I could complain, but it wouldn't do any good. Sometimes you just feel like it though.

As I already mentioned, Shannon and I got a new car. I really like it. It’s a 2003 Ford Focus ZTS, and it’s blue. Yesterday was our sixth anniversary, so we drove to Coeur d’Alene. I surprised her by taking her to one of her favorite restaurants, The Olive Garden. I’ve heard of others driving all the way to Spokane or Coeur d’Alene for dinner; I got the idea from talking to Rocky the other day. We had a great time. Getting there was half the fun.

It's the drive back that was not so fun. About ninety miles from Missoula, I hit an ice chunk that was sitting in the middle of the road. I was going about 70 mph and it was dark, so I didn’t have time to swerve completely out of the way. I ran over it with the tire. So I ended up changing a flat out in the cold. These things happen.

The real annoyance happened when I took the car to the tire shop to get fixed today. I didn’t even notice as I was changing the flat out in the dark, but that chunk of ice had taken a chunk out of my wheel. So now I’m looking at needing a new wheel, a new tire, an alignment, and hopefully that’s all. Luckily, I already got insurance for it. Luckily, I opted for the $250 deductible. Apparently, the wheel alone is more than that. Unfortunately, the shop can’t start repairs until the claim adjuster returns the estimate, which can take up to 72 hours, and when they do they’ll have to order a wheel because they don’t have one in stock. Arrgh, I don’t have the time to mess with all this. I’m not getting my homework done as it is, and there goes my digital camera.

Sometimes life can feel like camping trip in the snow. You’re cold, miserable, and sometimes feel like complaining, but you know that it just won’t do any good. So you put up the tent, build a bonfire, and eat some hot Mountain House that warms you from the inside out. I’m not quite sure of all the implications of that simile, I’m just remembering my last hike, but really things aren’t too bad. I can’t complain.

Congratulations, Andrew, Nayibe, and Javier! I was overjoyed to read about Josiah's arrival.

Andrew, I still remember poaching golf courses, running the base perimeter, the lodge people, the old red Jimmy, NLB, Frazer, ICTHUS and mingle time, our ode to an Aussie in Russia, and so much more.

God bless you two. I hope to see Josiah George in person soon.
Yesterday, I put a dollar into the Coke machine, and it spit out two Cokes and five Diet Cokes. Funny. They had a repair number on the front, so I called it and let them know that they might want to come and check out the machine.

When I told the lady at the other end what happened, she said, "I'm sorry - if that's the right response." I asked her what I should do with all these extra cokes, and she said, "Well, I guess if there is no one to turn them in to, you can just keep them." Too bad I don't care for Diet Coke, but it's good that people in my office do.

Afterwards, an older gentleman who saw the whole thing said, "that was very honest of you." But really, was this anything special? It's too bad that doing the right thing doesn't seem normal.
By the Sea Shore. Well, she really is a bargain finder. My wife has found, in the last few months, several good deals. First it was all the laminate flooring, then the cheap furniture (which we haven't actually bought yet), and now she found a great deal on a new car. In fact, it was so good that when I went to the bank to get a loan, Monica the loan officer thought it was too good to be true. Not only was it well below retail, but it was even below wholesale. So she ran a free carfax report, which saved me $25, and it came back great. The car had no wrecks or anything, and it was even reported that the car was serviced every month.

This is a great replacement for the old Neon. Do you know anyone who wants a '96 Neon for say $700? It comes with a CD player, but it also could use some mechanical attention.

Of course, all the real thanks goes to God for always providing abundantly for us.
Like lafalda was saying over there at el blogo, it snowed today. There was about a couple of inches on the truck in the morning, but the real excitement started around 6:00 a.m. when I arrived at Walmart to meet J.J. and Beau. It began to come down hard and it didn't stop for about four hours.

Oh, in case you were wondering, J.J., Beau and I get together Wednesday mornings at the coffee shop in Walmart just to talk about God and make sure life is going well for each other. You could call it an accountability group if you want, but I tend to steer away from "Christianese." Perhaps I’ll do a post on that later. Anyway, this morning it was kind of interesting because when I walked in there was Russian Dance/Pop music playing. Cool, but then she shut it off. Here are some snippets from the conversation:

Me: Can I get a glass of water please?
B: Sure.
Me: Is that Russian music you were playing?
Barista: Yeah, but I turned it off. I’m leaving.
M: Oh that’s cool. It doesn’t bother me.
B: How did you know it was Russian music?
M: They were singing Russian words.

Here’s a side-note: I have a habit of doing this, and it is kind of annoying to my wife and maybe others. For fun, I just respond with the obvious answer to a question, and not what was implicitly asked. Obviously, what she meant was how I knew the language was Russian.

Anther fun one is when you are bundled up on a relatively warm day and someone asks, "Are you cold?" You can say, "No. Why would I be with this hat and everything?" Well, back to the story.

B: Well, how did you know they were Russian?
M: I’m studying Russian at the U.
B: Oh, what year are you on?
M: My second.
B: Is Prednewa your teacher?
M: I had Ona Renner-Fahey last year, and I this year I have her.
B: You must be pretty good at Russian.
M: Well, it’s hard. I think that I’ve learned a lot, but then I hear a native conversation, and it’s hard to pick much out.
B: How do you practice.
M: I have some friends who speak Russian, and I work with a guy from the Ukraine.
B: Doesn't he speak Ukrainian?
M: Well, he speaks some, but his native language is Russian.
B: Do you know so-and-so?
M: No.
B: Are there any Georgians in your class?
M: Yeah. Gregory.
B: Oh, I hang out with him. Funny.
Я: А как вас завут?
Б: Лила. Как вас завут?
Я: Ланс.
Б: Что?
Я: Ланс.
Б: Очень Приятно.
Я: Очень Приятно. Спасибо за воду.
Б: Пожалуйсто.

It’s funny, I seem to meet Russians/Russian speakers all over town.

Also related to Russian, my teacher announced in class that we will be playing Russian Scrabble in class for bonus points on the final. I am ready for it.

In other news, I have more to write about, but I’ll wait until I have a couple pictures.
Last night, somewhat spontaneously, Pavel and I decided to wait outside Target to buy an XBox 360. It was a cold night. With the low temperature at 27 degrees at 5:00 a.m. I really don't have the money to spend on an XBox or the time to play it even. I just thought that it would be a fun way to capture an audioblog, and make some cash.

