Monday, October 29, 2012

My boys making me happy

You know me. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my boys out there and ripping it. So you can imagine how happy I was the other day when these two pictures and an accompanying video showed up in my email inbox. I have to thank Brandon for always being on the ball and sending this stuff to me. So here they are, twins separated by different sets of parents, Brandon Miller and Dan Shaw. The top is Brandon, coming in with a sidewinding 50-50 across a pool, and the bottom is Dan, coming out with a frontside air a good couple feet out of the pool's coping. If you read the Thunderbolt motto and law post from the other day, you know what I'm talking about now... 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thunder oath, motto, and law

Here are some more shots of Dave doing what he does best. I'm not even going to tell you what that is, because you should know by now. Shame on you if you don't know... So any time us old Thunder Bolts get together, we like to talk official Bolts of Thunder business. After talking the talk with Dave last week, I've realized that Bolts of Thunder has left a few major items of business unattended. I realized that we have not publicly stated the Bolts of Thunder motto, law, legend, symbol, any of that. If you're a Thunder Bolt, then all of these are obvious and inherent deep inside you. But for those of you new to or unfamiliar with what we stand for, allow me to enlighten you...

The Law: Dan is invincible

The Motto: What would Dan do?

Oath: Do a Dan thing daily

Legend: Dan Shaw

Like I said, this is completely inherent to all those familiar with Bolts of Thunder, but I thought I'd educate some of you. Also, Bolts of Thunder's symbol is Nick's mustache colored in gold and in the clenches of a bald eagle. That just made me think of the dying eagle song we had to learn in 4th grade. If you don't know what I'm talking about, google the lyrics "There on a mountain high, wounded eagle waits to die". We had to learn this song in 4th grade, and I always wanted to cry when we sang it. Sad stuff...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A little nothing

I'm not too clear on what the rules are on cheering for yourself when you land, but I'll tell you what, my arms were up in the arm for myself today. I actually think it's alright to smile and be happy when you land a trick. And to move your arms. I think too many people think you have to look like you're pissed when you land a trick when really you're beaming with joy inside. Anyway, not what I was intending on writing on today.

So I've been skating quite a bit lately here in Siena. We've been blessed with really good weather for the past month or so, and Rachel and I go every day to one of two spots. One of them is the one in the picture above. It's a super smooth spot that's covered. There's even a ledge on the other side of the building that goes down a ramp that you can skate on Saturday. The flat area is just outside an old people's hang out place, and they all come up and watch you skate when you're there. I have yet to get the boot from anyone here. The other spot we go to is closer to our home, so we go there more often. It has ledges to skate and enough flat ground to get in some good practice. And that's it. Those are pretty much the only spots we have, but I still have good fun. I've even been learning new ledge tricks as of late, so that's fun. Anyway, that's all I have to say, so enjoy the picture. Varial heelflip, with love...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Garrett's quick clip

I'm a fan of Garrett. Always have been, think I always will be. I saw on his blog that he put up this video that he made with some older footage, and I liked it. So here is the link for you to enjoy:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gli Amici Italiani

Ecco, i miei amici qui a Siena. Facciamo lo skate insieme... So these are my homies that I skate with in Siena. It was weird when I met them because they are the ones that came up to me and asked me if I skated. I was carrying my board, so it was a pretty sure give away. But still, I'm proud of them for taking some initiative. I've been in their situation many a time, and most of the time I've been rejected. But every now and then, one of the people that I street contact sticks around, and we become good friends. That's what happened with Ben and AJ, for example. It's rare, but it happens. Most of the people that I meet that skate never return my phone calls and refuse my relentless solicitations to be my friend, so I can appreciate when someone street contacts me and wants to skate. Anyway, I head out with them usually once or so a week depending on everyone's schedules, and it's always a good time. The last time we skated, they took us to this awesome spot with marble ledges and stairs and ledges going off of stairs. It was way fun, and I'm going to go back again with my video camera next time and get some footage. Should be fun...

So that's Denis up top busting a 360 flip down the stairs, followed up with a kickflip crooked grind and a kickflip noseslide on the ledge. That's Angelo with a massive fakie ollie and a big smile. And I forgot the other dude's name with the ollie down the stairs, I've only met him once. Sorry...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ultimate throw down, Parisian style

For those of you who could not pick up on my less than subtle elbow nudges yesterday, I will just come straight out and say it. I went to Paris this last week and hung out with Dave. That's why I didn't write at all. I traded my time with you to be with Dave. It had to be done... So when you skate/hang out with Dave, you're guaranteed at least three things: 1) Dave will do some crazy stunts for you. He just can't help it. 2) Something funny/crazy will happen out of the blue that would never happen if you were with someone else. 3) Your jaw will be tired at the end of the day from laughing so much. These are known as Dave's Laws. Not to be confused with David Law. He's different, although in many ways he fits into these same categories... I'm confusing you. Moving on.

