Thursday, September 29, 2005

"We All Put the Yeast In"

This beer is made just down the street, and it's exceptionally cheap (six bucks for six beers)! The three empties in the box from last night, however, have nothing to do with my calling in sick to work today.

Any bottle cap collectors out there?

Be Thankful

Most of us get lonely from time to time, especially in blogland. Go to this fellow's blog and leave a comment about what you are thankful for, before he commits internet suicide in a fit of solipsitic emo dispair!

Sick Day

I called in sick at the temp agency today. Tomorrow is my last day at the skid factory, so today is my last chance to take the day off. I love that vicarious feeling of freedom when you throw off the yoke. I do have some sort of sinus blockage, and the sawdust can really do a number on your nasal cavities. For the kind of heavy work they demand of you there, they should at least pay a living wage.

I suppose I will miss the camaraderie of the oppressed, and the lunch breaks amidst the skids, and the zing of the saw, and the owner swearing and screaming at people for leaving litter around the picnic tables. Honestly, I don't understand some people. But I have to go back tomorrow to drop off a Buck 65 CD to a co-worker. I'm on a mission to spread the word.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hey National Geographic!

My dad takes great nature photos.

Wheee! All the other fish look like ants!

Help me! I'm stuck inside this plastic bubble!

If it looks like cheeze, and smells like cheeze....

Happy Belated Birthday Dad-ee-o!


Skate Stencil Part Two: The Application

So, you have your official Pope of Fakiegrind Skateboard Stencil. Now it's time to apply it to your slab!

First, bust your ass in a skid factory all week to earn enough money to buy a new deck, wheels and bearings.

In the North End we like to do it ourselves, and we like to do it cheap. The dollar store was all out of spray paint, so I bought some metallic blue hallowe'en hairspray instead. I can use if for my costume, thus killing two vultures with one load of buckshot.

I added some words from one of the Pope's best songs.

Spray that sucker! Thanks to Matthew, my trusted assistant, for posing while I took this photo.

Cosmic eh? Fakie Agent Kill-Joy has notified me that grip-tape art is all the rage on the west coast, so I decided to leave the gnarley momento mori skull graphic on the bottom of my board intact and decorate, instead, the top of the deck.

I was a little disappointed with the blurry image, but I applied it several more times, so the Solitary Man would have clones of himself for company.

Long live the Pope!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Religion is Too Important to Take Seriously

Casual readers of Fakiegrind might take a look at the blog on any given day and get the idea that I'm some sort of blasphemous heathen, apocalyptic, pagan, Zen, Christian, nary-do-well, skateboarding, homeless drifter. And they would be right. I believe in all sorts of various and sundried, tomatoee things. What I don't believe in, though, is waiting around for some endtime rapture festival of the self-righteous; that's the Endtime Adjuster's territory. And we only put up with him because, like Golem in the Lord of the Rings, he might yet have a part to play in the unfolding salvation of this wayward blog project.

Life is full of apocalypses and revelations; each new day is a miracle of opportunity for growth and change, even if it just seems like the same old thing. In Buddhism it's called "working on your karmic roots"--those intangible strands of fate and experience that we generate for ourselves from the unconscious regions of our personality. When enlightenment suddenly comes, it's only because an individual has laboured long and hard, often for very little immediate return.

I don't believe that any life is ever wasted, no matter how aimless, lost or tragic it might appear. I don't believe in sitting around, waiting for some miracle of transformation, but I do believe that we are all moving towards a marvelous destiny. And when we finally make it to that mountaintop, and look out see where we have been traveling all this time, we might realize that the City of God has been our dwelling place all along.

