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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

January 2004

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Thu, Jan. 1, 2004 - Same as Last Year

Same as Last Year

You start a new year all positive, hoping it's going to be better than the previous year. (Which last year wasn't that great, so it shouldn't be hard to beat.) For me this positive attitude lasted until I got out of bed and looked out our back window to see Williams Creek at flood stage. Weather wise, 2004 looks to be a repeat of 2003.

Fri, Jan. 2, 2004 - Lake Rose

Lake Rose

After viewing the backyard, I was prepared for the worst in the front yard, and found it. It's been very cold in addition to the heavy rain, so we've been keeping our fingers crossed for snow. So far the only frozen precipation that has landed has been in violent hail storms.

Sun, Jan. 4, 2004 - There's Snow in Them There Hills!

There's Snow in Them There Hills!

It stopped raining long enough today that I decided to chuck my planned schedule and instead go for a motorcycle ride. It was pretty cold so I put on my insulated jeans, a turtleneck, and a sweatshirt. Then I layered on my insulated bib pants, an electric vest, and finally my winter motorcycle jacket. Just as I was leaving I noticed that there was snow in the hills so I went back to get the camera. I didn't really want to take it originally, because I thought the chances were pretty good I'd probably be riding home in the rain. But I ended up riding up Monument and across Bear River ridge and had a wonderful time taking pictures in the snow. With all my layers I stayed pretty warm. I sure wish I was as well dressed when I went to Alaska. I'll have a few more pictures from the ride later this week, but today's picture was my favorite. Notice the little paw prints in the foreground. Somebody was thirsty, even if it was nearly freezing water.

Mon, Jan. 5, 2004 - Williams Creek Sunrise

Williams Creek Sunrise

How can you not enjoy living in the country when this is the view from your backyard when you get up in the morning? So what if the front of the yard resembles a lake.

My original intent when I saw the sunrise developing was to drive to a spot about 5 miles away that I've wanted to photograph with a sky like this. After getting behind the wheel of our truck I found that there was a thick layer of frost on the windshield that no amount of wiper activity would clear. I even tried rolling down the windows, only they were frozen shut. Knowing that by the time I got the windows defrosted, the sunrise would disappear, I settled on taking pictures in the back yard. Not a bad plan B.

Tue, Jan. 6, 2004 - Negotiating


Much of Bear River Valley is free range. That means you'll often encounter cattle in the road. But I've noticed that when the cows are pregnant, they get pretty stubborn about moving out of your way. It's especially noticeable on the second cow from the right, but I think most of the cows in this pack were pregnant, and they weren't too interested in letting me through. Did finally make it though.

Wed, Jan. 7, 2004 - Bear Ridge Snow

Bear Ridge Snow

Here's another shot from Sunday's motorcycle ride. I like how this photo, even though it is color, has a sense of being a black and white photo.

Fri, Jan. 9, 2004 - One More Project

One More Project

As we left for work this morning I noticed a large puddle of water on our porch floor. We had been experiencing a small intermittent leak from the exhaust pipe for the heater and I had planned to fix it if it ever stopped raining. But I noticed that the sheetrock on the ceiling and walls was starting to bubble, so I knew the problem was getting more serious. I pulled a bit of the sheetrock down just to locate where the water was actually coming from. I was surprised to find we had a beadboard ceiling underneath the sheetrock. That's the good news. The bad news is we don't have attic access to the porch, so I needed to cut a small hole in the beadboard to confirm where the water was coming from. Both the inlet and exhaust pipes seem to be leaking, so once again I'm waiting for it to stop raining so I can repair the seals. Then I'll add ripping down the rest of the sheetrock to my ever growing list of house repair items.

Sat, Jan. 10, 2004 - Learning to Survive

Learning to Survive

We were warned that this Saturday's class was going to be tough and they weren't kidding. Even though I passed on a few of the excercises due to my back, I still felt like I had been tossed around inside a cement mixer by the end of the day. The day's topic was firefighter survival, and we learned how perform several types of rescues. This meant getting dragged up and down stairs, dragging others up and down stairs, being tossed out second story windows, and carried down ladders. We ended the day with a couple more mazes, shorter than the first one, but they dealt with more specific problems. The photo illustrates a way to carry a down firefighter (or other victim) down a ladder by yourself. Believe it or not, this was the easiest drill of the day. It looks like it would be tough, but the ladder actually supports most of the victim's weight.

Sun, Jan. 11, 2004 - Valentine's Coming

Valentine's Coming

Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I wanted to get some pictures in the shop's window. Sheila got the red treatment.

