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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

December 2004

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Fri, Dec. 3, 2004 - South Spit Sunset

South Spit Sunset

I was working on a photoshoot for a hunting supplies catalog cover this afternoon at the South Spit in Loleta. Chelsea was modeling some of their products and then since it was a nice day (compared to how cold it has been lately) we continued working on some other projects until sunset when it really did get to cold to continue. It was shaping up as a nice sunset, so I took a few pictures and then I needed to head back to the studio to have it open for Ferndale's Hospitality Night, their official opening of the Christmas season. On the drive back into Ferndale, the farmlands were blanketed in a thick layer of ground fog. The cows appeared to be floating through the clouds, as the fog was only about 2-3 feet high, but very thick. Sort of looked like a rock and roll stage show. It was very cool, and I was so tempted to stop and take some pictures, but I resisted. Then all night everyone was talking about how cool the fog was and I wished I had stopped for at least one picture.

Sat, Dec. 4, 2004 - This road is closed

This road is closed

Chelsea doing her best bad ass cowgirl impersonation. Chelsea stands a whole 5'-1" tall, and is a very sweet gal, so it does take a firearm and an unusual shooting angle to make that concept work. This shot wasn't for the catalog, but I thought it was funny when you know who the model is. She's so petite that in the shots where I wanted it to look like she was firing the rifle, her arm wasn't long enough to reach the trigger.

Sun, Dec. 5, 2004 - Lighting the Tree

Lighting the Tree

Unlike previous years, everything went pretty smoothly for the lighting of the Ferndale Christmas Tree today. The weather predictions were all doom and gloom, but the day started out with temps much nicer than they had been. We even had a nice sunrise as we were putting the lights up. You can see the installation photos on the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department site. I spent the afternoon putting our own lights up, which are still in progress because I kept blowing fuses. I need more extension cords. The rain stopped for the actual lighting ceremony and fortunately, we didn't receive any fire calls right before the ceremony like last year. So I was finally able to get a good photo of the ceremony, and it is now available as a Christmas card in our shop.

Mon, Dec. 6, 2004 - Mr. Peanut's Untimely Death

Mr. Peanut's Untimely Death

Lori has been decorating our Christmas Tree which we decided to have at the studio since we spend way more time there than at home. (It's 9:50PM as I type this at work) She was very dismayed to find that one of her favorite ornaments, Mr. Peanuts, had been partially devoured by a mouse. This came to light after we had already been struggling with trying to rid our house of at least one very brave and clever mouse. One night Lori felt the mouse next to her on futon, and later it (or a co-conspirator) ruined half of a batch of chocolate brownies by nibbling all over them. We have traps all over the kitchen and they continue to be tripped without success. The cats are no help whatsoever, although we did find a dead mouse out in the yard.

Wed, Dec. 8, 2004 - Christmas in Ferndale

Christmas in Ferndale

Christmas season in Ferndale. Is there anywhere that does Christmas better than Ferndale. I doubt it. Wish you all could be here all month long to enjoy the festivities.

Fri, Dec. 10, 2004 - More Power!

More Power!

Maybe I should have consulted with Tony Ornellas before we moved from San Jose on how to string a lot of Christmas lights. It took me several nights of working on just this small display to keep everything from either blowing the fuses in the lights themselves, or tripping the GFI circuit. As you can see the fence still isn't up, but at least the posts keep the lights out of the mud. Makes the yard look a bit like a sold out Christmas tree lot though.

For my birthday, Lori and I went out for pizza, and then caught the Ferndale Rep's production of The World of Willy Wonka. Always amazing what these folk are able to present on their stage. The best part was watching the young 12 year old who played Charlie, Jared Basquez. This kid has a future in acting. The Oompa Loompas were quite adorable too. I can't think of a better way for a chocoholic to spend his birthday than to watch a play about a little boy dreaming about chocolate on his birthday.

Sat, Dec. 11, 2004 - Choo Choo

Choo Choo

It's been many years since you could catch a train in Ferndale, but today you could. There was only one catch, you had to be a little squirt. They all seemed to enjoy the free ride that took them up and down Main Street.

Sun, Dec. 12, 2004 - Lori's Herb Garden

Lori's Herb Garden

Here's the beginnings of Lori's herb garden. In planning it, we came to the realization that this small section of our yard was about the same size as the entire backyard of our home in San Jose. It will feature a similar design as well, except that it will be herbs. A couple of weeks ago I cleaned and laid the bricks for the center circle. I still need about two more rings of bricks, but my back told me to quit for the day, and then the serious rains set in, making the yard a muddy mess to work in. So until spring, this is likely what it will look like.

Wed, Dec. 15, 2004 - Gift Wrapping

Gift Wrapping

We thought maybe we could attract more business to our studio if we offered complimentary gift wrapping. Since my gift wrapping skills are notoriously bad, and Lori is busy making Christmas presents, I had no choice but to hire someone. I want to make it perfectly clear that I did not hire Maria for her looks, she really does an excellent job of wrapping presents.

Thu, Dec. 16, 2004 - Got Milk?

Got Milk?

It's very important to leave some nice cookies and milk out for Santa if you want to get some really nice presents for Christmas. It was very nice of Humboldt Creamery to package their milk in the appropriate Christmas colors.

