Weekly Roundup: Because Your Kiss Is On My UL List Edition

We had a surprising amount of discussion last week about the Shinola x General Electric extension cords. One commenter noted that he didn’t see a “UL Listing” sticker anywhere. I took a quick look at the plugs and didn’t see anything about UL anywhere.Could it be that this $175 extension cord didn’t even have a basic safety rating, the way that hyper-expensive watches can’t be trusted to keep time as well as a Seiko?

Well, Danger Girl returned from a business trip with a smaller Shinola extension cord for me. This matches the Natuzzi recliner in my stereo room/writing room. And it had a very prominent UL listing sticker on the woven cord cover. I swapped my black five-plug extension out for this one, and sure enough, a closer inspection revealed a UL listing hologram near the wall-plug end of the cord.

Glad to have that mystery solved, I tell ya.

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Weekly Roundup: Maybe There Really Was A Reason Why I Used To Keep My Hair Short Edition

The last time I was riding skateparks with any frequency was in 2003. My hair was quarter-inch buzz-cut. After being repeatedly and unexpectedly blinded at “Skate Naked” on Friday night, I’m thinking that perhaps there was some logic to that choice.

Friday night was a big night for “progression” around our house. On his third trip to a park ever, John managed to “drop in” to the small bowl. He got within two feet or so of the coping on the middlin’ half-pipe you see above. And he did his first “roll-in” down a steep ramp to a pyramid box. As for Dad? Well, I wasn’t exactly pulling Matt-Hoffman-style air but I also didn’t injure myself. At 45, that’s success, right?

Click the jump for this week’s contributions and a statement on a recent controversy.

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Weekly Roundup: Back In The High Life Again Edition

Last weekend, I pushed myself just a bit too hard at Camp Woodward. Until Friday morning, I couldn’t put any kind of stress on my back without having the strong urge to vomit. The problem for me is that getting on a BMX bike immediately puts me back into a mindset where I don’t worry about how much something hurts, which is great when you’re a 15-year-old training for a race but absolutely murderous for somebody triple that age who has to go to work on Monday.

Yesterday I managed to bunnyhop 18 inches on my new Haro FST. Then I promptly shucked the bike out from under me on the next hop, landing on my back at no more than ten miles per hour but it still hurt. Today, John and I went to a kind of low-budget local skatepark where he actually got both wheels off the ground on a halfpipe. (Not above the coping; he just turned the bike a bit below the coping.) I’m so stoked for him. And yeah, I rode a bit too. It was easier than last weekend. There are only two things I can do in this world: remember the lyrics of the Seventies and overcome pain.

Speaking of pain, let’s see what we cranked out while I was curled up into a little keyboard-clutching ball last week.

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: I’m The Type Of Guy To Say My Lower Back Is Killin’ Me

Somehow I survived our trip to Woodward. Even got the (not so) old Haro FST off the ground in various places around the park. Pulled a few X-ups over the small box ramps, that sort of thing. John did great as well — he was very brave about the various obstacles and he actually jumped off the top of the 12 foot resi ramp, sliding all the way to halfway up the other side.

The only injury either of us sustained: I fell on some ice outdoors and cracked my head pretty hard, after the parks were closed. Makes sense; I’ve never left Woodward uninjured. And my back hurts so much I can’t stand or walk without pain. It was too bad to sleep after the first day but I wasn’t gonna not ride just because of that. So now it’s much worse. So what.

Click the jump to see what Bark and I wrote last week, hurting nothing but a few feelings along the way.

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Weekly Roundup: Sunday Bloody Sunday Edition

“Did you know that I can find my dad on the Internet?” That’s what my son said to his mother this past week. Let’s hope he’s not reading this site on a regular basis, because I’m about to tell all of you something that I haven’t told him: we are going to Woodward, PA so we can ride the Lot 8 and Cloud 9 skateparks. Since John doesn’t really have a bike that would work for this, I’ve ordered a Sunday Primer 16 for him, in Watermelon Green.

Alright, let’s get to last week’s contributions. And John, if you’re reading this, go clean your room!

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(Way Past Last) Weekly Roundup: UnBoxing Day Edition

It never occurred to me that even the box would be retro! Last week, on Instagram, I read that “at the age of 40, ‘pulling all the tricks’ means getting off the ground. At the age of 50, it means just showing up.” Guess I’d better get at least one wheel off the ground with this.

Brother Bark and I weren’t hyper-productive last week, but we did get a few things out the door; I guess that’s sort of like “pulling all the tricks” when you’re also trying to make it through Christmas alive, right?

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Weekly Roundup: Two Hundred Hour Mirror Edition

Seventeen months ago, I drove a BMW i8 from Los Angeles to just north of Seattle. My journey ended at the RainSong Guitars shop, where I ordered a “Black Ice” cutaway acoustic-electric. It showed up in August of last year. Since then I’ve played it between three and eight hours a week. Let’s call it two hundred hours total. In all conditions, across the country, dropping and banging it, killing string set after string set, sometimes letting it sit in the California sun where it got too hot to touch and other times (like today) letting it sit in my trunk for a full day’s worth of ten-degree weather.

Tonight I polished it up briefly using some extra eyeglass cleaning solution. As you can see, the sum total of all the wear it’s showing from more than a year of near-daily abuse is… nothing. Nothing at all. It caused me to imagine a scenario where I play it for twenty more years, then die and leave it to my son, who looks at it and says, “Why did Dad lie to me about playing the hell out of this thing? It looks brand new.” Is it harder to form an attachment to something that age cannot wither?

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(Last) Weekly Roundup: Lord Huron And The Queen’s Beasts Edition

If you’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix, then you might also have some vague interest in the Royal Mint’s new series of silver and gold coins. They’re meant to celebrate the Queen’s Beasts, the ten sculptures made to represent Elizabeth II’s royal lineage, and the two coins that have come out so far (Lion and Griffin) are very high-quality items. In this photo we have a few of the two-ounce silver Griffins resting on the album cover for Lord Huron’s Strange Trails.

My love/hate relationship with Genericana aside, I think Lord Huron transcends the folksy-rock label on their second album. There’s a lot of Fifties influence in there as well, something I haven’t heard from a new rock band in a long time.

And speaking of something else that hasn’t been heard in a long time — let’s catch up on that Weekly Roundup, shall we?

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Weekly Roundup: The Dark Hemingway Edition


What do you do with a bunch of rum and grapefruit juice, anyway? If you’re my pal Chris from Canada, you Google around until you accidentally stumble on Hemingway’s favorite cocktail. But since Chris isn’t the kind of guy to follow someone else’s recipe blindly, you mix it up a bit. This is The Dark Hemingway:

  • dark rum ( gosling black seal )
  • real grapefruit juice ( not from concentrate )
  • fresh lime juice
  • lots of ice
  • dash of dark maple syrup

Stir well, or shake….garnish with a slice of lime. After three of these, “with maybe too much rum”, Chris found that he’d fallen asleep and missed the end of the movie he was watching. I’d call that a success.

Saturday night is just a few hours away, so stir up a Dark Hemingway while we cover this week’s contributions.

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