Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year ... Old Year

New Year's Eve. A time for reflection, a time for hope. Much has happened in our little community, some good, some not so good. The continuous leakage of residents unable to live here anymore is a stunning loss to local businesses, as well as to friendships and relationships.Several factors are at play here.

Certainly the demographics have changed, what with the new developers tearing some things down, building others. Perhaps the largest loss that might end up bankrupting the entire village, is the loss of tourist facilities. In pre-development days, only four years ago, we had four RV parks and two motels, one only being four rooms.We now have one motel of four rooms, two RV parks and where we had five eating facilities and three cocktail facilities, we now have one of the later and two of the former.I see some reasons here other than loss of population.

One, many residents don't bother to support the local businesses at all. To them they live in a bedroom community and don't eat out or stop at a local watering hole for a drink or two. I have spoken to many concerned locals and also business people. I'm going to tell you, no punches pulled, what the conclusions are that I have reached. No favorites, just the facts.

One, certainly those that do not drink alcoholic beverages shouldn't and won't be scolded for that. However, that being said, diner out once in a while wouldn't hurt any of you and will foreclose upon those arguments when the business go belly up from your neglect. It is cheaper to buy some of your needs at the Mercantile than driving into town. Use 'em or lose 'em, folks.

The third criticism I have, is to the folks that belong to and support the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. The word commerce is defined as follows: "The exchange of buying and selling commodities and services." As I currently understand the goals of the chamber, none of them include the support and promotion of local business. I have, as I wander through town, received several complaints from local merchants directed toward this neglect. If one wonders why none of the local business owners attend, that's the problem. No, actually, that's just one of the problems. The other, is this town is full of factionalism and the merchants don't want to get embroiled on one side or another of an issue that would alienate half of their customers.

The other side of the coin, is that business owners haven't always done the right things to attract and hold customers. Things like allowing smoke to travel through open doors to the dining areas, sending non-smokers to other places, rude treatment of customers, allowing loud and obnoxious drinkers to continue their loud and obnoxious ways, indifference to strangers who show up, who then,leave feeling unwelcome,never to return. Every time your business sees a new face it is a one time opportunity to make a new friend and to start a long term relationship with that potential customer, Once gone, so is that opportunity. Ignoring strangers is a disease of local watering holes. It's also a recipe for failure. Perhaps that one is the most egregious of all. My background is sales. Purchasers, or clients do business with you only because they want to, not because they have to.

Those dollars in the till are not automatic. Piss a customer off, and those dollars stop. After awhile, so many dollars stop that the business starts to lose money. Even when dissatisfied customers find out that the reasons fore their boycott is no longer present, the smoldering felling of being unwanted or not appreciated lingers on. These things have been repeated to me many times over the last week as the captain's wheel prepares to close.But the Wheel isn't alone.

Business people that take their customers for granted, and in this economy, will disappear. Some already have. We are a dysfunctional community on both sides of the ledger. Now that I have managed to offend without specific targets, everyone in town, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. ... But the only way to make it happy is to pay attention to our community, support and fund it. The businesses need to extract their collective heads from their nether regions and start thinking about how to make new friends and how to keep the old ones.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Aliens Attacked My Computer... Again

I have been out of touch since just before Christmas. Yes, another virus. I could have called Iyogi, my protection plan, but I also had installed Magic Jack which is phone over internet. That meant I couldn't e-mail nor could I call anyone. Boy, howdy, talk about a quiet Christmas.

Rather than trying to understand the tech support in India, which I couldn't talk to anyway, since all I had was a cell phone that I could use next to my keyboard. After a half dozen lost signal hang ups, I gave up. The day after Christmas, I headed for Wally World to buy one of those cheap laptops. Good luck. All of the under $500 sets were sold out, so I got this one, an HP notebook.

