Friday, July 24, 2015

Learning to ride a bike

I had the pleasure of teaching Queenie's son how to ride a bike the other day. Now there's one more convert on the planet and we can all go for rides together.  The first person I've ever taught how to ride so it was a pretty big deal for all of us.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Light Pollution

One of the things that has really been bothering me lately is light pollution.  I remember as a kid growing up at Flathead Lake how amazing the stars were at night up there.  That was part of what was cool about being at the lake.  Now more and more people have moved in and what was once a remote location with very few people has become almost a city.

Recently a neighbor built a large shop on a property not far from my little cabin.  It has lights between each bay and they often are left on at night.  It is lit up all the way around except for the back and the lights are really bright.  Paying for the electricity is no big deal to a lot of these folks.  They have so much money that energy conservation isn't a consideration for them.  The problem with all of these lights is that they don't just light up their own property they shine across several properties including mine.  It's so bright I put up a black army blanket over my already dark curtain and the light still bleeds through the sides into my bedroom at night.

It's one thing to light up your own property, but it's another to impose that light on someone else.  You don't or at least shouldn't have that right.  I'm reading a book called The End of Night by Paul Bogard.  The book defines that situation as "light trespass".  If you must leave lights on at least use fixtures that direct the light down. My neighbor here in Spokanistan built a giant shop behind my house.  On that shop he put a giant bright light that lights up my back yard and the back of my house and also the neighbors on the other side of him.  So no matter if I go to Montana or stay here in Spokanistan I've have someone's light pollution to deal with.

Here's a pic of me in Montana back in the day with my future cabin in the background. The stars used to go all the way down to the horizon in all directions.  I guess those days are gone, and I noticed that it's getting harder and harder to see the milky way up there thanks to all of the light pollution.  It will be gone soon too.  How very sad...


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ski season 2015

To say that this was the worst ski season I've had ever is an understatement.. Far worse than 2007 I think it was.  I've never seen it so bad in the northwest.  Ah well, at least I didn't get hurt.  But it was a little hard to avoid the rocks.  The coverage was pretty thin in places as you can see in the photo above.  My shadow on the ski slope below taken from the lift.
Here's a picture of Flathead Lake I took last weekend. Well I guess it's time to think about spring things, summer things, and lawn mowing.. If only I didn't have to work. Oh wait a minute, I forgot,. I get 15 days off a year, and I better not complain.  My manager recently said, "isn't that enough time for you to get done what you need to get done!?" and I'm like, well no, not really..  They don't understand that a little more time off a year would keep us from hating each other as much as we do, and we'd probably be a lot more productive.  All day long I think about what I could do after work, then when 5 o'clock rolls around I'm often so burned out and beat up that all I want to do is just sit down and drink a beer. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Speaker phone ambush

I've been in a bit of a blogging lull.  More and more I find myself wanting to be in places where there are less people around.  I'm not sure if that's healthy or not.  It's one thing to maintain your own sanity but it's another to put up with everyone else's insanity.  Not that I think I'm sane and everyone else is insane.. nothing like that..  

Anyway, the other day someone in my family speaker phone ambushed me.  Called me on speaker phone with another family member listening in the background and didn't tell me.  When I asked if that person was there and could I talk to them I was told I was on speaker and they were right there..  I didn't think that was very cool.  It's something I'd never do.

One of my friends once said that I try and avoid conflict and I think that's true.  So in this conversation I didn't fall into any traps that may have been set for me.  I avoided saying something that would allow the person calling me to be able to fault me, and yet now I haven't been able to let this go.  The more I thought about it the more it bothered me.  This family member lost my trust a few years back.  I've tried to overlook it, and get past it.  Forgive and forget, right?  Then something like this happens and I remember why that trust was lost.

Not sure how to tie this post up.  I guess there are some things that once broken can't be fully repaired.  They are like that ceramic pot I once talked about that fell off of the shelf and broke into pieces.  You can try and glue it back together and put it back up on the shelf, and if you stand back far enough you may not notice.  But if you get very close to it all of the faults show back up. 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Mid Century Starburst Clock

I picked up this starburst clock for $28 in an antique store up in Canada.  It's really quite something.. And it keeps good time and looks good with my dinette.  Makes you feel like the sun is out every morning.

Thinking of clocks.., I was talking to a co-worker a few years ago.  He said he had a job printing circuit boards.  The place he did this was in the top of an old industrial building and very depressing.  I took a tour of that place one time.  All of these guys were standing at printing tables in a make shift room with a very low ceiling.  It was really depressing in there.  He said they had to stand at those tables and print the same solder mask over and over all day long day after day and it was just like being in prison. There was a school like clock on the wall and it seemed to be going so very slow.

