Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Friday, March 31, 2006

A few words

For Karbon Kounty Moos

Words don't say enough.

I would like to say 'empathy'

It feels strange to say that to someone never met.

I would like to say 'sorrow'

Never met but we have shared words.

I would like to say 'heartfelt'

Your shared words have shown me that you care and feel.

I would like to say 'comfort'

I feel with you now. I want you to know.

I would like to say 'courage'

But words don't say enough.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I didn't do it for the money

A link:

A quote:

"I didn't want to start this company," said Wozniak, known in Silicon Valley simply as "Woz." "My goal wasn't to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers."

Sounds nice doesn't it. Altruistic. It's not about the money. It's about passion and love and the getting rich part was an afterthought. A side effect. A fairy tale ending to his story.

The story caught my eye because I am in the same boat. No, I am not a rich computer geek that wanted to do what I love. I am a poor businessman that wanted to do what I love. Prior to my move to Montana I had a fairly lucrative job performing internet geekery. I made good money. Perhaps not rolling in bathtubs of money sort of good, but comfortably well off at the least. Then I had an opportunity to do something I love. I went for it.

My story does not read like Mr. Wozniak's. Not everyone who follows their heart gets the fairy tale ending. I am not likely to accidentally change the world. I am not creating a product that will bring in a ton of money. In fact I am facing some financial challenges I have not had to deal with since my youth. I am the opposite of wealthy. I can't buy the things I want, not even a few things that I need. I have bankers and lenders telling me my money is no good. Like the cliché I know that money isn't everything. But having it is a lot easier than not having it.

It can be fun and inspiring to hear how someone did a thing for love and became wealthy for it. Fairy tales are cool. You never hear the stories of someone doing something they love and becoming poor for it. My story is not over yet, there is plenty of hard work to be done. There is still a chance for fairy tales. I hope I don't come to regret following my heart.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Those of you with a penchant for Glacier National Park might be interested in this article:

The article itself is a little weak, what I hope to point out are the cool photos in the gallery.

The photos are some excellent before and after photos of the glaciers in GNP. Some very cool historic photos and their modern equivalents re-shot from the same location. A little historic perspective on the geologic history of the park.

Conventional wisdom says this is evidence of big bad global warming in action. Could be true. I do recall is hearing that Dr. Lyman B. Sperry upon the discovery of his namesake glacier(1) back in 1896 had declared it a dying glacier and it would probably not last more than another century(2). The glaciers have been dying since before 'global warming' was a buzzword. So as for that silly petition to have the Park declared endangered. It's a bunch of bunkum in my mind. Using dubious science for political gain. I am not trying to suggest that there is no global warming. I believe that the scientific evidence backs that up pretty well. I'm just saying that using the hundred year old knowledge of dying glaciers to make a 20 year old claim is faulty logic. The park is in no danger and should not be declared "endangered" just because Bush won't sign onto Kyoto. Please keep our Park out of the crossfire in this debate.

For those of us who have spent lots of time in the Park the dying glaciers are nothing new. Not only will the glaciers be gone in our lifetimes; the park is evolving before our very eyes into something much different than what will be remembered from childhood.

Another point that the article gets completely and spectacularly wrong is the very first sentence. The suggestion that the park should be renamed when the glaciers melt. Glacier National Park was not named because it has glaciers. It was named because glaciers created it. It has long been said that a much better name for the park would have been "Glacial Lakes National Park". Rename the park? Gimmie a break. Even after every last river of ice has melted into old timey photographs only the ignorant would suggest taking "glacier" out of Glacier National Park.

Kudos to for the great Sperry Glacier photo link

Sorry, can't source this, it is from some personal memories of old naturalist talks in Glacier Park. Look here for some fun stories about Dr. Sperry though.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Fatalist and the Buddhist

So what is up with this girl from the other city?
Well, she's cool. We got together the other week and we plan to again this weekend.
That's good. So what's really going on with you guys?
I like her, but beyond that I don't know. I don't want to worry about it. I'm not sure if I should even talk about it; I don't want to jinx anything.
You are such a fatalist.
What does that mean?
It means you don't express your emotions and you don't talk about stuff because it might jinx something. You let fate decide where you are going.
Is that good or bad?
It's just your style. It is something I have noticed about you from the past few years.


