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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

July 2002

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Mon, Jul. 1, 2002 - Amanda


An email from Linda pointed me to a web site for identifying garter snakes. I think what I spotted in our yard was a Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis or California red sided garter snake. Makes sense.

Mom sent an email saying I should stop accosting young women. Sorry, it's a habit, and here's another one. Amanda is wearing an 1890's bodice that Mom gave Lori, so she's to blame for this one. Amanda found us through the vintage clothing web site and her whole family came up from Ukiah yesterday. We ended up taking pictures of her mom and little sister as well.

Wed, Jul. 3, 2002 - Flying Buck

Flying Buck

This picture was taken the morning of July 4th, but I knew I would have a better July 4th picture to show, and this could have happened any day, so we're going to pretend it was the morning of July 3rd. As I was getting my morning bowl of cereal, I noticed four bucks out in the pasture next door, plus a few does. I've never seen so many bucks at one time, and this one was one of the few 3 pointers Lori and I have seen.

Thu, Jul. 4, 2002 - FVFD & 4th of July

FVFD & 4th of July

Fourth of July in Ferndale starts out with fire engine rides for the kids. Actually for me it started out by helping wash the fire engines so that they looked presentable for the rides and later parade. Rides were given on the three big engines, plus this 1923 model that was in service in Ferndale up to the 1950s. Before the rides started, I was offered the chance to drive it, which although I was quite surprised at the offer, I immediately accepted. It has a crank start, but fortunately it was already running when I took over. Clutch on the right, ok. What, the gas pedal is in the middle, and the brake pedal is on the right? That's going to take some getting used to. Not to mention you sit on the right, and you feel like your sitting on a couch, not in a vehicle. Gear shift is on the right, next to the parking brake. I managed to make a loop down past the Gingerbread, back up to Main via Shaw, and then back to the station without doing any damage to the engine and had a great time doing it. But it gave me a whole new perspective on what people went through migrating cross country in the 1920s. This thing needed some muscle to drive and the vibration and noise was tremendous. And I drove it on relatively well paved roads for only about a half mile.

Fri, Jul. 5, 2002 - Bill's Engine & Mascot

Bill's Engine & Mascot

After the fire engine rides comes the parade. If you're lucky enough to be on the last fire engine rides, you also get to be in the parade. The 1923 Le France engine that the FVFD owns isn't the only antique fire truck in town. Bill Klatt, a long time firefighter and FVFD member, has his very own antique fire truck to play with, and the dalmation to go along with it.

After the parade, we were visited by the Mathieson and the Brosious families. Both were VPA members, but all of us have moved. The Brosious and Mathieson families were in the middle of a somewhat complicated exchange of kids, and we were in a convenient middle location for the transfer. It was fun seeing them all again, and we now have a fort built in our backyard on the other side of our creek to protect us against ferocious deer.

Sat, Jul. 6, 2002 - Bear Valley Cabin

Bear Valley Cabin

While the last two days were spent with friends from our old old house club, today was spent with friends from out new old house club. We visited two cabins in Bear Valley that are owned by members of the Splinter Group. It seems funny that a Ferndaler would need a remote cabin, but Bear Valley does usually provide a welcome respite from the colder climate of Ferndale. This weekend so far has seen beautiful weather, even in Ferndale, so we didn't gain much there. But still it was nice to escape the bustle and hustle of Ferndale, and just sit under the shade of big trees and admire the scenery. The cabin in the picture is barely large enough to hold a bed, and a small kitchen. In between touring the two cabins, we also were invited to tour a neighbor's beautiful garden. Seeing some of the plants that were in my old garden again made me think of how much I really enjoyed my little garden in San Jose. To bad you can't just pick up and move an entire backyard.

Wed, Jul. 17, 2002 - Progress Report

Progress Report

This is why there haven't been too many updates lately. I've been spending a lot of time dealing with issues related to getting my shop ready. So much for opening July 1st. I'm now hoping we will be ready at the end of the month, but I'm not making any promises. One way or another I will be open for Ferndale's big sesquicentenial celebration that starts August 23rd.

In the picture you can see that they just started putting up the sheetrock. On the left where there is a short wall will be where the cash register goes. On the right behind that short wall will be my office. The door in the back goes to the studio area. While the sheetrockers are taping and finishing the ceiling and walls, I need to get a bunch of salvaged trim stripped so it is ready to go. The tin ceiling arrived, and it will be installed once the sheetrockers are done as well. Then final electrical, floors refinished and installed, final trim, painting, and a few other details. Finally move some furniture in, hang a bunch of pictures, and I'm in business.

