A Logical BMX Step. A New Project

Dean Cueson Lawnmower

Today I am proud to announce a new venture that will be launching in the very near future. This website will be a combination of a past project and entirely new focus for BMX media.

What’s in the Cookie Jar?

The project will launch in August and will focus on people and their opinions and views on topics in an uncontrolled, raw, and unfiltered scenario. How they’re perceived is based on how they react. I will not allow anything or anybody to dictate their views on the subjects covered. If they feel comfortable discussing a certain subject, it is up to them to filter themselves.

Video content will be a key platform for growth with the new venture. HangupTV which has not been active for over three years has almost 700,000 views on a mere 7 videos, this to me is incredible statistics and it is something we can improve upon with the right content and people.

I have a number of people involved already who will be contributing opinion pieces and interviews.

Mark Webb and Troy Hayward

HangupTV will be the source of video content. I will capitalise on the YouTube channels success and integrate this as a main feature of the website. Opinions will be exactly that; if someone in the BMX industry or an established pro has something to say about the state of BMX culture or economy they are welcome to submit an article or counter article to the website and if it is of a high quality we will publish it.

Interviews will be a key promotion of this website. We want Pros, those who vanished, and those who make decisions to have a voice.

Dean Cueson Lawnmower

Logic BMX

I and my team aim to launch LogicBMX.com in August. We hope you will join us on this adventure.

You will see more content with people like Dean Cueson and with a lot of hard work, we will see Logic BMX become one of the pinnacle BMX media sites for those who want engaging and entertaining content.

The Great Video Debate

Passport to vlogging

I’ve been one of the most critical people of vlogging in the past, but in recent years I’ve come to love the medium as a form of learning and entertainment. To me, a successful vlog needs to be put together well, have character, interesting topics and content with good flow.

So why title this entry as “The Great Video Debate”? It all stems down to what I’ve said above, I’ve become a fan of vlogs, I follow many entrepreneurs, tech, and camera vlogs and they present a new unique view on life and everything around us. I’ve been debating whether to partake in vlogging during my upcoming travels. I’m not a huge fan of presenting myself on camera; as I’m not what you’d call an entertainer. I’d consider myself a voice of reason in the background, a coach, and someone who helps people understand their potential. I am usually the guy people come to for help and advice on things. That’s why recently when I became that person it was very hard for me.

Passport to vlogging

This will be the route to the beginning of vlogging

What content will you produce?

If I were to take on this role, what content would I produce? Well firstly, travel and adventure is something I would love to portray. Day to day activities consist of work and some form of a social or unsociable act and when I’m at home I am waiting for the next day; this clearly wouldn’t be interesting content. Another avenue that I could essentially re-visit is BMX. I ride with a lot of characters and some great people. I’d love to document these people once again like I used too, but with a more relaxed and non-filtered vibe.  I have also thought about doing little vlogs about the restaurants I visit, why? because I like to go to quirky and well-reviewed restaurants (no Nandos vlogs here).

What camera will you use?

Now the ultimate question is, how on earth am I going to shoot vlogs without owning a camera? This is the tricky part in my mind. Looking around the internet at it seems the most highly praised vlog cameras are the Sony a7s and a7r. The affordability of both of these cameras right now is a big no no. Spending over £2,000 on a camera and lens for vlogging is not going to happen. I understand I’d use it for a lot more, but it is such a large expense when I no longer earn money from filming. My obvious choice would be to utilise the camera on my iPhone 7+. I’ve filmed BMX clips with my phone and the quality has come out excellent, add that to the fact it has built in image stabilisation and 4K 30fps recording. It would be foolish to not give it a try.

 

How To Use Discord with Consoles PS4/XBOX & PC with One Micophone – Astro A40 TR Example

Optical Audio Connections

If you are like me and you love using Discord to chat to your friends but find the lack of console support an issue video aims to help. I will teach you how to use one headset with both your PC and your console.

