Thursday, December 31, 2009

Black and White, and a little Red all over

It seems everyone is doing black and white this week. I figure it's a good time to learn a technique I've been wanting to try. I googled a tutorial and set to work on this, my contribution to black and white...with a little color.

Somehow I had it in mind that there is a special filter or action that selects the color, but apparently it's just a straight forward technique using the history brush - that weird little brush I never use. I think I was expecting something flashier, but it'll be useful and was good practice.

Click for tutorial

Friday, December 25, 2009


One while waiting up for Santa.

From the Oregon Garden, earlier this year. A little fringe/halo on the edges.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Panorama & computer stuff

I'm happy. My computer is home after a visit this weekend with it's maker. A loose connection fixed and a bios tweak, and apparently we are up and running again! I managed to maim this one in a record 4 months of ownership.

I was off reading good stuff on digital grin when I came across a thread on panoramas. I've done panos before. I was taught to do them by hand. Satisfying? Maybe. Time consuming? Definitely. So I decided to try out Photoshop's photo merge. I like panos, so I'm not sure why I haven't tried this before now. The photos were from our 2008 motorcycle tour. Not much to say really. Photoshop did all the work. I'm impressed with how quick and how well it stitched the photos together. I'm rather pleased with the results. Not a great pano by any means, but not bad for a group of snapshots. It's inspired me to go out a get some more photo sets and try a few more panos.

Happy Holidays to All & Be Safe out there!

Friday, December 18, 2009

 It's time for a ride. The bike has nearly been swallowed up by the clutter monster that resides in the garage. I gather up my gear, dig out the Suz, and turn over the engine. I think for the first time ever, she hesitates just briefly, but then everything was fine.

I know it hasn't been that long, but I feel a little tentative a first. Funny how that is transferred to the bike. She is tentative too, but when I feel better, she gets better. And we're off. It's good to be on the road again. Real good. We pick the best path through this...

...and don't stop until here. When we bicycle during the summer this is a nice, cool stretch of road, and very pretty, so I stop to enjoy the peace for a moment.

My next stop is the Western Star Grange. I love these buildings dotted all around the valley.

Princess Suzi aquiesced to roll her dainty, princess tires off the pavement and onto the gravel. Quite the adventurer that one! Ok, so it's me that fears the gravel. It was an adventure for me...and "no motos were hurt in the documenting of this ride". With little fanfare and no drops we're back on the pavement.

This was the destination for the day, and this is the best pic I got of the church. The timid-factor kicked in...maybe they don't like biker dudettes...It has gravel...It looks like people are there...I might have to talk to someone!! I'll go back another time with Ron. He can socialize and I can smile and take photos. Note: more pea gravel.

Nice little road after the church.

Little church in Peoria. I stand on a mossy spot on the road attempting to hold up the bike and take the picture--fun!

Somewhere after Peoria I feel like riding more and stopping less. I head back to the other side of the valley choosing one backroad and then another. I Wave to one other rider today. To be fair I saw a couple out riding this morning, so 4 bikers saw fit to ride this day.
More meandering: Ward Butte and it's little neighber in the field.

One last pic on the fly: Rockhill Schoolhouse.

I stop to top off the tank and head home just beating the mist that starts to fall.
Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Albany paper mill closes

  I was reading at my lunchbreak today about the closure of the Albany Paper mill. Even though I knew it was coming, I feel bad for the people who work here. I managed to capture one quick pic on my commute home (cage not bike).

Here's a better one from last summer.

I've been commuting I-5 since I was 5 years old. Salem to Lebanon, Lebanon to Salem, either riding or driving most all my life. To my brother and I it was the "stinky" mill. I don't know if it really was the culprit or not. I remember when they built the first tall smokestack, and years later I watched the new, bigger stack go up. We have a friend who raced up the stairs of that thing...exercise for the nightshift. In the 80's the sawdust(?) pile caught fire and smoldered on for weeks. I can't remember a time when it wasn't making paper.

My thoughts and prayers to the families who will be effected by this closure. It's not much to offer, but all I have.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yet another Cheadle Lake post...

We pay another visit to Cheadle Lake today. It's good to get outside for a walk and not have freezing weather. There is ice, not on the trail, but on the still frozen lake. And few birds.

