I just finished a Tipu's chai and checking on my myspace account. It's strange but good to get messages from old friends there. It really makes you feel nostalgic, even more so than looking at old pictures. Myspace is basically full of living, breathing photos of your past. When you look at old high school photos, sometimes you imagine several roads that old friends could have gone down, and you wonder which they took, but in this day you can see.

Right now I'm sitting in Liquid Planet waiting to listen to David Boone play, typing on their computer, which has a monitor that has a heavy blue tint. There is another guy playing guitar right now. It's some type of blues. I'm wondering if I should move my coat to the booth here by the computer, or leave it up there so I can get my seat back in the front. I think I can leave it for now, since there aren't many people in the back of Liquid Planet. Most are up front for First Friday or World AIDS day or something.

I have one more project to do for school - write a Russian poem. It is hard, and that's what I plan on doing tomorrow. Tonight I will watch David Boone, then go home and watch Battlestar Galactica with Shannon. It's the best show on television. Ask Rolling Stone. Sunday, after my poem is written, I will go snowboarding. I love snowboarding. I'm even thinking about taking a snowboarding class at the U next semester instead of 20th Century Russian Literature. We'll see what happens there, but I'll let you go for now.
Last year I camped out for an XBOX 360.

This year I camped out for a Playstation 3. Partly for the profit of selling it on ebay, partly to be part of the craze.

There were quite a few more people interested in getting a PS3, and quite a few less PS3s than XBOXes last year. That meant I had to get there two nights in advance. This photo is from Wednesday night. Target sold their six PS3s Friday morning. So all day Thursday, we got questions, looks, and sneers. Don't these guys have anything better to do than wait outside for a video game? I asked one guy we were chatting with if he was a gamer, and he said, "no, I get my kicks in the real world." Well, good for him.

As it turns out, though, I didn't have to wait out the second night. Some hard-core (i.e. crazy) gamer bought my spot in line for $700 and two Cat-Griz tickets. My friend Scott sold the tickets at the football game for $60. That is not a bad profit for 24 hours of city camping. Actually, it is really good. And that is real world cash, Mr. I-Get-My-Kicks-in-the-Real-World. So there.
It's 5:20 a.m. on Election Day. This is earlier than I usually get up. I usually get up when I wake up or two hours later, but today I'm helping with the election. Yesterday someone asked me (jokingly) if I'd rig the votes. I said that would be illegial and wrong, and it would be. Not to mention it is not really possible. It's not like Vickie, the Clerk and Recorder, has one person counting ballots.

Well, I have a lousy cold. They always seem to come at the worst times. I just hope that working a long day today doesn't make it worse, but I suppose that I can always take a sick day tomorrow.

Since I'm working, and it's easier than voting election day, I voted absentee. This year there are a record number of voters voting absentee. That means I could be at the courthouse really late counting ballots, or just being sequestered until they are counted.

I voted for Stan Jones. Not because I'm really excited about him. I don't know much about him. He is a Libertarian, and he is against abortion and for guns. I really did not want to vote for Burns or Tester. Maybe the Libertarian party will get a record number of votes in this race. That wouldn't be an altogether bad thing.

Well, I'm off to get some Thera Flu on my way to the courhouse. I wonder if I could park at a 2 hour meter all day today... It is a holiday so I don't think the meter maids will be working. I will. I'll let you know if I get a ticket.

Vox

5:08 PM | 5 Comments

If I ever left Blogger, and didn't roll my own site, Vox is where I'd go.

At least right now.


The last couple of days I've stopped by Edge of the World (the local skate shop) and practiced on their ramp. It's nice because it doesn't seem like many people use it. It was empty yesterday, and the day before just one other guy was skating there.

I've been making some progress at skating. I still can't ollie while moving, but I can do it if I put the wheels in an expansion crack in a sidewalk. I can now do 180 kickturns on the ramp (sometimes) and I've learned to pump so I can gain elevation up the ramp sides. I still can't "drop in," but I have tried. Last time I was at SHEC I did, and I banged me knee twice in a row. So I've instituted a new policy: whenever I try to drop in, I'll wear knee pads. Perhaps, I should wear some elbow pads too, because my right one is a little sore.

Anyway, here's a video. Rocky said that I should add some music to it, so I did. It's Plankeye, and they rock. Enjoy.
What is the world coming to when people break their word to Batman?

After the homecoming parade, Brad, Tyler and I went to find the Batmobile. We had heard that you could get you picture taken with the batmobile during the football game. What's that have to do with homecoming you say? Well, Batman brought Monte to the game in the batmobile - that's what.

