Goin' to Glacier, Ima Goin' to Glacier!

What better way to end the summer with Labor Day Weekend in Glacier NP? I'm going to try to get the ol' homework done early and I just seasoned a rusty dutchoven that I stole from home--ready for Dump Cake! Some friends (who are real people with real lives and don't go to school) are going up tomorrow and are going to get good spots. Incidentally, if you're going to be at Many Glacier this weekend, drop a line!

*goes off to dream of the hikes*

State of the schools from the perspective of a student

From my extremely scientific study (i.e., bumping into people while walking around campus), I'd say that about 95% of all incoming freshmen are aimless hoodlums. You know the type--flat-billed ballcap at an odd angle, pants down by the knees, and they walk with that odd strutting shuffle.

Anyway, these hoodlums were a very small subset of my freshman class, and they mostly dropped out or switched to business degrees. They now appear to be the majority. I was talking about it with a friend who teaches the lowest level of freshman math, and she said that most of the people coming in these days are entirely funded by student debt (a.k.a. loans). In other words, we have a majority of morons with an attitude problem who basically will never be able to pay off their student loans, because they don't realize that they would be better off not going to college.

Anyway, that is what I've noticed--not big and Sowelly like Kevin Baker, but the feet on the ground at a small engineering school in MT.

God save us all.


Double Rainbow. For Real. Again.

If that dude was me for the past couple weeks, he'd probably be laying on the ground with a burst vein in his brain.  Last Thursday there was another double rainbow, this time in MT.  They're following me around, or something.

This one really did look close.  I couldn't get the whole thing in my camera.

Of course, with a camera in my hands and Double Rainbow Guy on my mind, I had to fake some emotion again.

So sorry about that.  But really, what are the odds?


Why are Americans so hostile to Muslims?

This article asks.  It goes though a bunch of BS that says that Americans are all idiots who don't know any better.  I have the real answer.  It's because they keep blowing us up.



My mom just called--the day after I left for Montana the tomatoes started ripening in near-apocalyptic numbers.  So she's over at a friend's house and they are going to make salsa and tomato sauce and canned tomatoes and who knows what else.  They are actually running out of jars, and if you knew how many jars she has, you would be scared.

She sent me this picture of "Stage one of Salsa"

Then, of course, there are the cucumbers.  Several 5-gallon buckets of cucumbers.  After 20 or 25 jars of pickles so far, they are about fed up with that, so now she is looking at making sweet cinnamon pickles, which is apparently an old recipe she got from her grandma.

Of course, I'm up here starving in the near-produce free mountains of MT, so all I can do is drool.  Our garden had really bad timing.

Hitchhikers guide to the Towel

What's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

From ThinkGeek

Not big enough to be practical, but I like the design...


Why I like MT part 47

Because when the feds screw up, do something hypocritical, and light a forest fire that blows up, burns 3000 acres, and forces the evacuation of several homes, the people don't say "I'm just glad they got us out in time" (a la hippie), they say stuff like:

"I'm mad as hell. Whatever expenses we accumulate is going to be paid by the Forest Service,"


"If I had been up there and done that, I'd be in a squad car, going down the hill to the jail."


In other news, it's awfully smoky here today.

Yeah, Yo.

Soooo... 90's.




Yep.  I have Senioritis (AKA: Rapid Motivational Loss Syndrome) in a bad way.  As we were waiting for the professor to show up (he was late), one of my classmates said, "So much for getting the power point set up before class."  I replied, "Meh. That pretty much sums up my attitude this semester."  Then the guy on the other side of the row said, "Yeah, I'm at about 15%."

Of course, what with the economy and all, we'll all probably go into grad school--yay, more years of school.  They say that you are never done learning, but sometimes I get really sick of all this edumacation stuff...

How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?

I can take 28.

From the same guy who gave you "How long can you survive a Zombie Infection?" comes this little quiz:

How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?
Created by Oatmeal

It's kind of weird how you can compartmentalize Justin Bieber into being an object of derision rather than a person. At least, I think he's a real person... 

Maybe I shouldn't think about it too much, and just skip to the fight scene.


Oh dear.

From an email I got.  It said this is from a San Francisco newspaper.  Which in turn reminded me of this video:

GET AWAY FROM ME, CALIFORNIANS! I need definite proof that you have a lick-o-sense before I speak to you. This should come in the form of a written essay titled "The wonders of Bacon." Any and all other solicitations will be shunned, in the form of this video sent to your email of choice:

Correct me if I'm Wrong....

When, exactly, did Jimmy Carter become an authority on releasing prisoners?  Because apparently he's in North Korea right now, doing just that...

Added:  My roomate just said "If that doesn't work, maybe we can send over Nancy Reagan."


