Thursday, December 28, 2006

Trip to the dentist

I woke up this morning with a sore throat. Not a great big deal, but I still remember the cold I had last month that started with a sore throat. Plus today I had to go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned.

I felt pretty horrible when I got to work. I'm sure my co-workers thought I was a totally sad and pathetic individual. So I did my first graphic job on the computer. I had to get a graphic file off another artist's computer who is on vacation and then took it back to my computer. I put it on a CD. I didn't want to take the chance to e-mail it to myself as there was so much junk in his e-mail.

While I worked I thought about my dental appointment. I kept looking at the phone. Finally I called the dentist. "I'd like to re-schedule my appointment." I said. "We usually want 48 hours notice." was the response. "I have a sore throat". I said. "the next opening I have is next Tuesday at 3:40." "Cool I'll take it." I said, and hung up the phone. Then I started to think. I had been taking cough dropps all monrning. And as the day went on, my throat started to feel better. So after lunch I called back and asked, "have you filled my spot yet" "No." "Ok, if you don't mind my sore throat then I'll come in." And so I did.

I have a love hate relationship with my dentist. He has come to know me and he knows how cheap I am. So I think I have him to the point that he is only doing work that is needed. Plus I'm such a wuss when it comes to the dentist. And my hygienist is also cool. She knows me even though we only see eachother every six months. I think dentists want to do something so they can make bucks.

The last time I was in I thought it would make a good photo for my blog. Looking up at the dentist. But I forgot even though I had my cameras out in my car. But next time I get my teeth cleaned I'm taking my camera. I'm going back in July.

No cavities by the way.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New link

I've added a new link to my side bar. THE WORDPECKER Check it out. She's pretty cool even though she doesn't like country music or banjo. What the heck. (I love country music and own two banjos!)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A lady on the sidewalk

I decided to take my camera and go for a walk before Christmas dinner. All of that sitting around in the house for a couple of days was taking a tole on me. I got sick of Christmas shows on TV. I started to read a book about Hitler and Eva Braun surviving the war. I read the the local paper including the crime report,.. people breaking in and stealing things here and there around town, and they had a map of where the things were taken. CDs taken from car (13) And then you find 13 on the map and thats were the CDs were taken. Sometimes they had descriptions of people.

The rain had melted what snow had been on the ground, and it had been freezing making the sidewalks very slick, but I went for a walk in my old neighborhood anyway just to get out of the house.

While I was walking along and taking photos, I was counting all of the people I had spoken to since I left Washington. There was the girl at the gas station when I first left. The guy in the auto parts store where I bought new wiper blades. The guy at the grocery store. My mom. The usher at church. Two random people at church and some lady my mom introduced me to. Mr. and Mrs. C. My friend, his wife, and her brother. And the guy at the grocery store.

There was an old lady throwing de-icer down on the sidewalk. She wasn't really old, she just looked old in her long blue dress, overcoat and hat. "I don't like to put this down." she said. "The squirrels." "Oh!" I said. I stopped as she threw the white stuff down towards me. I noticed an old dinette on the porch so I turned on the camera and framed it. "Do I get a royalty?" She asked, as her tone changed to a little serious. I coughed a phoney laugh out,.. a Robert Duvall phoney laugh. "heh, heh, heh,.. Oh I never get any money for this." Had to think quick for something else to say as I composed my shot, as I did want to get it, and I was standing in her way. She waited while I took a shot. "That's a cool dinette." I said. "Looks nice up there." "They'll sell it." she said. "Really, how much?" "I think they'd take a hundred and fifty." "Hmm." And I went up and took a look.

I didn't really want the table but I was interested in the chairs. I noticed some large stains on the top of the table. I had to convince myself I didn't need it as I'm such a sucker for things like this. Plus I had no way to get it home. "Well I don't really need one." I said. "Merry Christmas." "Merry Christmas to you too." she said as I walked away. Then I started to think, what if someone took the dinette that night? She'd think I took it! She'd give my description to the police, and I'd be in the crime report! Dinette taken from porch by man with baseball cap, and camera (13). The next morning I drove by just to make sure it was still there.

Oh,.. and I spoke to a lady on the sidewalk, and another girl at a gas station on my way back home.

I should have offered her fifty...

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Christmas story

I hit the snooze bar on my alarm this morning. It's kind of like going in debt. You have to work really hard to catch back up. I went into the bathroom and looked at the nature of my hair. I'd like to do a study on bed head some time. Just take a photo of how wierd and different I look each morning, but I don't think the world is ready for that.

I needed to wrap the present I got for that employee from Vietnam for our gift exchange at work. The only sharp object I could find to cut the wrapping paper with was my hunting knife. It gave a whole new meaning to cut and wrap.

I drank some Folgers Coffee that I made in my bottom of the line Mr. Coffee machine. I thought to myself that brown would be a much better color for a coffee maker than white. At least for people like me.

It was snowing on my way to work, and I remembered driving to Spokane from Bozeman to spend Christmas at my sisters house with my family when I was in school. We had all agreed to meet there. The house was colder than Bozeman. My brother-in-law was trying to save on the gas bill. On Christmas morning he had a fire in the fire place, but he closed the glass doors explaining how it heated the house better. When he closed the doors the fire became just a vision of heat.

We then started to open gifts. I guess my mom and dad had been in some art store and my mom had seen an oil painting done by one of her friends. It was a painting of a mountian lake. Mom had said that she liked that painting but I think only because she knew the lady who painted it. Without her knowing, my dad had purchased the painting. When she opened up the package she was surprised. Not exactly what she had expected. She thanked him and then she stood it up agaisnt the end table next to the sofa.

The end table had a really sharp point on the corner and it tore right throught the center of the canvas. Then my mom started to cry.

We all tried to console her and dad said he would get her another but nothing helped. Our hearts sank.

"My friend will come over and she will see!" It was horrible. We all felt so bad.

"I can fix it" I said. "I know an artist who restores paintings and we will fix it. Don't worry mom." Well I did know an artist who restored paintings but I doubted he would disclose his secrets to me without just paying him to do it. But I explained the situation and he told me how to repair it. Then I did have to re-paint the torn section but in all honestly you couldn't tell it had ever been torn.

Eventually the woman who did the painting came over to visit my mom and looked right the painting and didn't say anything. I doubt very seriously that she would ever be able to tell and you wouldn't even look if you didn't know it had been torn. The tear was about 4 inches long and I had to fill a large area and then repaint. Her style and pallet was actually really easy to emulate. She didn't use any glazes or anything. So it all woked out in the end.

A happy ending to my Christmas story. Now the painting has special meaning to us. I guess the guy from Vietnam liked the flashlight I gave him. It's a Maglite so I don't think he can break it. If he does, I'll get him another one. They are only $10.

Merry Christmas.

The tear in the painting goes horizontally through the sky and mountains. It isn't where you think it is looking at this photo. Click on it to enlarge.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On the lift (Dave)

"That's a nice hat!" I said after we came off of the ground on the chairlift. I made a little small talk knowing I had to get a photo. "My name's Don, what's your name?" "Dave, mmm." Dave would speak and then make this "mmm" sound. It was unusual. "That looks like a warm hat." I said. "Yes, mmm, mmm." Dave said. "Do you mind if I take a photo for my blog?" "No! mm.... mm." Who knows what he really looks like. He's going to Reno for Christmas. Dave was a good sport, and happy to have his photo taken in his warm hat.

Road trip

A road trip can do wonders for your mood. I've lost my bad attitude! Nothing like a cold winter night in the cabin with the fire going to warm your heart. I kept the fire going all night long. We have this wood from some big old elm trees that we cut down and it burns like coal. It isn't the crackling good smelling comfort fire that Douglas Fir makes, but it burns forever.

This morning I saw that it was getting light out so I jumped out of bed and went outside to watch the sunrise and take some snaps. There were a whole bunch of Canadian Geese floating around by the shore and as I walked down to photograph it pushed them out into the lake. (I realize they look like ducks in the photo, but they are geese.)

It was really cold as I went out onto the pier. My ears got cold. Here is a photo of what it looked like. (If you click on it, I left it bigger so you can see more what it looked like.)

