Saturday, January 31, 2009


I’ve never been so in love with a TV show that I cannot miss a second. Sure, I’ve seen every single South Park episode, but that took years to amass, and only because it may be the single greatest comedy on earth.

Recently, however, I was bequeathed the skill of downloading full-length TV episodes. You name it, I can snag it. Seinfeld? I’ll have the complete series down in a week. Season 4 of The Fresh Prince? Done by tomorrow. I may be a downloading expert today, but I began slowly in my pirating ways. My first experiment was a show that I never took time to enjoy. I knew not one soul to downgrade the series, but rather a cornucopia of individuals obsessed.

After five seasons of marinating through unrelenting praise from those around me, I finally succumbed to HBO’s greatest achievement: Entourage.

Holy mother of God, the love I boast over this unyielding masterpiece I previously felt could only be attained by a drunk, loose Britney Spears who was coming on to me.

I watched the complete first season in three days, half on my cell phone between Portland and Spokane (video quality: amazing! You haven’t lived until you own a Blackberry Storm), and the rest on my laptop. Season 2 was downloaded over the ensuing two days, and while I absorbed the glory that was Ari Gold, Vincent Chase, Eric Murphy, Drama and Turtle, I was already downloading seasons 3 and 4 simultaneously.

Before season 5 was completely downloaded, I finished watching season 3 in one night, staying up until 6 a.m. Never have I been so in love. Then came my crowing glory: knocking out season 4 in one afternoon.

So as I prepare to delve into the final season available before the show’s 6th returns to HBO this summer, I am left in love with Ari Gold. The man is my idol.

In his own words: “Call me Helen Keller, because I am the miracle worker.”

Here is Ari Gold in all his splendor:

Monday, January 26, 2009

One little reason I love Idaho

Just found this photo on my computer from last summer. My cousin Gene, his girlfriend an I went on a nice little hike up past 4th of July Pass to a hidden lake only 2 miles from where we parked. Anyway, this picture was only halfway to the lake.

The photo itself is nothing special, but the view is grandiose! You should check it out in person.

Pretty much amazing.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Coming up short…

I’ve been so very proud of the fact that even up here in the cold winter of Coeur d’Alene I’m still very able to wear shorts year-round. It’s not something that happens every day, but if I had my way I would wear flip flops, shorts and a short-sleeved polo as much as humanly possible.

Today, however, that all changed.

As the temperatures dropped to below zero with the wind-chill tonight, I was driving down the freeway – heater cranked at 90 – and freezing my leg hair off. Even with the heater blasting 100% on the floorboards to keep the blood in my lower appendages flowing, I was cold. God, I was freezing.

It’s only because yesterday the sun was shining. I looked outside and assumed it was warmer than 32. Hooray! That’s all I needed – I damn near threw on sandals. But after spending the night at a buddy’s house next to his heater, I was not prepared for the chilly onslaught that was today’s sudden cold freeze.

From now on, there will definitely be a pair of sweats in my car.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Night Shots

I wanted to take some freeway pictures back in Portland earlier this month, but it just never seemed to happen for me. Night shots are by far my favorite photo, and since I never got the pics I wanted from the Rose City (I will next time I’m in town), I decided today that I would finally hop over to the 9th Street Bridge over I-90 in Coeur d’Alene. I’ve always thought this would be a cool spot to catch the 5 o’clock traffic.

And I was right!

I may not be a great photographer with the best camera, but I’m still figuring out how to use mine with the correct settings (no more green “auto” square for me, thank you). So aside from a little blur and some bright spots, I think I did OK:




Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama is my new hero…

…and only for two very specific reasons.

One: I knew this even during his campaign, and it almost convi nced me that I should get off my butt and vote (trust me, it would take a lot for that to happen!). He is very publicly against the Bowl Championship Series in college football in determining bf194245-obama-basketballthe Nation’s best football team. He wants a playoff as much as the nation. Who better to change that than the Commander-in-Chief!?

Two: According to SportsCenter’s EXREMELELY inauguration-related broadcast the other day, Mr. President will be installing a new fixture to the White House. I’m not sure if it will be indoors or out, but there will soon be a full-length basketball court at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C..

However, the only thing that perturbed me during ESPN’s coverage of the inauguration (yeah, I said that correct: ESPN’s coverage of the inauguration), was the fact that ESPN covered the inauguration! I understand how prolific this whole ordeal is to the history of America. But I didn’t really want to know how many Washington Nationals baseball games it would take to equal the 1.9 million in attendance for Obama (with the Nat’s average crowd hitting nearly 24K, it would take 80 home games).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Busy busy busy

As relaxing as my two-week vacation back in Portland was, I’m paying for it now! Holy hell the new semester has kicked me in the butt – and that’s just concerning the newspaper. Besides taking control of all the financial aspects of our Bookswap Funraiser (we let people sell their books to other students, and we only keep 15%. People make way more money than if selling back to the school), my final re-design tweaking on The Sentinel is as all-encompassing as I thought it would be.

