It’s really Fall

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott fitzgerald (the great gatsby)

 

” Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

– Albert Camus

 

 “We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.”

– Chuang Tzu

 

 I sit quietly, listening to the falling leaves – A lonely hut, a life of renunciation. The past has faded, things are no longer remembered, My sleeve is wet with tears.

– Ryokan

Justin Bieber needs to get real

Am I the only one annoyed by the Bieb’s As Long as you love me?

Yes, love is more important than material things, I assure you. However, we do live in a world in which it is far better to not be broke, hungry and homeless. Regardless of how much the Bieb may love you, if he wasn’t able to wash, turn on the lights, cook food, or brush his teeth, life with him would get pretty old pretty quickly.

Om just sayin’

VANS Bowl-A-Rama NYC: Barros and Mountain Ride to Wins

my article from International NewsImage

USA 14 October 2012. Bowl-A-Rama grinded onto the US East Coast for the first ever NYC VANS Bowl-A-Rama, held at Hudson River Park’s Pier 62 Skatepark October 4-6, 2012. The World Cup Skateboarding event hosted the world’s elite and legendary skateboarders in Men’s Pro and Masters divisions. Pedro Barros destroyed the bowl with style, creativity and tech, and with this win, he swept all three BOWL-A-RAMA events in 2012.

Vans BOWL-A-RAMA NYC included a week dedicated to skateboarding culture, celebrating art, music and the 20th anniversary of the Vans Half Cab at the House of Vans in Brooklyn.

BOWL-A-RAMA NYC MASTERS RESULTS

1. Lance Mountain

2. Steve Caballero

3. Eddie Elguera

4. Christian Hosoi

5. Mike McGill

6. Chris Miller

7. Pat Ngoho

8. Tony Mag

9. Nicky Guerrero

10. Aaron Astorga

BOWL-A-RAMA NYC PRO RESULTS

1. Pedro Barros

2. Alex Sorgente

3. Ben Hatchell

4. Kevin Kowalski

5. Mike Owen

6. Andy Macdonald

7. Joshua Rodriquez

8. Sky Siljeg

9. Steve Pineiro

10. Rune Gilfberg

 

Check out the VANS recap: http://skate.vans.com/news/2012/oct/vans-bowl-rama-nyc-video-recap/

And World Cup Sk8: http://www.wcsk8.com/

VANS Bowl-A Rama NYC Pro Division/ Pedro Barros: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r-YpbFg3VYg

Red Bull Rampage: Kurt Sorge Soared into First

my article in International News

 

USA 14 October 2012. Some of the world’s gnarliest and perhaps insane freestyle Mountain Bike riders in the world took on Red Bull Rampage October 7, 2012 for one of action sports’ most exciting and dangerous events. This invite-only event went down in Zion National Park in Virgin, Utah on some of the Earth’s most unforgiving and hellish terrain. Canada’s Kurt Sorge was the man to beat, riding with technical precision and style. He was in first place after the first runs, and didn’t stop at that. He threw down death-defying moves in his second run in the finals, including a massive superman and a backflip drop-down to seal the deal, finishing a full 17 points ahead of Antoine Bizet.

RED BULL RAMPAGE

Rampage has riders hurtle down the treacherous 1500-foot freeride course , carving lines on the face of steep cliffs, ridges, and rock as they try to dial in the best lines and fastest times. Riders navigate their way down – sometimes blindly – along cliff faces and dusty trails, clearing gaps, and launching off wooden senders and hips that catapult them to uncertain landings or bone-crunching crashes. One new feature was a 150-foot long ladder bridge to quarter-pipe near the end of the course.

Cam Zink, the winner of the last Rampage in 2010 had a huge crash after going airborne sans bike coming off a sender. Another favorite to win, Darren Berrecloth, also had an unfortunate encounter with the punishing landscape that edged him out of contention.

The riders included returning competitors as well as rookies, and they represented different styles: hardcore freeriders, big-mountain legends, downhill racers, and slopestyle trick-oriented riders. Although the field was heavily Canadian, nine countries and three continents were represented. Red Bull Rampage, one of the FMB Tour’s most anticipated events, follows the Freeski model of riding and judging in four categories: line difficulty, fluidity, air and amplitude, and style.

