Friday, August 29, 2008

Love Shack

Maroon Five coming out of an old clock radio that someone's using as background fill in the office. Now it's Alanis Morissette. Soon it will be the Love Shack and after that Cheryl Crow. The same loop of worn out songs, hour after hour, day after day.

Love Shack baby Love Shack.

There were some really nice clouds in the sky, I noticed this morning as I rode by bike to work. But my camera was too far down in my pack to get it out. Plus I was kind of late for work as I turned back once to make sure I'd unplugged the coffee. My body was telling me that I haven't been on my bike enough, At least the air smelled fresh like the river and the mountains that I ride by. That is, until I got to work...

Love Shack baby Love Shack.

Someone used the bathroom where I change into my work clothes, and then they sprayed this stuff that is supposed to make the bathroom smell, like a "Mountain Meadow" I can't quite describe the scent, I suspect that they don't have mountains where the make this. It smells more like hornet spray and it would probably kill hornets as it almost killed me. Whatever they put in it stays in your lungs. I had to go back outside after I changed to clear this out of my lungs. It says on the back of the can;

FOR USE IN: Offices Restaurants Hotels Motels Schools Hospitals Nursing Homes Public Buildings.

and at the love... shack. Would someone please turn that radio off ?!...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sky land water

Here's another picture I took last weekend while out on Flathead Lake. Sky, land, water.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brian Schweitzer at the Democratic Convention

Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer rocked the Democratic National Convention tonight right before Hillary Clinton came on, but he was snubbed by the networks and even to some degree PBS. PBS ran an interview with Michelle Obama and then tape delayed the speech of Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and that ran over Schweitzer's speech. But the networks just talked over Schweitzer, and I think it did the convention a great disservice, as it was the most energetic thing the convention had seen until Hillary actually came out.

During Schweitzer's performance everyone was really getting into it. Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Joe Biden were all really excited as was the whole crowd. Say what you want about Brian Schweitzer, but he gets people's attention if not the media's attention. The media was complaining how lack luster the convention had been and then when it gets exciting they don't pay attention, and this right at the buildup to Hillary's speech! The television coverage was a shame in this respect. It irks me because the media blew off the guy from Montana, as if to say Montana doesn't matter. Obama must have had a reason for having Schweitzer be the lead-in man for Hillary and the media was lost to it. It really sucked.

Well Obama was in Billings Montana if I remember, on his way to the convention, so Montana must matter to him. Both Clintons, Hillary and Bill, and the Obamas have campainged in Montana, and as Montana radio station KOFI reported over the weekend, McCain hasn't been to Montana once during this campaign and I doubt he will go there. Who knows, he probably owns a home there and just doesn't remember to go there.

Hillary didn't disappoint tonight however. She did what she could to unite the party albeit kind of late, but it was a great performance as political speeches go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dayton Bay Flathead Lake Montana

Here's yet another Flathead Lake photo. (it's my favorite subject matter) Dayton bay not long before sundown last night. Today the clouds had all left the big sky so I didn't take too many pictures.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Flathead photo

I went for a boat ride tonight but didn't fish. While goofing around by the shed I managed to stir up a hornet nest and got stung several times. I have some hornet spray and I'm going to get even in the morning when it's cold. Here's how Flathead Lake looked as the sun went down.

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

Boat ride on Flathead Lake

I launched my boat on Flathead Lake today and had the whole bay to myself. I broke down and bought a fishing license for $12. It's good for the whole south end of the lake that is on the indian reservation. So I'm going fishing after dinner. If I catch a fish I'll post a picture. I usually let them go but I have some white wine so I might just eat the darn thing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kitchen door

It's hard to believe it was over 100 degrees last week, and in the 90s even in Seattle. And now in Montana it was cold enough to snow a little up in the mountains. It was really dark when I got here and I took a picture through the back screen door into the kitchen. I can see that the moon is trying to come out from behind the clouds that are hanging over the mountains to the east. Above the sky is inky black with lots of stars where there aren't any clouds. The wind is blowing and waves breaking on the shore of the lake. I'm afraid I'm going to have to go down to the shore and drink a beer. I hope there aren't any bears down there. I saw a young cougar on the way over. Slinky thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


