Monday, August 31, 2009

Wrigley Field


I was born and raised a Mariners fan, and Seattle will always be my hometown sports team. Safeco is my favorite field, no doubt, but loyalty none withstanding I have wanted to witness Wrigley since boyhood. The home of the Chicago Cubs is one of the greatest stadiums in American baseball, and, according to ESPN’s Jim Caple there are only “three places that are quintessentially American: Disneyland, the Yosemite Valley and Wrigley Field (preferably for a day game).

I plan on visiting Fenway Park (home of the Red Sox) before I die, and it hurts a little knowing I will never view a game at the original Yankee Stadium, but Wrigley Field is tops. And even from the Upper Deck, our seats were awesome.

Chicago Cubs
Six photos merged together from where we were sitting. It looks a lot further away in the photo because of the panoramic view, but these seats were great. And $40 for upper deck is pretty pricey, but well worth it!

See, not that far away.

Me, Eli and Nils.

Pure bliss! The Cubs destroyed the Mets 11-4.


It took us three hours to drive from Indy to Chicago, and another two getting from the suburbs to downtown. Our hotel was insanely nice, and our guide, David (a colleague of Nils’), was an excellent guide – he also arranged for the killer deal at our hotel.

I ate Armenian food for the first time, got some sweet shots of skyscrapers and fulfilled a childhood dream: visiting Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. (Those photos soon)

Here are the best photos from my camera during our trip, but Eli also took some nice pictures (see his blog here).

Willis Tower (formerly Sears), right, with the sun peeking through.

Main Lobby of the Willis Tower. All the flags represent Olympic teams that would come if Chicago wins their bid for the 2016 summer games.

This reminded me of Coeur d’Alene’s “Moose on the Loose” program.

This time it was posed. This time…

Sears Tower
Three-photo vertical panoramic shot of the Willis Tower. It cost $24 to go to the observation deck, but the line wrapped around the block and we were told the Hancock Building next to our hotel offered the city’s best views – especially the women’s restroom, which we were unable to attain entry – and they were right.

3 i’s in 3 days: Idaho, Indiana, Illinois

After leaving Portland last Monday, I drove straight to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where I only had 3 days to see as many people as possible before leaving for Indianapolis. Sad to say, that didn’t work out very well, as I was poor when it came to mixing time with family and friends.
However, the culmination of those three days reared beautifully-smoked garlic- and beer-flavored results from my IMG_4660Grandpa’s smoker Wednesday night: four racks of perfectly smoked beef and pork ribs (See them hanging in Grandpa’s wholly customized Brinkman –-> ).
I loved them, my family loved them, but the true food critic of our family (Grandpa, himself) apparently loved them, also: “The best ribs I’ve ever had.”
Indeed, it was true last Wednesday night that perfection can often times be found on a plate.
We left for the airport Thursday morning at 4 a.m., my advisor from The Sentinel Nils Rosdahl along with the paper’s new managing editor, Eli Francovich. The reason for our journey was simple: The Sentinel had been named a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious national award, The Mark of Excellence. We knew we weren’t winning first place, but the college still decided it would pay to send Nils, Eli and myself to pick up the award.

SPJ This is the three of us picking up our award at the conference in Indy. Eli and I were the only people in attendance not wearing a collar.
We spent just one night in the capital of Indiana. However, I did get to have a drink with fellow Poynter Alum Ashley Porter, who was at the convention to pick up her very own Mark of Excellence for Sports Video.
We left Friday afternoon; I mean, we tried to leave. But there was a major problem: Nils lost the keys to the rental car. An hour later, the bellboy saved us by checking his luggage room once more, and produced the keys from the floor where he stored our bags earlier. Alas, while we believed all to be well, we conversely spent the next hour covering two miles searching for the parking garage we parked in (at one point early on, we walked within a half-block of it).
Needless to say, we were exhausted as we left Indianapolis for Chicago, a trip that Nils thought would make a better two nights than Indianapolis.
Oh, how right he was!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best Chicago Photo

OK, here is my favorite Chicago photo before I wait to upload the rest. Nils, Eli and I climbed up 96 floors (well, we rode the elevator) to The Signature Lounge of the John Hancock Building.

Long story short (I will explain the entire trip later), we looked at the best view Chicago has to offer from a bar:

PS: Click on the photo to view it much larger

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Here are just a couple of the photos I’ve taken while in Chicago. I will throw some more up when I get back in town. Anyway, I’m really getting obsessed with panoramic shots (obviously…).

What’s more, I’ll be back in Chi Town in almost a month. But more to come on this trip in a day or so.

