Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seeing double

Last week I saw an add on Craigslist for not one, but two Nikon Coolpix 5600 cameras for $30 each. Well I had a 5600 and took some of my favorite digital pictures with it. I totally wore the thing out. I took thousands of pictures with it, and it was one of those cameras that seemed to make magic for me when more expensive cameras taking the same shot fell short. I took this picture with my old one. I didn't edit the color out of it or anything, the only thing I did to it was shrink the image size to post it.

So I thought about it for a while and contacted the seller and today I bought both of them for $40. Both with nice cases and memory cards. This guy and his wife each had one. One was pretty much mint and the other one had been used more, but they both worked perfect and at $20 a pop I thought it was a pretty good deal.
These cameras have optical view finders which is a feature found only on more expensive point and shoot cameras these days. They aren't super thin so they don't vignette, or get dark around the edges of the frame due to the lens not being able to gather enough light and get it to the edges of the sensor. (the picture above did not vignette the way I'm talking about. The camera was just really stopped down in this case due to the way the light was..) They are 5 megapixel which is enough since they have nice lenses. They take two AA batteries which is ok if you use Nickel Metal rechargable batteries. The view screen isn't that big but it does represent the image pretty well and lets you know if you have made a good shot. And they don't have manual controls or exposure compensation, but you can trick the camera into getting the right exposure.
So right away I'm going to revert back to using one of these most of the time outside when I'm not using my DSLR.
We expect things to get better and better over time and for the most part they do, but sometimes you find a product that you really like and the newer versions just aren't quite the same.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Centenial Trail bike path

I've been on my bike as much as I can lately as summer and cycling season are coming to an end. It always leaves me with impressions and reminds me of past cycling. Someone said that when you start talking more about what you've done than what you plan to do then you are old. Something like that.. I don't know who said it either because of my memory...

Anyway, last night I went out on a bike ride, and for some odd reason decided to go out on the highway. That really brought back some memories. I had the whole road to myself on the way out to the highway. Went past some farmer's fields, it was nice. Then when I actually got on the highway it was brutal. Lots of cars and semi trucks going past me fast. The wind, noise and even risk of it all really caused my mind to click. With cycling as in everything there are ups and downs. Good times and bad times, even within one ride. There was one other rider going the other direction. I saw him coming for a long way. When we passed he looked at me and waved. I nodded my head and raised a hand off of the bars.

Tonight I was back on the Centenial Trail going along the Spokane River. It left me with its own impressions. Cyclists coming and going. Each on his or her own path in their lives and yet sharing the same bike path. When I was younger there weren't any bike paths. I was always out on the highway. I was usually alone. Didn't see any other cyclists. It wasn't a shared experience the way it is now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Riding the Schwinn Traveler

I rode my Schwinn Traveler on my lunch hour today. I even got a compliment on it yesterday! :)

There's a bike path that goes along a golf course down to a lake. Along the path there are several park benches where I can stop and eat my lunch. I put a triathlon style water bottle holder on the back of the saddle, and it works well. Got to have water to wash my lunch down with! I'm loving this bike.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Twin Lakes Idaho

Here are a couple of more pictures of Twin Lakes Idaho that I took on my first Kayak trip.

These are both at the lower end of Upper Twin. There's a channel that connects the two lakes. The bottom one is the view from the kayak looking west going out of the channel to Upper Twin, and the top one is looking back east at the mouth of the channel from the lake.

(that's more what the color of my kayak is. For some reason my little camera makes the kayak look almost teal, but it's a darker blue.)

New Kayak

The first launch of my new kayak. Who knows where this thing will take me?..

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

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I was haning out with some Montana cowboys over the weekend and was treated to some impressive lariat work. Man, it was really something to watch! My old man would have loved to have seen this.
We were sitting around the fire at night listening to one of the old cowboys play guitar sing cowboy songs when they found out that I play guitar.. They asked me to play and brushed it off for a while, but then the guy with the lariat said in a very calm voice, "I don't mean to be obnoxious Don, but I'd Iike for you to get your guitar and play us a song.."
Well I figured from the tone of his voice I'd better comply or I might find myself at the end of his lasso!,..and the last time I saw a cowboy with a lasso, a bull lost his um,. bullhood,. Then I got roped and the cowboy said Don's next!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Gitane Team

Here's a picture of my 1970s Gitane Team that I got a few years ago. I collected parts for years and finally got a nice frame. Since this is bicyclelog, I thought I'd focus on bikes for a while. I've been nostalgic about cycling in Missoula and a simpler time in my life, when most summer days were spent riding my Stella 10 speed. I don't ride this Gitane very often but it's always a pleasure when I do. I'm going to have to take this bike to Missoula and go for a ride I guess.

I've been calling this a Gitane Team as it has a decal that says Racing Team on the chain stay. Clearly the bike came equipped with campy record as the frame came with a campy bottom bracket and also a campy headset. Also I could tell that it had the campy top tube cable clips as the paint was slightly faded in those spots, and so I put the exact same clips back on. Also has a campy end bolt. But back in the early 70s the Gitane lineup was from Grand Sport, Interclub, Tour de France and the top of the line campy record equipped bike was the Super Corsa. And of course they had some bikes below the Grand Sport too.

Anyway, this bike is a mid 70s and I suspect that even though this bike had full campy, it would probably be called a Tour de France, or a Team not a Super Corsa. It does not have campy dropouts on it. It has the funky honey comb rear dropouts that I used to think were so cool.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Flathead Lake bike ride

My friend and I rode up the west side of Flathead Lake in Montana on Saturday. I used my old French Stella bike that I used to ride back and forth from Missoula to Flathead all of those years ago. It still works like it used to although modern bikes are a lot easier to ride distance on. Feast your eyeballs on this picture of me as you won't see a lot of pics of me on bicyclelog. Gosh, I really should ride more.. Just look at that road!

Here's a picture of my cycling friend Salvatore. He did most of the work while I sat on his wheel as we rode into a strong head wind. Thank you for the nice pulls Sammy!

A pic of Salvatore as we approached our destination.

The view of Flathead Lake from our destination was pretty nice to say the very least.