Red Bull had all the action on a live webcast for fans to soak up the action and it’s available as video on-demand: http://live.redbull.tv/events/114/red-bull-rampage/

 

RED BULL RAMPAGE 2012 RESULTS

1. Kurt Sorge (CAN) 86.75

2. Antoine Bizet (FRA) 79.00

3. Logan Binggeli (USA) 78.50

4. Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP) 74.00

5. Tyler McCaul (USA) 71.00

6. James Doerfling (CAN) 70.50

7. Cameron McCaul (USA) 70.00

8. Thomas Vanderham (CAN) 68.25

9. Kyle Strait (USA) 65.75

10. Kyle Norbraten (CAN) 65.25

Footy of Sorge’s winning run is on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uExosD9J0LA&feature=related

Cam Zink, the 2010 Red Bull Rampage winner crashed, but the magic of video captured the event; watch it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPNI-51j008

For a wild POV video from one of Berrecloth’s lines, check out:http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Video/GoPro-POV-3A-Berrecloth-27s-Red-Bull-Rampage-Line-021243266996755

 

Nessun Dorma: My father rests in peace

As I had written about two weeks ago, my father did indeed pass away.

I have been working on a longer post about what unfolded but it has been challenging.

In the meantime, here is a link to a very nice article/ Obituary about my dad by Jerry Vondas in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He was kind enough to acknowledge my father’s final act of generosity in donating his brain to the Alzheimer’s research study that he was participating in.

More later…

I Think My Dad is Dying

When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the soul laughs for what it has found. – Sufi aphorism

 

My dad is very ill right now and is not expected to recover, laying in a strange bed in the geriatric ward in one of the local hospitals. He has ice on his head and under his arms and had been packed in ice earlier today. He finally stopped pulling out the IV to keep him hydrated. He hasn’t urinated on his own for four days and that’s all the intimate details that I will relate about his condition.

On the way down to see him (after receiving a call from my mom that he had taken a “turn for the worst” and that we needed to get down to see him) my husband asked if I was OK and I told him that honestly, with the Alzheimer’s, my dad’s been gone for a while, so I wasn’t really in complete shock about the whole thing. 

He sleeps and rumples the blanket in his hands like he’s searching for the end of it or using it as some sort of a lifeline. At one point as I at next to him as he slept, he pulled out the oxygen cannula. He didn’t open his eyes and spoke quietly,  and said “Life.”

I asked, “What?” and he repeated, “Life.”

“What about life Dad?”

“It’s been a good story,” he responded.

“It sure has Dad.”

 

All I could think as I sat there was how fast time goes. Where has it gone so fast?

My son is in high school. It seems like he was just a baby. My daughter is in middle school. Where has the time gone?

This is why it’s so crucial  to stay in the moment.

 

It’s funny because today on my way home from work I was listening to Linkin Park’s In the End and after not hearing it for a while, the words held fresh meaning:

 

All I know
time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It’s so unreal
Didn’t look out below
Watch the time go right out the window…

There is only one time
when it is essential to awaken.
That time is now. – Buddha

Ring of Fire | Copenhagen Pro

I fell into a burning ring of fire
Went down down down and the flames went higher
It burns burns burns that ring or fire  that ring of fire

The Olympics have the Olympic Flame, but that has nothing on the Copenhagen Pro with its Ring of Fire.

If Thrasher Magazine says “let’s light this candle” to kick off an event, run for your skateboard but also consider asbestos undergarments; each year Thrasher starts off the legendary Copenhagen Pro with the ceremonial Ring of Fire. There’s something simultaneously beautiful, gnarly, and primitive (Future Primitive, perhaps?) about the whole thing. It connotes the fires of the druids, pagan rituals, paleolithic man. Sacrifice…initiation…healing…cremation. The light and heat of fire has been used for purification and even for pacifying the gods and fire as far as  for warmth and cooking food also come in quite handy.

The Ring of Fire conjures the ritual of firewalking. No, not that pussy shit where people burnt their feet on hot coals at a recent Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” workshop. The participants couldn’t take the heat and may end up unleashing their attorneys on Tony Robbins. Talk about discouraging: people paid to go walk on hot coals to overcome fear and to break down mental or emotional barriers and ended up blistered to hell and back and feeling pretty defeated. Not good.  I doubt anyone who braved the Ring of Fire on their skateboard felt defeated.

This time around, the Ring of Fire was shaped like the Spitfire head. Ishod Wair nollie heelflipped through the flaming head of doom, some dude knocked the Ring of Fire over as he got nutted on it, giving a whole new meaning to lighting a fire under your ass. The ring had to be re-erected for more mayhem.

 

There was also a pig roast that of course was skated, too all in the name of going ham at a skate contest. Ishod Wair frontside 360’d it, Chris Cole heelflipped it, and Tony Trujillo kickflipped it, etc. etc.

“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
– Frederick Douglass

The Ring of Fire, incidentally, is also the name for a geographic region in the Pacific Basin– an area known for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and all sorts of intense geological activity where the earth is volatile beneath the surface and there is always the potential for destruction being unleashed at any time.

I guess all we can do as mere mortals is get out there and shake things up, get moving. Go ahead, spark something.