There were only 16 systems, and I was sixth in line. The first eight were the premium systems ($400) with hard drives and a bunch of extras, and the last eight were the core systems ($300). I ended up trading spots with a guy who really wanted a premium system. He gave $150!

Now, I'm listing my first item on eBay, we'll see how it goes.

Dustin waiting for an XBox.Oh, and here's that interview with Dustin, who was waiting outside of Best Buy since Sunday. Dustin is a physicist and computer programmer who wants to program video game physics.

this is an audio post - click to play
I should be going to bed right now, but I wanted to write about the weekend. I just got the photos developed.

Tina, Scott, Brandon, and I took a vote Friday morning on whether to car-camp or do some actual backpacking. We decided to backpack even though it would be cold and snowy. Before the hike though, we went with Zach, Rachael, and Rocky to cut some wood for a family in Stevensville. They wanted to give us a pig in exchange for cutting up some logs.

We got quite a bit cut in the few hours we were there. We had two chainsaws running and the others were collecting the wood and taking it to the lean-to. The people whose wood we were cutting were gone, but they left us some pizza to bake, and warned us not to let the cows out. One of the cows got out, but we were able to round it up and put it back in its pen.

After taking the edge off of our endurance, we headed up to Canyon Creek for the hike. The car couldn't make it all the way up to the trailhead due to the slick, and steep, mountain road so we parked it in a turnout and hiked the half-mile to the trailhead. We stuck our thumbs out to one guy who drove by, but he didn't pick us up.

We reached the trailhead at 4:30, which is not an ideal time to start a four-mile hike when the sun sets at 5:30 or so. We hiked in the dark for a while, and although we didn’t reach the lake like we had hoped, we found a nice little spot to set up the tents at about 7:00. It was getting quite cold at this point, so we build a fire and made some hot cocoa, hot cider, and hot food. Nothing beats a Mountain House meal in the cold. You can feel the ball of heat go down your throat, and into your stomach. We build what started out as a little struggling fire into a bonfire with six-foot flames. That warmed us up.

Somewhere around this point, we noticed that Tina was wearing tennis shoes and cotton socks. I said, “your feet must be cold,” and she said that they were very cold. Tina must never complain about anything, because she didn’t complain about the cold once on this incredibly cold hike. Scott gave her his extra pair of wool socks, and she dried her shoes out around the fire.

The next morning I woke up early, and headed up the trail for about a half-mile without reaching the lake so I came back to camp. Tina was up by this time. We didn’t have any water left so I went down to the creek and filtered three Nalgenes, which took about an hour with my incredibly slow filter. Thank God for Gore-Tex boots because I broke through the ice and planted a foot in the stream but didn’t get wet.

When I got back from pumping water everyone else was up, and we decided to forego making it to the lake because it was already getting late in the day. So after Brandon, who has poor circulation, finished warming his toes to a tolerable state, we headed back.

You know how nice it is too get back to the car from a hike, especially a difficult hike? It is really nice, but when Scott got back to where he parked the car wasn’t there. He had a conversation with a couple loggers that went something like this:

Scott: Have you guys seen a blue Subaru?

Logger: No, we saw another Subaru driving up.

Scott: I could swear I parked here.

Then he looked over the edge of the road, and there was the old Subaru. The loggers wondered why there wasn’t snow on the ground where they parked. From the looks of the scene, someone broke the windows in the car, took it out of gear, and released the brake, and shoved it off the mountain. We called the police and began the wait. One guy stopped. He was hunting with his daughter. He asked us if we were okay, and if we needed a ride. We said thanks and asked him if he could take Tina and Brandon to town and Scott and I would wait. Then they guy said, “Oh, well I’m not going there. I’m just going over to the next canyon.” I guess he didn’t really want to give us a ride.

Canyon CreekLater, another car came down, and a nice couple picked up Tina and Brandon. They waited at Perkins, and we waited for the Highway Patrol. Rocky picked up Scott and me after the car was out, and we met Courtney and Zach at Perkins with Brandon, Tina, and the nice couple who even stayed to talk to Tina and Brandon.

We got back to Missoula quite a bit later than planned on Saturday, and Scott left for Great Falls quite a bit later than planned. My truck is stuck at the guys, because my keys are in the car or on the mountain. All this surprised us, but it didn’t surprise God. We trust that he’ll take care of everthing.
If you didn't already know, Google has a new tool: Google Blog Search. This makes it really handy to search through those old posts of yours. It's based off of your RSS feed, which for us on Blogger is your url plus a "/atom.xml". So for me that's http://lancefisher.blogspot.com/atom.xml. You can click it, and your browser will figure out a way to render it. The downside is that blogger doens't include the comments in the RSS feeds. I've written them emails in the past requesting this along with other comment related feature requests.

So the next question may be, "how can I use this to search lance's blog?" Well, you can type "site:lancefisher.blogspot.com borsch" and get only the posts on my blog that contain the word "borsch".

I just replaced the Pico search box I had with one that uses Google's blog search. I like this better, because I don't have to worry about reindexing the search like I had to with Pico. Here's how you can add a Google blog search box to your blog:

Put the following code into your template (right before your links is a good spot):
<!-- Begin Google Search Box -->
<form method="get" action="http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch" id="blogsearchform">
<input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="lancefisher.blogspot.com" />
<input id="SearchInputText" type="text" name="as_q" />
<input id="SearchInputButton" type="submit" value="search" />
<!-- End Google Search Box -->

Now, just change lancefisher.blogspot.com to your blog's url minus the http:// part. If you want to get a little fancier and add some style to it to make it look nicer, you can add this to your template:

/* Google Search Styles
----------------------------------------------- */
#SearchInputText {
  border: 2px solid #778866;
  font:x-small Verdana,Sans-serif;

#SearchInputButton {
  border: 2px solid #778866;
  font:x-small Verdana,Sans-serif;
  background-color: #556655;
  color: #778866;
  font-weight: bold;

Just look for the </style> and put this code right before it. The #77886 and #556655 are colors that look good on my blog. So unless you are Katie, they probably won't look good on yours. Just find your colors somewhere else in your template, and use those.
This has been the week of openings. On Tuesday, Bailey's Market opened right across the street from my house. I've been waiting for this for a while now. They have a little coffee shop and convenience store. They also sell baked goods from Bernice's and Chocolat. I can even connect to my home wireless network. So I dragged myself out of bed extra early Tuesday morning and showed up at 7:00 when they opened. I can proudly say that I was the first customer.

