The Job PDX
The Job PDX
10. Peat Bakke

Peat Bakke is CTO of Portland startup Little Bird. He’s also known for travelling, speaking, and photography. On this week’s episode, we talk about all these things and more.

Show Notes

Recorded Monday, April 22nd, 2013, and this is episode number 10. Follow Ray, Kandace, Dan, or Needmore on Twitter. Please rate our show on iTunes!

The Interview

Peat:Exciting! Here you go. Maintaining! Ow! Hurting!

Oh boy. This is going to be a good one.
Many varied perspectives on these.
Check check check, hello, hello, hello.
God, what are we going to talk about?
I have more than one set of cans, but I’m missing an adapter. So, we’ll just have to actually… It’s one of those things where it’s like, it’s two bucks on Amazon, but the shipping is like, $10, and it takes, like, a month.
You know. That’s how they get you. If you want it through Prime, then it’s a $20 adapter.
Right, real money.
Yeah. OK, I guess, without further ado.
Hi, Peat.
Hey Ray, how’s it going?
Good, good. How are you?
I’m doing pretty good. It’s Friday, it’s good.
Yeah. It’s March.
It’s March. Shit just got real.
It did. Yeah, that does feel like the case. It’s okay, I didn’t make any plans this year, outside of work, until March. So now, all of a sudden, I’m like, “Oh, shit, I’ve got to actually book that hotel and everything.”
Things you actually have to do now.
I’ve got to go to the Midwest, so.
Oh, why’s that?
Oh. Is that good or bad?
It’s good.
It’s good.
Nothing you’ll admit over the podcast, surely.
Right, right. Yeah, because, you know, our listenership is … I don’t know if my parents listen to the podcast. That’s a good question. I’ll have to see. Probably not.

Yeah. Peat, why don’t you tell us your story, briefly. Where are you from?

I was born in Maine, and then moved here to Portland shortly thereafter, where I went through various forms of education, cumulating at an art high school. Then, I went off to the Oregon Graduate Institute to do research on compiler design. Shortly thereafter, I left for school for the first time. That didn’t last very long. I came back, and I decided to go work at Will Vinton Studios doing video engineering for animation and things like that. Ended up working with a bunch of photographers who then shortly, quickly, figured out that I was better at computers than photography. And, so, therein began my startup career.

I started working for startups probably about 15 years ago, and that was very exciting. It still is exciting. But every now and then, I got the itch to travel or go off to school again. I’ve tried school 3 times, and it hasn’t worked out so well. I’ve tried traveling many times, and that worked out much better. But, I keep coming back to Portland because I love it here. This is my home, it’s where my family is, all that good stuff.

Yeah. You’ve had a lot of jobs over the years. If I were to ask you to name them all, I would say it would probably take up the rest of the podcast, but are there any particular highlights after your schooling?
I think working at Vinton’s was great, because as a kid, I was totally in love with claymation. That was my thing. Watching the California Raisins, that whole bit. That was terrific, because while I had a very technical job, it was working with very creative people, and that’s where I got the love of helping people realize these creative visions, and that was very exciting to me. Plus, it’s just a great bunch, group of people to work with. A little known fact about animators is that they’re all drunks, which makes for fantastic, fantastic Friday parties. That’s something I miss.
I actually didn’t know that. They’re Laika now, it’s the same place, right?
Yeah. I think they got bought out and turned into a movie studio, so that’s kind of exciting. It’s kind of cool to think about, a lot of the people that I worked with at the time, this is late ’90s, went on to work with Aardman on a lot of, like, the Chicken Run movies. They’ve done a lot of the Lyca films. They’re kind of these key figures, now, in the stop-motion–
Aardman is?
Yeah. They did Wallace and Grommit.
Shaun the Sheep, my favorite cartoon.
Yes. “He’s Shaun the Sheep.” Yeah, so that was really cool. Somehow, I feel like I’ve gotten lucky, in a lot of these ways, of being able to work with really phenomenal people throughout my career. Vin’s was one of those great examples of working with really high-talented people. As it turns out, today, in the startup space that I’m working with, one of the companies that sits next to us, at the next cluster of desks, is one of Will Vinton’s sons, so there it is. It’s coming full circle.
That’s interesting. What building is that in? Where are you at?
We work out of the Wieden and Kennedy Building, so it’s the Portland Incubator Experiment, there.
Got you.
We were part of the last class, and right now, we are hunting for new space, because our company’s growing quickly, and it’s very exciting.
It sounds like it. Why don’t you tell us briefly, give us the elevator pitch, of where you’re working right now.
Sure. The company’s called Little Bird, and what we do is, we discover communities on social networks. Let’s say, for example, you’re interested in claymation. You would go to our site, punch in the word ‘claymation.’ We would discover the top thousand people on Twitter, Facebook, etc., oriented around claymation, and then we’d look at how they relate to each other, what are they sharing. You get to see the content coming out of the network, you get to identify who are some of the hot animators that maybe you didn’t know about before, so you can connect with them. It’s kind of this social media analytics discovery company.
Is this more oriented at analytics, or visualization, or just discovery? Who’s the target here?
It’s kind of all of the above. Right now, most of the companies we’re working with are marketing companies, so they want to figure out who the important people are in a space or do market research, or that sort of thing. One of the really fun things that we can do is look at a really broad topic. For example, you want to punch in something like ‘creativity.’ There’s many, many, many, many, many, many, many people interested in many, many, many different facets of creativity. And, using the beauty of mathematics, we can actually break down these large communities into smaller communities and help people identify, “Hey, these people are interested in fine arts. These people are interested in industrial design. These people are interested in so on and so forth.”

