Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Presto!

Matt requested I put these up on the blog before I leave. Rachel came out with me today and took some pictures of me skating this bank, and she did a mighty fine job at that, never been so proud of her. She even filmed it really good too. She's a natural. This post is once again to remind you that I am, in fact, leaving the country. I don't know the next time I'll have internet access, so I might be a while writing on the blog. But enjoy these pictures, and you'll be seeing some Italy action quite soon!

Little Jonny needs to fly

This is Nick from the skateboarding class. He learned a ton of tricks in the class, it was way cool. This is a sequence I got of him learning to rock to fakie on the quarter pipe on some kind of old school board.

So I'm off to Italy tomorrow early morning. Wish me luck, and I'll be posting some Italy stuff soon, so stay in touch. See ya!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Thin Redneck Line

Now that I'm on my own, you're not going to see too many pictures of other people for a while. Just me. Deal with it. Get used to it. Or get off my blog... So I'm in the strange land of Brigham City right now, awaiting my departure to Italy next week. To sum up this town, the line between redneck whitetrash and redneck gangster is growing ever slighter, criss-crossing among many individuals. One of them almost hit me with his car yesterday when I was skating. He actually wasn't too close, I stopped before I was in the street, so he could have kept driving and missed me by a good foot or so. But he slammed on his breaks (he was going 15 mph, tops, mind you) and just sat there in his car. His beautiful specimen of a wife, with her Tina Turner hair do, overly revealing tank top, and cigarette-induced man voice told me to "Eff off", whatever that means... But the dude just sat in his car, stared straight ahead like he had just seen an alien, then quenched his fist and slowly hit the steering wheel. I said "sorry," but he glared at me like he wished he had finished the job. Well if you're going to get that bent out of shape, maybe you should have tried to finish the job. I would have messed you up! Anyway, I apologized twice, to which he did not deter from his steering wheel-hitting stress relief program, and I skated off. He was as hick as you can get, but he had some kind of angry rap playing in his car. As stated earlier, that line can be crossed in these parts...

So the pictures above are ones my wife took on her phone. The first is some kind of collage she made of me doing my homework. School hasn't even started yet, and I have most of my work for the semester completed already. That's right, haters. Yeah, haters, I just called you out. Why do you hate so hard? The second picture demonstrates this strange fetish my wife has of taking pictures of me while I'm sleeping. I will so no more about that. The last is what happens when two pigs fall in love. Let that be an example to the rest of you...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flying animals

I hate rodents. Well, squirrels usually stay out of my business. But rats and mice are always getting into all kinds of trouble, getting into my grill and eating my ritz crackers. And my tortillas and cotton balls. We were camping all last week, hence the no writing on the blog. I also moved out of Provo last week, and that was crazy because my wife was super sick. But at least I didn't have finals, a video premiere, and a wedding to be in all in the same week, like last year when I moved... Anyway, so this renegade mouse got into my car while we were camping and was helping himself to our snacks while we were sleeping at night. He ate some of our tortillas and crackers, infecting the rest of them with his rodent ways. Enough is enough, and the very existence of a mouse in my car is enough to make me go crazy, so we set up camp and laid siege on the beast. With broomstick in hand, I fought the beast, and on the lowest hill in the highest mountain of Lava Ranch, I smote his ruin upon the mountainside... Well, he got away actually, but he'll probably think twice before infecting my car with his presence. But after thinking twice, he'll probably crawl back into the car and do it again.

I hate rats too. The animals, not "The Departed" rats. I don't know what to think about those kind. They put their life on the line to keep us safe, that's what they do. The biggest rat I saw was in the Caribbean in front of my apartment. It was the size of a full-grown cat, and it ran right in front of me before swan diving straight into an irrigation pipe and disappearing without a trace of him. It was one of the most beautifully disgusting things I've ever seen in my life. I wanted to vomit. Man, that apartment sucked. Every morning the locals would smoke weed right outside of our windows which we were permanently opened; they were not made so you could shut them. The worse design ever. So my morning scripture study usually involved some kind of vision of sorts as I took it all in. This crazy dude would call us almost every night and tell us about the government trying to kill him and meeting us on boats with brief cases full of Russian secrets and what not. It was good fun to talk to him after a hard day of betting eaten by mosquitoes and spreading the good word. And eating lots and lots of fruit and good food.