I'm only saying this because I feel like I've made, and continue to make, all kinds of mistakes. But yesterday I was standing there, cutting wood for skids when I realized that all of my "mistakes" were anticipated, pre-planned for, if you will, by whatever that inscrutable, deeper, wiser power called God might be. Yes, I screw up allot, but God sees it coming from miles away (it would be hard for the architect of human nature to be surprised by anything we do), and God is steering me home, even if it takes innumerable lifetimes.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Atomic Christ


This interesting book describes how the attention of the entire universe is focused on earth, where a spiritual battle between God and Satan is being waged with hapless human beings caught in the crossfire! I see it as a last-ditch attempt by small, fearful minds to put the earth back in the centre of the universe, rather than accepting the fact that, in the larger scope of things, our blue-green gem of a home is, as Douglas Adams said, "mostly harmless".

In the picture on the cover, nuclear missiles are coursing toward North America. One of them appears to be trained upon Winnipeg, while the other is headed for the States. Can Jesus stop the missiles in time, thus saving one of Canada's most under-celebrated cities? You will have to track down your own copy of Planet in Rebellion to find out.

Ye Olde Skateboard Stencil

I've been meaning to make a stencil celebrating the Pope of Fakiegrind for some time now. Last Saturday morning, the Fakie astrologers decreed that the planets were in proper alignment to enact the sacred ritual. This is how it was done:

Step 1: Purchase an official Pope of Fakiegrind likeness by sending $5000 (EU) to: Fakiegrind, c/o: The Internet.

Step 2: Trace the Immaculate Visage of His Most Holy Exaltedness onto a piece of thick paper.

Step 3: Cut out all the areas you want to show up as paint on your image. Don't skimp on the eyebrows!

Make a healthy breakfast before moving on to the next step.

Don't forget the mayo!

Stay tuned for the second How-to installment, where we will apply the stencil to an actual skateboard!

Demons are Real


It's a blustery fall evening tonight--the first of the year. So I hopped on my bike and headed downtown to catch a flick. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was a scary movie, and I liked Campbell "the lumpy-bumpy part of town outside of town" Scott as the diabolical persecution lawyer.

Emily was filmed in Vancouver, where they took full advantage of the indigenous rainy weather. The court room plot made you think a little, and I was enjoying the whole experience except for the fact that I couldn't stop wondering about whoever the real Emily Rose might have been.

All of us have demons inside of us, and some people are more dramatic about it than others. I couldn't help thinking, by the end of the film, that the real Emily must have been a tortured soul who had been failed by both science and religion.

If I ever come down with a case of satanic possession, please don't call in any holy water-sprinkling, crucifix brandishing, Latin mumbling priests; they would only make things worse. Instead, crank some Metallica, pop a skate video in the VCR, and bring some Burger King take-out. Demons need their exercise as well!

Life is Tough

I can't take much more of this. Working is hellish, but at least the factory noise drowns out all distractions and gives me time to think. When I get home, my chronically depressed housemate is always watching television. I can't work for eight hours then come home to a shithole with commercials blaring. If I complain, she doesn't care. She just watches television and mopes. I try to be nice, but everything is so fucked up I really can't find a reason to go on with it all any more. Dr. Phil.Oprah. Maury Pauvich. Real life surgery stories. true crime. Friends. Death to all televisions!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Walking to Work

One thing about my job: it gets me out of bed at an early hour.
On Friday, I was almost late for work because I stopped for photos.

7 am. Days are getting shorter.

Tiger, my bodyguard, shadows me for several blocks.

This factory emits a stench like unto roasted soyabeans.

It's a new day!

The beer store is not yet open at this hour.

Golden rod is killing my nose these days.

The halflife of an abandoned skid: about two weeks.

Startling blue flowers.

Here comes the sun!

Sometimes I'm tempted to just go fishing.

7:25 am. I dream about sailing away on this ship.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rock-Steady Lives!

It’s been a while indeed. I have been out on an assignment. While working on mission called Radio Free Europe, I was taken captive for a short while. It was my own fault, I knew it wasn’t a good idea to work on a night with no moon. I cant get into the details right now, as time is running out. Only after a daring escape and a little luck, I came across these lyrics. It appears the Spambots are communicating through some sort of hidden codes within song lyrics, but I just can’t see it. Maybe it’s this searing headache that is breaking my concentration. Serves me right. I knew better than to go out on a night with no moon. I just hope that we can decipher this code before its too late.

