Vidoop Troop #3: Portland by way of Tulsa

Well, it’s happened quickly, but it’s been fun. As Vidoop has brought various groups of employees up for a tour of their new hometown, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Vidoop Troops one, two, and—after this Friday’s Beer and Blog—three.

After that, all that’s left is actually getting them moved up here. And that, my friends, is going to a-whole-nother adventure.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got new Vidoopers to meet and welcome to the Rose City.

Who? I’m glad you asked.

Nick Davis, Founding Software Developer

What? I’m involved in several projects, but tend to focus on designing and developing authentication solutions. I also work on some information security related things when not writing code.

How? Raised in Southeast Oklahoma (Spiro), I moved to Tulsa for college and have been here ever since. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science at the University of Tulsa, and did research in secure operating systems (SE Linux) while at TU. I joined Vidoop as a founding member in March 2006. Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, reading, video games, biking, working out, and movies (especially sci-fi/cyberpunk). Recently, I got married to a wonderful girl named Adrienne, who manages to put up with my various technology obsessions (still trying to get her on Twitter 🙂 )

Links? Nick on Myvidoop, Nick on Twitter, Kernel trap, Bruce Schneier’s blog, FreeSCI

Questions about Portland?

  • Good neighborhoods to live for young married couples?
  • Good biking trails in and around the city?
  • What are the best “weird Portland” places that are unique to the city, and what things must I do/see to have the whole Portland experience?
  • What is the best seafood restaurant in the city?

Rachel Garrette, Marketing + Copy Writer

What? I write and edit copy, assist in the development/maintenance of our websites, create and maintain marketing videos as well as other marketing material, work with vendors, etc.

How? Born and bred in Oklahoma, I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Journalism / Broadcast and Electronic Media. After college, I worked for a couple of years as a video editor at the largest independent sports production company in the U.S., serving clients such as ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Sports Net, Discovery, Major League Soccer, and many more. One fateful night in 2006, I met Luke Sontag at a concert. He pitched what then seemed like only an outlandish idea, and it soon came to fruition in the form of Vidoop. A year later, I finally joined the wild ride.

I enjoy music, art, traveling, history, puppies and fireworks (though not fireworks in, on, or under puppies). My favorite food is cereal. I love a good estate sale. I despise banana flavored taffy, and I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet. I have an astute adolescent sense of humor eloquently coupled with a love for corny jokes. My Boston Terrier, Henry, can’t wait to explore Portland’s parks.

Links? FreeIndie.com, @rachelpalooza

Questions about Portland?

  • I’m having trouble finding a rental property in the NW district that accepts dogs. What gives?! Any suggestions?
  • Where is the best place to go for a run outdoors?
  • Where is the best place to hear live music outdoors?
  • What is the best place to get your hair cut?

Adam Kuert, Lead Web Developer

What? Attend a meeting, write some code, upgrade a server, accidentally delete a vital directory, restore from backup…you know, the usual life of a web dev.

How? Got a degree in Computer Science; realized programming was slightly more complicated than TI-83 BASIC. Ran my own company from 2 years, escaped to find job security, found… another startup. When I’m not coding, you can find me on the soccer field pretending I didn’t get cut from the team in High School. I Lived in Kenya for 18 years and I’m hoping Portland weather is just like Kenya’s: when it’s not raining…it’s perfect.

Links? http://adam.kuert.net

Questions about Portland?

  • Is the weather really as great as hear? Or does everyone trudges through the rest of the year just waiting for summer to return? [Editor: Truth be known, it’s really more of a “slog” than “trudge.”]
  • Do people actually ‘ski or go to the beach only 90 minutes away’ or is that just a sales pitch for getting people like me to move? [Editor: We have a beach 90 minutes away? Oh wait. I mean, yes.]

Steven Osborn, Founding Software Developer

What? I built the first prototype of our ImageShield technology and since then I’ve worked on nearly every project conceived at Vidoop. Currently working on alien browser plug-in technology to take over the world.

How? I’ve lived in the Tulsa area most of my life, excluding a short tour to Afghanistan. I previously worked for a healthcare software company developing web applications. I’m involved in just about every technology group in Tulsa including Tulsa PHP, Python, Ruby, and even .NET and Java which means I have access to more free pizza than any human can safely consume in their lifetime. Some technologies I’m currently excited about: Django, Python, Android and Mercurial.

Links? Steven’s Blog, Steven’s Twitter, Steven’s LinkedIn

Questions about Portland?

  • I have a 18mo son who was born 16 weeks premature. Does Oregon offer a program similar to SoonerStart? (They send out therapists on a regular basis to check up on his progress regularly free of charge.)
  • Are there any outstanding childcare facilities?
  • What are your favorite fun weekend family activities?

John Whitlock, Software Developer

What? Lead of the RecognitionAUTH team, making the backend service that runs myVidoop faster and smarter, then packaging it for licensees. I think in Python, write C++, and study software management.

How? I was raised in Arnold, just south of St. Louis. I begged for a computer, then a Borland C++ compiler, and spent my allowance on programming books. I got an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tulsa, because I wanted to dive one level deeper into computers. However, code mistakes are less painful than electrical mistakes, so I put away the soldering iron and stuck with programming. I worked for 8 years at a flight simulation company, helping to make pilot training simulators and learning
more Fortran than I ever wanted. When my company started to dissolve, I was surprised to find a web startup in our own backyard.

My wife Jennifer is a research librarian, advocating for new technologies to support the information needs of customers. She is also the Foundation Center Coordinator, helping local non-profits find funding. Our daughter Ainsley recently turned four, and confuses Austin and Portland.

Links? Ambient Librarian, John @ Twitter, CppUnit Wiki, ConfIdent Technologies Software Development Kit

Questions about Portland?

