Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Bradley

In Bozeman, we have an entity that I have come to define as "The Bradley." Bradleys are a unique form of douchebag; one might call them a subspecies found in the higher elevations of the Rockies. I assume random populations could be found in areas like Boulder, CO, and other mountainous regions where outdoor sports are popular.

What defines a Bradley from other well know douches? We are all familiar with the Joeys, Chips, and Chazzes, most of these are urban dwelling fauna. Joey's can be found frequenting bars with many televisions, wearing Polo shirts, and are typically spotted with either a white baseball cap, or copious amounts of hair gel, frosted plumage, and a unique odor of bad cologne. Chips frequent the college environments and are known to tout the colors of their favorite academic institution though they may have never actually graduated from said institution. Chazzes often have a unique form of jaundiced appearance due to a excess use of fake tanning products; unbuttoned shirts, puca shells and, or gold chains become the most common accessories of this subspecies.

But what of the Bradley. The Bradley is the Outdoorsy D-bag. They are the trail-runners; the guys that have to have the best gear so they look good while they do something simple outside. For example, two people will go on a hike--one person uses a found stick to as a walking pole while the Bradley buys a $500 carbon fiber retractable pole with GPS tracking, laser sights, and a hair gel dispenser. Okay, so maybe not a hair gel dispenser, but the point is that they must look good while doing everything.

The Bradley will still have the puca shell necklace, the white hat (typically pointed at an angle), listen to Sublime, Smashmouth, and insist that Dave Matthews is a great musician. He will drive like an asshole and he will have vanity plates on his SUV.

Bozeman doesn't have hipsters. Bozeman has Bradleys.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Montanans Love their Mannequins

Since moving to Montana, I have decided that on each excursion out of town I should visit a museum if I encounter one. The reasoning behind this is to learn about the local history of the state and to see what people consider important information about the region.

The variety of displayed objects are often fascinating, for example the Headwater's Heritage Museum in Three Forks had a small display honoring the soldiers of the 442nd from WWII, the only all Japanese military unit in the Army, a local Japanese man who served with the unit donated some artifacts, and museum decided to honor his legacy and the service of Japanese American soldiers. In contrast, the State Historical Society Museum in Helena, had a large display of anti-Japanese Propaganda, neglecting the American element and focussing the the paranoia of the time.

But with the tiny museums that dot each little hamlet, burg, and village across the state, one finds different types of histories and artifacts narrating the story of Montana. For example, over a thousand types of barbed wire dated, labeled, and displayed on the lats of folding wall dividers; collections of carved agates dug up from local mines and river beds; guns, guns, and more guns from cowboys, outlaws, and assorted pioneer folks and alleged bandits; and the seemingly ubiquitous diorama.

I am fascinated by dioramas. Some are quite well crafted. Other's, well, not so much. But here, with all of my travels, I have found that the curators of Montana's museums love an unfortunate tacky level.

And so I present the not-historically-accurate "People of Montana's Past" if they they were made out of mass produced, and had bad wigs put on their heads.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Before and After…

The field of nursing is a probably one of the most "gendered" careers out there. While historically, prior to the 1800s,  male nurses were the norm, but with the advent of modern warfare, the role of nurses shifted to a profession of women. A number of reason factored into this--economics, redefinition of appropriateness of tasks, and the a division of labor occurring. Doctors and nurses weren't clearly defined, the nurse was once the apprentice to the physician, the physician was almost always a man, thus male nurses. When apprenticeships went away and people trained to just be surgeons and doctors, a need for nurses developed and the poor took that place. The poor at the time were women. And since that shift, it has been practically defined as a women-only career. The establishment of gender bias in careers is complex. But at least it isn't as grossly sexist as what is probably the absolute, most gendered profession in the world, the Hooters wait staff.

In any case, a couple of weeks ago, as part of my nursing school program, we learned how to perform nursing assessments on young children. Working with pediatric cases is probably one of the most difficult tasks a person can do. And to placate them, we provided these tots with pictures they could color. Pictures of nurses.

Here is one...

Being a future male nurse, I was a little miffed to find every representation of my future career to be a stereotypical image of a woman wearing the pill-box hat and uniform. How unfortunate! I needed to make some type of change to let these kids know that this is not was a real nurse is. 

So, I made some subtle changes to their pictures.

