Thursday, August 18, 2016

Then and Now... a son reflects

Today is my Dad’s birthday, so I’m thinking about him. I’ve posted about him before and thought I’d share something today, but I didn’t want to repeat myself too much so I took a little trip back through my Activerain archives this week to take a look see and that proved to be quite revealing.

One thing really stuck out and that was how much my technology has changed since I started blogging in the rain back in November 2008.

One of my early posts back in March 2009 included a little video. The soundtrack was from an evening I sat in with Dad at Cavallini’s in Cle Elum (1976).

As I'm reading I start to laugh...

I’m listening to tunes on my iPod. Does anyone still have one?

I used a Flip Mino camera to shoot the video. I had two, they're both dead in a drawer somewhere.

My phone, a Blackberry 8330 in my shirt pocket. Small screen, but I liked the keyboard.

I had a Dell Latitude D610 with 512 Mb RAM, 40 GB hard drive, Windows XP and it was heavy. It had WiFi, but hardly anyone except a few hotels had it then and you had to pay extra to use it!

I lugged a projector around that cost about $2,000, weighed over 10 lbs, had fuzzy focus, but you could heat a large room with it.

This morning 2008/2009 seems like a very long time ago from a certain technology point of view.

Who’d a thought then that over 70% of us now online are on a mobile device! That we’d text more than talk, yet ironically many talk to text! My iPhone 6 Plus is my office and my portable media production center. I have a Magnasonic mini projector that’s light with WiFi, USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, audio out, runs on battery for about an hour, and it’s footprint is smaller than my phone and cost about $300.

My HP laptop has a beautiful high resolution 1080p screen, uses 802.11ac high bandwidth WiFi, and it’s so light I have to check my tote bag to make sure I didn’t forget it. 

I rarely burn CDs anymore and most of the software I use is cloud based. I can read and write to my French cousin using a translator, live stream video from several platforms, video chat instantly, and augment reality with Pokeman GO. Let alone talk to Cortana, Siri, or Google to search, map, and shop. That’s a lot of change in just a few years...

It’s all a matter of perspective. When Dad picked up his first accordion in the early 1930s they weren’t electric. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that he’d attach a ‘silver dollar’ microphone and use a tube amp.

I remember him talking about the first radio to show up on Tobin Avenue when he was a kid. The neighbors would gather on the front porch to listen to shows like Amos n’ Andy, Bing Crosby, and Burns and Allen.

His first recording device was a wire recorder. We played with it as kids in the late 50s. The wire would often break then instantly spring off the reels into a great big tangled ball that would take us hours to unravel. In the 1970s Dad got his first all new bleeding edge electronic organ accordion built for him by Petosa Accordions of Seattle.

I’m thinking my time is coming and before you know it I'll be hearing, “Grandpa, back in the olden days did you.......?”  ;O)

So, Happy Birthday Dad! You'd a been 95 today! It's been fun running 'then and now'  threads about you and technology.

Enough about work... let’s go for a drive originally posted to Activerain on March 10, 2009.

Monday, August 15, 2016

7th and Olive, downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle at 7th and Olive Way. I love the view from here looking south on 7th Avenue past Pacific Place all the way down to Two Union Square.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Amtrak Cascades on a blue moon Friday...

TUK TAC PDX a blue moon Friday.

Do you love trains? I do... I don’t take them nearly enough. I love kinda everything about them. What they are, the sounds they make, they’re on rails, they got the best horns...

My good friend Dave and I hung out in the Pearl District and we went to one of our all time favorite bookstores on the planet, Powell’s Books... We've both been going here since the 1970s.

So the video is kind of the bookends to that story... I caught some great morning footage at the Amtrak Tukwila station, and later that evening leaving Portland, crossing “The Mighty Columbia River” over the bridge back to Washington State.

There is a romance, I have it about trains. I can’t ride one that I don’t think about famous train stories and movies like Murder on the Orient Express, The Train, Transsiberian, Von Ryan’s Express, The Lady Vanishes, etc. etc. and I remember the train rides we did as kids to Spokane from Seattle to see Grandma & Grandpa Larson.

TUK = Tukwila, TAC = Tacoma and PDX = Portland

#Amtrak #AmtrakCascades #TUK #Tukwila #TAC #Tacoma #PDX #Portland #PNW #Trains

Friday, July 24, 2015


Do you remember the first time you went through a car wash? I was at the Brown Bear on Rainier in Renton this week. Hey it’s summertime and I had a bunch of dead bugs splattered across the windshield and real dusty, I’m thinking, “No way I can show up for my presentation tomorrow looking like this!”

As the attendant pops the big GO button and the roar and whir begin it triggers a memory of when my youngest daughter Paige was along for the first time. Her older siblings Shannon and Jeff had been through the car wash several times. For them it was a thrill and kinda like going on a ride at the Fair. But for Paige, only 3 or 4 then, it was really scary as we entered the tunnel of monsters.


