Thursday, December 31, 2009

Song of the Decade

Those of you who know me well won't find this a shock. The song of the decade, hands down, goes to R. Kelly's "Real Talk."



I imagine he got in the studio, and did the song. The producer is thinking, "Wow, this is a crazy mic check! I'm glad I'm recording this, it's hilarious."

Then R. Kelly says, "That's a wrap!" and walks out of the studio. The producer is left stunned and goes on mixing down the track, dumbfounded.

Part comedy, part genius, totally the best single song of the decade.

Top 5 Top 40 Guilty Pleasures of 2009

1. Jason Derulo - Whatcha Say



Catchiest hook of the year by far. Plus it has the fantastic excuse for cheating, "I was caught up in her hot lust." Oh, that makes it OK.

2. Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA



The more embarrassing a song is, the guiltier the pleasure. Does it help that I didn't know it was a Miley Cyrus song for weeks? Probably not.

3. T.I. - Live Your Life (feat. Rhianna)



I know, I know, it officially came out in Fall 2008, but they played it on the radio well into the new year, so I think it still counts. Anyone who was my Myspace friend in 2006 knows I love the Numa Numa video and the O-Zone song that spawned it is sampled here, so obviously I love the T.I. version as well.

4. Iyaz - Replay



Is it just me, or did they slow down the chorus for this song and re-release it a week or so later? Anyway, still super catchy.

5. Sean Kingston - Fire Burnin' on the Dancefloor



The chorus is just silly, which might be why I like it so much. I saw this video on MTV right before we moved to Iowa. This song was not played on the radio nearly enough.

Oblio Joes Live on KBGA 12-08-2004


Tonight, one of my favorite bands ever is playing a reunion show. I'll be about a thousand miles away. Lame.

So to get my Oblio Joes fix, I digitized an old concert I taped off the radio in 2004. I had to work that night, so I brought a cassette to work and recorded the broadcast with a crappy radio. I forgot about it until we moved and I looked through my old tapes.

Anyway, here it is. It isn't the best sound quality, but if you're like me and can't make it to Missoula tonight for the reunion, it will do just fine.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 5 fiction books I read this year

These books didn't necessarily come out in 2009, but I read them this year (not necessarily for the first time).

1. The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson

One of my all-time favorite books and the only pure fiction work by Thompson. Almost a perfect novel in my opinion. Entertaining, exciting and engrossing. I can usually read it in one or two sittings at this point.

2. The Carpet Makers - Andreas Eschbach

Someone needs to translate more of this man's work! Eschbach is a German sci-fi writer who has won numerous awards in Europe, but thus far, only one book has been translated to English. My wife bought this book for me last Christmas and I got around to reading it again this year. I'm so impressed with the pacing and scope of this book. One part Sci-fi, one part perplexing mystery.

3. Tortilla Flat - John Steinbeck

Tortilla Flat blew me away. Steinbeck describes it as his version of a "Knights of the Round Table" story. Great storytelling as hilarious escapades come one after another over an underlying sadness.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson's posthumous books are great examples of slow burning mystery. Both books take 250 pages to build and then rush through to the end. Reading them is like riding a roller coaster, sometimes the best part is the anticipation leading up to the climax.

5. Under the Dome - Stephen King

I'm not ashamed to like Stephen King. It and The Stand were fantastic, and Under the Dome belongs right there with them. The ending left something to be desired, but the examination of neo-conservative thought and politics is worth reading especially now.

Runners Up:

Fool - Christopher Moore
Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bun in the Oven

If you hadn't already heard, Darcy and I are expecting.

We're about 15 weeks along, and are now busy reading baby books and trying to come up with good names. I've suggested Luffa for either a boy or girl, but it looks like a no go. Go ahead and use it for your next child. Hopefully I won't regret giving it up and end up with a George Costanza/7 situation.

