Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hair cut

I got a decent hair cut. I just said do what ever you think I need. So he didn't buzz cut me. I was kind of thinking that I wanted to do that however. He did it all with scissors except for a few things, and it doesn't stand straight up on top. When I got there he was highlighting this girls hair. And that took quite a while. He'd worked all day and then came home and did two more. That's got to be tough. It took a long time for him to do her, but I can tell he enjoys his work as they were having fun. So it looks like I found a good guy.

Some of the hunt club guys are going camping and fishing and are staying at my place for the night tonight. So I'll probably be meeting up with them to camp out. It isn't far from my place. They all have campers but I'm taking a little dome tent that I bought at a garage sale. It's in the upper 80's here now and should be quite nice in a tent at night in the woods. No rain in sight. Plus it won't cost me anything, as all of their campites have a tentsite. The camp ground is sold out for the weekend. It's really cool with a great big lake with cliffs and mountain goats, and also great camp ground in the forest. FARRAGUT STATE PARK It's about a half hour from my place.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Loosing weight

I'm starting to loose some weight. I've gone from 194 to 190. I'll set my sights for 185 first and then try to get down from there. Small portions and more miles. Yesterday I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast and sandwich for lunch. I ate half of a powerbar while I was riding. For dinner a few pieces of cheese and some pretzles. I'm also getting a bicycle tan. I'd say a farmer tan, but farmers and cowboys usually don't wear shorts.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A sound from the past

I'm going to add this Flathead Lake photo to the side bar. Click on it to see it bigger. I sat down by the shore last night. I went inside and a stom blew up. Thunder and lightning. High winds and rain. So I went in by the fire, and read the book I've been reading when I'm in the mood, Reading Lolita in Tehran. by Azar Nafisi and I went to sleep.

The storm blew off and the moon came out again. A light woke me up in the night. The moon was shining in on me and the empty pillow next to me, a haunting reminder. I got dressed and went outside. I could smell the sage brush in the wind coming down off of the hills behind the cabin. A mix of smells. It's unique. Something from my childhood. My earliest memories.

After a while I went back in. The cabin has its own smell and sounds. Like the sound of the old refrigerator as the pump comes back on in the night. It's and old sound. A sound from the past. Sometimes I leave the bedroom door open so I can hear it go on and off.

I closed the door and spread an old quilt out over the bed and got back in.

Memorial tree

Veterans who die can get a flag like this and put it on a tree. This one belongs to PFC D. Proud who served in WWII. Someone put some flowers next to it today.

Need a dog

I've added YOU NEED A DOG To inside the bubble on my side bar.

Friday, May 25, 2007

1996 Tour winner Riis admits doping

How very very sad. The great dane, Bjarne Riis, winner of the Tour de France in 1996 has admitted taking EPO from '93 to '98. He is now a director of the CSC pro cycling team. Coincidentally, the team Tyler Hamilton was on when he got popped for dopping. Riis deposed five time winner Miguel Indurain '91-'95 on a mountaintop finish in the 1996 tour. This was the year when I first got interested in watching and recording the tour. I think I've watched and recorded every stage of the Tour de France since.

The following year Riis was deposed by his fellow team mate Jan Ullrich on the Telecom Team as Riiss missed a break on one of the final stages coming out of the Pyranees mountains and into Pamplona Spain. Ullrich had been working for Riis in that tour but was in the break. Riis couldn't get anyone to work for him to catch back up as they were going so fast down the mountains, and Ullrich couldn't hold back the beak. Indurain was there in Pamplona to greet Riis as he gave up his yellow jersey. Ullrich has now been caught up in the recent Spanish blood doping scandal.

A few years ago Ullrich got kicked off of the T-Mobile team, and lost his Adidas sponsorship, when he got drunk and ran his Porsche into a bicycle rack. There was also something about taking ecstacy.

And more news, Several of the Telecom riders (known as T-Mobile now) from that era have also come out and admitted doping. They are falling like a house of cards. Deitz, Henn, Boelts, and even more surprising, Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag. They are now thinking about dropping the charges against Ullrich.

