Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Foods I don't like, but wish I did

Broccoli - it's supposedly highly nutritious. It's often mixed in stir-fry, which means I have to tediously pick out each of the horrible tasting pieces.

Asparagus - I'd enjoy stalking the wild aparagus, but I'd feel guilty if I didn't eat what I killed.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Here's one way to discourage trick-or-treaters

Bike lane

The intent is good, but I'd be wary of using this bike lane (Ferguson, north of Durston).

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Former car wash

This vacant lot on Main used to house a carwash. All that's left is an incredibly ugly blue building.

The kiosk serves coffee (also: "now serving breakfast burritos"). I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but there are enough java-junkies here to support several little coffee-kiosks scattered around Bozeman.

A hare-brained scheme

This 48,000 SF former discount store on the corner of Main and Babcock has been vacant for several years.

My hare-brained scheme: convert it into loft apartments.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wine: Jest Red

I recently had a bottle of Jest Red wine. It was okay, but I was especially intrigued by the label: "crushed by the bare feet of 69 beautiful women in the wee light of dawn one misty October day" ;-)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Suspicious cows

This small herd of cows was very skittish. I guess because they all had calves.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tuesday kitchen blogging: Cornbread

When my Mother and sisters visited Bozeman last July 4th, they were shocked by the poor availability of quality cornbread mix in the local stores. So, my Mother sent me a big box of good mix from Texas.

Cornbread, pinto beans, and a glass of cold milk -- yummmmm!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Purple house

This colorful house is located in southeast Bozeman, Montana.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Harvest Creek Trail

A one mile trail through the Harvest Creek neighborhood in northwest Bozeman: link.

Buffalo pic on CNN

A Great Falls buffalo sculpture is one of CNN's offbeat photos today. (via brendanloy.com).

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Letter to the Editor

The 9/17/05 Bozeman Daily Chronicle printed a letter from me about "Too few parks":

At a Sept. 8 meeting, one of the city's engineers showed a plan to expand Fowler Lane from two lanes to five lanes. This plan will require cutting down all the trees on the western edge of Bozeman Pond Park, and the possible elimination of the canine beach. The engineer said this might happen as soon as 2006.

Bozeman has too few parks to start nibbling away at their edges.

View of Bozeman from the "M Trail"

Here's what Bozeman looks like from the Bridger Mountains northeast of town.

Story Mill

This historic mill is located in NE Bozeman at the northern terminus of the Story Mill Spur Trail.

There's been talk about developing the area (into residential, maybe?), but I don't know the details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bozeman mentioned in the Wall Street Journal

Bozeman was recently mentioned in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. See
professorbainbridge.com. I can't offer any comment since I (regrettably) am not up to speed on the downtown parking garage issue.

I usually read the Journal for free at the bagel shop. The editorial pages tend to be kinda loony (I think), but the rest of the paper is pretty good.


My most recent DVD purchase ($2): Gumby - 8 delightful shows. The DVD includes classic adventures of Gumby (and Pokey and Nopey) such as: Gumbasia, and Robot Rumpus. Surreal fun for the whole family. I even think I detected a link between Gumby and the lovable Bender of Futurama fame...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Meta: Flickr question

I recently populated my Flickr Contacts List and added it to the sidebar on the right. Basically, I added the Flickr photoblogs of folks who have commented on this blog, and also "poached" their Flickr contact lists for Montana-related sites.

A question for Flickr experts: how do I add the Big Sky ***Pool*** as a Contact ???

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

I put up some shelves in my basement's spare room. I plan to use the shelves for clutter that would otherwise lie in a pile somewhere.

As you can tell from the window, my basement is half underground and half above ground. It stays nice and cool in the Summer. Maybe I could convert it into a giant wine cellar...

New shoes

Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Last Friday I got my first paycheck in two months (I took the Summer off). Like any red-blooded American male, I rushed out and bought a new pair of shoes. (Ummm - that's a joke ;-)

I bought a pair of H.S. Trask shoes from Schnee's.

The most relevant characteristics: big (size 15), deep tread (for the MT winter). FWIW, they're the first pair of bison leather shoes I've ever worn.


I just ate a bowl of chili seasoned with McCormick Tex-Mex Chili Seasoning. Pretty good (i.e., spicy). The name is a misnomer, though, as the recipe on the seasoning packet calls for beans, and authentic Texas chili never contains beans.


Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

I had a small visitor a couple of days ago.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

MSU: site of new chemistry lab

MSU: site of new chemistry lab
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

A nice grove of trees used to stand here. But this is a college campus, not a park. Supposedly, MSU will hire artisans to recycle the trees into furniture, etc.

MSU: main campus walk

MSU: main campus walk
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

This used to be a road. Thankfully, it was converted it to a pedestrian walkway before I joined MSU.

