Friday, October 26, 2018

Home Made Music Gear

I built a microphone and a pre-amp this week. The microphone was supposed to have one piezo pickup in it. Just to see what happens I put two different sized piezos in and added an on-off-on switch so I could switch input between the two. There is a subtle difference, which is neat. Vocals are similar to the sound of an AM radio. I have a couple of songs I think this would be useful for. Now to get a stand to put this on. It's really sensitive so it would be best to have it on a stand and not touch it. The harmonica sounds good going through it, too.

I also built a pre-amp for my guitar and for the microphone. (I built the Brick House amp last year.) The guitar has a piezo pickup and it sounds pretty trashy plugged straight into the amp. The pre-amp really helps improve the sound. The pre-amp is also a necessity for the microphone above. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Clearing My Mind

Kathy and I came home to help and support a dear friend after her husband died in an accident. Yesterday we viewed his body before he was cremated. Last night we helped write his obituary. Tonight we gather photos for me to create a video for the service.

Early this morning I went for a bike ride.

I was halfway up Doomsday Hill when I remembered that one of my favorites rides is climbing Houston Road, crossing the rim along Palisades Park, and dropping down to Latah Creek.

I crossed TJ Meenach Bridge and got on the Centennial Trail. Exiting at the Houston Road trailhead I crossed Government Way and headed for the gravel climb.

A nervous rafter of turkeys awaited me.

The climbing was harder than I expected, quite likely because touring cycling does not keep you in shape for this kind of riding. My legs and lungs were burning. There was some walking involved. 

I rode along the rim in Palisades Park.

The morning fog was slowly disappearing.

My Elephant bike rules.

And it's more visible than Lime.

Latah Creek.

Trail dropping from Inland Empire Highway to Latah Creek.

I crossed the Sandifur Bridge and made my way along the Centennial Trail back down Doomsday Hill and climbed Downriver to go home. This is a great way to get ready for the day.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

George Nethercutt Misleads

(Image from The Inlander)

There's a huge problem in this commentary by George Nethercutt in The Inlander.

"McCain was stubborn, too. He voted against his political party's wishes on the repeal of Obamacare. His doing so was interpreted as a vote against Trump. In his heart, he chose to be obstructive, perhaps to spite Trump. Nevertheless, doing so for spiteful reasons was small and petty. He occasionally acted in life as Trump acted in death, McCain's, that is. Such actions were not profiles in courage for either man."

Nethercutt states how how McCain's actions were interpreted, but not by whom.  By using the word "perhaps", Nethercutt himself implies McCain voted against the ACA repeal just to spite Trump. Consequently, he's also stating McCain chose to be obstructive. Now that he "establishes" McCain was being small and petty, he equates him to Trump who is small and petty in each and every way.

Then he laments McCain's actions as not worthy of a profile in courage. According to other senators--and this is easy to search for had Nethercutt had taken the time--before this vote McCain had learned of his brain cancer and decided it was wrong to cripple the ACA with a partial repeal.

Nethercutt does McCain a great disservice with this tripe. It's definitely not a profile in courage for him either.

In addition, Nethercutt makes the point that McCain voted against his party's wishes. He, along with many of our legislators, need reminding that they don't serve their party. They serve the people.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Time For A Change

During my ride to work yesterday morning it dawned on me that it was the last time I would ride my bike to work. Today I retire from the US District Court Clerk's Office after 20 years and a couple of months. It's a bittersweet feeling. This is the best place I've ever worked and the people are great. But there are other things I'd like to do so it's time for a change.

Nothing's changed in one respect because all my riding 
is for fun regardless of where I'm going.

The people I work with know me and Kathy too well.

Kathy retires from her job in two weeks. In May we load our gear onto our bikes and begin a 16-month ride around the country. We thought we'd share a big adventure together while we're still physically able to.  People think we're crazy and that's okay. We'll be blogging our adventure at

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Questions For Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Have you ever gotten tired of counting Trump’s lies?
Can you count that high? Have you even tried?
Are you bothered by his cabinet’s conspicuous corruption?
Are you happy that he’s been such a huge disruption?
Are you concerned he holds Putin in such high regard?
Do you worry he may get us in yet another war?
Do you trust a president who rules by tweets?
Do you feel for Melania on whom he cheats?
Can you tell us if Donald Trump should or ought’ta
Date a porn star and compare her to his daughter?
Can you ever see a day when it’s gotten so dire
You decide you will finally hold his feet to the fire?
And if you did crack down and spanked his butt with a ‘zine
Can you realistically expect that he’d ever come clean?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Weekend Riding

Prepping for an upcoming adventure, on both Saturday and Sunday Kathy and I did 4+ hours of riding with our bikes loaded. Saturday's ride included the Centennial Trail between Seven Mile and TJ Meenach Bridge. There were a couple of shaded stretches that still had snow and ice. We're not as sore as we thought we'd be and we're stronger than we think we are.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Creative Ceramics And America's Game

Over the years, Stephanie and I have watched a couple of contestants fail on Wheel of Fortune. In one instance the puzzle showed "GO TO THx FROxT OF THx xxxE". Everyone but this unfortunate contestant knew the last word was "LINE".  She decided to solve and said, "GO TO THE FRONT OF THE CAVE". There was shocked surprise from everyone as you would expect.

In her ceramics class, Steph made me a very nice mug to commemorate the event.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Music Time

Here's a song I wrote called In The Morning. I really need to practice more. You wouldn't believe how many times it took to get a halfway decent video of this.
In The Morning.

This is something Stephanie and I did for fun. Stairway To Gilligan's Island complete with storm.
Stairway To Gilligan's Island.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lilac City Live

Lilac City Live is a lot of fun. It's exactly what you would expect of a talk show but on a smaller budget and with local talent. This is pretty cool, Spokane.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

There Was A Bike Fight Tonight

Soulful Soups and Spirits hosted Bight Fights put on by The Bike Hub. It was fun but it was also hard work. Go as hard as you can for 60 seconds. The loser is eliminated and the winner moves on. I did a very respectable .55 mile but the animal I was up against did .66 miles. What a relief--for me.

Bike fights will be held the next two Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm at Soulful Soups. $10 gets you an entry and two beers--tall cans of PBR, Rainier, or Oly (I think. I stopped them at PBR.)

Because that's where the fun is.