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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

May 2001

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Wed, May. 2, 2001 - The food was rotten anyways

The food was rotten anyways

The sets are disappearing fast. This is all thats left of the diner. We had heard that they were going to haul it off in one piece so they could reuse it in other movies if needed, but they ended up salvaging the glass blocks windows and what ever else they could and then they smashed it into smithereens with a backhoe.

Thu, May. 3, 2001 - Robert Rilke - RIP

Robert Rilke - RIP

At the recent celebrity auction that benefitted the Ferndale Repertory Theatre, they auctioned off several of the headstones from fake cemetery from the movie. It took me several tries but I finally nabbed one of them and then later got it signed by James Whitmore on the back. If I can figure out how to waterproof it, it will go out in the yard over the septic tank cover, which already looks like a grave anyways. The headstone is made out of styrofoam and plaster, so I'm not sure if it will stand up to the weather very well. If it can't go outside, it will make for an interesting conversation piece in our parlor.

Sat, May. 5, 2001 - Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Ferndale, like most small towns, loves a parade. So even though the town has almost no Mexican heritage, we have a Cinco de Mayo parade. The parade took about 5 minutes to watch. After we watched the parade we drove some guests around Ferndale and the surrounding country side. We ended up on Upper Bear River road which is where a lot of the car commercials are filmed. (the ones with cars driving on rolling hills out in the middle of nowhere). Normally at the point where I turn around it is pretty desolate, but today there were about 15 assorted pickups and cattle trailers parked. They were having a round up so we stopped and watched a bit. This is the process where Rocky Mountain oysters are created and watching it will make most men cringe.

Sun, May. 6, 2001 - Being Mexican for a day

Being Mexican for a day

George is Portuguese. I don't know Barnaby's nationality but I don't think he's Mexican. But here they are in yesterday's parade, with George doing his best bandito impersonation. Although history shows us that very few banditos drove carriages.

Tue, May. 8, 2001 - 30 Day Guarantee

30 Day Guarantee

Some roofs come with a 20 year guarantee, while your better roofs are said to last 30 or 40 years. Then there is this one, guaranteed to last 30 days, and it even had trouble meeting that. This is the roof of the cupola from the town hall set. Now that the sets are being dismantled, I've been able to get a closer look at some of the fakery and I'm even more impressed with what they pulled off. The "shingles" are actually carved styrofoam, which have been painted to appear as though they have been covered with moss. We're hoping to collect some of the props from town hall to use in our house and as garden follies. We were also hoping to be able to use the siding for our garage but it is all made of pine so it can't really be used outdoors.

Tue, May. 22, 2001 - John's Tractor

John's Tractor

Well it's been awhile since I've updated the page, but as most of you know, I was on vacation, back in the wonderful Bay Area. So good to see all those cars again. Lori and I stayed with Carol and John at their new house in Hollister. I guess Lori likes Ferndale more than she likes me so she only stayed until Tuesday. I had a seminar on digital printing on Saturday so I stayed the whole week. The picture is of John's tractor, a late 60's or early 70's Ford series 4000 that seems to be leaking every fluid imaginable. He did manage to get it running long enough to mow some of his extensive property and for me to get my picture taken driving it.

It was really nice to get back to Ferndale after a week and a half. Weeds are growing like crazy everywhere, and the deer pretty much destroyed our newly planted orchard. I'm not planting another new thing until we figure out how to deal with the weeds and deer. I think we're going to be buying a lot of black plant fabric and some tall fences.

Thu, May. 24, 2001 - Eleanor's barn (and Dad's secret)

Eleanor's barn (and Dad's secret)

Today was a visit from Mom and Dad and we then went to Eleanor May's house in Bridgeville. Eleanor is Dad's cousin, which makes her my second cousin? (something to research on the web). Dad was interested in jogging his memory, particulary about the barn in the picture. At least he thinks thats the barn he remembers. He seemed to be obsessed with this barn. I think there might have been some important childhood memory associated with the barn that he doesn't want to discuss.

Fri, May. 25, 2001 - The hills are alive

The hills are alive

Today's picture was taken on Lower Bear River Road, and it is one of my favorite vistas around Ferndale. On a clear day you can see out to the ocean. From this point the road then drops down into Bear River Valley which is very isolated and scenic.

