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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

January 2002

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Tue, Jan. 1, 2002 - Peaceful New Year

Peaceful New Year

Wouldn't it be nice if this year remained as peaceful as our three cats in today's picture. Maybe if we were all forced to take afternoon naps this world would be a more peaceful place for us to live. Seems to work for kindegartners.

Thu, Jan. 3, 2002 - My Beautiful Bride

My Beautiful Bride

Here's what Lori and I were up to 21 years ago today. Now that we're legally 21, Lori and I can go have a drink together.

Fri, Jan. 4, 2002 - Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this man?

I seem to have lost my brother. I think he may have fallen into the hands of a terrorist group. While he appeared a bit on edge at Christmas, I attributed that to the fact that he wasn't used to sleeping alone at night. (His wife left him, and he has been left alone pondering the meaning of children's toys in an otherwise empty room.) But recent events have lead me to believe this is a much more serious matter. He has taken to calling upstanding Americans Nazi's and communists, and has been caught repeatedly hacking into popular web sites. Further, he has sent out mass emails with his propaganda, and has threatened that he will get even. Extra security measures have been taken, and unfortunately this means that some of the freedoms that everyone has taken for granted will be curtailed. We hope to restore these freedoms when this terrorist has been caught and reprogrammed. Until that time, other family members will find that their access to post in Knowlesville has been shut down.

Sat, Jan. 5, 2002 - End of the season

End of the season

Time to take down the Christmas Tree. I was reminded by Melody that I never posted a picture of the tree. So here it is. Remember that our ceilings are 10 feet and the bay window is 7 feet wide.

Sun, Jan. 6, 2002 - The Hoopers

The Hoopers

After seeing Derek wearing a beard and turban, Melody commented she would never trust another picture. Not that that should have ever been the case. Ever since photography was invented people have been manipulating pictures. Photoshop just makes it easier. As further proof, I offer this picture of the Hoopers. I didn't spend a lot of time cleaning up the small details, but either picture still looks real enough to fool the casual viewer.

Thu, Jan. 10, 2002 - A New Dawn

A New Dawn

Along with the first picture I posted this year I posted my hopes for a peaceful year. Here's another picture that I hope signals a new beginning. I couldn't sleep this morning so I woke up early, and my reward was to watch this beautiful sunrise. Today is the first time we've seen a lot of blue sky this year. Yesterday the weatherman promised that it would be partly sunny. By that I can only guess that what he meant was that the part of the sky above all of the clouds would be sunny. But today truly looks awesome. The copious amounts of rain have turned everything green and the sunlight makes it all sparkle. I am most likely calling in sick this afternoon to go celebrate with the Triumph.

Fri, Jan. 11, 2002 - Another Day, Another Sunrise

Another Day, Another Sunrise

Today it was Lori's turn to wake up early and since the heater had just kicked on I knew it was 7:00. When I went out the front door to get the paper, I could see that the sunrise had the potential to be a repeat of yesterdays'. So I quickly got dressed, grabbed the camera, and headed out with the truck. I didn't get to the spot where I had scouted earlier before the major color dissapeared, but I did get this picture on the way. I'm not sure why, but life just seems more beautiful when it's reflected in a small puddle.

Sat, Jan. 19, 2002 - Sunny, Carol, Emmet & John

Sunny, Carol, Emmet & John

We spent the day with Carol and John. I've wanted to take some pictures of both of them with their horses the last few times we've been there, but each time the weather didn't cooperate. Today started out nice and sunny, but by the time the light was right in the afternoon a good wind kicked up. With the Hoopers, I found that photographing 4 people was tough. Two people and two horses who won't stay still is even harder. I had envisioned a nice relaxed looking portrait of two people in love with their horses. Maybe trying to take the picture just after they've been ridden isn't the right time.

Sun, Jan. 20, 2002 - Luxor at Night

Luxor at Night

Today we flew to Las Vegas after a quick lunch with Mom & Dad. The flight to Vegas was pretty interesting, and seemed very short. I really enjoy seeing the world from that vantage point and the route from San Jose to Las Vegas takes you right over Yosemite. I could clearly see Half Dome, and the Sierras were splendid in their winter clothes. Even the desert around Las Vegas is interesting from the air, with the varied colors and formations of the rocks.<\p>

We arrived in Las Vegas in time to have dinner, explore the hotel a bit, and then we went down the Strip to Harrah's to see Skintight, which was very entertaining.

Mon, Jan. 21, 2002 - The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip

This morning we went down to the Venetian, where the Art of the Motorcycle show was being held. This was the point of going to Las Vegas, and it didn't disappoint me. Since I had the exhibit book from the shows run in New York, I knew pretty much what the exhibit included, but it was still exciting to see the bikes in person. Several of them I had never seen before, and it was amazing to see the progress that bikes made over the last 100 years. Unfortunately, they did not allow cameras into the exhibit, so I wasn't able to get pictures of my favorites.

