Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy Holidays From Crazy Glenn

Bust out your Ugly Christmas Sweaters and try and squeeze another buck out of your wallet to take advantage of Crazy Glenn’s Last Minute Ugly Sweaters For Skaters Sale…

The psychedelics in the Red Bull finally strarted to kick in, and Glenn saw more to his date than just that groovy sweater.

Due to popular demand, a returning special just in time for last minute shoppers…

In-Stock Jet 3 Point boots, normally $205, now $150. 100mm Jet 3 Point packages, normally $399, now $299; and 110mm Jet 3 Point packages normally $420, now $320.  Shipping and taxes extra, please.
ALSO: sale on Red Semi Race skates and Silver Alpha skates!!!
December Specials Plus: (1) Pair of Long Track Bont Vaypor, blade and silver, size 39 boots only, normally $539, this pair $300, shipped!

ALSO: any in-stock Bont 07 Skinsuit (red/black or pink/purple), $40!
Email Glenn Today! glenn916@yahoo.com

The Eleventh Day of Inline Christmas

The dream continues…

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, rather than sleep I’d visions of skating instead. And Mamma in her ‘kercheif and nothing else more, I rolled over and touched her, hoping to score. With a slap and a shove I was left to self love, as skating too much has come ‘tween me and my dove…

How do you get eleven pipers to play in perfect unison? Shoot 10.

On the eleventh day before Christmas…I found a gadget that could serve as a  work-around for the lack of a heart-rate monitor in my new goggles. For the McGuyvers among us, a little chewing gum, Preparation H, sour cream and a paperclip will be all you need to integrate this heart rate monitor with your H.U.D. goggles.

The only problem is, my stats spike when I flick a boogie. That's why they have smoothing I guess.

This bling size ring provides pulse readings without an uncomfortable chest strap or rectal plug. The device simply slides on your index finger and displays an EKG accurate reading on its LCD with the touch of a button. The heart rate ring can be set to audibly alert you when your heart rate exceeds or falls below a preset optimal beats-per-minute target zone, informing you when to increase or decrease your pace. The device also calculates calories burned, steps taken, and distance traveled. With stopwatch and clock functions. F’n’A!

The Twelve Days of Inline Christmas

I had a dream…it was the 12th night before Christmas and all through the house, my true love had ordered great inline skating crap for me, her spouse. From Hammacher Schlemmer she bought me cool gear, and it was on this night that my gifts did start to appear.

I’ve always enjoyed gadgets and gizmos and such, but this year t’was goods from Hammacher Schlemmer I desired so much. The catalogs they’d sent, I’d received, count ’em, three. So I stashed one in each restroom to scan leisurely. Each morning I woke and sat reading with wonder, dreaming thoughts of great skating and trails I would plunder. I spent s’much time in there o’er pictures salivating, who’d blame my wife who’d thought me just ‘bating. Alas my hands clean I’d emerge eyes a gleaming, thinking of ways to get these great gifts, I’d been scheming. So join me friend as I share with you here, my inline skating vision of holiday cheer…and take all this rhyming and stick it in your ear.

Like any red-blooded American male, I’ve always loved Hammacher Schlemmer, The Sharper Image and Brookstone. It’s always been about the coolest, latest, and most expensive toys you can find, right? Not really. Here’s the ugly truth – so much of the stuff these retailers sell doesn’t hold its novelty anywhere near as long as I held my own once I discovered my “manhood” as a wee lad. While I’ve always pined for the stuff they sell, once I get it, I usually end up with buyer’s remorse.

Not this year though. This year, for whatever reason, I started to notice that the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog actually has a lot of stuff for skaters. Cool stuff. I could actually make a case for how a lot of their wares can be used to improve my athletic performance, and hold my interest longer than the latest Katy Perry video. (OK, that may not seem like a long time, but for the record, it’s not my interest in her videos that leaves me after about 20 good seconds…)

Elmo can rotate your wheels, Katy. Hehehehe...

So, in a manner that won’t offend Christian sensibilities, I’m going to lead our pace line though The Twelve Days of Inline Christmas as a run up to the big day, as opposed to the traditional span between Christmas and the Epiphany. (If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it, you’re going to hell anyway for wearing that skinsuit in public. Dirty sinner.)

