Thursday, September 17, 2009

Denver to Seattle with love

So, I did this trip to Denver for a wedding.

And it was fun. Nice to be back, see the folks, friends, city, whatnot.
While I was out there, I picked up a tripod to shoot the wedding video. I also brought along my little canon camera that I loaded this alternative firmware on in the spring to shoot a timelapse of a mural painting.

It got me to thinking that it could be pretty cool to shoot a timelapse of my drive. What better road journal than that? Well, it an arguable point, but it's still kind of nifty that the technology to do something like taking 18,000 photos over a regular interval of 6 seconds on a cheap camera running on AA batteries is entirely feasible.

Yeah, it's about ten minutes long, which people have told me makes it both too long and too short. It's something like 21 hours of drive time. I had fun.

Here's the mural one, which was a cool project through a local art's program called LINK. The program gives HS students a weekend activity and the chance at scholarships for continuing education in artistic fields. This was the final weekend of last school year.

Monday, February 23, 2009

far too long

since the last posting.
really not that accustomed to this. got to find the voice.
where'd i leave off...

Ah, Portland visit.
Went like a charm. Elena was happy to have me, Megan's cat was happy to be petted, and I really enjoyed being in Portland. At this point I was starting to worry about the amount of money expended to keep this trip going. It's not that I thought it wasn't worth a fair bit of money, but more that there was a limited amount of it and not so much coming in. Still in that situation now, though.
So, while I spent a bit in Portland, it was starting to weigh a bit heavily on me.
Elena and I wandered through the winter Portland gave us to wander through. Found a lovely computer recycling place in Free Geek, which does not exist here in Seattle, but really ought to. If I had any idea how to, I might consider opening one (money being an issue there as well, I suppose).
The notion with Free Geek is that a lot of folks have old computers about that they don't want anymore. A lot of folks have computers that need fixing. And a lot of people want to find odd bits of hardware and don't feel like they need to have them new. All of these things combine rather nicely at the Free Geek. They teach classes, fix people's machines, accept donations, provide computers to other non-profits, and operate a thrift store for old hardware. Really nifty.
Elena needed a new power brick for her iBook, and they had one in decent shape for less than half the going price new. Woot.
Megan and Michael, her boyfriend, came into town in time for New Years Eve. The evening was spent at a bar, a disco, and a house party. Not too much hungover the next day, but they needn't all be so. Did get a wonderful head rub by a rather inebriated person I had barely met at the house party. Pretty happy with that.
Michael fell into several walls, then fell over, then remarked loudly about how he wasn't really all that drunk. He probably weighs 250. He'd had a few.
Portland always strikes me as an awesome place when I go there. It's my understanding there's just no work there, but it's like what Seattle could be if it were a little less commercial, a little less based on massive industries, and having a bit more social conscience. May live there some day.
After all that, the last leg of the trip went quite smoothly. Drove up to Seattle and settled in.
6600 miles through 16 states in a bit over three weeks. Ain't unemployment grand.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

better late

Oy, taking quite some time off of this. I'm afraid I'm not in the habit of writing down my life for an audience, so I hope you will excuse me.

The rest of the time in Colorado passed rather pleasantly. Nicole, my step-sister, made it in to the Steamboat airport without major incident, my grandparents and later aunt, uncle, and cousins similarly found their way to the house, and we settled down to a fine Christmas together.

I downhill ski/snowboard about once a year, while my Dad and much of the Denver side of my family do so on a relatively regular basis. As such, I found myself quite sore and rather less sure-footed than I remember myself growing up with this sort of thing a weekend retreat from the city. All the same, throwing oneself down a mountain with gusto and lust is still quite pleasant, though colder and damper for the falling.

My brother could not make it up to the mountains owing to a complex situation involving his girlfriend, sleeping accommodations, bald tires, possible poor communication, weather, and the cost of airfare being somewhat high during the holiday season. Tensions rose on either side of the debate, and are in fact still somewhat risen. I was just glad to see him in Denver. I think he'll do good things.

And then I journeyed off to Portland for New Years. The car had been unhappy in the sub-zero temperatures that it experienced during the interim. But, once warm, purred as happily as ever.

I coasted back over the rest of the rockies, and through the very same stretch of road which had taken me over the first stretch of my eastward trip.
When I drive through Oregon in daylight I'm often quite surprised at how poorly I remember its terrain. It's wide open in places, fenced in by canyons in others, meanders along rivers, rolls along ridges, passes farmland, and then starts all over again. I could swear there are two identical towns right along I-84, one of them being Baker City, and the other one about 100 miles to the east. Or was it west...

Well, I stopped for a couple hours in La Grande. Megan, a dear friend of Elena's, who also put us up in Portland both this time and the last, was kind enough to feed me some eggs and bacon at her parents place there. Then she let me drive her '63 (right?) VW bug around town a bit, which was interesting with all of the snow everywhere. That thing handles exceptionally well in the snow for approaching fifty years of age. Did have a little trouble keeping running when in neutral, however. But quite a thrill to drive. It makes me both appreciate my car all the more and make me think that it could be engineered a bit better for bad roads while also being a touch more thrilling. I'm not about to trade mine in for a vintage model just yet, though.

The slight trip from La Grande back into the Columbia valley was the only point on the trip where I ran into significant snowfall during the entire trip. For that, I'm quite thankful. I had better luck with the weather on this trip than I could have imagined.

The trip into Portland is much more of a haze coming back than going out. It was still scenic, but I'd been up for a day and a half.

I dropped into Portland, picked up Elena downtown, where she'd been looking at books, and headed to her friend Seamus's place for dinner. I passed out a couple of times, ate, had a short chat with someone, passed out again, gave Elena the keys, and we somehow found ourselves at Megan's place. After petting the cat for a minute, I fell asleep for a good long time.

And I'll stop there for now. Any comments welcome, if there are those still checking in on this.