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Why Your Backside 180 Ollies Suck (Probably, if they're like mine)

I've been doing backside 180 ollies on my skateboard for almost as long as I've been skateboarding. It's not really that hard a trick to learn, except it is, if you want to do them well.Usually, when I'm practicing my backside 180 ollies on flat, my first attempt will be my best, and then my technique will kind of deteriorate from there. Except for that one jaggy attempt where I successfully land the backside 180 ollie then continue to pivot on my back truck another 180 degrees. Which is only a cool trick if you actually meant to do it.Recently I spent an entire driveway skate session working on my backside 180 ollies. My goal was to get them higher, rotate my body more effectively, and to bend my back leg more (a common problem for most people is not really bending the back leg as you ollie).You can watch my session and decide if I made any progress in the video below.The thing is, I know everything I'm doing wrong with my backside 180 ollies, and what I should be…

Microsoft Surface Duo Folding Phone - Where Have I Seen This Before?

Ten plus years ago I used to be a lot more interested in gadgets and hardware, specifically the mythical world of tablet computing (yes, tablets weren't a thing back then but they were on the horizon).Microsoft recently released its new Surface Duo Foldable Phone and I immediately thought this looks incredibly familiar...Back in 2009 Gizmodo uncovered a super secret Microsoft project, the Courier Booklet, a foldable tablet computer that looks remarkably similar in size and appearance (almost down to the hinge even) to the Surface Duo.

Keep in mind that back in 2009, no one, not even Apple, had released any kind of consumer tablet device. Below is a demonstration video that is kind of a case study as to how a designer might have used the Courier Booklet.
As a device for creatives, that seemed to have a pretty accurate stylus, I was very excited about it (as you can read in my article from the time). Had it ever been released I would've seriously considered getting one, even thoug…

More Driveway Skateboarding Sessions: Heelflips, Kickflips, and Other Tricks

Winter has pretty much kept my skateboarding sessions to the driveway where I have a little bit of cover from the wind and rain.I don't really like skating on cold days. I'm not a person who like being in the cold at all. But I don't like going for too long without skating either because it's frustrating to have to relearn how to do tricks I've only just relearned.Anyway, when I have been out in the driveway I've been working on my kickflips and heelflips amongst other things. Below are two driveway session that aren't particularly remarkable but, if you have been following my skateboarding journey, you can see where I'm at with heelflips and kickflips.The videos really speak for themselves. Both sessions were really just running through various tricks I've been trying to see if I could progress with them at all.As Spring rolls around I'm hoping to get out of my driveway a little more often with some street skating adventures. I hope you'll …

Pizza Monkey Lifeline Skateboard: Unboxing, Setting Up, and First Impressions - BoardPusher Square Nose Deck Review

The day finally arrived where I could unbox my Pizza Monkey Lifeline, Square Nose, Skateboard deck from BoardPusher. 
If you're new to TET.Life, this skateboard deck features my reworked #DesignALifeline Competition entry that I submitted to Revive Skateboards. While it didn't win their competition I still love the design, which makes even more sense as a Pizza Lifeline (we've all needed one of those at one time or another) than a Revive Lifeline.


The Pizza Monkey Lifeline is currently available to buy in my etouristSkateboards BoardPusher store on several different board shapes including your standard popsicle, longboards, cruisers, and the all new square nose shape.
In the video below you can watch me unbox and set up my new deck, going through the details of the various components and why I chose them. I also talk a little bit about my BoardPusher store because I really do love creating skateboard graphics and sharing them with you all on real skateboards that you can ride…

Movie Review: Tenet *Spoiler Free*

Christopher Nolan's film, Tenet, I wanted to see because Nolan's films are always interesting, regardless of how you feel about them after viewing, and because the trailer pitched it as a time travel movie with an angle on that theme I don't think I've seen before.Beyond that I didn't really have much of a clue on what the movie was about, and an early review I read said you should expect to be confused for at least the first hour, before the plot starts to fit together in a way you'll understand.To give you the basic outline I'm just going to give you the IMDB version because I don't really know how to expand on that in any meaningful way:Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.At two and a half hours I was concerned this film might drag a little because Chris does like his ex…

The Final Day: Back to Melbourne for Lunch, Back to Adelaide for Dinner - Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

The Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship arrived back in Melbourne sometime in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, February 2. One of the few benefits of being in 'riff-raff' class is that we'd be among the last to disembark at 9:30am, allowing us to relax for one final time with an unhurried breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant.If this is your first time (or first post) reading about the cruise my partner, Enigma, and I took on the Queen Elizabeth at the end of January, beginning of February 2020 you may like to go back and start from the beginning by clicking this link (posts will be listed in reverse order). It may be your last glimpse into the world of cruise ship holidays pre pandemic 2020.It was 10am by the time we were actually leaving the boat and collecting our bags from the terminal. We were asked to wait in the upper level of the Britannia restaurant while they double checked that all final guests still on the boat were present.Not being international travellers w…

Rock'n'Rolls and My Driveway Skateboard Ramp Building tips

Whenever we have a fine sunny day during Winter in Australia I always try to take advantage of it by getting in some skateboarding, even if it's only in the driveway (not that I really skate anywhere else at the moment).
In this driveway skateboard session video I didn't really have a plan for what I wanted to try so I started out by revisiting manuals on the world's smallest manual pad.
From there I felt like skating my small quarter pipe, which I don't skate often on account of not being able to do anything on it beyond drop-ins and BS 50-50 stalls. However I do kind of feel Rock'n'Rolls are the trick I'm most likely to relearn next so today was the day to give them a real go.
As I explain in the video I don't like people who half ass Rock'n'rolls by tapping the middle of the deck on the coping and turning back in. The trick looks super cool when done right with the back trucks pushed all the way up to the coping. That's how I did them back i…

Sea Day, Posh Afternoon Tea, Burnie, Cars, Whisky, and more - Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

Cruises are very much different experiences for different people. If you want a quiet relaxing time, you can pick and choose what activities you get involved with that match your tastes.
If this is your first post in my series, documenting my partner, Enigma, and I's week long cruise on the Queen Elizabeth that we took at the end of January, start of February 2020, just a month prior to the world going into lockdown thanks to Coronavirus, you may like to go back and read all the available posts in this series (in reverse order) click here.
As you read about our experience keep in mind my Partner and I tend to keep to ourselves. We're polite and talk to people who we happen to cross paths with, but we really like the quiet relaxing side of cruises.
If you're more adventurous, looking to meet new people and get involved in more physical activities like sports or dancing, maybe even have a holiday romance, all that is on offer too. You just won't read about those things here…

Relearning Blunts, New Heelflip Tip, and Noseslide Shove-its - Two More Driveway Skateboarding Sessions

Not surprisingly skateboarding a little more often brings a little more confidence to try new tricks. Or in my case retry tricks I used to land. I'm also conscious that these driveway skateboarding videos are just a little too similar if all I do is run through Braille's Skateboarding Made Simple every time.
Driveway Session OneIn the first driveway session video below I started out with my basic SMS tricks and then moved on to some of the recent tricks I've been attempting on my board slider. Not with a great deal of success. 
I then thought about retrying Blunt Stalls, something I could do on a curb really well back in the nineties, along with a couple of technical variations like shove-it outs that aren't as hard to do as you'd think.
Unfortunately my board slider is a little wider than a standard curb making it hard to stall in the right position needed to pop out of the trick and land.
The rest of the video I focus again on landing heelflips and kickflips, includi…

Trying Nose Manuals, More KickFlips, and Board Slides - Skateboarding at 50 plus

After being successful with ollie manualing on the world's smallest manual pad I thought maybe I could try getting back my ollie nose manuals. You can see how I went in my latest driveway skateboarding session video below where I also again try to land kickflips and actually board slide my board slider.

As it turns out my confidence in ollieing up, even an inch, onto a platform is just not there. I couldn't bring myself to even try with any level of commitment. I even tried moving the platform out of the way, and also explored to possibility of trying frontside 180 fakie nose manuals.
None of it was happening so I moved onto my continuing efforts to land a kickflip. I thought this was a really good session with a number of close lands, that don't really count because the tail was down. Just not sure how to fix that?
Finally I finished up with attempting to board slide as much of my board slider as possible after noticing all the backside grinds I had been trying (and continue…

The World's Smallest Skateboard Manual Pad (Probably?)

