Thursday, March 29, 2012

Skate or Die

This arrived at my house today. I bought it because I recently discovered that vintage (yes, things from the 80's are now vintage) skateboards are selling for ridiculous amounts of money and I turned a not so small profit on an old skateboard.

A few weeks ago, Mrs. P90 and the girls went to a birthday party at the North Laurel Community Center and saw a bunch of dudes my age at the Skatepark. The girls want me to skate there. So I'm putting together a new skateboard and planning to visit the Retirement Home. The Retirement Home is apparently what "the kids" call the North Laurel Skate Park since it is populated by many 30+ year-old skaters.

I was planning to do a full-on 80's re-issue deck, but people I spoke with convinced me that new school decks with kick noses are the way to go. I figured this deck was a good compromise between old school style and new school functionality. I'm using old trucks and wheels to begin with, but if I actually start skating more than once a month I'll upgrade to new gear.

I'm hoping to visit the park this weekend. And I'm hoping my next stop isn't the emergency room. At 36, "Skate or Die" is much more likely to be "Skate and Die."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

V is for Version II - Reverend Ron Asheton

I have a major confession. I’ve spent the last year without a guitar equipped with P90s (the pickup for which this blog partially gets it’s name). I’ve been way too embarrassed to come clean on this, but I can say it now because yesterday I remedied the situation. I just happened to stumble across a Reverend Ron Asheton for a really good price. So now, not am I only back in the world of P90s, but it’s via an ORANGE Flying V made from Korina (the wood from which the original Gibson Vs and Explorers were made).

So how does it sound? It sounds amazing! The 90s growl just like good 90s should. But thanks to the Bass Contour Control (BCC) you can roll off some of the lows and make them a little more Fenderish. And of course, with three pickups you can emulate the in-between sounds of a Strat. That’s not to say this guitar sounds like a Fender. With a 24 ¾ scale length it’s still firmly in the camp of what you would expect from the once-great Gibson family of guitars. It does things that neither a Gibson or a Fender can do but can do good approximations of both. In short, it’s the most versatile guitar I own. And believe it or not, really comfortable to play. And thanks to the body shape, it’s extremely light at just under seven pounds.

I think this guitar will be with me for the long haul. But only time will tell. I’m not really known for monogamy when it comes to guitars. I follow the mantra of “Love One Women. Love Many Guitars!”

And speaking of that “one woman,” since Mrs. P90 and I agreed to a “one in - one out” policy with my little guitar addiction, my other Reverend Volcano had to find a new home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kids Love a Liquor Store

If you follow this blog, you no doubt have noticed that I really enjoy beer, wine, and whiskey. I like to think I’m pretty good at pairing wine and beer with food. So at many meals, I will comment to Mrs. P90 about how a certain beer or wine complements said meal. As a result, my young daughters frequently hear us talk about wine and beer.

I also happen to be a homebrewer. It seams that the girls see that as just another type of “cooking that daddy does.” It’s not unusual when they are playing house to overhear them saying “I’m making pork ribs, I’m making meatballs, I’m making beer.” And since the girls do a lot of shopping with us, it’s not uncommon for them to join us on trips to the beer or wine store. So sometimes when playing together, they will say things like “I’m going to Trader Joe’s and then the beer store.”

I try not to get weirded out by this. After all, I hope we’re leading by example and teaching the girls that alcohol should be enjoyed with friends, family, and good food, and not pounded in the alley or the back of a movie theater (i.e. there is no reason for a product like Four Loco to exist). My general philosophy is that if you are bothered about my kids talking about beer or wine, that’s your problem. It’s not like they drink the stuff, they know it’s for “mommies and daddies.”

However, recently, my five year-old started telling my wife that she “wanted to go to the liquor store.” At every afternoon pick-up, she’d say “mom, I want to go to the liquor store! We have not been there in a while.” She was saying this a lot, and it started to get a little troubling. So a few weeks ago, we sat her down, and explained that the liquor store is for adults and that kids shouldn’t really be talking about it. My five year-old burst into tears and ran away. We didn’t understand the severity of her reaction, but she did stop talking about going to the liquor store.

Then yesterday she said to my wife “I want to go to the store where we got the Halloween stuff and the batteries* for daddy.” My wife said “Oh, you mean the dollar store?” Five year-old responds “The dollar store? That’s what I thought was called the liquor store!” I guess that explains the tears when we told her she couldn’t talk about it and it was for adults only…

*I don’t know why $150+ fuzz pedals sound better with crappy dollar store 2-for$1 9-volt batteries, but they do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vintage Skateboard Gear

I have a bunch of old 80's skateboard stuff that I am selling. It's available on ebay or feel free to leave a comment with a way to contact you if you want to buy directly. Here's the link to buy the stuff.

It's great stuff, we're talking Powell Peralta, Bones Brigade, Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi.