If you’re a nerd, or have a nerd-like mindset and you really enjoy learning, it’s a very, very fun tool to dig into communities of people.

And so, this is just running a basic … is this running a quadruple PHP? I’m joking here.
Oh, man. My life would be so much easier if that were the case. No, not at all. This is a fully custom stack. Right now, we’ve got a couple dozen servers sitting up there, crunching data. It’s one of these fun things where you can give us even a really specific topic. Let’s say we’re talking about microphones, since that’s what happnes to be in front of my face right now. We can do research on microphones, and we’ll go out and we’ll hit Twitter, like, 6,000 times, crawling their APIs, looking for people, looking at their relationships, looking at how they communicate with each other around the topic of microphones. This takes a lot of horsepower and a lot of engineering, but also, there’s this creative component of trying to understand, of all of this data that we collect, what is actually interesting, valuable, what is fascinating to people. What can they learn from these communities? It’s fun. It’s a really fun project.
You know, over the years, I’ve never been sure what, if I were to describe what you do to someone, at any given month, I think it would be a different thing. I can recall seeing you at conferences where you were giving a talk about starting your own business or being your own entrepreneur, doing freelance work. But then, I’ll run into you, and you’ll be a CTO at a startup, or you’ll be working … is it that you like a variety of challenges, or you’ve never been satisfied with one of those types of things, or?
I think … maybe it’s a personal limitation. I have this timespan of about a year that I can spend working on a particular project or working with a group of people. I know that I have this built-in limitation, so when I dive into something, I try and dive in as hard as I can. Whether it’s trying to get the most out of the contracting experience … I really enjoy traveling, so I really want to build my personal software contracting business around traveling. Or, I get involved in a startup like this, where I get super excited about the idea, I see the potential, I want to take this as far as we can go, so I really dig in and do that.

It’s a strange manifestation of the short attention span, is the year-long climb into a project and try and kick ass, and then find something new and exciting to do. Because there’s so many exciting things to do. That’s the problem, is that this is a beautiful, wonderful, wonderful world we live in, and I intend to make the most of it.

I could see where traveling appeals, and I do recall that from the talk of yours that I saw. Do you ever work while you’re traveling or on vacation? I mean, do you ever spend a couple months in another country and do work from there, or is it like you try to separate that?
I’ve done both. Even as recent as last year, I was in New Zealand for a month, and I got a couple weeks of work in. It’s not the most efficient thing in the universe. But, it’s definitely something you can do. If you think about the goal of traveling and working, one costs money, one makes money, and you can find the balance there for your personal comfort zone. For example, I have a family, I have two kids and a wife, and we like to travel, and we can’t all travel together because kids are weird travelers, and all that sort of stuff.

