Thursday, July 31, 2008

The most beautiful woman

I saw the most beautiful woman in the vegetable section of the grocery store today. She had the kind of beauty that she didn't even need to try at. Wars could have been fought over her. Perhaps she's so beautiful because she eats only vegetables,. I thought... What would I say to her?, I wondered as I tried to steal a gaze and still act as though I was only interested in my shopping. I had an imaginary conversation,..

"I see you like vegetables,.." "I like vegetables too but I really don't know that much about them,..." "What,.a,. vegetables would you recommend?.."

I can see that I'm getting nowhere with her in my imaginary conversation, so I try something different. "I write about vegetables,.." I say with confidence,.. "Yes,.. I've recently written about rhubarb,.." "I grow my own,.." I continue, "Some people buy rhubarb but I grow it." I say trying to look modest about it,.. "I'm quite good at it actually,.." "Perhaps you'd like to come to my place and check out my rhubarb,.."

That's not working so I start wishing that a small accident would happen to her so I could come to the rescue. Like the pile of bananas would fall over and she'd slip and fall on a banana peel and bump her head. She'd wake up looking into my eyes and forget that I wasn't her boyfriend. "Who are you?" she'd ask. "I'm your boyfriend Brad, remember?,.. Brad Pitt,.. but everyone calls me don,.."

I snap out of my daydream, look around and she's gone. Doesn't like rhubarb I guess.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cromwell Island and Dayton Bay

Here is another photo of Cromwell Island and Dayton Bay in Flathead Lake Montana. I took it as the sun was going down from a high point on Wildhorse Island. Cromwell Island is the round land mass on the left.

This is my 600th post. (for what that's worth)

And your bird can sing

There's this robin up at the cabin that starts to sing at about 4:30 AM and doesn't stop until dusk. He sings the same song, over and over and over.... I think he's looking for love. At first he was annoying but now he's grown on us.

He's kind of a gifted bird in the tweet department and I think he knows it. His voice stands out over all of the other birds, and he works harder at it than all of the other birds do. So we named him Caruso, after Enrico Caruso. It seemed a fitting name. There's no sleeping in late with the windows open if Caruso's around. (He's always around...) The problem is that he only knows one song,.. Or could it be that we just don't understand his bird language?

Perhaps he sings;

When your bird is broken, will it bring you down? You may be awoken,.. I'll be around,.. I'll be around.
You tell me that you've heard every song there is, and your bird can swing, but you can't hear me,.. you can't hear,.. me.

I hope Caruso finds a chick... Soon...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

LDS Missionaries

LDS missionaries came calling tonight on their bikes. Elder Scott, the guy on the left in the photo asked me if there was anything they could do for me. They always ask this and I'm always really tempted to put them to work, but I told them that they had enough to think about. I wished them well on their mission and off they went to my neighbor's house. Then I got to thinking about it... I've always wanted to get a picture of missionaries with their bikes. This is after all bicycle log... So I ran outside and caught them. "Hey guys, threre is one thing you can do for me,.. You can let me take your picture." (Shutter bug that I am.) Hey, if they are going to offer to do something for me right?.. I'm a photographer/ artist/ cyclist. So they walked out and stood there. "I want the bikes in the shot." I said. They got their bikes. (that's my yard in the background which I just got done mowing.)

I admire the time these guys spend on thier bikes, and I pride myself in being able to cross divides and communicate with people, be it religious divides, cultural or otherwise. You'd think I could connect with LDS missionaries guys on a bicycle level. I've tried and tried to get the conversation away from the mission and get it to bikes and cycling. Find a common bond if you will. After all, I have an almost religious connection to my bike, and if they ever want to win me over then they are going to have to indulge me in this respect.

Anyway I thanked them for being good sports and posing for my camera. I really do wish them well on their journey.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Strawberry rhubarb pie

While my mom was around I wanted her to teach me how to make rhubarb pie as she makes really good pie, and I have a lot of rhubarb in my yard. It's the only plant I can grow other than noxious weeds. We actually made straberry rhubarb pie. Here's how we did it.

First she had me clean my rhubarb and cut it into about 1 inch sections. You just need enough to fill the pie pan and a little more as it cooks down. I also cleaned and quartered about a cup of strawberries. You combine those in a pot with 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbl spoons of corn starch, 1 tbl spoon of butter, and a little water in the bottom of the pan. You don't need much water as the rhubarb has a lot of water in it. Then cook that down on the stove top and then let it cool.

