[Three by Five].12 Blue Tile Obsession

Vertical skateboarding was borne of drought and creativity. In 1976 and 1977, Southern California suffered an extreme drought. The water shortages were so extreme that agricultural activities in some parts of the Central Valley were ceased. Reservoirs ran dry. Homeowners drained their swimming pools. Fires raged. Homes were abandoned. At the time, skateboarders had just … Continue reading [Three by Five].12 Blue Tile Obsession

Karl Schmieder 1981

30 Things I Did Before Turning 30

In anticipation of my 54th birthday, I answered this question on Quora: What are the 30 things you did before turning 30 in your life? Learned to skateboard ramps and pools. Memorized every ditch and was part of an informal word-of-mouth network that knew when a new ramp appeared in Ventura. Convinced my parents to drive … Continue reading 30 Things I Did Before Turning 30

The Pool at 4AM

The Pool at 4 A.M.

My father's pool is, was, and always will be –– all skaters agree –– absurd. The pale blue surface is very hard, durable, very fast, and sentient. The coping is a great grindable bullnose. The shape is a perfect kidney, just under nine-feet deep. To ride the pool from one lip to the other across … Continue reading The Pool at 4 A.M.

Why I Write (Or How I Started Writing)

“Two hundred years of American technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential. But it was the minds of 11 year old that could see that potential.” - C.R. Stecyk My first stories were skateboarding stories inspired by C. R. Stecyk's Skateboarder Magazine articles, his fabrication and chronicling of the Dogtown’s Z-boys’ … Continue reading Why I Write (Or How I Started Writing)

Why I Keep A Journal

I've been keeping a journal for more than 25 years. I should say "mostly keeping a journal" because there have been periods of time where I haven't written in a journal regularly – though probably, I was writing just not in a journal. At the pace of one page per day, that'd come to 9,132 pages … Continue reading Why I Keep A Journal

Dub: Best Dressed Chicken in Town

In my world, Dr. Alimantado (born Winston Thompson, AKA The Ital Surgeon) and his Best Dressed Chicken in Town was my introduction to reggae long before I realized the power of Catch-A-Fire-Bob-Marley, Legalize-It Peter Tosh and Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread Lee "Scratch" Perry. Public Image Limited's Jah Wobble's reggae-influenced thunk-punk bass, morphed into dancehall and reggaeton drilled into … Continue reading Dub: Best Dressed Chicken in Town