Anyway, I have nothing new to say. I'm leaving for Italy next week, and I'll be there for several months. I'm excited about that. Here's a picture Rachel took of me yesterday at the Brigham City skatepark. It's one of the worse designed parks you'll ever skate, but this pyramid is good fun. I guess that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The real street league

So I'm the teacher of the skateboarding class at the local rec center. It's the funnest job I could ever have, and I'm way proud of all the kids and how they progressed. So I brought my camera to a couple of the classes and filmed everyone do a couple tricks. As you watch this, keep in mind that most of them had never stepped foot on a skateboard before 5 weeks ago. Nick came to the first session of classes, so he's had a few more weeks experience on a board, and Ramses, 7 years old, came to the last week of the first session, so he's got 6 weeks experience on a board. Jade, the little 6 year old girl, has only been on her board 3 different times and looks like she's been riding for a while. I definitely was not at this level when I had been skating for this long, and some of them are definitely going to be rippers when they're older. So this is the quick video I put together for them, I hope you enjoy it:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dances with Jon

Strange things happened then, and I won't apologize or try to explain myself. But this picture is its remnants. This is one of the proudest pictures a balding brother, me, could ever post on the blog. Brian is carrying on the legacy for all of us whose hairs began abandoning ship long ago. Thank you, Brian...

So I began physical therapy today. My ankles have been hurting lately, so I went to the doctor last week to get them checked out. 1 hour and a couple x-rays later, we discovered that my right ankle has been broken for 13 years, and my ankles bend 15 degrees more than what they should. The doctor said they usually just recommend surgery when someone's ankles have as much flex as mine, but since I'm shoving off for Italy soon, they'll try to help me with physical therapy first. Thank you, Italy, for saving my ankles... I was thinking about it, and if they tried to take my ankles from me, I would hop on my skateboard and ride into oncoming traffic Dances with Wolves style, with my chest sticking straight out and proud, my arms up the in air, my eyes closed, and my mind void of any more cares or sorrows. The day they take my ankles from me is the day I go down Kevin Costner style. From Dances with Wolves, not from Water World. Dances with Wolves was brave. Water World was simply suicide... So, as a result of my physical therapy, my legs are going to become even stronger and bigger than they already are, further imposed on my over-taxed pants as it is. Same thing happened to my thighs 2 years back when I had to work them out to help with the tendinitis in my knee. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, but there it is. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get help

Two items of business. First item: I was a little disturbed earlier while observing the stats for this blog that someone found our blog by typing in a google search: wearing diapers as a fantasy. Person, whoever you are looking for a good time, you are not going to find it in fecal matter, especially from adults. It's a messy, stinky business that should not arouse or excite you in any way. You should seek help before you pursue this fantasy any further. I heard of a guy that was on government welfare because he was too sick to work. When the government found out that his malady was he liked to wear diapers and act like a baby, the government cut off his welfare and sent his A out to the streets to get a job. Those kind of strange fantasies will ruin your life. Get help.

Second item of business.. I seriously can't remember what it was. There was a second item a couple minutes ago, but I can't think of what it was... I guess I have nothing else to say. I'll wrap up my analyses of the video by saying that the credits spell out everything I have to say about them, so watch the credits and see what I have to say about them. Matt found that song on a John Lennon album, and it fit perfect, so we used it. That's my analyses of the credits.

In parting, I will leave you with any inspiring video. I ended up watching bum fights and old men regulating on young gangsters for a while today, and this was one of my favorites. Enjoy:


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just be his friend

You all saw his part. And you were like, "What?" And then you were like, "Dang..." And then you were like, "Where's that spot? That looks fun..." Then you said some words that I won't repeat here because I'm not a fan of swearing. But don't kid yourself, you know what I'm talking about. And you said it because you wish you could do half the tricks that AJ does in his part...

