Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Have Learned From Blogs

What is a blog? This abbreviated phrase come from the term “web log.” Blogs can be used for a variety of things such as a diary, journal, or a tool used to establish an on-line community providing a vast selection of topics people may be interested in. As the internet and technology progress, many people can believe that blogs are revolutionizing writing, and create a better way for people to express themselves.

Blogs are important in the world today because you can find a blog on any topic. Whether you are interested in sports, video games, or the news, you can find a blog based off any topic. Johny writes “The popularity of blogs is continuing to grow. According to recent statistics from the blog-tracking site Technorati, the blogosphere has doubled every six months for the last three years. That's 175,000 new blogs per day worldwide. Technorati added its fifty millionth blog on July 31, 2006.”

Before taking this class, I was familiar the term “blog,” but I never chose to pay any attention to them. I am interested in skateboarding, and throughout the course I choose to follow a blog on the latest news in skateboarding. I check the blog several times throughout the week, and I find it very amazing how you much effort people can put into these writings.

A good thing about blogs is that anyone can write one. Blogs are very important to shy people as well. There are several people in the world who have ideas but may be too shy to express themselves. Blogs provide the gift to allow anyone to creatively express themselves freely, where many people can read and comment on their thoughts. Many blogs often include pictures or video, which also helps the reader grasp a better understanding of what the writer is trying to say. The structure of a blog is more attractive than an essay to many viewers, and people will be more willing to spend their time reading a blog post.

Blogs are created and spread throughout the world daily, and the trend seems to grow. Many people use the internet and blogs as an alternative to the radio or newspapers, simply because they can be updated several times a day. Talbot writes,"The media, in its wonder of its instantaneous way petty thought can now reach the Web has forgotten that personal publishing on the Web has always been possible;it's now just a lot easier than before. You may access a blog on any computer, and you can stay aware of the latest news all over the world. Blogs can be very educational and resourceful. They bring vital concerns of problems that may occur in the world such as global warming and terrorism for the world to experience.

Based off of these reasons, you can see how blogs can have a significant impact on the world. This piece of technology is creating a more interesting way for people to express themselves, and enhances the ability to connect with other people’s feeling or news around the world.

Talbot, Neale. "Blogs...." We've Got Blog
         MA:Perseus Pub. 130-132

The Benefits in Life Due to Skateboarding

When you think of skateboarding, what are your feeling about the sport? To skaters, it is a way to express themselves and is an activity to do for a source of entertainment. Skateboarding can teach you important lessons in life, and it is seen as a positive activity. To many parents, however, the views on skateboarding are negative. Most of the skating that is advertised on TV today gives the idea of mindless teens that are involved with drugs and causing trouble within the community. Many people believe skating will lead to negative behavior, but these people have not experienced or learned about the positive aspects of skating.

In her blog post, “Better Parenting Through Skating,” Karen Rennie explains various reasons as to why she believes skateboarding has made her son a better person. Having people constantly question her thoughts on allowing her son to skateboard, Rennie uses this blog to explain her reasons. Karen and her husband also skateboard, so they use skateboarding as a source of togetherness. The skating keeps the family together and allows them to spend time together.

Rennie says she is writing as a response to the many people who disagree with skateboarding. She explains how people believe her son will be experiencing bad habits, such as foul language and getting into trouble, but she completely disagrees with the suggestions. Many people believe skaters are a problem in the community; these people believe skaters are rebellious teens that enjoy causing crimes. I personally believe the shows you see on MTV such as “Viva La Bam” and “Jackass” has created many negative feeling towards skateboarding, due to the reckless behavior. These shows portray skateboarding in a bad way, so people often overlook what young kids can learn from the sport.

I chose to respond to this blog because Rennie describes how skateboarding has taught her son some very important lessons about life. In previous posts from Rennie, she describes how kids can learn valuable lessons in life from skating. One lesson in particular is to work hard and to never give up.

Skateboarding is not a simple sport; it takes time for your skills to progress. You will fall, but you must get up and try again. If at first you don’t succeed, you will then realize what not to do the next time. Through my experiences, I can agree with her ideas because when I started skating, just riding down a hill was difficult. There were several times when I felt I didn’t want to skate anymore, but I kept practicing and got better. Skateboarding teaches you that the key to success is to work hard and never give up.