I learned something new about computers. Laptops do not operate the same as desk tops. It's a whole new ballgame. I got stuck on the very first step of set-up. What's up with setup. Shouldn't you just be able to plug it in, turn it on then download some programs? Huh uh. After reading, then re-reading the instructions, and after an hour, I located the on/off button. I knew immediately I needed technical support. I went to the Captain's Wheel, where many of the patrons there, actually understand this crap. Now, I'm up and running ... kinda. You see, my system of choice is Mozilla Firefox. I downloaded it and created some favorites. Then I took the computer home at which time Windows blocked me out of Firefox.My sanity, while in question for many years, is now teetering right on the edge. I am beginning to drool and make funny noises. The voices in my head are insisting I throw this computer away, too. I ignore them. My credit card company wouldn't understand if I told them I had to charge a new computer because the old one, (four days old)had outsmarted me.

So to all of you, Happy New Year. To my computer, the entire industry and especially those miserable jerks in India, I have only this to say to you. @%##??&%@$#*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis sThe Season

It is upon us. whether you are a Christian, celebrating the birth of Christ, A Jew, celebrating Hanukkah, a peaceful Muslim or an agnostic, or even an animist, worshiping the trees, the Christmas season seems to cheer up everyone. Especially department stores, but I digress. Christmas Eve, just two days away, will find me at the captain's Wheel for the pot luck dinner and no host bar.

Most other activities have already taken place, including the best Christmas lighted parade, yet. Ralph's cafe shot some great video and you can ask him for that footage by contacting him at

Also I would like to clarify my sloppy coverage of the restaurant situation. With the closing of the Captain's Wheel, the Patio will be open for limited food service and cocktails seven days per week from 11 to 7 or whenever. Ralph, a good friend, went to my blog before his first cup of coffee and became righteously pissed that I downgraded him to a snack bar. That was the sloppy part. Somehow, with the always beautiful Daveana, he manages to come up with many tasty meals, within the limitations of no hood or fire suppression system. You go to Ralph's you don't go home hungry. so you can't get prime rib nor a sirloin steak, hey he's got most of the rest. My most humble apology for calling your place a snack stop.

The hit of the week though, was the Christmas lighting contest which has gained momentum in the last two or three years. The first prize winners were Jan & Walt Johnson. to see this fabulous display, drive west on 6Th street in Bayview to the end. You just can't miss it. I took six pictures of it and still didn't do it justice. I needed a wide angle lens I didn't have, but the best picture that I got is displayed above.

To my fellow Christians, Merry Christmas. To the Jewish friends that I have, a happy Hanukkah. for all of the others, Stickman included may your faith, whatever it be, give you a happy holiday and a happy life to follow. Remember, this holiday isn't just about presents, though giving is one's most important acts, receiving isn't all that much of a deal. It boils down to It's all about love. Merry Christmas to all and to all, goodnight.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of an Era

Since the death of the widely respected partner in ownership, Jerry Berry, along with previous partner,Jim Campbell,still living, the future of the Captain's Wheel Restaurant has been in question. Widowed Carletta Berry wanted to take over and silent partner, Michael McFarland, who purchased Campbell's interest,based on advice of his mentor, Jerry, chose to rise from silent partner to CEO. Those issues are to be decided in court sometime in January.

What can't be adjudicated in court, is the dismantling of the local infrastructure. As developers flocked to Bayview a few years ago, it became obvious that at least some of the investors wanted to transport this lazy backwater into a mecca for wealthy summer water sports enthusiasts. Unfortunately this included the task of getting rid of long time residents, some, third and even fourth generation. Situated 8 miles from the main highway, (hwy95) Bayview sits at the foot of Farragut State Park.

First, the town trailer park, often referred to as an eyesore, was purchased and razed. This purchase was engineered by Bob Holland , currently owner of the Vista Bay Marina, The previously know as Bayview Marina, and now called Harborview, and then Boileau's Marina, which included the patio and the Buttonhook.

The trailer park property was subsequently sold to James Darling, of WSU and NFL fame as a linebacker. Darling came into the community knowing that his predecessor, Holland, had stepped on many toes and wanted to avoid that. He worked assiduously to heal community breaches ,and is continuously trying to balance his interests with the community.Currently, he is building the first of three phases, involving about 32 condo units.

