Apr 292010

For me, it has been a very long and cold winter.  No motivation to do any writing but warmer weather is coming.  Mother Nature is sure holding off until the last minute though.  Today was quite wet and cold but I was restless so I took a drive up to Detroit Lake to see how it looked and check on the lake level.  Now, I didn’t really need to drive all the way up there to check the level of the lake since I check it online almost every day. Just needed a drive I guess.  Took Duke as he seemed a little restless too and he loves a ride in the truck.

The lake level is at 1554 feet with 1569 being full pool.  However it really only gets to a maximum of about 1564 most of the season.   The average is probably about 1560 feet.  Kane’s Marina is open and Detroit Lake Marina will open May 1st.  I could get in there now but it looked like they still have a little work to do.  The boat ramp at Detroit Lake State Park was usable and both of the boat slips were floating.  I saw a few boats in the F loop slips.  The ramps at Mongold Park was also usable.

I took some picture so here they are

Jan 152010

Sea Ray 250

Rocky and I went to the Portland Boat Show yesterday.  This years show is shorter than years past, only seven days and the number of boat dealers and companies is noticeably smaller.  The boating industry took quite a hit this last year.  I have noticed several dealers around town have gone out of business.  My dealer is still hanging on but I know it has been a difficult year for them.  In talking with Troy at the dealership he said if it were not for the service department he didn’t think they would have made it.  He is hoping and expecting business to pick up though.

There were some good deals at the show and we looked at a Sea Ray 250 that was a great deal but unfortunately with the market so depressed right now we wouldn’t get enough out or our current Chaparral.  Also the show price didn’t include a trailer.  They said a trailer would run about $7K extra.  Well perhaps some day.

The Seattle boat show starts January 29th and is also shorter.  I went last year but I don’t know if I want to drive all the way up there this year.  You never know though.  Perhaps I can find some one to go with me…..

Jan 012010

This New Year just kind of rolled in quietly for me. My work schedule gets me up before 5 AM most days and it’s hard to break that ritual on my days off. I had New Years eve and today off this year but last night was sleeping on the couch by 9:30 pm. Amazingly I woke up at about a quarter to midnight and was able to wish my sweetie a Happy New Years and give him a kiss. It didn’t last long though. Listened to a bit of the requisite fireworks in the distance and watched the dropping of the ball in Time Square (the station said live but of course this was not the case). By 12:30 AM I was back in bed.

2009 was an interesting and historic year. Barack Hussein Obama II became the 44th president of the United States. Why, I don’t know and hopefully time and history will figure it out. He has been a total disappointment and I am sure a lot of the people that voted for him are asking themselves what they were thinking. His obsession with the nation crippling health insurance reform seems to have put the important issues like the economy, record high unemployment, the threat of terrorism and our current military activities on the side burner. The amount of money Mr. Obama has spent during his first year in office is uncompromisable. The $787,000,000,000 stimulus bill, which congress didn’t even read and most of which is still to be distributed has not been shown to do any good to our economy. Just lots of big business bail outs, many of which should have just been left to fail. I guess all that campaign money paid off.

We lost a lot of people this year. Some I will miss, some not so much. Walter Cronkite passed at 92, Karl Malden made it to 97. Paul Harvey left us at 90 and Ricardo Montalban at 88 years young. Farra Fawcett at 62 and Michael Jackson at 50 both died on the same day. No one really paid much attention to Farra’s death as Michael took the spotlight. Ed McMahon outlived Jonny Carson by a few years but he never showed up with my check from Publishers Clearing House. Patrick Swazy lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 57. Billy Mays died at 50, not from a bump on the head as a lot of people think, but from heart disease. And Ted Kennedy checked out at 77. Enough about him…..

Washington State suffered the loss of six police officers in only eight weeks. On November 1st, Officer Timothy Brenton with Seattle police was killed and his partner wounded as that sat in their patrol vehicles discussing a traffic stop. On November 29th, four Lakewood Police officers, Greg Richards, 42, Tina Griswold, 40, Ronald Owens, 37, and Mark Renninger, 39 were executed while sitting in a coffee shop working on their laptop computers. I was honored to attend the Memorial Service in Tacoma. On December 21st, two Pierce County deputies were shot while responding to a disturbance call. Deputy Kent Mundell died from his injuries on December 28th.

Some interesting sudden fame in 2009 included Susan Boyle’s beautiful singing voice. She amazed the world but the instant fame took it’s toll on her. Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s amazingly landed his jet in the water of the Hudson river saving all on board. Northwest flight 188 overshot Minneapolis airport while pilot Timothy Cheney and co-pilot Richard Cole claim they were discussing company schedules on their laptops and not asleep. And of course there is Bo the First Dog, a Portuguese water dog. I wonder if he could do a better job running the country than Obama.