Optical Audio Connections

Firstly we will need a headset that has an optical and a USB connection. In this example, I will be using the Astro A40 TR’s. To start with you’ll need to connect the supplied optical cable to the input at the back of the mixamp and the other to your PlayStation. Once you have achieved this you will need to head to your settings, click sound and screen, and change the audio output to optical. For more information on this click this link to see Astro’s setup video.

PC Mode

Hold power button for PC mode

Next, we will plug the USB cable into your computer and the mixamp. Once you have plugged in your USB cable, click and hold the power button on your Astro Mixamp for until the lights turn completely white. This signals that you are in PC mode.

Discord Microphone Settings

Set your Discord microphone settings

Now head to discord, click settings and click voice.  Change the input device to your Mixamp. You will also need to set your output, for now, I will leave this as default. Now your Astro A40s are picked up through discord, but audio is not transferred to your headset. To fix this, you will need a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable that you will need to plug into your speaker output on your PC and then into the 3.5mm AUX jack on the Astro A40 TR Mixamp.

3.5mm to 3.5mm Cables for Audio

3.5mm to 3.5mm Cables are used for PC Audio

Now head back to the voice settings in Discord and change the output to your speaker port, by default this is usually “Speakers (Realtek)”.

Set Discord Output Settings

Now set Discord output settings

And there you have it, you can now use Discord for communication and the PlayStation for gaming at the same time.

Video Tutorial

The Great Realisation

The Great Realisation

People are creatures of habit. They cling to things they know and repeat their mistakes over and over. I’ve only come to realise this recently and it is why I am on a desperate voyage to reprogram my train of thought and reactions to situations

I see people walk into the same mistakes over and over. I am no exception to this. People crave attention, they beg for acceptance and to feel wanted when they’re at their lowest form. This leads to brash decisions and repeating the same mistakes that put you into that situation.

Today was another prime example of that when seeking closure I saw someone who was once very close to me become exactly that, a creature of habit and attention. Repeating a past mistake to feel something in an attempt to get over a situation.

One thing people need to understand is that you do NOT need attention. Please take my advice and do not repeat your mistakes.

What Makes a Good Employee Quit?

Why Good Employees Quit

Why People Quit

We live in an ever demanding time. We work more and earn less, our everyday essentials keep rising in price and we are under more and more pressure to deliver targets, exceed expectations in and out of the work environment. So what makes someone quit?

Bad management

I can’t stress enough that I have quit jobs in the past due to poor leadership and unwillingness to adapt. I have worked with companies that refuse to adopt new processes or technology due to up front costs, infrastructure issues, and being unsupportive in the roles that you are hired to fulfil.

A good manager can turn any mundane task into an exciting and fulfilling experience. When your manager is constantly hounding at you demanding results without any form of gratification for the hours you are putting in after work, on weekends, and in the mornings before you’ve even had breakfast, it can really take its toll on you and push any confidence you have in your abilities out the door.

Supporting your staff is crucial! I’ve worked with hundreds of people who feel underappreciated and treated like dirt. So much that they refuse to work overtime ever again because a simple thank you was never received for putting in the extra hours over busy periods which resulted in no monetary compensation. A manager must support their staff and praise them for everything they do right. Why treat your staff like a disposable object? The more you disrespect your workforce the sooner you’ll panic when you turn up and they’re gone. A great mentor and line manager I once had taught me an important lesson in life. You have to manage people into the job, not out of it. People are prone to making mistakes and no one is perfect. Spotting an error and then lashing out as if it has destroyed a business is not going to work, a solution would be to approach your staff an mention politely that you spotted an error while reviewing work and make notes of how it can be improved, or in some cases, if that manager is trained and has a clear vision for this project that hasn’t quite aligned, rather than sit on it and wait over the weekend for it to worsen a situation, they could fix it there and then and mention it on Monday morning.

