4th Annual Nick Voll Memorial Gym Jam

2014 Nick Voll Memorial Gym Jam

The 4th Annual Nick Voll Memorial Gym Jam
A Charity Basketball Tournament and Birthday Celebration
Saturday, May 3rd at 12 Noon – Jim Parsley Center, Vancouver

I’ve moved the tournament to the Jim Parsley Center gym this year, as Trinity was unavailable. We’ll play full court, with a scoreboard, just like in years past. It’s $15 per player to participate.

New This Year
In order to provide the best experience for you guys, I’ve attached a survey below as part of the registration. All questions are required. I’ll adjust the tournament to suit the popular sentiment.

I will form each team, with the help of a roster committee, to ensure the fairest teams possible. The signup sheet will give you a chance to say with whom you’d like to team up, and we’ll try to honor those requests as best we can.

The cost this year is $15, and I can accept cash and checks.

IF YOU ARE WRITING A CHECK: write it out to “The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools,” who will handle the donations.

Where the Money Goes
My charity of choice is Fort Sports, the sports broadcasting program at Fort Vancouver High School. The program is run by a teacher at Fort, and is staffed by volunteers and students. It broadcasts live football, volleyball, and basketball games to Comcast viewers in Clark County. They’re good people doing good work that benefits the community and gives kids real-life work opportunities.

Here are some links to learn more about Fort Sports:
Fort Sports News Story by Vancouver Public Schools
Fort Sports Documentary (15 minutes running time)
Fort Sports News Story by KATU

Who can play?
This is a competitive, invitation-only event. I am inviting guys with whom I play basketball regularly, as well as some friends I’d like to have at the event. If you’ve been invited, and want to bring a friend, please contact me about it. Since I’m compiling the teams based on talent, height, etc., I’ll need to let you know whether there’s room for another person.

Where? When?

Jim Parsley Center
2901 Falk Road
Vancouver, WA 98661

Saturday, May 3rd
12 Noon

Registration and Poll

Help Me Decide

We’re just about to the deadline for Emmy nominations, and I’m having trouble deciding on which segment to nominate for the Health/Science segment category. I know I want to nominate one of the three Famous Scientist segments we produced, but I can’t decide which one. Can you help? It will only take a few minutes to decide.

As you may remember (or not), we were nominated for our show Science last year, and I want to see if we can get this segment from the show nominated, too. Watch the clips, then vote below.

Choice #1: Louie de Broglie

Choice #2: Philo Farnsworth

Choice #3: Leonardo daVinci

[poll id=”2″]

High School Hoops

My friend Micah gave me a couple of DVDs recently with two of our high school basketball games on them. It was our two most memorable wins of my senior year, which was the 1995-96 season. We beat Corbett in their gym, which was the first time that had ever happened. They were also the 2-time defending state champs, although they had lost a lot of players from those teams.

The second game was against North Clackamas Christian, which would go on to win the 1A state championship that year. Their school was actually bigger than ours; we should have also been a 1A school, so it was kind of bittersweet that they won the title, and we just missed the 2A playoffs. We felt like that could have been us. Anyway, nostalgia, huh?

It’s funny to see myself from back then. Some things have changed, like my weight, but a lot of things remain the same, like my waddle of a run. I look like a baby duck chasing its mama.

Anyway, feel free to enjoy the games. They’re broken into 2 parts each.

Portland Lutheran vs. Corbett – Part 1

Portland Lutheran vs. Corbett – Part 2

Portland Lutheran vs. North Clackamas Christian – Part 1

Portland Lutheran vs. North Clackamas Christian – Part 2

Top Ten for 2011

It’s been a while since I posted anything, and I think part of that is because I’ve had such a good and busy fall. I thought I’d take some time to share some of my favorite things of the year. These are the things I experienced this year that made my year a good one.

10. Pizza Stone

pizza stoneMy in-laws got me a pizza stone for my grill last Christmas, and holy cow was it a great present. We made all kinds of fantastic pizza: pear and blue cheese, barbeque chicken, bacon and cheese, sausage and pepper, and more. Just put the stone on the grill when you fire it up, and when it’s hot, cover the stone with corn meal, roll out your dough, and top your pizza. The crust is crunchy, the cheese is gooey and smokey, and you can’t beat the flavor.

9. Captain America

Now, first off, I don’t think that Captain America is a perfect movie, but I sure enjoyed it. Part of it is sentimental. Captain America was my favorite comic book as a kid, so to see it on the bigscreen was awesome. I have some quibbles with it, most notably its lack of Nazis. The best part of the comic book as a kid was seeing Cap routinely defeat evil Nazi plans. In the movie, the Red Skull (the film’s villain) almost immediately breaks off from Germany to form his own evil organization. I think that was a big mistake, and a befuddling decision.

But that’s my only real complaint. I thought that there were so many awesome little touches, such as having Cap going around selling war bonds in that wool uniform. It just made me happy to see something I liked so much as a kid so brilliantly executed on the big screen.