And while we're in this vane, you should look at these pictures of Kim Jong Il.  Hilarious.


Pencil Carving

My roomate sent me an email with pictures of pencils that the lead had been carved into different shapes:

He got it from his graduate school advisor, who said "Grad Students with way too much time on their hands."

And here I am, posting one of the pictures of these pencils carved by grad students with too much time on their hands.  My schedule this semester unfourtunately has very large gaps between classes--almost enough time to walk home for a couple hours, but not enough to get anything done...

So I sit in the computer lab and goof off on the internet.


Taking a Liberal Arts Class at an Engineering School

My first class today was Lit 231, Classical to Renaissance Literature.  The teacher came in and told us the hotel next to his house burnt down, so he was going to go home and "comfort his dogs."  He didn't even hand out the syllabus.  Oh, and the book hasn't come in to the bookstore yet, so no reading assignments.

Since I signed up for this class as a filler (not for any credit requirements), I guess I didn't really want to work too hard at it, but I was kinda at least expecting a syllabus...  I am, after all, paying for it.

Zero Hour

School starts at 10:00. 

One more semester...


Needtobreathe: Hurricane

I had another Needtobreathe song awhile back, but this one really got stuck in my head. It just has some good lyrics and some good sounds.

If you want the "Official" version (embedding disabled, thanks record companies!), it's right here.

If you don't want to listen to the song, I encourage you to at least look at this section of the lyrics:

In the light of the mourning
Can we change what we felt and heard
Can we turn it into the glory
Break the paths of our fathers before us
Though we stand on the outside
We will find what we once believed
And will crawl our way to the clear skies
Standing up we are
Standing up we are

We roll the dice we play like fools
We plead with time to change the rules
Its like a hurricane is coming our way
We've all been warned but we still chose to stay

I can't believe it now the time has come

It works on multiple levels for me. Needtobreathe is a Christian band, so you can obviously look at it from that viewpoint--the church (that includes me, by the way) really has a hard time these days practicing what it preaches. Or, you can look at it from a political viewpoint--for the past few generations we as a country have been slipping, and it seems like those who care most for the founding principles are on the outside.

"We've all been warned but we still choose to stay..." I feel like Dagny Taggart, torn between reviving or destroying and starting over.

Can we turn back into the glory and break the paths of our fathers before us?

We'll have to see what happens...


What movie to clean guns to?

I'm thinking either 300 or one of those $1 movies I got when that video store went out of business. Or I could just listen to the new Vicious Circle, but I might wear off the finish (4 hours long...)

What do you do?

UPDATE: It was a 300 kind of night.  Most of those $1 movies have subtitles, which makes it hard if you're not staring at the screen constantly.

What could have those crazy Spartans accomplished with semi-automatic weapons...


Morning Thought: Rod Blagojevich needs to have firecrackers dropped into his mouth one by one until his teeth are all chipped.

Oh how I hate that slimy, attention grabbing, big haired, bigger headed, mockingly smug, smugly mocking, comical caricaturisation of all that is bad in politics.


Coming to you LIVE from Montana!

I'm back, mostly unpacked, and ready to slack!

About that mostly thing...  I have to get off the internet and finish unpacking now.

And enjoy a run youtube video!

t=2.5 days and counting...

UPDATE: Whatever possessed me to fill that 30 gallon Rubber-made container with books? Do you know how much 30 gallons of paper weighs?


About that rooster...

Yeah.  We ate him.

I'm going back to MT tomorrow--yay! 11 hour road trip!

[Cue ominous music] And school starts on Monday.

Bulbous Bouffant

This thing is so freaking funny.



After all this hoopla about the Ground Zero Mosque, something else has slipped through the cracks.  A Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed when one of the Twin Towers fell on it is still in bureaucratic limbo.  While the Port Authority is falling over itself to support the Mosque and the circus around it, they are ignoring the Christian church.

I'm so glad that I was only in NYC for about three hours when I was there for Spring Break.  Hopefully that means that none of the crazy rubbed off onto me.

Double Rainbow. For Real.

It rained fit to float an ark on Monday, but at one point the sun came out and there was a double rainbow--and it went all the way across the sky:

I couldn't help it.  I had to take a video

That double rainbow guy has deeply affected my life, apparently.

I do know what it means, though creepy hippies may disagree.  It's right there in Genesis 9 (here NIV):

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."


A stunning defeat for Justice

1 out of 24.  That's how many of the counts stuck on Blagojevich.  I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "bought jury."  They shoulda wiped that smug look off his face, but nooooooo.

Come on, Chicago.  The rest of the country no longer thinks you're funny.

Dumb Commercials

At work I listen to the radio, and so I hear the same commercials over and over and over.  Maybe that is why my head starts up with a running MST3K commentary, but really, the quality of the commercials is just horrible.

