Thursday, December 28, 2006

Waterford Park Strikes Out

At a recent hearing before the Kootenai County Hearing Examiner, Waterford Park Homes, LLC was denied approval of a conversion from a commercial building next to the boat launch, to that of a residential condominium.

This project has long been a sore spot with local residents, who feel Bayview is becoming a "Company Town", owned and controlled by Bob Holland, owner of Waterford Park Homes, LLC.

The following points were raised by the examiner, as part of the recommendation for denial. Waterford Park has the option of appealing to the County Council, but it is believed that after so many egregious actions by the applicant, there probably won't be a friendly welcome there either.

.The property is currently zoned commercial and is not appropriate to be used as residential purposes.

.There is insufficient parking available for a residential condominium development.

.The development does not meet Americans with disabilities Act certification.

.This development currently has various Red Tags from the Kootenai County Planning and Zoning Department and the Idaho Department of Lands for development code violations and has proceeded with work on this development without required permits.

.It sits on the identified flood plain of Lake Pend Oreille.

This should drive a nail into the heart of a very unpopular developer, were it not for the fact that the community doesn't have the proper permit for that, either...

An interesting conjecture would be that now the building has gone through the construction for the conversion without permits, can it be then retro-constructed back to commercial, or would that permit be denied, too?

The moral of this story is that after buying, then throwing out mobile home owners in one park, and after having given eviction notices to another, creating several dozen homeless, the tight knit community of Bayview is outraged.

When I was in the service, we had an expression that fits here. "Don't pee in your own mess kit."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gerald Ford...RIP

I honestly never liked Jerry Ford. He, through his caretaker role as president, let his ego rule him, and caused the Reagan era a delay that was critical, insofar as it allowed Jimmy Carter into the Presidency, and the decimation of our armed forces.

Yet he was an honest man...A principled man. He actually thought he could win the election that he lost to perhaps the biggest loser that we ever had as a president.

I go to bed tonight, with these mixed feelings. Having said all this, however, rest in peace, Mr President. Unlike others, you never shamed the office.

History will undoubtedly treat you better than we will.

Storm Clouds on the Horizon

As I prepare for the year 2007, several vagrant thoughts cross my mind. What I believe I'm seeing is the period just before a thunderstorm hits. The hair standing on end,ozone smell in the air, the waiting...

Some of the same storm warnings are apparent in human behavior. People seem more aggressive, less polite...As always, folks are killing each other in the name of God, Allah, (same God)or just because we use a different Prophet as an intermediary.

In review, Catholics and Protestants still fight over religious differences in Northern Ireland, even thought they worship the same Deity...

Shiites are killing Sunnis, even though they both follow Mohammad...

Muslims and Christians over the World seem bent upon Crusades 11.

In Israel, Hamas and the PLO are fighting over whether to eradicate the Israelis now, or later, and let us not forget the Kurds, screwed out of their homeland by Imperial Great Britain, after the "War to end all Wars."

All of these religeous wars, killing in the name of God, plus the freaks. Rogue Nations such as North Korea, that want power for power's sake.

I wonder...I worry...My hair is standing on end and I smell ozone...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve in Bayview

I stepped out on my deck a few minutes ago. The Village is dark and silent, except for decorations that twinkle over the water of the bay.

The kids and grandkids called today wishing me a Merry Christmas. Taking a day off from Potato Salad, I'm baking. The Seahawks lost again. Life goes on.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Promised Land

I have been fighting Internet Explorer for over a week. First I down loaded, as instructed, IE version 7. They called it Beta 7. Now I know what beta means. "Experimental."

I couldn't stay on line more than a few minutes, without the system going into "program Not responding." They didn't respond...I did!

After switching between version 6 and 7, I finally gave up. Suddenly, from the hinterlands, a voice appeared. They were friends, there to help. There was Adam, and a lady,(sorry I didn't get your name) from the contractor that services Time-Warner, late at night.

Then there was Backwoods Bob, Bill McCrory, and Tyskoduk. They all stepped up to help me in my fathomless ignorance of what happens when your computer has a mind of it's own.

