Wisconsin, October 2015

people have been leaving. thats normal, thats time, thats life, thats truth. that never doesnt suck though, death is fucking it. the sobering weight of life is undeniable when you reckon with the ends of other peoples lives - premature ends, sudden ends, poisonous ends. i love the humans that do what they have to do and do it pure, and go full blast. they fuel my own attempts at full blast, its affirming to get sparked and feel like you got no say in it - ooh i bask in those moments. they are hidden beneath the daily clamor in all its unyielding supersonic, disordered uncertainty. man its fuckin hard to watch if you think you even have a moment to sit and watch, to dare let yourself have an emotional response that might threaten to stop you in your tracks for even one day... but trade that day if you can, for those who dont have another, i think its fair. and like always, you owe it to the ones who cant, who are gone. my hat tips to you all with each grind, each exposure, each word, and each pedal a bit more furiously pedaled than before. all of this, a drop in a bucket, a spun out can of worms death loop... to jim and lemmy [2 of my favorite 4strings-men], and all the rest, your stoke lives on.

in the last week i dreamed of catching snakes, narrowly escaping tornadoes, and skateboarding a parking lot full of burlesque girls with a bunch of other girls who were also skateboarding with me.

as i construct a new future ill try to be faithful to the past. the work for me is already done, because the best photography doesnt need words, but i am still learning, and i really like words [until i hate them again].

here are fragments from a trip to wisconsin in october of 2015, with text taken from a journal represented in quotations...

"2 flights through the night. sat next to a skater outta reno to lax, funny dude who runs happy hour sunglasses in town for his grandmas funeral. in and out. i got some coozie flow, we shared laughs and several fist pounders. got that good middle seat for the 4 hour zoom into chicago. no stretching legs for the entire trip, may have astral projected for a second but sleep was not rest. body so glad to be moving through an airport. a dry bagel consumed and back up again with 2 enormous bags to follow more signs towards jomo. down odd paths through illuminated halls, 30 feet drifting behind a woman having turettes attacks of a head-shakin nature. on a train then up the hole to a bus. hot babe with pink hair got the headphones to block all the men out. bus to jomo's to breakfast to donuts to wrigley, just a lotta walkin to make up for all the sittin, and to push me to a good nights rest. out the bus window floating people drift through storefronts, an endless sandwich of brick, steel, flesh and glass."

good to see this dude again. guys, lookit that foot position - thats classic jomo. thanks for meeting me so early in the morning, and hanging out, catching up. if you want a print of something ill send it!

hes got an epic view for storms and air shows. right on lake michigan where he belongs.

sleds of the west Gs like two objects in a time machine. the evolution of preference. tools of a trade that is equal parts constructive and destructive. put it on my fuckin tombstone:


high spirits all across town as the cubbies battled towards shattering a long-standing 'curse'. if you know sports you know that shit was IN THE AIR as we walked down the streets. i dont follow any sports or prefer any teams but i WAS raised on it and still DO love what baseball offers up in the more intangible, esoteric, and even visual realms. spoken like a true artist asshole.

glass por vida

steve jobs you fucker, make up your mind - you want the hi tops or the lows? figure it out quick cause yer missin cardiel leaning into that turn and its giving me chills. dudes up there just radiating from every pore and youre worried about SHOES!

a huge fly posted up on the face of a unicorn for 8 exposures

objects as excuses for structural implementation, all of it always an experiment, and best as reduced to the colorless scale. color is fucking hard. also, white cars.

what the fuck did i just say?