You make the crust while that is cooking and cooling. You need 3x flour to shortening. (About 2 cups of flour and we used Crisco for the shortening). A dash of salt and 1 tbl spoon of sugar. Smash that together in a bowl with a pie cutter, or we used a potato smasher. Then after it is all smashed together, you kind of grate it between your fingers until it is all consistent. It's hard to explain this but it's kind of like having your hands together with fingers flat and rubbing them back and forth lightly sifting the mixture between your fingers. You do that until it is all the same with no clumps. Then you add just a little cold water. Like 1/4 cup. And mix that all in. Then split it in half and roll the first half out for the bottom of the pie, and then roll the other half out for the top.

Fill the pie with the cool filling, put the top on and seal it all the way around. (I suck at this part as you can see) Poke some holes in it and then bake @ 425 for 20 min. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 min.

I guess you can skip the cooking down the filling part and just put those ingredients in the pie crust but it most likely will boil over in the oven and make a mess.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sailing the Hobie with Lizzie

The Native Americans are having a pow wow tonight at the end of the bay. I love it when they do that. The lake is still and the moon is out reflecting off of the water. I can hear the boom boom boom of the drum in the distance. It's really a cool sound but haunting at the same time to an outsider. I imagine that the settlers felt a little unsettled in the old west when they heard the sound of that drum. It's really a sound from the past.

It was a beautiful day to sail the Hobie Cat. Here's a picture of me taking Lizzie out for a sail. We had the whole bay pretty much to ourselves. (photo credit, my mom) The wind eventually filled in and it got pretty exciting. There was another Hobie 16 that came out to play so we matched eachother's speed for a while.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The dentist office

I went to the dentist today. They cleaned my teeth and stressed me out.

I really don't see any reason for the office staff to wear these dental/ medical shirts/ smocks. That stresses me out. And they have these cute things on them like teddy bears and stuff. I wish they just wore normal office clothes. It's like every one of them is going to jump out from behind the counter and give me anesthetic or something. Oh this won't hurt,..See the teddy bear? And they come and go behind the counter, glance at you and then leave. Like look at that one... He looks like he could really have some bad teeth...

Now and then you can see the dentist going back and forth from one patient to the next in the hallway behind the desk. And you hear this beep that causes him to go back and forth. It's like EMERGENCY CHAIR 1, THE ANESTHETIC IS WEARING OFF! Beep! THE PULP CAP IS COMING OFF CHAIR 4! Beep!

Every time I hear the beep my mind races. I imagine all of the possible dental emergency situations. It's not a nice smooth "bing" It's more like "BZEEEP"! It's alarming.

I'm sitting there trying not to imagine what's going on back there. Trying to focus on the magazines despite hearing neumatic drilling sounds, and these must be magazines that the dentist subscribes to. Furniture like Donald Trump would own. Does the dentist have furniture like this in his mansion I wonder? Private Pilot,.. upgrade the avionics in your Cessna 150,.. National Review,.. Is my dentist a republican!..

Then they take me into the back. There's like an incoming door and an out going door. They don't want you to run into the people coming out, but people coming out still egress into the waiting room while you are sitting there so I don't see the point. You feel their pain. They ought to have them go out the back or something...

I go in the incoming door. It's the good door,.. the kinder gentler door. They sit me down in one of the stalls, I can hear what's going on in the next stall. "And how old are you?" "Eleven" the little girl says. "Well we have a cavity here and we're going to have to wiggle a couple of these loose ones out.",.. My gosh! I think. I hope that isn't the case with me!

I look around. Posters of rotten teeth,.. periodontal disease,.. A big plastic tooth that is split in half with cavities on it that you can see in cross-section,.. My attendant comes in and the first thing she does is take my blood pressure,... 700 over 500. Heart rate of 300,.. "I'm stressed out." I try to explain,.. She looks at me with suspicion.

Then she covers my body with a lead blanket and exposes my head/ brain to radiation,.. Not once, but 4 times!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bike ride along the Spokane River

Here's a picture from my morning bike ride along the Spokane River where I used to ride with my friend Yulia. I could see her in my mind's eye today as I rode along. I miss those rides we had together.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bicycle therapy

I was a little run down after work tonight. I can't really explain it. Long week I guess. Long day. I needed some therapy, so I decided to go for a ride along the river. The air was cool and clean after a wind storm yesterday. My head unwound with the spin of the wheels. I got a few nods and smiles from others in therapy, each in his or her own little space... We hardly ever speak to eachother.

Here's a picture of my therapist. I've been in therapy for years.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Doping in the Tour de France

I've been watching the Tour de France on Versus. There has been a lot of emphasis on a "clean" tour, without doping, at least in the promotional spots. They are running these clips that show former positive testers and running the film backwards to the music of "making a brand new start". Erik Zabel stepping off of the podium instead of on, Vinokourov cycling backwards, Jan Ullrich going backwards and Landis taking off the yellow jersey, all running the film backwards. It's kind of creative. They've also been interviewing Jonathan Vaughters a lot who is sports director of the team Garmin Chipotle who have been testing their own riders in an effort to clean up the sport.