A manager must support their staff and praise them for everything they do right. Why treat your staff like a disposable object? The more you disrespect your workforce the sooner you’ll panic when you turn up and they’re gone. I once had a great mentor and line manager that taught me an important lesson in life. You have to manage people into a job, not out of it. People are prone to making mistakes and no one is perfect. Spotting an error and then lashing out as if it has destroyed a business is not going to work, a solution would be to approach your staff and mention politely that you spotted an error while reviewing work and make notes of how it can be improved on or, in some cases, if that manager is trained and has a clear vision for this project that hasn’t quite aligned, rather than sit on it and wait over the weekend for it to worsen a situation, they could fix it there and then, then mention it on Monday morning.

Advice – Take it

I have always been an advocate for taking on the opinions and advice of those around you. If you hire someone as an assistant or someone in an influential position whose actions have an effect on how a company performs you should listen. Times change, technology advances, and techniques have to be adapted. Algorithms are constantly adjusted to create a fair and equal internet. So managers, if you’ve hired a specialist in a field or someone to assist you; LISTEN TO THEM! It’s so infuriating to see a manager stuck in their ways and fail to listen to logic because what they’ve achieved so far has kept them afloat. You hire people to improve business, to ease the stress on other workers, and to advance new ideas and techniques.

A post shared by Chris (@chriswilmshurst) on

What are the first signs of bad management?

On your first day, your boss calls you in for an introduction and congratulates you once again on joining the team. Once you’ve gone through all the basics you begin to talk about what the future will hold and what your job will consist of. Here you’ll be promised all sorts of toys and support. Fast forward one week later, you’re stuck with the most basic underperforming equipment and you’re left with no clear direction on what you’re meant to be doing. This sounds extreme and unlikely, right? Guess what? This happened to me! I was in a job for almost two years without my own computer or desk to call my own. Now, I do not wish to cry foul about this manager. He was, in fact, a very good managing director who gave extremely good advice and guided me in a business sector I was unfamiliar with, the only issue is he didn’t understand the role he hired me for and finances were not entirely under his control. The thought of spending £1000 on a camera for filming projects was out of the question in the eyes of the finance department, so this caused me so many issues. Self-funding my own job became the norm and thus became a financial drain on myself in a very underpaid position.

So what did I do? I spent months searching for a new job which suited my skill set and desired wage. Throughout this time I was the black swan at work. The business model was dying, the staff didn’t understand social media, and there was an overwhelming resistance to change and adopting these platforms. It wasn’t until I found my current job that as soon as I met the owners I took the job on the spot once we agreed on a wage.

Why Good Employees Quit
Are You Suffering From Bad Management?

Want some advice? If you’re being treated like dirt and you don’t feel appreciated all I can stress is that you speak out and explain how you’re feeling to your manager. If your manager truly has your best interest at heart (which he should as your performance affects his profits) he/she will take action and try to resolve the issues. If nothing improves within a  few weeks my advice would be to walk out and quit. You are a qualified hard working individual who comes to work every day to make a difference.

I can’t express that happiness at work is the utmost importing thing that matters if you’re doing something for a living. Fuck money if it makes you miserable. I would rather get by and be happy than being comfortable and numb. I’ve seen so many people destroyed by misery at work including myself.

Obsession: Sam Hamer

Obsession Sam Hamer

What made me post this old gem? I was checking analytics and SEO business and while searching the rankings this popped up.

I filmed this as a university (college + university degree) project for “online content” at the time I was already established in online media working for Vital BMX, but I wanted to branch out and try something different. I approached Sam Hamer who is a close friend of mine who I’ve known for many years about shooting a short skateboarding documentary on him. Looking back on this I was extremely proud when I finished it, but now I can point out everything that’s wrong with the oddly placed answers to the overly loud background music.

There is something so satisfying about reliving and looking back on the past. You can see how you’ve progressed and how you learnt to fix things. You can apply these skills to everything in life.

Needless to say, I think I may start producing more of these in the future if I  ever pick up a camera again. It fascinates me to shadow people and get a story on their lives and their obsessions.

If you think this would be a good idea let me know? Who would you want to see something like this shot with? Should I bring back the short “Obsession” series?

