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Blogger Menaced by Bears in Saloon


The only thing that takes the edge off your terror is the reflection in the glass of the neon beer signs.


This guy needs another round, and is trying to get the attention of the waitress.


They get cranky when they're this far from the Arctic Ocean.


Heading toward Glacier.


Lake McDonald.

[More to come later...]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 26, 2008; 8:45 AM ET
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Next: Montana Bureau Open For Business


Mercy me. First?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Joel, you are in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Glacier NP is where I finally resolved to stop smoking after being passed on the hiking trails by multiple grannies and toddlers as I sat gasping and wheezing. Second best decision I ever made.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Run, joel! Runnnnn!

Posted by: jack | February 26, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I have seen many impressive sights across this huge and diverse country but I always say that Montana is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. (And, Joel, you have captured the essence of it with those photos; bravo!)

We vacationed there -- in Glacier National Park and environs -- when I was about 13. That's where I had my first backpacking experience. We carried little brass bells with us to notify the bears of our presence. And avoided saloons altogether.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow... beautiful.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

A great big box canyon of joy.

That is all.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Given Joel's well-documented history of ursinephobibia, I guess this could be considered a form of aversion therapy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 26, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Cool! Joel is in Glacier NP, which is shared (sort of) with our own Waterton in Southern Alberta.

Check out the Richardson's Ground Squirrels; G/W is one of the few places they still thrive and my, do they thrive. Overly habituated to humans, I should say.

The ground squirrels are very like marmots, and bold. The last time I was in Waterton, one of them hopped up on my boot and started to chew the laces. It was not hard to dissuade. I was caught on tape and offered a chance to try out as place-kicker for the local high school football team.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

God did well when She got to these parts, didn't She? Of course, She had had plenty of practice by then.


Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The two most important things to remember in bear country-

1. When walking in bear country, hikers should be alert, carry pepper spray, and wear a small bell or other noisemaker.

2. Be able to recognize and distinguish between the droppings of black bears and grizzlies. Black bear scat typically contains small bones and undigested vegetable matter and may smell of berries. Grizzly bear scat typically contains larger bones and small bells and smells of pepper spray.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the yellow-bellied marmot too.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

What exactly is the difference between a bar and a saloon? And where do pubs come into the equation?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 26, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Reposted from previous Boodling:

Good morning, all.

kbertocci, don't worry about JA getting cold in Montana. I think he packed enough of those chemical hand and foot warmers to cover his entire body for the better part of a week. Come to think of it, that would account for the duct tape and the box of NASA-spec Depends he took, too.


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful pictures, but I sure wouldn't want to overindulge in that particular bar - bad enough to think the two-legged hairy ones might be attractive.

From previous boodle - Slyness, I was just whining, please don't stop those pretty thoughts of spring. Truth, it gives me reason to trudge thru the white toward the green at the end of the tunnel!

Posted by: TLF | February 26, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

RD, I think saloons are decorated in red, have better (overstuffed) furniture and those swinging doors best used for dramatic effect. A piano player wearing a straw hat in corner banging away on an upright.

Plus rooms for let up stairs, prices by the quarter-hour.

That place Joel visited looks unBearable.


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

K-guy, here in the mountains of Southern Alberta we call those noise-makers people wear on their boots "dinner bells." Safer to hike with companions and talk on the trail.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm giggling at the mental picture of you dislodging marmots.

k-guy, thanks for another laugh.

Unfortunately, I can't remember much of Montana, having seen it when I was 7. Looks like it might be time to go back.

The closest I have come to an actual bear was through the window of a train in Alaska. Not sure if it was a grizzly, but it was plenty big. Big enough to justify my policy of "always keep a good distance from something with the potential to eat you--and don't wait to find out if he just had a big meal."

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

My personal favorite bar- classy, intimate, historic

Whereas this is my fave saloon(scroll down)-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

NO KIDDING, y'll. This is what you sing in bear country. Bells, kb, you have bells! I am frenvious of you. We hit spoons on our metal mess kits linked to a belt loop in front. True story. (Why do I feel suddenly, like Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies?)
The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a wandering
Along the mountain Path
And as I go I laugh and sing
My knapsack on my back

Valdaree, valdarah, valdaree, valdarah ha ha hah hah ha
Valdaree,valdarah, my knapsack on my back

I wave my hand to all I see
And they wave back to me
The blackbird sings so loud and clear
From every greenwood tree (repeat Chorus)

Accordion Midi of this Bear-Proofing song here:

Search "in this document" for 'wanderer' and you will be transported to a tune Midi.


Drive your teens healthily-crazy by singing this in the car. Guaranteed!

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The Center Bear (I guess we'll call him Paul Lynde in our game of Hollywood Bears?) is clearly trying to get the watiress' attention to bring over the check.

Bear: "May I have the check, please?"

Waitress: "Certainly, sir. Can I get you anything else, some coffee or dessert, perhaps?"

Bear: "No thanks. I'm stuffed."


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen that many posed ursines since the last time I went to the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney World. For a much wider variety of stuffed critters, I suggest you try Buckhorn Exchange in Denver. Not only do they have lots of taxidermied big game, they serve it on the menu. But I don't think that includes bear.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

They're saloons if they are located anywhere that a cowboy ever rode by.

They're pubs if they are in the UK, anywhere ever owned or colonized by the UK, or owned by someone who is either from the UK or wishes he was.

They're bars everywhere else.

Except where they are taverns, microbreweries, watering holes or alehouses.

Or biergartens.

Just heard on the radio that I share my birthday with Robert Novak, the old troll. Yayyyy!

Posted by: Gomer | February 26, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Bear, seasonally-dependent, is VERY FATTY. I have not eaten bear but smelled bear grease on my neighbors boots and other leather gear. I believe that his family used this as a lard -substance at times because the pork-kind was too dear.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The Rough Rider Bar in the Menger is much dimmer than that picture would lead you to believe. A lot of dark wood went into the decor. But you can almost hear Teddy in there.

I confess that I passed on tapping a draught there in favor of going across the street to the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's. Something about a 40 ounce Hurricane that I find irresistible.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, gomer, even if you have to share it with the Prince of Darkness. Bobby N is seventy-seven years young and doesn't look a day over dead.

And let's not forget roadhouses, dives, or inns.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

glacier national park. cool. was there in summer '05 because of a cousin's wedding in the greater missoula area.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Was that a photo of the famous woods I hear so much about, where bears go mind.

Yoki, I'm assuming you have a dynamite recipe for marmot. Perhaps a fricasse? A pot pie? Marmot-on-a-stick? Marmot-infused EVOO?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I have lived in west by god for 8 years and never saw any bears,but I saw 3 up close this past year. Beautiful creatures and quite graceful for such a large animal.
Watching one swim the river and come near me was the thrill of the summer.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 26, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

taproom speakeasy boozecan

Posted by: Anonymous | February 26, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Ah, but that's the whole point about the Menger Bar. It's small, it's dark, it's old. The feeling of walking in out of the heat and glare of August in San Antonio and slurping the foam off a cold one in the Menger is unforgettable.