Well I can't really put a good spin on that story other than to say they needed a clock like this one to make them feel a little better.

I have another clock story.. One time in 7th grade a girl in my class waited until our elderly teacher who kept nodding out toward the end of the day, left the room then she got up on a cabinet and set the clock forward a half hour or so.  He returned and didn't notice.  Then when the next bell rang she or someone said Mr, Oldguy it's 3:30! and he came to life, looked up at the clock, lined us all up and we left for the day.. Nobody said anything.

He figured it out after we all left and we had to make up the time and more but it was really funny.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Elk Crossing

Went up to Canada to bring in the new year with Queenie.  Haven't blogged for a while.  Not sure why, I guess part of it was that I broke the 18 to 55 VR lens on my Nikon.  One of the kit lenses that comes with the camera so now I need to get a new lens.  I still have my point and shoots but haven't been taking many pics.  Here's one of the elk heading north across the highway in BC.

We watched the movie Nebraska and I can honestly say that my family is far stranger than the people in that picture.  Wasn't even close.. Still it was an entertaining film.

It was cold in Canada by my standards.. When I pumped gas into the jeep it -17 deg F.  It was almost a life or death situation at the gas pump.  I was thinking, they will find the dude from the states frozen in place at the gas pump.  Probably have a picture of me in the paper.  Before I left Spokanistan it was 5 above 0 F, and everyone was going on about how cold it was.  That's nothing for the folks up in Canada, and they wouldn't even take notice.  It has to get down to 30 below before they start going to Arizona.

 I took my guitar, mandolin and banjo on my trip with me.  I ended up playing the mandolin and the banjo but not the guitar.. That's cool for me because I'm defaulting to those and not the guitar.  I did sell my resonator banjo and my cheap mandolin to raise money to buy a much better two piece flange banjo that converts from resonator to open back.  Pretty stoked about that.  I think I was very lucky to sell the old ones online.  Everyone plays guitar but not that many people play banjo and mando.  It's really hard to sell them with so many options these days.  I figured out that good photos and descriptions help selling online.  Plus the Christmas season doesn't hurt either.

Oh and I also bought a cool vintage mid century mod starburst clock at an antique store.  Post a pic of that later.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Flathead Lake in October

Here's a picture of Flathead lake in October.  I remember taking this photo but I thought it was a while ago.  It just shows you that I'm loosing it.. I'm loosing touch with reality.  For a while I was thinking I wouldn't post any more interesting pictures on my blog because people were just taking them without asking, or they wanted them but didn't want to pay anything or very little.  Now I have a plan to deal with that situation, but nothing is easy right?

Those are geese out there not ducks..  You have to click on the photo to make it big to sort of see them.  Right in the middle.  I was talking to my uncle about the birds he was seeing in Montana.  He noticed the doves too, as I've noticed them in the Flathead for the first time that I can remember these past couple of years. He also noticed the golden eagle migration that I had heard about on the CBC and I'm pretty sure he hadn't heard anything about it in the media on online.    

People think my uncle is a little odd and I guess that might be a fair viewpoint, but I just think he's in touch with different things.  He's more in touch with the outdoors than most people are.  In some ways he's a lot more in touch with reality than the rest of us.

I was talking to him and all of the sudden he started to cough as if he were choking.  He made this really weird shape with his mouth and had this insane look on his face.  He looks a bit insane anyway.  It was really strange.  I thought he might woof, but then he regained his composure and went on talking about all of the birds in his back yard.     

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Alberta Landscape

Alberta Landscape
One of the things I like to do is take pictures out of the car window as we drive along.  (I wasn't driving)  Sometimes they turn out and sometimes they don't, but the fun in it is that you don't have much time to compose your shot.  It's more like a gesture drawing and sort of how we see the world one glimpse at a time as we drive along.

I was remarking on how big the sky looks in this part of Alberta south of Edmonton.  Montana is called Big Sky Country, but Alberta is the same.  Click on the picture to see the horses.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Vintage cat magazine rack

The minute I saw this magazine rack I had to have it. Queenie wasn't as thrilled as I was about it, but she loves it now. The thrift store hadn't opened yet and this was outside with other great items, so I hid it until we could get in the store and pay the $2 they wanted for it.  I'm gonna put it in the cabin next to the piano for music or magazines or even LPs.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mid century dinette

I saw this mid century dinette at an antique mall a month or so ago.  I thought it was so cool but they wanted what I thought was too much money for it, $275 or something like that.  So I left but I did regret not buying it.. Well I wandered back into that shop the other day and they had dropped the price down to $125.  I thought it would be gone and they had moved it.  So I got it for $100.  The chairs are from a later set but I think they match up well.  It replaces my older 1940s set that can be seen here

