http://billystyle.com

My Job

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My job is neat. This week I taught a Swiss friend his first flip on a wakeboard. Just tonight I discussed good music with a Russian dude I just met a couple days ago, and have been watching him improve on a wakeboard. Good times, good times.

Week of Worlds at The Wakeboard Camp

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The WWA World Championships are this week in Orlando. That means that this is a crazy week at work. Crazy awesome though.

So just today, I coached in the morning. I had one of three boats. I had a family of a father and two sons. They all improved and started to figure out proper jumping position, so that was cool. Also riding on the lake was Ben Greenwood and his crew of riders competing in the tournament. Kurt Robertson and his buddies were out there as well getting tuned up for the competition.

Here is a list of moves I witnessed today, just when I was nearby. Pete Rose (Marcos Torres and Ben Greenwood), 720s (Bob Sichel and Ben Greenwood), backside 540 (Paulie Koch), and many other great moves. There’s even a 13 year old girl doing switch 540s, both heelside and toeside. Yeah.

If you don’t know what any of this means, come to Florida and I’ll teach ya! Life is pretty good here. I even got to ride and did me a roast beef tantrum. Woo!

Blueberries

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The title has nothing to do with this post, it was just the first word that came into my brain when the cursor was blinking in the Title field.

Opening Thoughts

Just a bit ago when I went to write this post, I found that all of my sites were down, hosted by the same company. I checked their own site and it was also down. Everything was back up a couple of minutes later, but I managed to do some calculations during that time. They guarantee 99.9% up time, which gives them a little under 9 hours per year of down time. That’s a bit shy of an hour per month, which they have gone nowhere near. So well done BlueHost, well done. I still like you.

Wakeboarding

Life is good, as it has been ever since I moved to Florida. Here are some fun things that happened this week. I landed a tantrum to blind with an indy grab for the first time. That’s a fun one. I have ridden with plenty of good friends this week, and during one set I tried a double flip for the first time ever. That scared the snot out of me, which was really fun. Here’s the video: (It’s poor quality, but here is the link to the high quality version.)

Then today, I went riding with my friends Ben Greenwood and Trevor Hansen. After that, we came home and Trevor took a look at the video above there.

Trevor is, to date, the only person to land the move I tried, a double back roll, on a normal wake, as in not using a double up. (I’ll put the video below) He gave me a thumbs up and proceeded to coach me and break down the video to help encourage me to try it again and land the thing. That was pretty awesome in itself! I just tried the move on a whim, and now I feel motivated to land a double invert on a wakeboard. I mean come on, I have been coached by the only person in the world who has done it wake to wake. That’s awesome.

Here’s the aforementioned video:

Sorry, the video can’t be embedded on here. That’s something about online videos that bugs me, not allowing people to put them on their site, but whatever, that’s for another time. Check it out on Trevor’s blog here: Trevor’s Double Back Roll.

Nice huh? Yeah, he’s good. So is Ben. He landed a lot of different 720s today and a couple 900s.

Non-Wakeboarding

I get thoughts from time to time of what to blog about. I usually forget those by the time I sit back down at this desk. I’m okay with that, but perhaps I should try to work on fixing my retention method. So all I really have right now is this link for you:

Go Away: Hilarious email conversations between a talented graphic artist and people who have crossed him. The top post is a great place to start reading.

The Butt Cut 2010

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Well I suppose it’s finally time for the tale of my Earth Day 2010 butt laceration incident. It was a lovely Thursday here in Florida and just so happened to be Earth Day. I went to McCormick’s Cable Park with some co-workers and our Swedish contingent who were in their last of 4 weeks with us. There were a lot of people at the cable, so I took a few laps, got warmed up, crashed on something I don’t remember now, then got back in line. The line took a good 20 minutes to get through, so when I got going again, I didn’t want to fall. That plays a part in the story. You can click the pictures for bigger versions.

