Friday, January 25, 2013

A defeated man is a powerful man

There are times in a man's life when he's been debased so low that he has been defeated. It doesn't happen often to your average Joe, and it's a sad sight when it does. At this point, the man no longer gets mad at what happens to him; getting mad would imply he's still got a fighting chance. But in his defeated state, he sits in a stoop of bewilderment, wondering what went wrong and how he could have made some simple choices earlier in his life that would have led him to greener pastures. This man was me yesterday...

I pride myself on not losing my cell phone or keys every time I leave or enter the house. There are some people that just can't seem to keep a grip on those slippery little objects. Locking myself out of the house doesn't happen often and is a really unexpected and unanticipated event. So yesterday morning when I found myself in my pajamas and a hand full of junk mail at a front door that didn't mind opening when I left the house but currently had no intention of letting me in and a pot of 10 grain cereal cooking on the stove on the other side of that door, I quickly followed the natural stages of patheticness: denial, anger, depression, seclusion, isolation, and finally defeat. I was cold and wanted in, and I really didn't want to burn down my house with my 10 grain cereal (a healthy breakfast choice, I may add. One serving contains 40% of your daily recommended value of fiber and many other essential vitamins and minerals. I eat a bowl every morning to keep me healthy, strong, and regular), so I asked some passerby neighbors for help. The girl that lives directly above me was just super ditsy, laughed uncomfortable at the thought of helping me, and suggested breaking my window on the front door to get in. Then she was off. Not seeing any other viable options, I found a snow shovel and took it to the window in 2 of the angriest attempts I've ever given at breaking a window. The window won, and the shovel almost broke. Wasn't made in the USA, can tell you that much... After a couple more neighbors gave me their deepest and most sincere apologies for not wanting to help, one neighbor that had just gotten home from getting in a car accident with her 3 year old and 2 month old kids was really nice and helped me. She got the number to a lock smith and called them for me and let me hang out in her home while I waited. It was really nice.

After a couple minutes of cartoon watching with the 3 year old, I made my way back to my front door to wait for the locksmith. He got there at least 20 minutes after his original 30 minute estimate, and he didn't even know how to open a door. After arriving, he immediately called a friend who walked him step by step through the art of wedging a crow bar in a door and prying it open. It took him a good 15 or 20 minutes to get the door to cooperate, so it was about an hour and a half since I had been locked out, and upon opening the door, a wall of smoke greeted me as I ran in to take my cereal off the stove. Looking into a pot of molten lava cereal, I put water in it, opened up the windows, and tried fanning out the house. Upon doing so, the locksmith informed me that his expertise in door opening would cost me $160. I told him that that was ridiculous and that I couldn't pay it. He insisted and assured that he wasn't leaving until I paid in full. Seeing as he had proven that he could indeed, with great difficulty, open locked doors, and he knew where I lived, I tried to bargain with him.

It was at this moment where I sunk to the deepest levels of defeat and resorted to my animal instinct of survival at whatever cost. This is what happens when a bum fights someone else, especially another bum. They have nothing to lose if they do lose, and they will gnaw your arm off before they let go of the dream. This was me. While the man was demanding money, I sat down at my computer, pulled up my bank account, and showed him my bank statements, revealing an impressive $166 in my combined checking and savings accounts. He wanted to take all but 6 of my dollars. After having him kneel down next to me and look at my bank accounts, I then resorted to the lowest, dirtiest, most cliche form of begging: pictures of my children. Except my child isn't even born yet, so I showed him pictures of the ultrasound that Rachel got on Wednesday of our baby (we found out we're having a boy!) to soften his heart. I believe it was at this moment that the man saw that I had been completely backed into a corner and my next move was to bite, and he caved a little. Just a little. He charged me $120. Reluctantly, I handed over the greater share of my life's savings to this man as he left me alone in a smoke-ridden home. But it was warm...

As I write this, dear readers, all the windows in my house and the front door are completely open. It is 30 degrees outside, and I have 3 fans blowing to air out the place. But although I was defeated yesterday, today I rose from the ashes a new man, a changed man, a richer man. Well, no, a poorer man, but a hardened man. I know now that I have no shame to lose, and that, my friends, gives me great power...

