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.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall is in the air

This weekend I went to Montana to winterize my boat. It needs to have the water drained out of the motor or it will freeze and it's been getting very cold at night over there. I went to Montana over the Thompson Pass. It's really cool back there but they close it for winter as they don't plow the snow. I like going that way because there is almost no traffic, unlike I90, and it is so very beautiful. As I came down into Thompson Falls I noticed a bachelor group of whitetail deer. The young bucks group together during this time of year. The big bucks will round up the does and force out the young bucks. These young bucks often get shot and if this young three point doesn't wise up really soon he will be the first one to go. (click on him to see bigger) I think this would make a nice oil painting. Fall is in the air.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The tape of love

the sticky stuff,..

but just like the roll of tape,
love sometimes breaks off before you are done.

Sello Tape, Flight of the Conchords. LINK to the video.

And to bring you back up, check out THE HUMANS ARE DEAD Those are my two favorites, but heck, check out all of their videos.

Not sure why I can relate to these guys.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Would you like a pipe?

Things.... I want more things. I'm such a consumer pack rat. I need counseling. I'll bring home anything if I think it's a good deal. Sam used to call me good deal don.

I'm at work and this gal askes me, "does any one in your family smoke a pipe?" I'm like, what? (Clearly she does not understand where I come from, but I had to mess with her.) "Yes!" I said. "I smoke a pipe, sometimes my mom smokes a pipe, my aunts and uncles all smoke pipes,...We all smoke pipes!" as I eyeballed the pipe tobacco she was about to give away. Well she was onto me, but I said "I'll take it!" I told you I was a pack rat. Free pipe tobacco! How cool is that?! How many people in prison would die for this?!.. I suspect pipe tobacco is very expensive even on the outside. I don't smoke, but I'm thinking I'll take the pipe tobacco and put it in my camper. I'll get a couple of pipes and then at hunting camp when people come to my camper I'll say, "Would you like a beer?,... or a pipe maybe?...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Letters from home

I told you I was a pack rat. I think I've kept just about every letter, post card, greeting card, that I've ever received. I even have valentine's cards from when I was in grade school.

Here is a random letter from my mom. She calls me Donald. My fifth grade teacher is the one who changed my name to don as she noticed that all of my friends were calling me don. From then on I was known as don to all. Donny to some of my coaches. But some people who knew me before fifth grade still call me Donald. Like my sister. So that's cool, I guess. As long as they don't call me skunk face I don't care.

My aunt Gertrude is coming to visit in this letter. Aunt Gertrude is now dead. I really loved her. She looked exactly like an aunt Gertrude should look. She was seriously into crochet. I used to love it as she sat there in the cabin with her bag of yarn spinning her web. There was something calming about it. She croched everything and it funded her bingo habit. She croched things to put on spare toilet paper for your bathroom that looked like a poodle. Things to put on kleenex boxes. Sun hats made out of Purex bottles, and my favorite the "Poop Duck" that you fill with jelly beans and squeeze, and a bean will come out of it's butt. When I find my poop duck I'll show you a picture and also one of Aunt Gertrude.

Here is the letter from my mom;

Dear Donald,
Did you get your deer yet? I think hunting season lasts way too long. Of course, I'm not a hunter.

Sat, night Alice & I went to hear the 2-piano concert of (so and so, and so and so.) (I know the first so and so and that's why she brought this up.) It was wonderful. At the last (so and so's) jazz group played. They are quite good but they played, & played, & played. Alice thought they were having so much fun they fogot all of us were stil there. Some people left finally, but we stayed to the end. There was a reception afterward, but it cost $5. so we didnt' go.
Tomorrow I'm going to work on the election again & have decided to vote for (so and so) again. (over)

***Notice the upside down message in the letter. knitting lingo not crochet. But still I thought it was cool since Aunt Gertrude is mentioned. Mom was using a subliminal message in her letter.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tour des Lacs

The second day of the Tour des Lacs started in Coeur d'Alene at the Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company. They make a killer huckleberry ale.

We all rode out of town together with a police escort for a while to stop traffic for us.

Here's a shot of the paceline as we go across the Rathdrum Prairie and back towards Spokane. There were a whole bunch of riders behind me too. I did go to the front and pulled for a while.

The Badlands race club.