As for my year, well it was not too bad. I traded in my old 5th wheel for a new Montana which was a very nice upgrade. We had a great boating year, we spending most of it at Detroit Lake and a great trip to Lake Billy Chinook. I purchased a new Dell Studio 16 XPS laptop (Christmas present to self) and i’m still working on getting it set up. My best friend got married in Bend, and I was honored to be his best man. And for the most part my health was good all year.

On the down side, I did lose a bit of my retirement savings due to the bad economy however by the end of the year most of it had rebounded. 2009 will not be the best year to look back on at my work. Our department had some public image problems and in the fall out we lost an officer, our Chief of Police and some officers were disciplined. We have finally hired a new Chief who will start soon so I hope things can get back to normal. On a good side note to all of this, our City Administrator was canned. It was about time for that as he handled this situation very badly.

All in all, 2009 has been an interesting year. A very tough one for the nation but I think there is hope on the horizon.

Nov 182009

This is the Selene 36 named Serenity and is a bareboat charter with San Juan Yachting.  This is just a dream boat for me and I would really like to take her for a week long cruise.  I plan to take some training next year either with some family that has a nice yacht up in Anacortes or if that doesn’t work out I may have to pay for it at one of the charter companies.  I’m considering ABC Yacht Charters for this but I am still looking and haven’t scheduled anything yet.

Let’s go boating….

Nov 122009

Perhaps when I win the $200 million lottery… It’s only $33 million. What an awesome yacht.

Technical Specifications for Wally Power 118

Technical Specifications for Wally Power 118

Check out the fuel consumption.

Nov 052009

Of the boating season that is….

Yes, so far I have found the worst part of boating is the end of the season. I took the boat in to the dealer to be winterized a few week ago. It does get a bit cold here in Oregon and although I could probably store it fine without winterizing, I am uncomfortable taking the chance. My dealer drains all the water out of the motor, checks the fluids and a few other things. It’s cheep insurance I guess.

While they were working on it, some water was found in the outdrive oil. For the non boaters, this is on the back of the boat where the propeller is. This is not a good thing. Upon further examination they found that the prop shaft (similar to a drive shaft) was bent which caused a seal to fail. It wasn’t much water but any amount is not good.

When I first heard this all I could see were dollar signs. Trust me, nothing is cheep to fix on a boat. Then John, the service manager told me that my insurance should cover it. He asked me if I hit anything this year but I had’t. Then I remembered hitting a six foot long submerged 2 X 6 last year. I was going about 30 MPH on the Columbia river and cut it right in half. I stopped and checked everything which seemed fine. Double checked again when I back home and didn’t see any problems.

Chaparral Prop Shaft

Chaparral Prop Shaft

That was early last season and I ran all this year, about 70 hours with no problems. Anyway, I submitted a claim to insurance and except for a $250 deductible all was covered. I was very happy because the repair cost came to $4300.00. I had them save the prop shaft for me. I think I will put it on one of the shelves in my office. It was only bent by 16/100th of an inch. Just amazing how such a small bend can be so damaging.

I also got a little gouge in the hull of the boat this summer. It happened when I was at Lake Billy Chinook. The last night of our vacation I went out to the island which is just across from Three Rivers Marina. I wanted to get some sunrise pictures the next morning so I slept on the boat. It was late when I went out and when I tied up in the slip I didn’t do as good a job as I should have as you can see for this photo. The bow of the boat was hitting the dock and caused the gouge. Looks like I didn’t have the stern line tight enough.



The damage was not terrible and I hadn’t planned on having it repaired for a couple of years. Actually I was going to get a fiberglass repair kit and do a temporary repair myself until I could afford to have it fixed professionally. The dealer however was able to get it included in the outdrive repairs so I was very happy. Just that small repair came to over $500.00. Looks good as new though. I did get some good pictures in the morning…..

Billy Chiook 2009 624

Billy Chiook 2009 617

Billy Chiook 2009 605

Billy Chiook 2009 597

Billy Chiook 2009 593

Oct 302009

I upgraded to WordPress 2.8.5 yesterday and I like the new interface. I did have a bit of a problem with the image uploads at first. I was getting an http error and did not have the option to create a thumbnail. The operation would upload the full size picture but would then hand with the word “crunching” in the status bar.

I finally located a fix after some time and now it is working. I had to add some code to the .htaccess file and away it went.

Here is a link to the page with the information for the fix.

Image Upload error fix.

Okay, now that’s taken care of, here are a few photos of our boat and Lake Billy Chinook. Lake Billy Chinook is located in central Oregon near Madras. It is in a deep canyon and fed by three rivers, The Metolius, The Crooked and The Deschutes.

The lake is surrounded by mostly public lands and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Lake Billy Chinook includes 72 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 4,000 acres. Its deepest point is 400 feet at Round Butte Dam. The reservoir stays full, or within one foot of full, from June 15-September 15th.