We waited to share the news until we got a glimpse of the kid at our first ultrasound, I packed my thumb drive, hoping to snag a few of the pictures, but the hospital recently upgraded to a new machine, and they were able to burn me a CD on the spot! Complete with video:



The next Miller is on the way. Watch out world!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top 5 non-fiction books I read this year

1. Cory Doctorow - ©ontent

This is a collection of essays by Cory Doctorow about technology. Here's a (cheesy) video review I did for this book for the Missoula Public Library:



2. Clay Shirky - Here Comes Everybody: The Power to Organize Without Organizations

Another techie book I read this year. I think Clay Shirky understands and writes about the whole 2.0 thing better than anyone else. He doesn't just rely on buzzwords to explain social networks, he dissects them and shows you why they work, and what they can be used for. The biggest lesson I learned from this book was his assertion that until a technology becomes mundane and well known, it can't be truly leveraged by a majority of people.

3. Jay Ryan - 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals, and independent Rock

Awesome poster art. As an ex-band guy, I totally dig his designs. He made posters for the likes of Shellac, Sebadoh and Silkworm. That in and of itself makes him a legend.

4. Seth Godin - Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

I attended an online Library Management course this year and for our final project we read a book on management. Usually those books are insufferable. This one wasn't. It reminded me a little of Daniel Quinn's "Beyond Civilization" but more practical. He introduces lots of simple, but big, ideas succinctly.

5. The Best American NonRequired Reading 2009 (Edited by Dave Eggers)

Even though there is quite a bit of fiction in this collection, the non-fiction is what stood out for me. "Diary of a Fire Lookout" by Philip Conners made me nostalgic for the woods I grew up in. "Mississippi Drift" by Matthew Power was a cautionary tale about dropping off the grid. All in all, totally worth checking out and reading a few of the pieces.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When life gives you lemons, preserve those lemons

Back in Missoula, I visited The Silk Road as often as I could before moving. One night we ordered an appetizer of warmed olives, pretty standard. But these olives came with tiny slices of preserved lemons. They were awesome. I had to have more, but I haven't seen them on any menu since. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I gathered:
  • 3 Lemons (any type will do, but I'm told Meyer Lemons are the way to go)
  • Canning and Pickling Salt
  • A large sized canning jar
  • Water
Then I cut off the nubs on the sides of the lemons and scored the skin about 8 times on each lemon from one severed nub to the other. I added 1/3 cup salt to 6 cups of water and brought that to a boil. Then I boiled the lemons for 8 minutes and turned the heat off. I left them in the warm water for another 30 minutes. I dropped the lemons in the jar and then poured the water I boiled them in over the top, completely covering them. Then I put the top on and screwed down the ring and waited. And waited. Each day I flipped the jar so the salt wouldn't settle. I'm told you can also shake the jar everyday. After 7 days, I pried off the lid and tasted.

Delicious. Not too salty and still tart.

Now I just need to figure out what to use them for. They aren't really just snack food by themselves. They factor heavily in Moroccan cuisine, so I'll have to do some research and figure out what I can make with these awesome preserved lemons.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Webolution

When I woke up this morning, I remembered the word webolution from my dream. I thought it was a funny word, so I made this (less-funny) comic.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Free Hip Hop Albums

It isn't radical to post an album for free online anymore. It's risky, but more and more, it is becoming the best way to get your name out there. In an environment where the music industry seems to care more about profit and selling ringtones to tweens than enabling artists to create art, it seems more and more artists are forging a name for themselves and posting albums online.

The problem is, most of it really sucks. These two albums don't. You should check them out.

Debaser - Back to Work


Debaser is Sapient and Ethic from the mighty Sandpeople crew from Portland. Sapient just might be the hardest working emcee/producer in Hip Hop. This is the second of three albums he's giving away in as many months. That's on top of a solo album, a Sandpeople EP, and an upcoming collaboration with Luckyiam from the Living Legends.