The thing that I grapple with all the time is how do I take my personal interests, and how do I balance it with all of my obligations and things as well? If it means I want to travel, but I have to work, that’s great, I can travel and work. If it means that I really just need to unplug for a few months and go somewhere else, then I talk with my wife, and we figure out, what is she doing with her work, what am I doing with my work, how do we make this work? Trying to build in a flexible approach to a flexible lifestyle, that’s kind of my mode, I guess.

Mhmm (affirmative), yeah. Little Bird right now, is that kind of … when you’re doing the Portland Incubator thing, is that kind of a co-working space to get the thing started, sort of prove the business model kind of thing, and then once you can’t fit in there anymore, move on to somewhere, like a real space?
Yeah. The really wonderful thing about PIE, the Portland Incubator Experiment, is that they provide an enormous number of resources to individual or pairs of entrepreneurs who are interested in pursuing a project. They bring in people all the time, high-profile executives, marketing people, business trainers, people who have been through the grinder before and have advice. It’s an enormous resource just for connecting with those kinds of people and getting access to those kinds of people, but they also put you through the grinder as far as, you need to do a demo at the end of your class. It is a class. You go through it with a bunch of other people, and you get to bond with them, and at the very end, you do your demo day, and you demonstrate to the world what it is you do, which is pretty cool.

There’s this two-phase thing. The first is the class, and the support and the structured environment in that way. The second part is, it is more of an open co-working space where you’re left to your own devices to grow your company. I think it was last October when we had our demo day unveiling of Little Bird product, and at that time, I believe we were 4 or 5 people, maybe 6 people. Now we’re at 12, and we desperately need to find a new spot. That’s kind of what we’re hunting around for as we speak.

Are there other interesting things happening around PIE right now, or other interesting startup-type things in Portland that people should be aware of besides Little Bird?
Yeah! One of the reasons I get really excited about PIE is that they didn’t just focus on high-growth, venture-funded startups. One of their projects is called Code Scouts, and this is actually a non-profit organization that went through this incubator experiment. Their focus is on helping women learn how to code, whether it’s just an augmentation to a job they already have, or becoming a professional software developer. It’s a very cool program, so props to them for figuring out a really great way to bring the skill set to … I think it’s a group of fairly underserved people in that regard.

Another big project they just unveiled is the Nike incubator. They’re doing a partnership with Techstars. I’m not sure of the specific examples, but it’s really around … a lot of these companies are focused around the Nike Fuel band thing, the personal data collection project, so they’re trying to attract companies that want to do exciting things with that. I think it’s a very creative way for Nike to approach this.

The tech world, yeah. It’s fun. I used to think of you as someone who was … well, and maybe I do, still, into photography. It seems like I used to see a lot more of your photography. Do you still do that?
As much as I can. Like I said, I kind of go on these different kicks. A couple years ago, I did a road trip through California. I went all around the state, several thousand miles, doing photography, and had a really wonderful time doing that. My photos are up on Flickr from that road trip. Whenever I travel, I try to take lots of pictures.

But, last year, I’ve been really focused on these startups, and so that’s been all-time-consuming, and I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with the photography community. I think having these roots in these different communities keeps me … I don’t know if ‘grounded’ is the right word, because I’m not a particularly grounded person, but the diversity is healthy and inspiring. I’d say it’s an inspiring thing to have these different roots.

A couple years ago … one example of this crazy photography universe that I somehow inhabit. A couple years ago, I had a photograph that I inherited from my grandfather, and it was a picture that, when he passed on … he was an architect and an artist, and we went through his belongings up in his office. There was this old picture that was in a drawer, and I love photography, and it was an old photograph, and I thought that would be my keepsake from my grandfather’s legacy. I thought that’d be very cool. It was a beautiful photograph, very old. But, I was young and didn’t really know what to do with it, so I left it with my mom for safekeeping while I did things like squat in warehouses for a while. It’s not a good activity if you want to collect art or something like that. That was an adventure.

So, a few years ago, my mom gave this picture back to me, now that I have a house and a family and things like that, and I’m a little more stable, I guess. I was just, “Gosh, this is interesting. What is this picture? It’s really quite cool.” Anyway, I was down at Powell’s, looking through their photography books, and there’s this book called The Phaidon Photo Book. It’s the 500 most important photographs ever taken. It’s a beautiful book. It’s a wonderful book. If you want a book of photography that has wonderful information and wonderful photos, that’s the one to pick out. Anyway, I thought it was great, and I’m flipping through it, and I recognize one of the pictures. It was my grandfather’s picture. It freaked me out a little bit, because I had no idea this thing was worth anything, or might have any importance.