But what does this all mean?….

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Mata ah-oo hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto,
Himitsu wo shiri tai

You're wondering who I am-machine or mannequin
With parts made in Japan, I am the modren man

I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain I.B.M.
So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
I'm just a man who needed someone, and somewhere to hide
To keep me alive-just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

I'm not a robot without emotions-I'm not what you see
I've come to help you with your problems, so we can be free
I'm not a hero, I'm not a saviour, forget what you know
I'm just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control
Beyond my control-we all need control
I need control-we all need control

I am the modren man, who hides behind a mask
So no one else can see my true identity

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo

Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For helping me escape just when I needed to
Thank you-thank you, thank you
I want to thank you, please, thank you

The problem's plain to see: too much technology
Machines to save our lives. Machines dehumanize.
The time has come at last
To throw away this mask

So everyone can see
My true identity...
I'm Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy!

Return of Slug


A couple nights ago, the slug that ate my house returned. This time, it had a peace offering in the form of a handfull of ectoplasm.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Work. Sleep. Consume.

When I get home from a hard day's work, it seems that I can't stay awake without slugging back one or two beers. The beer inhibits my capacity to think too deeply about my lot, and how I've just spent the last eight hours doing nothing. Television is so much more entertaining under the influence of alcohol, as well.

In the lunch room at work is a hazy, bluish painting of waves rolling up on a beach. In the centre of the picture, the sun is obscured by a large, black cloud, but some light radiates from out the edges of the mass, and illuminates the fringe of the waves. It's a calming picture, in a way. If I could smuggle my camera into work without it being stolen, I would take a picture of the thing.

Tomorrow is payday, and, if I can make it through without quitting, that will be one full week as a working stiff. Each day I show up with the intention of making my intentions (to quit) known, but then a strange voice calls out to me from behind the little black cloud in the painting, saying, "Don't awake The Sleeper."

Born to Love Volcanoes

My favourite part of the rapture index is #36: Volcanoes. Freud thought that Yahweh started out as a tribal volcano god, so these majestic lava spewers might be a fitting index of Biblical prophecy after all. But, if people are going to use natural phenomena as a measure of how close we are to the apocalypse, why not choose butterflies or spawning salmon? Why stop at volcanoes?

Dangers of Costco

"I bought way too much of this toilet paper that I don't really like."

-my housemate

Salmon Derby

The factory I'm working in was built by Free Masons, and they seem to have aligned the building according to the ancient formulas. So, in the morning, at a certain hour, the sun shines through the bay door beside my saw, all but blinding me. Should I remain employed at my current post for the better part of a year--until the next summer solstice--I've been told that the sun will shine directly upon an otherwise conealed section of the drop ceiling, thus illuminating a spectacular fresco of dancing beavers enacting ancient Masonic rites.

I pray to Heaven that I won't be working there long enough to witness this marvel, but in the mean time, I have a more practical problem in that the blinding morning sun greatly increases the chances of my damadging an appendage in a grisly circular saw mishap.

To help prevent this, I have taken to wearing a fishing cap I found abandoned in a dusty corner of the shop:


I've never been to Whitby or Oshawa, and I have no idea what a Salmon Derby is. Once the sun has moved out of my direct line of vision, I place the hat on the work table beside my saw, and steal glances at it once in a while. I like to pass the seemingly endless hours fantasizing about playfull salmon riding jetskiis across Lake Ontario. Then, I imagine myself dressed in a large salmon costume, swimming upstream to spawn. Indeed, the Salmon should be spawing any day now, and I would rather be a pair of rosey gills, fighting, fighting, fighting the current to find my sweetheart in the lovely upstream spawing beds.