The album features guest appearances by the aforementioned Luckyiam, Illmaculate (Sandpeople), Rasco (from Cali Agents), and Phat Kat, but the real stars of the album are Debaser themselves. Fantastic wordplay and banging production. It's easy to see how hungry these two are. Listening to the album makes you hope they break through, there aren't many who deserve it more.


The Slew - 100%


Here's the story, Kid Koala and Dynomite D were set to produce the soundtrack to a movie. The movie never happened. Never will. The two enlisted the help of the rhythm section of Wolfmother to perform the album on a one off tour. 100% is a psych-rock infused journey to an alternate reality. DJs are guitar wielding rock stars, disembodied voices of blues singers drop knowledge, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Strangely enough, it's one of Kid Koala's most accessible albums to date. They gave away the album so people would have more fun at the live shows, which have now ended. But don't think this is a live-only experience. 100% is one of the most original recordings I've heard in a long, long time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I made a comic strip.

My library will hopefully have access to a mobile laptop lab in the coming year. I was looking at some possible uses for it, and came across the Bitstrip website. I can't really "do art" very well, so this site is my only hope of having my own comic strip. It's so easy kids could dive right in and have a blast. And there's the bonus of the site being relying heavily on social networking and remixing. If there's one thing newspapers and morning shows have taught me, it's that the kids these days love social networking. So, there's my first idea for uses of the lab, a "Make your own comic" workshop for kids.

I figured I should practice using the site if I'm going to be helping kids with it, so I created my first comic! I think it's pretty neat. You might disagree.



It looks like it will be just a tease on this blog, so click the picture to see the exciting conclusion!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Welcome to The House of Lords

Darcy and I were in Iowa City a few weeks ago with my parents. We ended up staying in a lightly themed motel, because theme hotels always beat out non-theme motels. Seriously.

When my parents hit the sack, we decided to venture downstairs to "The House of Lords." The look of excitement on Darcy's face is entirely warranted.

After opening the doors, you are greeted by this glorious water wheel. I didn't think a picture was enough, so here's video. Yes, that is a moat.

video

Behind the bar is a view of the deep end of the swimming pool a la the Sip n' Dip in Great Falls, MT. There isn't a mermaid, or a lounge piano player, but this place is great.

We ordered a couple of beers, and the bartender matter-of-factly asked, "You want a glass or goblet?" Obviously we chose a goblet. Given the choice, you always choose the goblet.

All the drinks had medieval names, and one, called the "Bell-ringer," boasted a $150 price tag. It appeared to be some sort of punch bowl. I wish we had the money and the stamina to order it, but it will have to wait for another time. Any takers? We'll drive you out, you buy the drink!

I'm also a sucker for funny bathroom names.


It might not be quite as awesome as the Sip n' Dip, but what bar even holds a candle to that place? The House of Lords was worth the trip, and we'll be back for sure.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

100 Posts in 3 years

So, I'm not the most prolific with this whole blog thing. I feel like I've posted more than that, but I assume that has to do with the 300 or so posts I logged while working for Missoula Public Library. Or the 500 or so Top 5's I posted on Myspace.

For your information I am still very active on these social media platforms:

Twitter - Learn more about my daily doings than you really care to.
Facebook - This is like my invite-only email service.
Last.fm - I'm not listening to everything alphabetically, but you can see what I'm listening to by checking here. Just be aware that I'm not the one listening to Sufjan Stevens over and over again. That would be my lovely wife while I'm at work.

I rarely, if ever am active on:

Flickr - I'm almost at the 200 picture limit, and don't know if I want to pay for the premium service.
Myspace - Until/If I have more music to share, this space will host tumbleweeds, and nothing new.

Hope you'll stick around for the next 100 here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ready, Aim, Fire Pit

This weekend we built a fire pit in our backyard. Granted, it isn't the biggest or most impresive fire pit you've ever seen, but it works and only cost about 20 bucks for materials and took less than an hour.

First we found a relatively flat area of our yard that was a safe distance away from the garage, bushes, trees, etc. and laid out our stones to form a circle. We marked ground inside the stones with the shovel and moved them away.

