Sunday, September 14, 2014

I've been at Interbike


Photo by Mr. John Watson

Much like a black hole, Interbike can suck you in and destroy you. I know I left you hanging with the 2nd half of the See See shoot, but... Interbike. I just got home and all of my socks and underwear are now clean, so I will tell the tale in the next couple of days. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I still like the things I like


The Ren & Stimpy Show - I Was a Teenage Stimpy [Full Episode] from Cxoban on Vimeo.
This show will never get old.

Blind Date at the Dairy


Everyone's favorite cross race, Blind Date at the Dairy,  returns this September 10th and if you are in Portland and was able to weasel your way out of Interbike you should go to the series kick off. Why is it called Blind Date? Because it's in the dark, silly.  My pal James "Jam Jam Babyface" Wilson made a video to get the people hyped.

BLIND DATE AT THE DAIRY 2014 from James Wilson on Vimeo.

You remember James, right? He's the one who made this classic 21st Ave Bicycles video.

21st Avenue Bicycles - Family Fun Bike Build! from James Wilson on Vimeo.
Yes, that's me doing what I do best: being rad. Wipe the dust off the ol' cow bell. Cross is coming.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chrome x See See MOTOR shoot: Day 1



Sometimes my job feels like a job. That's why it's called a "job" and not "super magic fun time". Other times I wonder what I did to be so lucky. Being hilarious and incredibly charming probably helped, but I digress. Chrome is coming out with a motorcycle line and I couldn't be more excited. I met Thor Drake through my pal, James Crowe, when I was managing the Portland store. I wanted to clear all the product off of the floor and throw a motorcycle show in the HUB. James made the intro, Thor brought an XS 650 and that was the start of our on going relationship with See See Motorcycles. We've worked together on many projects since then including Thor's "The One Motorcycle Show" and Chrome Elements; just to name a couple.

See See Motorcycles: Slo-Mo from See See Motor Coffee Co. on Vimeo.
 It made sense to bring him into the product development meetings when we were designing the bags and I'm glad we did. These bags are tough as shit and I'm not just pitching that because I work in marketing, but I watched them do burnouts on top of the Chrome MOTOR bag, besides being scuffed, it was completely intact. Why were they doing burnouts on the bag? I'm glad you asked. To spread the word of the MOTOR launch Chrome, See See, and Kamp Grizzly teamed up to make a video that is about nothing more than a good time... and the bags I guess. The See See crew came out with a video about a year ago called "A Moto Food Fantasy" and it went a little something like this:

See See Motorcycles: A Moto Food Fantasy from See See Motor Coffee Co. on Vimeo.
What are they selling? Nothing, they're having fun. You should try it sometime. How does that saying go? "Laughter something something something medicine?" I couldn't agree more.

In this next video the chef and gang are back with more tom foolery that will have you asking, "what the hell?".

Day 1 started off with shot outside off See See.
Hey take a look at that nice young lady. That there is my boss and next to her is our pal Scott Toepfer, king among men. We had Toepfer shooting shots of Kamp Grizzly shooting. Super meta, probably way over your head, so let's just move along.


When he wasn't set directing Thor was stunting it up to beat the band... whatever that means. After we got all the shot we needed, we went to our 2nd location: the name isn't coming to me at this very moment, but it wasn't too far from Portland.


Ahhh... there it is, Sauvie's Island. Without giving too much away, I'm just going to show you some pictures I took. I mean, the story line is so clear and concise I'm practically giving it away, but I can't resist.





I practically gave the whole story away! The tension between Scuba Bjorn and his love interest is almost palpable and the struggle between the two has as many twists and turns as a roller coaster at Dollywood. 

The sun set and we headed back to Portland for dinner and laughs. The first day of shooting was fun and weird and we still had another day ahead of us to look forward to. The most I really knew about it was Drake McElroy was flying in to do sweet jumps and we had raw squid in a cooler.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gino Jam

Here's a weekend jam that I've been jammin' on for the last 15 years. Get into it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pendleton trip with my Chromies

I work with some amazing people and when you put in the hours like we do, when you struggle together at trade shows, when you spend 20 hours solid on a build out, get 5 hours of sleep, and then go right back and work the event you just stayed up for a bond forms. When you suffer alongside a group of like minded individuals it inevitably brings you closer together. Good thing there was none of that here on this work trip. No sir and/or ma'am, it was all fart noises, laughs, and hi5s; in that order. The Chrome Portland gals and myself went to Pendleton Woolen Mills not only to buy fabric for our hub sewer's custom stations, but to take a tour of the factory and see how they make their goods. 
Read the picture above like you would a book and you've got Lilly, Jessica, and Lara.  Each one of these ladies hold a special place in my heart... the aorta. Lilly and I both joined the Daughters of Norway together and is acting manager of Chrome Portland. Jessica is her pal from way back when and because she is hilarious, I'm pleased to call my friend. Lara... well, that gal and I go way back. We know each other from our Chicago days. I'll never forget, I installed a headset on her bike, but was 1mm off on the spacers and no matter how much I tightened it, it still rattled. That was back when I was wicked green and I learned a lesson from that and that lesson was: try to install headsets correctly. She's also my work wife because at Interbike a couple of years ago some dude mistook me for a guy and thought she and I were there to get married. Her husband, my pal, Chris is a good sport about sharing his wife with me... not in the swingers way, mind you. In the tight bond way. He's a good dude like that.