When I was in college there was a women's gymnastic team. One time I was walking to or from class on campus and some of the girls on the gymnastics team were out for a run. When they ran by me one of the girls leapt into the air and did a pirouette, a 360 degree spin, landed on her feet and kept running. It was a simple move but it was just so spontaneous and beautiful... It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ford Futura

While I was in Seattle my friend took me sight seeing in his lovely little convertible, a 1963 Ford Falcon Futura. It was a great way to see the area and we had a beautiful day for it.

The whole time I was in Seattle I kept thinking how there must be a better way for people to get around than everyone blasting around in cars like they do. It's insane. If everyone had Ford Falcons like this I might feel different about it. That's me on the right... well my hand anyway.

We went past the Boeing plant. I realize it looks like a storage unit, but it's bigger than it looks. That's the beauty of it. They made one of the biggest, or biggest building in the world look like a mini storage.. or my photography did :) But they put a nice sticker on it anyway, and that is how you feel when you drive around the Seattle area in a Ford Falcon. Like going back to the futura...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Out of the salt mine

They're letting me out of the salt mine for a couple of days. So I'm making a bee line to the free world, Seattle,.. Artistic freedom,.. Democrats,.. Take your sandals off,.. Sit a spell,...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gymnastics update

I crawled into bed and watched the women until they did floor. Before that, beam was where things started to fall apart, but they did get silver. That's better than the men did. Everyone made such a big deal out of their bronze, and it was like the women's silver was last place or something. I thought the women were great. The mistakes they made were uderstandable. It wasn't like they came in with weak routines. The men weren't too bad either, but except for Alexander, they really need to work on pommel horse more. That was pretty bad.

Pommel horse is to men's gymnastics like French Horn is to a symphony. It's always the weak point as it's such an awkward thing to play, and done badly it really lowers the quality of the music as it sticks out so much.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic gymnastics

When the Olympics roll around I always get excited about gymnastics again. I usually hate it when people qualify what they write about on blogs, but I guess so you understand my point of view, when I was in highschool we had a thriving "men's" and "women's" gymnastics program. I was on the team and lettered in it and bla bla bla. We won state when I was a junior and bla bla bla. As I grew, and got older I grew out of it. (I'll get to this part later)

Having said all of that,.. I learned a lot from gymnastics, and I guess the main thing I came away from it with was a respect for women, how strong they are and what they can do. Gymnastics is brutal for both men and women. That's just all there is to it.

Horse for the men is perhaps the most brutal and difficult event. You might think rings is more difficult as you see guys doing the strength moves, but pommel horse is is actually in my opinion the hardest event. It was true when I did gymnastics and I think it's still true. This was where the US men lost out to Japan for the Silver last night I think. Only Sasha Artemev on the US team could swing well, did the flair and he had a great routine. Of course the Hamm brothers were out due to injury, but that's the thing. You can't rely on the old guys in gymnastics to keep floating the boat. You've got to keep bringing up young gymnasts, and I wonder if men's gymnastics isn't in a state of decline in the US.

Huang Xu on the Chinese team had one of the best P Bar routines I've ever seen.

Now back to this age thing and attrition of older gymnasts. The Chinese "women" are looking pretty young. If they are 16 then I think they ought to raise the drinking age in China to 27. I'm not saying they shouldn't be doing gymnastics, just make ot so everyone can have younger female gymnasts. This whole issue is something we haven't come to terms with yet.

I've yet to watch the women tonight. The whole time delay thing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beach volleyball bikinis

Ok Diane, I'm going to blog about the Olympics. They've yet to put the women's gymnastics on tonight so I just have this one thought about beach volleyball.

Why (I wonder) are the women's beach volleyball bikinis so darn small?!. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I love them. I just don't get it.

Now I understand the need for different outfits for different sports. Believe me,.. You can't cycle in Montana with spandex on and not have a good reason... Here's a picture of me in my bicycle shorts. I've posted it before, but I can't go too many posts without throwing in a photo.

