Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Garden planning

According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, we should expect some changes in Hardiness Zones.

Xmas in Montana

So what does a bachelor do when he's stuck in Montana by a Denver airport SNAFU? He goes skiing and then to the movies.

Happy New Year! - in case you over-indulge over the holidays, go here for some mental relaxation.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday weight gain?

On the one hand, I'll be visiting family for 11 days - lots of naps, home-cooking, Christmas meal, etc. On the other hand, my hosts recently joined a gym and will take me along. We'll see. Current weight = 235 pounds.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I (heart) double features

1, Apocalypto

2. This "classic" 80s music video.

Oh, and there's this, and this.


I volunteered to help EagleMount in their disabled skier program at Bridger Bowl. I get new volunteer training in January -- hope we have enough snow by then!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What is Love?

Bozeman Best: Wine

Most extensive selection: CVS Pharmacy (next to Hastings)

Best Service: Wine Gallery (102 S. 19th)

Bozeman Best: French fries

"Fresh Fries" at It's Greek to Me (on Main, just east of Safeway).


I like shredded wheat, but only with fresh blueberries.

Monday, December 04, 2006


So cold, she's turned blue.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

North Sea

My blog has had two recent visitors from sites near the North Sea: Bergen, Norway and Hamburg, Germany.

I mention this 'cause it brings back a nice memory - many years ago I went on a dayhike along England's North Sea coast. Very pretty.

Airport security

I lost my watch at airport security a couple of week ago. Here is my desired replacement ;-)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What people will buy...

I bought some cat crap today.

No, really -- it's an antifog paste for my ski googles.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Reading is FUNdamental

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


I uploaded my first video to YouTube. Let's see if it works:

Car tracks

At least the drunk driver did not hit my house.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I'm not sure how to interpret this finding:

You Are 14% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.

Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Did you know that Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, taught at Montana State College in Bozeman, Montana?

Which reminds me - I need to winterize my motorcycle...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My favorite kind of skiing

I use much longer skis than these fellows, though.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wild Apple

Wild Apple seems to be the favorite flavor of cigarillo at my local convenience store. Also-ran flavors include grape, peach, pineapple, and vanilla.

Me, I've never smoked anything (tobacco, MJ, meth, crack, heroin, etc.), and have managed (so far) to resist the allure of pineapple-flavored mini-cigars.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

3 Bozeman Bloggers

Can you identify any of these Bozeman bloggers?

Music by David Gray

I heard this song on a Warren Miller video, and liked it enough to track it down.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Reminder: blogger bash on Saturday!

Saturday, 11/11 at Mackenzie River Pizza Co on Main Street. I'll be there early (5:30 pm) to try and beat the rush (and drink some beer). About 10 folks have RSVPed, so should be fun.

If we haven't met -- if you see a blue-eyed fellow who looks like a blogger, that's me. Also - 6' 6" tall, shaved head.

Double Feature - # 2

Big Mike sez "eye-grabbing entertainment!"

The Alienist
Blade Runner

Blade Runner is an old favorite (I've watched the movie more times than I've read the original P.K. Dick story). I read The Alienist after reading Erin's recommendation.

Double Feature - # 1

Big Mike sez --- "cheeky"

Feature 1 Feature 2

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gallatin County: Red or Blue?

Senate: Neither red nor blue, in (almost) exactly the same proportion as Montana overall. Burns had a few more votes that Tester in Gallatin County, though, which surprised me. I don't have data to back it up, by my impression is that university communities tend more liberal. On the oher hand, universities with large engineering programs probably tend more conservative.

House: Red, in exactly the same proportion as Montana overall.

I think most of the candidates I voted for (note: I did not vote in every race) won. Woo-hoo ;-)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Literature comes to life

Unfortunately, it's Orwell's 1984. As you recall, Winston's squeeze Julia was a member of the Junior Anti-Sex League.

USA Today: Abstinence message goes beyond teens:
Millions in federal money targeting adults up to 29

Sunday, October 29, 2006


That's how much candy I bought to distribute on Halloween...
(I've already starting eating it myself ;-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bozeman Blogger Bash: Nov. 11 (Saturday)

Bozeman Blogger Bash - an opportunity for bloggers (and blog readers) to meet up
Where: Mackenzie River Pizza, Main St., Bozeman
When: Nov. 11 (Saturday), starting at 5:30 pm (come when you like...)