Andrew Jackson, that's what I like to think AJ stands for, but I'm pretty sure it's not. Anyway, AJ is an undercover ripper, meaning you wouldn't think he'd pull off so easily and effortlessly all the millions of tricks he can do. He's got the GPS guided skate system that sends his boars flipping and flying through the air and landing exactly on point, with his body following suit. He can flip into just about any grind you can think of, regular or fakie, and he'll take these tricks down stuff, not just on ledges. AJ is super consistent with a ton of really hard tricks, and he makes them look super easy to do. So filming his part was a lot of fun because we got to see him do really hard, crazy tricks in just a few tries.

I didn't trust AJ at first. I thought he was after my Lucky Charms, so I was a bit weary of him. What I mean is that I thought he simply wanted to use me because I have a camera, lens, and knowledge of the editing system. I can't think of anything more annoying than people just trying to use you for what you have and don't want anything to do with you. So I was a bit weary of him at first. But after an arduous, rigorous screening process, we found that AJ just wanted to skate. And, as it turned out, that AJ was cool to hang out with outside of skating, which is always a huge plus and a requirement for full Bolts of Thunder rider status. After discovering these qualities, AJ was fully indicted into the team, and he's been riding solid ever since. Let that be a lesson to you...

Pretty much every trick in AJ's part was a solid trick. No fillers of any kind to simply take up space. Every trick is solid and unique. When we were filming the part, AJ kept wanting to get 360 flips in lines, but we wouldn't let him. Matt's got a good eye of what should or shouldn't be in our videos, and lines stock full of 360 flips don't have their place. Not over and over at least. So as it turns out, AJ only has one 360 flip the entire video, the one at the beginning over that gap. I'm really glad that's it, because it place of every 360 flip he would have done, he did a different trick, and you get to see AJ's variety. My favorite tricks of his are the varial heelflip and 360 flip over that gap at first, the bigflip front board and heelflip front board down the rail on the gap, and his last trick. I like every trick, but those are my favorite. Seriously, watch his part again, and you'll see that every trick he does is crazy and super clean. I guess that's all I have to say about AJ's part. In closing, AJ's a super rad guy, way nice, and just down to skate. So when you see him, don't bear your teeth and pound your chest because that will simply scare him off. Instead, just be his friend...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Can we get away with this?

Now it's time to talk about me. First off, I have no pictures of me. I'm so busy taking pictures of others all the time that I do not allot my own self the same benefits that Thundies are entitled to. But it's alright, because my ninth grade picture is here to entertain you, and that's all you should ever need. So funny story about this picture. A couple years ago I was buying something from a local skate shop in Provo. I don't want to bad mouth anyone, so I won't say which shop it was. But I will say that in order to work there, your hair must naturally be flaming red, your knowledge of skateboarding minimal, your personal skills rusty at best, and your skin turning into one giant freckle. Soul patches are encouraged but still optional. And the initials of the place are B.O.P, as is "bop", as in "Hmmbop", as made popular by the boy band Hanson in the nineties. The locals that frequent said shop are obviously embarrassed and uncomfortable in referring to this establishment as "Bop", so they usually just spell out the letters "B O P", but we all know what "B O P" really spells. Bop. So just come out and say it, because it'll liberate you. You are a Bopper...

