Local Tourist

I drove into town this morning to just walk around and grab a variety of shots with my new camera in pure Auto Mode, where the camera gets to make the decisions about white-balance, contrast, saturation and all those other little photography goodies.

For a hundred dollar point-and-shoot, it did pretty good. I’ve had some expensive photography equipment over the decades and now I’m into something I can carry in my front pocket that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost too much.

The results in Auto Mode were slightly on the bland side for my taste so I used my photo re-sizer to apply slight image enhancements to the batch:

SlideShow (Local Tourist)
Categorized as The Valley

Bird House

My new little camera finally arrived today!

Here’s the very first picture taken. It’s titled IMG_0001.jpg. That’s our kitchen counter right after opening up the package. Steph’s old camera is sitting there, she can have it back now :-) Towards the back is Jack’s paperwork, along with screwdrivers to remove his license plates, if I ever sell him. We have to do that here in Idaho…

I’m still tweaking the camera but here’s the first published shot. I need to do some work on the white-balance, but overall, not bad :-)

Here’s another look with a bit more green. Both un-retouched…

Heading to the Fair this weekend so I’ll take a bunch of shots and share them here.

Categorized as House


My son Riley is taking time off from work today so I decided to use my vast set of internet surveillance tools to track him down. I found him in a pool with a dog!

In Arizona!

SlideShow (Surveillance)

Categorized as Family

Point Sur

I passed this cool old lighthouse last month, coming up the Pacific Coast south of Carmel, CA. It’s called the Point Sur Lightstation and according to Wikipedia:
In 1874, the ship Ventura ran onto rocks just north of Point Sur, and many people died. The captain was drunk, but the absence of a light contributed to this tragedy.

So they built a lighthouse on top of this rock. Here’s the history and you can take a tour.

Here’s a view north from the lighthouse.

Here’s a new mid-sized reference map. (dragable, clickable, you know the drill… :-)

Categorized as Vacation 1


I got a real hankerin to do some fishin today. I really wanted to catch some catfish, which are scarce around here, but I thought maybe the canal flowing out of Mud Lake might cough up some channel cats.

The only gear around the house is for fly-fishing so I went to Walmart in Rexburg first thing this morning. I bought this nice little rig that had hooks and lures and headed to Mud Lake. It’s about 85 miles from my front door to the South Picnic Area boat launch.

I picked up some worms, and a wrap for lunch, in the little town of Mud Lake and bought a one day fishing license at the auto parts store. (hey, it’s Idaho… ;-)

It was great on the lake, no people, just nature. The fishing sucked, just a few toss backs, but it was in the middle of a hot day! This was just an exploratory mission anyway.

If you look at those schools of baby fish, they sure look like catfish!

SlideShow (Fishin)

Categorized as Travels

Quick Map

I’m always looking for an easy way to access the mapping tools I’ve created over the years, so here’s my new Quick Map. You can launch it on the right under Functions.

This is an embedded, dragable, clickable, state of the art Google map. Drag it where you wish then click a spot to center it, zooming in when you want. Once there, click the Bing button under zoom to open a Bing map or click the Red dot to open a Google map.

I can also use this tool to serve up a map to a particular location, example: Las Vegas!

Remember: the Bing button is under zoom and the Google button is in the middle :-)

Categorized as Site Stuff

Moon Walk

Often I don’t remember what I had for dinner the previous night, but I remember vividly what I was doing when Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon.

It was a beautiful Sunday in Berkeley, CA three days before my 23 birthday. I’d spent the morning playing tennis at the old Merritt College on Grove St. I guess I was looking cute in my white shorts as I hitch-hiked home because I snagged a ride with a tall, gorgeous UC Berkeley law student.

Instead of heading towards home, we hung out. She took me to a sorority house and introduced me to her girlfriends. All of these ladies were strong, opinionated black women. I really got an education on how they felt about their men back in 1969.

I ended up back at her apartment. I was laying on the floor in front of the TV with my head in her lap, both of us naked, as Armstrong spoke his famous words.

Now how could I ever forget that?

btw: Here’s my other moon landing story

Categorized as Various


I’ve bought a new little point and shoot camera from Amazon for $100. It has an optical viewfinder, it uses rechargeable AA’s, the DIGIC 4 Image Processor is the same one Canon uses for some of their larger cameras, and I like the price point. Oh, and it’s not a Panasonic! Click the camera photo to see it on Amazon.

The camera is on it’s way, but in an interesting manner. I can’t determine where it was initially shipped from, but it’s first stop was in Kent,WA. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know I lived there for twenty years before coming here and that’s where my son Riley owns his home. The next stop was Sacramento, ok, you can head east anytime now! Currently it’s in L.A. and I suppose the next stop will be Mexico City :-)

That’s what I get for selecting free shipping

Categorized as Cameras


The Redtail subdivision was built a few years ago, directly across the street from us. It was a Gillette production and it didn’t quite make it. Not really the fault of Geordie, he just banked on the economy at the wrong time, like a lot of people…

Only two homes were built, both models, both empty.

