Saturday, January 31, 2009

Canada wolves

Or should that read "Canada Wolves" ?...

Forget about dogs playing poker... Canada has wolves smoking cigarettes!.. They've always been more edgy than we are,.. those crazy Canada people...

I'm kidding of course... I didn't realize we were blaming Canada for our wolf problem,.. I mean wolf issue... situation...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flathead Lake photo

The same view of Flathead Lake, more water and less sky. I guess I should have posted this one first. I've just been going through pictures I haven't really looked at. I'll take a whole bunch of pictures and then just look at a couple of them. I have more fun cooking than eating.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Flathead Lake picture

Here's another picture of Flathead Lake in Montana that I took back in October.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun dog rainbow

This is what it looked like when I made my way down the mountain after skiing today. The cold was brutal up there this weekend. There was no way to escape the the wind and no warm place except in the lodge. It was just about all you could do to survive a ride up the chair lift, at about 10 degrees F and winds gusting. Today they closed most of the lifts due to wind.

This it what it looked like Saturday morning as I drove up the mountain. There was an unusual sun dog type rainbow in the sky.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack Obama's BlackBerry "to break out of the bubble"

I've been a little concerned that Barack Obama would give up his BlackBerry when he became president. I think if he did that he'd become too isolated and might morph into someone other than he is now. That will no doubt happen anyway, but I was relieved to hear tonight on the News Hour that he wanted to keep the BlackBerry in his words, "to break out of the bubble".

That's close enough!... I can relate to this guy.

The cost of gas

I didn't intend for this photo to have any social/ political significance. I was just out taking pictures. We are having an inversion here and that's when high pressure keeps the air stagnant in the valleys and that reduces air quality, so they enforce buring bans. Unfortunately it also gets cold as there are few clouds and we suffer radiational cooling at the same time. So right when you need your woodstove to stay warm they say you can't use it. I have an EPA approved one BTW as it burns cleaner but even those are banned sometimes. They have different stages of burning bans. You can see the polution in the air next to the horizon.

I think it's a trade off. If we use electricity something has to make it, and gas isn't without it's cost to produce and either. Just like with CFL bulbs, I don't think there is really any free lunch to heating either.

I wish I could remember that quote from the Russian physicist who said about Chernobyl something like; nothing is free and you pay when you check out. Something like that...

And why would anyone pay $1.79 for Super+ when you can get gas for $1.59 ? It seems like a lot to pay now. People are complaining about gas rising ten cents while oil is actually dropping in price. How quickly we have forgotten about $4.50 a gallon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spreading the love

Love you too,.. I said to myself after I hung up the phone.

Did I just hear what I thought I heard, I wondered?.. I called my dentist office to confirm my appointment. The receptionist, after thanking me for confirming said "love you" right before she hung up the phone. The force of habit I guess as she must have just talked to a loved one.

But hey, I'll take what I can get...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Helmet art

It has been said that skiing is a form of self-expression, and if skiing is, then snowboarding is for sure. I rode the chair up with this snowboarder kid's father. The kid modified his helmet with paint and what looks like a broom sticking out of it. I told his dad that I'd make him clean his room with it... :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Miss January

I've been taking pictures so I'll post a couple. Here's a tree from where I ski.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

View of Lake Pend Oreille

Here's a picture from the top of the mountain today. I didn't ski very well but it was really nice out. I left the house without my lunch, so all I had to eat was a salted nut roll candy bar,.. So I stopped into the Outback Bar and got a can of Pabst, parked myself with a view of the lake, and took in some rays.

Click on photo if you want to see it bigger.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Riding chairlifts

I spend a lot of time riding chairlifts each winter. It was nice being on the mountain today as it was the only place to get above the fog. All of the people in the valleys are stuck in the fog and it has lasted for days now. It starts to get to you after a while. That's the thing I always like about skiing. It gets you up and out of the fog, and it really makes a difference in your attitude.