8. Sushi Chiyo

I love the sushi train in all of its forms. However, Vancouver’s Sushi Chiyo takes the cake (of rice, topped with salmon) right now. Most sushi train places put only 2-3 pieces on each plate, with only simple items like California Rolls available. But Sushi Chiyo offers full plates, with 4-5 pieces, and it offers a wide variety of choices. I’ve had rainbow rolls, spider rolls, and the biggest pieces of salmon sashimi possible. Go during happy hour (2:30-4:30pm), and every plate is only $1.50, which is a steal.

Find it at: 13007 NE Highway 99 Vancouver, WA 98686

7. Four on the Floor Hamburger Challenge

I already blogged about this here, but the Four on the Floor Hamburger Challenge was awesome. It was my baby; I wanted to see if we could eat four hamburgers at four places in four hours. Turns out, almost all nine of us could. Read the blog for the details in all their gastronomic glory.

6. Los Gorditos Mexican Food

Los Gorditos is a taco cart on the corner of 50th and Division, and I think that their burritos are the greatest in all of Portland. The best part of Los Gorditos’s menu is free: their sauces. They have a great salsa bar. My favorites are their green sauce, their smoky chipotle, best of all, their peppery red sauce. The Stacy Burrito rolls up your choice of meat, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, grilled onions, cilantro, and that red sauce in an enormous tortilla. I always end up dumping at least 4 containers of sauce on it, too, resulting in a delicious, sweaty experience. The red sauce has one of those flavors that makes the corners of my tongue, where the muscle meets my jaw, start to cringe and salivate. Mmmm….

5. The Stormy Weather Arts Festival at Cannon Beach

Marisa and I have been going to the beach every fall since we first started dating 13 years ago, so for this trip Marisa had the great idea to go during the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, a weekend of art and wine at the town’s galleries. She got a great deal on a hotel, so we were able to stay 3 nights.

We went out on Friday and Saturday night, drinking wine and enjoying some interesting (and not-so-interesting) art. It was fascinating to see the different approaches the galleries had to their inventory. Generally speaking, I don’t think highly of the kind of art available at the coast, but I was genuinely surprised to see some paintings and sculptures I found interesting. It was good to see young artists with edgier style, instead of just the dowdy middle-brow fare usually for sale. I’ve had enough of sad Native Americans and paintings of Haystack Rock, and this year’s festival delivered new choices (not that we could afford any of them).

4. Hoops Tournament

For my birthday this year, I decided to throw myself the birthday party I’ve always wanted: a basketball tournament. I invited 18-20 guys to a gym I rented out, split them up into 4 teams, and played a big tournament. We had a clock and a scoreboard, and we played a round-robin schedule.
hoops tournament
I picked the teams, and tried to keep them even. I won’t lie: I stacked my own team. But honestly, I only picked guys with whom I enjoy playing, not just good players. My squad managed to win the whole thing. Happy birthday to me!

3. Brandon Roy Leads Miracle Comeback

When Brandon Roy led the Blazers back against the Mavericks in Game 4 of the first round of the NBA playoffs, it was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen in sports. At the lowest point, the Blazers were down 23 points, and Roy single-handedly brought the team back and eventually ahead.

I was watching the game at home, and Marisa can tell you, I went from down in the dumps to screaming and standing by the end. Just thinking about the comeback gives me chills.

2. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Last year, it was Of Montreal. This year, it’s Neutral Milk Hotel.

I know, this album came out in 1998. But I only discovered it this year, so it counts, dammit! There are so many reasons that I shouldn’t like this album. The lyrics are reportedly based on the life story of Anne Frank, which sounds painfully pretentious. It’s sort of folky, and I generally don’t go for folk music. The singer, Jeff Mangum, has sort of a whiny, nasally voice.

And yet, I can’t stop listening to this album. The lyrics (about Anne Frank) are strange and beautiful. The melodies are gorgeous and catchy, and the raw-feeling production values are perfect. I think that the album makes you relate to something and someone in a situation seemingly impossible to really understand.

1. Paris and London

My wife would likely kill me if this wasn’t the number one thing on my list, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the best thing I did all year. Marisa and I took about two weeks during April to see Paris. The airfare was so much cheaper to go to London, so we decided to fly there and take the chunnel over to Paris.

I had never been to Paris, but Marisa had, and she was excited to show me the city. We rented an apartment for a week just half a mile from the Eiffel Tower, which was a great experience. We were able to take the Metro train wherever we needed, we ate cheese and drank wine everyday, and we saw a phenomenal amount of art and history.

I never thought I’d see Paris, and to actually get there was simply amazing.

There, that’s my list. What would be on yours?

2010: Greatest Year Ever?

I will be the first to admit that 2010 had a lot of ups and downs. For a lot of people out there, there were more downs than ups. For me, however, a year that started in a low place ended on a high, and some awesome things happened this year. Together, this might mean that 2010 was the greatest year of my life.