Anyway, while checking out at this shop, which will remain unnamed as to not offend anyone (but keep in mind the physical characteristics of the owner/employees of the shop and its initials BOP. And did I mention that the physical address is roughly 480 N University, Provo Ut 84601. Roughly. Just so you know) because I will not be responsible for badmouthing any local shops, (and the place smells like Indian curry all the time because it's right next to a really good Indian restaurant. Because I fully endorse eating at this place, I will give you the name: Bombay House. Bombay House, you have Bolts of Thunder's approval) and I won't be the one to slander one's business, so while I was checking out of the store, I had to show ID so that they knew the card with which I was paying was indeed not stolen. I opened up my wallet and showed my drivers' licence, which exposed my ninth grade picture that I always keep in my wallet (to remind me that a man is capable of just about anything when he feels powerful) to the guy working at the counter. Now I won't say his name either, partly because I don't remember what it is, but I will say that this kid resembles the bully on "A Christmas Story". You know, the one that always has the "Peter and the Wolf" song playing when he laughs. He finally gets beat up by Ralphy. Anyway, the guy at the store that looks like the bully from "A Christmas Story" checked my ID, then he starred at my ninth grade picture for a minute. I observed the subtle changes in his demeanor as he beheld a higher form of intellect and subsequently threw it on the ground as a thing of not to be treaded under by the feat of men, as it were. He starred at the picture, then started to smile. But it wasn't the kind of smile you get when you're laughing with someone. It was the kind you get when you're laughing at someone. He looked at the picture, then at me, then started to laugh at me. Then he said, and I quote, "what was wrong with you?" "I used to be retarded," I replied. "Oh..." he said, finishing our epic conversation. Well, genius, if I used to be retarded, then I still am, so why are you asking what was wrong with me? Do you think that would make me feel better having to rehearse my handicaps to others, handicaps I have undoubtedly been harassed for at school. Is that your idea of promoting your business? Yes, this day, he had the last laugh at me...

So I guess that's all I have to say about my part. I haven't said anything about it, but I don't know what else to say... I will say this: it was fun to film a lot of new tricks that I've never done before. The majority of the tricks in my part are tricks that I've never done on film before or that I just barely learned. I'm glad I didn't do the exact same tricks that I've always done but changed it up a little. This part represents the stuff I've been skating a lot more lately: doing more flip tricks and the occasional ledge, courtesy of AJ. Not any big rails or roof ollies. Which is fine with me. Been there, felt that, my ankles don't want to get crushed into bone powder before I'm 30. But that also doesn't rule out the possibility of a good roof ollie if I ever feel so inclined, or the skating of a good handrail. We just don't have the best selection here in Provo. Anyway, I'm really happy that I got new tricks for my part, and that it was fun filming. I really didn't have any intention of making a third video until the summer started, so I wasn't filming anything until then. All my part was except one trick was filmed with on 5 skateboards with the same graphic. I also had 4 pairs of Reynolds 2 and 2 pairs of Romero 2. That's it, all the fun facts I can think of now. Now go shop at Legion, the guy that works there won't make fun of you. Oh yeah, and the shop I mentioned wasn't Milo, either, just so you know.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Yes, that is Dave levitating midst the great Earth Wind and Fire. His roots go way back to the disco human rights movement of the 70s, and he's brought those roots straight into Bolts of Thunder, old school style. And yes, that is Dan grooming Brandon while Brandon boardslides straight up and over a hostile bank to barrier. So this post is to fill you in on the ice cream man friends section of the video. Shall we get started?