I know what you're thinking,. the yellow one is cooler and I do love the table, but chairs are torn up and it wasn't a matching set either.  Actually this "new" one is much nicer and more unique.  I can relate to the design better.  It's a little more space age.  It's larger also and more comfortable.  This thing makes me happy just to look at it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fishing boat on Flathead Lake

Fishing Boat on Flathead Lake
I took this picture yesterday morning of a fishing boat on Flathead Lake.  When I was a kid I had a little wooden fishing boat with a five horse motor and my dad just turned me loose with it.  I guess he figured he could track me down if he had to.  I spent many mornings cruising along just like this guy, and I always managed to make it back safely.  Sometimes I returned with a few fish in the boat too, and that's what Dad wanted.

Click on the picture to see it large it's much better that way. I reserve all rights to my photography.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid century metal lawn chairs


I found these mid century metal lawn chairs at an antique store yesterday.  I bought the rounded back one first.  This morning I took my coffee out on my deck and sat in my new old chair and and thought, this chair needs its fellow old chairs on my deck.  I told myself, to heck with plastic molded chairs I have.  I want mid century coolness on my deck.  So at noon I drove back down wishing nobody else had purchased them, and with luck they were still there.  So I bought the matching pair.
One of them is a rocker, but they all kind of bounce.  I really like the fiesta orange color but the blue one probably should be painted.  I've been looking for some of these for the longest time.  I suspect they are from the 1940s, but they've been painted a few times.  I think the original color on the pair was green seat and back with white arm rails.  I might paint the pair but I'm going to leave the single one with the rounded back just the way it is.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Aristocrat travel trailer in Glacier Park

Here's a picture of our Aristocrat travel trailer in Glacier Park.  There's a little tear drop trailer in the distance going through the loop.  I really only saw two other vintage trailers.  The tear drop and one canned ham.  Both were really nice.  Ours will be nice with paint and a few repairs, but it works really well as it is.  We stayed in it a total of 6 days now and with the fridge running the whole time and have yet to use one propane bottle, and didn't need to charge the RV battery.  No need for a generator with this trailer.  I hate those things anyway.  If you are going to annoy people with a generator at least shell out for a Honda.

I was blown away by one massive triple axle fifth wheel some guy pulled through the campground.  My gosh.. It was huge, and only two people using it.  I wouldn't have had the nerve to pull that thing through there like that.  I had to wonder if they need a structure that big for camping why not just stay home?  They pulled into one spot and didn't stay.  I think because they couldn't extend all of the slide-outs.  When they built Apgar Campground I don't think they ever imagined campers that large trying to squeeze in.

There were a few Chalet style campers which look like an A frame pop up.  That seems to be the choice for people wanting a small camper these days.   I guess that would be my choice if I were forced to have a new camper.


Friday, August 01, 2014

Apgar Campground

Here's a picture of Queenie doing her toes at our camp in Apgar Campground in Glacier Park.  We like it there because there's a bike path that goes to the bus transfer station, Apgar and also West Glacier, as  well as good access to Lake McDonald.  There's also a dump station for the trailer that's easy to get to and use.

We figured out that we like campsites where we can have the door of our trailer facing the campsite.  So as we drive around the loops we prefer campsites on the right hand side of the road.  I also finally figured out how to unfold the little steps under the door of the trailer.  Duh.. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Highline Trail in Glacier Park

Here's a picture I took of the highline trail in Glacier Park.  Sort of having Glacier on my mind lately.  I recently bought a bear bell for my pack and have some pepper spray.  Queenie has a bell also.  Thankfully we haven't had any encounters with bears in Glacier.  Both of us have seen them from the car or a distance a few times, but the last time I saw a bear from the trail was years ago.  That's not to say they aren't around..  A guy just shot and released a bear in the park last weekend.

It's so pretty up there though.  We made lots of noise and there were lots of people on the trail when we did the loop last time.  We won't be as far back in for a while now but bears are always on my mind in Glacier.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Westinghouse roaster oven

I scored this vintage Westinghouse roaster oven at a thrift for $15.  It will match the retro kitchen  in the Gochenour cabin nicely.  It works great!  I almost didn't buy it and I walked away from it once.  But I took a second look and thought,. I gotta have that!  It's just way too cool and the price was right.


The knob lights up red when it's on, and the whole grey pan and rack lift out for cleaning.  There's also a window in the lid to look down and see what's going on inside.  First thing I'm going to do is roast a chicken in it on the 4th of July weekend.  A nice addition to the Gochenour collection!

