Thursday, January 31, 2008

Big Stuff Expected in a Couple Days

Yes more snow shots. Today we had another day off from school and work. Both employers shut their doors. I was going to fly down to Boise and then drive to Twin Falls this weekend, but the report in the lower part of Idaho was bad also. I cancelled everything and will probably go down in March.

If you are wondering where the big John Deer thrower in the pictures comes from, my neighbor keeps it out of the snow under the front of our camper. He usually does all the clearing, but has given me the green light to use it when we get snow and he is on his truck route. Most of the people around us clear out of the neighborhood when I get behind the tracks. I can do considerable damage to property and wild life if things get out of hand.

Did I ever tell you about the time, when we had a snow blower, that I sucked up a couple strands of Christmas tree lights as I cleared the walks. It was dark, that's my excuse. You should have seen the sparks! The tree shook, the snow coming out the blower shoot was filled with glass, plastic and evergreen. It smelled kind of good though, very aromatic stuff that shrubbery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Beth

The snow just keeps coming! We didn't work yesterday and they are letting us go early today. More snow on the way tonight and Friday. It's over three feet deep most places and that is after several warm spells.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Twitching and Typing

I am an addict. There are times in the day that unless I get my fix, I know I won’t be able to concentrate, work or even relax. About every two hours I have to “Feed” my habit. Yes, I have a RSS addiction.

RSS is a web feed format used to publish updated content in blogs. Once you find a blog that you like to follow you can add the site to your favorite Feeds tool bar and if an update has been made to the blog, the Feeds link becomes bold and you know you have to go there and read it.

It’s an obsession, has Beth blogged today? The bold letters show that Knucklehead has posted another picture. Team Harris has posted again, I need to see what’s been said. It goes on and on, all I can think of is looking and reading.

It is so bad that when everyone is busy and no new posts appear I feel that I have been let down. If no one is posting, then no one is doing anything. Maybe I should post? Yes, posting will break the doldrums and stimulate more posting. Everyone has got to post and I must get them started.

So I post, and then I check The Daily Coyote. A new picture has been posted! I check Kellogg Bloggin’, come on Bill you have to post. I move on and check the Edward’s Family Adventure. I need a new feed, someone feed me, I can’t get enough. Maybe I need more blogs to follow, that’s it, find more blogs! I am an addict.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Set the hook MJ, set the hook!"

Linda and I paid the fourteen dollars and walked into the 2008 Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds RV Show. If you have never been to an event like this you are missing out on one of Americas ultimate people watching events. It's up there above X-mas shopping in malls, but not quite to the level of County Fairs and Rodeos. The RV show is unique because it draws in a very diverse population. You see folks who want to buy a hunting retreat for the cold wet November deer season, and only need to cook a meal and dry their soiled camo gear. Then you bump into the ultimate snowbirds, who want to have a rig that carries all the amenities of their 500K home and are going to drop an easy 300K to be able to drive south in comfort.

Everyone at the RV Show wants to see in every available camper, trailer, toy hauler, pop-up, motor home and they all want to look at the same time. You end up running into ma and paw from fifty miles out Idaho, standing in the bedroom of the Allegro Bus , with a 50", 1080p, plasma, HDTV with a complete theater system; a stacked washer and dryer set; and walk in cedar lined closets. They're afraid to move because they might get dirt on the plastic carpet cover, that is probably better then the floor in their country home. Did I mention the exterior 40" HDTV, located on the patio side of the bus, that the big breasted, lots of cleavage, dressed to the 9s woman said was a must for her travels.

It goes on from rig to rig, elbow to elbow, each mobile unit unique in its design and the people who are interested in it. Linda and I headed right to the 2008 Snow River campers. The Snow River 9'6" Prestige Signature Series camper is what the folks on the Truck Camper Forum are calling a user designed camper for the high end consumer. It was a nice rig with everything you would want. Linda loved the interior design, the storage space, the room to move and so on. I liked everything about the way it worked mechanically and electronically, plus the interior was not bad at all. We talked to Al the factory representative about the construction and putting it on a one ton truck. He gave us great information and eased our concerns about the need for a dully truck. That was worth my seven bucks.

Then Al introduced us to MJ the RnR RV sales person. We talked about cost, msrp 40K and then the "Show Price", 36.5K. Yes I said 36.5K! He took our info and we met up with John and Loretta while he figured out the trade in on our Northern Lite. The four of us walked the show for a while and then we showed them the Snow River. They were very supportive, John saying "Buy It!" Then they brought out the picture of the Blue Marlin Loretta caught in Hawaii and we talked about that for fifteen minutes while sitting in the camper. She caught a 704 lb. Marlin. It was huge! We were so excited, I showed the picture to Al and MJ. We talked to everyone a bit more and MJ asked the world famous question "what do we have to do to earn your business?" Both Linda and I looked at each other and said "we need to talk about this."

