Naïve Art – Paintings by Kimmo Niikkonen

These are paintings created by my cousin Kimmo Niikkonen in 2001-2003. They are classified as naïve art style and they describe the wilderness and culture of Finnish Lapland.

Happy Holidays

Friends, family & good food.


October 2011 Fright Fest

Mia wanted to have a birthday with her friends at the Wild Waves October Fright Fest. Donna & I took them them over there on Saturday evening Oct 1st. While they were having fun on the rides Donna and I strolled around in the park & I took some pictures. The park looks pretty empty but we were there quite early & almost no one was there. Later on it got more crowded. They have the park set up pretty nice now with all the landscaping etc, and now of course with Halloween decorations & props. Donna was dancing with the Zombies learning the thriller dance.

Trip to Los Angeles, CA

Thank you everyone. We had a good time in LA July 27 – August 9 meeting family & celebrating my mother in law’s 80th bday & two newborns in the family, and my bday. My buddies flew there from Seattle & had setup a surprise party for me in Santa Monica. It was a huge surprise, I had no idea. I thought I’m going out to dinner with my brother in law & nephews. We had a great dinner in Japanese restaurant & went to see great blues gig afterwards. The performer was a guitar legend Guitar Shorty. Good times!

We visited quite a few places in the LA area including, Chino Hills, Whittier, San Dimas, Ontario, Torrance, Palos Verdes and Santa Monica.

Skiing Mt. Crystal & White Pass

Mia and Andrei were off the school last week. I took Thursday and Friday off from work as well and we went skiing to both Mt. Crystal and White Pass.

Thursday we went to Mt. Crystal. Actually we were planning on going to White Pass first and since I have not been there I put the destination into my GPS, TomTom. I did not check the resulting route carefully enough. It wanted to take us via Highway 123 and part of it is closed during the winter months which I’m surprised it did not know about. So we arrive at the gate but luckily it is the same route that goes to Crystal so we made a left turn and went to Crystal instead. This particular route was a little different from what I’ve used to got to Crystal before. It used Hwy 169 and then couple of shortcuts to get to Hwy 410. There was almost no traffic so we got there in less than two hours, 1 hour and 40 minutes. Usually it has taken me two hours or little more. It was snowing almost all the time and the snow was great. Mostly flat light so the visiblity was poor but occasionally sun peaked out and visibility was great at those times. Despite the warm weather, I think it was about 32 Fahrenheit degrees or so, the snow was dry and powdery and there was lots of it. Up to your waist at times depending on where you were, lots of fun (and tiring on my legs).

Andrei met his friend when we were on break and they went skiing together for the rest of he day. Mia and I skied together. At some point we had a bite at the Campbell Basin Lodge. You can see from some the pictures we took from inside that there is lots of snow outside the lodge.

On Friday, we then finally made it to White Pass. The weather was great, sunny most of the time. It was pretty cold, about -4 Fahrenheit which is about -20 Celsius degrees. The snow was absolutely great but there was not as much of it compared to Crystal. All the slopes were groomed but you got about a foot of powder on a hard packed snow if you went off the groomed ones a bit. awesome skiing.

The drive there is a bit long, over three hours from Redmond but it was worth it. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Rainier from there but that day there were clouds between White Pass and Rainier. We did get a little peek of it though when the clouds were moving.

Skiing Mt. Crystal

Andrei, Cliff & I went to ski at Mt Crystal on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous & sunny, blue sky with no clouds. The snow was powdery. It could not have been a better day & conditions for skiing.

We went all the way up & started skiing. On the top we got awesome views of Mt Rainier as it stands up right next to Mt Crystal. Unfortunately for me, on our second run I was making turns on a steep slope in Snorting Elk bowl when I all of a sudden heard a cracking and popping sound coming from my left ankle followed by lot of pain. I have no idea what happened but I could not put any weight on my left leg. It seemed fine walking or standing but the minute I tried to ski and make turns I could not.

I had to ski the whole mountain down with one ski & leg, holding the other one up. That was a good workout for my right quads. Andrei & Cliff went back up and skied the rest of the day while I was hanging out at the base sun bathing.

After all, it was a good day to be out there & get lots of fresh air. And a terrible sun burn on the face.