But what a mess. Riis said they could come and get his yellow jersey, as he had it in a cardboard box in his house, and pointed to the accomplishments of the CSC team now. But I just wonder if he would have had the career that he has had if he had not won the TDF.

I don't see how this can be good news for Landis even though it has no connection to his case.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wolf People part II

Tonight public TV had a local show called Northwest Profiles. One of the pieces was about a place in North Idaho that I wrote about HERE called Wolf People. They have 16 wolves. The white wolf I took a photo of on my post was featured in the TV show. It's a big animal, in compairison to many dogs that I've seen including the wolf hybrids that my neighbors have. I'm not sure if all wolves are this big however. I think they are really cool but it would be hard to have one in town. I'd trust one more than a pit bull. I don't trust those things at all depsite what people say about them. They feed these wolves raw meat. Not sure if they can eat regular dog food. Anyway now I do want to stop in there and get a T shirt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Windsurfing invitation

DIANE has me thinking about sailing.

I have a Hobie Cat but I also took up WINDSURFING a few years ago. I'm not that good at it yet. I never thought I'd windsurf, but it's pretty cool. Probably as close as I'll ever come to flying. Sometimes I feel like a dragonfly or something skimming across the water with one clear wing. It's more high impact than I thought it would be when I first started. It can be brutal when it comes to punishing you for mistakes. Imagine holding on to a large sheet of plywood in a strong wind. When you start going fast the board comes out of the water for the most part. You really have to manage your weight and position or you will get pasted into the water. When you crash it isn't like skiing where you slide down the hill. You come to an abrubt stop and get submerged in water usually under the sail. Then you have to unhook from the harness and swim up into the air. One time I almost didn't make it back up as I coudln't get unhooked and I took in a bunch of water in my nose and mouth. It did freak me out, but I lived.

Anyway this guy I know who is really good at it has invited me to go to the GORGE with him for more instruction. So when it warms up more I'm going. He buys new sails all the time and he sold me one of his old ones. Old means it's only been used a few times and these guys buy a whole new "quiver" of sails every couple of years. A sail like this costs about $700 or so, and these guys have 5 or 6 of them of different sizes in a quiver for different wind speeds, and they replace them every few years. And that's only part of the cost. The photo above is of the sail he sold me. It's a NORTHWAVE SURFLITE. Check out the color selection page on their website. It's always fun from a design standpoint to play with these things.

My friend taught me to do a "waterstart" with this sail. That is where you are in the water and let the sail fill with air and lift you out of the water and onto the board. It's a skill that is critical to have to sail at the gorge. I need to practice doing that more. Perhaps with the right instruction I can get better at this before my body can't take it anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The path I go down

I spent a little over an hour on my bike today, a half hour at luch, and another half hour after I got home from work. I didn't ride to work today as it was windy and looked like was going to rain again. So when I got home I decided to over-ride my temptation to just plop down and watch the news and I took my brain out of gear and just let my body put on my cycling clothes and walk my bike out of the house. It was like that episode on the original Star Trek, Spock's Brain, in which they walk Mr. Spock around without a brain. I went out of the house like that with my bike. tick tick tick tick.

I didn't regret it as it was really cool out. Not only was it cold but it looked again like it will rain soon. It made for some interesting views on the bike path. I saw some interesting people on the trail also. Among them were two wheel chair racers, and that would have made for some cool photos, but they looked like they were having so much fun that I didn't interfere. I did think about it however. I kind of go crazy when it comes to taking pictures. Cannondale used to make racing chairs but had to stop due to regulations regarding wheel chairs. You used to be able to go to the bike shop and order a Cannondale but now you have to get one custom made. I'm not sure where that situation is at now. I should look into it.

Here is what the bike path looked like tonight as the weather moved in.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A piece of me

I don't want to ever become an angry old man. There are enough of them out there already. Today I took the company van to Office Depot to get a new office chair. The one I had wasn't ergo and was killing my back.

So I get into the parking lot with the van and tried to find a place to park. This codger in a great big pickup truck, too big for him manage in a parking lot, and his white haired old lady pull into the lot. So we get into a stand-off situation. I was waiting for him to go and he though I was going to turn a way I wasn't. Finally after waiting forever, I went infront of him. Well he came un-glued. I parked and he parked and then he started chewing me out. I wasn't exactly in the wrong, but I said excuse me, but he continue to throw insults at me. I make an effort to be kind and polite to people, especially old people.