Our first item is probably one of the coolest I’ve ever seen, and something I’ve spent some time dreaming about before I found it…

The back story: A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away, I spent a winter on the elliptical reading Star Wars fiction. You know, because Star Wars nonfiction is just so…academic. Anyway, it was in The Republic Commando novel Hard Contact that I first learned of the concept of a H.U.D. – the Heads-Up Display. It’s a tactical display (oh wait, isn’t that from Star Trek? It’s not like I really know…) in the visor field of those cool republic clone trooper helmets. It delivers all kinds of statistics – vital signs, environmental conditions, targeting guidance, hostile readouts, long range scanning information, texting, IM, Twitter, Facebook, you name it.

"No worries General Kenobi, we'll overtake the Separatists on the highway. Victory is ours."

I always thought it would be cool to have something like that to replace my Garmin Forerunner. Imagine, never having to look down at your wrist to see your pace, heart rate, distance, total time, training partner…you could have it all right in your field of vision. Well, my prayers have been (somewhat) answered by the buyers at Hammacher Schlemmer…

Hells yeah - this HAD to be inspired by Jedi technology.

These goggles use GPS and state-of-the-art sensors to track maximum, average, and current speed, current temperature, latitude and longitude,and a bunch of other cool stats. OK, so they’re ski goggles, but who says we can’t hack this for our own application, right?

Check this…the unobtrusive 2″ display is an LCD “dashboard” that continuously displays performance data inside the goggles’ right lens frame and alerts when speed or other milestones are achieved.

Star Wars technology for more terrestrial applications, like trail skating.

A built-in stopwatch lets you time and “flag” runs for posterity. The goggles store up to 24 hours of data in internal memory that can be uploaded to a computer via the included USB cable. The goggles themselves feature permanent anti-fog, polarized lenses that block 99% of glare and automatically transition between yellow and deep amber as light conditions change. The GPS is powered by a Li-ion battery that lasts up to six hours on a three-hour charge. These are…the bomb. The technology is so close I can taste it. If they’d just integrate a heart-rate monitor…but we can work around that.

On the second day of Inline Christmas I’ll share something more, so come back tomorrow and see what I’ve in store. Ho, Ho, freaking Ho…

Anatomy of a skate bench

Ah, hoarding. The excessive acquisition of items, and the inability to discard them. I’ve seen that “reality show” on A&E and while some of you may find entertainment value in these people who are desperate enough for fame that they’ll allow cameras to document their squalor, and sit idly by as their family and friends besmirch their reputations and community standing, others look on with sympathy, seeing the human tragedy and emotional neglect amid the rubble of these people’s lives. I tend to empathize with the show subjects…does that make me one of them?

I really am researching ways to recycle pizza grease in speed bearings. Really.

You might be a hoarder if you look at the clinical definitions of pathological hoarding or disposophobia and defensively argue in favor of the term “collector with purpose.” While my buddies the Collyer brothers and I would tend to think our shared behaviors more in line with the eco-friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,  I think we all know that deep down inside most serious inline skating enthusiasts, this twisted psychological disorder claims a small part of us all. One look at my skate bench tells my story. Why is it that I can’t seem to part with that 100mm wheel that’s been chewed down to 76mm? HA! Because it will come in handy some day, I just know it.

As I sit here looking at my skate bench, waiting for the A&E film crew to come in and hand me a big ‘ol slice of public humiliation pie, I decide I’m going to take the first step and inventory my accruement. When the hazmat team comes to dig me out, here’s a sampling of what they’ll find in my little corner of the garage…NOTE: this picture was taken in May, 2010. The bench is now much worse than this, but I’m too ashamed to show it:

Touch anything and you'll never write again Slim.

I’ve got everything exactly where I want it:

A. SpeedyWeezy’s first “speed” skates – a pair of adjustable kids rec Rollerblades with the cuffs cut off.

It was a start...

He actually did pretty well on these for a month before we ordered his first pair of Luigino Mini-Challenge. We’ve been saving these in case he becomes the next Joey Mantia, because surely The National Museum of Rollerskating is going to want these for the permanent display.

Can't believe he didn't snap his ankle. Bad Daddy.

B. My first pair of Rollerblade Lightning 10 fitness boots. I’d just popped off the buckle to use on my buddy John’s pair of Powerslides pictured here on the bench. The liners for the Lightnings have been used to make a pair of boots I use on my slideboard.

The chicks really dig these, especially when it's all I'm wearing.

C. Mailing label with Stephen Charrier’s home address so I don’t forget to send him a Christmas card.

D. The Black & Decker heat gun I used to put a hurting on…

D1. …a brand-spanking-new pair of CadoMotus Pro110 boots, now with nasty burns on the inside lining of the left skate.