The Irma Hotel and Saloon has a different vibe, funky and theatrical, the embodiment of the Western fantasy surrounded by the Western reality.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I would have to agree that seeing live bears in the wild is something you do not forget easily. As a young child on a trip to a friends cottage we stopped on a highway, this was in the part of the province where the Canadian Shield begins to emerge from the ground and the highway is blasted through the granite. Stopped along the highway were about ten cars all watching a mother black bear and two small bear cubs climb up the granite wall.

Also saw a large bear (brown?) wandering besides the Icefields parkway one nice spring morning. We chose not to stop but one small car tried to get up close and personal - it was long before we saw the park rangers come speeding down the highway.

Posted by: dmd | February 26, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Glacier NP was the best vacation ever for us. We were there in the summer of '04 for a week. We spent a couple of evenings on the veranda of the Lake McDonald Lodge, drinking a few beers and generally loving life. There was a Native American, whose name escapes me who gave a talk one night at the lodge about the history of his people, the Blackfeet. He was mesmerizing. Even our kids hung on his every word. The lodge has a beautiful lobby with a piano surrounded by all kinds of stuffed wildlife. My son sat down and played the theme from The Pink Panther (of all tunes!) one morning and everyone there just stopped and watched and applauded when he was done. He loved it!

Posted by: Kim | February 26, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I have returned!

I will be speaking at the Air and Space Museum this evening. I fyou wanna come, just drop by about 6:15 and tell t guards that you're with the FamilY Science Night program. Because we will be showing a 3D movie tonight, leave the good seats for the signed-up audience.

ScienceKid #2 reportdly will be attending, as well.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Look at all those typos! That's what I get for violating my usual rule to always preview my posts instead of submitting right away.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 26, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Raysdad bought me a t-shirt with a bear walking out of the woods holding a roll of TP, saying "Yeah, we do."

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Great Doonesbury day!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Mountain lions
Pink panthers
and Bears

Oh My

Hey, TBG -- can I get a cute surprised emoticon here? With Dorothy Braids and a blue checkered dirndl?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Mention Montana and it pops up on the front of our local Metro section today--along with the federales. In short:

Entrepreneurs would like to develop the southern banks of the San Antonio River into a multimillion-dollar mixed-use development.

The area that developers have in their sights around the King William area got its name of Big Tex from a grain company formerly located there. Also located in the area, though, was a facility owned by W.R. Grace and Co, the site crawling in the last several days with men from the EPA in full "moon suits" and respirators, trying to determine how much asbestos remains. The EPA hopes to have the area cleaned up by year's end.

As reported in our paper:

W.R. Grace & Co. now is known [they didn't know it at the time?] to have sent millions of tons of vermiculite ore from its mine in Libby, Mont., to 200 locations throughout the country despite, according to federal court documents, company officials' knowledge that the ore was tainted with tremolite asbestos. This is a particularly hazardous form of asbestos that can cause lung cancer and other deadly illnesses. The San Antonio site was one of the company's largest plants, processing 124,000 tons of the tainted ore from 1961 to 1989. [Why didn't they process the ore in Montana, rather than haul it by rail--I presume--to south Texas?]

LL: Interesting second hour of the Diane Rehm show tomorrow, with Frank Sesno as host, about nuclear power and accompanying issues.

Posted by: Loomis | February 26, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I thought Miley Cyrus was very cute at the Oscars. And she looks really nice with darker hair.

Oh, wait, were talking about Montana the state not Montana the Hannah.

Sorry, my bad....

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hi Omni,

That name is very old hat in Montana and sometimes said to mean

ol' sportin' gal

If you take my meaning.

Also, said with names like

Shy Ann from Cheyenne
Lavada from Alzada
Petula from Missoula
Tibby from Libby

If you saw (or read) (Robert Redford's) Norman Maclean's _A River Runs Through It_, we are speaking of


From the famous s3x on the beach (river alluvial scree) scene with night crawlers in a rusty Hills Bros. coffee can.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Hills Brothers coffee's so unbeatable...
It's re-heatable"

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, Joel's upcoming story could be about the right to "bear arms" in the nation's national parks (What does NPS director Mary Bomar have to say about that?), or...


Despite controversy, BP methane project is a go:

Montana senator claims planned coal bed methane operation in southeast British Columbia threatens rivers running into U.S.

BP Canada Energy Co. of Calgary is proceeding with its controversial $3-billion Mist Mountain coal bed methane project in southeastern B.C., despite U.S. reports that the project had been "scuttled."

However, a small piece of the project in the North Fork of the Flathead River drainage basin will not proceed, B.C. Energy Minister Richard Neufeld said. ...

Confusion over the status of the project - widely opposed in Montana because of concerns about pollution entering the Flathead and the Elk Rivers, which flow south from B.C. into Montana - stemmed from comments by U.S. Senator Max Baucus about the decision. Mr. Baucus said he had been told in a phone conversation with BP America president and chief executive officer Bob Malone that the company was backing away from the project.

Mr. Malone and BP Canada president Randy McLeod declined to comment on the issue....

BP Canada's coal bed methane project, together with a proposal from Cline Mining Corp. of Sudbury to develop a coal mine near the Flathead River, have drawn strong opposition from environmentalists in both countries, and from high-level politicians in the United States, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Senators Baucus and Jon Tester, and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Mr. Schweitzer and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell last fall exchanged toughly worded letters over the issue, and according to a spokesman in the Premier's office, there has been no contact between the two leaders since. Calls to Mr. Schweitzer's office were not returned.

(Yes, it's personal, set to inherit lots of BP stock, and BP's record in obtaining profits lately has been far less than stellar.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 26, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Cool, Joel!

Nice view of the Mission Mountains. You drove right by my house in Polson on your way to the park.

Hope you're having fun. You should have a beautiful day.

Posted by: markwa | February 26, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Flying pigtails, CP?


Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

TBG, you are a darlin'. And Raysmom, such a pomelet, only to be beaten, possibly by this one:

Carnation milk is the best in the land;
Here I sit with a can in my hand.
No [t]its to pull, no hay to pitch,
You just punch a hole in the son of a [b]itch.

Wow. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned....

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Shout out to MarkWa....How do? (Touching brim of hat, driving by on some great stretch of road)

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Stunning, TBG! Can you do a bear? :-)

Posted by: dbG | February 26, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back to town, *Tim.

Drat! If I'd have known what you were up to this evening, I'd have planned to come down to the Smithsonian this evening.

As it is, the kids have extra-curricular activites I'd already committed to for this evening...

Raysmom, that's better than a t-shirt of a bear and a rabbit, with the line, "No, I don't." (A reference to a "kids'" joke Eddie Murphy tells in "Raw.")


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Nice photos - especially the last.

JA must be heading to Glacier to document the retreating glaciers?

All this bear and hiking talk is off season. Now is the time for the truly hard core - the backcountry winter campers, ski-touring their way into huts and other remote locations.

