Tag Archives: seattle

Media: Slow Train Coming (Cascadia Trains) / Vancouver Courier, Oct. 22, 2008

from the article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008
from the Vancouver Courier article by Robert Alstead, Oct. 22nd, 2008

I was interviewed (and used loquacious quotes like “super lame”) for an article about train travel in the Vancouver Courier.

I am including my quotes and a few other snippets about my pet-rant, ergo: inadequate train travel between here and points south – as well as the photo by Dan Toulguet so it doesn’t disappear…

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Slow train coming

Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast – Robert Alstead, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dave Olson, who works in marketing for Gastown web design company Raincity Studios, travels six or seven times a year by train, on business and pleasure. “I don’t care for jet travel because of the incredible hassle and huge eco-footprint,” says Olson. Like many, he would take the train more if he could. “I like the pace and not having to drive, I like the rhythm and the scenery you normally don’t see, the rail yards and seashores and forgotten neighbourhoods. I find the train-riding experience somehow charming, even poetic and certainly creativity stimulating,” he says.

However, he complains Amtrak’s evening train south is hardly convenient for trips to Olympia or Portland, seeing as travellers must make an overnight stopover in Seattle. The Amtrak Cascades is also infrequent and often booked up. Amtrak does offer several “train buses” which Olson has found “super lame” with long border waits. He’d rather take the car if there are no seats on the train, although it did mean a $124 parking bill and a chipped windshield on a recent three-day trip to Seattle. “I know we would’ve enjoyed some work or playing cards or meditating on the train,” he rues.

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However, the Amtrak Cascades offers a good example of the difficulties faced in enhancing rail services.

For years, Amtrak has wanted to add a second roundtrip train between Eugene and Vancouver. However, congestion due to heavy freight movement on track this side of the border meant that a new siding needed to be added to allow trains to pass. For six years, Canadian and U.S. officials and railroad owners Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been unable to hammer out a deal over who should pay for the upgrade.

That means that a second Amtrak Cascades has been running only as far as Bellingham. Then in March of last year, spurred on by the onset of the 2010 Olympics, B.C. transportation minister Kevin Falcon announced that he was committing “up to $4.5 million” (reportedly 57 per cent of the upgrade cost) to build the siding.

In June last year, Premier Gordon Campbell marked the new service on the platform at King Street Station in Seattle by exchanging a large symbolic train ticket with Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a photo op.

The siding was completed months ago. Amtrak is ready to go. But the service hit the buffers due to complications with the Canadian Border Services Agency, which reportedly wants $15,000 per day to clear the train.

Graham says the matter is in the hands of the B.C. government. A spokesperson for the province says it’s a federal government issue. Faith St. John, spokesperson for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter “because we are in discussions.” But she did say that “decisions to provide CBSA services at a new location or to expand current services take into account human resource requirements and the ability to provide security and service to the public.”

She could not say when the matter would be resolved.

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Update, the article “disappeared” from the internets (mostly), 

Print version of Slow Train Coming

Web version of Slow Train Coming [archived link via WayBack]

Memento: “Bobless” at Experience Music Project, Seattle / 2001

Memento: “Bobless” on stage at Experience Music Project, Seattle / 2001

In 2001, three of my four brothers and Dad gathered in Seattle (some of us came from Olympia WA, others down from Surrey BC) for some activities including a visit to the Experience Music project which is a sort of interactive museum at Seattle Center.

Amongst all the fine exhibits is/was a “live concert simulator” in which you are announced on to the stage with lights and crowd and play along in a kind of *deluxe karaoke* of sorts / with if I recall correctly ” twist and shout”. Really quite fun. 

Brother Bob wasn’t in attendance so, we called our band “Bobless” which has become sort of our de facto codename for events and activities in which Bob is elsewhere.

Related: brother Dan and I were charter members of the Experience Music Project and received a special piece of tile as an artefact to commemorate this membership I will share this elsewhere in this archive at some point, probably/maybe.

Memento: Experience Music Project (card & medallion), 2000

Memento: Experience Music Project (membership card and medallion)

Charter member medallion / memento with tile (from the roof?) of the then-new Experience Music Project (now Museum of Pop Culture, was also: Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) and later EMP Museum) building in Seattle Center, along with “Acoustic Duo” charter member card (purchased with brother Dan).