The Sentinel is turning into a 40-hour work week.

It’s all worth it, however. We set a new record for most money made in a single Bookswap. Furthermore, after my redesign is complete, there is no doubt in my mind we will create a new benchmark for what a college newspaper in the Northwest should look like. Long story short: This semester will be the greatest Sentinel ever.

What’s more, I finally have built myself up in my own little head that I feel confident enough to apply for certain journalism awards with a swagger. It’s fun winning regional awards, and even a national nod is worth bragging about, but there are much bigger accomplishments out there.

Thus, I have but two goals before I leave North Idaho College:

  • Firstly: Being named one of the UWire Top 100 college journalists in the country. It’s a tall order. The competition will be stiff. I’m confident in my nomination, and respect that fact that there are so many collegiate journalists out there who deserve this recognition, as well. Hell, I think Eli Francovich has a better shot than I do (read his blog here. The man is amazing).
  • Secondly: This one is a hugely grandiose goal, like a kid who hopes to make the varsity basketball team – when he’s in 7th grade. The Poynter Institute is the grandaddy of all journalism, and so when they offer 40 two-week fellowships this May in Florida, the best of the best of collegiate journalists will be applying. I’ll be sending in the final portions of my application this weekend, so we’ll see what happens. (Cross your fingers, please!!)

At least I will have solace in the Idaho Press Club awards. From the sheer amount of submissions I had, there’s no doubt in my mind I won’t take home some hardware.

I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by incredibly talented writers and photographers on The Sentinel, they make designing the nation’s best paper so easy it’s not even fair for other schools. There is no way I could be so good at what I do if they weren’t all good at what they do.

And once more, be sure to check out Eli’s travel blog: it’s sure to make you jerk a tear or two.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Amazing Mouse

I always thought it was weird how mice love to run on wheels in their cages. But this little incident at Petsmart made me appreciate their feat that much more…

(First video I have ever taken on my Blackberry Storm…)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My favorite photos from 2008

I took a lot of pictures over the past 12 months, mostly just snapshots of people, pets and such. However, I did try and capture some pretty cool landscapes and night shots. My favorite pictures are by far the shots that show lines of light due to a long shutter speed at night. But I’m still learning how to take those more effectively.

I used to think I was a phenom in Photoshop, but I’m now learning how much more you can do with it (i.e. shooting in RAW format, etc.). Thus, I don’t do much editing in Photoshop anymore as I’ll probably make it look worse than before. That will all change this spring, however, as the digital photography class I’m scheduled to take will hopefully brush me up a wee bit.

What’s more, my girlfriend bought me a brand new Cannon digital camera for my birthday, so I’m still learning to use that puppy. Hopefully I can hammer out some sweet night pics of the freeway in Portland while I am here. We will see.

Anyways, here are the favorite pictures I took in 2008:


New Barbeque


Just after moving to Coeur d’Alene in the spring, John found me this little charcoal grill from a thrift store for only $8.50! We proceeded to use the thing almost daily, from ribs (see picture) to steaks, beer-can chicken, kabobs and roast. Life was grand. I eventually bought a new gas grill, as they are MUCH faster.


Oregon Waterfall


This is actually three separate photos I merged together in Photoshop. Holly and I drove to Oregon for her mom’s 50th birthday bash (I got sick on the trip and conversely slept through 90% of the party!). I made Holly stop on the way down to Eugene, and once more on the way back to see this waterfall. It just looks way better in black and white.


Kansas City


Not a real special photo by itself, but when I made Eli stand still in the middle of the road, I was waiting for a car to drive behind him so I could get those lines of light when you leave the shutter speed open. I almost got it, but the shutter closed before the car passed Eli. However, I think I like it better that way – it looks like the car disappears in Eli (coming from the right).


Gene the Hunter


We were hunting at my grandparent’s house when my cousin, Gene, discovered this dying yellow jacket barely moving as the temperatures were dropping. Maybe it would look better as a vertical photo, but I just love the fact that my new camera has a depth of field!


Coeur d’Alene Sunset


This is by far my favorite photo of 2008, and perhaps ever! I’ve never been great at capturing a bright sunset, but on this late summer evening the smoke from the burning fields outlined the sun splendidly! It took me 35 minutes and 4 loops on the freeway to find the perfect spot for this, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is so much more rewarding when you have to work for it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

From the bowels of “BOING”

So whilst working on my writing portfolio, I found some of the original “Boings” from high school, during my sports editor days on the Maroon & Gold.

This was by far my favorite sports column I ever wrote. Up until college, I think this may have been the greatest thing I ever wrote.

