Summer Road Trip 2009 – The Follow-up, Part 1

I’m going to tell you a secret about this post. I cheated. I completely utterly cheated. I never bothered following up with this post when I should have because I took so many darn photos during the trip and I just never had the time to work on all of them. I finally got them edited but it had been so long that I resorted to cheating. I’m back dating this blog post as if nothing happened. So if you’re reading this years from now (weirdo) then know that the few faithful readers of this blog had to wait about a year for these pictures. There, I confessed. Now on to the photos!

Oh, wait, context… Ok, Melissa (my wife) and I went on a road trip from where we live – Santa Barbara, CA – to a bunch of places including Sacramento, Bend (OR), Boise (ID), and Portland (OR). This blog post is just an attempt to show some highlights from our journey. With that out of the way, photos…

For this first part of the follow-up I’m just showing some pictures I took while we were visiting our good friends the Torsons in the Bend, OR area. They have such adorable kids and live in a very beautiful place (that is in the middle of freaking nowhere). We didn’t get a lot of time with them since we had so many stops on our trip and had to get to Melissa’s cousin’s wedding a few days later but we did have a day to go hiking at nearby Smith Rock. Before we got to hiking, we stopped by Leanne’s dad’s home (he lives right near Smith Rock) and I thought his property was pretty interesting (hence all the pictures). I guess his business is in antiques and his property is covered in all kinds of random old items. It was a photo gold mine!

There was stuff like this EVERYWHERE
View looking out of the "Love It" Ranch
Elianna Torson with Oregon Mountains in the Background
Wild Bunny Friend!
I thought this was cool...
A small part of Smith Rock
That bit to the right. Yeah, that went higher. Way higher.
Baby Close-up!
We love the Torson family
Jaden is a Jedi.
Don't slip!
That baby loves berries.
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Quack Quack… Or is it Honk Honk?

Funny little experiment I found in my design folder.  The picture is from a camping trip to Oceano, CA my wife and I went on about a year ago (I think it was a year ago… darn this brain!).

That bird will mess you up

Upon a revisit to this image, it should say ‘Honk, Honk’ right?  Bah, I like it as it is.

I should probably upload the rest of those pics from Oceano up here sometime.  Hmm…  maybe this weekend.  Stay tuned!

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Lomo Lomo

I consider myself a photography noob but I love it.  I’ve learned quite a bit in the last few years and one of those things is something called lomo photography or lomography.  According to Wikipedia, “lomography emphasizes casual, snapshot photography. Characteristics such as over-saturated colors, off-kilter exposure, blurring, “happy accidents,” and alternative film processing are often considered part of the ‘Lomographic Technique.'”

I do not have a lomo camera.  But I have Photoshop.  Enter Photoshop tutorial and experiments.  Yay!

This is just around the corner from where I live
This is just around the corner from where I live
Rejected Christmas Card - My wife has veto power
Rejected Christmas Card - My wife has veto power
Kaleb: future stud - probably what his shirt says
Kaleb: future stud ... is probably what his shirt says
Probably my favorite photo - lomo or no lomo
Do Not Insert Dirty Joke Here

The last photo was taken just outside of Sacramento, CA about a year ago.  I’ll be sure to upload the rest of those pictures from that trip sometime in the near future.

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Austin Adventures and Ice Cream

Right after my trip to San Francisco in mid-March I took a trip out to Austin, Texas from March 16 – 23.  It was a blast.  There was tons of SXSW related events going on and lots of interesting people and good music.  If you don’t know, SXSW stands for South by Southwest and is a week and a half of Interactive/music/film festival that takes over Austin.

I don’t have a lot of time to write too much detail so I’ll just quickly go through some random highlights from the trip.

One of the first things I did in Austin was get some refreshing blackberry ice tea.  While drinking outside with my buddy Dave a lil’ lady bug decided to hang out with us.

Tea with a New Friend
Tea with a New Friend

Dave and I stood in line for hours waiting to get into a live filming of The Totally Rad Show.  We were the third and fourth from the last guys let into the venue.  And I mean guys.  There were maybe 5 women in that place.  It was dark, hard to take photos, hard to see the TRS guys talking but I still had a good time.  Dan from TRS even ate fire on stage.

TRS - Blurry Fire Eating Fun
TRS - Blurry Fire Eating Fun

Oh, and before the TRS filming began, Jonathan Coulton played several songs including “Still Alive” (a la the video game Portal on the The Orange Box – you must buy this) and “Re Your Brains” (a song about zombies and brains and two former co-workers – hilarious).

Great Performer
Great Performer - Jonathan Coulton

There were tons of people everywhere and music emanated from almost every bar, restaurant, or even to my surprise – the back of someone’s hitched flatbed trailer (too bad I don’t have a pic for that).  Walking around SoCo (or South Congress) reminded me quite a bit of Telegraph in Berkeley.  Lots of small shops, hip young people, and tourists.

It was like this everywhere
It was like this everywhere

While on SoCo, Dave and I stopped off at Amy’s Ice Creams and I got Grasshopper flavor.  Apparently, I have to get ice cream whenever I go to large city.

Try the Grasshopper flavor!
Try the Grasshopper flavor!

I did the obligatory stop by the University of Texas (which has the biggest screen I’ve ever seen in a football stadium) and the Texas State Capitol building.  Even from the steps of the capitol building, we could hear music blasting from somewhere nearby.

I have nothing witty to say about this
I have nothing witty to say about this

One night I caught a movie at The Alamo Drafthouse theater.  The movie I saw almost didn’t even matter.  That place was novel and different enough to note regardless of what movie I may have watched.  They even serve meals there so you can eat WHILE you watch your movie.  And apparently they have a bunch of community oriented stuff there as well including screenings of classic quotable films in which the audience is encouraged to recite lines along with the film playing.

I ate tons of great food while in Austin, but Dave would not let me leave without having some good Texas BBQ.  So we went to The County Line, which had a good atmosphere and great BBQ.

You know it's BBQ time when you see pigs on a neon sign.
You know it's BBQ time when you see pigs on a neon sign.

At some point I decided I hadn’t gotten enough pictures of the actual city of Austin so I took this while in the passenger seat of Dave’s car racing down the highway.

Got this shot from the freeway
Got this shot from the freeway

And there you have it.  I’m sure I left out a LOT but that’s all I have time for right now.  I posted a bunch of pictures from the trip on my Flicker account.  Check out the set here.

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San Francisco Treats and Travels (aka I’m out of Shape)

Recently took a trip up to San Francisco with a bunch of peeps from our church – Reality Carpinteria – as part of a “Prayer Tour”.  Basically, Reality Carp is going to be starting up a new church in SF – Reality SF – and our trip up there was for the purposes of laying some spiritual ground.  I can’t think of a less weird way of describing this for my non-Christian friends.  I like to think of it as giant angels and demons flying around punching each other in the faces.  Or something like that.  Spiritual warfare.

Epic Battle on Stainglass
Epic Battle on Stainglass

Right, anyway, so we took 5 or 6 big ol’ white passenger vans up there on March 12th (and boy was it cramped!) and prayed, walked around a district, prayed, got lunch, prayed, got taught a bit about the history of the city, prayed, went to dinner, and so on and then headed home March 14th.  That’s pretty much a summary of the trip in a nutshell.  We all stayed at Hotel Whitcomb which was just around the corner from the U.N. building.

Classy
This would be a great background for a flyer
This would be a great background for a flyer

Continue reading San Francisco Treats and Travels (aka I’m out of Shape)

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