I like that picture up top. It's Garrett giving us a stylish 5-0 180 out down a long and mellow hubba, my favorite...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brian's insights

I never thought the 3 stooges were funny until I saw their very essence embodied in my sister and her boyfriend on our trip to Havasupi a couple years ago. Thanks to their udder disregard for our (and especially Brian's) camping and backpacking advice, their disrespect for Mother Nature, and complete underestimate of the forces at work in that holy place, they provided us with about a week's worth of entertainment as mishaps, setbacks, injuries, and accidents beset them. It was a super fun trip, and we all had a good time, and you really have to hand it to John, my sister's old boyfriend, for trying to salvage the scraps of his former manhood every time he fell down a waterfall, broke a toe, got sunburned, dumped out perfectly good drinking water because it tasted funny and then got dehydrated 30 minutes later, drank syrup from his army rations, and tried to carry a teenage girl's backpack. He was a good sport, as was Gin, and we had the best of times. In this here post, I asked Brian to share some insights into one of the most profound utterances uttered by man, my sister's old boyfriend:

Jon May: "you never realize how close you are to dying in the wilderness... until it almost happens"

Brian's insights: 

Whats so funny about that quote is that it was said, literally, 20 feet away from a dirt road that is frequented by dozens of hikers, day tourists, and fat Indians in golf carts (that live in a small town 1 mile away) several times an hour every single day.  And the author was completely serious too.

Ode to John May:

 May your bowers be warm, 
 and your pinky toe as straight as an arrow.
 but if an undersized pack brings you down,
 the river is for drowning your sorrows.

Jon - Speaking of Havasupai, tell us about the great exodus from Havasupai when we almost lost Hannah, Matt, and Justin and we found some random vagrant looking guy sleeping in the grass that turned out to be Spencer.  I believe that was the trip that nobody brought any eating utensils or pots or anything to cook their food in.  Or sleeping bags for the night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This week's crazy story from the Hart boys

So the Hart boys have been kicking it together their entire lives, no way around it. Crazy things tend to happen when we're out and about on our skateboards or just wandering around. Matt is the other half of my memory, and he tends to remember funny, weird, and random events that we have that I either have forgotten or don't remember all too well. Or even the ones I remember well, he has a different and usually really funny perspective on these events. So I emailed Matt a couple one liners, phrases that represent weird or funny stories that we have to share with the world. I sent Matt maybe 5 or 6 phrases, and this is the response he gave me on the first one, so we can all enthusiastically wait for what's coming our way with the other stories.

And just by way of clarification on this story, the price of the Sega was originally $12 but the guy moved it down to $1 after he went into the back room to test and see if it actually worked. When we asked why he was only charging $1 after he said $12 and if the thing even worked, he just stuttered, mumbled, and said, "ya...... it....'s only a dollar man. you know. one dollar." I think that was the spark that lit the fuse under our Ays.... with no further adew, I give you this weeks crazy story from the Hart brothers:

The Phrase: "hey little boy, does your mommy know you're out this late?"