Rennie explains how her friends feel skating will introduce her son to irresponsible kids by leaving him at the skate park alone. Being a skater herself, Rennie knows that this is not always true. When I go to the skate park, I tend to notice the respect the young kids get when they show up. Just like in Rennie’s post, the young kids such as her son get just as much respect as anyone else.

The skate park is a very friendly community; when someone is trying a trick, the others encourage you to land it. Rennie states, “When Chris did finally land a trick he had attempted for days, the other skaters would cheer-not because he was doing something no one else could do-but because he achieved a personal best.” As long as you don’t come to the skate park with a bad attitude and behavior such as yelling at others and telling them to get out of your way, you will receive the amount of respect you deserve.

These valuable lessons in Rennie’s post portray the positive aspects of skateboarding. People such as Rennie’s friends, may disagree with the idea of skateboarding, but many times it’s due to what they see on TV. Rennie’s post is a good example of what kids can learn from the sport, and provides a better idea of skateboarding in general.

Rennie knows that many parents often look down on skating, and do not want their kids to be involved with the sport. These people overlook or do not understand how the positive aspects of skating can leave a positive impact on their child’s life. Looking deeper into skateboarding, you can see that the positive aspects outweigh the negatives. I believe that over my several years of skating, I have learned some profitable lessons of life that I know will help me in the future.
                                                                 The Rennie Family

The Fragments left in Cleveland


It was spring break of our freshman year in high school and my friends and I decided we were going on a few skate trips throughout Ohio to film for an upcoming video that we planned to complete by the summer. Our trip was planned out a few weeks prior to our break, and we were determined to make sure we had everything ready before we left.

The previous week we drove to Cincinnati, where we spent a few days cruising through skate parks and spots throughout the city. We got some good footage and this is when we scheduled the trip to Cleveland. Five of my friends and I left early in the morning on a Saturday, and a few hours later, we were there and prepared to skate.

Once we arrived, we got food and drinks before exploring the city for spots to skate. We devoted a few hours skating a skate park next to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and then we decided we were going on a search for street spots. Cleveland is full of skate spots, and within minutes of driving we found a spot that we’ve seen in a professional teams video.

Alien Workshop is a very well known company that originated in Dayton, OH, so it is common for their team to skate around the central Ohio area. The Alien Workshop team released the video Photosynthesis (2000), which featured the same spot we were standing in front of ready to skate. The spot was an eight-stair handrail. As we approached the rail, we investigated the landing for cracks or a rough landing, but everything was perfect. We made our way to the top of the stairs and were disappointed to see massive crack leading up to the railing. Many of these cracks are made intentionally to block skateboarders and bikers from attempting the railing or performing tricks down the stairs.

An Example of a handrail

Usually when we experience a problem like this, we have duck tape to cover the crack, but in this incident we came unprepared. All of my friends decided that we should go find another spot, but Jason disagreed. Jason was determined to board slide this rail, and he wasn’t anxious about hitting the crack. Jason is known to be very clumsy, and he has been injured several times. I told him not to try the rail because the spacious crack could throw him off balance, but he had no doubts about it.

Several minutes later he was sliding down the rail, which surprised us all. He was getting on the rail perfectly, but no matter what he tried, he could not land. We asked him if he was ready to film, but he replied, “let me land it a few times first.” we asked, but he insisted we wait until he landed it a few times. After about fifteen tries he landed the board slide, and he landed it again on his next attempt. We ran up to Jason to congratulate him and his smile was glistening off the blazing sun. Feeling confident in his abilities, he was ready to film and we brought out the camera.

Once we prepared the camera, my friend told me the tape only had a few minutes left of recording. Another friend offered to go buy another tape, so I offered to go along to get drinks for everyone. As we went out to buy a tape and drinks, we got lost throughout the complicated streets, so it took about twenty minutes to return.

As we arrived, we were surprised to approach a vacant handrail. We walked up to the rail and were shocked when we discovered a puddle of blood on the ground. As we looked around, none of our friends were in sight. We called their cell phones and realized all of the phones were left in the car, so we decided to walk back to where the car was originally parked. We waited at the car for a few minutes and eventually decided to go look for them.