Also ski season for many - Whitefish, near JA's current location, is reported to be a great ski destination.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

In days of yore, i.e. "yore not old enough to remember," Montana had no speed limit on the highway. Speed was supposed to be maintained at a rate which was "reasonable and prudent for the prevailing conditions," which was generally interpreted to mean "all she'll do." I can still remember driving on a two lane road outside Butte and meeting a VW bus being tailgated by a semi. The trucker was so close that it looked like he was pushing the VW and the VW driver's eyes were bigger than his headlights. Nevada had the same libertarian speed limit with the added bonus of free ranging cattle. Nothing like popping over a rise and seeing a couple dozen steers standing in the road. Better than No-Doz for alert driving.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Markwa's post from Polson reminds me that Montana is the state I always planned to "disappear" to. Now I might have to change my plan, since I'm mentioning on the internet. But I used to study Montana maps, looking for just the right small town to go to once I walked away from my identity, to live the simple life among the marmots. I remember finding a town called "Sunshine" but Google maps can't locate it now.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

When Son of G was leaving to come home for winter break, he realized when he got to the Amtrak station in Charlotte that he had left his cell phone charging in his room. Since his roommates' phone numbers were in his cell phone, he didn't know how to reach them (they do not have a land line in the room).

So he called me collect and had me look up his roommate's Facebook page, get the number and call and ask him to take the cell phone down to the station (which he happily did!).

Happy ending? Not quite. I just looked at the bill for the two collect calls Son of G made to me. One nine-minute call and one three-minute call. The total? $74.29.

Two calls. $33.88 for nine minutes; $23.95 for three minutes. And don't forget the $12.92 in "fees" and $3.54 in taxes added on to that.

So next time you see payphone, don't feel sorry for the phone's owner, thinking technology has passed him by... those things are gold mines.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

That was kind of a non-sequitor, folks. Sorry... but I was just so filled with umbrage!

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

So much for my theory that Joel would be covering politics in Billlings.

As a one-time resident of Cody, I appreciate kurosawaguy's link to the Irma Hotel.

For a while, our office was upstairs in the classic old post office building nearby.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

TBG, your boodle umbrage is boodle alert to us.

Gotcha' is everywhere. Make sure you open ALL THE CREDIT CARD OFFERS THESE DAYS! I had one that read thusly (sort a!)

if you do not respond then we will enroll you

Have a nice day.

I FINALLY got the six months of 15 dollar per month
protection for my dog should she ever get kitty feline leukemia from sun spots, then I will earn bonus points for my neighor's car, which I may elect to take from her either in gasoline credits or 15 cents toward her granddaughter's college ed. plan....


-NEARLY that stupid and insane an offer.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 26, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and howdy, bears. Those are great pictures. There's a small bar & restaurant we sometimes frequent in Colorado with many stuffed things and skeletons, but not nearly as many bears. I wonder whether the bears outnumber the patrons some nights, or whether the number of visible bears depends on how much you've had to drink.

That landscape is why I love the West.

Mudge, that's fried-marmot-on-a-stick.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 26, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd be umbragous too, TBG, and any non-sequitur you want to use is OK by me.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Glacier/Waterton NP is one of Slartibartfast's better pieces of work.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 26, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I looked up "marmot" in Google images and saw, in among the critters, something called a "marmot pounder." It appeared to be a stick-like object, perfect for pounding a marmot and prying it off your boot. I was going to order one for Yoki.

But alas, further investigation seems to show it is a light-weight sleeping bag, as in "marmot one pounder." I am so disappointed.

Posted by: nellie | February 26, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

kber, there are two Sunshine Creeks in Montana. One about 14 miles from Canada and Idaho on Nf-4354 Rd (whatever that is), and another about 100 miles south of Missoula, down route 93 off on Bitterroot-Big Hole Rd.

There's also a Sunshine Point about 55 miles south of Bozeman. This however appears to be roadless and really in the middle of nowhere

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The prevalence of cell phones have made phone booths the last resort for many people and as TBG has made me aware, the fees they will charge a desperate person are unconsciousable.

Opt-out offers strike me as unethical and possibly illegal. I finally canceled an automatically renewing magazine subscription that had been billing me 25 bucks a year for Good Housekeeping for years.

I work on the assumption that any offer included in a credit card bill is ipso facto a bad deal not even worth my consideration. I have tried to train my wife in the same but occasionally one slips by.

As a highly indebted person I will categorically state that all credit card companies other than USAA are rapacious under-regulated profiteers. The litany of sneaky tricks and borderline fraud I have been subjected to is monumental.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any of those are actually towns though. The look to be place names only.

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

omni, how can you tell when you are "in the middle of nopwhere" in Montana? Isn't most of it pretty much in the middle of nowhere? (Not that it isn't scenic, of course.)

Not many places have the chutzpah to name a street "Big Hole Road." Methinks that takes a heap o' self-confidence.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

omni, "roadless and in the middle of nowhere" That must be the place! Even if I leave internet clues, they'll probably never find me there. The marmots are really good at warning of approaching interlopers, so even if they come looking for me there, they won't find me.

It's always good to have a backup plan, I believe, just in case one's real life doesn't work out. You can pretend you've never thought of it, but I won't believe you.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I meant no roads go there. The nearest road to pass by, Gallatin, is half a over mile away.

Click on the aerial image button, zoom into level 14. Looks like a mighty fine place to buile a "huntin'" lodge.

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

geez, two posts, two SCC entries. Actually I think I'm 3 for 3 today.

Time for a walk.

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

All that talk of fried rodent makes me hungry for a well pounded, place-kicked, impaled and pit-roasted Harrison ground squirrel. Hummmmm.

Snowing, schmooing. Enough already. Enough.

This blogger doesn't like William Haynes, the guy who just resigned as the top Pentagon Counsel. That's not good when the top counsel insists that only convictions are acceptable results to a trial.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 26, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, good grief, with this link posted here, I definitely have to find another place. The marmots can't help me with satellite surveillance!

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

No, but if you borrow one of their burrows, you can hide from the signal.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Can you use a borrowed burrow for a barrow to hide your burro

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A wiseacre would answer "how do you know you're in the middle of nowhere in Montana," by saying that it's everywhere on the other side of the "Welcome to Montana" sign.

Anyone for marmotkabob?


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of unrelated umbrage...

I spent the better part of my Sunday trying to load the driver for our HP printer onto my new (Vista) laptop. From the disk, it got 94% done and then experienced a "fatal error." I downloaded the software from the HP website and tried again. Same result. Call HP. The first guy asks me things like "are you loading the driver for Vista?" Finally get passed to a lovely young man from Bangalore who I allow to take control of my computer remotely. He then proceeds to do *the same frickin' thing* I had already done. 94%. Fatal error.

We then download a patch from Microsoft. Relaunch installation. 94%. Fatal error. Did I mention that each time we went through the process of him taking control of my computer, it was 10 minutes?

He's about to call in second line support (3 hours into this journey). Apparently this is some big mystery problem unknown to humankind. But by that time I was done. The dog walk beckoned. A wee dram of scotch beckoned. I got my ticket number and promised to call back.

Through creative Googling, I have found that the HP printer/Vista issue is quite common. I even found a few suggested remedies that I'm going to try my very own self, unaided by the lovely young man from Bangalore. Meanwhile, my tax return remains entombed in my laptop, unprintable.

Returning you now to you regularly scheduled boodling. Gosh, that *was* cathartic!