Finally, I sucked it up and typed in: An amazing thing happened. When I down loaded Firefox, they brought my cookies, favorites, and all other stuff that had been saved on other programs.

I am now not, as you can see, locked out of I am free to cast aspersions upon the character of the bad guys, praise the good ones, rake muck to my hearts content, and of course, send forth unsolicited opinions on many various topics.

I have reached at least one, of the promised lands. (The next might be tougher)

Thank you all for being there for me and Merry Christmas to all...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Microsoft Sucks

Lest any of you think I have a fixation on sucking, let me explain. I have been denied access to posting on this blog for two days. The reason?

I routinely downloaded an update from Microsoft from Internet Explorer version 6, to 7. This is called a "Beta" version. Every 20 minutes or so, the program would become unresponsive.

I have been very critical of Time-Warner recently, but I got help through one of their contractors that provide tech support. We finally decided to delete version 7.

That worked fine, except in the process, I could no longer access the blog. Yesterday, Bill McCrory spent a huge amount of time patiently trying to lead me to the promised land. We finally gave up. Today, another fine fellow, Backwoods Bob, who is a computer engineer, came to the rescue.

It turns out the "Beta" means experimental. Bob was able to go into Microsoft Support and discover that their "Anti-Phishing" program has flaws that is causing service interruptions. We deleted that, tweaked version seven and all is fine today.

The Wordslinger from Ontario,Canada in Tech Support, Bill McCrory, and Backwoods Bob are the most patient I've ever known. Try talking out a problem with a mostly deaf person, and I'll guarantee most people would give up in disgust. Thank you all.

Now I can go back to muckraking and expounding unsolicited opinions.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Death Defying Acts

Whether your favorite adventurer is a mountain climber, white water kyaker, parachuter, stunt pilot or whatever, millions of dollars per year are spent rescuing them.

The American people are a generous sort. Willing to help out their neighbors when in distress. Stepping up, such as in the Groene situation. I applaude that spirit.

What gets to me though, is that adventurers such as the three lying dead on the slopes of Mt. Hood, in Oregon, decided to face the challenge of climbing one of the stormist, snow blown peaks in the Country during bad weather. Did they get a comprehensive weather report before tackling the Mountain? I would hazard a guess that they did not.

For too long we have footed the bill for reckless adventurers when their foolish behavior gets them into trouble. I believe that if these people insist on doing these kinds of things, that they should be required to sign a waiver that explains they will be responsible for all expenses of rescue, and require them to bond the government, or arrange for private financing of the bail-out.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Famine & Pestulence Next?

Our good friends the Cascades didn't step up this time. Thursday night, all hell broke loose. We had winds of forty to fifty miles per hour, punctuated by gusts of who knows. The top half of trees that had stood for a hundred years or more, twisted off and fell,usually on top of something.

Since the papers have covered this story well, I will bore those of you that are local. For those that live in the mid-west, they're going to say, "What's the big deal." For those Snowbirds that are from this area...It's a big deal.

Because of the sharp rise in the foothills that we call home, tornados, although not impossible, don't occur often. What we get, is in a strong storm, downbursts that will twist the tops or even the top half of large living trees until they snap.

Thats what happened Thursday night. I would have reported this earlier, except for the fact that my power was out for more than 24 hours. I became a refugee. Friday morning, I hopped in my very fortunately undamaged car, and surveyed the damage.

The famous Bitter End Pine? Gone...Or at least half of it. A tree that has been threatening our Trailer court? broke into little pieces, missing everything. (If you didn't know, yes, I am trailer trash.) Yes. One of those people that retired without large pensions. Not your fault. My bad, but nevertheless, here I am.

In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, just south of us about 25 miles, a different story. Two trailer park/RV parks experienced serious damage. In Spokane, Washington, West of us, four deaths occured. At the height of the storm, we had 50,000 folks out of power. 50,000 might not seem like that extreme, except we are rural, and 50,000 power users represent several hundred square miles.