Alas, friends, perhaps in the next life. 'Till then, I think I'm going to hold on to this hat as a keepsake.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Homage to Mammon

I don't want to get all self-righteous about money being the root of all evil, especially now that I have some in my bank account. But an art school student from Virginia is cashing in bigtime with her portraits of Alan Greenspan.

It's evident that this artist has some skill with the brush, but it creeps me out to think of the kind of people who bought these things to hang in their office or home. Is it art, or some kind of weird fetish, or is there even a difference any more? I could really use a working philosophy of aesthetics right now!

Live and Let Die

The last few years have been quite difficult, and not very rewarding. Maybe things will change for the better soon, or maybe they won't. What I know is that I can't go on living like I have been here in Steeltown. I've drunk this cup down to the bitter lees, and all that is left are bits of crud and tea leaves at the bottom. If I were skilled in such things, I might read my fortune in the murk, but I have no such skills. What I know is that it's time to let go and move on.

Way I’m sleepin’, my back and shoulders tired
Way I’m sleepin’, my back and shoulders tired
Come tomorrow, I’ll be satisfied
If I can catch that fast train and ride

Tuesday, September 20, 2005



Working the Brewer Saw makes me feel like a lumberjack. Big lifts of two-by-fours are loaded onto the "feeder" outside the bay door beside the saw. The load is pulled along on chains to the mouth of the "scrambler". I cut the bands securing the load, then return to my control panel to tip the load into the scrambler with a certain button. This is the point where I feel like yelling, "Timber!" but I constrain myself.

The "Descrambler" pulls individual boards up and onto a set of rollers which roll the wood inside the factory towards the saw.
This part of the process takes some skill, as one must manipulate the wood with a couple remote hydraulic arms that jostle it into place. The wood coming along the rollers reminds me of logs in a stream.

When the wood has rolled or "floated" across the path of the saw, I lower stopper arms set at the desired length, and when the wood is in place, I hit another lever to bring the big, spinning blade out of its lair. The blade promptly turns a quarter inch swath of board into sawdust, and the two newly cut boards roll along a further set of rollers towards the circular Brewer table. This part of the operation reminds me of logs floating out of the river and into the broader expanse of a lake or bay.

If I have set up the boards correctly, I can get six two-by-fours to stack themselves neatly on the table in two piles of three. I then pull another lever that spins the table, thus making room for the delivery of the next load of cut wood. As well as a lumberjack, I sometimes feel like Fred Flintstone, pulling levers in his little booth on the back of the purple dinosaur in the stone quarry.

When the table is full of wood, I stack it by hand on a skid. When the skid is full, I band it, label it, and a lift comes and takes it away. Like I said earlier, this is a pretty good job; easier than most in the factory. But, like a true temp, I will probably quit after receiving my first paycheque. Since I'm the only one at the factory that knows how to use the saw, I should probably give them a few days warning, so they can train someone else to replace me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Musical Skids II

But what, you might ask, have I been thinking about there in the grey dust and peircing sunlight of the skid factory? I think about philosophical questions. Such as: if God is all powerful, and all good, then why do so many evil things befall us in the world?

The goodness of God is absolute and hidden. It is not a goodness that can be comprehended by the limited, self-interested vision of our egos, but it is a goodness that has our best interest at heart.

Does this mean that all of the evil that befalls us is actually good in disguise? No. But the goodness of God is stronger than any evil that might come about.

Musical Skids

There is meditational element to my new job (cutting two-by-fours in the making of skids). Now that I have become proficient at the various tasks involved I find the time passes fairly quickly. In the morning, the sun shines through the bay door that opens unto my lumber pile, and the outside air helps counteract the sawdust. In the afternoon, there is lunch, and then a break, and then it's time to go home.

I am also responsible for securing the tall stacks of finished skids with strips of nylon banding. The forklifts bring me piles of wood or pallets, and I thread them through with banding, or wrap them with plastic when they are irregularly shaped. It sounds boring, and it is, but it keeps me occupied just enough that my brain slips into a state of reflection.