Then I returned home and stopped at Lookout Pass on the border of Idaho and Montana to ski for a few hours. Here is a link to all of the ski areas in Montana. You can click on Lookout. I ski at Blacktail, Big Mountain, Snowbowl and Lookout.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I have an attitude

My neighbor drinks Busch Beer. How do I know? All of his beer cans got blown into my yard last night during the high wind storm. You can tell alot about your neighbor from what kind of beer he drinks. And you would think he wouldn't put his trash out at night knowing a wind storm was coming. I live in a windy area anyway. And the wind always comes from the west when it blows. So I hate it when it's windy on Thursdays. I always end up with their trash. And do you think they would come and clean it up? Fat chance. They do have to look at my yard however. So they can just look it it full of their beer cans for a while.

So I've been a little negative and have an attitude. It's time to license my cat. Here is her ID. She has an attitude too. If you don't license your cat they can fine you $200.
Wen I came home for lunch my neighbors had picked up all of the beer cans except two of them. I honestly can't believe it. They never have cleaned up before and it happens all the time. Perhaps they are reading my blog. I can't believe some of the food they eat, the worst kind of boxed junk you can buy. I'm embarrassed to have the packaging blown into my yard. It really shouldn't be legal to sell the "food" that they eat, and feed their kids. And shame on the companies that make this junk.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Human nature

It's amazing how our viewpoints can change over time, and it's funny how simplistifc people can view the world. I don't think you have to travel far to understand human nature. I could be wrong. I've never really gone anywhere.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New old guitar

I stayed up way too late last night. I was making smoked jerky in a lilttle smoker on my deck. And it just takes the time it takes. There is no rushing it, and I got it done at 1:00 am. Anyway I'm pleased with the way it turned out. So tonight I'm having some jerky and some cheese that I smoked and a Lager beer from Holland. (Hollande) The whole combination is outstanding..

Last night I watched the movie Deliverance of all things. And guess what, I do own a banjo. It used to be my dad's. When we went to the cabin we didn't have a TV or anything so we would play music to entertain ourselves. He'd play the banjo and I'd play the guitar. Old time western music. I did play the violin in orchestra before I learned to play the guitar.

My sister had a guitar that has been in our family. She played a little but mostly I would play it. I got my own guitar but I always liked the one she had. When she grew up and moved out she took that guitar with her. I felt a sense of loss. I always wanted it and she never played it. I had bonded with it. Every so often I'd borrow it and re-string it play it for a while and then return it.

Last year her home got robbed while they were away on a vacation. They took just about everything including her wedding dress, but not the guitar. I was relieved when I saw it there in the mess.

She was downsizing and having a garage sale recently so I got the guitar. She said she would give it to me but I gave her some money for it. Not enough as I see what these go for when they come up on e-bay. Here is a photo of my new old guitar. It is a 1970 Garcia classical guitar. I love it. It is made out of wood from all over the world. The inlays are from Iran. I realize it is just an object, but it is a very nice one. All guitars are not created equal, and it isn't about the money. This was the first guitar I ever played. I hope to keep it the rest of my life now that I have it back. If my sister wants to borrow it, she can. I doubt she ever will as she got rid of her piano and she plays the piano pretty well.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


For some reason people have a need to decorate. They decorate their bodies with tattoos. They decorate their houses inside, and outside at Christmas, and they decorate their workstations or cubes at work. This post isn't intended to be about work except that I just got moved into a new office. I admit that I did have a framed poster and some photos in my old office.

I've come to think that people really over-do this workspace decoration as they do with their tattoos. It ends up being just clutter. Photos of everyone they know. All of their pets. Cartoons and photos out of the paper. Stuffed animals. Statement items. On and on and on.

I've been guilty of it. I used to have a small photo of Tonya Harding out of the paper up. Statement item. Don't know what the statement was. I don't like Tonya Harding. I don't support her. Don't really want to even think about her. It was like,.. Tonya Harding. Deal with it. If you come into my space I want you to think about Tonya Harding! What the heck?

I think part of it is a territorial thing. I can sort of understand that, but not really. All of that decoration is just clutter for the most part. If you want to clutter up your house then fine. But leave it at home.

So now I have this new office cubicle with a really big window. I'm going to keep it as free from clutter as possible. I have one very small class photo of Lizzie up on it. And that is it. It is so small on my cubicle wall that it becomes a statement item.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Life and death

She looked like a very young and beautiful Laura Bush. And I looked like Brad Pitt. (Just kidding!) But she actually did look like what I imagine Laura Bush must have looked like when she was in Highschool. She was very cute.

I had it all planned out. I asked her to go with me to the drive-in movie. I had just gotten my driver's license. Dad had agreed to let me take her out with the Oldsmobile. She went to my church and our parents were friends. The Oldsmobile had Electric Seats that would recline way back!

So we went to this movie. I don't remember anything about it. They only played old beach movies and stuff like that. It wasn't about the movie. It was about rolling that electric seat all the way back and making out. And that's exactly what we did. It was so much fun! The best thing about it was how well my plan had worked out. No alcohol or drugs, we were just high on life.

We kind of went our seperate ways in the following years. She went to a different school and such. Then her dad died unexpectedly. So I waited a few days and called her. I hadn't talked to her for a long time. Just said I felt bad about her loss. I don't remember exactly what I said.

Then after I was out of college and dating Samantha, my dad died. So Samantha and I returned to Montana for the funeral. Samantha wore this dress that was black and white on a diagonal. Kind of symbolic for life and death I guess, or perhaps life after death. It may have meant nothing knowing Samantha, and I might have just been reading something into it.
I have no idea where she came up with that dress. She did look great in it however.

When the funeral was over, I stood outside of the church with Samantha as the rest of the people came out, and there she was, the girl who I had made out with at the drive-in. She made the effort to be there and came up to see me. She looked at me and we shared something without saying anything. I found out later that I was the only one of her friends who called her when her dad died.

I don't know how to resolve this post, other than to say that Samantha left me not long after that. The girl from the drive-in got married and teaches special education kids.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm so darn cheap

I'm so darn cheap, it costs me. Paper towels. I buy the cheapest paper towels you can get. And then I make sure I totally run out before I buy more and then try to go without for as long as possible. Then when I get my next roll it is like a luxury.

"You need a new truck!" Jane said. (Jane was my girlfriend after Samantha.) "No I don't!" I said. "Yes you do Don! You can afford it!" "There's nothing wrong with my truck, plus I don't owe anything on it and know how to fix it." "It's old!" "No it isn't, It's cool." (1979 Ford F250) "This here's a real truck! do you know what a new truck like this would cost?" I asked.

Lovely as she was, Jane had no sense when it came to money, and clearly didn't know a good truck when she saw one. She was from Montana but I think she had spent too much time in California. I think she just didn't like yellow.

Some people just don't understand when it comes to trucks. Scott had been a sergeant in desert storm, and worked for us for a while. He was from New Jersey. One night I helped him work on his Jeep Cherokee which was broken down. I don't think he had much respect for me until I helped him fix his rig. He wasn't much of a mechanic. We took my truck to the parts store.

"What the heck is this!?" he asked. "It's a cowboy hat holder." I repsonded. "Haven't you ever seen one?" He couldn't stop laughing. "You've got to be kidding me!" Weren't his exact words.

I guess they don't have cowboy hat holders in New Jersey.
It's spring loaded. You put your hat in it upside down.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We need stuff

I walk fast. I walk faster than most people. My perception of it is that everyone else walks painfully slow. I don't try to walk fast I just do. When I try and walk fast, I walk really fast. It's almost impossible for me to walk slow. When I go to the store I walk fast. I'm on a mission. I know exactly what I want.

I drive slow. Well, I drive the speed limit. I'm the only one. What I don't understand is how everyone can drive so fast and then get out and walk so slow. I don't get it, other than they drive while sitting down and they have to actually stand up to walk.

Today I went to Wal Mart. I prepared myself for what I would have to deal with. When I went through the door my eyes were scanning left and right for possibile paths through the maze of slow walkers.

The first obstacle was a woman bending over with her forearms resting on her shopping cart moving from right to left and blocking the whole isle. It must have been too much of an effort to stand up and push the cart. She was moving at a very slow pace, less than 1/8 mile per hour, and taking up a lot of space. So I rolled around behind her and got past. I was tempted to slap her on the butt when I went by. "Get a move on!" I wanted to say.

