Monday, December 31, 2007

New year

I went skiing for the first time this season today. I was going to say this year, but it's the last day of the year. Here is a photo I took as the sun goes down on 2007. Happy New Year. I'm glad to be getting beyond the last one.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Clean up your dog

Here is a sign at a school yard in Montana. I wonder if they hired an artist from the University to make this one?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A box of potato chips

I'm back home in Washington state now after spending four days looking after my mom in Montana who is recovering from her cancer surgery. It has been a difficult month for all. I've been away from home and work 17 days this month. Mom is doing well however and there is constant improvement. I've been cooking for her and there are many things she can't eat right now. So it was hard to prepare meals that would be good to eat. I ate the same food that she did. She couldn't have any greens but I did eat a few now and then. Today it was Christmas. I made a ham with red potatoes and boiled carrots. It was quite good if I do say so myself and she ate everything I gave her.

I went for a walks while she was resting. Used the walks to sort my thoughts out and get grounded. Yesterday I walked some of the routes I did when I was a kid.

While I was walking, snow flurries were blowing through. I walked down the train tracks to the ice rink. There used to be a local potato chip company that would put all of the reject potato chips out to be thrown away once each week. One of my friends, Russell, (who only had one leg) turned me on to this. We would go and stand there by these tracks and wait for a guy to come out and throw them away. We would wait for an hour or more. They were fine, just a little brown. We'd get a whole cardboard box of them each. It's that building on the left in this photo.
I've figured out how to trick my little Nikon cool pix into making the exposures I want. It's not an exact science however :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Skating rink

Today I went for a walk in the neighborhood where I grew up as a kid. When you move away and then come back you see how some things change and some things stay the same. It seemed like winter lasted forever back when I was a kid. I remember it being dark and grey and my feet were always wet from walking in slush.

There was a skating rink down by the river next to a sawmill within walking distance from my house. Here is a photo I took of the rink today. Now it's a fishing pond and they don't allow skating. I think that's sad. It was too warm for skating today however. There was one kid down there throwing rocks out onto the ice. The sawmill used to be just beyond that hill which is actually a raised railroad track. Some kids would use the railroad to get to and from the rink from both sides of the river. We would play crack the whip and that sort of thing. The rink had a few lights on it and a warming hut with a wood stove inside. There used to be a different bridge going out to the island that was tall enough to skate under.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sad sappy sucker

Last night I went to a Christmas party. I wasn't sure how that would turn out as it's one of those things where you might end up standing around with nobody to talk to, but I figured if nothing else I would come away with something to think about or even write about. My highschool art teacher was there, George Gogas (see below) and I was able to talk to him for a while unlike at his art show. We had a nice conversation. Some guys who I've cycled and skied with in the past were there also, so I talked to each of them for a while, and I did flirt with one woman who was actually repsonding. (I think) She was wearing a hot little black dress but it wasn't enough to keep her warm. She wanted to stand next to this heater vent that was causing her dress to fill with air. I told her that this was making me perspire. I got a nice smile out of that line, but sadly I couldn't stay, and I thought I'd better leave before I got myself in over my head. All in all it wasn't a bad party. I'm not really a party going person though.

Today I took Lizzie out for some last minute shopping. We ended up going to a music store and I bought her a CD and I bougth a CD for my trip home. I got Modest Mouse sad sappy sucker. So we'll see about that. I saw those guys on TV once. I can't remember what she picked out.

Tonight I went for a late night walk. There was a skiff of snow on the ground and a cold wind blowing out of the canyon as I walked across the bridges over the river. Someone had recently been beaten up on one of the bridges here so I decided to take my maglite with me. I figured I'd just konk them on the head, but nobody was really out except for a few cyclists. This is the only place I know of where you would see so many people getting around on bikes in the winter. I'll try and get some photos.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The gift of carbon

Have you ever been at Christmas morning and eveyone is opening gifts and there's some old lady that wants you to be careful and collects and folds up all of the used wrapping paper? You just want to tear into that package and get at the George Foreman grill!

Well I've become that old lady. Tonight I wrapped up two presents with used wrapping paper from last year, and I didn't do a very good job either. I didn't use my hunting knife like I did last year to cut the paper, but at least I didn't use butcher paper. Like I said last year, that gave new meaning to cut and wrap... No this year I used second hand wrapping paper. I used used. And I give myself two carbon credits for that. :)

This year, give the gift of carbon. Scarf up on the used wrapping paper as people open their gifts!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My lights

I thought I'd show you my Christmas lights since I haven't been out taking photos of my neighbors lights. I put up one string of white lights over my fire place. I think it looks cool but you really can't tell by this photo. I also started my new pellet stove insert tonight for the first time. It works great. It was really cold in here before I started it and now it's quite warm. I bought this thing when it was 90 degrees out this summer so I got it for half price. I had one that konked out but this one is much more advanced. Still you have to adjust the air flow just like the old one. It gives you the warmth and feeling of a fire without all of the mess, it doesn't cost much to use it, and it burns very clean so I can use it when there are regular burning bans.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Not the subscriber

It's strange. I was kind of in a news vacuum every morning while I was in Montana. They are in Mountain time and I'm in Pacific time. You'd think that that one hour wouldn't make any difference but it does. By the time I got up any news that might have been on TV was over. Public radio over there is different too and that is a reliable source for national and local news for me here every morning, but over there I couldn't hook up with it. While I was in Montana it was like there was no news in the morning.

The paper wasn't any better. The Missoulian was like this little leaflet. I remember one day when I saw it I thought, Is this the paper? They make up for it on Sunday however and give you way more paper than you ever want to look at. I think it would be better if they gave you equal amounts of paper each day and not all of it on Sunday, but then I'm not the one who decides. I'm not the decider, and I'm not the subscriber. My mom is the subscriber. Each day I took her paper to her while she was in hospital. I found out that my mom doesn't really care about the national news in the paper. She glances at the regional news, but what she really takes the paper for is one puzzle. (?)

I hate puzzles. I don't mind problem solving, but don't want to do it without a good reason. I got most of my news on line while I was in Montana.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Over and over

I should be taking photos of Christmas lights and I will I promise. Just not tonight. I've never been too much in the Christmas spirit on any given year. If I were in politics, perhaps I'd introduce legislation to celebrate Christmas every four years like the Olympics or something. That would probably suck for our economy however. Gone are the days when we made things for our friends and family. (with some exceptions I know) But if we were all making things for eachother then I doubt the malls would be so crowded. If people started to make gifts for eachother, my 401k would probably tank.