"on a bus then on a train, then onto the wrong train outta chicago and 40 minutes later almost on the wrong train again. up and in transit for 22 hours, a lack of sleep taking its toll, im unable to think clearly, process the information on the signs. one thing i can see very clearly is there are a ton of super rad looking girls running around, its intimidating."

dad picked me up in waukeagan since i missed the train that goes to kenosha. sorry dad im fried. we went straight up to madison. well actually we stopped at riverwest film and video so i could buy a few more rolls of 15 dollar super8 film. hats off to that place for still keeping it affordable. hey internet, fuck off with your 22 dollars a roll. we probably got coffees too, and then we went up to madison...

at a bar in madison, cole plays bass in the pollinators. the place was packed. really felt like wisconsin in there. i saw sahan. these dudes are good. i love watching cole play.

backyard of cole haman. he bought this house. i dont get it.

kitchen towels of cole and katie

large black moving robot, accoding to the easter bunny of my childhood

spare rooms lookin good c-ham. i got one just like it.

katie had been driving around for days with this mouse stuck under the hubcap. cant even figure out how this kind of thing is possible. its funny and sad and gross and beautiful.

damn i miss this dude. listening to slowreader cause its fuckin good.

when i was in 8th grade cole was in 6th grade, at the same school. the girls in my class would run up to me at lunch and be all "oh my god your brothers so cute." i would just sit there probably with my mouth hanging open and also probably sweating, maybe saying something like "uuuuuuh." accept for this one time, i was all "yeah hes cute now but just WAIT til that stasche comes in..." just kidding chester. i probably didnt say anything cause i had at least one little debbie jammed into my face at all times.

we hit the road with dad. this of course means we went disc golfing at as many different parks as possible...

wisconsin is a beautiful place

coolest disc golf photo ive taken yet

by far

when i see turtles i am 8 years old

some kinda disc golf course instructions transmitted into a handheld device somethin'or'other

most of disc golf is trying to keep track of everyone else's strokes so no one cheats. not that anyone WOULD, but whats the point of playing if youre not taking it seriously, right?

hang on what the fuck are these things?

archery. whoa.

cant see a photo of something like this and not think about the line from 'the sandlot' about 'benny busting the guts' out of an old baseball.

i wanted info. the pool wouldnt flow. not a lotta zorcho signs back home. this could be reno.

some kinda quarry or waterfall thing, a roadside curiosity that a town was built around. and as always, right next to a kwik trip.

haha lookit all these fucks sucking down 44 ounces of syrup every morning.  haha lookit all these fucks who live in fear.

we went to the skatepark in oshkosh. i think we have been there twice before that? once in 2007 and once in 1998? its across the street from a high school so all day theres kids coming over to sit on ledges and smoke and try to skate your board for a few minutes of awkward glory. i dont ever let dudes skate my board though, especially sketchy dudes. its funny to tell a kid 'no, i dont let anyone ride my board' very frankly. they look at you like you are from mars.

cole shot me doing this wallride on my own board. the camera is such a great piece of shit i have come to really love. control of the rectangle is nice to willingly forfeit once in a while...

c-ham, bert on the bank, lunchtime

are you dorks ready to leave yet? they got a disc golf course RIGHT NEXT TO THE PARK

went to appleton where they have a new park too...

2 hip blasters shot by cole. thanks brah.

"the oshkosh park was more fun/weird than i remember it being - maybe living with reno's park selection has affected me that way. the new appleton park left me wanting design-wise, some goofy oversights like woodchip pits, dead spaces, fucking stairs of course, and curbs with no coping and gaps in between - like they werent even trying to make it a finished thing. great fun when no ones there, and there are lights. an across to down rail gave me bump to flat, hit the qp and come back for the slant combos of the slide, lip, feeble, and smith variety. been so hungry for a good flatbar for such a long time - just basic stuff reno is missing. also got an end to end boardslide across and down, to fakie. happy to be skating well in the wi october air - feel like myself as much as ever. disc golf was fun too, saw a bunch of turtles in a pond. weeks plan still in the works."