I bought the book, and I ran over, and I was like, “Oh my God, oh my God, I think this is it.” I called up a couple of local photo galleries to be like, “Hey, what do I do with this?” The answers were usually along the lines of, “Well, you should talk to Christie’s,” or “You should talk to Sotheby’s,” and I’m like, “That’s really out of my league. I’m just a dude with a picture, and I’m not interested in doing that sort of thing.”

Anyway, I managed to get introduced to the Portland Art Museum, and they have a new curator, Julie Dolan, who’s amazing. She’s wonderful. This is actually pretty early on, when she joined the museum, that we got introduced, and I sent her an email. I said, “Hey, I think I have this picture, it’s from my grandfather. Would you want to take a look at it and just let me know what to do?” She got back to me, and I brought it over. It was pretty funny, because I remember showing up with this photograph, which was in a Christmas sweater box, wrapped in bubble wrap, and in this sweater box. I walk in, and people are asking me if it’s cupcakes or donuts, and I’m like, “No, no, no, no.”

Julia meets me, and we go down into the bowels of the Portland Art Museum into the curatorial room, and there’s a bunch of people there, just kind of waiting to see what’s going on. I’m starting to get nervous now, because this is kind of interesting. Anyway, I open it up, and Julia looks at the photograph, and she turns to me, and she says, “This is your Antiques Roadshow moment.” I was like, “This is exciting, tell me more!” She’s like, “I can’t.” I was like, “Oh, dammit!”

To make a long story short, I went through the whole appraisal process, you know, this is legitimate, it’s the real deal. I was trying to figure out what to do. I think that art, specifically art that is culturally relevant to a larger community, that’s a hard thing to keep on your wall, as a personal possession. I think that things that are cultural touchstones should be shared with people.

So, I didn’t want to have it hang on my wall. I also didn’t want to pay for the insurance to have it on my wall, especially with a bunch of kids running around the house, and what not. And, at the same time, I didn’t want to sell it. I didn’t think it should be on someone else’s wall, and I had this very personal attachment to the photograph. It’s how I remember my grandfather. What ended up happening is that I donated it to the museum in my grandfather’s name, and it’s really cool, being able to go to the museum, and it’s frequently on display, to go there and see it amongst the photographs of other photographers that I just love and adore, and see this picture, with his name, in memory of Paul Wilhelm.

That’s the highlight of my photographic experience in this community, is not taking a picture, but participating in the discovery and sharing of this picture.

What was the reason that was one of the 500 most important photos? What was the reason for that particular photo being important?
The photographer was a gentleman named Frederick Evans, and this is very early 20th century photography, so very early 1900s. 1902, 1903. This fellow was the owner of a bookstore, and for whatever reason, he was very well plugged-in to the photographic community of the time. Many of these photographers said, “Hey, you should take some pictures. You should see what’s going on.” But, he didn’t get into photography until he was about 40 years old. He ended up selling his bookstore to do this. His vision was that photography should be considered fine art in and of itself, that photographs didn’t need to be messed with. They didn’t need to have a lot of effects applied to them, they didn’t need sophisticated darkroom work to be art, that you could actually capture something, an image, create an image that was, in and of itself, beautiful, moving fine art. Which was a really controversial position to take at the time, because photography was largely seen as a scientific gimmick. It was very interesting that it could produce images, but the the art community was not so hot on it.

Nevertheless, there was this movement of photographers who believed that it was art, and he discovered that the process that he really enjoyed was camping in a location … not really camping, but setting up shop in a location, in this case, for this photograph, Wells Cathedral in England, and he discovered this beautiful staircase. When the sun hit it just right, it was this beautiful scene. He would be there for a week, taking pictures. It’s not like taking film pictures like we do today. These are glass plate, wet plate negatives. This is a process that is a big ordeal. He was a perfectionist, so he’d stay there and he’d shoot and he’d shoot and he’d shoot and he’d shoot until he thought he’d captured just the perfect image.

