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September 2, 2010 
    My son and I went to see Bob Dylan last night.  I've always admired him as a songwriter from my first picking up a guitar.  Unfortunately, his voice seemed pretty shot last night, and he did more speaking his songs than singing them, reminding me of Rod McKuen back in the day.   He mostly played keyboards, but he also played harmonica last night, but seemed to mostly play very simple riffs, one solo consisting of 3 notes repeated...  The first part of the concert was John Mellencamp, who had a much tighter band and performance, and was in good vocal form as well.  People started trickling out after about half of Dylan's set.  I made a mental note to check out what musicians sound like today before going to one of their concerts.  I will say that I was surprised to see a half dozen people I knew in the area we sat, including a neighbor from Spirit Lake and some people who had Sondahl and Hawkins play for a party at their house this spring.
    The weather is doing a slight reprise of summer before returning to cool fall...  
    We went down to the woods to get 10 teepee poles for the Labor Day celebration in the park, for a teepee as part of the historical reenactors.  Getting the poles was the limit of our involvement.

Sept. 3
    Our friend from the Silver Valley brought us his annual gift of a cord of wood--buckskin tamarack--which is local parlance for Western Larch which has shed its bark from being long dead.  It's the best wood available in our area., except (according to  Pat) for black locust, which is even more dense.
We got the truck unloaded, and now there's a pile waiting to be stacked into its 4 X 4 X 8 foot cord. Today the high was in the 80s, which is less conducive to wood stacking than the predicted high in the 60's which we'll have in several days.
    Also I'm trying to give away on Craigslist a functional refrigerator from the 1950's which came with our pottery house.  When I posted it a couple weeks ago, there were several immediate responses, but none of them came through, so it's back up.
    This morning early I edited about 1/3 of the songs in the gospel kids CD--it's sounding pretty good.  Mixing is very much an art--with 3-4 instruments and voice on each selection, I just try to make sure the lyrics are easy to comprehend and the other instruments are spaced evenly to the left or right.      
    Later, in the pottery I made butter dishes, colanders, and pitchers.

Sept. 4
    I spent most of my productive day today messing with CD's (well okay, 2 hours doing pottery).  First thing this morning I finished editing the remade kid's gospel CD on a laptop computer.  Then I spent an hour trying to get it from the laptop to my desktop machine.  I thought I'd use a USB memory stick, but the laptop wouldn't recognize it.   I thought I'd burn the files onto a CD, but the CD player disappeared from the Windows Explorer universe.  I finally did succeed with a different memory stick.  I spent the late afternoon making CD's and printing the covers and CD's themselves.   I plan to make a webpage with details on the CD soon.
    It's also Labor Day weekend, with entertainment in parks local and semilocal, as well as college football beginning.  So I had a few forays into those other realms today, but mostly stayed at the pottery shop.
    Oh, yes, I also got rid of our old refrigerator, which came with the pottery when we bought it in 1982, and was old then.  I put the free giveaway ad up on Craigslist and it took about 12 hours to have someone actually come and get it (one guy offered to meet me with it 50 miles away in Spokane). Since it would have otherwise gone to the dump, although it still ran about as well as it had in the 1950's, it was probably a good deal all around.


Sept. 5

     I got the relevant pages modified so my newest CD is up. http://www.sondahl.com/CDchildren.html

Sept. 6
    Today in many ways resembled the 4th of July, but colder and no fireworks.  We had relatives over to watch the very small Labor Day Parade...  It included a sheriff's mounted posse and 4 bagpipers as well as  a couple nice cars, some kids dressed as clowns, a few youngsters on motorbikes, and me hauling a wheelbarrow of firewood and wishing everyone a warm winter.  This parade is billed as one of the shortest in the world, on a route of two blocks from our pottery to the city park.  When I went to join the parade, I was told my services as musician were requested at the park, so after the parade I immediately set up for an hour and half of music.  Following that, there was a talent show, with ventriloquist, tap dancer, opera singer, cowboy songs, karaoke, and other varied entertainment, which I patiently endured.
    Then my son and I drove into Spokane to the same relatives who had come for the parade, to watch the huge Boise State Virginia Tech football game, with a nailbiting but satisfactory conclusion.
    Oh, yes, I did glaze and fire a kiln load this morning before the festivities.  Not a bad day off...