After trying backside 50-50 grinds on my board slider I got to thinking of other tricks that I should be able to try without too much fear of falling over. Tricks that I used to do but have lost.
What came to mind was ollie manuals, where you ollie onto a 'manual pad' (any kind of raised flat surface higher than the one you're ollieing from) and roll along on your back wheels a.k.a. a manual.
I've struggled in the past with ollieing up anything but I had a large piece of plywood that I used to use as a ramp for my dogs to get into my van, thus, the world's smallest manual pad (probably?) came into being. Well, when I say 'smallest' I actually mean 'lowest' because the surface area of the plywood is actually quite a good size.
You can see me skate my makeshift 'manny' pad in my latest Driveway Skate Session video below. Of course I first had to spend some time trying kickflips (which I'm still trying to learn), and then I had a few attempts …

Sea Day, Hobart, and Friend Tours are Better than Bus Tours. Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

Our second full sea day onboard the Queen Elizabeth Cruise ship was largely an exercise in passing the time before arriving in Hobart, Tasmania, the following day.
If you're new to TET Life this post is the continuing story of my partner and I's cruise on the Queen Elizabeth that we took for a week at the end of January, start of February 2020, just a month prior to the world going into lockdown thanks to Coronavirus (at the exact time the first cases of the virus arrived in Australia).
If you would like to read all the available posts in this series (in reverse order) click here.
Day 4: Sea Day, Gallery, Shopping, Pub, and HollywoodAfter a late breakfast in the Lido restaurant (a real challenge at that time of day just to find a table) I went to the ships art gallery for a talk about a history of sculpture, specifically focussing on Bronze Sculpture and Cold Cast Bronze Sculpture.
The talk itself was quite interesting and those present even got to handle many of the smaller sculp…

Kickflips Continued and Trying Backside 50-50s on my Skateboard Slider

I have been thinking about my board slider and how I might feature it more in my video skating sessions. I don't use it very often because all I can do on it is really short nose slides and fairly short board slides.
In order to use it more I need to get used to doing grind tricks on top of it but because it has fairly large coping I don't find it easy to lock my wheels into it - even for a basic grind trick like a 50-50. As such, ollieing onto it (which I would do without a second thought if it was a concrete curb), seems like quite a dangerous proposition.
However, after some consideration, I decided lifting my front truck onto the slider and then trying to leverage my back truck on in a kind of backside 50-50 slappy motion, seemed doable. So that's what you can see my try in my latest driveway skateboard session in the video below.
Naturally I did spend some time trying kickflips first as I'm still trying to land these. Unfortunately my mind was more focussed on trying…

Movie Review: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

On the off chance Kevin Smith or anyone from his organisation happens to read this review, I want to applaud Kevin for personally taking this movie on the road to theatres. I think that's amazing and more directors should release their films that way but...
For the love of God, can you please find a way to release your films so that people in countries you won't be touring in can get to see them sooner... and I don't mean that BS where one streaming service gets the film exclusively for 3-5 months before the DVD/Blu-ray release and wider distribution to other streaming services.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow kicked off mid October of 2019. At the time of writing this it became available on DVD just a week or so ago. I bought a copy as soon as it became available here in Australia. So, about eight months after it released I can finally see it. I can also finally listen to the Smodcast Commentary track Kevin recorded, which has sat on my playlist for at least two months a…

Book Review: The Happiness of Pursuit - by Chris Guillebeau | Find the Quest that will Bring Purpose to Your Life

Unlike Chris Guillebeau's other books, such as The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit is less of a how to guide and more about finding inspiration.
The book is set out in a logical order of sections and chapters starting with why people go on quests, what to expect while on a quest, and then debriefing once a quest is achieved (or not). However there is no ten point plan or step by step guide to achievement.
Instead the book looks at many different case studies of people who have pursued seemingly insurmountable quests, what it took to get started, how they broke everything down into manageable tasks, the problems they faced, and their conclusions after having completed their goal.
Along the way Chris offers practical advice from both his research and as someone who also pursued a quest of visiting every country in the world.
Some of the real case studies include (and many probably wouldn't even spring to mind as a 'quest' in the traditional sense of the word): Master K…

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