Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dinghy sailing in Montana

I watched this guy sail his dinghy on the Flathead River in Montana from a bridge. It was some of the most radical dinghy sailing I've ever seen. The wind was strong as was the current and the pictures make it look easy, but this guy is a true master, and his sailing was a beautiful thing to watch.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Loreen Miller bike ride pictures

Here are a few pictures from the 2009 Loreen Miller Cancer Patient Care bike ride. It was raining in the morning when I got up and that was a welcome change in the weather. The clouds lasted all morning and without them it would have been a hot ride. I rode the 50 mile ride as I thought it might be really hot to try and ride farther, plus I haven't been cycling as much as usual. I really suffered on the first climb but later in the day I started to feel stronger and stronger and at the end of the ride I felt as good if not better than I did at the start. So that's encouraging.

This guy had the most interesting jersey. Skull and bones.

I rode with these two ladies on and off. Wendy and Shelley, if I got their names right. They both do triathlon and were very fit. I ejoyed their company and did my best to keep up with Wendy on the climbs. I've noticed more and more tri people, especially women doing the bike rides lately and I think that's great. Of course in triathlon you aren't supposed to draft, so there's a whole culture of non-drafting out there as a result. I was taking turns pulling with another woman earlier and she commented that it had been a long time since she had drafted and how much fun it was. It's one of the things I really enjoy about group cycling as there's nothing like the thrill of being in a long train of riders going fast. Of course I always like to sit on if possible, like I'm doing here :)

At the end of the ride they had the best food I've ever had at a bike ride. Also they had the Angus Scott bagpipe band and I always like to hear them as they can put together some cool combinations. There were a couple of young dancers that I enjoyed as well. All in all it was a geat ride as usual.

From the website..

Who are Cancer Patient Care’s clients?

Cancer Patient Care clients are active cancer patients and their families who are fighting the invisible burden of overwhelming debt. Often our clients were financially stable until cancer invaded their lives. CPC helps them meet their basic needs.


Invisible burden indeed..

I won't go into the whole health care issue but we might not need this if everyone were covered.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My first Pow Wow

I went to my first Pow Wow last weekend. The drums called me in after years of listening to them from a distance. I really enjoyed it. There was some great dancing and native costumes. A lot of it is dance competition which I didn't really expect. There were groups of drummers around an open pavillion that took turns drumming and singing. Drumming seems to be a male dominated thing.

There were lots of Montana area tribes represented. Blackfoot, Kootenai and Salish, Flathead, Cree, Lakota and others. Everyone got involved young and old. Lots of beautiful people. The smell of pine pitch burning in fires filled the air. It was really cool.

For some reason I always felt I should keep my distance. If I were a tribal member I'm not sure I'd want a bunch of people like me showing up, but everyone was cool. I'd recommend going to a Pow Wow if you've never been to one. It's a good way to get outside of the bubble.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Hobie 16 sails

They say that there are two things a man can love, a woman and a boat. I have a boat... And now my Hobie 16 gets new sails.

I know,..the old sails looked cool with the rainbow colors, but the new sails will rock, and the boat wil be faster.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rainbow Lake Montana

This is Rainbow Lake AKA Dog Lake by the locals, just inside the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. It's known for its rainbows and also for its dogs, although I've never actually seen a dog here, but I'm sure at one time there were many dogs, or at least one dog...

I took the canoe out as the sun went down, not on Dog Lake, but on Flathead Lake. I could hear the Native Americans beating the drum down at the end of the bay. They are having a Pow Wow. As usual, I'm outside of the bubble, alone in my canoe, like Lt. Dunbar, or more like Lt. Dumb Bear.. What a sense of belonging and community they must have. I envy that.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll muster the courage to go over there with my camera.

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm only happy when it rains.

It rains for two days and people at work throw a big fit. What's wrong with this weather?! they say,.. even though we can't actually go outside because we have to work,..

I'm only happy when it rains.
feels good when things are going wrong,
I only listen to sad sad songs.
I'm only happy when it rains.

you want to hear about my new obsession?
I'm riding high upon a deep depression
I'm only happy when it rains.

It will be in the 90s by the end of the week. Perhaps the cold blooded will be happy.

