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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

August 2008

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Fri, Aug. 1, 2008 - Burn Down by the Riverside

Burn Down by the Riverside

After a relatively quiet last few months, the FVFD has been busy lately. We responded to our second structure fire in a couple of weeks. That is if you can call an abadoned house trailer a structure. As with most trailer fires, the trailer was pretty well gone by the time we got there. They go up amazingly fast and this one was a couple of miles out of town on a narrow road called Riverside. Not much to save on this one.

Sun, Aug. 3, 2008 - Mom's new kitchen

Mom's new kitchen

We went down to the Bay Area to attend a cochlear implant picnic and help Mom move into her new condo. The picnic was very helpful in that the three implant companies were there and we could see their latest products and ask them questions. It was also very beneficial to see and talk to patients that already had them. Most of the time it was hard to tell if they had them or not, so that made Lori a lot more comfortable. Most people are able to hide the coil behind their hair and the processors are getting so small they're even tinier than her hearing aids.

Today we helped Mom move some of the loose stuff to her new home. The condo looks nice and is very spacious and well laid out. Had me remembering how nice it was to have someone do all the gardening for you. But then there's the noise factor, and after living in our quiet house out in the country, it would be hard to get used to hearing people at night again.

Mon, Aug. 4, 2008 - Rocky


We stayed at Derek's house while we were down there and after ignoring us the first night, Rocky finally realized that the his owners were gone and if he wanted some pets, we were it. While Lori was showering he started making a lot of noise at the front door and I let him in. He immediately came over and sat on my lap. He showed his relation to Ricky in that he couldn't sit still, and he showed his relation to Meg in that he drooled all over me. In fact he drooled way more than I'm even used to with Meg. If you've seen the tiger video on YouTube, I was hoping that Rocky was having a similar flashblack to his kitty days.

Sat, Aug. 9, 2008 - A few steps closer

A few steps closer

I've been waiting for several weeks for a day to paint the porch. It's been so foggy lately that the steps had been too wet to paint. So this afternoon when the sun came out I quickly got to work. Well at least for a few minutes when my sander died. My 1/3 sheet sander died a couple of months ago and so I had been using my 1/4 sheet sander. So with both dead, I went down and bought a random orbital sander. What a difference! It sands a lot faster, with less dust, and doesn't vibrate as much as the other sanders did. I'm still trying to figure out what color(s) the porch should be. Might be limited by what colors the special porch paint is available in.

Sun, Aug. 10, 2008 - Modern Options

Modern Options

We went into town this morning to have breakfast with some friends and a number of antique cars were parading into Ferndale. The cars were part of the Pebble Beach Concourse run. One of my favorite vehicles was a Model A panel van that had a really nice maroon and black paint job. I noticed the somewhat out of place GPS unit stuck to the dash. Not exactly historically correct.

Mon, Aug. 11, 2008 - Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo

My absolute favorite vehicle from yesterday's parade from Pebble Beach was this Alfa Romeo. Not only was it cute and clean, it came all the way from Monaco. Picturing driving this car around the roads that make up the historic racing course in Monaco almost made me drool. That would just be too cool.

Tue, Aug. 12, 2008 - Barbeque Pit

Barbeque Pit

FVFD got called out to this fire out by the river bar. Not only was it an illegal day to burn, it was stuff that shouldn't have been burning any day. Including one dead cow.

Wed, Aug. 13, 2008 - Sometimes Regulations Suck

Sometimes Regulations Suck

In California's drive to have clean air they have in the last few years outlawed your basic gas can. Now it has to have some type of spill proof attachment on it, because apparently people spilling gasoline while filling their lawnmowers was a major contributor to smog. So after my trusty old metal gas can that I used for pre-mix rusted out, I was forced to replace it with one of these new fangled containers. At first I couldn't even figure out how to get the gas out of it. It is one of the most non-intuitive designs I've seen and it didn't even say how it was supposed to work on the label. Eventually I figured it out and it takes both hands to pour.

At first I really hated it for the chain saw because it doesn't allow you to fill it up very far before it stops pouring. It's kind of like a gas pump in that it stops pouring when the fuel lever reaches the spout. Theoretically anyways.

In practice, I've spilled more fuel using this gas can in the last year than I've spilled in the previous 46. Ok, so the first few years of my life I wasn't pumping much gas, but you get the point.This particular incident shown, not only did I spill a lot of gas but the can forced the fuel to spray out, and I'm luck I didn't get any gasoline in my eyes. My clothes though were soaked with gasoline. I'm going to keep on the lookout for one of the old types. Maybe John has one he can spare?

Thu, Aug. 14, 2008 - Painting the Porch

Painting the Porch

Finally got around to paining the porch and steps. It was really nice to see the water beading off of the steps the next morning. A few years ago when we redid the porch, the steps weren't even primed and they had been taking a beating in the weather. So it felt good to know that they were finally protected from the elements.

Fri, Aug. 15, 2008 - Blue Ice Cream

Blue Ice Cream

Today Lori and I went to the Humboldt County Fair as regular patrons. With everything going on this year I decided not to have a booth this year so we got to enjoy the fair as regular folks for a change. This little girl seemed to be enjoying the fair too. It's good when you're ice cream color coordinates with your clothing.

Sat, Aug. 16, 2008 - Google Street View

Google Street View

The Google Street View cam has made it's way to Ferndale, which was pretty surprising. I had looked a few months ago and it wasn't there but today while checking something else I saw that most of the town was documented. By cruising by the Repertory Theatre, I was able to figure out that they actually did the filming back in September of last year. I was pretty amazed that they covered our little town since previously they were sticking to the major metropolitan areas.