So one of our many memorable moments from this last week in Paris was Dave getting thrown around by the ticket checkers in the metro. Just to clarify, the ticket checkers have no real authority other than to harass you and see if you have a ticket. If you don't and you refuse to pay, then they can call the cops and then the cops can throw down on you. But the ticket checkers are just toothless guard dogs that feel tough when they hold a note pad and pen in their hands. So we were on our way to see Notre Dame and yell "Sanctuary!" from its highest towers when we were stopped by the metro ticket checker group. They wait right in front of the exit of the metro where you don't expect them, then they jump out at you, ensnaring you in their evil designs. They were waiting at the top of these escalators, and before we knew it, they had grabbed Dave and were interrogating him. Now my purpose in writing this post is not to accept or deny Dave's innocence. That is beyond me. As the great philosopher Tupac once said, "Only God can judge me now." I believe that to be a universal truth for all men, and I thereby grant Dave ticket judgement sanction. He will answer to none of you as to his innocence.

So these two butch woman grabbed Dave and cornered him up against this wall. For a couple minutes they demanded to see his ticket which he had apparently thrown away after entering the metro. Why would he want to hold onto that thing? This went on for a few minutes, and then another large, butch woman with a nice masculine flat top came up and interrogated Dave some more, threatening to have the cops arrest him and take away his passport and what not. After several minutes of putting up with them, Dave finally decided he'd had enough and we should be going now. So he told them that he was leaving and started walking off. But the three women, taking this as a threat to their existence, created a large, soft wall of body fat between them, and one of them yelled out in her best wizard's voice, "You Shall Not Pass!" Well, that part's a little fuzzy, and I don't remember if that's really what happened or what I wanted to happen, but either way, the way was shut before Dave. Then one of the dudes, seeing that his fellow ticket checker people were struggling to keep Dave at bay, jumped into the scene by grabbing Dave and throwing him  up against the wall. The dude had a good  hundred pounds on Dave, so he slammed him pretty hard up against the wall. His hair was flying up and everything when he hit the wall, making the scene look even more dramatic. I remember thinking, "Everything Dave does, he does it epicly. Even getting thrown against the wall..." So then Dave just kept walking forward with his hands in the air so that they knew that the cameras would see that he didn't have a weapon and that they were illegally throwing him against the wall. He just kept walking forward a couple times and got slammed against the wall several times until finally he broke his way through the wall of fat and bitterness towards years of lacking real authority, and he made his ways towards the exit doors. Then one last dude ran up and tried to assert some of his authority, and he pushed Dave too. Except he didn't think about which way he was pushing Dave, and he pushed him straight out the doors. So there, we were out.

As we made it out, we saw some cops getting out of their cars and making their way toward the metro entrance, so we thought it better to just get out of there. But I'll tell you what, Notre Dame was pretty that night... There's Dave up above shredding what he shreds and showing you the proper way to hold you jaw when you burp.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Strange mysterious things

So as you may or may have not noticed, I have not written anything in a week's time. Think of this as a little silent treatment from me to you, Bolts of Thunder style. I wouldn't talk until at least one of you spoke first. Then two of you spoke. Thank you Gin and Zak for breaking that silence and allowing me to continue on my writing rampage that we all know as the Bolts of Thunder blog...

To be completely honest with you, there is a legitimate reason that I have not written the last week. To sum it up, I will post a picture and present a little puzzle for you. I will leave it to you to try and put things together until my next post when I divulge the earth-shattering truth behind the mystery of my absence...

If you were to exclaim in disbelief, anger, or hatred, "that's Dave McDonald front blunting that ledge!" then you'd be 100% correct. Then, to follow up that first exclamation, if you were to once again yell out, "but he lives in Paris!" then you would once again be correct. Then where did this picture come from?... Think of that little picture as adding the corn starch into the little broth I've been stirring in this here post. Yeah, the plot just got thicker...

Monday, October 8, 2012

When in Rome, skate what the Romans skated

And you ask me, "have ye not shame for skating this antique wall?" To that, I answer with a swift and confident "No." If this wall has survived two world wars, several civil wars and revolutions, Fiats and Vespas driven with no regard for human life, and several centuries of general Italian tender love and care, then my little skateboard shouldn't leave a scratch. And if it did, nobody could care less. Point made.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Speed 3

Speed took place on a large transit bus in Los Angeles. Speed 2 took place on a boat somewhere in water with Sandra Bullock. Speed 3 took place on a little transit bus in Siena, Italy. And it happened yesterday. I've been in a couple accidents, and there's a feeling you get in your bones when you see it coming. The hair on discreet parts of your body stands straight up as it attempts to abort ship, and you embrace for impact. That's how I felt the entire bus ride home yesterday, except we made it home without getting in an accident, despite the bus driver's best efforts.