We found the Batmobile, and not entirely unexpectedly Batman and Robin too. Brad paid $15 to sit in the batmobile and have his picture taken plus an extra $5 so I could take all the pictures I wanted of him in it.

After taking this photo, Batman handed me a flyer and asked if I could send him the picture. I told him "sure."

Later I emailed him a link to my Flickr photos of the batmobile, and to my surprise Batman emailed me back the next day with this:


Hey Lance,
Thanks alot for sending a link to the photos. I ask people all the time (for 20 years now) to send me pics they take of us and they never do!

Your the second person to ever send me pictures and I really appreaciate it!

Are they big enough on the link for me to print or have prints made? If not can you send me a cd with the full size images ? I'll pay for shipping etc.

Anyway your way cool for keeping your word!
Here is a pic for you of us.

Thanks again!!!!

Batman
www.cyproductions.com


Can you believe that! Only the second ever to send him photos?!

Well, in writing this I just remembered that I myself also lied to Batman, I'm ashamed to say. You see, I was taking photos of the car and he asked me not to take any more because they were charging for photos. I said, "Okay sorry," and put my camera away. Then after Brad decided to pay $15 to sit in the car and have his photo taken, I asked if I could take photos of my friend in the car. Batman said, "tell you what, for an extra $5 you can take all the photos you like." Then without thinking I just told him that I didn't have any cash, which was a flat out lie. I had $20 in my pocket, I just couldn't justify spending $5 to take some photos. Brad ended up paying the $5.

So I guess that is the state of things. We're all lousy sinners, but I'm sorry Batman.
Yesterday, I picked up Tyler after work, and we decided to grab something to eat before heading over to the Chi Alpha guys' house to paper mache the homecoming float.

We were going to go to Hoagieville (always a great choice), but we decided to try out one of Missoula's newer restaurants, El Diablo. Now, I've been skeptical of this place, because it's named "The Devil" and it seems like a rip-off of Taco del Sol - the best restaurant in the world, but I decided to try it anyway since I like to know my town.

Before we got there, I told Tyler that El Diablo meant The Devil in Spanish. He said it sounded spicy, and I replied that it sounded evil. Then he asked, "I wonder if it's good?" And I said, "Can it be good if it's evil?"

Their prices were comparable to Taco del Sol, $5.75 for a burrito or three tacos. You can also buy a single taco for $2.25. Taco del Sol charges $2 for a fish taco. I didn't try to order "The Lance" as it has become known (a fish taco in a burrito shell). You have to get to know a place, before you start asking for special things like that.

I was very happy with the food. I got a fish taco, a carne asada taco, and a pulled pork taco. All of them were excellent. Their lime and cilantro sauce is very tasty; however, I would not recommend it on the pulled pork. It doesn't go that well. The fish is grilled instead of battered and baked like Taco del Sol, and it was mahi mahi instead of cod. They are open until 9:00, but closed on Sunday.

It did end up being a little too spicy for Tyler, but that's the way I like - a little too spicy for Tyler.

I think I'll go back, but don't, for a minute, think that means I'm giving up Taco del Sol.
Well, I just read over on Techcrunch, that Audioblogger is going away. He says they will still be hosting the content, but I think I should back it up and move it somewhere else soon.

In memory of Audioblogger, here are my old audioblogs. Enjoy.

So I guess that 2005 was the year of audioblogs. Now, I need to get over to the Chi Alpha Blog and do the same. There are some good posts from overseas.
So if you've been following along, you'll know that I sent my broken camera off to Canon to be repaired, and they graciously fixed it for free. It's back now, and I'm happy.

This is the skateboard I bought with the money I "saved" from the camera repair. I decided to buy a helmet too, because really it will save money in the long run. I know it costs quite a bit to smash your head and go to the hospital. The helmet was only $35.

The downside is that you look funny sometimes. For instance, yesterday morning after I took this photo, I skated to Liquid Planet. The easiest way to carry the helmet was on my head and I just wore it into the store. Travis called me "helmet," and I told him that I was hyperactive and hypoglycemic.

Speaking of hyperactive...

One of my fellow students was talking to my teacher in her office the other day when she asked him, "have you ever been diagnosed with ADD?" He was a bit surprised that she would ask, but he told her that he was as a child. Then she said, "I'm not trained to deal with people like you."

Wow.

He was speechless, and so was I hearing the story from him.

