Monthly Archives: July 2011

Dubbing

I received a pair of suede Birkenstock Bostons for father’s day and because of the wet terrain here in the Pacific Northwest, I decided to give ‘em a good dubbing.

As far as I can gather, the term “dubbing” is a derivative of “dubbin” which is an ancient recipe for leather dressing that consists of natural waxes, oils, and tallow.  In WWII, soldiers were issued “service shoes” which were roughout (suede-side out) boots which were then treated (dubbed) in order to protect the boots from water and chemical warfare agents.

I’ve been wanting to try this out for a while now and had purchased a jar of Sno-Seal a while ago in case I ever got the urge.  I basically followed the instructions per this site, but here’s the basic process I went through:

There’s really nothing to it.  Basically, just dip your fingers in, scoop up a glob and start working it into the suede.

After you’ve coated the entire shoe, take a blow dryer on high heat and essentially melt the wax into the suede.  You’ll see it seeping in.  Do the whole process over again and you’re done.  It took me maybe 15-20 mins.

Before and after.  You can clearly see the dramatic difference in color and texture.

They are very waterproof now and the waxed finish aids in developing some patina and character that suede doesn’t normally gain.  It’s that dynamic duo of function and aesthetic.

Crabbing

Crabbing season just opened here in the Seattle area and I wasted not a single brain cell to muster up an enthusiastic “YES” when I got the invitation to go.  Best. Day. Ever.  This is a little taste of how it went:

Up at 5:45 am.  Grabbed my thermos full of coffee, a banana and some trail mix and out the door.

A less than 10 minute drive to the east end of the island to a little dock.  The sun rising across a dead calm Puget Sound.  Absolutely beautiful start.

Set up the pots with some herring and other misc leftover fish parts, throw them over, set out the lawn chairs, pour a cup of coffee and enjoy the crisp, early morning ocean air.

First pull of the day yielded no crab but this gigantic 16 legged sea star.

First crab of the day.  Off we go…

This salmon head proved to be a hit.  This pot consistently brought in the most crab.  Keep ‘em coming…

Pulling a pot.  Nice results…

These little guys are a lot stronger than you think.  It’s quite a fight to be able to keep them from pulling their pinchers in at you.  All the crab we caught this day were Red Rock crab, and they tend to be pretty nasty little suckers.

Looking pretty full and this was probably about 2/3 through the day.

Counting our catch to make sure we are in regulation.  We had 9 permits between all of us and we all caught our 6 crab limit.  Yup, 54 crab.

Needless to say, we invited a bunch of friends over and had a giant crab cookout.  Simply boil them whole in a big pot with some salt…

Gut and clean…

And get happy.

As fresh as it can possibly get.  The meat was amazing — that delicate, slightly sweet flavor you expect from crab and oh, did I mention…fresh?  I kept reveling in the fact that I woke up, drove less than 10 mins and fished crab out of the ocean, drove straight back home, cooked and ate them all in succession in a matter of hours.  Not to mention the weather was absolutely perfect all day and we got to have a great picnic in the yard, sharing some fresh crab, beers, and laughs with some good peeps.

By far one of the best experiences I’ve had on Vashon.  I’m looking forward to an entire season of this.  I hear the pink salmon should be coming in droves later this year…

Born Free

While I missed all my favorite Socal fleas, I did happen to be in town for BORN FREE — an outdoor motorcycle show in Silverado Canyon.  Lots of choppers and bobbers (most of which I don’t care for) but definitely some nice vintage gems, tastefully done brat/bobbers, a handful of cafe’s and definitely the show highlight for me — all three Falcon bikes.  I know there’s a ton of hype around the company which has just barely built only three bikes, but they really are beautiful machines in person.  My favorite is definitely the KESTREL.

Such amazingly clean lines and incredibly tasteful choices every step of the way.  Hats off.

I actually ended up enjoying myself more than I thought and surprisingly, didn’t have to inch my way through too many drunk, smelly, middle-aged dudes spilling out of their Harley shirts, sporting leathery tattoos and some specimen or another of tough-guy facial hair.

Above is ex pro skater Max Schaaf’s build.

(First image borrowed from my buddy TRISTAN)

Father’s Day

I did a little interview with PASTE.COM for a feature on father’s day and apparently I got edited out, but I answered the darned questions anyway so I figured I’d post it here for father’s day.  Head over and CHECK IT OUT though, my band mate Dustin is on there along with some other friends from Pelican, Saves the Day and Bodies of Water.

1) Name and age of kids:

Miles, nearly 4, Oliver, nearly 2.

2) How having children and being a father has changed the way you approach your career:

Touring is obviously much more difficult now.  Leaving my kids is not a thing I look forward to at all.  I definitely see the income/career side differently as well.  I am providing for my family, working and earning money to secure the lifestyle we want for our family/kids.