We find a number of white feathers on the ground. I hope it's not what's left of the egret I saw a week ago.

Except for a Basset hound out walking his owner we have the place to ourselves.

Have a good week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

've been neglectful of my photography. As with most things I prefer the outdoors for photography and with this cold weather I'm not wanting to linger outside. Christmas lights are up, the air is crisp and clear, yet I haven't taken advantage.

I have taken the time to play around indoors with the camera (yes, even the "boat anchor" nikon). I finally broke out the colored films for some painting with light. They've been tucked away in the camera gear for two years; it's time to use them. Pretty blah results, but it has wet my appetite for more. What did I learn? It's really tough to swap films on the flash and still beat the camera timer. Especially in the semi-dark.

This week the local photography club will take a trip downtown for some night photography of the local Christmas lighting. I'm trying to convince myself to go. It's going to be really cold! What to do, what to do??

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Fix

I wait around for warmer weather, but it never comes. I do chores around the house. I run errands in the car. Cookie and I stop at Cheadle Lake. There's ice. Ice! We take a little walk, hoping to take some photos, but I don't like the angle of the sun. The light is harsh and in my face, so we head home.

I think again about digging out the motorcycle. It's still cold. I don't want to pile on all the gear. I'll have to stop and fill the gas tank. I seem to have a dozen excuses not to ride. But it's really beautiful out. Blue skies. I just can't stay home. Inspired by another blogger, I pull out the gear and get ready. See, warmer already. And the bike is ready; she starts right up eager to go. I pick a route that should give me about an hour of riding. It's one of our bicycle routes, "head to Shedd". I puzzle out the best vent-shield-sunglasses-breathguard combination that will give me the best view of the road with the least amount of fogging, and we're off. It really is a nice day to ride. We pass another biker out on the road! Wave, wave. On we go, two brave riders. Or is it two addicted riders out getting a fix? I won't ponder that thought too much. I want to get a photo with the bike in front of old Thompson's Mill. It's not the best spot for the shot, but it's the spot that I can manage to park the bike. I'm not brave enough to park on the bridge. This will have to do.

Here's one of Thompson's Mill from the Bridge.The better view.

I love to visit the mill. State Parks have done a good job bringing it to the public, but it's lost some of that mystery that comes from being an old abandoned building. We ride on, missing our turn. Darn sun in the eyes! We turn around in Shedd and are soon back on the route. Good thing too, because the chill is starting to get through all the layers.

Old barn.

Peterson's Butte...almost home again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Father and daughter

Ron with Rachel in 1985 just before we sold the Kawasaki. I had no clue what a hot little bike that was. Ron never said anything about that! No helmets required back then. No, Rachel didn't really get to ride.

Fast foward...July 12, 2009

Ron and Rachel take a spin on the Suzuki. Rachel finally gets that ride.

Revised 12-02-09. Originally posted May 09

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The commute this week - Happy Thanksgiving

Yay! I got two commutes in this week! No pics. It's too cold to mess with the camera. Heck the camera is probably frozen too. Tuesday I had a rainbow! It wasn't a rainbow kind of morning, but there it was. I was going to stop and get a photo, but I'd end up behind a school bus if I did, so I rode on. Going home along the freeway I have great views of the sunset. It makes it hard to concentrate on traffic.

This morning I had fog. The thick pea soup kind of fog. But every once in a while it would thin out and I'd get these wonderful, misty views of the landscape around me. The fog makes the ride quite cold though. I get off early today so I opt to take the backroads home. It's a lovely ride home. How can I explain how it feels to ride, even when it's cold or damp. It does my soul well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We rode with Santiam Spokes today. We started in Scio at Roger and May's house and road part of the covered bridge route, about 21 miles altogether. Gilkey bridge, hungry hill, then rode out to Richardson's Gap. Bev and Dian rode out to Larwood covering the full 32 mile route. We caught a glimpse of Shimanek bridge, but all but Bill turned back toward Scio.

Gilkey Bridge

Hoffman Bridge

Snow in the hills

Interesting foundation remains...wonder what it was for?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Pondering the differences...motorcycle and bicycle. Both are about being out there, a part of the environment. Motorcycling, for me at least, is focused on the ride. When I ride I don't want to fuss with the camera. I don't want to stop for scenery, gas, or even to give myself a break. It's about the ride. I focus on technique and line, and how the moto feels as it moves down the road. Though sometimes it can be about the journey.