One thing I always do on Christmas eve is watch the pope on TV. I'm not Catholic, so why do I do this? Well for one reason I really liked JP. He really did remind me of my dad. Benedict reminds me more of my grandmother. She was German too. While I was going to the hospital every day there was a quote in the elevator from Benedict. I can't remeber what it said despite reading it over and over.

Another thing I did over and over was drive into this underground parking lot at the hospital. Mom was released from the hospital BTW. Now she has people coming to stay with her while she fully recovers. I'll be staying with her this weekend and through Christmas. She will need another operation in a few weeks but it won't be so bad. So I'll be going back down into this parking lot in the near future again.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

When it snows

I just love it when it snows. When it snows you can ski, and when you can ski you are free. This morning I went to a nordic ski track in Idaho to ski cross country through the woods for a while. There wasn't much snow but I did get to skate a little. I had the whole place to myself. Had to take off my skis a couple of times to get over thin areas, but it was really nice out. Here is a picture I took today.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Inside out

I had to return home and leave my mom to be looked after by other family members and the hospital staff for now. It was hard to leave and I wish I was back there right now. They were going to release my mom from the hospital today but then she got sick so they kept her in. I took this photo while waiting for the elevator to take me down to the underground parking lot and my car. The window shows both inside the hospital and my direction home outside. I feel like I've been turned inside out. I'm sure my mom does too.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wood stove therapy

It's nice to have an old friend who can lift your spirits when things aren't going your way. Last night I hung out with my friend Curt in his garage out in the countryside in Montana. I can't tell you how nice it was to sit next to his wood stove and talk things over. It was good therapy for me, and I really needed it. Outside of his garage it was snowy and cold. I could smell the forest with every breath I took. Inside the country music and the steel guitar smoothed things out in my mind.

Curt has been writing about Grizzly bear encounters. He had an encounter with one while going back to pack out an elk he had shot a few years ago. I've also had encounters with bears. They haunt me and infiltrate my dreams. SEEING BEARS

I hope you don't mind me posting your picture Curt. Thank you for bringing me back down to earth. It's a very nice place there next to your wood stove.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New cube

This is what my new cube looks like while I try and work from here. I removed the color from it as I feel like I'm in a different time and place. When I go outside everything is black white and grey with all of the snow and clouds.

This workstation is not very ergo. It forces me to sit up straight. I can hear my mom saying this to me in the back of my head, as I work at the same table I used to eat at as a kid.

In hospital

Sorry my blog has not been so active lately. I'm in the waiting room of the hospital floor as I write this. The nurse is doing something with my mom and so I left the room. She's improving but was sick this morning. Still having a few issues. But I see a positive trend overall.

It's been tough being in a different routine. I only wish I had brought my cat Spunky with me. I didn't realize how long I'd be here. I'll try and post a photo later today. There's a great view from this floor.


This picture doesn't do the view justice as it was only one direction. (it made the most interesting photo composition) This is the view from the waiting room. My mom's window is not quite half the way down the row of windows you see outside of the building.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Got nuts?

I'm always looking for a good bumper sticker or window decal. If you are not from snow country, then this means this guy goes up in the woods hunting or something in crazy places when there is snow. And if you've ever been in western Montana there are lots and lots of crazy places to take a truck.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

George Gogas

While I've been here, I was invited to go to an art show featuring my highschool art teacher George Gogas. I've considered him my most important teacher. He taught me how to work in pastel and to do portraits. It's something that isn't always taught now as not that many people really know how to do it. George is a master at it. So I've found it a great value in my life. His regular work is somewhat abstract however. The two paintings behind him have a western theme as you can see Charles Russell (famous Montana artist) in the one on the right and a cowboy in the one on the left if you look close, but most of the others are "just paint on a canvas" as he would say. It was nice to hear him speak about art again. That's George with the necktie.

Mom did better today BTW, but is still not ready to be released.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Good and bad

Today hasn't been a good day for mom. She's been sick to her stomach. They think it's the meds but nobody really knows. All of her signs are ok but she isn't eating well so they might put her back on an IV to keep her fed. They gave her something to make her sleepy and also take care of the upset stomach. So I came home and took a nap and I'm going back down in a little while.

Go to the hospital, come back. Go there come back. That's what I do these days. They keep changing ways to get around in the hospital by closing areas. There are two buildings hooked together. So I always have to find different routes. That makes it a little more interesting than they would be otherwise.

This place leaves a lot of impressions on me. I wouldn't mind living here actually. There's a sense of comunity here. The houses are close together. Lots of cool old turn of the century houses like this one I'm in. I just looked out the window and some people with a Toyota hybrid were taking some touring skis out of the back and had a Christmas tree tied to the roof. Bicycles everywhere. Every shape and kind. The downtown area is full of activity. Last night I went to an art show. I'll talk about that next.


It's late and I'm at the hospital. It's been a not so good day. I wish there were something I could do but there really isn't except sit here and help mom if she gets up and walks to the bathroom. Now she has to drag an IV stand with her. I guess I'll stay until midnight or so and go home. Perhaps she can sleep through the night. The hospital has a complimentary wireless but it's hard for me to work without a desk. Still having the internet is a bonus. So I stay up late and then first thing in the morning the phone at home starts to ring.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The good news

The good news is that my mom's cancer was stage 1 so it won't require chemo. That's a pretty big deal for us. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is a photo I took today in Idaho today on my way back to Montana. December cyber tree.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Do they fall apart?

My mom is doing very well considering. This has been a very difficult week both for her and for me. They moved her out of ICU yesterday and into a regular room. I came home today to get my paycheck, touch bases at work for a half a day and I'll return tomorrow.

I think this situation has lowered my defenses. Now I'm not strong enough to do battle at work the way I need/ needed to. I was so impressed by how the ICU nurse dealt with the most difficult of situations, and I thought I could emulate her composure. A few phone calls at work later, and I'm not so sure that this kind of understanding works in my world. But I want it. I want to be like that.

I have to wonder. How in the world do these nurses and doctors not let these life and death situations not get to them? I wonder if the calm place they reflect is merely a facade. Do they fall apart after they get off of work?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beginning, middle

I think I understand why old people talk about their operations now. They really do leave an impression on you. This whole thing has left many impressions on me and it wasn't even my operation. It isn't even over yet.

I have to say that all of the people who have worked on my mom that I've met have been really nice. It's like they never have a bad day. If they have a bad day they don't show it. I'm afraid I could improve in that department. Something I can take away from this to work on. The day shift MICU nurse we have had has been so very nice and caring. Give it up for Sarah. I probably won't see her much now as they will probably move my mom to a different room tomorrow. So I thanked her at the end of her shift today. This is going to cost a pile of money but what Sarah has done was priceless alone. The've all been great.