And to the Mac fans out there: Don't. Say. It.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse


Couldn't help myself.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This weekend's migration from an old Gateway to the cheapest Mac Mini was reasonably straightforward. I was astounded that photo files from Olympus's photo management program reinstalled tidily into the same program on the Mac, retaining their indexing by date.

But I still haven't installed the printer.

Despite a few flubs on my part, Apple's operating system seems pretty easy to learn.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that middle bear looks kinda cuddly in that "you are about to be disemboweled" sort of way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 26, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Clinton campaign advisor Harold Ickes said yesterday, "We're on the way to locking this nomination down." I can only conclude from this that Obama has made his choice for Veep and it only remains to announce it formally. Either that or Ickes is seriously off his meds.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Vista is Microsoft's way of thinning the herd of those with insufficient faith. I spent several hours at my father-in-law's attempting to install his new scanner. I finally got everything to work, but only after muttering several phrases not previously heard in Amish country.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 26, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, sometimes that happens to me and it turns out that the stupid driver has already loaded, just keeps telling me it hasn't. Or it works (shows up working) fine upon restart.

Posted by: Jumper | February 26, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Slate Magazine is taking a page from the boodle
"Taking Offense Is the Best Offense
How umbrage has become this year's hottest campaign tactic."
By John Dickerson

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

And needless to say, NEVER do the "express" install, always do the "custom" when available. Uncheck all the drivel, retain only the driver. Keeps the weird junk off your system. And I highly suspect a scanner has all sorts of junk software it wants you to install along with your driver.

Posted by: Jumper | February 26, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We are trendsetters, here, Shriek. I've always suspected as much.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Jumper, Vista "is" drivel. Three installs under the belt and one more coming. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 26, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

My new TV has a VGA-in port that my son thinks would be perfect for a Mac Mini to work as a video server/web browser. He's just tired of using the Wii Opera browser for surfing from the couch. On Saturday we had a group of Magic players over and were watching Yvonne Craig YouTube videos on the 46" flatscreen. This is the one that struck as most over-the-top:

Then we made it half way through the oeuvre of Amy Winfrey's MakingFiends cartoons. Episode 3 is pretty representative of the twisted but oddly charming style:

Friday night we had watched Stardust which has a couple of Oscar winners chewing the scenery. It was a high-geek weekend.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

My son's computer, which I inherit when he goes to college, has WindowsXP Pro on it and I intend to never buy anything requiring Vista even if it requires going Mac.

I do need to bus a wireless keyboard for my wife's Powerbook so we can turn the the HDTV into a docking station.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I take it for granted that since Windows has to evolve while it can't leave any stragglers behind, that it inevitably takes on qualities of a Rube Goldberg machine.

Then again, there's "Your Inner Fish".

The University of Chicago must be a cool place to be a student.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

>Vista is Microsoft's way of thinning the herd of those with insufficient faith.

Ah, now it's clear. This is a whole "stages of enlightenment" thing. You must be ready to cast off the mortal desires to do things like actually use your computer before you're ready.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 26, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the print driver tips, guys. Since I got the distinct feeling that the HP guy was just *guessing* anyway, I'm going to try tackling it myself. I can guess in there with the best of them.

For added insurance, I plan to shake the magic bean over the computer, smack the desk with my riding crop, and chant "out, out, demon spirit" as it's loading.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Ode to the boodle

Sciencical and nonsensical,
superficially geographical,
timely and historical,
doggedly political,
kookily culinarial,
(in)crementally scatological,
pc or umbragical,
moderately scrutable
references all

Lost in this tangled boodle,
a furriner's babel fish is google,
weaving all into my noodle,
as I try to go au natural

INSofar as the citizenship test,
cramming facts is probably best,
but in "What's the Congress?" there was no jest
Until I read y'all

When I go for my interview
I'll have the boodle point of view
Given "What's the Bill of Right(s)?" to chew
"Hillary" is what I will spew
maybe that will be my fall...

Mailing the forms tomorrow. Waited two years so DNA Guy and I wouldn't have to take the oath under this administration...silly, no?

Wish me luck!

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 26, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'll come over and install your drivers if you promise to hit me with your riding crop.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, you might want to make a wand with a horsehair tuft at the end, just to be technical about it.

Posted by: Yoki | February 26, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It's the old old story. The masochist says "Hurt me, hurt me!" and the sadist says "No."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Glacier is the only national park where I have seen rangers patrolling with sidearms. And the guns were not meant for encounters with humans.

Its quite a feeling to see a fresh grizzly scat on the trail as you pass by.

Posted by: Grillades | February 26, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the Eugene Robinson chat at 1 p.m. had a refer line in for the Achenblog and Joel's "Obamabots Skewered on SNL" kit. 6th question down from the top.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I just finished my soda, thankfully before k-guy's 1:46. Good one.

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, no horsehair readily available. May have have to make do with a head of Cheap Date Barbie hair. Or would fuzz o' Wonder Dog work?

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Brava, DNA girl! What a great ode. How did you manage to lurk at all? Also congratulations and good luck. You know, if you have any questions about the topics which might be on that citizenship test, I'm sure the Boodlers would be delighted to air our opinions about civics and knowledge of history. Mudge knows most of it firsthand.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 26, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

*as Yoki once said, "Blushing prettily"*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

{* surfaces from a very deep pile of sawdust and pine scraps *}

I suppose I've missed quite a bit, though it's comforting to see the Boodle keeps on keeping on.

I'm not even going to try to back-boodle. The thought of it is just overwhelming, so I'll just jump back in here. :-)

On bears and the Pope... yes and yes, and may the wabbits (or wagomorphs) be wary.

On "Vista" and drivers (or in general)... this long-haired leaping Linux gnome is sympathetic to those who must, but tries to keep his laughter under his beard.

On bars and taverns and dives and such... "if you're buying, I'm there."

Raysmom... I've found that when dealing with any Windows problem, sticking pins in a genuine Bill Gates voodoo doll (especially in the area of the buttocks where the wallet would be located) does the trick. Of course, this requires selling your soul to the Devil, but if you *really* need those tax documents to print...

Otherwise, I'm glad to see everyone still Boodlin' about and hope this finds all of you in good health and spirits.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | February 26, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Long time lurker, first time poster here...

I have to thank JA for those pics today. They've reminded me why I want to go out west this summer.
My poor midwestern-raised husband has never been further west than Minneapolis and I intend to drag him and our son out west this summer. We're going to hit Montana AND Wyoming (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons).
My dad is a life-long resident of the west and prefers to own good riding horses, several guns of various sizes, and live in small towns. His idea of a good time is to escape into the back country with his horse, some oil-based pepper spray, a few guns, food and a tent. The further he can be away from people, the better.
My husband finds that way of life a little nutty, but is willing to try both horseback riding and shooting (not simultaneously).

We think we'd like to go when there are meteor showers since even here in Wisconsin it's hard to find big open sky untainted by lights. Star gazing is the only way I can really get him excited about the trip.
He's really more of a city boy and doesn't quite know what to make of the west. I *hope* that will change once he's smelled fresh mountain air and taken in the gorgeous landscapes.

