Man, it’s crazy to think back almost 2 years ago when I first started this site. I went in with zero expectations. It was just something I wanted to do out of boredom, you know? I had begun to follow a couple of blogs here and there but the one that really captured my attention was Speedhunters.com, which was already a powerhouse at that time. It covered everything; cars of all makes, from all over the world, and even a bit of lifestyle and car culture here and there. It was a great site but what it lacked was, in my opinion, coverage of Hondas. Drifting was huge in the Speedhunters community so there was little to no room for Hondas. I thought to myself; damn, maybe I could try to put something together about Hondas. Just something that would summarize a lot of what was going on in the Honda community. Something that would give people what they want to see from Honda forums but without all the bullshit and politics. I had some time on my hands then because I wasn’t doing work for Super Street yet and was just freelancing for Honda Tuning. It was steady work but it wasn’t something that had to occupy the majority of my time or anything so starting up a site would be fun.
I ran the idea through a couple of people and the opinions were very different. Some said it would be cool, some were skeptical, and some didn’t even follow any sort of auto blog site so they had no idea what I was talking about. One day, on a random ass night on October 23rd, 2008, I said “fuck it, I’m bored”, and I signed up for an account on WordPress and began working on this site, not really knowing or caring if it would ever be anything or not. It took me awhile to come up with the name. That was probably the hardest part. I went with “The Chronicles” because I wanted to tell a story. Something we could all look back on some day. I had ZERO content to begin with, I didn’t know shit about how to do layouts or how to modifiy them, NOTHING. The first layout, which I’m sure some of you may still remember, was super generic. And the pictures were small as hell. I think the first post I did was on Loi’s Civic hatchback. It wasn’t the racecar it is today and it was just like, something very basic and streetable. It even had a shaved bay and a nice tuck. Look at the crazy thing today. It’s a fucking beast. Other than that, there was nothing to post. I had to scour the internet on different nights just to dig up Honda content.
How “stickydiljoe.com” came to be was simple. Anything that had The Chronicles in it was already taken. Stickydiljoe is a screenname and moniker that I’ve had for years now and it was catchy, and somewhat dirty, which I think helped me get a couple of extra viewers every month just because it sounded like there would either be porn or weed on this site. Neither of which were heavily prominent on The Chronicles. Now we have a little bit of T&A here and there but that’s also done out of sheer boredom. I also had no camera or any idea how to use one back then, so producing my own content was not something that I could easily do. I had to ask people to take pictures for me, or I would drive down to San Diego to go visit my parents and then take my mom’s point and shoot back with me so I could take pictures at meets. I specifically remember one night when Rodrez was talking to me online and we were just talking about random bullshit like MMA or whatever and he brought up to me that he thought the site was a cool idea, but he had also spoken to Aaron Bonk at the time and he was wondering if I would get into trouble for using pictures from other sites and what not. I didn’t want to get in trouble or fuckin sued or something so I had to get a camera to shoot pictures with, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to run anything on this site without having to quote sources or take pictures from people that I didn’t know. Luckily my boy Loi came through big and told me that I could use his old Canon Rebel XT (Like old 1st gen. Rebel status) and I could keep it for a long period of time because he wasn’t using it anymore. It was at that time when the site really started to take on a new direction. I could finally take pictures. The only problem was, I had no idea how to use a fucking camera. It was like a some crazy complicated shit that I had no idea how to comprehend. As you can see from the earlier pics, they were horrible. But I eventually started to pick it up a bit and hell, up until the early/middle part of this year, I was still using that old Canon to take pictures. I didn’t get the camera I’m using now until I started getting more work from Super Street and Honda Tuning where I could actually pay it off.
The site started out rough…I remember I had some of my own friends that were kinda skeptical. They didn’t think it would go anywhere or they didn’t understand the purpose of it. I had some stickers made back then that I would give out to friends and others to help kinda get the name out there, and I’m not gonna lie…I knew those people threw those stickers away. I can’t blame them but hey, it motivated me to make the site better. I think the site started to become more well known when I did the “Indepth look at horrible idea” series of posts. It was just me being an angry fuckn and talking shit about things I didn’t like about the Honda community. It was funny but it also generated some heat, which was really good. The heat and hate made this site bigger because people would post it up elsewhere and for every 10 people that were angry about the site, I picked up one or two that agreed and began to follow the site closely. Other than those posts, I have to credit my homies from my Phaze2 family for really helping this site take off. Whenever we would go places, I would just bring the camera along to document whatever we did, whether it was eating (something we do alot) or just random car shit that we were doing, which kinda brought about the “behind the scenes” feel of the site. Mikeyyyy can promote anything and sell shit to anyone and he really helped me get the word out about the site, which was an amazing help. Then the site started taking on a different direction, where it began to become more of a lifestyle blog than anything. It was still about the cars but hell, people were starting to take interest in what we were doing. Phaze2 was doing really well at that time, we pulled off consecutive magazine features and basically everyone in the crew ended up being in a magazine, it was great times. That brought in more people to view The Chronicles because they wanted to see what we were doing and how the cars came to be what they are.