Yesterday, Krispy Kreme opened in Missoula which so far is their smallest venue. I'm not sure what it is, but Missoulians love Krispy Kreme. Groups would drive four hours to Spokane to get them and sell them for fundraisers. They are in the parking lot of Lowe's on Reserve.

I went this morning to get a dozen doughnuts for the office. They look like they are set up for a big rush. There are orange cones set up to direct traffic through the drive through and even a couple of guys in orange to stand around and talk to each other. Here's my conversation with the drive through worker:

DTW: Welcome to Krispy Kreme, how many dozen can I get you?

Me: I'd like a dozen of the original doughnuts please.

DTW: Anything else?

Me: I'll have a cup of coffee too, please.

Now, I just looked at the menu, and noticed that they have four different coffee blends to choose from: Smooth, Rich, Bold, and Decaf if I remember right.

Me: I'll have the smooth blend, please.

DTW: You want the fruit?

Me: No, the coffe that is smooth.

DTW: You want our frozen fruit?


DTW: Okay. (then thinking the headset was off) Did you hear that guy say he wanted the coffee that was rude? What the he77 is that supposed to mean?

So I just chuckled to myself, drove up, got my doughnuts and coffee, and drove off. Then I noticed that the coffee was the rich blend. I thought to myself, at least they were probably to busy to spit in it.
I have been back from hunting for almost a week now. This is the finished product. My dad got two and so did I. I took home 45 pounds of hamburger, including about 100 patties. I also have a bunch of steaks. I need to hurry up and finish off last year's meat. You should check out my hunting photos on flickr. It sure is pretty there.

I'll probably bring some meat in to my old math teacher. He always enjoys it. He's a pretty cool guy, he sort-of re-ignited my love of math which has since died down once again. Oh well, that's the way some things go. If you ever take some Abstract Algebra at the U of M, try and get Adam Nyman for a teacher.

I can say I get a real enjoyment from teaching math. I've been tutoring a friend in his Math 107 class, and I like explaining the stuff, and seeing people finally understand it. It seems like lots of people didn't have the greatest math teachers in high school. I had good math teachers all the way through, and even though I often didn't get along with them I learned a lot.


10:10 AM | 4 Comments

My dad will be here in 32 to 62 minutes to pick me up to go hunting. Every year since I was twelve, we've gone up to my uncle's house in Shelby, and he takes us out hunting. He knows several ranchers from his accounting practice, and they let us hunt on their land. It is really beautiful up there - quite different from Western Montana, but beautiful in its own right.

I missed four years of hunting while I was in the Air Force, and now my sister and brother are missing some hunting. Usually we all go, but Ted is in Wisconsin, and Renee is too busy with school in Bozeman. So it is just my dad, his brother, his brother-in-law, and me.

Our usual way of hunting is not like the lazy road hunting you may have heard about. We get out and hike. Up to ten miles in a day. We start very early. We'll shoot a deer, clean it out, mark its location in the GPS, maybe leave a little flashing light, and continue on to the next. Then in the evening, when we can't shoot anymore, we'll go back and drag out the ones we shot. We've gotten up to seven in a day using this method.

This year I rigged up a harness from some webbing to wear for pulling them out. I also packed my old Advantix camera, so hopefully I'll have some photos to post. I just need to buy some film for it.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll most likely be disconnected until Wednesday. Poka.
True story. No, really it is.

The building I work in is an old building with many mysteries. Wait a minute, I work in the 70's looking addition. Okay. The building I work in is a building from the 70's attached to an old building with many mysteries.

J.K. tells me of a story when late one night when he was working with J.G. He went to get a pop, and saw someone out of the corner of his eye. J.G. saw it too. He went into a utility closet. When J.K. went to look, the mysterious man had disappeared. J.K. says maybe he went into the hole in the wall, but the jail used to be in this building, and there are stories of ghosts of inmates who hanged themselves.

Perhaps some of those stories can be somewhat explained by yesterday's discovery. I overheard the janitor talking with Jason about the discovery of a courthouse troll. Well, not a real troll, just a person who kind of behaved that way. Perhaps it's mean to call him a troll. Anyway, this person was living in the walls of the old building. He'd climb in through the utility canal in the utility closet. Apparently he had a nest in the open ceilings.

I guess there was a little bit of a scene when he was asked to leave. The janitor, who is a woman, (which makes it a bit scarier) told him to leave. He responded with something like, "you can't make me leave, this is a public building! I'm higher ranking than you! I'm a citizen!" I guess some deputies made him leave after that.

Perhaps that also explains where a couple of our laptops went, and other missing items from around the courthouse. J.G. was kind of "creeped out" by the whole thing so it didn't really help when I said, "I wonder if there are more?"

I hypothesized that the obviously homeless guy had taken the laptop, hooked into the network, and was selling other stolen items on ebay for a living. Who knows? It would make a good story.

The hole is now boarded up. That's a good thing. I hope no one is trapped, but I'm sure there is another mysterious way out.
It's about time for an update. Sorry there aren't any photos. My camera is broken, instead you get an exciting magazine trick.

The weekend before last was exceptional. I would encourage every college student to try and go on a foreign mission trip. It does takes quite a bit of sacrifices to come up with the time and money. It also takes a certain amount of faith that God can provide. He can, of course, but still there are many people who never make it on one. We wanted these people to experience what a mission trip is like but on a little bit of a smaller scale. That is what mini mission trips are about. We go somewhere semi-local and help out a church. In this case I went with about eleven others from Chi Alpha up to Plains, MT. All it took was fifteen bucks, a weekend, and some hard work.

Plains is a small town where the industry has all but dried up. About 1,200 people still live there though, I suppose out of habit or because it is beautiful. Many people heat their homes with wood stoves and the average household income is around $26,000 a year.

God often does the most incredible things in the most unlikely of places.
This was the second time I have been to "Church on the Move" in Plains. It is an amazing church. If you want a model of what a church should be to its community this is it. They have a soup kitchen where they provide two meals a week to those who need the food or fellowship; a clothing ministry which provides, among other items, much needed winter coats to families; and a wood ministry which provides wood to people who can't get it themselves or buy it. Even if you can afford to buy wood, finding someone to buy it from can be a challenge.

I really feel fortunate to be a part of this ministry for even a weekend. We helped them with the wood ministry. Some stayed and split wood with the hydraulic log splitters, and some went to the mountains to log. Scott, Dan, and I were with one of the logging teams. We went with a few members of the church, chopped down dead trees, skidded them onto the road, cut them into 18" rounds, and loaded it all into the truck and trailer. We collected four and a half cords.

