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Friday, 28 September 2012 03:18

Shaming your dog

You gotta love your dog...

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Dogs, they are happy to see you when you come home from work. They will willingly give you kisses and love when you need kisses and love, BUT, boy they can have a naughty streak!

When we lived in Alabama we had a doberman pinscher named "Makeba". She had a brother, a black cat named "Bart", who thought he was a doberman pinscher. They did most everything together when they were both in the house. Makeba had a particular love for Bart's special treats; tootsie rolls in his special box. Well I had caught her indulging several times and had chastized her letting her know how bad that was and tried different things to prevent her from getting to the nuggets but had little success.

One night after we had gone to bed, I heard a familiar "crunch crunch crunch" coming from the direction of the "treat" box. I yelled out, "Makeba, get out of the litter box!" and the house got quiet. As I drifted toward sleep, I had a sudden feeling of being watched and opened my eyes. There in the darkness sat Makeba. When she saw my eyes open, she gave me a kiss right in the mouth. Yeah, you guessed it. A mouth full of gritty kitty litter (to say the least). I probably brushed my teeth ten more times that night...

Yeah. You gotta love your dog(s)! Laughing

Thanks to Penny for the pics!Laughing

Published in Chuckler
Thursday, 06 October 2011 11:18

A reason to change...

Your UNDERWEAR!!!!!

The photo was taken at the entrance to Katlian Bay at the end of the road in Sitka , Alaska ...

The whale is coming up to scoop up a mouthful of herring......... (the small fish seen at the surface around the kayak). The kayaker is a local Sitka Dentist. He apparently didnt sustain any injuries from the terrifying experience. The whale was just around the corner from the ferry terminal, and all the kayaker could think at that moment in time was: "Paddle Man - really fast!"

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The whale's mouth is fully open with the bottom half under the boat. If the whale had closed his mouth before he furiously paddled away - He might have been LUNCH!!!

Look at the picture again - He is in the whale’s MOUTH!

Thanks Scott!Eek

Published in Awesomeness
Saturday, 05 November 2011 11:09

Story Chain...

storychainA Collaborative Story...

I have done this in the past on my family BBS but never on the BLOG. It is a collaborative story. Basically the way it works is I will start off with the first couple lines of a story. Then someone comes along and continues the story with a couple lines of their own. Someone else comes along and adds a little more, and so forth.

Here are the rules:

1. Keep it family friendly, respectable, and respectful (nothing SPAMMY or PORNY or hostile or disrepectful toward others or it will be removed).

2. Don't do something in the story that will force kill the chain. In other words don't write an entry that leaves the next person no where to go, try to leave it at a point where someone can follow it up with another part.

3. Don't quote the post above yours, just continue the chain and end yours mid-sentence with ellipses...

4. You can't continue your own thread. There has to be at least one person between your additions. That is what make this fun, the surprise at what someone else adds!

5. Remember, you have up to 1000 characters for your twist. You don't have to use them all. A couple sentences or a short paragraph will probably do.

6. Keep coming back to see where the story is going and maybe add a little something-something.

7. You may use a pen-name/pseudonym if you want to play anonymously but remember rule 1.

8. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Feel free to invite anyone you know who you think might like to participate and help make the story fun!

Ready??? Here goes... (It starts in the comments below my profile)

Published in Tales
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 14:15

Dream bike...

Yesterday I was on the phone with a person from tech support representing a well-known security company whose equipment we use. He wanted to do a “WebEx” so we could try a few things on some busted equipment. When he connected up, he saw my current background image and actually started stuttering and stammering. He commented that it was a beautiful bike! I told him it was my dream bike. He said, “Mr Cope, that is everyone’s dream bike!!!” It actually took him a couple minutes to regain his composure! Now, I suspect that this fellow was from India or something like that. I could see how in a country full of scooters and tiny cars that a phat Harley would be a popular dream… Props to Harley Davidson for creating one of my favorite Street Glide photos of all time!!! I think it is a very sexy picture.

Published in Chuckler
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:58

Bluegrass-O-Rama

2056 miles in 7 days… It was an awesome trip!

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Day 1: We ended up stopping at Steve’s Café for breakfast on the way out of town. If you are a Helena local and haven’t tried them, DO! Their food is delish and it is a nice clean and friendly place to eat! We rolled out of town at about 9:30am on our adventure.

Of course, it is road construction season. We made it half way to Townsend (about 20 miles from Steve’s) before we were stopped for road construction. Annoyingly, while we had to wait for traffic to clear the zone, wait for a pilot car and a green light to go, we had to fight with oncoming traffic the whole way through the zone. Don’t know why they even bothered making us stop if we were going to have to battle traffic anyway. Took us about 20 minutes to go the 4 or 5 miles of the construction site.

