Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winning a trip to Mustang Powder Snowcats!

I'm officially blogging about Cat Skiing Mustang Powder in hopes of winning a contest they're having. Shameless? Hell no... for anyone that has ever been cat-skiing or boarding - you know there is little else comparable to a skiing and snowboarding experience, other than taking a heli or airplane of course. I've been lucky enough to experience cat-boarding a few times at Mt. Bailey Snowcats - but that was many moons ago when I knew someone and had good cause to barter services with them. Cat-skiing and heli-skiing are, for the most part, a rich man's endeavor. Since I am not rich, but I have spent the better part of sixteen years trying to rearrange my schedule for the choicest powder days, I feel like I am a deserving and grateful candidate to take ownership of this contest and win it! Not only will I be a gracious guest at Mustang Powder, but I will bring along some of my HD camera gear and document and blog my experience to share (and brag) to all my friends and readers of my client's blog at

Sound good? Yep. Sign me up! Take Keeney to Mustang Powder, then I'll have a little contest of my own to see which lucky bastard gets to tag along. Haha!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Cyclocross winding down with two big weekends on tap.

US Gran Prix this weekend at PIR.

US Nationals next weekend in Bend. These will be the first two races I shoot this season where I'm NOT racing. Whew! Kind of a relief.

Anywho... here are the last two Cyclocross Diaries (6 and 7). The Diaries series will be complete with a naughty, number nine episodes after these weekends. Enjoy!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cyclocross Diaries Webisode #005

Not nearly enough time for blogging these days. Too busy getting married at Breitenbush Hotsprings, honeymooning in the San Juans and Vancouver Island, and returning just in time to embark on a rather large project: Racing AND Producing the Cyclocross Diaries for Wend Magazine, all over our fine state, from October through December. There is nothing I would rather be doing, but it can be a challenge - particularly when you are racing, camping, donning a winning costume and trying to gulp down the occasional beer. Such was the case at THIS race:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Intuition and a powerful full moon.

Seems this change of season is a fine time to post another group of thoughts. As my love Kelly made note of - this last full moon on Sept. 4th seemed to be a powerful one, perhaps signaling the changing of the seasons as well as a change in attitude. Sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut and it takes a little external push to send things reeling into a new direction. The moon helped me do this recently.

Now on to a story about intuition. As I may have mentioned in a previous post - we now live out in the woods, near the Bull Run river and resevoir. We're actually up on a ridge that looks out across the entire Bull Run watershed - and as Pounder says - the view doesn't suck. One of the other fringe benefits to living out here in the sticks is the awesome hiking and biking out our backdoor. Frequently after dinner, we hike out the back door down this overgrown forest road behind our house which dead-ends at a gravel road and drops quickly down to the Bull Run valley. Once you get about a quarter mile down - we are stopped by a big yellow gate. The kind with no trespassing signs and warnings posted on it. It is here that the property switches to the Portland Water Bureau - and they don't take kindly to folks crossing that line. Sure - when we first moved here - I bombed passed the gate several times on my mountain bike, surveying the land, getting to know my place in space. Since I had never seen any form of water bureau folks patrolling here at the gate, nor down on the pavement where it ends by the river - we figured it was okay for a kind family such as ours to be walking gently amongst the old growth once in a while. After all, we're treehuggers, this IS our neighborhood and we generally only walked another half mile or so into the old growth to make the most of our walks.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, our little 6-year old Sullivan commented, "I don't think we should cross the gate tonight Mommy". It's okay we said, dismissing her thoughts. "We're just going a little ways, and we'll turn back" we told her. As we continued passed the gate, she commented several times how she really felt like we shouldn't keep going this time. I actually had tuned her out at this point as I was more in tune with the big trees - and then - of course - I saw the coming headlights way down the twisty road. "Run!" I said. We turned around and started running back for the gate until I quickly realized we were not going to beat the truck back. It was uphill and little Sulli's legs can't quite keep up with my long legs. So... I stopped us and took it like a man. Behold - and VERY official... and VERY serious couple of youngsters in a Water Bureau patrol truck scolded us and threatened to lay a big ticket and fine on us. Being quick on my feet and with my tongue - I quickly explained how are dogs had rad passed the gate and we were only retrieving them. "We hike down here all the time" I exclaimed. "We never go passed the gate, the dogs saw a deer I think - and took off!". Well... they bought it! and let us off with a stern warning.