Sept. 8
    We had our god daughter visiting with her brother and her smiley 6 month old baby yesterday.  We walked down to the lake, and were surprised to see  Kokanee salmon swarming around near the dock, in their red spawning colors.  There's no stream nearby for them to go up, so I'm not sure why they were there.
    I've been making lots of pots again, trying to refill the shelves before a wholesale buyer comes later in the month.  There are also a few orders needing completion.  But I'm running low on clay, and will probably have to run to Seattle next week to restock.

Sept. 9
    I suppose it is meetings that decide the fate of the world.  I had a potential for 3 today, opted for the pottery guild (hard to skip, being president), and the Downtown Spirit Lake Revitalization meeting.  Neither of these will decide the fate of the world, but may matter to me locally.  The pottery meeting was to start planning the annual sale in November, and went pretty well.   The town meeting showed the result of a $45,000 study on things to improve Maine Street, like trees, parking bumps, more lighting, etc.  They presented 3 choices, and then we were supposed to fill out several pages of questionnaires.  Maine Street has looked better than ever in the last 3 or 4 years--it just needs some stable retail outlets to encourage more people to explore it, and survivable rents for the businesses to make it through the long winters.  There have been two second hand stores to open this summer, which was good--I even bought a vacuum for the pottery workshop there this week.
    I started the morning weeding our new strawberry patch, which currently looks like a dahlia, gladiola, and sunflower bed.  We won't weed those out till after the frost, but there were plenty of other weeds needing to be removed.  The regular garden has its share of weeds as well, but with manure getting added every fall, getting a weed free garden is an exercise in futility, so I only make sure the food plants have a good head start. But the strawberry bed, being untilled for years, must be kept low on weeds, or it will soon disappear.   That's hard to remember in the fall, when the strawberries are long done.

Sept. 10
    I spent the afternoon dealing with hundreds of dollars worth of orders that have accumulated on the shelf.  I was able to send a couple off, pack one up to bring along on our upcoming trip to Colorado, so that part of life is better in hand.  I also sent off emails related to the potters' holiday show, and have gotten some responses as well.  Both of these things were hard to deal with last month when sales were at their busiest.  Now the weather is such that staying inside working seems a relatively nice idea...  I also got a couple more kilnloads glazed today...

Sept. 11
sunflowers and dahlias
Here's our strawberry bed I weeded a couple days ago, with the dahlias and sunflowers we planted to keep it looking nice after the strawberry season...  We can hopefully figure out a way for the birds to get the sunflower seeds...
    I forgot to mention that the other day when I went to the potter's guild meeting, there were a series of large photos on display in the library.  I was surprised to see a nearly lifesize one of me working on the potter's wheel.  The display was "Faces of Idaho," by the guy who wrote the article on me in the Idaho magazine last winter.   (Our guild is putting a display on for October).
    I cut corn off about 60 ears of corn for freezing today.  We've been eating it daily, and still have enough left for a week or more, in addition to having a good supply for the winter.
    Today turned out to be a good day for sales, including a dinner set I made for a wedding next week, which had shown little interest, but someone offered to buy all the outstanding pieces...
   

Sept. 13
    I was about out of clay, so I made a trip to Seattle and back to get 1500 lbs today.  It was 5 hours driving each way, with minimal stoppage.  I decided to visit the Seattle Aquarium with my scarce free time (which helps make the trip worthwhile).  I brought my camera, as usual, and with the low lighting most of the photos were extremely blurry, but this one came out pretty well:
Seattle Aquarium
I think it was the Hawaiian reef tank...
As a child I enjoyed keeping tropical fish, so I've always had a soft spot for the big aquariums.  They also had a few shore birds and seals and otters, which I felt sorry for since they seem more aware of their confinement than the fish...
    It was a fine day for a 640 mile drive...  It's always amazing how diverse the environments are--an hour west of Spirit Lake is desert, then there's the irrigated Columbia Plateau, then the Cascade mountains, which turn into the lush green Seattle environment.  There are several ups and downs on the highway from 3000 feet to sea level in there as well.

