Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Saturday, July 31

Hanging around


Well, yesterday was my last day at Subway. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm really not sure that I want to do something like that again. I definitely would like to be able to get that computer internship next year. (hope hope) Denise, my boss at Subway, wanted me to stay, and was asking me if I'd be coming back next summer. :D Everybody keeps asking me that!

I stayed here at the cabin today, working on various things. I feel like I did not get much done today. I sanded and put the final coat of polyurethane on the washroom door, the wall segment by the front door, and all the light switch and electrical receptacle face plates. Also, I applied the first coat of varnish to all of the loft ceiling and the walls that we have up so far. I ran out of staples for the staple gun, so I wasn't able to finish putting up the plastic sheeting that goes over the insulation on the other walls. :(

At lunch today, I broke my minesweeper speed time for Expert! Under 100 seconds now! Whoopee!!! 8D

Got my minesweeper score down to 99 seconds!

Made some deviled eggs tonight... they don't taste quiiiite right though. I think I was supposed to use sweet relish instead of dill. (oops) Well, now I know.

Uncle David and I will be hanging around the house tomorrow. We'll probably wash the Bronco and clean out the Dodge so it'll be all nice and sparkly for when we pick up Crista from the airport Sunday. It surely sounds like she's been having fun out in the Mojave! ;D

That's all for today, folks!

Thursday, July 29

Work work work

Well, the root beer is in the fridge after being in a "warm place" (the stove top) for two days. It's really neat how much the water jug I put it in has expanded. Too bad a hole popped in the handle, but I think it maintained enough pressure even so. Duct tape is wonderful! ;)

Peppered in this blog are some photos of what we've done in the cabin so far. Hope you like them!

The Great Room chandelierUncle David installing some more lodge pine wallsOur newly paneled loft ceiling -- it was just frame and insulation a day ago.

Tomorrow is my last day at Subway! It has been fun, but Crista is coming Sunday and I want to spend time with her and Uncle David. Besides going to Yellowstone Monday - Thursdayish. I'd like to take her hiking up where we rode those horses the other day... you know... the place with those streams and waterfalls. It would also be neat to go back up to Red Hill and see if all the wildflowers are still in bloom. And there's always the hustle and bustle of downtown Pinedale, population 1400. ;)

Speaking of Subway, two girls I took an order from today made a big deal of leaving me a "tip" of 13 cents. :) It was really quite funny. I felt like one of those cute little organ grinder monkeys getting a peanut! *sigh* To once again have such a high esteem for pocket change. ;)

Uncle David and I get to eat dinner at cousin Dave and Barbie's house tomorrow night! I'm getting off work around 4:00, and will head over to the library where Dave works to hang out until supper time. Their library is very beautiful and well-booked, especially considering the size of this town. It's nicer even than the Gibbs Library back home (which I think they're going to scrap in favor of a larger one near the new city center.)

Left side of the great roomRight side of the great room

Next Saturday, Crista, Uncle David, and I will all hopefully be out at the Cheyenne Regulators' monthly shoot in Cheyenne. This will be my first Cowboy Shoot! I have a shotgun now, but Uncle David is going to lend me the pistols and rifle. Best of all, we're doing it on my birthday! Yippee! 8)

The trip back to Boulder is a loooong one, however, so if we want to get in before 1:00am on Sunday morning, we should really leave before 4:00pm. Urgh. I'm really not sure how we're going to manage it, especially since I'm supposed to play for church. ()^_^

Wolfgang hangs out in the living room

In other news, I'm steadily working my way through my A+ Certifcation guide book by Mike Meyers. It's a fun read! I'm hoping to take the exam sometime in the two weeks before school starts when I return to Georgia. I still need to call the testing company to discover whether the $145 fee covers BOTH sections of the test or only one, though. Mr. Ham is looking at taking the test too, I think.

