Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Grimm Sighting in Old Town Portland

It's been some time now since we've had a Grimm sighting. Today they were out in full force. Rigging trucks, stunt police cruisers, enough people and equipment to fill up a city block. On our way to lunch at Old Town Pizza we walked right by as they were setting up the scene below. By the time I ordered my slices and we were heading back to the office they were ready to start shooting. Special thanks to TK who got the video on his phone.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Standing Desk

Here I am, standing at my newly adjusted, standing desk. This isn't the first time I've worked at a standing work station. It will be the first time I've spent my entire day standing in one spot.

I haven't stood for work in years. I remember it hurting (THEPAIN) for the first 2 weeks. After that it was business as usual. I have a raised chair to go along with my raised desk. The key to adjusting to this station will be to avoid that chair like the plague.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Movies To See

With inspiration from my friend Lou IQ over at the 365 Instant Flix blog, I've decided to put together a short list of movies that I haven't had the chance to watch yet.

Photo by Philip Leara CC2.0

Five Popular/Classic movies that I haven't seen

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Currently available on Netflix Instant. Referenced in pop culture everywhere, now I'll know what they're talking about.

2. Breakfast At Tiffany's

Currently available on Netflix Instant. Any excuse to watch Audrey Hepburn, and I get to watch Hannibal from the A-Team. Win-Win.

3. Soylent Green

Currently available for free with Amazon Prime. I'm a Science Fiction fan and I've never seen Soylent Green? What is Soylent Green? Soylent Green is what...?

4. Pretty in Pink

Currently available for free with Amazon Prime. The Breakfast Club and Ferris Buehlers day off. Formative movies from my youth. I never saw Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candle. Am I too late? Will it be awful?

5. To Catch A Thief

Currently available for free with Amazon Prime. I have never seen a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Ever. In my life. If I like this one I hear there are a few more.

If you have suggestions add them in the comments below.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fun With Video

I've been doing a lot of video recording for my sons hockey team this year. One of the things I've been playing with is video editing. It turns out that editing video will take up exactly as much time as you want to spend on it.

I put this together to play with adding text and playing video backwards. The AC/DC clip was just for fun. I think it works well.

You can see in the video that Seattle overloaded the right hand side and Portland wasn't able to adjust fast enough. Sometimes that happens. The shooter lets loose a great wrist shot. If you're gonna be beat on a shot it might as well be one like that.

Good Night All!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Five Songs of My Youth

I can't believe I haven't posted anything here since the Summer Olympics...Good Grief.

Baby steps to get back on the horse. These are the Top Five Songs of my youth, and by youth I mean elementary to middle school.

1. Be Good Johnny - Men At Work, Business As Usual

2. Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds, The Breakfast Club Soundtrack

3. No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones, Dream Into Action

4. Be Near Me - ABC, How To Be A...Zillionaire

5. Take On Me - A-Ha, Hunting High and Low

What can I say? I was an only child surrounded by Simon and Garfunkel and Joan Baez at home. The kids listening to the local "Classic Rock" station all wore leather jackets, swore, and smoked. While that did become something to aspire to, I just wasn't there yet. Pop music served up by the Morning Zoo. I remind myself of this when I hear some of the music my son is listening to. Tastes change, and this too shall pass.

Still though, this list isn't as bad as I thought it might be. Nice work younger me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What Is Sport?

First a definition. What is Sport? Sport is a competition between two or more people or teams. Sport can be decided by honest competitors without the use of judges. For example, golf is a sport. Ballet dancing is not a sport. Ballet dancers are in much better physical condition than golfers, and I'd rather watch Ashley Bouder perform with the New York City Ballet than John Daly throwing his back out driving the ball. That still doesn't make ballet a sport.

Let's take a look now at the events in the Summer Olympics and we'll decide which are sports and which are not:

Archery - Sport. Who can put an arrow or five closest to the center of the target? Easy pick.