Matt: When I was a teenager, my brothers and I wanted to buy a Sega Genesis so that we could play video games. I don't know why we wanted to buy one cause I think we already had one. Maybe it had broke or something... I don't know. Anyway, for some reason we wanted one so Brian drove us to this place called Family Pawn. It was a new pawn shop that had opened up in St. George... Santa Clara to be exact. Right off of Sunset Blvd near Bluff street I believe. Actually, probably closer to Arctic Circle. Anyway, so Family Pawn had all these new advertisements on TV about how awesome and family friendly they were and stuff so we figured that would be a great place to get a Sega. I think Brian called them first and they said they had one, so off we went. We got there and I remember Brian had to negotiate a price with the worker there. If you've ever seen that stupid show "Pawn Stars" then you know what I'm talking about. Except this worker was some guy in his twenties and was not overweight like all the guys on that show. So this worker was kind of an idiot and was giving Brian the runaround with prices. When I think about it, I think the prices price ranges they were looking at were below $10, or maybe even below $5. Brian probably wanted it for a buck and the guy wanted 5 or something. But if anyone knows Brian then they know that he's not caving in for nothing. So eventually Brian gets what he wants and the guy isn't that happy about it but goes for it anyway. Brian tries paying with his debit card and the guy asks to see Brian's ID. Brian could have just shown his ID, but he's not about to bow down to anybody. What's the point of having a pin number on a debit card if you have to show ID. That's just stupid, and Brian told that to the guy. The guy kept asking and so instead of just showing the ID, Brian felt that it was better for us to leave, I guess, cause he was like "forget it" and started walking off. Well, the guy took this insubordination as a sign that we must have been trying to buy a 2 dollar Sega Genesis with a stolen debit card. We were walking towards the door and then the guy just yells out "hey buddy, does your mommy know you're trying to use stolen credit cards?" We just kept walking for the door, trying to ignore him, which is what I usually do in embarrasing situations like this. And then the guy yells out "hey little boy, does your mommy know you're out this late?" I've thought many years of the deepness of this simple sentence... and I still can't tell you what it means. It was about ten o'clock on a Saturday morning, so it didn't make much sense. I suppose that in his anger and frustration, seeing that three hardened criminals were about to escape his pawn shop and there was nothing he could do about it, he resorted to desperate measures and tried to emberass us in front of the other customers. That will teach us to mess with him. But for some reason, asking us about our mother's knowledge of our whereabouts didn't give him the satisfaction that he had thought possible. With no more witty questions to fire at us, he decided that turning us into the police was the only thing left to do. So as we are walking out the door the guy grabs a piece of paper and runs outside after us and gets in front of the car and starts writing down Brian's license plate number. I just remember that we got in the car and Brian was like "Why don't you get behind the car so I can run your ass over?" He was really calm and collected when he said that, which I've always admired. Brian's always good at keeping his head during weird situations like this. So then we just backed up and drove off. That was it. Based on the length of this paragraph you probably thought you were in for a better written story, but not from me. Maybe Jon can be my ghost writer and spice up the writing a bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I talked to Dan today, so this post is in his honor. Here's Dan hopping up and over the edge of that little ramp to the edge of the big ramp, pulling a Shaw-style lipslide across the half pipe, meaning that his pants are ripped open at the crotch. Miss you out here, Dan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Interview Fun Rerun

This is an interview I did with Ammon before Bolts of Thunder Gone Wild came out. It's one of the funniest things I've every read, and I wanted to put it up again. I hope you laugh as hard as I do when I read it. Enjoy!

Ammon T is the funniest person I know. Anyone who's met him would completely agree with me. He's been killing it on the scene for years now, and he's only getting started. I think he would feel selfish by not sharing his skills with the rest of the world, so we decided to do an interview. I have to apologize, I don't have a picture of Ammon on me right now, but I'll get one up tomorrow so you can see him. So I just put a picture of me skating instead. That's all I have...

(MrThunderBolt) Who taught you such moving, inspiring dance moves?

(Ammon) I learned them from MTV.  I never had cable growing up so I used to
watch it at my friend Kenny Paddocks house. I watched this one show, I
forgot what it was called.  It had a swimming pool and a bunch of
college kids dancing around it.  I remember watching for hours as a
train of the most worthless people America had to offer, slowly pelvic
thrusted their way around a swimming pool. That had a profound impact
on me. I studied their moves, I learned their ways, I interpreted the
meaning, and I perfected the art.

Would you consider yourself an icon in the underground UT Austin

scene? How long has this been going on?

I am an icon in the underground scene.  Its been going on for two years now.

Remember when that dude on the motorcycle wanted to fight us for
cutting him off, then he gave us the abridged version of "Road Rage
Rules 110"? Could you tell our readers what went down?

I made the mistake of flipping off a guy in Provo Utah. I think Matt
and Jon have some great stories of road confrontations precipitated by
an extended middle finger.  In Utah, the greatest offense to a man is
to show your middle finger.  Its like walking up to a guy and pulling
his pants down and motor boating his butt in front of his friends.
So anyway, after I flipped this guy off he hounds me almost all the
way home demanding justice.  We end up having arguments at like four
red lights.  "How Dare you!!!! When a man beeps his horn, he is trying
to communicate..."  "Well I flipped you off because your honking
startled me!", "when you a flip a man off you are showing great
disrespect to him and his family!".  This went on all the way home. I
actually dont flip people off very often. The one time I decide to do
it I end having to argument with the guy all the way home to justify
my behavior.