When I was completely idle, my thoughts were sort of frozen; now that I'm moving, doing something and nothing at the same time, I can better listen to the music of things.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Me and Lennie

I feel a little closer to superstar poet/novelist/songwriter Leonard Cohen now that he's broke. There must be all kinds of irony in this gifted genius, "the patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair", now being in a less than enviable financial situation, having been swindled, by some of his closest advisors, out of the fortune he made from selling the rights to his songs and writing to Sony.

Cohen, at age 70, seems to be taking it all in stride, having apparently deepened his already philosophical outlook toward life in his several years of study at the Zen monastery on Mt. Baldy.

Though I feel bad for Cohen's loss, I am also selfishly glad that his destitution may make it necessary for him to go out on tour once again. I've never seen this Canadian legend perform live, and I would very much like to.

Pussy Galore in "Indian Sunburn"


"Well, hello! Is this a knee cap I see before me?
Hold still...there's a bug crawling on you!"


"Oooh...I like it when you stroke my triceps. "


"Whoa! Take it easy there. Ouch! Hey! Ok! Mercy!
I'll pay for dinner tonight...Why do I always fall
for the kinky chicks?"

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Movin' on Down the Line


The morning sun, as it appeared on my 33rd birthday.

True Blue

Working out at the edge of the yard, by the derelict train tracks, stacks of rusty metal and a toppled over 30' silo that looks temptingly skatable, I sing songs to myself while securing large pallets of wood with steel banding. You crank the metal band with a ratchet device, and hope that it doesn't snap and recoil into your face (safety goggles are a must). The patented Flatlander method involves keeping the banding attached to the spool until it is firmly crimped in place, thus minimizing sharp, jutting edges. The wood I am sorting has been sitting there for a while, and many organisms have made it their home: centipedes, wasps, beetles, snails and potato bugs all scurry haplessly when I dislodge a beam. There was no warning given that their home was about to be disrupted; no public works notices that their woodpile was slated for dismantling. Somehow, these homeless creatures will find a way to start anew. Such is the mysterious energy of life.

Myself and the three other guys I'm working with are released precisely at two, after spending the better part of the last hour trying to look busy while chewing the fat and kicking sticks around the newly cleaned yard. Walking home is when my steel-toed shoes feel heaviest. But my heart was light; it was Saturday afternoon and working was through for the week! I went skating in the later afternoon, at the ol' Bease fishbowl/park. The sun was relentlessly warm, but nice. Now that I'm old I sweat. I sweat profusely, the same way my father used to sweat--the way that used to gross me out back when I was young and dry. I didn't fall while skating the park. I had fun and busted a few moves. But I could use some new terrain. It's also time to trade in my 7 1/2 incher for a full 8 inch wide model. I need some extra wood under my feet to feel secure these days.

On my way home I tried something stupid: skating down the sidewalk while carrying a twelve of beer. Brewed in the north end--just down the street from the house, in fact--my case of beer took a tumble when my skateboard hung up on a pebble. I rolled it out, scraping my knee and elbow, trying to cradle the bottles, which landed upside down on the sidewalk, all twelve beers miraculously unbroken. I took this as a sign that despite all my foolishness, my years of avoiding work, my resentment now that I actually have a job, my inability to stop skateboarding and dreaming about making rap music at the age of 33--despite all these things, God still loves me. Walking down the street, my twelver under one arm, my skate under the other, I felt a kind of grace. Working, skateboarding, beer--is there more to life than this? Most likely there is, but it's not necessarily a better kind of more.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Today, one of the floor managers--a nice guy named Dan--asked me how I liked my new job. I said it was fine, I liked it, etc. He said, "Forgive me for saying so, but you seem like you should be working at, say, Future Shop or something." I said that I'd tried retail and didn't like it, but that I liked working with wood. "Maybe next week we'll try to get you working at one of the construction stations, so you can try something different." This made me sad, since I like the position I'm at.