This guy was probably almost 80. I'm thinking, are you crazy? What if I flip out on you? Not that I'd flip out on an old man, but someone might and he was pushing. Nothing happened so let it go you old goat. I just blew it off and walked away, but this angry old man wanted a piece of me. This was the low point of my day.

It's raining tonight. The sky to the west is a very dark grey wall of clouds, as worse weather is approaching. It's probably less than 40 degrees outside and snowing in the mountains above. I think it's too cold for an electrical storm but who knows? My cat has already crawled into her sleeping bag. I guess I'll do the same.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I saved a bird today

Every spring the songbirds show up and nest. Each morning there is a loud chorus that wakes me up when I leave my bedroom window open. There is the one odd farm bird that crows.

A few years ago a couple of birds got trapped in my chimney. My cat was focused on the fire place and I could hear something scratching around in there. It's a double walled stove pipe with a spark arrestor at the top. There's just enough gap at the top for a small bird to fall into it and then drop 20 feet to the bottom, and there's no way out. The birds were in the air gap between inner chimney and the outer wall. It's kind of like a dougnut at the bottom. There are all of these little metal spikes that hold the real chimney on center.

Back when the first two birds got trapped I climbed up on the roof and removed the spark arrestor and shined a flash light down tot he bottom. I could barely see down there even with a very bright light. But I realized it was a bird. So I made an "elevator" out of card board and lowered it down. I had to stand on my tip toes to even see down the stove pipes. The bird was in the outer air gap or it would have come out of hte fire place no problem.

Anyway the elevator I fabricated out of cardboard and duct tape just freaked out the bird. The bird could only walk around in one direction as it was so tight in that space. It gave up the ghost. So I poured water down on it and that brought it back to life and I could see it drinking the water.

I used to have a parakeet and I knew that if you put your finger on the belly of the bird it would jump on to it. So I decided to make a perch and if I could just get it up to the belly of the bird it would hop on. I got a little stick and then made like a swing with it and lowered it down. At first the bird would run away from it and go around the circle. Finally I got the perch in position next to the bird's belly and it got on. Then I haulled it up. But all of these spikes were in the way. I got it half way up and it jumped off onto one of the spikes. So I positioned the perch again and the bird got back on and I hauled it all the way up.

The bird was exausted and just sat there. So I grabbed it and took it inside and put it in a shoe box. I scraped some seeds off of a hamburger bun and gave it some water. But then I heard another bird in there. So I went back up and an hour later I got it up. It was a nesting pair. They spent the night in the shoe box and then I let them go in the morning. They totally trusted me and would sit on my finger. Finally I got them to fly and away they went.

I had to tape closed the gap that they got into. That was several years ago. Well today I could hear the same sound. Another bird had gotten trapped. So I went up on the roof and removed the spark arrestor and looked down while standing on my tip toes. It's hard to see way down there even with a strong flashlight. Anway I could tell there was a bird down there as I could see it's body and it's beak. So I built another perch. This time I took the reel off of my fly rod and used it for the line. At first the bird just freaked out and fought the perch. So after an hour or so I gave up. I squirted some water down on it with the bottle from my bike and I could see it drinking the water.

I went in the house and watched the horse race on TV. Then I kept hearing the bird now and then. I couldn't relax. So up on the roof I went. I decided I'd try again despite the odds. The bird figured it out. It kept walking around and so I positioned the perch so that it would go through it. And when it did I could tell it's feet grabbed on, so I started to up-haul it. I got it about half way up and it got hung up on one of the spikes, and off the bird went. I tried to get the perch back to it but it went back down to the bottom. So I started over. This time after about 20 min more it got back on the perch. And I hauled it up. It got right to within an arms length of the top and got hung up on another spike, but the bird was hanging on for dear life, and looking right at me as if to say, "don't let me fall back down there again!" I freed it from the spike and up it came into the daylight. Then off it flew to freedom.

