Robert Basic's blog

Posts tagged 'longboard'

A monkey with a banana

by Robert Basic on January 08, 2013.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

From time to time I browse through the local board shop’s website, especially the “Longboard” section, because, well, I have recently developed this passion for longboarding. Few weeks back, just sometimes before Christmas, I was doing the same. Just casually browsing around, nothing that would catch my interest. And then, there it was, at the bottom of the page. A banana board. “Oh my, a real beauty”, I thought to myself. The price was also in the affordable range. But, a problem was that I really couldn’t, justify to buy it.

Whenever I find something to buy for myself, I really give it a lot of thought and wait for a while, just to see if I really need it. Doing my best to avoid buying stuff in the heat of the moment, which prevents me from having lots of regretable purchases. And it works quite well, can’t think of anything that I regret ever buying. It’s also a very good tactic for saving money.

And after giving it a lot of thought, going to the board shop a couple of times to check it out (sadly, I haven’t seen it, as they didn’t have it in the Novi Sad store, they’d have to order it from their central shop in Belgrade), and giving it some more thought, I finally broke down last week and ordered the board. The fact that they introduced an additional 20% discount around new year’s, also helped with this decision.

Luckily, the ordering time was just two days, so when I placed the order on Thursday, I was to pick it up on Saturday. Marvelous, getting a new board in the middle of a weekend. Even the weather forecast was looking good, not so cold, and dry, even if it’s beginning of January.

Fast-forward to Saturday noon-ish and me being told that the board is actually in Novi Sad, but in the distribution center, and they won’t be delivering it to the shop, as the delivery center doesn’t work on that specific Saturday, but only on Tuesday. Something about having a second Christmas in Serbia and people not working during those days (the orthodox church uses the Julian calendar).

Bollocks.

Tuesday, finally!

And today, just after getting back to the office from the lunch break, the dude from the shop called me, letting me know that the board is in, and that I can come in pick it up after work. “Fuck it!”, I said, “I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”

Once I saw the board, I knew I did a right thing ordering it. It’s just fuckin’ gorgeous! I tried it a little in the shop, paid for it, and hurried out to the streets to give it a test ride back to the office.

It’s fun riding it, extremely fun. It’s much smaller, and feels much different than my longboard. The wheels are smaller, but softer than on the longboard. I was expecting the banana board to be slower, but two-three pushes and it rides like the wind. Oh, and it’s light as a feather!

On slower speeds it’s not really good for making turns, but when going a bit faster the turning is easier. I’m an idiot. I need to loosen up the trucks. The little “buttons” on the top of the board, which are there to provide a good grip whilst riding, are doing their job insanely well. I was pleasantly surprised how good the grip is.

Maybe even a bit too good. While I was riding the board home from the office, the “buttons”, or maybe the bolts from the front truck, under my front foot were bit too hard, and gave an uneasy feel during the ride. Like when you have a tiny rock in your shoe and the damn thing doesn’t won’t to get out. But I’ll try out different stances before giving the final verdict on this.

Apart from this little thing, it really is a fun little board, and I’m happy that I got it. I’ll be mostly using it for quick rounds around the city, and goofing around at the local skate park. Sticking with the longboard for longer rides, cruises, though.

Tags: about, banana, banana board, longboard, random.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.

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2012 - 'twas a fine year!

by Robert Basic on January 01, 2013.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

2012 was a real fine year, filled with travel, friends, work, longboards, books. A couple of beers found their way in my belly, too. The best part is that I honestly can’t remember that a single bad thing happened this year. Most likely because it didn’t. Pure awesomeness.

Can’t really remember what I did from January till March, besides working. Odd. I should probably blog more often (HA!) on the things that happen. Oh well.

April was the month that kicked off the travels for this year. I spent a weekend in Budapest, doing nothing just roaming around the city. I stayed in a 5 star hotel in downtown. Never stayed in a fancy place like that before, and I wanted to try it out. Definitely not my thing, and did get the strange looks from the employees there as I stubmled in in a leather jacket and a military backpack on my back. I probably looked like a hobo. But I had fun and that’s what counts.

May was the month of PHPDay and travelling to Verona with Vranac. I just realised I didn’t blog about it. Well, fuck. We met there some crazy awesome developer dudes from Croatia *waves hi to Luka , Miro and Ivan *. Got to meet Jouzas and Stefan, and be mentored by Patrick, Derick and Rasmus on creating PHP extensions. I even got to get a “You are correct” from Rasmus for a sentence I managed to mutter out. I was giggling like a girl for days after that.

On our way back to Novi Sad, we stopped in Ljubljana to grab lunch with Masa and Swizec. First time meeting them in person, lovely people.

June was a month of work and celebrating one year of Hex!

July was the month of Exit festival in Novi Sad, where I played a host for Swizec, hopefully a good one, as he was staying over at my place. Couple days after the festival, we popped in his car, bought some gas, and of we were to Ljubljana. I stayed there for a couple of days, completely touristy visit, with me roaming around this gorgeous town with a proper paper map in my hands. Bought my first longboard there and found myself in love with a non-geek hobby for the first time in my life. I’d never thought I’ll say this, but sports are fun! Longboarding, at least.

August was spent with me longboarding around Novi Sad. Work and beers were also characteristic for that month.

September started with me going to a mountainboarding event, as a spectator only. I ended up going down this hill. And falling. Twice. I also made a total of over a hundred kilometers longboarding.

In October Jouzas was in Novi Sad for a couple of days. Vranac and I did our best to make his stay enjoyable. Hope we succeeded at that. I ended up shaving my head, whilst having a severe hangover, and making a mohawk. Fun times!