Those of you that have boats in the local marinas? Don't worry. The winds came at us from the West, Southwest, and the marinas at lake level suffered no damage that I have heard of. Had the wind reached thse velocities from the other direction, it would have been bad.

I retreated to a motel in Coeur d'Alene, whence I rediscovered the local night life in the city. Then, retiring to my room, I wondered if my home was alright. I wondered that all night. This morning, broke with sunny skies, windless and beautiful.

All I had suffered was loss of sleep. My home is fine, and all of those of our community. Somehow, we dodged the bullet. I will sleep well tonight. I wrote this so that those of you that winter elsewhere, could too...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Time-Warner Sucks

Time-Warner Cable appears to be headed for self-destruction in a big way. Since they took over Adelphia, here in North Idaho, we've had nothing but problems. Within the first few weeks we had service interuptions that lasted from hours, to days.

Now, in a dispute with the local Fox outlet, we will lose fox, and possibly Fox Sports Network if they don't come to agreement before Midnight tonight.

The current dispute is over whether Time-Warner should pay KAYU, a UHF station, and Fox outlet for Spokane, Washington and surrounding areas.

Both sides actually have made gross misrepresentations while stating their positions. KAYU is a UHF station with very limited broadxcast radius. With cable, their advertisers get a huge boost in viewership which should and does make more money for the station.

Time-Warner, has dug their heels in over this issue, claiming that the station is viewable by antenna, ignoring the fact that direct broadcast is very limited. T/W is on the eve of losing Fox, and the resulting loss of NFC football coverage after today. This would take the coverage of our regional team, the Seahawks, and Mariners away.

In the opinion of Bayviews, these entities need Babysitters, not Litigators.

The giant sucking sound you will hear tomorrow, across our area, will be the telephone overload, as disgruntled Seahawk fans rush to order either DISH or Direct TV...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Religious Warfare

Somewhere, somehow, we have lost the ability to call a spade a shovel. In the ever increasing desire to never offend anyone or any group, we hear nothing about the truth of our War against terrorism. That truth is that we are at war with a religion.

Certainly, not all Moslems are warlike, or terrorists, but a large enough percentage of them take to heart the directions that Mohammed left regarding the killing of infidels. When he was driven out of Mecca to Medina, he returned, killing all of his detractors in the process.

I believe that until we recognize why we are at war, and approach it from the religeous warefare angle, we can't win because we are not participating in the same contest they are.

We have the Saudis, supposedly our friends, funding terrorists every bit as much or more than Kaddafi ever did, but because of politics our government covers it's eyes, ears, and mouth, much like the three monkeys of "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bayview Invaded

Bayview was invaded today. No, not by black helecopters from Canada, (they need passports now, you see) Not by philandering Cops, but by birds.

Big White headed Bald Eagles. As magnificent as they are though it sometimes pains me that our National symbol is a carrion eater. I guess that Turkey Buzzards were'nt National or sexy enough, but they have much the same diet. Roadkill tops the menu, but for December at the Lake. Then, their attention turns to dying, spawned out Kokanee, or Blueback as we locals call them.

These birds will hang around Bayview and environs until they have cleaned up every scrap of decaying fish, at which time we will run them off for having severe halatosis.

We invite those bird watchers to join us in celebrating the arrival of the Eagles, and your participation in "Happy Hour" which ohmygod, has already started without me. I'm outta here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

TV Networks Rule?

Well, the BCS has spoken. Florida will play Ohio State, instead of Michigan. I truly believe that the networks have with the power of the dollar, completely taken over any close calls that occur under the present system.

Lets step back a moment. When Ohio State, #1, beat Michigan, #2 only by three points,at Ohio, which with home field advantage was a toss-up and Florida with an identical record was beat by #8 Auburn, I have to question the objectivity of the decision.

Strength of schedule can hardly favor Florida, with the SEC only having about three competitive teams, and Big Ten, or Twelve, or what ever they are called now, never gets a rest from top flight competition.

I think it boils down to TV. They thought that two teams playing each other for the first time would be more interesting than a rematch...But was it fair and objective?