Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death Gap

For a while there I was starting to think I got laid off. Then I realized that a) I don't work for anyone, and b) I don't get paid anyway. So, uh, sorry.

Actually, the real truth of the matter was that I got bummed out one day when I looked at BMXfeed and realized five different sites were reporting that Morgan Wade had left Mutiny. I guess there are hundreds of news sites—if not thousands—that report the same exact thing every day, but this somehow seems different. It shouldn't have affected me at all, because it's not like I really care about sponsor changes. But, for whatever reason, it did.

Then there's the little matter of my being an epic procrastinator and the kind of person who just lets things snowball. Like with e-mail—if I respond to something right away, I'm fine. But if I put it off, each day that passes makes it harder and harder for me to respond at all. Then all of a sudden a week (or month) has passed and I'm totally fucked. So this, um, lag in updates is probably due to a combination of things. My bad. I've been away so long that Steve Crandall and Chris Berman are now technically co-workers.

Unfortunately, my absence had nothing to do with working on some sort of tremendously clever post that required weeks of research (or even thinking). Even after two weeks, I'm just winging it. Making it up as I go along. You'd think that after being a professional writer for damn near two decades now that I'd have a more effective and established process. And you'd be wrong.

Now pardon me while I clear out some tabs that have been open in my browser forever.

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Let's say you really want an Eastern Grim Reaper, but you can't afford one. There are plenty of things you could do, ranging from having someone talk you out of it, to seeking professional help. One option you should NOT consider is grabbing a router or a Dremel and making your own. Of course someone did just that.

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I'm sorry, but unless you're Brian Foster circa 1997, these bars look really silly. Yes, I know I shouldn't really be judging aesthetics—that they're a matter of personal preference—but if you want giant bars, why would you ever get four-piece ones?

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I'm not sure what company is responsible for this (it was on the Snafu blog), but the entirely seatless BMX bike can't be far behind. I hope the complete bike is called The Vestigal.

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When WTP started ├ęclat, I figured it marked the end of aftermarket WTP-labeled parts. I figured wrong.

No sir, I don't get it.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Motomag

Welding is hard. You know why? Because Snafu says so. See? It's right here. And I'll admit, those charts don't make a lick of sense to me, either. Then again, the internets are full of charts I don't understand—mainly because once you get past the Periodic Table of the Elements I'm totally lost. I was never much for science. Or math, for that matter. Somehow I tested into calculus as a college freshman despite having never taken pre-calc, and I only passed due to the, um, unwitting help of others. The only science courses I took in college were a couple of archaeology courses and a rocks for jocks earth science class that I used to catch up on sleep (and passed easily because I took a near-identical course in high school).

One thing I do know, though, is magazines. I was an editor at one for something like 10 years—and editor-in-chief for four. (I even wrote snarky responses to letters for a while, so me and McGoo are like brothers from another mother and stuff.) I still contribute to several, and know a lot of people in the industry. Well, some of them are still in the industry. There's a reason I haven't had full-time work in years, and it's not just because of my beard or the compromising photos on my Facebook page (I totally thought that llama was 18, I swear) or my overreliance on parentheticals. No, the ol' magazine industry just isn't doing so well these days. Ad pages are down, freelance rates are dropping (presuming you can even get work to begin with), even the big names are battening down the hatches and cutting pages to try and stay in the black. TIME is short, so to speak.

So while I'm sure I'm totally overreacting like usual, the line about "when Chris's story breaks, we'll scan it and feature it right here" in that Snafu entry pissed me off no end. Because McGoo of all people should know better. Look, I hope the article IS great. I hope it is indispensable. And I hope, if you want to read it, you go out and buy the magazine. Because if you don't, it won't be long before there's no magazine to buy. That, I understand.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Colors

Not dead yet!

However, I am going to disable anonymous comments for a while and see how that works out. I'm sure there'll be fewer comments, but that's OK. It's not like comment count is the be-all and end-all. I don't even care what anyone says. It's not about censorship, just accountability. Obviously everyone knows (or think they know) who I am. That should go both ways.

(I'm writing this at a Borders, by the way. I tried to post from my G1 on Friday whilst headed to Madison Square Garden, but while I could get to the "compose" screen and even type in a title, I couldn't figure out how to get a cursor in the main text box. Curses! Stupid technology.)

In something resembling BMX news, Standard is still living like it's 1999—or maybe even 1989. Check those stem colors:


Powdercoated, anodized, even polished if you ask nicely. Personally, I think they're insane, but hey, what do I know. I've never even worked in the industry!

(If you'd have asked me when colored tires would be making a comeback, I'd have said "never—and thank God!" I'd have been wrong. Here's hoping they've made tremendous strides in rubber composition in the past couple years. At least the Crips and the Bloods are happy.)

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Perfect Fit

I just haven't been managing my time well this week at all. Apologies.

Honestly, I've been looking at this for half the day and trying to figure out what the heck to say about it. Fit is looking to hire a new designer, and it...could...be...you! Well, assuming you can use Solidworks, which counts me out. (I like that it's posted on the RIDE UK site but not on the Fit site. Are a lot of would-be BMX designers located overseas? Would it be worth posting this on Monster.com? Craigslist? It's also pretty funny that the contact person is Moeller and not Robbie.)

There's a lot to pick apart. Like "college degree or comparable education." What does that even mean? That you got within a couple of credits of your engineering degree and dropped out to support your ill hamster? School of hard knocks? I also love the "just in case you are currently working for another company," which implies all kinds of potential for espionage and treachery. I suppose if the next generation of Fits have all kinds of holes mitered in them we'll know they snatched someone from Eastern. Or Volume. Maybe the new guy will want to do track frames! I can hardly wait!

(Overall, it does make you—or at least me—wonder what sort of qualifications most designers at BMX companies have. Are they all engineers? If not, did they all at least study engineering at some point? Or is the closest some of them have come to engineering is the time they watched Thomas the Tank Engine by mistake?)

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Monday, March 2, 2009

It's the Feds!

It's late, and I've still not managed to procure a digital scale, so I shall neither provide anything lengthy nor complicated today.

Instead, a simple link, where Mark Noble of ESPN (and Deluxe, and formerly of Ride UK) asks several questions of Federal's Chris Harrison. The subject matter is appropriate for this blog. To wit:

"The consumer is to blame in a sense, as they are ultimately demanding lighter parts, and then companies obviously answer this demand and end up producing three and a half pound frames that are not fit for purpose. I think as an industry we have a responsibility by the rider to educate them and to make sure they are aware of the limitations of frame design."

Well, shiver me timbers! Responsibility!

It's well worth reading the interview in its entirety, if you haven't already. Thank you Mark, and thank you Chris. (I thought about quoting more, but I just read this story today.)

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Don't mind the bollocks (or my previous posts, apparently), it's Taj's bike check. Maybe the Hanson photo (no, not this) didn't make me a hypocrite, but this does. Still feels weird to me that he's not riding a Barcode.

Obviously I just linked to this because Odyssey pays me $39,967,003 a year. Don't even ask.

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