What else... What other impression,..

It's like everything has a beginning, a middle and an end. (something I always think about) Like a song. Like a book or a movie. Like a trip or journey. Like a day, a week, a month, or even a life.

We got up really early and went down to the hospital to get checked in. Almost like taking someone to the airport and then waiting with them for their flight to depart. Other people arive, some have people sending them off and others are alone. But everyone waits. Then the ones going on the journey go through a door and you stay behind. I admired my mom's courage for going through that door the way she did. I had to wonder if she really knew what she was getting into.

That was the beginning. Pre-op was like an airplane hanger, with flights departing now and then. Recovery and MICU moved us into the middle. MICU stands for medical intensive care unit. I think. I took picture this while I was waiting for them to bring my mom out of recovery and into this MICU room. I had no idea what to expect. Now I know. It has a very nice view of the mountains BTW. The chairs look nice but aren't that great for sitting in any length of time.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The phone call

It has been a long day. My mom had her cancer surgery today. She did well and is in an ICU now for two days. The photo is of the phone on the wall of the waiting room. When they are done that phone rings and they tell you how it went. It didn't ring for hours. When it did I got up and answered it. It was for me. Then when I found out about my mom it rang again. I answered again as nobody else did. Then I called out to that person. I became the phone answering guy. Then our doctor came and we had a talk in person.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Carwash Christmas

I promised I'd show you some Christmas lights in my neighborhood. I love to drive around and look at the lights, but I suck at putting them up. When I was a kid we had one string of big blue lights that went down our porch railing. You could see our tree inside. Then one year someone came along and took all of our bulbs. :( The dirty skunk! We never had lights again after that.

Now I only put up one string of lights and I put it over my fireplace mantle they are all white. I think it looks cool.

Anway there are people good at putting up lights and people not so good, and it isn't always about how many lights they use. Of course the critic in me always comes out, and as I drive around looking, I get judgemental.

I'm going to show examples of both good and bad displays, but remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So I'll start with this one,.. the local car wash. Notice the string of lights on the top of the roof... Very nice,... The green thing in the middle says "happy hollidays". I really like this display for some reason. (the white spots are snowflakes caught by my flash) Kind of adds to the festive mood of the picture, don't you think?

Dashing through the snow,
to the carwash we will go,...
oh how fun it is to show
a spraying place tonight,..

What would you say,.. Good or bad display?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

0 carbon

This guy always walks or rides a bike to work. During the summer he rides a cheap mountain bike, the kind that only costs $100, not that much for a bike these days, but his bike is in perfect condition. I often pass him when I ride my bike to work but he never takes the bike path, he always goes along this road. The bike path has a hill on it at one point and I suspect that's why he stays on the road. I think this guy is an engineer and works in the light industrial area where I work, but I'm guessing. He has engineer written all over him, but I have to give him credit. He walks or rides to work no matter what the weather and all year around. He walks at least 4 miles each way. An 8 mile hike each day isn't nothing. One time it was pouring down rain and I pulled over to offer him a ride home and he politely refused. Today it had snowed. I took this picture through my windshield. One thing however, he was going to be late for work as I was running late and had about 2 miles left to go.

I have no idea what his motivation for not driving is. It might be for excercise. It might be because there is no transit where we are coming from in this direction. Who knows, but I totally respect this guy. I've been thinking about walking to work in the winter also. I'm not quite there yet. But I'll probably at least try it by doing a "test walk/ hike". I expect the walk to take over an hour each direction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


My mom was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago. I've been avoiding this subject. But since I probably don't have that many readers, I thought I'd share in this now. Thankfully it hasn't spread but she will be operated on next week. At first I didn't want to say anything for various reasons, but it's having an impact on my life as I know it is on Courtney's life also, as her dad got cancer recently. One Day At A Time on my side bar.

So there is that. I'll confront it on my blog instead of avoiding it. To be honest, I didn't know how to deal with this.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The promise of snow

They promised it would snow tonight. It finally did. There was nothing after work and it was dark when I drove home. So I covered up my wood pile with a tarp, I put the canopy on the truck and then I hunkered down. There is about an inch of snow on the ground now and they say there will be about 5 inches over night. There is something about the snow. It changes everything. It hides imperfections.
Here is my car as seen out of my office window this morning, and my lovely view of the street. My car says, "I want to take you skiing don!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Think bighorn

If you live in my neighborhood and you don't have Christmas lights up yet you are slacking!...I'm slacking. The people here are over the top with Christmas lights. I'll post some photos soon.

It's been cold and grey here. They say it will snow soon. I haven't taken any photos lately so I've been looking through photos I took during the summer. I took a whole bunch of photos in Glacier Park on a couple of different trips. I took lots of bighorn photos at two different times. This one wasn't too bad as the ram was standing there frozen and I had my little Nikon cool pix on maximum zoom. This guy has almost a full curl. Notice how his horns go all the way around. That is a pretty much a full curl but not quite. It isn't that easy to get a photo of a bighorn BTW. Normally you only see them from a distance even in Glacier Park. They don't just stand around like mountain goats do.

You can see the other Glacier bighorn photo I posted HERE. These are not the same animal. Notice that the curl of the ram in the photo above is almost, if not full. The curl on the ram in the link photo is only about 3/4 or so. And on the subject of bighorn sheep photos, HERE is another bighorn photo I took not far from the cabin last year.


I might be wrong about the curl on the bighorn in the first link. I'm looking down on it and when I click on the photo to make it bigger I can see he has about the same curl as the one above but the animal looks bigger or older. They were in different places however and aren't the same animal.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday night

I got up at about 5:00 am yesterday and turned on the hall light and, POOF the light fixture exploded sending sparks down to the floor. That woke me up! So I got out my flashlight and removed the fixture from the ceiling and inspected the electrical box up there to make sure the house wasn't going to burn down before I went back to bed. The fixture hand shorted out. Of course it was Thanksgiving and so I coudln't go to Home Depot to get a new fixture. But today is Black Friday and my sister reported that all of the parking lots are jammed full of people. Crazy. So I think I'll wait until tomorrow to get a new light fixture. It will be Black Friday night in the hall at my house without it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I deleted the chainsaw art post. It was kind of crude, so it's gone now. Not sure I want it with my cyber trees. Not sure what to do with it actually.

It's cold here tonight. It will get down to 16 degrees F. so I'm thinking about making a fire in the basement. There's a wood stove down there. It looks like winter is here.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the blogville. (We don't have blogosphere here, we have blogville,.. blogcounty... blogtown) Safe travel, and don't eat too much.

