Thursday, December 13, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Those of us here in stool pigeon alley, over at the WSYGFO Extremism Science Institute remember fondly when a professional skateboarder named Jamie Thomas signed to Toy Machine back in 1994. We were all like: "Jamie Thomas, like that kid from Sports Day with the bundles of red ribbons, smile like summer vacation, and robust family support..."
Jamie Thomas remains active in the skateboard world, doing stuff like this:
Jamie "Chames" Thomas has focused on his study of law, watersport, curling, and domestic fastidiousness, but one question remains unanswered. Did Chames turn his back on a possible career as a skater?
As this recently leaked photo (shot by Cory Elkaim, from the car, with a long zoom) suggests, if Chames is ever disbarred, he still has a silky SS-BS-TS to fall back on.
Friend of this blog, Dr. Mike McDermott, the president and CEO of Green Apple Skateboards Ltd, released the following statement upon seeing the above photo of Chames ripping: "Obviously there is only one Jamie Thomas in skating, but Chames is a unique name, it fits on a deck, and Chames is definitely good at the being photographed in cool hats and khakis side of the profession. The more I think about it, it's a fresh name, like Jovante or Spanky or Willow...Chames. I'd think about flowing him."
We at the Extremism Science Institute will post more on this story as it develops. For now, we will take whatever scraps we can get from either of the ambitious, if shadowy ripping Thomases.
Which Thomas is this? Jamie or Chames?
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
|Mr. van Berkel (far right), moments before he became exhausted|
The Commodore's Office released a statement later that night expressing regret for interrupting the service, blaming the Commodore's condition on "acute exhaustion." A doctor who treated Mr. van Berkel at Vancouver General Hospital would not speak for attribution but confirmed that exhaustion was a contributing factor. "When people who work extremely hard - whether it be Lindsay Lohan or one of the Olsen twins - add the excitement of getting together with friends to the mix, we often see a reaction in which those individuals have trouble maintaining ordinary energy levels," said the doctor. As energy levels drop symptoms can include the blurring of vision, slurring of speech and having trouble maintaining balance. After-effects can include headaches and nausea.
However, guests at the wedding were concerned that other factors had contributed to Mr. van Berkel's condition. "He likes a cheeseburger," offered friend Chip P. Chrisman, "that much we know." Concern about the Commodore's diet was echoed by other friends and associates. "It's not uncommon for his intake of greasy food to overwhelm his system," confirmed AJ Tooley, "and when that's the case he has to have doctors scrape away the grease clogging his veins - at the Health Sciences Centre they call it a 'Berkelectomy'."
As for the family of the bride and groom, they maintained that there were no hard feelings between them and Mr. van Berkel. Said the father of the groom, Mr. Jeff Patterson: "Would we have chosen to have someone flailing around like a plastic bag in the wind as the bride walked down the aisle? No. But hey, these things happen and there's not much you can do about it. I'm sure he feels bad enough."
Mr. van Berkel, who did not return this reporter's calls requesting comment, has publicly maintained that he hopes to put the incident behind him but, among the Victoria Beach sailing community, there is concern about his health in the face of the upcoming August long weekend - perhaps the year's high-point for exhaustion. Chief of Police Stewart McPherson says that police and paramedics encounter countless cases of exhaustion every August long. "We see exhaustion in all forms over those three days, he says, "exhaustion on the beach, at barbeques, on the golf course, and, especially, at social functions that sometimes stretch late into the night."
Jack Brisco, a researcher at the Birchwood Institute for the Study of Exhaustion notes that, though the science is still shaky, there seems to be some connection between the onset of exhaustion and proximity to sunshine, laughter and music. Some at Victoria Beach worry it might necessarily be a dark, quiet and mirthless August long weekend for the Commodore.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Monday evening and everybody making the trek to the Birchwood Motor Hotel, just south of Victoria Beach, is in a remarkably upbeat frame of mind. Traffic on the 59 is a nightmare, what else is new? Doesn’t matter. The weather has been spectacular, but at 8 p.m., it’s chilly by Manitoba’s recent standards and just about everybody here has their hands gripped around a cold sleeve of beer.
The Schwood usually does brisk business every evening, but today it is packed, in honour of a special guest - the Burger Connoisseur , Ryan Van Berkel, ELK-Ida’s “least active member”, who has done for Cheeseburgers what Colonel Sanders did for chicken, and put the delicious beef-based sandwich on the map.
Berkel, who mostly works days, admits to not being used to these late nights, but he moves from table to table, with a smile on his face. He is here on a weekday to host Burgs with Burks, an unlikely fundraiser that stemmed from Berkel’s admission, back in summer 2011, that he missed the entire windsurfing season because of back spasms, an injury that flared up just as he was digging into a “Sis & Me” at the moonlight.
Now, oddball injuries seem to be part of the vast Elk-Ida team landscape, and getting injured in a diner booth is probably no stranger than Chippers getting hurt, bending down to pick up a half smoked roach. Or the time that Ben Peterson went down because his dog, Buddy, mistook his hand for a ball of hash and chowed down, breaking a finger and severing an artery.
But Berk’s escapades - his burg fiasco, his banquet-gate - went viral, in part because his struggle to actually windsurf has been so great that he became an object of Internet ridicule. This was a patently unfair development, given that Berkel was making fun of the incident right from the beginning. But humour doesn’t always translate well into Cyberspace, so he is here, raising cash for the VBYC’ rainy day windsurfing fund in a good-humored attempt to change the spin on the story.
“It took me a while to, but to see all the people here, and how happy burgs make them, made it worth it,” said Van Berkel