Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Olympia to Seattle in 2 Minutes

Sometime around 1988 I stuck my thrift store Bauer Super 8 camera out the sunroof of a VW Bug and squeezed the plunger of the shutter release cable, taking single frames all the way from Olympia to Seattle.

Music by IFOJ (Susan Robb, Chris Munford, and me on drums).


One of the things that I miss about the old super-8 days is the single-frame capability. Making stop-motion Planet of the Apes movies was such a fun way for a kid to burn a summer. They should reinstate that feature on todays cameras.

Now that I look at it agian, it looks as though I didn’t get the idea to stick the camera out through the sunroof until sometime around Tacoma. The first half is shaky and shot through the windsheild.

Vitamin R

If you pay close attention, you can catch the long-gone Rainier brewery R, on the left just before we get to town.

Update: Of course stop motion and time lapse photography are alive and well, and I just noticed over on the MAKE blog, that Phil Torrone has posted a link to a neat looking tool called iStopmotion that makes single frame capture easy.

Update 2: Kim Moser captured this cool film of a 1982 drive from Manhattan to Long Island along Route 25A.

46 Responses to “Olympia to Seattle in 2 Minutes”

  1. Ray Says:

    Excellent! Not much has changed, except the Seattle skyline.
    Thanks for putting this online.

  2. Steve Says:


    I wish that I had a better transfer but I no longer have a projector. I found this version on an old VHS tape (shot on a wall, not even a screen) and I dumped it into my DV cam. Too many generations, plus compression equals some pretty fuzzy, desaturated stuff.


  3. jovial_cynic Says:

    Wow! I’ve lived in Olympia since 1985, and I make that trip pretty often. That’s certainly a fun look into the past… thanks!

  4. Reece Says:

    Hey Steve,

    I have access to an 8mm projector. My Dad has one and I’m planning on ripping all them to DVD.


  5. Reece Says:

    There are plugins to the free video encoders that take out the flashing. It works quite well!

  6. Steve Says:


    Nice! Let me know if you get ready to do a batch, and I’ll give you the movie.


  7. Hank Says:

    I’d really like to know what that software is for transferring to DV. I have a projector.

  8. rohtop Says:

    nice vid, and i also like the music very much, is there more to listen to?
    and what does IFOJ mean?

  9. Ron Says:

    Wow, that really emphasis how freaking boring the I-5 drive is…done it too many times. Think I’d rather drive thru Idaho that do that dull as dishwater drive ever again.

  10. TB Says:

    Great video… but explaining that you were driving a Beetle was unnecessary as that fact become painfully evident when watching 98% of the other vehicles pass you.

  11. Gavin Says:

    I grew up in Seattle and worked near my Grandparents in Longview in the summer of 92 so I did this exact drive like two dozen times. Thanks for the quick trip back.

    I used to hate that fake-out that came at Fife when you thought you were coming around the bend into downtown only to realize you had another twenty minutes of Puyallup to go.

  12. Julian Turner Says:

    Your video host is a little crappy, because it requires Flash 8, which isn’t (yet) avaibable on some platforms (i.e., Linux). Could you post a file or at least something that requires Flash 7 only?

  13. ako Says:

    The right lane is the going slow lane, not the center lane.

  14. Custodio Says:

    As someone who has made that drive countless times over the last twenty years:

    1. The lack of traffic shoved me into a tragic whirlpool of misty memories of when a trip to downtown Seattle did not require two packs of cigarettes and a Xanax.

    2. I think that may have been me passing you in the ’77 rabbit.

  15. shichae Says:

    That was such a cool blast from the past. The shot of the Seattle Skyline just after MLK BLVD brought back memories. Kudos on both the old memory and a great song!

  16. Groove Says:

    Having lived in Oly almost 10 years, looking back to 20 years ago is just awesome.

    Ako – Welcome to WA, keep left except to pass.

    As Custodio said, the lack of traffic for that time of day, no matter the time of year, is just amazing.

    The other part that astounds me is all the TREES. What happened to all those trees in Thurston and Southern Pierce county?!

  17. YLlama Says:

    As someone who recently moved to Seattle, and who has made the trip to Olympia ten times since (for job interviews, etc.), I am astounded most by the lack of traffic. You appear to be moving on I-5 around dusk. Amazing.

  18. shaun Says:

    Have made that drive many many times. Nice work. Damn Tully’s coffee, tearing downt he Ranier “R” was one of the great travesties of our time.

  19. Nick Says:

    Some new DV cams have a frame-by-frame capability. I used mine to make . I think it’s very interesting to try and figure out the make of every car in your movie!

  20. Nick Says:

    Oops sorry the link was http://www.nictitatingrabbit.com/videos/lunarlander.html

    by the way I like the kitty at the end!

    Steve says : Nick, Love the stop-motion! classic old skool.

  21. Jay Says:

    @Rohtop: The song is Blue Cheer. (IFOJ = Incredible Force of Junior.)

    @Steve: Your band was so awesome!

    Steve says: Jay, Thanks. Yeah those were fun times for me. It’s funny you know, that “Let the World Fall Apart” record had a mastering snafu, and most of the song titles got transposed. That track is actually called Kid Champion.

  22. :syaS Says:

    !gnidnE esirpuS looC, aeY Yea, Cool Suprise Ending!