The former RV park at Boileaus' was turned into a parking lot to satisfy parking requirements for other Holland enterprises. The Bayview Motel was sold to a former NBA basketball player, about the same time. Not wanting to be subject to motel taxes and regulations, he turned that project into monthly rentals.That project has crashed since with the current economy, only about four units are rented. We now have less than half of the temporary RV and tent capacity for tourist than a few years ago.

This brings us to there present condition. The local economy has tubed. Many permanent residents have moved away, leaving a shell for the winter months. New condo projects probably will not help, as most will be purchased as second or vacation homes. The Buttonhook Restaurant has closed, with an opening date up in the air. Terry's Cafe, owned by Chan of Scenic Bay Marina, may reopen soon for breakfast and lunches. The patio, now leased from Chan by Scott & Jeanne Bjerge, has stayed open much later in the year, due to other closures, and will stay open throughout the Winter season. The hours of operation at the Patio will be 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.Cocktails are available at the Patio.There is still a possibility of the former Terry's Cafe opening soon, as lights are on again and remodeling is in progress.

Today, we morn one more stake in the heart of Bayview. Losing hundreds of dollars per month trying to stay open during the slow months, the Captain's Wheel is throwing in the towel for, at least the next two months. The last days of this drama will play out after January 3, when the lights will dim over the most stable full service restaurant & bar that has existed since 1996. The possibly last hurrah of the 'Wheel will be New Years Eve, with ever popular, "The Keep" playing for your listening pleasure.

Left open, will be the JD's, a bar and the patio, along with Ralph's internet cafe, which along with the patio brings Lite meals to the table, but puts Bayview into a category of not having a sit down restaurant in operation during this winter season.

Asked why this was necessary, Captain's wheel management just sighed and said, " There are either not enough people living here during the winter season, or due to the economy, choose not to eat out. Either way, we can't keep on losing money where the bottomless pit equals the total loss of equity and bankruptcy.

Folks, It's going to be a long winter. The hopes and prayers of local residents continue to come up negative, as the cards are turning up as a pair of deuces.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas In Bayview/Athol

There are lots of thing going on this Christmas, much of which we won't hear about, but of those activities that have been brought to our attention, we'll mention. First off, Santa will be appearing at the Bayview Community Center Saturday, December 19, starting at 4:30 pm, with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony around 5:00. An ensemble will sing carols and kids will get the chance to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas. Refreshments will be served and prizes given for the best decoration display. Some areas to watch while driving around for the view, would be 4th & fir, Spruce between 1st & 3rd, and out on the cape there are several. One that has been outstanding is just off the corner of Cape Horn Road on Pend Oreille Pines.

Timberlake Fire District had it's annual Christmas Party last Saturday, December 12. An appreciation dinner was held at the Bayview community center, sponsored by the Fire District Commissioners.

Speaking of the Fire District, they have adopted a family for Christmas this year. The whole crew pitched in for gifts for a very deserving family. Heather Murphy, a single Mom with five kids will get a visit from Sparky the fire dog mascot, along with a fire engine which will deliver the gifts. Most likely, the firefighters will fight over who gets to go on the truck.

Oops, I almost forgot. The Christmas parade that started two years ago is on again. Tomorrow, Saturday, December 19 it will start at Phil's house on 1st and Fir, thence, after a few libations, and snacks onward through town in a squiggly way, to end at the Captain's wheel or there about.

The Captain's Wheel is holding a Christmas Eve pot luck dinner starting at 4:00 pm. Bring some goodies or just yourself.

If I've left anyone or any activity out, please e-mail me so that I can add to this list. Merry Christmas to all.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weather, Or Not

It appears that the weather guessers are somewhat worried over two systems about to meet and clash right over us. A cold front swooping down from Canada is fixin' to bump heads with the warm front surging up from California. Expected to hit Monday evening and Tuesday, they have changed from predicting 3-6 inches, to warning that it could be much worse.

Why those cursed Californians continue to send us weather they don't want is beyond me. Why not ship it to Arizona and New Mexico where they can use it? (Oops, apologies to my friends wintering in Arizona)Anyway, when two weather systems converge, heavy precipitation can occur. Where they converge, appears to be right here.

