We just kicked off our “year of living in airbnbs” with a lovely stay in Palm Springs. The warm temps and blue sky were absolutely lovely.
Cristina’s mobility just so-so but plenty of hikes!
We just kicked off our “year of living in airbnbs” with a lovely stay in Palm Springs. The warm temps and blue sky were absolutely lovely.
Cristina’s mobility just so-so but plenty of hikes!
My son Carlos Key has a few websites up and the search engines need a little help finding them, so the young filmaker and storyteller can be found when he is being sought!
Carlos Key maintains a catalog of his creative film projects catalog here on youtube. Carlos Key has a developing personal site and photo and work sample portfolio here. And Carlos Key’s professional bio is developing on Linkedin.
Hopefully these links will help you, and search engines, to find the proper Carlos Key information pages!
When i lived in california in the 90s i was a huge mountain bike enthusiast—Mt Tam in Marin County was at my backdoor, and I loved the arduous climb and accelerating descent it afforded just minutes from my home in Mill Valley. Somewhere along the way to Washington, Chile, and Beijing i lost track of riding… but on a recent visit to California the idea of off-road biking was reawakened and I’m excited to hit the trails again. The Trailforks app on iOS is an awesome resource to find terrain to explore, and it turns out there is a ton here in Washington state within easy drive of Seattle.
So, after plunking some real money into new bikes for myself and a +1 friend (my son this summer, imagining visiting friends in the future), i thought I’d post the serial numbers and bike descriptions here for safety. I also registered the bikes with the bikeregister.org and 529 Project websites, great community indexes of bikes to help cut down on theft and return of bikes.
For myself, a Specialized Epic Hardtail model that is oh-my-god-so-light. The teal color will hopefully keep me visible to drivers on city roads! Large frame, serial number WSBC614123071N. I have been riding around the city and it really does feel like it “pulls you up the hills” it is so darn slick/light and boy do 25+ years (since my last bike purchase) make a difference in tech!
My son/friend bike is a Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike, black frame in M, with serial number WSBC604317566P. Red highlights, front and rear shocks, drop post seat, 29” wheels. I look forward to riding both of these, the smaller M frame a slightly better fit for downhill posture and clearance from the frame… as a 5”10 height (down from 5”11 a decade ago?) I’m right on the edge between these M/L frame sizes.
As part of my grieving i wanted to write about my son’s passing. This post will be a work in progress that i will iterate on, as I am inspired to write.
I read a book back in summer of 1992 called On the Death of My Son. It was an interesting book which tells the real life story of a father’s experience with his son’s death, and a series of insights and connections to the meaning he got from that experience (including a sense of connecting to his son and hearing about the afterlife). As much as anything, the title of the book has stuck with me and it is with a sad heart that as of Feb 29th of this year 2020, i have experienced the death of my youngest son Caetano. He was 16.
My wife and I and our son Carlos put together a memorial site for Caetano Key, which has been visited 10k+ times by over 3000 visitors in its first weeks. The many lovely text messages, emails, notes, flowers, food, and other expressions of love and caring for our family have been incredibly uplifting and we feel part of a larger community. And yet, we are devastated. We miss Caetano in so many ways we couldn’t possibly document or convey.
We are however, ok. I’ll let my wife and son tell their own stories on their own channels. I am ok because i’m feeling many intense feelings, but i’m making good progress feeling them, and understanding my grief. These include:
But mostly i’m just sad. I’m sad because of the lost opportunity to meet and befriend the adult Caetano that was yet to come. I imagined years of continued work on our communication and relationship, of good times and bad times. I wanted to see the 2nd act in his life, post teenager. To continue to learn from him. To watch from afar and follow his journey with curiosity and fondness and a father’s love. I had many plans for me and the adult Caetano, including:
I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m angry. But mostly, i’m ok. Taking it a day at a time, and a week at a time, and know that Caetano will be with me the rest of my life.
I love you Caetano, always.