3) Best part about being both a musician and a dad:

I suppose that my kids are constantly immersed in music.  Music is so important for kids developmentally.

4) Most difficult part about being both a musician and a dad:

Touring.  Hands down.

5) What do your kid(s) think of your music?

They love it!  They dance to it and it’s the best thing ever.

6) What kind of music do your kids currently enjoy? Do you approve of their current tastes?

Obviously kid songs.  My older son, Miles, actually really has a taste for music.  He’s pretty well rounded as I’m always listening to different music.  He can quote Bob Dylan lyrics and knows every single word to Get Back by The Beatles.  He really loves heavy music too.  He calls it mad guy music or dinosaur music.  He can recognize Jazz when he hears it – can pick out a Billie Holiday song and watches Miles Davis videos on youtube.  They both will start bobbing their heads and saying “yo, yo” when they hear hip-hop.  Fun stuff.

7) Have you attempted to immerse your kids in music? How have they responded?

Yeah, it’s just natural because of me being a musician.  We’ve got a mini drum set, a ukulele (their “small guitar”), harmonicas, recorders, tambourines, you name it.  We have little family jams.  Miles and I wrote a song called “Big Hippo, Big Mouth” about our ride on the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland.

7a) If yes, what instruments do they play? And what do their early musical attempts sound like?

Oliver bangs around on whatever is around.  He’s still too young to be showing any specific interest in an instrument I think.  Miles actually can wail on a trumpet, hold a real basic beat on the drums (just kick and snare) and just recently, has really been interested in piano.  He’s a really stubborn kid though and won’t let you teach him much.  He’ll ask me to show him a song, observe and then figure it out on his own.  It’s all just single note, one finger stuff but it’s pretty insane.  He’s far more naturally gifted than I ever was.  He knows a handful of kid songs, Get Back and just learned his first Thrice song, Doublespeak (which for some reason is his favorite Thrice song).

7b) If not, what are they interested in doing instead?

They’re boys through and through.  Super heros, knights, legos, motorcycles – anything and everything boy.  We just got chickens and they are in love with them.  We’ve been watching skate videos together and they love it.  Miles loves watching free running videos on youtube which kind of scares me cause he’s a natural dare devil.

Blazing Trails

I’ve been working hard since I’ve been home battling the growth that is threatening to take over our property. There’s a lot more land to take care of here and the growth is a lot more incessant compared to SoCal’s quasi-desert climate. In between hacking blackberries (they are pest status here), tall grass, and nasty weeds, I’ve been attempting to open up some trails in our woods out back. There seems to be a lot of different patches of forest here on Vashon and we’ve got a mostly Madrone forest. Growth is a lot lower and a lot more dense toward the ground then a more typical Pine forest so it’s not easy work. Sore but having fun.

A big fallen Madrone. I’m hoping to get this milled so I can make something out of it. It makes a nice little cave fort for now.

Miles joined me mostly for moral support and an extra set of feet for “tromping”.

Miles walking our freshly cut trail.

Yard work aftermath.

The Chromeball Incident

My new favorite site.  This is just absolutely pasted with nostalgia for me.  I used to read my skate mags (I was primarily a Transworld guy) over and over again and apparently I’d burned a lot of those images into my head because I remember probably at least 90% of the pictures on the site.  I specifically remember freaking out over the last picture of Eric Koston’s boardslide because that was a rail (and the 2-gap-2) in Irvine that my friend’s and I used to skate all the time – The Souplantation Rail.  I actually uncovered my stash of old skate mags a while back (I kept every single one) and was thinking about scanning them all.  Looks like I don’t really need to now.  Gushing over this site.

CHROMEBALLINCIDENT.BLOGSPOT.COM

Alpaca Shearing Day ’11

ADRIENNE’S farm held their alpaca shearing day and opened the farm up for anyone to come and hang out, enjoy some BBQ and watch some really odd looking creatures get turned into even stranger looking creatures. Post shave, they look like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book.

The harvested fleece can be bought on their ETSY PAGE in raw, carded, or spun (yarn) form. Top quality stuff from a family owned farm. Highly recommended.

Some of Adrienne’s creations – hand-felted alpaca hanging mirror, pillows, etc, available in her SHOP, along with some of the alpaca yarn.

Big thanks to the Greens for opening up their farm. Now I get to watch these freshly shorn, incredibly odd looking creatures galavanting beyond my yard.

Union, Right to Skate (1992)

 

 

One of the first skate videos I saw.  Kris Markovich, Eric Koston and a little bitty Andrew Reynolds.  Classic.

Prodigal Son

I tried consolidating this blog into my tumblr but alas, I didn’t like posting there.  So…back to where we were at:  This blog – article-centric.  Tumblr – everyday flavors and abbreviated posts.  Sorry wordpress, I’ve tasted the beyond but I have returned.