So, why am I here. Good question.
I figure since nobody can take responsibility for their own actions, then why should I have to take any sort of responsibility either? So, I’m squarely placing blame where blame needs to be placed.
A little history, that you’ve read before. When I got a yoyo in 1978, it didn’t go well. No help, no direction, no guidance. Throwing it DOWN(palm down), well, it wasn’t exactly coming back up no matter what I did.
So, in 2011, when I decided I needed something new to do, I chose the yoyo. Duncan was the brand, and I figured “how many companies could there be”. Well, I was so beyond wrong on just about everything, but that’s fine, we all have to learn. A trip to the toy store, a few inexpensive purchases to limit possible losses(in case I decide I don’t like this) and on May 12th, I was throwing, thanks to the directions on the back of the Duncan Reflex packaging. Throwing with success, although granted, a clutch yoyo, it was doing SOME of the work. I even did my first “mod”, which was to not double-wrap the transaxle so it would sleep longer and the clutch was in effect useless. But that won’t last long and I was already researching more.
The problem was that the more I researched the more confused I became. Ball bearings, lube, axle types, shapes. I knew of the Imperial and butterfly, but what the heck? In 30 years, yoyo went all high tech. This was NOT a simple toy anymore. Then only good thing was I knew I needed help, and the internet was a good place to start.
But in short, why I am I here? I found the YoYoExpert tutorial videos. I found them by finding the YYE web site. I saw the Dark Magic.
So, I guess it’s quite clear. In case you haven’t figured out, this is all André Boulay’s fault.
Yes, I blame the force behind YYE for all of this. 100%.
I blame him for making a nice looking yoyo. I blame him for making me want to buy one, and hence I blame him for me actually buying it. I blame him for my learning of new tricks, since I use the tutorial videos he helped produce.
But what about the forum? I blame him for that too. It’s his fault he provided it. It’s his fault that there’s useful information here, provided by other users. I blame him for my signing up so I could ask questions and participate in discussions.
Not only is André Boulay guilty of corrupting me, he’s guilty of corrupting 3 of my 4 kids as well. They are currently using yoyos I bought from his web site. I also blame him for his signature yoyo, the Dark Magic II, being more than just a name. The very looks of that yoyo have brought my kids under it’s spell and have made them continually ask me for one of their own. I swear, these yoyos might be living up to their namesake!
Now that my kids have yoyos, I have to show them how to use them. I have to show them how to do tricks. I have to deal with their constant asking to get them a Dark Magic II. Curse you André Boulay for making me spend time with my kids! Have you ever spent time with my kids? Do you have something against me to subject me to this horror?
I must also blame André Boulay for the countless hours I have wasted on these objects. Up, down, up, down. When will it ever end? Why can’t I make it stop? I put it down, I have to pick it up again. I mess up, I wind it like a faithful servant and again, I throw the yoyo down and bring it back in an otherwise never ending cycle. Forward throw, breakaway. The only thing that breaks up the monotony is doing some sort of gesturing and string manipulation. Around the finger, under the finger, overpass, underpass, split bottom mount, land on the string, go around the string… This is potentially billable time. This is time I’ll never get back.
What about this whole store thing. Look at the selection. It just makes me want to buy more yoyos. The colors, the finishes, the colorways, the surfaces, the materials. But it’s not just yoyos. Strings wear out, I have to buy more strings. Bearings need lube, I need to buy lubricating oils. I gotta try different bearings. I need stuff to carry my yoyos around in. I need to buy replacement responses. Are you happy yet, Mr. André Boulay? Haven’t you done enough damage yet? Are you able to buy that Mercedes? Or maybe that helicopter? Or maybe that private island in the Bahamas? When will this cycle end?
Let’s not even get me started on the evil that is the IRC channel and the countless hours I have wasted being idle on there.
OK, all humor and sarcasm aside:
First, the reality is that if it wasn’t for the YYE store, the tutorial videos and of course the forum here, the odds are that I’ve have enjoyed my limited success and probably have been done with the whole yoyo thing.
First, I have to look at the knowledge base. Yoyos have changed a lots since 1978. I honestly had no clue about this. I just figured people just got a lot better at this stuff. But I’m not just talking about changes in technology either. The opening of the door to this whole niche market with specialty brands. This wasn’t just Duncan and Yomega, there’s a lot out there if you take the effort to look properly. Of course, you have to jump in somewhere and then take it in a bit at a time.