Back in the Spokane Valley the wind really picked up and we rode in a double paceline. They used an odd roatation. Usually it will rotate up on one side and down on the other. But in this case both front riders would go to the outside. It wasn't as cool, and people had to stay on the front too long.

This guy had the most interesting bike. And the most patriotic! He must be able to go pretty fast because we weren't at the first food stop that long before he showed up. I bet he took that flag cover off when it got so windy. I wonder how he gets in and out of that?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pack rat

I went out on my bike for a ride along the Spokane River tonight and this is what it looked like as the sun went down. The branch that goes across the top kind of reminds me of a musical score. I always read things into photographs. I think I'll add this one to the River photos on my side bar. I debated on taking my camera with me on my ride tonight as I get out of riding mode and into photography mode. It's kind of nice to ride along and not try to capture everything and take it home with me. I think it just shows you how much of a pack rat I am.

We had our company summer party today and I needed to work off some of the food I ate. We all ate too much. My boss made pulled pork and he did a very good job on it. I made potato salad and I got several compliments. They pretty much ate it all up so that's always a good sign. There's only one serving left and I made a ton of it. Sometimes potato salad really hits the spot.

Thy neighbors

I guess I shouldn't be so hard on my neighbors. They make it hard to love them or even understand them at times. The ones behind me with the three wolf dogs (that they never walk or play with) built a big shop and then put this huge light on the front of it. I guess they think they need it for security. The three dogs aren't enough. That light is so bright, it turns night into day, especially when there is snow on the ground. There is a tree that blocks the light from my back yard during the summer. Most of the rest of my neighbors leave lights on outside all night. It just seems like such a waste of electricity to me, and like I said it makes it hard to see the stars. Isn't that why we have night? for darkness?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The coolest people

You meet the coolest people cycling. Here is a photo of Gail and Mary who I met today cycling.

I've spent quite a bit of time on my bike the last couple of days riding to and from work and also riding at lunch. I'm going to go on the second day of a bike tour this weekend called Tour des Lacs. I'll get dropped of in Coeur d Alene by one of my friends and then to ride goes the same route as the Ironman did this year to the north up past Hayden Lake and then it goes west into Washington and around a couple of little lakes. But here's the cool part. It goes with a block or so of my house so I'm going to bail out there. How cool is that? It will make for a nice morning on Sunday.

The last time I did Tour des Lacs, I was riding along at one point with a couple of kids, probably mountain bike riders mainly. The guy was wearing a button up shirt and sandals with bike cleats on them. The girl looked like a young version of Rosie O'donnell. They were cruising along at about 20 mph shirt tails flying in the breeze. I felt a little over dressed as I sat in their slipstream. Pretty casual riders. I wondered where they went after the bike ride was over. I imagined they went to a coffee house or something, or went and got another tattoo. Perhaps they went mountain climbing. I had to admire their style.

At the other end of the age groups, I met a couple of avanced (I'll call them) riders today at lunch that were in a spot of bother to borrow a phrase from Phil. Gail and Mary were riding with a group of advanced women riders and had traveled here from the west side of the state and were staying at the Resort in Coeur d Alene and cycling. How cool of them. But Gail's chain had come off to the outside of her crank and it was jammed. I asked them if they needed any help as I came up and yes they said they did. So mild mannered don turns into, BICYCLE REPAIRMAN. I put the chain back on. I had to remove the rear wheel do do it and got grease all over my hands.

"I'm going to have to remove the rear wheel." I said. "No! No! that will be too hard!" Gail said. "It's too much trouble!" "Oh don't worry, It's nothing for BICYCLE REPAIRMAN." I assured her in a deep voice. When I got the chain back on I lifted her carbon fiber and aluminum bike up with one hand and turned the crank with the other. "Oh, he's so strong!" They were clearly sucking up...

Gail had latex goves on an offered to let me use them. The I told Gail that her bike would be happier if it was clean and might shift better. Mary got a big kick out of this. Then their group came back to see what was detaining them. They all got a big kick out of how I told Gail to clean her bike. So I got a shot of all of them.

The advanced women cyclists.

