Monday, November 09, 2009

A summer in sum

Did you wonder what fun things happened this summer?
Well, wonder no more!

GTAB's Bellingham Team met twice each week while Kevin Gowan was in town. The team grew to six members and we outlined a new fundraising strategy (which is getting close to launch!)

[Most of the GTAB team: Michelle, Tim, Amanda, Kevin, and me.]

I decided to do a triathlon with my friend Tim and then told a whole bunch of people so that I wouldn't back out. The week of the race came and we decided that the registration was too expensive. But instead of bailing altogether, I got together with Tim and a pile of Widmans (they're always game on short notice!) and we did our own "self-administered" triathlon at Lake Whatcom. 1/4mi swim, 15mi bike, 3mi run.

[Tim, me, Jeff, Carla, and Brad before the triathlon.]

We added a couple of miles on the biking leg when Tim got lost and we went looking for him. Then the Widmans had to skip the run for a family thing but me and Tim (once he found his way back) both finished the while thing. It felt fantastic.

[Post race, post haste.]

Chris Akers (of Bridging Babel fame) has started a new band called Transcarlet and he invited me to play a concert with them at the Thurston County Fair. There weren't many people at the fair but those that witnessed our show may or may not have undergone some face melting.

[Jeff Storvick (#1 fan) and Chris before the show.]

I led my first mission trip in August and it went super well. I went to an orphanage in Mexico, 4hrs south of Tijuana with 8 of my good friends (including my sister.) After a lot of preparation the trip pretty much led itself as my friends were all so helpful, responsible, and aren't too bad at the Spanish themselves.

We got to paint classrooms, can tomatoes, demolish roof infested with bees and a coral snake, get schooled at soccer, and play lots of music. What a marvelous time.

[Pitstop at the Oregon dunes on our way to Mexico.] (Photo from Kevin Fitts)

[Music always sounds better when you're in a tree.] (Photo from Megan Eells)

Action for Africa is a group of Whatcom county locals who are partnering with a community in Lesotho (That's near the southern tip of Africa.) I'd been wanting to get involved with them so when they organized a small horde of relay teams for a local relay race, I jumped at the chance to participate. The only leg remaining to be filled was the one that's hardest for me. Boo. So I attempted a 5 mile run for the Bellingham Traverse with a long uphill at the end. I achieved my goal of never standing still... lots of walking up hills but never stopping.

Hey, thanks.
If you're reading this, chances are you deserve that. Friends, you've been tremendously encouraging this summer. You rock.


I like Andrew.
We like adventures.

How do hide a huge (1.5mi) tunnel in a small town?
Put it underground.

How do you keep us out?
Good luck.

[At the mouth]

[The first of many manholes. This one surfaces at Happy Ct.]

Friday, November 06, 2009

One purpose, two reactions

Every time I've told someone about switching my academic focus from Civil Engineering to Video Production I've gotten one of two reactions:

(1) "Now that's a switch!" or (2) "Finally!"

The first response is fairly ignorant of both disciplines. Producers and engineers both spend most of their time working with teams and wrangling project management... lots of scheduling, budgeting, and client communication. Both use complicated software tools and require heaps of technical knowledge (whether it's Young's modulus of elasticity or anamorphic pixels.)

My purpose in each of them has been to influence a positive change in the world. One by construction, the other through communication.

I realized, however, that one while video was taught through team-based projects, a degree in engineering looked a lot more like long lonely lectures and long problem sets. Funny that even though the careers look so similar they would be presented so differently.

[Still a little concerned of what may lie ahead]