Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock on a beautiful afternoon.

Marisa’s boss took spring break off, so we took the opportunity to get out of town for a couple of days at Cannon Beach.

We stayed at the Sand Trap Inn, which is just south of the downtown strip. The weather was sunny and beautiful each day we were there, although it was a bit windy (but then again, it IS the Oregon coast). We had good meals and beer at Bill’s Brewery and The Warren House. The beer at both places was Bill’s, and it was quite good. At Bill’s, we had a great shrimp and cheese sandwich and fish and chips, and at the Warren House, we had their awesome babyback ribs.

Marisa was dying to get a kite and take advantage of the windy weather, so we got a little $15 shark kite at the kite shop in downtown, and headed out to the beach.  After crashing and burning for a bit, we readjusted the kite string and finally got our little guy airborne.

The next day, it was on to Manzanita, which I never realized was such a great little town.  I’ve always driven past the  turnoff to the downtown area, but it turns out it’s really kind of cool.  It reminds me a little of Carmel, California, on a smaller and less expensive scale.  The tide was out and we walked at least 200 yards from the sea grass out to the edge of the ocean.

Then on to Tillamook, for the cheese factory tour.  It’s always the same, but still oddly enjoyable.  It’s crazy to see the machines at work, and I always learn something new about cheese.  We always stop in the shop and get a bag of cheese curds, which if you haven’t tried them, are fantastic.  They’re basically small hunks of cheddar cheese that haven’t quite finished aging yet.  They’re salty and delicious, and they squeak when you eat them.

Take a look at some of the photos from the trip:

Marisa shows off her shark kite.

Struggling to get it into the air...

The kite refuses to cooperate.

After a few adjustments to the string, success!

Look at that shark fly!

Marisa was really pleased to get the kite up.

Marisa really enjoyed getting that kite in the air.

I liked it, too.

Manzanita with the tide out.

What coast trip would be complete without a trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory?

Website Redesign

Behold the glory that is my new site design!  I had been contemplating redesigning my site for some time, as I felt that my old design was way behind where I was from a skills standpoint.  Take a look below, to refresh your memory:

old site screen shot

Not nearly as cool as this site.

I built this site through WordPress’s open source content management system. To non-techies, it’s a bit different than the regular WordPress blogging platform you’re used to. I’m really thrilled with how I was able to manipulate the template to make exactly what I had in my head before I even started.

New Features on NickVoll.com:

  • Better blogging capabilities – users can now log in and comment
  • Streaming Twitter feed
  • Improved interaction for readers (click on the pictures in the header!)
  • Share function on blog posts, for easy linking on Facebook, etc.
  • New samples in my Portfolio section
  • And more to come!

Not that I’m above shameless begging, but please, what do you think of the site? Is there anything that doesn’t work? Any suggestions for improvement?

Rip City Rhapsody

rip city rhapsody cassette tape cover

Cassette tape cover. Sorry it's so blurry


I went over to help my friend Chuck clean out his girlfriend’s deceased grandmother’s house recently (which sounds more complicated than it was), and I stumbled across a piece of my childhood: “Rip City Rhapsody” on cassette. To refresh your memory, this song was put out by Z100 during the Blazers’ run at the NBA Title in 1990. Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, and Danny Young help sing the chorus, and the rappers are the guys from the U-Krew. For Blazers fans, this is one of the touchstones of the early 90’s Western Conference Championship teams. For everyone else, it’s a ridiculously cheesy hip-hop song. I can’t believe this song came out 20 years ago. I’m so old. Below I’ve posted the original song, the instrumental, and a ringtone. I know the ringtone works for me because I have a memory card in my phone, but I’m not sure it will work for everyone. I can send you copies of any of these if you email me. Just click on the contact link in the menu. Also below: the video and lyrics, which were written by none other than Tony Martinez, the traffic guy from KPTV-12, who used to be a morning DJ for Z100.

