Archive for the life Category

Shooting the curl in landlocked Alabama

Posted in 80s, high school, life, nostalgia, personal, pop culture, vacations with tags , , on July 29, 2016 by Paxton

Surf Alabama

My buddy Shawn over at Branded posted an article talking about his “skate” phase where he discussed the fashion and the gear he coveted during his early days of embracing “skate culture”.  It’s interesting how similar that was to many of our own experiences at that age.  But there was another phase that was very similar to the “skater” phase that included some of the same clothes, but the philosophies were vastly different.  I’m talking about the “surfer culture”.  Which is what I wholeheartedly embraced from late elementary school through high school (and even a little bit now).

How did I come about embracing surfer culture while living my formative years in landlocked Birmingham, AL?  Well, starting in 2nd grade, I became a competitive swimmer.  So I loved being in the water.  Also, my family, throughout the 80s, would travel every summer to Sunset Beach, just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC.  So I would constantly have my surfer tendencies refreshed in a beach town filled with surf shops festooned with giant shark heads and neon ocean waves with names like Wings, Bargain Beachwear and Eagles.

wings-store Bargain Beachwear

For me, it wasn’t just the look, which was a big part of it, but the entire philosophy of surfing which suited me well.  Even in elementary school, I was very laid back and took life as it came.  I grew my hair a little longer than everyone else.  It was this lifestyle that spoke to me in many ways.  So I embraced the fashion and culture in a hardcore way for many years.

TandC_Shirts

Shawn mentioned T&C skate shirts.  This is where there is some overlap.  I also wore T&C shirts, but I wore the ones with the surf designs.  This was, hands down, my favorite shirt brand.  They had cool and interesting characters and a huge variety of designs.  I had several group shirts like Da Boys, but the one I remember most is the “Hard Core Detective Stories” shirt with the “usual suspects” type lineup.  And I had it on a BRIGHT yellow shirt, of course.  I coveted a few of the T&C solo character tees as well.  Especially any of the shirts with the tiki guys like “Shark Repellent” and “Surf Sacrifice”.

surfshirts

There were other shirts besides T&C that I wore as well. Two other brands I really liked were Panama Jack and Ocean Pacific.  I realize now looking at all these pictures that my favorite type of shirt was clearly the character picture on the back of the shirt with the small logo on the front left breast.  T&C was that style too.  For some reason, I just LOVED having a cool surf image on the back of my shirt with a small brand logo on the front.  My brother and I had matching purple Panama Jack shirts.  I really need to find a picture of that.

Sun Britches

What would I wear with my surf shirts? I would accept nothing less than Sun Britches board shorts. In my eyes there was no other swimsuit worthy of covering my delicates. These were true surf shorts and they were pretty popular even at our community pool in Birmingham, AL. The bright colors with the colorful rainbow stripes on the thighs, button snap, velcro fly and the blue/white sun and water label on the outside back so everyone can see how cool you are. I LOVED THESE SHORTS.  Still do.  I think some of the shorts used a shoe string tie instead of the button snap, which was also kind of cool.  The only drawback I can think of was that the velcro fly tended to be very dangerous if you were not careful.  If you know what I mean (and I think that you do).

So while I couldn’t really get a surfboard and showcase that around the neighborhood, the next best thing, for me, was a BMX bike.  Like Shawn, I liked skate boards, but I was terrible at them.  Plus, it felt like if you rode a skateboard, you HAD to know how to do tricks.  But if you rode a BMX bike, it didn’t feel like it was also necessary that you know how to hop up and down on one wheel or ride around on your seat backwards. You could just ride. And look awesomely cool.  And my ride was an early 80s Huffy Pro Thunder.

huffyprothunderP3_blowup2

This is almost exactly what my bike looked like (photo via BMXMuseum.com).  Silver with the red highlights.  Obviously the first thing I did was to remove the chain guard (chain guards are for cowards).  Next I removed all of the pads and reflectors making the bike as dangerous to ride as possible.  Eventually I would get a BMX number attached to the handle crossbar.  I loved that bike and rode it EVERYWHERE.  Unlike Shawn’s ride, this one didn’t come with the awesome mag wheels.  It had spokes, which I didn’t mind.  But some of my friends had mag wheels and I really loved them.  I eventually wanted to put them on my Huffy, but it never happened.