Speaking of Arizona, I spoke with Jean Campbell yesterday. Jim & Jean are former owners of the Captain's Wheel. They alternate between Lake Siskiyou in the summer, as restaurant/gift shop operators and Welton, Arizona where they hunker down for the winter. Apparently they had a wind storm with wind velocities above 50 mph, with light rain, which produced a monster mud bath. So it turns out they, too have to shovel weather in the winter.

In other news, Santa may or may not be on time for Christmas. It turns out the Air Traffic Control system is overloaded, and Santa may be diverted to Moses Lake or some such isolated destination. Speaking of Christmas, for you eternal optimists, Accuweather has a snow storm hitting 12/24 through 12/25. A bit of a long range forecast, but hey, this is for the optimists.

I plan on joining others at the Captain's wheel for their Christmas Eve Pot Luck dinner. It starts at 4:00 pm. Bring your goodies or just yourselves, since many bring more than their share anyway. Break out those mittens, folks.


12/15/09: The weather guessers are now welshing on the Christmas snow storm They now say it will happen a day or so after Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I have never in the past done this, meaning copied and pasted stuff that in the history of this blog is frowned upon. Still, I feel strongly that the MSM including senior editors of the spokesman-review, who tend to be very liberal have blessed the use of this horrible term that is definitely pejorative in a sexual context to conservatives. I don't always follow the conservative party line when it gets to far right, but this is unacceptable. Period.

Teabagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth[1] or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea.[2][3]
The practice

Teabagging is an activity used within the context of owning trents dome BDSM and male dominance, with a dominant man teabagging his submissive partner as one variation of facesitting and/or as a means of inflicting erotic humiliation. Teabagging is not always carried out with a solely “sexual” connotation.

Teabagging has been used during hazing or bullying incidents.[4] Incidents have included reports of groups holding down victims while the perpetrator “shoves his testicles in [their] face”[5] or puts their “crotch to his head.”[6]

Mimicking teabagging has become popular in online video games. It is portrayed by the winning player positioning his character over the fallen character's face (while repeatedly crouching and standing) to imply domination or humiliation.[6]
[edit] Use as a political term
Main article: Tea Party protests

In 2009, groups known as Tea Parties were formed to protest United States government tax and spending policies. Media outlets began to use the term 'Teabaggers' as a criticism of the entire Tea Party movement, making use of language and accoutrement employed by some of its members.[7][8] An article in by Alex Koppelman traced the controversy to a photograph by David Weigel posted on The Washington Independent website on 27 February,[9] showing a protester holding a sign that read “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You!!”[10] Weigel's report was referenced by bloggers, including Wonkette, who used “teabagging” or “teabagger” in their headline.[9] Several critics of the protesters, including Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Anderson Cooper, used the slang in their broadcasts. Cooper later apologized, calling the term “silly” and stating that his use of it detracted from his serious reporting.[11][12][13][14][15]

It would appear that MSM liberal editors have blessed the use of this dirty term in obeisance to their liberal following. I do not believe that repeated use of a dirty word or term legitimatizes it. Certianly other words that are in common use on the streets are prohibited on spokesman-Review blogs. It is apparent to me that this one sided morality is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Road Trip From Hell

Today I trekked to the big city. No, not Rathdrum or even Coeur d'Alene. I went for the whole hog and drove to the land of red light busters, choked freeways and crime waves, and that's just Spokane city officials, according to Clark. Actually, it wasn't too bad. The route I took avoided the infamous pot holes, which is good because I experience many of those where I live here in Bayview. Really, the only bad part of the trip was getting out of the car. That it was cold is an understatement. Bone-chilling, paralyzing cold.

I took the trip anyway. You see, I have three beautiful young granddaughters that were in a Christmas Pageant at Northwest Christian School in the North End. It was great entertainment. all three were in different grade levels and had parts based on their class. On top of the fact that I have these three beauties as grandchildren, my son is a teacher there, (4Th grade) and my daughter-in-law is a substitute teacher at the school. So son was herding the fourth grade class while his wife, Jennifer was trying to keep order in the third grade class, which she subbed for today. She needed a whip and chair. The kids didn't get outside recess due to the cold, so they saved all of their pent up energy for the evening events. Still, when it was their turn to head for the stage, they settled right down, like great troupers that they were.