Three lessons learned that evening. 1. Never, EVER discount your children's intuition - it's often more powerful and raw than your own. 2. Do not fuck with the Portland Water Bureau. They are serious about protecting Portland's drinking water - as they should be - but shit... don't they chlorinate that water anyways? (another thought for another time). and 3. Be careful when and where you bend the truth - not only does a 6-year old have strong intuition - they also have bionic ears. At least our does. We had to do a lot more explaining about how it was okay to bend the truth in some circumstances than we did explaining why we were on the wrong side of the gate.

Last time I'll cross the gate? Probably. Last time I'll bend the truth? Probably not. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Village Idiot rise from the dead.

So great to see these emmer-effers throwin' it down again, some ten years since. They slayed it. People witnessed. Smiles abounded.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Short Track Finals

Great racing for the last night of mountain biking at PIR. There were some stellar riders in this series, pros like Shannon Skerritt who consistently rode like the wind, usually, many lengths in front of his competitors. Other dudes like Jesse Lucket and Salvatore Bondi kept the front of my pack, the Cat 2's, spread out ahead. A super fun time this summer though - making 5 of the 7 races has got me primed for Cross season, and for my first "real mountain" race at Diamond Lake next month. I put a few more pics from last night's finale here.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Life in the Woods

Walden, A Walk in the Woods, Listening for Coyote - some of my favorite stories about man living, walking and traveling in the woods. Now I'm living some of my own stories after living high on Bucksnort Ridge. I think the most incredible thing that I keep coming back to is discovery. Discovering so many new sights, sounds, plants and animals I've never known before. Our home is surrounded by such incredible diversity in plant life, particularly berries. One such berry, the thimbleberry, is in abundance right now. It kind of looks like a raspberry, but far more delicate and a similar taste, just more exotic.
Then there are the wide variety of flowers and other berries, wild irises, red columbine, salal - it is never-ending. Don't even get me started on the ferns. I feel pretty damned lucky to live in such a gorgeous place. We get the kinds of views and smells usually only reserved for those long backpacking trips. Makes me feel... Namaste.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We entered a short film contest online!

Jesse Blanchard is the man, Renee is the brains - and me? Ummm, a little of this, a little of that. After a couple of quick brainstorming sessions and online preproduction, we more or less shot this thing in a day. Jesse picked up the SFX shots at home the next day - then - like the champion he is, edited the shit out of this thing. Turned out perty-durned good I think. It's called "Borrowed Skin". If we win, we get some cash to use as funding for the next film!

Watch for yourself:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wend Magazine, Oakridge, Aaron Draplin and Layer Tennis

Tuesday the 23rd of June, and all is well. Finally got on the other side of some big projects - mainly - the short film contest with Jesse Blanchard, the Wend Magazine Pingpong Party video is up and getting views and the Woodstock house is emptied and cleaned up real nice once and for all. Next up? Editing the Portland frame-builders piece, also for Wend. Oh... the Oakridge mountain-biking video from the man's weekend is also up!

In the meantime, for all you e-loafing slackholes - an old friend from Bend is still slaying the world's graphic design ass like no other. Aaron Draplin is his name - and there is way too much to be said about this bad mofo, but this is worth noting: he is in the semi-finals of a little something called Layer Tennis. Instead of regurgitating what it's all about - all just post this from their site: " We’re hosting a series of live design events called Layer Tennis. The season wouldn’t have happened without the support of Adobe® Creative Suite® 4, the weapon of choice for Layer Tennis players and creative professionals everywhere. We'll be playing matches using video, animation, sound, photos, type and lots more, but the basic idea is the same no matter what tools are in use. Two competitors will swap a file back and forth in real-time, adding to and embellishing the work. Each artist gets fifteen minutes to complete a “volley” and then we post it to the site live. A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary on the action, as it happens. A match lasts for ten volleys and when it's complete, Season Ticket Holders tell us what they think and we'll declare a winner, so sign up today."

Anywho... I've watched two of his previous matches, live, and gotten a real kick and further inspiration from it. So when you've got one eye on the clock Friday, like the postman in downtown Bend, roll your mouse and eyeballs on over to the match. Fun stuff. Go Draplin!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Summer - It's always like that.

My friend Jeffie and I used to chat about how Summer always seems to go by so fast, and you really need to pack in the adventuring to not feel cheated. This means being extremely proactive and fillin' up the spaces on that calendar. Summer 2009? Quickly becoming no different as things progress nicely in the life that is ETK. Add to it a slew of new video and film projects and things really start to get interesting. I felt like I needed to make a list here as some kind of mental purge and visual organization. Here the short list:

1. Final edits and trial with Smith Freed.
2. "The Last Orderly" 3:00 film contest with Jesse Blanchard.
3. First video projects for Wend Magazine.
4. Moving into Tuckridge Lodge above Bull Run river.
5. Man's Weekend mountain-biking Oakridge/Westfir.
6. Femi Kuti at the Zoo.
7. Three Fingered Jack snowboard retreat #29.
8. Village Idiot reunion show.
9. Ween in Bend.
10. Mt. Bike race at Diamond Lake.

