performance based on Hunter S. Thomson, the infamous gonzo journalist. Depp spent time with Thomson, observing his mannerisms and reproduced them for the screen. Del Toro plays his psychotic and psychopathic lawyer, Dr Gonzo.

The movie has a feel that it's fueled by an excess of drugs and alcohol. Appropriate.

Name: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Year: 1998
Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro.


Movie - Let The Right One In

Swedish Vampires

Teen vampire flick with a difference, unlike any other you've seen. I didn't bother with any of the Twilight Saga franchise of clones. I'm not into horror or gore.

Let The Right One In is very different. No super-human powers, howling at the moon, or beast transformations.

Slow paced, moody, watchable.

Give it a shot.

Name: Let The Right One In
Year: 2008
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson.



Book - Inline!: a Manual for Beginning to Intermediate Inline Skating

Inline!

Authored by William Nealy, an accomplished cartoonist and inline skater. The book is filled with tips, pointers, insights and advice for new (me) and intermediate skaters.

Nealy offers how-tos and how-not-tos in a fun, easy, read.

You can pick it up used on Amazon.co.uk for pennies.

Or Amazon.com for cents.

If you're a newbie skater, it's worth the cost of postage.

Get it!



HBOs - True Detective

Crime Thriller

Watched HBOs True Detective, a TV series in 10 episodes. Brilliant performances from Matt McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as the detectives tracking a serial killer.

I watch almost no television, but this was essential viewing.

If you haven't seen it and you get a chance. Take a look.

Name: True Detective
Year: 2014
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan.
Episode List: Season 1


Freestyle Skating Video

Awesome Wheels

These guys are totally insane.

I love this vid; the edit, the track, the skate.

Inspired fun.

The Art of Slalom

How Its Done

Slalom video by Sinead Howick.

Great style. Great control.

Watch and enjoy!



Skate - Slalom Skating

A Few Thoughts

I bought Naomi Grigg's book "The Art of Falling", as an intro to Freestyle Slalom skating, last month. I've been working through some of the simpler exercises and drills.

After a couple of weeks regular effort, I noticed a big improvement in my balance and posture. As with most people I have a strong side and a weak side when skating. Slalom throws your weak side in your face, everyday. You can't miss it. As you work between the cones, your weight shifts from side to side and back again. Slalom highlights your dependence on your strong side, which cannot be used as a crutch if you mirror a maneuver.

Doing the forward snake through the cones, leading right foot, no problem. Not a single cone displaced. Try left foot. As I weave through the line of cones and kick first one, then two, then three, its obvious my weight shift is wrong. It also highlights weakness in my ankles, which are used extensively, to weave through obstacles.

Slalom improves edge usage and control. The space from one cone to next is fixed and restrictive. You must use those edges correctly to get the tight turns you need. That means, bending those ankles low, first to the left, then to the right.

It may produce frustration initially, as you can't get the maneuver right, analyze where it went wrong. You kicked the third cone. Why? Too much weight on the back foot. You need more forward weight on the front foot, to whip it left then right, then left again. The weight needs to be correct. Too much weight on the back and the rear skate will drag all those cones off the white line. Where was the weight distribution in the skate? Was it ball of foot? Was it back at the heel? Was it mid-foot? The leading foot needs enough weight to guide and to lean the edges.

As you kick the cone off the line, observe where your weight is. Make a mental note and compare where it should be. Do the same maneuver again, this time concentrate on getting the weight right. When you do the maneuver correctly, observe where your weight was at each point. Notice the weight transfer.

I used this method when I first started, as I had real difficulty with fast left turns. I couldn't get my weight in the right place. Right turn, no problem. I kept doing the right turn and noticed where my weight was at each point in the turn. then I mimicked it on the left side. Eventually, I got it.

In Slalom, as your weight shifts from leg to leg, with control, it works muscles hard. After a couple of days rest, I got back to the park, lined up the cones and blasted through a forward snake with left foot leading. No errors.

I found I had difficulty with forward cross left foot leading. It again showed my weakness on that side particularly when its the leading foot. I persisted by working it every day. No matter how many times I kicked those cones. Today, I finished the criss-cross left foot leading, without an error.

When you skate normally, if your balance is a little off, you can rectify by adjusting your stride, your speed or lean. You can conceal it. With Slalom if your balance is off, you can't hide it, you'll kick the cones.

It may feel unpleasant, it may frustrate, it may irritate, but Slalom works. Slalom will improve your skating. Even if you only do a simple weave through a line of cones, it will help. Trust me.

Go buy 10x cheap bright green / yellow / orange / blue cones and get down the park or somewhere quiet, you can practice and mess up without worry.

I use the white line on a basketball pitch to get a straight line. Its a useful guide. Cone spacing is normally set at 50cm, 80cm, or 120cm. As a beginner, I don't bother with a measure tape. I just eye them up. Once I'm more proficient, I'll ensure distance is accurate.

Don't fret if you kick cones more often than not. Keep pitching. You will improve along with your balance.



Forward Snake




Forward Cross



Quotes - Mark Twain

If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.


The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.


In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.


Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.


Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.


It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.


Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.


It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.


Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.


The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.


Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.


If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.


The lack of money is the root of all evil.


A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he uses in conversation.


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.


Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

Movies - Hamlet

Prince of Denmark

To Be Or Not To Be?

Mel Gibson gives on of his better performances as the Prince of Denmark.

Run-time is 2 hours long, which is half the length of the 4 hour stage show, but provides excellent viewing anyway.

If you are not a Shakespeare fan, here's your chance.

Name: Hamlet
Year: 1990
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates.


Quotes - Oscar Wilde

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.


Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.


Children begin by loving their parents; then judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.


I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.


It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.


I can resist everything except temptation.


What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.


An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.


Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.


There is no sin except stupidity.


Those whom the gods love grow young.


There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.


Everything popular is wrong.


One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.


I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.


The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.


Why was I born with such contemporaries?