So is this a romantic possibility?
I don't know. I like her well enough. It's just that she lives in the wrong damn city and there is the whole distance thing. If we were in the same town I'm sure that we would be seeing each other, but we're not in the same town and there is this damn mountain between us and that's not about to change.
There is always the possibility, right? Anything could happen.
Sure. I like her, I am enjoying talking with her and we will probably get together again soon. For now I am just enjoying the moment. I don't want to worry about down the road, I'm trying to live in the now.
That's very Buddhist of you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


That fine list of blogs over on the side there has been in need of an update for a while. Finally getting around to it.

While revising my blogroll I had planned on categorizing it into the blogs I read daily and the ones I only hit up only once in a while. Create a sort of A list and B list for the Montana Jones blogroll. After thinking it over I decided that was a stupid idea. Instead I am going to lump everything together in one list. I know the ones I want to read today and the ones I don't. You probably do too.

I had to drop Hollywood & Montana off the list. Annie is done blogging. She has thrown in the towel. Sad, but life happens. As I like to say, change is good.

Here is a quick roundup of the new blogs on my list.

4&20 blackbirds When I first saw the name I thought it was a drug reference and I got confused why many prominent Montana bloggers would want to link here. Turns out it is a very thought provoking new Montana politics and issues blog. Well written.

City Lights When I caught myself constantly digging into my bookmarks to find Ed's timely and well written blog I figured I would just make life easier for myself and stick him on the list.

Dave Budge I am pleasantly surprised when I encounter thoughtful people. I don't always agree but Dave does a good job speaking his piece.

F-words A new find for me. A well written lady from Idaho. I think I shall pay attention, see what she has to say.

Give a Moose a Muffin... Sometimes it is nice to look in on the lives of other friendly people.

The Monkey Cage I don't think I could put up with a screeching, poo flinging monkey every day. But some days you need an extra giggle.

Patia Stephens This is one of those blogs that is just comfortable to drop in on once in a while. A plain, calm voice that won't scandalize, sensationalize, pander or exaggerate. She keeps a pretty good blogroll too.

Views from the back row Founder of the famous (infamous?) Half Nekkid Thursday. Many a fine Friday morning can be wasted surfing his blogroll.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And when I die...

I want to have at least one unfinished project when I die.
Don't most people want to have their affairs wrapped up?
Yeah, but I have seen lot's of old people sitting around with nothing to do. Looks boring to me.
I can see the merit of that.
So expect to inherit a project from me.
Sure, go for it. Heck, I can just cart it off to the dump and you will never know.
It might be something you will want to finish.
Well, if you want a legacy you better leave me a cool project then.
I'm working on it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ask Montana Jones

was wondering if I could pick your brain for some advice...

There is this guy I kind of like. We've hung out a little, had fun etc. and have plans to do so again but not for several weeks. I enjoy his company and was kind of hoping that maybe we could hang out again before that time.

I'm not really sure how to approach it. I am not sure if I should just ask or what? We don't live in the same city and so I'm not sure if he hasn't wanted to ask me to drive again or if maybe he just isn't thinking about it. Keep in mind he works a lot and is getting kind of busy and so I wouldn't want to intrude on that. I suspect he has a lot on his mind right now.

Got any ideas? I don't want to turn it into a big thing since it really isn't one. I like things to just be easy going and I suspect he does as well. If we end up not hanging out again until the scheduled time that's cool too.

Thanks MJ, you're a doll!

Waitaminute, you are actually asking me this? You already know the answer to this one. Talk to him. Yeah, that's right, you gotta ask him if hanging out again would be cool. Sure he is far away and busy but do you really think the 30 seconds it will take to get him on the phone and ask is going to derail his entire career? Just do it. The worst he can do is say no.

Except that is the real problem isn't it? You don't want a 'no', you want more. More of his time, more attention and more hanging out. You know what that means? Attraction.

Yup, there it is between the lines. You don't want to turn it into a big thing but you are asking Montana Jones for advice. Well guess what, it is a big thing. Big enough for you to worry about it and ask opinions. You don't go asking Montana Jones unimportant things like which pair of underwear to put on today. You have given a lot of thought to how much he is working and about the drive and you have speculated about what is going on in his head but you have been shy about asking him about a simple human contact thing. Correct me if I am wrong but I am calling this twitterpation.