Posted by: MadisonMama | February 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck, DNA Girl! Great poem.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I liked it DNA girl. very boodelie

I never realized Bat Girl's costume was purple and yellow. Wow, she really does purple a great justice.

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl... Go for it! Great poem. Can we ask where you're from?

MadisonMama! So glad you decided to give up your lurker status. But beware... you'll soon learn how hard it is to stop speaking your mind when you get used to it.

My son and I took a trip out west and we both saw desert for the first time. I really think it's gotten under my skin. I really want to return. I've been planning all sorts of fantasy road trip to all sorts of remote, mundane desert locales. We'll see if I can talk anyone in the family into going along.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

She also does green skinned aliens a great justice as Orion slave girl marta in Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy episode

Posted by: omni | February 26, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Your dad will truthfully assure you that the National Parks are stuffed with people in the summer. So make any hotel reservations early (Old Faithful Inn is definitely worth a visit). And research campgrounds, etc. in the National Forests or (especially) BLM lands. And absolutely, definitely do not miss the Beartooth Highway from Yellowstone to Red Lodge, Montana.

My best night in the region was returning from Billings to Worland. In the dark desert between Lovell and Greybull, a vast red aurora broke out. Of course that was unique.

I wonder if they still make ice cream sandwiches in Livingston, Montana. That's where the Park's supply used to come from.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"cascading power outages" in Florida:

Posted by: kbertocci | February 26, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Figured that video was right up your alley, omni. I was making the argument that Yvonne was far from the hottest character on the show. My opponent offered that video as his only argument to the contrary.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, here's one global warming problem solved, thank goodness. (And just in the nick of time, and very timely, considering recent kits and boodles about our bovine friends).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

My first trip west was driving the length of I-40 with my sister, moving her from NC to San Diego. It was very strange for me to realize that the pictures I'd seen of southwestern landscapes actually reflected something in the real world.

Traveling in Italy, I felt the same way going to Venice, and realizing that it looks like Venice.

Posted by: bia | February 26, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Bertooch, I'll bet those outages were caused by DaveOTC plugging in his coffeemaker into the same outlet as his electron microscope.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 26, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Take care, kbertocci... Hope we don't lose you here today.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - HP printers. Love the hardware, hate the install.

I would second Jumper's advice. you may have the basic driver installed, which is all you should require to print your tax forms. A reboot and a look in the printer folder should tell the story.

A custom install, if available, should allow you to install just the driver without all the frills. IME the frills are responsible for 90% of HP install problems.

I must ask if you followed HP's setup and install procedures to the letter. These procedures normally depend on installing the drivers BEFORE the printer is attached to the computer. If you hooked up the printer first, you must disconnect it and remove all traces of any driver software before you can proceed. When that is done try installing just the basic driver.

Any failure of the install process must be followed by removal of all traces of the print drivers. Otherwise all subsequent attempts to reinstall will also fail.

If there is no custom install option, one can often download the driver from HP's web site. Often the web site has a newer driver than the one that came with the printer.

If that still does not work and you need the printer NOW: Vista was suppose to have generic drivers for every device in existence. After removing all traces of the HP drivers, power up the printer and when it appears to be ready, plug in the USB cable. The Plug and Pray feature should find a generic driver for the printer and allow most basic print functions. You will have to remove this driver before installing HP's driver.

The plug and play technology and the generic drivers are the reason HP tells you to install their drivers first and then connect the printer. HP wants you to have the "full HP experience."

Let us know how it goes!

Posted by: DLD | February 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, we've got your back. Good luck! Show the poem, and you're in, no question about it.

Welcome, MadisonMama! Yes, the West is a grand place. Hope the husband enjoys. Dave's advice is good. Just don't go over the Fourth of July. Mr. T and I made that mistake on a trip to the Grand Canyon. It was dreadfully crowded.

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, anyway, it wasn't me, Mudge--I'm just here multitasking as usual...


Hi, Martooni--

Your area is featured on the front page of the NYTimes:


Welcome, MadisonMama! Remember, "Just click Submit"

Posted by: Anonymous | February 26, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse


The pictures are incredible. Simply beautiful. The landscape is breathtaking. Not crazy about bears, but it's all good.

DNA girl, the ode to the boodle, nice.

Good to hear from you, Martooni.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 26, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm innocent. Our municipal power system is so far operating normally. Newspapers seem to have jumped on the situation, which seems to extend from Tampa and maybe Daytona to Miami--rolling outages.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

When I moved to Wyoming from Athens, Georgia, I quickly noticed that the scenery of the Big Horn Basin looked very familiar. Almost deja vu. After a bit, I realized that the Princeton geology camp was near Red Lodge, and the faculty members who wrote my historical geology textbook had included heaps of photos from the local area. No wonder the place looked like my preconceived notion of The West.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse


Good luck, DNA girl!

Hi MadisonMama - it will be worth your husband's while to go to Montana AND Wyoming!
We spent one week in Glacier NP and one week in Big Sky, Wyoming which is about a half and hour from Yellowstone. We went July 2 thru July 16. We spent the 4th at Glacier and then went to Whitefish for fireworks. We never felt crowded at Glacier the entire time. We did everything from whitewater rafting to ranger led hikes and met many wonderful people along the way but only when we wanted to... Yellowstone was very crowded, however. We liked it, the lodge was nice but lots and lots of people everywhere. Fortunately we stayed in a cabin on the Gallatin, so we weren't up to our eyeballs in people except when we went to Yellowstone. Well, sorry to boodlehog, but there's my 2 cents, for what it's worth!

Welcome back, whichever Tim. I guess it's probably Science Tim tonight, but could it be Storyteller Tim at the Air and Space presentation? I wish I could be there!

Posted by: Kim | February 26, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Ruh-roh, way too many !!!! in that post!

Posted by: Kim | February 26, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It's all good, Kim. We appreciate enthusiasm here on the Boodle.

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, DNA Girl, and welcome, MadisonMama! Set a spell...take your shoes off...

Posted by: jack | February 26, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

DLD, thanks so much for the detailed instructions! I will have to double-check to be sure all traces of the various failed attempts are removed. I'm grumbling, because I *know* Mr. Bangalore did not do this.

Do print drivers have any secret hiding places I should know about? Like Sunshine, Montana?

Priceless, DNA Girl!

Welcome MadisonMama!

martooni, I laugh because I thought about a voodoo doll, but all I have is a Dilbert. Which would be like sticking pins into myself.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, other sellers' sites: There are more further in.

Raysmom, I feel for you. And once you get it installed, you'll have those pesky HP services hanging around, using up memory. This may help--especially if you wave a wand and place a chicken beanie baby on the monitor prior to incantating:

(note: etc is pronounced "et-si," clib is said "see-lib")

Etc, clib, wibni, gates
Unexpected abend late
Fish queue, bug bytes simmer crude
Fix the or we're screw'd

Always works for me.

Posted by: dbG | February 26, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot the greater than/less than problem.

That would be:

Etc, clib, wibni, gates
Unexpected abend late
Fish queue, bug bytes simmer crude
Fix the (server/desktop/laptop) or we're screw'd

Posted by: dbG | February 26, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I see your Batgirl and raise you one Wilma Deering.