Photo by Don

Turkey cartoon by Stan

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mountain bike hunting

I found this article interesting since this is bicycle log and I also like to hunt. I've ridden my mountain bike in the Rattlesnake where the guys in this story are now hunting from bikes.


only in Missoula,...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Before it got dark

I spent a few days up in the woods at hunting camp. It would rain during the day and then clear off and freeze at night. I left camp tonight as I have to go back to work in the morning. The guys are still up there, and it is going to snow tonight. I'm sure they are all bedded down right now and sawing logs as I write this. The sky was always grey the whole weekend and it was cold and damp. The moon and stars came out but the sun never did. I took this picture tonight before it got dark.

My hunting season is over.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beer can chicken

I came home Saturday and found a package behind my screen door. It was a beer can chicken pan made by Weber. A friend of mine and his wife sent it to me. They had come up to the cabin this summer and a pan like this with them and made dinner on our gas BBQ. It's better than the wire things as it has it's own beer can thing that is removable in the center and it's non-stick. So you just put the chicken on it with beer in the can part and then close the lid on the BBQ and an hour later it's done. The pan part catches the juice and you can baste it a few times. It's great. But I couldn't find one here. Only the wire deal. So it was a very nice surprise when I found this on my doorstep.

So I bought a chicken. It was so windy tonight that I knew the Q would blow out so I'll wait until tomorrow to cook it. The wind is coming from a bad direction too. It's blowing the leaves off of my neighbors tree and into my yard! That just isn't fair. (It's not the same trees I wrote about in Bigfoot woman post) Usually it's their garbage that blows into my yard. Now I have their leaves too. What really sucks is that my good, neighbor who is a neat freak is down wind of me. And the messy neighbors are all up wind. When it's windy here it is DARN windy! The only other places I've seen it this windy were Great Falls Montana, and Hood River Oregon. At least at Hood River I can windsurf. I'd say that the wind is over 30 mph and probably gusting to over 40 or more. Perhaps 50. I like it at night when I sleep though.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November cyber tree

I spent most of the day wandering around in the forest. Here is November cyber tree.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bigfoot woman

It's rainy and windy today. All of the remaining leaves are getting blown off of the trees. I like that because now I can see the mountain ridge that is across the river out of my front window. The neighbors that used to live across the street planted some birch trees that blocks most of my view during the summer. These people were dysfunctional I thought. Not long after they planted the trees they split up and sold the house. They had a good kid however. He used to get picked on by some of the other neighborhood kids. I used to feel sorry for him.

The woman always reminded me of a female bigfoot. A female bigfoot that smoked cigarettes. I only saw her at dusk. That was the only time she ever came out of the house. She had dark curly hair, and she always had a cigarette in her mouth. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people who smoke.) One time I came home at night and I caught her in the headlights of my car. She looked right at me. She swung her arms as she walked and she looked just like that classic video of the bigfoot walking in the woods.

Her man, I don't think they were married, also always had a cigarette in his mouth. When I say in his mouth, I mean he never used his hands to deal with it. He just lit it and then it stayed in his mouth. I never saw him without one. (The female bigfoot woman also used this smoking technique.) He had a mullet and always wore a baseball cap. He had an old four wheel drive with a snow plow on the front and during the winter that was what he did for money I guess. Their house is in a col de sac just down from me. One time it snowed quite a bit and when I came home this guy had plowed all of the snow out of his place and left it in a big pile in front of my mail box. We have to keep our mail boxes clear of snow or they won't deliver the mail. After he did that, I felt no resonsibility to be kind to them. He knew what he was doing.

Like I said, their family pod broke up. He moved out. Not long after that she sold the house. A nice old couple moved in. I still feel sorry for the kid, but I wish they hadn't planted those trees.

Friday, November 09, 2007


While I was staying with my mom in Montana last weekend, I watched a lecture on her basic cable TV given at the University of Montana, and broadcast by the local public broadcasting by BARNETT RUBIN who spoke the week before there on the situation in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the admin's present sabre rattling with regard to Iran.

HERE is something from his blog on the subject of Iran as it relates to war with Iraq, and I guess people like me who link to him.

I try not to get political on this blog, but I want you to know that I feel very strongly on the subjects of war and politics. It's impossible for me to ignore as much as I try. I honestly don't want to loose anyone based on my political viewpoints. My viewpoints aren't that important.

So don't worry, my blog will continue to be about what I know best, cycling, skiing, Montana and the northwest.

A Star from Mosul

I read a number of blogs that aren't all on my sidebar. HNK on my side bar is a girl going to school in Mosul Iraq. She is just getting into college. I've been reading her blog for a few years. Her sister Najma is a little older and in college. Her blog is called A STAR FROM MOSUL.

THIS POST broke my heart today.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New socks

I wanted something to make me feel good. What makes you feel better than new socks?.. So I bought some new socks.

New socks are like a drug. They make you feel really good at first. But the more you use them the less good they feel. So you need more and more new socks to feel good.

If I were president, instead of bombing people, I'd drop new socks on them. They would be so happy that they would sit down and cross their legs. Then I'd hit them with the dill pickles.

This is the answer to world peace.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sh** going on

One time, on another blog, someone complained about someone else saying they couldn't or didn't write because they had some sh** going on in their life and they didn't explain what it was. I can understand someone having a problem with someone else saying that. I wouldn't do that but I want you to know that I do have some sh** going on. I'm going to leave it at that at least for now. If my blog doesn't seem the same then just know that this is why. I have some sh** going on.

We all have sh** going on from time to time. I think it's normal. And sh** for the most part isn't good. It's some bad sh** man. But we'll work through it. Wish us well.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Here's another photo from Montana. I've been wanting to photograph this gate for a long time. I'm not very happy with the results so I'll probably do this a million more times until I get burned out on it. I think it's a very honest gate.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

How many leaves have fallen?

Almost all of the leaves are on the ground in my home town. People rake them into the street for the city to come by and sweep up. It makes great big piles of leaves. I don't have big piles of leaves like that where I live now. I remember as a kid jumping into these big piles of leaves and how much fun it was. You could hide under them and get them down the back of your shirt. They have a smell that you don't forget. It was nice to smell that smell again.

I went for a walk Saturday afternoon with my mom. Some people would rake the leaves into the street and others would not. Some places the sidewalk was clear of leaves and other places it wasn't. Mom would drag her feat through the piles of leaves as she walked. It made a sound, whoosh whoosh whoosh, as she walked along, and it left a trail in the leaves. I could smell the leaves as she walked.

