Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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Circa 1999 (This picture taken in the late 2000’s but the face I make about going to Florida is the same)

The first time I ever made it to Florida was freshman year of college, and I’ve since been back more times than I can count. I know the best Thai, Indian and Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando, have spent at least one night in every major city, and am a regular at the Panera Bread in Clermont. However, I have still never been to Disneyworld.

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Circa 2008

Louisiana was my second-to-last state visited, always just out of reach of my cross-country routes. But like Florida, and Texas, since ending up there once, I’ve been back plenty of times. I’ve taken multiple wakeskate trips to ride the buttery bayous and enjoy some serious southern hospitality. I also went on “vacation” to New Orleans last year, where I hung out on Bourbon St, photographed cemeteries, and found myself sobered by the amount of destruction still left from Hurricane Katrina three years later. Read the full blog about my New Orleans trip here

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I haven’t been traveling as much lately, which honestly, is sort of nice. But last weekend I headed down to the city beautiful, Orlando, FL. Now usually the reaction to me traveling to Orlando is “why would you do that,” but this time as Hurricane Bill loomed off the coast creating “the sickest waves ever bro,” so at least some people thought it was a good idea to go to Florida. Me? I went no where near the coast. Instead I was there for Surf Expo, which includes no actual surfing.

As you can imagine, a trade show in this economic climate was a somewhat depressing place. Few booths and even fewer big booths than I’ve seen in my years of attending. But hey, having fewer brands in attendance made my job easier as I had to profile each brand for Alliance Wakeskate. In addition to photos and short write ups, I also decided to make little videos with each brand, which would have been way more awesome if I had an appropriate mic, but what can you do? So far I’ve only edited one and with the magic of embeddable videos on the new Alliance site that’s set to launch ANY DAY NOW, it’s after the jump along with the rest of my trip. (more…)

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I guess it officially took two weeks for this whole swine flu thing to blow over. I was really hoping it would last a bit longer, cause I have gotten a lot of mileage out of it terms of story angles. Of course, when you are traveling to the one state where someone has actually died from the virus, it’s sort of a nobrainer, right? I ended up in Dallas, TX, even though the event I was planning on attending had been canceled due to fear of the Swine Flu. Since the ticket was already bought (and it would cost more to change it than rent a car) I figured I might as well go take care of business. (more…)

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Captain’s Log: Day 3

Still no sun.

More gaps than you can shake a stick at.

Clint is good at wakeskating, and a fun guy to have around.

Full feature, video, etc. in the works. Look for it Wednesday.

Please come out sun!

I’m at the halfway mark on my trip to Orlando. Actually a little bit past it, but whatever. I’ve worked too much, slept too little and gotten a sunburn on my lower legs only. The first three days of my trip were spent milling about at surf expo, talking about the industry, pretending I care, etc. On Sunday, partially to avoid having to help break down the booth, and partially because I just wanted to get out of there, I spent at least three hours trying to leave. But I didn’t want to just leave alone, because then I knew I would not do anything useful. I was either going wakeskating, or going to shoot photos of wakeskating, and personally I didn’t care which one.

My new AWS intern had offered to take my riding, but as it turned out, her ski is unregistered and so we couldn’t go until after four. There was talk of a winch mission, but like any winch mission, varibles such as not having a winch, or a driver, etc., got in the way. About 30 minutes before the show I ended I finally headed off to some new spot with Ben, Dave and my new friend Justin. It begged for fisheye shots (and was backlit to shoot long lens anyway) so I got to try out of my new toys. It could have worked out better, if some tricks were actually landed, but I got a few cool shots.

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During Expo I did my best to set up photo shoots for every day between then and Thursday when Toe Jam starts. Figured if I had to be here for the whole week, I better make it worth my while. Yesterday I went out to Lake Sheen, which is right next to all the theme parks, and was actually pretty awesome. The weather cooperated and the riders did as well. I got to play with another of my new toys, this time the water housing. Luckily it worked since I managed to get dumped off the tube not once, but twice. I got some really cool shots and I put up a little blog about it here.

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Today the plan was to go shoot with the “movie stars,” a.k.a Brian Grubb, who I am trying to give a feature interview too, and Chris Kallas, the new Aussie sensation who is getting an On Deck. But since we did so well yesterday, and there was more we wanted to shoot, Steve had asked me to come back out to Sheen in the morning. I figured why not and it’s a good thing I did, since Grubb and co. totally blew me off. I am sure they are busy, or whatever, but don’t they know who I think I am! Well, it worked out anyway cause I needed a little break and some time to geek out on the internet.