  • Where are the good, affordable, all-day child care centers / pre-schools?
  • Was is the difference between Austin and Portland? [Editor: We have better beer. Our parks feature green grass as opposed to dead yellow grass. And our birds know to quiet down at night.]
  • Are earthquakes a problem? Is there something we tornado-dodgers should do to prepare?
  • Can someone please babysit for Corin so that Sleater-Kinney can put out another album?

How can I meet Vidoop Troop #3?

Well, the place to meet and greet the past two troops seems as good of a place as any don’t you think? C’mon down to Beer and Blog on Friday afternoon. We’ll be back at one of our favorite haunts: the Green Dragon. That’s right. Not that other place. The Green Dragon. You know. The one where they have more than one bartender? Yeah, that one. Let me give you one more nemonic device to remember that: Green Dragon.

And no Justin Kistner, this week. And no substitute appointed.

Looking forward to seeing you and the last flight of the Vidoopers there.

  1. You’re on the west coast now- you don’t have to go to a “seafood restaurant” to get great seafood! In fact I think you’re better off avoiding most seafood places and going to a restaurant with an all-around skilled chef (same for steaks/steak houses in Porltand for that matter).

    My favorite place for seafood is a Spanish tapas restaurant: Colosso on NE Broadway. Acadia on NE Fremont makes a great New Orleans style cajun catfish. I’ve had excellent seafood at Caprial’s in Sellwood as well.

  2. Kids who need a bit of help in Oregon?
    Check out the Early Intervention Programs offered throughout Oregon, free-of-charge to children up to 5 yrs of age. They do an initial evaluation, then hook you up with appropriate in-home or local school-based services.

  3. Welcome Vidoop Wave 3!

    Biking resources: check out http://bikeportland.org/index.php

    Great seafood restaurant: I’m sure I’ll annoy someone about this, but the “classic” place is called Jake’s, just off Burnside on SW 12th. They’re old school and the seafood is great. However, just about any of the good restaurants in town do fresh seafood well.

    Beach & Ski – yes, people actually do this. Really.

    Family activities – the Oregon Children’s Museum, Portland Zoo and OMSI are solid choices, along with Farmer’s Market/Saturday Market, city parks, day trip to the coast, berry picking, biking or just hanging out on Sauvie Island…lots of options.

    Sleater-Kinney – I hear ya man. I want them to put out another record too, but not so sure it will happen. In the interim, check out Carrie Brownstein’s awesome blog (www.npr.org/blogs/monitormix/)

  4. All resources that are childcare related (daycares, nannies, etc.) and much, much more can be found at our awesome Portland mama blog — http://www.urbanmamas.com

  5. Good neighborhoods to live for young, married couples?
    Depends on style preferences but off Hawthorne in SE is nice, more expensive but great neighborhoods in NW, west of I-405.

    Springwater Corridor, Leif Erikson trail in Forest Park (off road but wide, not too rocky in many parts), Sauvie Island loop but share w/cars.

    Been here 12 years. Only one (and I was in Boston at the time) that had some mild shaking I heard about. Building code is supposedly earthquake-resistant.

  6. Good biking trails in and around the city?
    Portland has a 40-mile bike road that loops around the city. Literally. This is the best way to get around and explore new neighborhoods in town without worrying about road traffic (though some area of the trail haven’t been constructed yet, thus forcing one to ride alongside a road): http://www.40mileloop.org/

    What are the best “weird Portland” places that are unique to the city, and what things must I do/see to have the whole Portland experience?
    Voodoo Doughnut: http://voodoodoughnut.com/
    24 Hour Church of Elvis
    Velveteria: http://www.hiddenportland.com/
    Mills End Park: http://twurl.cc/24k

  7. BTW, a great way to see the city this Sunday is to do the Reach The Bridge Run on Sunday. It’s an 8k fun run/walk, all downhill. You’ll run through Forest Park, downtown and end up on the waterfront. Start any time, but you’ll need to beat the bridge before it goes up at 9am sharp. Check it out!


  8. Best places to run in the city:
    1] Forest park
    2] Downtown waterfront
    3] Powell Butte

  9. What is the best place to get your hair cut?

    Hickox Studio in downtown. Find them on twitter: @hickox

  10. Best place to get a haircut? Koipod on Belmont – Carl is my stylist and he’s amazing and makes me giggle.

  11. Where is the best place to hear live music outdoors?
    This is one area Portland is seriously lacking. The Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series is the best bet. They have some great shows: http://www.oregonzoo.org/Concerts. There are also a lot of festivals in waterfront park during the summer, most notably the Blue Festival which is 4th of July weekend.

    Clark County (across the river in Washington) has an amphitheater for the big shows. About 30 miles West of Portland is a great place called Horning’s Hideout that has concerts periodically. If you ever see anything happening there that interests you you should definitely go. They usually allow camping on-site and they have wandering peacocks! The Edgefield in Troutdale has some outdoor shows also. One of my wishes for Portland is a good outdoor venue in the 5k-10k capacity range. There are also a lot of really great little music festivals all around the area.

    Do people actually ski?
    Yes! People even leave work a little early on a weekday and hit Skibowl for night skiing. Skibowl is the closest area from Portland and has some very good terrain.

    Is the weather really as great as hear?
    Summers are divine, fall is great, spring is spotty and winter is 5 days a week of rain. I personally like the rain most of the time but it gets tiresome in late spring. If you’re into skiing or snowboarding you can adopt the local phrase “if it’s raining in town it’s snowing on the mountain!”.

    I grew up near the gulf coast so beaches here are only good for looking at and taking pictures of. 50 degree water is pretty rough when you’re used to 85 degrees.

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