Obsession: Sam Hamer from Chris Wilmshurst on Vimeo.

Movimiento es Vida

Rainbow Bridge Tokyo

“Movimiento es Vida” – A simple Spanish saying that translates to “movement is life” this is something my friend told me and it hit home hard. We are not supposed to stay in the same place our entire lives. Movement and adventure enrich our lives and because of this, we cannot allow ourselves to become stale and complacent being in the same space for too long.

Movement is something I’ve seriously lacked in the past four years. I have failed on numerous attempts to bite the bullet and drop £80+ on renewing my passport. This prevented me from stepping out into the world and escaping England. Honestly, my own tightness and unwillingness did this. I was of the opinion that £80 could have been better spent on new camera gear, new computer equipment, on a good meal, or put fuel in my car for another month. Pretty much any excuse under the sun to avoid shelling out money. Over a month ago I said, fuck it! I’m getting it sorted and I’m going to travel, I’m going to experience these places I’ve always wanted to visit but avoided doing anything about it.

Paris, France

I’m determined to make up for all those lost years I failed to take advantage of and travel to another country. I have a list of countries and a plan to visit them over the course of the next 18 months. I once made a promise to someone that we’d go to Paris. I still intend to keep that promise with or without that person. It is somewhere that I have been on numerous occasions, visited the sights, Disney Land and Christmas shopping. It may be considered expensive and nothing special by some, but I enjoy the history and places it has to offer.

Rainbow Bridge Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan is one place I’ve always wanted to visit and after looking at flights and hotel costs along with consultation from friends who have been it is very affordable. Eight nights in Tokyo is definitely on the cards for a period between December and February. This will all rely on whether I can maintain my strict saving habit. Being such a huge fan of Asian food, culture, and even a little bit of Anime it is quite honestly one place I’ve always dreamt about visiting and if I could speak Japanese I’d probably move there.

Seoul, South Korea

Another place I have on my bucket list is South Korea. As a lover of cheesy Korean dramas, the food, and culture it is a no-brainer that I’d want to visit Seoul and marvel at all the technological wonders it offers. This will be a scary place to go on my own as ideally, I would love to experience this with a partner, but part of any movement is having the courage to go to places on your own.

Dubrovnik

I also wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones fan if I didn’t visit Kings Landing itself which is in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. A weekend will be enough for me as I’ve heard that since the release of Game of Thrones it has become quite expensive.

This will become an expensive 18 months, but my finances have become under control, I’m no longer spending excessive amounts on fuel every week. Saving has become a strong factor in my goals I am aiming to achieve and this will go a long way. Cut out the crap, sell things I no longer need, only spend when absolutely necessary and make the most of the freedoms I have. And all of these places I will document and take hundreds of photos to share. My blog will become the one stop shop for me to describe and present my experiences with you. I hope you’ll pop by when that happens.

 

Relections

My BMX

How do you look at yourself knowing you’ve become something you dislike? How do you face up to the underlying fact that you weren’t the person you first spoke of, that your kindness deteriorated, your passion and love withered away with each passing moment? Then your own reflection becomes something that you can’t stand.

This is something I’ve been battling with for the past month and further sparked by a heartbreaking and humiliating discovery. I have been a horrible person I was untrusting, stubborn, and aggressive, I also allowed this to completely alter my mood and weight.

My BMX

My diet plan

Over the past three years my perception of happiness was challenged and altered when I met the person I thought I’d marry, I adapted, I cancelled out, and attempted to shape my life around this person. Doing so resulted in less passion for things I loved doing growing up, changes of careers, investing in a different culture, and even putting on far too much weight in the process.
These changes of circumstance contributed to a decline in happiness.
When I gained weight my mood changed, I felt shit about myself, I felt shit around others and I relayed that onto other people. This was evident by the lack of time I would spend with others, I was rarely seen amongst my friends and when I saw my girlfriend at the time I was lazy, I didn’t want to do anything and I was a complete introvert.