November was the month of Webcamp Zagreb and us travelling to, obviously, Zagreb. And again, I didn’t blog about it. Miro will kill me next time he sees me. The conference was a total success, very well done, even though it was planned and organized in under two months! Eagerly awaiting next year’s event.

After Zagreb I hopped over to Ljubljana (by now you must have realised I’m sorta-kinda in love with that town), where I stayed for a week and worked from the local hackerspace Hekovnik. The rainy weather sucked a bit, and I was hoping I’d get to longboard more, but the one session on Trzin with Swizec was quite enjoyable. I even managed to do my first mini Coleman slide. Hooray!

December was nothing special, just your regular, hard working (or hardly working?) month.

A couple of things I’m not satisfied from the past year is that I didn’t contribute to OSS much and didn’t really learn new things. I also read lot less books than I thought I did - merely some ten-ish books. I’ll just blame “A Dance With Dragons” for that as it took me two or three months to finish it.

As for 2013, there’s no reason really for it to be any less awesomer than 2012. Need to fix and fine tune a couple of things about me, get rid of some bad habits, continue fixing some mistakes from the past and try to be even better to my fellow humans.

Happy New Year and Happy Hackin’!

Tags: about, hex, life, longboard, random, travel.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.

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One hundred kilometers

by Robert Basic on September 06, 2012.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

One hundred and two kilometers, and three hundred-ish meters, to be precise. I just got home from my latest “run”, and that is the total number of kilometers I made (and tracked) on my longboard since I got it back in July. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, but if someone would have told me 2-3 months ago, that I would do this much physical activity and actually like it and enjoy it, I would probably tell it’s just crazy talk. Me, getting up my arse from the chair and doing something outside? No way, dude.

Yes way, dude!

Getting into this longboarding thing is the bestest thing that happened to me in a while. Appart from it being healthy, making me feel awesome after a nice long ride, it also helps me clear my mind after a long day in the office. It’s just me, the board and the road. And it’s super fun! No, really, it is! You should try it. If you don’t trust me, ask Swizec, he’ll tell you the same.

The board itself is great, although the bearings are making some strange noise so I’ll probably change them soon. I’ll need to buy knee and elbow pads too, because this past weekend I had a nice little fall resulting in scratches and general pain on most of my body, so just to be prepared for the next time I decide to go downhilling. Lucky I had my helmet and sliding gloves on. Always wear a helmet. Always.

Now, onwards to the next milestone - one thousand kilometers. Until then,

Happy hackin’ and happy ridin’!

Tags: fun, longboard, longboarding.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.

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Ljubljana, Slovenia

by Robert Basic on July 23, 2012.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Last week I was on a vacation for a couple of weeks, and decided to spend a couple of days in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana. The fact that Swizec was on his way home with a car then (he’s from Ljubljana, mind you), made the decision easy. Thus, on the 18th of July, I woke up early in the morning, and by 7AM was off on the road for the trip.

The highway to Ljubljana was rather empty and it took us some 5-ish hours to get there from Belgrade. Swizec is a rather good driver, if we omit the fact that he almost drove through the Slovenian customs without stopping. Luckily, no cavity searches were conducted on us as the result of this little… bug.

I first checked in the Hostel Celica (hostelcelica.com), which is an old army prison redone as a hostel. It is located some 5 minutes from the bus and train stations and is surounded by “Metelkova”. Metelkova constists from a couple of streets with houses and warehouses completely reworked to be of service to the Ljubljanian youth and alternative/underground scene, full of cool graffiti and young people. At least that’s how I saw it. I planned to take pictures of all the graffiti, but somehow forgot about it. It would also probably taken me an entire day, there’s just so many of them! Anyway, the hostel is nice (this was my first stay in a hostel), it’s 28 euros per night and you get free wifi and breakfast. They have rooms with 2, 3, or 4 beds, but the beds are kinda small, even for me (I’m 180cm tall), but don’t forget it’s an old prison after all! The people working there are nice and ready to help, so I can’t say anything but praises about the place.

Later on we went to pick up Ponywithhiccups, went to grab some tasty dinner and enjoyed the view of Ljubljana from Nebotičnik’s 12th floor. The day ended with some drinks at the Green Rabbit - pri Zelenem Zajcu - and pancakes at some place where they mixed up our orders but got tasty nomz after all.

On the second day I got up early and got some time to walk around Ljubljana alone, like a real tourist, with a map in my hand, taking random pictures and just going around. The downtown of the city is rather small, so I was done with the sightseeing in about 60 minutes, so I went to Bikofe to wait for Swizec and to have some tea. When he finally! showed up, we had more tea and went to do the most important thing in these 3 days - to buy me a longboard! And so we did. I even managed to get me a nice 30% discount which saved me some 60 euros on the board, the helmet and the gloves. Awesome!

The day continued with a nice lunch and more tea, so we have enough strength for our next task - climbing up Ljubljanski Grad, which is an old castle overseeing the entire city and much of the region. Went through some museums, longboarded in the castle yard and climbed the tower. From up there, Neboticnik looked like a dwarf.

Once we climbed down, and after we had dinner, we ran into dude_dh and went to chill by the river. After that we joined up with the guys and girls longboarding at Kongrejsc, the main square in Ljubljana. The people were nice and friendly once again, sharing tips with me how to stay alive on the longboard, how to brake properly and how to control and/or avoid the speed wobbles. The night ended with me just cruising back to the hostel.

The third day was travel-back-home-day, so I woke up early (again!) and caught the 8:15AM train back to Belgrade. Some 12 hours later I was back home in Novi Sad, ready to pass out in the bed.

All in all, a very fun 3 days, spent with good friends and nice people. Can’t wait for my next trip to Slovenia.

P.S.: Have a look at some pictures.

Tags: ljubljana, longboard, roadtrip, slovenia, vacation.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.

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