Brad's Blog
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Dec. 2

In the last 3 weeks we had a reprieve from winter, with 3.5 inches of rain clearing away the snow we'd accumulated, and the lake thawing.  The week ahead promises a return to proper winter...

Dec. 14
December is always busy...  The lake is mostly unfrozen, although the Mill Pond is covered with a thin sheet...
The lake level drops through the summer, went up briefly in the fall rainy season, and is low enough to uncover interesting bits of the past...  The past is not always the good old days...  I've heard stories of a creek in the Silver Valley that could eat the metal head off of a wood handled hammer in a week, from acidic outflows of mining and smeltering.  Other creeks people would build outhouses over the creek to make their waste somebody else's problem.  So here's a photo from along Spirit Lake:

I googled wire wrapped wood pipe and learned this was a new product in 1908, the year the town of Spirit Lake was founded.  It was probably a sewer conduit leading into the lake.  In spite of all that, it's a remarkable bit of low technology, using wood and wire to make a pipe...  It seems like leaks would have been inevitable, as would roots growing in to gather water and nutrients...   The article I read pointed to a few still in use in national parks...

On a different topic, here's Butters searching for the kokanee which mostly haven't come to spawn this year


the windrow of pine needles and pond grass was formed from some windy days...

Dec. 17
We had our holiday lighted parade last night.  Downtown Spirit Lake really seemed to come alive with the spirit as the small but impressive parade met with a largest ever enthusiastic crowd along Maine St.

Before it started this classy car was alongside the (new this year) Messy's Burgers restaurant, in the building that was our post office when we moved to town, and most recently our veterinarian...


Next to it is the new decor store Clutter, the new (management) mexican restaurant Mi Pueblo, the recent Blackwell Lounge, and above (or in summer behind) Fresh Air E-bikes... All of these buildings were closed for many years when we moved here...


The high school choir warmed up the chilly night with some carols...


The parade started with another of our neighbors, the Baptist church, which recently started the Awana club (and paved their large parking lot next to our pottery last summer).  They also had a wonderful float in the parade, which I missed, busily wheeling my cart with candles and a small Christmas tree...

Our local library had a story hour at the (recently new) Brickel Creek Coffee Shop, before hopping on the hay wagon to be in the parade (note the red bag of candy about to be distributed on the street)


The idea for our lighted parade grew out of our lawn mower drag races, and the first one involved mostly lawn mowers decorated like these...

Here are local fat E-bike enthusiasts, along with our new Parks and Rec coordinator with her child...


There were several iterations of Santa, including on the fire truck, but this one had the jazziest sleigh...
Ho Ho Ho!
Immediately after the parade I left for Spokane to run sound for the
INBMA showcase.  I set up in time to play carols instrumentally for about 15 minutes...
Here are the photos I took at the event...
December2017

Dec. 21
This week was marked by steady snow for 24 hours, ending up with 14 inches of fresh snow on Tuesday.  Since then it's gotten colder and it's clearly here for a while...  The snow was too wet for our snowblower, so we did a lot of shoveling, and were helped by a volunteer snowplow...
Here's a photo from Wednesday--the pines got loaded down and some bend over, never to recover.  The fir trees branches tend to break off and land at the base of the tree.  There were lots of both, and minor electric outages here and longer ones in the rural areas...

This is the old railroad grade. 

Dec. 30
2 of our cats have figured out how to get the door open to the main part of the pottery display area, where warmth and food await, by going around to the separate door where my pottery workshop is, and meowing for me.  When I come out they trot back to the door to other door that they want to go in.  I count this as animal rational thought--I want in, I get doorman to open door for me.  One of our cats is a laser enthusiast, and she knows the sound of my desk drawer opening when I get the toy out.  So I often get her full attention when I open my drawer to get a pen...
Meanwhile, Butters is always attentive to whatever I'm doing, and figured out when I lay down my reading glasses that I wear on the computer that better things may soon happen, like a walk.  Unfortunately I sometimes also lay them down before taking a nap, so he gets eager when I want to get napping...

 
Books read and other media of note
Dark Run and Dark Sky by Mike Brooks A scifi tale that bends genres, verging into mystery and spy as well as good old fashioned space opera...



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