After the Rain, North Valley

North Valley Road, Indian Valley

North Valley Road is in a remote area of Plumas County, CA. North Valley Road and its intersecting streets connect Greenville, North Arm, Taylorsville and Genesee around the north side of Indian Valley. It’s a beautiful drive that I didn’t appreciate enough when I was a young school boy in the 1960s. There was a time that this road was merely a challenge to a new driver looking for excitement and confronting fear.

Today, I meander. I take in all the rare beauty, enjoy the smells. And I take extra care (more…)

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Turkey Vulture

My First Wildlife Photographs

Turkey Vulture in Feather River Country

During a recent drive through the Feather River Canyon and into the rolling hills near Oroville, CA, I sped past a tree with bare branches at the top and what looked like a couple large birds perched up top. As I drove by, I thought they might be eagles or maybe Red-tailed Hawk, which are fairly common where I live. But they looked bigger. I was to learn they were Turkey Vultures. My immediate destination was to a VA clinic in The Bay Area, so I hoped they might be around on my trip home a few days later.

Turkey Vulture   Turkey Vulture

And they were. (more…)

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Revival of An Old Hobby

Back in the early 80s, I found an interest in photography. I bought the latest Canon film camera, an A-1, lenses, filters and an assortment of other gear. The hobby began, as many of my hobbies do, with research and plenty of reading and, in this case, looking at the pictures of many photography artists of that time. My enthusiasm also took me to school - I enrolled in a B&W photography course at a college in San Mateo, near where I was living at the time.

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Pick Your Best Smile

Beautify the Space Between Your Teeth

This Is The Best Toothpick Ever

Flents ToothpixThis is the best toothpick ever! It’s a Poly Pik, which is a very difficult to find brand, unless you want to order 500 at a time. I can’t remember where or when I found my first Poly Pik (this product is branded Flents on the packaging), but it was years ago and I have been using the same 4 Toothpix all that time. Well, actually, I use only one at a time, but I keep one in my car and another at my desk. I used to keep one in my wallet too, but that just didn’t seem right – people would stare when I’d pull the thing outa my wallet (more…)

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What’d you pay for that Segway?
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What’d you pay for that Segway?

How much did that thing cost you?

It seems like a fairly innocuous question. I get asked that question every time I am out gliding about on my Segway. I know it’s an unusual device, especially where I live – I think I’m the only one in Plumas County, CA that has one, or uses one regularly. But I sure wish people would think about that question before they blurt it out.

What would be your reaction if a stranger walked up to you and asked how much you paid for your car? A person you have never met comes up and asks, “what’d you pay for your watch?” Someone stops you in your tracks and says, “how much you pay for that bike/ring on your finger/bag of groceries? (more…)

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Poplar Butcherblock Countertops

Butcherblock countertops are a popular alternative to laminate at the low end and marble or granite at the high end. They are made from a variety of hardwoods and you can buy them pre-made in standard and custom sizes. They aren’t cheap. My kitchen needed at least 10′ of countertop in the standard cabinet depth of 25″. I could order 1½” thick counters for about $600.00 – 2″ thick was over 800.00. The only way to afford butcherblock countertops for me was to build them myself.

You might have thought I misspelled “popular” in the title of this article. No, I didn’t. I meant Poplar, the type of wood. It’s (more…)

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Review: PortaMate PM5000

Miter Saw Stand BlissIf you have a nice, big shop, you might not need a portable miter saw stand. I don’t have a workshop though, just a patio with a small area for storage. When I got my miter saw, I had to set it up on some scrap plywood straddling a couple of saw horses. And because it is a small patio, I sometimes had to move the saw one way or the other or take it all apart and move the saw horses and plywood and saw… You get the idea. It was a real hassle.

With precious little usable lung tissue, I had to come up with a solution that didn’t involve me expending a great deal of energy moving the saw around. Back in my (more…)

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Functional Design: A Mad Modder Is Born

Functional Design and GrumpFunctional Design was named in memory of my friend and business associate, Larry Furth, who owned a furniture and floorcovering store, Functional Designs of Reno, NV. This project began in 2003 as a simple search for components to build myself a new computer. Although I had assembled several computers for friends and family, repaired and upgraded many other PCs, (more…)

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Oak Side Table

Traditional Round Oak Side Table, by Gilda Furniture

The vision I had for my bedroom remodel was along traditional lines. Although my apartment is a low-slung tri-plex, built in the 1990s here in the real Northern California – Feather River Country – I felt that I could give it a classic and metro-stylish look of elegance. Furnishings play a big role in that end and I have accomplished it even while on a very limited budget. One of the elements of this design was to have a traditional looking round oak side table, instead of the standard bedside end table.

Table as shown on amazonI prefer to shop locally, but there are very few furniture stores in Plumas County that carry quality furniture. I looked, but finally had to spend time searching the Internet for what I wanted. I found what I wanted on Amazon.com for less than $150.00. This Oak side table is an excellent addition to my bedroom. The actual color of it is lighter than the image on Amazon depicted and slightly darker than the thumbnail image of the grain pattern they showed. It’s a beautiful golden oak color and (more…)

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