Category: Articles

What a title, right?

Ok, I admit I’m not that good with titles anymore, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s also not about the time this girl asked me to hang out with her at Lake Piru for a weekend, and just “chill”. I said no. I think I ended up writing instead, and that’s why I’m a HUSTLER and not a lady’s man. Leon Phelps, my apologies. Don’t beat me up.

I got exactly 3 hours 12 minutes of sleep last night before my knee started hurting, and so here I am, wide awake and watching more Youtube videos. I was watching a Black Ninja Lifestyle video, and Ninja put down his guard and shouted out Doug Des Autels. That reminded me that Doug just put out this amazing montage from Lake Piru. He threw down a ton of skateboarding, good video editing, and it deserves attention. So if you need a break from your mom today, (Mother’s Day is today suckers), check out this montage and get hyped, support Doug via the links, and try to be nice to your mom. I know I will. (I’ll be nice to my mom, not your mom, I don’t know your mom. But if I did, I’d be nice too, nevermind)

Oh, and the ender on this! Holy Crap! Stay tuned for that! Share this, subscribe, and I don’t know what else, just support this stuff, it’s really cool.

Montage at Piru Skatepark with Bryan Arnett, Caballo, & Doug Des Autels.

Check out Bryan Arnett’s Channel too (featured in this video) –

Subscribe to Doug Des Autels –

If you’re active on social media, follow these links. Also, if you’re a fan of independent skateboarding, and you want to help Doug create more videos like the one you see above, then support him via Patreon at increments of $1. You know you have $1, and help him keep skateboarding and putting out heartfelt, fun, skateboarding content.

Articles Skateboarding

For those that were following my old blog Sell Out Records, you may remember that I said Lucy Gucy was my favorite new band. Well, with the release of their music video Dead End Doll, they confirm my statements. Check out the video and follow the links, you’re not going to be disappointed.
Instagram @lucygucyband
Twitter @lucygucyband

Articles Record Reviews

Black Flag What The...
Black Flag What The…

Every comment I’ve seen about this release has been negative. I haven’t read one positive thing about the album, from the artwork to the songs, everyone has something bad to say about it. I’m usually on board with the hate of albums that are completely awful, but this time around I found myself in the minority. (I’m Mexican too, so perhaps I should be used to it, right…right) Black Flag released “What The…” to a waiting audience of idiots and stupid journalists. While that is not meant to insult anyone, it’s so true. More and more people have talked negatively about this Black Flag release than I’ve seen in a long time.

This record is the first album in a long time that has Ron Reyes, Greg Ginn and Gregory Moore have been in the lineup. It is crusty, it’s sour at times, it’s not polished and it’s downright well worth the listen. It is 43 some odd minutes of non stop noise and punk rock intensity. It features a band that is not concerned with commercialization, and is in no way trying to please their audience in a manner that some others are willing to go about it. This is not a cookie cutter record, it is not what you would expect and it completely punches you in the face with how brash it is.

Reyes on vocals are awesome, I like the way he draws out the vocals, and I like the noise and bass work as well as the start, stop, frenzied drum kit. A lot of the songs feel like Suicidal Tendency, or even Refused. “I’m Sick” for instance, is a distorted and chaotic track that is far more appealing as a part of the former bands than this one. On the track “You Gotta Be Joking” a bit of funk comes out and produces an interesting change of pace. This is a return to a different time where Black Flag got a lot more respect.

22 tracks of chaos is what you get with this record. It sounds like Frodus, for those that remember that band. It’s a sonic noise pollution that you are not going to get with a lot of other bands right now. Even though there are a lot of people that will not degree with my sentiments, I think that this is a good record. I will throw my support behind it, even if the entire punk rock community thinks it’s dumb.

Black Flag brings noise, chaos, punk, and hardcore into a sound that is welcomed by me and Sell Out Records as a whole. It’s not a corporate piece of BS, it’s a solid outing, and one that deserves far more praise and respect than it is getting right now. I recommend you do yourself a favor and make your own opinion. Tracks that standout include the aforementioned, but also “Wallow in Despair”, “The Chase”, “Lies” and a lot more in the 22 track opus. It’s classic Black Flag here, it’s just not produced in a polished manner that you may expect.

Black Flag “What The…” is available here, and I for one endorse it. If you like Frodus, The Blamed, Refused, At The Drive In, Suicidal Tendencies, and hardcore punk from the 1980s, you will love this release. Just don’t listen to the pundits, they have lost touch with what good music is. There’s nothing better than a band that will not only play whatever the hell they want, but will then spit on your review and continue to do whatever they want. This is very well the most PUNK record to come out in a long time.