After asking several people on our search, a man told us he saw a group of skateboarders at the Wendy’s down the street. As we entered the Wendy’s, our friends were still nowhere in sight. We began to worry because it was our responsibility to stay together. Before we left, I decided to check the bathroom and was relieved to find our friends. As we entered the bathroom, we noticed all of our friends huddled up near the mirror. I walked closer and saw a blood soaked shirt on the ground. As I approached Jason, I observed a trail of blood leading to the mirror. When Jason turned towards my direction, I focused on a stream of blood slowly trickling down from his mouth. I asked Jason what happened as he was rinsing his mouth, and he said, “You were right about that crack.”

I quickly realized what happened and asked him if he needed anything. He told me he was fine, and while he was speaking and explaining the story, I noticed his two front teeth were chipped. We all agreed that we needed to go home, and our skate trip that we put all of the preparation into abruptly ended.

I didn’t see Jason until the next week when we returned to school; his face was still slightly bruised, and I noticed his teeth had been reconstructed to perfection. It took about a week for his cuts and bruises to heal, but after six stitches and two repaired teeth, is face was restored. Later that day Jason informed me that the video had been filmed, and I was anxious to see it. We watched the video on Youtube, and I was surprised to see how bad his slam was.

After we watched the incident, he decided to submit the video to This website has a section of videos called “Wednesday Woe,” where each week the website chooses the top user-submitted video of recorded injuries. The website rewarded Jason by sending him a “get well” package which included a couple skateboards and a pair of shoes. Jason is still nervous about skating handrails, and to this day, as a joke he always asks me for my permission to try a trick.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Weekend at the Arnold Festival

For this weeks post i decided to write about my weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival. I decided to enter the Cowtown Showdown, which was the skateboarding competition that took place. I haven't skated much throughout the winter, so  after skating all day for three days straight I'm pretty exhausted.

On Friday I skated the new Skate-Naked park, where the Blueprint team and professional skater,Fred Gall were going to be skating. As we were skating the park, it was weird how friendly the pro's were. Sometimes when i  meet pro's, they don't really talk to the fans much. The Blueprint team spent time getting to know everyone and i was very surprised when the asked me if i was in school, and how I'm doing in my classes.

Cowtown Showdown Park

Saturday at the Arnold Classic was the open skate for the competitors, this was the opportunity for people to skate and become familiar with the park. The park was not what I expected, it was a lot smaller than i thought it was going to be. My friends and i spent the whole day skating the park, and we decided to leave early to view some of the other events taking place. When we arrived to the other building, we were disappointed to see many of the event were just ending. Although we didn't see many of the other events, we were able to attend the bikini contest and fitness modeling.

Sunday was the day of the competition. I arrived early in the morning to watch the beginners competition. An hour after the beginners was the Advanced(Intermediate) Competition,which was the competition I was competing in. I was told the advanced riders only had one run for a minutes and thirty second. This is when my nerves started to kick in, because you only have one chance to prove yourself. We were allowed thirty minutes to warm up, and as we skated, more viewers were coming to the event. The combination of the fact that we had one chance, and the many viewers was very nerve-wracking.

I was the second person to compete ,and when it was my turn, I had a terrible run. I only landed a few decent tricks, but I was glad I didn't fall. I knew I had blew my one chance and watched as the other competitors skated.. I was very surprised to see that not many people did very good in the advanced section, but I had not placed in the top five.

I ended up in thirteenth out of a little over thirty people,which is not bad. My two friends that i entered with placed sixth and tenth. I was a little disappointed with my performance, but besides the competition, I had a really good time at the event. There were product tosses and several mini competitions, which were very fun. I ended up skating the park after the competition with my friends, and I even got to see the man himself,Arnold Schwarzenegger. Overall i have to say it was a very good experience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Inspirations in Skateboarding

For this week’s blog post, I decided to write about some of the skaters that I look up to. There are several skaters that I find to be very inspirational to kids all over the world, not only because of their talent, but there positive attitude as well.

Paul Rodriguez (P-Rod) is one of my favorite skaters simply from the fact that he’s very talented in skateboarding. I’ve met P-rod in person and he was a very calm and relaxed guy. A few of the professional skaters that I have met were very cocky and disrespectful to their fans, and I was happy to see that Paul was not like that at all. Paul inspires many skaters because of his talent and positive attitude. If you have ever seen the Mountain Dew tour on T.V most likely you have seen him on in the event. P-rod earns six-figures a years from prize money, endorsements, and simply doing what he loves to do.