Sat, May. 26, 2001 - Mega-Sore-Ass


This morning we took Mom & Dad up to Arcata to watch the start of the 33rd annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. I'll be posting many pics during the week of some of the most outrageous contraptions. This race really demands a video camera, one of the few times I wish I was packing one. The race vehicles have to travel from Arcata to Fernale, which is about 60 miles taking the easy freeway route. The race follows a completely different route that includes mud bogs, river crossings, and lots of other obstacles. The contraptions have to be able to travers the course using only human power. It's a pretty big deal for the area and very fun to watch. This is one of the best weekends to plan a visit to Ferndale.

Mega-Sore-Ass was a crowd favorite. It was pedaled by a crew dressed as cave men, and the were able to make the mouth open and close as it went by.

Sun, May. 27, 2001 - Coast Guard to the rescue

Coast Guard to the rescue

Day two of the Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race took the contestants from Eureka, to Fields Landing and then to a campsite in Loleta where they rested up for the biggest challenge, Monday's navigation of the Slippery, Slimey Slope. The biggest challenge in today's portion was in Fields Landing where they had to go down the boat ramp into the bay, paddle around a bouy, and then for full credit, make your way back up the muddy beach. Some teams took a short cut and came back up the boat ramp. Others skipped the whole thing. The Yellow Submarine Team (actually a fiberglass septic tank on wheels) trailered their vehicle to the landing and after launching it they drifted towards Ferndale, fruitlessly pedaling their craft. Finally the Coast Guard had to come to their rescue. Loch Nut Monster, (pictured), had a mechanical failure of one of its pontoon supports and also had to be towed back in.

Mon, May. 28, 2001 - Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Today was an only in Ferndale day. First, there was a Memorial Day parade down Main Street, followed by a ceremony at the Ferndale Cemetery. The ceremony was quite moving with nice speeches, and it was nice to see Memorial Day celebrated by something other than shopping. The cemetery was very pretty with many rhododendrons in full bloom, and many of the graves were decorated with flowers and flags.

Following the ceremony the first of the Kinetic race vehicles started making their way into Ferndale. Lori and I watched them stream down Main Street from about 12:30 to 3:30, then we went over to the Slippery, Slimey Slope to watch the last few. This area was worse than I had heard, and I had heard it was pretty challenging. It would have been tough in my ATV, much less something like a human powered 10 foot tall horse. I'll have more pictures from the race the rest of the week.

The wonderful day was capped with another beautiful sunset.

Tue, May. 29, 2001 - Sparkles & the Slippery, Slimey Slope

Sparkles & the Slippery, Slimey Slope

Yesterday, in addition to being Memorial Day, was the third and final day of the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Today's picture shows Sparkle, a ten foot tall horse, navigating the last, but worst part of the Slippery, Slimey Slope. This area started out at the banks of the Eel River (which they all had to float and paddle across) and then the trail makes its way through a forested area that was home to some of the stickiest, smelliest mud you've ever seen. Sparkle had a full entourage of Mardi Gras dancers and singers following it the entire course, but in order to gain the maximum points, the vehicles have to make it through the obstacles using only the onboard power of the pilot and any crew. The vehicle can't be pushed or pulled by their support team or spectators. Sparkle did pretty good until they broke a chain midway up the slope. Repairs were made and they did eventually make it up on their own. Sparkle could also move and blink her eyes, and wiggle her ears, and was a crowd favorite.

Wed, May. 30, 2001 - The Finish Line

The Finish Line

As the racers came in one by one, they lined them up along Main Street. I got a good close look at the workings of Mega-Sore-Ass, and it was one complicated machine. Six people pedaled, each with there own derailer and then they all linked to one drive, where it went through further gearing. It even had two disc brakes.

Thu, May. 31, 2001 - Spicey Meatballs

Spicey Meatballs

One of my favorite racers came in dead last, Spicey Meatballs. Complete with wine and cheese, the meal included the driver and passenger's heads as big meatballs in a pile of spaghetti. Unfortunately early in the third day they broke an axle. Another team offered their welder and they were able to get it fixed but by then they were alread in last place, and by the time they got to Slimey Slope there was a huge que of racers waiting to make their way through. Spicey Meatballs finally made it into Ferndale about 6:30, an hour and a half after the official finish of the race. By then most everyone had left to join the awards ceremony dinner, but we were there to cheer them on at the finish.