I had a lovely art-walk experience this week in Shoreditch neighborhood of London led by David Stuart of http://www.shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk and wanted to make note for others. I had of course seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, superb film on the street art scene and the artist Banksy in particular, so it was with wondrous glee that i set out with David to see some of the many rich art-installations dotted in the streets of this neighborhood.
We just had a wonderful trip to Beijing and for the first time had a chance to do some side trips to Pingyao. Was fun to take the bullet-train in china for the first time, it’s about 3.5 hrs to Pingyao from Beijing West Train Station. The little town is beyond charming and surrounded by a centuries old wall and towers. We saw no western tourists at all (winter season likely had something to do with it) and stayed in a delightful boutique hotel called Jing’s Residence. The hotel is right in the midst of the old town, with delightful set meals and comfy beds. A bit on the pricey side for the town, but *well* worth it. Highly recommend Pingyao as a Beijing side-trip, as others had recommended to me!
By the way, we hired a private car and driver in Beijing and absolutely loved this service. Eric runs a very good operation, our driver was super awesome, punctual, drove very safe, was in easy contact over WeChat to find and organize drops/pick-ups. Will be recommending to all my friends that visit Beijing.
Here’s some shots from Pingyao:
Ok this is the discovery of the trip, a local specialty called Kau Lao Lao, a oat-based pasta arranged in a honeycomb pattern, with toppings of various kinds (pictured with lamb and a tomato broth of sorts, which tasted of lamb-raggu but didn’t look like it). This was the best new food i’ve had in maybe a decade! Where have you been all my life, Kau Lao Lao?
Standing on the west-gate above the bustling streets below:
Walking around the perimeter of the wall, probably a good 3+ mile circumference although some construction kept us from looping the entire city.
Near the center of town amongst the bustle.
My 2017 Ford Focus RS (mk3) is a joy to drive and i like its styling. I’m a first time Ford owner, and got in on the “made in USA” car thing just in time for Ford to discontinue all future sales of car vehicles (except for Mustang) which might work out just fine for me, as I think of this project car as a long-term toy to use for track and occasional car outings. Now it will also be the last ford hot-hatch made for a long time?! Bonus.
When i looked over the exterior stylings of the car one of the things that stood out for me as a eyesore is the blue on white stock “billet badges”, the thing on the hood and the trunk that say “Ford” in the classic font. I found a custom fabricator and design shop called Billet Badges that had awesome designs, and when i contacted them they assured me that as long as I was patient and gave them time (turned out to be about 4 months) to design and spec the new billets, they’d be happy to do a custom design. I went with “Fury” in the same Ford font, which feels playful and true to the original mark, but unique and a tribute to the awesome heroine Furiosa from the last Mad Max Fury Road film.
The badges came a few weeks ago and I got started on install over the last day and wanted to post my findings/process for others thinking of this kind of mod.
Here’s the first headline: Be warned, the Ford Focus RS mk3 (2016-2018) front billet badge (“ford emblem” on hood) does indeed have screws that need to be removed from inside the engine bay. Floss and a heat gun alone will get you nowhere! I was unable to find any videos or posts that correctly showed this install challenge. Floss alone will rip and hurt your hands–this job requires unfastening two screw bolts from under the front bumber/face of the hood.
Let’s jump right to the problem piece. Using a heat gun (to warm up the pieces and make the glue that binds them to the surface a little looser/easier to manipulate) is a great first step and I’ve used to remove several outer badges on this and other cars. Then, using tooth-floss, you can shimmy the floss between the surface and the badge, with a back-and-forth motion gently bitting into the adhesive and releasing the bond, eventually leading to the piece/badge popping right off.
But not with the front badge, which looks like this:
You can see the removed emblem and the fasteners. Note the thick plastic screws that are fused to the emblem and are threaded. Those little fasteners are threaded onto the end of the two outer plastic aligners. DO NOT try to rip/pull this off, you’ll damage the body fender/bumper. Instead, go in through the engine compartment, get behind the badge, and use some pliers to twist/turn the fasteners off. Then the piece will come off with some gentle tugging and the floss/cutting of the glue-binding. When off, you’ll see this:
There is lots of adhesive to break down. A little elbow grease, some Goo Remover fluid, and some gentle scrubbing and fingernail work, and voila:
I then placed the new billet badge in the slot to see if the fit was right, and was amazed at *perfect* fit. Flush to the hood, perfect depth, oval size, etc.