(I talked to the hostess at MRP this evening. She recommended having a few people arrive before 6 pm, which is when the rush starts. So, I'll be there (probably drinking beer) before anyone else. If 5:30 is too early for you, come later.)

Questions? Please comment below or email big mike.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Creation of a Supermodel

Dove - Evolution - This cool video shows the transformation of an ordinary woman into a supermodel. There are two phases: (1) make-up and hair, and (2) Photoshop. I was (naively) amazed by the Photoshopping. The video shows that magazine (and billboard) ads have only a tenuous relation to reality.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Montana earthquakes

FYI, click on this USGS map to see details on recent earthquake activity in Montana. Nothing near as large as Hawaii's recent quake.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


A consolation after it rained at a recent picnic.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bozeman Blogger Bash ?

Anyone out there interested in having a meet-up of Bozeman bloggers (and blog readers)? Maybe mid-November?

(So far, I've met two Bozeman bloggers, and they both seemed like nice people - very much what you'd expect from reading their blogs.)


Recently seen Bozeman bumpersticker:
My other car is made out of meat.

Eagerly awaited bumpersticker:
My other car is made out of meat and is a sub-subcompact.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Savage Barbarian

At Borders this morning - saw the coffee table book CONAN: The Savage Barbarian. The artfully placed "30% off" sale sticker changed the title to ONAN: The Savage Barbarian.

(Well, I thought it was funny ;-)

Sunset @ Bozeman Pond Park

The trees seem to be glowing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Departed

I enjoyed this movie, especially the Boston Irish accents of the cops and gangsters. The ending was somewhat depressing, but, to me, it was faithful to the rest of the film.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Religion Quiz

I recently took beliefnet's Belief-o-Matic "find out your religion" quiz. The results seem pretty accurate. FWIW, my "median religion" (13 religions/denominations were more in line with my quiz answers, 13 religions/denominations were less in line): Mormon.

Re my sister's comment: "Unitarian/Universalist" was also my highest score ;-) IIRC, "Islam" was the lowest, which is not surprising since my "religion motto" is non serviam.

More on Cathodic Protection

A blogging record I bet - two posts on cathodic protection (woo-hoo!). Before my previous post, I didn't realize how big an industry it is. From the earlier post's comments: www.beasy.com. One of my research associates is a civil engineering structures guy - I'll ask him if there are any more blog-worthy corrosion stories around Bozeman, Montana...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The most expensive items on e-bay - currently #1 is some Montana real-estate.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Looking North over Bozeman Pond

Another beautiful evening in Bozeman, Montana.

44 inches

I've given up bragging about my shoulder scar at the gym. The other person always one-ups me with an even more horrifying surgery story. Plus, I sometimes feel that I'm being implicitly judged based on the muscularity of my shoulder or the size of my chest (;-0).


Had a rough day? Chill out like this kitty:
Rescued Taiwanese kitten naps on a Mac keyboard

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yummmm, Tortillas

Coming to an art museum near you. (h/t boingboing.net)

I wish I knew of a Bozeman restaurant that made its own tortillas.


a) big mike's only gardening failure this season
b) an ingredient in margherita pizza
c) Toni Basil - featured on the radio at Mackenzie River Pizza Company on 9/26. She created this video in 1982:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Time for a breather

My neighbor's dog loves to play fetch. She usually tires out before I do.

Bigger Mike

This "Big Mike" is outweighs me by almost 100 pounds (he's shorter by 2 inches, though).

New York Times: The Ballad of Big Mike

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fun with wikipedia

A fun (?) timewaster: search for people on wikipedia.org.

Here are some results for bloggers from my blogroll:
Dude (The Dude Abides)
Erin Murphy (Inside-Out)
jesse james
Lemon Curry ?
Michael Cole (bozeman-mt)
Wulfgar! (A chicken is not pillage)

Strangely enough, only one of the blogs (Chrismukkah) is famous enough to have a relevant wikipedia entry, though several entries are pretty close (e.g., Wulfgar!).


Per my "Collecting Data" and "Efficiency" posts, I'm in the process of answering questions for the free matchmaking service okcupid.com. Apparently the questions are submitted by other users (after they have answered >500 questions themselves).