There's the bank that wants to "do things differently," and so instead of advertising they ask if there's a song that makes me feel  really good.  Yes.  Yes there is.  And it's not the stupid peppy "buh-buh-bu-baah-buh" one that they play on the commercial.  At all. 

The next one that bugs the heck out of me is a Ford dealer who compares Roush Mustangs to pickles.  That is weird enough as it is, but every time he says Roush, he says it like "r-r-R-ROUSH!" and every time he says pickle he says it like "...PICKle!" 

Then there's the salon that will make me "feel successful."  I don't want to feel successful.  I want to BE successful.

The worst one, though is another bank, one who has been using the same annoying tinkly piano music in their commercials for the past 20 years or so.  In this ad, they talk about the "need to change your habits." I have something I want to ask them, then:  What the heck is your stupid problem, you flaming hypocrites?  GET OFF THE AIR!

Someday, when I have a bajillion dollars, I'm going to have my own radio station.  On this station I will choose commercials like this one:

That way I can be annoying on purpose instead of pretending to advertise.


I was looking through my sitemeter statistics for kicks and giggles, and my XD9 post is getting about 12% of my traffic, the most behind my main page.  "Wow," says I, "I almost feel like a real gun blogger!"  So I went to google and searched "springfield xd9 sub compact" (and variations thereof), and I was on the second third page!  I almost feel... I don't know... oh wait, then I looked at the "next blog" link at the top on my dashboard thingy, which is supposed to go to another similar blog.  Yep, no longer feeling successful.


Traffic Construction or Why I do not approve of the President's "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act™"

So on my typical day of going to work this summer I have to go about 10 miles.  Here's a map to show you Happy Valley:

I have several routes available, and even on a bad day none of them are too bad.  I prefer to take the interstate (top route) even though it requires a little backtracking simply because it doesn't have as many stops.  But coming home I sometimes go through town to run some errands, so all four routes get used from time to time.  Here's a map to show you the main routes:

What with this whole "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act™," though, many traffic and utility projects were moved up the list.  I don't know if it is because of typical bureaucratic non-communication or simply malice, but here in Happy Valley many of the proposed projects are being worked on right now.  Here is a map to show you where major construction is going on, with red being construction:

As you can see, I can not get to work without running into an orange cone.  Here's a map to illustrate what happens when I run into construction:

And what with this whole "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act™," I blame Obama.  I'm sorry, but it's like a default setting in my head.   I can't help but wonder if all the time people spend sitting in traffic is offsetting the money spent on the "Recovery™" at all.

Oh, and today it was raining to float an ark and there was about a foot of water in the road in a construction zone right where a lane was closed.  This of course did not help matters at all...


Keep on a'rollin'

Let's see. On Friday right after work I went to "The Expendables" with some friends. I was a pretty enjoyable action movie, if you don't mind a lot of things happening that don't make sense plot-wise or are physically possible. About what you would expect for a movie written and directed by Sylvester Stallone.

Yesterday we went down to my grandma and grandpa's house to celebrate my grandpa's 85th birthday. We made homemade ice cream, which had enough butterfat to flab up an army... home made ice cream is always better.

Today I sharpened up my axe for this fine looking fellow:

He was very pretty, which made it hard, but he was turning into a bit of a jerk.  If you don't play nice around here you get put into a pot.

Work is winding down and school starts up next week.  Time to get ready for my other life...


Crap (the future looks like)


Crap, crap, crap, crap.

Why do I get the feeling that something really bad is going to happen?

Oh, wait. Because it is.

I am so sorry about this

Youtube can be a very inexplicable place.


Of all the rotten luck...

We've been meaning to go the new Irish Pub that just opened up downtown all summer, and we finally were going to do it tonight--schedules cleared, expectations raised, and all that.  Then we heard the news this morning: Naggy McGee's had a kitchen fire at about 8AM. Of all the rotten luck, on the very day.

So it appears that we will be going somewhere else tonight.

What is this thing?

While moving stuff around in the garage this summer, we came across this doohickey. It has a bunch of small brushes on the top cylinder part, which is on a screw of some sort so it can go up and down.  The screw is attached to a base plate that looks like it can be bolted on to something else.  None of us know what it is, but for some reason my mom thinks it goes with the reloading stuff.

My dad had all sorts of stuff like this out there, the use of which has been lost to history...

Does any one have any ideas what it is?  I think for now I will call it the "Revolving-Step Salmon Cleaner MKII."


I had an accident...

While ordering my textbooks for the rapidly coming semester, I realized that I really wasn't spending as much as usual, being as how I am slacking off and not taking as many credits.  Then I noticed that the new Kindle (wi-fi only) is about the price of a textbook.  I may have just accidentally ordered a new Kindle...