I’m not entirely sure what happened to my bike.  I assume it was sold away in a garage sale for a price not even half its actual worth.  I do still have some of my surf shirts squirreled away somewhere.  I’ll have to find them.  Speaking of, I couldn’t find any specific personal pictures of myself with any of these items.  I’m still ransacking my house to see where they are.  When I find them, I’ll post some stuff up.  I’m pretty sure I have pics of my shirts and/or shorts, but I’m not sure a picture of my actual bike exists.  But I hope it does.

Thanks, Shawn for sending me down nostalgia lane to find a picture of my old bike which sent me spiraling into memories of Sun Britches and Ocean Pacific.  It was a lot of fun.

 

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The Disney Goofy Challenge is here.

Posted in life, personal, running with tags , , , on January 9, 2015 by Paxton

Walt-Disney-World-Marathon-Weekend2015

Well, TGIF everyone.  By the time you are reading this, I should be off traveling to Orlando to participate in Disney’s Marathon Weekend 2015. The Disney Marathon is a huge deal where tens of thousands of people come from all over the world to Walt Disney World (and Disney Land) to compete. There are several different races run, one each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The race I’m doing is called The Goofy Race & and a Half Challenge.

goofy challenge

It involves a half marathon on Saturday morning and then the full marathon on Sunday morning.  I was actually going to do the Dopey Challenge which involves all three races that weekend; a 10k on Friday, the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday, but it was sold out back in June when I signed up so I had to go for the Goofy.

The courses are pretty cool, you run through the parks early in the morning, starting and finishing at Epcot.  There are character stops along the way where you can get pictures with Disney characters.  Plus, like I said, you’re running through the parks so it should be a pretty awesome course.

I officially started training back in September.  I’ve done a few back-to-back 10mi/20mi runs on consecutive days, so I hope I’m ready.  I don’t plan on busting any personal bests I just want to finish and have fun.  I’m very much looking forward to this.  Next week, I’ll let everyone know how it goes.

Running the Jacksonville Bank Marathon as Darth Vader

Posted in exercise, life, running with tags , , on January 18, 2012 by Paxton

In Dec 2010 I ran my first marathon. It was the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. I wanted to do something special so I ran it as The Flash.  Well, I wore the Flash insignia on my shirt.  My friend Mike ran it as Superman.  Take a look.

So when I decided to run the marathon again in 2011, I wanted to again do something different. I decided to run as Darth Vader.  I’ve talked about this decision several times on the Nerd Lunch Podcast, so I thought I’d share with you guys how we made the Vader costume and also made it “run friendly”.

First step, I bought a Darth Vader costume shirt.  You can pretty much pick them up anywhere.  This is an easy way to get the majority of the costume in one fell swoop.  Plus, this is easier than attaching a bunch of crap to a black shirt.  Especially when you will be running 26+ miles in said shirt + crap.

Vader costume shirt

I then asked my wife who is an incredible seamstress to make me a mini-cape.  My inspiration for this mini-cape came from a Superman costume shirt on Superherohype.com.

So, to begin, Steph got a yard of black matte fabric.
cape 1

She then cut it into two rectangles with her rotary cutter.  Next she sliced off the edges to make it taper outwards at the bottom.
cape 2

Steph ironed down the edges to make it easier to hem.
cape 3

Then she actually hemmed down the edges.
cape 4

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Looking back at my elementary school sticker collection

Posted in 80s, collecting, Ghostbusters, Michael Jackson, movies, pop culture, stickers with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2011 by Paxton

Shawn over at Branded in the 80s has a great feature called Peel Here that showcases his amazing 80s sticker collection.  I was cleaning up my garage a while ago and found my own sticker collection in one of the boxes.  It was complete with even some extra pages full of stickers stuck inside, plus my collection of bumper stickers and tons of my old Garbage Pail Kids.

So, in the tradition of Shawn’s Peel Here I thought you’d like to take a look inside a mid-1980s elementary school sticker collection.  It could be awesome, it could be totally embarrassing.  Today I’ll look at the main sticker collection.  Later I’ll take a look at my collection of bumper stickers and finally I’ll go through a bunch of the Garbage Pail Kids.

