Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bakery Elves

The Bakery Elves were busy getting ready for Christmas Eve in this video. Our pre-order numbers were up from last year and were even greater than Thanksgiving which is usually our busiest holiday -so the Bakery was hopping. It's always fun to test our production capacity, we have the room and the equipment, we just don't have enough labor. This year Gene was our lead pie baker and Carmen stepped in at the last minute to help her Dad. A big thanks to all the Bakery Elves, Carmela, Pat and Bettie in addition to Gene and Carmen. Hope you all had a great holiday.
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ferry to Port Townsend

We took the ferry from Edmonds to Port Townsend on our way to basketball camp this year. I've been interested in taking video of patterns and abstract shapes so I was attracted to the ferry's wake and wanted to see what a close- up of the water would look like. I just got a new camera, a Canon HF S11, that I am very excited about. It takes beautiful video and I'm looking forward to using it to explore my new inclination.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where did the time go?

I haven't seen this video in years, maybe not since it was shot. My friend Roger offered to take our old Hi-8 video tapes and digitize them so that we could use them again. When I started watching them it was as if I was traveling back in time. That could be Nolan now, in the present. Maybe, I thought, if I call his name he'll come running out from his room and jump on me and ask me for something to eat. But no, that time has passed and it is time to enjoy him as the young man that he is today, a wonderful companion, sensitive, capable and supremely confident. I know this to be true but I still miss my little boy. Where did the time go?
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


When I was young my family moved a lot and I had to make new friends every couple of years. My brother was three years older than me so we became close and helped each other get through each move that the family made. He also helped me get around the structure of our family. My father was a conservative Mexican-American and had strict views about dating and dress that I fiercely rebelled against. When I went out in the evening I was required to take a chaperone, my brother, but as soon as we were out of sight of the house, we split up and agreed to meet at a later time. I would have gone crazy without his help during those years but I'm not sure if I ever formally thanked him. I hope I did because now its too late to reminisce about those days. Joe died suddenly in June at the age of 57.

When people die, when a brother dies, we are inclined to tell the good stories that we remember. But my brother's life was complicated and troubled and that can't be denied. We had been estranged for a decade until the year before his death. My sister's wedding was the occasion that brought us together again and was actually the event that reunited him with his children as well as he had not been a part of their lives while they were growing up. Being with him and his kids and Renee, his ex-wife, that night was weird and magical and healing. Afterwards, while we were still wary, we began the process of building a new relationship and though its hard to find anything positive about the timing of his death, I am so glad that we had that opportunity to reconnect and make amends.

This is a difficult blog to post. How much should I reveal? But this blog has always been intended to let family and friends know what is occurring in my family's life so I will share pain as well as joy with all of you. I loved my brother and I will miss him. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The city of Olympia, and indeed the entire nation, has been watching the compelling video coming from the live web feed of the BP Oil Spill. Earlier this morning, we saw the damaged riser spewing oil from the sea floor. Then we saw a picture of a device that looked like an intake manifold on a car that is being used to pump mud into lines on the blowout preventer, the safety device at the wellhead that failed when the original blast at the BP Oil Rig occurred. We are all hoping that this "top kill" will finally plug this horrible leak but we won't know for sure for a couple more days.

Meanwhile the blame game is in high gear with Republicans and liberals alike blaming the Obama administration for not doing enough and BP, Transocean, and Haliburton officials appearing at congressional hearings to take the verbal tongue lashing that the public seems to be clamoring for. Gene and I had an animated discussion at dinner tonight and Gene pointed out that the citizens of this country are the ones to blame for this mess. We’re not willing to modify our behavior and our excessive lifestyles and we lack the political will to demand that legislators and policy makers provide incentives for sustainable energy alternatives and disincentives by way of taxes, for gasoline consumption. It’s an obvious argument but I haven’t heard it being discussed by the media or by politicians as much as I would like and I believe that’s because we are still looking for easy answers. Pointing the finger at BP and the rest might be satisfying but it’s not likely to change anything.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Coconut Cream Cake

