Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deal with it

Yeah, that's right, I don't write as much as you want me to. Deal with it. Good news. We have a Bolts of Thunder skate session set for this weekend. There's even talks of cameras being present, which we all know means one thing. A Bolts of Thunder video in the works... maybe just maybe. Pictures and comments to follow soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The boys are back in town

Today I have set my first steps on American soil in 3 months! Now that I'm not in Italy, I miss the place. Especially the food. If there's one thing Italians know, it's their food. If there's one thing they don't, it's their driving. They sick at driving. Real bad... Anyway, this post is a round up call to all thunder bolts. The boys are back in town, and we're hitting the streets hard. Pictures to come soon...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Momma, momma I'm comin home...

I haven't much time... We'll just say that Italian internet isn't the friendliest, and I've got to get this post up before the internet decides it's worked enough today. Folks, I just got back from Rome. To put it in words that you'll understand best, I like to think my reaction to Rome was not much unlike the Fellowship's reaction when they reached mines of Moria; the feeling of being so little and insignificant in the sight of such grandness, tired at the thought of walking so much, a perpetual feeling of hunger, and maybe a little afraid of someone following me. Going into the Pantheon was especially like when the fellowship entered the realm of the kingdom of Moria. You know, the part with all the columns, and Gilmly of Gloin sees the open door that has the tomb of Barum. Come on, you know what scene I'm talking about! That scene, that's what it was like for me going into the Pantheon. Amazing stuff. But I think I've gotten all or more of the mileage I ever should have out of my analogy, so I'll stop there. Suffice it to say, Rome is amazing.

So I'm going back to Provo this week! That's right, my Italian adventure has come to an end. I even gave my skateboard to Francesco, the 12 year old ripper here in Siena, which means I'm ready to go home and hook up a new board. So I'll be reuniting with the Bolts of Thunder crew there and we'll get working on our next project. See you in Utah!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ninja instincts ready to burst

I saw this picture on my flash drive at work today. I forgot that I have a folder with a whole bunch of skating pictures on it, and I saw it earlier today. They're all older pictures, at least 2 years old. A bunch of stuff from the first Bolts of Thunder video, and even before. So this is a picture of Nick doing what Nicks do best. It represents times past, a time when skin was smoother, whiter, less wrinkled, and untainted by all the second hand smoking I'm doing these days. Man, if you could stop me from venting right now, I wouldn't do it. But you can't stop me, so I'm unleashing right now. Actually, partly unleashing. Every time I smell someone's cigarette that's getting wagged in my face I start swearing at them and Pulp Fiction Samuel L Jackson quoting scriptures while pointing a gun scenarios start running through my mind and I wonder how dangerous I'd be right now had I started/stuck with martial arts as a child. This picture represents a time of innocence, before I was consuming tons of smoke every day. Although I was in Geneva when Matt sent me this picture, so I was surely second hand smoking like a chimney then too... But still, this picture keeps that dream alive. The dream where people don't piss you off by blowing smoke in your face... My minds getting going right now and my heart rate is up. I'd better stop talking about people smoking...

Anyway, I wanted to put up this picture of Nick rockettering above the skyline. Or the coping line? I can't remember which. Not important. Let the ninja inside you go, Nick. Fly out of that coping...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Watch and tremble

What is that I hear you say? A possible trailer for another Bolts of Thunder video? I thought trilogies traveled in packs of 3?... When in Bolts of Thunder land, we do what we want... Here's a trailer this kid in Siena made of a skate session we had off a 2 stair. Epic.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Eff word runs through it

That's right, I'm writing again today. I believe this is the first time in Italy that I've had more than one post a day in me, so consider this a special day. So if you haven't already read this morning's shocking post about our readers doping it up, make sure and read that. It's a game changer... I was going to write this later some time next week, but I need to get it out while it's still fresh in my mind. I don't want it to lose its flavor, its life, its essence. So I'm getting it out now. This is a story, children, a story of good versus evil, and quite possibly evil triumphing over good for a very short moment. Then lots and lots of laughter resulting from it. But I will tell you this, I never lost my cool. No, not once...