After touring the motorcycle show, we wandered around the various casinos. There is no way you can see them all in a short visit, and I'm not sure I could stand Vegas for more than 3 days at a time. We took the ride up the Eiffel Tower replica, its hard to imagine that it is a half scale replica. It seems very high for 21st century technology, I can't believe that they built something twice as tall a hundred years ago and it's still standing. At one exhibit at the Luxor, they mentioned that the pyramids in Egypt were the tallest structures on earth until the Eiffel Tower was built. Quite a long standing record!<\p>

From the tower, we got our first view of the fountains at Bellagio. Quite a spectacle. So after our return to earth we headed across the street to get a closer view. I didn't have my camera with me so we decided to return tomorrow night to watch it again and take pictures. We also went over to Treasure Island to watch the pirates blow the English Navy out of the water. We didn't realize until it was too late that it was sort of like the whale shows at Marine World. Stand too close and you're going to get wet. 40 degrees out, soaking wet, with no jacket. Brrr! Fortunately, the huge fiery explosions warmed me up a bit.

Tue, Jan. 22, 2002 - Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains

When we were planning our vacation to Vegas, I had these dreams of sitting out by the pool, soaking up some sun. Well Vegas was experiencing the same cold snap that California was, so we only made it to the hot tub. The soak felt really good on all our tired muscles. I hadn't done so much walking in one day since our first trip to England. After lunch we visited the M&M store, and then visited more casinos. We saw white tigers at the Mirage, baby lions at the MGM, and basically too much other stuff to really absorb. Through out the day I kept wondering what this town must feel like to people who grew up in small towns like Ferndale and this was there first visit to a big city. I also kept trying to put this town in Ferndale perspective. Such as I'm sure that the Bellagio fountains pump more water in one 10 minute show, than the entire Ferndale fire department has pumped in their 100 year existence.<\p>

We started the evening entertainment with the Atlantis show at Ceasar's, then back to the Bellagio for an encore performance of the fountains (I think this was our favorite attraction), and finally back to the Luxor to see their Midnight Fantasy show, which was very well done.

Wed, Jan. 23, 2002 - Inside the Luxor

Inside the Luxor

Lori and I could barely walk at this point due to the hours we spent walking the previous three days. While I enjoyed the sites and entertainment offered, I've never wanted to return from a vacation so quickly. I just don't have the energy to cope with a town like Vegas. My eyes and ears and especially my feet were ready to rest. So back on the plane we got, for our return to San Jose. We watched a movie with Mom and Dad, had dinner, and then I went to bed so that I could stay awake for the drive home.

Thu, Jan. 24, 2002 - Flying over the Sierras

Flying over the Sierras

Lori and I could barely walk at this point due to the hours we spent walking the previous three days. While I enjoyed the sites and entertainment offered, I've never wanted to return from a vacation so quickly. I just don't have the energy to cope with a town like Vegas. My eyes and ears and especially my feet were ready to rest. So back on the plane we got, for our return to San Jose. The flight home was interesting as well, but I was on the wrong side of the aircraft to see Yosemite. After our arrival in San Jose, we watched a movie with Mom and Dad, had dinner, and then I went to bed so that I could stay awake for the drive home. It felt really good to get off the feet for awhile.

Fri, Jan. 25, 2002 - New York, New York

New York, New York

Here's one more shot from Vegas, the New York, New York casino. A lot more colorful than I remember it from pictures I've seen. We didn't get a chance to take the rollercoaster ride.

Sat, Jan. 26, 2002 - In His Dreams

In His Dreams

A final picture from Vegas, this is one of the baby lions at the MGM. I think this guy is how Ricky perceives himself.

Snow has been forecast for Ferndale! Stay tuned to see if it happens.

Mon, Jan. 28, 2002 - Our big snow storm

Our big snow storm

The big storm that was promised for Saturday night never materialized. It snowed for about 30 seconds, not even sticking to the ground. The weather cleared later in morning and if I hadn't been busy getting caught up for work I would have gone for a motorcycle ride. Last night though it did actually snow enough to leave a trace on the ground. Certainly not enough to build snowmen or sled in, but then I don't have to dig the vehicles out either. Still it is rare enough it was a pleasant surprise this morning.

Tue, Jan. 29, 2002 - Morning Moon

Morning Moon

This morning when I went outside to look for the newspaper, I was surprised to see a full moon in the sky. I don't ever recall seeing a full moon in the morning. With the sky colored from the impending sunrise, it made for a very beautiful sight. I would have ventured out to take a more scenic picture, but it was just too damn cold to be our running around in my bathrobe, so I admired it from the porch for a few seconds and then retreated back to the kitchen for my morning coffee. (Sorry for the language in this post, but when hell freezes over, I think you're allowed to swear. Here in heaven it has been so cold, that I'm assuming that hell MUST have frozen over.)

Wed, Jan. 30, 2002 - Frosty Morning

Frosty Morning

The bitter cold continues. Just a week ago I was looking at the cannas in the back yard, amazed that they were still trying to bloom. Now they're a limp, brown reminder that we don't live in a tropical environment. Today's picture doesn't show snow, it has been so clear the last couple of days that the temp has really dropped, causing the lawn and everything else to be thickly coated in frost. It actually looks more "snowy" than the day it really did snow! This morning our water supply froze again for the second day in a row. (One downside of living in the country, I guess.) The pipe that runs from the storage tank to the water pump is exposed and it keeps freezing. So this morning I was taking my shower and was all lathered up with soap and shampoo when the pressure tank ran dry because the pump couldn't pump any water into it. Feeling rather helpless, I just dried off and tried to get as much of the shampoo out with the towel. Fortunately, I had a haircut appointment at 10:00 and she always does a wash first so at least I didn't have icky hair all day.