Pour your misery down on me..

(Shirley Manson a little out of context.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Niarada barn

My mom told me that my Dad knew the people who lived next to this. I suspect they owned this barn back when as it's the only place around. He used to come here and hunt pheasants. I have his old shotgun. This old barn has been photographed a lot. I sometimes see people out taking pictures of it. It was 90 degrees today here. That isn't too bad but this is a hot old dusty old place. Cold in the winter. Hot in the summer.

The Flathead River

Here's a picture of the Flathead River. I drive along it on my way to Flathead Lake. The water comes from the Glacier Park area through Flathead Lake and then it merges with the Clark Fork River a few miles from here and goes on into Idaho. You can't tell in this picture but it usually has a turquoise color.

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

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Feel good moment

My bike ride to work today was really pleasant as it was cool out. I left soon enough that I had plenty of time and didn't have to push. Sometimes I feel so sorry for people in cars when I ride to work. They look stressed and unhappy for the most part. I did see one pretty young woman yesterday who was singing to her radio as she drove, so at least she was happy. That made me feel good.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Raining on Armstrong's parade

I'm a little cynical about the Tour de France anymore after repeated doping scandals year after year. First I was first naive enough to believe in Riis, Then Ulrich, Then Pantani. Then bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, and then Heras, and Hamilton, Landis, and Vinokourov. Various others. It seems like just about everyone. So I guess I'm waiting for the next bicycle shoe to drop in a drug scandal. I feel a little like Dick Cheney predicting the next attack. Raining on Armstrong's parade the way Cheney rained on Obama's.

The thought of Vinokourov demanding to be back on Astana after serving a two year suspension.. Well it's hard for a fan to really take it seriously. At least it is for me at this point.

And how did I forget Michael Rasmussen getting thrown out of the tour while wearing yellow in 2007. I knew I was leaving someone out. It's just getting too forgetable.

On the other hand, I find myself drawn to watch it, and I guess it motivates me to get on my bike and get in shape. And I guess I want to see the old experienced guy do well. It was nice to see Armstrong make the split the other day and climb up the leader board. Hey if Longo can continue to win as long as she did, why not Lance?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Montana Highway 382

One time last year I pulled over on this road, Montana secondary Highway 382, got out and was taking pictures like I did today. Not a car in sight for miles. I didn't pull all the way off of the road because my car is kind of low to the ground. I didn't want to get high centered, and I didn't want to start the grass on fire with my hot exhaust pipe.

So I'm out of the car walking around on the highway and finally here comes a car. I watched it for a long time until it finally got to me and the guy stops. People often stop to see if they can help you in Montana. "I'm fine." I said, "Just taking some pictures." "You'd better get your car off of the road." The guy says. "Trucks come along here pretty fast and you might get hit." I looked up and down the highway. Not a truck in sight. "Thanks." I said...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Little green tomatoes

I've been sitting here trying to reach the mosquito bites on my back. I got them last weekend painting. I've counted four of them... I've seen them in the mirror. On my way home in the car they started to itch, and I was thinking, "I need an implement to scratch them with, what do I have in the car that would work?." I was rubbing against the seat back. That just wasn't enough. Then it came to me.. I have my paint scraper right behind the seat within reach! It worked perfect and hit the spots. It was exactly the right size and shape. I couldn't have found a better thing to scratch my mosquito bites with, and I didn't even have to pull the car over. They could market these as paint scrapers, that also work as back scratchers.. Or back scratchers that also work as paint scrapers.. I thought as I drove.

Summer is starting to sink in. Little green tomatoes are starting to appear on my plants. Little rabbits are starting to appear in my yard. I'm thankful because last year my plants were a disaster. The rabbit ate all of the leaves as I planted them in the ground. But this year I put them in pots on my deck. They are easier to deal with up there anyway.

That children's story keeps coming to mind. I never thought I'd be the old farmer dude that came to heads with the rabbit. But it's all starting to make sense. My role as the villan is becoming clear over time. This year I'm only growing tomatoes but the older and more farmer-esque I get, the more desire I have for a graden. Strange how that works. I even have a farmer tan... but I still think of it as a bicycle tan.