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.