Shoulder Check

Yep, the ache is telling me my shoulder is still here.  Good to check every so often.

Beatles Flowchart

Nah, nah nah na-na-na-naaaaah. Na-na-na-naaaaah...

I bet it's stuck in your head now, too.

My work here is done.

And there is always more here.


Old Magazine Ad

My mom was given several old knitting magazines from the 1930's and some of the ads in these things are hilarious.  Like this one, from 1938:

Gin--cures what ails ya!

Speaking of that, I had a gin and cranberry juice cocktail last night, with New Amsterdam Gin.  Very tasty.


"Why is the rum gone" is probably the third or fourth most quoted movie line for me, behind several from The Princess Bride. It just has so many real world applications.


There were bugs EVERYWHERE! It was HORRIBLE!

It's been a good year for these little water nymphs or mayflies or whatever you call them.  The light was on in the kitchen the other night and they pretty well plastered the outside of the windows:


It was somewhat startling when you weren't paying attention and look up from the sink to see a cloud of bugs just... waiting to get in and possibly carry you away.

Then, the motion-detecting security light wouldn't turn off, and when I went out to try to adjust it I was so swarmed by the little buggers that I literally couldn't see the controls.  I think it got turned on, attracted the bugs, and they kept the light on, which attracted more bugs... I think the light will just have to stay on until later.

Still, it's not as bad as that year when the miller moths actually were carrying away small children and livestock.  These little white moths are nothing compared to that.


Questions on Personal Growth

I don’t know why I am the way I am. I came out of the same school system as is commonly criticized around the blogs I read, which of course makes me slightly defensive. Growing up was Public School, working parents, etc etc. What was it that makes me distrustful of the gov’t, disdainful of pop culture, and receptive to things that are mostly relegated to people much older than I? Is it the books that my parents read to me as a child? Is it just that I was read to? Maybe it is because I watched PBS so much more than the networks--say what you will about PBS, but watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, Wishbone, Antiques Roadshow, and NOVA instead of whatever the dumb cartoon or sitcom of the season was over on the WB has to make a difference. Was it my crazy scoutmaster? Was it my “accelerated” middle school curriculum (or as we called it, the “School for the Tifted and Gallented”)? Was it my high school physics teacher, a retired Air Force “Nuclear Terrorist,” who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is? My religion? My church? My friends?

I hate to think that I am “special” simply because I am trying to pay attention to world events, but look at the evidence.

Anyway, sorry if this is self-centered. It was something that I thought about today at work while mindlessly washing dirt.


OK, not that I care about this or anything, but it is rare that the "news" makes me laugh like this did:

Lady Gaga on Best Dressed List

Things are getting so detached from reality I'm almost expecting to wake up and find that it's all been a horrible dream.

To the SS USA


*********/  |****___*******
********/|   |__|     |_*****
*******/  |   |   | __| ******
^^^^^^/   |   |^^^^^^^^^^^^
   ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
         ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

It's a sinking ship.  What do you think?


I'm Back Again

Did I miss anything?

Denver was fun. The Rockies lost, of course, in a spectacular way--it was 10-0. But we got some quality time in with friends and a good hotdog, so it's not all bad.

Back to work...


Going to Denver

My mom's roommate from college, who married a Japanese man and now lives in Japan, is visiting the States.  She's in Loveland for the week, so we are going to drive over there and say hello--and maybe catch a Rockies game.  Hopefully it will be another one like this one was and not like the 8-game slide they just went through. In any case, I probably won't be here too much for the next couple days, but we'll just have to see what happens.

And here's a random picture to make you happy:

Keep it classy.


Grilled Peaches in Rum Sauce

We had about the best dessert ever for dinner tonight. Grilled peaches. You may or may not know, but western Colorado is a big fruit-growing area, and we have some of the best peaches in the country (in my humble opinion). I heard this on the radio and had to try it out. Take some peaches and cut them in half, then pit them. Mix some brown sugar and rum together and soak/baste the peaches in it. We used 2 Barrel Rum, a type that my Uncle gets from Belize. Slap the halves on the grill and cook 'em till you're happy with them (we did it on a price of tinfoil shaped to make a shallow pan to keep the juices running off, but you can do it how you like). Eat them with ice cream, or with more rum!

It's like 3/4ths of a cobbler.  Very delicious.

HISHE: Indiana Jones 4

Hey, I didn't think it was too bad... just different than the other ones. Not as good, sure, but not as bad as the new star wars...

... yeah... yeah...

Ironic Music

I think I just realized what the most ironic song of all time is.  It's a great song, but still very ironic:

"Saturday Night (is Alright for Fighting)" written and performed by this man:

Anyone care to disagree?  I want evidence and links!