Dan and I rode up with Ken. Like many people on staff in the church, he has an incredible story. He had, by many standards, a perfect life in Hawaii: Surfing, building hot rods, and flying to the mainland for a weekend whenever he wanted to go snowboarding. Then one day, just over a year ago, after visiting Plains, God gave him and his wife the message that is where he wanted them to be. They sold their stuff, and moved to Plains.

You might not expect something like visiting a small town in Montana to be anything like a foreign mission, but it really is. This church is meeting the needs of its community, and God is working in some really big ways there. I'm excited to see what happens. God often does the most incredible things in the most unlikely of places. Thanks Ken, B.K., Pastor Jim, the cooks, and everyone else who showed us such hospitality and gave me so much inspiration to really love those around me.
Hey, I realize it's been a little while, so here's an update for the weekend. Friday I spent the evening over at the Chi Alpha Guys' house helping build the float for the homecoming parade on Saturday. It turned out really great. We took my old convertible horse trailer, and converted it into a pirate ship. Zach built a platform on top of it which served as a deck. It was raised up enough to provide sitting space in the below deck area and windows out on each side. We installed a trap door to get down there. On the front of the ship we screwed on a plank for people to walk. It went out of the ship and over the back of the truck pulling it. In the bed of the truck we laid down a mattress for a soft landing. When Zach or I would walk the plank during the parade, Peter, dressed as a shark, would attack us upon falling into the truck. The crowds loved it.

Saturday night, Shannon and I went to Serenity which Orson Scott Card has called the best sci-fi movie, ever. I really enjoyed it, and so did Shannon. It is pretty surprising that it is only being shown at the Village 6, and the theater was only about a quarter full. There hasn't been much hype for it, but there has been a lot of buzz on the geek side of the net.

I hear it is snowing in Bozeman where my sister lives. I bet we'll see snow here in Missoula soon too. Actually we can already see it in the mountains. I hope it will be a good snowboard season this year.
Last night, lafalda's friend Daniela said one of the biggest differences between the states and Slovakia was that we don't lock our cars here. That is true in Missoula. This is a great place to live. Just today I ran into Dustin and Evan, a couple friends I haven't seen for a while. Dustin and I talked about how much we love this place, and how we realized it even more after we had left and came back.

That is why it is so terrible to read a story like this in today's paper. Ben Corbett had just moved to Missoula after serving in Iraq and Kosovo. While he survived his time in the military, he suffered an unprovoked, but severe beating in downtown Missoula.

Proverbs 1:10-19
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.

If they say, "Come along with us;
let's lie in wait for someone's blood,
let's waylay some harmless soul;

let's swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;

throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse"-

my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;

for their feet rush into sin,
they are swift to shed blood.

How useless to spread a net
in full view of all the birds!

These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves!

Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.

Ben, I am so upset and dismayed about this. May justice be served. You are in my prayers.
C2 G D Em7

Verse 1:
Reach the unreachable,
Show them love.
Touch the untouchable,
Show them love.
Break the unbreakable,
Show them love.

And we say,
Hey, hey, hey, Jesus is Lord (x4)

Let every tounge confess,
Jesus is Lord.
And every knee shall bow,
We praise you more. (x2)

And we say,
Hey, hey, hey, Jesus is Lord (x2)

Verse 2:
You reach the unreachable,
And show them love.
You Touch the untouchable,
And show them love.
You Break the unbreakable,
And show them love.


Yesterday I bought Switchfoot's new album, "Nothing Is Sound." The music is really good like their last album, however, Sony released it with the content protected. This means that it is difficult to get on the computer. I listen to most of my music on the computer, so this is a real headache for me. I don't use iTunes, just Window's Media Player. It would hang when I clicked on Rip.

Coincidently, I read an article on Slashdot about this very album. Tim Foreman from Switchfoot wrote up a detailed forum post apologizing for what Sony did with the album, along with instructions on how to get the music from the CD.

I sent this letter to Sony via their online feedback form:

Dear Sony,

I was extremely disappointed today when I tried to rip my new Switchfoot CD. When I listen to my music, 99% of the time it is on my computer, and for it not to work has really upset me and left me with a bitter feeling towards your label. I read Tim's post as mentioned on Slashdot, and I really appreciate what he as done. However, I will still be attempting to take my CD back to Wal-Mart, and find the dual disk without the copy-protection.

I realize that music copying is a difficult problem, and I don't agree with burning CDs for friends or downloading pirated music. That said though, what you have done with this CD only frustrates legitimate customers, and is hardly a speed bump for those who would copy the music illegally.

In the future, I will be more careful when purchasing music, and I won't accidentally buy one with copy protection like this. I will not let Sony run software on my computer in order for me to listen to music.

Thank You,
Lance Fisher

I doubt I will hear back from them.
Time flies when you sleep-in 'til one.
When Microsoft throws a party, they go all out. Wednesday night they rented Universal Studios Hollywood for the PDC attendees. In case you don't know, it's a big theme park. All the restaurants were open and free. They had fondu fountains all over the place, and free drinks. All the fair type games were open and free too, and if you won you still got the giant stuffed animal prizes. I won two for Rich's kids, and gave a third to someone else.
Thursday night, Wayne, Rich, and I drove around. We ended up going to a In-N-Out, the Santa Monica Pier, and then Hollywood. It was a very late night, but pretty fun. Wayne was nice enough to let me use his camera to take some high-quality photos.
Yesterday, I was really surprised to run into a couple of old friends from the Air Force. Wayne, Rich, and I were all stationed in Alabama at the same time, and went to the college ministry (Icthus) at a local church there. Wayne is living in South Korea now, and Rich is living in Miami. It should make the rides at Universal Studios tonight a little more fun. They aren't very exciting by yourself.
Hey, Prizrak I did see Bill Gates, but only from about 100 yards. The hall filled up with people really quick. I saw him at VSLive in San Francisco in 2004. He had made a funny video which he showed us there, but the video he showed yesterday completely topped the VSLive one. He hired the actor from Napoleon Dynamite and it was really, really funny. Seriously, you might think that it wouldn't be, but it was.