* I reserve the rights to my photos, do not use without permission *

Monday, June 23, 2014

Clean up after your dog signs


Above is the Canadian sign telling you to clean up after your dog.  And below is the Montana version of the same sign, Missoula Montana to be exact.


Who says they are more liberal in Canada?! A little more international perhaps, but the Montana version was done in oil..

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dead and gone

Dead and gone, my grandmother used to say about people.  Dead and gone..  Not just dead, but dead and gone.  Well one way to be remembered is to build things.  You might be dead and gone but the things you build will out live you.  Even the memories you build will out live you.

Mr. Carraway has been dead and gone for years, she'd say about a neighbor who lived down the street. She was always talking about the Carraways.  I formed a mental image of these people I'd never met.  Mrs. Carraway was living when my grandmother talked about them.  Of course they're all dead and gone now.  

Mrs. Carraway might have been my grandmother's only close friend in the neighborhood in those later years of life.  She seemed to be full of life though, or at least my grandmother breathed a lot of life into her.  I imagined Mrs. Carraway to be quite the gal, but I never thought to say, let's go meet this Mrs. Carraway.  It was enough to hear my grandmother talk about her.

I've been doing a remod on a bathroom in the cabin my dad built years ago.  He built things to last but everything has it's time. I had to put in a new shower.  I think about my grandmother and the other old folks who would come to stay in the cabin.  The memories we built there trickle out of the walls.  So I built my new wall connected to the walls he had built so many years before.  It was father's day and I was feeling pretty connected to my father.  He's been dead and gone for years now.


Friday, June 06, 2014

Back in black

Blackberry that is.. Don't get me wrong,. I do like my Samsung tablet, but I could never warm up to the phone without a physical keyboard on it.  I do a lot of texting and the hunt and peck method on the touch screen just didn't work for me.  It was actually frustrating and made me feel like one of those people who never learn to type.

My thumbs know where the keys are on the Blackberry without looking for the most part.  Just like regular typing the words flow out effortlessly and it's a good feeling.  Not so on the touch screen with the Samsung.  I had to hunt and peck with my index finger.  I'd slowley hit the wrong keys and spend most of my time correcting mistakes.  Sometimes I'd just say to heck with it and not send the text.  I suffered with that for long enough.  I tried the option where you drag your fingers along and all of that other crap, and I don't want to talk text as I don't want the whole world hearing what I'm texting.  The keyboard kept turning if I didn't hold the thing straight.  I do admit that the online experience was better on the Samsung but it wasn't something I used very much.

I thought the track pad on the Blackberry had failed.  That was why I got the Samsung in the first place as my service no longer had Blackberry.  Very sad.. so I went in hunt for a place that could fix mine.  I charged the battery and the phone worked.  I'm not sure if it got wet when I took it skiing or not, but now it works and I'm back in black.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Juniper in the mountains


It was grey and overcast on our hike to the top of the Hoodoos outside of Fairmont.  So that's never the best for photography when it comes to the sky.  I have a fondness for junipers like this one.  They remind me of Flathead Lake, but like everything they have their place.

It seems like every day I get behind a great big diesel pickup truck on my commute to work.  That's what happened today. And that means I can't drive with the window down.  I want to smell the morning air, the river and all of the springtime plants before I'm stuck in the office all day.  But instead I get a headache from the diesel smoke and arive at work feeling sick and in a bad mood.  Those trucks have their place but commuting to work in a vehicle big enough to haul freight isn't the best.  How do people justify that?

I reserve the rights to my photos.  Do not use without use without permission.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Flathead Lake Picture taken without permission again

Well it's happened again..  Someone else decided to post my Flathead Lake photo without my permission.


I retain the rights to all of my photos.  Please do not take them and use them without PRIOR PERMISSION.  Grrr... There I put a great big copy right stamp on it...

Original post is here: Flathead Lake Picture

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yard art and the 5 string

Here's a nice piece of yard art.  It's sort of like dutch people like old snow machines or something.. Is the message..  But I like it.  (you can click on the pic to make it bigger)

Well the snow is gone and the snow machines have been put away for the summer.  My redneck neighbors have taken to their quads.  Such is life in Spokanistan. (the pic is from Canada actually)  Soon people will be mowing and I'll be constantly mowing myself.  I've ridden my bike to work this week and also been out on my road bike once.  (bicycle that is)  That feels good.  I fully intend to ride my bike a lot more than I did last summer.  Mostly I suspect it will be riding my bike to and from work.  It really does end up being one of the better parts of my day.  As long as it isn't raining of course.  I'm sorry but I'm not going to ride my bike in the rain.  I'd have to be totally out of options before I will do any more of that, even though my Varsity does have fenders.  Now I do like to ride right after a spring shower, that's really nice, but not during one.