It has taken a break up to smack me in the face. I’m one month into an aggressive diet, I’m riding my bike multiple times a week, and I am losing a lot of weight. I know this is the case as people are complimenting the fact that my physical appearance has changed and is reminiscent of my late teens, I’m becoming muscular and slimmer again.

These positive effects in my physique are also transferring to my mentality. Yes, I’ve had some shit discoveries and news today’s but it hasn’t overly knocked me back. I’m confident, I know I’m not ugly, I’m charming, funny, and generous, I have a lot to give to someone who has as much to give back.

So what is my diet? Well, it’s very extreme. I have been eating a bare minimum. Two bananas for lunch and a small tin of soup for dinner. I top this off with 3L of water a day and it has been a challenge. I have had the odd cheat day where I’ve had a packet of crisps or in the case of Topokki, a small meal. This may be considered excessive, but it is helping me greatly.

Here is a before photo and a current progress shot.

Before my diet started

Before starting my diet


Current diet progress

Three weeks into my diet, noticeable changes to my physique

Positive Steps

Without the people I call friends in my life, I wouldn’t be here. They are truly some of the most remarkable people I’ve met. None of them are perfect and some even have had similar experiences, but they are the reason I’m still smiling and pushing forward. I’m full of self-determination (SD) it has been a driving force and love behind everything I’ve undertaking over this month.

If you are new to this blog I noted in my first post that I now have savings, this is something I have never had. I have a game plan, a passport, a list of destinations I am going to visit and what I want to achieve over the next few years.
Writing and music have become my ultimate pass time. I was never a good writer and I did not do too well at high school in my GCSE’S, in fact, I’d quite honestly say I failed. Grammar and spelling are something that I’ve been battling myself with and challenging myself to understand much further as I’ve got older. If it wasn’t for Kyle Carlson at Vital BMX giving me grammar lessons and pointing out mistakes and teaching me about such things as the Oxford comma this blog would be ten times worse than it is now.

Music is also a strong glue that’s held me together. In the past when I had suffered a serious breakup, I’d retreat to my room and listen to extremely depressing music, but now I listen to positive music, music with a strong message of self-determination, ambitions, and goals. It’s these strongly worded songs that keep positivity at the forefront of my mentality.

I want to leave you with a list of songs I’ve listened too that may seem depressing, but have been driving forces in pursuing my goals.

Logic – Feel Good

John Legend – Love me Now

Flume – Say it like that (illenium remix)

Topokki – A little Taste of Korea

Amongst a flurry of Chinese restaurants in Birmingham lies a small but quirky Korean restaurant. I was first introduced to Topokki several years ago and it instantly became one of my favourite places to dine, so much so that I’d happily drive one hour to Birmingham just to sit down for a good meal.

Topokki’s decor is littered with cultural references
Atmosphere is something that can make or break a restaurant experience for me, upon entering you’re greeted by smiling staff who promptly ask how many are in your party and if you’ve booked a reservation, if you haven’t booked they’ll do their best to seat you, even if this means sitting at a table normally meant for six people. For some, this may be a problem, but for me, this isn’t a problem. I’d happily sit with strangers as social interaction is something I enjoy but do not partake in enough, so I welcome this as it would make for a richer dining experience.  As you look around the restaurant you’ll notice people of all ages, sexes, and ethnicities all happily interacting and enjoying the food presented to them. It isn’t a loud restaurant and by no means quiet, it’s somewhere where you can go have a serious chat or kick back and enjoy good food with good people. They offer a variety of traditional Korean dishes and their own special dishes which tantalise taste buds, and offer lovers of spice something new and interesting to try.

Topokki kiosk
Before we talk about the food we should really talk about the service and the restaurant itself. Unlike most dining experiences in and around the Chinese quarter of Birmingham, Topokki skips the traditional decor and combines a rustic, up-cycle feel with plain walls and artwork with cultural references. You have standard wooden table and chairs and chopsticks, forks and spoons are within arms reach. The room is lit by stylish lamps that hang from the ceiling.