Rainbow Rail

Bec on the rail. The red circle is where the collision took place.

For those of you who aren’t aware, a cable park is a place where us wakeboarders are pulled around a lake in a circle by a mechanism that runs along a cable strung tightly up about 30 feet above the water. It lets us ride without a boat and practice fun things like sliding across solid objects, known as rails and kickers.

So on lap 1 of my second ride that day, I hit the rainbow rail (shaped in an arch, just like a rainbow) and misjudged it, so I jumped off to the side of the rail where the rope could pull me back toward the rail. I was riding on the water, and felt the rope trying to pull me back into the rail. I knew I should let go, but not wanting to get back in line, I decided I should try to avoid the inevitable collision with said rail.

Bad decision.

With less than 10 feet of rail remaining, I got pulled right into it and was flung around to where I got pretty disoriented for a minute and had a few painful spots all over my body, namely my elbows and my buttocks. The water was murky, so I couldn’t see the damage. All I knew was that my butt felt the same as my left arm, which just had a medium size raspberry on it, so I didn’t panic.

After swimming to the shore, I noticed my shorts were ripped open pretty nicely, so I pulled them back and saw quite a bit of raw Billy butt flesh. I couldn’t see it too well because of my life jacket, but I decided to get to the office quickly so I could get some first aid action on it quickly.

Rainbow Close Up

Close up of what cut me. That small angled gap acted like a knife.

Once outside the office I took my jacket off and had a good look at the damage, it was pretty significant. Jesse, the girl I had paid to ride for the day, was sitting outside, and I let her see the wound. She got pretty wide-eyed, then told me how to get to the nearby hospital.

I wasn’t in much pain, and needed to get my belongings, so I took the walk (maybe 100 yards) back to my stuff. Still only minor pain, so I proceeded to show off my fresh gash to all the people I knew. I warned them all that it was very gory and they shouldn’t see it if they easily get sick. The reaction was the same from most people: very wide eyes, some expletive, and disbelief. We took pictures and all that good stuff, then I drove myself to the hospital with Cassie, the daughter of my boss who had just cut her foot open on a bike earlier that day.

At the hospital, I was in the unfortunate position of having a few guys standing behind me looking at my exposed backside making comments. Once the internal stitches and surface staples were in, those guys standing there looking at my butt made remarks such as “That looks real nice.” That was a bit odd.

Anyway, I’m all healed up now and I literally have a bad ass scar. Pun intended! We had a fun staple removing mini party at my house and I even got to take one of them out myself. Thanks to Ben for providing the proper tool and my nurses Kathy and Allison.

Okay, now that it’s all said and done, here is the link to some very graphic pictures of the butt. I haven’t put them in this post because of how gross they are. Enjoy! Warning: Very graphic butt laceration pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Crash-A-Rama

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This wasn’t intended to be all about one event, but it ended up that way!

So it’s a new year and I’m averaging one post every 18 days! Yeah! Since last post, I went to the greatest redneck event I’ve ever been to: Crash-A-Rama. Yes, I too feel it should be Crash-O-Rama, but oh well, what are ya gonna do? It took place on Black Friday, and was a million times better than shopping.

My local friend Brittany invited me, so I took a Greek friend, Nick, and a French friend, Jerome, to see what real redneck-white-trash looks like and to see the benefits of their genius. The event took place in a town called Bithlo, FL. It was at the speedway, which had a paved track that I figure is a half mile oval, and all dirt in the middle. Maybe there was grass, but it was all dirt by the end. We got the seats where the real fans go and even had to sign a waiver to get into those seats. Here’s what went down:

  • Oval race with demolition derby type of cars and much contact.
  • Pusher cars – One car isn’t running, its partner car pushes it, and a third car tries to separate the two.
  • Skid cars – Front wheel drive and skid plates instead of tires on the back.
  • Small demolition derby.
  • Boat trailer race – Trucks and cars towing boats and trailers. Last running guy towing something wins.
  • Camper trailer race – Same as above, but with camper trailers.
  • Figure 8 school bus race.
  • The Green Mamba.

