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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

April 2006

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Sat, Apr. 1, 2006 - Learning to Waltz

Learning to Waltz

Last night Lori and I started a six week dance class that will teach the waltz and the foxtrot. Last night we started of on the waltz since it is the easier of the two. It was pretty easy to pick up the basics. We'll see how we do as more complicated moves are added in.

This is the first indoor photo I have featured from my new Optio W10 camera. One annoying feature of little cameras is the spots you get from the flash. I've seen a lot of photos on Ebay with these and now I see that this camera has that same problem. I'm not sure of why it happens and if there is anything one can do to minimize them. So in case you were wondering, we weren't really dancing to little bubbles.

Sun, Apr. 2, 2006 - Packing Day

Packing Day

Since our existing garage is going to be moved during the construction of the new garage, I have to get everything out of there. So today I started packing stuff up. It's going to be several days of drudgery to get everything boxed up and moved out of there, but I keep thinking how much better it's going to be with more room to store everything once the project is completed. For now I'm just packing it up as fast as I can, but when I unpack it I plan to really get every sorted out and organized. I promise.

Mon, Apr. 3, 2006 - Old Concrete

Old Concrete

Ferndbridge was built in 1911, and at the time it was the largest concrete bridge in the world. Over the next 95 years, numerous drivers have found it a bit narrow to navigate and found themselves running into the concrete railings. One such incident late last year made it obvious that maybe the concrete wasn't as strong as it used to be when one truck completely took out several sections of rail. So even though all the battle scars gave the bridge more character, Cal-Trans decided it was time to replace all the pillars before some unlucky driver got up close and personal with the Eel River below. They offered the old pillars to the community, and several can already be seen in various gardens around town. So on my way back to town with an empty trailer from a dump run, I decided to pick up my own bit of Fernbridge memorabilia.

I thought that they were loaded pretty evenly in the trailer, but at home I had a real hard time getting the hitch to separate from the ball. Finally using a crow bar and a hammer, I was able to pop it off, at which point I discovered the problem. I'm still not sure exactly where they're going to go in the garden, but they might become a bench, or and entryway, who knows. It just felt good to save a bit of this historic bridge that is so loved by everyone living in Ferndale.

Tue, Apr. 4, 2006 - New Concrete

New Concrete

In addition to dragging home historic concrete, our yard is recently boasting a new foundation. Actually, this is only part of it, there is still one more pour for the back section that will become the workshop, and the aprons to connect it to the driveway. The garage was supported with cribbing and jacked up so they could cut away a portion of the old foundation. Once the garage is moved onto the new foundation, the old slab will become a parking space for the trailer, and maybe later a potting shed.

Wed, Apr. 5, 2006 - Artie Kicking Back

Artie Kicking Back

Here is an example of why I'm really having fun with my new pocket camera. I didn' t have to risk disturbing Artie to get this picture. I just reached down to my hip, unholstered my W10, and shot him. Times like this you would believe he has a halo above his head. But there are other times such as the next night that we had to chase him off the countertop four times. Lori had brought home a brand new bag of cat food, and left it on the counter. Even though he had a full bowl just feet away on the floor, he wanted the fresh stuff directly from the bag. Either that or he heard that there was a toy at the bottom of the bag and he just had to get to it.

Thu, Apr. 6, 2006 - Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible

Ok, you've all seen the movies where in the big heist the bad guys can't touch the floor or the alarm will go off, so the they repell from the ceiling right? So who would have guessed that slugs have that ability built in. I thought spiders were the only ones that had built in repelling gear. I saw this slug this morning hanging outside our bathroom window. I'm not sure what he was trying to accomplish, but he appeared to have run out of slime and was waiting for the wind to blow him against the side of the house. Of course I don't really know if it was a he or a she, but this behavior seemed to have a masculine quality to it, so I'm going with it being a he.