Chicago buildings
This is a pano from below a bunch of tall buildings.

One of the elevated trains… They filmed “Batman: The Dark Night” in Chicago and one of the scenes was near this corner.

Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field!! Such an awesome game!

There will be lots more photos to come, as well as a synopsis as the point of our entire trip and why I went from Portland to Coeur d’Alene to Spokane to Indianapolis to Chicago.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coeur d’Alene mountains

Yesterday my cousin Gene told me about a 70-foot tall ranger station way out past Fernan Mountain. So, he took off from work early and we spent two hours driving up to the rickety old station, which hasn’t been used since the ‘70s. They’re going to tear the thing down in the near future because of the liability it poses (it’s old as hell and ready to break – but I still felt safe … for the most part).
Anyway, we got some cool photos of it, not to mention a moose sighting right off the bat. We chased it in the truck for about a quarter mile trying to get alongside it for a cool photo, but a truck came barreling in the opposite direction and spooked it up the hill.
Spades Tower
And lastly, but definitely not least, this little Idaho-shaped rock:

Friday, August 21, 2009

June 26, 2010

Don’t forget that date. Because, as of this afternoon, next year on June 26 (or, as I like to call it, 6-2-6, or 6-26), is the day Holly and I are set to be married!

You see, today, Cathy (Holly’s mom), Holly and myself went to visit The Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland. It was amazing. I had seen the website although I didn’t think much at first. However, upon our initial viewing, I was stunned. While I found out later that this venue has boasted bands from The Shins to The Grateful Dead, I was amazed by the sprung dance floor (more on that type of dance floor here).

Needless to say, Cathy and Holly were more excited than I. And thus, our wedding next summer will resemble something much more amazing than this previous wedding (which was held in the same ballroom):

Crystal 1

Crystal 2

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best Clunker


Yesterday I was playing on Facebook when I saw a status update from the movie “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.” It read something like this: Upload a picture of your clunker for a chance to win free movie tickets to see The Goods.

Well, I uploaded this picture right then and there:


Low and behold, the current status update for the movie’s official Facebook Page is this:

The Goods Live Hard Sell Hard Congrats to the first winner of our CLUNKER PIX FOR MOVIE TIX givaway! Jake D. is seeing the movie for FREE! Upload a picture of your clunker! New winners will be picked everyday until the 26th!

Hell yeah, baby!! I won!

Text Message Challenge

North Idaho College is hosting just that at the North Idaho Fair this month. It’s a texting competition divided into three age groups, where people are scored on speed and accuracy. I’ve mocked up a few designs, but they changed the theme to “So you think you can Text.”
So, I had to switch to a design reminiscent of this one:
so_you_think_you_can_dance1 Well, after my slow-ass computer crashed three times trying to render an 11x17 poster at 300 dpi, I finished this guy after four hours tonight. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cannon Beach

Yesterday’s photo of Haystack Rock was from my Blackberry (in fact the past three posts came from my Storm, thank you MMS blogging!). However, I also took my Cannon Powershot S5IS. So, even though the lighting was really bright and I have no UV filter (and my camera was covered in sand) I got a few cool pictures.

I can’t wait to go back over with the sole intention of taking beach photos. Cannon Beach is only an hour and fifteen minutes away, so it’s easily a day trip – after all, Holly and I went yesterday with the sole intention of having lunch on the beach.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to get a panorama of the rocks at sunset, but that will have to wait for another day. Of course, next time I will have to scout vantages free of power lines.





Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oregon Coast staycation

Today the misses and I had a spiffy little picnic on Cannon Beach next to Haystack Rock. This was our first trip back since April Fool's Day when I proposed, and the weather was waaaaaaay nicer: Instead pf spring's horrendous wind and rain we basked in sunny 70-plus degree warmth.

It's no Lake Coeur d'Alene, but I guess the Pacific Ocean is a close second...

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Friday, August 14, 2009


Somebody's watching you!

Holly cutout the pile of cash with eyeballs from a Geico ad the other day, and it has since been floating around our house. This photo is now the wallpaper on my phone coupled with a new ringtone: the Geico commercial's techno theme song, "I always feel like, somebody's watching me."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dinner for Holly

While Holly was finishing up her photo shoot for Terra Del Sol Spa's new TV commercial (starring her ... in a bathing suit!), I made her our new favorite dinner: shrimp, crab and alfredo pasta with artichoke and garlic-basil mayo -- ALL homemade, thank you very much. For my first endeavor into the wonderful world of the amazing artichoke, we both declared success.

Damn, even this one impressed me!

The best part? This whole post & photo came from my BlackBerry. I'm back, baby!