So, without further to do, let’s see the types of stickers I liked to collect in elementary school. You can click all these images to see them bigger in Flickr.

Sticker album cover
Here’s the cover of my sticker album. I honestly can’t remember where I got this sticker binder.  It was probably a gift from my mom or my grandmother.  I covered up it’s puffy, purple-ness with badass, macho Mr T stickers.  The Mr T stickers are pretty awesome.  They feature Mr T doing manly things like bending a steel pipe with his bare hands and lifting up a f**king semi over his head.  But, for some reason, they are…puffy stickers.  Puffy stickers were the girly cousin of regular stickers.  Mr T puffy stickers are like painting a Corvette pink.  WTF?  If you ask me, the makers of those stickers are sending mixed messages to kids.

I don’t remember what the giant white ripped sticker on the cover was before I tore it off.  I apparently changed my mind about liking that particular sticker.  I was a fickle elementary school child.  The faded white stickers with the green border under all that mess were for Mr B’s delicatessen.  It was located in Independence, KS and owned by my aunt and uncle.

Let’s look inside this awesome tome of sticker archeology.  First up is a separate page (front and back) of stickers I had shoved into the binder.
Sticker Page 6a Sticker Page 6b
These are not a part of the actual sticker album. I think I acquired them separately in a trade.  They mostly consist of “scratch and sniff” stickers.  You can see candy apples in the right hand page and cinnamon rolls and bumble bees in the left hand page.  Okay, these pages are slightly embarrassing.  Not exactly the type of stickers I remember liking.  “Scratch and sniff” stickers of cinnamon rolls and candy apples are about as manly as pink fluffy toilet seat covers.  That is to say, not very.

The yellow “Cheap Thrills” sticker and the white Putt-Putt sticker in the right hand page are mine.  Cheap Thrills was a “mom and pop” record store a friend of the family owned in Birmingham, AL.  The sticker was a price sticker used on LPs.  We had huge rolls of these stickers at home.  I remember putting them on nearly every surface in the house.  Lightswitch covers, walls, furniture, pets.  They were EVERYWHERE.

The Putt-Putt in which I obtained the white sticker was located in Hoover just off Hwy-31.  It turned into a Krispy Kreme a few years later, but I think even that is closed now.  The sticker appears to be a 1 free game coupon.  I must have got a hole-in-one.  I wonder why I never used it.
Sticker Album Page 1a Sticker Album Page 1b
Here’s the front and back of the first page in the sticker album. It’s actually not a page, but a clear plastic case that would hold the actual page. I don’t know what happened to the page.  However, I needed the real estate so I started putting stickers all over it.  My favorites of this group are probably all the McDonaldLand stickers.  In the center and in the corners on the left as well as the corners on the right.  You’ll see forgotten characters like The Professor, The Captain, The Fry Guys,  and Officer Big Mac.  As well as stalwarts The Hamburglar, Birdie the Early Bird and Grimace.  If I’m not mistaken, the Reese’s Pieces sticker on the right page is from a group of ET stickers.  I’m not too happy with the hearts behind them, though.

Sticker Page 2a Sticker page 2b
Okay, here are the actual first pages of the sticker album.  We start off with some Michael Jackson puffy stickers.  I loved MJ so you’ll see a bunch of those (and of course, these are puffy).  There is also an Orko (puffy!) on the left and two Ghostbusters stickers under that.  The red and white “Mi” sticker is from a company my dad worked for, Motion Industries.  The black and gold Racing Team sticker is taken from a remote control Smokey and the Bandit Firebird.  You can see the top and bottom stickers from the Rubik Missing Link puzzle.  On the right you can see a bunch of generic 80s “exclamation” stickers.  Good Show! Fantastic! Dynamite! Super!  I have no idea where those came from.  Or the giant ice cream cone (the hell?).  The two rectangle stickers in the upper right came from the Cracked Monster Party magazine.  The tennis ball stickers came from my parents.  They were avid tennis players when I was growing up.

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Holy crap, I just ran a marathon!