Rob Dyrdek is another skater that I find to be very inspirational. Rob is willing to help out kids across the world by building skate parks with the money he makes from his T.V. show. As of now, Rob has built a few “skate plazas” across the country in areas such as Ohio and California. I went to the opening day of the skate plaza in Ohio and I was inspired by the speech he gave as he opened the park. He explained how he wants to give kids a place to skate without the hassle of security and police. I enjoy the fact that he takes some of the money he earns and uses it to help the skaters within the community.

Nyjah Huston is very inspirational to not only skaters, but to many kids across the world. He is the classic example of you can achieve any goal if you work hard enough. He has made history by becoming the youngest athlete to compete in ESPN’s X Games at the age of eleven. He competes against people twice his age, and still manages to place near the top. Nyjah is known to be the one of the, if not, the youngest professional skateboarder. He is also an inspiration because he has also created his own company, I and I skateboards. It is inspiring to see a kid so young with the talent and success he has.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some Positives and Negatives on Skateboarding

For this weeks post I decided to write about some of my thoughts on skateboarding. There are several things I enjoy about skateboarding, but there are also a few things I wish would change.

In skateboarding, I enjoy the fact that the idea of skateboarding is being free. It’s about you and your skateboard with the possibility of an endless amount of tricks. You can skate whenever you choose to and like many other sports you can learn a lot from skating. Skating has taught me that life is not easy; this includes the classic example, if at first you don’t succeed, then try again.

In skateboarding I also enjoy the fact that anyone can do it. In skateboarding, it doesn’t matter what age, race, or gender you are, even dogs can skateboard. I find it interesting how rapidly skateboarding has spread across the world.

Some things I wish I could change would include the negative stereotypes of a skateboarder. Many people look down on skaters and believe skating is a negative activity for their children. I believe some of these negative feelings come from the skating advertised in the variety of shows on TV, such as Viva La Bam and Jackass. These shows do not portray skateboarding in a good way due to the reckless behavior.

I also wish I could change several minor aspects such as getting kicked out of spots. There are not many skate parks around Ohio that are made for “street skating.” Skating spots within the community is fun, but depending on the spot, you can get kicked out very quickly. I also wish skateboards were cheaper. In the early years of skating, a board could last you months. As you progress and begin to skate stairs and gaps, all it takes is to land in the wrong position to break a board. Without the trucks and wheels on a skateboard, the board alone will cost about 50 dollars.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Acting Debut

Many people have heard of the professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, due to his two shows in his past on MTV. Rob created the “DC Skate Plaza” in effort to give skaters a security-free environment with street spots that skaters would enjoy. The first Dc Skate Plaza was built in Rob’s hometown, Kettering Ohio.

I planned a trip with a group of friends of mine to visit the plaza during our exam week. We would all complete our exams early in the week, so we planned the trip on a Thursday. This plaza is very popular and many people drive several hours to skate there. Leaving during a school day was a good idea because the park wouldn’t be as crowded with many kids still being in school.

We left early in the morning and arrived sometime around 8 a.m. As we arrived to the plaza, we were happy to see only a few people there. We skated for about thirty minutes, until we witnessed a huge tour bus pulling up to the plaza. We originally had the idea that a professional team was going to skate the plaza, so we were all excited to see who it was. We waited for several minutes, and the first person we saw leave the bus was Big Black. If you were familiar with the hit series, “Rob and Big” on MTV, you would know that Big Black is a good friend of Rob and they always travel together. We waited a few more minutes and were shocked to see a variety professional skaters exit the bus including Rob Dyrdek, Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, and Ryan Dunn from the movie “Jackass”.

The pros spent time skating with everyone at the plaza, and we had the opportunity to speak and ask questions. After speaking with Rob Dyrdek, he explained to us that they were filming a movie called “Street Dreams.” The movie was not a typical skate video, but it was an actual movie to be played in theaters. As more people arrived to the plaza, we were ordered to sit and watch as they filmed several scenes. During the last scene he asked my group of friends if we wanted to be in the background of the scene. We were so amazed yet confused, so it took us a while to register his question in our minds to give a response. We were asked to do a few tricks in the background, and that’s what we did.

The movie only displayed in select theaters, and a Bexley theater was the only place where the movie was being played in our area. We all watched the movie hoping to see our scene, and within twenty minutes, we spotted ourselves in the background. We were so excited that we jumped up and cheered during the movie. This experience was one of our greatest throughout our years of skating.