"man that second plane came down so rowdy. dad says scheels is "all clothes" which says a lot about the current state of sport fashion - its more important to proclaim your 'lifestyle' choices through apparel messages/gestures than it is to actually PLAY or DO the activity with the proper equipment. it feels that way. you can be a jogger even when youre not jogging! dad calls nancy every 6 to 8 hours to give her the hour by hour detailed updates, which can be pretty funny to overhear. cars are funny. for some, the end-all be-all of purchases, status. the signal of an arrival, the confirmation of purpose. i think theyre maybe just passing, in transit, transitory tools/objects. products to be used and replaced when they are destroyed due to neglect/misuse/carelessness. finish a bottle of juice or pepsi and toss it. eat a donut, get hyped, sugar crash and then shit it out, maybe get some zits."

pizza at a checkered table cloth kinda joint where i slyly recorded audio of my dad talking about his experience of quitting alcohol

i guess a lot of people smoke at AA meetings. thanks dad, thanks ed, thanks minor threat, and thanks mrs dewalt at mckinley middle school

lodging breezeway

hey, you asleep?

im just resting my eyes

hey lets go throw stuff at trees for 2 hours

just chucking something as fucking hard as you can into the chaos is such a pleasure. of course if you can make it go where you want it, thats when you feel like youre getting somewhere. my works always cut out for me playing with 2 regular discmen.

well i may as well mention that i did venture into the glow of the autumn wood to relieve myself in the most proper manner and emerged a new man, securing a birdie on the very next hole. theres a street skating aspect to disc golf i cant quite put my finger on. maybe its the part thats like "hey you wanna come play this game?" "sure as long as i can shit in the woods while we play it."

if yer not doing it the hard way i hope yer at least doing it the fun way

release dynamics

we got back to madison eventually. dad split with nance on another leg of his trip, off to somewhere else unique and odd in the state. me and cole woke up to drizzle the next day and went to the new skatepark in madison, and it was dry...

come on come on

well there you have it. madison wins for best skatepark in the state. according to my hard drive scans, this is one of just 2 fuji photos i took on the trip? for some reason i thought there were more.

hey you live like 3 minutes away, right? will c-ham become a park local? post up on the ledge every day with a mountain dew and challenge other dudes to games of skate? run home real quick to eat a frozen pizza and then come back with the same sweaty clothes and learn chester grinds in the deep end FRONTSIDE?? lemme know if you do that and ill move back to madison, at least for the summers.
cant even see how far back this radness goes. mega kudos to the people who managed this space in such a successful way. your dreams translated into something completely worthwhile and i have very few qualms with the final execution. little bit of everything here and its all fully skatable.

first bump to crooked grind, a few days shy of my 32nd birthday. fucking tickled. thanks cole. we got some super8 at this park too, a pretty bizarre smithgrind scenario for the future.

dude, go to that park cole

we got to milwaukee and met up with tim olson, who does a skate company you may have heard of called the friendship. i was supposed to help him get a photo for an advertisement. it was kinda raining but we went for it anyways. bridge spot worked for a while...

thats cosmo kramer taking the long way up

ben hess taking it all frontside to the landing that doesnt want you to roll away. we got rained out prior to a good make. crazy fuckin spot you got there guys.

from there we went to a ledge which was steadfastly referred to as "scott walker's dick"...
how can you not love skateboarding?

john mcguire goes full shaftal on big scotty. i also got a boardslide across this monster, and it was hands down the funnest fucking boardslide of my life. its not a trick you retire to, its just a trick that keeps you going. there are many uncle boardslides out there, and im in good company.

i think tim used this for a friendship ad or post or something. its almost more of a fashion shot than a skate photo.
ben got a backside 5050 across, somehow on that death bevel - those edges like to grab wheels and zing you out but the back knee drop seemed to keep things on track. i think bens girlfriend skates too.

"we skated the west allis park at dusk and when the lights came on i got really stoked, pretty outta my mind actually. lotta weird stuff to zip around on there if im just gonna skate it this once most likely. among the crowd of hardened scooting children was a 32 year old dude in a series of puffy jackets, yelling at snakes and riding fast but kinda top heavy and outta practice. but he was sliding the down rail and hucking down the steps. he introduced himself to me and asked if i was 21. told him i moved to reno and he asked if i played blackjack and chess. he dedicated a 360 flip to me. i got the feeling he had never seen a guy his age skating before. it was kinda rad how stoked he was but equally as strange. the best part was when he asked if i smoked and my reply was something like "no, skatings hard enough as it is, why do something that will just make it harder?" this perspective floored him, he called that 'real talk'. cole and i stayed as long as we could tolerate the out of control kids and then we left. i told him i was still kinda buzzing so while we drove to racine [one of my favorite drives in a long time] we set our sights on the DTP."

