Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alternate Transportation Thursday

Ever have one of those day where everyone was just very negative (variety of reasons) and you fell right into it? Well that was today. While indeed there was a really annoying development at work, it seemed like something more was going on with the dynamic today. Who knows.

Friday night is a go, so get your requests in! You can do things other than music you know!

Birthday Wishes!
For my friend and blogger, C-T,
I offer all my best for you and yours! You should have told me you were turning 29, I would have had champagne ready! All my best to you girl!

Financial Fix
A have a very fun post planned but I did want to hit a few things that I saw today.

Todd Harrison (who will always return an email, a rarity these days) of Minyanville had an interesting item up today that I think is well worth a look:
Financial Virus Permeates the System
As always the whole thing is well worth your time, but here is what jumped out at me:
Sun-tzu once said, “If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not, split and reevaluate.” As we navigate uncharted waters and sail through The Eye of the Financial Storm, an increasing number of people are weighing their options -- and some of the smarter folks I know are “going dark.”

What does that mean? They’re selling businesses, unwinding trading operations, or otherwise insulating themselves from the capital markets. The underlying reasoning is straight out of an Ayn Rand novel: “I can’t compete and when I do, the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game. I’ll let the powers that be vanquish themselves and return in three to five years to sift through the remains.”

The first time I heard this, I took notice. The second time, it piqued my interest. Now, with four of five savvy seers pulling the plug, I felt compelled to communicate my observations and intuition with the Minyanville community. I’m often early and sometimes wrong but I’ll put this out there; while few are talking about this, it’s on many people’s mind.
Did I write about negative tension in the intro, indeed I did! Maybe this is related?

By now I now much better than to go up against Calculated Risk. A while back I opined that when the FED was done buying MBS, rates would go up substantially. CR disagreed and as it sits he is very much right and I am very much wrong. When the kitchen in done (if?) I will be "eating my hat" by cooking a hat of mine on the Big Steel keg and, well. eating it! That will come later.

Today I felt I wanted to double down on the other side of CR, but I think I learned my lesson. In regards to the give away program where all Fannie/Freddie mortgages that are underwater would have "cram downs" applied to forgive a huge chunk of the mortgage CR says no way and even adds this is a silly rumor. Well lets see;
-unlimited backstop...check
-midterm elections coming up.....check
-only would need maybe 800 Billion (some estimates) and that is not a big number anymore....check
-who would complain or stop it? Nobody.....check
Looks better than silly to me but I am not eating two hats! Remember, the bond market is NOT a funding source so there is no reason this cannot be done. Whether it should or not is not a question we talk about anymore in Amerika.

Alternate Transportation Thursday
My "Toy" themed post had some great feedback. One comment I want to share (I think Gawains will not mind, it's all anonymous) and the other inspired tonight's post.

From reader Gawains regarding his favorite toy as a kid:
The best toy I had as a kid was the Secret Sam spy kit.

It had a pistol that shot red plastic bullets, and which could be converted into a rifle with an extended barrel, stock and scope. The really cool thing was that you could shoot the pistol from inside the briefcase, by pushing a button on the handle.

It also had a camera that took real pictures, which you could also activate from inside the briefcase. And a periscope for peering around corners. And a plastic knife, which could be discharged by pressing a button on the briefcase. It was a complete spy kit.

I had one of those when I was in kindergarten. Of course, back then we had to wear uniforms to school--dress shirts, pants and shoes. People would see me walking down the sidewalk, on my way to class, in my uniform with my black briefcase. And they would say, isn't he cute? The young professional.

They didn't know I was Secret Sam. I was out there, peering around corners with my periscope, taking pictures, spying on everybody.

One day, this fat kid came up and wanted to know what was in my briefcase. I told him to go away. He tried to take it from me. So I shot him. POW!

He started crying, the teachers came running, I was dragged into the Principal's office. And when she opened my briefcase, I immediately went from young professional to narco terrorist. They called my parents and everything.

Yeah, that's right. I was suspended from kindergarten. For a week. Greatest toy I ever had.
Best. Story. Ever.
If you miss the comments section here you miss plenty!