The shop I've been at all week makes wooden skids of all different sizes. I work an automated, remote control saw that cuts two-by-fours to various lengths. As far as I can see, it's the best job in the place: not repetitive enough to be painfully dull, not complicated enough to require all my brain. I get to move around, adjust bolts, load wood--and I have a neath control board with video-game levers. The guys working outside have lift and stack heavy pallets all day, as well as dealing with the elements. My station requires little heavy lifting, and I get to stay inside.

The saw is a great disk of quarter-inch serrated steel alloy that whirls inside of a mesh cage a few feet from my control panel. I pretend it's a shark in a tank. Make sure that shark tank is bolted shut! There are all sorts of steel loading arms as well, outside of the cage, which I pretend are crocodiles. My mission each day, as I see it, is to keep all my fingers attached.

Yesterday, Dan came to me and said, "It's kind of strange. You've only been with us two days, but you're the only one here who knows how to operate this machine...So don't go quitting or anything." I should have taken the opportunity to ask for a raise. I guess they are going through some sort of personnel turnover, and their old saw operator retired. Soon I probably will quit, once I've investigated further into the workings of the place. Outside my loading door is a huge labyrinthine yard full of stacks of skids. I volunteered to work tomorrow, even though it's Saturday, because I wanted to see the yard. The first couple of days I was nervous, worried that I wasn't doing a good enough job. Now I just try not to get hurt.

This kind of work, though sometimes romanticized, always seems like a prison sentence to me. When I close my eyes at night I see rivers of two-by-fours rolling by on a conveyor, and my body twitches from physical strains, and the terrors of the job that I try to suppress all day. Just down the street from my workplace are the docks, with great metal ships reminding me of the wider world. These kinds of jobs never pay enough money that you could escape. It's probably better to be broke but free. It's rediculous to sell the best part of your time for three hundred bucks a week.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

still old

finally had a decent skate session here in s.d. the 1st spot was a nicely lit parking garage at a shopping complex called fashion valley. i didn't feel very fashionable, but the embankment around the edge of the parking structure sure was fun, a little rough in spots which added to the challenge. the dudes i went with had a nice flat round railing too. we managed to skate for at least 30 minutes before the rent-a-mang gave us the oust. next we had a three vehicle convoy to another area with nice banked slappy curbs and knee high balls in front of target. i liked the balls, my trucks and wheels were slightly larger than the rest of the crew, so i was able to ollie onto the ball and roll over without hitting my kingpin. landed it second try, i was quite impressed with my oldness on even attempting the rollover. especially with my slightly rolled ankle from the early slappy attempts. the mang here was even quicker, well not too quick, but right there from the beginning. as he mulled around we skated, but then realized he was serious and we didn't want to upset him anymore, so we called it a night. it is nice and sunny here, but most of my skating is after dark considering my working schedule and the availability of terrain. thanks for keeping it old even when the rest of us have been vacationing from the grind.
undercover agent #16

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Giant Slug Ravages Steeltown!

Here is the slug that almost ate my house,
as caught on special infrared "ghostbuster" film.

Sometimes Jimmy Z from Mission Control pays a visit to Fakiegrind Central--to keep me updated on news from our shareholders and other higher-ups, and to make sure everything is running smoothly. Today he wasn't his usual chipper self.

"Why the long face?" I asked.

"Return hits are down almost 50%. Seems the majority of Fakiegrind viewers read it once and move on. It's pretty much like having no readers at all."

"We're still getting one person who checks us out at least once a day, usually more."

"That's your mom."

"So it is. Hi mom!" I tried to change the subject. "The spyware you installed is working nicely. Now we can tell what country our readers are living in, what kind of car they drive, which movies they watch, favourite breakfast cereals, etc."

"So why don't you pander more to the masses? Talk about current events and entertainment."