In that way, he became the first of these purely representational photographers. So, there’s no interpretation, strictly representation, strictly capturing these moments. Then, he would do straight printing off of these negatives. You create the negative, and you do straight prints. You don’t do any alterations, it would just be this displaying it for what it is, and make it beautiful.

He was in love with the platinum process of printing, which uses platinum instead of silver, and is therefore much more expensive. When World War One happened, the platinum supply totally went away, because it’s used in bombs and things like that, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, platinum went away. It wasn’t available to photographers, and so, his career … which, I think lasted maybe 8 years, 12 years … as a photographer was truncated, because he didn’t believe that anything else could do the imaging that he wanted to do. So, he had these 12 years of producing these beautiful architectural photographs, and then stopped. That was it.

This particular photograph of Wells Cathedral, it’s called “A Sea of Steps,” is considered his preeminent piece. This is the one that captured everyone’s attention. So, yeah. I guess, back in the ’30s when my grandparents got married, someone found one in a shop in France and bought it for my grandparents as a wedding present. This was back before photographs were coveted in the art community. It was still being established. It had just been in the family ever since, and the story had been lost. And then, it turned out to be something.

Wow, that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, I can never say I never won the lottery, right?
Right, yeah. That’s probably a lot like winning the lottery. You don’t really get to keep a lot, but you feel good. You don’t want to … insurance and taxes and whatnot.
That’s quite a story. Do you have an all-time favorite photographer?
I think for the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve just been a huge fan of Henri Cartier Bresson, the French street photographer. I’ve always been attracted to black and white, I’ve always enjoyed pictures of people and he just has an uncanny ability to capture light and shadow at the right time with people. It messes with me. It’s so good. I’ve been on that kick.

Also, one of the things I really like about his photography is there’s always kind of a sense of loneliness in his pictures. He manages to isolate people in a very interesting way. So, even if they’re engaged with other people or if they’re in the middle of doing something, the focus is really on that person in this setting. I think that speaks to a personal philosophy I have about what it means to be an individual. What is it to be a person in this greater world? I don’t know. There’s something about it that speaks to me both visually and aesthetically and philosophically, and that’s just kind of magic that comes together.

Mhmm (affirmative). Do you have an Instagram account?
I don’t.
I guess–
You can see why I asked, though.
I know, I know, I know. I’ve got a Flickr account. I keep hoping that Flickr’s going to be cool again because it’s kind of […].
Do you think Flickr’s going to come back? Do you think Yahoo’s taking that seriously?
I don’t know. I think there’s a … I get the feeling that Flickr actually makes money, and I’m a big fan of this business model, where–
Where money is made.
It’s an important one. The business model of “Hey, let’s get a whole bunch of people to show up for free and give us all their content, and then we’re either going to use that content without them knowing about it or advertise to them,” that’s just a … it doesn’t have the integrity. It works. I can’t pooh-pooh the idea, there are a lot of really wonderful things that are free because there’s someone else selling your information. But, for something like photography, for something where it’s in a creative expression, I think it’s important to understand who’s using it, why are they using it, who’s making money off of this.
Yeah. A lot of the way I view it is, if you’re … it’s difficult for me to think of it as something that’s really for personal expression. It’s more like marketing.
It’s a bargain that you make with that service. But, yeah, I have more faith in Flickr in that regard. They’ve been good. I’ve had a Flickr account forever and they’ve never deleted my photos, they’ve never tried to advertise for me because I’ve been paying for the account, but. Yeah.
It’s different. I think the difference between “I’m taking photographs as an aesthetic expression, a very personal expression,” and then there’s also taking pictures to, “Hey, I want to remember this event, I want to share it with people, I want to get broad exposure to it.” It really depends on the motivation.

Things like Instagram are wonderful ways to share with a bunch of people, kind of like those day to day moments of, “This is interesting, this is cool, I can put an interesting filter on this to capture some sort of emotive, or provoke some sort of emotive response amongst my friends,” and I think that’s really cool. But, it doesn’t really fit how I think about photography, and what I want to share, and how I want to share it.

So, Flickr, for now.
Yep, Flickr. And all of my photographs, I came to the understanding that I’m not going to make a significant amount of money with photography, it’s just not my profession, so everything is available under the Creative Commons. If I shoot something and I put it up, I want people to enjoy it, use it, remix it. However they want to do it, so long as it’s not for profit. And, if it’s for profit, go ahead and contact me, I’ll probably just say yes, anyway.

