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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

January 2007

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Sun, Jan. 7, 2007 - Blue Velvet II

Blue Velvet II

I haven't been taking photos very much lately because with the Fuji S1 dead and the Pentax Optio in the shop for a new LCD screen, I'm down to one camera. I've felt safer having it stay in the studio. Today was my first shoot with Stephanie. I saw her photo in the newspaper as she was starring in a local production of Nutcracker. I always like working with models who have dance experience, so I tracked her down and asked if she would be interested. We started her off in this blue velvet dress from the 1930s. She looks like she's ready for the red carpet.

Tue, Jan. 9, 2007 - Black Lace

Black Lace

We also photographed Stephanie wearing some vintage lingerie, including this black lace bra.

If I had a photograph from yesterday, it would have shown us celebrating Lori's 45th birthday, which we did by having dinner at May's Noodle House, and then went and saw A Night at the Museum. Highly recommend the restaurant and the movie. Both were excellent. Tonight the Christmas Tree comes down, and so ends another wonderful holiday season.

Thu, Jan. 11, 2007 - Pregnancy Project

Pregnancy Project

I've had an idea for some pregnancy photos for a long time, but it required finding out about the pregnancy early on. Since asking women if they are pregnant is one of the most dangerous questions in the world, this idea has sat dormant for awhile. But when one of my favorite models, Kaline mentioned she was pregnant, I knew this would be the chance to develop this project. The main goal of the project was to document the monthly progression in a creative way. Unfortunately, Kaline experienced over three months of nearly constant morning sickness (actually more like 24/7 sickness) so we couldn't get started as early as I had hoped. She finally was feeling well enough to travel, so we did our first session today. She's already showing, so I won't have a true "before" picture like I had hoped, but I think the project will still be interesting. Stay tuned.

Fri, Jan. 12, 2007 - Cold Snap

Cold Snap

A cold front moving down from Alaska has brought the coldest weather to Ferndale since we've moved here. This morning I was watching TV and had just gotten through the weather report where they were talking about the storm when the power went off. Then immediately back on. The the lights in the room went really bright. Then they went off. Then they came back on, only half dimmed. Then they flickered on and off for awhile before finally coming back on half way. I got up to go turn off the circuit breaker when I noticed the smell of electrical equipment burning in the kitchen. After tripping the main, I went back inside and climbed into the attic just to make sure there wasn't any fire up there.

Finding everything ok up there, I called some neighbors and found that their power was ok. So then I figured it must be something to do with our power drop. I called PGE to let them know we had a problem, and then went outside to investigate. What I found surprised me. The support cable that is wrapped with the power lines had snapped in two.

When the PGE guy arrived and inspected it closer than I was willing to, he said it looked like the wires had lost some insulation and when the ice formed it created a path for the lines to arc and that burned a hole in the support cable. I was surprised that it didn't burn the actual wires too, or trip the breaker on the pole.

While I was waiting for the PGE guy to arrive, I drove into town to get my camera. This was about 8:00 and even though the sun had been up for about an hour then, it was only 25 degrees. I took pictures outside for as long as I could stand it and I'll feature a few of those later this week. It's supposed to get even colder tomorrow. Can't wait.

Sat, Jan. 13, 2007 - Cold Snap Part II

Cold Snap Part II

Lori came to the office after work to play Myst V, which she got for her birthday. We didn't get home until about 8pm, when we found that our house was without power again. Our 200 amp main breaker must have taken quite a hit from the surge earlier in the day and failed completely sometime later. The PG&E guy came out again and was able to MacGyver the panel by disconnecting the garage circuit and using that 100 amp breaker as the main. That at least allowed us to use the heater and the electric blanket, but it meant that we couldn't pump water, and that meant that the pipes froze overnight.

We called an electrician friend out this morning to take a look at replacing the main and he was doubtful he could find the part locally, so we might be limping along until Monday or Tuesday.

The picture of the vulture was taken yesterday while I was waiting for the PG&E guy to arrive. Apparently, this vulture discovered he needed to de-ice his wings before attempting his take-off. He sat there with his wings spread for several minutes, allowing me to take photos of him from several angles.

Sun, Jan. 14, 2007 - Frozen Again

Frozen Again

This cold snap just won't go away. The low has been in the low to mid twenties the last three days and that means our water has been freezing over. I meant to remember to leave some running and forgot before going to bed, so no showers this morning either. This photo is of some water that froze on the paths in the garden. I liked the different patterns the water froze into throughout the yard.

Mon, Jan. 15, 2007 - Warm Here

Warm Here

At least the studio is warm. Stephanie came by for another shoot today and demonstrated some of her excellent ballet skills. It ended up being a very productive shoot, and I have several people changing their minds about ballet and whether it is boring or not.

Last night I finally remembered to leave the water running. Lori turned it off when she brushed her teeth. No shower again. Can you smell me now?