Then an older couple was creeping in the same direction as I was. They had no motivation and no direction. It was as if they had no idea why they were there. They were overwhelmed and confused by the products around them. They appeared to be totally lost and they had just entered the store. My wake threw them out of balance as I went between them.

Then a younger woman in grey sweat pants was with her mother. They were swerving left and right in a slow serpentine ~ motion as if they were intoxicated by shopping. One thing would catch their attention and then another. They would stop and go and then something else would grab their attention. Finally the daughter saw I was trying to get past and she let me by.

It was like Day of the Dead. Zombies just wandering around with their arms out "aaaaah...aaaaah... we need stuff,,,we need stuff. ". I imagined just pushing them out of the way. They would stagger a few steps and then resume their aimless pilgrimage.

At the checkout line I stood behind a wife nagging her husband. "We need this! And we need that!" No planning whatsoever. I stood there breathing in the second hand nagging, and feeling sorry for her husband who had a hair cut that was a cross between Las Vegas Elvis and Fred Flinstone.

Finally I made my way out of the store turning left and right to go around shoppers as if I was on skis trying to get to the finish of the race course as fast as possible. I wonder if that old couple ever made it out? I hope they told someone where they were going before they left home.

I got back in my car and locked the doors. There were many zombies returning to life as they got back in their cars.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snow trees

Here is the photo I cut Miss December cyber tree out of. I shrank the image size down, but I didn't alter anything else. Sometimes I do. Hey, I'm a graphic artist. (Artistic License) It was just a beautiful morning and I didn't need to in this case. This one is straight off of the camera. (except for image size, I took the photo with the camera set on 3 megapixel and then shrank it down to about 80k to post it. Of course it looks better at the larger size.) I used my little Nikon Cool Pix 5600. It is a 5 megapixel camera but I hardly ever use that setting. Mostly I use it on 3 megapixel unless I know I'm going to just e-mail then I choke it down to less than 1 megapixel. Now and then I push it up to over 5. But not very often. Now I see that all of the little snaps are 7 and 8 megapixel. It's kind of over kill for most people, especially if there isn't a good way to shrink the photos for things like a blog or e-mail.

Leg swingers

I like riding the chair lift with people I don't know because it is kind of like on Forest Gump, you never know who you're going to get. You have 15 minutes to get to know a person. I've met people who I really liked and wished I could spend more time with and other people I can't wait to get away from.

But there's one kind of person I don't like riding the chair with. Leg swingers. They swing their legs back and forth while next to you on the chair lift.

I have two problems with them. First of all, it forces your legs to swing if you don't fight the motion. So you have to fight the motion and that puts stress on your knees when you want to relax. My knees get enough stress just skiing. Second, and the worst thing is that it risks goofing up the edges of the skis if they make contact. I take great care of the edges on my skis and the worst thing you can do is make contact with another ski edge like this. It is called scissoring them if you let the edges slide together. So the whole time I'm riding the chair lift with a leg swinger I have to fight it.

I realize that leg swingers have a medical condition. Restless Leg Syndrome. They need medical help.


I try very hard not to offend anyone on bicycle log. And I want people to know that I value anyone who takes the time read my nonsense. I greatly value anyone who makes a comment. Honest.

I got this comment about my Leg swingers post:

Anonymous said...

Actually "restless legs syndrome" is a real condition in which people are unable to sleep due to the need to move their legs -- it has nothing to do with swinging legs. You can find more information at

So I've been giving this some thought. Do I bring down my comment as if I never said it? Do I make a public apology and meet with people who have RLS? Is my career as a blogger over?

So I decide to talk it over with my media consultant. He knows what a smarty pants I can be. Plus he knows more TV trivia than anyone I have ever met. (He doesn't have HBO however) and he didn't know that when your car license tabs expire it isn't always at the end of the month. Whatever.

And he also didn't know that an upside down horseshoe was bad luck. Ok... And I could go on and on...

He said that he heard on Paul Harvey that when they came up with the medication for RLS they were actually working on a diabetes medication and realized it stopped legs from moving. So they created a term for that condition and called it RLS. So they could sell this drug. So the story he fed me went.

And I said to him that there must have been a demand for this drug, so the condition must be real. I know that leg swingers are real. And then he tells me that HE is a leg swinger! Crap!

I have no problem with people who have RLS. My problem is with leg swingers!

My apologies anonymous. Thanks for stopping in! Still not sure I want to ride the chair with you. Just kidding! :)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

State song

This is how it looked on the ski hill early Sunday morning. It's not a great photo but gives you an idea. That is the north end of Pend Oreille Lake in north Idaho looking east. In the distance is Montana.

And here is the first verse to the Montana state song. (might not be exaclty right)

Montana Montana,
Glory of the west.
From north to south from coast to coast,
You're easily the best.

Montana Montana,
Where skies are always blue.
M, O, N, T, A, N, A.
Montana I love you.

Ok... Now that I have that out of my system... (The skies are usually blue.)

I had a much better day today. My arm is ok, so I must not have torn my rotator cuff. Thank goodness. My hand is a little goofed up however but nothing serious. I was such a spaz to jump like that. Thankfully it didn't end my season on the first day or scratch up my skis. I feel pretty good about my shape. Other than my shoulder and hand, I'm not even sore. So that tells me that all of my cycling has payed off. Usually after the first day of skiing people are sore and can barely walk. I'm not even sore on my boot tops and I skied hard for two days. So cool. I'm starting to find center on my skis again.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

December cyber tree

Here is December's cyber tree. I realize that it is early to decide who will wear the crown. But there is so much snow that we need to celebrate a winner. The sky was deep blue above in the morning and riding the chair was like going into space. This photo is at about 6500 feet. If only the chair went a little higher.

After I got used to my skis again I decided to go to the back to checking out all of my favorite runs and see how the coverage is and such. I line up on one big jump and launch myself. No problem I float through the air and come down. Then when I land there is another little lip that I can't see below. When I get to the edge I see that there are rocks blow but it is too late. I push off to clear them and I get way more air than I wanted. I make it over the rocks but when I land both of my skis come off and I crash face forward. As I'm sliding to a stop, I take an inventory of my body and realize that my legs are ok. But I've hurt my left shoulder and hand. I have full range of motion in my arm so I'm probably ok.

I checked my camera to make sure it was still working. It was in my front chest pocket and the crash was pertty bad. What a great little camera. Bicycle log endorses the Nikon Cool Pix 5600. It takes a licking and keeps on clicking.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Under the clouds

There's a cloud hanging over me... And the rest of the city. It's a low cloud, like a big hand pushing down on all of us. It blocks out the sun and warmth. I need to break free of it's oppressive grip, but I'm the one who likes winter.

The smokers all huddle in the cold outside so many feet away from the door as prescribed by law. I'd like to go over there and stand around with them, but I don't feel welcome in their company. As if I was the one who wrote this law. I only voted for it. They look like prisoners out in the yard, dark silhouettes under the grey sky. How they must hate the non-smokers. And come to think of it, I don't think they were far enough away from the door.

A bell ringer squatted outside the grocery store in the snow yesterday. He was whistling a Christmas carol. My gosh, where does he find the will? I hurried past to get inside the warmth of the store. Bananas, $.48 lb. Or was it $1.48? I don't remember. I wonder if the green paper stuff on the table is supposed to make it look like a banana tree? I've never seen a banana tree. I think back to the Pines Road exit where I've seen the same homeless girl holding a cardboard sign twice. This time she had a white and brown puppy dog tied to a street sign. It was making her smile as it played in the snow. She's beautiful when she smiles.

There's a cop in a Crown Victoria parked outside just waiting for someone to go over 35 mph. He's always there. Every other day. I've seen him swoop down on people like a hawk on a field mouse. If he pulls me over I'm going to complain.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Avocado breakfast muffin

Here is a breakfast sandwich that Curt turned me on to. Have to give him full credit.

It's a great thing for a guy to make for a woman the morning after a romantic evening. In the ski condo perhaps. You do need a toaster or a grill. If there are any guys out there, I've actually field tested this one and it is really hard to screw it up. So if you want to make some points with that special female on a weekend, I pretty much guarantee this will work. I'm not sure if it would work on a guy if you are a female. If you are female just indulge yourself. It's fattening but really good. You deserve it.