Having been multiple times, I can safely say that the staff are all friendly, polite, and very knowledgeable about each and every dish they serve. I once sat beside a couple who were first timers at the restaurant and new to Korean food, the manager personally spent 10 to 15 minutes explaining various dishes. He went into detail about the ingredients, the level of spice, even down to what utensils would be best to use. The level of care and knowledge in the food and service is exactly what keeps bringing me back.

So back to the reason I was at Topokki. Over the past few weeks, I’ve picked Dean Cueson up whenever we have decided to go riding and one day he, unfortunately, left his debit card at home. So, me being the good friend that I am picked up his tab. As a token of he appreciated he offered to pay for dinner one day, so I suggested Topokki. Lucky for me it also happened to be a favourite of his too.

Now onto the food! I am a big fan of Asian cuisine and I swear on my personal view that Pho is the greatest dish ever created. I love East Asian food so much that I plan to travel to South Korea this year for the Seoul purpose (see what I did there?) of eating food. I opted for Jeyuk BokkEum – a spicy fried pork dish with vegetables, and rice. The presentation was excellent, a dome of rice was presented in front of me with my spicy pork besides it and a small dollop of mixed leafed salad. Simple, but very appealing in my eyes. The pork was tender, juicy and had no lack of flavour, the spices were the right temperature, not overwhelming, but also not mild. Portion sizes are not overly gracious, if you have a large appetite it might be worth ordering a side like I did, but for the price you are paying at £7.50for this dish is a steal and you’re getting a good amount for what you pay.

Jeyuk BokkEum
Now onto my second dish, which I shall class as a side. When placing my order I remembered eating an incredible dish of spicy and juicy chicken, but my memory wasn’t with me that day so I asked the young waitress who was serving us if she could help joggle my memory by poorly describing it to her. In the end, she pointed me in the direction of a side dish of sweet and spicy chicken breasts. I can tell you now, I would have married that girl right there if I could have. Her recommendation was incredibly tasty! The only way I can describe the chicken was Juicy, tender, sweet, spicy, and oh so good. It might be the best chicken I have eaten and it was at that point that I felt like I should have ordered more, but unfortunately for me, it would interfere with the strict diet I am currently enduring (more on that in a future post).

Topokki’s chicken is heavenly
But Chris, what about drinks? On a normal day, I’d have a bottle of Asahi with my meal, there is something about that beer I love, it goes down so well and has a slight wheat taste to it. However, on this occasion, I decided to go for refillable green tea, something only few restaurant offer. One thing to note is if you are only planning to have one cup of green tea, £1.60 might seem a little steep, but for those who enjoy the drink and have room for more than one cup, you’ll be happy with the refillable option.

So what do I think of Topokki? I think it is pretty obvious that I hold this place in such high regards. From the incredibly helpful and friendly staff, the food, the atmosphere, and the price I believe that it is a must-visit restaurant. Oh, before I sign off it is worth mentioning that they also serve sushi Tuesday to Sunday that is freshly prepared by a specialist sushi chef.

Topokki Sushi
Restaurant Info
Topokki,
1C Hurst St,
Birmingham,
B5 4TD

Telephone
0121 666 7200


Opening Hours
Monday – Friday 12:00 to 22:00
Saturday – 12:00 to 23:00
Sunday – 12:00 to 9:00

Website
http://www.topokki.info

Worcester Isn’t So Bad

Worcester isn't so bad?

One of the great things about the iPhone 7+ is the camera, I’ve found since owning it that I’ve been excited to take photos far more than I did with my 6. It makes taking photographs easy with its great picture quality, acceptable low light performance and the incredible, yet sometimes flawed “portrait mode”.

So whenever the sun is shining, friends gather, or we take the dogs for a walk I have to make sure I take as many photos as I can. Here are some photos from one trip down the River Severn with friends. I hope you enjoy them.

River Severn PathwayBicycle along River SevernLela Pug Cross BreedRiver SevernDiglisThomas / SkateboarderDiglis DocksDiglis DocksJenOvergrown