Sunday, June 29, 2008


While I was toiling away today I noticed a new Hobie Cat on the bay. I have an old HOBIE 16 like this one with rainbow colored sails. I bought my old boat for $500. out of a local paper. A pretty good deal considering they are close to $10k for a new one now. I haven't seen a Hobie Cat 16 with white sails yet. This was the first one. I'm going to need new sails at some point and I'll probably get white ones. Colored ones cost more. A set of sails is about $1k for white ones. That's more than I spent on my whole boat, but it would really be nice to have new sails as they really do wear out.

I noticed that the mast on this boat is raked back more than on my boat. That will cause the boat to point up into the wind. The center of effort moves back and causes the bow to point up, just like on a sailboard. That's how you steer a sailboard, you move the top mast aft to go upwind and forward to go downwind. Having the mast raked back is a good thing when the wind fills in, and will make the boat faster while reaching. It's not so good when the wind is light. But these things are really fast for a sailboat. Until winsufers came along they were the fastest sailboats. Now there are faster versions.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I stopped to have lunch today along the Clark Fork River in Montana. I noticed this Marmot walking along the rocky shoreline of the river. It was quite large. It was bigger than my cat Spunky, and just as big as the Marmots in Glacier Park even though I've never seen one in this area. It whistled when I started up the truck and left. At first I thought there was something wrong with the truck.

The river is brown and muddy right now due to all of the run-off and snow melt. Usually it is crystal clear. It gets like this after a good rain too. The river is really high right now as are all of the rivers in western Montana.

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

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gun ownership

I have a few things to say about the recent supreme court decision about gun ownership. I think it was a good ruling, and the 5 to 4 decision shows how on the edge this issue is.

My viewpoint as a "liberal" is somewhat counterintuitive. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with the "well regulated" militia argument, if private contractors such as the present admin has employed, weren't being used in military and law enforcement roles in situations like Katrina and Iraq. I just can't believe that these private contractors are "well regulated". Clearly they aren't as they only answer to those who pay them.

Obama has clearly stated, as the court has ruled, that like all constitutinal rights, the right to bear arms is an individual right. He also added that as with all rights, it isn't without restrictions. For instance you can own a gun here where I live, provided you aren't a felon, but you can't shoot in in certian areas, like my back yard. I don't think reasonable gun owners have a problem with reasonable restrictions.

At a time when those in power at the highest level of government will try to justify "domestic surveillance" and re-define what is and isn't touture, I don't think it's a good time to compromise any other individual rights, because then you are completely at the mercy of those who come into power. In this respect I think that gun ownership is a cornerstone of our democracy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You just can't polish a turd

It was one of those days. One of those weeks actually. Everything I've touched has turned to crap. It wouldn't be so bad, but I worked hard turning things to crap... If it were easy turning things to crap, well that would be different...

I went to the store today and parked next to this great big truck. I thought I should get a picture. That truck says "Super Duty" on its great big grill. I guess going to this store is "super duty". They left it running while the went in the store and I noticed when I took the picture that someone was inside in the back seat. Perhaps they were watching a movie or something. This thing makes my car look pretty insignificant. One time a woman driving one of these didn't see me and started to turn into my lane. I had to honk.

And check out these beautiful flower pots that the city put out. I'm not sure who came up with this idea, and I'm not really sure what to say about it, but a quote from Beavis and Butthead comes to mind...

Yes I watched Beavis and Butt-head... Butt-head once said, "You just can't polish a turd Beavis,"....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Parting shot

I'm back in Spokanistan. (And thank you for that one Stan) Here is another picture I took while in Montana. A parting shot even though I took it on my way over.

The bad news,.. my Nikon 5700 konked out. RIP cool pix...

One of those days

I went out on the lake last night with my little skiff to take some snaps, view wildlife and watch another day come to an end. This is what it looked like in Dayton Bay.

It was one of those days. First I replaced a hot water tank heating element. That was fun. Then when I tried to turn the pump on, nothing. That sucked. (or didn't suck depending on how you look at it) So I ended up tearing the whole thing apart, and I'm really not much of a plumber, but I'm learning.