Avocado english muffin breakfast sandwich

1-2 avocados depending on how many you want. (Believe me, you will each want more than one of these. It's that good.)
1 lemon
1 package of spicy or (alfalfa sprouts)
1 package of cream cheese or (goat cheese or brie)
1 package of english muffins
margarine, butter or olive oil

1 bottle of chardonnay or another chilled white wine.

Cut the avocado into thin slices. Of course you remove the skin. (some guys might not know this.,,remove the pitt too) You make one of these at a time and then serve it as you make them. Toast an english muffin. Butter or sprinkle olive oil on each half. on the bottom half place a layer of avocado slices, Then a layer of sprouts, and then twist lemon on that. Then place a layer of cream cheese then put the top on. If you use brie make sure you cut off the hard "crust" that is on the outside of the cheese. (Another thing a guy might not know.)

Serve with a glass of chardonnay. (kind of optional) Hey, you have no where to go except back to bed, the hot tub or the slopes. I've found that a glass of white wine with this is killer.

Someone at work gave me two avocados today so insantly I knew what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow. I went to Safeway to get the sprouts cheese and lemon and they had english muffins for $3!, a very small bag. I'm like, no way! To I'm going to try this on a bagel as they have really good bagels. Just an experiment. It won't be light enough that way. If you do this please use english muffins.

I'm walking down this isle in the store, and this young woman barked, "You need to straighten up!" It startled me as I was right next to her. I didn't notice her child at first. So I said jokingly, "Oh, I thought you were talking to me." She looked at me, smirked and said, "You need to straighten up too!" "Ok..." I responded as a slinked away.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Into the cold

I'm taking off my bike helmet and hunting hat and putting on my ski helmet. Thinking about going up on the mountain this week to get to know my giant slalom skis again. It'll be cold up there probably about 10 to 15 F because it will be clear out. Inbetween snow storms. That's when I like being on the slopes. When it is snowing you can't go very fast as you can't see very far, and the snow is slow, It's dangerous unless you go slow when it's snowing. But it should be clear out and the snow should be hard and fast and that's the way I like it.

I realize that bicycle log hasn't had much to do with cycling lately. I finished the season with over 1300 recorded miles, and probably had close to my goal of 1500 but didn't have batteries in my speedos for a while in the spring. Other than my recent back issues I'm in pretty good shape despite the fact that I think I'm coming down with a cold. My knees are in good shape as is my right shoulder which I injured in a crash racing two years ago. So if I can get up on the mountain and start making turns then after several days I should be ready to get back into the gates.

I've been wanting to start a ski specific blog but not sure about that now since my bicycle log morphed into something else. Plus my cat has been wanting to start a blog. So we will see. I see that right now she has gotten into her sleeping bag. Yes my cat has her own sleeping bag.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My copper pipes and new links

I thought I'd get a lot of cleaning done today. It was snowing outside. I was hunkering down with my cat. Finally I went down into my basement to throw some things in the washer. My basment is unfinished except fo the bathroom down there. I heard this drip drip drip. A valve on a copper pipe was leaking. A cold water line going upstairs. Great, I thought. So I got my tools out thinking I could tighten the valve and end the leak. It became clear that the valve was broken, and water started to spray out instead of drip. So I turned off the hot water tank and then the water coming into the house. Then the toilet wouldn't flush. So I head out to Home Depot.

My plan was to remove the valve and then splice a new section of copper in. I don't do this all the time but I have fixed copper pipes before. On my way to the store I planned my repair. I'll forget about installing a new valve. Too complicated. The less valves you have the better in my view. So I bought a small section of copper pipe that was the right diameter I bought a propane torch with flux and solder. And also some joints. I did have a hack saw. I stopped at Carl's Junior and got a couple of straws, as I had to remove water from the lower section of the vertical run.

So I got home and cut out the old section and cut a piece to fit and then sweated it into place. It really wasn't that bad. But you do have to know what to do. It did cost me $25 for all the stuff I bought. But I needed a torch anyway, and that was most of the cost. If it happens again I'll be ready.

I've added a couple of links to blogs I like on my side bar. I didn't ask either one of them if I could link to them so I hope they don't mind.

Grew Up Rural has been a faithful reader and has been with me for a long time. There is good adivse about the holiday season on her blog.
Grew Up Rural

Veronica Khokhlova writes the first blog that I ever read. She is the reason I started a blog. It's been a good thing for me. Veronica is also one of the most talented photographers I've ever seen. Her photos truly rise above. Plus she is a true journalist out of Ukraine and Russia. Check her out at Neeka's Backlog and Global Voices.
Neeka's Backlog
Global Voices

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The buck stops here

Well the buck stops here, in Selah Washington. That little brown shop with the green roof is the taxidermy I chose to mount my deer. It was a 500 mile round trip to take it there, will cost 500 bucks to get it done, and it'll take over a year, probably about 500 days. That's how things work I guess. My friend has used this guy and he does nice work. He and his wife live in that white mobile home with their young son and yellow dog. Nice cowboy sort of fellow. He did properly measure it for me. It scored 125. Not enough to make it into the Washington record book. Has to be 130. What the heck.

First I had to go to Tri-Cities after eathing Thanksgiving dinner. When I got there I ate another Thanksgiving dinner and spent the night with a friend in his new house and then we went to Selah the next morning. Kind of got lost looking for this place but talked to an outfitter who pointed us in the right direction.

Then we ate lunch at Miner Burgers in Yakima. The Miner Burger is exactly like the cheese burger there. Same price and everything. Don't be fooled if you go there. Order the cheese burger. Both were like a Big Mac with a larger bun and more sauce. The cheese was clearly processed cheese that was just taken out of the plastic. I do have to give them credit for the fries. Not bad. And you could have fry sauce (ketchup and mayo) or cocktail sauce. Don't even think about mustard. I make better burgers BTW, so I don't get the whole big deal about Miner Burgers, but the place was packed. Very unhealthy but popular.

And I also noticed that Yakima is not a bicycle friendly town. It's not even a pedestrian friendly town. I didn't even see sidewalks downtown, let alone a bike path. And no planning when they decided where to put the streets. It was a friendly town however, as someone made the effort to put up a season's greetings sign over the road. I wish I had taken a photo of that. And there was another sign as we came into town that said "Yakima, the Palm Springs of the West." ? What? (Selah is just a couple of miles outside of Yakima.) Yakima is not the place for me. Neither is Palm Springs. Selah wasn't too bad however.

We then went back to the Tri Cities where we watched Gonzaga loose a basketball game with two other Hunt Club members, drank beer and wine and ate Pizza. The guy has an HD plasma TV in his new house so I had a nice stay, and my car had a nice garage to stay in.

I returned home this morning and removed the camper from my pickup, cleaned it all out and covered it with a tarp. It is supposed to snow tomorrow and is going to be really cold. I'll spend some time tomorrow splitting fire wood and then I'll hunker down for the storm. Oh yeah, I'm going to do some cooking. I'm getting worse than Paula! If I'm not eating, I'm cooking.

Hunt season is truly over now. I quarted and froze the deer, and took care of the head and horns. Camper is all put away. It's all behind me now. Time to get the skis out as all of the resorts are open. Got to burn off some of those calories!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving story

Back when I was in highschool, a friend and I would walk to school as it was only a few blocks away. He'd come to my house and then we would walk to school. It was the day before Thanksgiving. My friend had really been looking forward to the turkey dinner they served us in the school in the cafeteria. Why I don't know, as it was pretty nasty. Instant potatoes and shredded turkey with gravey. The Friskies I feed my cat is probably better. But he really liked it. I don't think they ever ate turkey at his house or something. They were Italian.

Anyway I was on the gymnastics team and we were both kicking handstands in the front room of my parents house as we had some time to kill before we had to go to school. He got around behind me and I didn't realize it. I kicked up into a handstand and my heel hit him right in the face. It pushed his teeth through his lower lip. Didn't break his teeth but it really screwed him up. I felt so bad. My dad had to take him to the hospital and I had to go to school. I felt horrible about it. They stiched him up. Then he spent the rest of the day with my dad who took him home when his mom got off of work. I went into the dog house.