So far, I've answered questions related to smoking, monagamy, abortion, dental habits, snuggling preferences, evolution, arithmetic, how frequently to keep in touch, eugenics...

Collecting data

According to this, Aristotle held that women have fewer teeth than men. My theory is that Aristotle gave up on collecting real-world data after the first (involuntary) examinee bit his hand.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Traffic on 19th Street...

...sure is rough. Hah:


What Makes You Click? Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating: "the match outcomes in this online dating market appear to be approximately efficient in the Gale-Shapley sense."

"Efficient" is being used in a technical sense here. What's scary is that I immediately understood that sense. Wiki link.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak at MSU

David Trimble will speak at MSU on October 15: ticket info.

Dead Rabbits

a) a common feature on Babcock (the street I take to work)

b) a gang in 1850s New York (dramatized in the movie Gangs of New York)

Don't stop Believin' ... aw heck go ahead and stop

So, I bought a coke at the MSU Sweet Shop today (I'm back to my awful 2 per day habit ;-(. They were playing on the radio... a song from my high school years:

I must've liked the song back the early 80's, since I still know the lyrics, but isn't it time to give it a rest?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


a) Puppet mascot for Old Navy: www.heyfash.com

b) to vex (Scots) - "Dinna fash yourself laddie" (James Clavell's Tai-Pan)

Scar-y photo

I've come to terms with my scar, I think. I'm glad it's not visible when I wear a shirt. If you are not sqeamish (about scars or hairy backs ;-), heres a photo of it 12 weeks after surgery: Scar_12weeks.jpg. (I could shave my back, but I think the scar will be there forever.)

The lovely peasant lass in the photo background is from the Philbrook Museum.


I've been working on my family tree - mainly as a way to get in touch with history. Here are the countries for which I've traced an ancestor:
* France - my most recent immigrant ancestor came over from Napoleon III's France
* England - the "Cole" line
* Scotland - inferred from my ancestor's name "Montgomery"
* America - distant Indian ancestry on my Mother's side and my Father's side. Probably Cherokee and ?

I'm pretty sure, but haven't verified, the following:
* Ireland
* Scots-Irish
* Netherlands

Imagine you had a time machine and travelled back to England/Scotland in the year 1100. Pick a random person. If that person has any descendants living in 2006, then he/she was (almost surely, like 99.9%) one of my ancestors.

Everyone reading this blog is a cousin if you go back far enough; and "far enough" is not really that far.


Interesting in reading big mike's prose stylings on the topic of engineering ethics? If yes, then click over to ethics300.blogspot.com.

Warning: the blog also covers ordinary ethics & morality and some religion and politics...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Offender Registry

MT Sexual and Violent Offender Registry: Bozeman. I'm not exactly sure what use "we the public" are expected to get from this registry, but I guess more info is better than less.


Heh. The following song was popular when I was in college - I was surprised to hear it at Mackenzies Pizza recently.

I remember these banana-related characters from watching too much TV in the 70's:

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ski time approaches

Getting closer...

I'll buy a season pass to Bridger Bowl, as usual. And, if I can find the right ski buddy/buddies, I'd like to visit Snowbowl, Red Lodge, Big Sky, and Moonlight Basin.

Here's the opening scene from Warren Miller's Cold Fusion:

I like Pie

What a great day at the the Museum of the Rockies last Sunday! I went to see the reptile exhibition (way cool) and stayed for the Pie Auction. Having been to auctions before, I was a spirited bidder. I bought a Pumpkin Pie and a Coconut Cream Pie.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fashion blogging

NPR commentator Lori Gottlieb contemplates Gain Weight, Lose Perspective: When Sizes Grow. What's interesting to me: she speculates that future women's sizes will incorporate imaginary numbers (i.e., multiples of the square root of -1) and negative numbers. (I realize she was being facetious.)

My surprising inference was that this trend to "less than zero" sizes is driven by fairly slender women. I guess a "size 0p" would be a consolation prize for those women who lost the zaftig lottery.

Hmm - it's not restricted to women's fashions: I measured some of my trousers, and the waist measurements are a couple of inches more than what the label says.

I wasn't invited to the recent get-together of Progressive MT bloggers (maybe because my blog is non-political ;-), but maybe this post means I'll be invited whenever the MT fashion bloggers throw a party...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

NY Times letter

FYI, in a recent letter in the New York Times about movie locations: "Bozeman is certainly no 'small town' ". Compared to places like Livingston and Malta, that's exactly correct.

Montana Film Office: Bozeman has info about movies, TV shows, etc. filmed in Bozeman.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Another foto of me - woo-hoo :-?

(I also snapped a pic of my shoulder scar, but, based on my sisters' reactions, decided not to post it to this blog.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I hope these tomatoes ripen before our first freeze.

Regrettably, I'll have to skip WNGD, since my garden has zero privacy.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

MSU Mascot

Another view of da kitty.

Typical Montana front yard

I like to walk around the neighborhood to get landscaping ideas.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Final novellas

Two last novellas from my summer reading, both from the early 1900's:

Call of the Wild (Jack London) - a must for anyone with the slightest bit of affection for the canine-kind, or interest in the Noble Savage.

The Man Who was Thursday (G.K. Chesterton) - the hoariest of secret agent cliches is a major plot point, but that's OK because this novella probably originated the cliche.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wagon wheel

I bet a "flat tire" was a real PITA (pain in the ankle) back in the Old West. Could you call the AWA (American Wagon Association) for a tow?

Thursday, August 31, 2006


I saw this kitty at the MSU Student Union.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I thought my page had been hacked, but was just a typo in the url: bozeman-mt.blogPSOT.com (Mega site of Bible studies and information).

Weasels ripped my flesh...

...and deer munched my arborvitae.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fashion police

Thankfully, baggy pants are not a problem in Bozeman.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


My car now has just over 15,000 miles (500 miles/month on average). Maybe it's time to pimp my ride with an exhaust-powered calliope?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bozeman photostream

bozeman - Everyone's Tagged Photos - a stream of flickr photos that have been tagged "bozeman".

Note: similar streams exist for Great Falls, Missoula, etc.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

By the numbers

0 - pieces of bedroom furniture other than bed
1 - number of houseplants
1.5 - quarts of milk consumed per week (average)
3 - pieces of furniture accidentally broken this summer
20 - pairs of shoes & boots
38 - circumference in inches
232 - weight in pounds
500 - miles driven per month (average)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Goin' snakey

Re Snakes on a Plane - I only wish airplane lavatories were that spacious. Other than that minor quibble, I enjoyed the movie. Ssssssssssss........

Mayonnaise - in the news

I used to be amused by those competitve eating contests - until I read the mayonnaise record: 128 ounces in 8 minutes. Yuck.

Just as gross: recipe for Deep-Fried Mayonnaise.

And, I knew a guy in college who raved about sun-baked mayo sandwiches (a joke, I hope).

"World View" Quiz

You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Home decorating

I'm considering painting my bedroom gray or blue, but maybe I should be more ambitious.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Classics lists

I've read sixteen of these "classic hits".

Section Line Ditch

The Section Line Ditch runs east of Fowler Road. The "Farmers Canal Company" owns and operates the irrigation ditch. Whenever they get the chance (e.g., when a bordering piece of land is developed), they replace the open ditch with a buried culvert ;-(

Cul de Sac exit

This cut-through at the south end of Sweetgrass Avenue is very convenient.


This fellow discovered one of the perils of visiting Bozeman Pond Park: one of the goslings might follow you around all day.

Turtle @ Bozeman Pond Park

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Matrimony story

I was talking to a recently married 50ish man the other day. He remarked that he did not miss looking for love in Bozeman's bars (not even the bars that attract a non-college clientele, such as Plonk).

I asked him where he found his wife....... he re-married the woman he had divorced a few years previously ;-)

Meta: blogroll updates

1. I added killerliving.com. This blog is by a real-estate person whom I know from meetings of the Bozeman InterNeighborhood Council.

2. I deleted a bunch of defunct blogs.

3. I decided not to add some Bozeman-based MySpace blogs. Although there are some exceptions, MySpace blogs tend to suck big time, IMHO.

4. I'll keep Revolving Duck on the blogroll for a few more weeks even though it has gone on (probably permanent) hiatus. The proprietor of this "personal journey blog" wrote an informative final post.