First up is Chad James. In my phone he is known as "Chad Skater". Whenever I meet a new skater, I put their first name in my phone then "skater" after to remind me that they are friendly towards Bolts of Thunder. Ben, for example, is "Ben Skater". The list goes on as I've met quite a few new skater friends in recent months. Chad has the meanest, angriest, most vengeful switch and nollie flips I've ever seen. It's a shame we didn't capture any on film, but we've currently got filmers working round the clock, stalking Chad and documenting his switchness. We'll get a shot. Next is Weston. You know Weston, and you love his photography. We only skated with him two times during the entire filming of the video, so he doesn't have much. Had we skated with him another handful of times, he would have filmed enough footage for his own part. We'll see what the future brings, but I, for one, would be a huge fan of another full Weston Colton Part. Brandon Miller is on deck next. He's Dan Shaw's cousin, which automatically means he's a ripper and he's awesome. I love hanging out with him because he's always down for whatever. He's not the guy that you just skate with and then say your good byes, but you can chill with him late into the night, trading war stories and what not. the only problem is the 700 miles that currently separate us. But Bolts of Thunder can conquer all, and believe you me, this is not the end of Brandon Miller. I can't remember who's next, but I think it's Coleman. Coleman has a super mean heelflip, and he throw it up and over every obstacle he comes across. He's a super nice kid, too. David Law. This footage was filmed during the only skate session we had with him since our last video came out. He can skate anything and everything, and he makes it look good. That fridge was super awkward for me to skate, but he made it look like so much fun. And that is quite an impressive beard he was sporting at the time. Thanks for the grills, David! Zak Smith is Zak Smith. He's a ripper of the highest quality, and he can every single trick I can think of. Dead serious. And he can do them all super clean, too. He filmed almost all those tricks in a 3 day period. He needs to film more and get himself a full length part... Dave McDonald... He's one of my favorite people to skate/chill/hang/chat/sit/or talk with. He's right for any occasion because he's always down for whatever. We filmed these tricks back in October one weekend when he randomly showed up at my doorstep. We thought he was in Paris, but he was having visa issues and had to stay in the country for a couple months. So he randomly came up to Provo and hung out for the weekend. It was way fun, and we got a couple tricks of him. He didn't even have a board, so he just used Matt's old school board and Matt's filming shoes. We've got big plans of reuniting in Europe again soon and tearing Paris to bits. Every time I think of Paris, I think of that hubba ledge down the double set that Dave worked himself on, then I think of getting bird crap all over his camera and all over all of us. It was at that spot, and we must have set the camera down in bird crap while we were filming. Except this isn't your standard issue bird crap, this was like an ostrich had taken a massive dump and we put the camera in it. We all got it all over our hands, and Dave had it all over his pants. We had to ride the subway home for an hour, and we all felt and smelt like crap. It was our last day in Paris, so it was a fitting way to end our trip. It was way fun though... Dan Shaw. Don't get me started. I could write a book on the fellow, and I really want to. He's one of the coolest people you could ever know in your life, and he is super man. I will just sum it up with that, he is superman, and he is indestructible. This is a classic Dan part with harsh tranny skating, ripped pants, and mega airs out of obstacles that weren't made for airing. He's amazing, and I'm way proud of his little section.

I guess that gives a quick recap of the friends section. It's one of my favorite parts we've ever made, and I think it represents what Bolts of Thunder stands for pretty accurately. That last trick is of Matt trying to boardslide down that ditch hubba. That thing is insane, and Matt's the only person I know of that's tried it. I set up on top and rode down, and it was super scary, so bonus points to Matt for actually riding up to it and trying to boardslide down...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Exercise the Hell out of me

And we're back! I was out of town for a week for my sister's wedding, then I just didn't feel like writing for a couple days. That's what happened. But in my sleep last night, I had a dream about a crazy incident that happened to me in Africa that I had completely forgotten about. My mind has worked hard to block most of what happened in Africa so that I won't have to relive the madness that beset me. But this little golden nugget slipped past my memory guards last night and woke me up this morning laughing and confused as to how I could have forgotten such a good story.

So two years ago I was on an internship in Geneva, Switzerland, standing straight up for women's rights and filling my American belly full of Swiss chocolate. As part of the internship, the organization I was with wanted me to actually get out into the world and get some real experience. Through an extremely shady and flaky contact, I ended up going to Botswana in Africa to work with this psychotic woman at a little summer camp for orphan kids. To sum it up, the camp was not at all organized, meaning that there was no food, meaning we literally did not eat for 3 or 4 days until I discovered that there actually was food, just nobody knew how to cook it; nowhere to sleep, meaning that we just sprawled out on the dirt and the cement floors of the school where the camp of goodness was being hosted; and no purpose, meaning that half the time the kids aimlessly wandered around, complaining that their bellies hurt from not eating and that they wanted to go home. Several of the kids even resorted to eating books they found in the classroom, claiming it numbed the pain in their stomachs. So the summer camp pretty much just turned into "Survivor: Botswana" for two weeks. It sucked, and I wanted to leave the entire time. I lost a bunch of weight while I was there, and I really don't have much weight to lose, so it was bad. I didn't get a decent nights' sleep the entire time because it was still around 100 degrees out at night, I was sleeping on straight cement and using my pants as a pillow, the bugs seem to take a fancy to white man's skin and attacked me the entire night, and the orphan kids usually broke out into a brawl at night, hitting each other with their shoes and books they could find. It was pretty much like an orphan prison for a couple days because we were all being held there against our will. So I was exhausted and beat the entire time I was there, and I was completely beat by the end of it.