I looked down at a clear spot on the sidwalk and saw the footprint of a dog in the concrete. It reminded me of those dinosaur footprints in the river bed that later turned to stone. The leaves reminded me of a distant time too. My childhood.

Someone's dog left its foot prints in this sidewalk in 1918. There's a date stamp in the concrete on the corner.

I wonder how many leaves have fallen since then?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Iron mom

I've added a new blog to my sidebar. Her husband is an Ironman triathlete, and COURTNEY is an Iron mom with new twins. She's very impressive as I've seen her in action!

Elmo Montana

Here's picture of Elmo Montana Saturday night, home of the Elmo alpine ski team. (me) Come to think of it, Curt deserves a spot on the Elmo "development" team. He's the only other person to ski out of Elmo with me, but he hasn't started to race yet.

I grew up fishing along that shore on the right. A native american lady owns that land. If she didn't, it would all be developed by now.

I've added this photo to my Flathead Lake photos on the side bar.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The middle of nowhere

I was out in the middle of nowhere yesterday. They marked the spot with this sign on a fence post. There wasn't much going on as you might suspect. That's what I like about Montana.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A new day

I got up early this morning and went down to the shore to participate in life, take a few snapshots, and watch a new day break over the bay. It was very cold and probably around 20 deg F. Frost on everything so I had to watch my step while walking on the piers. There are lots of Canada Geese that winter on Flathead Lake. They are interesting and beautiful birds. They would be floating around in the water and one of them would get an itch and start to honk. Soon it would build into a frenzy of honking and they would all take wing and go for a fly about. There are leaders and followers. Not long after that they would all return and land back in the same location on the water. There's something to be learned from this but I'm not sure what it is.

I think I'll add this picture to my Flathead Lake photos on the side bar. Click on it to see it bigger.

I found out that they are called Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese. Thanks Steve.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Friday, October 26, 2007

You me and the fence post

It has been an interesting week. It started with some conflict resolution. Then disease and pestilence swept through. I did get some miles in on the bike, and outside it was beautiful. Every morning the sun would come up burn off the fog that hung low along the river. I stopped on my way to work to take some snaps one morning. This is a block or so away from my place. The river is below the bank of fog.

Just between you, me and the fence post,... I'm glad this week is over.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wrinkle free

Meeting yesterday, wore my good shirt. Wrinkle free. Makes me look like Al Gore, or so I've been told. We did serve bottled water so it wasn't an environmentally friendly meeting. I can't remember ever buying bottled water. But then I've never gone anywhere that you couldn't trust the water. We have great water here so as long as I can get water for free I'm not going to buy it. At the next staff meeting, I'm going to suggest that we get a pitcher and glasses for future meetings. That would have been nicer I think. Look better on the table too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A don's eye view

7:45 Tuesday morning, 39 degrees. legwarmers and booties. One mile left to go.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wood stoves and dogs

I wrote a post tonight and then deleted it. You're not missing anything. Then I went outside to check and see that my truck was locked up. I could hear a train going by in the distance. Other people's dogs were responding to the sound of its horn. There is a chill in the air and I could smell wood smoke. Most of my neighbors have wood stoves. Wood stoves and dogs.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Breakfast of sportsmen

Today on the breakfast menu,.. tail of brown trout and eggs, fried red potatoes, salsa and lemon. Now the rest of the fish can go in the smoker :) But first,.. a short bike ride.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fishing trip

Instead of hunting, we decided to go fishing this weekend. My friend and co-worker, Gar, took me fishing to Rock Lake on his boat. It's called Rock Lake because there are lots and lots of rocks. They rise up in the middle of the lake. Gar hit one last week and got the boat stuck and broke a shear pin on the prop. So as we left the so called boat launch this morning he watched to make sure he missed the submerged rocks as we made our way out. It was cold and in the 30s when day broke on the lake. The water was in the mid 50s so you could see mist rising into the air. It was really cool!

Then the wind and rain came up. It was a good thing we had a full canopy on the boat. It was very nice out of the weather. This picture is after the rain and wind ended and we made our way back to the launch. We fished for a couple of hours in the morning and only got a couple of bites. I was starting to doubt. But then our luck started to change. Gar decided to change lures and that did the trick.

Here is our catch. 2 rainbow trout and 4 german browns. Tomorrow I'll be smoking fish!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The public is divided

Tonight on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,..Hemingway cats, in Key West, and how much the government has been spending to decide wheather or not to lock them up at night.

I'm not sure if that is even interesting to me, and I have a so called HEMINGWAY CAT. Plus they never did say how much the government has spent on this problem, but it must be in the thousands! It's like they didn't even finish the legwork on the story. And this IS a very big problem. There are around 40 cats we are talking about. Imagine, there are almost 40 cats on the loose in Key West every night. Something must be done!

Who in the heck is the CBS news director?! No wonder Katie is so low in the ratings. And they ran this story just before the Hillary needs to get the women vote story.

I can just hear the meeting before the deadline,.. "Lets run with the cat story,.. There's lots of cat lovers and haters out there, the public is divided on this issue... Then follow up with the Hillary story..."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The phone booth

When we are up in the woods at hunt club, someone will run around and find a place where you can get cell phone coverage to call back home. The spot is marked and becomes known as the "phone booth". I took my buddy up to the phone booth with my camper for him to check in with the Mrs. It was way up on a logging road.

"It really sucks up here in the woods,..You wouldn't like it honey, there are mice in the tent... I miss you XXX!"

I'm just kidding! :)

A few things considered

I think I've figured it out...Not broasted chicken. I was wrong about that. I asked my mom today what broasted chicken was and she said chicken made in the oven with the broiler. So we clearly have that all wrong... It's a Montana thing :)

No, I think I've figured out why the news isn't news. It's the same as with network coverage of the Olympics. If it isn't a sport we can relate to like baseball, basketball, and football, we really don't have the attention span to view it. We need entertainment. So the networks won't show much of these sports because people might not watch and they won't make money. But human interest stories sell product. So on the Olympics they show a little of the actual competition and then a big long human interest story about the best person. I hate that. I want to see the sports just like I want to see the news. I want to see all of the people in a ski race for example. I want to see the difference between the fastest person and the slowest person.

What if you went to the Olympics in ski racing for example and they didn't show you on TV because you weren't in the top three? I think that sucks. Everyone back home wants to see you.

Tonight on Brian Williams they had a story about one of his co-workers who had breast cancer and had a breast removed. It was a good story but should have been on a different channel. I see why they put it on because most of the sponsors sell meds. Then there was the story about a train fron China to Tibet. That should have been on the Travel Channel.