I didn't see Cindy Hval there, but I strongly suspect she was out stalking her 15 year old son's Health teacher. (If you don't follow Huckleberries on line this doesn't make sense, but then much that I write doesn't anyway. Inside joke.)

Had to stop for gas. It couldn't happen when it was warm, no. I had to get out of the car, stick the hose in the tank and hope my hand wouldn't freeze to it. Made it home OK. did I mention that I stopped for groceries on the way to Spokane? It's the first time I have ever had to unload the car to assure that I wouldn't ruin some of the food I'd bought. Usually that is a Summer thing. I could see the rolls of biscuits freezing and popping open, causing me to bake all night long, but no, everything worked out fine. In a year or two, I may venture to the big city again, but only under duress, or that of my grand kids. I don't plan on poking my head out until at least March.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Whaterever It Takes...!

That is what Bayview residents received on their doorsteps Friday Night, as four men riding in a pickup threw leaflets on most everyone's lawn stuffed in a plastic baggie and weighted down with ballast rock allegedly stolen from the Burlington Northern tracks in Athol.

The content is as follows:

"Know That Whatever It Takes, White America will survive!
It is signed, not with a name, but the Aryan Nations, National Headquarters, P.O. Box 91, Athol, Idaho, 83801"

"Join The Ranks." Etc.Etc.

Captain Ben Wolfinger told me today that they invite a criminal complaint on this matter, and will definitely follow through. If you have received one of these pieces of filth and desire the perpetrators to be brought to justice for littering, call the Kootenai Sheriff department 208-446-1300 and file your complaint. Each such call is treated as a separate count of littering. Let's make it expensive for these Jerks to do what they do. Never has the city of Athol's claim to fame name wise, ever been more appropriate than with these residents. Some of us view this series of acts as the equivalent of burning a cross in a neighbor's yard, sans the fire hazard.

My humble apology to Ben Wolfinger. I referred to him as always, as Captain. It turns out her was promoted to Major. A big congrats to Ben Wolfinger, a truly conscientious peace officer.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

For many years the mission of the Corps of Engineers was to regulate navigable waterways. The original intent was primarily the Mississippi,Missouri and Ohio rivers, for both flood control and navigation. toward that goal, locks were emplaced at necessary points to aid the up river and down river commerce. These rivers were and are navigable because they can be used all the way to the ocean for marine traffic.

Then somehow, the corps got too big for their collective britches and decided that THEY would determine what was navigable and what was not. The most obvious transgressions are out west, where rivers that may support a canoe for brief journeys, dammed rivers that cannot be navigated, even by fish and other egregious mis-applications of the terminology.

To state that the Corps transgresses upon the states rights that they regulate, as well as rule the power grid thfough the measured feeding of water from dam to dam, as needed for power generation, is teating the subject lightly. They have gone so far beyond the original intent of their perview as to be ridiculous. The situation is obvious. We, residents of the various western states need to wrest control from these power hungry federal abusers. One method would be to sue in federal court, asking the court to find that the Corps has overstepped their mandate. Another, would be to get congress to redefine what constitutes a navagable waterway.

Here on 50 mile long Lake Pend Oreille, the corps is attempting once again, to manipulate the levels through their ownership of the Albeni Falls Dam without regard to the fact that this lake is not a man made reservoir, but a natural body of water. Our lake has been trashed by the lack of regard to our fisheries and lakefront properties. They seem to feel that we exist for the sole purpose of supplying water to Grand Coulee Dam and other such structures down stream.

There are adequate dams down stream from Lake Pend Oreille to hold summer water through the winter power use cycles without misusing our lake. During the few years where a moratorium was in force and the corps was only allowed to lower the lake to 2051 feet above sea level every three years, and to maintain a Summer level of 2062, with 2055 being the odd years winter level. The mighty Corps of Engineers has unilaterally decided they essentially will in the future do what they damn well please. This is wrong and the State of Idaho needs to pull them up short, if the various interested bureaucrats can manage to extract their collective heads from their ... rears.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Seniors Thrown Under The Bus

I feel that I've jumped through the looking glass and am now in Wonderland with Alice. Everything seems to be upside down. The democrats in congress, reputed by their own statements, are for the poor and the downtrodden. They have voted, party line to reduce payments for Medicare treatment. Sure, they say out of one side of their mouths, "no reduction in benefits will occur, just payments."