It had to have been the first Wek’Fest we went to when the hits started to pour in. People wanted to see coverage from shows that they couldn’t attend. The only problem was that the pictures from the show itself came out horrible. I didn’t know how to shoot in low light at that time so the coverage consisted of like 3 white cars that were sharp and crisp and the other pictures looked like I was running or I had a severe case of Vertigo. Another guy that I have to credit for helping this site move along was Big Mike. When he approached me to cover his rebuild of his Prelude, I didn’t think it was going to get that crazy. I don’t think I knew Big Mike that well at the time but covering a major build would be good for the site. I just didn’t know whether or not a Prelude would appeal to many viewers but it actually did really well. He opened up the eyes of the Prelude community and a steady flow of them still come in to view the site today. It worked out perfectly. And hell Big Mike has become a household name now and everybody knows his car and respects his build because they got to see how it was put together and how much work went into it. I have zero regrets about covering that build and I can honestly say that Big Mike is one of my closest homies today.
The Chronicles became much bigger because it became a lifestyle blog. Hondas became a companion more than a necessity for the site. People were just into what we were doing and what car guys did when they weren’t doing car shit. There is such a heavy stigma out there that west coast guys are just a bunch of rich kids that have their cars built in shops and I hope that this site helped to change that view. We’re just regular people. We build cars, go to shows, bullshit with eachother, and have a blast. We’re also really friends. Most of us aren’t friends with eachother because it helps us pursue a bigger goal in life or with cars. Fuck, we hang out because we enjoy eachother’s company, and I also hope that this site shows that. I would like to think that The Chronicles has even helped bring many of us closer together. Guys that knew of us and didn’t really talk to us before because we weren’t on that level of communication began to approach us because they had seen the site and knew that we were just chill people. Some of them obviously wanted to get some shine so they could get on the site, and even some shops pretended to be our homies and took advantage of the exposure but they are long gone. As easy as it is for people to come up and talk to me, it’s much easier for me to disregard them if I feel they have other motives. What I want people to get from this site later on is when they want to look back on what the Honda community was like back in this time, they could look to the The Chronicles and capture the spirit of our generation. I’m proud to say that this site has become pretty well-known in our community of enthusiasts. The hits that we are generating every month continues to grow and we’re setting new records every month. Not bad for something that was started on a whim and with no expectations of ever being anything near what it is today.
I told myself and my homies that if this site ever makes it to the two year mark, I’m gonna put a meet together to celebrate the anniversary of The Chronicles. I’m not the type to throw meets because I generally don’t have much time nowadays to do it but if it’s to celebrate the site, I’m down. I didn’t know what location to do it at and that was the first and probably the only major stepping stone I encountered along the way. Luckily Ryan from Eibach was kind enough to open up the gates to the Eibach facility for me to use. Eibach is one of the landmarks for Hondas out here because it’s the location of the annual Eibach Honda Meet, something that has become a staple in our community. Having the ability to use this spot is only going to make this meet so much better. The date that was eventually set was also significant, because it is also the date when I first started the site, October 23rd.
I’m proud to announce the 2-year anniversary of The Chronicles aka “2YRS”, which will be held at the Eibach Springs facility on October 23rd, 2010. The event will take place from 1pm-7pm and I will release the complete FAQ for the meet tomorrow, with every question that one might ask regarding this meet. For now, check out the flyer for the event. PLEASE DO NOT POST THIS ELSEWHERE. This is strictly for people that support and follow the site. I don’t want this turning into some random ass meet where like groups of 40 other makes and models of cars show up who have never even heard of the site. That will take up much needed space for people that do follow the site and it is an injustice for you guys who want to actually come out and show your support. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming on here everyday and reading my random ramblings. I never thought this little blog would get anywhere and now we have the opportunity to celebrate two fun-filled, crazy years of The Chronicles. Save the date!…