Saturday, November 29, 2008

Homesteaders music

I decided to leave the highway in Montana and explore a remote town. It's strange. They built the town quite a ways off of the highway. Like they didn't want to be bothered by people driving by. It's almost scarry in a way. Of course I took a few pictures.

And no western town should be without a recording studio. I'm feeling some country twang coming on...

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

It might be genetic

All of the old ladies who lived in the valley looked the same. They all looked like my aunt. It was a regional look. I always thought it must have been because they all went to the same beauty parlor, but now I think it might be genetic..

On Sunday they all went to the same western themed restaurant with chandeliers made out of wagon wheels that hung above each table. Where you got a dinner salad with every dinner meal on the menu. Everyone went there for the salad dressing. They had a special Thousand Island dressing with extra salt in it. Potato chips were served with hamburgers and French fries came with the French dip. But what I liked was the paper place matt that had a map of the state and cartoons on it that I never seemed to tire off. In the lake there was a fisherman in a boat catching a fish. A cowboy on a horse over here and a logger in the forest over there.

My aunt looked like an old school teacher and had a chain on her cat eye glasses for hanging them around her neck although she always had them on her face. For all I know she really was an old school teacher. I don't think she ever went anywhere in her white Ford sedan without a white sweater and a large string of matching plastic beads. She had a white Angora cat named Sissy who made its way around the room behind the furniture and slept behind the fuel oil stove that was up against one wall in the front room of their house. When we came over my aunt would bring out a bowl of Chex Mix to serve us, an exotic delicacy for me. Something we never had at home. While my mom and aunt would visit I'd roam around outside behind the house where the fuel tank that supplied the stove sat out of view.

My Uncle had a shed back there where he made things out of wood. Over the door was a plywood fish. He made lamps that looked like covered wagons, and lamps that just looked like pieces of wood too short to make anything else. They just consisted of a piece of varnished plywood for the base and and upright piece of wood. I always marveled at how he got the cord to go up the inside out of sight. He made cribbage boards out of deer antlers, and crude duck decoys painted with whatever paint he had left over. His wood working varried in skill level. He seemed to produce lots of decoys and it looked to me like he didn't spend a lot of time on them. I'm sure if you put one in the water it would float upside down. He spent a lot of time on on the wagon lamps however. Not so much time on the regular board lamps.

They had a coffee table with a piece of glass on it with which they sandwiched old yellowing photos of family members that sort of matched the yellowing varnish of the table. If the conversation ever slowed down you could always resort to commenting on the photos. "That was George before he had his operation. He takes a hand full of pills now." "He hasn't been well for years." "He can't have salt."

Now when I return to that valley, the old women still all look the same. It must that beauty parlor.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Strange dream

I had a strange dream. I had to drive my car up a very steep road up a hill to where there were some houses. But I couldn't remember where I parked my car. So I was looking around for it and when I found it in a parking lot, it was more like a go-cart than a car. But since I found it and had to go up the steep road I got in/ on the car and up the road I went. When I got to my destination I parked the go-cart and looked down to the next house where one of my professors from art school was rolling around in the grass. He'd stop rolling and lay there motionless on his back with his arms and legs up in the air. That's strange,.. I thought. So I asked a guy who happened to be standing there, "Say, I think that's my professor." I said, "What's wrong with him?" He always does that, the guy responded. He has a drug problem. He's overdosed again. What!..? My Gosh! How horrible, I thought... We can't help him, the guy said.. So after watching him rolling around for a while, I got in my go-cart car and drove back down the hill.

I've posted this picture of Jake before but this is what my professor looked like in my dream as he rolled around.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bigarm Bay

Here's another picture of Bigarm Bay from the set I took a few weeks ago at Flathead Lake. It would have been a nice morning for a paddle in the canoe. It's about time for me to edit the Flathead Lake photos on the side bar.

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Forest sunrise

I took this picture yesterday morning while hiking to where I wanted to hunt before it got light. Actually this guy drove past me and then turned right into where I was headed and parked, keeping me from going down the road I wanted to hunt and claiming it for himself. I had walked a long ways to get there. He just edged me out of it. Pretty uncool of him I thought.

I've been in the mountains for a few days hunting. No luck... And if hunting is a skill, then no luck using my skills,... :) I'm happy not getting anything anyway. I hate killing animals, even fish.

There are a lot of ethical issues surrounding hunting these days. The whole gun thing, and all of the other rules, you can't do this you can't do that. There are those who would say nobody should be allowed to even own a gun. Then there are those who hunt who say this is ethical and that isn't. You can't shoot this way and you can't shoot that way. I've even been criticized by other hunters for having more than one box of shells. I've heard and seen it all when it comes to hunting ethics I think.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coeur d'Alene river

Here's a picture I took along the Coeur d'Alene River in north Idaho a couple of weeks ago. You can sort of see the fall colors through the morning fog. Click to see bigger.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bighorn sheep photos

Now I've done it...I've added some of my Bighorn sheep photos to the side bar.

To be honest, I'd rather photograph women,.. But this being Montana and all,..

And no, the sheep is not smoking a cigarette,... It's grass,..

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Red state reactions

I usually listen to radio in the mornings on my vintage Zenith Trans-Oceanic. (no home should be without one) I like to listen to KOFI out of Montana as I get local Montana news when I'm not in Montana. Before the election, and before I got the e-mail from Park City, there was a story about a farmer in a small Montana town who parked a trailer full of manure in front of an Obama campaign office with a sign on it that read "Change we need, what a load of crap." Good Grief! I thought... So that probably had an influence on how I took the e-mail header.

Gosh I hope I didn't get someone in trouble down there for something as harmless as that e-mail header. Some poor person just trying to do a good job. I really wasn't offended.

And BTW, I really like Park City, it's a great place to ski. It really is beautiful there, and the nice thing is that you really don't need a car to get around there due to a really cool bus system that was free when I was there. Just fly into Salt Lake, and take a van (you have to pay for the van) to Park City. It's really slick. And they are 30% friendly to democrats,...( I'm just kidding! )

And on the subject of Obama getting elected and reaction in red states like Montana,.. I heard a story out of Montana this morning on how there has been a run on the gun stores for fear that Obama will take away guns. He's said he won't do that but he could appoint a judge who might be against 2nd Amendment rights. I guess you could look at it this way, gun sales are up and that's good for the economy...

And on the subject of guns and hunting, A friend of mine came to stay this weekend and hunt in the mountains behind my place. I was going to go but it's really socked in and raining and I'm sort of getting over a stuffed up head. Don't really want to get my rifle wet. So I'm going to put some chili on in the slow cooker and perhaps drive my truck back there this afternoon.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bitter waring tribes

David Brooks was on the Charlie Rose show last night and said this; The conservative movment has been broken up into bitter waring tribes. Something like that. He reflected on the 1980s when the conservative movement was "flowering" and then pointed to a few events that served to divide the republican party and conservative movement. Taking on government, contract with america, and the religious right. But in a way his complaint was about the dumbing down of the right. The conservative movement of Buckley and the thoughtful debate of Firing Line, which I used to watch and enjoy, had somehow morphed into the the mocking rant of right wing radio to work the "joe six-pack" crowd into a thoughtless frenzy in a period of about twenty years.

I remember Rush Limbaugh once saying, Don't read the news, I'll read it and explain it for you. How small minded. It really is time for a change.