He never held it against me. The worst thing he said about it was not getting to eat that school turkey lunch. Every year I think about this and I'm sure he does too. I'm thankful he's still my friend.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Be outside

Ok. So now I'm out. I'm a liberal redneck... I'm a gun shoot'n, deer kill'n, spandex wear'n, bicycle ride'n, ski race'n, beer drink'n, picture take'n, food cook'n, guitar play'n, redneck! ...Or something. Oh, I left out graphic artist. Artist. No value in that. "you're an artist?.. " Everyone is an artist. I just quit telling people that. It's like, prove it.

People say, "What do you do?" Well I'm a...something.... I'm this, I'm that...Kind of hard to put my finger on it exactly. How can I possibly define myself? And people really put a lot of weight on what someone does. "He's a doctor". The best! The best a person can be. "This is Dr. Backsmith.. He's a kyropractor you know". Very wealthy.

Hard to put people in a box. I'm just outside.


A joke comes to mind.

Three guys die and go to heaven. A doctor, a teacher, and a Montanan. They get up to the pearly gates and St. Peter is there deciding who to let in. He askes the doctor, "what good things did you do?" and the doctor says "I'm a doctor and I cured the sick." "Ok, you can go in." And then the teacher comes up. "And what did you do?" and the teacher says, "I'm a teacher, I taught the children." "Ok." St. Peter says, "You can go in." And the Montanan comes up and says. "I'm a Montanan." St. Peter asks, "Did you get your elk?"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hunting season ends

Big game hunting season has ended now here in the state of Washington for modern firearms. Archery season is now back open. Yesterday I got a very nice whitetail buck. Most likely I won't ever get a bigger one. Not one part of this animal will go to waste.

For those who would find this offensive, can't or don't understand, I apologize. There is a movie you should see. I think it is called Fast Food Nation. I haven't seen it in all honesty, but want to. Have a problem with the meat in your local store first. And keep this in mind; far more deer are killed by cars (people driving cars) than by hunters each year.

There are two types of animal meat that we can eat. Wild and domestic. Wild game needs to be managed. Yes there are those who give hunting a bad name. Like our Vice President. I can assure you,.if I get caught shooting my hunting partner in this state I will certianly loose my hunting rights. But I know that this admin is above the laws. At the very least, Dick should go back to hunter safety class. "Be sure of your target and beyond." That is what you learn in hunter safety... Dick.

Anyway I'm very happy that I got this deer. I'm going to butcher it myself. Plus I'm going to have it mounted as it is trophy quality. If you ever get a chance go to Glacier Park in Montana, go into Lake McDonald Lodge. The vintage mounts are some of the coolest things about the lodge. The people responsible for seeing that Glacier became a park were into big game hunting, Game management allows this tradition to continue. Or we could all eat at McDonalds and close our eyes to where the grey stuff they call meat comes from.

I stopped at the voluntary game check station. The game warden was a little jealous I think. He is on the right with the clipboard and orange vest. He asked me a lot of questions including how many hours I hunted this year. I didn't hunt that many hours this year, and he acted like I was lucky. But over the years I've hunted countless hours in my area to know what to do.

(notice the International Hunt Club decals on my camper. I'm unit 47)

They were pretty excited to see my buck at the game check station. When I opened my camper door they said "go and get the camera, we've got a nice one here". They photographed it, measured it's antlers and jaw, and took a tooth out of it. This photo is of the game biologist checking out my buck. He was a cool guy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dances with cats

When I first moved into my neighborhood, Samantha had just left me. Darrin and Samantha So I was a little lonely. I wanted a cat.

I have been told that my voice sounds like Kevin Costner's by a young checker gal at the grocery store. She really got off on this as she was a huge Costner fan. She was so cute, I just loved her. And she was right. I did sound like Kevin Costner come to think of it, especially if I tried. She made such a big deal out of my voice that I started to say lines from Dances with Wolves to her when I went to the store. I always tried to get in her line as it was so much fun. I'd say "Tatonga" (buffalo) for those who remember the movie. And I'd make little horns with my fingers, and she'd giggle out of control. Sometimes I would just walk by and just make the little horns with my fingers and she would laugh. It was a lot of fun for both of us.

Well when I moved into my neighborhood It was much like when Costner moved into native american terrritory in the movie Dances with Wolves. My neighbors would have to accept me in their land and they were stand-offish. Now and then I'd see them looking at me from a distance and I'd try to get their attention as if to say, "how are you?, I'm your neighbor, I'm friendly." But they would disappear.

I'd let my cat out into my yard so she could get to know where she was allowed to go. Then I'd have to chase her down to get her back inside. Now she comes when I call, but back then she was little, spunky and wild.

I remember one time I was chasing her around trying to catch her and I noticed that my neighbors were off in the distance looking at me. I looked back at them and waved. I could imagine what they were saying to eachother; "He dances with cats. Hmm..." Then they turned and left.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Look up

Here is a photo I took on Saturday in the woods. When the high winds came in, I would look up and watch these trees wave back and forth and try to predict which one might come down and which one to stand behind for cover. You can hear the wind coming. Then you look up like this to see what is going on. I've had one come down only a few yards away in this stand. I heard trees coming down this year but none very close except the one at night in camp. It's a sound you don't forget.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rice and potatoes

The last thing I did yesterday when I left the woods was bend over and take off my boots to put on my snow mocks for the two hour drive home. When I bent over I pulled a muscle in my lower back. A week ago I had injured my back in the same place and I guess it hadn't healed up all the way. The thirteen miles out of the woods were pure torture as was the rest of the drive.

I got home and hooked up electricity to the camper so I could unload what I had to get out of it. Then the wind came. At night it was radical. This is kind of a high wind area at times where I live. But this was pretty bad.

In the morning the electricity in the house was out and I could barley crawl out of bed or even turn over as my back was so bad. The first thing I did was try and get dressed. It's amazing how one little thing can compromise you. I put my snow mocks back on and went out to the camper to get my flaslights. I have this coleman battery lantern that I needed in my bathroom, plus I turned the propane on in the camper and started a pot of coffee in it. The nice thing about having a camper is that you can move into it if you have to.

I saw that a section of my fence got blown down and the wolf dogs from next door were out. I saw the last one running off. It looked back at me with it's toung haning out as it trotted off. My neighbors have wolf hybrids. It's a strange thing, the relationship they have with their "dogs". I'm going to post about the dogs in my neighborhood soon.

I came home at lunch and the electricity was back on. I warmed up the rice bag that my manager (who is a woman for the record) gave me in the microwave and layed down on the couch and watched Charlie Rose with this hot rice bag on my sore spot.

Then I watched Paula's Home Cooking on the Food Channel. She made three extremely fattening dishes and used almost 2 sticks of butter! At one point she fondled the butter! One of the things she made was a baked potato "patata" and used 1/3 stick of butter along with some sour cream and thick sliced bacon. WTHeck! Then she ate it, but first she looked it over real close. Said she had to "make love to it"! My Gosh! She scared me more than the wolf dogs. Don't get between her and her patata.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November cyber tree

I camped way up in the mountains this weekend with Hunt Club. Here is November's cyber tree photo. Last week I was watching a how to paint/ art show on TV. The instructor said not to center the subject. (It's ok if it's a cyber tree) Breaking all the rules here at bicycle log. Is there any risk I won't take?

The other trees thought Miss November was a slut for being photographed bare like this.

To some it's art, and to others it's pineography.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ininito Particular

I've had a chance to listen to the new CD I bought, Marisa Monte "Infinito Particular" and it's really nice. Calming. Good for a day like today when it is snowing in the mountains and raining in the valleys. They could have done a little more with the cover art however. All black with grey text. It must mean something but I don't speak the language.

Monday, November 06, 2006

All women are beautiful

I bought a new CD today, Marisa Monte "Infinito Particular". Samba music from Brazil. Makes me feel like I'm driving a Sunbeam Alpine sports car down a winding seaside road with Natalie Wood at my side. She's wearing white sunglasses and has a scarf over her hair.

I love that time. She was such a beauty. She was Russian. I found that out on Wikipedia. No wonder she was so beautiful. Her real name was Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. I was thinking today, women from Brazil are so beautiful. And then I thought to myself, women from Russia are beautiful also. Perhaps women from Brazil and Russia are the most beautiful women in the world,. I thought as I worked.

