Relax Out There: Top 5 Motocross Mistakes

There’s mistakes, and then there’s royal mistakes. If you don’t have the right motocross parts or dual sport riding gear at your disposal, then you’re bound to repeat some of the most common mistakes. Ever hear the term “rookie mistake?” Don’t overhear that phrase being used shortly after your name. These are the top 5 motocross mistakes that you can avoid with some due diligence:

  1. Supercharging

When you have parts on your bike that, frankly, don’t need to be there, (particularly when they’re too big for your model), you’re just asking for trouble. Get the right parts that fit your bike. Big and flash is all well and good, but function over style matters for your safety, and helps you look like a pro.

  1. Unbalanced

Motocross is specific; it’s not smooth like pavement, and balance is absolutely key. Maintaining your balance requires practice. Travelling at low speeds on an unpaved, sandy road can be one of the best ways to train yourself not to fall off.

  1. Throttle It, Clutch Tight

It’s the most common trick to get down—properly using your throttle and your clutch. There’s a term called “friction zone” that applies to those who master control over their bike when practicing motocross. The only way around this is constant practice, (and ensuring that your bike safety checks out).

  1. It’s Like Playing Guitar

Ever notice that great guitarists don’t look at the frets all the time when they play? Ever notice great motocross stars don’t look at their handles when they ride? Yes—there is a connection. Don’t get caught up worrying about your hands; keep your eyes ahead of you, and on your immediate environment, and you’ll do fine.

  1. Don’t Bare Bones It

Get the right gear. Those who think it’s “uncool” to talk about riding safety are the ones just doing it to showboat to their friends. Ever notice when someone gets in a scrape, you never hear, “I don’t know why you put a helmet on.”? That’s because having the right gear is always important, and never to be overlooked.

No matter what gear you’re sporting, or what your needs are, there’s only one spot to stop and shop— If we don’t’ have what you need, we’ll… well, let’s be honest—we definitely have what you need. You’ll never know if you don’t stop on by.

Why Organic Products Matter When it Comes to Your Baby

New parents want the best for their babies, which is why they often turn to baby lotions, creams and other products that promise it. But, many times, the companies that make these skin care items don’t actually intend to source the best. Sometimes, they don’t even know what it is.

Baby product ingredients on a bottle or jar shouldn’t be synthetic or harmful and still be referred to as “best for a baby.” Yet, that’s what’s happening. Organic and natural baby care products, on the other hand, really do have baby (and baby’s environment) in mind.

What’s In Non-Organic Baby Skin Care?

Non-organic baby skin care often contains artificially fragranced and colored petroleum gel, mineral oil, mineral gel and even detergent. It frequently has antibiotics and antiseptics in it, and sometimes it incorporates disinfectants like pure-chemical boric acid. All of these typically do one thing: entice a parent to combat fears of dirt, germs, rashes and other not-always-harmful things with a product that’s effective on the surface but actually too harsh for a little one’s body.

It Comes Down to Chemistry

If you’ve spent any time in a chemistry lab, you know that prolonged contact with the chemicals we’ve mentioned, even with an adult’s skin, is damaging. On a baby’s skin, which is new and not able to protect itself as well as a grown person’s, these ingredients can be even more toxic. The skin is our largest organ. It breathes and soaks up what we put on it like a sponge. If we load it with chemicals, it becomes clogged and poisoned, causing a myriad of health conditions.

Organic Skin Care Ingredients

With organic skin care for your baby, you have a safe and gentle product made with natural and safe ingredients, such as hydrating pure water, soothing plant oils, healing botanical essences and calming nut milks. Nothing is made with dangerous chemicals because it can’t be if it’s going to be called organic, and because it shouldn’t be.

Baby Mantra only makes organic baby skin care. We formulate all of our products with the intention of giving you something that’s gentle, safe, effective and enjoyable to use. That’s all you need and that’s all your baby needs.

Lovely Beards: Why Beeswax Is An Essential Beard Care Product

When you are looking for the right beard care products for your everyday needs and budget, Lovely Beards has you covered. Their organic beard oil and beard balm include top-notch ingredients such as beeswax. Beeswax can be the perfect supplement to ensure your hair grows evenly.

Beeswax Plays a Vital Role in the Health of Your Beard

When you are looking for organic beard balm, check out Lovely Beards balms that include beeswax. Beeswax in a balm can help your beard with hold and styling. The typical beard balm that includes beeswax will lock in moisture when combined with other natural ingredients.

