Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

Flying sucks. I do it enough to be well aware that it is really no fun. Sure, if you need to go cross country and don’t want to spend three days in a car, it’s probably the best option, but man, layovers, delays, economy seating, lack of airplane food, etc are all major bummers of domestic travel.

Tomorrow I head back east for, well, no real purpose other than I had a free ticket and there’s a snowboard contest going on so I can write the rest of the trip off my taxes and maybe make a couple dollars. You know that feeling you get when you have to go to work at a job you really hate the next day? Well that’s the feeling I get before I have to fly. It’s made worse if my flight is especially early, and luckily I take off tomorrow around 11, so that’s not it. I just really don’t feel like sitting in those tiny seats, small children making noise and kicking my seat around me. And I am going through Chicago so I am pretty much guaranteed to get screwed. But it’s only going to get worse. While looking for tickets for another wonderful airplane trip yesteday, I came across this:

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So yeah, if you don’t have status, it will now cost $25 to check a second bag on United and US Airways. I guess that’s the issue with flying on a bankrupt airline. And even though I have status, and can still check two bags for free, on principal it may be time to take my business elsewhere. Bastards.

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My friend Sarah Morrison is funny. We went to college together but we were informed we “would not get along” so I don’t think we ever spoke. Then one fateful day we were both visiting the same mutual friends in Portland, she had nothing to do and I was going up to Mt. Hood. I asked her if she’d like to come. Our friends all gasped as if the car might explode should we drive in it together. But as it turned out, Sarah and I got along swimmingly. We have since been BFF’s over a short stint in Burlington, VT, driven cross country together 3 times, and she’s lived in my garage on occasion.

The inspiration for this post is the three hours I just spent reorganizing her column, Best Week Ever on  Yobeat. I decided since the column has been going since 2005, it was time to divide it by years. Mostly because Dreamweaver has a hernia every time I try and post the new one. So anyway, I recommend you all go read back issues of Best Week Ever and appreciate why it is that Sarah Morrison seriously rules.

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I am still learning to use iMovie. Now that am into this making movies thing, I figure I should learn all the tricks. If I was really serious, I would get a real program to edit with, but for now, iMovie will suffice. Anyway, I was whining about having the reimport clips over and over if you want to use multiple pieces of them, and a very wise man informed me that you could actually split the clips right in iMovie. Who knew! Anyway, I looked it up and decided I could make Kitty Soccer way more funny with this new found skill, so I did a reedit. Since only like 20 people watched the original (and at least five of those views were me) it shouldn’t be too redundant. I am really hoping this slick reedit catches the eye of the people who put Youtube videos on the mainpage and I get famous and featured on Animal Planet Best Week Ever or something.

Kitten War

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Awhile back one of my friends told me about the best site ever, Kitten War, which pits two adorably cute kittens against each other, and you have to decide which is cuter. Being an avid kitten photographer, I immediately went home and posted a picture of Tyra on the site. After awhile I checked her progress and found she’d won only a few of her battles. The “all of our kittens are winners really…” slogan at the bottom of the page didn’t really make me feel any better. I decided that the photo I chose, one of her looking curiously into the camera lense with flowers in the background just wasn’t cute enough. After doing some research, I finally settled on this image.

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Since it’s technically cheating to post two pictures of the same cat, I called her by a different name (Tbone) and this picture has done better (at last check had won or drawn 56% of battles) but still wasn’t garnering quite the response I hoped.

Well this morning I finally took a kitten photo, this time of Willis, that I think will have a fighting chance on the site. It’s got all the elements: wide eyes, cute cat, unlikely location. Pretty much it’s perfect. I submitted it this morning and in a few days it should be active, so head over to Kittenwar and vote for Willis!

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This morning I got an email from Bill McCaffray, publisher of Alliance Multimedia, a.k.a. my boss. It just said “blog about the new wakeskate mag” in the subject and thanks in the body. While he was probably referring to a blog on Alliancewake.com and not here, I am doing both. Hopefully this one will be more interesting than the other though.

The new issue of Alliance Wakeskate went live last night. Actually, we were trying to launch a completely new site at the end of February, but as things often seem to go, it didn’t happen. The panic solution for how long the site was actually going to take to build came in the form of one final issue in the old web-zine format. Usually we have two months of lead time to make these happen. This one came together in a week. Normally I have to harass contributors for weeks to get anything done. But for this issue, one of the stories came in about 20 minutes after it was assigned. The design took half as long as normal. But perhaps the most amazing part is that the advertisements actually came in on time! Normally, we wait weeks beyond the deadline, while the completed issue sits idly online and inevitably some kid from the wakeskate message board finds it and posts the link and tries to ruin the surprise. None of that happened this time. We decided we were doing an issue, I put the content together in a day, Brandon layed it out and it went live, much to the glee of the wakeskating public.