Now onto the back tailgate. Turns out the badge in the back is NOT fastened, rather, is simply pushed in through some alignment holes. here’s what the piece looks like removed, with some floss to loosen the grip, and some gentle tugging.
And the tailgate hole after some cleanup:
I did have a fit problem with the back, you can see here that i could fit a US 1 cent penny in the gaps that remained around the badge, to be flush with the body of the tailgate:
Here’s the same view, from flush above, without the penny in place:
I contacted the friendly folks at Billet Badges and they said to send back and they would grind down the width of a penny, i think we agreed on a few mms. When it came back a week later, perfect:
So in summary, here below are (left) the FRONT badge, which has screw fasteners and needs to be loosened from inside the engine bay, the (right) rear badge, which has alignment push-in plastic protrusions (can simply be pulled off after loosening the glue bond), and the back of my new badges which are smooth, with the Made in the USA sticker (thanks again BilletBadges.com!)
And here is the front after it is fully installed:
And a wider shot, with my now more recently added decal stripes:
Too fun. So in 1999 some buddies and I put together a series of instructional video tapes (that we shipped out on VHS) called the Masters of Visual Effects series. The series had originally intended to have some true masters of visual effects, eg: Scott Squires, John Knoll, Eric Chauvin… real veteran / gurus of the industry.
Unfortunately we only got chapters 1 and 2 produced and we ran into some production $$ overruns, and long story short we never got the real masters in front of the camera. What we do have in this historical record, thanks to a remnant VHS copy that was found and digitize by my buddy Matt Silverman, is a time-capsule of vfx and post-production issues from 1999, immortalized by the presenters. I may get take-down requests from some of them so i will leave their names out of the meta-text here, and submit, humbly for your viewing pleasure.
It is interesting to me now in 2016 how many of these issues from 1999 are becoming issues again in the age of VR video production. Post-production has become relatively effortless in 2016, with basic laptops easily being able to handle UHD 4k video editing and effects. However, doing full immersive VR content requires some of the same proxy-resolution workflows that we employed in 1999 to deal with the film-video-digital steps of that era. Everything old is new again!
Masters of Visual Effects – 1.1 – Introduction
Masters of Visual Effects – 1.2 – Film as Digital Images
Masters of Visual Effects – 1.3 – Post Production Basics
Masters of Visual Effects – 1.4 – Pre-Viz and Editing
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.1 – Compositing Concepts Part 1
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.2 – Compositing Concepts Part 2
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.3 – Keying
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.4 – Tracking
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.5 – Paint
Masters of Visual Effects – 2.6 – Rotoscoping
My son Carlos Key’s film won an award at the local film festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and he has a nice write up in the Seattle Times–Carlos Key won the Youth Award at SIFF for the 3 minute short film category.
But probably just as cool, for us tech geeks, is that Seattle’s own tech blog of record, Geekwire, wrote a nice piece highlighting the work of Carlos as a young film maker, and how changes in film tech and software have made film making for teenagers something entirely magical, with the advent of lower cost equipment in the last decade.
Here’s Carlos in Peru this month on a class trip, where he is shooting a documentary (camera in hand!)
My Family and I just completed a marvelous 9 day expedition on the Colorado River from Lees Landing launch, down through the marvelous Grand Canyon National Park. We used Hatch as our expedition outfitter/organizer and we were absolutely thrilled with them, our crew, their end-to-end service, and of course, the amazing experience and majesty of the canyon/river. I wanted to post a few thoughts here for the benefit of others considering the trip, and, Hatch as an outfitter for your adventure on the Colorado/Grand Canyon. Hatch was FANTASTIC.