Using a beard balm is the perfect supplement to your beard grooming routine. You do not need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to have a healthy beard. Products that you already have, including a trimmer and comb, can stimulate hair growth and even straighten your hair.

How to Find Products for Your Needs and Budget
Lovely Beards’ line of organic beard oils is perfect for any type of facial hair and skin type. The beard oils include ingredients such as Hempseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Jojoba Oil. You can easily use these products on a damp or dry face.

When you are growing your beard, make sure to be patient. Typically, facial hair needs at least five weeks to grow out. You will also want to make sure you know your facial type. This will help you pair your face with the right beard for growth. Washing your hair regularly will help your hair grow quicker.

When you need to have affordable and reliable beard care products, check out Lovely Beards’ line of balms and oils. They have excellent ingredients that can protect your facial hair from everyday wear and tear.

Check out

Hip Hop Pops: MC Red Cloud

Hip Hop Pops is a series of profiles highlighting fellas who’ve carved out careers in hip hop while raising a family.

See our first installment with Humble Beast Recording Artist, Propaganda here.

It used to be the case that parents and hip hop just didn’t mix; the regal Fresh Prince of Philly taught us as much.

Even today, some people wrongly assume the spirit of hip hop and the spirit of fatherhood are antithetical.  Hip Hop Pops prove that assumption wick, wick, wack!

Today, Big Brown Dad sits down with Red Cloud, a west coast rhyme maven with Native American and Mexican heritage.   Red Cloud has toured North America with his partner in rhyme, Crystle Lightning, as Lightning Cloud.  Lightning Cloud recently won Power 106 “Who’s Next? Battle for the Best,” beating out over 1,000 submissions from across the country.

Check their video profile here. 


Even more, Red Cloud is the current Guinness Book of World Record holder for the longest freestyle: 18 hours w/o stopping!

Read about his incredible accomplishment here and peep his training footage.


BBD: Tell us about your son.  Did you think about naming him after you?

I have a 5 year old boy (6 next month). His name’s Isaiah Hawthorne and he’s the love of my life! The kid is a genius. Extremely into monster trucks, dinosaurs, Plants Vs Zombies and football! I didn’t want to give him my government name – Henry belongs in the 1920s! But his middle is my hometown, so booya!


kisses > disses

What’s his favorite food?
My son loves grilled cheese, pizza and plain old bean and cheese burritos from Taco Bell, kinda like a lil baby stoner.

Eat Street > Beat Street

 How is your son most like you?
He’s very particular and can be a little obsessive compulsive and anxious when he doesn’t have control.  But he’s most like me when we are drawing – loves drawing and that’s one of my things.
What does he think about his Dad being a rapper?
He’s been to 3 of my shows and he loves it!! He’ll go up there on stage with me and Crystle and hand out CDs to the crowd for us! He’ll jump around and dance- he really likes it when he can go to his dad’s rap concerts!

microphone friends > microphone fiends

Who fathered your rhyme style? 
Shock G of Digital Underground and Brother J of XClan. I have two Dads… Is that a lil gay?

I’m Your Father, Red!


Man, I named your Red, BLACK AND GREEN Cloud! What happened?

Favorite TV Dad? 
Homer Simpson bro! Hands down!! Best TV dad ever!
Big Daddy Kane or Father MC?
Big Daddy Kane !!! Better MC, better discography  and better performer! Plus me and Crystle Lightning love doing “Very Special” when we go to karaoke!

Be sure to  follow Red Cloud & Crystle Lightning (Lightning Cloud) on Facebook.

Hip Hop Pops: Propaganda

Hip Hop Pops is a series of interviews profiling dads who’ve carved out careers in Hip Hop while raising a family.

Ed OG, in nineteenth hundred and ninety-first year of our Lord, said it best:

Some people wrongly assume the spirt and posture of hip hop is antithetical to the spirt and posture of fatherhood.  This series will prove that assumption wick, wick, wack.

First on the mic is  Humble Beast recording artist and San Gabriel Valley’s very own, Propaganda. He’s kicked rhymes from Cameroon to Cameron Park, and has helped pack out venues all across the country. His firebrand delivery and lyrical dexterity has proven him to be one of the dopest spitting out of the west coast.

Today, we’re chopping it up about our favorite hood, father hood.


Tell us about your daughter.