So we need to figure out how to ask this guy out without getting turned down. We have to do this with respect to the distance involved, with respect to the work schedules and not intruding. We need to tap-dance gracefully around the issues of attraction and budding romance. We are grown ups after all and we have fallen before and been hurt before. We have tasted the sweet nectar of love and we have known the agonizing poison of rejection. The goal here is to get to the honey without the bee stings. Oh and it all has to be easy going.

Now this counts as a big deal. This is the sort of thing human kind has been working toward since the invention of the flirtatious wink. Empires have been built and destroyed in the quest for this knowledge. Mighty armies have been marched across the four corners of the earth for the answer to this question. Mad scientists have concocted love potions and psychics have cast their tarots. There have been mighty debates and quiet prayers and advice columnists have made incredibly lucrative careers out of the quest for the solution to this one. Fortunately for you I know the answer.

You have to talk to him. Write a quick Email or call him on the phone and ask him what he thinks about getting together.

Communication will solve all the mysteries. Does he want you to make the drive? Did he enjoy your time hanging out? Does he want to deal with seeing someone in another city? Does he bother to match his socks out of the drier? Does he like the same books, movies and music as you? Any misdemeanors on his criminal record? What are his favorite pizza toppings? Does he stop work occasionally to daydream about you? Will he be okay with your sexual fetishes? Does he have secret desires involving chocolate pudding? Does he put the seat down?

Communication is the number one solver of problems ever. You should talk about everything. Weekend visits, deep fears, the weather. There are some things that can be hard to talk about. Mistakes we have made, past loves, birth control, revealing your secrets. Like your crush on Sean Cassidy or that he learned to masturbate from Linda Carters Wonder Woman costume. (Cough.) You should still do it. Bring up the tough subjects. If he can't handle talking with you how will he be able to handle spending time with you or dating you? If you guys can make it through the tough conversations then the easy ones get easier and better. This is how you will know if he really is as honorable as you want him to be. Communicating a lot is how you will know that if he says he is working late he really is working late, not seeing some floozie on the side. Be honest with him and expect the same. It's our best friends that have heard all our secrets and proved their worth by sticking around anyway. Talking with him is how you will know if he is worth the effort, if he should be kicked to the curb, or if he has what it takes to be your friend.

Montana Jones is not really a know-it-all but he does play one on the internet. If you have any burning questions about love, physics, spirituality, web design or any of the other incredibly complex problems of life you should write to

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Operation Shoebox

A noteworthy video has crossed my path. Apparently some Oregon National Guardsmen with talent behind the camera have documented their time in Iraq. Here is the link so you can peruse it for yourself.

If you are getting tired of the "if it bleeds it leads" mentality of the news reporting coming from our current war and want a different take on it, something more like what the soldiers actually see, I recommend the "Shoes" video.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A survey

Voice On Phone:
I am conducting a survey on behalf of the Montana Republican Party, it will take less than 60 seconds.
Uhhh, okay.
Do you support the display of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of courthouses in Montana?
Uhhhmm. [Thinks to self: free speech is good, propaganda is bad.] I'm sorry I don't know enough about the issue to comment on it.
Do you support more restrictions on gun ownership?
Uhhhmm. [Thinks to self: What restrictions? This couldn't possibly be a biased survey could it?] I support the constitution of the United States, including the second amendment.
Do you support increased restrictions on abortion?
Uhhhmm. [Thinks to self: What restrictions? How can any reasonable person say yes or no to any of these questions?] I don't know enough about the issue to comment on it.
Do you support the current war on terror?
Uhhhmm. [Thinks to self: If I don't say yes am I am bad person?] I don't know enough about the issue to comment on it.
Are you a member of the republican party or the democratic party?
[Thinks to self: A leading question if I ever heard one. A high school kid knows to ask "which party are you affiliated with?"] I'm not with either party.
Thank you, this survey has been conducted by the Montana Republican Party. It has not been sponsored by any candidate or office holder. For more information you can visit our website at Thank you for your time.

Note to the Montana GOP (democrats this applies to you too). It is not lost on me that this survey was designed to generate an emotional set of answers to some hot button topics. It reduced very complicated issues down to black and white thinking and failed to acknowledge alternatives to the answers you wanted to hear. The only way you could make this survey more skewed would be to change the questions to "Do you support godless heathens in the judiciary?" or "Should we allow innocent Americans to be brutally murdered in terrorist attacks?" I am looking forward to your soon to be issued press release that shows how much Montanans surveyed love GOP policy.

