Something you didn’t know.

When I was living on Bainbridge Island and commuting back and forth across the ferry everyday I was one tired dude. I would need to be on the 6:20am ferry out of Bainbridge to get to Seattle by 7am and walk 2 miles to work everyday. Then 2 miles after work when I got off at 5pm to be on the 6:30pm ferry out of Seattle. I was not getting much sleep and when I had to walk the few blocks uphill from the Ferry i would need to get psyched up. Having my iPod with me I would get motivated to walk up the hill by playing the Superman Theme. The wonderful piece composed by John Williams. If you have not heard you are living in cave. YouTube link is below.

I loved superman as a child. I had superman pajamas with the cape that attached with velcro. I would spin around the room constantly. Climb up on chairs and jump off with the hopes that I would be able to fly. When I didn’t have on superman pajamas it was towels or blankets as makeshift capes.

But being 23-26 I couldn’t put on a cape and just dart off the ferry with commuters. I had to move at a brisk pace while being beyond exhausted. John Williams composed a brilliant piece of music that inspired me.

It got me home and thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about me.

Jury Duty 2011 – Day 1

Back in 2007 I got asked to come in for Jury Duty when I was living on Bainbridge Island. I wrote a recap of the entire experience and got asked if I could revise it for the Kitsap County paper the Bremerton Sun. Now known as the Kitsap Sun which was probably one of my favorite experiences of this blog. Sadly that article is gone from the website but it was a fun experience. If you would like to view the recap you can find it here.


My first jury duty experience was in the lovely but odd town of Port Orchard, WA. It has been rather different then Seattle. First of all in Kitsap they had a selection of like 40 people maybe. In Seattle you sit in a room that extends for what seems like forever. Here is a picture.

Tumblr lfw9tt6xQ11qz51e1o1 1280

So in Kitsap everyone was in the pool. In Seattle everyone gathers in this room and nobody has been selected for anything. So my first day you are required to check in my 8am. This didn’t really seem to have a point since people kept flowing in all the way up until 9:00 or so. Then a judge came in and spoke to us about what Jury Duty involved. He also read a letter from a juror that talked about how he wanted to kill himself after being on a jury for a period of time. That really didn’t seem like a good way to start off the day.

After that experience we had to watch a video about Jury Duty. I would hate to be the person that has to edit or produce those kind of videos. Because there is no way to make that kind of thing interesting. So after that point we had to wait.

Then we had to wait some more.

Then we got a 15 minute break from waiting. During that break we had to wait.

Then we waited until 11:30 and told we had 2hrs for lunch. I spent my lunch walking over to the Columbia Tower and pondering how to keep my sanity with all this waiting. I went to this place called “Sub Shop” had a Turkey Cranberry. It really wasn’t what I was expecting.

If you want the best turkey sandwich in the world I highly recommend you get into some form of transportation. Arrive in Poulsbo, WA and go to central market. Go right up to the Deli and get a Turkey Cranberry sandwich. It will change your sandwich world. My best friend Preston turned me onto it. The only woman that I had ever said  “I love you” without being romantically involved with was one that bought me this sandwich. If you want to get on my best possible side this sandwich will do it.

The turkey cranberry sandwich I had today at the Sub Shop was not even close to that sandwich. It wasn’t even worthy to have the same name. But that all doesn’t really matter as that killed an hour for lunch. So I had freedom for another hour. But I felt like a bit of a tool sitting alone in the Columbia tower. I think I shall attempt to try something else tomorrow when I go back.

So back on the story. I go back to the jury room to wait. So it’s 12:45 and sitting around waiting. <<There was going to be a story here about the woman that sat down across from me. But I don’t know how to present it in a nice non judgmental way.>>

So at the beginning of this whole thing they told us the days went from 8:00am-4:30pm so I decided to try and take a nap. This didn’t work out so well as it’s not really a room that is setup for comfort. So we waited.