Whoever edited the old "Buck Rogers" show, I'm sure it was a guy. The shot always lingered an extra few seconds as Erin Gray walked away from the camera, and she seemed to walk away a lot.

That said, for boys of a certain age, Emma Peel trumps all.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

See, my theory is that today's kit is one of Joel's fiendishly subtle social experiments. He posts a coupla bear pics and a scenic lake just to see where the discussions lead.

It's boodle Pachinko.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 26, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does the story about the rolling blackouts sound like the start of a Hiaasen novel?

I'll also try the chant, dbG. Must cover all the bases.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Welcome and good luck to DNA girl.

For DNA Girl, here's my foreigner's guide to the US Citizenship test (hopefully taken all in fun).

If you can only remember one date
'76 is the first one to state
they rejected the King
of "Mad George" they do sing
don't forget, not the new one of late

If a President's the answer in line
"Washington" as answer is fine
if you want to look smart
try "Jackson" to start
good ole "Action"'s a favorite of mine

In their conflicts you want a good score
Their "Civil" was their least civil war
Their first on Barbary shore
set the stage for lots more
though they're home bodies deep in their core

So you've decided to join all these Yanks
well, remember you'll get no more thanks
you'll spend blood and treasure
to bring the ungrateful some pleasure
and your drafted offspring will drive tanks

They have problems with court versus steeple
and with handguns they never seem to be full
they say that's small beer
to all things past frontier
and yet I still find them great people

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 26, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Sky report from the Big Sky State:

I. To Glacier.

Green hills, snowy ridges;
Grey clouds soften mount's blue haze
Road dips through plush pine.

II. Lake McDonald

Old God had a lake...
Clouds here, mirror ripples here
Where mountains jump up

No... that wasn't what I wanted to say. The name threw me. Another try here:

III. Montana lake

Shadows reflecting
Sky and water in hourglass
Carved by crags and clouds.

In short: This lake is a big puddle of water with snowy and craggy mountains around, no sign of life, just brooding clouds, soft ripples from mild wind, and a small snow-covered dock at the lower right. Definitely not a lake to swim in unless you want hypothermia in an heartbeat, even in the hottest summer, I suspect.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - Normally getting to the Printer folder from the Start button or in the Control Panel will allow you to right click on the printer name. That should bring up a menu with a Delete option.

Interestingly printers don't show up in the Device Manager (Start, Control Panel, System, Hardware tab, Device Manager button) but checking this may turn up an errant USB driver or some such. This is identified with a big yellow ?.

The install CD may also have a deinstall feature but often if the install has failed so will the deinstall. But worth a try.

I don't have a Vista system available to give you exact details but you might try HP's website again, they often have similar instructions.

One other point I forgot to make: After you do any deinstalls, always Reboot the machine for the deinstall to be completed.

For what it is worth, I don't react well to riding crops.

Posted by: DLD | February 26, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, SonofCarl! She'll be a shoo-in now!

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

My last trip to Wyoming/Yellowstone was in July of '96 with a much different boyfriend. It didn't seem too awfully crowded at the time.
We actually had more fun in and around Jackson and hiking in the Tetons than in Yellowstone.
Another interesting place to stop through is Thermopolis, WY. The whole town is built on hot springs (stinky, sulphurous hot springs!). I don't recommend wearing white if you visit. My white tank top is still sulfur-stained 12 years later.

I spent the first 7 years of my life living near Boise so I choose to believe that my love of mountains was imprinted on my brain during those early formative years.

Posted by: MadisonMama | February 26, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Very nice poem, SoC. You got something to confess now about your interest in Ol' Hickory?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Been to busy at work to boodle much, how sad. My wife's bear story: When she and her slightly older brother and sister were playing out in the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, they came across a bear. Rather, the bear came across them. They were roughly ten years old, or so. I wasn't told how old the bear was.

After exchanging pleasantries with said bear, everybody went on their way. Soon thereafter, they came upon a Sherif's Deputy in the woods. We will call him Dudley, as in Doright. Dudley was all a-quiver about the fact that a bear had been sighted wandering about in the woods. My wife said something to the effect, "well, duh,.... Yes, we just saw him. Such a pleasant fellow."

Whereupon Dudley made a hasty retreat back to the Sherif's station, leaving my wife and her sibs in the woods. He paused long enough to tell her parents back at their cabin that he had just left their children in the woods, with said bear. Hilarity did not ensue.

Nonetheless, all's well that ends well. The children arrived back at the cabin in good order, telling tales of a great adventure. Their parents were relieved. And Dudley soon found employment with the city's sanitation department.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 26, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

[Sound of Hand Slapping Forehead]

We may have already seen a form of this problem Raysmom.

Vista's firewall may be blocking any attempts by the install program to get to the Internet for updates or whatever. You may not get a warning about this from either the install program or Vista. It will just hang.

If you disconnect your Internet connection during the install it should pop up a box that asks you to connect or not. If you tell it that you do not have a connection, it should tell you that you can update later and then finish the install.

I can't give you the firewall settings to change in Vista. I have used the free version of ZoneAlarm by Check Point for years with good results.

If you want to stay with Vista firewall, Google "firewall settings" and see what you come up with. But you would think that HP has seen this problem and has an answer.

Posted by: DLD | February 26, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

regrettably, the Big Sky resort is in Montana. The novel by that name was set in Wyoming.

The hot spring at Thermopolis is wonderful, but it may not be responsible for all the sulfur. Worland, at least, had sulfur air pollution problems from nearby oil fields. Forget about keeping the family silver polished.

The bright red butte above Thermopolis is a great landmark. Ten Sleep is also in the red zone, which makes for pink sheep, pink cows, pink everything.

My bear experience is from south of Okefenokee Swamp. Impressive animals. Rather amazing that they can get enough food from a landscape of very low-nutrient soils. Saw palmetto berries are a big help.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Plug and pray! I like that.

Posted by: Jumper | February 26, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

DLD, you are so wonderful with the suggestions. I will start working through them tonight when my laptop and I are reunited.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Addendum. The art museum in Billings has color woodcuts by the late Edith Freeman. Mine is an astonishingly complicated patch of dandelions.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

yes, of course, you're right DotC. I drive to work every day with my Big Sky, Montana thermal cup full of iced tea and still got it wrong. Duh!

Posted by: Kim | February 26, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Firewall sounds utterly plausible! I can see some school kid explaining that the firewall kept the homework from being printed, but here's my little memory stick...

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 26, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

DoC - maybe you remember since you seem to know Thermopolis. Was it Thermopolis that had the hotel restaurant with all the large game animals mounted on the walls?

I had a really hard time eating lunch (wherever it was) while being surrounded by such that many taxidermied animals.

I've seen a lot of purposely dead animals (mostly around deer hunting season) and the once when my dad draped a bear carcass over my swing set when I was 5. (There are so many reasons my parents didn't stay married!) But the sight of animals purposely killed for display made me mighty uncomfortable indeed.

Posted by: MadisonMama | February 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I was patrolling the Pachinko
nude boodle model parlour
in the nefarious zone...