Here is where we had to turn the cameras off. They didn't want us sharing their 1950's technology with the rest of the world. The company started in 1863, but many of the machines used to process the wool is of the 50's era and I think they were worried about the flash photography compromising the structural integrity of the steel. If you believe that then you should probably stop reading here because I'm full of shit and if your goal is not to have the wool pulled over you eyes, than maybe this is a good stopping point. See what I did? Wool over your eyes? Woolen mill? Awwww... forget it.
Here's Lilly showing us an old timey way of doing old timey stuff. Sure they have a newer way inside the plant on the tour where we couldn't take pictures, but that new way is via 1950 so Lil here is bringing us waaay back into the day.
Maybe not that far back, but you get the point.

Inside the factory we saw rows and rows of machines that looked like they were in a WWII movie. Better yet, like a Looney Tune assembly line. You know the song.
If you don't recognize it right away, fast forward to the 1:30 mark and be prepared for your childhood to roundhouse kick you to the face. 

I can't show you what it looked like inside, but it looked like that sounds... and after all the music you got something that looked like this:

This is one of the OG jacquard prints they are known for. We are supposed to say it was "inspired" by the Native Americans, but it was the 1800's and anyone who took a history class and isn't an asshole knows that the white man wasn't inspired by them intsead they took from them. Despite my prick ancestors, I was so excited to see all of this beautiful material.

Speaking of pricks, the gals I spoke so highly of at the beginning of this post? You know the ones? Well, they left Chrome, put on wicked rad pant suits, started their own company, and made millions in pretend dollars; The Bitch Store. I was going to take the time to tell you how that name came about, but just look at them.. so bitchy... so awesome... so amazing. 
If I ever stop being a bitch, shoot me dead in my tracks...or my face, whichever comes first. These gals know how it's done. Granted, their Empire may crumble with in the first 3 months, but they stole my heart a long time ago so who is the real winner here? Me. That's who. 

Our trip to Pendleton was the stuff dreams were made of, a dream you can't wake up from, and I was happy to spend it in the company of these great ladies while I learned a thing or two. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Customer Solutions vol. 10: Machine Mash-Up

Since I no longer wrench at a 21st, I don't have the pleasure of taking in the bikes of customers who decided to do the work themselves... without asking any questions of any kind and just went for it. While I respect enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, I encourage everyone to at least consult the internet before you break out the ol' tool box. Example: Customer Solutions vol.8
This dude couldn't get his front wheel back in after he removed it. Instead of asking for help he took the next logical step and filed the fork ends, in turn ruining his fork. I'm not complaining, I love this shit. It tickles me to see where some people's mind go. In this case it was totally the wrong direction, but it was humorous none the less.
Another great one was vol.3. This dude loves his kid just enough to make a trip to the hardware store and fashion him a seat so they can go on bonding bike rides together, but not enough to spend a little more money to ensure that his child would survive said ride. In fact, he brought his bike in for something completely different. Never even mentioned the seat.

They weren't all shit shows. Some customer solutions were thoughtful and well executed. As cool as those were I got more of a kick out of the "really dude?" ones. 

Customer Solution vol.10 falls somewhere in between. Even though I'm no longer at the shop I'm still going to call the series that because these people are still customers to someone, somewhere. Although this solution seemed clever and well executed, I was left with the question "why?"
This took some work. The creator of this gem had to cut off the mower's handle, the bike's fork ends, and then weld it together. They then painted it; not all of it, just half. Now, I could understand if they were trying be eco conscious by using a push mower and wanted to speed it up a bit, but this bike was nowhere near a lawn of any kind. Not even close. It was in a warehouse hanging out waiting for someone to jump on it thinking it was "neat" and then falling off of it into the precarious rotating blades. If your bike has rotating blades and you're not racing in some sort of modern day Circus Maximus, STOP. Get off the bike. You're going to die. If you happen to survive a fall from this Eco Death Machine, you're at least going to maim yourself and perhaps lose a digit or two. I don't want that to happen, not to you... so if you see this out there and think to yourself "neat", STOP. It's not worth it dude.