Waited some more and then at 3:00pm they announced that they needed a pool of 50 jurors for a particular judge. So they started reading off names and I was like I hope I don’t get this one as there is 90 minutes left in my day. But they get to the high 30’s and I think I am free. Nope not at all I get called ##. Shoot.

So we get to fill out a “bio” card and I trade that in for a laminated piece of paper with a # on it. So with the other groups they gave them a card and you sit around and wait. 3:30 rolls around and still waiting they announce they don’t have time and anyone with a number can go home for the day but come back tomorrow.

So I was like sweet and booked the hell out of there. Found where the bus picks up and headed home. We shall see what tomorrow holds.

The Spammers

I don’t get why spammers on Instant messengers think messages like the following would ever be useful to them. These always occur on Yahoo.

(10:43:02 AM) esotericsinqln: Hey tjthephantom 19gmWOMENehhejreiandzgettingeknu.devgonmumyvwebcamoloook@www.rndKeyletters,%symbols2%, ywyj pspaiw

I do not even know where to begin on this one. I see 19 and women there ok that might spark some interest. Also a webcam 19 year old women on webcam that could be good. But they can’t even spell look properly. I think the spammers need to rethink their delivery since that message appears to not serve any purpose.

Viva the Digital Overlords

I was sitting here at my desk working on building an HTML version of a digital scoreboard to show who is awesome at Air Hockey. I used to play with my coworker Greg and we both just got extremely busy at work. So we are going to start it back up again. When we left off I was ahead like 131 games to 126 I believe. We would play 3-5 games a day.

But the title of this blog post doesn’t really mean anything. I was listening to iTunes and had it on Random and Octopuses Garden came up on iTunes. For some reason it inspired me to open up MarsEdit and write a click little blurb.

I have been working on converting all of my families home video tapes to a digital format. I must say it has been a rather intensive process. A bit more expensive then I imagined.

The first expense was the Elgato Video Capture device. Scored that for $84 off Amazon with the free 2 day shipping ala Amazon Prime. Another expense was actually getting a VCR. My girlfriends mom had one to lend me. It works pretty well. It has some tracking issues so I ordered another VCR off ebay and now have two VCR’s on my desk.

I remember being a kid and thinking VCR’s could possibly be the coolest thing ever. Now they are just large annoying black boxes on my desk. I picked up the other VCR for $30 from eBay. The lady that was selling lied to me on its condition. But it works as expected.

Also I needed a place to save all of this video as most videos come up after compression to be 2-3GB of data. Then a DVD version ends up being another 4GB or so. Then I make 2 different formats m4v and Divx AVI. Not really sure how my family is taking this. But oh well I am happy to have digital copies of all the tapes. But this all takes up space so I now have 2 1TB Firewire 800 HDD. I have 2.5TB of data hooked up to my laptop for all of these home movies.

Good times. Well I better get back to work. Just thought I would blog some random thoughts.

Happy Valentines Day

So last night I had one of the better Valentines Days on record. My girlfriend told me she didn’t want any gifts or presents. I thought that was perfect. I had some flowers set to deliver to her work so I backed out of that. I later told her this and she was glad I didn’t send them. Sending them on some other day would mean more to her. She made an 8.5”x11” little collage of pictures of us. I will put that on my desk as soon as I can get some frame for it. But it was just a really lazy Sunday.

I slept in until 11am or so just as she was getting home from her errands. She had some doughnuts. We chilled out for a bit and then she went to take a nap. I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I had it on the TiVo. It was kinda crazy that it took up 22.7GB for 4hrs and 30 minutes. But overall it was okay. Not my cup of tea for an ultimate TV viewing experience.

But anyways that night was going to go meet up with my friend Preston and his lovely lady Mindee. We went to the Cheesecake factory in Southcenter. That place was a total hell hole. Driving around the parking lot with all of those idiots is rather nutty. Manners go out the window. Tempers rise. Good times.

So we get to the cheesecake factory and the wait on the Sunday was about 90 minutes. This seemed to shock and surprise people. But people are idiots and it made me laugh at their stupidity. One group came in wanting a table for 17. I think the hostess told them to piss off. But after much waiting we got a table and ordered some drinks and had a good time shooting the breeze and catching up.