The sun started going down and it was time for me to take my skiff out ( which I named Aunt Gertrude after my deceased aunt who used to have a place here, and this is off point but I think I'll name all of my future boats after my aunts, but I have to wait until they die) Anyway I jumped on Aunt Gertrude and took off with neighbors watching. I was going along several hundred yards off of shore RRRRRRRRRR and then the old outboard motor konked out. I could see people on shore with fires going. Now I was the entertainment. I tried over and over to start it. The wind was blowing me out and away from my place. Finally I realized the gas line wasn't hooked up. Aunt Gertrude came back to life and off we went together.... (into the sunset)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flat tire

Since this is bicyclelog, I thought I should throw in some bicycle content. I rode up to Camp Tuffit yesterday morning, well it was sort of late morning as I think I got up at the crack of ten. It was actually more of a mid day ride but it felt like morning as it was the first thing I did. I had brunch while riding, an apricot Clif Bar. They might just be my favorite energy bar.

Anyway it's uphill most of the way to Camp Tuffit and I turned around at 10 miles and started back. I get to fly downhill for several miles. Well I noticed while flying downhill that my bike started to feel unusual so I brought it to a stop. Sure enough the rear tire was loosing air. So I stopped on the side of the road and fixed the flat. Now I need to take an inventory on my spare tubes.

I often find things along the side of the road while riding. On this ride I found 3 new fishing lures that still had the price tags on them. Around $8. worth. They had flown out of someones boat. I found one 1/4 inch socket. I'll throw that in my tool box, and a new utility knife blade. I can always use one of those.

Storm clouds

Here is what the bay looked like tonight before the storm moved in. I decided not to go for my evening boat ride.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I can relate

I can sort of relate to this guy,.. My back yard isn't quite this bad,...yet... And I try to garden,...

The heck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two lane highway

That's a song by Pure Prairie League. I always think of that song when I go down a road like this.

Another picture from my road trip today. The white stuff on the sides of the roads is clay that you can make pottery out of. There used to be an old lady named Zella who lived in this valley. She was into pottery. She made me a a ceramic dog lamp. It was a ceramic cocker spaniel dog head and only its eyes lit up. During the day it just looked like a regular cocker spaniel, But at night when you turned it on it looked like this evil possessed by the devil spaniel.

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

Cyber cedars

I took this picture in Montana today while wandering around in the forest by a stream in a grove of cedars. It was kind of hot outside but cool in these cedars next to a mountain stream. I sort of expected a mountain lion to pounce on me at any moment. I've seen some really big tracks in this area. (click on the picture it to see it bigger)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

60 is the new 20

My morning bike rides in Montana take me along the shore of Flathead Lake for a few miles and then away from the lake several more miles to a small mountian lake. Hawaii has Waikiki beach. Montana has,... Camp Tuffit!.. Where 60 is the new 20...

The trout are rising, but not so much the men... If you go there, bring your Power Bait. Camp Tuffit doesn't accept Viagra.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flathead Lake picture

I went out on the lake tonight to watch another day come to an end and take a few snaps. This is what it looked like as the sun went down. The lake was calm and I only saw one other boat, a sail boat that was anchored in a bay to spend the night. Everyone else has gone home as the weekend is over. I had the whole lake to myself, and it's a very big lake... Thankfully my old Johnson outboard worked flawlessly and got me home safely. It purred like a cat.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wildhorse Island

After all of my chores were done today I took the skiff over to the islands to watch the day come to an end and enjoy nature. It stays light here pretty late right now. I beached the boat on Wildhorse Island which is pretty much a mountain in the middle of Flathead Lake. There was a breeze coming down and the air was sweet with the smell of the forest.

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

Friday, June 13, 2008

Saint Ignatius Mission

I went on a road trip in Montana and stopped where you can see the Mission Mountains. I used to ride my bike up and down this highway but there's really too much traffic on it now to be safe. This is on the Kootenai and Salish Indian Reservation. The Bison Range is to the left of my car and at the foot of those Mission Mountains is a mission (of all things) built by some priests. I'd always heard that there were some beautiful paintings inside and never stopped to see them so I decided it was time to check it out.