Finally we made it through Townsend and headed East on highway 12. I had used Google Maps and had found us a route on County Road 300 south out of Ryegate because we wanted to go from Highway 12 to Columbus MT. Well, turned on the road and rode 5 miles, beautiful roads… All of a sudden it was gravel. Seemed well maintained but not what we were looking for, so we headed back to Ryegate to a gas station. I shot some gas into the bikes while Penny went in to gather a map with more detail and ask about the road. normal_DSCF1121The cashier told her “OH, it is a great road, a few narrow spots where there was some damage because of the flooding from the wet spring but it was a nice road". So, we decided to go for it. Yeah, nice road… Yell It was pretty nice to start. A few narrow rough spots like she mentioned but pretty soon we started hitting roads not on either of our maps and were essentially lost to our destination. I hit a HUGE bump and broke one of the straps holding my bag on the seat and shattered my spleen (not really about the spleen but it HURT). We stopped and asked directions from some fellas that were installing some communications cables or something and claimed they “grew up” in the area, but they didn’t know how to get to Columbus from there. They did point us in a general direction to one of the towns on our map. The roads kept getting narrower and narrower, even to where there was a grass strip down the middle. Finally, the road started getting wider and more travelled looking again. It started coming up out of the canyon and we had some hope that we would be able to make it to Columbus. As we putted around this corner, I noticed a cow standing in a HUGE culvert alongside the creek we had been following. As I got further around the corner, I noticed the 30 foot wide 15 foot deep washout across the road where the culvert USED to be… As luck would have it, a couple locals were arriving at the other side of the washout (on four wheelers) as we were getting off our bikes. We chatted with them a little while across the washout. They told us we were on the right road, that it was in fact well travelled, even a school bus route, but that the washout we were eyeballing was the first of five similar washouts as the road worked its way out of the canyon. That the only way through was on four wheelers. Though, if we rode back 5 miles, there was another even lesser maintained road that would get us passed the trouble we were in… It was at that point that we decided to cut our losses and return to highway 12 and reroute through Billings. This little side jaunt cost us about 2 hours of time, riding around on dirt roads as well as time lost riding through Billings and returning to Laurel. Anyway, I guess the moral to this section of the story is… DON’T PUT BLIND FAITH INTO GOOGLE MAPS (or gas station attendants)!normal_DSCF1139

It was starting to get a little late when we finally reached Red Lodge. As we were gassing up, we debated whether we should forgo the ride over the Beartooth Highway and through Yellowstone and divert directly to Cody from there. We decided to go ahead and ride the Beartooth pass but to skip the ride through the Eastern side of Yellowstone. That was actually an AWESOME decision! After riding over Beartooth Pass, we turned onto the Chief Joseph Highway toward Cody! INCREDIBLE!!! Just a bunch of beautiful mountain vistas, grassy meadows, lush forests, rushing clear rivers and best of all, windy well paved roads to carve. While we made it into Cody well after dark, it was TOTALLY worth the ride. I wish we hadn’t gotten “lost” in the canyon south of Ryegate but if it had worked out like we’d planned, we most likely would not have discovered this awesome route, instead riding a path through Yellowstone we had ridden last summer.normal_DSCF1169

Day 2: We got up and washed the dust and dirt off the bikes, loaded up and hit the road to Colorado. By the way, if you are a motorcyclist, I definitely recommend staying at the Best Western in Cody. They have nice rooms AND a dedicated spot for bikers to wash their scoots! Our intended route was to leave Cody on highway 120. We would ride to Thermopolis, Rawlins, hop on the interstate for about 20 miles to highway 130 and work our way to Walden Colorado. We stopped to gas up in Thermopolis (thank goodness) and were talking to another gas station lady. She said we would like their canyon (we did!) and told us about this route to take to Rawlins. It turned out that this was the path we had already chosen. Unfortunately, we skipped a gas stop in Riverton Wyoming thinking we could gas up in Jeffrey City or something. Yeah, Jeff City has a FEW houses and several abandoned well forsaken gas stations and nothing else. Penny’s low fuel light had been on for a while by the time we got there and we still had 60 miles to go to Rawlins with nothing on the map in between. For the record, her bike gets about 50 MPG and she has about a gallon left when the light comes on… SO, we were sweating it. Just when we thought I was going to have to go get a gas can full of gas for her, we came to this “T” intersection with a gas station. Of course, it was out of 91 octane premium that we run in our Harleys, so we shot a gallon of 85 octane into each of our bikes (at $4.85 a gallon) to get us to Rawlins and were thankful. We hit the highway from Rawlins and made it to Walden without incident. Then we hit the Poudre Canyon Highway… 50+ miles of AWESOME canyon carving! WOW! We saw MOOSE CROSSING signs and signs with big capitol letters stating "MOOSE ON THE ROADS AFTER DARK! DRIVE WITH CARE!" Sure enough, we saw three moose (2 bulls and 1 cow) in broad daylight! It would be an awesome area to visit again for some camping or something. This was definitely a fun ride. It was another late night on the roads. We rode through downtown Ft Collins Colorado at the height of party time on Thursday night! Seems like EVERYONE was out! We finally arrived in Longmont CO at about 10:30, found our hotel and hit the hay.

