Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's the scoop

People from The Scoop ice cream parlor and the STCU credit union came and gave us free ice cream at work today! They had a very cool ice cream truck.

We had three choices; Vanilla, Chocolate, or Huckleberry! (Everyone chose Huckleberry.)

Great service, (to our front door) great product, (ice cream) and at a great price. (Free!) And yes that's my car in the background. I drove to work today as they were saying we might have a thunder storm. So I drove to work and ate ice cream.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phone alert

As you might know I don't often blog about work. (and I'm at home at lunch right now) We got new phones at work. Now when my boss calls me on the com line a red light flashes on top of my phone. It kind of freaks me out...It's much brighter than it looks in the photo. I can't take my eyes off of the phone while she is talking and then I forget what she is saying. It kind of reminds me of the bat phone or something. Warning! Warning!.. Alert! Alert! This is the boss on the phone talking to you!

I guess I should put a picture of her sitting at her desk and looking at me in that little clip board thing on top of the phone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moonlight on the bay

I set my alarm for 2:00 am to view the lunar eclipse. The moon shines in my bedroom window right now so all I had to do was wake up and look out the window. I was wishing that I had been up at the lake to see the eclipse. The moon just looked brown when it was a full eclipse. It looked the best when it was just starting.

The whole bay was lit up at night with moonlight reflecting off of the water last weekend. I used to sail on a full moon when I was younger, and would look forward to the three weekends a summer that it might be possible. Of course you need a nice breeze and sometimes at night the water is calm. I took a couple of photos of the moonlight on the bay. They didn't turn out that great, but it gives you an idea.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Deer naked lady

I got back from Montana last night, sorted my gear out and then watched the last episode of Big Love. I'm hooked on that series. It's not quite as dark the Sopranos was. I'm also getting a kick out of Flight of the Conchords.

I'm always looking for bumper stickers and window decals, so I'm going to label them.

I get the naked lady mudflap thing, and the deer head, but I honestly don't understand the two together.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Touch football at my place

I came home from work the other day, and there were neighborhood kids playing touch football in my side yard. I have a large corner lot and and it is central to the neighborhood. They came up and asked me if it was ok as I pulled up into my driveway. I said sure they could play, despite the liability if one of them were to get hurt. The kids in my neighborhood are pretty good kids. I'd rather let them play touch football on my property than going off and doing drugs or something else, plus I don't want them to think "old man don, won't let us play football." And then they start paint grafiti on my house or or toilet paper my bushes or something.

I wanted to take a picture of the touch football action, but I didn't want them going back to their parents and saying "old man don lets us play at his house and takes pictures of us.". That could be bad... So I didn't take any pictures of the touch football.

Well when I was a kid I used to love a neighborhood game of touch football. We used to go to Jit Culbertson's house. We had a lot of fun doing that. Jit lived on a corner too but we played in his back yard. I have a much better touch football field here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This bickering is pointless

I'm disappointed in Stan. Usually I can say the smallest quote from the original Star Trek, and San can tell me the episode and context. He's also good with any TV trivia. Well once Mr. Spock said "This bickering is pointless." It's one of my favorite Mr. Spock quotes. But I can't quite place the quote to an episode. I think it was from The Tholian Web. Mr. Spock was in charge of the Enterprise as Captain Kirk was held in a tractor beam in a space suit outside as the Tholians were making a web around the ship. They couldn't leave as they would loose Kirk. Scotty (who Stan named is son after,...) and McCoy were arguing. Then Spock said, "This bickering is pointless." I think.

Well the women in my office were bickering as usual today. I'm sitting there in my cube going crazy listening to this, and I wanted to stand up and say "This bickering is pointless!"

But I didn't. I'm going crazy. I go to Montana and gain back some sanity and then I return here and go crazy. Back to Montana, sanity, come back and crazy again.