Today was the most pleasant day of skiing I've had this year. No wind, no people, sunshine, and fast snow. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chill out

There's something about fog that chills you to the bone. Fog and wind... Fog, wind and mist.. If they ask me what I did over the weekend I'll just say I chilled out.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Spokane melt down

I didn't think I'd ever like to see the so called "Pinapple Express", the warm winds coming in from the south pacific, as it usually melts the ski snow, but this year it was a welcome event. Eastern Washington state got 77 inches of snow in the last couple of weeks and it was just too much all at once as 16 inches is normal for this time of year. For a while I could barely get in and out of my neighborhood with my truck chained up. My car was useless as it was just too low to the ground. It didn't seem to let up. As recently as Monday we got another 6 inches or so of wet snow. Since then it has been melting and everyone is happy. Now most of the roads are bare and wet. I went up on our roof at work to clear out the drains yesterday and there was a lot of snow ice and water up there. Lots of flat roofs like that have been falling in. Today I went up there and there was no snow and just a little water and ice. It's been an amazing transformation in just two days. This weekend it is going to cool back down and that will freeze up the ski hill and make a nice solid base.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dog snowshoes

It's been a hard winter and it's just getting started. It's been very hard on dogs too. Here's a picture of Max in his winter coat complete with racing stripe, although he wasn't in much of a hurry to go anywhere. Max is also sporting some very nice looking dog snowshoes custom made by his owner. He's a lucky dog as it was very cold today, around 10 degrees F. (F for F'n cold) I think Max would have been just as happy to stay inside by the fire today.

I was going to remove Other Peoples Dogs from my blog and I started doing that but It's kind of important to me for some odd reason. Just not presented well.

On the other hand it's only so important to me. I've been told that I need a dog. Like if I had a dog I wouldn't be so screwed up.. or something. I wrote about it (You Need a Dog on the sidebar) but I read what I wrote and thought, Man I really am screwed up... Maybe I do need a dog...

But I can't really see myself making dog snowshoes and dressing up a dog to go for a walk. Not that other people shouldn't...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Cubical doorbell

I got this cubical doorbell at our company gift exchange. Now when people come to pester me,.. I mean, when they come to work out urgent business, instead of screaming at me in crisis mode they can ring the bell first. It has a number of sounds from a cat to ah-oo-ga, but I like the regular doorbell sound. It's the most civilized. The ah-oo-ga sound might be more appropriate though... Ah-oo-ga! Ah-oo-ga! Incoming! Dive! Dive!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Jesus Camp and Operation Filmmaker

I'd have to say that this is my least favorite time of the year. December anyway. I usually can't wait until all if the holiday season is over so I can ski, but so far it's been difficult to get up to the mountain. That will soon change I hope.

So I have been watching a lot of TV. Documentaries are my favorite kind of TV program. I shovel snow then I come in and watch a documentary. Shovel snow, documentary. Shovel snow, news. Snow, documentary. Snow, Leave it to Beaver, and so on..

Two documentaries have left an impression on me lately. The first one was Jesus Camp. Somewhere in North Dakota religious right people bring their kids to be drilled on how to be just like their parents. That was a trip. At one point one of the instructors/ pastors got out a little case with little fetus dolls in it at different stages of development and showed them to the kids. My gosh I thought. That just felt wrong to me for kids that age. It was difficult to watch actually. Talk about kids growing up too fast. They had kids crying and leaning how to protest abortion. I think Boy Scout/ Girl Scout camp might be a better option. Perhaps they could learn to value life by enjoying it. Teach them how to canoe and this sort of thing...

Jesus Camp had kind of a cool ending though. This woman was driving her SUV or mini-van down this business strip with the flag flying over a KFC and saying how she loved the american life. Then she drove it into an automatic car wash while she listend to religious radio confirm her belief system. That was pretty well done.

The next one that left an impression on me was on Independent Lens called Operation Filmmaker. It was about bringing an Iraqi young person interested in filmmaking out of Iraq and letting him work on the set of Everything Is Iluminated and then following his struggle to not go back to Iraq after the filming was over. Nina Davenport made the documentary. It was also a trip. I've heard different things about this film. My impression of it was that many of the movie/ TV people, except the star of Doom (Dwayne Johnson/ The Rock?) couldn't really grasp the reality of this guys situation. I think everything in this documentary illuminated how removed from the Iraq war we've all been, with the exception of those who have been doing the fighting, (and The Rock who is a very nice guy)

It also had a cool ending. (Before I gave too much of it away, so I'll change this to say that this is a good film and worth watching. They do re-air them a few times but usually it's in the middle of the night so you might have to set your recorder.)