Back in the70’s when I was a kid growing up in Minneapolis MN we were hard pressed to find any sort of football. I’m talking proper football, not the incredible boring NFL type football. Yes there was the park and rec. in-house Edina soccer association, a bunch of scrub kids chasing a ball around once a week over summer break. To find real football the stuff of World Cup glory and European titles was, except for PBS Sunday showing of Soccer Made in Germany, impossible.
My first taste of Proper football was in 1976 when the Minnesota kicks came to town. I was hooked and as a 16 year-old and I was a season ticket holder. Yeah I went for the game not the tailgate party, though they were fun too. I drank in the sport. I was short skinny and not a very good athlete but I loved to play the game.
In the summer of 1977 or 78 someone got their hands on the official FIFA movie Heading for glory the story of the 1974 world cup game in West Germany. After watching the video I fell in love with the German National Team and Johan Cruyff.
Cruyff stole my imagination. I sucked at the game, I still do, but I love how Cruyff played the game so fluid so graceful yet so cunning. I tried and tried to emulate what I saw on that VHS tape. His first touch perfect, his vision of the field perfect. In my teenage head I would pretend I was Cruyff, until of course, I tripped over the ball doing his signature move and reality crashed down on top of me as I hit the floor. While I could never come close to making Cruyff’s moves mine I did adopt his number, #14. Even today when I kick around in the backyard in my old man head I see myself as Cruyff #14 and all.
Yesterday I tweeted how 2015 was not a bad year but also not a great year. The big disappointment, for me, was the lack of motivation. Other than work I had nothing I needed to do. Yes I have dreams and of course a huge remodeling project that is sitting, along with my dreams unrealized. It is time for change. In 2016 I want to focus on two main projects.
The first project I want to tackle has been sticking in the back of my mind since I was a teenager. I have always been interested in film and photography. Unfortunately I have only dabbled in creating content. This year I want to learn to tell stories, not just my own story but the stories of all the amazing people I meet every day. The medium I will use is primarily video posting content on my You Tube and Vimeo channels. The challenge I face is overcoming any self conscience self doubt about my ability to express myself creatively.
The second big project I will be tackling this year is to make a some headway in my ongoing remodeling project. It seems that I am very good at tearing things down but not so good at putting them back together. My plan is to do most if not all the work myself, yeah be a master of DIY. However like my video projects I do not have the confidence to knock-off such a big project. Hence the reason it has taken me five years to do nothing.
2016 is the year where I throw caution to the wind and look into the abyss of self doubt and overcome fear. It is time to jump head first into projects put off for far to long.
Today starts the fall soccer season and as I have been, on and off, for the past 30 years I will be documenting the teams season. Being an uber amateur with no budget always brings challenges to the filming process. If you have ever shot video you know that sports stadiums present crazy challenges. The challenges are compounded when you shoot at night. Last year I found a product Neat Video which made a huge difference in the quality of the end product.
This morning while setting up my equipment I ran across some car footage I shot on a road trip to Colorado. I did not have the setting on my Canon FX300 set correctly and the image was unusable due to the image noise. just for fun I ran a few shots through Neat Video and wow amazing. The before and after shots are from about 2 minutes of tinkering and I keep shaking my head at the huge save this little program provides us, I have no clue, amateurs.
Last Saturday I tagged along with the crew from Further Performance to Fargo ND. It was our first trip to Volkswagens In the Valley put on by the Red River VW Club. It was a fun little show with around 100 plus cars, mostly air-cooled. There is something about low keyed gatherings that I really enjoy. While we all like to show off our builds there is something to be said about hanging with people who share your passion without being overly competitive.
The plan for the day was to start early from Further Performance and make the four hour drive from Minneapolis to Fargo ND. Five cars in total: My two cars the Golf R and the MK3 GTI along with three cars representing the shop. Tristan was in the Scirocco, Alex in the Karmann Ghia and Mike in his MK5 R32. It would not be a proper road trip if something does not go according to plan. True to form my friend Matt came down sick and was not able to drive the GTI so we left the GTI behind. Surprisingly that was the extent of the days drama.
The phrase a road less traveled describes Tristan and his approach to road trips. Avoid the interstate taking instead the forgotten highways and back roads of central Minnesota. No record speeds between points instead opting for slightly less than the published limits. Endless fields of corn, freight trains hauling their black gold to refineries far to the east and small town America never made a boring moment. It was a refreshing way to travel considering for the past 25 years I have flown back and forth over the exact parts without ever seeing the country on a personal level.
Much of the VW scene I have been exposed to is the hyper competitive build it bigger and better than the other guy. The scene at the Volkswagens in the Valley was laid back. People like me who enjoy their VW’s for the smell, sounds and feel of the vehicle. Sure there were some amazing builds but they did not scream out I’m better than you. Instead we all enjoyed the time and passion it takes to build a car, any car, and keep them running just because it makes you smile.
VWs In the Valley will definitely be on my 2016 calendar.