Track and Field - Sport. All Field events are sports. Who throws farther, jumps higher, or runs faster? another easy pick. All racing events, THAT ARE HUMAN POWERED, are sports. sorry NASCAR and Indy series, you're out of luck. Sailing? We'll get to you in a minute.

Badminton - Sport. But you do that at your summer picnics? How could it be a sport? Simple, two sides competing in an event that is decided by points and is not judged for style or performance.

Basketball - Sport. Two teams. Two baskets. One Ball.

Boxing - Mixed. Tricky one here. Boxing is a sport if the result comes by way of Knockout, one participant quits or his corner throws in the towel. Otherwise...NOT a sport. If a boxing result is decided by judges scorecards it's no better than a beauty pageant.

Canoeing/Kayaking - Sport. Who can paddle fastest.

Cycling Road Racing and Mountain Biking - Sport. Road racing and Mountain biking are both sports. You get on the bike and pedal faster than the other competitors.

Cycling BMX - Not a Sport. BMX is not a sport. It's fun to watch, but you win by getting the most points from the judges. Thus, not a sport.

Diving - Not a Sport. No ifs ands or buts. It's judged. Not a sport.

Equestrian Dressage - Not a Sport. Fun to watch, but while it is a timed event, it is also judged.

Equestrian Jumping - Sport. Horses are taken through a course with a series of jumps set up and finishing places are determined by a combination of fastest time and fewest faults on the course.

Equestrian Eventing - Not a Sport. This event combines Jumping (Sport), Cross Country (Sport), and Dressage (Not a Sport).

Fencing - Sport. This event is scored using sensors worn on the body to determine 'touches'.

Football (We Yanks, correctly, call this Soccer) - Sport. As much as it grieves me to say. Not my sport, but sport nonetheless.

Gymnastics - Not a Sport. If you need further explanation of this I'm happy to oblige. If you count gymnastics as a sport then I challenge you to deny American idol a spot at the opening ceremonies. At least the American idol judges are entertaining. If the North Korean judge can cost you a medal with his low score you are not competing in a sport.

Handball - Sport. Just two teams, a ball, and two goals. Sound familiar?

Field Hockey - Sport. Again with the two teams, a ball and two goals bit.

JudoMixed . Usually a sport. Most of the time. Another tough call because it is judged. How about bouts ending with submission are sport, and bouts that go to the judges scorecards are not sport?

Modern Pentathlon - Sport. Running, swimming, shooting, fencing, and ride a horse? For sure this is sport.

Rowing - Sport. Humans using their bodies to propel a machine across the water? Winner has the fastest time? Sport.

Sailing - Not a Sport. Counter Intuitive? I know. I'll explain. The event is between two or more people or teams? Check. It can be decided between honest competitors without going to the judges scorecards? Check. It is human powered? Not on your life! So? Not a sport.

Shooting - Sport. See Archery.

Swimming - Sport. See Track and Field.

Synchronized Swimming - Not a Sport. The event is judged. If you include this you might as well include the NBA slam dunk competition as an Olympic event.

Table Tennis - Sport. Just like tennis, on a table. Call your own lines guys.

TaekwondoMixed. See Boxing and Judo.

Tennis - Sport. See Table Tennis.

Volleyball - Sport. In the words of George Carlin "Racket less team ping-pong played with an inflated ball and a raised net while standing on the table." Or in the case of beach volleyball, the sand box.

Water Polo - Sport. See Hand Ball.

Weightlifting - Sport. Lift more than your competitor? Check. Sport.

WrestlingMixed. See Taekwondo, Judo, and Boxing.

So that's it. A total of 32 events in the Summer Olympics. 19 sports, 7 non-sports, and 4 mixed events. The London 2012 Olympics run from July 27, 2012 to August 12, 2012.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Top 5 Sports Movies of Ever

Wow! This was so much harder to put together than I thought it was going to be. I finally got it put together, and I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to take me to task in the comments section if one of your favorites didn't crack the top five.


5. Eight Men Out

Directed by John Sayles and starring John Cusack, Clifton James and Michael Lerner.