I guess the other new thing, as spring is full of newness, is that I've taken to the 5 string banjo.  It's one of those things that I never really got into, thinking I have other things to play that I haven't gotten good at, but there's something about 5 string I really like.  Maybe because it's so different from guitar and mandolin.  I don't know.   I don't really care where I go with it, I just like to sit down and noodle on it.

Maybe I can put an old snow machine in my front yard to sit on and play the banjo..

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mid Century coolness

I've been thrifting as usual.. I just don't have enough old stuff, so here are my latest finds.  My mom had a set of this stardust flatwear and I've been looking and looking for a set but its sort of hard to come by.  I found this spoon at a thrift store in Montana.  I like spoons with holes in them for making poached eggs, and this one is perfect for the travel trailer.  One of my favorite things for breakfast is poached egg hummus and pita.  I fish the egg out of the water with a spoon like this, and this one has cool stardust holes.


Also I picked up a set of mid century wall art ducks to go with my similar pheasants.  There is only one duck in this picture, but there are three matching ducks and I have two pheasants.  All three ducks have their wings in different positions. I was pretty stoked when I found these ducks! You can check out my pheasants at this link.
mid century wall art pheasants 


Also I picked up this mid century lamp at an antique mall which goes nicely.  It wasn't exactly cheap but that's just it.  It isn't cheap, it's well made and you can have one two or all three of the lights on. I'm going to have the ducks fly around my Monte Dolack Suburban Refuge print (which I picked up framed for $5 in a Canadian thrift shop) and I'm going to use the lamp as a studio lamp.  The ducks and the lamp will be nice additions to the Gochenour collection.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

I counted my lucky stars the night we met. There's a lot up in that sky.., so I should never run out.
Happy Valentines Day Queenie.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Pictures from around Radium and Fairmont BC

Here is a picture of the village of Radium and some trees on the hillside at Redstreak.  I always want to call it Red Steak for some odd reason.. If you click on the picture of Radium you can see where we stay lower center with a sort of a rounded pointed entrance.
And below is a picture of the hoodoos outside of Fairmont Hot Springs BC.  There's a Fairmont  Hot Springs Montana too..
What a lovely winter weekend it was in British Columbia.

I retain all rights to my photography.  Please do not use without permission.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chair Lift picture

What's that white spot thing in my picture?  Oh it's the sun..  Haven't seen that thing for a few weeks.  I've been stuck below that large bank of cold damp clouds.  One very good reason to ski.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Charging problem Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

Last year I bought Queenie a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and it's been problem free for a year.  So this year I decided to get myself one and I bought the Tab 3.  The new version. 

I took it out of the box and plugged in the charger.  The screen sort of blinked a faint light then dark faint light then dark.  I thought it was charging after all night on the charger, when I turned it on it only had17% charge.

I discovered that it would only charge when it was turned on.  That didn't seem right.  So I went onlineto find information on how and when it should charge, and finally after a lot of searching found others were having the same problem.  

The tablet should charge when not turned on and a green battery symbol should appear on the screen.  There's no mention of this in the start up guide so that's why I'm posting this.  It should look like this:
If it doesn't look like that it's probably not charging. The problem would be that if you couldn't turn it on, then you wouldn't be able to charge it.  Mine came with enough charge to turn on, but I could see it going totally dead then not being able to charge.

I took it back to Walmart and they exchanged it no problem.  That's one reason I like shopping there.    Plus I bought the $28 two year replacement coverage which I figure on something like this is worth having.

It's a great little device for internet however.  It boots quickly, it wasn't that expensive and it's easy to travel with.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Inside of the bubble


Here's a pic of me inside of the bubble while being outside of the bubble.. And my new/ old jeep.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lake Pend Oreille

It's grey and sloppy here today and I was wanting a little color in my world.  So here's a picture of my kayak on Lake Pend Oreille not far away in Idaho when the world was alive with color.  Looking forward to spring and all of the things that go along with it.

I retain the rights to all of my photos.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So this is Christmas

This is how we deal with Christmas when it's over at work.  Just put it in a box and take it out back.  Have someone put it in the furnace room when they get around to it..  We don't even bother to take the ornaments off of the little fake tree..

I used to think we should celebrate Christmas every four years like the olympics to keep it special but when I suggested that idea to a co-worker he pointed out that we wouldn't get a day and a half off that way.. Good point.

I really enjoyed being with family and friends but for some reason the Christmas spirit doesn't enter me at work.