Don't get me started on the "currently under construction" empty spaces on the calendar... -ETK

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do the wealthy elite rule the world?

I used to listen to Coast to Coast with Art Bell frequently on long road trips, particularly at night. Tales of Bigfoot and UFO's were such perfect mind candy to help pass the time across the long expanses of the Oregon, Nevada and California deserts. One topic that popped up from time to time was the Secret Society known as the Bilderberg Group. A "behind-the-scenes" society of the world's wealthiest individuals who are secretly manipulating and controlling the fate of the world - financially - and perhaps otherwise. As with most topics on Coast to Coast, I take it with a grain of salt. It's just entertainment, but sometimes thought-provoking. This link (click on title of this post) digs deeper into this group and offers additional insight into recent secret meetings that reportedly took place and ideas that were discussed. Interesting stuff.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My life as a “Veterinary Tech”

Everyday is a new experience in this wacky life of mine. My love works as a Veterinarian and has a bigger heart and love for animals than most it seems. It is certainly one of the things I love about her. It explains how our family now numbers at 6 total and may now be 7. Each week I get to hear harrowing tales of animal adventures that come through her clinic. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Unfortunately, her clinic is in Clackamas, Oregon and tends to attract some of the backwoods folk from Estacada. This could be everything from grotesquely wounded pitbulls from dogfights to severely mistreated and neglected cats. The good? There was a coyote puppy in the clinic this weekend! Not sure about his fate yet... but damn is he cute!

So, this Memorial Day weekend: Apparently a toothless woman who smelled like a rotting pair of old gym socks dropped off this little kitty with a badly broken leg. This fella, whom we’ve named Merlin, had 5 separate breaks in one small area of his leg. The woman claimed he was a stray, but his good nature led Kelly to believe otherwise. This is the kind of thing which normally spells euthanasia for a stray as there are no shortage of cats in the world. But my love, being the amazing humanitarian she is, sensed something special in this particular kitty. That extra gleam of understanding in the animal’s eyes that makes you ponder reincarnation. So she decided to take on little Merlin as her own, and perform an amputation. One of the few cool things about her working for “the corporation” is their ability to let doctors do this kind of work for free and extend a generous discount on drugs and materials. After several hours of a grueling surgery, removing his back leg from the hip joint down, little Merlin emerged on the other side with 3 legs and a new lease on life. Yay Merlin!

My part as a Vet Tech? We had to check in on Merlin over the weekend – only to discover he had ripped his I.V. out – so I had to firmly, but gently hold the scruff of his neck as she administered more drugs, fluids and re-applied an I.V. – and load him up for home transport. He has been living in our bathtub since – all hopped up on Morphine and doing quite well. That is of course – until he managed to yank one of hit staples out. This morning – I had to hold him down again – much to his displeasure – as she threw a quick suture in the missing staples spot. Good god does this cat make a terrifying shrieking noise – something that will make your hair stand on end if your not prepared for it. Not to mention – trying to avoid the occasional attempt at a bite due I’m sure to his complete state of terror and pain.

Whether or not we keep Merlin for the long haul remains to be seen. He is quite a loving little critter, probably about 2-years old, Tabby colored, and will make a fine addition to any cat-friendly home. I have a feeling my life as a "vet tech" has only just begun - but it has been so exciting and a fantastic learning process to see my love at work and witness her passion firsthand. She is very special and I'm a lucky fellow. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Following your heart and your gut.

It is a common saying - "follow your heart", but one that is easily forgotten, until you actually stick with it and see the positive results of doing so. Case in point: About five years ago, after a decade of graphic design work, I decided to go back to school. I kind of fell into the Graphic Design business after getting my Associate's Degree in design and pre-press and meeting Bonfire Snowboarding co-founder Brad Steward in my hometown Kinkos. Brad offered me a gig doing design work for his then, fledgling, snowboard clothing company. Since I had recently fallen in love with fine art of snowboarding, I took the gig, which propelled me into the industry and a ton of cool gigs. Fast forward ten years and I realized that I didn't really enjoy the 100% office/desk/computer commitment and lifestyle that was associated with graphic design. Sure, I got to work with a ton of cool people and participated in some amazing projects - but in the end - I yearned for something more.

