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, February 23, 2007

Thought for the day

Sex is better for finding friends than friends are for finding sex.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Whither goes the Montana Blogger?

There is a mysterious trend afoot. Bloggers are dissapearing.

I was a little worried about Dave Budge and Sarpy Sam, but it turns out they were each having their respective technical troubles. Welcome back guys, glad all is well.

But a couple others have up and kicked the blog without saying goodbye. The Chad over at BAH WEEP GRAHNA WEEP NINNY BON And One Crue Girl.

The optimist in me says that change is good and these people are getting on with life away from the keyboard.

The pessimist in me is saying DISASTER! BIRD FLU!! ZOMBIES!!! EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

Edit: The missing blogs mentioned above have been replaced with spam and pornography. I have removed my links.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


...but I'm not from this town. I only come here once in a while.
Really? Where are you from?
Libby. But I don't have cancer.
That's good.
Can you believe I said that? That is so sad. Every other person I know in Libby has cancer.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Presidents Day

Dear President Bush,

Happy Presidents Day!

Yes, it is that time of year again. That joyous occasion for sending Presidents Day cards, eating chocolate presidents heads, and pretending for one day out of the year that we actually like our relatives and our president. Did you get my card? I sent it the other week to make sure it would get to you in time. It's the red one with white lace that says "I [heart] president" on it. For some reason all the cards at the store were red and frilly with hearts and stuff so I had to write "president" with my black magic marker. That black smudge down in the corner is where I censored out the little naked kid trying to shoot your heart with an arrow. I didn't want you to think I was sending a terrorist threat or anything. It really wasn't the best choice of cards for you but my selection was limited. I'm sure this is just an oversight by the Hallmark Company and next year we will get better, more patriotic Presidents Day cards.

I know a lot of people that completely forget about this holiday until they discover they have a three day weekend. Then they usually blow it by getting drunk on Sunday night and don't bother to send you so much as a thank you note for all your hard work. In fact I remember having a conversation last year with someone I thought was super intelligent, she had a Ph.D. and everything. Not only did she not celebrate Presidents Day or send you a thank you note, but she didn't even vote. Can you believe it? Some smartypants trying to tell me that voting was a waste of time because there is no way to know what a candidate will do or who they will represent once in office. My friend said that politics was so rife with dishonesty and hypocrisy and that every candidate would go back on their promises, lie and screw up somehow. She said there was no point to voting because no matter whom you vote for you still get a screw up that wont represent you in Washington.

To be honest, I didn't vote for you either. But at least I did my patriotic duty. Besides, I think she might be right; Ralph Nader would probably have screwed up just as bad as you have, just in different ways is all. If only Ross Perot would run again. But hey, Presidents Day is a good day to put all that behind us.

So best of luck to you in convincing people to believe you when you give speeches and stuff. Since it is your big holiday and all I hope you get to take a break from all the politics and screwing up that you do. You can count on me to keep reminding people to send Presidents Day cards and to do their patriotic duty of voting. I hate to think of what would happen if we put the wrong screw up in office.

Happy Presidents Day and don't forget...

I [heart] president.

Montana Jones

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Things I learned making this new template

When using empty DIV tags as css hooks, IE will screw them up unless you put font-size:0px; in your style sheet.

Drop shadows are a pain in the ass.

There is a damn good reason that the pin stripes are 7px apart and the header is 126px tall.

I have never before appreciated photoshop masks so much.

Drop shadows are a pain in the ass.

There is a difference between this doctype: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
and this doctype: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">

Don't forget to add the property type="text/css" to your style tag or your html will not validate.

If you think your design looks nice, change the resolution on your monitor to form a second opinion.

Drop shadows are a pain in the ass.

This css selector: #sidebar P,OL,UL,H6 {…} is not the same as this css selector: #sidebar P,#sidebar OL,#sidebar UL,#sidebar H6 {…}

When using multiple :hover elements dependant on class, you need to use !important to get the subsequent ones to display. This does not work in IE.

It can be a pleasant surprise to test in Internet Explorer and see something appear correctly on the first try. Most of the time nothing works right.

If you use Internet Explorer to browse the web you are contributing to the stress, anxiety and heart disease of thousands of web developers. The world will be a better place if you used the superior Firefox browser.

Blogger can be a pain in the ass too.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It was really cool driving through the heights the other day. The way the snow blows and drifts. They can't plow worth a damn when it gets like that, the snow just blows in again. It was just like it used to be when I was a kid.
Cool. I get the impression that this winter has been more like traditional Montana winters. Colder, snowier.
Yeah, pretty much. If it was just a little colder and had a little more snow this would be like winter used to be.