I started the year six-months into what would end up being a year-long unemployment streak. I wasn’t sure what kind of work to seek, or whether I would ever have a job again. None of the PR jobs I applied for called me back, not one. I didn’t think I wanted to work in TV ever again, and I didn’t have enough experience in web design to get a full-time job.

With that in mind, I went back to school at PCC, to get a certificate in Web Design and Development. I already had it 1/3 of the way done, so I figured I would finish it while I job-searched.

Right as I finished the certificate, I got an email from my friend Carl, with whom I used to work at KATU. He told me about a job producing TV for Vancouver Public Schools. He has some friends in the district, so I used his name in the cover letter. I was flabbergasted when they actually called me, just a few days after I sent in my materials. After a year’s worth of applications, dozens of them, this was the first time anybody actually called me back. The best I had done before was an email or letter.

I interviewed later that week, then interviewed twice more in the next 7 days. I was offered the job immediately after my final interview. I went from deeply unemployed to a dream job in the span of 8 days.

I call it a dream job because I genuinely feel that way. Unless the Trail Blazers come looking for a backup shooting guard, I can’t imagine a job I would enjoy more than this one. I get to do all of the fun stuff in video production, with almost none of the headaches that made me hate my last job.

I write stories, shoot video, serve as a reporter, interview people, edit video, and plan our programming. I got to shoot and direct a short documentary this year, which was a great experience. I am in the middle now of editing my first reality-style show, which is a lot of fun. I produced a half-hour red carpet-style special from a big event. I also feel like I’m making a difference for once; the work I do supports education, which is meaningful to me.

Another perk of my new job is that I get to play full-court basketball twice a week at lunch. There’s a gym about 100 feet from my office door, and I joined a group that plays on Wednesdays and Fridays. Marisa teases me that I love basketball more than anything, and she’s almost right.

I also began my side business, web design, in earnest this year. I built three sites for clients this year, although only one of them is fully online at the moment. The others are done, but are waiting for the clients to pull the trigger. It has been a fun outlet for me creatively to build these sites, and the extra money has been nice, too.

The most important thing that happened to me this year wasn’t a sudden event, like getting a job or earning an educational degree. Simply put, I feel like I’ve somehow managed to grow even closer to my wife, Marisa. We’ve been together for 12 years now, but it seems like we grow closer with every passing day. I hear comedians complain about how married people get sick of each other after a couple of years, but that isn’t happening with us. I feel excited to come home to see her every day.

Alright, now that the mushy part is over, here are a few other highlights from 2010:

My First Documentary in a Long Time

So, it’s been awhile since I posted anything, and that’s mostly because I’ve been busy with work.  Now I can share some of that to you: I am proud to present the first documentary I’ve made since college.  It’s a 15-minute short on the football broadcast crew at Fort Vancouver High School in Vancouver, Washington.  The team, made mostly of high school students and volunteer, brings football, basketball, and volleyball to the community.  I shot about half of this, and edited and directed the whole thing.  I’m really pleased with it.  Enjoy!

Lusty Ladies Playlist

Ladies need love, too. This mix is for them.

[mp3_embed blog_plyrs=”3″ id=3″ playlistfolder=”lustyladies” show=”no” mp3highs=”350″]

track list

  • 1. Waitresses – I Know What Boys Like
  • 2. The Donnas – Take Me to the Backseat
  • 3. Ida Maria – I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked
  • 4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Phenomena
  • 5. Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
  • 6. Nathaniel Merriweather – Strangers on a Train
  • 7. Beck & Bat For Lashes – Let’s Get Lost
  • 8. Goldfrapp – Ooh La La
  • 9. CSS – Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
  • 10. Peaches – Stuff Me Up
  • 11. Portishead – Glory Box
  • 12. Metric – Poster of a Girl
  • 13. Tegan and Sara – Relief Next to Me
  • 14. Robyn – Jack U Off

Manzanita Anniversary Weekend

For our 3rd wedding anniversary, Marisa and I went to Manzanita for the weekend. Like just about everyone else, we got married over Labor Day weekend, which works out because of the three-day weekend.

We stayed at the Inn at Manzanita, which is only about 2 blocks from the ocean. We got the last room they had, and although it was a bit pricey, it was worth it. We couldn’t see the ocean from our room, but we could certainly hear it. Our room had a whirlpool tub and a kitchen, which were nice to have.

The Food

It was a weekend of complete do-nothingness. We hung out on the beach on Saturday, eating salami, cheese, bread, and olives. We had Mexican food twice at the same place, El Mariachi Loco, because we wandered out too late for dinner. It was pretty good, despite the mediocre score it gets on Yelp. It was standard greasy/delicious Mexican food. They had good Carne Asada, the salsa was tasty, and the Chile Verde was flavorful.

On Sunday, we went to the Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House, which gets awful reviews (as a Google search now tells me), but we thought was pretty good. We shared an enormous cup of chowder and a shrimp cocktail, and then each had halibut and chips. We liked all of it; the food and service was good. The only thing I would complain about is that the fries were clearly frozen. But that’s true of most places, and our fish was so light and crispy, it didn’t seem like a big deal.