It made me remember a conversation I had with my friend who owns a hair styling salon. Sadly not here. He's Italian and the women love him. He gets to play with their hair all day. What a great job. We were talking one time and he said "Don, all women are beautiful." Wow, I thought. It's true, all women are beautiful.

So for a long time I went around with this thought in my head.. All women are beautiful. What a wonderful thing.

Quite a while later I was sitting around one evening with a gal who happened to be a lesbian. Quite lovely herself. I don't remember how it came up in conversation but I said, "All women are beautiful." And she said, "No they aren't!" "They aren't?" no.

And that was that. All women aren't beautiful. I guess it just depends on your perspective.

The photo is of Natalia. A beautiful name also.

BTW. I guess her sister Lana Wood, (Svetlana Gurdin) was in the 1971 James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever. She also posed nude for Playboy that year. Natalie protested her posing nude.

Also this is my 150th post. I've thought of 150 things to say. I'm going to have to think about that.

Svetlana Gurdin

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If a tree falls

It was beautiful up in the mountains this weekend. The forest floor was covered with yellow tamarack needles. It did pour down rain on Saturday night and there were very high winds. Last night, while I was outside of my camper, I heard one tree get blown over and crash to the ground not very far away. On my way out today there were many trees down but none that I couldn't get around with my truck.

It's pretty scary in a stand of timber when the wind is really blowing. The root system on these trees in the mountains isn't very deep. The top soil is very shallow. My grandfather taught me to camp out in the open when the wind is blowing. He was a ranger for the forest service, and would always camp out in an open meadow if possible. A tree can come down and kill you. It happens and will crush a camper. A couple of years ago I was hunting up in the mountains. The wind was really blowing and trees were falling all around me. I saw one coming down and I stood behind another tree as it fell not far away. All of the trees were swaying left and right and they were crashing down. It's scary. The sound alone will freak you out. Believe me, if a tree falls in the woods there IS sound. And there is always something living to hear it.

There was a break between systems this morning. So I went on hike. It's hard to tell how high up in the mountains this is from the photo. But it is way up high like on the side of a volcano. Hunt Club is staying up for the week. It will kind of suck for them as wet weather is moving in. I'm heading back up next weekend.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Clints beer

Friday night and it's been kind of a long week. So I came home and cracked open a Rainier beer. Rainier was brewed in Seattle for years and only distributed in the northwest along with Olympia. Sadly the old Tumwater plant closed down and Oly is no longer produced. Rainier got moved to California. Rainier is my favorite beer. It has kind of a bad reputation but I think it is due to a lack of education. Either people love it or they have an attitude about it. They would rather drink beer that was made with water from the Mississippi that has to processed over and over to make it even drinkable and get the mud and who knows what all else out of it. Go figure.

Anyway here is some trivia. Clint Eastwood often drinks Rainier or Oly in his movies. In Bridges of Madison County he drinks Rainier while having dinner with Meryl Streep, and I don't think Rainier was ever available in Iowa. And in the Eiger Sanction he drinks an Olympia at the top of a climb somewhere in South America. Clint knows his beer, and is himself from the northwest. He either did this to make a statement, or he hauls NW beer around with him because he likes it. I doubt it is product placement. I think it's cool anyway. If I ever get to see him, I'll ask him.

On another note, I'm heading up to hunting camp this weekend with Hunt Club. I'm not going to hunt as it doesn't start until Monday and I have to work. But I'm going to go up and hang out with my friends in the woods. It's a beautiful place. There's a big tent with a wood stove. It's pretty cool. We all have campers to sleep in. I'll post a photo of camp on Sunday night when I return.

I heard a joke about beer drinking at Hunt Club this weekend...
Two guys were drinking beer and driving and they get pulled over by a cop... The passenger says to the driver "quick hide the beer!" The driver peels off the label from the beer bottle and puts it on his forehead. Then the officer askes him.. "have you been drinking?" "No," he responds,.. "I"m on the patch."


lastly there's a woman I'm kind of interested in. She works for a company that we are a vendor for so that makes it kind of difficult. From what I can tell she's single. I've been near her twice. Both times I felt a little like a school boy. If nothing ever comes of it, at least it was nice to have this feeling about a woman again.


I stand corrected; Eastwood is from California. Thanks Stan.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New CDs

I broke down and bought the new Vince Gill, "These Days" CD set. $23.99 plus tax. There are 4 CDs in the set and each one has a theme. The first one is pop/ country and the last one bluegrass. And some country cry and twang in the middle. The recording quality is awesome as you might expect from Gill and MCA Nashville. It's good country comfort music. Makes you feel glad that you're sad. I'm not crazy about the darn box it came in and that's my only complaint. It's hard to get the individual CDs out while driving or they all just fall out. I'd rather just have 4 regular CD holders. What the heck.

The other CD I bought is Tony Bennett and k.d. lang, "A Wonderful World". It's not new, but the reason I bought this was because it was on sale. $9.99. It's good, not great but good. I guess it was k.d. lang's birthday yesterday or the day before. This week anyway. She's 44. And Tony Bennett,.. the only clothes you'll see him in is a black suit or tux. The guy doesn't know the meaning of the word casual. He looks pretty darn good for being 80. I guess he will collaborate with Madonna on NBC for his birthday celebration. I hope she doesn't try to adopt him.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Muskrat Lovely

I watched a really funny documentary on Independent Lens last night called Muskrat Lovely

It was about the Miss Outdoors beauty pageant in a small town back east. One of the contestants skinned a muskrat for her "talent"! (there's nothing too gross on the website, it is PBS after all, but still, children might not want to view this.) Check out the website, and click on the tab for Quirky Pageantry to see other small town pageants.

Here is a question of film maker Amy Nicholson from the Q&A section of the webpage. Her answer is probably why I liked this film so much:

What impact do you hope this film will have?
I hope that what happens to people who watch the film is what happens to me when I go somewhere where I suddenly find myself outside of my own little world. Usually what seems ridiculous or insane at first doesn’t seem that way after you get to know it. I also hope they have a laugh and come away with some knowledge of a really beautiful and interesting part of the country.

She likes to go outside of the bubble.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Birthday celebration

HR threw a birthday celebration for me at work. It went on for two days.

Halloween story

I'll never forget the employee who came in to our office and wanted to take halloween off as a "religious observance". (true story, this guy had evil tatoos all over his body and always wore black) I'm thinking to myself, you have to be kidding? and, this is a first. The production manager was an ex-military guy. I thought I was going to see a repeat of that scene from Full Metal Jacket I think it was, where the drill instructor confronts the recruit with; "YOU DON'T LOVE THE BABY JESUS?!!!"

Needless to say the employee did not get out of work for halloween. You can celebrate tonight after work with everyone else, I think the manager said.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Checkout line

I'm usually in a hurry when I go into a grocery store. Don't like it when the checker getts to chatty with the customer infront of me. I stopped at a grocery store in a small town in Montana on Saturday. What a difference. It became clear that eveyone knew eachother. As I walked in, one of the checkers who must have been in her 30s eyeballed me and said Hi, in a very friendly, almost desperate way. How are you? I responded as I went on in.

As I walked down the isles I heard people chatting as if the grocery store was a meeting place. Where I live, people are chatting, but on their cell phones and ignoring everyone around them. Thompson Falls is a logging town, and everyone knows eachother. My mom lived there before she met my father and worked at the ranger station as a secretary. I don't think it has changed much since then.

The grocery store had three regular checkout lines and one express line. 10 items or less. One line was closed so I got into one of the other regular checkout lines. The checker in this line was a middle aged lady with her hair dyed brown. It took me only a second to realize that she was a very nice lady. You don't hunt anymore do you Bob? she said to the man infront of me. (It's hunting season in Montana.) No I sold my rifle. Bob said. Bob was a man probably about 60 years old. A nice looking older man with a full head of grey hair, flannel shirt and blue jeans, and also a comfortable looking pair of work boots.

My mind wandered as they talked. Usually I'd get kind of upset if a checker strikes up a conversation with the person infront of me in the line because I know they don't know eachother. But in this situation I could tell that these people have known eachother for years. I looked up, and hanging from the ceiling on chains were these small "logs" about the diameter of a fence post. They had the number of the checkout line on a piece of plywood attached to them. Unusual, I thought, but fitting.

