Monday, September 28, 2009

The Island of Texel on the North Sea

Last weekend, in the name of science, a good friend from Antarctica and I left the States on a direct flight to Amsterdam. Our final destination, the island of Texel on the North Sea. We were charged with hand-carrying rock and seawater samples to scientists at the NIOZ institute on the island.

Traveling with a cooler and a heavy, unwieldy box, Kristen and I were able to lug, pull, push and carry them through 2 train rides, a bus ride and a ferry ride to reach our destination. In the end, the samples arrived safely and we were able to spend the rest of our time on Texel biking around, dipping our feet in the North Sea and making new friends.

However, two girls who worked so hard couldn't turn around and come right home. We spent the rest of the weekend in Amsterdam exploring the city and enjoying fine dining. Now, Kristen has left and I remain here to work at the Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam office for the rest of the week.

Kristen with the samples. Almost to Texel and she's still smiling.

Biking around the island

Thatched roof house and goat

The North Sea

Lounging in my oversized chair, enjoying the view and celebrating a days work well done

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Raphael Saadiq in the House

From time to time, musicians will come and perform for the employees of Wieden+Kennedy. When this happens, I feel like I work at one of the coolest places in Portland, and I always feel privileged to see these talented artists in such an intimate setting. Last week was no exception. The acoustic set that Raphael Saadiq performed was amazing and fun. He even had us singing with him for a bit.

In October, the new W+K Entertainment website will launch. This is basically an improved upon version of our online radio station where employees could DJ, interviews of cool people were given and guest artists would perform. However, it's been offline while getting a face lift, and I've missed it. I used to listen to it daily. For a preview of the cool things to come, go here

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Watching the Swifts

Thousands of Vaux's Swifts pass through Portland annually on their migratory journey south. Every night in September at sunset, these birds amazingly come into a tornado-like formation and funnel down into the chimney at Chapman School to roost for the night.

This video was taken last night and towards the end, you can see a bird of prey disrupting the funnel

Vaux's Swifts are closely related to the hummingbird. They have tiny legs and feet which allow them to perch on vertical surfaces but not on branches. As such, they spend most of their life "on the wing". They eat, mate and even pick up items for their nests while flying.