Montana is Real Pretty

Finally had some great weather this weekend. We went from snow to sun, practically overnight. I got out and absorbed as much of it as I possibly could; I’m even sporting some lovely “goggles” on account of wearing coolaroids in the sun, so now I have nice pale circles around my eyes. More on the weekend, but first let me introduce you to —

Charles Martin – On the Stove

I have a new link to a friend of mine who just joined the blogging universe; his is called On the Stove. I will leave you to check his site out to learn his background, but I will say he’s a great guy and one of those characters who, even though he is a relative newcomer to town, makes Missoula so awesome. I met him at the PBR thing at The Other Side back in February, where he was shooting pictures of all the bands. He complimented me on the flyer art I had done, and since complimenting me is akin to offering a hot dog bun to a seagull, I realized we would be friends. Seriously, Charles is a great guy and we have been exchanging messages. Right now on his blog he is documenting all the various music events and things around town he has been shooting, and I am very eager to see what he comes up with next. Check it out!

Leaving St. Louis

I know I promised to take pictures of the place that made the kid furniture, but they have a strict “no cameras” policy on their shop floor. I guess the threat of industrial espionage must be pretty high in the bloody world of sewing-vinyl-covers-on-foam-rubber manufacturing. Your loss, truly. What I most wanted to take pictures of were the big blocks of foam they had. There were a bunch that were something like 7′ tall and 5′ square. The guy told me those had been cut already; the foam comes in like semi trailer-sized loaves of bread, then gets sliced up from there. All over the warehouse were racks of various sized pieces of foam depending on what it would be used for, then racks of big rolls of brightly-colored vinyl. Long tables had people cutting patterns and sewing and all that. I never adjusted to the smell, I had a headache for two days afterwards. Isn’t that stuff supposed to cause brain damage? Anyway, after a hectic first day I managed to pull it together and get out early the second day. No pictures, but here is one from a dirty plane window on a very bumpy climb out of St. Louis. Unfortunately, all the interesting stuff was visible from the other side of the plane:

Missoula Welcomes Spring

Spring finally arrived this weekend with sun and warm temperatures. It was glorious. Saturday we went up the “M” again, but I started out a little disgruntled because the triathlon I was supposed to be in was wrapping up there. It bums me out that I set that goal but then didn’t do it. I guess the lesson in that is to register early. I’m a procrastinator (as noted by a Saturday blog happening on Monday). I guess what is important is that I was ready for it. I think there is another one later in the year, so I am going to keep training. My mood was improved once I was at the top of the hill, just because it was so gorgeous. Saturday wrapped up with an hour or so out in the lounge chair my folks gave me for my birthday a couple years ago, retrieved from its winter hibernation in the garage. I took a book out there, parked in the sun, and read/dozed/listened to the neighborhood. It was glorious. The birds were particularly welcome to my ears, and a couple times one or two of the little beasts would land on the bird feeder behind me to feast. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them. Those little details were very enjoyable.

Sunday we took the goddamn dogs to the bark park, and of course I didn’t have my camera. I wish I had, because there was this strange little coyote-looking dog named Lucy (Julia thinks its funny that, even in our neighborhood, we know all the dogs by name but none of the people) that loved to be chased, and she was fast. Our youngest russell, Darla, was so frustrated by her inability to catch Lucy that she was making the same yearning sounds she makes when a squirrel escapes up the tree in front of her nose. It was hilarious.

We think our oldest russell, Orly (aka El Rey, aka The King), is possibly going deaf. Either that or he is just getting more selective on what he chooses to listen to. Probably both. I started singing a song for him which got stuck in my head most of Saturday evening, sung to the tune of the “Do You Hear What I Hear” Christmas carol. Dig a snippet of my genius:

I will hear what I hear!
A king, a king, ignoring everything
He will hear what he wants to hear
He will hear . . . what . . . he, wants, to hear!

He’s not bothering to listen to much in this picture:

Also hiked up Pattee Canyon Sunday afternoon, which was still fairly snowy. On top of the outdoor stuff, I also sent in two record reviews to the Independent and wrote a song that we successfully put together later at LAZERWOLFS practice. All in all, it was a productive weekend. Here are just a couple shots I took during the various activities. All of them and more are on my flickr page as well, so if you care to read further descriptions you can dig them there:

I’m flying back to Portland today for work, via Seattle, then driving up to Woodland, WA. I’m hoping to be positioned properly on the plane to take some good pictures from the air out over the NW. I’m spending my afternoon at Powell’s, and this time . . . I’m prepared.

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