I apologize to everyone who I haven't called lately. Emily, we need to do something for your graduation, Grandma, I was hoping we'd get a chance to come see you, Derek, at least I remembered to get your card in the mail. Sometime this Fall I expect to take a big breather from all this activity, but for now don't think I'm purposely ignoring you all. I'm not sure what happened to that thought of moving to Ferndale so we could slow our lives down. I think eventually we'll get back to that. At least that's what I keep telling myself so I can get through this.

Fri, Jul. 19, 2002 - Fernbridge, by request

Fernbridge, by request

A friend stopped me on the street today to give me a photo-op hint, second time that's happened this week. Today's tip was to stand out in the middle of the Eel River and take a picture of Fernbridge at sunset. Since the river is so low, it's possible to wade across the entire width, or what's left of it. The sunset started out pretty nice tonight, but by the time I rounded up everything I needed, and drove out there, it had lost its glory. But I decided to proceed with my plan just to test everything out as for best spot, what lense to use, etc. First thing I found out, it would have been better to bring the waders, rather than just the boots. It is still about 3 feet deep in the middle. At least the water temp was fairly reasonable, I found out after it crested the tops of my boots. I think it would also be a much better picture a bit earlier in the year when there is a bit of water covering the sandbar in the middle. But even so, I ended up liking the pictures I took, and it was worth getting my pants wet.

Wed, Jul. 24, 2002 - The Tinman

The Tinman

The other night while I was photographing Fernbridge for the second time (you'll have to wait for the pictures, I used actual film this time) I noticed that we were getting close to a full moon. I thought that would make a really cool 360 degree photo, the sunset over the Eel in one direction, and the moon rising over the Eel in the other. Today ended up pretty overcast all day though, so you'll have to picture it in your head. I'll try it again in four weeks.

Consolation prize, is this wonderful picture of the tin ceiling being installed in the shop. Those are 10 foot ladders, and the ceiling is 3 feet higher than that.

Sat, Jul. 27, 2002 - Dad's Big Mistake (Beep, Beep)

Dad's Big Mistake (Beep, Beep)

Today was the big annual car show in Fortuna, and after stripping wood all morning, I took a break to head on over and take a look at all the hot rods on display. One of my favorites was this 1970 Plymouth Superbird RoadRunner. In 1970, Dad purchased a Plymouth Satelite, and if you look at the side of this car, you'll notice that it is the same car, only with a few extras. I remember at the time trying to convince Dad he should buy the RoadRunner instead of the Satelite, but obviously Dad was too practical to listen to a 10 year old's advice when it came to new car shopping. Of course now a 22 year old Satelite is worth about $500, and this RoadRunner is worth $79,000. Looks like I was pretty smart, even as a ten year old.

Sun, Jul. 28, 2002 - Getting Trimmed

Getting Trimmed

Here again is why there weren't too many updates this month. This is the front of the shop, after we installed some of the redwood trim that I carefully stripped. Some of you may remember helping me move this trim up here, as it came from the stash that was stored in our garage in San Jose. San Jose's loss was Ferndale's gain. We also have added the cornice for the tin ceiling, and two picture rails.

Mon, Jul. 29, 2002 - Fernbridge, as promised

Fernbridge, as promised

Here's one of the pictures taken on my second expedition to the middle of the Eel River. A bit better sunset, but still not the killer one I'm looking for.

Tue, Jul. 30, 2002 - Ready for paint

Ready for paint

Here's the back wall of the gallery, showing more trim, and the Eastlake pocket door that we made out of a door that was in the back portion of the shop. After a bit of clean up, the shop will be ready to start getting painted.

Wed, Jul. 31, 2002 - When Floors Go Bad

When Floors Go Bad

Lori and I went to the shop tonight to do the final prep and cleanup before they start painting. We were joined by our friend Lowell, and Mark from Del Biaggio Construction. While Lori was cleaning the plaster dust off of the walls, she put the ladder right through the floor. No more donuts for Lori! Actually she managed to find a board that was devastated by post beetles. We were quite lucky that: 1. She didn't fall off the ladder and get hurt (in which case she would have been banned from the shop); 2. She found it a day before they were due to start on the floors, rather than a day after they were refinished; and 3. Lowell and Mark were there and that there was still some wood left over for them to repair it. Hopefully that will be the last construction surprise.