"we got there and it was vacant. had the place all to ourselves until the lights went out at 10. fucking glorious. to hell with a back injury, cole still has every trick in the mini ramp on lock, and smooth as ever. we shot flash photos. we had a 50-50 challenge on the red ledge - getting it frontside and backside all the way off the end from the crack in the ground at the halfway point. then i made sweet sweaty love to the bank-to-ledge by means of the only move appropriate - the mother of all maneuvers fit for that salty altar of skatelite stoke, a motorhead song for your feet - the frontside smithgrind. after that affair was properly documented for the first time ever, cole was doing heelflips on my board in spite of his doubts. ten tries in and he had it dialed, lookin good. when you skate with friends you feel connected through the joys of skating, but when i skate with cole i dont think theres even any separation. that heelflip is ours. we left, got pizza, and ate like kings. coles been along for the winging-it ride and im way stoked hes up for it - super fun times."

a few variations of a c-ham bs 5-0 through the doorway

my only weakness is a listed crime

you go down to the lake and pet that old dog. pet it real good cause you know that spot behind the ear that he really likes. you can both giggle together all night. shake a fuckin tail feather. these fossils of my youth are there and still letting me get mine. all the residual teen angst persisting in space like those donnie darko goo trails all through the park, just a network of familiar tunnels, ever vibrating with the passions, frustrations and fury of the times they were rendered, and ready to accept your carcass as many times as you want to plow through them... apparently its pretty spiritual in there guys. pushing forward is the name of the game but being back home is a welcomed alternative to that daily grind, and a little time travel is good for the soul. looking at these photos i now realize its possible that the distraction of this juicy obstacle is probably part of the reason i suck at flatground. now that the port-o-potty is gone, ill have to get the smith to drop off the end someday. nice work chester, a proper ode for sure.

this guy thought he couldnt heelflip. i was like fuck that you got it, just boot it. hey, no, im sayin BOOT THAT THING.

oh, whoa. yeah that was pretty easy. huh.

its too rare i am this satisfied, but the taste of it is welcome proof of whats possible.


ugly joy, what does it replace?

man i love tennis

uwm peck school of the arts sculpture undergrad midterm installation? studies in contemporary parking block spines. declare your major soon or yer gonna be mucking around in the minor leagues forever johnny. you gonna be the guy flipping the burger or the guy signing the checks? fuck, its your call dude...

theyre doing wonderful things over there at sommer laboratories

in 2006 i bought a turtleneck at value village. it was black and red striped. i cut off the neck and stuck it on a crap pile on a shelf for some reason. it wound up in nicks hands, probably as part of an outfit for a party at our house. 10 years later he still has it. the guy who typically cant keep track of his favorite shirt, and regularly DESTROYS clothes through skating continues to surprise on all levels. as for the glasses, yeah those were never mine. homeless bob burnquist.

what in the fuck man. why not just ride a bike real fast and then shove both your legs through the spokes? there is some heavy right brain/left brain trickery going on here. im just scrambled trying to imagine the process. i think this was also used for a friendship ad or post. the kids who saw it were probably over it within minutes but friends of nick know this was years in the making. congrats on another strange unicorn wrangled buddy. pretzel boardslide the sherman 10 is next.

pretty sure holly won this thing on the price is right

gotta stay in shape, dean

posted this shot a few months back on fb. heres the accompanying text...