The four of us went about watching the RV show, Loretta looking at all the models, John and I looking at generators and Linda just plain looking. After about an hour Linda and I were hungry ans so we left John and Loretta to wander and we headed out to eat.

The roads were bad due to the snow so we drove to Post Falls to eat. We discussed the camper situation and have decided to wait till we know more about the status of the truck situation. You know that a new camper means a new one ton truck don't you? That's where the day ends, we went home, watched Harry Potter and went to bed. In the back of our minds was that beautiful roomy camper. MJ sitting there holding the paperwork, twitching the bate in the back of our brains.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Becky

Becky is a traveling cat. She now lives in Ukiah, Oregon and travels up to stay in her condo on weekends whenever possible. Her condo is very comfortable but this weekend there were too many people so she was not totally at ease.

Fire & Ice

The Schweitzer Winter Carnival was the back drop for this weekends photos. We spent Saturday night with Mike and Caroline Beckwith up at their condo on the mountain. We arrived about 3:30 PM and since Mike was working as a Mt. Host we sat and talked until the sun went down. It was snowing as we walked to the village where Linda and Caroline popped into Mojo Coyote Cafe for a little wine tasting. I think they liked the Huckleberry Blush from Pend d'Oreille Winery the best, although it took several different glasses to get to that conclusion, and that may have distorted their tasting and ability to judge.

After the wine we walked into the village further and watched the fire dancers. They were a very innovative group that liked to burn bio fuels and fake palm trees. The celebration was capped off by a torch light parade down one of the runs and a real nice fireworks display. I took a bunch of pictures of the happenings and the best photos are posted below.

It was snowing real hard and I mean real hard. I tried different settings to see if I could get some usable shots. The thing about fireworks and pictures with a digital camera is that the camera shoots when it is ready not when the fireworks go off. Then the fireworks don’t explode in the same area each time, in fact that is what makes them so cool is the unpredictability of the blast. I had to toss about 85% of the shots I took. Many times I just pointed the camera in the direction of the fireworks area and held down the shutter button.

The first series are shots of the torch light parade. The six white lights are the grooming cats used to frame the skiers giving them some light to move in. In these photos I either over exposed them because of the cat lights or I moved the camera because my fingers were falling off.

The fireworks photos are ok, but with my camera it’s real hard to shoot, especially when it is snowing like a #@&*%^! I hope you enjoy them, because I am still thawing what's left of my fingers.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Couple Thoughts - That's All I Have

I have been thinking about Blogging quite a bit since my Brother-in-law Al Dee, created a way cool coffee table book of my first two years of blogging. He used a web based publisher called Blurb and the final product was mind boggling. I can’t say how much I like my gift and it is so typical that Diana and Al Dee would come up with such a great idea.

While thinking about blogging, a friend and co-worker, Alex started a blog. I teased him about this because when the “Weird Al” Yankovich song White & Nerdy came out (you have to hear it and listen to the words), Alex was all over me because I had created a MySpace for my dog Baka. As Al says "I even made a MySpace for my dog!", so the endless teasing began. The Team Harris blog gave me the opportunity for payback, but I think it is also giving Alex an opportunity to let his friends see what is happening in his world and what he is thinking.

I keep up with Beth’s blog and follow her links and attachments. A recent post led me to the blog of Andrew Olmsted who was in the service and blogging from Iraq. Andrew was killed serving our country, his last post was very thought provoking and sad. Andrew had the vision to write his last post just in case he was killed, I wish I had found his blog before he died. Visit it and see what I mean.

Holly and Ryan Edwards have started a blog for their family. Since Zane arrived they found that this would work well to keep their friends and family posted on his accomplishments as well as how their family was progressing with all the new adventures before them.

You are probably asking why I was thinking about this so much. Each of these blogs is written and maintained in a different format and style. Each provides a look into the lives of the individual who posts on them. I have really enjoyed being able to see what each of these folks are doing, thinking, and believing. There blogs have led me to many interesting sites with though provoking information. It has opened up my world significantly.

Blogging has given me a chance to document our trips and our family happenings. The most important by-product for me is the history it provides. I can use the site to recall when we did something and where we went. When I feel down, I can go in and read the posts and it lifts me up and reminds me how lucky I am. I now feel that it is such an important part of my life, that I will be invested in blogging until I post my final post, much like Andrew.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Our Last Evening and the Return

The wet burrito, or as we say in Mexico, "especialidad de la casa Burritos Mojados", was our selection tonight a Hacienda San Miguel. We have enjoyed eating at this restaurant located just across the street from the plaza fountain. Being our last evening meal in Melaque we felt the location and food would give us some unique memories to take home with us tomorrow.

