Thursday, May 26, 2016
My neighbor Kent has been wanting me to hike with him up the mountain behind our homes for a while. Kent really wasn't all that keen on reaching the summit, just maybe two miles up. I told him I was going to bring some of Donna's ashes to spread on the peak if we make it.
"You are a lousy hiking partner" as Donna would say because I only have one speed...my speed. I try to adjust to other people's stride but it is so hard for me to do. I did occasionally wait, I'm not heartless. ;-)
This is the view most have of me...not all that bad, though.
It is a beautiful day, not too hot or sunny, slight breeze and clear.
We saw plenty of moose and bear scat...but nary an animal. I do carry bear spray, water, and a few fig newtons.
On the top of Paradis Peak is this unmanned relay center. (yes, that is how you spell it) From our house, it is 4.5 miles and a 2000' elevation change to the summit, quite a steep hike for a couple of old geezers.
Snack and water time before we start the ceremony. Kent sure looks happy...doesn't he...that I dragged him all the way to the top?
Not everyone gets to go to so many places as Donna hasand more to come.
What's not to love here? Being on top of a mountain overlooking our wonderful valley while surrounded by lovely lupine and other colorful flowers. Rest well, dear...
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
There were time trials this week on the Coeur d'Alene River, so I thought the dogs and I could go watch them...besides, it was free other than gas.
Thirty-six teams from America, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada are competing on the 30-mile river run from Harrison to Cataldo, Idaho with speeds up to 150 mph.
Below is a short stitching of just a few of my videos, easier this way than to post separate movies.
The day started out with some drizzle but cleared up for the most part by the afternoon.
The boats do not race side-by-side but leave the starting line at 1-minute intervals. They race from Harrison to Cataldo in timed trials, then 30 minutes later the start racing down the river to Harrison. They did this 4 times today and I really have no idea what they will be doing on race day.
This is their makeshift garage and workspace in Harrison.
The speed is deceptively slow.
Those wings on the front and some have them on the rear, are to keep the boats from flying off the water.
Of course not every racers day is without some problems.
I get a little more of the feel of speed from the shoreline.
Coeur d'Alene Lake is a beauty, no doubt about it.
It looked like there were roads completely around much of the lake within my view.
The river and lake have a good population of white pelicans.
Geese and many other waterfowl.
I even spotted some floating homes.
I enjoy experiencing new things, even if it required a 2 1/2 hour drive with my well-mannered dogs (NOT) in the car to see the sights...lol
Monday, May 23, 2016
I read Samantha's address, to this year's Yale graduation class, with great interest and some soul searching along the way. Six things stand out to me from her commencement speech...marked in red.
Samantha is open and seemingly honest about her life and goals.
2. Failing to thrive.
Brings back too many statements from Donna's doctors at the hospital.
3. Never taking chances.
My whole life has been composed of...not taking chances.
4. Social Media.
Because of algorithms built into websites...all of our opinion's are reinforced...without competing ideas.
5. Race still exists.
I know it does and so do you.
6. Women and the glass ceiling.
Male dominated societies just do not want to let go of their precious control.
If you have the time, read her full address, I found it fascinating.
It has never been explained better to me, than in this video by John Oliver. Unfortunately, just a couple weeks ago I had proudly sent my friend a text in which I bragged about mailing in my Washington primary voter card...little did I know that the caucuses had already decided "for me" who my state would support...so I wasted a very valuable first class stamp, for naught!
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Will Rogers once said, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
Since I have deleted my facebook account, actually Donna's old one, I find I need to express ideas or thoughts without having anyone's feelings hurt.My blog, which was mostly travel, will now become a blog in which I can include writing about any subject. And since my blog readership is not the 1.5 billion that Facebook is, I have no worries of throwing gasoline on any fire.
The above graft shows just how much debt America is in, most of it is the government owing itself.
Over $5 billion is held as personal debt, with Social Security trust fund being the largest holder.
The bulk of the rest of the debt is public, approximately $13 billion, of which, $6 billion is held by foreign banks. As you can see in the graft, China and Japan are the largest holders of our debt while my father's country hold the least on this list.
Come on Netherlands...help a brother out and buy more of our paper, I'd rather being beholding to you than some of these other countries.