Articles Record Reviews

Horror Store by Grady Hendrix
Horror Store by Grady Hendrix

I read a lot of books. Most of them don’t stick with me too long after I write the review. Today, perhaps will be different. I write this as my knee is killing me, Aleve is not working, and my hips are starting to hurt. So perhaps all of that pain will help me remember the book that Grady Hendrix put out in 2014. The book is a fine mix of horror, ghost story, and well, Ikea. Or not Ikea, as I’m sure they would sue the crap out of Hendrix if they could. This is a horror story that is on par with Stephen King at times, but with a pg-13 element that I can’t really forget. It didn’t take me long to polish this one off, and you know what, it was a fun read. Let’s get into “Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix.

This Is Ikea, Oh Wait, It Is Not Ikea

The author immediately tells you that it’s not Ikea. But it is Ikea. You will argue as you hear the way that the store in this novel is described. The setting is known as Orsk Furniture Superstore, and it is located in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve been to the Ikea near Cincinnati, and can attest to the descriptions found in this book being Ikea, I mean not Ikea. This joke is played off again and again throughout the book, as you are introduced to the cast of characters that are going to make you laugh, cry, and raise an eyebrow as you read through the story.

The story moves along with a group of employees that are going to try and figure out if the store is haunted, because they keep seeing strange things show up when they open the store in the morning. Is there someone there, is it a ghost? What is going on? While some want to be the next big ghost hunters on television, some are skeptical, and as the story unravels, you really get the feel that something is way wrong with Orsk.

It’s A Homeless Guy!

I just spoiled it for you. Ok, I didn’t, but hey, it happens. This story starts off like any other retail worker’s hell. Retail workers will love how the book begins, and how the characters go through their lives working at a big box retailer. Amy and Basil are the two main characters you want to focus on, but as you get introduced to the others, you’ll realize that not everyone is going to survive this one. All of the tropes of a haunting comes through. You have the strong final girl, the skeptic, the tough guy, and the naïve one. The story moves through the red herring, and then really takes off into a world of hell, as the store starts to consume our heroes.

A Fine Finish

At the end of the day “Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix is a ghost story. It’s not going to break ground, because it follows a good overall formula. It’s a nice popcorn flick of a novel that is going to grip you at times, and make you question what you are doing with your life in others. It’s a fine moving book, one that isn’t going to take up a lot of your brain power, but will have you entertained a lot. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again! Ok, I didn’t cry, but this is a seriously good horror book, and will definitely have you thinking twice about hanging out at Ikea, or NOT Ikea.

“Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix is a fine novel that features comedy and horror. I recommend it, and give it 5 stars. You can buy it by clicking here, or get it from your local library like I did.

Did you read “Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix? Let me know in the comments below.

Articles Book Reviews

One of the coolest companies that came out of the 1990s skateboarding boom for me was Chocolate. Chocolate skateboards always had the best riders from my old neighborhood in Culver City and Venice. I used to see the guys from Girl and Chocolate skateboard through Venice and Santa Monica, alongside others from Dogtown and grind king. Chocolate has always been impressive with their team, and art direction. The art direction that Chocolate takes today is one that is gallery ready.

With the release of the Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Decks, you get a sense for the graphic design team at the company. I love it. I like how they find a way to continually put out beautiful graphics, with strong boards, and impressive style. That’s just my opinion. The boards are hitting shops now, or you can order with the links provided. If you are a collector, you’ll want the full set. If you’re a skater, then perhaps you’ll want one of the boards to ride. I’ll be picking the series up for the skate wall I’m going to be putting up in my house. I may get a duplicate though, I need a new street deck. Anyways, here is the Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series:

Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series Chocolate Skateboards Everyday People Series

You can pick up Chocolate Skateboards via by clicking here.

You can also pick up a wide selection of skateboards from

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Articles Skateboarding

When I was a teenager growing up in West Los Angeles, you couldn’t be a weird skateboarder. You either were a street skater or a hesher. You didn’t ride weird shapes, or you would get ridiculed. The thing is, I learned to skateboard on a weird shape. Well, weird for the 1990s, since everyone was riding the double tail popsicle format that you know and love. I learned to skateboard on a 1980s-single tail board that I bought at a swap meet. That’s right, your boy here was riding a 1980s-broke ass skateboard deck. I know, what a poser, right?