After the conference, I took the metro and the bus to get to the Russian part of town. I found a really cool video, book, and CD store. The guy who ran the place was really cool. I got to practice a lot of Russian with him. I told him that I spoke English, but I like to practice Russian, so he said, "okay we'll go with the Russian, and if we have a problem, then we'll use the English." He moved to the states back in '87 from St. Petersburg. He said he left because they didn't like Jews there. After getting exactly what I was looking for and more, I asked him if he knew where I could get some borsch. He ran next door to the store/cafe and asked them if they had any left. They did. Over at the cafe they were really nice too. I got to practice more Russian. The girl at the counter was from Uzbekistan, and she spoke just a little more English than I spoke Russian. She didn't know where Montana was, but that's okay. She said she'd find it on the map.

Although my camera quit working after the second time I dropped it on the cement, the day didn't turn out too bad.
Yesterday, I went exploring for a little bit while I was waiting for my hotel room to be ready. I tried to find the Russian part of town, but I didn't write myself very good directions. However, en route, I saw the La Brea Tar Pits so I hopped off the bus to explore. The nice thing about the park is that the admission is free.

They have pulled so much out of those pits, and unlike other fossils, these are the actual tissue. One pit had an observation deck from which you could watch some people pulling stuff out of the tar and cataloging it. I did end up paying $4.50 (the student price) for entry into the museum, but it was worth it. There were all kinds of skeletons from saber tooth cats, giant sloths, mastodons, wolves, and other extinct animals. I was taking photos, but since I forgot the memory card in the computer, I could only take 28, and they are stuck on the camera until I get home where I have the cable. Hopefully the camera makes it. I dropped it today, and it isn't working entirely right.

Despite Prizrak's warning, I bought a homeless guy dinner last night at Denny's. He was glad to have someone to talk to, and air his problems with. He says he wants to change, and not do the things he knows are wrong. I was thinking the whole time that I would really like to pray for him, and just before I was going to ask him, he asked me if I could pray for him. I did. Then he asked me if I could get him some food, so we went to Denny's. Denny's Restaurants in the city are different than other Denny's. They don't have their own building. While we were eating, he said that he felt really comfortable talking to me. He said that he enjoyed talking to strangers because then he didn't have to worry about looking weak, or them using what he told them against him. That's the sad state of relationships for many people besides him I'm sure.

He told me about how his mom used to make hot breakfasts and how she taught him to do the same. When he was just a young boy he surprised his mom by cooking one. He worked in a photo lab just down the street, and after that he served a couple years in the Army. However, he got in trouble with law. He disappointed his wife by getting arrested and spent some time in prison. Now he sells DVDs on the street. He says he has everything from cartoons to porn, and he has "pimped out girls" to make ends meet.

I was having a long day. I got up at 3:00 A.M. and after only a short nap, I was still up. I think he had a longer day. He was falling asleep sitting in the restaurant. When he finally fell into a bit of a heavier sleep at the booth, I paid for dinner and left. It seemed like the right time.

I've been reading Chesterton's Othodoxy. It seems to me that he is keenly aware of the precarious nature of life. Using the story of Robinson Crusoe he writes:

Crusoe is a man on a small rock with a few comforts just snatched from the sea: the best thing in the book is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island. But it is a better exercise still to remember how all things have had this hair-breadth escape: everything has been saved from a wreck. Every man has had one horrible adventure: as a hidden untimely birth he had not been, as infants or that never see the light. Men spoke much in my boyhood of restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.

At the tar pits, they had a plexiglas case with a rod you could pull on which came through a hole in the top of the case. The rod connected to a leg-sized piston sitting in a bucket of tar. Pulling on the rod you could feel how difficult it was to try and escape the pit. People get stuck in pits like this all the time. Not the ones in the park, but the traps of sin which become impossible to escape on our own volition. However, we don't need to wait thousands of years for an archeologist to dig up our remains. Jesus can pull us out before we perish.
So far, it has been a long day, and it's only 12:30 here in L.A. I got up at 3:00 a.m., and Shannon and I met lafalda at Perkins for a 4:00 breakfast. My flight left on time at 6:05.

On the flight I got to talk with a nice lady from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. If I remember right her name was Hung Ho. Foreign names are harder for me to remember. Apparently Montana and Utah are in the same district as Washington D.C. when it comes to Chinese embassies. She said the most surprising thing when she first came to the U.S. was how little most people knew about China. It's a big country.

After a bit of confusion and almost sleeping through the boarding call. Well, sleeping through the boarding call, and almost missing my flight I made it to L.A. close to on time. From the airport, I took the metro downtown through some neighborhoods indistinguishable from Tijuana. There were a lot of Hispanic people speaking Spanish on the train.

Now that I'm at the hotel, I have to find something to do until my room is ready. It won't be ready until 3:00. So here I am blogging.
Shannon and I worked on the house this weekend. I got all the flooring in the living room, and most of the flooring in the library installed. Then, on Monday, my parents came over with the air compressor, nail gun, and Betsy. My dad and I had the molding up in a flash, and we got to meet my mom's new puppy, Betsy.

I still have the hallway to do, but I ran out of underlay mat. I hope we have enough floor left too. It looks like it will be close. I'll have to see if I can find more.
I started using this photo service called flickr back in May, because I wanted to be able to post pictures straight to my blog from my phone. Since then I bought a pro membership so I can upload 2GB of photos a month. Congratulations Scott, you happen to be my 2000th photo uploaded to flickr. For your prize you get a magnet.

My favorite things to do on flickr are:
  • Tag photos with names and stuff so I can find them later. (see all photos tagged with scott)

  • Post photos to the Somewhere in Missoula group, and have people try and find the location

  • Browse other people's photos like preciousroy's

  • Add photos to the ChiAlphaMontana pool so they show up on the Chi Alpha blog.

  • Read comments that people have left on my photos, and add comments to other people's photos. (If you have a flickr account check out the "Recent activity" and "Comments you've made" links on your home page on flickr.)
There is so much to do there, and it's easy to waste a bunch of time flipping through photos. After using flickr for four months, I can say it's the best photo sharing software made, and it has a great community. Check out my flickr contacts, they cool people and cool photographers.
Life in Missoula goes on as usual. Well gas prices are a little bit higher. Meanwhile, New Orleans has become a literal cesspool. Those left are demanding help. Certainly, they need it.

I got an email from my friend Clay who lives there. He was the drummer for NLB. Also we were in tech school together at Keesler Air Force Base. Which just survived the same hurricane that devastated New Orleans. Thankfully, he is okay. Life won't be the same for a while though. He is an insurance adjuster, and will be working twelve hours or more a day, seven days a week, for the next six months to a year.

What can you do to help?

You can pray.

You can send money.
I donated through the The Assemblies of God, whom I trust. It's fast and easy and tax deductible if that concerns you.

You can save gas.

Disaster brings often brings out a person's true nature. Unfortunately, there are a number of people in New Orleans in whom it has brought out the worst. Generosity and compassion can conquer looting and greed. New Orleans is really an interesting place. I hope the good in it can be restored, and the bad is washed away.

Finally, I leave you with a few interesting links:
Google Earth Imagery
CNN interview with the mayor.
New Orleans is sinking Published in 2001
What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans Published in 2004
Yesterday was the first day of school. Not the first day ever, just the first day of Fall Semester 2005. It is going to be a change after three months of summer break. Every year I wonder if I will be able to do it. I am genuinely excited to learn, however I worry about being able to keep up. I'm taking Russian 201, Russian 305L (Medieval Literature to Pushkin), and a one credit independant study, which is eight credits, which is the most I've ever taken while working full time.

I don't think it will be as difficult as some of the math classes I've had in the past, but it will be a lot of studying. I have been praying that I will be able to spend enough time on God, Shannon, work, school, and Chi Alpha. It's a challenge. I welcome your prayers too.
Ah, what to do while 50,000 mugshot .jpg's compress...

Well, how about a Russian Lesson in celebration of the new school year. Yes, it is that time already. Summer seems to have gone by so quickly. Sorry in advance to any readers who don't happen to speak any Russian for one reason or another. You're welcome to stick around, it probably won't be too bad.

After hearing some children today, Pavel asked me, "whose kids are at the office?" I told him I didn't know and went to check it out. After finding out that they were Janice's kids, I came back and said something like, "эти Джаниса дети." (those are Jancice's kids) He told me that isn't quite how you'd say it. You'd say, "эти дети Джанис." That was interesting, I wondered why you wouldn't change the ending of Janice to show possession.

After some thought and examples, Pavel discovered a rule. It seems that you do decline names like Jim, Lance, and Linda, but you don't decline names like Shannon, Jamey, or Jeffery. Do you have a guess as to why?

This is why: Russian female names end in "а" or "я" (ah or ya), while Russian male names end in a consonant. So if your name is like a Russian name, in that it ends with an "а" or "я" if you're a girl, or a consonant if you're a guy, your name is declinable. Congratulations. But if your name isn't like a Russian name, like Jess, then your name is indeclinable. Sorry, but look on the bright side, Джесика is.

Argh! Still compressing. There has been 10 seconds left for the last 30 minutes.
Eric Lippert, one of my favorite technical bloggers, recently wrote about the age old question, "why do mirrors reverse left and right, but not up and down?" Check it out.
Yet another weekend of summer break has gone by, and school is about to start. Despite the work that needs to be done on the house before I'm swamped with Russian homework, I decided to go climbing in the Bitterroot Saturday with Scott and Zach. Well, that was our goal anyway.

Before meeting Scott and Zach, I went to the Farmer's Market. The Farmer's Market is a great way to start a Saturday. I bought some vegetables, and got to speak some Russian. Then, I bought some empanadas and got to speak some Spanish. Empanadas are so good. As usual, I saw Rocky selling coffee, and then I ran into Rachael with her new camera (part of the 3 for $2 at a garage sale deal).

Once Scott, Zach, and I got up to on the mountain, we spent a couple miles hiking around until we gave up and decided to just go to Kootenai canyon. Even though it was sure to be busy there, at least we could get a few routes in before we needed to be back to town.

That didn't work out as planned either. After passing the turnoff to get to the sport routes, we decided that we better just bag it for the day. That didn't stop us from jumping in the creek, or I should say it didn't stop the dogs and me. Scott and Zach got their feet wet. Zach helped me build a little dam to raise the water level about six inches, and Scott threw a stick which I raced Sierra for. She's slower than you'd think in the water.

We got back in town in time to see Helen play the cello. Helen is an old friend of lafalda's, and she is very good at the cello. Which is a very good instrument to be good at. It was such a treat; thanks, Helen.

Afterwards we headed over the the new Montana Club for dessert. If you go there, you must try their bathrooms. Not only do they have a magic water faucet that turns on when you put your hands under it, but they have a magic soap dispenser and a super-powered hand blower.
Here at Missoula County, where I work, we replace computers on a regular basis like most companies and agencies. This creates a lot of old computers to get rid of. So if you are in the market for a few old computers check out our stuff on ebay You may be able to get three old PCs for a buck or other interesting things.

I guess they do surlpus a bit different at schools in Richmond, VA. People got a bit out of control trying to get a $50 iBook. The riot including chair-wielding, stroller-crushing, and falling old men was also reported on Slashdot and CNN.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the West, prepare to welcome back Sylvia!
Well this last weekend was another packed one. Friday, I left work early to go volunteer at the fair. A couple of years ago I joined the Sons of Norway. It's a Norwegian heritage society. I joined because they were offering language classes and I had the time, but once I started at the U of M, I no longer had the time so I quit going to Norwegian class.

I still work the booth at the fair, because my aunt asks me, and I have a hard time saying no. Besides, I get a bunch of free vikings. What are those? They are like meatloaf on a stick, battered, and deep-fried, and everyone loves them! They are the fair food in Missoula. That makes it easy to trade them for fried bread, gyros, or whatever else you want at the fair.

Jamey, ed, and Rocky stopped by after my shift. Be sure to check out ed's photo stream for some great photos. Just click the link off her homepage. Shannon was going to come too, but she wasn't feeling too hot, so I went home and we hung out and watched the old Russian movie Вий based on the classic Gogol novel.

Fall instantly hit on my shift. Around 5:30 it started pouring, and got really cold. I had to stop by the mall on my way home and buy a cool new Etnies sweatshirt from Zumiez for the ride home. It cooled down to about 40 degrees that night.

Stay tuned for more...
I have talked with friends before about staying up really late, and the effects it has on your mind and body. lafalda has said she would like to stay up really long sometime if it didn't weaken her immune system so much. J.J. has told me that he has tried staying up for fifty hours at a shot, but failed becuase his friend didn't keep him awake. I have spent nights awake playing video games, and your mind begins to play tricks on you when you are really tired. You see the game still when you close your eyes.