I’m sure I missed some, but oh man, it was so awesome. There was a big truck called Fordzilla that was just exploding boats and camper trailers. He was doing it right, going fast and hitting everything he could. The school bus race was incredible. The race started with almost 20 school buses, some were full size with lights flashing, stop signs out, and all the bells & whistles. The first few laps are spent waiting to see the buses get spread out enough to possibly collide in the middle. And on the first chance of a collision came the best one of the night. The 2nd place bus and the last place bus hit and it flipped the 2nd place bus entirely over, landing nice and hard on its wheels!

There was so much awesomeness that I just can’t cover it all in here. Here is a link to a video of the bus race. Hopefully you can see that on Facebook.

The Green Mamba was this jet engine that pretty much had only a seat and four wheels attached to it. They brought it out and lit that exhaust ablaze. Behind the Mamba was one of those airport shuttle buses. The bus wasn’t there very long. It turned into a huge black plume of smoke that may still be floating up somewhere over the Atlantic.

It was an awesome, very cold, night of breathing in smoke, oil fumes, dirt, and all kinds of burnt metal and cheering with Florida’s finest camouflage-clad rednecks. Can’t wait to go back!

Splinter

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Well, here tis, the long awaited butt splinter story. Be warned, this is a huge essay. At 1,429 words, it’s more than twice the length of any paper I wrote in college. Good luck.

How it Happened

Camp HoopEarly this summer, the basketball hoop in the driveway of my workplace got resurrected. I, of course, was very excited about it. I started shooting around on it a lot, and as anybody who has seen me play basketball knows, I have a hard time keeping my feet down on the ground. I was jumping around, putting the ball through the hoop in an aggressive manner while touching the goal so I could feel the texture of the metal hoop. Yes, dunking. Anyway, somebody threw me a great alley-oop, I grabbed it and performed a nifty little dunk. On the way down, I bumped into/slid down the support of the hoop, which happens to be a 6×6 un-sanded wood beam. I put this picture up to give you an idea of said hoop.

I noticed some pain, so I looked at my shorts. They had been punctured by a pretty good sized splinter. I gave it a good tug and it came out after some struggle. There was no blood that I could see, so I figured that was all the damage and that I just felt some pain from slamming into a 90 degree wood edge.

The Discovery

Hours later at home in the evening time, I noticed the pain hadn’t receded as much as I figured it should. I dropped trou in the bathroom and took a look at my right butt cheek. Sure enough, there was the tip of what looked like a thick splinter. I got the tweezers out, grabbed hold of the tip and pulled it out. It was a little chunk of wood about a quarter inch long and maybe the thickness of two toothpicks.

That was pretty awesome. I figured with the size of the earlier splinter and the one I just removed from myself, that there could surely be no more in there. Although, when pushing around on my cheek to feel if there was more in there, I noticed a line of firmer feeling tissue straight in past the entry point. To help ease your mind, the hole in my cheek was small and clean, nothing gory. I thought that maybe the firmer feeling area was puss already forming to push out the splinter or something or maybe a smaller piece had been pushed deeper into the cheek. Either way, I figured I’d wait it out since there seemed to be nothing I could do about it.

The Festering

Luckily, the placement of the injury to my right butt cheek was in a great spot. It didn’t hurt at all when I sat down or during normal activities. It did hurt when anything pushed against it though, which happened quite a bit when I’d crash while wakeboarding, or while getting sexually harassed by my female coworkers. This started to get annoying, and I wasn’t noticing any changes to my injury, except that the entry point never bled and hadn’t closed up. Yes, I had two holes in my butt at this point. The joke possibilities from here on out just become endless.

About a week after I got the wound, I had a 24 hour drive up to Quebec there in French Canada land. I have pretty basic medical insurance and I’m also pretty fascinated by how the human body takes care of itself, so I didn’t worry too much about seeking professional help. I figured something would work out and it was time to hit the road!