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Monday, February 12, 2007


Who would like to join me in some good old fashioned outrage? Check out this story about an antiques dealer in Whitefish:

The gist of it is that an antiques dealer was raided for having antique gambling equipment. I guess that the Montana Department of Justice's Gambling Investigation Division doesn't have anything better to do or any more pressing crimes to solve. So this is what passes for law enforcement and protecting the citizens; confiscating old furniture that no longer has use as a gaming device, harassing a small business owner, interfering in the livelihoods of the citizenry. I would like the Gambling Investigation Division to do some explaining and justify their existence in some way.

Noteworthy from the Interlake story was this particular bit.

Ron Turner phoned his son-in-law, Clint Walker, for advice. Walker called the Whitefish police to ask that officers check up on the state agents to make sure they were genuine and not con artists.

Two Whitefish officers showed up at the Cowboy Cabin, asking the agents to verify their identities.

One agent got mad and yelled at the police officers, who remained calm, Turner said. Whitefish Assistant police Chief Mike Ferda verified that one state agent was rude and "went a little over the top to our officers."

After checking the state agents' identities, the Whitefish officers backed off.

It strikes me that asking the state agents to confirm they are who they say they are is reasonable. And correct me if I am wrong, but isn't a law enforcement officer required to produce identification as such any time it is requested in the course of his duties? For these agents to get belligerent to the local police is about as unprofessional an act as misidentifying antiques as gambling devices.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Do not leave candle burning unattended

A little lake of wax had congealed a selection of pens, old receipts and posty notes together. I muttered "Oh Shit" to myself, but the time to do anything about it was long past. My eyes traced the path of drippings from the mass of desktop clutter, up the side of the power strip, dangling stalactites from the desk hutch, puddles molded around the modems feet and a greasy crust covering it's surface. Green LED lights still blinking their connective cheer. Embedded into the plastic top of the modem was a warning label, "Do not leave candle burning unattended", the words slightly obscured by a burn mark scorching a line through the wax, pointing toward a melted hole. The charred rift in the cover of the electronics revealed the spidery little microchips inside, apparently undisturbed.

All the worst case scenarios then flooded my mind. The modem could have caught fire while I was sleeping, taking with it the desk hutch, books, monitor, clutter of papers and eventually the entire apartment. The fact that it didn't happen that way was some consolation. But it could have been much worse. The smoke detector has had the battery removed for some time now. It has a habit of sounding the alarm every time I use the kitchen. Every one of the two dozen fire extinguishers I own was at the office, miles away. Note to self; store some of those extinguishers around here in the off season.

As I chiseled away at the waxy blobs on my desk I flashed back to a conversation with dad not so long ago. "Your mom is getting more like grandma was," he said. "More forgetful." I pictured grandma in my mind, the white haired bundle of energy always flitting from thing to thing, from one idea to the next. Never settling for long, rarely concluding a task. It was a family trait, I could see it in mom and I could see some of it in myself too.

"Uh, huh." I said, not sure if I liked where dad was going with this.

"The other day she went out for her walk after putting the kettle on high. If I hadn't come downstairs when I did it could have been much worse."

I pictured a kettle of water on a hot stove. I'm sure the water would boil away sooner or later but I didn't think it would catch fire any too quickly. Mom would have been back in a half hour, caught it, cursed herself and moved on. I didn't want to push the issue with dad, he was convinced of the imminent doom.

"She still has it together enough, but we use our cell phones a lot. We check in any time we go some place, like when I leave the shop or something. I have to remind her of things she forgets at the store. I am still okay with her driving, I am okay with her going into Missoula, but she is getting older."

"You know that she watches out for you too, right?"

"Yeah, I do. I'm just saying."

It would be pointless to try to explain how we are all a little like grandma. Dad had his "I'm right and the world ain't" ax to grind. Pointing out his own foibles would just make him think I was missing the point and not worrying about mom enough.

Yeah dad, I do worry about mom. And I worry about you too. But you guys are doing just fine leaning on each other. Mostly I am worried about me. Especially since I nearly burnt my place down from my own absentmindedness.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

In the Email

From: D_
Subject: Women Propose Marriage and Men can't refuse

To me this seems like a good way to go. Let's promote change in this society.

> To have refused, explained the old man remembering the day half a
> century ago, would have dishonored his family -- and in any case,
> why would he want to choose his own wife?
> "Love comes first into the heart of the woman," explained Nananghe.
> "Once it's in the woman, only then can it jump into the man."
> "The choice of a woman is much more stable," explains Okrane.
> "Rarely were there divorces before. Now, with men choosing, divorce
> has become common."

From: M_
Subject: Re: Women Propose Marriage and Men can't refuse

You sure do wrestle with some interesting demons...

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