So the last day of the camp, this reverend guy and his posse showed up to the school to give all the kids words of encouragement. His words mostly centered on how God had made him rich for being good. At the end of his sermon, he was about to take off when he zeroed in on the whitest, easiest target he'd ever come across in his congregation: me. Just before he was about to leave, he announced to everyone, "Wait! I feel there is someone in this congregation that is suffering!" Good call genius, you're preaching to a crowd of orphaned children, about half of them had HIV, and they have been held against their will at an orphan concentration camp, starving and sleep deprived for the past two weeks. That wasn't a very hard or prophetic call to make on his part: someone is suffering. We were all suffering. But I knew he had it out for me when he announced that, so I tried to disappear before he could get his wanting to make an impression on the white man-hands on me, but I was too slow. He called out, "There is one suffering in this crowd, and he needs my help!" His back up choir yelled out, "he needs his help!" Then he yelled out, "He needs the Lord's help!!!" That for some reason was received with loud cheering among not only his posse but the crowd of starving orphans as well. "Brother, will you come forward?" 

I didn't have enough time to escape when he said that, and two of his minions came up and grabbed me. They must have extensive experience dealing with people that want nothing to do with them, because they didn't even give me a chance to come on my own, they just came out and grabbed me. So I came before the audience and stood before the preacher. Then, in his best American preacher voice, he started yelling out, "I feel you are suffering!" Two weeks of trying to survive in the Kalahari desert on limited food and water rations were definitely taking their toll on me, so I can't blame the guy for singling me out. Plus, it was his chance to show a white man how they get holy down south. "Brother, you are suffering!" That was followed by an "Amen!" from members of his traveling circus. They followed up everything he said by either repeating it even more dramatically or with a hearty "Amen!" or "Praise the Lord!" They got paid pretty good for their services... So the preacher continued on, "You are suffering because you are sick, and you need to be healed! You have a demon in you!!!" He was referring to the white devil. American's are inherently born with it, and Europeans usually develop it by age 3. Then, without even giving me a chance to object, question, or consent what in the world was going on, he gave me a curled-finger palm punch straight to the forehead as though he were battling the demon itself. Then a few members of his posse came and grabbed me by the shoulders so that I couldn't run or fight back, and the dude imposed his hands upon me, putting almost all his weight on his hands in a futile attempt to crush my skull. Then he proceeded to pronounce a blessing upon me and cast out all the many demons that were possessing my body. Apparently there were several of them inside of me, living off my body like a parasite. They apparently like a steady diet of raw broccoli, brown rice, and spinach, because, according to Reverend Botswana, I had a host of demons living inside of me. That's why kids don't like their veggies, they don't want to get possessed by demons. 

Well, had their been demons inside me, they were definitely tired of his shinanagins, and they high-tailed it out of there. They were sick of Botswana and starving, so they left, rendering me demonless, demonless, like the Jon-child was. After mister miracle's magic blessing, I almost died several times in the next couple days in Botswana, including getting chased by a hippo in a little boat on a river and spinning off the road in a car into the jungle going 100 mph. I think the dude wanted me dead... But I think that my survival showed the resilience of the American people and that no, we won't go quietly, and no, we won't go willingly. The End.