Tonight's post was inspired by reader Watchtower who offered that he wanted a Schwinn Stingray more than anything as a kid, but it never happened. Here is the model in question:

That is a fine bike!

Of course this got me all nostalgic about the means of transport in my youth. Maybe you will take a ride down memory lane?

BMX Bicycles
As soon as I could, I loved riding bikes. Not unique, I know. My first bike was this crappy thing that had plastic wheels and was made out of tin foil I think. I took it over a 3 foot jump, landed, and the frame broke in half and stuck me in the leg (no stitches needed!). I was not put off on my bicycle career by such a thing.

Skipping ahead, I wanted to share the hottest bikes from my golden years of BMX riding. Maybe you had one? Maybe you wanted one? Maybe you will have no idea what I am talking about? The last one is likely, but it is my blog!

Names like GT, Haro, Mongoose, CW, Redline, Kuwahara, Diamond Back, Dyno,

A few bikes of special note:

While I never wanted a GT Performer, this bike really set off the BMX/Freestyle bike mania:

Curvy frame!

A real Hutch BMX racing bike was out of reach for any mortal kid not from a rich family as these babies were BIG Bucks but the best available:

Another bike I never saw in real life, the Kuwahara Ripper:


Ok, you know a Porsche is a "super car" in terms of performance? Well I worked 6 weekends one summer with my dad doing railroad work, mostly rail installations, to get the dough for a top of the line racer. The Bike "Pistol" Pete Loncarevich rode to numerous victories. The bike I always wanted, a Haro Group 1 RS-1:

I loved that bike! I had it one half Summer and the next Spring I left it out one night, ONE NIGHT, and it got stolen of course. I used to sleep with the bike in my room and I forgot one freaking night. Geez.

Skateboarding Decks
Stuck with no bike and looking at quite a few weekends of work to get a new one, I passed the time building half pipe ramps and doing a little skateboarding instead. We "liberated" wood from various construction sites (I never said I was a saint!) and decks were way cheaper than bikes plus near impossible to steal from under my bed at night. I actually grew to love boarding, but I was never any good at it.

Decks are a true artist medium as every rider used his own board as a medium for expression. The graphics were really wonderful. A few selections for your perusal (most pics from the great site Skates on Haight).

My first deck, a Powell Yellow Ripper:

I have no idea why, but I liked that one!

A great friend of mine communicates his love was a Santa Monica Airlines deck, this is the Bulldog:

Very nice.

The legendary Tony Hawk and his revolutionary bottle nosed deck:

That thing was cool as all get out.

A Steve Caballero Dragon Deck:

I like it!

Finally, the baddest deck art I have ever seen, the Tommy Guerrero Flaming Dagger board:

This was by far my most wanted board. Amazing artwork.

So what happened? I had enough saved up to buy a Guerrero (they were red by then) but I had been bitten by the boxing bug! The gym was 12 miles across town so I had to buy a second hand 10-speed bike to get across town (lots of hills, city traffic) and I needed something quicker than a skateboard and more adjustable than a BMX bike. It happens!

One may wonder why I am doing these kinds of posts. I know I would wonder.

I can only say that things have been hard since my father died my second year in college (various reasons not just that) and after college things got complicated. As of late I feel that things are both hard and complicated, and I wanted to take a break and try to rejuvenate my mind and my spirit. What better way than to recall some things from a much more simple time. I can remember summers as a kid (all the way to freshman year in high school) when all I had to do was get good grades (easy!) and be home by 10pm (not always easy!). So simple, so fun. The Bob Seger song "Against the Wind" reminds me of all this.

Well, sorry to get off track. Anyways, I like this break from the usual stuff so I hope you do as well.

Have a good night.


getyourselfconnected said...

Let me know if the bike pics are not showing up, there seems to be an issue.

S. Gompers said...

I had a Stingray as a kid, I loved that bike.

I heard they bring a pretty penny these days...

getyourselfconnected said...

Hey Gompers!

Have not heard from you in a long time!