I got a little drunkard and had a good time. They did make me the wrong entree. But that was quickly fixed and they ended up comping my dinner. I felt kinda bad about it and the manager asked if I wanted anything else. I said some mashed spuds sound pretty good instead of soup or salad. He was more then happy to hook that up.  So a few minutes later I had a bowl of mashed potatoes. My girlfriend then asked me “Can I have some” not to be one to say no to a simple request I said “sure” or probably more like “sbhure” in the drunken state. She dips her fork into the hot potato mash. Part of my arm happens to be on the table. Some hot potato falls off and this is what happened.

Tristan: “Ouch, That is really hot. It’s burning”
Girlfriend Laughs
Tristan: “It’s Burning! It’s Hot”
Girlfriend Laughs

At this point I was like she isn’t going to take it off so I grabbed my napkin and took care of business. Typing it out makes it seem like it was incredibly rude sounding. But it was rather comical after all was said and done. Everyone at the table had a good laugh.  Here is a badly painted diagram to show how it went down.

But the meal was delicious. Cheesecake was awesome. I hadn’t had cheesecake at the cheesecake factory in a very long while. That night went home and passed out from exhaustion and began Monday and then got incredibly busy and now we are here over a week later finally getting this post out.

Thanks again to Preston and Mindee for a fun evening out. Double dates have been incredibly enjoyable with old friends.

A new project and a rant.

So over the past year I have been trying to bridge the gap between my family and technology. I can hardly get my family to do a thing in regards to technology. Send them an e-mail I never get a response. They seem to want to use technology but don’t want to put the effort into learning how to use it. The other day I got a call from my mother saying “I lost everything on your stepdad’s user on Windows Vista! HELP!” I don’t know anything about Windows Vista. It’s the operating system I totally skipped over. I could probably do some navigating and figure it out. She hadn’t backed anything up but luckily a reboot solved her problem.

This prompted me to write up a long detailed e-mail on good backup tips and some free tools and general good advice about saving data. I didn’t get a thank you. I didn’t get one response.

E-Mail is my thing. I love e-mail I find it 100x easier to solve problems with an e-mail then a phone call. I am always on e-mail. You send me an e-mail it gets forwarded to my Mobile Me account which instantly puts it on my iPhone and boom I know you sent something and i will get back to you ASAP. To make things easier for my family I setup a Google Group so that you can just send an e-mail to 1 address and everyone gets it. But people seem afraid to use it.

Here are the current stats on the group.

185 Tristan
118 Mom
49 Aunt
31 Grandpa
31 Uncle
27 Cousin
20 Family Friend
20 Alex
15 Family Friend Old Account
14 Grandma

This has been up for over 2 years and doesn’t seem like it’s getting that much use. Getting people involved in the discussion on things like planning birthday’s is near impossible. My girlfriend her family seems to have e-mail and planning family events in the digital realm down. I don’t get why it’s so hard to reply to an e-mail or click a link and fill out a form.

I finally got my grandma hooked up with a Jitterbug cell phone. That is the oddest phone I have ever seen. Only cell phone I had ever used that has a dialtone when you flip it open. And that everything on the phone is either “Yes” or “No” Do you want to call Tristan?

My family has a ton of videotape so I got the means necessary to work on converting them to the digital format.  My desk is kinda loaded at the moment. Two Apple laptops got some VCR’s going here and just piles of technology at the beck and call to get all this done. Here is an picture of my desk at the moment.

Sent out an e-mail for that no response not a person in the world seems to care. I tested out the technology with my High School Senior Slideshow. I wasn’t in it but it was the only video tape I had around the house.

You can view that at the following link North Kitsap High School Graduating Class of 2001 But I would be careful. It’s 46 minutes of a slideshow of people you probably have no clue about. It was really just a visual test to see how well it worked. I also changed the audio to be a bit better quality.

