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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

January 2003

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Wed, Jan. 1, 2003 - Knowlesville Inn

Knowlesville Inn

Finally the vacation has arrived! We start of with a visit to the Knowlesville Inn, located in San Jose. We were considering having our lawyers contact their lawyers about a possible trademark infringement, but the innkeepers were kind enough to place chocolates on our pillows so we decided to not make an issue of it.

We then travelled further south to Maddocktown to visit Carol and John and their ever growing menangerie.

Thu, Jan. 2, 2003 - Morning Trees

Morning Trees

We awoke at this morning to see something unusual, the sun. I liked the way it lit up the bark of these trees. Since John had to work, Carol and Lori went shopping at the mall, I went to Keeble and Schucat, to buy some camera goodies.

Sat, Jan. 4, 2003 - Paradise Village

Paradise Village

An early morning flight took us down to Puerto Vallarta, to our home for the week, Paradise Village.

Sun, Jan. 5, 2003 - Little Tiger

Little Tiger

Lori's favorite big cat is the tiger and she's always wanted to pet one. Samantha, a member of the zoo at Paradise Village, is a small version, being only a few months old, but Lori enjoyed her daily pets while they lasted. In the middle of our stay they decided that Samantha was getting to be too adult and it was too risky to have people petting her. This might have been partly influenced by an earlier incident where Samantha tried to eat Lori's skirt. During the same petting session, John suffered two very minor flesh wounds from her bites, one to the arm and one to the knee. But he is now very proud to be able to say he was mauled by a tiger and lived through the experience.

Mon, Jan. 6, 2003 - Pinochle Spy

Pinochle Spy

Our favorite night pasttime was to sit out on the balcony of one of our rooms and play pinochle. It really made me realize how much I miss those warm San Jose nights when you can sit out side in shorts and a t-shirt. One night this moth started flying around the light above the balcony and at first I thought it was a monarch butterfly and I couldn't understand why it was out at night. But when I took the picture, it was easy to see that it was a moth.

Tue, Jan. 7, 2003 - Speed Racer

Speed Racer

Four years ago on our first trip to Puerto Vallarta, John and I had great fun at the Super Go-Kart track, so we had to pay a return visit. This time we convinced Lori and Carol to try them, and Lori had great fun, much more than she expected. Lori's favorite number is 17, so she was somewhat upset that Carol got the number 17 car, until she realized that her's was also number 17. Lori won her race, making it two for two for the racing Knowles family. (Ok, so I admit, John was carrying a 50 pound disadvantage)

Wed, Jan. 8, 2003 - Yo Ho Ho!

Yo Ho Ho!

For Lori's birthday, we sailed on a Pirate ship, saw whales, ate several great meals, snorkeled, sat on a beach, and were entertained by a very funny crew. Doesn't get much better than that. The Marigalante is a replica of the Santa Maria, built to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.

Thu, Jan. 9, 2003 - Waving John

Waving John

Almost every day we found some time to go boogie boarding. Two days we had really big waves, and even though most of us got beat up in one way or the other (is your toe really supposed to be that color of purple?) it was great fun. Here's John riding the pipe.

Fri, Jan. 10, 2003 - Waving Whale

Waving Whale

Today we mostly just sat on the beach or by the pool and enjoyed the wonderful 80 degree weather. So here's a picture of one of the humpback whales that we saw the day before yesterday.

Sat, Jan. 11, 2003 - Puerto Vallarta Sunset

Puerto Vallarta Sunset

We only had one really good sunset during the whole week, because mostly it was very cloudy offshore in the evenings. This picture was taken earlier in the week on one night that I sensed it would be a good sunset. So we all went down to the beach to wait and watch. It did end up being a beautiful evening, and this shot of Carol and John is a great way to end the trip. Thanks to them we got away from the storms in Ferndale and got to spend a week in Paradise. Thanks guys!

Sun, Jan. 12, 2003 - Serves Him Right

Serves Him Right

After catching a red-eye flight back to Oakland, we drove back to Hollister to spend a final night with John and Carol. Then after a few hours of sleep, it was back to Mom & Dad's for a belated Christmas celebration. A few hours later, we were back on the road to Ferndale. About 4 hours into the trip we started seeing signs saying that Hwy. 101 was closed north of Willits. At that point your only option is to take Hwy 20 to 5 to 299, which would add about 8 hours to the already 6 hour drive. Since we really wanted to get home and had no desire to stay in a motel overnight (driving another 8 hours in the rain was not an option) we decided to keep going and see if there was any chance the highway had been opened. About an hour from the slide there was one sign that said to expect an hour delay. That I could handle. When we got to the slide, we only had to wait about 15 minutes, so we ended up getting home in a very reasonable time since we didn't take our usual antique shopping stops.