Uncle David and I just finished watching a NOVA video I rented from the library about the Panama Canal. It was fascinating, despite NOVA's efforts to exacerbate the issue of race. They said that the average "black" worker made just 10 cents a day, while the lowest paid "white" worker got $250 a month. Even NOVA admitted that the "black" workers' pay was considered high. I mean, even assuming that they got two days off every week in an average 30-day month, they would still be making $220 a month! That is NOT a big gulf, especially considering that the "black" workers from Barbados and other countries were performing unskilled manual labor and the "white" workers were all doing jobs that required considerable training (engineers, nurses, clerks, etc.) Why must everything be about race?

Anyhoo... it was a lot of fun to watch, but I've pushed my bedtime as far as it should go. Farther, actually. It's 10:55 here, mountain time, so I bid you good night. :)

Monday, July 26

Camping, riding, and more electrical work

Hey gang!

Sorry for the week-long or so silence. It's been a blast! Last weekend, Uncle David and I went camping with Dave and Barbie up past Red Cliff Bible Camp and had a great time. We didn't see a whole lot of wildlife bigger than a tree squirrel, but I did see some fresh moose er... tracks.

Riding along...

This weekend, we went riding on some of the Boulder Lake Lodge's horses up a trail into the Wind River mountains and into Bridger's Wilderness area. It was so beautiful! And I remembered my camera this time! ;)

Cowboy MattTypical Wyoming sceneryOur destination: Lake Ethel

Unfortunately, most of my pictures were a little blurry. I guess the horse bumped a lot more than I thought it did! It was a 3 hour ride to Lake Ethel and back. Everyone was telling me that the next morning I would be discovering muscles I never knew I had, but I felt fine! ("Ah, youth" quoth cousin Dave.)

A nice stream at which we stopped for our horsesA Rocky Mountain waterfall

Also this week, I got to work at Subway! It's been a lot of fun, but unfortunately, while this week is only my second week, it must also be my last. Crista will be flying in from Albuquerque after a (hopefully) successfull trip to Trona and Sequoia National Park (near Death Valley) to visit some friends. When Daniel and I were roommates, he told me a lot of stories about the surrounding landscape. I'm kind of jealous that I wasn't able to make it out there too, but I did of course get to spend all this time with my Uncle, which more than makes up for it! :)

So far today, I've done a bit more electrical work here at the house. I moved a light fixture over two studs so it was closer to the door, and added another fixture on the other side of the door off the same light switch. Also, I mostly installed two floor receptacles. Mostly because it's REALLY dark down in the crawlspace! It was pretty creepy at first, but I managed to get more or less comfortable down there. I wasn't able to complete the work because the light bulbs are connected to the same circuit that I need to connect the receptacles to -- the sump pump outlet. Nyargh! It's really dark and I don't think I can complete the wiring job without some sort of light -- we don't have a drop light here. I'm hoping Uncle David will feel up to holding the flashlight for me so I can connect it tonight. In the meantime, the two outlets are already wired and ready to go... I just have to drill some holes and screw them down to the floor. hehe ()^o^

Well, gotta go now... I'm going to experiment making some root beer with some concentrate I found in Faler's General Store. If it works, maybe I'll bring some to college and prep some for midterms and finals!

Thursday, July 15

this is an audio post - click to play


Hey all!

I've been having great fun here at Uncle David's house installing electrical outlets. Receptacles and light switches are so easy to install! And fun too! Maybe Mom and Dad will let me install a couple dozen new ones at home. ;)

Hit my left index finger pretty hard with a hammer trying to get the box nailed into the stud, but despite a nice little gray spot and general numb feeling, I'm sure my finger will be fine in a couple weeks or so.

By the way, I've been enjoying the emails you guys have sent me... please keep sending!

The other day, we were in town again. I got to play the piano a little bit -- not as good a session as my first one, but oh well. :) I decided that there wasn't enough for me to do when I'm in town waiting for my uncle to get off work, so I went job hunting. You are now reading the rambles of a future Subway employee! ;D This should be interesting.

Monday, July 12

Pinedale Rendezvous

More beautiful Wyoming shots:

A Wyoming farm on the way home

I took these on the way to and way back from the Pinedale Rendezvous today. :) More on that later.