E. A foam earplug used to make ear-candy bud covers. (Do you know what that means?)

F. Set of Buck Bearings I used to become First Loser in Duluth in 2009 (I think they’re still there, rusted to the table.)

G. 2nd Gen iPod 8GB Mini that I used as the soundtrack to my skating for 4 years. Needs a new battery, works when it’s plugged in so I can’t throw it out. Worth -$10 on Gazelle.com.

H. One of Jondon Trevena’s Rollerblade Lightning race skates – 5 x 80mm set up, all plastic frames, all leather upper, zero support. He actually won races on these things, he thinks he even wore them on MTV back in the day. Yowza!

I think I had a Members Only jacket that would have matched these.

I. eZeeFit Slider Gloves – they’re just sweet.

J. Bowl of miscellany (stripped axles & mounting screws, cut washers, credit card shims, small screws, all crap. But you know…useful crap.)

What my camera missed, but the A&E crew would find…the boxes of used wheels, bowls full of beat bearings, 4 or 5 empty skate boxes, 1/4 full bottles of lube and WD-40, old pairs of protective pads, 1/2 gone boxes of fabric softener, full box of industrial latex gloves, open tube of synthetic axle grease, 16 98mm scooter wheels with bearings rusted firmly in place, cut pylons, instruction manuals and spare Allen wrenches from every new pair of skates I’ve ever acquired, 6 or 7 heel-break assemblies, a set of wheels with disc breaks built into the axles, wheels from my very first pair of fitness boots, old wrist bands, a broken heart rate monitor, two helmet lights, a fanny pack, 2 hydration belts, and holy crap…and a stainless steel coffee pot full of, um, well, it was for those pinch situations when you’ve got your skates on already and can’t go back in the house…we don’t have a floor drain – you figure it out. And all of this is just what’s on or under the table.

Then, there’s the 6 ft. shelf…

Yes, those ARE anti-gravity bounce boots (no homo.)

The shelf is actually a place where I’ve made a little progress since May, in that I rearranged some crap and actually got rid of 1 pair of skates…

These Problades now live in Kenya. Frealz.

Then there are all of these pads, which I’m saving on the bottom shelf for some poor little field mouse who’s going to want a warm place to live this winter…

Seriously, I found a dead field mouse in my knee pad last winter. It was the salt in the liner that killed him.

So in surveying all of this, I think I counted 13 or 14 pairs of skates out there. Some belong to my family, but yes, most are mine. Imelda Marcos ain’t got nothing on me. I’ve got a deeper selection than Zappos. And I can’t ignore all of the frames, cracked helmets and old Ezee Fits out there too. There could be a Yeti living out there in the corner for all I know. It’s a complete disaster.

In May, the lead in to this post was: “I swear, this bench was completely cleaned off two weeks ago…” And it was man. And it was my intention to keep it clean so I could have a place to hang out. But that didn’t happen. With each passing day I was more interested in gearing up and heading out. I’d just keep the important stuff (CadoMotus torquing Allen wrench, indoor & outdoor wheels, Garmin Forerunner) in my skate bag, dump the garbage or unnecessary accessories on the bench and go on my way.

The junk really started piling up once I got my Pro M1’s. These skates don’t live in the wilderness of the skate wasteland I’ve documented here. No sir, they stay in the house, in my ventilated skate bag, with charcoal Stunkies, in my climate controlled closet. Once I got these it’s like nothing else mattered. I didn’t really have time for any of this stuff I’d been “collecting.” And now it all just sits there, a living monument to my mental illness.

What does all of this say about me? That I’m lazy? That I’m a slob? Probably both. But I’ve definitely got a bit of that hoarding gene, and I know I need to shed some gear, toss some crap and get in touch with Dr. Phil. And when he asks me how it’s workin’ for me, I’ll tell that snide bastard to go to hell, cause you never know when your extra junk is going to come in handy and help your kid with his “simple machine” project.

Speedy Weezy's Popcorn Flipper

But seriously, I can’t even find a good way to close this post out…it’s embarrassing. WTF is that all about? Look for some gear to be posted to Nett Racing’s used board soon…maybe. I’m not sure. Ah, I should probably just keep it. You never know…

Droop Doggie Dogg

The Nutcracker…it’s that time of year when Tchaikovsky’s beloved libretto can be heard and seen daily, even in the aisles of your local Wal-Mart. But I’m not here to talk about ballet, (though the outfits and leg mass of dancers and inline speed skaters are similar in many ways…) No, I’m referring to a painful indignity that comes with age and crossovers…Testicularasarus. That’s right…boxers, briefs, bikinis…bollocks! It don’t matter how you dress ’em…we’re talkin’ balls, baby.