Then I taped the gap up again. I just couldn't sit there in my front room and hear that bird slowly die like that. It was horrible, but it was rewarding to bring it up into the light of day and freedom. Birds are a lot smarter than people think.

Friday, May 18, 2007

To catch a bicycle doper

The case for Landis is starting to remind me of the Hindenburg disaster.

First of all, according to LeMond, Floyd calls Greg LeMond, as LeMond has been sounding off about doping in cycling. Landis allegedly admits to doping. Then Greg says to come clean as he could single handedly save the sport. Then Greg discloses child/ sex abuse in his past and talks about an uncle that wants to look at his...well you know what. And Landis says something like what good would it do (if he admitted he doped) and that it would hurt a lot of people.

And then before LeMond testifies at this hearing, he gets a call from Landis's "manager" and ex-mountain bike team mate, Will Geoghegan who brings up this uncle and the sex abuse on the phone and hangs up. But LeMond calls back and then goes to the police and they find out it was Geoghegan.

The prosecution points out that witness tampering is a felony in California. They call Geoghegan to the stand, and the Landis defense gets him off of the stand saying they want more time to prepare. And then they fire him on the spot! That's Pathetic.

Before all of that drama, they did deal with the real facts of the case. As reported by VeloNews, the Landis team tried to discredit the credentials of the person who conducted the testing, Claire Frelat, saying she was fresh out of college in 2001, and didn't have enough experience on the equipment that did the carbon isotope test, 6 months.
Also pathetic. Landis should fire his attorney too.

And then the gal who runs another lab in Montreal, Christiane Ayotle, and who signed off on the test and the methods said when asked if the samples would have been positive in her lab she said "Yes, it's so very clear." and "A no doubt situation." according to VeloNews.

And lastly, Eddy Merckx is not going to testify. "I know nothing about the case." Merckx said, and as I thought. Good man Eddy. Just the facts. And while LeMond testified Landis wore a black suit tie and shirt. How childish is that?

Perhaps instead of the blood testing at this year's Tour de France they should just have Dateline NBC and set up a sting. To catch a bicycle doper.

Update: Geoghegan admitted calling LeMond (because he got drunk on a few beers and got angry!). Shame, shame, shame!

Well, I think it's safe to say that too much beer and too much testosterone can be an ugly combination sometimes.

And get this; If they take the yellow jersey away from Landis the number 2 man in line to get it, Oscar Pereiro is now under suspicion in the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation. But this case isn't over yet even if they find against Landis in California, as it goes on to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. And that decision will be final.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lunch with the boss.

I made good on my offer to re-pay my boss for taking me to lunch over a year ago. It was a very nice place and not far away. We decided to each order something different and split it in half and share it out that way. I miss taking a woman out to eat.

She had a veggie pita and I had a prime rib dip thing that had a coffee flavored dip. I had a gorgonzala salad and she had french onion soup.

We got to looking around at the decor. They had a painting over a fireplace, but it was contrived and part of the interior design. Just the canvas hanging on the wall with no frame. The frame was a rectangle painted on the wall in a complimentary color. She said she wanted to make some paintings like that for her basement, and we got to talking about stretching canvas for paintings. Something I did quite a bit of in art school.

"Have you finished that painting you were working on?" she asked. "No, I guess not." I said. I have more than one unfinished painting. "Well what do you do when you go home from work!" "Well I, uh,. Well last night, I cooked dinner, cleaned up, did some laundry, and went for a bike ride."

That's my boss on the left in the photo.

Another bear dream

I had another bear dream last night.

In my dream I was up on a grassy side hill in Montana not far from an old landfill. I drove off of the highway, got out of my truck, opened a gate and went down a dirt road. Then I noticed a lanky black bear running along not far up the hill. I thought, Perhaps it will stay away from me. After I got around the hill I got out of the truck. Then here came the bear running at me. So took my rifle out of the truck and shot it in the head.

I returned to the cabin. My dad was there. I told him about the bear. Then we went to another small cabin where there was an attractive woman with red hair. She had a dog with short dark brown almost black hair. The dog was really big and looked like a greyhound, and had a long pointed nose. Dad told me to tell the woman about shooting the bear. "She doesn't want to hear about that." I said. "Go on and tell her." he said. So She looked at me and smiled and I started to tell her about the bear. While I was talking she turned and walked into her small cabin that had red barn paint on it and the dog came out and sat down and looked at me. So I just kept telling the story about the bear to the dog. It looked at me and then turned and went into the cabin and the woman came back out and I finished telling the story of shooting the bear to the woman.