Church was pretty good today. They run things a little differently than I'm used to, but the people at Pinedale Bible Church sure seem to have their hearts in the right place. The pastor, Jim, delivered a good message on God giving everyone in the church the role of being a minister -- not just "the pastor." Also, he emphasized our total reliance on God for our needs and strength from Matthew chapter 10 where Jesus sends the apostles off with instructions to take nothing with them, but instead rely on Him.

Another Wyoming farm shotOn the way homeA boulder cracked by a tree on the road homeAnother shot on the way home

After the service, Uncle David and I skittled over to Stockmans for what we thought would be a quick bite to eat before the Rendezvous pageant. Unfortunately, it took over half an hour to get our food and we arrived late. The pageant was still very good!

The Pinedale Rendezvous is a sort of festival started by the fur trappers who settled the region. Back then, it was a time to trade furs, guns, horses, and other commodities, but also a great time of fun! The pageant was a historical reenactment of the first rendezvous featuring a lot of Indians and horses.

Pinedale Rendezvous PageantPinedale Rendezvous Pageant

Apparently, the first missionary in the Rockies (at least in this area) was a Jewish Jesuit priest. He was held in very high esteem by the native Shoshone Indians... perhaps even more so than the Protestant missionaries who came later.

Some very interesting vendors were there at the festival. Uncle David was dismayed that the root beer man didn't come this year. All the other vendors said that he promised to come next year, though. One tent I visited featured a large selection of wooden flutes. There were some very nice, large ones with a beautiful tone, but the salesman seemed more focused on finding his "inner music" than any classical applications. They were pretty inexpensive as far as they go, and I grabbed his business card for future reference in case the smaller one I bought for a dollar at another booth proves interesting.

Uncle David found a barnwood dresser he liked, and we just baaaarely squeezed it into the back of the camper -- some of the wood got scraped off :( -- and it was another adventure getting it out again and up the stairs in the house. It looks great in his room; it seems to almost have a blue tint and works nicely with the light, pine walls.

We were out in town most of the day, and I think my bread fermented too long back here at home. It tasted sort of like sourdough! *sigh* Well, I WAS thinking of making a starter. ;) I've been making the meals here to help free my uncle to do other tasks. So far I've gotten to make antelope chops with sauteed onions, and chilli con carne with cornbread. I wish we had kitchens at PCC!

That's all for now... but first, here's another Vegas picture:

The Great Pyramid of Vegas

Saturday, July 10

Safety in Wooden Walls

Soda LakeHey gang! Uncle David and I hiked to Soda Lake this morning, and boy was it beautiful! Everything was so nice and green! I had never been in a Wilderness area before. My uncle brought a GPS device with us: I'd like to get one now, though since I don't really travel that much during most of the year, it would probably just happily blink the location of my PCC dorm room 24/7. It seems such a shame to prevent us hummings from using that wilderness land very much. For a while, they wouldn't even let in wheelchairs! But anyway, it was a great experience.!

On our way back, we met some of the neighbors in the area here. They're really nice people, and have lived here for upwards 25 years! Ken said that he was the one who originally made the trail we took (out of the original Indian trail) with his trusty chainsaw (before the Wilderness Act, of course.)

Another Soda Lake photo with Wolfgang hunting around some trees.The view from the cabin's front windows

Returning from our little jaunt, we completed a little bit more work on the cabin. My uncle has sawn tongues and grooves into quite a few wooden boards for walls, and most still need to be put up; we connected and nailed just under a dozen today. We did, however, complete the upstairs bedroom, and get quite a bit of the existing walls coated with polyurethane sealer.

To change the subject, our drive out to Wyoming was absolutely marvelous. My Uncle thought I was really funny -- I had the window down and my head out almost the entire way! I was exclaiming at how beautiful Nevada was and he was just rolling his eyes. ;) Las Vegas was certainly a change from its sparse surroundings. I got a picture of the largest thermometer in the world in that state too, I think. :D

Well, it's time to turn in for the night. I'm going to my Uncle's church tomorrow morning. I went to the men's prayer breakfast on Friday and it seems like they're a really good gang.