Luna’s 9, high energy and loves to laugh.  And she’s never, I repeat, NEVER at a loss of words. She’s passionate, affectionate and admires her mom.  She’s a music lover. If I were to predict, she will live out of a suitcase touring the world.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

What makes your relationship special?
We share a love for the arts. I’m her ‘step-dad’ but we don’t use that type of language in our home. We say ‘birth dad’ and ‘home dad.’ But there was a time when she called me her real dad and her birth dad step dad because it just made more sense to her like that.
What’s your favorite thing to do together?
We love to make-up songs.
 2014-09-28 17.48.24
What has she taught you?
She taught me to slow down. I have a way of not letting people finish their thought because “I know” what they are trying to say. She taught me that people need to know they are being heard.
What does she think about your hip hop career?
She doesn’t really know anything different.   But when I showed up on Pandora, it hit her that her Daddy was for real a professional artist.  She definitely enjoys the benefits and unique opportunities she gets. But my traveling is a little tuff for her.
 2014-07-13 18.04.31
Is there a song or verse on a song where you mention her?

Who would you say “fathered” your rap style?
Foundation Funkollective, Project Blowed and Native Tongues.
Who is your favorite TV dad?

This one is tough…maybe Hank Hill from King of the Hill. I think he’s the most dynamic in the sense that he learns and also stands his ground. He’s just doing his best to lead his family while maintaining his identity. Plus he’s funny.
Big Daddy Kane or Ol Dirty Bastard?
Kane for bars and moxie and ODB for confidence.

ODB purportedly has a fatherless style.

Download Propaganda’s entire catalog FOR FREE and stay connected with him via Instagram @prophiphop.



TWIMC: A Quickie

To Whom It May Concern:

First, all due propers for capitalizing on the name  Quickie.  In the spirit of the name, let me pump this out quickly.

I bought a Quickie.  It faded…you guessed it…quickly.

the straws that broke this donkey's back.

the straws that broke the donkey’s back.



An error at the factory, fa’sho.

But I’m hopeful that you might redeem my experience by replacing it with a version that best lives up to your company’s standards.


Carlos Aguilar


writing wrongs.

writing wrongs.


Coffee Battle: Jack in the Box vs McCafe

It’s 5:30 a.m,  the wife and kids are asleep and  in between tossing and turning all I can think about is the first cup of coffee filling my gullet.

eye need coffee, now.

eye need coffee, now.

But I can’t get up and make my own.  I’ll make too much noise.   The click, click, click of the stove and the  electro-whir of the grinder is reportedly, ‘…too damned loud right now.’  Reportedly.

So, where should I go for my fix of Joe?  I had two choices: Jack in the Box or McCafe?  Since I’m a baller, I decided on both.

Jack In The Box

As it happens, In N Out isn’t the only spot with an off-menu, menu.  At JITB, you can order the unlisted, discounted Senior’s Coffee for $.75 instead of the MSRP of $1.19.  And they (usually) don’t ask for ID!  And if they did, you can say (as some reportedly have) ‘…it’s for my Grandpa!’

My Grandpa put the G in Grandpa...b/c he thought Randpa sounded wack.

My Grandpa put the G in Grandpa…b/c he thought Randpa sounded wack.

Now, I drink my coffee black, Jack.  Adding sugar and cream is like drinking a pink, mixed-drink….at a club named Metro…while wearing skinny jeans, nahmean?  But a friend of a friend likes sugar and cream and to my, er, his, er, her chagrin, JITB refuses to add them directly into the coffee.  They’ll only hand you the packets.  Now that’s some ol’ un-American bullshit if I’ve ever heard it.

Sip.  Sip.  Swish. Spit.

Judge Judy ain't bout that life.

Judge Judy ain’t bout that life.

The Verdict:

I regret to inform you that this cup of coffee tastes like it was made at a Motel-8, biked over in the rain and then microwaved.  And I didn’t know microwaves had a lukewarm setting.  Keep your $ .75.  You might need it for later.


First things, first.  The McDonald’s drive-thru menu is a beauty to behold.  The colors, the images, the layout, the packaging…it’s mesmerizing…as if they’d spent millions and millions of dollars researching which layout compels us to spend more money [insert sarcmark here].

While the McCafe doesn’t offer a senior discount their Dollar Menu has fed more old folk than the local Elk’s Lodge.  Never mind Ronald McDonald House, the Dollar Menu was Ron’s  greatest gift to the world.