Usually I'm not into posting these second-hand news items, but this is pretty interesting while seriously unfortunate. Just a few days ago in South Korea, where gnat happens to be, which also happens to be the most connected country, a man video gamed himself to death. They say he died from exhaustion after playing simulated battles for 50 hours nearly non-stop. Apparently this kind of death has been reported twice before. Once before in South Korea and once in Taiwan.
One of the fun things about using a tool like statcounter is that you get to see what searches brought people to your site. I don't seem to be very popular with Google, but I seem to be surprisingly popular with MSN. The following searches led people here, in parenthesis is my current rank:Maybe someday if I get some really good questions I follow in Eric's lead, and provide answers as a public service. Although I was thinking of doing a cartwheel, roundoff, front-flip photo shoot...

In other search news, did you know that Google can be extremely helpful when competing in radio trivia contests? Jason in my office just won a bunch of stuff off the radio. They named about a half a dozen characters, and he answered the movie title, the year it was released, and the voice actors for all the characters.


12:00 PM | 7 Comments

Well, I orginally started this blog to write down stories of wonderful things God was doing in my life. I'm not saying that it isn't that now. Certainly, my friends and the great times I have with them are gifts from God, but my orginal intention was to write down more miraculous stories. I don't think I'll go back to that plan, I really like how this is going now, but for old time sake, here is a story from times past.

It was somewhere in 1998 while I was in the Air Force, and living in the dorms in Montgomery, AL, when my trumpet-playing friend Ryan kept telling me we should start a Christian ska band. I always thought the idea was a bit far-fetched. We had a trumpet and a guitar, and I was not exactly a seasoned guitarist as they say.

Well he kept on suggesting it, and then my friend Andrew got in on it too. Andrew played alto sax, and could sing ska. If you don't know what ska is, it's one of those things that's easier to hear than read about. It is like rock, punk, and Carribean horns all put together. So now it was the three of us talking about making a ska band. I think we wanted one because we really liked the bands Five Iron Frenzy, The Supertones, and The Insyders, and because Ryan played the trumpet. So we wanted to start a band, but it really takes more than that. Weeks and months went by and we just kind of kept it on the back burner. Then one day, up in my dorm room, we decided that if we wanted to do this band, we just had to set a practice time, show up, and let God take it where he wanted it to go. I looked at it like the bread and fish that God would multiply.

We scheduled the date and when it came around, it was still just the three of us, but we were going to do it anyway. Andrew, I think it was, managed to reserve the base chapel for us to use, and I think he's the one who found Dex the trombone player. Dex was an excellent singer, but we needed him on trombone. That night before heading over to the chapel, we were thinking, "you know we really need a base player. Does anyone play base?"

"I think Jared plays base," someone said. So we went and bugged him in his room. He said he used to play base a little, but he didn't have a base or an amp. We told him he should come with us anyway, and maybe they would have one at the chapel he could use. He said he didn't think so, but as we were walking out of his room, Rob, a guy I worked with, yelled down from the second floor out of the blue, "Hey do you know anyone who wants to buy a base?" as he held up a base guitar. We were blown away, and said yeah. Jared came to practice that night.

We prayed and played, but we didn't have a drummer. We prayed for a drummer. The next week a drummer showed up. He was Christian and interested in starting the ska band with us. That's how No Longer Blind formed.

It was really kind of funny that we were all computer programmers in the Air Force. I'm not sure what that meant other than we all had the evenings and weekends off. It was just like a regular job, except you wore a uniform. We started out by playing for youth groups mostly. We always played for free, but every now and then people would give us a small sum of money which we would use to buy band stuff like uniforms, merch, and mics. A ska band needs uniforms.

Playing for one youth group led to another, and before we knew it we were driving to Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina several times a month. We got to open for some bigger names like The Normals and Skillet. I remember a fun band called Shaded Red. We played in a field on a trailer with them and The Normals.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, I just posted the CD demo we made, but I also want you to know that God can take normal people with average talent, and make a great thing that blesses lots of people. Trust me, most of us had average talent, but God put it together for something bigger than the parts.

Here is our music from NLB v1.0:Feel free to copy and distribute.


10:25 AM | 4 Comments

A big thank you to ed, lafalda, rael, and a double thanks to jamey for coming over Saturday and Sunday to help pick colors, paint, tear out carpet, pull nails, and eat pizza. You guys are great!
Well, I just finished a mighty fine A&W Root Beer Float which was delivered straight to my very own neighborhood via a vintage ice cream truck. While there were several kids purchasing ice cream, sadly I think the rest of the neighborhood hasn't caught on, or they were inside playing video games. It's a nice evening too.

Maria, the ice cream truck operator, was kind enough to grant me an interview. If you see her around, or hear Christmas music, be sure to pick up an ice cream. Enjoy.

this is an audio post - click to play

Straight from her business card. Here's her information:

Westwind Wagon
Available for all your Special Events!
Grand Openings, Rodeos, Birthday Parties, Sports Events, Horse Shows!

We serve ice cream, hot dogs, frozen bananas, beverages, and more!

Vintage Truck, Self Contained
Licensed & Insured

Maria Freeman
(406) 825-3230 cell 370-6506
freeman at blackfoot dot net

(that email address is to keep the spam bots away, humans know to change the "at" to "@" and "dot" to ".")

And for that ice cream truck music:

this is an audio post - click to play
Hey there, sorry to keep you hanging for so long. I know it was almost as bad as the Star Trek season ending with Captain Picard turned into a Borg and not knowing what was going to happen for five months - almost. Fortunately the summer blog break is not as long as the summer blockbuster break, but enough of all that let's get to what's been happening.

Where we last left off, I was working in the yard on a Bible study. It went really well, and we all got to water balloon Peter playing the part of Stephen. Then on Saturday I joined ed, rocky, lafalda, rael, jamey, and other non-blogging friends at the outdoor cinema. Every Saturday during the summer, some community-oriented citizens show a movie on the side of an old school building. Anyone can come and watch for free. They were showing Pee Wee's Big Adventure, which I must add was much better than I remember. If you haven't watched it in years, I would suggest checking it out. Since the motorcycle is now running, I rode it there. Here's a nice picture of Jamey checking it out.

Sunday, Shannon and I went up to the lake (Flathead lake is "the lake" by the way). My brother and his wife were there along with my parents and a bunch of other family. I got some waterskiing in, and we went to this cool restaurant/bar on the lake. My dad anchored the boat in the bay and rode in with my uncle because they just didn't have enough dock space. Unfortunately, Shannon and I had to work on Monday so we came back to Missoula that evening. However, I got off work at noon, and went back up on the motorcycle. Shannon had to work. I decided to stay the night, and just come back early on Tuesday before work. It was a cold ride home in the morning, but worth it.