I miss Joe...

Thanks much SofC. No mention of Franklin though, poo. Except, mention of the Barbary wars reminded me of one of his letters:

I miss Ben...

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 26, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Grizzly Man" is a documentary by the great German filmmaker Werner Herzog. He examines the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, a young drifter who spent much of the last years of his life living around bears in Katmai NP in Alaska. Although reality was a long distance call for Treadwell and his perception of his relationship with the animals was definitely warped, he does seem to have succeeded in habituating the grizzlies to his presence for over a decade. Most of the film is video of the bears shot by Treadwell himself and some of it is just extraordinary. The story is not unlike "Into the Wild" in that it depicts the life and death of someone who searched for a place and a role for themselves and thought they had found it, only to be ultimately destroyed when their ideal vision collided with harsh reality. The film is narrated by Treadwell and by Herzog (no slouch as a strange-o himself).

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

What is your printer model, Raysmom?

Posted by: DLD | February 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

DLD, it's an OfficeJet 6310.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, everyone's a critic.

Addendum. Insert between 2 and 3.

On this exam you'll surely want to "do good"
then Ben's name, recall it you really should
Franklin's the name
Silence the game
And by the way, GW's denture's weren't wood

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 26, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This boodle is most excellent... personal tech support! I love it.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Drum roll for the addendumdumdum!

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 26, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Sound like Seekingoz.

Posted by: Jumper | February 26, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, I've heard lots of things about that documentary.
It seems Treadwell succeeded so well in making bears accept his proximity that he forgot that bears don't always get along with each other, either... and that humans are a lot more frail than bears if and when a bear decides to have a tiff.

Realistically, the more observation hours you log with any group of animals, the odds of encountering violence (whether intragroup or against researcher) goes up.

We often say humans are quite violent, but if you analyze most social animals over 10,000 hours or so, you'll probably find a higher frequency of murder and other acts of violence in that group than would exist in a comparable number of humans over the same hours logged in most societies.

Conflict resolution isn't easy in the wild as there are no laws nor police. Many social (more so for low-social) predators resort to controlled violence and noises to assert their space, protect their turf and right to eat in peace, etc.

Although sometimes I wonder about the self-restraint and morality of human nature when things like this occur:

Hunting is one thing, but this...

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, yes, another ZoneAlarm fan. When I got my new computer (with Vista, because I had no choice) a few weeks ago (bazillions on the ARGHHHHHometer), it was simply impossible to get connected to the Internet or to my email. After literally *8 hours straight* with the tech guy from Gateway, we finally figured out that the culprit was (*drum roll*) the Microsoft firewall. I didn't want it on in the first place, as I've been exceptionally satisfied with ZoneAlarm for ages (and I have the paid-for version). We disabled the Microsoft firewall, I installed the ZoneAlarm firewall, and whoop-de-doo, I'm all (mostly) happy.

Today I did some catalog ordering (which I am wont to do from time to time) -- and I ordered a sweatshirt with the following printed on it:

IT IS THE FIRST RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY CITIZEN TO *QUESTION AUTHORITY* [the last two words in hyper-capital letters].

The author is Benjamin Franklin. Whatta guy!

Gonna go think about making dinner. And then I'll make it. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 26, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Suggestion to DNA Girl... when you go to take your citizenship test, don't wear firsttimeblogger's sweatshirt.

Wear it to your celebration party, though.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I know that road! I lived near Glacier Park for about a year. Love, love, love Montana. Western Montana, especially. And yes, the lakes are really, really cold.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 26, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I back-boodled far enough to read your poem, DNA girl. Good luck to you on your citizenship test.

Hmmm. I wonder. You know, in some states/commonwealths some have to get their cars inspected every year or so. Whaddya think if every single citizen were to be tested yearly/alternate years on citizenship requirements? All us "natives" would have to justify our existence in this great land of ours by knowing what our institutional history is -- over and over again -- until we get it right for a change.

I'm with TBG. Get the sweatshirt (it's from ACORN) and save it for the celebration.

Where are you from (we Amurikens are sooooo nosy)?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 26, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid I wanted to move to Montana - horses, mountains, what's not to like? My film buff buddy grew up in Montana and she barely goes to visit. She says she spent too many years being dictated to by the weather (snow). She's not crazy about horses, either. She told me once, "Growing up in Montana, somebody was always throwing you on a horse." I knew it was like that!

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 26, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The hot water Bangalore boy has gotten in today
I was hesitant to say
But Bangalore is not Bombay
So maybe I'll be ok

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 26, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Mostly-- pardon my debating style; I feel strongly on this issue.

So, you'd disqualify a lot of mentally disabled people from being citizens?

What about people who can't read, like Pat, or answer oral questions, like me?

It's a nice concept, but it'd be expensive to test all americans annually or biannualy and make it accessible, fair, and affordable. I also have an issue with the disenfranchisment.

The supreme court ruled poll tests in reading or writing etc. in order to exercise voting rights was illegal, because it disenfranchised black people (many of them illiterate ex-slaves) from voting in the South and allowed Jim Crow laws to be enacted.

I would say it SHOULD be a part of HS and college diplomas (since they already have the accessibility information in place), and the information should be spread as widely as possible and repeated a lot. That's called education.

But no, I wouldn't want my citizenship to even possibly be revoked for anything short of treason.

Unfortunately this kind of idea "hey, let's test everybody/ make everybody meet a certain standard, regardless of their circumstances" is becoming prevalent in American culture and local lawmaking, even when it is unconstitutional.

The end effect is to steadily undermine civil liberties and lead to an centralized state, and allow people to be resigned to giving up their liberties "because everybody else hgas to do it too."

That you even propose such an idea, even in jest...

Are you really ready to get your citizenship challenged on your understanding of civil rights?

Including the fact that you really can't outlaw or penalize idiocy, or we'll have the few non-idiots busy running around taking care of all the idiots in jail?

Ah... if Error was here, he'd probably be a LOT more adamant on this issue than I am, bless his libertarian heart.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC: has, not hgas ; a centralized... not an centralized..

Also SCC any spittle flying out the screen and into your face.

Our institutional history, in a nutshell, has involved constant battle for increased civil liberties of the people against authority; we've won some, lost some, broken even on others.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I tell you, just trying to remember the shape of traffic signs to get them right, to renew my driver's license, was enough of a test for me. And I think I'm fairly well-grounded in civics, but the pressure would do me in!

Wilbrod, your comments reminded me of this:

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Uh.. Wilbrod... you're talking to a person who just said she ordered the sweatshirt that says "It is the first reponsibility of every citizen to question authority." (Firsttimeblogger, by the way.. not mostlylurking).

I may be wrong, but I think she was more than kidding... I think she was pointing out the absurdity of the idea.

Posted by: TBG | February 26, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Reporting back to the boodle on my errant printer. Followed all DLD's good advice. Firewall off. De-install all. Custom install. 94%. Fatal error.

So I took the final piece of very good advice. I just plugged the stupid USB printer into the laptop. It installed a driver, it worked, I'm printing. Just plug it in. Who knew?

Anyway, thanks DLD and Jumper and to all who put up with Tech Forum Tuesday.