This is what it looks like inside. There are 58 frescos done by Italian Jesuit Joseph Carignano who was the cook at the mission and lived from 1853 to 1919. It's really beautiful. Mary on the left and Joseph on the right.

Mary is usually depicted with a blue robe in Christian art and usually has a halo.

This painting was on canvas at the back of the sanctuary. This figure was on the left and there was a native male figure on the right. Also Mary and Joseph. The native american Mary and her baby Jesus both have halos. The top of her robe is blue. There is a star painted on the cradle board above the baby's head. And it's kind of hard to see but there is light shining down on her from above. I thought this was an interesting painting. I didn't get the significance of these two paintings until I got to the cabin and reviewed my photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Them changes

That was a song by Buddy Miles... Oh my mind is going through them changes, I think I'm going out of my mind... (I can't remember all of the words.) Oh my baby she ran out on me. And we were having so much fun... She's got me running, she's got me hiding,.. She's got me running hiding hiding all the time,...

I've changed a few things here at bicyclelog. I've added the picture above. What does that have to do with bicyclelog you might ask?.. Well Montana is a pretty big and remote place. I'm kind of nostalgic about getting around in it by bike or by truck.

I'll probably change that header. And what the heck, I'm going to bring back comments. I've got to get outside of my own little bubble again.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Camera repair

Tonight I decided to repair the battery door on my little Nikon digital camera. You can see the crack in the open battery door. Directly behind the crack is a screw that holds an electrical contact in place.

I've been using a newer camera but I really liked this one. I've seen this battery door for sale on e-bay but I think the camera would have to be taken apart. So I bought some two part epoxy and dug out some old fiberglass scraps. I sanded off the paint in that area and filled the crack and void with epoxy and layed in fiberglass strands for extra strength. After 24 hours I'll clean it up and glue up another layer with the glass going in a different direction. It looks like it's going to work.

I put a a little piece of the fiberglass mesh in the photo so you can see what it looks like. You can't really see it when you put it into the epoxy as the strands all but disappear, I was taking apart the mesh and using bunches of strands like the one seperated from the mesh in the photo. I can get a cleaner result that way and orient the strands in the dierction I want.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Congratulations Curt

Congratulations to my friend Curt who got accepted into rad-tech program. I don't know much about that but I suspect it is about the people at the hospital who give you x-rays. You could comment about it Curt but I've removed my comment section.

I 've greatly valued each and every comment everyone has made. I've tried to respond to all.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Big Brown

In Montana we don't have cable TV at the cabin. And you aren't supposed to start a sentence with a preposition... But since I like to break all of the rules here, I did. And it feels good... None the less, the neighbors wanted to watch the Belmont Stakes horse race and so did I, but they have a TV that doesn't work and we have two, one in the upper cabin and one in the lower. I got on my speedy dial up internet and found out what network it was going to be on and what time. 5 pm eastern on ABC. So I did the math,.. We are in Mountain time,.. That's now! Well not now but then... It was now back then...

So I checked the TV. Only NBC and CBS came in and a couple of public stations. I went to the upper cabin a checked it. Same thing. Then I realized I had a third TV. An old black and white TV that a gal at work gave me from her travel trailer house. It ran on 12 volt DC as well as 110 AC. and it had a a good UHF tuner that the others did not. And what the heck! I got ABC that way.

So I brought it down to the lower cabin put it in the window, strung up the wire antenna, and with a fire going in the fire place and the rain coming down on the metal roof, Big Brown lost the tripple crown as we watched on an old black and white TV. A Sony.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Memory stick

Today my boss came to my cube and asked me to pull some photos off of her camera card. I have a card reader on my tower and also on my printer. She has a Sony with a Memory Stick. I've gotten photos off of her card before no problem. This time when I put the card in it wouldn't read it. So I pulled it out and put it back in. Still nothing. Then finally it allowed me to open a folder and icons came up. But I couldn't open any of them and it crashed my computer. I took the card out and all of her images were gone and her camera was asking to format the card. Great. She had a bunch of photos on there that she really wanted to keep. Not to mention the ones she had taken for work.