Well my sons smoked and I know it isn't in their genes. The checker said to Bob, as I came back down to earth. As Bob walked away I noticed that he left his wallet on the counter. Um, you left this, I said pointing to his wallet. Oh!.. Thanks. That has thousands of dollars in it. Bob said jokingly. The guy standing with his wife behind me in line said, I'll spend it for you!

Then the checker started to swipe my grocerys. After the Coke won't scan she decides to clean the glass on her reader. This needs to be cleaned. she said. Another delay I'm thinking. She bends down and gets a spray bottle and sprays the glass. Ooo! Pinesol! she said. Well there have been a lot of people with germs in this time of year.

As I walked out into the parking lot I saw Bob getting into his truck. I smiled and nodded. Then I got back into my little bubble and drove away.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hot spot

I usually don't talk about work on bicycle log. But this is sort of a work related computer issue. All day long I do graphics on my computer. My hand hardly ever leaves the mouse. I've developed a hot spot on my wrist bone where it comes in contact with my desk. I moved my mouse pad to the edge of my desk so that my wrist is not on the desk as much as possible, but this is becoming an issue for me.

You need a dog

Why don't you have a dog? she asked. I don't want a dog. Why not? Don't you like dogs? I love dogs. I just don't want one. We have a dog, don't you like him? she asked, as the big golden retriever looked up at me. I love him, he's a great dog. If I was going to have a dog I'd want a dog just like him. Her husband looked at me and smirked. You need a dog. she said, It would keep you company. I have a cat for company and besides, I can't have a dog, I'm always going out of town. You never go anywhere, she said. I do too! I resopnded. Where do you go? I go to Montana. You can take him with you. I don't want to have to do that I responded. I don't want a dog in my car.

Why don't you have an SUV? she asked. I don't want an SUV. Why not, do you have something against SUVs? No, well... no. We have an SUV don't you like it? I like it , I just don't want an SUV, I like driving a car, it's easy to park. I've never had a car she said. You've never had a car?! I responded. No, just trucks and SUVs. You'd like a car. I said thinking I had changed the subject away from why I didn't have a dog. They're easy to park when you go shopping.. you'd love it.

You have a big yard don't you?.. Yes... You should have a dog. I don't want a dog in my yard. Why not? Because it would go to the bathroom and then I'd have to pick it up before I mowed every week and I don't want to do that. You have a cat. Yes, but the cat goes to the bathroom in a box and I can leave it while I'm gone. When was the last time you went somewhere besides Montana? I went to Park City for a week. I can't take a dog with me on the plane. I'd have to get someone to watch the dog and that would be a hassle.

Well I think you need a dog.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The time of darkness

After I lost my old surround sound system to a lightning strike, I finally bought a new one. Pretty much the same Onkyo except newer. I got it home and it was fine with the CD player but I hated the way the TV sounded through it. The sub-woofer kept timing out and turning off. Plus it had this terrible echo. Today I went back to the store and they sold me this optical audio cable and told me how to plug it in. But when I got home my cable box didn't have an optical out on it. But it did have regluar outs. So I used those and it sounds great now. I was using the audio outs on the back of the TV. I had it plugged in wrong. I'll return the optical cable tomorrow.

There was a cold wind blowing tonight. Soon it will be time to set our clocks back. Who's idea was that? I vote to leave the time alone. The time of darkness is upon us. This is the most boring time of the year. Can't do anything outside after work as it is too dark and cold out and the ski lifts aren't running yet. It's the reason I wanted to get the sound system going as this is when I'll be watching movies and listening to music. I guess the upside is that the time of lawn care is over.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Drafting on a motor scooter.

Today I came home at lunch, threw on my cycling clothes and went out on my bike for a quick ride around. It was freezing this morning with fog so I didn't ride to work. Anyway I headed out on my bike and by the time I got onto the road by the river, my neighbor, Ted, was riding his motor scooter to work.

Ted does triathlon. Now and then we ride together.
Plus Ted is a safety freak and not what I would consider a risk taker. I was on a tour one time and ran into him so we rode together for a while with a woman. We came to a decent that went for several miles. This woman and I just let it rip and went as fast as possible down this mountain. But Ted slowed and really took it easy. I guess it's the ski racer in me.

Anyway he pulls up beside me on his motor scooter today and yells, "I can go faster than you!". So I swing in behind his scooter and start to draft behind him. He didn't expect that! So he throttles up to 35mph (the speed limit, we had been going about 20) and I shift down and stay in the slip stream behind on my bike. Now if he wants to go faster he has to break the law! and it is kind of a dangerous road to go that fast on. It was like that scene in the movie Breaking Away, when that guy drafted behind the truck.

Anyway I wasn't having much of a problem staying at that speed for about 300 yards, but the gap started to open and I lost the draft. I could see Ted laughing in his side mirrors. Finally I sat up and let him go as I fell out of the draft. But I for a while I did push Ted onto the edge of his comfort bubble.

The whole time I'm listening to a political debate with my headphones on NPR. I've really got to stop thinking about politics. It's starting to consume me. So for at least now, no more politics for don.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Retro kitchen

I love retro things from the 40s 50s and even 60s. Below is an earlier post about my dinette. I just think it is cool product design, and it is well made. This table is over 50 years old and still looks great. From the time I decided I wanted a set like this it took me about 4 years to find one. I'm into it $30. That's a pretty good value.

My Fiesta is all new however. I found out that new Fiesta ware is worth as much or more as the old pieces. Unless you have an unusual old form. I have 8 place settings and various pieces, bowls, platters and such. Warhol had a big collection of it, but I started collecting it because my dishes sucked, and I was embarrased when someone came over to eat. People never knew what to get me for gifts. So I told them Fiesta. They can buy me one cup or something and it doesn't cost them much and they know I'm going to like it. Now when people come over to eat they like the dishes and the food even looks better as a result.

And here is another dish collecting tip... Melmac. I did a google search for it and didn't find much. What I did find suggested that It is going to become a popular collectable. I can just tell by looking at the pieces I have that it has value. Now I want to fill my camper with retro Melmac dishes.

I wish the stove in my kitchen was as cool as the stove in my camper.

Once a year the town where I work has a town wide garage sale. I had been looking for an old metal dinette from the 1940's or 50's. Actually these mostly came from the late 40's and people just think they came from the late 50's. This town wide garage sale is a really good idea. People drive in but I ride my bike. It is much easier to cover the whole thing. I found a metal dinette table for $40. and I talked the people down to $30. But no chairs. So I found a cool set of chairs at the dump in Montana. Someone had left them out of the dumpster instead of throwing them in. I have 4 of them but only use two. They aren't the same color as the table but I think it works perhaps better. I also have a leaf for the table. I have been collecting Fiesta dishes to go along with it. There is a pitcher and salt and pepper shakers on the table in this photo.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"New" camper oven

Check out my new retro camper oven! My friend gave it to me from his old 1960's camper. He bought a newer camper as the roof finally fell in on his old one. But the oven was too nice to haul to the dump with the camper. I only had a stove top in my pickup camper and no oven. So today I removed the old stove top and installed the "new" oven. Now I can really cook up in the mountains at hunting camp and skiing. Plus it matches my Melmac dishes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A little too early

Got up a little too early this morning and took friend up into the woods beind my place for him to hunt. I took my camera along. Beyond the second tall pine there is a lake. Beyond the lake is where I live. We were way up in the mountians before the sun came up. It was 25 degrees out.

We only saw a couple of people all day. A father and a son were out hunting. They were laughing and having a good time. It reminded me of when my dad took me hunting when I was a kid.

I don't remember much laughing back then, and didn't have a lot of choice in the matter when it came to going hunting. Dad would drag me out of bed and into the 4 wheel drive where I'd sleep until the last possible moment. (no coffee for kids) Then out into the cold morning I'd go when it would start to get light. I usually wouldn't see him again until dark.

I remember one time he took me hunting in the mountains behind the cabin. I was wearing a pair of sneakers with a hole in the toe of my right foot. When we got up in the woods there was a few inches of new snow on the ground. So I took the plastic bread wrapper my sandwich was in and put it over my sock so my foot wouldn't get wet. I went up on the hillside and built a fire where I stayed most of the day keeping my toes warm.