It's nuts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I've been thinking about starting a section on my side bar for photos of other people's dogs. This is one of my friend's dog, Benji. They say I'm not a dog person. And people are quick to define me as such. And then there are those who say I NEED A DOG , but Benji is a cool dog. He doesn't give a poop about what people think about him. I can respect that in a dog. He never did anything annoying, didn't seek attention, and he loved to have his picture taken. If I were going to have a dog, I'd want a dog just like Benji.

The other thing cool about Benji is that he doesn't fuss over how he looks much,... Yes Benji is a real man's dog! A free range dog.

A hint of fall

It poured down rain last night. It was wonderful after all of the heat and fire smoke. I slept like a rock with the window open. This morning the sun came up and I went for a bike ride before work on the trail. I love riding after a rain storm. It's my favorite time to ride when the pavement is still wet. Everything was clean cool and crisp, and there was a beautiful smell in the air of the plants and the river. Fall is finally in the air as were the geese flying in formation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August cyber trees

Here is my August cyber tree family. I went to Montana (again) this weekend, and this was the best snap I took, so it goes into the cyber tree museum on the sidebar. Of course I shrank it all down and the big image is much nicer as is usually the case, but if you click on this one it will get bigger to look at.

I have to admit, I'm getting tired of taking pictures of forest fire smoke. Now and then it can be pretty but for the most part it is ugly. I came in from the west to this place, and the sky was blue and the air was clean. I could see this big forest fire with a huge bank of smoke going right in the direction of the lake and the cabin. I'm talking a great big wall of thick brown smoke. I'm thinking great,.. my lungs are going to get all clogged up this weekend, and they did. On my way home today I came into a big rainstorm in the mountains. It cleaned the air and cooled everything down. The rain was great, but it will take a couple of days to get my lungs cleaned out. I'm afraid I'd have to move out of Montana if I lived there right now.

Anyway, I feel sorry for those poor devils who have to live in all of this fire smoke in Montana. It has been horrible for them. It's raining here now in eastern Washington and the rain is moving into Montana, so I hope it brings them some relief.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bike paths are the problem

I usually avoid politics but...

Bush's Secretary of Transportation, and "point person" in the investigation into the bridge collapse, Mary Peters, was on the News Hour tonight to talk bridge safety. I jokingly asked myself, as the interview started, how will she blame the bridge collapse on the liberals? Well she didn't disappoint.

First she stressed that, WE don't know the reason of the bridge collapse yet. (I'm sure it had nothing to do with too many people driving EVERYWHERE they ever go in GREAT BIG suvs on bridges that weren't designed for such loads!)

It turns out that "earmarks" on gas tax money spent on BIKE PATHS are a big reason for our bridge problems. Mary pointed out money spent on BIKE PATHS twice. Money spent on MUSEUMS is the other big problem. Those were the only two specific things she sited. 10% of gas tax money is spent on "earmarks" such as BIKE PATHS and MUSEUMS namely.

This is what our Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters says. This is what we pay her for. Perhaps Mary,.. if you were doing your job, you could have told us we were spending too much money on BIKE PATHS before it was too late!

And the answer for our infrastructure problems? No it's not mass transit. Certianly not bicycles or bike paths, they are the problem. It's not public funding of roads and bridges, It's toll roads and bridges. Privatize the roadways so some good old boy can make a buck. Perhaps Exxon Mobil can go into the road and bridge business? This way we can throw money out the window so we can be safe while we all drive around in our consumer version Hummers.(A vehicle designed for "desert storm" BTW), How ironic. "we will know where the money is spent." Well Mary, you fail us as a public servant if this is your answer to the problem.

Here is a photo of the State Line Bridge that I have to cross on my bike every morning when I go to work. Recently they put up these white posts. These force me to ride closer to traffic as before they could clean the whole shoulder. People in cars and trucks throw beer bottles out onto the shoulder. Now they won't be able to clean behind the posts. So I sent an e-mail to the state of Idaho about the problem. I found out that it is Washington's problem. The posts were put in to keep big trucks in the center of the bridge due to the condition of the bridge. No thought was given to bike traffic. No weight restrictions for trucks. The shoulder is already full of broken glass and now each morning I compete with someone who thinks I'm in the way and cuts me no slack.