So what's going on in your life right now?

Right now I'm working on my PhD in evolution and genetics.  I know
many of you out there dont believe in evolution. Thats because you
dont know very much about biology.  I love how offended people get
about the idea that they are descended from apes.  "You're telling me
my mama was a monkey!!!" "How come we never see monkeys giv'n birth to
a human??" Yeah, thats exactly what evolution says.  "One day some
animal somehwere gives birth to a human and viola! Evolution!"  I
blame X Men for all this misunderstanding.

You get the same question as everyone else: Who would you be trapped
on an island with out of all the members of Bolts of Thunder. I know
you don't know them all, but just go with your gut feeling on this
one, your very life may depend on it.

I would be trapped with Matt.  We used to go tracting together in
various places in Washington.  It was always a blast.  I bet it would
be the same way on an island except instead of tracting we would sit
around and make fun of people and hope Hannah would come by with
something for us to eat.

What's the weirdest thing you've seen in Texas?

A: I saw a bunch of armadillos.  they're weird looking.

what's the funniest story you have from your days as a missionary?

A: Probably the masturbation inquisition of 2002-2003. Our new mission
president, President Allen, was seeking to root out the underground
masturbation ring that had infiltrated our mission.  He interviewed
each of us trying to sniff out a rat.  I remember when I had my first
meeting with him, he started the interview off with "Some of the
brethren...", now when the last mission president started a sentence
like that you expected to hear about some new revelations straight
from the top; "the brethren" was how he referred to the twelve
apostles and their immediate underlings.  So I stunned when this new
guy, president Allen went on to say "Some of the brethren are having
trouble with masturbation"  My reflex was to say "No! cant be!"
Really, my first thought was that corruption had gone all the way to
the top and for some reason President Allen was warning me about this.
 "There is going to be some major fallout Elder Thompson, these are
uncertain times when even the holiest of men are succumbing to the
dark arts of masturbation."
    Anyway, President Allen was actually referring to my fellow
missionaries.  So I finish the interview, I think I had to give 50
hale Joseph's to make things right with the authorities on Kolob.  I
went back home to my Mongolian companion who had the same interview.
As I was sitting at my desk contemplating the awkwardness of my
conversation, it donned on me: Elder Mongolian probably never learned
that word in the MTC! I turned to him and asked "Hey Elder Mongolian,
did President Allen ask you if you masturbate?"  Elder Mongolian gets
this grin on his face. "Yeah, but I didnt know what that meant!  I was
like, What is masturbate?"  According to Elder Mongolian, President
Allen fumbled around trying to describe it as discretely as possible,
"Well, when a young man is by thinks certain
thoughts makes him want to..." he finally had to
resort to hand gestures to communicate what he was getting at.  To
which Elder Mongolian replied "Ooooh! yes! I like that very much!"
Just kidding. He didnt say that.

What would you like to say to all the Bolts of Thunder blog readers,
and to the world in general?

Kids, keep dreaming.  Never stop dreaming.  Even when you're awake.
If anyone says not to dream, pay them no heed!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Matt Pace

This is one of the coolest tricks I've ever seen in person. It's Matt Pace doing a nollie backside flip to back tail on his half pipe.  It was beautiful and inspirational to behold. I have to make pancakes now, gotta go...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tigger theory

I don't have much time to write, so I'll just leave you with a picture. This is another goldie from our Paris trip, and it's Dave doing what Daves do best.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jon's new career

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the greatest movie of our generation. An epic of epics, a giant among men. Taken 2. If you've ever wanted revenge on someone and didn't know quite how to go about inflict serious pain without getting in any trouble whatsoever with legal authorities, this movie gives step by step instructions. Liam Neeson even kills a cop and nobody seems to mind. Grenades going off in busy market places, shots fired at will, Eastern Promises-style bathroom fighting, and ramming through US embassy barricades are among some of the gems found in this movie. And for all of you who fell asleep of boredom during the Hobbit, this movie is for you. It wastes none of your precious time doing that boring stuff that the Hobbit does, like "story and character development", but it cuts straight to the chase and gives you the adrenalin rush you so badly desire...