Then we went into the cabin. I sat down on the sofa and my dad sat down on an easy chair. I noticed my aunt was sitting on the sofa next to me. Then people appeared standing around with drinks in their hands as if it were a party. I noticed that they all had ski jackets on. Then I noticed that I had my ski jacket on and I had torn the sleeve. I kept looking at my sleeve to see how bad the tear was and if it could be repaired. The people would disappear and and re-appear. And that was the end of my dream.

Bike to work week year 2

This week was national bike to work week. I drove my car today as I'm taking my manager to lunch. I owe her from about a year ago. I'll be back on my bike tomorrow. Today would have been perfect however as it was sunny and warm and no wind. I saw one guy on his bike. Two nights ago on my evening ride I found some wild asparagus growing along the river. So I had some of that for dinner. I had a strange bear dream that I might disclose later. Some serious REM.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Floyd and Ivan

The arbitration hearing for Landis is now in its third day and I've been following along. From what I gather I just can't see how Landis will win on this, but I could be wrong. It sounds to me like they don't have much of a case. The case for Landis is based on the lab not following proper testing procedures. Landis was tested eight times in the 06 TDF and only one of those came back above the 4 to 1 ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. Then they tested the other 7 samples to a carbon isotope ratio test and four of those came back positive for synthetic testosterone. as reported by VeloNews.

Landis is trying to prove that he did not use synthetic testosterone. I think it will come down to whoever presents a more convincing case. But the US Anti Doping Agency has a good track record when it comes to wining cases with a record of 34-0. If they loose it will be the first time in a case like this since the agency was formed in in 2000.

As far as Ivan Basso goes, the Italian Olympic Committe has suspended both Scarponi and Basso. Basso for admitting he was involved with Operacion Puerto but doesn't admit to actually doping. Like the I didn't inhale excuse. Most likely those guys will get only 4 months suspension according to Procycling, but there are twenty some other riders involved also so the story is long from over.

So I think these guy are doing it. Probably more of them than we know. And for Landis, the damage is already done. If he is found guilty he will get a two year suspension and another two year pro tour suspension. So that will be a career ender, and I'm not sure he could come back on form with his hip replacement and all of that anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One year

I've been blogging for exactly one year today. Part of my plan was to re-evaluate at this point.

Here is my FIRST POST. It has no significance other than it's my first post. It was just what I was thinking about at the time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

About the bushes

Or shrubs for that matter. I'm not a big fan of the bushes. I think it's safe to say that I hate bushes. You know you are out of control when your bushes are out of control.

The guy who owned this house before me did nothing to maintain it. He didn't paint it, he made no improvements on it at all. He ended up getting the house re-posessed and that's how I got it. When I moved in the lawn was nothing but weeds.

There were these great big shrubs that I've been removing. There are two infront of the house that I kind of like. But they needed to be pruned, so tonight I went out there to do that. I'm sure my neighbors were thinking, "now what is he going to do?" Well I started to prune.

Then I started to think. Do I have a clear design plan? After all, I don't want to have my bushes ending up looking like my hair. As I was pruning I had a flashback to that gal who cut my hair. She would make a cut and then look at me with a puzzled look on her face. And now people look at my hair with the same look on their faces. I started to have all of these considerations. Will people go by my house and look at my bushes and think "What the heck!?" I want these bushes to look pruned but not phoney. I didn't want them to be like perfect spheres or cones or anything like that, but how do you prune a bush and make it look natural?

So anyway I got done with two bushes that are right in front of my house. They look better than they did. But I hate bushes. Woe to anyone who plants shrubs. You're just planting yourself a maintenance problem. I'm starting to think rock placement might not be so bad.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's day card

Ok so I done the good son deed. I called my mom tonight being it's mother's day and all. She just got back from NYC. Knows some gal who has a condo in Manhattan. I guess they lived it up in New York. So that's cool for my mom. She reports that NYC is a fun place.