Strike that.  Putting cream and sugar directly into your coffee is Ron’s greatest gift to the world.

I grab the coffee, place it between my legs and drive-off while pumping my brakes intermittently.  Now this feels go000od.

I pull my first sip.  And then a second.  A third.  And then it hits me.

This is why they invented Starbucks!



Covina Eats: P&G Super Burger

Chris. Tommy. Jim. Victor. Manny.

Chris' sign is here rather than P&G because I have a disease called representationitis.

Chris’ sign is here rather than P&G because I have a disease called representationitis.

If you grew up in the San Gabriel Valley then your neighborhood had a local burger joint named after a fat uncle from Crete.

My gyro!

My gyro!

My approach to these greasy spoons (wait, that IS grease…right?) has always been to eat at the one nearest  you.  For us, that’s Covina’s P&G Super Burger on Citrus.

Now let me just come out and say it because I can’t restrain myself for much longer: these mofux straight charged me $.50 for a second 1 oz container of salsa.  My face turned redder than their watered down Tapatio.  I wouldn’t have been so upset if their salsa wasn’t so…damned…good!

With that said, the primary problem here is at the register. The women who know most about the menu knows least about the English--and that’s not a xenophobic, nativistic diss either.  It’s just the sober analysis of a former long-term substitute instructor for BUSD Adult Ed ESL  1-2 who had an impossible time adding bacon to a cheeseburger, nahmean.  I’d recreate a conversation below but I never know what in the hell any of them are saying–and that’s not a xenophobic, nativistic diss either.  It’s just the sober analysis of a former long-term substitute instructor for BUSD Adult Ed ESL  1-2 who had a hard time adding bacon to a cheeseburger, nahmean.

Peep game, I will not post pictures of their food.  You’ve seen a $3.00 hamburger before, right?  Same thang, right here.  Chili-fries, onion rings, pastrami…everything an artery needs to call it quits can be had here…or at Chris’, Victor’s, Jim’s…ad nauseum.

So, if you’re in the neighborhood and craving a burger….drive another two miles to IN N OUT on Grand.

Big Brown Dad





To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing to express my dissatisfaction with my recent purchase of Glad’s New and Improved Odor Shield Febreze Fresh Clean Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags 110 Count.


In my admittedly limited experience with Febreze, I’ve known it to be effective in neutralizing the odors of less than hygienic college students.

I smell the way I look the way I smell.

You can imagine my surprise then at the less than neutral odor emanating from these bags. They smell like wet, baby powder and cayenne pepper.

I hoped against hope that our household would become desensitized to the smell but alas, no luck. I still have over 100 bags left and I’m afraid they are of no use to us.  I’m planning on throwing these trash bags in a trash bag without even the slightest sense of irony.  But I paid nearly $20 for these bags!

I’m hopeful that you might redeem my experience by replacing this box with one of Glad’s more proven products. I’d be happy to share my impressions with the readers of my parenthood blog.

Thanks in advance,

Play Date: Covina’s Secret Park

Listen, I can’t tell you where exactly this park is located.  Nor can I tell you the name.

Edna Park wide

It’s a secret.

All I can tell you is that we stumbled across this pleasant patch of paradise while looking for a shortcut to downtown Starbucks.

I know, I’ve said too much already.

Like most parents, I’m looking for a park with decent shade and age-appropriate activities.  The trees line the westerly perimeter and provide great shade in the afternoon.   And the park is one of the few in the city rated for kids as young as 2.

This means you won’t have to spend every second hovering over your yungin’ as he attempts to scale the formidable obstacles like the Wall of Death at Hollenbeck Park or The Ladder of Lost Tears at Joslyn Park.

This park isn’t without its problems though.  First, there’s a train track near the park (clue #3!).  This means a train is barreling thru and tooting its horn hella loud, hella often.  I’ve seen it scare kids with less than steely resolve.

Another problem is this shameful construction oversight, likely the result of a lazy supervisor.


they all…fall…down.

The design allows for an optional floor board to be placed between the two platforms.  The slots for the nuts and bolts are right there.  Instead, there’s a 18″ dip that kids fall into time and time again.

And then there’s this:

false advertisement much?

false advertisement much?

We searched high and low, on top of trees and under the litter that the grandmother who was babysitting 8 kids left (WE SAW YOU, LADY!). Yet and still…no see-saw.