See the difference?
We go from stereotypical female nurse to stereotypical, Italian male nurse. Or perhaps he's French. The mustache is vaguely ethnic.

And who says they have to be human? This male nurse is obviously a cross-dressing Dinosaur. And if you say anything different, he will kill you. Either with a morphine overdose or by biting your head off. He is a T-Rex you know.

And who says these male nurses have to be classy? This male nurse has a mullet. 
So there.

These are the male nurses of the future. Male nurses with mustaches. Breaking the gender glass ceiling by throwing rocks and other objects.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Super Dictionary...Super Obsolescence

The above image, taken from the wonderfully silly and kind of nerdily infamous Super Dictionary, for the word "World."

Here, Kara Zor-El, Super Girl, proclaims here love of the world, more specifically, this world.

But that was over thirty years ago. In just a few more months the DCnU will replace the beloved comic heroes I know, rewriting their history anew. Nothing will ever be the same again! Well, at least for another five or ten years when some flashy-crisis-zero-armegeddon-infinite-blackest-final thingy will occur, and history cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  But come September, we will be introduced to a much a new version of Supergirl. 

Here is the solicit for the new Supergirl #1 coming out this coming September,

Meet Supergirl. She's got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman – and none of his affection for the people of Earth. So don't piss her off!

Well? So much for loving the world...

And if you're keeping track, as this individual has, I think this is Supergirl iteration number 25
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

True Crime 1950s Style

This weekend, I ventured over to a nearby town to check out a new used bookstore that had just opened up. As I was about to exit, this odd publication caught my eye. Going against the old cliche, I typically can judge a book by its cover. I have come across a number of odd publications with no frills, just a simple faded embossed title that reveals turns out to be fascinating. And then there is is oddity.

At first, I thought it might an odd self-published play or comedy judging by the illustrations and the odd binding of this book. The sketches were not the polished work of a commercial illustrator by any means, but the 1950s aesthetic was obvious. But something is a little off about the cover..

The illustrations show a woman reaching into a medicine cabinet, a mechanic working on a car, a fair grounds or amusement park, a marsh, and a baby reaching for a sparking electrical outlet.

Ummmmm... Huh?

The back cover is even more unusual--a smoker lying in bed with a lit cigarette, a car stalled on a railroad track, and a drunk falling down a flight of stairs.

Apparently this book was not what I was expecting at all. Upon opening the pages, I came across a series of typed case studies of unusual deaths, morbid pictures take from crime scenes, and a very clinical analysis of the odd circumstances of each untimely demise. Think of the book as a CSI: No Computer Land where only a coroner could really crack a case, or figure out the true cause of death. 

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bearly Making It Out Alive...

Let's abandon all of the potential "bear" puns, and just say that last weekend at the Helena Historical Society and Museum was a dangerous adventure...I could go on and on with these puns, but I would more than likely lose all of my online readers, friends, and be ostracized from the community in which I dwell.

Apparently, people take their bear attacks very seriously in this region. Think of it like the flesh-eating bacteria news broadcasts that pop up in evening broadcasts every few years and spark immediate panic in the otherwise healthy community.

And with the recent mauling in Yellowstone, this photo set seemed well, wildly inappropriate but timely.

In researching this post, I discovered that there is a Wiki page dedicated to chronicling fatal bear attacks in North America. You can find the link here.

Remember, nothing says respect for nature like gallows humor. 
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Monday, July 4, 2011


This caught my eye the other day while I walked through Helena, Montana. A historical marker on a parking structure. It kind of ranks up there on my list of things such as "City halls in mini-malls" and drive-thru liquor stores as hallmarks of American culture. And that is all that can be said about that...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Plucking the Oregon Ducks

Rarely do I post my views on current events on this blog, but today, I just feel like an one of those curmudgeons who should.

I am not a fan of professional sports. And I could care less about the state of collegiate sports. In fact, I find college sports to be more corrupt than the professional organizations and I think that our nations obsession with such things is stupid and an waste of money and time. That said, I find humor in the recent heat that Oregon Duck's coach Chip Kelly finds himself in for a potential breach of NCAA rules

So what? So the team has a potentially corrupt coach. Big deal when it seems to be a home to thugs arrested on a regular basis. 