MSU: Heating Plant - no smokestack

MSU: Heating Plant
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

The Heating Plant used to have a distinctive smokestack, but they removed it due to earthquake concerns. If the smokestack had collapsed in a quake, it might have smashed the Heating Plant and put the campus heat out of commission for a year.

Here are some informative articles:1, 2.

MSU: Wool Lab

MSU: Wool Lab
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

I don't know why, but I get a giggle every time I pass by the Wool Lab.

MSU: wind-driven sculpture

MSU: wind-driven sculpture
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

This kinetic sculpture is affectionately known as the "burnt macaroni on a stick." I like it.

MSU: barb wire sculpture in EPS

MSU: barb wire sculpture in EPS
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

A barbed-wire sculpture hanging in the lobby of the EPS Building.

MSU: EPS Building

MSU: EPS Building
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

The Engineering/Physical Sciences Building was constructed a few years ago.

The arched window echoes the arched windows of the Heating Plant which is located across the street. Nice.

MSU: Heating Plant

MSU: Heating Plant
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Constructed in 1922. I like this building's exterior design very much.

MSU: Romney Gym

MSU: Romney Gym
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

MSU has several neat buildings that were constructed around 1920.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A potential tourist attraction

I've been to Singapore twice, but never did visit Haw Par Villa. Maybe some enterprising town in Montana could replicate the theme park ;-) (via BoingBoing.net)

Got a spare silo?

seed_silo_apartments (via BoingBoing.net)

Wake up to makeup ?

So a student appears in my doorway the other day and asks "Is the Psychology recitation meeting across the hall? There's nobody there." Always eager to help a student (really), I let him borrow my phone to call the Psych Department.

Then I noticed - he was wearing black fingernail polish. I've seen goth high school girls wearing black nail polish, but never a male college student. I guess I'm behind on the trends.

Similar story several years in Taco Bell. I was trying to figure out why this high school girl looked different. Then I figured it out - she was wearing white lipstick.

Whatever - more power to them, I say. It certainly got my attention in both cases.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tuesday kitchen blogging

Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

My pantry is almost bare. I'm trying to empty it out before winter. Then I'll restock with new stuff. Looks like I'll be eating a lot of soup over the next month...

(Did you notice that almost all of the labels are facing the front?)

No Canadian money

No Canadian money accepted
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Every place on the MSU campus that accepts cash has a sign that says "No Canadian money." I've tried to pass Canadian coins (unwittingly, of course), but the clerks usually catch me.

Octagonal windows

octagonal windows
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Windows on a house near MSU. I'm not an architect, but I know what I dislike: round or octagonal windows.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Site of new Vann's

Site of new Vann's
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Since Best Buy is trying to build a store here (south of Home Depot), Vann's needs to expand into a more visible location.

73 acres

73 acres
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

This plot of land south of Huffine will be developed into retail shops. My understanding is that it will be somewhat similar to downtown-type retail.

Hammett's Red Harvest

Several of Dashiell Hammett's stories are set in Montana. Apropos Labor Day, his violent novel Red Harvest was said to have been inspired by the labor troubles that plagued Butte, Montana. Here's a Butte website with a different take, though.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Meta: spam comments

FYI, I have been deleting spam comments. If you see that a comment has been deleted, rest assured that it wasn't anything interesting (unless you are reading this blog for information about broadband services, immigration opportunites, or cheap Viagra...).

10,000 miles

Subaru Forester
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

It took me 19 months to accumulate 10,000 miles on my Subaru Forester (that averages to about 526 miles/month).

Here are the reasons I chose to buy a Subaru Forester: plenty of headroom, all wheel drive, car-like ride, excellent rating from Consumer Reports, and Subarus are very popular in Bozeman (which indicates they are good cars for skiers and winter-driving).

Dilapidated shed

dilapidated shed
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Located in NE Bozeman. This shed was probably a carriage house back in the old days.

Most of the houses in NE Bozeman are much nicer than this! the NE is an older section of town and it has plenty of small, modest cottages.

Trailer park

trailer park
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Bozeman has several trailer parks. I think that all of them are actually on land that has not been annexed by the City (e.g., the trailer parks are under Gallatin County zoning).

This small trailer park is located in NE Bozeman. It is clean and looks well-maintained.

Gutter flowers

gutter flowers
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

In NE Bozeman.

Junker on junker

car on truck
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.


[Note: I posted several more photos of old cars on my flickr photoblog. Simply click on the photo above.]

Old shepherd's wagon

Old shepherd's wagon
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

In the old days, shepherds would stay in the fields for weeks on end to tend the flocks.

This old wagon is at Moose Creek Manor Antiques. A restored wagon can be viewed at the Museuam of the Rockies.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

"Not a VW"

"Not a VW"
Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Old car at Moose Creek Manor Antiques on Huffine. If you like old cars, you had better visit quick. The owner got in trouble with the City Commission and will probably move the old cars within several months.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by big mike - montana.

Not very fancy, but some folks currently lack even this level of plumbing.