If you were truly interested in what is best for this country or even in getting my vote you would not ask me about your pet issues and try to skew the results toward your existing policy. Instead ask what issues are important to me and let me tell you how to vote on them. You know, actually represent me in my government.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The brush with evil was completely unexpected, as a brush with evil usually is. Stalking me and pouncing at the most unsuspecting of places; the local supermarket. I spotted them on the way in. Little cherubs of wanton manipulation. I've met this bunch before and I knew I could not get away unmolested.

Careful Jones, don't make eye contact. Stride in purposefully, eyes averted. Yea that's the ticket. Dodged the first wave. Sometimes you can get by safely if you don't make eye contact.

The visit to the store went remarkably smoothly. No floppy wheel on the cart. Fresh produce instead of the week old stuff. I did not even have to fight past little old ladies in the bread aisle. All this peace would come at a price. I would still have to run the gauntlet to get back out again.

I didn't bother looking for camouflaged pits or clever rope traps. This group does not need them. They have powers of torture and persuasion that no sane person can resist. The only hope is to run. Close your eyes, don't look at any of them, just line up for the exit and run till you feel the cold air of the outside on your skin and then don't look back.

I took a deep breath as I turned my shopping cart toward to the clean safe light of outside, closed my eyes and charged. There was a crash and a violent bang. I opened my eyes again to see a soccer mom had cut me off and I had nearly toppled her cart with my sideswipe. I was in trouble now, trapped near the entrance, cut off from escape. The soccer mom scowled. I mumbled an apology and fought to keep my eyes down, focused only on my feet. And then I was caught. One of them was standing right there. Materialized from thin air. I could not avoid her. In a soft voice with lilting singsong tones the little cherub spoke "Would you like to buy some cookies?" My willpower was crushed.

To resist would be torture. The way these children can suck the spirit from any grown person astounds me. I was helpless in her grasp. I could not say no. The freshly scrubbed face, the cute green sash, the pig tails. There was only one avenue of resistance left. "Do you have Thin Mints?" I asked feebly. Her eyes twinkled, she knew she had me. "Yes" she said, "lots."

Fortunately my wallet was nearly empty so I was able to escape with only three boxes. Those Girl Scouts are insidious. What's worse, I know I can eat an entire box of Thin Mints in one sitting. Insidious.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

How to shave off a beard

Try not to notice all the trivial little things your beard does to bother you.

Fail to notice how it cuts the wind, thwarts the cold and makes you look more mature.

Try to pretend you are not really coveting that clean shaven look.

Tell your beard "We need to talk"

Tell your beard "I just don't feel the same way anymore."

Buy your beard chocolates.

Tell your beard "It's not you, it's me."

Take your beard out for one last fancy dinner.

Let your beard cry on your shoulder.

Be gentle but firm with the razor.

Relent a little when the beard says "I can change for you"

Only shave down to a goatee.

Take your goatee out for a night on the town to see how it goes.

Try to pretend you are not really coveting that clean shaven look.

Tell your beard "I'm sorry, it's just not working out."

Let your beard cry on your shoulder.

Make a clean shave.

Take yourself out for a night on the town with head held high.

Feel like crap when you see other guys with nice beards.

Drink beer and tell your friends what a great beard she was.

Plan on finding your beard again in a couple months for a hook up. Just once for old times sake.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I am running into one little problem with the mortgage companies.
What's that?
My money is no good to them. I don't have a credit score.
Apparently if you're not spending money you don't have on shit you don't need then you are a bad person and not allowed to buy a house.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I can't believe

So how was your birthday? Did you have a good time meeting the girl?
It was good. I did. I enjoy getting to know new people.
I can't believe you came all the way to Missoula and didn't stop and see me.
Well, I'm sorry, I was on a date.
You could drop by after. You weren't even going to tell me you were in town were you.
Well, I'm sorry. It just felt awkward to me. I didn't want to create any tension.
Okay, well, next time I'm in your town I'm not going to stop and see you either.
That's fair. But only if you are on a date. I mean, how would you feel if you were out with someone, would you really want to stop and say hi to your ex?
I don't know. It's just, we're friends now right? You shouldn't just blow off your friends.
Well, I'm sorry. I'm still planning on coming to help you move. I'm still around for you.
Good. I don't want a girl to make things weird between us.
I'm sorry again. You are making me feel bad now.
Don't feel bad. I just want to clear the air between us.