Trips back home are hectic. 6 Days in, the first moment you get to yourself really slaps you in the face, and a strange gloom ensues - now what? You may find yourself under a bridge, ramming into a glossy blacktop curb for a half hour, learning how to count to 10 all over again. By the time you get to 8 you better be on your heels boy. There was a skate video that came out years ago called "what we do is secret". I always loved the concept of that title. Skateboarding thrives best as an underground activity, and I think most of us stricken with the sideways urge revel in the fact that no one else has any real clue about this oddball reality we construct and deconstruct. That aspect of it is majorly appealing to me, and I think is still part of what magnetizes all the other weirdos and outcasts - secret curb appeal, man. All that said, its a funny thing to consider now, in 2015, where it seems like no ones tryin to have any secrets. Yeah, the majority of the non-skating masses do not and will not ever know what a "slappy" is, but just think of how many sessions have tidbits immediately broadcast, before the sweat even dries. All those instant clips mobile-y uploaded means a lot less people going "what the fuck are these skaters doing?" and a lot more people going "oh those are skaters, they're living so voraciously in the present they are already thinking about the future..." or some such foolish accusation. I'm not saying its social media's fault that skateboarding will be in the next olympics, but I'll be damned if phones and medals will ever replace wax and stoke. Anyways, all I wanted was my first Wisconsin slappy, and this bizarro greasy blacktop edge under the highway was too good to not take home with me. So there you go, one more secret moment of mediocre shred is outta the bag and on the line, and in a moments time, sucked downstream in the raging current of the digital feed. Guh. Still got plenty of shit I'm never gonna tell you or anyone about - some of it even involves - gasp - skateboarding.

a menace to space but no threat to teenagers

monuments to beer, childishness, and blue collar brutes

monuments to ex girlfriends

monuments to waves of air, wood and grease

child on a payphone

it all looks perfect from the car

ive often wondered why that is. do cars put our heads at a forgotten height in space which somehow fills us again with the wonder, curiosity, astonishment and visual joys of childhood?

do the limits of that temporary position in traffic electrify the otherwise dull moment of transit with a sense of fleeting urgency?

does the obsession with needing to take advantage of those specific perspectives which you find yourself given by the random chaos of vehicular traversing patterns suggest some sort of freudian glitch?

do we conclude that no matter if your are in a car or up on your feet, all photography is still so undoubtedly linked to death? am i on a runaway train here or what? if that is the case, ill likely be holding a camera up to the window.

the rakes of j-ham

friday night fish fry

domestic fish coma

up late with this babe. yo call me when you got that dress on. im backing the female ghostbusters.

nother thing im backing

you can actually SEE the guy HAVING THOUGHTS, not just spitting out canned BS

"lake geneva was a scoot-fest of weekending flatlander brats. first and foremost on the particularly annoying list, a group of teen girls destroying a cheapo frisbee version of the game 'simon' on the deck, carelessly spraying bits of plastic shards into the bowl - future landmines for those who wish to actually SKATE the park. also in attendance: bmx hesh, 3 year olds without wheels of any sort, some tri-wheel-drift-scoot kid and his infant sister, and a 35 year old pudgy throwback mall goth hipster on roller boots waxing everything all to hell willing only to put one boot up... just a polar opposite of the session at the DTP, vibe-wise. the park looks to be immitation-new-park-plaza style, with some really perplexing oversights. so much emphasis on visual aesthetics means all kinds of shortcomings in funcionality - too often the current trend in park design/execution. overall pretty fun but we bounced out quick."

on the last day i drove dad to work in union grove and then came back into town and lurked around at thrift stores and antique malls - you know, cause theres plenty of room in my 2 bags to jam more shit to haul back to nevada. it was super early and nothing was open and this plaza always looks good...

dugan, i think you know what tire pile this is...

you ever try to organize a tire pile?

does anyone not like piles of tires?

edward burtynsky might be the tire pile champion

white balance just driving me nuts on this morning. sorry nerds.

just fitting stuff into a rectangle, thats all it is. damn its fun.

form and content - the war rages on

in a lot of these drive by perpendicular views of windowed walls there is a great deal of bowing in the upper and lower horizontals, which is incredibly perplexing as i am not tech enough to understand the hows and whys, especially given that i consider myself to be extremely vigilant with managing those aspects of the frame when dealing with so many grid-like features. regardless, i feel strongly for this group of photos because where i would once have beat the dead horse i instead milked a new cow.

this is my favorite photo of the trip. probably shouldnt be but it is.

what the fuck is that guy DOING?

its funny when you get back from a trip and see that some dumb tree was your last digital photo

ah, back to that all organic diet...

maybe part of why im out here is so i get to go back there and really love it