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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

June 2006

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Thu, Jun. 1, 2006 - Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan

A few weeks ago I was on my way to the post office when I noticed a ceiling fan for sale in front of the Mercantile store for $25. Since I was planning to put a fan in the workshop part of the garage I figured I would scoop it up. Only problem was that the ceiling in the shop is about 20ft. tall. My 12 foot stepfoot ladder wasn't going to get me close, and there wasn't a way to securely get up that high on my 16 foot extension ladder. Fortunately Dennis at DCI Builders loaned me some scaffolding to install the fan and to get the top of the front and back gables painted. With the ceiling fan installed I then wondered if I was going to have to borrow scaffolding in order to change the light bulbs, but since the fan is on a 3 foot downrod, I can just reach the lights with the 12ft. ladder.

Sun, Jun. 4, 2006 - If at first you don't succeed...

If at first you don't succeed...

Lori's been attacking the herb garden with some gusto and it's starting to look much better. I think I've finally convinced her that even though she wants to be a green gardener, slug bait is a good thing. In addition to major losses from slugs, I think we lost about 6 or 7 boxwood shrubs to the neighbor's dog, a few more plants lost to deer, and a million more weeds came in with the winter floods. Who ever said gardening was easy? Hopefully with the fence completed (next project when I'm done with the barn) the dog problem will go away, and the deer will be slowed down at least. It's really amazing that we both work so hard around the house and it still looks like crap. (see last month's aerial shot for proof.)

Mon, Jun. 5, 2006 - Adding Some Color

Adding Some Color

Over a few days and in between rain showers I was able to get the top of the front painted. I'm really glad I got the loan of the scaffolding, but I'll still be happier working down on the ground.

Tue, Jun. 6, 2006 - Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required

Like I needed another project. We opened the box from our purchase a week ago to find that there are 80 different types of parts and a rough estimate of probably 1000 total parts that need to be assembled. We got through the first few steps during a break from gardening and painting. Then the instructions said that you need three assistants (I only had one) and not to assemble it on a windy day. Ok, we'll try later. So maybe next weekend we'll invite some unsuspecting friends over and give it another try.

Fri, Jun. 9, 2006 - Playing Hooky

Playing Hooky

It's been very drippy in Ferndale lately, if it's not outright raining, the fog has been heavy enough that it might as well be raining. So painting days have been few and far between. Today we finally got a break so I took the afternoon off from work to get the upper reaches of the back of the barn done while I had the scaffolding.

Sat, Jun. 10, 2006 - Madstone Maddock

Madstone Maddock

Last night we went and watched Earl Thomas play in Eureka. While I was using the men's room, I couldn't help but notice the name on the urinal. Just the day my friend John Maddock emailed me that the Maddock family in England made China. He made it sound like they made fancy plates and all that, but I wonder if there is a connection. Either way, Madstone Maddock has such a good ring to it that John's either going to have a new nickname, or I'm going to submit the name for a character in the final Harry Potter novel.

Sun, Jun. 11, 2006 - The Pounding Won't Go Away

The Pounding Won't Go Away

Our building is getting a new roof installed and so there's been lots of pounding going on. Kind of hard to keep the pictures hanging straight on the walls with the constant vibration so for awhile I've given up and I'm getting used to the haphazard look.

Mon, Jun. 12, 2006 - Testing Our Hoses

Testing Our Hoses

One chore that our fire company really looks forward to is the annual hose test. This means taking every piece of hose off of the fire engine, testing it and then re-racking it. This year we got some new hose delivered for both Engine 1 and Engine 2 so both companies did their hose testing together. With over 5000 feet of hose between the two trucks, that mean a lot of work re-racking everything. I felt sorry returning to the office to relieve Lori who ended up getting stuck there for most of the day. But she was pretty happy because she spent the whole day tracing her relatives back to the 1600s! The power of the Internet.

Tue, Jun. 13, 2006 - Katie's Back

Katie's Back

I worked with Katie back in 2003 and she was the model for some of my favorite photos, as well as being our go to gal when we needed really tiny Victorian clothes modeled. Due to a series of health problems, Katie had to give up modeling for awhile and we could never seem to get our schedules together. The stars and planets finally realigned Saturday night and we both had fun working together again. One of the things I love about working with Katie is that she can do things like stand on one foot and make it look very graceful. She's modeling a lace overcoat from a 1930s wedding dress ensemble.

Wed, Jun. 14, 2006 - Working In The Shop

Working In The Shop

The weather has continued to be crappy so Sunday I worked in the shop instead of on it. I started cutting out the brackets for the fence in the front yard. It was going well with about 20 of them cut when my jig saw started making a screeching noise, followed shortly by a trail of smoke coming out the back. Not wanting to burn down my new shop, I quit for the day, and figured I'd have another excuse to go look at tools.

Thu, Jun. 15, 2006 - Bracket Blank

Bracket Blank

Here's the blank for the brackets I'm cutting out. Step one is to do the rough cut with the jig saw. Then cut a notch with the band saw. Then sand them to the final profile. Then route the edges. Then drill holes, and finally screw them to the posts. I have to make about 30 of these, so I hope the band saw, router and the sander are up to it. While I was getting a new jig saw, I also got a drill press since it was on sale. I knew there was an upside for the jig saw burning up. It sure is nice having a room to do all the wood working in though. It's been a long time since most of my wood working tools were able to get some use.