Then she couldn't believe that her photos were gone. I had to tell her that I was sorry but her photos were dead. It sucked. She stomped off. This is how my day started...

So I went to the store after work to get something to eat as I was starving. They had moved everything around. Why they do this I honestly don't know. So now I can't find anything. I asked the produce guy where the coffee was and he said he wasn't sure, but went for a walk about with me. Then I needed aluminum foil. Couldn't find it. So I asked a checker who wasn't busy and we went for a walk about. While we were walking I suggested that they print out a map of where everything is and give it to the customers. She said "You know what, you can have mine." And she handed me this card that had all of the stuff listed and what isle it is on. Cool.

Lastly, here is a shot of the train tracks tonight. Wait that's not completely accurate! It was late afternoon. If you are looking for total accuracy this blog isn't the place for you. You'll have to go to Wikipedia for that....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama has won

Here is a picture of my tent last weekend. I camped out here exactly one year ago and you can see the pictures I took and what I wrote HERE .

It looks pretty much the same and I had my tent in exactly the same place. This isn't far from where I live. It only takes me a half an hour or so to get there. It's a great playground to have in one's back yard.

One thing I've learned by looking back on my blog is that I shouldn't write so much and just take more pictures. I told someone once that I'd write just to read what I'd written. Of course she took it the wrong way,..

I can't tell you how happy I am that Obama has won the nomination. I was starting to think that Clinton might try to pull off some sort of military coup d'etat or something and take over the government...

It's nice to know that rules still matter after all we've been through the last eight years.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama wins Montana

Much of the democratic primary has been counter-intuitive. Obama won Montana 58% to 40% for Clinton but yet Obama lost in South Dakota 55% to 45%. You would think by just looking at the map that the results would be similar.

I know that there is a huge anti Hillary Clinton sentiment in Montana. That might explain Montana's vote. I can't really explain Clinton's win in SD, but it might be that race has something to do with it, but that's only a guess. I've only been to South Dakota once.

Tonight I even heard governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer's name brought up as a potential VP for Obama. I doubt that will happen, even though Montana's former governor Marc Racicot became one of Bush's "closest friends and advisers" and was the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 02-03. Haven't heard a peep out of him lately though. Probably wanted to distance himself from Bush.

Lastly I thought Clinton's comments tonight praising Obama for bringing interest to the democratic party were condescending. Now it's 18 million people she says have voted for her and yet last weekend on Meet the Press Russert said it wasn't possible for her to have gotten even the 17 million that they were claiming last week. Ickes, when confronted by Russert said the numbers were based on AP projections and then wanted to quickly move on.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ickes and McClellan

I saw Harold Ickes on Meet the Press Sunday morning, and I thought, well... his name is fitting. He really turned me off. It is like the Clinton campaign doesn't care about the rules. That bothers me as it reminds me too much of the Bush admin. It would be nice to have a president that has respect for and plays by the rules. Ickes used the term "Mrs. Clinton" twice that I remember instead of Senator Clinton. I've heard Geraldine Ferraro, who is a big HC supporter criticize others for addressing Hillary as "Mrs. Clinton" as if it doesn't give her the respect she is due as a senator because she is a woman. I wouldn't bring it up, but Ferraro made such a great big deal out of it. I have to wonder if Ickes can do it then why not others?

And on the subject of the Bush admin,.. I watched McClellan on the Today show when he first "came out" and then on Olbermann, and then Sunday on Meet the Press. If we accept that view that he was a bad apple then what does that tell us about the Bush admin? They have poor judgement in selecting people to represent them, or they really don't care what the public thinks. And then after he was let go or whatever you want to call it, they turned to Fox News for propoganda. It's pathetic any way you look at it.

Montana votes tomorrow. Bill Clinton spoke a few miles south of Missoula at Stevensville. They are getting desperate if they bother to go to Stevensville Montana. There is a an article in the Missoulian about his visit and a video clip of what he said there that you can click on. WILD BILL

It was clearly hard for him to get excited about the situation.