But then I'm the problem on my bike. No credit for saving gas riding my bike to work and saving on health care costs by being in shape. I'm the reason the bridges are falling down. That's just great Mary. Perhaps we should just get rid of the bridge and we could all drive our Hummers through the river to work?

I'm so sick of the crap this administration spews out. The Secretary of Transportation is telling us that we spend too much money on BIKE PATHS and this is making our bridges unsafe.

Can the next election come soon enough?

Lost my keys

I was getting a little worried as I wasn't sleeping very well, but I think it was just because it had been hot for so long. Now I'm going through a phase in which I'm sleeping well and having wierd vivid dreams.

I woke up this morning and knew I had time for a bike ride before work. It was nice and cool out. So I ground some coffee and put on my cycling clothes and pumped up the tires on my bike. I was all ready go to and I couldn't find my house keys. I looked everywhere. I even looked in the washing machine as I had done some laundry last night. Then I though I must have left them in the back of the car when I got back from the store, but no keys there. Finally I ran out of time for an early morning ride before work and changed my focus on riding to work instead as that bought me some more time. Well my cat picks up on my nervous mood and started to meow and follow me around. She tends to run in front of me and then stop. It only makes my seach more out of control.

I finally found the keys between the washer and dryer. I'm glad I looked there. I ate a bowl of corn flakes and then rode my bike to work. I don't know what it is with me. I'm not going on any distance rides. I don't have much strength in my legs lately. I'm not a total weakling but, It's not like I'm bouncing off of the walls or anything.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Boat polygamist

It has been said that there are two things a man can love, a woman and a boat. (I have a boat,. well a couple of boats. I guess I'm a boat polygamist.) When I go to the lake I spend a lot of time on boats, looking at boats, reading about boats, and thinking about getting more boats.

Saturday morning I decided to drive over to Swan Lake to the east of Flathead Lake to go to a huckleberry festival that they have every year to see if I could buy some huckleberries. Usually I just pick my own huckleberries but it is dry out right now and the berries are said to be above 6000 feet and hard to come by plus there are all of these forest fires in the woods.

Anyway I put the bike on top of the car and headed out around the north end of Flathead Lake and into the Swan Valley where Swan Lake is. It's really cool back in there with big alpine mountains lush forest. It's where they have the Tour of the Swan River Valley, bike tour, TOSRV west, which I've ridden 4 times. I figured I'd check out the huckleberry festival buy some berries and then go for a bike ride along the shore of Swan Lake. Huckleberries sell for between $18 and $35 a gallon depending on the year. You would think there would be people selling huckleberries at a huckleberry festival but no... They had soap, ice cream, pies, Tshirts, walking sticks, everything but berries. So I went for my bike ride.

I went past this shop that had very nice cedar strip canoes. Well I remembered that Mr. C. has a cedar strip canoe made somewhere over in this area and I learned to sail in it when I was a teen. So I decided to go in and check things out. The door was open with a sign that said "come on in". As I went in I could hear the scrape scrape scrape of wood working and I could smell the cedar. I met Steve Morley who's dad, I found out, did build the canoe that I learned to sail in. (A sailing canoe) I think it might have made his day to hear my story, and it made my day to meet him and see the shop where the boat I learnd to sail in was born. The boats they make are to lust over. And what a great job this guy has in a beautiful location. You can read about Morley Canoes HERE They also make row boats like the one shown in the photo above that can be rigged to sail, and kayaks that can be used as rowing skulls.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fire season

The forest fires still rule in Montana. It's nothing new. At the end of each summer we can expect some forest fires and just call it fire season. I could see this fire at night when I drove into one valley on my way to the lake. It was a long orange sting of lights on the mountain. I was kind of lucky that the wind blew the smoke from the fire burning to the west of the lake north for the most part. Sometimes the wind direction would change and fill the valley with thick smoke to the point that you couldn't even see the mountains. (I left this photo on the big side so if you want to fill your computer with forest fire smoke, then give it a click)

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

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Do you still want it?