Dad asked me about it that night back in the cabin. I think he must have seen the smoke from my fire or he might have tracked me. He didn't push it, and I didn't offer up much.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

More inside

If this isn't enough, there's more inside.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Darrin and Samantha

Today I pulled up to a stop light in a company van and one of my old girlfriends and her husband were in the next lane. Her husband, the guy she left me for. It was several years ago. I don't think they knew it was me next to them as I could just see the side of her face. It gave me cause to think as I looked at her nose and mouth. What if I had married her? She did want to marry me, but I guess I waited too long to ask her.

I can honestly say that I have never cheated on a girlfriend,,, with the possible exception of when I was 16, but I'm not sure that counts. But this gal did start a relationship with her now husband before she broke up with me. I only heard about it from a friend. I hope she wasn't scared of me. I'd hate to think that. Perhaps she just didn't want to hurt my feelings? Perhaps she didn't have enough courage to tell me. Perhaps she couldn't find the words. I don't know.

But I looked down at her today in their little car from the heights of the van. She sat there in silence only a few feet away. It reminded me of so many times when she sat in my car a few feet away and not really saying anything. She was kind of a quiet person. Now she lives outside of town on a couple of acres in a double wide mobile home. They have a couple of kids. Not sure where the kids were today.

She had a cute little mouth. She always reminded me of Elizabeth Montgomery on Bewitched. When I was a kid I wanted to be like Darrin Stevens and work for an advertising agency, and come up with silly layouts. I'd marry a pretty woman like Samantha and we would move into a nice house in the suburbs where I'd carry her over the threshold. We'd have a charming little daughter and live happily ever after.

Several months after she left me, I bought my house in the suburbs. Her mother had always been really nice to me, and they both wanted to come and see my house. They showed up when I was hanging some blinds in the kitchen window. I could see that my girlfriend was fighting back tears as they walked around looking over my new house.

The light turned green and we parted ways again. But for a moment our paths came together and we were pointed in the same direction.

I wonder if she knew I was there.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The last sunset

We took the skiff out onto the bay Saturday night. This is probably the last sunset I'll photograph on the lake this year. I tied the skiff up to the dock and we went to bed in the cabin. Then in the middle of the night I started to worry that it might freeze outside. The outboard might freeze and break with water in the block. But thankfully it only got down to 35 degrees.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Larch photo

The larch/tamarack trees in Montana are turning yellow as it has started to freeze. In this photo there is a band of spruce and fir trees and then the yellow ones above are tamarack. The light green tree in the center of the photo is also a tamarack just starting to turn. I don't know how in the world it got out into that meadow alone like that.

Redneck car alarm

The security system ON this truck is activated

Friday, October 13, 2006


Martha Raddatz, ABC news chief White House correspondent posed a very interesting question to the american public regarding the war in Iraq since it is so distant and out of mind for many. Should the american public who are not part of the military make sacrifices to engage in war? For instance a tax or something, or a draft perhaps. I think her point is that the public is out of touch with the war, and would we be so willing to wage war if we all had to share in the responsibility in a real way and like the folks in the military do?

If you have high speed you can listen to what she had to say HERE
It's 53 min long but worth it. And I noticed that there is another interesting program at the same site. Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer discuss the value of an independent judicial system for our democracy. What justice Breyer said on the Charlie Rose show about the same subject almost brought me to tears.

O'Connor points out that there is a bill in the state of South Dakota that is called "jail for judges" Judges could be taken to court if the public doesn't agree with a finding. That is very scarry.

Bicycle log has avoided getting political as I'm not really about that. But I'm kind of a student of history. I've been reading a book about the bombing of Dresden. It's called Dresden by Frederick Taylor. He outlines how quickly democracy was undone in Germany prior to WWII, when one party took over a whole country and propoganda played a major role in this. Individual rights and political parties were eliminated one by one. We all know what happened as a result. It wasn't that long ago.

Bad service bad customer

Several years ago I went out to dinner with a bunch of people. One couple had twin boys both in highchairs. I don't know how old they were. We all sat down and it was a spaghetti place so that was what we all ordered. When the food came the father of these two little boys pushed back the table cloth where the boys were seated and dished the spaghetti directly onto the wood of the table in front of each of them. I was shocked and embarrased! I guess if you gave these kids plates and silverware they would just throw them on the floor. But what the heck? Both little boys just grabbed the spaghetti with their little hands and squished it between their fingers and then smeared it on their faces. One of them was pleased with this situation but the other one just screamed. I was thinking; what in the world does our waitress think of this, not to mention eveyone eles walking by? I'm like, no problem, this is normal...

We always hear of bad service, and it bothers me to be with people who always complain about the service no matter what. It kind of ruins the dinner or evening for me. I can kind of understand it if they actually throw your food at you, like the time I went to a company dinner, and the waitress had a plate of prime rib with lots of juice and spilled it into the lap of one of the guys, and then acted like it didn't happen. He was wearing light tan slacks and it made this big brown stain right in his crotch. It was so bad it was funny! He had a big sweater on that he pulled down low enough to walk out. Not sure if he ever got the stain out.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cyber cedars

One of my friends is taking me up to the lake in Montana again this weekend to retrieve my truck. I use it to launch my boat during the summer. Last weekend I drained the water out of the motor of my boat to winterize it as it has been freezing at night now. I also need to cover it up for the winter. So we will go up there probably make a fire down by the beach at night and talk things over.

So my mom calls me tonight from Montana where she lives. She is going to drive up there on Sunday morning to give me a birthday present. She asked me what I wanted and I told her I wanted a flashlight. So a flashlight I'll get.

Then I find out that she is bringing up her neighbor girl to the lake for me to meet. She wants to hook me up. Anyway I'm like, ok cool. This gal lives across the alley from my mom and they have become friends. They trade vegetables with eachother, and my mom recently showed her how to can dill pickles. I guess she has a masters and teaches at the U at least for one semester. Then I think she wants to go over seas. So the quest to find don a female friend continues. She sounds interesting to me.

Man, tonight I watched a show on HBO called the Journalist and the Jihadi. It was about Daniel Pearl. It was very sad and telling. I admire journalists like Pearl and Politkovskaya who bring us the truth despite the danger.

The photo is the latest addition to my cyber tree museum. Cedars along Two Mile Creek from my trip last weekend. They always grow in deep shaded forests along streams. They are cool places to explore.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Some advise

I had to tell my friend who set me up on a blind date (in a bar and sort of a get-together) that I didn't want to pursue a relationship right now with this gal. I guess she was interested in me and wanted to get back together. She was pretty and all, but I could just tell that she probably wasn't the person for me. Plus it is going to be ski season soon and I won't be traveling anywhere except the ski hill all winter. I was very clear about it. I got the impression that she couldn't understand that. I don't think she ever would.

Perhaps Lance Armstrong had the same sort of problem with his relationships, and why his wife left him and Cheryl Crow. "I'm going to race my bike all summer so I'll see you in the winter."

I have had a few girlfriends who can ski and it was a pleasure for me. But I'm not going to sit around not skiing if I have any spare time in the winter and the ski lift is running. Life is too short and I'm still improving racing. People criticize me for being single. But doesn't freedom have a value? Don't we go to war over it.

I love my friend like a brother. I've known him since I was 5 years old. But I'm not sure he understands me even yet.

Here is his advise for me;

Don, I will give you some advise. Go to a larger church. Get involved with
some singles. There are women all around that would love to meet a guy like
you. You have to hunt, as you say. Quit looking where there is not substance
(work, bars, get togethers). I would bet money that church has about the
highest percentage of good women, with morals, upbringing, viewpoints, and
love is there. Love is the main thing in the bible as well. As god says the
greatest of these things (important for us to have) is love. I try not to
get all religious, I think you will find that person, because
I think you are honing your skills. Keep doing that. Take care Don, let's
keep after this, and I will look here for you as well.

It was his idea to have a "get together" in a bar, to introduce me to this gal from his church, and I was the only one who didn't drink. (not that that matters) I hardly ever go to church. I can't say that I like going to church. I'm not sure that god knew about skis when when he told us what was important. I love skiing, so perhaps that is what he meant. Pope John Paul was an avid skiier. I thought that was cool.

My life isn't a disaster because I'm single right now despite what my friends think. I'm thankful for the effort my friend made to hook me up. I did have a good time and experience. It's about the journey, not the destination.