I’m a grown man now, and I don’t live anywhere near the skate spots of Santa Monica, Culver City, and Venice. I live in the Midwest, and more so than ever, I ride weird shapes. Well, weird for those that are used to the traditional popsicle option. If you’re not sure whether or not you want to jump on board with funny shaped skateboards, then consider the following reasons why you may want to jump on board, as you may be surprised. Plus, you’re not a teenager growing up in the shadow of Girl, Plan B, or Dogtown skateboards, so don’t sweat getting made fun of, it doesn’t matter!

Deathwish Skateboards 40 Ounce
Deathwish Skateboards 40 Ounce

They Are Faster

Whether you choose a longboard, or a comedy shape, you’ll find that cruisers, longboards, and all wacky functioning boards are going to be faster. Why? Well, they usually have bigger wheels and high end bearings attached to them. I for one loved the Baker Skateboards 40 ounce complete. That complete got me through Koreatown fast. In fact, I still love the video that they filmed in promotion of the board. The shape of the deck was a 40 ounce bottle of beer, and it was a nice, fast, and easy to ride board. I didn’t do a lot of tricks on it, but it still got me through town fast.

It’s Easier To Learn How To Push Forward

Want to learn how to skateboard? Get an odd shaped skateboard, or rather a larger shape. The reason why is because you’ll have more surface area to balance on. The biggest hurdle that you will have when learning how to skateboard is in regards to your weight. Where do you shift your weight? How do you push, and balance? Well, with a larger surface area, you can “surf” a bit, and learn how your body reacts to momentum. Trust me, it’s easier to learn this way than to get a regular size board and try to learn tricks.

Santa Cruz Simpsons
Bart Simpson Pro Model

Many Are Easier To Transport

Now, this doesn’t speak to longboards, but a lot of odd shapes are easier to take with you. For instance, the Penny boards that are so popular right now are easy to stow in luggage, or put in a trunk, or back seat of a car. They are small, they are made to go fast, and not for tricks. I for one used to talk to this girl that rode through my apartment complex on one. She would just cruise fast along the paths, and didn’t push often. They are easy to pick up and walk with, or put away without worry.

Odd Shaped Pro Model
Odd Shaped Pro Model

They Are A Blast (FUN)

Perhaps the biggest reason why you may want to look into funny shaped boards is because they are fun. Skateboarding isn’t something that has to be so serious. You don’t have to be a professional, and you don’t have to do a lot of tricks. Skateboarding wasn’t invented with this serious push forward. Surfers in Venice started skateboarding as an offshoot of surfing, for fun. If you have fun, then you don’t worry about the business of skateboarding. Funny shapes are meant for fun, so go out and get one and see why so many jump on board of these.

One thing I will note about this article is that you should NOT buy boards from walmart or sports outlets. Get professionally made options from a skate shop, or from amazon via your online skate shops here. DO NOT buy cheap knock offs or anything that is NOT professionally crafted etc. 

Articles Skateboarding

La Virgen De Guadalupe Skateboard Deck
La Virgen De Guadalupe Skateboard Deck
La Virgen De Guadalupe Skateboard
Jason Jessee Pro Model

What better way to post up content on Cinco De Mayo then to highlight a deck that has a place in my heart. This skateboard deck from Santa Cruz is the pro model for Jason Jessee. What makes this one stand out for me is that it has the national symbol of Mexico, La Virgen de Guadalupe. The symbol is all over the heritage of Mexico, and it’s one of the long time religious symbols that I can remember in my life. I’m not a Catholic, but I still hold some of the heritage of Mexico in my heart, since I was born there.

With La Virgen De Guadalupe Santa Cruz Jason Jessee Skateboard Deck, you will get a 8.125 x 31.7 inch skateboard deck with a good strong shape made in that classic Santa Cruz Skateboards hasher style model. If you skate vert, then this is a board that is well rounded for you, and can work with street if you’d like. For me, however, I use 8.125 inch decks for bowls and mini-ramps. Anything smaller and I would only go hit street skating spots, but that’s just me.

This is a strong deck, it’s on sale now, and is one of the decks that I love out of the Santa Cruz brand. For me, this deck is more about the cultural influence then anything else, which is why it’s going on the wall, more than under my feet.

You can purchase the La Virgen De Guadalupe Santa Cruz Jason Jessee Skateboard Deck by clicking here.