Of course I sent her a MD card. I usually choose a card based on the artwork on the front. Then I read it and see if I can stomach the words. Why don't they just say "Happy Mother's Day, you're a great mom." or something, and leave it at that? But they go on and on with a bunch of crap that I have to agree to. Usually it says something like "You are a great mom despite the fact that I'm such a screw up and bla bla bla. You always overlooked all of my many faults,,,like when I robbed the bank and killed all of those people, you were right there by my side..." ( I'm kidding! I did not rob the bank or kill any people)

At work I'd just red-line everything I didn't agree to, and then rev the thing. But when it comes to cards I just live with the current revision if I can live with the cover art.

What the heck. Mom knows I'm more interested in the art. I hope anyway...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May cyber tree

Here is May's cyber tree for now. I've had a really tough time finding a spring tree and I've taken hundreds of photos. I'm still looking, so this tree might fall. This is from my bike ride this morning. It's hard to see at this resolution, but there's a person standing just to the left of the tree in the distance. If you click on the photo to make it bigger you might be able to see the person.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mothers day

I was sitting on the left, My uncle the logger in the center and my other uncle the old cowboy on the right in the back of the limousine. Not exactly a new limousine. Nice and clean, I thought as I sat there, but kind of tacky at the same time. It was at my grandmothers funeral and we were three of the pallbearers. I wondered as I sat there in silence how many family members from different families had sat in this old car.

We sat there waiting as people came out of the funeral home, waiting in silence to do our pallbearer duty. It took forever. My uncle the logger sat next to me looking staight ahead with his usual blank expression behind his horn rimmed glasses. My uncle the old cowboy sat tapping his fingers on his fingers on the leg of his brown polyester western pants, thin strands of unusually dark hair combed over and stuck down to his bald head.

I was thinking about all of the times my family had spent a Sunday in this little town about an hour and a half away from our home each time we would visit my grandparents. I remembered the ride home in the car on those Sunday nights in the back seat, fighting for space with my sister and then letting the motion of the car lull me to sleep. I used to get a lot of comfort from the ride home at night in the back seat of the car. My parents would talk in the front sometimes, and sometimes they would be quiet. I loved that time. It was a safe place in the backseat, with the possible exception of a territorial skirmish with my sister now and then.

Now, there I sat as an adult in the back seat of this old limo in that small town. There would be little reason to come back to this town now, and this time I'd be returning home in a Beechcraft Bonanza, with a pilot who only had a day time license. I just wanted to get this whole thing over with and get home safely in that plane. We had encounterd pretty sever turbulence on the way over and I had been nervous about flying with him.

I thought about my grandmother as I sat there. I loved being around her. She was the kind of old lady that yelled everything she said in a high voice, and ran everywhere she went instead of walking, even in her old age. She kind of kept you on edge. Us kids really loved her as she always made us laugh even when she wasn't trying. She always had a smile on her face. She was an old German woman who's family came from the Dakotas. She had a different outlook on life and never learned to drive a car. One time my cousin had painted her a really nice oil painting of a hillside with wildflowers on it. He was a really good artist. My grandmother hung it on the wall and cut out a picture of JFK from an old magazine and taped it right on the oil with scotch tape over the painting. It was typical of the kind of thing about her that made us laugh.

When she died they asked me if I wanted anything. She had this ceramic pot that had a picture of all of the presidents on it. I said I wanted that. I was intrigued with it when I was growing up. Here is a photo of it. JFK is right next to LBJ. It was made in Japan. We couldn't make our own junk even back then. LBJ has a goofy eating grin on his face. Mckinley has kind of stifty eyes. Mckinley reminds me of a guy from highschool that I never trusted. (It's rewarding to click on this and see it bigger)

Then my uncle the logger broke the silence and brought me back into the moment. "When old Mable so and so died,.. It took six of us to tote her out." "Oh the heck." my uncle the cowboy said, a little uncomfortable with the comment. I was thinking, I can't believe he just said that. Doesn't it usually take six people I thought? "Yuuup... She must have wieghed purty near 200 pounds". my uncle the logger said. "The heck." my uncle the cowboy said in an even shorter tone.