Rip City Rhapsody
Rip City Rhapsody Instrumental
Rip City Rhapsody Ringtone

Rip City Rhapsody Lyrics

RIP CITY RHAPSODY, PORTLAND, OREGON USA,
RIP CITY RHAPSODY, WE’RE THE BLAZERS AND WE LOVE TO PLAY.

SLAM A JAM OR JUMP SHOT, BLAZERS BURNIN’ RED HOT,
RIP CITY REPEAT, WINNIN’ TO A NEW BEAT,
BIG AND PROUD IN THE NBA,
SACKIN’ HOT STATS EVERY TIME WE PLAY.

TEAMWORK, BOUNCE PASS, POISE, PRIDE, FIRST CLASS,
HOT SEATS COURTSIDE, BLAZER BUS FREE RIDE,
HALFTIME HOMETEAM GAME ENHANCERS,
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT PORTLAND’S BLAZER DANCERS.

FASTBREAK FLYIN’, KEEP ON TRYIN’, NOW WE’RE SMOKIN’,
NOW WE’RE SKYIN’, WE AIN’T MESSIN’, WE AIN’T LYIN’,
PORTLAND’S WINNIN’ SO STOP YOUR CRYIN’.

(CHORUS)

BIG PRESS FULL COURT, FOUL SHOT FALLS SHORT,
TIP IN, IT’S GOOD, LEATHER BALL, HARD WOOD
STEAL IT, SCORE IT, LICKETY BRINDLE,
THAT’S WHAT WE CALL SWISH AND SWINDLE.

DRIVE, STOP, PUMP, SHOOT, LISTEN TO THE HORN TOON,
BACKBOARD SNAP BACK, BE BLAZERMANIAC,
REF IS RUNNIN’, BLOWING HIS WHISTLE,
YA BETTER HANG ON, ‘CAUSE WE’RE FLYIN’ LIKE A MISSLE.

PORTLAND’S JAMMIN’, DRIVIN’, SLAMMIN’,
OTHER TEAMS ARE FAKIN’, OTHER TEAMS ARE SCAMMIN’,
LAY UP’S NICE, BUT WHY NOT CRAM ‘EM,
BLAZERS DON’T JUST WIN, THEY SLAM ‘EM.

(CHORUS)

LOOSE BALL, MAD DASH, INTO THE FANS CRASH,
JUMPBALL HALF COURT, ROUNDBALL’S A HOT SPORT,
DEEP FROM THE BASELINE, BALL IN FLIGHT,
CHALK IT UP TWO, RED, BLACK AND WHITE.

LISTEN TO THE FLOOR SQUEAK, PORTLAND ON A HOT STREAK,
POWER PLAY, HOOK SHOT, PARTY IN THE PARKING LOT,
RIMS ARE BREAKIN’, BACKBOARDS FALLIN’,
CAUSE WE’RE BLAZER BASKETBALLIN’.

PORTLAND’S CRUISIN’, BUSTIN’, BRUISIN’,
NO MORE SLEEPIN’, NO MORE SNOOZIN’,
I DON’T CARE WHAT ‘D’ YOU’RE USIN’,
PORTLAND’S GONNA LEAVE YOU LOSIN’.

(CHORUS)

LACIN’ UP A HIGH TOP, GONNA MAKE A BIG STOP,
PICK ‘EM OFF, PUT IT IN, THEN YOU STEAL IT BACK AGAIN,
EVERYBODY STOMPIN’, FEET AND HANDS,
AND YA GOTTA GIVE IT UP FOR THE PORTLAND FANS,

MOVIN’ ON A DRIBBLE DRIVE, SLAPPIN’ UP A HIGH FIVE,
AT THE BUZZER IN FOR THREE, WE WANT A VICTORY,
LIGHT THE BLAZE AND LET THE SCORE GET HIGHER,
BUT YA BETTER CALL THE COPS ‘CAUSE THE HOOP’S ON FIRE.

HUSTLE, SWAT IT, NOW WE GOT IT,
BLAZER FEVER, HOPE YOU CAUGHT IT,
TRUE BELIEVERS EVERY MINUTE,
YA KNOW WE WANT IT, COME ON WIN IT!

(CHORUS)