"I don't make enough money to see current movies. I wouldn't know where to start. Now that the Star Wars saga is finished, I'm really at a loss for what to write about."

"You need to do something to boost readership or the shareholders will shut us down."

"I put the Fancy Links in alphabetical order."

"Not good enough. We need something with kick."

"Maybe I could do a piece about my new job."

"See whether you can keep it for longer than three days first."

"Well, how about a piece on the sex life of garden slugs? I found a large one in the yard yesterday."

"Did you have sex with it?"

"Of course not!"

"You have to find an edge. Something that hasn't been done before. Sex with slugs might turn some heads."

"Uhhh...I dunno. The SPCA might close us down. I did get some photos of the thing."

"Did it eat half your house, dissolving it with radioactive slugslime?"


"Wrong answer."


"Better. Post some pictures of the slug. Say it was ten feet high, singing Blondie songs and terrorizing the neighbourhood. Say that Gary Larson showed up to draw the thing in his sketch book, then the army brought a giant salt shaker on a crane to neutralize the beast. Say it was the most amazing thing you've ever seen. Do it now!"

"Ok Ok, take it easy."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Fakiegrind Celebrates...


The Ghetto Blaster

Nowadays, what with MP3 players cramming thousands of song flies into tiny little cigarette case-size accessories, it seems that nobody wants to be seen cruising the street with a righteous boom box in tow. Sure, it may be a little unwieldy, but the base is in your face when you sport one of these suckers. And with all the graphic equalizers and flashing lights, these monstrosities of sound are like a portable disco party. The particular model shown above is broken, but I'm trying to figure out a way to turn it into an attractive flower pot holder.

Michael Franti loves blastin'
and we love Michael Franti.

I'm having trouble keeping up with technology these days. For traveling I still like to use the cassette walkman I picked up last summer for five bucks. It may not hold a thousand songs, and sometimes it eats my tapes, but it has a little "superbass" button on the side that makes me happy.

Monday, September 12, 2005

More Mistaken Lyrics

Big lizard in my backyard
Can't afford to feed him anymore
Big lizard in my backyard
Bustin' down my neighbour's door

I bought a big lizard
Only a dollar fifty
Well, that's pretty neat
Yeah it's fuckin' nifty
But I just can't afford to feed it
And you should see the way it shits!

I've got a big lizard in my backyard
Can't afford to feed it anymore
Big lizard in my backyard
Bustin' down my neighbour's door

I was knocked outta bed
Late last night
I was woken up by the sound of dynamite
I ran downstairs to find an army man
He said "We gotta blow up those things we don't understand!"

There's no more big lizard in my backyard
I won't have to feed him anymore
No more lizard in my backyard
They shipped his ass to El Salvador!

from, Big Lizard by The Dead Milkmen


Here is another example of lyrics that I have long cherished, sung and reflected upon turning out to be different than I had thought they were. This title song from the Dead Milkmen's first album (1985) is about a boy and his pet lizard. When the army man shows up, I always thought he said,

"We gotta grow up; there's things we don't understand"

I'll admit, the actual version is more in keeping with the Milkmen's ironic commentary on the world, but I had always saw the song as a kind of melancholy reflection on getting older. The giant lizard is like Puff the Magic Dragon; he is the boy's imaginary friend, until the army man shows up and takes him away because we all "gotta grow up".

That the Milkmen should have such a sentimental song on this otherwise raucous album had always puzzled me, and now the mystery is solved. The line about blowing up what we don't understand seems more pertinent than ever, and my sympathy goes out to big lizards everywhere, but in my own private lyrical world, the song will remain a coming of age story.

Approaching Fakiegrind Host Planet Earth!

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Dizzy II

About a week ago I fell while skating a mini ramp, and hit the back of my head, ever so gently, against the flat. I didn't black out or see spots--didn't even have a bump or bruise. But I've had a mild headache for a few days now, expescially when I bend over or stand up rapidly. I think maybe it's from the killer allegies, the useless medication, and from blowing my honker twice a minute, but maybe it's progressive dain brammage from the wipe-out.