Tomorrow one more shoot with some riders who will cooperate, and then the Toe Jam madness starts. Sunday I go home and life makes sense again. I miss my kitties. Here are some sweet pictures Jared took of them.

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Oh I almost forgot! After however many visits, and countless jokes about it, Patrick and I finally ate at Red Lobster for dinner tonight.  I am excited about it anyway.

It’s Friday, but it’s a special Friday because this one is concluding the most extreme week ever. Jared was smart enough to realize this when he pointed out (via his facebook status) that it was Shark Week and the X Games, which is a lot of extreme for one week. At the bar I realized this was clearly the cause of the recent earthquake in So Cal and I am glad I got out when I did…the cicadas can’t be far behind…

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Since I do have the word extreme on my business cards, this was a big week for me. I spent last weekend at the S3 Super Girl Jam in Huntington Beach. I already mentioned it, but the new news is I linked all the stories I wrote for the event site here. I also wrote a little story about the event from Transworld Snowboarding’s new wordpress site so this link is going to show up on the comments there. neat. Anyway, go check it out.  

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In the wakeskate world intern and I have been shaking things up.  After my recent office visit we agreed controversy is good, so I had Nick write the classic “sponsorship is stupid” article. I knew it would piss some people off, but I always fail to realize just how many people. As a result he has his own message board thread, which in my mind means he’s made it in wakeskating! So congratulations intern! Of course the kids aren’t concerned that he thinks sponsorship is stupid, just that he is a “fag” and that “he doesn’t wakeskate.” Either way that shit is driving traffic, so as long as they are talking about something.

X Games are going on right now and people keep asking why I am not there. My response is of course, why would I be there? Plus Jen is having a deck-warming BBQ. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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I spent the past week or so of my life trekking through the south, listening to Bright Eyes or Country (that’s it) and wakeskating a little bit. I was on a feature trip for Alliance and that means hanging out with 18 year old boys and riding around in boats. Not a bad deal over all.

I made it back in one piece, although I’ve developed some nasty allergies (I blame the bayou) and my patterns of speech have gotten a lot less proper. I even caught myself saying y’all at one point.  Louisiana rules though. Nice people, good food, and warm sunny weather. We ate at this place Raising Cane’s at least twice. It’s like In and Out for chicken fingers. Delicious!

We drove through New Orleans on the way back. It’s one of the few places in this country I’d never been, but always wanted to. We didn’t spend much time there. An hour at a Mcdonald’s on the outskirts (that happened to play a Matt Pond PA song while we were there) and then a drive by some of the crazy above ground cemeteries. I really wanted to stop, but it was 7:30 and they were all closed. The drive took us through a neighborhood still ravaged from the hurricane. As it turned out, it was actually not in that bad of shape. Other places we passed we straight boarded up and deserted. Definitely a sobering experience– it’s been almost three years!

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We made it back to Orlando just in time to hop on a flight a day early, i upgraded with my miles (thanks Alaska!) and now I am home. I got goodies from Osiris, Devotid and UGP while I was gone and my tax refund from Oregon. talk about a home coming!

Today I’ve been scrambling to catch up. I posted a blog on Fuel, a little story about the Atmosphere gathering before I left on Future, and of course a bunch of stuff on Alliancewakeskate.com, including this video.

Memory Lane

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I am sorting through four years of old photos, trying to make galleries for this here site. In the process I have learned a few things, the main one being that I used to be really terrible at shooting wakeskating. I mean, we are back in the 10d days (I am now up to 40d) but the focus, composition, and other basic photographic elements were not really happening. (I was just informed that I still suck at taking photos, sometimes I just get lucky.)

The good news though, is that I have come across a few photos that make me smile and think of the “good old days.” (yeah, two years ago.) The snowboard photos don’t really have the same effect, but wakeskating has changed a lot in the last few years. Here are a few of my favorite old photos I’ve come across.

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This is Kyle Walton. Back in the day he was a lot of fun. Now he is trying to change the world and has become a lot less fun. I just emailed him this photo with the message “I miss you.”

Young Guns

Here is a photo of Nick Taylor, Reed Hansen and some other kid. These days Nick and Reed are pretty much the top dogs in the sport, but in ’06 they were just trying to qualify. And look how cute they were, pre-puberty!

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One thing that hasn’t changed is Nick loves to grab my camera and take pictures. Back then Reed also was known to steal my camera, but now he has his own. Either way this photo was the result of that, I am thinking it was probably Nick because I imagine Reed was scared of boobs back then.