Oh, the things that dads remember...

#renton #pnw #carwash #kids #family #memories #dads

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Born to be Wild

Born to be Wild...

Wild probably isn’t the first thing one conjures up in their mind when they see an accordion. But hey, this was the 1950s...

Like father, like son, I had one of these strapped to me at @ 3 years old. I’m 4 here. I played the accordion into my teens. My dad was a little disappointed when I took up the guitar and embraced rock & roll. That’s when the wild side started to show up, around 1963.

Rene Fabre playing accordion in the bedroom. Renton Highlands circa 1954.

Before the English Invasion, before Grunge, Psychedelic, Experimental Rock, or Heavy Metal we had Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Sonics, The Fabulous Wailers, The Kingsmen, The Ventures, The Dave Lewis Trio, Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts and many more...

Back then these local bands got a lot of airplay on KJR AM with Pat O’Day (KJR Seattle, channel 95!) and when we were in high school, that was probably the only station we ever listened to in the car, cruising the loop in Renton. It was right out of American Graffiti.

Besides Jimi Hendrix, who came much later, I first loved The Ventures. They’re one of the first reasons I was attracted to the guitar. Did you know they originated from Tacoma? Who could forget Walk, Don’t Run (1960) or Wipe Out! (1963) Over the years they sold over 100 million records and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Born to be Wild was originally published by the author on the Activerain network.

#accordion #Renton #PNW #1960s #rock&roll

Monday, June 29, 2015

15 seconds of local fame!

Who’d a thought! I’m on the Jumbotron at a Seahawks game!

Well, not really, but kind of... (6/25/15) We're at Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, Washington. I’m teaching Mobile Communication Boot Camp, a.k.a. hashtag #mobilecomcamp for a group of local Realtors®.

I’m having a blast! We’re working our way through the mall and this segment of the class is about using images in the context of #location #lifestyle and #community as a web presence and personal brand strategy. So there’s a bunch of us wandering from store to store shooting lots of photos with our smartphones.

I'm on the Jumbotron!

Half the fun doing this 3 clock hour class is noticing some of the people around us and their reactions.

"Who are these people? Are they foreign tourists? They're taking photos of everything!"

As I catch up to my teammate, Jill Bell, she's taking a photo through the front window of the Made in Washington Store. There’s a really cool Lego Seahawks game displayed and it has its own (mini) Jumbotron displaying camera shots of the field and players like it's a live game.

Ha ha... I was caught in the reflection and ended up on the big screen. My 15 seconds of local fame! :O)

15 seconds of local fame was originally posted by the author on the Activerain Real Estate Network.
#mobilecomcamp #WestfieldSC #Tukwila #Seattle #MadeinWashington #Legos #Seahawks

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Club House, Earlington 1959.

With Dad’s Day coming right up this Sunday of course I’ve been thinking about him. I thought it would be fun to share this photo on Throwback Thursdays... It was taken back in 1959 not long after we moved to Earlington. I wish I had another picture that was a little more upfront and personal, but this one I am fond of and it conjures many memories.

Dad had a little help from Grandpa, but for the most part he built our clubhouse himself. In hindsight, Dad was always so busy working we didn’t sometimes know or appreciate he actually had “dad skills”... Along the way we learned he did a lot of carpentry work for my Grandpa, who built many homes in Renton and the area, when he was a kid until he left for the war right after high school, class of RHS 1940.

This photo cracks me up. Dad as always when he's doing anything, totally focused. Me however, the next to (plum that falls not far from tree) and I’m not sure if I’m just spacing out gazing into future or a little impatient. “Is it done yet?” And there's my brother Steve, looking on. Simply excited we got a clubhouse almost!

The Clubhouse, Earlington 1959

My brother Steve and I had so much fun in that little clubhouse. It was many things to us and a wonderful place under the willow tree, rain or shine. It was our hangout for playing army, cowboys, spies, and explorers. We ran a weekly neighborhood newspaper from here and played spaceships going to Mars. It was an outpost in the wilderness and a cabin in the mountains.

Our favorite times were in summer sleeping in it overnight then in the morning (Dad taught us how to get the BBQ going) cook our own bacon & eggs and whatever in a cast iron pan for breakfast. I'm sure Mom loved the messes we made...

Dad’s are whom they are and they all had (have) something wonderful and unique to give and share. At this time in my life I am so very grateful my Dad was my Dad. We understand them one way as kids growing up,  and now, in reflection, in quite a different way as adults.

Regardless if your Dad is alive or not, celebrate them. Dad’s aren’t and never were perfect, they're dad's. And we wouldn’t be here if that weren’t so. 

The Club House was originally posted by the author on the Activerain network.