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Brad's Blog

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Feb. 3, 2016
   
We're between snow storms today, and yesterday it was sunny enough to get a sun burn so we walked up one of the Spring runoff channels on the ridge.  It was below freezing which leads to ice buildup from spatter of the falling water.    The snow is still about a foot thick, but there are lots of well worn deer trails and a hard crust under a couple inches of snow.  In the last few days we've noticed lots of snowshoe hare tracks, and deer are common on the ridge in the late afternoons when we tend to walk.  Grouse have been roosting in our fruit trees recently...

Feb. 13

We went up to Priest Lake for an Ash Wednesday service, and as dusk approached I took this photo of the Kalispel Bay Marina.  Ordinarily I go for the natural shots but I liked the rhythm of the docks pointing to the boats.  The young lady we were with who worked there told us how difficult it is to winterize boats with shrink wrap, working over the cold water with a torch to shrink the plastic with one hand and the other securing the edge with a roll of tape.

Feb. 16
With rain and weather in the mid 40's our snow pack is quickly vanishing.  It also makes it comfortable to put out pottery and work on the display shelves.  The warmer weather coincided with the President's Day weekend and resulted in some good days of pottery sales, not really expected at this time of year...

Feb.23

These are winter blah days, 20 degree nights and 40 degree days...  At least there's some sun shine, and the snow is gone except in piles so I've gotten most of the fruit trees pruned...  The photo is of a small run off creek taken during a dog walk the other day, late afternoon...

Feb. 26
The robins are back, after a brief hiatus (I think I saw some in December)...  Being as that's the most exciting news recently, I started reminiscing about my youth in Brookings, South Dakota...  I started out on Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs but soon hit the harder stuff--The Erector Set.   It had little bolts and washers and metal plates and a real plugin electric motor with adjustable gear train...  It came with a booklet of projects, but I was never one for slavish copying, and would make my own planes and automobiles, and even made an automatic feeder for my dog.  It was a half gallon milk carton with kibble in it and a lever to briefly open a hole that would trickle out the food.  He soon learned to use it, and even to beat the system by holding his paw on the lever so he could chow down without stopping...  That dog Ajax and I would share a heat register on those chilly winter mornings, and I'd play crazy 8's with him as we sat there...  I knew as well as he that it was mostly a game of chance so I'd play my hand and turn over his one by one until there'd be an appropriate card to play.  And yes, he'd win sometimes...
    The Sears Christmas catalog was the ultimate in wished-for toys, since our town had only Ben Franklin's and Woolworth's, good for pea shooters and water pistols and model airplanes but not the cool stuff like Mr. Mercury and the Lionel-Porter Chemistry lab.  Mr. Mercury was the battery operated robot that I eventually used in Robots on the Rampage  a science fiction movie I made in high school.  When I saw the latest Boston Dynamics robot Atlas, I noticed it used a similar system to Mr. Mercury for picking up boxes...
I'll save the joys of Chemistry for the future...

Books read and other media of note
Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich.  Like Charlie Brown kicking the football, Stephanie Plum is going to get a new high end car and total it, and fans are just waiting for how it's going to happen this time...

Bury the Lead by David Rosenfelt.  I figured this was one of his dog based books by the title, but I think it actually refers to newspapers hiding stories.  There was a dog in it, and a well crafted mystery, so I wasn't disappointed.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming.   The James Bond books, which started with this one, were considerably more coherent and serious as spy novels than the movie canon would suggest, although this one reminded me more of the world weary recent Bonds than the superspy early ones...



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