Posted in exercise, life, movies, running with tags , , , , on December 22, 2010 by Paxton

So, I ran my first marathon on Sunday. It was the culmination of many, many months of preparation and training. I officially signed up for and started training for this race back in May, so I’m glad that it’s all over now and I can say that I have now run a full marathon (26.2 miles). And I am even happy with my time; 5 hours and 10 minutes.  The marathon was not as soul crushing and hard as I expected, but that’s not to say it was easy.  I think the key for me was running the actual race with a buddy.  My friend Mike and I ran the race together and provided each other with much needed distracting conversations and encouragement especially in the later miles (20+).

The marathon I ran was part of a larger group of races called The Tri-2B Tuff Challenge.

The Tri-2B Tuff Challenge consists of three distance races in three months.  You can either do three half marathons or two half marathons and a full marathon.  I did the latter.

The first race was the Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon on Oct 2. Mike and I mistakenly believed that race started at 8am so we showed up ready to run at 7:30am. However, when we showed up people were dismantling the starting line. After asking around we discovered that the race actually started at 7am. Undaunted, we backed our butts up to the dismantled starting line, started our watches and ran the race anyway. It took a while, but we wound up catching up with some of the stragglers and finishing the race anyway.

The second race was the Outback Steakhouse Distance Classic Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. We double checked the starting time for that race and showed up early so we started with the official clock. This race was awesome. I enjoyed the course and it was actually fun to run it.

The last race was the Jacksonville Bank Marathon (or you could run the half marathon) on Dec 19 (this past Sunday).  Finish those three races and you win the Tri-2B Tough Challenge.  I’m glad I did it.  Since I was training for the marathon anyway the two half marathons in Oct and Nov kept me from slacking off too much on training.

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There will be an heir to my AWESOMENESS!!

Posted in life, personal with tags , , on April 23, 2010 by Paxton

I’ve not mentioned this on the blog yet because I didn’t want to jinx anything but my wife is pregnant.  She is right at 19 weeks along and we went to the doctor yesterday and found out what we are having.

sonogram

We are having an AWESOME baby boy! Yay! Since it’s a boy, we already have the name picked out (we were undecided on a girl’s name). The little boy will not only be born with my awesome looks and sense of humor, but my awesome name as well. Paxton Ted Holley, Jr. We’ll call him PJ for short.  So never fear, the total collective bad ass awesomeness I currently carry on my shoulders will be passed on to my first male heir, PJ.  Hope the little guy can handle it.

So we are now having a boy.  You want to see the first thing I bought after finding out?

AWESOME shirt

Are you surprised?  I couldn’t NOT get it.  You know?

So that’s my kick ass news.  I am uber excited right now.  I can’t wait for this kid to get here.

Line Rage: Waiting in line at Subway

Posted in fast food, humor, life, Subway with tags , , , on September 3, 2009 by Paxton

Subway store

So, I didn’t bring my lunch and I decide to go to Subway. If any of you have ever stood in line at a fast food place, you will understand the term LINE RAGE. Witness the phenomenon in action.

______________________

I open the door, enter the Subway restaurant and quickly assess the line “situation”.  Ahh, good, only 3 people in front of me this should go very quickly.

–10 minutes later

WTF is taking so long, lady?  LETS. GO.  Are you having a conversation with the “sandwich artist”?  Are they your long lost relative?  I DON’T F’N CARE! ORDER. YOUR. SANDWICH.

–5 more minutes later

Finally, I think this chick is wrapping up her order.  It’s a good thing because I almost had to go “Michael Douglas in Falling Down” up in this place.  How the hell does a veggie delight take so damn long to order?  Anyway, this guy is up next.  Hopefully he’s efficient and ready…..wait, oh crap.  Dude has a bluetooth headset in his ear.  He’s also wearing a button down shirt and khakis.  NO! NO! NO!  I may have an “office orderer” on my hands.  Dude, DO NOT reach in your pocket and grab a list!  He’s reaching in his pocket.  Man, you better be pulling out your wallet or a picture of your grandmother because if you pull out a list of sandwiches I’m gonna be all over you like a fat kid on cake………………….He did it.  He pulled out his list.  I’m sorry my friend, but today is a good day to die.

Die

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