Mon, Jan. 12, 2004 - Wires


Saturday's class returned us to the location where we went through the maze before Christmas. Since I didn't bring my camera that day, I went back through portions of the maze to take pictures of it. This picture shows the entry, where we encountered the wires. The wires are hanging about 12" off of the floor. When you can see them it doesn't look that tough to scoot under, but being blindfolded and having a hat that has a huge brim front and rear, and a tank on your back with all kinds of projections to snag, it becomes a lot harder task.

Tue, Jan. 20, 2004 - Work Begins

Work Begins

The rain finally stopped, and so the work on our front fence finally began. Since it doesn't look like the county is going to be fixing the flooding problem any time soon, we are building a retaining wall in the front. Today they dug the trench for the footing. Del Biaggo Construction is building a concrete foundation for the new fence that will eventually have an arbor for our Cecille Brunner roses.

Wed, Jan. 21, 2004 - Henry's T-shirt

Henry's T-shirt

We first met Henry Del Biaggio when I took some pictures of a bull in a flood plain by his house. When we later invited Henry and his wife Carol over to play pinochle, Carol told us she would try to get him to wear a shirt. You see, Henry is well known for wearing a plain white t-shirt, rain or shine; hot or cold (as if it ever gets hot here in Ferndale.) This morning I watched Henry drive his tractor by the kitchen window wearing his trademark t-shirt, and checking the temperature outside I noted that it was a balmy 40 degrees. Certainly not t-shirt whether for me. Henry is moving dirt around, which lately we seem to have plenty of. We now have matching piles in the front and back yards.

Fri, Jan. 23, 2004 - The Forms Come Off

The Forms Come Off

Yesterday they poured the cement for the base, and this morning they took the forms off. The recessed panels in the concrete echo the panels on the bay windows rather nicely. They were going to work on the front path and the driveway today, but it started pouring rain again, so I'm not sure how much they will have accomplished.

Sat, Jan. 24, 2004 - Up a tree

Up a tree

If Meg weren't such a fattie, she would probably enjoy climbing all the trees around our yard. But being that she does have a bit of a weight problem, this is as high as she goes.

Sun, Jan. 25, 2004 - Bouncy Ricky

Bouncy Ricky

Ricky picks up nicknames on a pretty frequent basis, the latest being Bouncy Ricky. He has a habit of bouncing between the top of the futon to Lori's lap when we watch TV. His take offs and landings are usually rather abrupt, making his twelve and a half pounds seem much heavier.

Mon, Jan. 26, 2004 - Pouring the driveway

Pouring the driveway

Today they poured a slab for the beginning of our driveway. The rest of the driveway will get poured when we get back to working on the garage. But it will at least be nice to have this portion paved.

Tue, Jan. 27, 2004 - Shaggy Dogs

Shaggy Dogs

I was looking out the window of our office when this Jeep drove up with two of the shaggiest creatures I have ever seen. The most common animals to be seen in the back of trucks in Ferndale are of course dogs, but it's not uncommon to see calves, sheep, and other farm animals either. I was trying to figure out if these whooly beasts were dogs, calves, baby buffaloes (there are buffalo being raised in Ferndale), bears, or maybe I was even a witness to some weird yeti sighting. Finally when this lady came by walking her dog, the two whooly creatures barked at her finely coiffed specimen, probably mocking it's hairstyle. So I guess they were dogs after all. I'm not sure what breed, but I bet Linda will provide the missing answer.

P.S. As expected Linda was able to identify the dogs in this photo. She sent me this information:

"Bouviers are big and big-hearted. They are strong and can think for themselves. The Bouvier is protective. He can sometimes be suspicious of other dogs. While he's not overly active in the house, he does need plenty of exercise. Country or suburban living suits him well."

So does that mean that with most other breeds, dogs need someone else to do their thinking for them?

Thu, Jan. 29, 2004 - Britney Loves Vegas

Britney Loves Vegas

Today I took pictures of a Britney Spears Italian Charm Bracelet collection for an upcoming web site that I'm going to be designing. Now if you don't know what an Italian Charm Bracelet is, you're out of it. If you don't know the connection between Britney and Vegas, then you are really out of it. I'm not sure if the collection needs to get sent back or not, but is there a niece that would like it if I get to keep it? It has been an interesting week for photographing products. Earlier this week, among other items, I photographed "The Simpsons" version of Monopoly, as well as the official Harley-Davidson version of Yahtzee. See they really are just a bunch of nice guys who sit around after work playing legal dice games.