Stay tuned for more skateboarding content, on a rare day for posting up skate content on Video Store Blues. I usually post this crap on Thursdays. But I got my days mixed up.

Articles Skateboarding

Yesterday I posted an article about positivity. That was meant to go up today, because Thursdays are skateboarding content days. I mixed up my days. What that means for this week is simple, I’m going to be posting skateboarding videos with a few notes and what not.

If you’re watching Youtube and you don’t know about Doug Des Autels, then you’re missing out. This is a skateboarder out of Southern California that seems to be having a lot of fun with skateboarding, and living life. His channel showcases more than just skateboarding footage, he showcases life, fishing, and the ups and downs of being a pro skater. It’s channel that showcases fun more often than not, but there are moments that he captures reality in such a nuanced way, and sometimes may not even know how powerful the visuals are.

You can follow up on what Doug Des Autels is doing by visiting the links below. I’m a Patreon supporter, and rock the Amgr1p hat a great deal. Check out his videos, get inspired, and hit the streets. More skateboarding writing and what not to come!

You can support Doug by checking out the following links, and support his cause to create skateboarding lifestyle content of epic proportions below.

Articles Skateboarding

Positively Page Blu Ray
Positively Page

The WWE released a new DVD chronicling the life and career of Diamond Dallas Page. You may know a few snippets of what he’s gone through, but the production documentary definitely shows off a lot of different angles that you may not have thought about. The documentary is not bad, and I will review it later. Today, since it’s Friday, I’m going to be posting content related to making money online, working from home, and writing tips. With that in mind, I have come up with 5 lessons that you can learn from the Diamond Dallas Page documentary from WWE, “Positively Page”. I was impressed, and here are just 5 lessons that you can learn and take with you in your quest to do ANYTHING in life.

Do The Hard Work

The first major lesson you can pull is simple, do the hard work. Page exemplifies this in everything that the documentary discussed. He started in the club business, learned the ropes, and then went into professional wrestling as a manager. When that was curtailed, he didn’t quit, he decided to go to wrestling school and train to become a professional. The people that discussed Page’s work ethic all stated that he would be the first person in the door and the last one to leave. He had a drive that most others simply didn’t have.

Act Like You’ve Been There Before

One thing that stayed with me in regards to moving upwards in any career path is the confidence that comes from this saying: “Act Like You’ve Been There Before”. I like that notion. Sometimes, in life you’re going to be afraid of taking that next step, timid, with anxiety crippling your progress. Don’t let that stop you, instead take this notion and run with it. It will give you a sense of confidence that others don’t have, which is a great thing moving forward through life and in any career path.

Do Not Let Others Tell You What Is Not Possible

Constantly, Page was told he couldn’t do something. He was told he was too old, too tall, too ugly, and he didn’t listen. He just put his hands on the proverbial plow and kept pushing. He was hustling at all times, trying his best to move forward with creating exactly the life he wanted to live. When things crushed him, he still managed to move up and forward, not letting anyone tell him that something was not possible. He didn’t let them have a say in what he was doing.

Age Is Only A Number

The big thing about Diamond Dallas Page was that he was 35 when he started training to be a wrestler. That is way older than the suggested age for any sport. By 35, many are leave professional sports and going to the offices and other non-professional athletic world. But Page jumped in at 35, with bad knees and all. He still did it, and was able to do so for several years as a result. That’s not to say that you are going to have the same success, but if you feel that your age is limiting, think again, you may be able to get a second win, and work towards a greater good.

Turn Things Into A Positive (Even If It Sucks)

Page had a lot of setbacks. This includes being fired from places, and being told that he wasn’t good enough, as well as getting buried within the WWE. There was so much against the guy, and yet he just kept pushing this notion of positivity. Positive mental attitude across everything, even when he didn’t want to do yoga, he turned it into a mega business. His positivity can seem annoying, but it’s that amped up energy that he has been able to harness whenever life has sent him downward, and that’s the thing to remember above all else.

There you have it, 5 lessons that you can derive from the new DDP documentary and 3 disc set from WWE. Apply these lessons to your business and work ethic and you’ll see a huge jump in your success, the DDP way!

You can buy “Positively Page” on BLU RAY by clicking here. Let me know if you liked it, and what your thoughts are on these positive points from DDP’s life.