It all started when bus drivers in Milan and Rome decided to stick it to the man yesterday and striked all day. Nobody knows what their demands were because they never specified, and I'm pretty sure they didn't know what their demands were either. Just a holiday at the beginning of October, I guess. Deer hunting day, that's what it was... So Rome's little cousin Siena caught wind of the strike, and some drivers thought they'd get in on the taking it to the streets action by keeping their buses off the streets. But some drivers gave in to corporate greed and what not and decided to stick to their normal routes. Or maybe they just thought they'd help out the city like they do every day and drive their buses? Whatever their rational was, I'm very grateful for the drivers that did come, because that saved me from hitching a ride or walking.

The story then continued into the afternoon as Rachel and I decided to head home after a group of one legged pigeons tried to steel our pizza. Don't trust a one legged pigeon. We saw the bus that goes closest to our house right in front of us, and we considered ourselves lucky to have a bus given there was somewhat of a strike going on. As our bus left the stop, this lady walking by on the side of the road yelled out in disgust at our driver, "I thought there was a strike today!" Apparently she was disappointed that the all-mighty dollar had won over a few hearts. The dude grumbled something back at her, but he obviously wasn't happy. We continued our adventure through the city until this girl and lady, who had been talking obnoxiously loud the entire ride, started yelling out, "Stop! I want to get off now!" Usually you're supposed to push the stop button on the bus, and it goes to the next stop. But this girl took ess into her own hands (that's a disgusting image of a girl holding poop in her hands. sorry...) and started yelling "Stop!" when there wasn't even a stop. The driver, looking confused and a little startled, slowed down real quick for the girl to get off. Then the girl said, "No, not here..." So the driver kept driving. But then literally 30 feet later, the girl yelled out, "Ok, here! I want to get off now." The driver, already upset at his apparent selling out for driving a bus and the old lady on the street giving him grief for it, was angered even further with the girls disrespect for the bus system. "I don't get what you're trying to do! Do you want to get off or stay?!" Then girl, who displayed no remorse for her disruptive behavior, casually answered that she wanted off, thus angering the driver even further. He let her off, but shared a few words with her first that I couldn't understand all that well (I don't know how to swear or insult people in Italian...). But after the girl got off, the incident wasn't finished there. The man decided to take out retribution on her friend that was in the back of the bus and yelled at her a couple times. Then the man decided that he, too, was sticking it the man, and he was on strike. Except his form of strike is the scary kind. Not the kind where you just quit driving your bus, but the kind where you lock everyone that's already in the bus in, and you don't let anyone else on. Then as a passenger, you hope the guy doesn't have a concealed weapons license and decide to completely snap that day.

So the man decided he was no longer at work, but that he was the main villain in his own version of Speed 3, and that the bus could not drop below 15 mph an hour. This usually isn't fast at all, but it is when you're driving through streets that were built 800 years ago with no intention of cars driving on them. They are super narrow and covered with people, and when you have an 8 foot wide bus creeping through them and refusing to stop, you're looking for an accident. But don't get me wrong, the guy didn't keep it at 15 mph, he did his best to get it up as fast as he could through the streets, probably reaching 40 or so on this one longer stretch of road. I was praying that nobody would step in front of him because he wasn't stopping. He also stopped yielding around blind corners, he ran a red light through this skinny little gate, and he refused to pick up the people that were waiting at the stops. At the first stop where I noticed he missed people, I told him that there were people there. But he responded with, "I'm striking today!" I was confused as to why he was still driving his route if he wasn't going to pick up anyone, but I guess old habits die hard... But then I wasn't sure if he was going to drop us off or not. So the lady that he yelled at earlier started asking him what in the aitch he was doing and if he would drop her off at her stop. He refused to answer her after she asked 3 or 4 times. He just kept driving like a madman, refusing to stop or slow down. He asked me where we were going, but he didn't say if he was going there or not. But as he made it close to our stop, I gave him the good old fashioned ring of the bell, and he stopped for us, after he almost ran head on into a semi truck that had veered into our lane. I was happy to know that the bus could, in fact, go slower than 15 mph without setting off a bomb, and that he let us off at our stop.

I had Rachel sneak off a couple shots of him driving the bus, because I knew this was prime time blog material. It's all I've got... So that's him driving up top and me holding on to what I've got.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This is what happens when you pass time in Italy. You torture animals. Little does this poor cat know, it's never going to catch that stick... So the family we live with has 4 cats that protect us and give us their blessing every day. Every time we go outside, this little orange and white cat follows us around and plays with us for hours. It's way fun to watch it try and sneak attack the other cats, get beat up, then try it again. Always a guaranteed good time.