I suppose I don't mind being called a hyper-hypo so long as people don't really think I am.
If you keep up with the Chi Alpha Blog at all, you probaly have read about my trip to Plains already. I love Plains, I love the church there, and I love logging and cutting firewood with them. Only one bad thing resulted from this trip; my camera broke.

I didn't drop it or cut it with a chainsaw or anything dramatic like that. It was working just before I left, but when I got home I discovered that the LCD (that stands for liquid crystal display you know) had shattered. Recently, I read an article on lifehacker about asking for replacements for broken things, and how it is especially helpful if you send the company a nice written letter with your broken item.

First, I called the warranty center. After getting all the info, Rita told me the average cost was $100 to have the LCD fixed. I told her that I was hoping to have it repaired for free under warranty, and she told me that it would be up to the repair center. So I sent them a letter with my broken camera.

The other day I got an email addressed to "LANCE" which told me that they were going to fix it for free. Man, I love Canon.

In other news, I've been skateboarding a lot recently. I have wanted to learn for a while, but seeing Tony Hawk skate really got me excited about it. Yesterday I skated about four miles or so. I also went over to the new skatepark a couple of mornings this week. Mornings are nice, there are hardly people and sometimes no one.

So with the $100 I "saved" on fixing my camera, I think I'll buy a skateboard.

Summer of 2006. Silence echoed through the blogosphere. What could break it? School starting again? Free coffee? Free tickets to the UC Theater? Aug 4th, the day the Crocidile Hunter died? No, no, no, no. Not even Snakes on a Plane. But today the anticipation is building for something big, and I have tickets.

Neil Diamond. Well, not him perse, but a sixteen piece orchestra and a Neil Diamond impersonator. Tonight the band Cherry Cherry will play at the Wilma theater, and I will be there.
I know I said no apologizing for not blogging, but come on, I haven't posted all of July. You know, it's kind of like having a good friend that you haven't called in a while, but you keep putting it off because you know that you'll be on the phone for an hour or more and you really don't have that kind of time right now. I kept meaning to blog, but stuff kept piling up, and I've been short on time.

I'm out of school for the summer, yes, but I've been sleeping in and working overtime. We have some large projects that are going live this weekend and man it frustrates me when things (programming things) don't work like they should.

Other than all that, I've been able to get out and enjoy Montana a little bit. I went tubing down the Blackfoot with my brother and rafting down the Blackfoot with Chi Alpha. I also got to go up to Flathead Lake and do some waterskiing with my parents. Later in the month, Andrew from Boise and Nate from Ohio came up for a visit, and we went hiking in Glacier. I love Glacier. I got blisters from hiking twenty two miles the first day. About 14 miles into the hike I jumped into the lake and hit my face on the bottom, so I was a little sore the next day.

Also, Katie came to Missoula for a visit. So I guess you could call July 2006 the month of visitors. Yeah, that's what it will go down as.
Wow, it has been a while, but I've resolved not to apologize for not bloggging enough. I was talking to Jennifer when we hiked the M yesterday. She was recently reading the blogs, and said that they were all different, but the one thing that everyone seems to have in common is feeling bad for not blogging enough. I've also been taught that when your speaking, you shouldn't apologize, and Scott tells me that it is a common problem in newsletters too. So here's the rule: don't apologize, just blog.

With that, here is a quick update of what I've been up to:

I'm out of school, you know, so I've had time to work on the yard. I finished building the retaining wall, now I just have to build an asymmetrical rock formation, plant a Japanese Maple, and some ground cover (I think I'll go with creeping thyme), and then this little area will be done. I've also nearly finished roofing the fence.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Bozeman to check out the fireworks for Scott since he was still in Poland. It works out well, because my little sister Renee lives there. So we went shopping, ate sushi, arm wrestled robots, hiked to Palisade Falls, and then watched the fireworks.

Last weekend the fireworks were delivered, and there's quite a garage full.

Yesterday, I hiked the M with Scott, Clay, and Jennifer and her kids. It was the longest day of the year so we thought we'd watch the sunset from the M. I used a new photo technique that I read about on flickr called HDR (High Dynamic Range). These are some of the most interesting (and that's official).

Well, that's all for now.
Just over a year ago, ed made a tragic discovery that the classic Dilly Bar no longer had a dimple (or a belly button, or a drop, or what ever you're supposed to call it).

Today I bring you a joyous dicovery: they're back! But, can you believe that the good ol' Dilly Bar is up to $1 now-a-days? Jason tells me that the drop on top means that they are hand-made. His mother-in-law used to run a Dairy Queen. He said the trick was getting the right weight of ice cream. If it was too much then, well, that was okay, but if it was too little then you had to figure out how to add some.