Transworld Skateboarding Photo Annual

Bones Brigade Intelligence Report November 1988

Powell Peralta Catalog/Poster 1988

Powell Peralta Catalog/Poster 1988

Powell Peralta Catalog/Poster- 1989 I think

Powell Peralta Catalog/Poster - 1989?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

For Sale: VINTAGE - Powell Peralta Mike Vallely Skateboard

Put on your vans and Vision Street Wear gear, crank up some Misfits or Agent Orange, and start skating!


Apologies in advance for what might be a rather rambling post… I turned 36 on Thursday. I’m fine with this. It doesn’t make me feel old. What made me feel old was registering our eldest daughter for kindergarten the day before. How did that happen? It seems like she was born just a few days ago.

But back to my birthday. I got some pretty amazing stuff (Mrs. P90 kicks ass as a general rule). The girls got me some Star Wars action figures (including an RT-D2 that makes beeping sounds) and I got a cool little iRig interface for plugging my guitars into my iPhone (because why wouldn’t you plug a guitar into a phone). But more importantly, we got tickets for the whole family to attend the Newport Folk Fest.

I don’t think I could be more excited. The lineup is amazing – My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Deer Tick, Dawes (playing as Dawes and then backing up JACKSON BROWNE!), the list goes on. And the girls are also pretty excited. Actually, the youngest had a bit of a fit when she realized we’d only be watching/listening to the Head and the Heart. She wants to be in the band.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coke Steak

When I was a kid, every few summers, my family would pack up the family truckster and drive to the gulf cost of Florida. Why we chose to go to the swamp that is the gulf coast of Florida in July, I can't answer. I can however tell you that one of the highlights of my trip was always the annual group dinner at the Brown Derby. Did I mention that my extended family would always go and so we invariably have a group of 25+ trying to sit together and one table. Rocket scientists = not my family...

Either way, I loved the Brown Derby because they had something called the "kiddie cocktail!" I'm guessing it was just Sprite and grenadine. That didn't matter to me, I wanted it because it came in a cool cup with a plastic sword. I'm the youngest, so maybe I thought I could stab my siblings and cousins with the sword? And maybe this "kiddie cocktail" was the inspiration for the cocktail obsession I've had since before I could legally drink?

Another bit of wisdom provided by the Brown Derby is the concept of tenderizing steak with Coca-Cola. When I was a kid I conducted a science experiment that involved placing a small stone is a glass of coke over night. You were supposed to scrape at the rock prior to placing it in the coke and then again after. Let's just say that the effect of the Coke on the rock made me re-think my soda consumption.

As you can surmise, if Coke can tenderize a rock, it can surely tenderize a steak. This isn't something I'd do to a dry-aged prime steak, but it's great for a new york strip, filet, or sirloin that's been in the freezer and might not be the most tender steak around. The most time I have soaked a steak for is about 3 hours. Again, seeing what the coke did to the rock, I'm guessing spending much more time than 3 hours in Coke would just turn a steak to mush.

Friday, March 2, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish

Last Saturday morning, my three year-old daughter woke up and asked Mrs. P90 and me if we could go back to the “smelly place.” We had no idea what this “smelly place” was, or why on earth someone would want to go back to a “smelly place.” But it continued. “I want to go to the smelly place we went to last weekend.” “The smelly place with the fish!” We thought she meant the Aquarium, but we hadn’t been there in ages. Finally, she said “the smelly place with the lobsters!” That’s it! She meant Frank’s Seafood Market in Jessup!

To be fair, Frank’s is only “smelly” to kids. Sure, it smells like fish, but that’s because it’s a fish market. After being on our “list of places we need to go” for ages, we finally went to Frank’s for the first time two weekends ago. Sure, we’ve had excellent crabs from there a few times, but somehow we never had to be the person buying them. Hmm, free crabs. Lucky us.

The selection at Frank’s was amazing and most of the fish looked extremely fresh. We kept things simple and went with ocean perch and Alaskan salmon. I made fish sandwiches with the perch using Mark Bitman’s oven- “fried” fish filet recipes. One of the pieces on my sandwich had a few pin bones, Mrs. P90 didn’t encounter any pin bones. Either way, they were delicious and made a winter evening feel like a summer day at the beach (especially when paired with some New Belgium Dig).

I went a little crazier with the salmon. I hot-smoked it using oak chips that I had just pulled from the carboy in which I was making an oak-aged IPA. I gave the salmon filets a quick soak in orange juice and soy sauce and then placed them in a smoky grill at 350 for 30 minutes. Generally, with fish, I like to do minimal seasoning and just get out of the way and let the fresh flavor of the fish shine through. They came out perfectly with just a touch of smoke flavor.

So, if we’re asked to go back to the “smelly place” tomorrow, I’ll happily go. hocofood@@@