The drive was fine, there was no pain even from sitting for many many hours. A few days into my week long stay in Canada, the story began to take a fun, gross turn.

Warning: This is where the story gets a bit ugly for those of you with weak stomachs.

During showers, I routinely pushed from the back of the swollen line to the entry point to try to encourage whatever was in there to come out. One shower in Canada finally produced something. Not a splinter, but some pretty awesome white thick puss. I got pretty excited because I had began to think I may have to live with this for the rest of my life. Now I had a sign that my second butthole may one day close up!

Back in the USA

After a few days, the puss was followed by blood, and I could get a pretty good crop of goo about once a day. My Canada trip ended, and I flew back to Florida. The first shower I took when I got home was one of the most exciting times I’ve ever had while being naked by myself (I chose my words carefully to let your mind do things you don’t want it to do).

The previous couple of times I pushed on my cheek, I noticed the production of goo had slowed down. I hoped this meant that the wood inside was getting closer to emerging. Sure enough, in this first shower back, I was pushing away and I saw something dark and brown peeking out of the hole in my butt! I grabbed the tweezers and pulled another splinter out pretty much identical to the original one from a couple weeks earlier. I was hollering and laughing and screaming aloud in merriment. I was so excited to finally have it come to an end!

I set the splinter on the bathroom counter top, and went back to sliding my thumb along the entry line to make sure it was all out. Just a few slides into that one, another splinter of the same size came sliding out, no tweezers needed! This was awesome, it barely hurt, and more wood than I imagined was leaving my body. So I kept repeating the process. I tweezed the next one and after that one more slid out just from my thumb’s pressure.

By now I was kind of getting cramped up a little from twisting to focus on that part of my body and had been in the shower for a while. I pushed more and got no more results. That was a lot more wood than I ever imagined was in there. I was relieved and had a great story to tell, complete with evidence.

Later that Night

That evening, my co-workers were all gathered at a house hanging out. I joined in and socialized for a while, telling people about my story and having good times. About an hour after I got there, I found that the hole I was digging at earlier in the day was making it really uncomfortable to sit. This hadn’t happened before, so I was a bit concerned. I took off and went straight to my bathroom again. I was in a hurry to figure this out, so I just hopped up to the sink and pulled my pants down enough to see what was up.

I didn’t even need to push this time, I saw a good sized splinter tip ready to evacuate. So I grabbed the tweezers again and began pulling. Now, I’ve never had any nasal surgery, but I’ve seen those things they shove up in the nose after a deviated septum surgery, and I’ve heard about how it feels when they finally get pulled out. This wasn’t quite that awesome, but closer to that than I would’ve guessed. I began sliding and it went quite a bit longer than the others. I started hollering “Yeah! Whoa!” and out came a piece that was about 1 1/4 inches long. Part of it was much thicker than the others, maybe as thick as three of them bundled together.

I felt pretty relieved and that pain was gone.

The Aftermath

Days later, I kept pushing on the splinter path and nothing was coming out. No puss, blood, or wood. The pain was all gone, and I figured it was all over. Now that it’s been about 5 months, I can safely say it’s all out of me. The hole closed up pretty quickly after that last mega splinter came out, and is now just a little dot to remind me of the fun times.

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment! I didn’t keep the original one that came out, so all in all, there was a total of about four inches of wood in my butt. Don’t worry, I wasn’t into it, I’m still into the ladies.

Splinters in HandSize Compared to Pocket KnifeLength of Splinters

YouTube Fools

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Go to YouTube and watch a video, good times! They’ve got a link to take it out of April Fool’s mode. I think you may also be able to get the same effect at any time if you add “&flip=1” after the address of any YouTube video. Awesome, I love April Fool’s Day online. I’ll try to update with more sites as I find them.

Update: This only worked on April 1, 2009.