Before Pete Rose, there was the 1919 Chicago White Sox. The best team of their day, with an owner who thinks money looks better in his pocket than the players. A collection of gamblers get together and arrange to pay key members of the team to lose in the World Series. An ensemble cast including John Cusack, Charlie Sheen,  and DB Sweeney among others.

Most of what I know about the Black Sox scandal I learned from this movie. From Comiskey underpaying, and in some cases cheating his players, to the players relationships with mobsters. A fascinating period not just in baseball but in the sports culture of the United States. So many far reaching changes occurred because of this scandal and it's aftermath.

For myself the enduring image of this movie is Bucky Weaver (played by John Cusack) sitting in the stands watching a banned Shoeless Joe Jackson (D.B. Sweeney) playing under a different name in a minor league  baseball game in New Jersey.

4. Hoosiers

Directed by David Anspaugh and starring Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper.

Gene Hackman plays a newly hired high school basketball coach in Indiana in the 1950's. He's returning to coaching after a 12 year hiatus where he served in the Navy. He works to install a different system than the kids in the school are used to playing. Dennis Hopper plays an alcoholic former high school star who's son plays on the the team. The movie is about perseverance and finishing what you start.

Ollie McClellan: When do we scrimmage?
Coach Dale: We don't scrimmage, No shooting either.
Ollie McClellan: That aint no fun.
Coach Dale: My practices aren't designed for your enjoyment

Coach Dale: Where are you going? 
Rade: in the game 
Coach Dale: Sit down.
Rade: What do you mean? You gotta have five out there!
Coach Dale: Sit down! Sit!
Referee: Coach you need one more.
Coach Dale: My team's on the floor.

The scene where Hackman tells the referee that the four players on the floor are his team is one of my favorites of all time.

3. Tin Cup

Directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson, and Cheech Marin.

After being embarrassed by his old college teammate, driving range pro Roy McAvoy qualifies for the US Open, but will his all or nothing attitude end up costing him everything?

Cheech Marin makes this movie special. Every scene that he's in is worth watching. About half the scenes that he's not in are worth watching too and that lands this movie on this list. Cheech Marin plays McAvoy's friend, partner, mentor, and caddy. I shouldn't be suprised to find Marin and Don Johnson together here. Tin Cup came out around the time that they both were in Nash Bridges.

Romeo: Your brain was getting in the way.
McAvoy: Well that's hardly ever been the case.

McAvoy: I need to rise to the level of women who think I'm a joke.

McAvoy: Greatness courts failure

2. Waterboy

Directed by Frank Coraci and starring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, and Henry Winkler.

After 18 years of being a water boy, Bobby Boucher discovers a talent for playing football that he didn't know he possessed.

Favorite Parts:
All scenes with Farmer Fran. I stole all of my dance moves from him.
Bobby's mama dancing behind Vicki Vallencourt and Lynn Swann in the sideline interview.
Bobby Boucher's first day at practice. Especially the double eye poke. "Captain Insano shows no mercy."
Coach Klein's Roy Orbison tattoo.
Coach Klein diagramming a play and having a nervous breakdown. "The QB fakes left, no he fakes right, no, he doesn't fake, he thinks about faking, he pretends to fake...I don't know where I am. I can't breath."
Lawrence Taylor's football camp.
Lee Corso and Chris Fowler announcing the Muddogs last game before the Bourbon Bowl.
Corso - Here we see Boucher instantly penetrating the pocket
Fowler - There's a lot of pain and shame in those eyes.
Corso - It's all over
QB Boucher tackles (offscreen) - My leg!
Fowler - Wow, that is a disturbing image.
Coach Klein in high heels after Red Beaulieu steals his playbook.
Klein (flashback. With perm, phone receiver unplugged from the base, and womens high heel shoes.) - No Grandma, I didn't get it. I can't believe it myself. I'm so numb. I just hate him, I hate him, I hate him!