Evidence: Bail Receipt, King County / 2000

Evidence: Bail Receipt, King County / 2000

As is the case with most every bail receipt i suspect, there’s a story behind this one… I’ll save it for another time but in short involves: a baseball I didn’t get to keep, and two policeman with the same name, and a 4:20AM drive home. Thanks Dan.

#daveo50 ~ 1999 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 1999 / passport

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo a day per years staring with 1970 on June 17 with intent of chronicling existence through various evidence. Primarily sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 1999 / 50 years > days > photos

Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis Magazine, Seattle/Oly, June 1998

Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis, Seattle/Oly, June 1998 / cover
Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis, Seattle/Oly, June 1998 / interview

Continue reading Media: Propriety and Prohibition (HempenRoad) / Axis Magazine, Seattle/Oly, June 1998

HempenRoad / chapter 6: Olympic Peninsula / Port Townsend (bonus)

This segment of Hempen Road documentary is a bit different so calling a “bonus” clip… rather than interviews with hemp cannabis pioneers, activists, entrepreneurs etc, this one features my rather poetic (according to HempWorld magazine’s review) soliloquies about broken promises to land, societies and neglect of culture along with Eiji’s stellar mixed-media cinematography and montage editing as we worked our way up and around the glorious Olympic peninsula with a stop to gaze at the albatross of Satsop nuclear chimneys, struggling and damaged reservation land.

Then comes a stop in scenic and absurdly charming Victorian-era port town appropriately called Port Townsend (as this was as far as sailing ships could make it before steam power came along and made the the place irrelevant for decades – now its bustling, then was perfect…) for a look around.

Note: we filmed a segment with PT Hemp Co (you’ll notice their 2nd floor store in the clip) but wasn’t able to use and now the footage is “lost” in a shoebox somewhere due to Eiji’s untimely demise.

Then, head off towards Vancouver via various ferries for the “big finish” of the filming and film with 16mm B&W footage of seagulls winging through the air. Sigh.

Another note: music in this clip are both faves as well. The spacey “Ry Cooder-esque” one is “Desert in my Toenails” (or something like that) by Chris Sullivan who i knew in Utah, he was from Kentucky, played all sorts of instruments, left our band to catch crabs in Alaska and still rambles with various bands and places. The outro song is Chris Jacobsen who i knew in Guam, a Rhode Islander boat cap’n with a zany sense of humour but an air of melancholy around him. I’ve tried to track him down to no avail. Notably, both of these were captured from cassette tapes, recorded on 4 tracks (still have the originals i think). 

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Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

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  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

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Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

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With Special Dedication To:

  • Misa and Naoyo
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, April 2020

HempenRoad / chapter 5: Seattle (1996/7)

Hemp cannabis pioneer entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington, USA are featured in this chapter of 1996/7 documentary film in which host/producer Dave Olson (hello) visits with interesting characters including:

  • David Edwards, Earthgoods
  • S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
  • Rob Jungman, Manastash
  • Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing 
  • Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
  • Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
  • Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
  • Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery

along with scenes of a snowboard “big air” contest and Seattle landmarks including the now-demolished Kingdome, Pike Street Market, Showbox theatre, Lusty Lady and Hammering Man.

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Artifacts, Background, Technical notes at:

* Daveostory – https://daveostory.com/category/film-vids-docs/hempenroad-documentary/

* IMdb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9839016/

View full-length documentary at:

  • Youtube – https://youtu.be/-zph6xDAc-g
  • Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/122077349
  • Reelhouse – https://www.reelhouse.org/uncleweed/hempenroad/

+++

  • Filmed 1996
  • Released 1997
  • Digitized 2007
  • Chapter Edit 2020

thanks for Pete Word and Bread Rees for various archiving assists

+++

Additional chapters include:

  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Eugene, OR, USA
  • Portland, OR, USA
  • Olympic Peninsula, WA, USA
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada

with entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, farmers, pioneers etc.