The arrival at home was a rather severe wake up call that we weren't on vacation anymore. Even more silt had piled up in our front yard, so cleanup is definitely going to require a tractor, if it ever stops raining. Entering the bathroom, Lori found a dead mouse on the floor, and then later, in the kitchen found another surprise on the floor, by stepping in it with her bare feet. Let's just say that Trevor doesn't quite have the hang of the kitty box yet, so he used this particular spot in the kitchen several times. It was a big pile, and Lori stepping in it seemed to release the entire aroma at once. I tried to help Lori but she waved me off, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. I decided to retire and went the bedroom. Since that room is off limits to the cats I expected everything to be perfectly in order, unlike the rest of the house where their boredom took a toll. Pulling back the covers though, I was dismayed to find that a mouse had decided that since we weren't using the bed anymore that it would make a perfect spot to hang out. Not that I found another mouse, but rather a smaller, drier version of what Lori had found in the kitchen. I'm not sure if the mouse that the cats left for us in the bathroom was the culprit, but if it was, I can't think of a better punishment for it.

Wed, Jan. 15, 2003 - More Mud

More Mud

Here's what the culvert in front of our house looked like upon our return from Mexico. It appears there was one more storm that dumped even more silt in our front yard. The culvert was about two and a half feet below the top of our little bridge, which almost got swallowed up in the mess.

Thu, Jan. 16, 2003 - Arts Alive!

Arts Alive!

The Eureka area is full of artists, and one way it is celebrated is with the monthly Arts Alive! program, where merchants display various artist's works the first Saturday of each month. I had my first ever show of my work, this month, displayed at the Good Relations store in Old Town Eureka. While the work will be displayed the entire month, we were in Mexico for the Arts Alive! opening night. But Jessica attended and from what I hear, it went very well. In case your wondering what kind of store Good Relations is, maybe the rack of condoms in the foreground will give you a clue.

Sat, Jan. 18, 2003 - What is it?

What is it?

This new feature of our yard is either:

Actually, it is the amount of mud cleaned out from the culvert in front of our house. We're not sure what we're going to do with it yet, other than let it dry out first. The pile was actually higher, but it is starting to flow a bit. Rich, one of the assistant chiefs of the fire department brought over his big tractor to help recover our front yard, and Don, the captain of Company One, and I used one of the tanker trucks to hose down the walkway and open up the other culvert so we would get some drainage again.

Sun, Jan. 19, 2003 - Dyerville Loop Road

Dyerville Loop Road

Due to the rain and vacation, I hadn't had any of the bikes out for over a month, so with the sun out, I decided to get some riding time in. I took the KLR out and explored Dyerville Loop Rd., which runs east of the Avenue of the Giants. Mostly a gravel road, it climbs steeply and then runs along a ridge, providing excellent views east and west. It was amazing to see how much of a rain shadow there is, because the vegetation was still pretty dry. I'll have some more pictures from the ride later this week.

Mon, Jan. 20, 2003 - The New Front Yard

The New Front Yard

Back to our front yard. While I had Rich and his tractor here, I had him pull out the two holly bushes that were in the front. We still need to do a bunch of clean up and regrading in the front and I wanted to get the two bushes out of the way. We're not sure what we're going to do in the front, because we need to solve the problem of having water drain away from the house, while not letting silt from the creek and culverts come into the yard.

Tue, Jan. 21, 2003 - Beautiful Pond

Beautiful Pond

One more picture from this weekend's motorcycle ride. Sorry, there weren't any women around to have them standing out in middle of it. This shot is looking east.

Wed, Jan. 22, 2003 - Ridgetop


This evening we hosted the Splinter Group, which is the Ferndale/Eureka old house group. We had them over at the shop to show them the restoration that we did, and Greg gave them a talk about old pictures. During the meeting the fire alarm went off for a truck fire up on the Wildcat. Since Company 1 doesn't roll for out of town incidents, I grabbed my turnouts off of our truck and jumped on with Engine 3. I was changing into my turnouts on the way to the scene and felt something lumpy in my right boot. Pulling it out, I thought at first it was a big clump of lavender or something like that, but on closer inspection I noticed that there were four little legs belonging to a mouse with a severe case of rigor mortis. These dead mice seem to be turning up everywhere lately. Didn't get a picture of it, so here's yet another shot from my motorcycle ride, this time looking out towards the west.

Thu, Jan. 23, 2003 - Grizzly Bluff Arrival

Grizzly Bluff Arrival

A final shot from the motorcycle ride, this was coming back into town via Grizzly Bluff Road.

Fri, Jan. 24, 2003 - Somebody Has Some Little Lambs

Somebody Has Some Little Lambs

Yesterday we shot a senior portrait at his grandparent's ranch, and on the way back we stopped to take some pictures of cutest bunch of little lambs and their mothers.