Coeur d’Alene Winter

I was flipping through the old pictures on my blackberry after updating my new phone with the old phone’s info, when I stumbled upon this little guy. Last December when it snowed record amounts in Coeur d’Alene (three feet in 24 hours!!) I woke up to our driveway looking like this, with both cars covered completely – you can see the side mirror of my red Buick in close to the center of the picture.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wild Ammo

Thanks to fellow Poynter alum Mike Higdon of Reno, Nevada, for pointing out a very, very amusing website care of Facebook. The site is called Wild Ammo (click here for their homepage).
Anyway, what originally caught my attention was Mike’s link to this page: “What Stormtroopers Do On Their Day Off.” Below is a picture that I couldn’t stop laughing at:
storm troop
After delving a wee bit deeper into the site, I stumbled upon another hilarious (yet albeit weird) grouping of photos: Painted portraits of a naked President Obama frolicking with a unicorn.
I kid you not. There’s a whole series! Don’t believe me, then go here or just look at one sample below:

Monday, August 10, 2009

I’m baaaaaaack!

FINALjake with phone After more than one month of grueling cell phone hell, I finally received my new Blackberry Storm. Thanks to Holly, my adoring fiancĂ©e who is today also the proud new recipient of her own BB Storm, as well as the fine people over at Asurion (my cell phone insurance provider), I’m back in action, baby!

It was a rough six weeks, believe you me. After getting used to sending e-mail at any second, check live-to-the-second ESPN updates, YouTube on the go, not to mention Twitter and Facebook access in my hand, I was indeed a Blackberry drone.broken baby

(My old phone, after a bachelor party volleyball game at a biker bar) ------>

What’s worse: I had just learned to blog from my phone – then it broke! Coincidence? I only hope so. Besides, you know that feeling when you lose your wallet or keys and you feel so naked?

That was me. Everyday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photo Gallery

Click Here for the link to an online photo gallery I've made through Google's Picasa albums. They're photos I've probably already posted, but still some extras. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep adding to this album every time I put a photo online.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Got another job

Thanks to the temp service I signed up with right when I moved here, I finally landed a job that won’t end when I finish designing a book. What’s great about the position is that it’s part-time (20-30 hours per week) and I can essentially set my own schedule around other freelance design, writing or editing work. This is great, trust me.

Now, a little about the job: It’s through a company called Strands:


Their primary function is a website where runners, swimmers, bicyclists – essentially any athlete or fitness-oriented individual – can track progress across multiple spectrums: workouts, mileage, nutrition, you name it. What’s more, you can share all this information with others due the community-driven nature of the site. It’s much like Facebook and Twitter in that sense.

More to come later.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wedding Party

I’ve had a bunch of people recently ask me who all the groomsmen and bridesmaids are in my wedding with Holly. While we have yet to pick a date, location, time or pretty much any other detail, we have picked all of the wedding party.
So, without further adieu, here they are (all photos thanks to Facebook, since my external hard drive full of good photos is out of commission at the moment).
There’s 7 groomsman, 7 bridesmaids, 2 ring-bearers and a flower girl.

Best Man: BEN LEE
HOMETOWN: West Linn, Oregon
WHY: My best friend since Fall term 2003 when we joined the frat at Oregon State. He’s been planning a “Best man” speech for years.

HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: December 2008 pretty much sums it all up: Absinthe, raw oysters, gorilla mask and a wheelchair.
HOMETOWN: Hayden, Idaho
WHY: My older cousin – taught me to hunt, fish, drink.

HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washingington
WHY: My older brother. I was a groomsman in his wedding, also, in 1998 when I was 12. (His two sons are the ring-bearers).

HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: My little cousin, more like a little brother.

HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: My uncle, also like a dad to me my whole life.

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: A good friend of both Holly’s and mine, we went to high school together, graduating in the same class.

emily i
Maid of Honor: EMILY ISKRA

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: Holly’s best friend for as long as I can remember.

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: Holly’s oldest sister.

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: Holly’s youngest sister.

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: One of Holly’s other best friends for as long as I’ve known both of them (all three of us took French together in high school).

emily d
HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: The oldest of my three younger sister.

Bridesmaid: ABBY DONAHUE
HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: My little sister (the middle one).

HOMETOWN: Junction City, Oregon
WHY: My youngest sister.

jack and ryan
Ring-Bearers: Jack & Ryan Donahue
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
WHY: My two nephews. They’re a couple of studly lady-killers.

Flower Girl: Meg Whaley
HOMETOWN: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
WHY: Holly used to babysit her when living in Coeur d’Alene.