There are lots of reasons for the spandex bike shorts and the tight fitting jerseys. They are areodynamic and the shorts keep your legs from chafing against the saddle. The jersey's manange heat and sweat.

But I honestly don't get these little beach volleyball bikinis. Perhaps they just wear the skimpy bikinis just to keep the visual interest going on. I'm sure they could play just as well in running shorts and T shirts. What the heck?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

John Edwards

"I want to see our party lead in the great moral issues." "If we want to live in a moral, honest just America, and if we want to live in a moral and just world, we can't wait for somebody else to do it. We have to do it."

My gosh... Shame shame shame...

Well, Mrs. C. was right about him. I thought it was just her right wing bias.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dog sunbathing

When I got to work, Jake was taking a sunbath in the bay. He looks like he's dead but he's just resting.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I've been tagged

Four places I visit over and over;
work, work, work and work. And oh yeah,

People who e-mail me;
undisclosed list.

Favorite foods;
Gyros, beer.

Places I'd rather be;
Any ski resort that has snow and the lift is running. The cabin by the lake.

Movies I'd watch over and over;
2001 a Space Odyssey, Being There.

Bands I listen to;
Lyle Lovett or something with some country twang and a steel guitar.

I'll tag Courtney and Mr. Montana

Monday, August 04, 2008

Niarada gate

I left the company of familiar faces, loved ones and neighbors at the yearly barbecue on Flathead Lake and drove back into the the normal world of my solitude. Even at the barbecue I was somewhat of an outsider as I'm not a club member. In some ways I couldn't wait to return to privacy of my car and the long drive, and in other ways I felt a sense of loss. I wouldn't see most of these people for another year.

I stepped out of the car as my attention moved away from the party and the weekend's events to the landscape that surrounded me. Feelings of solitude and loneliness moved in and out of me with the wind that blew across the prairie only to be blown away in the end, leaving nothing in their place.

I've photographed this gate before. I've never gone through it. I don't belong here for very long, but this gate gives me a transient sense of home. A place I found a long time ago riding my bike alone on some of these same roads.

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

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Solzhenitsyn died today

Solzhenitsyn left a big impression on me when I was in school. I have to be really interested in something to read it or I have to be forced to. I was interested in Solzhenitsyn so I took a Russian lit class and read August 1914, The First Circle, One Day in the Life, and my favorite, The Cancer Ward. I read the Gulag just out of curiosity later. (I did not finish the Gulag) If you are only going to read one book by Solzhenitsyn then read The Cancer Ward. Read the Gulag later if you must.

If you have a short attention span Iike I do then read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. It's a great read and only a couple of hundred pages. I couldn't put it down.

RIP Aleksandr.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dead Man's Point

"What's the name of that point?" my friend asked. I looked across the bay and looked at it for a moment. Then I looked back at him. "Dead Man's Point." I responded with a smirk on my face. "Yeah right." he said. "No really. What is it?" "Dead Man's Point, I'm serious,.." I repeated.

"What's the name of that point then?" looking at another point to the west down the shore. "Well, that's Dead Man's Point too." I said with another smirk.

I remembered a conversation I'd had with my Dad on the same subject, and I could see the smirk on his face in my mind's eye. We got to calling just about every point Dead Man's Point and it became sort of a joke between us. But the first point really was known as Dead Man's Point.

I was talking about Dead Man's Point with Mrs. C. one day and she told me a story. Many years ago when Uncle B. died, Aunt D. went out on a boat and scattered his ashes in the water off of Dead Man's Point, where he liked to fish. (But that's not how it got the name. It was known as Dead Man's Point long before that.) That's ironic I thought. Mrs. C. went on to say that a different Aunt, Aunt M. had a problem with it being called Dead Man's Point since Uncle B's ashes were out there, so she started to call it Resurrection Point, but that name didn't stick.

Here's a picture of Dead Man's and then later, Resurrection Point on Flathead Lake. It's kind of hard to see but it's Dead center in the picture. (click on it to see bigger)