Monday, November 17, 2008

Portland Marathon Video -- Redux

As many of you know, I went to school for television production but this was before the days of non-linear editing. My colleages and I had to do it the "old school way" but now anyone with a computer & the right software can create a high powered editing suite--add YouTube and you have perfect distribution. I just got Ken's hand me down laptop which has Adobe's Premiere Pro on it and, can I tell you, I am in heaven.

This is the "vision" I had all along for Ken's Portland Marathon video--all of it in one package. There's new video, new photos and some "fancy" titling at the end.

Check it out!

Pineapple Classic

Today Ken, Sean, Sarah, Mika, Wilson & Briahna participated in the Winter Pineapple Classic a 5K team run benefiting blood cancer research with obsticles and the unique element of having to transport a pineapple from start to finish. Most participants dressed up and really got into the "aloha spirit". Sean & Ken ran as a 2-man team and the Wallers & Atteberrys ran as a 4-person team. Fun was had by all! Here's a video of the festivities edited with Adobe Premiere...I finally have decent editing software. Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Does Grey's care about my feelings?

I'm afraid my second favorite show, Grey's Anatomy, is struggling to find itself right now. Last night's episode featured the ghost of Denny making out with Izzie, after the quick & unexplained departure of Erica (because she's a lesbian and ABC can't handle it) all the while Meredith, Derek & friends tried to save a homeless guy who was crushed beyond all recognition in a garbage truck. It's getting pretty nutty right now.

It's driven some people to vent on the Grey's writers' blog...
Rantings of a pissed off viewer.

Posted by: Mylene | November 14, 2008 at 08:30 AM

First of all, I want Mark and Callie not incestuous Mark and Lexie. I also want George and Lexie.

I want George and Izzie to be best friends again.

I want George to have more than 10 seconds of airtime every episode.

I want Sadie to go away and (s)top annoying me and taking his airtime.

I want Lexie and the stupid interns cutting themselves thing to stop right now.

I also want you to post my comments because I am tired of writing every single week just for you to not post any of what I write. It makes me feel like you couldn't care less about my feelings.

And really who wants to watch a show where the creator doesn't care about their feelings?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Update on the Basement Flooding Incident

We were lucky. The water seepage was caught before it could do major damage. But we certainly paid for it. I guess I can take heart that we stimulated the economy a little bit and we now have a new p-trap, a new external clean out for the sewer, new carpet pads and a dry basement, but nothing compares to the privilege of seeing the inside of one's sewer pipes.

In the second video, you witness us discovering another potential issue with our sewer connection. At 60 feet out, it's almost 50% blocked by some combination of a misaligned pipe and dirt. This is something we have to watch in the days/months to come. For the time being though, we're okay according to the plumber. (And no his name was not Joe) Though we still need to replace the baseboards in the basement, we'll wait a few weeks on that to make sure everything's still dry.

A note to all of you with older homes, it probably didn't occur to you (like it didn't to us) to scope your sewer line when you first bought it. It costs roughly $300 and it's a really good idea for to have it in the inspection when you buy a house. As I said before, converging storm drains and sewers are no longer code but many older houses still have this set up. If you get a blocked p-trap or another obstruction in your line, you can get sewer water coming in your lowest drain/toilet during a heavy, sustained downpour. I don't even want to imagine that.

Things I think about while commuting...

I can't help but see a striking similarity between people's hesitancy to spend money in the current economy and that scene in Jaws where people were reluctant to go swimming on the 4th of July with a giant shark in the water.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Emergency Home Repair Escapades

Those of you in Seattle might have noticed that it's been raining quite a bit lately. Normally this is not a cause for alarm, but today we have joined the ranks of those lucky homeowners who have water damage in their basement. Yesterday we noticed that the carpet along the west wall of the basement was wet. We immediately put towels down to soak up the water and Ken launched an investigation into the cause. What he found was that his valiant effort to clean the gutters a few months ago was rewarded by some of that debris going into the downspout and thus into the storm drain. Normally this is not an issue except for the fact that because of the building standards of the 1930's, our storm drain and sewer connection converge into one pipe right outside our bathroom window at the west wall of our basement. (BTW: This is no longer a current building practice.) Our combo storm drain/sewage outlet has a p-trap in line to eliminate sewer gas but it is prone to clog if it's passing waste plus leaves, needles and moss. The recent rains caused a lot of water in a short period of time to flow into our storm drain and because the p-trap blocked up (I saw the clog but didn't get a picture--darn it), the excess water just overflowed and seeped down along the foundation into the basement.
The plumbers have been here excavating this clogged p-trap. They will replace it with one that can be accessed from the surface. They will also provide a separate sewer hatch accessible from outside the house.
Conversation from this morning: Ken: "Didn't we did have a sewer access in our main floor bathroom?" Me: "Oh you mean the one we tiled over because we never thought we'd need to use it?" Last night, Ken shored up the downspout to make sure no additional water went down the storm drain. Take a look at how much water accumulated overnight... Makes a great case for a rain barrel.
As an added bonus, I have just been told by our trusty plumbers that concrete was the favorite type of pipe to use in the olden days but it can break down over time. Sure enough, they showed me where the mortar in the concrete pipe is mostly washed away and all that remains is the rocks. (Read: point of major system weakness & possible seepage issues.) So once they get the new p-trap installed, we are going to turn to technology and run a special camera through the sewer line to see if there are any other areas of concern. I assume with our system being 77 years old, we could find some very interesting shit--for lack of a better word.
Inside the house, we had water damage restorers come over and access the carpet, walls and baseboards. I guess there is nothing you can do when the pad underneath the carpet gets wet--you just have to cut it out and replace it. They had this neato hydrostick that when you push down into the carpet, it told you if it was wet or not. This is really important when trying to find the edge of the affected area. They pulled back the wet carpet and removed all the baseboards. Guess what they found? Moldy moulding.
They guess that this mold is a few days along and grew from the carpet side in rather than the drywall side out. That is a BIG relief that neither the drywall nor insulation is severely damaged and therefore can be dried out. We now have three loud industrial blowers going downstairs: one blowing into the wall, one blowing under the carpet and one blowing at the built-in cabinet baseboards which will run 24 hours a day until Monday. It's like being inside an airplane cruising at 30,000.
Clearly this is not our idea of a good time but I am sobered by the thought of the folks who lost their whole houses in the floods of Katrina and the Centralia/Chehelis area. If a little bit of water does this much damage, I can't even imagine.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Regarding the Obama Win

On this historic evening, the newscasters are trying to come up with profound musings about the momentousness of Obama's win. What I know is that its the first time I've personally felt inspired by this government--that perhaps our better selves can and will prevail. Obama mentioned "service & sacrifice" in the coming years and that's fine. I wouldn't expect to get something for nothing, but it's this odd sense of the rest of the country that I haven't felt before. A fledgling unity that will certainly be tested and could have been entered into begrudgingly by some. But a unity nonetheless which overwhelms me with it's resonance.

Election Coverage

1. Do not look at exit polls--only concentrate on official results.
2. Look for Indiana and Virginia to indicate how the night will go.