The News Hour on PBS had solid news on the other hand. But PBS and NPR have been under attack by the right since the so called Contract With America. There was a joke going around back then, All Things Considered, would become, Just A Few Things Considered.

I just don't think that the news should be "for profit". The end result is that we don't get real news. The powers that be medicate us with what they want, like stories that the drug companies want us to get. I guess I can live with the Olympics.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And now the news

I've been thinking about how pathetic our so called news is. There is so much going on in the world, and we report a car wreck in California and Ellen giving her dog away and then having it taken away because she broke her contract with the dog rescue place. Is that the most important thing going on in the world? What in the heck is going on with the war in Afganistan? One guy got the medal of honor I know that. But what actually went on over there this week? Was there any progress? And what about Iraq? What happened there today? I just assume more people got killed. But who knows if there was any progress? There was a story about kids learning to speak Chinese, I guess that's news?

It's no wonder nobody knows what's going on in the world. The network news consists of human intrest stories punctuated by medication comercials. The whole package is medicating us into not knowing what is going on.

"We interupt the Ellen Degeneres story to tell you that Bush has just started WWIII with Iran." What? Does Ellen get her dog back?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When a tree falls

Here is another photo from the weekend. This is an old mining cabin from the 1940s or before. It's along a stream with cedars deep in the forest. A few years ago a tree fell in the winter and broke down the roof. Before that you could go inside and get out of the weather if it was snowing or raining.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

October cyber tree

I was wandering around in the woods aimlessly this weekend and came out into a clearing and saw this red tree next to this dead tree in juxtaposition. One of these trees is the October cyber tree. Pick your poison! to borrow a term from Dr. C.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The first of two things

There are a couple of things on my mind tonight. Not important things, just things. The first thing was,..I was watching this TV show,.it was a music TV show. Like Austin City Limits but it wasn't that. The host was a musician himself and he introduced other musicians and bands. One of them was really good and I'm going to get her CD. Her name is Holly Brooke. I think I'm spelling that right. I really suck at spelling. If you read me you already know that. Plus I don't bother too much about it. If I could thump my foot on the ground and you understood what I was saying I'd be good with it.

We had this guy at work. He wasn't very well spoken. He'd just look at you and make a noise. "Uh." he would say. Almost a grunt, but you usually knew what he meant.

Anway this host guy, on the TV show had clearly dyed his hair. And his beard. But the thing of it was, his beard didn't match his hair. His hair was jet black and his beard was redish brown. I'm thinking, how could that be? Did it have to do with the food he ate as mouth is close to his beard? Like he's eating carrots or something and it makes his beard red. No I don't think it works that way. To make matters worse one of the bands on his program had a lead singer who shaved his head, and this guy with the black hair made a crack about it. "He's got the kojak thing going on." What the heck! I thought. I would have fired right back at that remark if I'd been the bald guy.

So there's that. The second thing on my mind can wait now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Keeping the glass

We are getting rid of our copy camera and dark room at work. The camera is a great big industrial thing that takes up a whole room. I must say that I'm just a little sad, because with it goes a bunch of skills that I've developed over time. I already regret it but developing film takes chemicals and they become hazardous waste. I can do things with this camera that I can't do on the computer. Not only that, a camera becomes kind of personal. Like an instrument. You learn ways to make it sing for you. Also, it's just nice working in a dark room. It was a safe place where magical things happened. I always felt lucky to be able to work in a darkroom.

They are letting me keep the glass. It was used to focus and tweek the object before you exposed the film. The camera is so good that you don't really have to worry about focus or size, but I used it a lot. One time I broke it and it was really expensive to have it replaced. Far more than the camera is worth now. I felt really bad when that happened. The glass is a cool industrial object in it's own right and in a black metal frame. I can think of a number of things to do with it. But I'll probably just hang it on the wall or in the window of my studio. It's work is now done. Here is a detail of it. It's kind of hard to take a photo of it. I spent a lot of time looking into this fragile thing. I'm very glad to have it now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Someone's daughter

The first date I went on with the use of a motor vehicle was with Heidi. That's her real first name too. I usually tweek the names but Iove her name so much that I can't bring my self to call her Hilde. I had lots of "dates" if you will before I could drive, but this is the one I consider my first date. I took her out in an old Intenational Scout four weel drive. Heidi was such a beautiful girl, and she's a beautiful woman now.

When I got to her house to pick her up, and she lived in a very cool house, (a big A frame house next to a hill) she told me I had to go an meet her parents. So she drug me into the front room and I sat down. Her mom and dad came in and eyeballed me. They looked very concerned. I tried to answer all of their questions. I can still see them in my minds eye. Her mom looked almost sick about this date.

We got that over with and Heidi drug me out of there and we left. I thought she managed the situation very well. I was impressed.

On the other end of the date, before I left my house my dad had a talk with me. Here is what he said. "Remember that this girl is someone's daughter. You get her back home safely and in the same condition that you took her out in. That's a big resonsibility." I took it to heart.

I always remembered those words every time I went out on a date. This is someone's daughter.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monitor problems

The other day my monitor at work started to konk out. It's a really nice NEC CRT monitor. Very good dot pitch resolution. I do drafting, cad and graphics on it. So I thought I'd try a flat screen. I got one and set it up. But it really sucks in compairison for what I'm doing. So I'm going to try and take it back tomorrow and get another NEC CRT. I see that Dell has them still, but I'm sure there will be a day when you can't get them. I have an NEC CRT here at home also, so I guess I"m spoiled. Everyone says flat screens are so great and all of that. But they aren't in compairison to a nice CRT, at least not yet.

Update: I pawned the NEW MONITOR off on another artist, so I won't have to return it. It works better with his system as he has a new tower. But I still like this old one better as lines in cad and text are much more crisp. So I'll get another one of THESE while I still can.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My truck

Ok so here is a photo I took of my truck last weekend on my way home from Montana. Notice the big sky mudflaps. Not only is it a towing, hauling son of a gun, it's also a big block hot rod.

I'm not against these things. It's just not the sort of thing we should drive to work every day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Great seats

I was going to go to Montana today but I realized that I had more to do here than over there. Plus I wanted to go for a bike ride. I cleaned out my truck, and tomorrow I'm going to put the camper on it for hunting camp/ camps that start next weekend. I was just going to vacuum the truck out but the old seat cover was torn, so I decided to put a new one on. Several years ago I had bought a new one at a liquidation place. I've never had the old cover off so I got a look at how the factory seats looked. Here is the photo. Turkey in the straw comes to mind. I think they are kind of cool actually. Can you imagine buying a truck with seats like this now?