And here is a photo of BICYCLE REPAIRMAN (the next great super hero) as the sun sets on his day and he heads back to the bike cave.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My next camera

Every year I buy myself a birthday present. Nikon came out with a couple of nice little point and shoot cameras. I love my little Nikon cool pix 5600. I've had it for four years. It's a great little camera. Doesn't do everything well, but it takes great outdoor photos. Amazing battery life on regular type AA batteries with the flash turned off. Plus it has an optical viewfinder and many little cameras don't now. That's really important to me.

Nikon quit making the 5600 and For a while Nikon didn't have any point and shoot cameras that had an optical viewfinder. Now they have three. The cheapest one, the P50 (photo above) that is due to come out in October is pretty much the same as my 5600. It will be about $230. It does two things that I always wished the 5600 did. It has a manual mode in which you can choose shutter and aperture, and you can choose a high ISO. Both of those things will give the camera more range as it will allow me to shoot in the low light of dusk and dawn. That's important to me because some of the best times are early in the morning and at dusk. Plus it is an 8 megapixel camera instead of only 5 like the 5600. 3 megapixels is what I usually shoot in and it's enough for most people. Plus the P50 uses regular batteries like the 5600 and that's important to me. They are making a P5000 and a P5100 that has pretty much the same lens but with all the controls and a hot shoe for an external flash. They have more megapixels but those cameras both use the nikon battery. It works ok as I have it in my SLR but you always have to have a second one ready to go and they are expensive. Not like you can just drop a couple of regular batteries in.

I've been giving this a lot of thought. I have a Nikon SLR that they no longer make. 5700. It shoots in raw and has every control. So it's not like I need a rad camera, but it is too big to take most of the time. So the P50 will most likely be my next camera very soon. I don't expect this camera to work very well indoors. But outdoors for scenery it will rock. I'm pretty sure.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Planet redneck

It woke me up at 3:00 AM out of a deep sleep. Something banging around outside on the deck of the cabin. Bear! I thought... Great. It must have smelled my grub and wants in. Then I remember. I have my .308 rifle with me,.. but wait,.. the shells are out in the truck. I brought the rifle in but not the shells!

So I got up without turning any lights on and looked out the window. I had the windows open as it was so hot in the cabin when I hit the sack. I looked outside and saw three large bodies moving. A sow and two yearling cubs I thought. Then I coudln't see anything in the darkness. I waited and watched. Nothing but darkness. So I opened the kitchen door and went out with the mag-lite. There were several head of deer in the orchard. One of them had gotten on the deck for some reason.

So I got my camera out. I'm going to get a picture of this and show Mrs. C. I thought. Then I'll have proof that it isn't me who is raiding her orchard at night, so I took this snap.

Then I got to thinking as I crawled back in the sack,... What if some of these creatures are space aliens that come down to earth at night in the form of deer to take our fruit and abduct a select few of us to breed with?! Now that BUMPER STICKER is starting to make sense!,... I can see a whole movie script. Space alien deer come down to earth and do battle with a planet of rednecks. It could be called Deer From Outer Space, or Planet Of The Rednecks.
I can hear the trailer now, "They want our fruit, but we want their meat!" (I'm going way too far with this)

And I figured out how to tell which deer are space aliens,.. They are the ones with unusual green eyes!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sun pickles

I made my first jar of pickles this week. They turned out really good if I do say so myself. They are sun pickles. Good enought that my boss wanted the recipe. There is this farmer's market not far from my place and they had the little cucs on sale for $.99 lb and they had a recipe that they gave out.

3# of cucs
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup Kosher salt (I used about 1/3 cup of salt and I think you could get by with less)
2 table spoons of pickling spice.

Wash the cucs put them in 1 gallon jar add above and then fill with water.
Let sit in sun for three days and shake once a day.

Ok I also added part of a habanero pepper chopped up, 1/3 walla walla sweet onion and 2 cloves of garlic and some fresh dill, but that wasn't in the recipe. I had everything except the cucs and the pickling spice. My friend gave me the dill and the onion from his garden. My boss gave me the habanero that she grew in her garden. I'm into it about $7. Most of that cost was the pickling spice and if I'd waited 1 day my boss would have given me that. Around here people you know have gardens so they always give you stuff.