In high school my curiosity had been sparked in film-making after being one of a handful of students that were part of the Senior Film class. I had since dabbled with home video making over the recent years - but decided it was time to take a serious look at film and video as a profession, which led me to DeAnza College in Cupertino, California, and my second Technical Degree. The very moment I took this step, and put my heart, soul and passion into what I REALLY wanted, was the moment doors began to open. My very first project while still in school was a Marketing Video for a "little" local bike company called Specialized. Imagine that? This quickly moved forward to gigs with sports documentaries, adventure/travel television and more.

Fast forward five more years. After spending a year up in Bellingham skiing Mt. Baker and working part time shooting Seattle Sonics homegames - I decided to return to my beloved Oregon - and once again, get serious about my film and video path. I landed a job at a dotcom doing video production for the web, and begrudgingly, everything else for them. After two years as a jack-of-all-trades for the dotcom - the good old economy tanked - and yours truly found himself collecting a hefty unemployment check.

Enter - Winter 2009. What do you do? Hmmm... that heart and soul thing: Snowboarding! Haha... damn straight - midweek powder days-a-plenty this season. Perfect timing really. The dotcom 50-hour office commitment had wore me down again - so the time couldn't have been better. Which brings me to this fine Spring day in May - and the reason for this post. Even though I've been looking for a new job in both Video Production and Graphic Design world - there is a serious lack of opportunity out there in town. Not to mention - the idea of clocking back into the desk cranking out catalog designs, print ads and such, for some industry du-jour, isn't really tickling my fancy.

So - the moment I decided not to settle, but to remain true to my heart and soul, is the moment doors began to open again. Those of you that have seen the film "What the Bleep..." might get what I'm talking about here. It has to do with manifesting your own destiny, believing in your path and your mass of positive consciousness altering the flow of molecules in the universe. Really? Indeed. Easy to forget and get bogged down in the day-to-day doldrums that could be blocking your chi. But very real for those who believe and practice.

Two things have happened in recent days to vindicate this power of consciousness and positivity: One - a lucrative cottage industry as a legal videographer has just fallen in my lap. Not a full-time, sleepy courtroom sort of thing, but the occasional, and remarkably easy, on-site shoots, at full production rate. Perfect. And two - and certainly more importantly - I met a guy for beers this week who produces a rather successful and respectable piece of media in the world. Not only is he cool-as-shit and seems to vibrate on the same frequency as me, he is on the verge of creating my dream job for his company. Truly. Funny, when I first approached him to chat - I just thought he had a cool product and wanted to somehow get involved. Little did I know that he would proceed to tell me he planned to create this new position, of which it seems, I could not be more perfect for. Stunning really. Not sure he feels the same way just yet - but I have no doubt the more he gets to know me and what I do, the more likely he'll have to agree. I must say - if this goes the way I'm thinking it is going, I will be the happiest, most creative, radiant and thankful man alive.

Until then - I'm off with my trusty video camera to yet another interesting part of Portland, to shoot and learn something new.

Follow your heart, trust your gut and believe in yourself. Powerful stuff.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ralph Nader - Know Your History Please

Watched the documentary "Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man" last night - a fantastic film and important biography. I'm just old enough to remember him for his virtuous life of protecting consumers in the 60-70's, but I am sad about how many Americans really only think of him as the 2004 Presidential Election spoiler. Seriously? So sad. I encourage everyone to see it and learn about a one of our country's most amazing real citizens.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Diving Back into Graphic Design with a Half Gainer

After changing careers with a new degree in Television and Video technologies several years ago, my former skills as a Graphic Designer went largely unused as Video and TV gigs kept presenting themselves in recent years. I still had to hold down the occasional gig as a magazine or advertising designer to keep the bills paid - but day to day designing from scratch was a skill I was getting burnt out on and I was glad to put to rest for a while.

In today's economy, I've learned these skills have never been so important as I'm having to ply my craft in every skill-set I have in order to compete in the extremely crowded and talented creative pool of Portland, Oregon. I picked up a gig design logos, and identity and t-shirts for an up and coming recycled materials clothing and accessories company marketing itself to the 20-30 somethings who care about the environment and might have an inclination to surf/skate/snowboard/climb/frisbee golf, etc.

So here I sit, Day Three, Hour Fifty-Three, cranking out idea, after idea, after idea. It's funny - just when I think I'm tapped out and drawing a blank, it always seems something else gurgles to the top. And the farther along I get, the more confident I get and the quicker and deeper my Illustrator and Photoshop skills seem to be coming back to me.

Hallelejuah! Bring-it Portland design community - I'm ready.