So we had a busy weekend of playing house. Holy cleaned and straightened (the house looks wonderful—thank you Holly), while I worked on the straightening out the electrical system. We now have the light at the end of the walkway that Holly wanted me to put in last year, ready for the coming dark winter months.

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I put a motion sensor in the lamp but it didn’t seem to work, perhaps it only works in the dark and stays of during the daytime. I’ll experiment with it later. I split up a circuit that we had in the house. The outside lights were on the same circuit as the interior entryway hall light, which was really lousy when we wanted to leave the outside lights on at bedtime. To put in a new light switch, I used the Fein Multi-tool to plunge cut a hole in the log cabin for the light switch. I strongly recommend the Fein tool.

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The photo above was shot with my LUMIX DMC-ZS7 at ISO 125, f/3.3, and 1.6 seconds, handheld believe it or not. I find it amazing that a picture like this can be handheld for 1.6 seconds with image stabilization. Of course, there is no need to be shooting at ISO 125 after dark.

Then we went out to Chilkoot Lake to see the bears. We saw the sow with the radio collar and three cubs. You can see the mother bear multi-tasking in the picture below.

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After viewing the bears, the boys wanted to get a drink at the green fountain near the lake so we had an impromptu photo session with some eager posers.

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Mark had fun showing his guns, as did Luke. Be sure to check out the photo album below by clicking on the View Full Album link.

This photo album above is not really of my design. It is automatically generated using Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer. I recommend that anyone wanting to write a blog with photos throughout use Windows Live Writer as it really makes it easy to put photos and text.

We saw a BEAR on the AlCan Highway (w/ 2 cubs)!

This week, we (a few of us from the faculty at school) drove to Soldotna and back for a conference: “Failure is not an option.”   It was held at the Soldotna Stars High School, which is about a 3.5-4 hour drive past Anchorage, down on the Kenai Peninsula.IMG_6384It was a nice conference, and we learned a lot of cool stuff, but we still need to make our action plan.  We met in the Soldotna cafeteria, which was a very large rectangular room with terrible acoustics.  there are a whole lot of ugly (to my eyes) paintings of stars up on the ceiling and the whole room is rather odd, with large circular windows way up high near the ceiling. The food was a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, and doughnuts, plus a choice of apple Juice, Orange Juice, or water.  I have no complaints about the food at all.

IMG_6449cI liked the designs on the individual panels, but having the whole ceiling filled up with them, kind of overwhelms the mind, leaving nothing to focus on.  From the other side of the room, the panels are black and white, which is much easier to look at.

The sound was thankfully very well amplified and so we were able to hear the presenters very easily.  We just had trouble hearing each other, even across the table from each other.

The cool thing about the return trip, is that we got to drive some trucks home for Roger Schnabel’s company, so I did a huge costco run, and bought food for the boat for the summer.  On the way back, we saw a bear and two cubs.

IMG_6453cI was really bumbed out, because the truck I was driving did not have my camera in it when I saw the best pictures.  I did happen to hook up with the van carrying  the bulk of our stuff, and took a few good pictures before the bears wondered off into the woods.

We watched them for about five minutes right next to the road eating flowers, then they got right up on the road and walked right next to us and if I’d had my camera it would have been a very good time to take a shot, as the two little cubs were playing together and all three of them were right next to each other and very visible.  Also, in the photos I did get, the bears were back lit, rather than lit from the front.  Still it was a very nice treat getting to see the bears like that, so close to the road in some good light.


IMG_6428On the last night of the trip, we decided to have a fun little cook out along side the road.  I didn’t have a sleeping bag, so I bought one at Costco.  We stayed up quite late, telling stories and laughing about this or that. Then drove 14 hours the next day.  Here’s a shot of our camping spot where you can (just barely) see our three vehicles that made up our caravan: The school’s 15 pasenger green fan, the platform truck (in the back), and the new silverado work truck.    It’s always nice to have a 6-man tent when you go on a road trip.  I took this photo right before we took the tent down the next morning at 6 AM.