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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

May 2006

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Mon, May. 1, 2006 - Mallery


The rain has finally stopped for awhile and that means it's time to go outside and take pictures. This is the first shoot I've done with Mallery, and we went out to Ocean House in Loleta where I was hoping that the lupines would be in bloom. With all the rain this year, the lupines are about 3 weeks behind where they would be in a milder year. So it wasn't as spectacular as I had hoped. Even though there was a cold breeze blowing at the coast, it still felt very nice to get out in the sun.

Tue, May. 2, 2006 - More Progress

More Progress

The garage now has new siding so pretty soon I'll be slapping up some colors to test. It's going to be barn red, with tan trim. This is the back side where my workshop is. The windows were left over from a previous DCI Builder project so I got them at a good price. They aren't exactly what I would have specified, but their main purpose is for light and ventilation and they'll work just fine for that. I got the fence rails done, and if I could find my saber saw I'd be using my new workshop to work on the trellis portion of the fence. Most of the stuff that was unpacked out of the garage has been moved back in but there's still a few boxes that need to be unpacked. I'm sure I'll find the saw in the very last box.

Thu, May. 4, 2006 - Stable Doors

Stable Doors

Today they finished putting up the four stable doors for the motorcycle garage. These are dutch doors which will provide some good photo opportunities once the garage is painted. We're waiting for the garage doors to be delivered which should be in another week or so, and one door on the back. The roof is supposed to go on either Monday or Tuesday. Then I will start working on the painting and electrical. The blue storage bins and the dumpster were removed so we can now get a much better view of the garage, and I'm liking it. It's really a nice architectural improvement over the old one. Can't wait to see it all finished in barn red.

Fri, May. 5, 2006 - Buttercups


Finally got a chance to walk to work this week and I was noticing all the flowers on the way. We even have a few in our own garden that survived the flooding and rain. But along Rose Ave. I really liked this field of buttercups. Even though we lost the sun that we had yesterday, I was still smiling all the way to work. So how was your commute?

Sat, May. 6, 2006 - Working in the Garden

Working in the Garden

Today was a nice day to be outside working in the garden. Or not. Artie figured that if it is called a raised bed, it must be a nice place for a nap.

Sun, May. 7, 2006 - Indoor Parking

Indoor Parking

Worked on cleaning the garage of all the construction materials so that we could get both cars in. Putting the car in the garage is such a foreign concept for us since we haven't been able to do that since our condo in San Jose 16 years ago. I think I'm going to like it, especially this time of year when the cars just get filthy sitting out side.

Mon, May. 8, 2006 - Roofing Goes On

Roofing Goes On

In an amazing bit of luck, it never rained while we had the roof off of the garage. Paul Cosentino of Redwood Empire Roofing worked on the roof which was nice since he's a member of the Ferndale Fire Department. The general contractor, Dennis Del Biaggio is also a member of FVFD, as is Troy Land, owner of Valley Lumber where most of the building materials were purchased from. It's nice knowing all that money we're spending is going to people we know.

Tue, May. 9, 2006 - A Long Way from Fire Season

A Long Way from Fire Season

This afternoon the FVFD received a call for a small vegetation fire reported near Capetown. Now Capetown isn't that far away, but the problem is you have to go up the Wildcat to get there, and our over the hill engine (#3) is the most underpowered engine we own. Going up the hills we probably averaged 10mph, and going down the hills we didn't do much better because the engine's brakes are as impressive as it's raw horsepower. We were figuring the whole way out that it was probably a controlled burn, because it is still way to wet around here to have vegetation burning on it's own. Sure enough just when we dropped down on the other side of the ridge, we got cancelled. But it made for a nice drive out in the country, and at 10 mph, you can do some serious sightseeing. Not to mention that sitting in a fire engine cab you have some pretty good visibility over the hedgerows so I noticed all kinds of things along the route that I never noticed before. Since I'm usually on that road on my motorcycle, my average speed is, shall we say, a bit more than 10 mph.

Wed, May. 10, 2006 - It's Got Doors

It's Got Doors

Just a few days after getting both vehicles moved into the garage, I found that I had been evicted. I came home to find the garage doors installed, or at least partly. They weren't hooked up to the lifters yet so I couldn't open them to get the cars inside. Oh well, they look really nice. They're supposed to be back today to finish the installation.

Thu, May. 11, 2006 - Chickens in the Afternoon

Chickens in the Afternoon

The last few days our yard has been visited by the neighbor's chickens in the afternoon. The same neighbors who we ended up 'borrowing' Artie from. So I guess he's used to them. Their dog Katie, also shows up in our yard on a regular basis, and on one occasion we had to return some of their cattle. One of their horses also made a break for it one day, but rather than visiting us, he continued on down the street. They sure have a hard time hanging on to their livestock. I'm trying to figure out how we can get the chickens to lay their eggs while they're over here, but for now they are at least ridding the yard of spiders and snails. Leaving a bit of soil enrichment too.