In my opinion there are no Dilly Bars but the hand made ones. The others are just some kind of ice cream on a stick.

In other interesting ice cream news. P tells me that when he was a kid, back in Ukraine, ice cream wasn't so easy to get. It was only availabe every now and then, and when it was the special ice cream kiosks would open up and sell one of three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, or coffee. It's funny how things change. Today, I can walk across the street from my house and get hand-made ice cream delivered from Big Dipper.

I guess all this is proof that sometimes things do change for the better.
Today's high was 74, the temperatures seem to be dropping. From the 15th to the 18th we had a little streak of all-time highs. This is the longest streak of all-time highs in the month of May for Missoula. Guess what happens when we have really hot weather in the spring here? Floods. That's right all the snow pack melts, and the rivers run really high.

As I promised, J.J. and I went to the farmers' market, and then went hiking. Kim the empanada lady was at the Clark Fork River Market selling empanadas. So I got three. Two for me and one for Rocky, who was stuck at work. Just before that I got a few cucumbers from a Russian lady selling them at the old school farmers' market. Then it rained. Then we went to Liquid Planet. Then we saw Rachael, then we saw Rocky, and then we saw Peter and Megan, but they didn't see us.

We decided to go to Blodgett canyon over Cold Lakes in the Missions. It was a great day. We hiked about eleven miles. Oh yeah, and I looked for my keys at the crash site, but didn't find them.
Marshall played at Liquid Planet tonight. If you haven't heard him, you should check out his music on myspace. He is really good. The music is a nice blend of folk and alternative with some great finger picking. His lyrics are excellent. Anyone who incorporates quotes from C.S. Lewis can't be all bad. Marshall is releasing his new CD this July, and then going on tour in late summer.

After Marshall played, Rocky and I met Rachael at the Union Club to see Travis play drums with Tom Catmull. Their music was really fun. It reminded me of the Refreshments. It was my first time at the Union Club which turned out to be a really cool hangout. My favorite moment was when the band was playing a song that might be called "Cool Water," Travis was standing up and rocking the drums, and right in front of our table a couple (that looked like father and daughter) were really cutting a rug jitterbugging.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to the farmers' market with J.J., and then we're going on a day hike somewhere.
Last night was fun. Every Tuesday Sean Kelly's has trivia night - and it rocks. Trivia doesn't start until 8:00, but if you want a table you need to get there early. Zach, Rocky, and I got there just before seven and barely got a table in the basement.

Here are some of the trivia questions:

  1. Which of the 48 contiguous states has the most shoreline?

  2. What two-word musical term is used to describe the birds singing in the morning?

  3. What band sings "How Bizarre?"

  4. In Greek mythology, who gazed into a pool of water, fell in love with his own image and wasted away?



And here are the trivia answers:

  1. Michigan

  2. Dawn Chorus

  3. OMC

  4. Narcissus



We didn't come in last, but we were quite a bit away from first with a final score of 55. There were eight rounds of ten questions worth one point each except for the final round where the questions were worth double the points. The same team that always wins won. I think they are called Second Thought. Our team was named the Rockettes, but the best team name was Suck It Trebek.
Back in November, when Scott's car was pushed off of a mountain, I lost my keys with it, and on my key ring was my only motorcycle key. Well, the weather has been getting nicer and I really would like to start riding it, plus it gets much better gas milage than the truck.

To get it working again I needed to get a new key made. First step was getting a blank key from the Kawasaki dealer. Man, they have some nice new motorcycles in there. Next, I had to remove the ignition and take it and the blank key to the locksmith. Then they just cut me a new one. So amazing.

I put it back in the bike, jumped it, and took it out for a test ride. I like riding motorcycles. Yeah. The starter is going bad though, so I'll have to take it in and get it checked out. There's a bunch of little things that need to get fixed with the bike, but once the starter is fixed I can ride it on a regular basis once again.

Finished

12:27 PM | 2 Comments

Russian 202 Class PhotoWell, for all of you waiting on pins and needles: I got the paper in!

After a grueling homework session at the guys house including some great coffee, several cokes, and nabbing Zach's bed for a quick rest my paper is complete. It's not my best work, but it will do for a grade. On my way to drop it off, I ran into a couple other students who, like me, waited until the last minute to write it. I don't know what it is, but it always seems that for one reason or the other I'm finishing big school projects right before the deadline. I intended to finish this paper earlier, but I got a nasty cold over the weekend and spent most of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sleeping. But that's all behind me now, so let's forget it.