Use the clues provided here to cruise the city and find your way to this park.  It’s a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Covina’s more visible parks.   And if you see a grandmother with 8 children, ranging from from 1-12 years old, reading a trashy supermarket romance novel in between flipping thru her phone and doling out Cheeze-Its, make sure she picks up her shit!



Flashback Fight Friday: Beaba’s Kids

From the archives, this is one of my favorite interactions with a corporation (Williams and Sonoma) mainly because an employee decided to go rogue and write a sarcastic note back to me on Yelp!

My initial email:

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently purchased the Beaba Babycook Machine from your store at the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia, California.

baby food, poppycock.

baby food, poppycock.

I paid over $180 for the machine. Upon opening the box, I noticed the cookbook was missing and the instruction manual was marked with dry-food stains, presumably indicating prior use.

When I called and spoke with the manager on duty, she notified me that it was IN FACT Williams and Sonoma policy to sell open-box items at full price  (without disclosing such information) if the item in question was never used.

Is this in fact your policy?! If so, why not provide your customers the common courtesy of knowing they are purchasing previously opened goods?!

Many luxury stores like your own refuse selling open-box items.  And those that  do they offer full disclosure and a discount.

It’s a shame you don’t do similarly.



Then came their corporate response:

Thank you for contacting Williams-Sonoma.

We are disheartened to hear about your poor retail experience.

Please know we have contacted the store manager at the Santa Anita Mall in California. She has verified that you have exchanged your original Beaba Baby Cook for a new one. She indicated that she did check the replacement to be sure that it had not been used.

For future reference it is not our policy to resale used merchandise.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience that this has caused. We thank you for your patronage. Your business is appreciated.

That was straight-forward enough even while side-stepping the fact they in fact sold an open-boxed item.    But then came a response via Yelp where I posted my letter.

I work at that Williams-Sonoma and am sorry about your experience. Unfortunately we are low volume store with a small amount of associates. We often take the word of the customer when they return an item and ask if they “had a chance to try it out” a polite way of saying did you use it. Any item that comes back to the store is suppose to be checked for use. This particular one slipped under the radar. What you failed to mention is that we rectified the situation immediately. 

Just an FYI. Most customers get extremely upset when we ask if they have used the item that they return. They take it as an insult. If more people where honest these types of mistakes would not be made. Also when items are retuned to our store it effects our bottom line therefore the more items returned the less money we have to operate efficiently, like adding more associates.

I hope you won’t allow this one incident to detour you from shopping with us in the future. Oh and by the way the Beaba is 149.00 not 180.00. Sorry for your inconvenience.

Oh, no, she didn’t! Pass the mic back over here!

I appreciate the response. And I empathize with the challenges of working with customers who aren’t always honest. But when you say you ‘rectified the situation immediately’ what that really means is I had to make the half hour drive to return the item, walk half a mile around the mall and into your store, explain the situation, walk the half mile back to my car and drive another half hour home. In all candor, you didn’t do much. 

With regards to returned items effecting your bottom line, that seems to me precisely the reason your store doesn’t more thoroughly inspect returned items. You have a vested interest in selling as many as you can.

Lastly, I paid $180 total (tax included). If you’d like refund me the difference I paid then I’d be more than happy to collect.

Big. Brown. Dad for the win!


Shark Bites Pt.1

To Whom It May Concern:

Cheers.  My name is Carlos Aguilar.  Yesterday, I called your customer service line and created a file re: my Shark S3101.  

I recently took up the inglorious task of maintaining the tile throughout my home.
While I’m happy to report that my Shark S3101 has served me well,  I’m sad to report that it hasn’t serve me always.
We bought our Shark at the local Target over a year ago.  We considered it an investment.  Sadly, the hook piece on the handle snapped thereby rendering the pole inoperative.
Inline image 3
This meant I had to continue the job on my hands and knees.
Inline image 2
As you might recall the temperature in LA was in the 90’s that week.
Inline image 1
I called in hopes of redeeming my experience by having a replacement piece sent to me.  I was surprised to learn though that you do not provide a replacement for this part.  While you were courteous enough to offer a great discount on the S3251, I’m afraid even then I would have to come out of pocket over $50.
Inline image 4
I’m hopeful you might redeem our purchase by replacing our S3101.
I’ll be happy to document our correspondence on my parenting blog,
I look forward to hearing back.


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