Does anyone else think it is odd that the tiny Cayman Islands is the third largest holders of Treasury debt just below China and Japan? Who might be these people that have our debt squirreled away in private accounts? I would think the U.S. would want to know who it owes money to...is it the drug cartels?
Thanks to Martin Crutsinger & J Paschke for the bulk of this blog.
The question of the day...Can a former President, now become a VP?
Friday, May 20, 2016
Best as I can investigate, here in Northeastern Washington, we have six types of swallows.
Bank, Barn, Cliff, Northern Rough-Winged, Tree and Violet-Green's.
While I have seen a few of them, only the Tree and Violet-Green seem to nest in the area of our house. They both utilizes trees or handmade birdhouses to raise their families, although the Violet-Green has been known to also make mud houses in under the overhang of eaves...I have not seen them do it here though. Swallows are so beneficial to the environment because of the enormous amount of insects the eat.
I have about twenty bird houses on the property, some were here when we bought...
Some I built the first year...
And from a distance, my homemade ones don't look bad...but I know they are crap! Hell, most years the birds won't even occupy them!
This particular house I built, with specific measurements, just the way a Screech Owl would like it. Three years later, no Screech Owls in the house...but plenty of Screech Owls in the neighboring trees. I give up!
Lately, I noticed that two of the houses I bought at the town farmers market were occupied.
Both the new boxes, with a lip at the bottom, had an empty egg outside? How or why, I am unsure...was it a rodent, did the mother know the egg was bad and toss it?...all questions to which I have no answer.
Here is a short video of the Mother sitting on two other eggs.
Underneath the mother were two eggs.
The nest next door was abandoned for some reason.
If I had a hundred poles or trees, I'd wish I could have a family of swallows on each of them...they are so neat to watch.
Each Swallow eats approximately 850 mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects every day...the only bird like equivalent would be a mammal...bats.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
MOTHERS DAY. May 8th 2016
They say a mother's love is UNCONDITIONAL? Trust me, I tested that theory from top to the bottom for at least 5 years. I gave my mother every excuse in the world to disavow me...she never did. She saw something in me that took many years for me to find.
Most Mother's Day I would celebrate Donna, the mother of our son, but now I'll leave that job to Jason.
Mom died of pancreatic cancer in 1978 at the age of 54 and missed so much of the successes of her children. Some were successful in business and some of us were successful in life itself, all of us have been successful as caring human beings. Mom did leave us someone we could always turn to, someone we could always look up to and someone to stay with us and keep us safe until...all were fully grown, Dad.
Mom was a gifted athlete, smart as a whip and beautiful to boot. Her and dad met while she was still in high school.
It all started in 1942 when mom was just 18 years old.
Their first of 6 kids, Jackie, was born 1 1/2 years later. If he looks a little old here it is because I couldn't find a younger one.
Mom, front and center, with my aunt Marie cooking up some treat I suppose. I'll date this between 1945-1950.
Soon after my older brother was born, came sister Jeanne. (I misspelled her name on the slide...she hates that)
I came along a couple years later. I have always loved this photo even though the focus is off...or maybe...because the focus is off.
Mom and dad took about seven break before adding a sister to the family...Teri.
Brother Joe, in the dark seater, followed a few years after Teri.
We thought our parents were done after Joe, but about seven years later our last sister, to round out an even number, was born...Chrissy. (the one with her thumb in her mouth)
Have you ever heard the term "saved the best for last"?
We camped in the Sierra's, two weeks during the summer and usaully went to Borrego Springs for one week of camping in the winter.
All through the 1940's up until about 1961 we camped every summer, most times more than once. Dad built this trailer for mom, so a cabinet popped up at the end and she had everything needed for cooking. In 1961 mom and dad bought a lot in Big Bear and built a weekend cabin for us...that was the end to camping.
Some might think I grew up privileged because we were always loved, went to private schools, camping and vacation homes in the mountains and the desert, but mom and dad were so frugal with their money that not once did I see them buy an inferior product. If they bought something, you could be sure it would last for decades.
While not the perfectly behaved child, I loved both parents very much and think of them daily. I've been so lucky to have received good advice from two strong women in my life, both of whom died of cancer, unfortunately I only listened to one of them.
Happy Mother's day Mom, I love you.