Monday, May 17, 2010

It's not a cliche when it happens to you...

For those of us that play yo-yo, a common comment from non-yo-yoers is something to the effect of the string breaking and hitting them in the face, permanently ruining their looks and life.

Some people are straight up, stereotypical drama queens.

But some people are right.
This is one of the managers at my store, Ms. Ohara. She was about to walk out of the door and do some work, whilst I played yo-yo in the same hallway we are depicted in. The string on my Pulse was old, and 2A stresses the strings most out of any play style.

In the middle of a hop, the string DID break at the slipknot, and the yo-yo flew in slow motion towards the exiting Ms. Ohara. Just as she turns to reach for the doorknob, the yo-yo makes it's impact with an assertive "slap".

She turns to me, my cringed face already twisted in guilt, because not an hour before this event, I told her not to worry about the yo-yo hitting anybody.

But then we both start laughing, because it couldn't have hurt that much, and I couldn't have been more wrong about assuring her it's safe to be around yo-yos.

I can post more now, because I'm not in school right now (can't you tell?). The other gentlemen do not have the option to get out of Dad-manship, so we will see how much we see of them.

weird skillz

@J-Def, i do the EXACT same thing lately. at first i was hyper-religious about getting the strings onto the ball sans delay, but now i'll walk around my yo-yo room (i have one) and step over like 8 discarded strings before i get to the cone. and then when it gets to be too unbearable (read: when my wife tells me to clean up), i have a little 15 minute ball party. i need to get better about that for sure. it feels more meaningful to me when done right away; like the difference between a proper funeral and a mass grave.

anyway... when i started this project with steve, i remember him saying excitedly 'and just think... in a year, we'll be like the only guys under 60 who can twist our own string in just a few seconds!' it's funny... you do get good at it. the first few times, it probably took me 5 minutes to make sure everything was in order and nothing was kinked or crazy. now, it takes me about 45 seconds.

it got me thinking about other obscure skills i've accumulated. i'm 33 years old, and i can...

• fold a japanese hakama with traditional knot
• snap-start into sidewinder (hi, steve).
• set up an upright bass.
• build and light a PERFECT charcoal pyramid
• boneless over a small child standing (or a fat child lying down).
• orient myself via the constellations.
• diagram the hell out of essentially any sentence.
• field-strip, clean, and polish a katana
• beat you in a triceratops drawing contest (but not in any other sort of drawing contest)
• peel an orange in one strip.
• hit BLAHBLAH on a no jive.
• change a nasty poopy diaper with 3 baby wipes or less.
• dislocate/relocate my left shoulder.
• properly apply/remove wax to/from a surfboard.
• reliably impale a pizza box with a knife from 10m.
• take ridiculously good care of hydrangeas.

and yet i canNOT:
• change my own oil or replace my brakes (tires, yes).
• beat super mario bros, sonic the hedgehog, or altered beast.
• clean/gut a fish.
• score under 100 in 18 holes of golf (actually... probably even in 9).
• run anywhere of my own volition without being actively pursued.
• land a frontside 180 kickflip (if it ends in flip i probably can't land it).
• tie a bow-tie.
• get my back lawn in order.
• correctly spell 'necessary' or 'commitment' without looking them up.
• do 2-handed punching bag (or honestly, even passable 1-handed).
• drive stick.
• seem to take a flattering photograph.

funny how the world carves you into an image you never expected or intended. somehow the latter list seems infinitely more useful.

BTW: these strings... do NOT do well in humidity.

BTW BTW: i'm going back to disney in like 3 weeks. YYYYYYEEEEEEAH.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Eclipse

Like ed said in the previous post, I have added enough strings to my ball to make it about the same diameter as the cone.

This image is taken with a vantage point above the cone, so the ball looks even bigger than it is. But I have compared the different dimensions of the ball (it's not quite round) to the cone diameter, and they average out to be almost exactly the same. The ball is finally eclipsing the cone.

The funny thing is this has been the truth for about twenty strings. The diameter of the ball isn't getting appreciably bigger with each string, like at the beginning. The cone is certainly starting to get smaller in diameter, though.

I know this because I measure my strings by how many winds I take off. I don't have a physical distance to measure it by (my wingspan is too short to make a long enough string). It's ten winds for a 1A string, 9 for a 5A string, and 18 or so for a pair of 2A strings. All of these have a little bit of leftover string that I usually clip off after the string is made.

The tag end of the string that I clip is all but gone in the 1A string, though. I counted how many winds the string goes around the axle on the yo-yo: it is between 20 and 16 for 1A (always depending on the gap and bearing sizes). The string is the same length that I used to make it, but less tag end is available to clip.

Once I realized this pattern, I got a little blue. I bet I still have nearly 200 strings left on the cone, but every one I twist brings me inevitably closer to having to buy some other string. I don't want to not use this string for 1A or 5A. This string can -expletive- a -removed- for 2A, it's soooooo much easier to use thinner, softer, tighter cotton-8 for looping. But I don't want to have to get used to a thinner, slower, or softer string for playing every day with.

As far as recent events, I performed at MOYO a few weeks ago. My ego was bigger than my performance, and I choked in both freestyles (shown below). I do have some stories, though.
-I usually always bring tea to contests, and toted along my water boiler, cups, and pot for everyone to enjoy. But I totally forgot the tea leaves at home. Thankfully, there was a Teavana in the nearby mall, and I got to get tea for everyone (and re-up on oolong tea, because I was running low anyway). Corporation, you saved my day.
-There was a particular contest-goer that I met (and promptly forgot his name) that was getting nervous about his turn coming up to perform. I invited him over for a little cup of tea, and told him to calm down, not think about words, and stop processing all information. Just sit, enjoy, and be happy. This evidently helped, because he gave a great freestyle, felt great afterward, and thanked me for the "magical tea". I just let him do what he was already able to.
-My name was not called in the list of 1A competitors. I had my music uploaded, and everything was in order to let me freestyle. So I got put first in the list, and gave a decent 1A performance.
(thanks, metalyoyoer)
-Someone dared me to do an aerial and a jump-spin kick, so I did. Lots of people stared, and applause was given.
-I got on stage to do my 5A routine, and Amy (from the II table) made an announcement. Evidently, there were tornadoes around, and we had to get downstairs in the caves of the City Museum. I was blamed for causing the tornadoes with the jump-spin kick. After the warnings were expired, the contest resumed, and I got to be the first freestyle for the second half of the open division. Mine is the first one in the series. Ironically enough, the music was "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors.
(thanks, stringsbytoby)
-And everyone had a great, wonderful, happy time. Most of my strings got almost unusable because of the humidity, but most everyone's string did.

Will update more later.