Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ending up in Yellowstone

Last weekend, an desperate need to get out of my apartment led me to a drive to Yellowstone. Go fig.

I ended up there late in the afternoon. My intent was to just visit the town of Livingston, perhaps one of my top three favorite towns in Montana, but I just ended up continuing to drive south. 

If anything, going to the park to see the above sign, made the trip worth while. There is something just charming about watching  child traipsing through a geothermal vent and getting surprised as he is blasted and scalded that just never seems to fail a persons sense of humor.

Of course, everything was covered in snow. I am certain that the formations would have looked more vibrant in the spring or summer, but still, it is pretty interesting walking through what is essentially a giant volcano of sorts.

And the whole place smells kind of like Camas or Oregon City before the pulp mill shut down. Made me a little home sick. It also made think of Captain Kirk when he fought that lizard creature in that one episode of Star Trek…You know the one where he realizes he can't out-punch the lizard warrior so he sees what resources are available on the planet, finds sulfur, and ultimately makes his own gun powder. 

Yeah, I kind of felt like Captain Kirk in Yellowstone. And I wanted to make gun powder. 

And that is what I learned about geology during my trip to the National Park. 

That and that this is soon to come true…because it is a documentary…and it had to do with Yellowstone. SO THERE!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mint's in Montana

So it has been nearly a year since I have moved to Montana, and I have made a few observations since coming to this state. One thing I have noticed is that if there is a hillside in a respective town, the town's folk will instinctively place a letter of their respective high school or college upon that hillside. Sometimes there will be multiple letters. Bozeman, for example has a giant "M" as does Missoula, which also has another letter for their Catholic school.

Another interesting trend number of bar/restaurants named "The Mint." It seems like you can't really call yourself a real town unless  you have a bar named The Mint*.

The picture above is of The Mint in Livingston, a classic sign, bellow is the Mint in White Hall, a little less classic, but still awesome. 

If anyone is familiar with the story of Ray's Pizza, or Famous Ray's, or Ray's Famous Pizza, or any of the infinite permutations of this name found in New York City, I can only imagine that this is Montana's version of the same thing. There was probably one original "The Mint" bar located somewhere in Montana. And it was probably the coolest saloon in all of history in this state. But it is now gone, replaced by video keno machines, Bud Light, and dreams of Ron Paul presidency. Who knows.

*Bozeman is not a real town because it doesn't have a Mint. HA!!!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Poetry Corner...

I wish I remembered which of the numerous county museums this particular work came from. I won't let the inner literary critic crawl out and try to deconstruct "Ode to Our Pioneers," by Marion Bucy.

To get a fuller understanding of this piece, and the pieces of imagery selected to accompany each stanza, I highly suggest clicking on the image to enlarge the piece. Then you will be able to read it for all of it's rhyming glory.

I will excerpt this stanza this stanza, however, for those who are prone to not take the time to read:

     From the bosom of the mountain side,
     They suckled much of the golden tide;
     A few strikes, beyond compare,
     Other's couldn't add salt to their mountain fair. 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today in Awkward Taxidermy...

Sometimes it's just hard to make the eyes look lifelike...

Nothing to report about this picture…

And this sheep/goat beast things seems to be the inspiration for the sensory deprivation scenes from the film Altered States...
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The White Buffalo...

Today, while wasting time wasting time looking at, I was reminded of this amazing piece of taxidermy found at that the Montana Historical Society in Helena.

So a quick few things about White Buffalo, I don't recall all of the history of this particular animal, nor do I recall all of the folklore behind white buffalo in Native American culture, but pop culture has their birth to be a sign of either omen or change. X-files taught me that. 

However, one must note that this isn't an "albino buffalo." Or at least not from the taxidermy mount displayed. Instead it is most likely a melanistic representation of the animal. The difference between albinism and melansim has to do with genetics mutations and phenotype expressions. Basically, that every once in a while you may see a squirrel with a darker color fur or a black bear that really looks brown or an Japanese man such as myself that looks like he could be from Mexico, Iran, India, The Rez, or any place other than Japan. Simply put, sometimes animals will appear white but not be true albinos. The truth is in the pink of their eyes…True albinism will lead to the classic pink-hued irises we see in lab rats, bunnies, and those really strange looking gold (well not really gold) fish. 

And yes, some geneticist or other biologist will probably come along and correct all of the above writings…But it doesn't really matter. Because, you know what? The real meat of this post is about one thing.


So yeah…

Is this bronze skull from one of these mega beasts? I am convinced that things are actually bigger in Montana than they are in North Dakota, so logic therefore leads to one conclusion.


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Sometimes It's Just Too Easy...

Have I ever mentioned that squirrels are my favorite animal?

Well, if I haven't. I have now.

And for those who are wondering, I think the town of Anaconda, Montana is AWESOME! Fake palm trees, a casino on practically every corner, a real pizza joint. Think of it like Reno…but different.

And if you enter from the east side of town, you are greeted with this sign.