Here’s what we did:
In summary–absolutely great experience for all in our group, it truly is a once in a lifetime, one place in the world kind of experience. Where else can you travel 180+ miles through a national park, take in the absolute majesty of millions of years of natural geology, and never see any cars/villages/cell-phones, etc.? I now understand why this trip is on so many people’s lifetime “bucket lists”… surprisingly, it wasn’t on my list before taking the trip, but upon returning, i would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys nature. Hatch was a wonderful outfitter and I will strongly recommend to my friends who consider the same trip–their attention to customers, professionalism, great equipment, and real meaningful multi-generational commitment to the park and river guiding (grandpa Hatch started the company in the 1950s) is evident in the excellent service they deliver.
I changed the kidney grill “bib” from the factory chrome to a matching black; this is apparently pretty common cosmetic upgrade/change, and it was ultimately pretty easy to do–however, i found the online documentation/help to be a bit confusing so I thought I’d pass my learnings forward herein for others, feel free to post a question if I can help you out with more details.
First, I bought from IND who were very good with customer service, prompt on delivery, and super knowledgeable when i called a few times with questions before and after purchase. Highly recommend. Here’s the F80 Front Grill Surround part that i ordered.
Here’s what the part looks like:
IND provides a DIY video tutorial which is generally correct, but, it was not sufficient for me to succeed with the installation. Here’s the video:
And here’s what was wrong / additional information needed to be successful:
I love the result and i think it is a great cost/benefit upgrade, much better looking!
Here’s some additional photos in the process which i wish I had as reference, hope they help you out:
In photo above: try to get one grill off first by starting with top 3 fasteners, then either the left/right one which allows to start to pull out of frame (as seen in picture, where top 3 and left 1 (so 4 of the 8) have been unfastened), with the right 1 and the bottom 3 still to go. Once all 8 of them are unsnapped, the piece just pops out. And THEN, the other grill is easy, as you can now stick your hand through the empty space you created, making for a much faster remove of the 8 snaps. It took me 10 minutes to do the left grill, and less than 1 minute to repeat for right side.
Photo below: shows both grills removed. Inserting the new grills is a simple push/snap gesture, takes 2 seconds each. So all the work is in getting the existing grills to pop-off!
I sold my Apple Watch after 1 week of use, here’s why!
After a sordid 1 week fling with the Apple Watch, i decided this AM that I had had enough and i posted it for sale on my internal company bulletin board. I hope to unload it quickly to a lucky colleague so that she/he can have at least a week of fun, if not a lifetime!
Here’s my experience with the Apple Watch, starting with the many cons/problems that led me to such a rapid falling out of interest for what otherwise should have been an exciting new product for a ultra geek early adopter like me! :
Just to state some positives for fun, and to practice being a positive person:
So i’m going to go back to my FitBit Surge–charges 1x a week, tells the time, is a better health tracker for both casual activity (walking around) and exercise (has GPS and more accurate distance and performance tracking, and a great community of friends that use fitbit, and integration with Strava which I use for more serious training for marathons and such). Here’s a photo of the surge next to my apple watch on its last day of use (when i wore them both to compare the data they generated).
I actually am not sure who the Apple Watch is for other than people that really like watches? If the battery life approached 5-7 days on 1 charge, it was 50% thinner, and the physical buttons or other macro gestures could be linked to the 3-4 apps I actually care about (so it was faster to get it to load the info/app that I want when i want to use it), i would give it another try. Otherwise, this is the first apple product in 15 years or so that I wish I hadn’t bought (last time that happened was… wait, that has never happened!?)
God forbid anyone would buy a product like this and pay $10k+ for the Gold Edition. I can’t think of a less practical way to spend that kind of money–the shelf life on this thing, at very best, will be 1 year. Apple desperately needs to make a v2 of this product that overcomes the many, many, many v1 deficiencies that I think make this a product strictly for super-fan-boys and or fetishist of watches.
Update: after a day on my company bulletin board i had no offers–i guess the demand amongst my peers is zero? So i ran it over to the Apple store and was given a full refund, no questions asked–A+ customer service Apple, once again.
