Europe 2009…in Pummelvision

Photojojo posted a blurb on Pummelvision last month and I’m just getting around to checking it out. All I can say is that it’s awesome:


Ever wished you could rewind your entire life and watch it again?

Pummelvision…gives you a breathtakingly beautiful, painfully poignant, and utterly simple video summary of your life. It’s remarkable.

It’s just a few minutes, but we dare you not to be moved as you relive old apartments, boyfriends, girlfriends, just friends, jobs… You might even cry.

Pummelvision is the reason you’ve taken photos all these years. Go, go now.

I pummel’d the photos from my 2009 Europe trip, which you can see below or, preferably, watch in HD:

1665 pictures, 12 countries, 3 continents, and 9 weeks expressed in 3:42 seconds.

Original pictures at:

Epically awesome.

Lost Pictures From Turkey

It’s Inboxen™ cleaning time! I found some photos that Finn-Taro sent me when we were in Turkey a couple of summers ago:

Photos: © 2009 Finn-Taro Rabbe.

New Shoes (for running)

I decided the other day that if I was really serious about this running business, I better get some dedicated running shoes. Previously, I had been using my trusty New Balance 993, a great cross training, high-mileage shoe that I actually have been and continue to use as my everyday shoe for the last several years.

It works great as my day-to-day shoe, but I find it lacking during my running1

After crowd sourcing some ideas, I decided to check out Road Runner Sports.

Road Runner has some cool technology toys that show how pressure is distributed along your feet and how you walk. If you’ve never been in to Road Runner before, the first thing they’ll have you do is measure your feet (my right foot is a 1/2 size larger than my left); then they’ll have you stand on the pressure pad to see your weight distribution and pressure points; finally, they’ll have you run on the treadmill. This allows them to figure out what shoe will fit you best.

I have flat, over-pronated feet, with a slight preference to my right side.

I tried on a couple different types of shoes, but eventually settled on the New Balance 1225 with RRS Road Runner Sport Control insoles and I love them!

They salesperson also showed me a new way to tie my shoes so my heel wouldn’t move up and down as much when I stepped:

Lace as normal until one eyelet remains on each side. Draw the lace straight up on the outside of the shoe and bring it through the last eyelet. This will create a loop. Repeat on the other side. Cross each lace over the tongue, thread it through the opposite loop, and tie. The loops help to cinch in the material around your ankle to prevent your heel from slipping without making the rest of your shoe any tighter.

(click the link and scroll down to see a video)

My feet don’t hurt as much and my knees and hips are doing much better.

  1. this is probably due to the fact that it’s my everyday shoe and generally wear the crap out of them, not some fatal design flaw in the shoe. I wore this shoe for 62 straight days while literally walking all around Europe last year and it was fantastic. 

You Are Not Eligible to Donate

I tried to donate blood last week during a drive at work (interesting side note, Boeing pays for time spent donating blood). One of my coworkers asked me and I thought it would be a fun experience, especially since I haven’t donated in a while.

I knew that because of all my recent travel, there was a chance I couldn’t donate, but I thought that enough time had passes and that at least I hadn’t been to Africa.

I told the nurse what areas I had been to, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Haiti. She was pretty sure I wouldn’t be eligible to donate, but we went through each country I visited just to make sure. The nurse meticulously wrote down every single country and major city I visited, from Moscow, Russia all the way through Frankfurt, Germany, and Haiti. As it turns out, all of Haiti is at risk for malaria. And despite the fact that I had taken chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, I have to wait an entire year until I can give blood again.

I understand the need to be safe, and I promise I’m not complaining, but it seems like the odds of someone actually getting malaria are low enough that it should be worthwhile to collect the blood, test it, and use it if it’s clean. What diseases are tested for anyway?

Haiti: January 8-21, 2010, A Photo Essay Book

I spent the last couple of weeks putting together a photo essay on my time Haiti. Unlike my last book, this one is almost entirely full bleed photos. It was a difficult book to put together because I initially didn’t know how I wanted to tell the story. I spent a lot of time fiddling around until I was able to decide on the format, using my fundraising letter as the introduction and a letter Bruce sent us as an epilogue.

The book finally arrived last week and the people who have had the opportunity to spend some time with it have been very impressed (some people actually didn’t believe I made the book).

I made this book for me…so I could have something to be able to look at and be able to share with other people when they came over (without having to jump on the computer). However, you can also purchase a copy of the book. It comes in two flavors, softcover ($41.95) and hardcover ($60.95)1. The book is 122 pages in length and includes 242 photos.

As a side note, I’m starting to cook up ideas about making a book for my Europe trip. I’m currently convinced it will have text, however the text will be separate from the photos. With 1665
photos (three times the finished amount I have from Haiti), it’s going to be a nightmare putting that together. Maybe I need an editor…any takers?

  1. Both of these are at cost and I make zero dollars 

Operation Water Engineering: A Mission Trip to Haiti?

For several months now, shortly after I saw The Advent Conspiracy, I have wanted to be involved in humanitarian/missionary projects to bring clean water to places that don’t have it.

Last semester (Spring 2009), I was part of a group at Merge (Flatirons Community Church) that was looking for opportunities for college-aged people to be more active in mission work. It was at that point that I started developing more passion for using my engineering skills to serve other people, specially with regard to getting access clean water.

A specific idea I had was doing what I’ll call “emerging technology transfer.” The idea is that we would take some form technology and extract the emerging technologies out of it to be put to use in different ways. For example, technology in a Toyota Prius, could be used to design a wind turbine where the blades would be made using the same composite technology1, which would connect to a generator that is based on the regenerative braking system. The same motor-generator system would also be used to power the water pump. Excess energy would be stored for later use in NiMH batteries ius. And for the cloudy days, the efficient gas-engine could be used. There are other issues, such as: will they be able to maintain this equipment? So I digress.

Convergence, the Young Adult Ministry at University Presbyterian Church, is going on a mission trip to Haiti in January to “come alongside UPC ministry partners Bruce and Deb Robinson as they serve the Haitian people through various community development initiatives, mainly through flood control projects.”2


We will be doing a variety of work, ranging from irrigation projects, rebuilding structures damaged during hurricane season, and more. We will primarily work on construction projects. If you have specific professional skills, we will inquire to see if they might be useful to the community. In addition, you will get to see how God has been working through the Robinsons during their time in Haiti.

As it turns out, I do have specific skills that could probably be useful. I have a passion for the project, I can get the time off, and I can mostly afford the trip (if I decide to go, I may ask for some fund raising help). I’ve also never been to Haiti before, which would sort of tack on a bonus country to my Travel the World goal.

But there’s still that hint of reservation…is this what I should be doing?

  1. I actually don’t know if such technology is used on the Prius, just assuming here. 


Flying Home

I’m flying home today. Right now, in fact. My plane is due to touch down in Seattle at 2:21pm local time.

Feel free to track my progress: United Airlines flight 945 from Frankfurt to Chicago (9 hours) and United Airlines flight 929 from Chicago to Seattle (4.5 hours).

And it all started here, Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport…

18.0 mm || 1/400 || f/8.0 || ISO640 || NIKON D70

…62 days ago.

See you on the flip side.

Dateline: Berlin, Day 3 — A Day Spent Wandering

Berlin, Germany
1 August 2009

70.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/100 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

48.0 mm || 1/800 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

46.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/8 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70

29.0 mm || 1/640 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

24.0 mm || 1/10 || f/3.8 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70

Dateline: Berlin, Day 2 — Sandeman Tour, Again

Berlin, Germany
31 July 2009

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The Steles
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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/640 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

70.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

22.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/125 || f/22.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany