29 July 2009

Is This Heretical or Blasphemous?

Just to see if some friends and relatives are watching.

28 July 2009

Take Time For Paradise—Giamatti

That big green patch out there is a glimpse of paradise. Those of us sitting in the stands had some closer glimpses in the past and wish we were still there: perhaps a kind of purgatory. This is Denton Field in Miles City Montana.

Go east on the 94 but turn off about 2 hours down the road. If you get to Bismarck, North Dakota you've gone too far. The 90 first turns south into Wyoming and then eventually east through South Dakota.

The river and the railroad and the highway run close together in many places here in Montana. Each was the main thoroughfare at some time or other. The river of course came first, then the railroad, and now the highway. Do the routes in the air follow the same pattern?

This baseball park has been here a long time. My guess is that it was built some time in the 30s as parts of it have that Civilian Conservation Corps look but I couldn't find any cornerstone to prove it.

In a small town you can't specialize too much. This field does at least double-duty, serving as a football field for the Miles City Cowboys in the fall. The dimensions of the outfield are a little odd as a result: Centerfield is 438 ft away, while the right and left field corners are only 321 and 312 ft. away. The infield is a little dusty here. I have the feeling that if too much water is used it might turn to gumbo. The American Legion State Tournament is being played here from 25 through 29 July: two Billings teams, Bozeman, Miles City from the east and Kalispell, Missoula, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat from the west. How is that for diversity? Two teams from Canada in the Montana state tournament! We are thin on the ground around here. I imagine the folks from Helena feel a little hard pressed right now.

This is a diverse crowd though as you can see mostly European. They are all cheering on different teams and different players. Some put flowers on a monument.

Hard to believe that it's been six years since this tragedy: he was a pitcher for Miles City struck in the head by a batted ball, and died soon thereafter. Baseball in Miles City has not been the same since. They were "mercifully 10-runned" in both their games in this state tournament. After the third day of the tournament there are 4 teams left, three with a loss and one, Bozeman, thus far undefeated.

Miles City is a nice little town, less than 10,000 souls I'm sure. It remind me of what those of us from small villages in the 40s would call a big town. We would probably go there for Christmas shopping or to buy a truck. It has a community college, a reform school, a nice historic district, both downtown and residential, and lots of agriculture surrounding it. Below is a view out of the front door to the historic Olive Hotel in downtown Miles City.

There is actually part of a new town out by the interstate, which then gives way to the outskirts of a real town and then finally to the center of the town itself. I saw a number of buildings from the 1880s and some very nice houses from that same period, late 19th—early 20th century. The Legion baseball teams won some state tournaments in the 30s and 40s. This town was a lot more prosperous at some time in the past.

In case anyone is interested they have some great appetizers at the Rib and Chop Place out near the interstate. These are fried green tomatoes. The gumbo soup was excellent too. The Riesling tasted of apples and pears and the Chardonnay was just right, a little warmer than the just right cold Riesling.

The only discouraging word I heard or saw on this trip was at one of the rest stops. I wonder if this sign is as effective as the signs in our national parks saying that wild animals are not to be closely approached.

25 July 2009

Some Appealing and Perhaps Useful Sniglets

Sniglet=a word not found in the dictionary but should. As in these: from this very useful website. And also from here. And this one too.

Bozone n.: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. I must confess that I have used this word, inadvertently I'm sure, to refer to the area around Bozeman Montana, not realizing that I was maligning all those from that splendid town. Please forgive me all you folks from Bozeman.

Nagivator (næg-uh-vay-der) n. A spouse who sits beside the driver of a car and criticizes his or her driving more than helping with the navigation. (Thank you Dr. Goodword)
Of course, there is no relationship between this word and any person that I know.

Sarchasm: n. The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
This one is so obvious. Why didn't the author of the word "sarcasm" come up with it immediately.

(snee-zhur) n. A fit of several sneezes in a row. (Thank you LeRoy Vaughn)
My father often sneezed 5 times in a row. Never 4 and never 6; I know because we kids counted them. I sometimes do this when reading the morning papers but it usually varies from 3 to 5, though one time I counted 8 in a row. Am I allergic to newsprint or what?

Electile DysfunctionThe inability to become aroused by any of the candidates in an election (especially in 2008). I think this problem is older than a year ago. Even the kids will understand this one if they have paid attention to the TV in the past few years. I wonder, will these drugs be a part of ObamaCare? Are they part of MediCare now?

Wrap-rageFurious frustration from trying to open a newly purchased factory-sealed item. (American Dialect Society) I sometimes make the store clerks open the packages before I take the items home. This does not endear me to store clerks, though I have noted that Radio Shack has made some effort to fixing this problem.

21 July 2009

Cooke City Burger

Soon after you get to the top of the world on your way to Yellowstone Park via the BearTooth Highway you can stop at the Soda Butte Lodge in Cooke City and try the marvelous burger with bleu cheese and bacon at their Prospector Restaurant. Eat it slowly with some tasty micro-brew from nearby as you acclimatize yourself to the altitude.

"I'd be glad to pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."—J. Wellington Wimpy

15 July 2009

For The Unnaturally Happy Among Us

A very funny 2 minute youtube commercial.

I laughed hard all two minutes, then I played it again and laughed just as hard and as long as I did the first time.

14 July 2009

A Visit to the Bozone

Do they still call it that? Bozone? Maybe not as the town shows many signs of gentrification. On the way back from Yellowstone Park we stopped in Bozeman to check out the Museum of the Rockies and have some lunch. Like all respectable fossils found in Montana this one has a name: he is called Big Mike. Though he looks fairly strong and their liability insurance is fairly good, the authorities request that you not climb on him.

We haven't been here for awhile. The exhibits, especially the dinosaur parts have greatly improved. Entertaining for kids of all ages.

The T. Rex to the right probably has a name but I've forgotten it. Though dead for a long time, it is still the real thing rather than a plaster model.

I like the way they illustrate the finding and digging out of these remains. Fascinating. Plus the scientific reasoning with the information at hand. If only our present day global warming freaks would do the same.

To be entirely truthful we were hungry when we arrived in Bozeman, so the first place we went to was the Hotel Baxter because they used to have a pretty good restaurant there. That is now just a bar or pub I think they call it and there is a new place across the lobby called Ted's Montana Grill. A little on the pricey side but very good food including some buffalo items that were certainly blogworthy. I had a bison meat loaf that was excellent. We had some good soup and our grandsons all enjoyed themselves on various burgers.

Check out their menu to the right.

And their website for more information. I just had a quick read. I didn't realize it was a chain. This is the 57th. Very good food anyway. And of course I didn't realize it had anything to do with Ted Turner. Mea culpa.

13 July 2009

Old Faithful Fans

Ready on the Left?

Ready on the Right?

Wait for it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . About 1 hour and 15 minutes, then finally:

Glorious Old Faithful. Great stuff.

Day Trip from Billings MT: Up the Beartooth Highway

I think it was TV person Charles Kuralt who is usually given credit for calling attention to the Beartooth Highway in one of his CBS travel programs: "the most beautiful drive in America."

If any person takes the drive from Red Lodge to Cooke City he doesn't have to be a celebrity to be impressed. Our grandsons wondered along with us on this trip into Yellowstone Park last summer.

We have not been here for some years. Whatever the problem was in 2005 or so it apparently has been fixed. If it hadn't I'm sure Cooke City and Red Lodge would have dried up and blown away by now.

There is an interesting couple of articles on the highway here and here. That is grandson Zac Mazzuca above hanging on to the railing because of the wind.

The little creatures are fearless at this altitude, in contrast to us big folk. We get a little short-winded up here, and the hands tend to grip the wheel a little more firmly than usual.

The highest point in both Wyoming and Montana on this highway is very close to 11,000 ft!

In addition to mountains, more than you can count, there are some beautiful lakes as well. It is difficult to describe the beautiful blue-green color of these alpine lakes.

Though it is only 64 miles from Red Lodge to Cooke City, the curves and switchbacks and scenery mean that it takes at least a couple of hours to get there. And of course

10 July 2009

A Hamburger Worth Talking About

This is worth talking about. A combination of Angus beef, about 85% lean I think with some tender and juicy beef brisket on top. You can have cheese added if you like. And of course pickles and onions too though if not sauteed forget about it for me. I'm not sure why there is that reddish discoloration around the periphery of the brisket. Lots of meats change colors over time without affecting the taste. I should know as we kids ate calves liver every Saturday night or sometimes Sunday morning because it tended to turn green (from the bilirubin of course) and thus couldn't be sold on Monday morning.

Did I mention that Dehler Park also features some pretty good micro brews? Well, they do, even for Legion games.

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."—J. Wellington Wimpy

06 July 2009

Montana Makes Wall Street Journal

This morning's op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal has an article by Andrew Biggs: Public Pensions Cook the Books.

The administrators of a couple of Montana pension plans want one-handed actuaries and are specifying how they want their books cooked, though I'm not sure whether that would be described as rare or well done.

Are our public servants becoming more confident or arrogant or what?

04 July 2009

La Sorda Wisdom

I saw this sign at the entrance to the gentlemen's toilet at Dehler Park in Billings Montana on the 4th of July 2009. I suspect it might have wider application that just baseball players.

02 July 2009

Vote Early and Vote Often as in Minnesota

Dr Sanity's blogging cartoon from Mr Ramirez for Wednesday, 1 July 2009: she should be at the top of everyone's blogroll.


I'll be traveling all day today and back to regular blogging on Thursday or Friday.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to discuss the meaning of the well-known proverb: Birds of a feather, flock together.... when applied to today's politics.

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue


Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here
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