I’m training for the Copenhagen Marathon in May of this year (2015), and have been using Strava and a new Fitbit Surge device to track my runs. Unfortunately the two systems are not compatible (update May 2015–they are now compatible, details towards end of this post), and I can’t use the heart-rate readings from the Fitbit Surge as health data inside the surge app. I just completed a 15m training run and I thought I would post the side by side data that the two apps gathered in hopes this might be of use to other runners considering using either of these two systems.
My sincere desire is that Strava and Fitbit will get their systems connected, not sure who has the burden to do what work, but certainly can’t be very far from core to their missions to support as many devices/APIs as possible in this connected health tracking wearable category? Strava is focussed on community, Fitbit on devices–let’s go guys!
Later update (March 10 2015): I’ve continued to run 4-5 times per week using both Fitbit Surge and Strava and can add some new data:
Here is a recent run that Strava reported as 21.1 miles, side by side with Fitbit. Notice the accuracy of tracking on Fitbit Surge leaves much to be desired–which makes the device pretty useless as a serious fitness device:
Give my first 2 months of experience with the Fitbit Surge, i would not recommend as a health tracker–way too inaccurate. I’m actually now very curious about the Apple Watch which is shipping soon, given that it will rely on the phone for measurements which i’ve found to be much more accurate (via Strava).
Update May 2015. So a few things happened next for me. On a 15 mile run i tripped and fell face first into a ditch. At the time i had enough natural endorphins pulsing through my body that I just got up and kept running–but within 24hrs i was in incredible pain along my left rib-cage. For next 5 weeks I have been laid up and haven’t been able to run, alas, the travails of training for marathons (this seems to happen to me 50% of the time I train). So i missed my marathons (i had rescheduled my target run to the San Luis Obispo race, since I was ready for a earlier race than the originally planned Coppenhagen). At this point, i’ll be re-starting my training for a late summer date tbd.
But, in that timeframe a lot has happened:
So, here’s my first impressions of the Apple Watch as a fitness and performance sports tracker:
Ok so here we go, 4m run using all three: fitbit surge and Apple Watch on my wrist, Strava running on iOS on my iPhone 6 in my fanny pack:
So, 3 pretty messy and different reports. The time differences have to do with me not being able to exactly start and stop them all at once as I had to fiddle with each device. I like the mileage reading from strava+fitbit now showing exactly same figure, which i know from measuring on google-maps to be accurate! that’s an improvement on the fitbit surge with the new firmware (it has never previously reported this run as 4.00m). Here’s the mapping data from fitbit and stava side by side, which looks much better than previous runs (i would still like to test on a longer run and with more varied route, but this does look like it has been fixed by the firmware update last month to fitbit surge!)
In figure above the Strava track is on the left, Fitbit on the right. I can definitely see huge improvements in accuracy and much more frequent samples in the Fitbit Surge data, which actually caught a few subtle route details that were missed by the Strava plot. This is a huge improvement.
Based on this run’s data, if Fitbit and Surge data integration is actually working (still tbd how to make that work) i think i might sell the apple watch to a colleague at work who wants it, and go back to using the combination of fitbit and strava. The apple watch is a turkey–too little battery life (1 day), not enough useful functions, and crappy sports tracker.
I’ll add to this post if I learn more.
I lived in Spain during a study abroad year in college back in early 1990s, and have returned several times since for business and pleasure. I’ve found myself writing up some of my recommendations for “what should i do if I visit Madrid” for many friends, and after completing this recent email (below) i figured i’d throw it on my blog as I’ve noticed that my “Things to do if you visit Chile” blog post has gotten quite a few visitors in the last year and has been nominally useful to others. So in that spirit, here are my recommendations for things not to miss in Madrid and immediate vicinity (eg: within 90 minute train ride). Note that this was written for a friend of mine from China, so i was stressing cultural elements that she would find particularly interesting!
These are the “towns near madrid to get out of the city to see some smaller towns:
In Madrid be sure to see:
Then there are the traditional tourist sights:
Food (lunch is 2-4pm, dinner is 10-12pm–they really really really do eat at that time, you won’t find the best restaurants open before then! make reservations for the popular places!)