Second, is in regards to the tutorial videos specifically. I’m not going to comment about the production quality, but rather the information aspect. Talking about the mechanics of the yoyo in the maintenance section is an absolute must for anyone, especially for someone like me who didn’t have a clue how much things had changed… Breaking this down one bit at a time really makes this stuff easy to digest quickly, as the internet can otherwise be an information overload. I can say this with authority as I’ve been on the internet a lot since 1986, which is probably longer than many of the forum users here have been alive!
Third, again in regards to the tutorials, is the way things are presented. Granted, not everything has clicked for me, such as binding, but hey, we all learn differently and sometimes we have to go outside our normal avenues to find the information we need to make it happen. But, other than that, this have been great videos. It shows what kind of guy he is. This is definitely something that is best enjoyed and shared with others.
Fourth, the store. I can’t speak with any authority as far as “biggest section” or “best prices”. I will say everyone is pretty much at the same prices, but it does seem that this store has one of the largest selections of in-stock items. Also tied to the store is the customer service. I had an order held so I could get the item I wanted to arrive. I had an problem with shipping due to a postal screw-up and they shipped it right back to me. My most recent order, I got lucky in the fact that the item I wanted came in the preferred color that I wanted, so they helped append my order with the new item.
Fifth, the forum. There’s so many people on there who want to help, and myself included. In general, the community on there has been wonderful. The open sharing of knowledge and information has been a great place to learn. Even with the people sharing videos, it’s been great to see how some people are progressing. It’s kind of sad for me to see me being smoked by 12-year olds who have been doing this for 2 months, but hey, I’m still having fun and that’s all I care about.
Sixth, the IRC channel. While sometimes it roams way off topic and can be idle for hours at a time, well, anyone who has been around knows that’s the nature of IRC. It is nice to interact with people in real-time, even if it is through text exchange. Also, to IRC/chat room noobs: STICK AROUND more than a minute.
So, while I’m joking above, here’s the reality:
I want to thank you, André Boulay, for providing this environment and little chunk of the internet. I want to thank you for providing a welcoming place where anyone who is interested in the yoyo are welcomed and accepted.
I also want to thank YYE in general for my enjoyment of the yoyo. If it wasn’t for the information I’ve gotten from here, well, there’s no telling if I’d still be pressing forward with this. But, today, I barely leave the house without a yoyo in my pocket. I look forward to having whatever time I can to work on something new. I load videos I’ve downloaded into my iPhone so I can get my trick tutorials where-ever I am.
I am very grateful for choosing something that has been rewarding. Between the highs I get from doing sound for concerts and the crashes back into the depths of depression, the yoyo has been the one thing that has helped me keep the lows from being so low. Now that for me, concert season is over until January of next year, it’s important now more than ever that I have something that can really help keep me out of places I would prefer not to be. I love what I do for work, but sometimes, as many of us know, it’s not always enough.
Regardless if you’re just a casual thrower, a beginner, a former champ, a competitive player, a professional or just curious, at some level, don’t forget that this is supposed to be fun. At the same time, we’ve only got a finite amount of time on this planet, so we might as well make good use of our time by trying to engage in activities that we enjoy as often as possible.
So, I leave you with those thoughts as I leave you for a week. I will NOT be logginng into YYE or checking PM’s, I will most likely NOT be checking email and I sure hope I don’t have too many voicemails or phone calls. I won’t be idling on the chat rooms, or AIM or Yahoo IM either. I want to enjoy my vacation at Disneyland. It’s been a long, difficult year and I need my total escape from reality. I’ll have my Nintendo DS for the trip down when I’m not driving, and my DM2, Avalanche, Speeder 2 and Code 1 to occupy my time when I’m not at the park and not sleeping.
(note: Returned from vacation November 24, 3:15AM)
The only dark place I’m gonna be this next week is Tower of Terror, Space Mountain and portions of Matterhorn. Pirates of the Caribbean is closed for refurbs. Oh, and Haunted Mansion. I’ll love that ride!
If something needs my attention, I will have my phone. Text me. But seriously, who is going to need to text me or call me? I’m not a mod, I’m not an admin, I’m just another guy on the forum.
In the meantime, keep your bearings clean, your string fresh, your binds tight and play nice!
In closing, and all kidding and joking aside:
André Boulay, I thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and anyone else who comes by this web site. I am very lucky to have found the right site with the right resources and the right people. It’s changed something from what could have been just a fleeting interest into something much more, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Signing off for now. I shall be back!