Who says food isn't interesting to blog about!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

RIP Luciano

I love classical music, but with any type of music, I don't like it all. I'm picky that way. My idea of going to a concert on a date is going to the symphony. Who knows, perhaps I'll get to do that again. I can't let this day end without saying something about Pavarotti, or at least classical music. I never cared much for tenors. I don't know what it is about that voice I don't care for. I wouldn't mind being able to sing like that however. I'd go around Tra la la boom de ay! :) Just kidding, I don't know the real words. Over time I have grown to even like tenors.

When I was a kid I paid my dues behind the music stand. Took piano and then went into orchestra and sawed away on a violin. Here is a photo of me in a grade school orchestra. (you won't see too many photos of don on bicycle log) I think this was the intermediate one but I did make my way into advanced orchestra. The girls in there were really cute as you can see in this photo. But cute as they were, they would kill you if possible, and feed on your blood.

Every week you fought to keep your chair as one of these pretty little girls would go gunning for you. We always had all of this music we were working on for our next performance. None of the music was watered down, it was the real deal. You had to know your part. If someone who sat behind you challenged for your chair, the conductor would pick several bars at random and make you each play it. Then the orchestra would decide who played it best. They would clap by hitting their bows on the music stand. The vote was always fair. If it was too close to call then there would be a show of hands. The girl on my left is sitting one chair behind me in this photo. That meant she had to turn the pages on our music stand as we played. She's not happy about this. Our relationship was not so good. In fact, I don't think we ever spoke to eachother. I thought she was hot but she hated me. Needless to say, I didn't make too many girlfriends in orchestra.

RIP Luciano, no more fighting for your place.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A happy trail through my day

I went to a local store tonight to get some some tuna for my lunch tomorrow. I'm going to have a tuna fish sandwich. Why is it called tuna fish? We don't call other fish trout fish or salmon fish. I've never been able to figure this out.

On my way home I went past a school where a dad was playing with his two young daughters who were dressed in pink. He took one of the little girls by her armpits and tossed her way up into the air. She squealed in joy and fear.

I drove a little farther and saw two teenage boys walking along the street all cool. One of them was wearing this silly hat, something my uncle Bill used to wear when he sold Fuller Brush products door to door. Like a cheap fedora with a very small brim turned up in the back. You know the kind. I woudn't have been caught dead in a hat like that when I was their age. I had to wonder how in the world that ever came back into style. That hat was so out of context on them I thought. Like native americans wearing ten gallon cowboy hats in the old west. They mock uncle Bill.

The FedEx man, or guy, I should say, came in today and informed us that he was reading a book about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. I'm like, you've got to be kidding?... According to the FedEx guy, Roy Rogers used his skills with a gun to shoot rabbits and that fed the band members when times were tough during the depression. Who knew?

And this brings to mind a song. I wish I could sing it for you as I do a very nice rendition.

Happy trails to you
Until we meet again
Happy trails to you
Keep smiling until then
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather
Happy trails to you
Til we meet again. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Logan Pass photo

Here is another photo from Glacier Park of Logan Pass last Sunday. I thought this one kind of looked like a painting, mainly because of the sky, so I'm going to print it large, about the size of a painting and frame it. I'll be able to adjust all of the colors and such until I have it the way I want it. I shrank the image size way down to post it here. I removed the Going to the Sun Road and the cars so this is how it would have looked before 1930. I usually don't remove things or change things in photos, but I would if I were going to paint this so what the heck? If you click on it to make it bigger you can see places where I left parts of the road. I have a little more work to do on it.

I thought I should mention, the Going to the Sun Road will be closed starting September 16th for repair and will be closed for the rest of the year. I suspect you will be able to get to the top of Logan Pass from the east side.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bighorn sheep

I went to Montana for the weekend. I tend to go there if you haven't noticed. I'm afraid I'm going to go there one of these days and I just won't return. Not only do I keep going back to Montana, I keep going up to Gacier Park. Pictures just don't do Glacier Park justice. You really must go there sometime if you haven't been there. It's hard to imagine how big the mountains are.

I was way up in the high country yesterday and took this photo of these bighorn rams. Usually it is hard to get this close to them, but it has been so hot and dry that they are coming into places they usually don't. They are interesting animals. They are so casual most of the time. Just moments before I took this photo these two were pointed in the same direction and raised up and smacked heads together. What a cool thing to see and hear! The next moment it was like nothing ever happened.