I spoke at a Small Talks event last week on the subject of Millennials in the Workplace (millennial are the generation born in the 80s and early 90s, that came after my generation “gen x”). buuteeq has a lot of team members from this age group/generation. A few multimedia and related pieces from the event:
Video of the event:
Thanks to Turnstone for putting together the event and providing snacky snacks!
A cool infographic that someone made that listened/watched the event over the web, love how they captured so much of the content in this graphical/summary form:
And, when i got home that evening and was doing some googling on the subject, I came across this hillarious (if snarky/harsh) summary that makes for a great comedy piece and interesting adjunct (i do not endorse or subscribe, necessarily, to the position it takes–but it did make me laugh!). Why Generation Why Yuppies are Unhappy
I get a lot of requests from friends about travel to Chile (for leisure/vacation, usually with family including kids), so i figured it was time to put my thoughts into a blog entry that I can repurpose, so here you go.
First some context: I lived in Chile from the age of 6-11 in the lovely Pinochet military dictatorship era (late 70s-early 80s, several years in Zapallar on the coast, and the others in Santiago the capital), the again after college for a year in 1994 (in Santiago, working as a film editor for commercial television), and most recently in 2010 for a year while i was planning my new business and my family and I divided time between the “small-north” region near La Serena, and yet more time in the smoggy confines of the capital. In addition to these stints homesteading, i’ve also backpacked and otherwise visited the country another half-dozen times… so from a toursim and/or expat perspective, i feel like i have the place dialed in and can make some strong recommendations.
So, with a focus on tourism (not expat relocation, which will be another blog post if I have enough people asking me about living in chile, schools, immigration process, taxes, banking, etc.), here’s my top 3 guidelines:
Ok. So now let me characterize the “regions” to choose from, i’ll outline them from North to South:
Ok, i’ve probably been too simplistic in this summary, but that’s my quick top 3 don’ts, and my top 4 (skip Easter Island) regions for “dos”.
Overall, as of June of 2013 when I’m first writing this, Chile is very accessible by rental car (by segment) so I recommend that strongly–don’t be beholden to public transport or a car and driver. Roads are very safe. Don’t leave valuables in-sight at tourist parking lots, just like anywhere in the world. There is very little violent crime outside of the capital, expect pick-pockets to be the worst thing you’ll find in the country. Not a lot of scams/hustling going on either, really a lovely place to visit and extremely friendly for kids. Focus on the NATURAL wonders, food will be fine but nothing amazing, wine is good and cheap, and the people will be friendly and not speak english (so brush up on your basics in spanish).
I’ll add more comments to this post as I get a sense of the follow on questions from the folks that have asked me to write this up (you know who you are if you are reading this).
I’ll someday write up the equivalent for Peru and Brazil, which I would favor for more ambitious/exciting tourism… but Chile is a great, safe, lovely place to visit with family and I hope you enjoy your trip!
I’m unabashedly in love with the HR employee feedback tool http://www.tinypulse.com, and sat down with our VP of Talent to discuss a bit re: how we use the tool and some of the company culture at buuteeq.
Caetano has been making a lot of videos for his youtube channel and wanted to create something with his brother that would stand-out from the relatively mediocre stuff that his comparative peers have been producing. So we got out the big guns (a GoPro camera for slow-mo footage, and my Canon 5d Mark III for the main action) and did a full shoot, edit, post-production+viz-effects, in a 4hr intensive session at buuteeq’s office. The kids wrote the script and storyboarded the action using post-it notes. I shot and did the editing + effects, but i had them watch closely so that I could begin the transfer of knowledge to turn them into Adobe Creative Suite master-users. This summer we are planning to do a digital film boot-camp with a few other parents helping out with the curriculum. We’ll cover storyboarding, editing, 2d compositing, and some basic web development for posting.