Days 3-5: We spent the next three days at the Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival! Talk about FUN! It is definitely an interesting mix of people. There were about 3,500 at this one. It is situated at the north west end of Lyons Colorado, along the St Vrain river that follows this cliff which is the North and East boundary of the venue. It is about 20 miles further to Estes Park. Boy it was hot, but it was nice to have the river there to cool off in. We met our friends, Jim and Leslie who had also driven down from Helena to attend the festival. We hung out with them and we also made a new friend; a fellow named Matthew who came all the way from England, ENGLAND!!!, to attend this festival. We had a BLAST visiting with Jim and Leslie and Matthew. It turns out Matthew is also a struggling banjo player so we compared notes about banjos and life and the U.S. versus England, etc. It was a lot of fun! I hope we see him again next time we attend. It was three hot days, sitting in the sun, but the music and friendship was TOTALLY worth it!

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The line up...

Day 6: Monday morning, we got up and loaded up the bikes for our ride home. We hit I-25 South toward Denver and found a Cracker Barrel for breakfast then hit the road.normal_DSCF1352 We rode right past Denver and out Interstate 70 to Idaho Springs Colorado, rode over some nice passes on the way. Gotta love that Denver traffic! WOW! We were happy to leave Denver in the mirrors. Thank goodness we missed rush hour! Once we reached Idaho Springs, we jumped off the interstate to ride up Mt Evans. That was AWESOME! Lots of windy narrow roads with no guard rails, we made it to the parking spot at 14,130 feet in elevation and got off and wandered around a bit and took some pictures. There was a path to the peak - another hundred feet higher or so - but I didn’t want to be all puffed out and loopy while trying to ride down the narrow road back to Idaho Springs. After this side trip, we rode another 8 miles or so West down I-70 and took off toward the North on the secondary highways again. This time we rode over a high pass, got snowed on a little bit, rained on a little bit and rode down the other side to Winter Park Colorado. It was definitely and “exclusive” zip code… There was even a sign warning drivers to be careful for "dashing sleighs". Of course, that sent me off on a couple rounds of "Jingle Bells" at top volume (a definite benefit of wearing a full face helmet on these long rides)... Laughing We rode through before they recognized us… We did a bunch more canyon carving and pass riding, even some rain splashing, and got back to Walden where we retraced our tracks to Rawlins. This time though, we kept on going down the I-80 and made it to Rock Springs Wyoming at about 9:30pm, where we spent the night.

Day 7: We got up the next morning and loaded up again for the final stretch of our trip. We gassed up and headed up the road to Jackson Hole. It took us a few hours of desert riding before we finally got into the mountains. We got to carve a few more canyons. normal_DSCF1389Lots of fun! We finally made it to Jackson and gassed up. We rode into Teton National Park and rode through Yellowstone from the South Gate and out the West Gate to West Yellowstone. At this point, we decided to ride past Earthquake Lake and up through Ennis. We were going to gas up at the Wheat Montana at the junction with I-90 and ride to Townsend on home, but once we arrived, there was no pavement on the road. It was about 9:30pm by this time and the signs indicated 66 miles of road construction. SO, having nightmares about riding on dirt roads, we followed the suggestion of the signs (motorcycles should consider an alternate route) and rode over the hill on I-90 to Cardwell MT where we took the highway up to Boulder and got on I-15 for the trip up to Helena. We pulled into our garage at 11pm on the dot… TIRED!

All in all, it was an AWESOME trip! Can’t wait to do it again next year!!!!

The rest of the pics (of course)!! I actually took the video camera on the trip too and will post the videos I took to the photo gallery once I have a chance to convert them to an internet worthy format...

Published in Rides
Friday, 25 February 2011 02:25

Grin and BEAR it.

This comes from an email sent by a friend at work. It is pretty amazing. If you have seen the TV show on the Discovery Channel, "Flying Wild Alaska", this is one of those types of bush stories!

 

Best duct tape story ever...
During a private fly-in fishing excursion into the
Alaskan wilderness, the chartered pilot and fishermen
left a cooler with bait in the plane. And a bear smelled it.
This is what it did to the plane...

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The pilot used his radio and had another pilot
bring him two new tires, three cases of duct tape,
and a supply of sheet plastic. He then patched
the plane together, and FLEW IT HOME!

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Duct tape. Never leave home without it...