So what am I writing about? I'll tell you. Let me prep this by saying that swearing in another language does not have the same kick to it as swearing in your native language. When I hear someone swear out wrath and punishment in English, I hear all the meaning that comes with it. Hearing it in another language doesn't mean all that much. But hearing a foreigner that doesn't speak English swear in English is just hilarious. It sounds like a a three year old with a speech impediment and an old person's deep voice. It doesn't happen all that often that I hear old foreign people swearing in English, but when it comes out, I have to fight to keep back the laughter/tears. It's just too much for me...

With that little intro, let me recount my day at work yesterday. I've been working on writing this speech for the president of province's environmental and energy bureau for the past couple months. I've put a lot of time into it, and the president was finally reading the speech for the first time. I just wanted to see what he had to say so that I'd know how to change it or whatever, and I had been waiting for this meeting to happen for quite a while. So with a lot of anticipation and attention I was in this meeting, listening to a man that can't speak English read a pretty detailed summary of the province's energy situation in English. He would give comments on parts of the speech that he liked or didn't like, which would usually result in some long-winded tangent about how power points are not user friendly, which would lead to he and the secretary discussing the women's clothing that made the power point, which would result in him and them violently shaking their hands at each other in Italian fashion and yelling, "momma mia!" at each other (no joke, I'm not making that up. Every stereotype you've ever thought of Italians is completely true. They never let me down...). So this meeting had been going on for a while now, over an hour, and we were only like a third of the way through the speech. One comment led to a tangent which led to another, which led to the president of the bureau talking about how to translate the Italian expression for "come on!" So I told him how to say it. Then this is the conversation that ensued:

President (speaking in Italian) "Is there a lot of slang or expressions in English? There are so many in Italian."
Me: "Yeah, English is just like Italian, it has a lot of slang and expressions. But I hardly know any in Italian, just the common ones like 'mamma mia.'"
Pres: "If you want, I'll teach you some."
Me: "Alright!"
Pres: "Like this one, '(says something in Italian that I've never heard before)'"
Secretary: "NO! Don't teach him that one!!"
Me: "What?! What is it?"
Pres: "(speaks in English to me. Imagine old Italian smoking since he was 5 years old graspy voice and super strong accent. When I write him speaking in English, I'll add 'a' before and after most words because that's how they speak English. They add the little 'a'. Think Mario speaking from Super Mario Brothers) Isa aHowa aYoua saya in English....   ... aF***a  aYOUa!"
Me: .....
Pres: "Ia aSay  aGood? aF*** aYou?"
Secretary: "aF***a aYoua?"
Me: (not ever having had a local government leader say this to me, I'm not quite sure how to respond) "yeah... yeah, that's right."
Pres: "aF*** aYOUa!..... F*** YOU!"
Me: (considering whether or not he's really pissed at me and saying that for real or if he's just trying to brush up on his English) yeah... yeah, uhu, that's how you say it... yeah
Pres: (starring straight faced at me and looking deep into my eyes) "aF*** aYOUa!"
Me: ".... great... cool...."

I can't remember what it was, but something broke the dude's concentration. The conversation, by some strange miracle, ended up going back to the speech we were working on, and we plowed our way through. A long and painful hour later I told them that I had to get going, and I packed up my gear. Things were said in that meeting that cannot be erased; things were done that cannot be undone. Everything I have ever worked for is dead, everything that I have ever hoped for has vanished. I'm alone with myself, starved, naked, and trembling. Everything I've ever known converges into one, then an eff word runs through it. I'm haunted by eff words...

Are you not entershamed?

So I've been a little suspicious the last couple of years ever since Matt won our reader's choice awards for most preferred Bolts of Thunder member to be with on a desert island back last summer. Then Matt shocked the world again when he swept this years awards for the zombie apocalypse. I've never let the issue to rest, and this week I stumbled upon the truth that is going to shock the world...

You, the reader, have been doping!