Today I took my one and only final. It was scheduled for a week from tomorrow, but our class managed to talk the teacher into giving it today. A couple students were still allowed to take it on the scheduled date, but for most of us it was nice to get it out of the way. So now I am officially enjoying summer.

Next on the todo list: get the motorcycle working.

4:28

3:30 PM | 2 Comments

It's 4:28. I'm printing. The paper is due by five. Will I make it? Stay tuned, and find out.
It's four in the morning, I'm at the guys house writing my paper. Wildebeests are on Animal Planet. Zach is sleeping on one couch, Kathleen is on the other. Rocky just finished his paper and went to bed. He'll wake me in the morning if he gets up in time to get biskets from Wheat Montana. I'm glad I took tomorrow off of work since I have at least five more pages to write.

I'm going to sleep. Goodnight.
Yesterday, I helped a little bit with the Chi Alpha missions garage sale. Every year we hold one of these to help send students to Slovakia on a summer mission. This year we seemed to have quite a bit of donations. People donate stuff, we sell it, and the money goes to the mission.

Part of the fun is an all-night setup party. I didn't stay for all of it. I just dropped off my truckload of stuff from me and my parents, ate some pizza, and left. Another part of the fun is taking pictures with some of the more silly items for sale.

In other news, I'm sick of school for this semester. I ran out of steam about a week ago when the weather got nice. I just have to force myself to write the final paper for Russian Lit and I'll have the big thing out of the way. I'm going to compare Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment. Particularly, Part Eight of Anna Karenina and the Epilogue of Crime and Punishment. These are the two best novels I have ever read. If you have a lot of extra time, read them.

In still other news, I'm sick. It figures since I have recently been saying that my extra sleep has kept me healthy. I got a sore throat, and now it has turned into a stuffed up nose too. Theraflu is incredibly expensive right now. It was over $8 to get six packets. Maybe it has something to do with the bird flu worries.

Well, I'm back to thinking about that paper.
April 26th was the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Twenty years ago in Ukraine the plant suffered a nuclear meltdown. Some have described the glowing sight of the explosion as beautiful while others could feel the radiation burning their skin. Forty seven workers died as a result of acute radiation syndrome, but no one knows how many have died and will die from radiation exposure.

The area and towns directly around the reactor have been abandoned, and many nearby towns still suffer the effects of elevated radiation. My friend's neice, who was born several years after the incident, died as a result of a heart condition which is now known as "Chernobyl Heart." There are many children who suffer ill health due to the accident and the radiation still present.

There is an interesting story about a girl who rides her motorcycle through the ghost towns. Apparently, it is not all true, but the photos are still haunting, and it is worth the read.
Well, I thought that I should get something up, and what better time to do it than when I should be writing a paper that was due last Thursday? I've been busy with school stuff lately, and I've told myself that I shouldn't be blogging when I have homework to do, but now I'm throwing that out the window and giving you an update.

I just finished Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. You know the same guy who wrote the longest book you've ever heard of: "War and Peace." Anna Karenina is officially the longest novel I have completed at 740 pages, but I would say it was worth it. Tolstoy is just a master at writing emotions, the thoughts of charaters, and their relationships. Did you know that Anna Karenina was a best seller in 2004? That's right, it was on Oprah's Book Club!

Aside from reading Anna Karenina and taking vacation to read Anna Karenina, I've been building a new computer. I bought a motherboard from Pavel, ordered an AMD 64 3000+ processor, a killer heatink (Dale thinks it's cool), and picked up a new 320 GB SATA hard drive from Best Buy. Oh yeah, and a sweet Antec P180 case. It's a nice case. It is supposed to be the quietest stock case on the market. It has 3 120cm fans, and rubber grommets for the hard drives to ride on (it cuts down on the noise from vibration). I was really going for a quiet computer since my last one sounded like a jet.

Right now I'm installing Windows 2000 for the second time. I already had it installed, but I tried to run Paragon Partion Manager on it and it hosed my installation and I lost everything on the hard drive. Let that be a warning to you to always backup what you need off your computer.

Well, I think I'll finish Checkov's "The Lady with the Pet Dog" before I go to bed and just write my paper on Anna Karenina tomorrow morning. I really need to make myself get up early. I'm still working on that, but on the bright side I haven't got sick in a long time.
Apparently, Wendy's not only hires teenage instant messengers to make burgers, but to write signs too.