My grandmother probably only weighed 120. I wasn't too worried about toting her out.

Old ladies are like wildflowers I thought. They don't last long so you have to enjoy them while you can. And there's always a reason to laugh.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Big Sky Country

I added this photo to my Flathead Lake photos on the side bar. Please check that out, it's starting to get interesting. This is what the lake looked like when I first got there on Saturday. I didn't edit this photo or do anything to it. That part of the bay that you can see is about a mile across. The main body of the lake goes north and south along those mountains in the distance. The cabin is beyond those trees on the left shore. That is where I was in the sea kayak. The sky is very big when you realize how big everything is. That is why they call Montana the "Big Sky Country." At night there are a million stars. I wish I could share that with you.

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

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Moose Drool

I bought a new T shirt while I was in Montana. Moose Drool is one of the beers that the Big Sky Brewing Co. makes in Missoula not far from where I grew up. It's one of those things that crosses party lines, and around here you can fit in with many groups of people wearing this shirt, kind of like wearing a University of Montana hoodie, but unlike wearing a Greenpeace shirt or an NRA shirt. Since I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, this shirt is a good wardrobe choice, plus there is a certian hometown pride. As far as Moose Drool it's self goes, it's only one of the beers Big Sky Brewing makes, but the best known due to the name. There are many other beers that I'd rather drink, but it just goes to show you the power of advertising. Most micro brews taste like home brew to me. Beer is kind of like wine in that respect, but I won't turn down a Moose Drool if someone offers, and if you get the chance, give it a try.

A note from the ranger

The Forest Service posted this note in an outhouse in northern Idaho at a popular trail head. The thing of it is, I was going to use the nearby forest instead of going into the smelly outhouse, but then I decided to be civilized and use the outhouse.

But crap, it has to be hard to clean this outhouse up as it is out in the woods where there is no water. I'm just not sure that this note will reach the target audience. If they do read, it might be counterproductive.

I had to blur out some profanity that someone added at the bottom of the note. Bicycle log is a PROFANITY FREE ZONE. (THIS RULE ONLY APPLIES TO ME. feel free to say anything you want in my comments, within reason of course.) I didn't mention back then, that I didn't want a young person coming across my blog and reading profanity, or whatever you want to call it, and then thinking it would be cool or ok if they used the same words on their blog or in conversation. Heck, it's not that I never swear IRL, but when I do it's hardly ever cool. In a way it's more fun to use soft core profanity. I'm always looking for a new ones to use that I'm not used to. So if you know a good unusual one, let me know. And if you are into swear words, you can always replace (in your head while you read) the soft core profanity with the appropriate hard core one. What the heck, it's part of my blogging formula.

Hey, I think these things out in advance.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Montana weekend

I went to Montana for a few days mostly to do yard work, but I did kick back a litte too. I took out the sea kayak a few times for a paddle when the lake was calm. This photo is as the sun set Sunday night. That's my view of the bow of the sea kayak in the foreground. I also took it out when the water was glass calm Monday morning. It was really ,.. well calming. I guess there is a "trail system" for non motorized watercraft that goes to different islands that you can camp on around the lake. I'll try and find a link.

I also did try and work off some of my winter fat on the bike. It's 1000 feet higher in elevation from where I live. Here is a photo from my morning ride on Sunday as I went along the shore of the lake. It had snowed on Friday and it was beautiful up there. I got to thinking that Sunday I should have driven up to Glacier Park. It would have been beautiful beyond description, but it is often so nice at Flathead that you never want to leave. The water in Flathead Lake comes from Glacier and the high mineral content makes it reflect a turquoise color.

I bought this candy bar over there. It's a Country Cowgirl Bar. Is that Sigourney Weaver?! They should do a western version of Alien. I have the script right here... Alien eggs are found on a dinosaur dig near Bozeman Montana and one of them hatches and gets loose at a rodeo. Ripley chases after it on a horse and grabbs that little doggie by the horns! Or something like that. :)

Click on this phototo see it bigger. My gosh!