Sat, May. 13, 2006 - Fly Over

Fly Over

Today I got another ride in the CDF helicopter, and like the two previous years when I got to go up in it, we ended up flying directly over our house. That makes it pretty hard to get a picture of it, but I did manage to get this picture of the new barn. Backyard looks a bit 'white trashy' but most of it is construction debris. Honest.

Mon, May. 15, 2006 - 80 in Ferndale?

80 in Ferndale?

Beautiful weather on our two days off this week, but today was the kicker. We had Phil and Diane over for lunch and afterwards it was so nice that we walked up Williams Creek road for a bit. Phil mentioned that today will forever be known as that day it got really hot in Ferndale. Honest, it might have gotten all the way up to 81 degrees. Felt pretty darn nice and definitely the warmest day we've ever experienced in Ferndale.

Tue, May. 16, 2006 - Sunrise in the Garden

Sunrise in the Garden

I was enjoying my morning coffee on the futon and since I got up early with Lori, I got to watch the sunrise. As the sun was sneeking through the trees along Williams Creek, it lit up the garden in a wonderful glow, especially the foxglove that finally decided to bloom. Another great start to a Ferndale day. I wish the rest of the yard looked this nice. Unfortunately the weeds have taken over in the weeks while I have been working on the garage.

Wed, May. 17, 2006 - Computer Museum

Computer Museum

The area over the posts in the front of the motorcycle garage has this neat little alcove that I thought would be a great place to display my computer museum. I've been saving most of the computers that I've used since the early 80s. First in line is a Commodore 64, followed by the original model of the IBM PC. This one doesn't even have a hard drive, but it has a port in the back to connect a cassette deck as your backup device. I need to find a Mac 512KE to replace the one that I traded away. That was the third Mac model made, and it was my first Mac. Next to the IBM PC is a Mac II, the first color Macintosh and the first one that was truly expandable. Then comes the Quadra 610 which had a DOS card built into so you could run DOS and Windows programs on it. There's also a PowerPC 750 up there.

The Union Jack goes way back to, from my high school days when I purchased to show my support of Monty Python. Now it seems appropriate to be hanging it on the door where the Triumph resides.

Thu, May. 18, 2006 - Electrical


Once the crew from DCI Builders finished with the shell, I got to work installing the electrical. I was hoping to use some of the existing wiring from the original garage, but every circuit that I opened up had problems. Folks, the switches get connected to the 'hot' lead which is black. That way you don't electrocute yourself changing a light bulb. I ended up redoing everything from scratch, including a new subpanel. More power. Argh, argh, argh.

Sat, May. 27, 2006 - Kinetic Sculpture Race

Kinetic Sculpture Race

The traditional start to Memorial Day Weekend is to go up to Arcata for the start of the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Yesterday we found out that there was a Harbor Freight store in Arcata so we stopped there first as they had a motorcycle lift on sale. We also bought the ultimate in deer proctection for your yard, we'll have photos of it later as some assembly is required. We didn't get a chance to walk around and see the vehicles as they had already started the brake tests when we got there. Nothing really stood out this year as the absolute best as in previous years. Maybe with the long rains people couldn't work on them and so many of the entries were the same as last year's race. This motorcycle definitely takes the cake for putting the most rubber on the road. The tires (off of a sprint car) are so wide that it will stay standing up when it comes to a stop.

Sun, May. 28, 2006 - Wrenching


Blake came up this weekend with the intention of having one day to wrench and then go on a two day camping trip as a test for our trip later this year. Due to unforseen problems that we encountered on my KLR, and interruptions from fire calls, the wrenching took two days. It was nice having the bike up on a lift though during that time. We also did some work on Blakes bike. Here he's installing some heavier duty frame bolts to correct one of the few of the KLR's weaknesses. Blake doesn't normally wear his riding gear while wrenching but we had to make a trip to Sears to get a torque wrench since the one I already had was too big for the job. We had just gotten back and Black couldn't wait to get back to work.

Mon, May. 29, 2006 - Riding


Both bikes finally got put back together so we got up early this morning and went for a ride in the South Fork mountains before Blake had to leave for the Bay Area. We took Redwood House Road, over to Showers Pass, , and then back down Kneeland Road to Bridgeville. About 107 miles total, with about half of that in the dirt. Beautiful day for riding, and the wildflowers and green hills were very pretty.