That's right. You've been sucking brain juice out of your head and injecting it back into your brain to increase cerebral activity. If you hadn't been thinking straight, you would have chosen someone else to be on the island or in the zombie apocalypse with you... Like me... you would have chosen me. But due to your increased brain activity and your dendrites connecting faster than they naturally should, you saw through my facade  and you went with the wiser choice. Matt. But after seeing what happened to Lance Armstrong getting his metals taken away for doping, I've realized that the only right thing to do would be to strip Matt of his two titles and give them to the person that you would have chosen. Me.

So sorry, Matt, for having to do this to you publicly, but I'm now ripping the badges off your little Bolts of Thunder sash you've got draped over your shoulder, and I'm hot gluing them onto my sash. I now pronounce myself the Bolts of Thunder reader's choice award winner for most preferred Thunder Bolt to be with on a desert island or in the zombie apocalypse. It's too late for you to rebuttal, too, because I've already said the Bolts of Thunder law, motto, and oath (I just like to say it all at once as the mloath. You just chant 'what would Dan do? over and over in your head), and I've graciously accepted your votes for me. Thank you, readers, and sorry Matt, for doing this to you in such an unprofessional and unashamed manner.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


This is just a quick post to remind you all that my boy Matt still holds the record for most limber and equilibrium-inclined member of Bolts of Thunder, hands down. He could stand one legged on a half-inch diameter tree branch to get a good shot, and he did it for the love of the game. Just remember that, kids, when you're watching our great productions and thinking, "I want to be able to film like that one day." Dangerous stuff.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


So a funny memory of skating with Dave at this park a couple weeks ago. We were skating this rail down a double set, and this local kid slammed pretty good trying to crooked grind it. It was more than your average fall, so it was in the slam category. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. You know the slam; he was going for a crooked grind, missed the rail all together and went straight down to his hip. So he slammed, and me and Dave waited at the top for the kid to eventually move out of the way so we could resume skating. But the kid didn't move. He kept lying on the ground and sort of slow wiggling. Now I've seen some hard slams in my day, and some of the very hardest I've ever seen are from Dave himself. Now this was not a slam to be overly concerned about. But the kid did a very good job of making it really dramatic. He gathered a crowd of sympathetic friends that helped the limping kid up and carried him off the park. Then Dave said, "leave it to a French kid to make such a scene. Now we're not tough guys or anything, but you or I would crawl out of the skatepark before we'd make such a big scene over a fall like that." Having seen Dave crawl of out bushes, not being able to breathe and possibly having broken a couple ribs, I know that he really meant it.

Anyway, I think one of the biggest things I'm going to miss about Europe (Italy/France) when I go back to Utah in a couple weeks is the drama. Everything that happens here is 10 times more epic and dramatic than it ever could be in America. I constantly think people are yelling and fighting with each other when they're just talking about the weather. The smallest things get totally blown out of proportion, and everything is such a big deal. It could be really annoying if it wasn't just so funny. So thank you, skatepark kid, for setting the example of the drama that exists in Europe these days. My life hasn't been dramatic enough lately, and I need a little fun every now and then.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Your inspiring energy drink commercial for the week

"Thunder Juice gives me 10 hours of energy and brings my standing heart rate up to 100 beats per minute!" - Dave McDonald, Thunder Juice addict

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random spot

That's not really a 5-0 in the last picture, it's just me coming off the ledge. The funny thing about this spot is the ledge up against the wall is waxed and has been skated. But right across the street there's this perfect granite ledge that you can grind or do slides on, and me and Dave were the first people to ever skate it. Whoever skated this ledge against the wall failed to recognize the miles of flat bars that are right down the street bordering the park, and the granite ledge right across the street. It was always like that when I was in Geneva; these perfect spots I'd find had never been touched while alright spots were the most popular ones.

I guess I really don't have much else to say other than that. Due to bad weather, I haven't skated in a week. But it's supposed to be nice tomorrow and Saturday, and I've got a couple spots on my radar. Hopefully it goes well.