My favorite part of putting out a new issue is the message board thread that pops up. Usually it’s just a bunch of people talking shit, but for some reason they really like what we are doing and these threads are always positive. It’s rad to actually get a response to what you are doing. Here’s the one for this issue. And if you have been inspired, go check out the actual issue.

The big news of the day is I updated Yobeat.com. If you don’t know, Yobeat is the site I have been doing with my friend Rachel for more than 10 years. I update it about once a month, and usually it just includes a photo that has already been published somewhere else and some random ramblings in our analog so i can justify putting today’s date on it.

Other than that I have been cooking a lot lately. I get out of the habit of making my own food when I am traveling a lot, and I always get psyched when I get to be home for long enough to go grocery shopping and make stuff again. I like to experiment, try new recipes and what not. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. I think I will never live down the time I tried to make “Mexican Meat-za,” courtesy of Rachel Ray. Although it actually tasted good, the vegetarian in my life couldn’t seem to get past the name (and I even made it with soy!)

Anyway, the other night I decided to make Pasta Primavera. There was a dissagreement over the exact definition of “pasta primavera.” Actually it all started because the type I usually make includes soy sauce, which apparently isn’t very authentic. But I argued pasta primavera was simply any pasta dish with fresh vegetables, and a quick check of Wikepedia showed I was right.

I did change up my recipe a bit though, this time I made a cream sauce with fire roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. It came out really good, and I wish I took a picture of it because with broccolli, asparagus and yellow peppers it looked pretty too. But I didn’t take a picture, so here is a stock image I found of “pasta primavera.”

Cat-ciphex

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Aciphex

Ever since I got this blog there are two topics I have been threatening to cover, but have yet to get around to. I figure today is the day! First is Aciphex. When you look at the word Aciphex, it really doesn’t have the same affect as when you hear it said outloud on a commercial during a HGTV daytime show. There you are, minding your own business, when all of a sudden the TV voice is saying “Ass-effects.” And he’s totally serious about it. Now obviously the makers of Aciphex, which is actually a heart burn drug and not to control gas as one would assume, realized that this name may be misinterpreted, so they make sure to spell it out at the end of the commercial. But I have to wonder, how did this drug come to get such an unfortunate name?

The way I see it, there are a few possibilities. First, all the good names like Nexium, Prilosec, Zantac and Pepcid were already taken. Second is someone thought it would be really funny (and it is!) But the most likely is that the name was passed around over email, and no one ever bothered to say it outloud. By the time they finally did, it was too late– they already had their FDA approval, the ad campaign was done, it was just too hard to change it. Sort of like how several of the elements of the new wakeskate site I am working on are not quite what I wanted. By the time I changed my mind, it was was too much work to change them, so we are stuck with something stupid like “wakeskating’s source.”

The second highly anticipated (ok, I don’t really know who is anticipating it) blog topic is kitty soccer! I recently got another furry feline to keep Tyra company. We named him Willis so when he meowed we could say “what cha talkin bout Willis” but as it turns out, he’s not a bigger talker. He and Tyra are tight though, and one the most adorable things they do together is play kitty soccer. I finally got around to filming one especially thrilling match.

I must say I was a bit disappointed with the stories I read on the Holy Oly this year. Future had already assigned some dude I’d never heard of to write theirs, so I just made the video. The dude’s story turned out to be a two paragraph inside joke that he didn’t bother to explain until someone called him out in the comments. It wasn’t great. Ok, and actually, that’s the only story I read until Dave Schiff posted this little gem on the Grenade site. I even let him use my photos in exchange for like, 100 pairs of gloves. But anyway, it’s great.

Today I have been watching the Go211 webcast of the Nippon Open. I must say they do a pretty good job with these webcasts (it’s the first site that I’ve even been able to get a webcast to work on for starters.) But yeah, the contest looks fun. I went last year and it was one of the best events I’d ever been to. (Check out some pictures in my snow gallery.) We had spring conditions though and this year they had powder. I am not sure which I’d prefer, I do really like powder. But I don’t think my “All Four Ones” story would have happened if it was knee deep!

…but all the sun hasn’t made the “kids” any smarter. Ben and I have been on a serious skate mission (though today I took off to build galleries and do real work). Yesterday we hit up Vancouver, which is typically known for being over run with little ones. As expected it was, but these kids just so happened to be especially entertaining. Since I had just gotten a new camera (mine crapped out after less than a month but they let me trade it for a new one) I figured I should probably film. Here is the result.