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 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 " 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="" id="blogsearchform">
<input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="" />
<input id="SearchInputText" type="text" name="as_q" />
<input id="SearchInputButton" type="submit" value="search" />
<!-- End Google Search Box -->

Now, just change 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.