I received a 1948 quarter in change today. The silver in the quarter is worth about $1.50. Woo-hoo!

Monday, August 14, 2006


My two tomato plants now have at least one tiny tomato. I hope it develops into something like the "tomato with a human face".

Muttonchop mania

OK, not exactly a mania, but - at the bagel shop, I saw a guy sporting muttonchop sideburns and a soul patch. The guy was about 30, and his girlfriend looked completely conventional. I'll report back if I see a trend developing...

Here's an amusing article: "Feline reactions to bearded men". I haver never simultaneously had both a beard and a cat, so I am unable to report any personal anecdotes.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Talledega credit cookie

Talladega Nights has a funny credit cookie that explicates Faulkner. Well, I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

80's music videos - animated

Animated music videos from the 1980s:

A-ha: Take on me - cheesy song, but great rotoscoping of a parallel universe

Genesis: Land of confusion - puppet-mania

Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer

Dire Straits: Money for nothing

Shining - not a music video, but funny use of Peter Gabriel's song "Salisbury Hill"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Two more Austen novels

My summer of Great Novels is nearing an end, but I have a backlog still to blog.

Jane Austen's Emma and Persuasion are considered the greatest of her novels, and among the greatest of all English novels. My endorsement: I will be re-reading these novels with care in the years to come.

If you are a beginning "literary reader" (like myself), I would recommend starting with one of Austen's earlier novels, such as Pride and Prejudice. Emma is 100% characterization, 0% action; and Persuasion has a set of inter-related characters worthy of a Tolstoy novel.

Ready to rumble?

I saw this SCA guy at Bozeman Pond Park. And no, I did not challenge him to a sword fight...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Since I had read so much science-fiction as a kid, I felt pretty cocky when I added the H.G. Wells novella The Time Machine to my summer reading list. The very first sentence sent me to a dictionary to look up an unfamiliar word...

Anyway, the Time Traveller travels 800,000 years into the future and meets the eloi. These descendants of modern-day humans are all 4 feet tall and androgynous. The loss of sexual dimorphism in humans transformed this SF tale into a horror story for me ;-)

Update (8/2) - In the recent movie adaptation, the eloi Weena is decidedly non-androgynous. This reinforces my view that movie adaptations of books should be considered on their own merits.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Asinus aureus

The Golden Ass is a proto-novel from the second century AD. The main plot concerns the misadventures of a young man magically transformed into a donkey. If you like stories with plenty of sex and violence, try this one. (Note: the story might be shocking to this blog's more delicate readers.)


Monster House is a fun movie, and even scary in parts ;-)

The only thing that marred my trip to the movies was my missing part of the show due to a projection error (I'm always the one to inform the theater management). Back in the 5th grade, I was one of the students tasked to run the film projector, so I'm sensitive to projection errors. Do schools even have film projectors any more? If not, how are geeks-in-training recognized in elementary school ? ? ?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sing-along & dance-along

Two amusing videos from YouTube:

1. After watching this video, who am I to feel foolish about singing along to the Eagles? : Crazed NUMA Fan !!!!

2. Dance around the world: Where the hell is Matt?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pink champagne on ice

My favorite track on The Big Lebowski soundtrack (a recent purchase) is The Gipsy Kings' Spanish version of "Hotel California" - unfortunately, I don't have enough Spanish to sing along. Actually, that may be a good thing, since I always felt a bit foolish crooning about "pink champagne on ice."

Bonus: The Straight Dope explains the meaning of "Hotel California".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Free books - mostly Science Fiction

Someone said the mark of a good book is how well it bears re-reading. With that in mind, I have culled my library of books that I did not find interesting or entertaining the last time I re-read them.

I have a box of 50+ paperbacks - mostly "classic" science fiction - Niven, Heinlein, etc. (Somehow I ended up with two copies of The Mote in God's Eye.) Anyway, out it goes.

If anyone out there is interested in classic SF (and some Tom Clancy and Stephen King for good measure), let me know and you can pick out what you like before I take the box to the thrift store.


The meal between dinner and breakfast, according to Taco Bell.
(I had a #1 Combo about an hour ago.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Leave No Trace

I saw an ad in the paper today for "scooping services" - $6/week for one dog, $9/week for two dogs.