There's a reason you don't wear boxers under your skin suit...all great performers know this.

When it comes to gravity’s impact on the human body, it’s all too common to hear about how those lovely “Dolly Partons” head south for the winter of life. Yeah, yeah…we get it. Especially if you’re talking to a group of women who’ve nurtured their cubs the natural way…”Ah, the ‘girls’ aren’t what they used to be. 7 kids and two reductions later and you’d never know I looked better than Lee Meriwether in that Catwoman costume when I wore my first skin suit.”

"I was on Star Trek too and I know what you did when you were watching...meeowww."

But women have ways of making the best of what they’ve got, for as long as they’ve got it. They can lift, separate, compress, go strapless, hands free, get full coverage, make a special occasion sexy…the list goes on and on. Men, on the other hand, suffer the ill effects of gravity in silence and without the aid of a “ballssiere.” Thus, with our seed sac’s hanging between our legs, a right leg crossover becomes, well, freaking dangerous. It doesn’t seem to matter which kind of underwear you wear either, although certainly boxers are by far the stupidest choice for skaters. As you get older, the berries fall further from the bush, and you need to know how to handle yourself. It’s not like the coach pulls you aside and say, “here’s your skates, helmet and jock strap.” They may prepare like that at the Pro level, but your average rink rat isn’t getting that type of advice. I’ve never heard anyone mention the perils of dangling do-dad’s, and the distress of the aging male indoor inline speed skater. It’s an open, albeit lonesome secret, only ever spoken of in hushed tones in the center of the rink, outside of earshot of the young’uns and lady folk.

The Danger Zone of which Kenny Logins sang.

My friends…our days of silent suffering are over. Cod-busting is a very real danger we face as *mature* indoor inline speed skaters, and it’s time for a frank discussion of the realities of drooping nads, and how to prevent injury and preserve the pelvis ornaments…at least until I perfect these zero gravity shorts. All you young guys can take a seat too, here’s what you’re in for someday…

The first and only real step toward ensuring your pendulous cobblers don’t become ensnared in a crossover is adequate warm-up before you attempt such a move. Strapping on your skates and rolling right out onto the floor in a  chillackadaisical manner brings on Testicularasarus quicker than you can say…”OWWWWWWW!” You’ve got to give ‘the boys’ time to elasticate…let that blood flow be redirected to other parts of the body that need it, like your legs. Start with some easy laps and don’t be too quick to tuck into base position in the corners. Take those first few corners standing. Get the legs moving in the straightaways, then get back up and glide to turns. 3 to 5 rolling minutes and discrete adjustment once your sling shrinks will help you avoid those sharp facial contortions that elicit the obligatory, “What happened? Are you OK?” inquiries from innocent skate moms sitting on the bench…

There’s really not a lot more you can do…As we age, our skin loses its taughtness, no matter how toned we are. I’ve heard it said that as men age, our noses, earlobes and kerbangers continue to grow. The truth is, it’s gravitational force causing our noses, ears, eyelids and manjigglies to grow longer. It’s gravity literally pulling on all those fleshy, non-muscular masses that have slowly lost their ability to resist over time. Sadly, your pecker won’t elongate, but your bobber buds will someday find the floor, relatively speaking.

Just take it slow to start, and let your tenders have the time they need to get up and out of the way of those vice-like, monster Quads. And for goodness-sake, don’t panic when you hit the showers after your workout and you look like a pre-schooler in the pants. Package shrink is an important part of athletic performance, protecting your hanging brain from permanent damage. At some point in life, you really do need to stop worrying about size…

So here’s to you, Speed Weenie. You suit up like a sausage with your junk on full display for all the world to see. You put your nuts on the line every day for your sport, risking your scrot just for the hell of it. So what if there’s no fame or glory or gold on a rope in it for you? You flirt with testicular trauma when others are off bowling, knowing that at any moment your Cracker Jacks could be crunched, leaving you on the floor, crying like a four year old who just discovered that you can’t take a flying leap and land on a sofa arm in a full straddle. You know the meaning of cojones, you’re the keeper of the family jewels. Let them laugh at you and call you a “roller skater,” because you know the definition of what it takes to be a real man…you and your rolling rocks and a need for testosterone-fueled speed. For those about to turn and burn, we salute you!