Tue, Jan. 16, 2007 - Monument Snow 2007

Monument Snow 2007

We got a little bit of a storm that passed through today and it was hard to believe that it was raining in Ferndale it was still so cold. I took off from work a little early to go photograph up on Monument, but they only received a light dusting. Still, it got me out of the office for awhile, and even though it was only 34 degrees up there, it didn't feel nearly as cold as my last Monument snow trip. The wind was very calm, and that's pretty unusual up there. It also ended up being quite foggy up there, so I didn't come back with very many photos, but was welcomed back to Ferndale with a very pretty sunset.

Sat, Jan. 20, 2007 - Playing Paparazzi

Playing Paparazzi

After several community efforts to raise money for Ferndalers that needed help with medical expenses, a group got together to start a fund that would be available for that purpose. Their first fundraiser was an event at the fairgrounds that featured a showing of many of Jack Mays' mostly unseen drawings. The event had a limo shuttling attendees between the Art Hall where the drawings were exhibited and Belotti Hall where the rest of the activities were. They even had a red carpet in front of Belotti Hall so sort of at the last minute they asked me if I would be willing to play paparazzi. I snapped away for about an hour until my fingers threatened to fall off from the cold. Then I went over to the Art Hall to view the drawings. It was interesting seeing Jack's work, which covered a long period of time, as evidenced by the changing prices for gas at Tipple Motors. One drawing showed gas at 88 cents. Ah, those were the days.

The couple pictured were human statues, and they arrived in their car dressed just like that. They must have caused more than a few double takes out on the highway.

Mon, Jan. 22, 2007 - No Snow

No Snow

The plan for today was to try out our new snowshoes that we got for Christmas. So we drove up to the South Fork Mountains to find a tremendous lack of snow. I've been up there in June and seen more snow left than there was today. There were small patches here and there, that had mostly turned to ice. When we finally reached one that looked like it would be a bit treacherous going downhill, we turned around and started thinking about a Plan B. If it had been solid snow or ice, I would have put the chains on and continued, but most of the road was still dry pavement so it didn't make much sense. Plus where we did find snow it was only an inch or two thick, so it was hardly worthy of needing snowshoes.

Plan B ended up going to Russ Park and hiking around. It ended up being a nice day for that. It was also amazing how warm 55 degrees feels after spending two weeks with the temps in the 20s and 30s.

Tue, Jan. 23, 2007 - The Mighty Salt River

The Mighty Salt River

If you want to understand why our yard keeps flooding, you have to start here. This is the Salt River, which used to be a navigatable river for ocean going vessels to make their way to Port Kenyon. It has silted up so bad that water barely flows, and at the narrowest spot it is just over a foot wide. Williams Creek (which runs in our backyard and is now much larger than the Salt River) empties into the Salt, or I should say it tries to. Mostly it ends up in a huge flood plain out by the highway. The lack of flow is also one of the causes for Williams Creek silting up, and that in turn is responsible for our flooding. Recent funding grants means that some dredging finally might happen on the Salt. We're not holding our breath though.

Wed, Jan. 24, 2007 - Fortuna Ladder Truck

Fortuna Ladder Truck

Tonight we had a special fire drill, in conjunction with the Fortuna and Loleta fire departments. Since it was a mutual aid scenario we ended up doing it on a Wednesday night instead of our usual Thursday night. Towns people are sort of used to us playing on the third Thursday, but when they saw Main Street choked with fire engines and a huge ladder truck on the fourth Wednesday of the month, well it raised a few eyebrows. Hopefully we'll never have a real need to have the ladder truck in town, but it was good practice for water supply and communications.

Mon, Jan. 29, 2007 - Foiled Again

Foiled Again

Well for the second week in a row, our plans for our Monday excursion were foiled. Last week our snowshoeing trip went to Plan B due to lack of snow. Today we were planning to go to Fern Canyon, but when we got up there we found it was closed due to storm damage earlier this winter. At the end of the year we had a huge windstorm that took trees down everywhere, and apparently, Fern Canyon was no exception. So with it being inaccessible at the moment, our Plan B was to find some other trails in Prairie Creek to hike on. The redwood forests at Prairie Creek host a number of large and somewhat unusual trees, and so we didn't make as much progress as we had hoped due to the fact that we kept stopping to stare. Even though they had obviously done some trail clearing after the storm, they still have a lot of work to do. We had to scramble over several fallen logs, including one that was about 8 feet in diameter. Seeing how many trees came down just this winter, it's hard to understand how they can live to be 2000 years old.

Tue, Jan. 30, 2007 - Lichen Lesson

Lichen Lesson

While I was backing up to take a picture of the Corkscrew Tree, I noticed this patch of lichen with what I assumed to be spores decorating the ends of its branches. I did a bit of quick research on lichen and found out that they are indeed spores, but I also learned a lot more about lichen that is very interesting. Lichen is a combination of fungus and algae growing together and adapting into something completely different. To give you some scale to this photo, the red spores are about 1/8" or so.