  23. Colin Says:

    Like others and also a Seattle resident for several years a decade after you took the video, I was amazed by:

    1. 5 was only three lanes where now it’s five and six
    2. How more spartan the skyline was
    3. As many others said, the complete spartan traffic and lack of now too familiar brake lights after brake lights
    4. lack of SUVs blocking the view ahead of you swerving while small-dicked assholes jabber on their cell phones driving them
    5. You weren’t run over

  24. pete Says:

    Awesome awesome awesome – I made this drive at the same time dozens of times. It’s hard to tell for sure, but there’s a good chance that’s my green vw bus on the right at 1:16, just before exiting on 18 to 167.

    I have that 1988 skyline burned into my hindbrain from rounding the duwamish bend at dusk thrice weekly.

    Yeah, no SUV’s! It’s like some faraway paradise…

    Way to film, man.

    Steve says: Pete, it’s wierd how interesting a boring stretch of I5 can be if it’s YOUR own little stretch.

  25. Nobody N. Says:

    Wow, I miss that town- Portland is nowhere near as cool as Seattle. I’m coming back, God damn it. Thanks for the vid, IFOJ kinda reminds me of Superchunk. In a good way.

    Steve says: Nobody, funny you should say that. I think that our first ever public show was opening for Superchunk.

  26. Christopher Says:

    Now that’s some pretty cool oldskool camerawork right there. Love it, thanks for sharing :D

  27. urbanbird Says:

    Oh, and the freakin’ KINGDOME. Wow. We still call those two new billion dollar, always empty stadiums the Kingdome.

    Sigh. I still love Seattle, but I have to say I’m pretty nostalgic for the pre-Microsoft IPO, we’re goofy and don’t care if anyone notices days before self-importance leaked into our rainy green upper left hand corner of the weather map.

    Thanks for the trip up a long-gone I-5.

  28. Roger Says:

    We moved to Washington in ’77, and lived in Olympia. I’m now out on Whidbey, but we lived all over the sound. That lack of traffic is amazing. We moved to Redmond in ’81, before Microsoft, and there was usually no trouble making it into downtown Seattle from downtown Redmond in 20 minutes or less, most times of the day.

    It is a startling contrast–the lack of SUVs, I knew something was scratching at me but couldn’t put my finger on it.

    And was that a single municipally-funded sports palace I spotted there, built for the outrageous sum of $67 million? I don’t care what anyone else says, I LIKED the kingdome.

  29. K Says:

    It’s too bad there’s no way to slow down the video or frame-advance it; the road signs are really hard to catch. This’d be before the town I currently live in was a city.

  30. teva Says:

    boy oh boy.

    this makes me homesick.

    toronto is neither oly (where i went to school)
    nor seattle (where i found my stride.)

    thanks for the amazing flood of memories.

  31. James Says:

    Your cat scared the living crap out of me at the end.

  32. IFOJ Fan Says:

    You can get this song in Itunes

  33. Brent Says:

    love this!.. i not only live in Seattle – have only done that drive a few dozen times – but have a bit of a super 8 collection of cameras and projectors and in fact, have a converter box. You basically shoot into this box and then point a DV camera in there and voila digital video. The quality is a bit better than filming a screen. If you have more super 8 that you want to convert, let me know.

  34. ap Says:

    Ahhh… before the traffic. Well done.

  35. Christopher Says:

    Beautiful. I’m an expat Olympian living in Colombia for the past two years, and I never thought I’d miss that Oly to Seattle drive. Thanks for making me homesick. Any chance of a downloadable version so I can show my friends?

  36. Chadd Says:

    And to see the brand spanking new 2 Union Square, which started contruction in 1987 and finished in 1989

    I also miss the pre-boom Seattle…granted I was one of the f*cking Californians that moved up in 1989…damn them all!

  37. Brodie Says:

    Wow, that’s really great. That’s when I first moved up here. IFOJ sounds awesome and is very appropriate for the region. Must send to my mom in Olympia. Thank you.

  38. bill klingensmith Says:

    I carry on the concept …
    in a more contemporary way with technology realtive to the times.
    Drive Project :: St. Louis
    maybe someday we will cross paths.


  39. Charles K Says:

    Reminds me of an equally great video that is based on a similar concept (radically different musical style):

  40. Ryan Says:

    That was fantastic. I used to drive (ride, actually) from Federal Way to Seattle quite a lot back then. Imagining being 12 years old again and doing that drive was pretty nostalgiac.

  41. Scott P Says:

    From first-hand knowledge, even the original iStopmotion was a great tool. Chunks of an old project of mine many years ago were actually done with it to make the time lapse sequences at:


    Eats a lot of miniDV tape if you’re shooting location without a laptop, but it can be worth it. Ironically, I had to get filters to approxiamate the super 8 feel!

  42. brinticus Says:

    I was watching for the look of cars back then. Very boxy looking machines compared to what’s on the road today. (I’ve driven that route myself, but it was later, in the mid 80s.) Thanks for putting this up. I liked music too.

  43. kmoser Says:

    A leisurely drive from Manhattan to Long Island along Route 25A (Northern Boulevard) — at 977 mph (mach 1.3):


    I’ve included subtitles with the names of towns it goes through.

  44. Jason Says:

    Great video – I too would like to have a downloadable copy to keep. It looks like the video starts right at Pacific or maybe at Plum in Olympia.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  45. Cavin Says:

    Wow, I was like 11 then – thanks for the trip down memory Interstate.

    Yeah, sucks about Tully’s, et al, I didn’t see a windsock on the Smith Tower, I know they removed it sometime in the late 80′s, and replaced it with that bright, blue light.

    Cool music.

  46. Nate Says:

    Other than the projector into a transfer box and re-shooting on mini DV–anyone know of a good Super 8 to digital transfer?