Wednesday, we played Russian Scrabble at the Shack. Really, The Shack is the best place to play. I got lucky with the letters and won for the second time in a row!

Thursday, I attended a great Bible study of Acts 10 and 11 taught by lafalda and Rocky. We also had a guest named Brent, who is taking his family to Ireland where they will be college campus missionaries. It was exciting to hear from him.

Even though I had to miss sci-fi Friday on the Scifi channel, I had a blast working the BBQ at my aunt an uncle's company BBQ. Quite smoky, but worth the money and fun. Peter and Krysty came along to work the big inflateables for the kids. I think they had a bunch of fun too. It was great seeing a bunch of the family. Here's a photo of two of my cousins.

Saturday I worked on dismantling the huge cat house I built a couple of winters ago, and then in the evening, Shannon and I went to the outdoor cinema with Aaron. Aaron's a great high school friend who I haven't seen in about five years. He was just visiting from Reno. Before we went to the movie we stopped by the mall to get some Hoagieville, and check out the rules on the Dance Dance Revolution contest. I just may enter. Well, I need to wrap this up. I'm heading to dinner at Fiesta En Jaliso to bid farewell to Dawn who is leaving for Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Last night I spent some time working in the yard. I had to finish up the Bible study I was preparing for tonight, and since I like to give my blog readers the inside scoop, I'll let you know what I'm doing for it.

I was asked to teach on Acts 5-8, so I've turned it into Act 5 through Act 8 of "The Acts of the Apostles" screenplay. For the most part, I stuck to The Message translation of the Bible, but I had to fill in some stuff that wouldn't be clear otherwise in a play.

I'll post the script after the study for those of you who can't make it, either because you have to work, or becuase you don't live in Montana.
Well, ed won the game on Justin's blog, but in a shocking twist, just ten minutes ago, there was a winner to a game I posted a couple of months ago.

Congratulations, bigskymoosedrool! And as if the fame and prestige of having your very own write up on lancefisher.blogspot.com isn't enough, I'll send you your very own tangible prize, i.e. something not electronic. Just email me your address, p.o. box, random drop off point, or place to hide a magnet and I'll get it to you!

I think it's safe to announce the location now. Sorry to you second place hopefuls. You'll just have to get in on the next game. Bigskymoosdrool wrote in, "I used to walk up to Freddy's Feed and Read from our
University area house all the time!" Well BSMD, I don't know if you are still in the area, but the ol' Feed and Read has changed hands a few times since then. It was Quarter Moon Books, and now it is Bobcat Books or something like that.

Good work!
Well, I went on down to the local Barnes & Noble for the Harry Potter book release. Shannon is a big fan. I hope she isn't too disappointed if the book ends with the "one, big, happy, Weasley family" scenario. This is where Ginny and Harry fall for each other and Ron and Hermione end up together.

I actually haven't read any of the books, but I have seen all the movies. I really like to see everyone dressed up in costumes and all the excitement. They were doing face painting, lightning bolt tattoos, and pictures with a Harry double - all for free. I joined in the fun and took a pair of free HP glasses, and got a photo taken.

Dumbledore and the gang, were generous enough to grant me an audioblog interview. Enjoy.

this is an audio post - click to play
In preparation for super sci-fi fantasy Friday...

this is an audio post - click to play
PDC'05 - Developer PoweredYesterday I sent an email to my boss telling him that we should send someone to the Professional Developer's Conference in Los Angeles if we could. To my surprise, he told me that same day to sign up for it now because the price goes up after the 15th. So I'm going to L.A. in September for a gathering of nerds. This is really exciting. I get to see all the upcoming Microsoft technologies and developer tools, meet and learn from some of the top programmers in the world, and get early releases of some really cool software.

Now, I'm working on optimizing my trip to see the most in L.A. while I'm there. The work day at the conference gets over around 5:00 every day, so I'm hoping to make some trips to cool places by public transportation. On the list of possibilities: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, and the Russian part of town.
Yes Rocky, I think this photo is blog-worthy.

Every Wednesday during the summer, there are free concerts in Bonner Park at 8 p.m. Bonner park is in Missoula, not Bonner, although I think the people in the park out-numbered the small town of population 200.

Jamey, lafalda, P, and I arrived between 5:30 and 6:30 to play some Russian Scrabble before the concert. While we were sitting there, a woman who obviously loves Missoula as much as I do, asked us if we knew who was playing tonight and when it started. She said she was looking at a poster for a little while before she figured out it was from last year. I told her it started at eight, but none of knew who was playing. She said with the work situation in Missoula her family's always broke so they gotta take advantage of the free shows in town.

Russian Scrabble ran into and through the concert, and I think P was pretty tired because he came in last and I ended up winning thanks to the plural of love and prepositional of cathedral (Любви и соборе for those Russian readers). We also grilled up some deer burgers.

Jason and Janice from the office stopped by for a burger too, which was really cool. Jason said, "you have some really nice friends", and I told him, "yeah, I like them too." He also said, "It was nice to see Shannon too, she's really nice," and I told him, "yeah, I think so too." Janice actually played in the concert, so it was a nice to be able to thank her with a deer burger.

It was a beautiful night, with a temperature in the high seventies and a light breeze. As the concert ended, we resorted to leg wrestling, arm wrestling, swinging, spinning, cartwheels, and more. I think every time I start doing cartwheels and round offs, we have a conversation like this:

Someone: Hey do a front-flip!

Me: Have I done one of those before on the grass?

Someone: Yeah, I think so.

Me: Okay.

Then I take off running, start the flip, and land flat on my back. Then I say, "I didn't get quite enough rotation," and remember that this has happened before.
I was just introduced to this great game by Justin, whose blog and drawing portfolio you should check out if you're so inclined. It's soothing in an untying knots sort of way, but without the hassle of not being able to pull apart the string. I cleared level 8 before I decided I just needed to post it and get on with work.
Hey, I just added a fun new feature to the ever-evolving cuchillo blog: Search! Yes, I'm afraid that I'm just not popular enough for Google to provide decent site searches, but I found a great little tool called Pico.

So if you take a peek over to the right you'll see the little 'ol search box and button. Looking for those posts that I started about Mexico and never finished? Just search for it. Wondering if I ever wrote a limerick? Try it. What about a Russian lesson? You never know what you might find back in those tomes of writing.