But I hope to get on this project there are tons of funny. (Well I would find funny) videos that we recorded over our childhood years. That I would like to convert to a digital format. I don’t think I would want to convert them to DVD. Since would be easier to grab a video file and make a DVD if you so choose.

But anyways I guess I just wanted to rant that my family doesn’t use technology in a way that seems to be the most productive. Or seem to care about any of the efforts that I put forth into helping them. But what do I know. It’s late I am going to bed thanks for reading.

Where the Hell is Rachel (2009)

Hey Everyone! If you follow my twitter you probably saw me make notes about the “Secret Christmas Project” well I thought I would show it to you now.

Some Tech Specs : We captured this on December 14th 2009 at various locations around my hometown of Kitsap County, WA. I used a Flip Ultra HD camera for all of the video and we went to various locations and I would capture my sister dancing from 15-30 seconds depending on the location. The video was inspired by the “Where the Hell is Matt” video which you can see here.

The music is Praan and you can grab it off iTunes at the following location :

I edited the movie on my MacBook Pro using iMovie 2009. Which made it incredibly easy to do. I captured about 58 minutes of video in various locations and had to cut it down to 4 minutes and 29 seconds to match the other video. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them leave them in a comment below. I am not sure if we will do this again next year but who knows what the future holds.

The Great Vacation of June 2009 Part 1

Hello Everyone! It has been far to long and I am sorry for that so lets get back on track with my latest update.

So back in Februrary of 2009 I my girlfriends cousin sent out an e-mail to everyone asking if we would be interested in going to Ross Lake in the North Cascades. Me being the Tristan I thought hey why not and my girlfriend said I was going. So that was the end of that.

I didn’t give much thought about it since I haven’t been on a real vacation since before High School. I did some trips out to Indiana when I was dating a girl online back in 2000 but nothing really exciting. I put in a request for some time off work and at that point we were good to go.

A little 411 on Ross Lake Resort.

  • It is a man made lake due to Ross Damn.
  • It’s glacier fed and very cold.
  • There is no Internet or Cell Service.
  • I was going with all of Raleigh’s family.
  • You have to be boated or trucked in or hiked.
  • You are required to bring all of your own food and drink. (Except Water)
  • They have power.
  • You stay in Cabins.

So when the time came and being a bit under experienced in Vacation Lore. It caused me a good deal of stress making sure everything was ready on my end not knowing what I needed or anything like that. When I get stressed out about something the girlfriend usually gets mad at me. So the few days prior there was a great deal of tension in the Pipo Pad. Had to make her understand I had no clue what needed to be done and she had to realize I needed some help and life was good again.

The options for getting to Ross Lake are taking a ferry. Which leaves at 8:00am and 3:00pm. So we were shooting for Sunday June 21st 3:00pm ferry leaving the dock.

We left fairly early in the morning and ran into a few snags. The brake light went out on my girlfriends car so we had to pull over and get that replaced. Then we were back on track for our Northern journey.

On the way up since we had women in the car we had to stop at some Outlet mall. I will still never understand the concept of why going to a store and looking at things is a good experience. I much prefer loading up my web browser going to Amazon finding what I need and since I have Amazon Prime 2 day Free Shipping or I can overnight it for $3.00.

Buying a New Dishware Set on Amazon

Looking at that seems a great deal friendlier and easier to cope with then.  The average visit to a Costco.

Costco on any given Day

So being a bit of a hypocrite I walk over to the Samsonite Outlet store and pickup a leather Passport Holder. I am not sure how long we spent at the shopping establishments but it seemed to long.

So then we hit up a grocery store and tried a KFC Clone and we were on our way. We had 50 miles to drive in 90 minutes. We figured this would be cutting it close but we could make it.

It started to rain and I began to think. I probably should have figured I would need a coat. I didn’t have one so we kinda made a screech into this mini mart place on the side of the road in the North Cascades. They didn’t have any alternatives like a ponch or anything like that. But the nice asian lady offered me a garbage bag for the trip. We bought some $9 bug spray because we felt bad for taking advantage of this poor woman.