That made it easier to dig our hole. I dug down about a foot, trying to keep the walls as straight as possible.

Inside the first hole, I dug a second hole another 8 inches or so down. Doing this, I'm told, creates a sump which aides in draining your fire pit. The draining is the most important part, otherwise you could just dig a shallow hole and be done with it.

Then I added a bag of pea gravel. I filled it up to roughly 4 inches from the top. The gravel will allow water to drain.

Then I covered the gravel with a healthy amout of sand and replaced the stones, and it was done. One of the easiest weekend projects ever.

Of course, I didn't just come up with the idea myself. I used the Google to find a great resource walking me through the construction. I think we'll call it, "The Little Fire Pit that Could."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So, would you like "The Tour?"


"No. I get it." - Larry David.

We've finally gotten all settled here in Slater, Iowa. This is our awesome house. I love being a homeowner, but I hate property taxes. We live kinda on the edge of town. The street that runs in front of our house is by far the busiest in Slater. About three blocks from our place it turns into a highway that runs 9 miles north to Ames, home of Iowa State University and the Cyclones. People are really, really into college sports here. I think I'll stay out of it.

Here's the backyard and our oldest tree. Unfortunately the wind usually blows in the direction that would make the tree fall on our house in a big storm. It's still a sturdy tree, but we'll have to cut it down in the foreseeable future. Storms in the midwest are way different than Montana storms. The wind is crazy and the thunder is louder than I've ever heard.

Darcy and her mom painted the kitchen last week. Before it was a mint green. It looks waaaay better now than it did.

We picked this metal table up in Des Moines, which is about 20 miles to the south.

This table also came from Des Moines. The awesome China hutch came with the house. And here is photographic proof that Jeffreys survived the 18 hour car ride from Missoula. He did really well for the first 17 hours, then got ansy and scared for the last hour. All in all he made the trip like a real trooper.

Owning a couch set makes me feel really old. But they're really comfortable, so who cares. We also go to bed around 10:30 most nights. Uh oh.

We finally got our entertainment center hooked up and the speakers are fully operational. It's good to be vindicated after hauling heavy speakers accross the country. Darcy admits they sound better than the TV.

Upstairs we just have 4 rooms. They're pretty boring and not really ready to make their debut yet. Once they're painted and set up, you'll see them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Life Changes

I've been hired as a library director in Slater, IA. Darcy and I just bought a house there. Right now we're living in our apartment with all of our belongings packed away, so it feels a lot like camping. Camping with TV and the Internet.

We move away from Missoula on the 25th of this month. You can see me at 4 pm this Friday (6/19) at the library for a cake and punch reception. Or just give me a call and we'll grab a last drink before I leave town.

When I do leave, the best way to follow my adventures would be to follow me on Twitter. I'll be posting there throughout the drive and almost exclusively until we get connected to the tubes of the Internets at our new place. Twitter is another life change I made recently. It's lame, but it's easy and I can clog the tubes via cell phone now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Long Grilling Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with the start of summer, and the best way to really celebrate is to spend as much time in front of a grill cooking as possible, and of course, to remember those who have served our country. So, that's what we did this weekend.

Saturday we got things started by realizing one of my biggest goals in the field of BBQ: grilling a pizza. We got up that morning and picked up some fresh Basil at the Farmer's Market and then went on to Le Petit to pick up some delicious pizza dough. Darcy and I were having some trouble with the dough, but luckily Pat showed up and put some of his restaurant experience to good use and got our dough ready to go down on the grill.

If you try this at home, be sure you oil your grill well. You don't want the pizza dough to stick to the grill, because then you're not going to get any pizza. I'd also recommend getting the grill really hot on only one side and leaving the other side to cook with indirect heat. That way you can quickly get the dough cooked and then add your toppings, which I would recommend cooking on the grill before you even start thinking about the crust. When the dough is done, move it to the side without charcoal, add your toppings and cheese, close the grill and let that cheese get nice and gooey.