And this brings to mind a conversation I once had,.."You need a new truck don!" Jane said. "This here's a good truck." I replied with a puzzled look on my face. "It's old!" Jane said. "You can afford a new truck!". "Don't need a new one." I responded.

Well I still have the truck. Don't know where Jane is.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Marion Jones

Man, just when I was thinking only guys in sport were doping... I was thinking it was a guy thing, and women were above it. Why I thought this I don't know. First Genevieve Jeanson World Campion cyclist comes out and admits to doping and now Marion Jones. I seem to remember that Jones had a coach/ husband who was questionable as did Jeanson. I can't really explain why I feel more sympathy for women than men when it comes to this. Marion Jones is such a beautiful woman. That might be it. Something tells me that she wouldn't have ever admitted to it had she not been forced to.

I had the fastest 75 yard sprint ever at Willard school when I was in 8th grade (and I did it clean.) 8.2 seconds. That record stood for exactly one year. But for years and years I was the fastest guy and person for that matter to ever walk throught the doors of Willard school, and I beat some very fast people. That meant something to me. The guy who beat me the next year was Tim MacD. 8.1. I had to lump it. I do admit that I always questioned the timing as it was done by hand and Tim never could beat me when he ran against me. I could always pour on a little more. What the heck, I know he didn't cheat and he was a good sport and a nice guy. Not long after that they closed the school and his record stands. I've always thought about this all of these years. How I finished second. It makes me wonder about how people who finished second to Marion Jones feel now. Nobody knows who they are.

I have to say that I was really put off by the track athletes wraping themselves in the flag at the Sydney Olympics. It really bothered me. It's just poor sportsmanship to run around the track wearing the flag. Tacky at best.

Gus Rambo

I was in this bar several years ago minding my own business. It was a wedding reception or something. It's not like I just hang out in bars or anything. This was in my home town in Montana and I was visiting. Anway, this guy came up to me. A short guy but all buffed. "You don?" he asked in a loud voice. "Yes, do I know you?" I didn't recognize him. "Gus Rambo!" he said as he reached out to shake my hand. Then he just crushed my hand. I drew a blank look,.. "Sally Rambo's brother!" he said. Well Sally was my age in grade school and she did have a little brother that was about two years younger I guess, but I paid very little attention to kids who were two years younger than me in gradeschool. "Oh yeah, now I remember you. How's Sally?" I actually remember nothing about him other than Sally had a little shrimp brother.

"Well what have you been up to?". Then Gus went on to tell me how he'd been working out and how much weight he could lift and on and on. I'd heard enough and wanted to blow him off. I began to think he was going to pick a fight with me, he'd already crushed my hand. I was expecting him to pull out a machine gun and mow everyone down including all of the bottles of booze behind the bar. It made me wonder, had I done something to upset him back in gradeschool? I always got along good with Sally. Perhaps this guy was on steroids or something? Small man complex I thought.

A few years later I was at work and having a conversation with a sales guy, and it came up in conversation that I'm from Montana. "Do you know Gus Rambo!?" He asked all excited. "I knew his sister." I replied. I got the impression that Gus is this body builder weight lifter guy that everyone from Montana is supposed to know. What the heck? I would have never known who he was.

But Gus Rambo knows who I am...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I always go back

I'm afraid I'm coming down with a cold. My body doesn't feel normal. I guess I never really feel normal. I haven't felt like riding. An artist I know who has been a mentor once told me that he always had his art to fall back on. A safe place. I've never thought of art that way. I can't think of the way he put it, but I know what he was getting at. For me it was always the bike. A safe place that wasn't ever really safe. But I always go back.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A strange dream

I had a strange dream last night. In my dream I had a wife and a little daughter. We lived in an apartment way up high in a tall apartment building in a big city. My daughter had brown curly hair that was parted on the side (her left side) and she wore a green and black plaid dress white socks and black shoes (the only time I saw her. as I only saw her once in the dream.) My wife looked just like my daughter except bigger, (about 6 feet tall) with the same hair parted on the side but just wore slacks and a green blouse. I had a conversation with my wife about how we thought our daughter was artistic so we decided to buy her a paint set. Then my daughter went crazy and painted the whole apartment olive green, black and silver, and she just threw the paint around in no order. It looked kind of cool actually. I was at work and my wife called me on her cell phone and was frantic about this and I could see the apartment despite not being there and I was saying "I know, I know, calm down, I'll be home after work, we'll talk to her about it then." Our daughter was in her bedroom still just making a mess. I guess we bought her too much paint.

Here is another photo from my boat ride last weekend. I wasn't going to, but I think I'll add this to my Flathead Lake photos on the side bar as it meets the sky land lake criteria, plus it will add a little contrast to that group.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall is here

Fall is finally here. I was going to cycle today but the wind gusts were up to 35 mph. It was serious wind. I felt justified in not riding and then on my way home from work I saw two guys out on bikes as if it the wind was no big deal. Just shows you what a wuss I am.

Here is a photo I took of a whitetail doe on Saturday. She had a little fawn close by. This was up Prospect Creek in Montana not far from Thompson Falls. It's a beautiful area. Great big mountains that drop straight down to the Clark Fork River. They have lots animals there including moose, elk, deer, bighorns, bear, wild turkeys and cougars to name a few. Very few people.

Italian meat balls

I guess I should say something about this. When I cook, I keep everything in my head. I told myself that I wanted a vocabulary of things to cook but all in my head. I don't keep recipes written down. I might until I learn it and I only learn it if I want to do it again. The only reason I wrote this one down is so I can give it out. So when I say 1/2 cup of this or that, it might be more or less. I like to cook that way. I can usually remember what to do.

Italian Meat Balls

½ lb. Ground pork shoulder. Substitute with turkey
½ lb. Ground beef, lean.
1 large can of Italian tomatoes
Fresh Italian parsley. Substitute with fresh oregano or use both. Needs to be fresh however. 1/2 cup
Soft Mozzarella
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
garlic cloves
olive oil

In a bowl, mix ground pork and beef together
Chop garlic and parsley together to make green and white mixture then mix into meat (by hand)
Add one egg mix into meat (by hand)
In a bowl soften bread crumbs with milk. Squeeze milk out of bread and add bread to meat and mix it in.

(I suppose you could skip the bread crumbs if you wanted, or substitute with something else, It just makes it softer)
Salt and pepper.