I don't have anything against teenagers. Heck, I even used to be one. I just never wrote an instant message or a text as one, and now that I do use those mediums, I'm responsible enough not to let the style cross over into professional or academic work.

I'm not a strict prescriptive grammarian, but I do think we need some standards to communicate well.

IMG_0283IMG_0282

It's official - it's spring, and now my front lawn says that it's officially official. Monday was the first day of spring and also the first day my crocuses started appearing.

A couple of years ago I planted 200 pickwick crocus bulbs all over in the front yard. They call it naturalizing. Every year they start coming up right before spring break, and every year they are in full bloom while I am gone for spring break. That will be the case this year too, but maybe they will still be around when I get back from the Canyonlands.
Here is how to transform your internet browsing. The internet is four times better without the ads. Pages load faster and aren't nearly as annoying.

First, download and install the latest version of Firefox. Click that big green button. Save the file and run it to install Firefox.

Once you have the latest Firefox installed, get the AdBlock extension. Just click "Install Now", it's down the page a little.

Now get the latest list of sites to block. Several files will be listed on this site. Right-click the most recent adblock list (e.g. 2006-03-08a.txt) and select "Save Link As"
Save it to My Documents or anywhere else.

Now, to load this list into Firefox just follow these steps:
In Firefox, on the menu, select Tools|Extensions
Click Adblock, then click the Options button
Click Adblock Options, then Import Filters
Select the file you just downloaded and saved, and click Open
Click the Append button
Click Done

Enjoy ad-free browsing! If you do by chance run across an add, you can block it by right-clicking it and selecting "Block Images from ..."
On Sunday, I was hanging out over at the guys' house playing the coolest game for the PS2 - Katamari Damacy. No really, it's cool. Basically your goal is to roll around a ball (your "katamari"), while you roll it around things that are smaller than it stick to it and it grows. As it grows larger it can pick up larger things. You start with tacks, memory cards, etc., and work you way up to cats and dogs and children and people and cows and cars and buildings and cities. Seriously, it's cool, but you don't have to take my word for it, check out the reviews on Amazon.

Well, while I was over there fending off the urge to do my homework, and I got a call from my dear little sister. She was on her way to Missoula! As is almost tradition, we went out for sushi. It's addicting. Then she took off for my parent's house. My dad was going to help her change her oil before she left for Portland. She's off to do some spring break snowboarding at Mount Hood. Fun, fun! I told her that she should check out Powell's bookstore while she's there. Not that I've been there, but everyone raves about it.

Yep, she's already on spring break, and we don't have it for another week and a half here at the 'ol U of M. But when we do, I've decided to go to the Canyonlands.
I thought I wouldn’t have the pleasure of shoveling anymore snow this year, and I’m not saying that sarcastically. I really like shoveling the walk. Before you ask me to shovel yours though, know that one is enough. Snow is one thing that is guaranteed to bring a smile to my face. Today was beautiful – it snowed all morning. I may just have to skip church tomorrow and spend the day up at Snowbowl.

Yesterday I did some shopping or let me say e-shopping. I didn’t really go out to a "brick and mortar" as they call them. I bought a new camera (Canon SD450) from Dell and a memory card (2GB) and reader from newegg. It pays to watch bensbargins. Girls, I’ll let you in on a little secret: guys like to shop too. It’s just that they don’t like to shop for the same things you do. Think of all the fun you have in a hardware store or the video game section of Wal-Mart. So the next time you want to get your boyfriend to go shopping with you it might help to stop by Home Depot or something. I think there are more similarities than that though too. Some guys will go shopping when they are feeling down, but instead of buying a new outfit they’ll come home with a new tool or gadget. I guess it does cheer you up some.

Well, my parents are back from their month-long RV vacation to the south, so I think I’ll head out to Frenchtown and pay them and their RV dog a visit. Look forward to my photo stream exploding next weekend with 5 megapixel photos.
I think I'm losing my self discipline. I remember the days I used to get up early and run. I remember the more recent days when I used to get up at 6:00 every morning regardless of how late I was up doing homework the night before. That wasn't fun, but I did it anyway. Two weeks ago I decided to start getting up at 5:00 every morning and cut back on caffene. I got up at 5:00 the first three mornings and once or twice since then. Today I got up at 7:30 depspite going to sleep at 8:00 last night, and I'm drinking an Americano as I write this. Seven thirty is pretty good considering there has often been 10:00 mornings.