We ended up making 4 kinds of pizza. BBQ Chicken which used BBQ Sauce, Chicken, Corn and Black Beans, A Tomato, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar pizza, A "Salsa pizza" with cilantro, onions, corn, black beans and tomato, and a veggie Italian sausage pizza with Basil. They were all delicious. 
We grilled again on Memorial Day proper, sticking mainly to the usual BBQ fare of Catfish, Buffalo Sirloin Steak, Chicken and Hot Dogs, but experimenting a little bit by making stuffed mushrooms. The idea originated one night when Pat and I decided we should make Jalapeno poppers on the grill someday. One problem, the store was suspiciously out of Jalapenos on Memorial Day, so we picked up mushrooms, bacon, Serrano peppers and a hot red pepper and got to work. 

We sauteed everything together in bacon grease on the stove and then added some bread crumbs and water to make stuffing.

Then we put the mushrooms on the grill and topped each one off with some Romano cheese. They turned out fantastically. Nice and spicy but also really flavorful.

This weekend was really about trying some new things on the grill. I think both pizza and stuffed mushrooms will be included in my BBQ repertoire. It was a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilling in a Big Way

Nice weather has finally arrived in Missoula. That means more Barbeque in a big way. Don't get me wrong, I don't put away the grill in the winter, but when the weather gets nice I tend to grill way more, pretty much everyday.

This weekend was a great kickoff. On Saturday night we grilled up some kebobs to repay our friends for an awesome campfire the night before. We had red peppers, red onion, mushroom, potatoes and both sirloin AND buffalo kebobs. It was delicious. I also prepared one of my new grill favorites, spicy green beans. I take green beans and add lemon juice, red pepper flakes and garlic, wrap them in aluminum foil and let them steam up on the grill. You can't see them in the picture, because they're kinda boring to look at on the grill, so just enjoy the vibrant colors of all the veggies.

Then on Sunday night, Pat came over and we made sliders. We decided to each season half. I went with an Asian flair and used garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cayanne pepper and my secret ingredient seasame seeds. Pat went with chopped onion, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of Sriracha. We seasoned the buns, toasted them up and topped the burgers with Provalone and lettuce. They were sensational.


All said we had nine burgers to eat, but we finished them all. It took a while, but we got there.

Next weekend is Memorial Day, so the grilling isn't going to stop anytime soon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Earth Week, End

It seems our drink choices for tonight were color co-ordinated. I'm just glad this didn't happen on St. Patricks Day.

By the by, I've decided to put the iTunes listening on hiatus until further notice. I'm listening to Tripping Daisy's "Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb" right now and I couldn't be happier. Rules are for fools.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Top 5 Records I Picked Up Today

I got my record collection up to speed today. For the first time in a long while I actually went out and spent a substantial amount of money on some vinyl at my favorite record store in the world, Ear Candy. Here's a look at the cream of the crop:


1. The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines

I can't believe it took me this long to get into King Khan. Reminds me of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in their prime. This will be one of my summer jams.


2. Metal Attack: The Cream of Hard Rock

A limited edition, colored vinyl from Germany circa 1982. Features Motorhead, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. Plus there's a guy on the front with a screaming shield.



3. Fucked Up - No Epiphany 7"

Awesome band, awesome track. Plus the flip side is a No Age remix of said track. Should be listened to loud to really get the full effect.



4. Josh Martinez - The World Famous Sex Buffet

Josh Martinez is one of my favorite rappers of all time. I was going to wait on this, until I noticed that one of my good friends, Elliot B., produced the last track on the album. 



5. Vile Blue Shades - John Thursday California Adventure

Vile Blue Shades, from Salt Lake City, comes through town on a regular basis. So much so that this album was put out through Wäntage USA. They always put on a great show, and this is the first record I've heard from them that really capture it. My only gripe is that the "mp3" download the album promises is actually a Windows Media Audo download. Laaaaame. 