Cut or form Mozzarella into 1 inch pieces.
Form meat around Mozzarella so that you have a meat ball with a cheese center, total size is 2.5 to 3 inch dia
In a fry pan heat up ¼ inch of olive oil.
Carefully place meat balls in and turn until brown all sides. I use a table spoon to turn them as they are soft.
I usually add them to the pan as I form them.
In a baking dish simmer Italian tomatoes and garlic.
Then place meat balls on top of tomatoes, grate cheese on top. cover and bake 45 min 350
Serve tomatoes and meatballs with one vegetable, or green salad (No pasta.) Some garlic bread.

I usually have it with broccoi and garlic bread.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Retro range

Here is a photo of the Gouchenour kitchen. It's the kitchen in the Gochenour cabin where I stay while I'm at Flathead Lake in Montana. It has a Kelvinator stove and matching refrigerator. I guess Kelvinator merged with Nash motors in 1937. These things were built to last, and are attractive objects. I really like the stove. The refrigerator is kind of old tech however, and clearly older than the stove, but it still works and was made in the 1940s or perhaps 30s. It has an older logo on it. I'd like a newer refrigerator but I'll just work around this one as it is so cool. (pardon the pun), a new one just wouldn't be the same. The first thing I do when I get to the Geouchenour cabin is plug the refrigerator in and turn on the power, and it rumbles back to life. If it ever konks out I'll get a more modern one from the 1950s.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wildhorse Island

I went to Flathead Lake to cover up my boat with a big tarp and drain the water out of the Geouchenour cabin. I don't want the pipes to freeze. As always, I took lots and lots of photos. I even took photos of the stove in the cabin! It's a very nice stove... I'll post one of those with my Italian meat balls recipe soon. It was cold up there in Montana. There was snow way up on the mountains. I took the skiff out onto the bay for a couple of hours. It was windy and cold but I loved it after all of the hot weather and forest fire smoke of just a few weeks ago.

I took this photo of Wildhorse Island where I went for a hike last weekend. I took it from a point that was leeward to the wind, so the water was calm in front of me, but it was very rough and cold in places and the air was very sweet and clean. I guess I'll add this photo to the my Flathead Lake photos on the sidebar. If you click on it and make it bigger you can see the snow on the peaks of the Swan mountain range behind the island.

I retain all rights to my photos.  Please do not use any of my photos without permission.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Deer cake

I made dinner for my mom and my sister tonight. Italian meat balls. One of the best things I make. They are these great big meat balls that have a soft mozzarella cheese center. Despite how big they are they turn out really light. Everyone I've made this for has wanted the recipe (except my mom) But my sister does. I didn't know if she'd like it or not. I'll post that recipe on my blog but not tonight.

Mom brought dessert in the form of this deer cake. It celebrates hunting season. I thought it was kind of cool in a western art sort of way.

Check out a picture of the whitetail deer I shot HERE I think it's nicer than the one on the cake .

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Floyd Landis and Genevieve Jeanson

I did write something about Floyd Landis and then I brought it back down after reading the blogs. The blogs bothered me. There is one called Trust but Verify. I'm not so sure about the trust part anymore. I wrote in that post that I know a woman in charge of a very big hospital blood lab. And I asked her about this testing. What I've come to believe is that the people who do this sort of testing know what they are doing.

I knew they would rule against Landis, but It was only a 2 to 1 decision against him. If just one of the three had thought differently then Floyd would have been thought to not have doped and still be Tour de France winner and so on. Yet his whole team is folded and all of those people out of a job and so forth. Takes a little of the polish out of his win if he were found not to have doped.

So here we are. All of the legal going ons, and over a year later and one person makes the difference. If I were his lawyer, I'd now argue that Floyd should only get two thirds of the penalty. Wouldn't that follow?

I guess Lance won't comment on it. Says he doesn't follow cycling now. What?

Armstrong told The Vancouver Province newspaper on Sunday that he has no comment because he no longer follows the competitive cycling on a daily basis. (VeloNews)

How in the world is that possible? And what difference does it make if he doesn't follow on a daily basis?

"I would love to answer that question but unfortunately I'm out of that business," Armstrong said. "I only have the ability to focus on one thing at a time." (VeloNews)

I don't agree that he is "out of that business" He was there to introduce the new Trek Madone racing bicycle this year. He has an interest in Trek Bikes and in that respect, bike racing. I don't know how you could be more into "that business". I just don't buy that comment. LANCE INTRODUCES THE NEW TREK MADONE Notice the caption below the photo. (Cycling News) Clearly he has an interest in bike racing.

But I don't blame him for not wanting to talk about doping. He has no interest in going there, but I have to wonder if he has a responsibility to the sport, and the fans that gave back so much to him? Or perhaps Trek owners like me? The Seven time TDF winner and former team mate of Floyd Landis has nothing to say about this? I think that is questionable. Well I guess you can't pick your team mates.

And just when I thought only men in cycling had a problem with doping, the former women's World Campion Genevieve Jeanson admits to using EPO throughout her career. I find her story sad however. You can read about it HERE
(VeloNews) Former competitor Anne Samplonius
says this about it;

I think it will take years before she fully comes to realize the impact this has had on a lot of people. She has stolen victories and money from a lot of her competitors, she has taken an potential Olympic spot from me, and she has lied to all her fans and sponsors who really believed her. (VeloNews)

You can read all of Anne's remarks HERE

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Other people's dogs

I've started a new section on my side bar called Other People's Dogs. I will be doing written and photo essays of other people's dogs. I've been told that I NEED A DOG , but I don't really want a dog.

Click on the Other people's dog label / link below to see other people's dogs. Woof woof.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Boat trip to Wildhorse Island

Saturday, I decided to take the skiff over to WILDHORSE ISLAND. I've added this photo to my Flathead Lake photos on the side bar, so check those out! Going to the islands is always an adventure as it's a very big lake.

The skiff is safe however. A 13.5 foot whaler type with an old 40 horse Johnson outboard. I talk about it on the blog quite a bit, so here it is. It isn't the boat I went over to winterize. All you have to do with this one is lower the motor and let the water drain out. I love this little boat. If I could only keep one of my boats I'd keep this one.

So I named it after Aunt Gertrude as she was such a tough and thrifty old lady. She used to have a cabin on this lake when I was growing up. I have lots of aunts and lots of boats so I can name each boat after an aunt. But this is the only one that I've actually done it with.

I hiked up to the highest point on the west side and I was most likely the only person on the island. The skiff is beached below me and to my right in that bay. I'm looking north towards Glacier Park. There are lots of big game animals on the island including bighorn sheep, so I sat in my position and watched some great big mule deer move around at a distance with my field glasses.

I took the photos of the skiff and sunset as I left the island and came out of that bay. Night closed in on the lake, and it was dark when I got back to the cabin.