+++

With Special Dedication To:

  • Ralph Seeley, esq (rip)
  • Robert Lunday (rip)
  • Eiji Masuda (rip)

Fondly, daveo / Okayama, Japan, March 2020

Note: High-speed Rail from Vancouver > Seattle > Portland & oatmeal

Snoqualmie Oatmeal onboard Amtrak en route to Pe ELL (Centralia, WA) Dec. 29, 2013

There is much discussion about high speed rail between Vancouver and Portland… This conversation isn’t new, been going on for years and years and there’s always more pushback, grumbling about costs and right of way, another expensive study and blah blah blah… In my mind, the existing service *could* be great if they had priority right of way on the tracks, without hindrance of landslides which are prone to some areas, and better connections from the often remote/poorly located stations to the related urban centers (looking at you Olympia).

I mean, the trains themselves are great, the route is lovely, and importantly there is Snoqualmie Falls oatmeal served in the morning, or Ivar’s clam chowder and Black Butte Porter in the afternoon… Last time I rode anyway.

By the way, it’s no longer my challenge, request, cause or whatever as I live in Japan where train lines are abundant with all manner of service from super fast to slow locals as well as scenic treasures on olden stock.

However, I have yet to find a train in Japan which serves oatmeal so I have to get by a delicious Ekiben.

The HempenRoad (1997) ~ Documentary about industrial cannabis and medical marijuana

The HempenRoad

A travel documentary about commercial hemp industry in the Pacific NW in 1996-7

hr-poster-

Available in full length (83 minutes) online on Youtube and Vimeo.

With legalization in Washington and Oregon, and an ever-changing landscape in BC, this film shows the roots of a movement going from society’s fringes towards mainstream acceptance by exploring economic and environmental benefits.

ian_dave

Produced, written and narrated by DaveO, directed by Eiji Masuda, the HempenRoad is an experimental, multi-media roadtrip exploring commercial hemp businesses and conferences in the Pacific northwest. The film explores many uses of cannabis including fiber, paper, fuel, food, beer, medicine, as well as delving into the political and environmental issues around legalization.

sign

Beginning in the clearcut Olympic peninsula, the film follows narrator Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson as he visits a variety of colourful personalities and interesting businesses.

mary_dave

Stops include: Victoria, BC; Eugene and Portland Oregon; and, Olympia and Seattle Washington, before finishing with exclusive footage of the groundbreaking Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium in Vancouver, B.C.

map

Note: made in 1996 using footage captured by 16mm, Super 8, Hi8 tape, scans, 35mm stills, web video and editing with Adobe Premiere 1.0 on a 200Mhz Mac-clone and a 9Gb harddrive.

woody

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The HempenRoad features:

ecosource

Victoria, British Columbia
* Ian Hunter (RiP), Sacred Herb & Victoria Mayoral candidate
ianbike
* Sarah Hannah Bedard, Sacred Herbsarah
* Odette Kalman, Ecosource
* Padra Almadi, Earthenware
padra
* Eric Hughes, Zima foods
* Alice Bracegirdle, Zima foods

alice

Eugene, Oregon
* Todd Dalotto, Hungry Bear
hbear
* Rose, Hairy Truth
* Carolyn Moran, Living Tree Paper
* Bruce Mullican, So Much Hemp
*
Diedre Mullican, So Much Hemp

Portland, Oregon
* D. Paul Stanford, CRRH

paul_s
* Cheryl Kolander, Aurora Dye Works
* Chris Iverson, HempWiezen beer

Olympia, Washington
* Charles Tomala, Jay Stewart, Scott Orr, OlyWa.net
* Bob Owen, WHEN
* Dennis Peron, Prop 215 (California) activist etc

Seattle, Washington
* David Edwards, Earthgoods
* S. David Stunda, Earthgoods
* Cory Brown, Fremont Hemp Co.
* Rob Jungman, Manastash

manasnow
* Khamphy S., Panther Manufacturing
* Tom Cluck, Belltown Hempery
* Fred Martin, Belltown Hempery
* Jill Etherington, Belltown Hempery
* Kristina Lynch, Belltown Hempery
* Aloha, Macrame

Vancouver, British Columbia
* Mari Kane, Hempworld
* Mosse Mellish, Greenman paper
* Geof Kime
* Jace Callaway
* Mark Parent
* Ryszard Kozlowski
* John Stahl
* Brian McClay
* Brian McLay
* Alexander Sumach
* Jean Peart
* David Watson
* Brian Taylor
* Sotos Petrides, Wiseman Noble
* and other speakers and audience members at the Commercial Industrial Hemp Symposium

marc&sumach

HempenRoad Soundtrack includes:

* Phat Sidy Smokehouse
* JahWah
* Elemental
* Chris Sullivan
* Bread Mountain
* 420 Love
* Chris Jacobsen
* Old Time Relijun
* Collective Shoe
* J. Williamson Ensemble
* Systolie Diastolie
* and more . . .

posters

Digitalized for the web by Bread 420.

newtracks

HempenRoad / chapter 4: Seattle + Production Journal

Another drizzly morning and we head up to Seattle. There’s plenty to see there as Seattle has kind of become the hemp-metropolis of America. A big-league city with an awkward mix of high-tech, red-neck, enviro-activism, loud guitars, gearhead REI yuppies and an international dose of everything else.

First off, we find the Beemis building on the shady side of the Kingdome. Apparently this classic building used to be a paper bag factory and it now houses artist and professional loft/suites. There is a neat Vespa out front and a intimidating freight elevator inside. We head up stairs to visit Earth Goods.

Earth Goods is the international business run by two guys named Dave or David which isn’t surprising as I’ve been meeting a lot of guys named Dave recently. The focus of Earth Goods is to make contemporary high-end fashions from naturally dyed hemp. No use dumping chemicals on a piece of organic cloth they figure.

The selection of garments for women and men are made and dyed in Thailand, overseen by another guy named Dave. The idea however, was conceived while were living between Boulder and then Japan where they heightened their sense of aesthetic and marketing.

The duo had just returned from European travels, styling in Venice where they showed off their fancy threads on the same runway that Giorgio Armani was pushing his own hemp designs. While they have been working hard to reach the public, they welcome the competition and figure any expansion of natural standards is to the net benefit to the Earth and the vitality of the industry.

Things are really starting to move for this sharp company as they create a solid niche with their hemp/silk, softened hemp, and hemp/cotton fancy/casual clothing line. They make especially nice vests.

Enjoyed talking about Japan and learning natural dye names in Thai, spent a nice morning in the Beemis building. Unique view, a sort of backdoor look of the city from giant windows. High ceilings, so high that a guy from the Sonics lives right up stairs.

So we head across to the University district to check out Rob Jungman and his new Manastash store.

Rob started with an idea for a small wallet that you wouldn’t loose even after a rough day on the beach and rougher night on the town. After a roadtrip brainstorm, the “Chenga” became. After a few batches of those, Rob made up some bigger packs, accessories and gear. All designed for action sports and having fun.

After spreading his line around the US, Rob took the show to Japan where he is hooking up all the hempster gearheads over there. This is particularly interesting to me as I research the history of cannabis culture in Japan. The possibilities of selling hemp in that massive consumer market is head-spinnin and Rob has got the goods to do it.

Rob headed out on Hemp Tour all summer. Traveling the land with a couple vans to concerts, mountain bikes races, rock climbing comps., festivals and wherever. . . letting athletes and adrenaline junkies test out his gear and put hemp to the test.

Instead of taking it easy when he returned, he decided to make a store right on Seattle’s infamous University strip. The store is loaded up with gear from a variety of hemp makers so we had a chance to preview some upcoming hempen road filming stops.

Business seems brisk both at the store and with getting the line of Manastash Mountain Products on the rack at outdoor stores. The horizon sees a couple new stores opening in Japan and new products coming out real quick.

As for the Manastash products, they are made across town at Panther Sports which Rob operates with his partner Khampy, a textile production designer from Vietnam. They run a nice facility, comfortably employing a rotating staff of about a dozen.

As part of a government job training program, the factory helps new immigrants learn a trade, make a fair wage, work in good conditions, improve language skills and gain positive work experience. Most move on to higher paying jobs at bigger factories after they are experienced. This is all part of the process and it certainly looks successful as we laughed and goofed with the sewers who were lucky enough to have hooked up with a great organization. The Manastash products are made with care in a local, international community atmosphere , a real working model of positive production and what is a great alternative to synthetics made in deplorable sweat shops both here and abroad.

By the way, Manastash is the Yakima tribe’s name for a mountain range in eastern Washington which translates to New Beginnings.