Friday, May 04, 2007

My first blog photo

Here is the first photo I posted. I'm not really tired I'm just faking it so they would take my picture. That's the Columbia River behind me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Powdered milk

I love salt. I think salt is my favorite seasoning. Other than hot sauce. When I was growing up my mom had these salt and pepper shakers that were a little man and woman. The man was the salt and the woman was the pepper. My mom said "Man is the salt of the earth." Confusing. Was she basing that on these salt and pepper shakers?

Woman is the pepper of the earth, I thought. Nobody took the time to explain things to me when I was a kid. So I just took what people said and made my own sense out of it. Salt goes well on just about everthing except cereal. I think that's why they put sugar in bowl and salt in a shaker. If they put sugar in a shaker and then put a big S on it people might still think it was salt. We just can't take that kind of a chance with our food.

One time when I was a kid, I went camping with my family and my aunt, uncle and my cousins. It was a beautiful place along the LOCHSA RIVER in Idaho. We were in a big tent. You could hear the river running all night and it was such a wonderful thing. There is nothing like camping next to a river like that in the woods. The smell and the sound. My uncle was stationed at the Powell Ranger Station.

In the morning we got up and each of us kids got a bowl of cereal. Well my aunt had the sugar and salt in little containers that were much the same. They weren't marked but were in different colored containers. I made the mistake of putting salt on my cereal. Of course my cousins all knew the difference and they all laughed at me. Ha ha ha. I was the only boy. The salt of the earth I thought. They did allow me to get another bowl but it was embarrassing. Throwing out the cereal was such a sin. I should have tasted it first I guess. My cousins weren't allowed sugar on their cereal and they always had powdered milk. My parents were pretty strict however. We only ate when it was meal time. We never got anything to snack on. Now and then we would get a cookie but that was it.

Have you ever had powdered milk? It isn't like regular milk. More like white water. I wonder if there is salt in it?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Redneck eye for the liberal guy

I'm such a closet redneck. Honestly. I should have my own TV show. Redneck eye for the liberal guy. "Here, try this Polaris snowmobile jacket on!" And then I'd go through the cupboards and throw everything out. "What the heck!? Tea! I'm afraid we're gonna have to get you some Folgers!"

At least my neighbors are honest with themselves, but they are very suspicious of me. "We seen you aint got no dog?..." They all have at least one dog imprisoned in the back yard. When I ride my bike out of my neighborhood I notice. House dog. House dog. House dog dog. House dog.... and so on.

I've notice that most of these people don't ever do anything with their dogs. They don't walk them. The vast majority, if not all of the dog's life is spent just living in the back yard, with little or no social interaction. There are a few good dog owners, but for the most part my neighbors neglect these pitiful animals.

My neighbors directly behind me never walk their dogs. There is a strange relationship between these people and their dogs that I don't understand and I've been watching their interaction for quite a while now. The woman comes out on her deck which is above the back yard and throws food or treats at the dogs from above, but I never see her go down and pet them or anything like that. The kids who are boys clean up the yard and do interact a little but it is forced. And yet they feel the need to have them in the back yard. I guess it somehow makes them complete. My assesment of their relationship, dogs to people, is dysfunctional. Infact, I think the realtionship they have people to people is dysfunctional. One time I was in my back yard and I saw the lady back there. They have a very nice Cherry tree that produces really nice cherries and they don't harvest them. (?) I said something to her about how perhaps she would have a good crop of cherries and the only thing she said to me was "one can only hope.". That's the only conversation I've ever had with her in several years. Perhaps it's just me.

At the same time they have control over their dogs. But I honestly don't get the point in them owning the dogs like that and relegating them to a life of back yard captivity, and that is exactly what it is. Imagine you are a dog. And you never get to leave the back yard for years and years. Ever. How strange is that? Well I'll tell you,..It's twisted. (sister)

I can see owning a dog if you want to walk it and have interaction, train it,go hunting with it, and enjoy it, but most,.. the vast majority of my neighbors just have prisoner dogs behind chain link, and interact with them on a very limited basis. That is the sad under-stated truth about dog ownership. At least in my neighborhood.

On another note, I've been looking for this month's cyber tree but I haven't found it yet. I am adding another cyber tree from my archives however (the photo above) I've also added another inside the bubble post. Pesto Pizza.