Here’s the results, of what will surely become a series of videos:
Oh, and while i’m at it, here’s the first video we made way back in 2008, when mom was in the USA for thanksgiving and we boys did a little film shooting at Lane Bridge on our way to school one morning. Kids were so cute… funny to see the two videos together and how some of their core acting/persona is the same 6 years later!
20 years ago I lived in Madrid for my junior year in college. It was a lovely time of life. I was very fortunate to make several new great friends while living in Spain, but i also brought with me several close friends from Palo Alto High School which coincidentally also ended up in Spain that same year (none attended UCLA with me, or had any coordination in planning their own year abroad to coincide with my choice of Spain/Madrid). At one point a motley crew of us ended up attending a bull-fight (under the auspices of one of our parents who was visiting and hosted both the bull outing and a epic memorable meal at Casa del Botin (one of the oldest restaurants in Spain / the world).
As my year in Madrid was winding down in the summer of 1992, Tobin and I went backpacking together in the southern Cordillera Nevada region which is in Andalusia near Granada. A magical string of small “white villages” dot the steep slopes of the mountain and are connected by small wandering foot-paths and a precarious mountain road with infrequent bus service. During a 3 day hike/camping excursion (and by “camping”, i mean we slept on the dirt ground by the side of the road) we had a bunch of laughs and celebrated Tobin’s 21st birthday.
At some point on the last day of our camping one of us proposed that we “should return 20 years from now and re-trace our trek” which stuck in both of our minds and was a looming 2012 date with destiny which I am happy to say we executed to great success last week. We started by meeting in Madrid where we were joined by 3 friends who are married to europeans and have taken up home on the old-world. Matt, Mike, and Clark joined us in Madrid for 48hrs of intensive and seemingly perpetual tapas hoping (with beverages of course). While my liver suffered a bit it was my gut that really hurt (from so much laughing)–amazing how so many things can change yet be the same… the ridiculous antics and reminiscing were together an amazing time travel potion which I drank with great thirst (but let’s be honest, 48hrs was about the right amount of it!)
As the europeans made their ways back to their families, Tobin and I headed south to Andalusia and through bullet train and rental car transport (neither of which existed (train) or where available to us (as 20 year olds) last time we were here), found ourselves back in our old stomping ground in the Alpujarras. We couldn’t quite find the same brick wall to sit on and take our “20 years later” photo, but we were definitely in the hunt and amongst the same villages and fields. Everything seemed the same yet different–lots of internet cafes, more tourism, better roads… and of course, things just seemed smaller and less foreign in general (instead of quaint villagers, we were surrounded by german tourists). But hey, we did it–we made good on our “let’s do this in 20 years” pledge, and the 3 hour late lunch capped with yet another cafe-con-leche sealed the deal.
As a bonus we hit Granada for some tapas and photo-taking, as well as Ronda which finally gave us some good weather and some ridiculously blue skies. We also had a chance to visit two of buuteeq’s customers in the region, the Hacienda de San Rafael (farmhouse turned luxury retreat, about 45 minutes from Seville) and Corral del Rey (boutique luxury in the center of the Santa Cruz old city center of Seville, walking distance from everything).
So, what did I learn 20 years later (if anything)? There were some really great and accessible insights that both Tobin and I rallied around in realtime, as well as some parting thoughts that came together on the long-haul flight back to Seattle:
Yes, i know, the Canon 5d mark ii is not news (more than 3+ years old), and all you serious pros or enthusiasts with $3,500 USD to burn are now into the mark iii and its amazing low-light capabilities and improved whatever. But for me, the 5d mark ii is the new thing, as the used market for these has brought the price down to the range of mere mortals like me (never mind that after I added the fine piece of 16-35mm 2.8 glass, the price was back up into the ridiculous range)… so, in celebration of my late arrival to the awesome party of full size sensor DSLR video, here’s a few recent videos including some low light interior stuff at the buuteeq office in ballard, where we pump out great hotel internet marketing SaaS love!
And by the way, when you hear the cow-bell ring in the last of these, that’s the sound of a buuteeq customer signing up… music to my ears even when I hear it on youtube (kind of the pavlov dog magic tone for all of us at the buuteeq office)