One crazy example is, a few years ago, one of my friends moved down to Los Angeles, and I went down to visit him on my way down to somewhere else, I was traveling. I took this picture of him, which is this awful, stereotypical, “Hey Mom, I’m going to scare you, because I look like a gangster now.” So, I’m in Los Angeles, and he’s got a bag of powdered sugar and a fake machine gun next to him, and he’s all dressed up like a gangster. It’s just funny, and we shared the photo and whatnot. A few years later, Comedy Central used this photo in an advertisement. They did some Photoshopping to it so it’s mostly silhouette and lines, but it’s a really distinctive look. When you see this picture, it’s hard to get it out of your head. It was clearly that. That was quite entertaining.

We find things on Etsy. This one guy was making some great duct tape portraits, so he’d take colored duct tape and do these very cool, built up pictures, representations of pictures. He did one of these gangster pictures, the same picture I’d taken, but put it up on Etsy as this thing. I adore that. I love it.

So, people are remixing your photos, very literally.
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s fantastic. I think that’s wonderful, and I think that’s something that wouldn’t be able to happen if I had to clamp down, “I’m going to charge people for my photography because I’m a commercial photographer,” something like that.
Right. Photography is the place where you can be a communist, basically.
Okay. That’s cool, I get it.
I like to fuck with the system when it comes to photography.
Keep that separate from the day job. Random work flow question, I guess. When you showed up, I was joking about how I’m actually just using GarageBand to record these, despite the fancy appearances. Do you use any fancy app to handle your photos? Do you keep them secure, archived, or do you just leave that to Flickr?
I have, for better or worse, I use Aperture on my Mac. I’ve got several hundred gigs of photos now under management. I keep all the raw photos, all that good stuff archived and backed up. One of the technologies that I’m really excited about right now is that Amazon, other than being a fabulous bookstore and electronics purveyor and everything else under the sun as far as retail goes, they have phenomenal infrastructure for computing.

One of the storage services they provide is a long-term archival service, where, maybe you don’t need to get access to your data immediately, maybe you can wait 6 hours, but they will store it on several hard drives or tapes or whatever it might be, scattered throughout the country, to the tune of about one cent per gigabyte for month. So, suddenly, my quarter terabyte of personal photographs, instead of having it on a hard drive on my laptop and then one at home, I can pay $2.50 a month for Amazon to have this stored throughout the country, so I have nothing to worry about as far as that crashing.

I think I read about that. Is that where you can only … it’s mainly throttled downstream, like you can’t just download all your photos all at once, you’d have to actually wait and pull some down at a time if it ever came to that?
Something like that?
It’s something where I could send them all my pictures, and then I would have to say, “Hey, Amazon, can you make this archive available for me to download,” and then send me a note 6 hours later, 8 hours later, saying, “okay, it’s ready to download now,” and then I could pull it all down.
But yeah, it’s not convenient like Dropbox or something like that. It’s definitely an archive storage thing. But, it’s cheap enough that I don’t have to worry about a fire, or, hell, even if an asteroid hit Portland and destroyed my house and my computer and everything else, at least I know my photographs will be safe.
That’s crazy. Asteroids don’t ever come near here. That would be weird.
Yes, well, we don’t live in Russia, so we don’t have anything to worry about, right? Apparently they have an asteroid problem, I don’t know.
They have an asteroid problem. That’s unfortunate. Aperture, I use that because I moved from iPhoto, and I never had to make any decisions as to where to keep the photos, they just kind of stayed in the same place. But, yeah, I was handed 2 boxes that are like … they must have tens of thousands of photos in them going back family, so I got one of those feed scanners, where you can kind of feed them through, but I’m right in the middle of figuring out, “Where am I going to put all of these photos after I scan them in? This is a lot of photos.” Maybe I just put them all on Flickr and don’t worry about it, and someone else can sort through them later.

By the same way, I like that Creative Commons idea. I mean, as long as I’m making it public.