Fri, Dec. 17, 2004 - Almost Balmy

Almost Balmy

If I didn't tell you where and when this picture was taken, you'd have visions of walking along some warm tropical beach in the summer. Since in reality it was shot in December on a beach in Loleta, and it was about 53 degrees out, you can imagine it took some convincing to get the model to pose for this shot. I thanked her profusely for her effort.

Sat, Dec. 18, 2004 - Santa's New Sled

Santa's New Sled

We spend far more time at work than we do at home (unfortunately) so when Lori suggested we get a tree this year, I thought we should put it in our studio so we could enjoy it more. It also made sense to use it for photoshoots. Chelsea (who I'd already worked with this month) mentioned that she had a friend who was interested in modeling and they wanted to do a shoot together. As a present to the Triumph Sprint email list that I subscribe to, I decided to have our two cute Santa's helpers prepare his new sled for his annual Christmas run. One member who I've ridden with several times commented that he's never seen my bike so clean. I'm actually surprised he was looking at the bike, but it did finally get a wash.

This evening we drove around Ferndale to look at Christmas lights, and as soon as I go through those photos, I'll post some of my favorites.

Sun, Dec. 19, 2004 - Lighted Tractor Parade

Lighted Tractor Parade

Under clear skies and with absolutely no wind, Ferndale put on it's best lighted tractor parade in years. This gave me the chance to get lots of great photos. This choo choo train is from the Bansen ranch, which is where Lauren went to visit the cows on her last visit. The Bansen's did an outstanding job once again this year.

Mon, Dec. 20, 2004 - Russ Park Mushroom Festival

Russ Park Mushroom Festival

I had a portrait session this morning in Russ Park with Jim and Ruth Stretch. Jim is kind enough to donate much of his time to helping improve Russ Park for the community, which is why we took his portrait there. He mentioned a patch of mushrooms further up the trail that I should go check out, and it was well worth the short hike up the hill. I've never seen such a huge colony of mushrooms like this before.

Tue, Dec. 21, 2004 - Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Even though we've only lived in Ferndale for four years, we have many treasured traditions, especially at Christmas time. One of them is the lighting of Steve and Nancy's tree on the evening of the winter solstice. What makes this so special is that there tree is lit with candles for this one special evening. With this nice tradition, the winter solstice is no longer the darkest night of the year.It takes a special type of Christmas tree to be able to get away with this, but the effect is absolutely breathtaking. When we get our Victorian parlour finished, we will definitely want to try this once. Just have plenty of fire extinguishers nearby and don't leave the room.

Wed, Dec. 22, 2004 - The Ghosts of Christmas Presents Past

The Ghosts of Christmas Presents Past

One evening as I was driving into town, I noticed Arnie Peterson decorating a pile of junk on his lawn with Christmas lights. Being Ferndale, it didn't raise my eyebrows too much. A few nights later Lori and I went out with friends to look at Christmas lights around town and stopped at Arnie's to get the lowdown. Seems he just had a need to create, but the wife vetoed it. Of course when she left town...

Thu, Dec. 23, 2004 - Leonardi Tractor

Leonardi Tractor

Every year there are so many great tractors in the parade, but you can always count on the Bansen and Leonardi families to enter outstanding floats. I showed the Bansen train earlier, and I felt you should get a look at the Leonardi entry as well. The tree with the cows rotated merry-go-round fashion, quite an engineering feat.

Fri, Dec. 24, 2004 - Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Started the day responding to a chimney fire in a garage even before I had breakfast. An hour late I was back at home, but was only halfway through my bowl of cereal when an alarm came in for another chimney fire. Fire department lore has it that calls come in threes, so after the second call we all expected that we'd be seeing each other soon. I had two photoshoots to do today, and it looked like my schedule for the day was under serious attack. Fortunately, the first shoot was with our dispatcher's family so he was going to be just as late as I was. I called the second family, who lived a couple houses down from the first fire, so they understood my excuse as well. After the second call I mentioned to Jay our dispatcher that if we were going to have another call today, 4:00 would best fit my schedule. We did the shoot with Jay's family at their home, and then I scarfed a quick but delicious meal down the street from our studio. That left a few minutes before our next shoot at the studio, which involved 12 people and four generations of one family, all dressed in Victorian clothes. After that was finished, Lori and I closed the studio. I took the Sprint out since it was clean from the earlier photoshoot, and enjoyed a short but refreshing ride. I got back home a little after 4 and driving down Rose I noticed some funky smoke coming from Glen Martella's home. It didn't look normal, but at the time it also didn't seem serious enough to warrant stopping. Five minutes later though we were paged to Glen's home for fire number three of the day. Time of the call was 4:15, just a few minutes off schedule. Glen is a member of the FVFD, so I'm sure he's going to be hearing a lot about this one. After that fire, we had just enough time to watch Home Alone before heading over to Mary and Glen's for Christmas Eve. The photo is of Mary's garden, and Glen's lighting handiwork.

Sat, Dec. 25, 2004 - Christmas


Christmas morning I went out with Don and John from Company 1 to deliver a few bicycles to kids around Ferndale. It is a refreshing change to show up at someone's home in a fire truck and have everyone happy. The rest of the day was spent reading Working Fire and playing Myst: Revelation. Oh, and eating a lot of chocolate.

Sun, Dec. 26, 2004 - Victorian at Christmas

Victorian at Christmas

Here's one of the more elaborate Victorians in Ferndale, all done up in Christmas lights. I was hoping to get more pictures of the town's Christmas lights, but the weather report is showing rain every day for the next ten days. We'll see.