Sept. 14
    I converted around 200 lbs. of clay into pottery today, as well as firing two bisque kilns.  That should make tomorrow a very full day indeed.  The weather was enjoyably warm, so we spent the afternoon covering a deck with plywood, a projecct we started several years ago.  It may become a summer sleeping porch--it's always been a bit vague, and low priority.  At least now I don't have to walk on the floor joists when getting water for the pottery workshop.
    We got  two cords of firewood delivered the other day, out of 5 or so needed for our house, and 2 more for the pottery.  It's still needing to be stacked in our garage, in case you've a mind to...  

Sept. 15
    And Lo, that which I spoke unto yesterday came verily true today, even unto worketh-ing in the pottery all the day long.  And I saw that it was evening--the end of the day, and I knew not whither the day came from, nor where it went to.  And it was even a verily nice day...

Sept. 16
    I could really use a reliable order system.  I do have a program my son made for my computer to write the orders down and note if they're shipped,and  paid for.  But after that I usually bring the printed order out to the workshop, and two to three weeks later things become a bit vague.  I mention this because I got an order for a dinner set for a wedding this weekend, and I was surprised to learn some of the pots weren't there when  I went for them today.  I'd even photographed the canisters for a special private web page, but then I must have returned them to stock instead of setting them aside.  What I'll do in this instance is ship them for free when ready, so I do expect things to work out okay.
    In Seattle I ate at Ivar's, a seafood place on the Sound, in the fast food part of it.  There a guy took people's basic orders from one line, called them to the cooks, and then dealt with the pick up people at the cash register, getting their drinks and other extras.  He wouldn't be able to do that if it was 3-6 weeks between ordering and pick up--and neither can I, at least when I get a half dozen complicated orders, as happened last month...
    I AM able to deal with things like--I'm out of chicken cookers, so I'll make some.  That's enjoyably simple...  And was the case today, as we had a good spate of shopping to contend with.

Sept 17
    The sun never emerged from the clouds today, nor did it rain...  It was a blah day.

Sept. 18
     Another blah day, but then there was football...

Sept. 19
    It rained a lot today, which was more interesting than the last couple days.  And there was football, but the Colts trashed the Giants...  That Manning family is going to need counseling (brothers were opposing quarterbacks).

Sept. 20
    We've been getting our wood supply for winter.  We heard through a friend of a friend of a guy selling red fir and tamarack (best fuel around) for $130/cord if you buy 5 or more.  So we've gotten 4 and should be getting one more later this week.  Bill (the supplier) mentioned he'd been confronted by a bear while getting our load of wood.  The bears have been hungry this year, since for some reason it was a bad berry year.  He pointed out how the bark had been scraped off some of our wood by bears.  Then he mentioned how bear doesn't taste too good unless it's smoked, then it's like ham.  I asked if he'd seen cougars in the wild, and he said yes, and he'd eaten cougar too.  I imagined it wouldn't taste too good, but he said it was a nice white meat and quite good.
    I'm happy to leave others who like chainsaws and pickups to get our winter fuel...  I did move the cord of wood a few yards via wheelbarrow, and I will have to split a lot of it before burning, so I still get some exercise out of it.

Sept. 22
    We got new cell phones today, since several of ours were old enough to be cranky.  In order to deal with our carrier, we had to use about 6 different passwords.  Eventually there will be digital gridlock when suddenly no one can remember their passwords.  I know I'm about there already...
    The weather approached 70 and sunny, which felt great after a week of rain and clouds.  But I mostly worked inside on pottery, except for harvesting some tomatoes and broccoli...
    The quail that wander through in coveys have a new batch of babies--seems a bit late to be starting them--I never knew they could have two hatchings in a year...

Sept. 23
    The good news is that I sold $1200 worth of pottery today.  The less good news is that it was wholesale, so I only get half...  And suddenly I'm missing a lot more pottery...  So I worked into the afternoon making pots.  
    It was cloudy and cool, but we went for a walk along the lake, enjoying the mergansers and grebes and geese gathering for migration...

Sept. 24
    My day was quite normal, but the home of all my birth family, Northfield, Minnesota, has taken a bad hit with a major flood, damaging many local businesses including some owned by my family.  Over half a foot of rain fell in the area in a short time, and the river reached record levels, closing all local bridges and flooding far and wide.  Previously the town has been at the edge of tornadoes, and received a highly damaging dose of golf ball sized hail.  Here's a link showing the high river, and the flooded Froggy Bottoms Pub owned and run by my family, just downstream from the bridge...  This one shows big trees tumbling at the base of the falls..