It might be that I don't regard these things as important enough to warrant change, or perhaps I've had too much else on my mind to focus. I'm falling behind in my Russian class too.

I've also have been lacking in writing, and I'm losing readers. Thanks to the three of you who still stop by.
Yesterday, Peter and I went snowboarding at Silver Mountain. He's the one with the French fries for eyebrows. Silver Mountain is a pretty nice resort and it's about a two hour drive from Missoula, like most resorts besides Snowbowl. However, there is a convient time change on the way which saves you an hour on the way over which means you can get an extra hour of sleep which rocks. Megan the Red was going to come too, but wasn't able to afterall.

Even though Silver Mountain hadn't got much new snow, we still found nice snow in the trees and the groomed runs were nice. My brother likes Silver Mountain, because they groom black diamonds. That could have led to the two injuries we saw while we were there. One guy they loaded in a sled onto the chairlift, the helicopter came for the other. Since the only way up to the resort in the winter is by gondola (the longest single-stage gondola in the world, I hear) I bet there are a lot of helicopter rescues. I've been on it once, though as a passenger. It was my brother who needed to be lifted to the hospital. Yes, the brother who likes the fact there are groomed black diamonds, that is why we got a ride on the helicopter.

One the way back, Peter and I stopped at the famous 10,000 Silver Dollar Bar. It's mostly a big, cheesy souviner shop. Riley says he likes it for the big, cheap knives, but Peter and I found some sweet trucker hats. I'm going to wear that one every time I leave the state.

Thing to know about Silver Mountain:
In the terrian park and elsewhere, inverted ariels are allowed, just not reccomended. Most resorts will take away your lift ticket.

Unlike Snowbowl where there have already been eight rescues this season, if you ski out of bounds at Silver and need to be rescued, you are responsible for the cost. Bummer dude.
Well, I haven't posted in a while. Here's what has been going on:

  • School Started I'm taking Russian 202 (Language class) and Russian 306 (Russian Literature in English and Rocky is in my class!)

  • Chi Alpha started for the semester.

  • I went snowboarding with Renee (my wonderful little sister) at Bridger.

  • I went snowboarding with Ryan at Lost Trail.

I just got back yesterday from a two-day training course in Helena. It was excruciatingly boring, and really not useful, but Helena is cool. Downtown Helena is really cool. They have a street that has been converted into a pedestrian-only walk with sculptures and nice landscaping. All along it are little shops, and as I discovered, a Taco del Sol. So never fear, when you are in Helena you can still get a fish taco in a burrito shell, although it will cost you 15 cents more than in Missoula.

Oh, and here is a tip for when you are in Helena: never get a fountain pop or anything else made with the local water. It is terrible - like drinking from the swimming pool.

And here's a funny little story: while Pavel and I were out buying some bottled water late at night, we ran into a group of Russians at Albertson's. We got in line behind them at the checkout, and then one guy with a long beard who I wouldn't have guessed was Russian turned to us and said in perfect local English, "Oh we're not in line. This register is closed, you'll have to go to that one." Then he went back to talking in Russian with the others in what Pavel said was perfect Russian. Like I think I've said before, my teacher says I have a knack for running into Russians. Funny.

A Meme

10:21 AM | 2 Comments

It's a Meme!

I was tagged by precious roy, and I just realized that when I posted this two weeks ago, I only posted to draft, but now it's posted for real, obviously you're reading it. I was wondering why the four I tagged hadn't posted anything about it.

Four Jobs I've had in my life:

  • Rabbit Barn Attendant at the fair (as a prank, we bought popcorn chicken from KFC, and gave it away as fried rabbit. It was pretty funny watching people's responses. Everything from "That's aweful" to "hmm, tastes like chicken")

  • Making Pizza, Subs, and Mexican Food at Hot Stuff Pizza, Smash Hit Subs, and Eddie Peppers. Yes that is one job.

  • Computer Programmer in the Air Force

  • Computer Programmer at Missoula County

Four Movies I can watch over and over:Four Places I have lived:

  • Missoula, MT

  • San Antonio, TX (6 weeks for basic training)

  • Biloxi, MS (3 months for tech school)

  • Montgomery, AL (3.5 years permanent duty station)

Four TV shows I love to watch:Four Places I have Been on Vacation:

  • Cuauhtemoc, Mexico

  • Moscow, Russian (on a mission)

  • Miami, FL

  • Blue Bay on Flathead Lake, MT

Four Websites I visit Daily:Four of my Favourite Foods:

  • Quesadillas, especially in Mexico

  • Fish Tacos

  • Asiago Bagel from Bagels on Broadway

  • Sushi

Four Places I would rather be right now:

  • Snowbowl

  • Lost Trail

  • Home

  • Mexico

Four bloggers I am tagging:
The other day Shannon wanted to get one of those water filters for your kitchen sink, but as usual I expanded on the idea and decided to get a whole-house filter. I've heard that the chlorine in the city water dries your skin and hair out in the shower. I don't know if that is just marketing from the filter companies, but I bought it.