Fri, Apr. 7, 2006 - Moving Day

Moving Day

With the slabs all poured it was time to move the garage forward. For my directorial debut, I've even included a short movie showing the first part of the move. Sorry my first movie is rather boring. It's about as exciting as watching a real movie being made. What you see in this 3 minute clip actually took place over an hour. They could only move it forward a couple of feet before they would have to jack it up and make adjustments. By the time I had to go to work they had been at it for over an hour, and they had moved it about 12 feet, and they had about 28 more feet to go. Katy, the neighbor's dog found the process interesting to watch, you can spot her in the last clip. The moves that I saw in San Jose were more impressive (like the Montgomery Hotel), but it was still pretty cool seeing my garage moved. If I had known how slow it would go I would have just set the camera up to do a time lapse photo sequence.

Sat, Apr. 8, 2006 - My, What Big Paws You Have

My, What Big Paws You Have

On my trip out to the mail box today I noticed a bunch of really big paw prints in the mud in our front yard. I thought this would be a good puzzle for Lauren to figure out, since I know she has a animal print guide. To help her out I'll note that the prints were 3" wide, and about 4" long. I spent some time looking them up on a web site, and they weren't what I first thought they were. For those of you who left your Field Guide to Animal Tracks at the cabin, you can research animal tracks online.

Sun, Apr. 9, 2006 - Earl Thomas Live

Earl Thomas Live

This afternoon we went to see Earl Thomas at the Rep. Watching performers at the Rep is always a great experience because it's such an intimate setting, but Earl managed to make it even more intimate. At one point he just dropped the mike and sang unamplified, wandering up and down the isles. It made the connection to the audience that much more real. He also had one song where he started whistling, and then a flute answered back. At first I thought that it must be on tape because he only had a guitarist for accompianment. But then the flute got closer and I realized that the flute player was walking down the isle. We picked up a couple of his other CDs after the concert and he amazing whether he's playing unplugged, or with a full rockin' band.

Mon, Apr. 10, 2006 - Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet

Just before we went to see Earl Thomas, I photographed Mabel and Ryan in the studio. When Lori and I were last down in the Bay Area, we went to the Vintage Fashion Expo, which we hadn't been to in awhile since our move to Ferndale. The location of the expo had changed, but there was still lots of cool vintage clothing to see. We purchased this slinky blue velvet dress that came with a matching jacket. When Mabel first put the dress on, she had the deep v in the back, which I assumed was the front. We tried it both ways, and while it worked either way, I thought it was far more exciting with plunging neckline in the front. No tags in clothes back then so I'm not really sure how to figure out the correct way of wearing it. Since it's cut on the bias, it drapes well either way so it's really hard to tell. I like to think though that it came with the jacket so that the rather risque front could be covered up when needed.

Tue, Apr. 11, 2006 - What's behind door number 2?

What's behind door number 2?

As you can see, the garage safely completed its journey west. In the first step towards becoming a two car garage, a hole was cut for the second bay. Since the existing door is kind of trashed, we'll be getting two new doors. There's one more pour needed to finish the apron in the front, but it's been raining again so I'm not sure when that will happen. In the meantime they're starting on the framing of the additions.

Wed, Apr. 12, 2006 - Over The Hill

Over The Hill

The FVFD responded to a single vehicle traffic accident four miles up the Wildcat. A lady driving from Petrolia to Ferndale drove her car off the side of the road. I've circled the car so you can see it. It was very hard to see from the road, and she left no skid marks or any other sign on the road that she went off there. It must have been a pretty hairy ride down because it looked like she hit at least one tree on the way down, and I imagine the vehicle must have rolled several times given the position it was in and how steep the bank is. She was very lucky in not only did she survive the crash, but she managed to crawl back up to the road where a passing motorist saw her and called 911. With the fog rolling in and darkness encroaching, it would have been a long search for her if she had just been reported missing. She and her dogs are all doing ok. No word on why she drove off the road.

Thu, Apr. 13, 2006 - Framing Begins

Framing Begins

Yesterday the framers showed up and started working on the two additions. Today they are continueing the framing, and when I left for work they had just started pouring the final bit of concrete. I don't know how many total cubic yards of concrete we've poured in our yard between the front wall, the driveway, and the garage, but I figure every square inch of concrete is one less square inch of space for a horsetail to grow.