Some years ago in Atlanta, I visited an orangery - a greenhouse devoted to growing oranges and other citrus trees.

You may imagine my delight in reading about another sort of greenhouse, the "pinery", in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. A pinery is a greenhouse devoted to growing, not pine trees, but pineapples. They were apparently quite the rage among wealthy landowners in 18/19th century England.

The heroine in Northanger Abbey is similar to Don Quixote, in that she confuses fictional books with real-life. The book is generally considered a minor Austen novel, but it's minor only in relation to her masterpieces. I think it's a fine introduction to the author's work.

Margherita 230

I weighed myself today: 230 pounds, which means I've lost 10 pounds since my shoulder surgery. No big deal. However, I did take leave to eat an entire margherita pizza at Mackenzie River. OK, it was a "buckaroo size" pizza, but still.

Aasheim Field

Last summer I saw some young adults (20-somethings, I guess) playing kickball here. The main requirment seemed to be that one hand had to hold a drink at all times. Looked like fun.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Horsey neighbors

These horses live about 1/4 mile from my house. The folks who own the horses have about 15 acres of land for them to roam.

Movies from books

As I read classic novels this summer, I've found that most of them have been adapted into first-rate movies.

I included Starship Troopers in the photo as a bit of a joke. I'll leave it to those who have read Heinlein's book and/or watched the movie to ponder the nature of my little joke...

Ringneck pheasant

He came with his whole family to enjoy seed that I scattered under my bird feeder.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pirates 2 - credit cookie

Pirates 2 has a credit cookie that ties up one of the minor loose ends.

I enjoyed the movie, though it was very long. Keira Knightley does not get as much screen time as Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. IMHO, though, she is by far the most alluring of the pirates ;-)

I do not drink coffee

And the latest Folger's ad won't get me started. For the scary video, see the 6/23 posting at www.strongcopywriting.com.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Three novellas

A novella is shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. I recently read three classics:

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea helped push him over the top in winning a Nobel Prize in Literature. The mystical tone of the story is somewhat reminiscent of the short story "The Big Two-Hearted River", which is a good thing.

In Candide, Voltaire savagely indicted the notion of "philosophical optimism" - that everything happens for a good purpose and that "this is the best of all possible worlds." After enduring much violence and misuse, Candide and his companions finally find a reasonable existence in performing useful work as a household community. In the last line, Candide says that "we must cultivate our garden."

Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is filled with unappetizing characters. It's a good study of how not to live one's life.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back home

I'm back home after spending 5 long days (and nights) at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital fighting a staph infection. It's a relief to be home, believe me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lite blogging

Blogging will be light as I try to recover from recent shoulder surgery. The surgery was fine; the post-op is not so fine.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


My office number and my house address are the same: 302. It only took three years for me to realize this...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Treasure Island

As part of my summer of classic novels, I read Treasure Island (by Robert Louis Stevenson). To me, the novel seemed a pure adventure story. However, on the back cover of the B & N Classics edition, Prof. Angus Fletcher sez:

The unexpected and complex relationship that develops between [Long John] Silver and Jim helps transform what seems at first to be a simple, rip-roaring adventure story into a deeply moving study of a boy's growth into manhood, as he learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage, and honor -- and the uncertain meaning of good and evil.

On a side note, the name of the "Long John Silver" quick-service seafood restaurants now makes sense. Long John Silver was the ship's cook on the journey to Treasure Island. (I don't know if they have any of those fast-food joints here in Montana.)

Evinrude at rest

Can you find the outboard motor?

Road construction

Fowler was widened at its intersection with Huffine. Eventually, the intersecton will get a signal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

My Summer reading plan for fiction is as follows: read classic novels that I've never read before. Luckily (?), my engineering education leaves me plenty of options to choose from.

I read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on the advice of a fellow Montana blogger. A great novel - sparkling wit, a very appealing protagonist (Elizabeth Bennet), great sense of irony, awesome authorial stlye. Unexpected reading for Big Mike?

On tap: Northanger Abbey, Candide, and Treasure Island.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

#713 of 1001 ways to use duct tape

The latest trend in tree surgery, no doubt.