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Egg-celent

On Saturday we dyed some awesome Easter eggs. Using vinegar with the little capsules makes the colors super bright. These are my favorite eggs I made, plus Darcy's adorable little Jeffreys egg.



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Cat - The Gourmet

This was Jeffreys treat this evening. Yeah, he's ballin'.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Now That's What I Call Breakfast

May I present to you Peppered Bacon and a Garlic, Mushroom, Egg and Cheese Scramble. It was one of my best breakfasts in quite a while.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Massive Wrap Up (Part 1)

It's been a little bit since I've updated. I'm waaaaaay behind in posting reviews of what I've been listening to, so I'm going to give each artist a bite-sized wrap up so I can feel up to date.

Blondie - All of Deborah "Don't call me Debbie" Harry's tracks are fantastic. Not taking anything away from the rest of the group, but she's really the shining star. Plus, she released the first ever rap song to reach mainstream America in "Rapture." Even their strange album, "Curse of Blondie" is surprisingly listenable.

The Blood Brothers - Awful. Why do I have crap like this on my computer? Maybe a better question, why don't I delete crap like this? I'm not sure, my go to answer is always, "space is cheap," which is true.

The Bloodhound Gang - Embarrassing. I'll admit to getting some juvenile kicks out of "One Fierce Beer Coaster" when I was in middle school. But why do I have their new album? Even I'll never know.

Blueprint - 1988 is a pretty solid Hip-hop album. It reminds me of, well, 1988. It has the Boom-Bap feel and his lyrics are pretty good. I'm still trying to remember who knocked him out for selling him a used beat at Scribble Jam years ago. Anyone?

Blurum 13 - I got their first album because it featured production by Kid Koala and DJ Vadim, but think that Killah Platapus might be one of the most slept on rappers in history. Look him up! (You might not find anything though...)

...to be continued

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Things I Don't Trust Without Cords: Phones and Marionettes

The title of this post was from the movie "The Rocker" which I expected to hate, but strangely didn't. As a sign of my old(ish) age, I identified with Riann Wilson's character and hated the kids. Although, I would expect everyone my age, and also everyone who watches the Office, to do the same.

I have a new phone. It is much, much sleeker than my old phone. I never thought I'd see the day when I had a phone this fancy, but then again, I never thought I'd see the day that I would turn my back on Myspace. I must have outgrown it. I did post more than 500 blogs there, but that's all in the past now. So, I am officially moving my Top 5 blog here to blogspot.

Top 5 Reasons My New Phone is Awesome (when compared to my old phone)
  1. I can receive and SEND text messages (and see who they're from!).
  2. Crossing the State line no longer means I'm without a phone.
  3. This phone takes pictures and I can listen to music on it.
  4. It looks cool. Seriously, look at that handsome, sliding wünderphone up there.
  5. I could someday use it for email. Someday. When I have lots and lots of spare cash.
Oh, and while writing this post I came up with the name for my (now, since I came up with the name) inevitable heavy metal side project:

ALT-0252

Confused? Just open a blank document, hold down the alt key and type 0252 and see what happens.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hey Dude Ranch



I only wish this post focused on Hey Dude. Instead, it's a return to my iTunes library, where I listened to Blink-182's Dude Ranch. It was the only album from the band I've owned, or even listened to fully. I have to say it has it's moments. Songs like Josie and Dammit are still pretty listenable. I like the fact that at this point, the band still pretty much sucked. The vocals are terrible, the instrumentation is rudimentary at best, and for that reason it really becomes punk rock.

Even though I don't think I would or could stomach listening to the album as a whole again, I'll always be OK with hearing a single track here and there while the iTunes is set on shuffle.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Anaconda Don't Want None...

Last weekend, I went to Anaconda for a library conference called Offline. It focuses on computers in libraries, which is pretty much what I do for a living. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you may have noticed a bizarre post Friday. Those were my notes for the presentation I gave at the conference. I was demonstrating how easy it is to convert a Google Doc into a blog post, then I forgot to delete the post. It is gone now, though.