Fri, Apr. 14, 2006 - Drive Right In

Drive Right In

Well we can finally get from the road to our garage without having to cross any dirt, or as the case has been lately, without crossing any mud. The concrete in the foreground is the porch for the motorcycle garage. It is stamped and dyed to give it a faux wood appearance. It still needs to be acid finished which will highlight the texture and color more. The brackets will hold the four turned posts that we took off of the house's front porch when we returned that to its original configuration.

Sat, Apr. 15, 2006 - Time to Mow

Time to Mow

With all the rain we've had, the grass is going to explode if we ever get any sun. I guess that's why our neighbors brought in an extra large herd of cows and calves this time. They seem to enjoy watching the the workmen on our garage. Maybe they're mistaking it for a new barn so they can get out of the rain.

Sun, Apr. 16, 2006 - Taking Shape

Taking Shape

The rear addition is starting to take shape. It sure is fun just walking around the shell, planning where all the workshop stuff is going to go. As we've dismantled the old garage a bit I'm finding that parts of it were really in bad shape. It looks pretty home built in the way the construction was done and it's no wonder it was leaking so much in the interior. There wasn't any flashing installed behind the siding so water was just running into the gaps and soaking everything behind it. I've found quite a few pockets of really rotten wood so far. We were hoping to just put the new siding over the old, but I'm afraid a lot of it may have to come off because it is so rotten.

Mon, Apr. 17, 2006 - Finally!


It stopped raining. The sun came out for the whole day and it felt absolutely wonderful. Yesterday we were teased with a beautiful daybreak and by the time we had breakfast, showered and got dressed it was dark and dreary again. It ended up raining most of the day. So seeing another beautiful morning today I didn't get too excited. But once it looked like it might stick, I decided to go get the Sprint out of the office where it has been stored the last few weeks and take it out for a spin. I went out to the South Jetty and watched the surfers and it felt really nice just standing in the sun soaking up some warmth. Then I came back and pulled horsetails for a couple of hours. Didn't make much of a dent in the new crop of weeds, but it sure beat sitting inside watching rain come down.

Tue, Apr. 18, 2006 - So Much For Being Subtle

So Much For Being Subtle

A few years ago Ferndale won an award for being one of "America's Prettiest Painted Places". We may have to give it back. Honestly this picture doesn't do justice to this new paint job on Main Street. In person it's even brighter.

Wed, Apr. 19, 2006 - Recycling


Here's the latest on the garage. The posts from the old front porch are in and I'm glad we had them around to reuse. They're really going to add to the architectural interest of the building.

Thu, Apr. 20, 2006 - Bush's Popularity Rating

Bush's Popularity Rating

How far has President Bush's popularity sunk? Well this business in Fort Bragg wants to make it perfectly clear that the Bush supporter next door has nothing at all to do with their business. I was in Fort Bragg for business and parked in front of this building. Had a nice ride down and back on the Triumph. Lots of Forget-Me-Nots all along Hwy 1 made for a very pretty ride.

Fri, Apr. 21, 2006 - Roof's On

Roof's On

Just another progress shot of the garage. You might be getting sick of these, but at least there have been pictures this month. It really is nice to come being able to get the bikes in and out so easily. I think we'll train a wisteria on the side once it's all done.

Sat, Apr. 22, 2006 - Stalls


Lori's idea for the garage was to give each motorcycle it's own "stall" and I thougth that was a pretty clever idea so we went with it. There will eventually be dutch doors on each stall.

Sun, Apr. 23, 2006 - Building the Fence

Building the Fence

After a couple of years of our front fence consisting of just poles, I finally started working on it again. Part of the delay was that I didn't want to buy any new power tools until I had the garage to store them in. The previous garage wasn't air or water tight and with our salt air all my tools were rusting away. So now that there will be a workshop I purchased a compound miter saw so I could continue working on the fence. I think it surprised to some motorists to actually see progress on the fence that they almost caused accidents when they slowed to look at all the work going on around our house lately.