Cathodic Protection Test Station

I sleep a little easier knowing that the local gas pipeline has Cathodic Protection...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Leaning trees

On W. Babcock, near Fowler. I wonder if/when they'll finally topple?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


"Yellowstone to Yukon" requires "sex across the highway."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cars - credit cookie

Cars has a credit cookie - a short clip after the credits. I thought the movie was funny, but about 20 minutes too long.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Vacation home?

Lot's of folks buy vacation homes in Montana. What about those of us who live in Montana? -- castles for sale.

(h/t boingboing.net)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yard art

IIRC, these windmills have South Dakota license plates.

City right-of-way

This strip of land will be dug up later this Summer so that a sewer line can be installed.

(My house is 4 blocks north at the very end of the photo.)


If my neighbor let me borrow his canoe and then snapped a picture, this is what I'd look like.

No longer leaning

My neighbors had a Bobcat for some patio construction, so they used it to straighten this tree.

New apartments

I thought they were going to tear down the red brick house in the background, but apparently they'll convert into a duplex instead.

(SW corner of Babcock and Fowler.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Photo for blogger profile

This photo should show up whenever I make a comment on a blogspot blog.

Funny tattoo


Barn on stilts

You can see this barn on I-90, between 19th and 7th.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A close shave

You ask for "a little off the top" and look what the barber does!

(My neighbors' cat is friendly, but won't sit still for a photo.)

190 BPM

I reached a pulse of 190 BPM today after 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym. For some reason I didn't feel so good afterwards ;-) (not sick, but definitely worn out)

In related news, my weight seems to have stabilized at 240 lbs (all hard-packed muscle - well most of it, anyway ;-). The least I've ever weighed as a full-grown adult: 195 lbs; the most I've ever weighed: 265 lbs.


Can you find the lost shoe beside the I-90 frontage road?

My piebald lawn

Should improve now that I've started watering it.

Big Mike

I would tone down the reflection off my head if I knew how to use photo-editing software ;-) At least my contact lenses aren't reflecting.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Video chat - connection trouble

Anyone out there have video chat set up on their computer? I'm trying to debug my video connection so I can v-chat with my sister down in Texas. If I could verify that my video chat worked with someone else, that would help.

My .mac name also functions as an AIM name: mhcole@mac.com


allaboutjazz.com - free downloads, etc.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Meta: Blogroll updates

Here are some blogs I'll add to the blogroll (at somepoint):

collected nothingness

WDAMA (What Dreams Are Made Of)


Meg's Schemes


K*U*R*T (actually a Belgrade blog)

Montana Diva (actually a Belgrade blog)

I'll delete the following blog:
Montana Man has moved back to Norway (?)


I just saw the new X-Men movie and really liked it. If you go, stay 'til the very end 'cause there's an important "credit cookie."

Wine: Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut Mendoza

It's been a long time since I had sparkling wine. This $9 Argentine wine was very tasty with grilled pork shoulder steak.

(I'm finishing this bottle alone, but bought two champagne flutes because it'd be a shame not to be prepared for any eventuality ;-)


All of my roses came back! This one was the straggler.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I watched Horsefeathers earlier this night. In the last scene, Groucho, Chico, and Harpo all marry the same woman. (I'm not sure what happened to Zeppo.) Seems kinda daring for the time period. Anyway, checking the local blogs, life imitates art. I'm glad we live in a free country where people can live their lives like they want.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I went to yoga class at Gold's Gym today (the second time, ever). I'm the least flexible person in the class, but I try ;-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Washarama by The Judy's - this band was popular in the Houston area back when I was in high school

Aggie ring - size 12

When I bought this ring, it was the right size for my middle finger. Now it's too small for that finger, and just a bit too big for my pinky finger.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Motivating a racehorse

News from Preakness:

Hemingway's Key was a major bust this season until he rallied for third in the Preakness.

Zito admitted the colt, owned by George Steinbrenner, was a puzzle he could not solve. Zito suggested the horse might be gelded if he didn't perform better.

Hemingway's Key, a 29-1 shot, fended off that drastic action with a strong run through the lane for his first in-the-money finish in five races this season.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Much of the action in this hard-boiled crime novel takes place in Havre, Montana.

Here's a description of one of the security guards:
"[she] was Net crazy, lurking in chat rooms all her waking hours, adding her address to more and more monster mailing lists, receiving endless dumb jokes or chain letters through the ether and dutifully passing them on."