I just want to know how much something costs when I shop for groceries. Twice now I've gone to Safeway and decided to buy red chard for dinner. There is a sign over the red chard and another bunch green, that says "bunch greens" $1.49 and that is an acceptable price depending on the quality. It doesn't say bunch greens, with the exception of the red chard. There are only two bunch greens under the sign! The last time they had it out like this I got to the counter and the red chard rang up for $1.99, so I told the checker the sign said "bunch greens" $1.49. There were a bunch of people in line and I dindn't want to hold things up, but she wouldn't give me the $1.49 price, And she asked me if I still wanted them at $1.99. In the interest of not delaying anyone else I didn't make them go and check and just gave her $1.99, but I told her to look into the sign.

Well nothing happened and I just knew when I took the red chard advertised at $1.49 it would ring up for $1.99 and sure enough. This time nobody was in line behind me. So she told me "it rings up for $1.99 do you still want it? I said "I want it but at the price advertised on the shelf, and this is what I intend to eat for dinner, YES I want it!" So she got on her phone and called someone who said he would check it out. Well I guess after his break, because she asked again "Do you still want it?" and I asked "Is someone checking?" and she said "He is on break, do you want me to send somenone back to check?" "Yes!." So the box girl went back to check and comfirmed my price "It says bunch greens $1.49." "Thank you!" and I thanked the box girl for running back. "I'll take $.50 off." the checker said.

But I'm not done with them. I'm going back there now to make sure the price is corrected. And if it still says bunch greens $1.49 I'm going to grab the manager and rake him over the coals. The problem I have with this is three fold. First it makes me look like I'm trying to get away with something when I tell them it is advertised for less than it rings up, and second it delays people behind me who also think I'm a jerk, and third they told me they would take care of it. This is false advertising darn it, and I like red chard!

"Do you still want it?"...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Curt and Deb's new pup

Here is a photo of Curt's new dog. They have another new pup but I think this one is named Blue. Curt can tell you about it in comments if he is reading and wants to. It's some kind of a sheep dog. I think it is really cool looking, but it doesn't like me. It has a highly unusual pelt.

I'm guessing, but I think the Photo is by Curt. And that's a very nice photo too Curt.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Forest fire sky

This is what the sky looked like when I got to Flathead Lake on Friday. That is all forest fire smoke as it swallowed up the last bit of blue sky. Then the smoke rained down ash upon us. It made everything dirty, the lake, the air, my boat, and me.

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

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bad Badlands

I saw two things that cyclists did yesterday that bothered me. First was a road bike rider from the local racing club, (Badlands) as he was wearing his team kit. I was driving home from work (yes I drove my car to work yesterday as I slept in) and this racer guy blew threw a stop sign and turned at a busy intersection and no signal either. Then he proceeded to ride outside of the bike lane. He swerved quite a ways out onto the regular lane first as he made his turn. I don't know what makes these guys think this is ok? He wasn't racing, just training. I thought his actions sucked as it's right on my regular bike route to and from work. I don't think there is any justification for it. His training isn't so important that he can put someone else in a position of hitting him by blatantly disregarding the traffic laws. If it were in the middle of nowhere or if he signaled and even slowed down I wouldn't have mentioned it. But if he's going to do this sort of thing, in his team colors, while eveyone is going home from work and I see it, he and the team are going to get a mention on my blog. It's that simple.

Bad cycling wasn't restricted to just the racer. I drove down the rode to another intersection. A guy on a RECUMBANT BICYCLE ,of all things, was riding outside of the bike lane. That's one thing I can sort of understand from time to time depending on the debris in the path. But this guy went right through a very dangerous intersection with a stop sign. Probably because it was slightly uphill and the guy would have had trouble getting going again. If that's the case then he shouldn't have been out there. I'm not a big fan of recumbents anyway. It looked to me like he was having trouble controling the thing.

Hey, I can go on and on about motorists, but we as cyclists need to do what we can to be good citizens out on the road if we want to get any respect in return.


I'm afraid I'm going to have to get this jersey.