Sat, Jun. 17, 2006 - Panniers


My panniers for the KLR650 finally came in so I got them installed. I wanted something rugged to carry the camera equipment for my upcoming trip and these are what a lot of the round-the-world riders use so I figured they'd work. They're a lot bigger than I pictured them, and it's a good thing I made the doors on the barn nice and wide. I'm really going to have to remember that the KLR has a really big butt when I'm riding with them attached.

Sun, Jun. 18, 2006 - Our Erector Set

Our Erector Set

It was a bit windy today, but we invited Phil and Diane over so with four people we decided to see how much we could get put together. The instructions for this kit leave a lot to be desired. Some of the parts we've had to guess how they go together and fortunately later steps seem to confirm we're guessing right. But several times the directions have been flat out wrong, and the drawings and photos are so vague they're not much help. So has everyone figured out what it is yet?

Mon, Jun. 19, 2006 - Marshmellow Season

Marshmellow Season

All weekend the sound of tractors and mowers could be heard around Ferndale. It's time once again to make marshmellows. There's something quite fun about seeing the landscape dotted with huge white marshmellows.

Wed, Jun. 21, 2006 - More Paint

More Paint

I've been doing a lot of painting lately, and still have way more to go. I'm starting to think this may be the only project I work on for the rest of the summer.

Sat, Jun. 24, 2006 - 6 Bike Pileup

6 Bike Pileup

Ferndale Fire Department responded to a multi-bike crash on the Wildcat today. 6 riders crashed after the lead bike went down in a blind corner. Several riders ended up getting airlifted out, and the rest went in ambulances. Not a good day as their vacation came to a screeching halt. There's more photos on the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department site.

Mon, Jun. 26, 2006 - New Seat

New Seat

Since Blake and I are planning to put in some long days in the saddle this summer, I knew I was going to have to get a better saddle. So I ordered up a gel seat from Saddlemen. Their seat replaces the cover and the foam, but uses the stock pad, which means you have to do some installation. It took about an hour to install, and then I went out for a ride to try it out. Didn't do to many miles, but my first impression is very favorable.

Tue, Jun. 27, 2006 - Dare to be Different

Dare to be Different

This morning with the fog as thick as it was, it looked like the hay bales next door stretched off into infinity. Out of countless hay bales only one had the courage to stand above the others.

Wed, Jun. 28, 2006 - Mountain Peek

Mountain Peek

Today I travelled out to one of my favorite spots with Katy and my intern (more on that tomorrow). If I knew the name of this spot I would tell you, but it is so far away from anywhere that I don't really know what to call it. Katy is wearing the same 1930s lace wedding coat that we photographed her in earlier this month in the studio. We actually got rained on a bit which was a surprise, but fortunately the temps were cooler than the 110 degrees that it had been out that way earlier in the week.

Thu, Jun. 29, 2006 - Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

A few of weeks ago, a guy came into my studio and mentioned that his 17 year old daughter was interested in photography as a career. She was going to be visiting him from Illinios in a week or so and he was wondering if I could use an intern for a couple of weeks while she was out here. I thought back to when I decided I wanted to be a professional photographer and asked a local photographer about interning and was shot down. I still wish I had had a chance to work with someone first before starting my own business. So I told him I would be happy to have his daughter stop by. For the last two weeks, Aurica (pronounced Erika, but I've noticed no one in her generation has a normal spelling of their name) has been stopping by the studio for a couple of hours each day. When I found out that like Katy, she was also a ballet dancer (dancing since she was 3 years old) I thought she would be perfect for this shot which I had had in mind for awhile. She practiced the jump a couple of times with me spotting her, and then we just did the one take. She's wearing the other part of the wedding dress that Kate was wearing in yesterday's photo. This dress looks like it was made for her, and she really looked stunning in it. She had to bunch it up to make the jump but I got some other shots of her doing ballet poses where you can really see how beautifully the dress drapes on her. This was her last intern day with me, and I hope she had as much fun learning as I did teaching. I got a taste of what Lori must have felt like when she was teaching, and it was very rewarding.

Fri, Jun. 30, 2006 - The Feathers Were Flying

The Feathers Were Flying

Last night we had a medical drill with the Fire Department. The topic was extrication, but this drill was focused on the medical aspects of auto extrication rather than actual extrication procedures. That meant that we didn't get to cut up any cars. :-( We had a simulated car into tree crash, with Tom Ford, our resident paramedic playing the part of the drunk driver. He purposely wore old clothes so that we could get experience cutting off clothes. His big mistake though was wearing an old down jacket, and when they cut into it, down feathers went everywhere. Tom was pretending to be unconcious but he was having a hard time maintaining the acting once feathers started going up his nose and in his mouth. After a while there were feathers everywhere and it looked like the jeep hit a truck full of chickens, rather than a pretend tree. Some bright individual decided to use a ventilation fan to disperse the feathers, and for a while it looked like it was snowing on Brown St.