Thanks Kyle! Laughing

Published in What the???
Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:57

Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs!

If you haven't read "The day I was a hero..." below, read it first. This is the second part of that saga...


So, we drive on...

After visiting Old Faithful, we decided to go down and see the Tetons. We left Yellowstone and stopped at a gas station right outside the south entrance. I went in and did my business then came out to watch Jelly while Penny went in. I was standing there chatting with my brother and Jelly Bean was laying in the shade of the van on the pavement relaxing. All of a sudden I hear; “PUT HIM UNDER THE WHEELS AND ROLL OVER HIM!!!” from behind me. I turn around and there is this older cowboy looking dude standing by this pickup and looking at me. As soon as I turned YEEEE HAW! I'm a LOON!around he yells over again; “PUT HIM UNDER THE WHEELS AND ROLL OVER HIM!!!”. Trying to be polite I said “Hehehe, we are trying to fatten her up for Thanksgiving.” He says; “THEY ARE MUCH BETTER WHEN THEY ARE FLAT! PUT HIM UNDER THE WHEELS AND ROLL OVER HIM!!!” I kind of glance at my brother and we made the “what a weirdo” eye roll. Then the guy says “I raise Pomeranians, I love dogs!” and he is kind of easing closer. About this time his buddy comes out of the store and they both get into the pickup and drive off. The bro and I are thinking good riddance…

Everyone comes out of the store and we get into our vehicles and hit the road. About 5 miles down the road these two park ranger trucks go blasting by in the opposite direction with their lights flashing. As soon as they get past us they turn around and head back our direction. We pull over and they shoot past us. We were thinking SOMEONE IS IN TROUBLE!!! We keep on driving down the road. Another five miles down the road we find about 6 park ranger trucks, lights flashing surrounding and they have the two guys in that pickup pulled over in this pullout next to a huge lake. There is one ranger talking to the guy in the driver’s seat and another on the passenger side with his hand on his gun (I didn’t even know park rangers HAD guns!!!). The rest are kind of standing around their trucks and stuff, paying close attention to the action.

We stop and take a couple of pictures of the lake and the mountains and watch them for 10 or 15 minutes. It seemed like a standoff so we decided to take off and headed down the road. We saw the moose and took some pictures and headed back. It was about an hour later when we came to the same point and the rangers and pickup were all STILL there. Now, however, they had the two guys out of the truck and were putting handcuffs on the guy that was suggesting I should flatten Jelly Bean. So, I don’t know if he was moving in to take a hostage or something when his buddy came out or if he was just trying to be sociable. Anyway, I figure that it was more than just a normal traffic/DUI bust as they had to be waiting for them to have so many rangers there in such a short time.

Never did find out what it was all about, but WOW it was a pretty exciting day!

Published in Tales
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 13:15

The day I was a hero (in my own eyes)

This is a story of an adventure we had in Yellowstone National Park on memorial day weekend in 2006.


Saturday morning we had stopped at Old Faithful to watch it go off. My Mom and Penny decided they wanted to walk around the geyser basin and they don’t allow dogs on the path so I told them I would stay and hang on to Jelly Bean (our Boston Terrorist). Well, everyone else decided to stay as well. So we wandered back over to the gift store area.

After about an hour or so, my bro Chris decided we should get our lunch stuff out and eat so we didn’t have to stop later. We noticed a picnic table over by the road that was being cleaned up by the previous tenants and went over and claimed it. Chris went and got his truck and dropped off the supplies and then went and parked. We got all set up and Chris started cooking the sausages.

ardennes_bison3About this time we noticed a huge male bison come walking out of the trees across the road with branches stuck to his horns. People were running up to get as close as they dared so they could get pictures with him. He finally got annoyed enough that we charged a couple who dropped their bags and ran for their lives. We were getting quite a kick out of the show until we realized he was now headed in our direction.

When he got to the other side of the road and started crossing right at us we decided that we had better get up and get the table between us. When he reached our side of the road, I realized that Jelly Bean was still tied to the side of the table closest to him. So, he was still about 10 feet away and I ran around the table to get JB. She was just staring up at him with those big bug eyes. I fumbled with her leash and finally got her unhooked. By this time the bison was no more then 5 feet from me. Maybe even 3. I guess he didn’t sense any aggression in my actions or something because he just kindJelly Bean of looked at me and went on.

As soon as I had Jelly in my arms and was headed back around the table she started barking wildly… I told her “SHUT UP”… I was a momentary hero with my family for risking my life to save Jelly Bean. The bison continued on and broke up several other picnics on his way to his destination. In fact, the people that were at the table next to us were about 200 yards away standing there looking at the show… Basically, if the bison had felt like it he could have gotten me good… and then there was the jaunt down to Grand Teton NP after that…

Published in Tales