I don't know if there are any life lessons to be learned by watching Waterboy. It's more like grabbing a candy bar from the impulse buy rack next to the cash register. You'll feel guilty for getting it, but your day will feel better. At least mine does

1. Bull Durham

Directed by Ron Shelton and starring Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins.

The Raleigh Durham Bulls minor league baseball team signs a veteran catcher to help a rookie pitcher harness his talent and make it to the major leagues. This movie has some of the best lines of all time.

Annie Savoy - I believe in the church of baseball.
Crash Davis - See you at the yard meat!
Crash Davis - ...Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring, besides that they're fascist. Throw some ground balls, it's more democratic.
Crash Davis - Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You'll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you'll be classy. If you win 20 in the show you can let the fungus grow back on you shower shoes and the press will think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show however, it means you're a slob.
Crash Davis - ...You just got lesson number one: don't think, you can only hurt the ball club.
Crash Davis - The rose goes in the front big guy.

More than just a comedy. There's a poignancy that surrounds Crash's realization that it's time for him to hang up the cleats and find something else to do with his life. The older I get the more this theme comes through for me.

Honorable Mentions

Happy Gilmore
Caddy Shack
The Legend of Bagger Vance
North Dallas Forty
Friday Night Lights
The Natural

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NHL Stanley Cup Finals


Sorry, that had to come out. Once again I am late to the party. Game One was played last night. So without further adieu here is my pick.

Stanley Cup Finals

New Jersey Devils vs Los Angeles Kings     I pick: Kings

The Kings won game 1 yesterday 2-1 in Overtime putting them on the path to the championship. The Devils will win game two and the Kings will win the next 3. So the series ends Saturday June 9th in New Jersey with the Kings hoisting the cup. Fans in Philadelphia will get to see Carter and Richards skate the cup and wonder what might have been.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 5 Chris Cornell Songs of Ever

Chris Cornell. The once and future front man of Soundgarden. Lead singer for Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. Ranked 4th in the list of Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists by Hit Parader. A powerful voice with fantastic range. His lyrics make me tilt my head and go "whahuh?" but his sound is excellent.

5. Searching With My Good Eye Closed - Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger

Classic Chris Cornell. I don't understand what he's trying to say.

Stop you're trying to bruise my mind
I can do it on my own
Stop you're trying to kill my time
It's been my death since I was born
I don't remember half the time
If I'm hiding or I'm lost
But I'm on my way

Someone is bruising his mind, but he can do it himself? Someone's killing his time, it's been his death since he was born? He doesn't remember if he's hiding or lost, but he's on his way? Yeah, I don't know either.

4. Show Me How To Live - Audioslave - Audioslave

Hard driving song from beginning to end. I really like the way he gets his voice to bounce from note to note at the end of the song. The lyrics are close to making sense.

Nail in my hand,
From my creator.
You gave me life,
Now show me how to live.
Nail in my hand,
From my creator.
You gave me life,
Now show me how to live.

3. All Night Thing - Temple of the Dog - Temple of the Dog

This is the last song on the Temple of the Dog album and it does a fantastic job of wrapping everything up. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and this album has always felt like home. It's comfortable and I walk away from it feeling good. It also doesn't feel like Magnetic Poetry which can't be said of all the songs he sings.

2. Doesn't Remind Me of Anything - Out Of Exile - Audioslave

This song is hypnotic. I love the way it transitions from verse to chorus and back. I like not having to decode the lyrics. I also find it strangely uplifting.

I walk the streets of Japan till I get lost
Cause it doesn't remind me of anything
With a graveyard tan carrying a cross
Cause it doesn't remind me of anything

Terrifically vivid lyrics that paint a fantastic picture.

1. Slaves and Bulldozers - Badmotorfinger - Soundgarden

Cornell uses his voice more as an instrument in this song than a tool to tell a story. The repetitive lyrics build tension and the chorus provides relief as his voice soars. It gives me chills when I hear it.

Honorable Mention, Outshined - Badmotorfinger - Soundgarden

I'm looking California, 
And feeling Minnesota oh yeah,

Nuff said!