Articles Writing Tips

I reviewed the new AJ Lee book, and while I thought it was a poor outing for a professional wrestler’s book, I thought that I should follow up with a list of the top books about and from the wrestling perspective. These are my picks for the best 7 professional wrestling books of all time, and of course, they may differ from your list, and other people’s list. I have read a lot of books, some of which are terrible, some of which are ok, these are the best of the best, and it was hard enough to get a rundown of the best overall.

Ric Flair To Be The Man Book
Ric Flair To Be The Man Book

“To Be The Man” by Ric Flair (buy here)

Let’s start out with the first book that had me glued to wrestling biographies, and it was Ric Flair’s book. While it’s not as sordid as you may think, Flair goes at length to describe the schedule he had to endure to be a pro wrestler. This guy had a work ethic the size of an immigrant laborer. No joke, he would do a lot to wrestle, including getting into car accidents, and a plane crash. The explanations and stories from the territory days is fascinating, and a lot of stories told here seem legit, although there are a few embellishments as only the Nature Boy can provide. A great read for those that want to go a little old school.

The Stone Cold Truth by Steve Austin
The Stone Cold Truth by Steve Austin

“The Stone Cold Truth” by Steve Austin (buy here)

Stone Cold leaves nothing behind, he just spits out whatever he thinks about wrestling and the realities of his heart, knees, back, steroids, abuse, and more. There’s a lot here, and it’s a short book, but no words are wasted. Steve doesn’t hold back, and why would he? He just spews out the facts, and doesn’t cover up his disdain for certain things, as well as peels back the information you’re seeking behind the scenes. He is one tough SOB, that’s for sure.

WrestleCrap The Worst of Pro Wrestling
WrestleCrap The Worst of Pro Wrestling

“Wrestlecrap” by R D Reynolds (buy here)

The worst of professional wrestling is highlighted in this humorous look back at professional wrestling. I know it’s bad, but I grew up with terrible pro wrestling and some of it is just a nostalgia trip. I guess it was a different time, right? Well, this book is great for a laugh, and something that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Fox Catcher by Mark Schultz
Fox Catcher by Mark Schultz

“Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John Du Pont’s Madness and the Quest for Olympic Gold” by Mark Schultz (buy here)

Not a pro wrestling book. I know, but once you actually read this, you’ll realize that there’s a lot of “scripting” done by John Du Pont. The guy was truly a unique character that had a lot of money and a lot of love for wrestling. This is one hell of a book, and it truly gives you an insider’s perspective about the quest for Olympic gold. This book and story had me completely wound up, and I still think about it at times. The story is just surreal, and while it’s not pro wrestling related, it certain has the makings for it, just read it.

Hitman by Bret Hart
Hitman by Bret Hart

“Bret Hart: My Real Life in The Cartoon World of Wrestling” by Bret Hart (buy here)

The final 3 were hard to write about. Which should rank higher than others? Well, Bret Hart gets the third spot, only because of length. This is a mammoth of a book, and Hart doesn’t hold back at all. He just buries people where he wants, and he has a sense of confidence as a writer that you don’t usually get from these books. Bret Hart is fascinating, and the stories he tells goes deep into the wounds that he has for his losses and of course triumphs. Nothing is left out, and by the time you finish this book, Hart may be your favorite wrestler of all time. He certainly is the best.

The Death of WCW Expanded
The Death of WCW Expanded

“The Death of WCW” by R D Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez (buy here)

I recently read the expanded version of this book, and it’s heavy. It highlights just what went wrong with WCW and how it all fell apart. It went from glory to a dumpster fire that was nothing short of epic. Once you read this, you’ll realize that the WWE revisionist history of what really happened is all a lie. This is the blunt truth, and it’s a wonderful read, and a cautionary tale that is too good to make up.

Have A Nice Day by Mick Foley
Have A Nice Day by Mick Foley

“Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweat Socks” by Mick Foley (buy here)

The number one book in my list is a 770 page epic. Mick Foley tells you his story in detail, and it’s nothing short of epic. He is honest, without going raunchy, and he speaks from the heart. The book is written fully by Foley and you are in his living room hearing him tell you of all of his stories. He has epic failures, and some great triumphs. Over time, you realize that Foley was given a gift, the gift of going through extreme pain for entertainment purposes. There is no one with the pain threshold that Foley has, there just isn’t. It’s alarming.

There you have it, the top 7 professional wrestling books of all time. Ok, 6, but still, go out and get them, read them, buy them, burn them, I don’t care. Did you read any of the books on this list? What are your top 10 or 5 or 1? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Articles Book Reviews