I don't know why I'm going off on this movie. I actually did like it because it was like an hour and a half of revenge with no consequences, which is exactly what I expect from Liam Neeson these days. If you liked the first, you'll love the second. As far as I can remember, they used the exact same story as the first, just made it take place in Turkey rather than Paris. But that being said, don't get me wrong. I loved the Hobbit. I've seen it 3 times and I'm up for a fourth if anyone is down...

Well, I guess you can count this post as the first step towards my new career. I'm going to be a movie critic.

Speaking of gems, here are some pictures from Bolts of Thunder's epic trip to Paris in 2011. If you don't like my writing, just look at these pictures.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bolts of Thunder's New Year's Resolutions

Seeing as it's the new year and so many wonderful things happen just because a new year started, Bolts of Thunder is creating some realistic, achievable goals that you will be able to follow and keep track of. These goals are meant to inspire you to do great things and serve as a model of what your resolutions should be. They are posted in no particular order...

1) Collectively lose 12 13 pounds. Each member must pull his weight and eat more vegetables. Or at the end of the year, just pull out a cheese grader to the love handles and take one for the team. Either way, we've gotta drop some pounds if we're going to keep up with the industry these days. It's a skinny man's game.

2) More grass rides.

3) Go bigger, badder, faster, and harder than ever before. Drive through the ten yard line and get that first down.

4) Get footage of Nick. If this was the only resolution we accomplished, I'd be a happy man.

5) Don't faint when my wife has her baby. Hospitals make me weesy.

6) Make a video. Yeah, that's right, another video. Deal with it. Try and wrap your mind around it. Suck it!

7) Get Ben to show off his abs in public more often. That will give us more street cred.

8) No less than three-in-one trick combos with a flip in or out of every 4th trick.

9) Get with the program.

10) Artsy, over-produced trailers, cameras on remote-controlled space ships, confetti, hype, ribbons, awards, tears, drama, anger, blood, and some sweat. Just a little sweat though, we don't want to work that hard...

Keep track of our progress over the year! And until then, enjoy this little gem of Matt and Nick when they were but children...

First post of the year

And we're back. Seeing as this is the first post of the year, I wanted to put up one of my favorite pictures of myself. Weston took this two and a half years ago, and it still remains a classic. This is the dreaded power box that I battled some years back for our first Bolts of Thunder video. Me and Matt saw it probably 5 or 6 years ago, and we both agreed that it was unskatable. The gap to the power box is reasonable, but the gap to the parking lot after is a solid 12 or 13 feet, and we didn't think it would be possible to clear it off a grind. Then one evening with Nick and Dave, we saw the power box again and thought we'd check it out. As fate would have it, there was a nice piece of wood right there that we could put at the bottom to land on. That started everything... That night I 50-50ed it and went back the next day to 5-0 it. I slipped out on my first try and thought I was going to break my leg on impact. But I walked out of it unscathed and went back for round two. I pulled off the 5-0 which encouraged me to try and 50-50 it and clear the gap at the bottom. And trained for like a month; I practiced short 50-50s and ollieing out as far as I could after, and I became a practicer of lamas to calm my nerves. My first attempt on grinding then ollieing over the gap resulted in me riding the top, clearing the gap, catching one wheel on the edge of the parking lot, breaking my board, and not being able to try it again that day. My second try was this day when Garrett was in town and Weston was able to come out and take photos. I was so scared to try it, but with both Weston and Garrett there, I had to man up. It was the first thing I skated all day, so my legs were stiff, and my mind wasn't in the zone yet. On my second or third try I did one of the crappiest ollies you should ever do onto a power box of this size, which sent my board spiraling off the power box and my body flailing through the air. I thought for sure I was going to break my leg again on this slam, but I came out alright. I elbowed myself in the stomach on impact and had a hard time eating for the next week, but other than that, I was fine.

I think I've put this picture on the blog like 2 or 3 times already, and I'm ready to do it again. It exemplifies the standards with which Bolts of Thunder conducts itself, and it shows the love that comes together when we pull in all our resources. 3 things I love about this photo: the look on Garrett's face. He wonders if the years we've spent skating and filming together are soon coming to an end. My face. I'm accepting the inevitable slam that awaits me. My swamp crotch. It shows how afraid I was of trying this power box; it was only my 2nd or 3rd try. Thanks Weston for being on point and taking this shot even when you knew I was going down...