Stay cool!

Thursday, July 8

Alive and kickin'

Hey Gang!

Arizona: Virgin River Gorge areaYes, I've finally updated the blog! This is really the first time since I left from Georgia a couple weeks ago that I've been able to sit down and read my email. Here's a quick update with photos... I'll fill in all the details from the beginning of the trip up until now sometime later. :)

Motorcycle swapmeet in CaliforniaI'm currently in Boulder, WY at my Uncle's cabin. He's in our closest town Pinedale today. It's 25 miles of dirt road away, so it's usually a full day deal when we go to town. So far today, I've finished stapling the plastic sheeting we're using to block moisture in the attic and some on the inside front of the house. The front window faces east, and is almost the entire 20-foot height of the ceiling, and is almost as long as the wall as well, giving us not only a nice bright house in the morning, but also a beautiful view through the aspen trees of one the mountains closing in the valley.

Little chapel of love... online!I set up the computer today too! ;) Uncle David and I went to Idaho Falls and bought it for a good deal (with mail-in rebates) at Circuit City. Though one day the computer will reside up in closet in the loft, Uncle David said that we should put it in my room since we're still making a lot of sawdust and my room is one of the few rooms with a door. :D

Colorado mountainsProbably shouldn't be amazed, but connecting to the Internet here is not a local call. Sure, America Online has nearly a dozen numbers in Wyoming (har har) but they all seem to be over in Cheyenne or other heavily populated areas. To put things in perspective, the city Providence, Rhode Island has a greater population than all of Wyoming. The 307 area code covers the entire state!

One of 16 bull elk we saw grazing at the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National ForestDespite, or perhaps because of, its lack of people, I really like this place. It is incredibly beautiful. Even when you're out on the plains, you can see the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

A fountain in Las VegasAnyhoo... back to our trip to Idaho Falls, we also got to go to the Sportsman's Warehouse. Uncle David introduced me to Cowboy Action Shooting at a Regional Match in Cheyenne. I LOVE IT! It's so cool! Why do the guns have to be soooo expensive!? He's made me a really good deal on a 12 gauge shotgun, so now I just have to find a pair of 45 or 38 special pistols and a rifle. *sigh* This definitely looks like a "once I've graduated" hobby. I heard a story about a poor guy who had to send his sword collection back home after his floor leader discovered it under his bed. A wild guess tells me they'd react similarly to a shotgun. :)

Cowboy Action Shooting jail in Chorro Valley, CAThe main reason for our trip out was actually to see Josh Prenevost. He was singing with his ensemble in Afton (about 120 miles away from Pinedale.) He looked surprised to see me. ;) He seems to be having a good time, and also seems to be enjoying all the new scenery. He mentioned that he had seen Janee when they went through Oregon(?). I'm hoping that once they're done meandering around the east side of WY, they'll hop back and visit the church in Pinedale we're going to.

Purdy Arizona MountainsSpeaking of church, tomorrow (Friday), Uncle David and I are planning to go to the men's breakfast. This will be the first actual time that I've gone to this church. My Dad's cousin Barbie and her husband Dave go there too, and seem friendly, good Christian people. It doesn't look like I'll have to worry about the church being "like Mormons". ;D

We've really been roughing itAfter the breakfast, I will hopefully be able to try out their grand piano. Just like email, I haven't touched a piano since leaving Augusta. My right wrist really hurts just now from sanding three dining room chairs, but I'm hoping a little asprin, water, sleep, and stretching excercises will get it better for tomorrow. :)

Utah. 'Nuff said.Will update again soon. I have a lot of pictures, but I managed to run out of room, so I don't have any digital pictures of after we crossed Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It's a real shame, because there was a lot to see at the Cowboy Shoot!

>^o^< Thanks for watching! >^o^<