Pretending that everything is normal.
Good morning, and I mean that.
Before we get into today’s effort, I’d like to share this clip that I received over the weekend from Robert;
I have to admit, Slift is new to me, but I became an immediate fan, and as it turns out, makes me miss live music real damn badly.
Good lord, is that some space-ie stuff. I think I might see a little psychedelic journey in my future, with Slift along for the ride.
And while we’re on the topic of the future, let’s jump back to the past real quick. Eleven years to be exact, and the very first post on this here website. Can you believe that this occurred eleven years ago yesterday? Man, I can’t. I had a real snazzy product launch lined up in commemoration, but because it only occurred to me that this auspicious date was on the horizon about two weeks ago, I (unsurprisingly) couldn’t get my shit together. In light of this, I’ll put it back in the queue, and roll it out for our thirteenth, at which time I’m either gonna sell this whole shitshow to the highest bidder, or throw it in the trash where it likely belongs.
So in recognition of the date, I spent five minutes playing with Photoshop;
I spoke with my folks the other day, and I was reflecting on the conversation we had shortly after I was invited to no longer work at Swobo. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do with this project, and what direction I wanted to take it, but little more than that. Essentially, and without belaboring the details, I think I pretty much wanted it to become exactly what it’s become. A way for me to make a living, certainly, but more importantly, a resource for likeminded people to connect. I remember my buddy Paul told me about being at a race and seeing another person wearing some of the Hodala/AHTBM arm warmers, and they kinda just gave each other a knowing glance, and nod. Kinda like how one speeding used to be, or to a degree, how skateboarding always has been, this site is a secret handshake. It’s a flavor not everyone likes, and a sound not everyone hears, which is all I ever wanted.
And to that end, I swear sometimes this site is the only decent place on the internet. People act civilly towards one another, and with the exception of twice in its entire existence, no one has ever gotten shitty with me. I think that speaks volumes to our character (‘our’ being this readership, and the loudmouth behind this electronic pulpit), and might someday stand as a shining example to curious historians of the one corner of the internet where people acted as if they were grown-ups with actual accountability.
At the risk of saying it to the point that it loses meaning, to the readership, the advertisers, the customers, and all who make this place what it is, thank you so much for the continued support. It means far more to me than I can ever possibly describe.
As does the following message that was included in the notes field in a recent order;
That warmed my heart.
For those who might not know, these are Wizard Staffs;
I can’t remember who sent me the photo, but it was definitely shot in Minneapolis.
I would like to note that I certainly don’t promote or support folks drinking to a point where they hurt themselves. When I first conceived of WSATU, I’d never seen alcoholism. I grew up in an environment where booze was ever-present, but I only ever associated it with grownups singing, and playing music, and gobs of laughter and affection. Luckily, I was able to transition into adulthood with that same perspective. I was in my mid 40s before I saw what alcoholism looked like, and at the risk of sounding flippant, it was a real buzz kill. I worked actively to try and help a friend who was struggling, attended AA meetings, and immersed myself in stone cold sobriety for over a year. Ultimately, they made their own decisions, and to protect myself, I had to make mine.
The bottomline, and the point I’m trying to make is that after all is said and done, I like beer, and getting silly with it. WSATU is just an extension of that, but as I always say regarding everything- “all things in moderation, including moderation.”
I’m glad the person who sent me that message appreciates the nonsense that is Wizard Staff. I sure do as well. Hell, we even made a seventeen month calendar in tribute to it;
By the way, please somebody buy the rest of these. The remainder of the order is sitting right next to my desk, and I can only dry heave so many times in a day;
So in conclusion, I’m glad that customer appreciates Wizard Staffing, beer is cool, and for anyone who wants to do it, please do, but not at the expense of your own wellbeing.
Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.
Unrelated to the last thing, or the next, I recently was done the ultimate kindness by a fella who runs a funnny little side hustle called Sorry For Fingerboarding, when he sent me a replica of the most recent AHTBM/Matt Loomis deck;
I don’t even know which way is up anymore.
the attentive among us might recall a time last summer when I showed off a tiny version of the last deck I did featuring artwork by Blk Prjkt;
Having just broken eleven years feels good, but winding up with these in my hands is really the marker that I’ve done something right all these years.
In news of helping folks who need help, an item crossed my desk last week that might be of interest to folks here. Anyone who knows me might could tell you that I’ve long been a big fan of the band Planes Mistaken For Stars.
For the uninitiated, their song ‘Never Felt Prettier’ from the 2007 release, ‘Mercy’ resonates;
In fact, I had them lined up to play my annual Underbike party two years ago, but ended up jumping ship just before the annual Interbike trade show went under. After years of listening to them, I was thankfully able to see them last summer, after quite accidentally stumbling through Bloomington, Illinois, where they were playing;
Anyway, it’s come to my attention that lead vocalist (and impossibly nice guy) Gared O’Donnell, has been diagnosed with stage 3 Esophagus Cancer. As I can only imagine, this has been a devastating blow for him and his family. Thankfully, a dear friend of his has circled the wagons by organizing a crowd sourcing page to generate some dough to help him and his family through this process.
All I ask is this- If at any point PMFS has at any point filled your ears, and touched your life, throw some dough to Gared in thanks.
I hate that he’s sick, but I love that people are so generously supporting him.
At least in these upside-down times where is seems chaos is reigning supreme, that part is what I’d prefer to be ‘normal’.
11 years ? Time flies – thank you for all that you do. Making me smile is one of the highest forms of art that few can muster- and you do it with regularity.
Bless you Stevil.
I like a lot of things about this particular post.