At any rate, I'm using it as a good excuse not to do any work around heavy equiptment. Maybe I'll take the whole week off, seeing as it's my birthday coming up. I'm thinking of retiring my wheels altogether, getting grounded, maybe buying a suit jacket or something. I don't want to end up like Steve Alba or Mick Jagger: pushing the envelope way too far.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Wouldn't it be fun to work in demolition?

When you were a kid, which did you enjoy more;
building forts or destroying them?

I'm going to miss the view of this place
from my favourite flatland b-ball court.

Out with the old, in with the new!

Skateboard Timeline

The word "oldschool" gets thrown around quite a bit these days, but in the skateboard world, where the impetus is towards constant progression and mutation, it is sometimes hard to know just where one stands in the greater scheme of skaterdom.

To help clarify the situation, Fakie Scholars have been working on a Skateboarding Timeline. It is quite hastily researched, I'm afraid, due to a funding shortage here at Fakie U, so we apologize in advance for any and all glaring distortions of fact.


Early 1960's ----Prehistorical Era

Surfers carve the waves, but begin to feel a strange impulse towards land-locked activity. Some try mounting their surfboard atop a car or flatbed dolly, but the results are largely unsatisfactory.

Late 1960's -----Time of the Ancients

Certain prophetic but uncelebrated souls begin affixing roller skate wheels to planks of wood, creating the first wheelieboards. The activity is greatly limited by the primitive technology, but the urge to roll proves irrepressible.

1970's -----Demigods of Skate

The sport sees its first great wave of influence. Banana boards with little or no kick, clay or metal wheels, non-sealed bearings, fiberglass, plastic, wood, sidewalk surfing, barefoot, hang-ten, powerslides, slalom, pools, parks, Peralta.

This era could respectfully be called "oldschool" , but perhaps "Antiquated School" might be a better term.

Early 1980's----Legends of Skate

Bigger boards, wheels, trucks, rails, lappers, skid plates, converse, half pipes, grabbing air, boneless, fastplant, wall ride, McTwist, freestylin', Future Primitive, Bonite (TM), Hosoi, Hawk, Blender.

This is the era that should properly be called "Oldschool". While the ollie was known and utilized, it was still cool to grab the board with your hands.

Late 1980's----Heros of Skate

Street skating begins to eclipse both ramp and freestyle as the dominant form. Kickflips become the dividing line between new and old school. Gonz, Natas, Hensley, first handrails, ollie-to-everything, Hawk's 720.

Skaters from this era are also called oldschool, though here at Fakiegrind, we prefer the term "Intermediate School".

Early 1990's----Clowns of Skate

Street skating really takes off, but somehow the sense of skateboard fashion gets grossly distorted by the influence of the rave scene. Super wide pant legs, tiny wheels, the first double kicktail boards, noseblunts, pressure flips, Mullen goes street, pros from the Legend and Hero era start their own companies, end up in jail, or fade into the woodwork.

Most skaters who harken from this period can pass themselves off as newschool. The heelflip and 360 flip replace the kickflip as the standard initiatory manouever.

Late 1990's----The Dark Age of Skate

Skating hits an all time low. Once prosperous companies go belly up. Riders renounce their vocations and take up ping-pong or video games. A small, underground remnant remains, but it is hard to find new equipment, so die-hards resort to home made substitutes that are difficult and dangerous to use. Many skaters go insane or join the Scientologists.

Skaters don't like to remember this period of their history, so there isn't a term for riders from this time. If any actually surface, they tend to be avoided at all cost.

2000 and beyond

Skating becomes popular once again, but what more is to be done? Learn everything backwards or go home. All skatable terrain is capped and patrolled. Skaters corralled into parks built in every town and city. "Urban youth", including skateboarders, now a major marketing category. Skating no longer subversive but still better than football.