Originally published March 13, 2003, here you go:



I read it for the articles, I swear

In 1964, Sports Illustrated attained that coveted position which previously was achieved only by the gods.

In the Bermuda Triangle of the sports calendar known as February: the interval between football and baseball, where the NBA is down the long stretch and March Madness is still a month away, sports fans become tired. But in ’64, Sports Illustrated gave men (and possibly women) a glimmer of hope; a reason to look in the mailbox; essentially, a true incentive to be a sports fan in February.

And thus a magazine tradition was born. An issue with so much anticipation in the years following its birth, it quickly acquired the one-name status for a single issue that no other publication could rival.

The Swimsuit Edition.

And while it has obviously evolved with leaps and bounds from that rookie issue 39 years ago, it is now a seasoned veteran with no hopes of retiring.

1n 1976, we discovered twins, as Yvette and Yvonne Sylvander graced that now-classic edition. Soon after, we witnessed as Sports Illustrated put the pedal to the metal and gave us everything we could want in the 80’s: Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, and the models that were ushering us into a new age of hotness – featuring Heidi Klum, Kathy Ireland, and the first African American woman to grace the cover: Tyra Banks.

Yet, we’re not perverts.

For those hardcore sports fans, big, hairy, muscular men have been on our TV screens, in our magazines, and ultimately, on our minds for eleven months out of the year. All we thought about from March Madness through the World Series and onto the Super Bowl was male sports. Sure, the Anna Kournikova highlights were a must whenever Sports Center aired, but not until recently did women’s sports make it big.

So a certain magazine dawned a special issue to show us what else was out there. At first, these were new faces to us, only to be seen in women’s magazines. Yet as time went on, these women became our friends, our lovers and lives. Sure, only in our heads, but it still gave us that flicker of hope, that Shallow Hal instinct, that perhaps we might very well attain such beauty. Then Sports Illustrated messed with our one-track minds even further, taking it even further, and making the 3-D issue, where the models seemed to be crawling towards us. Getting our “hopes” up.

Damn them.

Our fathers, our father’s fathers, and now us. It’s a tradition. From that one day when you came home before your parents, decided to get the mail, you were forever changed by what you saw.

That was the last February you ever walked home. For one glorious day every February, you were the fastest man alive, beating your dad to the mailbox.

Thank you, sports Illustrated.

Resolution #2

I finally got around to uploading my entire writing portfolio pertaining all things journalistic during my growing career at The Sentinel. Indeed, it got me thinking about how I’ve grown as a writer – or shrunk.

In the beginning, I actually worked my butt off to sound as eloquent as possible, sometimes too eloquent. If the dictionary is a ray of shining light to those who love crossword puzzles, then a thesaurus was my Bible. Even back in high school, I tried too hard (See next post, above).

Yet nowadays, I’m so obsessed with designing the newspaper that I put off my own articles to the very last minute and bust out a sub-par story that even I can’t bear to read. True, I hold myself to a much higher standard than any normal person would – or should! – but I feel that when the new semester begins I will spend as much time working on my writing as I do obsessing over design.

My goal as a writer when I returned to The Sentinel last term was to write more than I did during my first stint. I seemingly attained that goal, as when I calculated how each staff member contributed to the paper, I actually wrote more articles than anybody else!

Apparently, I reached my goal: Write as much as possible. Consequently, however, I spent more time worrying about quantity that I forgot to work on quality.

Thus, my second resolution this year (next to being more consistent), will be quality over quantity. I would much rather pen seven or so excellent articles than 15 mediocre stories.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year’s Resolution: Consistency

Never in my life have I been one to follow a routine. Whether chalking up 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis or driving the same way to school or work, unbeknownst to be until just now I subconsciously seem to keep myself guessing. I never go to bed the same hour as the evening prior, and always wake up at different times the following morn – not to mention, more often than not I take different roads to school just to find a quicker route.

Even with my journalistic endeavors: I am adamant about certain design elements one day (even going as far as to vehemently convince those around me I am correct), then suddenly change my mind the next only to redesign the newspaper in my mind following each publication.

I rearrange my living room after nine months only to want a new arrangement a week later; obsess about the cleanliness of my kitchen for a month, then let dishes pile for a week; “beer before liquor, never been sicker:” those two get more interchanged than I care to admit.

There is not one steadfast element in my life I take serious enough to maintain a definite level of consistency. Even with this blog, which I fail to sustain as much as I wish. Stephen King once said the only way to become the best writer you can is to write every single day. That was my goal from day one: write every single day.

Well, as those around me make resolutions concerning their weight or smoking habits, I will yearn to maintain a minor level of consistency throughout certain aspects of my life – starting first with this blog.

Maybe I’ll follow that up with sticking to one route toward school. But as for the sleep thing, I certainly predict I will never be able to follow any pattern.

Baby steps. Baby steps.