Dale the Weaver helped us out with the segemnt by provided random inspiring comments and hairstyles to urge us along. He is quite a motivator, ol’ Dale, and he is weaving and knitting some nice potholders and Christmas tree ornaments.

So after exploring the neighborhoods and eating some interactive Thai food recommended by Christian at Crop Circle clothes who we didn’t get a chance to hook up with cause he was in Las Vegas wooing a client. Right on, I can see Wayne Newton in a hemp tux. Christian seems to have the marketing and promotion game down and I hope to check out his products down the road.

That evening we were hosted again by the Dave duo at the Beemis Building. A exclusive gathering of hempsters, business people, store owners, buyers and friends sharing Christmas cheer and tasty beer.

Upstairs, some new friends put us up for the night in their loft which was decorated with some exceptional acrylic on plywood paintings.

The next morning we spent some time filming the curious community of Fremont. You know, it is the center of the Universe. Rocket ships, walking pizza, statue of Lenin, and Fremont Hemp Company. Run and designed by Cory Brown, entering the Fremont Hemp Co. shop is like leaping into a spendy magazine spread. It is exquistely detailed with luxurious items. Body care products, household accessories and dried flowers. It really is something different than Joe Q. Public’s perception. I expect to see Ralph L. and Laura A. models posing in the corner.

Not surprisingly, Cory’s background is in retailing and related arts. Everything down to the wrapping paper is done just the way he wants, no compromise. Beauty and functionality are tucked comfortably in together.

The building itself was once a Gas Station and the transformation is complete as Fremont built it up from a blank canvas. Spiral staircases go up to a loft and give a view of the courtyard out front. The design is slightly manic and comfy at the same time. A huge Masonic painting and a statue of Vlad offset the elegant yet utilitarian garage facade. A row of large letters along the top, tell you where you are. Fremont center of the hempiverse!

If Fremont is center of the Universe, than Belltown is center of Universal Hemp. Universal Hemp is the new enterprise of several experienced hemp industry workers. These are the men and women who have been pulling the weight at other companies in Seattle and have now jumped into making the new Belltown Hempery.

It is certainly not a regular hemporium, its more of an outlet for independent artists, crafters and makers to market their gear. There is a wide variety of stuff but its not the same as you’ve seen around.

One of the difficult things about trying to build a business is finding a decent, fair outlet to vend your product to start generating operating capital. Consignment generally doesn’t work, wholesaling doesn’t fit for home based, small time operators and winter is a lousy time to be out hustling at arts and crafts fairs. Ask me, I know. I wish I could’ve found an outlet like Belltown about 4 years ago when UncleWeed backpacks and dog collars, hempy sacks etc were being made in a tent and sold on street corners and festivals.

While it is a new business, there is plenty of room to expand. Plans for papermaking workshops, soap, candles, dyeing. Basically if it can be done to hemp on a workshop scale, they’ll be doing at one point or another. With space, enthusiasm and a plan, a lot can happen.

I tried on a fine hat and a fleece/hemp jacket and we hauled a little rolling sign to Pike Street market to explore the Seattle city center and check out people’s reaction as we walked around with our hemp clothes and mobile billboard.
Pike street market must of been brilliant about 50 years ago. It is still super cool, just a whole load of humans and not enough hemp. If you like salmon, get there.

We finished off with a few 16mm shots of the harbor and sailboats and actually even with all the concrete, it’s still pretty. Water, trees, mountains, sigh.

Taxi Cab Annotations to Toronto – Choogle On! #86

Taxi Cab Annotations to Toronto – Choogle On #86
Taxi Cab Annotations to Toronto – Choogle On #86

En route to Toronto on a red-eye flight, Uncle Weed shares flashbacks from the Big Smoke from Summer of 87 and recounts gaps in memory from SXSW including poolside broken legs, bar-b-q trips, bike shops and grand hotels and recaps a trip to SubPop Records HQ in Seattle including meeting Mark Arm of Mudhoney and fore-shadowing adventures in T.O. Featuring music by Mudhoney “Overblown” plus various street musicians.

Hop in for Taxi Cab Annotations to Toronto ~ Choogle On #86 (15:00, .mp3, 15MB) 

Continue reading Taxi Cab Annotations to Toronto – Choogle On! #86