At least they had a good sign!
They were also going to have a great clubhouse and bar, sigh…

SlideShow (Redtail)

Categorized as The Valley

Meet Jill

Jill, of course, is the name of my sweet little 1988 Mazda B2200 that has undergone an amazing transformation. I bought her from Riley and his mom as the summer approached. I needed an efficient, dependable truck, with a camper to sleep in.

Jill only had about 87,000 miles on her and has been in the family since being acquired from the old couple that bought her initially. In other words, 1000 miles per year.

Riley and his buddy replaced the timing chain, points, plugs, filters and I went up to Washington and picked her up early summer. As I traveled around those first few weeks I was able to debug her remaining issues and the drive train and catalytic converter were fixed here in the valley by my local boys. New tires and belts were acquired on the road.

The camper shell was transformed when I first got Jill back here to the valley. Steph and I bought some thin wood to offset the ribs in the camper bed and then layered foam and blankets on top. Shelves were built and two plastic containers with three drawers each were installed. These things hold every thing I need!

Every window in the camper was blacked out with contact vinyl and security bolts were installed to lock it down when I climb in for the night. We also took off the tailgate ribs and replaced them with custom created pads.

This is an extended cab with two fold down seats which made all the difference as I was able to put my food storage, ice chest, and electronics back there, including an AC inverter to charge up my stuff. I also strung up a cord to hang up my wardrobe.

The best thing was the big water jug I bought, and filled with our fresh well water on every trip. I could pull it up on the tailgate and fill my drink or brush my teeth!

Update: I’ve implemented a Post Link feature to this collection of photos from previous posts. Click on the little blue pin in the upper left corner to open the post where the photo originated from.

Sixteen thousand miles later, she’s home…
SlideShow (Meet Jill)
Categorized as Vacation 1

Site Tips

I thought it was about time to put together a little write-up about this site. There are some tips and tricks and a few things you may not know…

  • Double-click your mouse's left button anywhere in the white space and the page will move back up to the top. This is not a normal blog feature, I wrote the code for it. To try it out, scroll down a bit and double-click some white space :-)
  • Check out the Whats new? box under the barcode on your right (which is real by the way) to see if any new things are happening here on the blog. Hover over the subject for the context.
  • The two Search boxes on the right perform different functions:
    • Private allows you to perform a Google search through a proxy service without being tracked by Google or their affiliates.
    • Search allows you to search through all of my posts here that contain a particular word or phrase.
    • Just focus your cursor in either box, type what your looking for and click the appropriate button. (or press Enter...)
  • Functions all stay within the context of this page, which means they open up just like an individual blog post or a menu item does. Hover your mouse over the function to see what it does.
  • Links open in a new tab and give you access to the content here, in a much more powerful way.
  • Tools are stand-alone programs that I've developed over the past few years. I encourage you to try them out!
  • The Reusable Tab is a new browser tab I open up for most things. Instead of closing it to get back to the Blog just leave it open and I'll reuse it.

Categorized as Site Stuff

Corn Kerneler

I’m sure Plow & Hearth has made a bunch more money off these corn stripping tools, thanks to a Pinterest pin I posted a while ago.

It got pretty popular, almost 200 likes and over 600 repins, and at $12.95 I bet a lot were sold. Check it out Here (scroll the Pinterest page down to check out the activity).

Categorized as Pinterest

Smokey And Dry

The smoke from the wildfires is messing with our views and our lungs. We’ve also been subject to the drought this year and everything without a watering system is dying.

Our little property with a well driven sprinkler system is doing fine…
Here’s a shot taken when we moved here seven years ago.
I just took these shots to sum the current tree situation up :-)

SlideShow (Smokey And Dry)

Categorized as The Valley

North Yellowstone

I was coming home from Billings, Montana this morning and decided to take Hwy 89 heading south out of Livingston. I’ve driven by this route a few times because it goes through the north end of Yellowstone National Park and they charge $25 bucks per car.

I remembered that I now have a National Park Senior Pass, I’m free! So I went through brand new country today and it was gorgeous. The valley south of Livingston has communities built around the wide Yellowstone River. These places don’t even have names, they’re just beautiful homes on a beautiful river.

I breezed right through the park entrance with a smile from the ranger and money still in my pocket. The photos here represent my drive south, exiting at West Yellowstone.

Update: Here’s that south of Livingston area I was talking about… btw, I’m using Steph’s point and shoot that she got free as a Staples in-store credit, ten year ago. It’s amazing what a talented eye and great photo editing software can do!

SlideShow (North Yellowstone)

Categorized as Vacation 1

Tripta Town

I drove into town this morning to pick up a few things at Broulim’s, but I was daydreaming about road trips and just suddenly turned right at the light.

I kept going and cruised on through Tetonia. The smell of fresh cut hay made me veer towards Felt and soon the wide open fields were flying by.

In Ashton I was stuck in the right lane by a large farm vehicle so I went with it and soon a swollen Henry’s Fork full of fisherman was following me as I drove North.

I didn’t stop until Bozeman Montana and I felt like Forest Gump standing at the end of the pier, except turning around was not an option…

If I go left I’ll end up at the Farmers Market in Butte. (Wait, wasn’t that my dilemma this morning :-) If I go right, a whole new box of chocolates await.

I went right, hello Billings Montana!

SlideShow (Tripta Town)
Categorized as Vacation 1