Sun, Aug. 17, 2008 - Where's Lori?

Where's Lori?

Once I found out that they covered Ferndale, I was wondering how much of the area they did. Found this shot of Lori's old workplace in Eureka, and there's the Del Sol parked out front.

Mon, Aug. 18, 2008 - Polishing the Wheels

Polishing the Wheels

Speaking of the Del Sol, I came across a photo of it recently that was taken just after we got the polished rims put on it. The local climate had really done a number on them and it reminded me of how good they looked when they were new. I had remembered seeing a Power Ball polishing attachment at the Kragon's last time I was there so while I was picking up some coolant fluid I bought one to see if it would make the job a bit easier. I had tried polishing them once before but it took so long and it didn't really work that well with the method I used before. The ball didn't at first either they were so heavily corroded. But I found that wet sanding them first with 600 grit sand paper got them to the point where the polishing compound and the ball worked pretty well. Now they look a lot better and it should be easier to keep them that way. If only there was something so simple to fix the failing paint job.

Tue, Aug. 19, 2008 - Sluggo


Saw this slug hanging from the remains of the greenhouse and it reminded me of that slug sex video I linked to awhile back. As much as I hate slugs, it was just too tempting to use this one for batting practice. So much for safe sex.

Wed, Aug. 20, 2008 - Leave Them Alone

Leave Them Alone

I finally had to resort to caging my little escalonia starts because the deer were determined to make a bonsai garden out of them. I think they realized that some day these shrubs were going to grow up to become a deer fence, and they couldn't tolerate that. After two years with out the fence they were pretty much the same size they were when I planted them. One month with the fence and they've grown from 4 inches hight to about 18 inches in height and diameter.

Thu, Aug. 21, 2008 - The Gazing Ball

The Gazing Ball

While at Nilsens I saw that they had gazing balls so I bought one as a surprise for Lori so we could finally put the pedestal to use in the garden. In case you didn't hear the story, when I stopped at our old house in San Jose this past December to get some rose cuttings, I found the current owner wasn't using the pedestal. We had been looking for one like it for our new garden without any luck. She offered it too us and I was happy to cart it back to our new house.

Fri, Aug. 22, 2008 - Stop and Smell the Roses

Stop and Smell the Roses

It's quite a rarity when we get more than one or two roses at a time in our garden due to the diligent pruning that our local deer population performs. So when I saw a cluster of Gertrude Jekyll roses forming I figured I'd better cut them and bring them inside so we could enjoy them for a change.

Sat, Aug. 23, 2008 - Lori's Yellow Rose

Lori's Yellow Rose

Last year we were gifted a few rose bushes from a friend who received them from a friend who was pulling them out. In the transfer it was lost what types or even colors they were. So we were pleasantly surprised when we saw this yellow bloom in the garden. Lori's favorite color of rose has always been yellow (even though her favorite rose is the dark red Taboo). Only when Lori cleared out the 3 foot tall horsetails in the back did we rediscover the rose bush and it's one small treasure. Of course now that it's not hidden by the horsetails, the deer are pruning that one as well.

Tue, Aug. 26, 2008 - Fuschia Ballerina's

Fuschia Ballerina's

Our fushias in the fern garden are starting to really pop. I thought this grouping looked like a row of ballerinas dancing.

Wed, Aug. 27, 2008 - Fern Garden

Fern Garden

We finally got around to planting some of the ferns and hostas that we had in buckets for way too long. The baby tears are also going strong on the north side, and they're starting to take over the house. It's a good thing they don't climb too far like ivy. Of course it would save having to paint that side of the house.

Thu, Aug. 28, 2008 - Wallpaper Border

Wallpaper Border

Lori's hearing problem has caused many changes in our household, and we've figured out ways to work around most of the problems that it causes. Hanging wallpaper isn't one of them. It's very hard to do sign language when both hands are holding a strip of wallpaper. It's also impossible to be close and in front of her when we both need to be at opposite ends of the wall. So hanging this border didn't go as smoothly as our past wallpapering projects. Fortunately, this was the longest piece that needed to be put up and the rest I'll be able to handle by myself.

Fri, Aug. 29, 2008 - Are you my mommy?

Are you my mommy?

I had to go to Petrolia today to drop off some photos, and on the way out of town I came across this calf and cat in the field together. The cat was following the calf around the field and it was so cute I had to stop for a picture.

Sat, Aug. 30, 2008 - Wind Power

Wind Power

On the way back from Petrolia yesterday it was really windy along the coast. I stopped near Cape Mendocino to take some photos of the crashing waves, and even with both feet planted, I almost dropped the KLR because the wind was blowing so hard. The waves weren't that high, but when they impacted with the rocks the wind really caught the spray and that was pretty spectacular.

Sun, Aug. 31, 2008 - Blue Squares

Blue Squares

As I'm making my way down the bay window, one more element of the new color scheme became evident. Another touch of blue showed up on the squares above the windows. In designing the color scheme, I have reversed the traditional way of applying colors. Normally the darker colors are used for the parts that recede, such as the window sashes. But since the windows in our house had been replaced with white vinyl sashes that wasn't going to be possible. And since we wanted the house to be dark brown, it made sense to just reverse everything so the body is dark brown, the trim is tan, the window surrounds and panels are cream. That left the placement of the two accent colors and I finally decided on this theme; if it was a horizontal line it gets the read treatment, and if it is a repeating element like the squares or the balls on the gables, it gets the blue treatment.