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Busy weekend Monday, September 29, 2008

Cindy Sieler, 5, cools off Sunday at Esther Short Park from a late-September warm spell that’s expected to last at least through Tuesday. Sunday’s high, 88 degrees, topped the record for the date; today may be another record-breaker.

It was a busy weekend for me. After working like mad on Thursday and Friday to get the Po' Girl interview online, I was up early Saturday for the "local day" of the NPPA's Flying Short Course.

The conference was held at the University of Oregon's new Portland campus, which is less than two miles from my apartment, so it doesn't get much more convenient than that.

The presentations were generally related to video production. I haven't stuck my toe into that pond yet, but the discussion was enlightening in a general sense, and a lot of the concepts apply to audio as well. It was fascinating to see the work-behind-the-work of television photographers like Kurt Austin (KGW) and Mike Rosborough (KATU).

I went to see Sloan play at Dante's on Saturday night. Chris was getting over a cold or something, so he struggled with his voice a bit, and Patrick flubbed the solo to "Everything you've done wrong," but I think things like that help to let you know that you're not listening to a tape. Other than that they were great. By the end of the show, Chris was clearly having fun with the couple hundred knowledgeable fans in attendance.

The upside to Chris's sore throat came at the beginning of their encore, when they played "Underwhelmed," which he introduced as "a song that doesn't need any falsetto." Although (or perhaps because) it is the song that put them on the map back 1992, they don't play it often anymore.

Debra Callaway, who went to the Gingerbread House in 1968 and 1969, looks at graduation photos Sept. 28 during the daycare center's 60th anniversary reunion. Owner Rosalee Johnson estimates that 2000 children have attended the center since her mother started it in 1948.

Sunday morning I was up and back to the official Flying Short Course day. The FSC is a traveling workshop put on every year by the National Press Photographer's Association. Portland was the final stop on the three-day tour, which included Boiling Springs, N.C., and Arlington, Texas, on Friday and Saturday.

Washington, D.C., photographer John Harrington opened the session with an excellent presentation on business practices. I think Regina McComb's presentation about video skills covered a lot of ground that had been covered the day before, but there were more people there on Sunday.

The three presentations I was most interested in came after lunch: Kelly Jordan's "Producing Multimedia," Betty Udesen's "Audio and Stills," and Dave Honl's lighting lecture.

Unfortunately, I had to miss all of these because I had a last-minute assignment for The Columbian.

Sunday was the 60th anniversary reunion at the Gingerbread House daycare center in Vancouver, so I went over there to see what was going on. You can read more about it (and see one of my photos) here. I don't know what other pictures they ran in the paper, but this one (below) is my favorite from the assignment.

Linda Griffiths (front) and her husband Richard get down to kid level Sunday afternoon at the Gingerbread House 60th anniversary reunion. Linda graduated from the school in 1965.

And, as often happens, one assignment leads to another. While I was at the Gingerbread House, the reporter handed me her phone with the editor on the line. I guess another story fell through so they needed something to fill the hole. I went off looking for pictures of people enjoying the record-breaking heat.

After getting a couple of so-so photos down on the Columbia River, I headed over to Esther Short Park and found the picture at the top of this post. I think the paper publishes pictures from that park fairly often because it's right across the street from their office. But when you put kids in a fountain it's like shooting fish in a barrel, and when you need something in a hurry you go with it. Here's the story they ran.

I got the pictures in with a couple of followup phonecalls to the paper by 7:45. Then it was time for dinner, a bit of television, and zzzzz...