Saturday, November 27, 2010

Canoe on Flathead Lake

Thanksgiving is over. A snow storm decended on the northwest with winter storm warnings, bad roads and all fo that. I was thinking,.. good time to go out on the canoe.. The white spots are snowflakes caught by my flash. not going to let a little snow keep me off of the lake.

Here's a picture of Chief Cliff in the winter mist.

Good thing I don't have a cedar strip canoe,.. I need to be able to run the thing up on the rocks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frosty trees

It was a nice drive to work today along the river with all of the frost on the trees, so I got out and took a few pictures until my fingers got cold. I guess it's going to warm up and snow again.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving... Or at least a well fed one. Or at least a roof over your head and a warm bed.. And a cold beer.. plenty of gas in the tank, and a few bucks in your pocket.

..and at least one old guitar..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

International Scout

It has gotten pretty wintery around here the past few days so I decided to fire up my old International Scout. I've been snowed into my neighborhood in past years but I can get around in this here Scout.

It's my redneck side.. Well part of my redneck side anyway...

To turn the heat on you have to turn a valve under the hood that allows coolant into the heater core. You close the valve for summer use or you'll get really hot.

When I was young my Dad had a Scout just like this one. He took my mom and me in it on a trip across Wyoming to South Dakota in the heat of the summer pulling a small travel trailer. I sat in the back of the Scout. My mom wouldn't let us roll the windows down because she didn't want to get her hair messed up.. Gosh it was a hot box in there. Old Scouts are all metal with no insulation. So every morning I'd get up early and ride as far as I could get on my bike. That was the best part of my day. Then they'd catch me up and I'd have to ride in the hot box the rest of the day.
They did let me ride my bike through the center of Yellowstone Park though and that was the highlight of my trip. That and riding along the Gallitan River. I don't know what cycling is like in Yellowstone Park these days. There's probably too much traffic for it now.
If you want to take the slow boat to South Dakota, drive there in an International Scout pulling a travel trailer across Wyoming in the heat of the summer with the windows rolled up... Did I tell you how well you could hear the motor running?.. I liked it so much that when I grew up I bought my own Scout!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Montana pickup truck

This is what I looked like the last time I drove my pickup back from Montana. I wonder if they could give me a ticket for taking pictures while driving. It might take a while to find someone to ask.

One time I was outside of the truck taking pictures along this stretch of highway. You could see for miles down the road in both directions and not another soul in sight. Finally along came a guy in a pickup. I could see him coming for along way. He pulled up beside me and stopped. "Just taking pictures." I said. "You'd better pull it off of the highway.. Trucks come along here pretty fast and you'll get hit." He said with urgency. I looked up and down the road,. Nothing.. "Ok, Thanks." Then he drove off into the distance and out of sight and I was alone again.

I'd better move my truck off the road I thought. Maybe when I get done taking pictures..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Butte Creek

Here's another picture of the old road that goes along Butte Creek. At least once a year I like to walk up this road. There are cedars along the creek and it's just a beautiful walk. You can sort of see the coyote tracks in the pic and there's a cedar bow haning down. The rust color on the road is a coating of tamarack needles that has fallen from the trees. It covers everything on the forest floor here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Following coyote tracks

On my way to hunting camp Friday night I drove past the Community Church, and past the LDS. Past the Maranatha Church and past the Open Bible. Past the Slavic Baptist church where they'll give you a headset to listen to the service in English instead of Russian. Then past the Seventh Day Advents and on up into the woods.

"This is the day the Lord has made", I thought as I walked up the road following a set of coyote tracks that followed a set of deer tracks. Something I remembered from a sermon I heard on my shorwave radio the night before in the camper. That old preacher sounded to me like he'd had a little too much to drink I thought as I followed along in those tracks.

Darkness fell upon the forest and I got in the truck and drove back home. Past the Seventh Day Advents. Past the Slavic Baptist Church. Past the Open Bible and the Maranatha. Past the LDS and past the Community Church.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Tamarack Larch

The tamarack trees are dropping their needles a little late this year. It hasn't been cold enough I guess. Global warming... I hate it when people say that every time it gets cold, so I thought I'd throw it in. I think we're in for some climate change next week though as they say it will get much colder. Anyway you can see the tamarack needles everywhere in this picture on the forest floor and the three main trees here are tamarack, aka larch.

This is one of my favorite places when I go hunting each fall. This is looking up a great big mountain full of larch trees. One thing about hunting with a camera, is that if the hunting is bad there's always something to take a picture of. This picture looked a lot better on the camera than it does on my computer, but it gives you an idea. I've spent a lot of time here and there's something about this place that keeps calling me back.

There were mushrooms everywhere of all different shapes and colors. This one looks like it would be very good to eat! Good thing I'm not a caveman.. I'd eat this sucker! Someone figured out that it's only cool to eat some of them...Can you imagine the learning curve?

Here's a picture of my campfire. I made a cover with a tarp so I could sit there by the fire in the rain. And it poured down rain! Not a good weekend to be tent camping, but I stayed warm and dry in my old camper.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Setting up a mandolin

A while back I bought a cheap mandolin because I wanted to get back into it. When I was young I used to play mandolin with my dad who played banjo. I played violin in orchestra and the mandolin is strung the same as a violin. I bet you knew that! We used to play music together in the cabin on Flathead Lake. No TV or anything like that up there. We used to sit by the fireplace and play music together and eat popcorn. It's something I look back on with great fondness. The crackle of the fire, the ring of the banjo and mandolin, and the taste and smell of the popcorn. The warmth of our family.

I was sitting around thinking,.. I know how to play a mandolin, I should get one! (sometimes you can be too cheap for your own good)

Anyway the action on my new mandolin was a bit on the high side. Since this mando didn't cost me that much I decided to lower the action on it myself instead of taking it in and paying money for someone else to do it. So I marked the position of the bridge with tape before removing the strings as you can see in the photo. I wanted to make sure i'd have a reference point to put the bridge back on as I didn't want to have to slide it around as that could scratch the finish. The octave is half way between the nut and the bridge so you can move the bridge back and forth until the octave is in the right place, but it helps to mark it first. Plus I tuned my guitar to my piano so that I knew what pitch E would be.

The bridge is in two pieces. top and bottom. I could see that if I removed material from the bottom of the top part I could lower the action. I did that by sanding down the bottom of the top part of the bridge. I realize that's kind of confusing. I left the low G string on (loose) so I could center the bridge when I re-strung it starting with the high E string. (usually when I change strings I'll do it one at a time, and not all at once, but since I had to remove the bridge I took them all off except the low G) I didn't bring the strings up to pitch until I had them all back on and I slowly brought them all back up like you would tighten the lug nuts on a car wheel when changing the tire. The results were really nice. It made the mandolin much easier to play as it doesn't require as much effort to push the strings down now. A lot more fun to play!



I was surfing and found out I should remove material from the foot of the bridge and then raise the turn wheels to get the strings to the right height. So I've done that and you can see what I've done HERE

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Olive Lake reflections

Here are some reflections of the trees and the mountain in Olive Lake with old trees resting under the surface of the water.

It's been raining a lot and I haven't been outside much lately. I think it's starting to get to me. Well it's almost time to go to late camp and drink of the spirit water with the hunters of ten tribes..

I already voted. We have mail in ballots here and I'm totally sold on that system. You can go through the pamphlet and really understand the things you are voting on and take your time with it. Then you aren't waiting behind someone who has gone to the polling place unprepared. I used to hate that. Plus they had to verify you and all of that. This way you get your ballot in the mail and it works slick.