Bruce Teagarden made Coconut Cream Cakes for Mother's Day. It's a flourless and gluten free cake made with whipped cream, eggs, potato starch, sugar, coconut , sea salt and coconut extract. Bruce is making lots of beautiful desserts for us so if you haven't been to the bakery for awhile come by and taste his work.
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Monday, May 03, 2010

At the Car Wash

I guess I'm easily amused because going through the car wash is always so much fun. It's been a wet spring which is great for flora but there is mud everywhere, on the car, on the floor, on the clothes. The city did some repaving on our road last week and the machinery sprayed mud on our mailbox and newspaper box. Where do mailboxes go to get washed?
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Canada Line

We saw "35 Shots of Rum" at the Capitol Theater and the opening sequence reminded me of video that I shot while we were in Vancouver. I wasn't sure my video was usable when I first watched it but that shot of the subway tracks viewed from inside the conductor's booth convinced me to give it another look. I really liked the contemplative nature of the long take that the director, Claire Denis, used to illustrate the paths that our relationships take and how they sometimes necessarily diverge. There isn't much dialogue in the movie so images must convey the narrative and the theme of the film, and Denis mostly pulls it off beautifully. It's only towards the end that the lack of exposition becomes a problem, so that one isn't immediately certain about the conclusion of the story. That's just a small problem though, the movie is really very moving and well worth seeing.
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Music at the bakery

Friday was sunny and warm and it was hard to stay inside. I worked in the garden while a couple of musicians played some tunes in front of the bakery. It was sweet and festive and a great way to celebrate the start of spring.
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sports Report

There is a large contingency of people from the Netherlands here to root for their formidable team of speed skaters. (It will take years to recover from the disqualification of Sven Kremer from the 10,000 meters.) They stay in hotels close to the Richmond Oval where the long track skating races are held because I don’t think they are very interested in any of the other events taking place. They turn out in all kinds of wonderful orange costumes and love to sing along with the Dutch ommpa band that plays during intermissions. I’m so glad they’re here, it’s such fun to attend the skating events with them.

The Russians have the best jackets around and seem so stern and exotic. They were very disappointed in the results of the ice dancing competition that Gene and I attended, I sensed that they felt their athletes were judged unfairly after hearing the reactions to the scores for the Russian teams.

But without a doubt, the most compelling story in Vancouver during these Olympic Games has been Team Canada and the hockey tournament. The Russians played Canada yesterday and it was all anyone talked about all day. There is a rivalry between the two teams because Russia beat Canada in the quarter- finals in the 2006 Olympics and then went on to win two World Championships. Gene and I were at a short track skating event and the hockey game was on the big screen between races so that the fans could keep track of the score. Now it’s on to the quarter-finals on Friday, the USA plays Finland and the Canadians play Slovakia.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver B.C.

What do you call someone who comes from the United States? Do you call them an American? When we visited Costa Rica people there called themselves American, they said we were North Americans. Now we are in Vancouver and North American seems to include Canadians. Belgians come from Belgium, the Dutch are from the Netherlands, and Argentineans are from Argentina. So what do you call people from the U.S.?

We’ve been in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics for a few days now and it is obvious to all that the Canadians are crazy about their Olympic athletes. They are wearing all kinds of Canadian branded sports gear; sweatshirts, hockey jerseys, gloves, hats, scarves, anything with the word “Canada” on it. We’ve been watching Team Canada play hockey in sports bars and the atmosphere is almost as electric as Super Bowl Sunday. Anytime the sports announcers mention a Canadian athlete winning a medal the crowds go wild. Even the foreign tourists are sporting the Canadian gear, shoot; I would wear one of those fabulous red Maple Leaf hats if I could find one.

We finally went to our first live event, curling, tonight and it was a blast. The evening began with a group of bagpipers leading the competing athletes into the arena. I thought we were going to have to stand for “O Canada” but I was wrong, the athletes went to their places and began their games without any further ado. Even though the Canadians are fanatically patriotic, that doesn’t seem to translate to the jingoism evident in U.S. sporting events. To me, it felt refreshing and civilized.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Women at Work

The renovation at the Bakery required some demolition and Amber turned out to be an expert at it. And while we were able to get the Bakery opened on schedule we still haven't completed our project. The electrical work, lighting and retail arrangement is still unfinished.
Formats available: Quicktime (.mov)