The boating is some of the best in the state (in my humble opinion). Even on busy weekends and holidays the lake is large enough to not be crowded. It does sometimes get a bit choppy in the afternoon as the wind picks up.

Launching the Chap

Launching the Chap

First day and getting the boat in the water.

Docked at The Island

Docked at The Island

There are a couple of Geocaches on the island that I found.

The old Laredo

The old Laredo

This is our old 5th wheel. These photos are from the 2008 trip.

Three Rivers Marina

Three Rivers Marina

Looking down on Three Rivers Marina. The road down to the marina is about a 1000 foot drop. The brakes really heat up on the boat trailer going down the hill.

Marina at Three Rivers

Marina at Three Rivers

Campground at Perry South

Campground at Perry South

Perry South Campground. It is a nice little campground. I hear it gets a little rowdy on some of the holidays.

Cove Palisade

Cove Palisade

The boat launch at Cove Palisades state park.

Lucky Brother in Arms

Lucky Brother in Arms

OSP (Oregon State Police) fish and game officer getting ready to launch. Now that is a job I would like.

Time to go....

Time to go....

All good things must come to an end. Time to pull the boat out and go home. Always too short.

Oct 272009

Boy, I can’t believe it has been almost three years since I have written. Much has happened during this time as I guess you would expect. I don’t know exactly why I suddenly stopped blogging. Too many other interests or perhaps my brain just froze. I have continued to make entries into my private journal and will be reviewing it and posting some catch up articles as time permits.

One big change in my lifestyle came with the purchase of a boat in the summer of 2008. It was my first experience at boating and I have fallen in love with it. Boating and thinking about boating has consumed a lot of my time. We purchased a 22 foot Chaparral Cuddy Cabin. It is a great little boat and we are able to sleep aboard her for a night or two at a time.

Chaparral on the Wilamette

The cabin is great for our baby, Duke. He climbs inside and just crashes most of the time when we are on the water. We were amazed at how much he loves the boat. He doesn’t like to get into the water much though and after he fell in once when we were at Lake Merwin in Washington I quickly got him a life vest.

Duke in his Cuddy

Well that’s it for now. Just want to say “I’m Back”.

Nov 272006

I haven’t posted in a bit. I have been busy and not that inspired for some reason. This last weekend I needed to take a drive to clear my head so I headed up to Mt. Hood and took some photos and I though I would share them. Enjoy…It was wonderful and very refreshing.

Government Camp

Alpine shop in Government Camp

Waterfalls on Road to Timberline Lodge

Trail Head to Trillium Lake

Road to Timberline Lodge

Mt. Hood

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

Road to Timberline Lodge

Nov 022006

I got back from my little adventure with my friends Elk Hunting last Friday. I had a great time and the weather for the most part was good. The temperature dropped below freezing most nights but the days were great except for Tuesday. That day it did quickly get cold and even snowed for a bit. I got there on Monday and drove over in a caravan with four other guys. We had three vehicles one with a camper and cargo trailer, one with a truck and trailer and my 5th towed by my trusty F-250. We got on the road at 6am which is what we had planned but then we had some electrical problems with the lights on one of the guys rigs. We finally located the culprit fuse and after fueling up, got on our way.

Elk Camp

Elk Country Looking  SE

We stopped in The Dalles for breakfast and got to camp a little before noon. The first thing we did after setting up our camps was to go get firewood. As I said in my last post I have never been hunting before and when I go camping a few logs last me all night for a campfire so my friends idea of a fire was a little foreign to me. We collected about six cords of wood and as you can see from the photo the fires we had were a bit large but were sure nice for the cold nights. The other thing I found about these large fires was after we built them about sunset, they burned all night with very little attention.

Nightly Campfire

The season opened on Wednesday and I went out with the hunters. Duston, one of the guys in our group shot an Elk the first hour of the hunt. He named him Larry for some reason unknown to me. During the next few days I went out hunting with them each morning and a couple of time in the afternoon. We saw a lot of elk but no one was able to get a good shot at a legal “spike”, so Larry was the only one taken by our group. Our youngest hunter “AJ” did get a shot off and it is believed he hit the elk. Unfortunately it ran off and didn’t leave a blood trail. We looked for it most of the day but never found him.


Big Daddy

I spent the afternoon on Thursday driving around on the forest service roads of the area. It is some very beautiful country and I may have to go up there camping again sometime. My only complaint is that the roads are very wash boarded and it really bounces you around. When I first got up to camp and checked my 5th I found a lot of things bounced all over inside and a several loose screws.


We all sure ate good up there. All of us had generators and one of the guys brought up his Treager Grill and we cooked on it most nights. I have a Treager which is a wood pellet grilling system and it is the best outdoor cooking grill I have ever owned. I don’t much care for cooking on gas or charcoal grills anymore.

I drove back on Friday but most of the guys stayed until Monday as the season closed on Sunday. I’m told they saw many more elk but still didn’t get another spike.

Elk hunting area map