Time: 2:28

We still have a ways to go and we get stuck behind this old man driving 35 in the 50. This continued for way to long and when we got to a town with a left turn lane this genius decided to drive in that lane confusing the hell out of everyone else and then he pulls back in front of us.

Time: 2:48

We think we see a sign for the ferry to ross lake and it turns out to be some community for Ross Lake that Seattle City Power setup for the people that work and manage the states hydro electric power.

Time: 2:55

We drive further on the road and finally find the turn off and this turns out into a very high tense situation. There is no boat we see her family’s car. It appears that they have gone and we are kinda SOL.

But all is not lost we have two options at this point. Drive a few miles up the road and hike the “1 mile” down to the lake. Or drive back into town and grab a Hotel for the night.

Well being the city folk that we have become we figure “1 mile” not a big deal we can hike that no problem. Probably take 25 minutes at the max. Well we didn’t account for all the stuff we had to pack in.

So we drive up the road and start to unload the car. I had my Large Laptop Timbuk2 bag and a large duffle bag with clothes. The girlfriend and I also had a large cooler packed with food.

The girlfriend also had her bags that we were expecting to have hauled on the ferry and tossed on a truck. As this was not the case anymore we were hiking all of this in. Raleigh’s mom was also with us and she had a nice rolling suitcase that well was a great idea but wouldn’t do so well hiking down the trail.

Here is a basic outline of the trail.

The Hike

The sign and all the adverts on the website claimed this to be “1 mile downhill”. After this hike I don’t believe that was a mile for one second.  I used to walk 2.3 miles to work and from work everyday. I think I have a pretty good mental grasp on what a mile is. That wasn’t no mile. I would say 2 miles.

Which still wouldn’t be that bad but I had two heavy bags and had to carry half of a cooler. My girlfriend was carrying the other side of the cooler so we kinda had a push me pull you type system going on. It kinda looked like this.

Carried Down the Mountain

Everything was loaded up to the max and the trail was not smooth. To start off the trail I had my iPhone with headphones going. The music of choice was the Engadget Podcast. I figured listening to talk of the new Palm Pre would distract my mind enough from carrying all this heavy shit down the mountain. None of us had it easy. Raleigh’s mom had the least amount of bulk. The saddest part of the whole trip down was we couldn’t take all of our beer.

I drank a beer as fast as I could at the top of the trail to make it slightly easier. So with a very mild buzz and Engadge Podcast. With this rather daunting trail carrying all of this crap we began our journey down the mountain. This stopped after 15-20 paces or so.

Raleigh’s mom had this wheeled luggage well I can say wasn’t designed for going down a trail. So I sat down on a rock and waited for thier return with a modified carrying set. We began our trip again. The first look was nice it was downhill and looked promsing until we turned a corner and there was this rather large uphill. At this point I was a cranky son of a bitch. Carrying all this shit down a mountain and now up a mountain.

We got to a clearing and I dropped gear and went and found a spot to take care of nature.

Loaded up my arms and we started down the trail again. We ran into some women who were hiking that kinda gave us this “What the fuck is wrong with you look” they were probably pondering why these people coming down a trail with multiple coolers and so much crap.

This happened a few times along the way. So we eventually reach a spot where we can see a road. The directions we had printed out said “When you see a road take a right and you will see a phone” turns out that phone wasn’t for another 1/2 mile or so.

By this point I was a rather short fuse and pretty much everything was pissing me off. I was at the point where rocks were annoying me. So I recall blurting out obsenities about dinosaurs and how if I ever saw one I would kill it.

It seemed to provide some comic relief but I just wasn’t happy. So when we got to the phone it all went fairly well after that we called for a boat and they picked us up and took us across the lake to our cabin.

The girlfriends Aunt’s were shocked to see us and the neighbors we had were also shocked.

So the ross lake adventure will be continued shortly in part 2. Comments are welcomed.