Glad you saw something you liked.

Jake said...

i had this bad boy:

gave it away (yes, gave it away) when i got my car.... ughhh

getyourselfconnected said...

What is that deck!!!!!!!

So nice, really, you gave it away?

Lost in time I guess. Thanks for stopping in.

Lurker said...

One of my favorite toys as a kid was a Mrs. Beasley doll. Those of you who remember a TV show called "Family Affair" will know what I am talking about. I threw it out when one of the stars of the show died of an OD at a young age:

GawainsGhost said...

Ha! The best story ever? It's all true. That really happened. I was suspended from kindergarten for being Secret Sam.

But a year earlier I was Batman. My mother had made me this outfit for Christmas when I was 5, basically it was a grey sweat suit but it had a bat emblem on the chest. A cowl, a cape, gloves, boots, a utility belt filled with all kinds of useful equipment. I even had a rubber bat tied to 50 feet of fishing line that served as a Batarang. I was Batman.

Went over to my grandparents' house for Christmas. Oh, look, it's Batman! That's right, I am Batman.

My grandfather pounded his fist on the table. Those damn Democrats, they're ruining the country!

The Democrats are ruining the country? This is a job for Batman!

We went over to my other grandparents' house. Oh, look, it's Batman! That's right, I am Batman.

My grandfather pounded his fist on the table. Those damn Republicans are ruining the country!

The Republicans are ruining the country too? It's a conspiracy! It's the Joker and the Penguin! This really is a job for Batman.

So for about a year I prowled the streets of San Antonio, looking for Democrats and Republicans to beat up. Then I outgrew my Batman outfit, entered the age of reason, and realized that the criminals I had been prowling the streets for were my grandparents.

That's when I became a libertarian.

getyourselfconnected said...

strange as it may sound but I know that show! I had no idea what happened to that poor girl.

watchtower said...

I used to skate when I was a kid too, so I took my ten year old daughter to a skatepark that is about 20 miles from where I live.

I bought her and I boards and off we went, I'm not ashamed to say that we had a blast, probably gave the local hooligans a good laugh too while watching a 45 year old guy out there trying to get his 'mojo' back (it didn't come back, but damned if I didn't try!).

While I was out there I was thinking "why does a person get to an age where he thinks he is too old for stuff like this, this is freaking awesome!"

It was a good day.

By the way, great post!

getyourselfconnected said...

great tale! Hope you did not mind me scooping your story for the blog, but I know its not an issue.

I am with ya, they are both the same, no idea what all the fighting is about; get rid of them all!

getyourselfconnected said...

Seems like we all post at the same time!

never too old, this post was all you man! When I saw that bike it brought so much back. I thank you so much!

I have to add a birthday wish to a friend of mine, so an addendum will be posted.

getyourselfconnected said...

Keep flowing folks!

Jake said...

it's actually another hawk board. if i had to guess, i'd say it was a model from '89 or '90

watchtower said...

Happy Birthday CT-Hilltopper!

Anonymous said...

"When the kitchen in done (if?) I will be "eating my hat" by cooking a hat of mine on the Big Steel keg and, well. eating it! That will come later."

LOL at the mental image of a post with photos of your hat on the Big Steel Keg & running commentary about how you cooked it :)

IMHO, you missed the best deck of all time, the Lance Mountain with all the tribal people on it.,r:14,s:0

GawainsGhost said...

For Friday Night Entertainment, I'm feeling nostalgic. Something like Pure Prarie League, "Aimee."

getyourselfconnected said...

yes I will be cooking a hat, but should I marinate it or not? I know I will have to cook it low and slow!

Glad most really liked this post.

scharfy said...

(two-day comment)

Oh my the HARO...... that was only a pipe dream in my neighborhood... One kid had one - and yes it got stolen too.

3 O clock high. Classic flick.

The skateboards.... WOW! I had a Chris Miller deck with TrackerTrucks and some kind of fancy ass wheels Peralta maybe ? all in was like $125 which broke the bank in 1985.

ZZ top jamming in the parking lot...

Good stuff man.

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