Bicycling is about the journey. When bicycling, I forget about the vehicle on which I'm riding. Bicycling lets me forget about technique and just ride, enjoying the world that I'm passing through at that moment. I hardly think on how to take a curve. I don't look for a suitable place to pull over. I just stop and drag the bike off the road.

One isn't better than the other. Both are best when they are best.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grocery Getter

No big rides this weekend, but I at least managed a short errand run. Mom needed groceries, so after gathering the listed items from the grocery store I set off on two wheels. I Had a nice quiet ride out to Lacomb where the dreaded parking-in-the-gravel awaited me. I didn't drop the ol' girl while parking, but arrived in time for a couple of Mom's church friends who were just leaving. They looked a little concerned...Who is this wild biker pulling up in front of the house? Oh, it's just the daughter. I got the groceries dropped off and after a short visit had a nice ride home. One picture: Waterloo Park. Spent most of today daydreaming about beamers and ninjas. Do they call BMW motorcycles beamers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Window shopping

Ron needed to pick up some tools at Woodcraft and the price of the trip was to visit a few motocycle dealers. I went to see a BMW f650 gs. It turned out to be a great day of learning. We saw and sat on a single and a twin. They feel very substantial and very tall! I was hoping they'd feel, well, a little smaller. They both were the standard height. They may have a lower one later on in spring. The salesman was very helpful--gave us a lot of information on the bikes, their accessories, features. Winter is a good time to visit the dealerships. It's less busy, and the staff have the time to go into all the details with you, even if you're just looking.  It was information overload by the end, but so good to get all the information. These are very nice, quality built bikes. They Ninja we will look at later will feel a little cheap in comparison. With their height and weight, I'm not sure I'm ready for a f650/g650 yet. BMW allows test rides, so if and when I get serious, I'm set to go.

Afterwords we stopped at Cyclesport and visited the kawasakis. They had the ER-6n and a 650R and the little 250 too. I was too tired to test ride, but the salesman let Ron take it out for a quick ride, so he could give me a ride report. It's not as torquey as the vulcan was. He could tell when he was lugging it. It's a bike that wants to rev. But very nimble and fun. It had new tires, so he did have a little sliding issue, but didn't drop the bike, so all is well. He's pretty sure I will like the bike. They have a green one. One of these weekends I plan to go back and ride one. The weight of this bike feels good to me. It's still a little tall, but can be lowered if I feel the need to do so.

No pics for this one...I couldn't bring myself to pull out the camera for a photo session at the dealership.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shut up alarm. I don't want to get up. It's dark. It's cold...
It's morning.

I look out the window. Hmmm, maybe not too bad. Some blue sky; Some grey clouds and some white. It's the kind of morning that promises pretty skies. It's also the kind of morning that brings risk...of rain.

Still I want to ride.
I don't even make it out of town when I feel the drops. I'm warm. I'm bundled in rain gear and fleece. I'm good. I don't want to dig out the camera. I hate stopping on the side of the road with no shoulders. I grab a snapshot at my stop on Scravel hill. Rain.

But still...pretty.

It's early. I opt to go through Jefferson and stay off the freeway. The rain has stopped, but when I look over at the coastal mountains I see white. Snow! The first snowfall on the foothills. I try for a photo, but there's no place to pull over. In Salem the sun comes out. It's a good day to commute.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deceptive Morning

From last week...
A nice sunrise creates lines of shadow and light across the yard and highlights our plum tree fading into winter. The weatherman says Rain for the afternoon. Beautiful morning I will not be deceived.

Leaf, Line, and Light

Quick snapshot from last week. I was in the backyard checking the weather, debating riding to work. The lines from the deck and shadows, along with a sprinkling of leaves caught my eye.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Short Ride around the Santiam River

Quick ride around the South Santiam this morning. All the usual stuff. We had a nice ride, a little windy. The afternoon promises to be stormy and wet.


Autumn color fading

Yet another shot of the diversion dam

Waterloo park

Tiny old structure at Waterloo Park