While I was at Lowe's, I asked the guy in the plumbing department what he thought about whole-house filters. I told him that it seemed like a good idea, but I thought it was a waste to flush my toilet with filtered water. He told me that toilet flushing generally isn't a large part of your daily water consuption. He said that the average person uses 300 gallons of water a day. Wow, and the toilet only takes 1.6 gallons per flush.

I had to rent some PEX crimpers to install it, and once I got it in I remembered that I hate plumbing. It leaks. So I'll have to re-do it one of these days. In the meantime I put a bucket under it. It's only about a drip a minute.

In other news, I've been working hard on the Chi Alpha website. I want to make it so that Bible study leaders can upload the studies and stuff like that, and then I think it will be ready for launch. The U of M doesn't support ASP.NET 2.0 right now, so I may look into hosting it somewhere else (besides my house) until they do.

I'm sitting in the coffee shop in Walmart right now, listening to the radio snow report. It sounds like there has been quite a bit of snow in the mountains. That's good. I'm hoping to go to Big Sky in a couple weeks.

That's all for now. Have a great day.
Hey, so I know it has been a while since I wrote up a "real" post. Let's catch up.

School got out! Yeah, I passed both my classes, Russian 201 and Russian Literature. I got a B in Russian Lit, but I guess that's what happens when you turn in all your papers late, except one which never got handed in. I probably had time to do it; I just never got around to it. Oh well. It's over, and I'm glad.

Christmas was good. I am always glad to spend time with my family, and get a fruitcake from my mom. She told me I was a scrooge because I didn't go to the hassle of setting up a Christmas tree. Of course, she was just kidding, but my decorations consisted of taking the coil of rope lights to the porch, but never hanging them or turning them on. In fact, I just sent out the last two Christmas cards today. That's what happens when school gives you an excuse for procrastination.

One of my favorite writers is C.S. Lewis. You should check him out; he's that guy who wrote "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Every Christmas, I like to read a couple of essays that he wrote in the collection "God in the Dock." They are titled "Xmas and Christmas" and "What Christmas Means to Me." You can use the search inside feature at Amazon to preview the essays (i.e. read the full text). You should get the book. You won't be disappointed.

Our (mine and Shannon's) New Year's Eve was pretty uneventful. We did get new (to us) furniture and Rocky helped me move it. Thanks! Shannon's coworker, who we were buying the sofa and love seat from, had left a message for us. Since she wasn't feeling well enough to come to town she just left us a key and told us to take the furniture out the window. Well, I kind of forgot about the whole window thing, and Rocky and I did a good job banging up the freshly painted doorways. After our fair share of frustration, I saw and remembered the window. The couch went out it so easy. Oh, I just forgot, Rocky told me that it's a sofa, not a couch. He used to work at his dad's furniture store and they're more precise about such things. I guess I could get used to the phrase "sofa potato." Tired out from all that excitement, we waited until 12:00 said "Happy New Year," and went to bed. We did think about going to First Night to see Peter's dad play in his Latin Jazz band, but we didn't feel like shelling out thirty bucks for tickets.

Then on the first, I drove over to Bozeman to see my sister Renee. I got to see her new apartment, and we went snowboarding at Bridger the next day. It was great. Her friend Claire came along, or rather I came along with them. We did end up going home a little early because Renee hit her head kind of hard.

Then earlier this week, I hung up some new blinds in the living room, because the old curtains clashed with the new furniture. They will go to the dining room. Exciting, eh?

Now, I am working on the new Chi Alpha website. You can check it out on my personal computer turned web server here. No guarantees on how long that link will stay active. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

One last thing, I wanted to dispel a common myth that Xmas is "taking the Christ out of Christmas." This isn't quite true. X or chi stands for Christ or more so the Greek "Χριστός". So just like XA is short for Chi Alpha which are the Greek letters abbreviating "Christ's Ambassadors", Xmas is short for Christmas. I suppose you could say Chi-mas (sounds like kie-mas) to be all Greek and stuff.
If you are the first one to guess what this is, I'll mail you one.