Sept. 26
    We went to the Spokane Symphony Saturday, in fact I opted for season tickets, but I think it was the Bugs Bunny at the Symphony scheduled for the end of October that convinced me to do it, since I frequently don't like the music they select.  Such was the case for the first concert-- a lot of highly perfect playing of music that didn't connect with me.  Most of what I know of classical music I did in fact learn from Bugs Bunny and the Merrie Melodies cartoons--unfortunately that upcoming concert wasn't part of the classical series we got.  But the next concert will have one of the Brandenburg concertos, which I do enjoy.
    On Sunday the weather is back to balmy, so I walked along the edge of the Mill Pond, looking at moose and beaver tracks, enjoying the fine weather.

Sept. 27
    It was indeed another fine summer like day.  My son headed back to Colorado for another year of skiing (250 days this year).  I made canisters this morning, and fired a bisque and unloaded two glaze kilns.
    Our garage door quit working--not the motorized part, but the cables and springs that provide a counterweight.  I wasted a lot of time trying to fix it myself, before giving up and calling in professionals.  The door is now stuck shut, and I had two activities in mind for this week that would really benefit from an open garage door, such as putting in another cord of firewood, and building a bay window enclosure.  I may move my saws out into the back yard, presuming the forecast remains rain free...

Sept. 28
    After glazing pots in the morning, and fitting lids for canisters, I forced up the garage door about half way, and propped a sawhorse under it, so I could work in there with enough light and breeze to make it tolerable. Then I cut the boards and screwed them together until the main and spare battery on my drill were exhausted, at which point I felt tired enough to quit as well.  Being such a splendid day, I wandered out to the garden and picked a box of tomatoes, which will need storage attention in a few days.  After the rain we got a week or so ago, a fair number of tomatoes were molding or splitting, but there are a lot left.

Sept. 29
    I may have overextended myself a bit today for tomorrow--made about 120 pots, which will need trimming tomorrow.  The garage door people are supposed to arrive at the other house around 9, so my work at the pottery will be delayed.  I also hope to get the old window removed and new bay window installed.  And then there's Thursday Night Football.   And fabulous weather...  Looks like a tough regimen.

Sept. 30
    I got through the whole program outlined yesterday, starting at 8 with the garage door, which needed its springs rewound, and some extra bolts added to some of the door rollers, and I was happy to have the professional do it.  Then I spent the morning dealing with the pots thrown yesterday.  In the afternoon I, with carrying help from our friend and renter Andy, rough installed the new window.  At 5 I started watching the football game, which turned out to have a last moment kick to determine the outcome, always a good way to end a game if it isn't your favorite team.  After the game I picked out pots for a display at the Coeur D'Alene Library which I need to be at by 8 tomorrow morning, so I should soon go to bed...

Books read and other media of note:
Small Favor by Jim Butcher As this series progresses, bears of little brain like me could use a score card, as many events and characters from earlier books are referenced, but the basic cataclysmic struggle between good, evil, and "not sure" continues to hold sway...

The Buddy Holly Story (Film)
 a very inspiring film, and even though I've known a bunch of second hand Holly tunes, it was seeing that a local theater plans to put on the musical version of the movie made me check it out.  Then after the movie I fact checked a bit on Wikipedia, and saw some original footage on Youtube.  He could make E A and D chords go a long ways...

Burn by Nevada Barr  
I've enjoyed most of the Anna Pigeon novels, but this one went from deep into the severe dark.  That way lies madness...

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
  Even though (spoiler alert) no cars are blown up (does wrecked count?), this is still another classic Stephanie Plum story--full of madcap hijinks and zany characters...

The Tempest Tales by Walter Mosley  
I guess this is in the tradition of The Screwtape Letters, or maybe It's a Wonderful Life.  In it an angel recounts his experience dealing with an unrecalcitrant sinner, a black man mistakenly killed by the police but refusing to accept St. Peter's judgement of his life.  I don't think Mosley intended any deep theology from this--more a situation comedy of a black perspective on modern Christianity.  I've read many of Mosley's novels-- a fine writer, at his best with Easy Rawlins, but always challenging.


White Night by Jim Butcher
  Another enjoyable vampire fight from the Dresden Files.




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