Mhmm (affirmative), yep.
Let people at at. When you’re looking at your photos, where do you usually do that? Do you have an iPad you like to browse photos on?
Right now, I’m feeling kind of distressed in this regard, because we had our second kid, and I gave up my office, and so I don’t have my nice monitor and setup there for looking at pictures. For my photos, it’s all right now just all on my laptop. I don’t get a nostalgic impulse to look through my own photographs. I’m largely embarrassed by my own photography, so I don’t like to stir up that particular emotion on a recreational basis.

For the photographs that I really do like, though, that I’m somewhat proud of, I like to get them printed at Costco. Costco publishes color profiles for all of their photo printers, so you can actually do proper color correction and color balancing to prepare it for Costco printing. You can do these 11 x 14 prints for like $4 apiece. Suddenly, you can get big pictures that you could put up on your wall with alligator clips or however you want to do it, just for fun, putting pictures up type of thing. It’s really cheap, it’s a great way to let your pictures […].

That’s a good tip, yeah, I had no idea.
It’s fun.
I see the photo printing there, but it’s like, “Whoa, people do that?” You bring in your memory card?
No, you just upload it to their website, it’s great!
Oh, okay. Oh boy, yeah.
And, if you feel like paying the fees, they’ll even ship it back to you. But if you spend any time at Costco, it’s worth picking up.
Is there any music you’re listening to right now that you’re really enjoying?
Oh, man. Wow. I have a coworker, hi Devon, who … I don’t know what’s up with this kid. He’s in his mid-20s, and he’s got a serious hard-on for the ’70s. He’s got this enormous collection of just the craziest ’60s and ’70s music. It’s not the mainstream pop that you hear on the radio or anything like that. Just the last few months, I’ve just been digging into this stuff and going a little bit crazy on the ’70s western, ’70s dirty rock, ’70s stuff. Not just from the United States, but also these collections of African pop music from the ’60s and ’70s. It’s intense, it’s crazy.
Nice. He just shares this on his iTunes with the–
No, no, no, somehow he conned Dreamhost into giving him a whole bunch of free storage, and so.
Oh, nice.
It’s out there, for the universe. I don’t know. I genuinely think that most of the stuff is completely out of copyright, and probably the copyright holders are either dead, or certainly their businesses don’t exist.
I don’t feel too bad about giving it a download. It’s awesome. It’s really fun stuff. I wish I could come up with some of the artists off the top of my head, but it’s just been this firehose of interesting new music. That’s very stimulating.
What about restaurants? Is there a Portland restaurant you’re super into right now?
Oh God. I’ve been totally addicted to Tanuki for the last … well, I have to say, like, 2 years.
Okay, what’s Tanuki?
Tanuki. It’s a Japanese restaurant that says it’s not a Japanese restaurant. It’s a hole in the wall bar that has a 28 point Zagat rating. It’s run by a gourmet chef who is quirky and weird and wonderful.
Is this downtown?
No, this is actually just a few blocks from your studio.
It is?
Yeah, it’s out on 81st and Washington.
Oh! Yeah.
I know that place. Yeah, okay.
Yeah, you walk past there, and there’s a sign out that says “No sushi, no kids.”
Yeah. Yep, I know the place.
And a big sign that says, “This is not a Japanese restaurant,” […], which is quite entertaining.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
The restaurant is literally behind curtains. I could barely even see in it, it appears to be … I thought it was storage, and then it was like, “Oh no, there’s people eating in there, too.”
Yeah, yeah. It’s one of the best deals in Portland, as far as high-quality food goes. She is an amazing chef. For $20, you can enjoy 12 dishes of […], small plates just being brought out to you. She has one of the best, if not the best, sake selections in Oregon. Also, Japanese whiskeys and things like that. Cult Japanese films on the TV. It’s the kind of deliciously fucked up place that I just adore. That’s it.
I’m definitely … Well, I think the “no kids” scared me away, but I’ll make time.
I don’t have to spend all my time with the kid. Great! Well, thank you so much for coming by, Peat.
Yeah, my pleasure.
I had a lovely time chatting with you, and enjoy the sunny weather.
Yep, it’s beautiful out there.
Boy, I hope you guys are all jealous down there in California.

Man in bkgrd: I’ll add the laugh track later.Excellent. The cheering.

The Job is a talk show about design, music, business, culture, technology, the web, and Portland, and featuring interviews with interesting people. Hosted by Ray Brigleb and brought to you by Needmore Designs.