But there are many skeletons hanging in the closet. For instance, tonight they showed a piece from the 96 tour in which Bjarne Riis won and brought an end to Miguel Indurain's winning streak, with the help of Jan Ullrich. 1996 was when I got into following along with the tour. And recently we found out that Riis admitted to doping and it was most likely a big reason he won. Yet they showed this film about Indurain loosing to Riis and only at the end of it did they add that Riis admitted. It was like all of this great racing happened,... (oh and Riis admitted doping, like all of us insiders knew it all along) And now they try to put this spin on the whole thing like there are a few bad apples and now things are changing, and perhaps they are.

In the years since 96, Pantani won a tour, and then came the Armstrong dynasty, and his teammates, Andreu admitted, Heras caught, Hamilton caught, Landis caught. After the whole Riis, Ullrich, Zabel Team Telecom thing. I really have to wonder. The interesting thing about Riis admitting was that he really didn't have to do it. Public pressure finally got to him, but the insiders always knew, and he just got to the point that he couldn't live with it. I admire him for coming clean, yet he has taken something away from the sport and someone else who might have won and won't get another chance.

Well I don't know what it is about me. I'd just like to get to the bottom of it. I feel like I've been cheated I guess. But for me to have a problem with Riis ending Indurain's winning streak I'd have to know that Indurain was clean. Who knows? I'm not ready to move beyond it just yet. I think the only way to be good with anything that has happend in the last decade is to assume that everyone was doping. And clearly I think that the insiders just might know something that the rest of us don't. It will be a while before we can really take it all seriously.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Craigslist Idaho

I love craigslist. It's so much fun to browse,.. I came across this tonight:

it an stereo with a record player on top and you an record it onto tapes.. its nice and works but i jsut don't use it anymore. if interested make an offer cuz i have no idaho what its worht.

I should talk,... :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Greg Lemond on the tour

The Tour de France is back on. I'll be glued to the TV for the next three weeks. Last year's tour was another disaster, with leader Vinokourov and team Atana getting kicked out for doping. Astana has been re-organized under Johan Bruyneel (and) Armstrong. Pretty much the same US Postal/ Discovery organization of old. No doubt they are now the strongest team with Contador and my fellow Montanan Levi Leipheimer. Astana had just won the Giro (tour of Italy) this spring, but they have been left out of the Tour de France due to what happened last year. It does seem a little unfair to leave them out. Armstrong talked about it in an interview with Cyclingnews. I was going to link to that but I can't find it now. He pretty much said that the organizers had it in for them, (Armstrong and Bruyneel.) It sounded plausible.

So now this year Versus network has been promoting drug free stories with regard to the tour. Lots of "human interest" stories now have to do with anti-doping. Tonight they even brought in Greg Lemond to talk for a few minutes. I wrote about the conflict between Trek and Lemond, which I sort of view as an Armstrong vs Lemond conflict. Trek bikes dropped the Lemond brand as you can read here HERE . I thought it was kind of short sighted of Trek to be very honest.

I could tell that Greg Lemond chose his words very carefully. I don't blame him. I feel the same way just talking about it. This year without Astana in the Tour I found it hard to get too interested at first, but now the Tour is on and it's pretty exciting once again. A story left to be told. I just hope there isn't another big drug scandal. I'd worry that they would just take it off of TV here in the states. I was kind of worried that they were building too much up around Armstrong and when he retired they would drop it just because he was no longer racing.

I suspect the Landis scandal actually brought interest to the sport, but something positive has to happen for cycling now,... other than a drug test.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mosquito bite

I sat there counting the mosquito bites on my legs. A reminder of my weekend. It kept distracting me from my computer screen.

I thought about a conversation I'd had with Mr. C. a few years ago while sitting down by the lake "Was that a mosquito?!" he asked as he looked around into the air. "I don't know, I didn't see it." I responded. "We usually don't have mosquitos here." I said. "They carry West Nile Virus you know." he said. "Yes I know." I really didn't think there were any mosquitos out. "I don't think we have to worry about it tonight." I said. "I think we should go in." he said, and with that, he got up and made his way back up the hill.

I'd rub my hand back and forth on my lower leg until I'd discover another one. Then I'd scratch it until it became a white bump surrounded by pink. It felt good to scratch, and the mosquito bites responded to my touch. What good is a mosquito bite if you can't scratch it? I thought as I scratched... There must have been a mosquito under every leaf I thought. Little soft grey things that weighed nothing. I could easily destroy them with one swipe of my massive hand, but it was hard to keep up with all of them collectively.
Here is a another picture I took today of the cedar forest. I didn't notice any mosquitoes.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our house

Our house, is a very very very fine house, with two dogs in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easier... Hum along!..