I have no accurate figures on this, but I do know that most doctors in my area, which includes North Idaho, are refusing medicare patients and those that don't will not accept new patients. These doctors claim that the payments do not come anywhere close to prevailing rates that are charged in the area, and that they lose money treating them. Not only that, but the ones that do accept medicare patients are so bogged down with bureaucratic paperwork that they often have to hire an office assistant just for medicare related reports and forms required.

On top of this political anomaly, AARP, supposedly the bastion of protection for seniors, has endorsed this abortion of logic. (note to self, cancel membership immediately) The obvious outcome of this travesty is a program the federal government can brag about that the medical profession won't use or accept. This reverse Robin Hood approach to legislation clearly is robbing from the poor to give to the middle class. Before I attempt to jump back through the looking glass, I'm going to sit here and wonder about the nasty Republican Party that only thinks of big business, being on the side of helpless seniors. I'm going to then examine where the hell the Democrats get off turning their backs on the elderly. Well, I guess that's no surprise, after all, they turned their collective backs on Labor, who through smoke and mirrors, still support the party.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Politics & How They Can Lie

Now that the last election cycle is over, (we hope) a number of thoughts have occurred to me. First of all, where has my political philosophy gone to. Back when I was a Young Republican in Orange County California, I was what I thought,a solid core conservative. Many of us were, at the time. We were in essence, the torch bearers for Ronald Reagan, as he approached the decision to run for Governor for the State of California. We all knew he would run, it was the usual pre-positioning that candidates used to get supporters to urge them to run. They did, he did. The rest is history. I was privileged to be personally acquainted with Ronnie, as we called him back then I, at one time had his unlisted phone number when he lived in Pacific Palisades, prior to being elected to the governorship. I still cherish the personally autographed first copy, first edition of his autobiography,"where Is The Rest Of Me."

But there is more to the story than that. You see, we had three layers of political philosophy dividing the Republican party. First, the eastern establishment supported Rockefeller for President. The vast majority of conservatives in Southern California, favored Reagan. The third level was the John Birch Society. Bless them, they were Zealots of the first order. Unfortunately, they were so far out of the main stream as to be inconsequential.

Well, Reagan was elected Governor of California, then re-elected to a second term. It turned out that rather than he being a weak "movie star," he had perhaps much more substance to him. All except the JBS. He just wasn't conservative enough for them. Actually, Genghis Khan was too liberal for some of them, but I digress.

Ronald Reagan was a consensus builder, not a fanatic.He started out by uniting the Republican Party, which was no mean trick. His mantra was, "this party has a large tent, and went on to say,"Speak no evil of those in our party. The other side will do that for us."

Reagan was elected Governor of California at a time that the previous administration and legislature had brought down the financial structure of the state to the degree that Reagan had to raise taxes big time just to keep up with the previous expenditures. This was not popular, especially to those that were used to the free handouts that were being curtailed.

In entering the Governorship, he realized fairly soon that the legislature was ruled by Jesse Unruh, a Democrat. In order to run the state, these two had to find a place they could agree.They did, and the rest is history.

After being elected to the presidency of the United State, he ran into the same sort of problem with Congress. The Speaker of the House was Tip O'Meil, a fellow Irishman. It is rumored that after fighting tooth and nail over legislation, they would as Irishmen tend to do, retire to the living quarters in the white House, where they would sip a bit of the old sod.

There is much more to the story of Ronald Reagan, and how I found myself intertwined in his rise to super stardom, but that can wait for another time. What I want to say today, is that the persons or group or four or five that call themselves Reagan Republicans are not even close. They are riding on coattails that would never have been available had Ronnie been alive. He would literally roll over in his grave to find that people are using his name in vain, and running back to the extreme he so much hated.