While I was in town, I visited the Washoe Theatre. It's this crazy, authentic building that hasn't really changed since the thirties.

We got a tour from the historian/usher who has been researching the place for ten years or so. It contains one of the last true silver screens in the country. Maybe the last, I was more concerned with getting a decent picture in the dark than I was with listening most of the time.

The lobby was amazing. This couch also looks like my couch, so I thought I would take a picture. The background of the painting was real gold flakes that were "painted" on. Pretty cool.

I wish I could say I stayed and watched a movie, but they were playing Yes Man with Jim Carrey. There was no way I could bring myself to watch that. Even at the ridiculously low price of 4 bucks. So I went with some like-minded librarians to get a drink. I was heckled for choosing to drink Rainer in a can. A decision I stand by.



On the way back to the hotel, I spotted this gem of a store. It was a dollar store called "Justa Dollar," which offered a Lay-Away plan. There must be circumstances I don't fully understand, but it's funny nonetheless.



Well done Anaconda, well done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pat's Pills

In my quest to work my camera better, I took my first manual mode picture of a person. This is Pat, taking some America pills to make him more patriotic. Actually, they were some sort of antihistamine, but still, I like the Red, White and Blue.

And what better than to wash it down with a can of Sparks?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day in Butte, America


First things first, Butte gets a bad rap. It is a little deserved, but uptown Butte is one of the coolest places in America, if not the world. The buildings are awesome and old. Everything is dripping with history. Which is why I decided to take Darcy there for Valentine's Day. She didn't know where we were going until we turned on to I-90 going east. She correctly guessed our destination before we'd driven a mile.

Merle Haggard was playing in town, but on the wrong side of town for us. He played at the Butte Civic Center, which is in the gentrified "McDonalds" side of town, so we opted to sit the show out. Trying to get a hotel room was almost impossible because of the concert, so we ended up staying at Eddy's Motel. This was the view from our front stoop.

Since this was Darcy's first time venturing into Butte, I figured we should get the Berkley Pit out of the way right at the get go. We weren't so lucky, since apparently the observation deck was closed for the season. I'm not sure why they would close, but I think they charge a two dollar fee to look at the pit. We tried climbing up and around, but they actually piled dirt in the line of sight, so you have to pay to see one of the most toxic bodies of water in the country. This is as close as we got.

We had late dinner reservations, so we wandered around uptown to grab a few drinks while we waited. I'd heard rumors that the seminal bar M&Ms had closed down, but we saw lights on inside, it was open! We had a few beers and talked to the new owner who actually had relatives in Blue Earth, the tiny town in Minnesota where Darcy is from. The bar was awesome, and we heard stories about Obama, Schweitzer and countless other politicians who have all stopped to grab a drink or a bite to eat.

We stopped back at M&Ms in the morning for breakfast and had to wait almost 40 minutes just to order. Still it was worth it. I ordered my standard greasy spoon breakfast: bacon, eggs over easy, hashbrowns, sourdough toast and coffee. Usually you get about 3 pieces of bacon, but here I got a whopping 5 and a half! Sweet. Plus, Darcy got a free beer because we had to wait so long. We hit the road back to Missoula right after breakfast. We were itching for a quick drink on the way home, and planned on going to the great sounding "Chalet Bearmouth." It was closed and for sale. We ended up going to Harold's in Bonner, and wound up in the middle of a jamboree.

Apparently, once a month a bunch of old guys get together in Bonner, Alberton, Frenchtown, basically anywhere that isn't Missoula. There was sporadic dancing, and at one point a false arm that had been modified with a guitar slide on the end sitting on our table. One of the best random stops we could have made.

Butte was great, of course we aren't the first Missoulian's to visit Butte recently, Mitch and Melissa(and Ludwig of course) and Christopher recounted their adventures in Butte, America on their respective blogs.