Let's run this down over the past two years:

February 20th, 2010 Oregon football: Kiko Alonso cited for DUII

March 5th 2010: DA: They thought, 'This guy needs a knuckle sandwich

June 9th, 2010: Springfield police cite Masoli for pot, driving infractions

April 18th, 2011: Backup Duck QB pleads not guilty.

June 13th, 2011: Oregon’s Cliff Harris cited for nearly doubling 65-mph speed limit.

While one can make the claim of bad eggs on the team, and some of these players were rightfully suspended, and a few kicked off the team, there seems to be a culture of stupidity and thuggery on this team. I really don't think any college team is exempt. 

So what can be done? If I rant and bitch without proposing a solution, then I am just a whiner. So here is what I think should happen. Aside from removing all athletics from the academic arena, given that they really don't apply to the scholastic achievements of other students. (How many of these college athletes actually attain degrees? And how many resources are wasted on them?...Argument for another day.) But here is what I think should happen.

For each arrest of the college team member, for any reason, the team should drop in the ranking and thus be excluded from any "Insert-Stupid-Name-Here Bowl Game." I also think that coaches should be fined for the conduct of their players. The coaches and athletic directors earn ridiculous amounts of money, why not make them pay, or force them to contribute to something worthwhile, like domestic abuse shelters.  And finally, just kick players off teams if they get arrested. Forget suspension, one-strike you're out. If you were stupid enough to get arrested for something, you probably shouldn't have been doing it in the first place.

And that is my nerd vs. jock rant of the day. 


I'm in Jail...

There are certain hazards to going to museums build in former county jails.  If you touch the wrong display, you could end up incarcerated overnight, locked up by an elderly volunteer who will regale you with stories of the town's history and strange anecdotes that make little sense.

You see, that is what happened to me, when I visited the Gallatin County Museum and Historical Society. While taking a picture of Montana agates, I must have pissed off someone, because, after a quick jab to the head, I blacked out and found myself here.


At first I was disoriented. Left with a tin cup, I rattled it against the bars of my cell until they finally gave me confinement that had a bathroom. And man did I need it. But let's not discuss those details. 


There I met my cellmates, "Bad Hair" Wally and a particularly stiff figure who only called himself, "Tan." I thought Tan and I would get along great, because, well I he sounded like he had an Asian name, just like me. But he didn't move to much. Neither did Bad Hair Wally. They just laid there on their bunks while I was forced to sleep on the hard concrete floor for the night. 


Turns out Tan was a ground squirrel smuggler. He had been wanted in Big Sky for many months for ruining their golf courses by bringing hundreds of ground squirrels to the greens which dug up the golf course making it virtually impossible for all of the wealthy tourists to do anything except drive around in golf carts and complain about how their taxes were too high.  Bad Hair Wally is the most notorious wig thief west of Billings known for stealing wigs off the heads of cancer patients and octo-genenarian church going women. I am not certain why they were so quiet, so sedate, but I thought it had to do with the food the museum/jail volunteer tried to feed us. I refused to eat any because, well, I didn't want to end up like them. 

I knew I had to plan my escape.

Fortunately, I could see a display within reach of my cells containing all the keys. I thought they might be the means for me to break free and get Tan and Wally out as well. 

Being a museum first and jail second, everything was properly labeled, and so I knew that when I saw this display from my cell, I was closer to salvation. Using ninja skills, I honed in the alleyways of Portland, I deftly gathered the keys and unlocked my cell. Wally and Tan, refused to move. Stockholm syndrome had taken effect during this time in the Bozeman museum/jail. I can't blame them. The displays were so cute, so historic, so nicely presented. I could stay here for at least another hour as well. 

First things first, remove the shackles that confined me, and place them properly back in their display as if no one had known they were missing.

Second things second, contemplate arming myself incase the volunteer/warden had gathered reinforcements for my inevitable breakout. 


And so I write this post on the lam. A rogue group of volunteer historians have been seeking me out using small lap dogs and GPS systems that their grandchildren have yet to teach them how to use. It has been two weeks now. And while the mountains around Bozeman are good for hiding, I fear bears, cougars, and joggers on the trails.  My food is almost out, and I don't know how long I will have a wi-fi signal. I fear what will happen when I venture closer to town when I finally need the essentials of beef jerky, ginger ale, and toilet paper.


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