The burritos tasted wonderful! The use very thin sliced beef cooked over charcoal BBQ located just off the main sidewalk. The elder senor of the business cooks two of the paper thin slices and carries them into the kitchen for burrito processing. This takes about five minutes and it keeps him moving all evening long. We watch the cooking process, the continual motion of the plaza and streets, and talk about hoe great the trip has been.

After dinner we buy ice cream, and doughnuts. Sit in the plaza and then walk home. Linda went to the next door neighbor’s fence and called to Larry. He had said we would set up the taxi for tomorrow’s trip to the airport, but they must have been asleep because there was no reply.

We were mostly packed but we still had a bit to do before we went to bed. Sleep came easily and deep for me. I had become accustom to the slamming of the waves on the beach.

The next morning we finished our packing and I went next door to Larry and Maggie’s and played volleyball. Larry confirmed that his friend Chewi had set up the taxi. We played three games, I said my good byes and returned to our house.

Ivan and Sylvie stopped by with Matio and we said our good byes to them. Linda and I plan to visit them in Switzerland some day, and we would love to have them visit us up in Idaho. We were sad to see them go.

We heard a knock at the door and when we answered there was our taxi. We got everything out of the house and were loading it into the back of the rig, when two other taxies arrived. Since I do not speak Spanish I can’t exactly explain what was said, but there was quite a bit of fast talking, which got a bit loud at times. At one point in time they started to take the bags out of one taxi and put them into another. Linda stopped them and said “whoa hold on here”. They calmed down and talked a few more minutes, the two secondary taxies backing off and we loaded up and left.

As we drove out of town we passed the two taxies and I noticed that they had Villa Obregon painted on the side doors. Our taxi had Melaque painted on its doors. So here is what we think happened. When Larry secured our taxi he got it from Chewi who works the taxis out of Melaque. As the driver drove to our place the drivers of the Villa Obregon taxis noticed him empty and followed him to our residence. Taxis from one area are not supposed to do pickups in another area. It is a territorial thing and we have run into this before. Sometimes it is so bad that the shouting gets a bit out of hand, but our driver must have let the Alpha Driver get his licks in and then he got the fare. The rest of the drive was uneventful and we got a great deal on the fare. Maybe he felt bad about what we had to witness.

Our trip home was long, tiring and uneventful. The Jurgens trip was not as uneventful as ours. Rolly was very sick all the way home, but I won’t dwell on those details. I’ll let you get those details from him.

We arrived home about 11:30 PM and were in bed by midnight. Our plans are set for next year. We will be returning for yet another visit to Melaque. Linda is already making plans and I can’t wait to go fishing again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Music To Our Ears!

video

Catching Up Is Hard To Do

We waked into town last night and as we went there was something different about the night. The crowds of the past few days were noticeably gone and the city streets had lost a bit of their hustle. The holiday season is Melaque was winding down.

All the restaurants we had planned to eat at were closed and so we went to Restaurant “7 Star” located across from the Plaza on the opposite side of the church. The young girl that waited on us was very cute in the way she explained the dishes we questioned. Her English was limited, but she really tried hard, so hard that she scampered to a back table and asked her brother how to say steak in English.

We did the usual plaza stop and picked up some bread items. Walking back to our place we passed many families gathered out in front of their houses, on their front porches, in their courtyards, or on the street. They sit and talk no lights on, some with music most without. It is a nightly ritual that brings families and neighbors together. Beth mentioned this when she was here and we noted that this does not happen any longer up in the states. People don’t gather in their neighborhoods and talk any more. There are few front porches, any longer, but then again we have too many diversions that keep us from sitting out front of our home enjoying the art of conversation.

The next morning Rolly and I woke up early and went fishing. Won’t talk much about fishing this day, other then we got skunked. Went out 28 miles and did not get a hit. Our average for the two days was still above six per day so I didn’t feel to bad.

That evening we were sitting in El Buen Gusto and in walks Ivan, Sylve with Mateo their new son. They had flown in from Switzerland via a stop in LA. We haven’t seen them in four years, but I recognized Sylve immediately. Ivan was much thinner, so it took me a moment to make sure I wasn’t approaching a stranger and shaking his hand.

We had dinner that night at Los Molcajetes and then walked to the plaza and then home. It was good to see them; Mateo is a cute little bugger.

On Tuesday Linda and I went over to Larry’s place and played three games of volleyball in the pool. All games were very close and Linda’s team ended up winning the series.
When we were finished we came back and Ivan and Sylve were sunning out by the pool. We created a smorgasbord of leftovers for lunch and everyone ate and talked. Ivan’s family had to go back to their place to meet his father who was coming in from Guadalajara. They were less then excited for the visit but had to go meet the family and go to dinner.

Later in the evening we met Ivan’s family on the street while we walked to dinner, they seemed very nice and talked for a moment and continued our search for food. The search was much harder then expected due to many of our usual establishment being closed. As I said earlier, the holidays were coming to a close and our little Melaque was getting back to normal.