*Sobbing with relief*

Posted by: Raysmom | February 26, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, yay, yay, yay!

Posted by: slyness | February 26, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse


I was going to ask ftb what the consequences of failing would be...I'm old enough to remember the tests that were used to keep minorities from voting, so no, I don't think testing citizens is a good idea.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 26, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

FTB... sorry. Right.

BTW, she did ask "Whaddya think?"

And that's whaddi think-- anybody who seriously proposes that kind of scheme should be the first to put it to the test at their own expense, and discover the joys of being a legal resident alien in America-- a vastly overrated pleasure.

To quote Abraham Lincoln:

"I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly , those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

That's how I feel about any argument that would make civil rights conditional to approval or undergoing some sort of test of merit.

Even if it was absurdly meant, the sad thing is there are a lot of people who are seriously lobbying their local city, county, or state representative to pass laws to restrict others' liberties for "the good of all," when existing laws could be enforced better instead.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

And oh, Mark Twain had a good quote.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"

Another president had a nice quote too.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't
pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for,
protected, and handed onto them to do the same, or one day we will spend our
sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was
once like in the United States where men were free."- President Ronald Reagan

Also this by Thomas Jefferson:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said:

"Liberty is the right to choose. Freedom is the result of the right choice."


"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence...."

He also said, "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group."

HE also said:

"The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little."

AND "We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees."

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 26, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Just dropped in to say good night to all.

Hope your evening goes well. If I can only sleep tonight,last night my eyes were open most of the night.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Bless you, DNA girl, and all the new folks. We're so glad you're here.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 26, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

G'night sweet Cassandra
Dream of butterflies 'n' polyandra

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 26, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of bears, have pandas been declared bears or are they still something else. I went to Zoo Atlanta last week and discovered that I sure have a lot of pictures of pandas. Sometimes doing awfully cute things.

The real bears I see at the zoo tend to do a lot of pacing.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 26, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all.

Doing some writing tonight, and watching the Dem Debate with one eye and one ear.

I'd have to give a slight edge to Clinton on this one, but I do admire Obama's calm.

If it were a football game, I'd call it 13-10, a close game that could have gone either way right down to the :00s on the game clock.

Nice to see you martooni, hope all is well, and to you new Boodlers (or new posters), welcome!


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh Raysmom, I'm so sorry I was off the boodle today. I "discovered" your solution quite by accident last month when without thinking I plugged my laptop into Mr. F's printer and printed a boarding pass. It was only after I pulled the paper from the printer tray that I thought "what just happened here?" and "how did it know?" On the other hand I am so TOd because my digital camera, 10 years old and perfectly good for the 2-3 pictures I take each year, won't work with Vista and Kodak has no plans to fix this.

In Minneapolis tonight, doing a presentation tomorrow on "early literacy (birth-age 3) as a workforce development issue," then flying to Tampa for some R&R with the fam. Frostdottir says we had power all day at Chez Frostbitten South and at her job.

Could barely stay awake during the debate tonight. Did anyone else watch? I missed the first half hour.

Have trouble getting excited about bears, they're never far away in our northern woods. Before the local dump was updated into a "solid waste transfer station" we would drive out on a summer evening and park with a good view of the fish gut pit. As the sun began to set the bears would arrive to feast. Some seemed to sort through the detritus looking for things to turn into shabby chic furnishings for their dens.

To CP who has never eaten bear, it tastes like pork to me (before they bred all the fat out of pork anyway). The "wild meat feed" used to be a staple of fundraisers for families burned out of their homes or those in need of help with medical bills. Our fire department is more efficient these days, and a good thing too because kids these days won't eat a good moose roast.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 26, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, cool.

Madeline Albright on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Posted by: bc | February 26, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice seein' all the good things said about Montana here. I left for 25 years (two in Montgomery County) and I'm so happy to be back.

But ... I believe I erred.

I think Joel landed at Glacier International by Kalispell and never drove by the ol' homestead after all. The mountain picture is probably going east of Columbia Falls on US 2. There is another view quite similar south of here going north on US 93(and many other million dollar views as well).

Time will tell.

Posted by: markwa | February 26, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

It looks like US 2 to me, but then I haven't been there for 20 years. Nice to have you here, markwa.

kb, you might want to check out Boundary County, Idaho. Right next to Montana - and Canada.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 27, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

The Boodle is the font of all knowledge. Who knew bear tasted like pork? Next thing, frosti, you'll be telling us you had bear for breakfast. While I can scare up most things you have for breakfast, you're got me at bear.

Minor triumph today. I've had a tune cootie for months now. Once a week, maybe, I'd hear the song on a local light jazz station and forget to check the listings online when I got home. Once I remembered, the listings weren't up. E-mail to the station got no response.

Yesterday at around 4 AM I not only heard it, the listings were up. The winner is: US3, Cantaloop. Now on order from Amazon.


Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Who are these 20th-century dinosaurs who insist upon loading printer drivers into Vista? Ink & paper are SO old school!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 27, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I finally got a little sleep last night. I feel a little hung over this morning. I don't know why, maybe I got too much sleep.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, where are you guys? good morning to all. *waving*

A little rant this morning.

We have several letters in the local paper and most of them are complaining about their property taxes and the increase in them. I'm willing to lay my neck on the railroad tracks here that these are the same folks that voted for Bush. They went with that no tax thing, and now are in a fever about their property taxes. We don't get away folks. I'm not saying that the increase is justified. But I'll bet these are the same folks that want the services those taxes pay for, and if that did not happen, they would riot. Property taxes are a county's foundation, where else are they going to get the money in a place with no jobs. I am not saying this is right, I'm saying it is what it is. And most of these letters end with a hit on social services, calling it a waste. We live in the poorest county of the state, what do they think that means? The poor people live here! Duh! Why are many of them poor? No jobs!

I'm finished. Hope your day is great, and the weather goes along with that. It suppose to be nice here today, but cold.

This is my busy day. I hope I can go see some of my relatives that are sick and some friends too, plus do what I do on Wednesday.

Would you say a kind word to God for the sick?

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Not a lot to report on this morning. I missed the debate, and it looks like from the commentary this morning there was no clear winner and no serious knockout punches delivered. I guess that's a good thing.

C'mon, Scotty and Cassandra, let's get a move on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Time to rise and shine, everybody! I'm up early because I have an 8 a.m. appointment at the eye doctor.

Cassandra, you make too much sense. I wonder what it takes to make jobs in depressed places? Being a career civil servant, I never complain about taxes. After all, they paid my salary. I certainly agree that the funds so raised should be used wisely and well. That includes effective social services.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse


First it takes the desire to improve the situation, which means we admit we have a problem, and then move to doing something about it. Setting aside greed and selfish ends.

Next, it takes education. Taking responsibility for educating our children and not dwelling on, again, greed and selfish ends.

Thirdly, seeing the problem as a community problem and the fix as a community responsibility. Again setting aside greed and selfish ends.

I'm dreaming, I know. *sigh*

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

The Boss mioght find this article useful, but only if he desires to mingle with the elk in rut. When I saw this I thought of the woman that observed moose by using a pair of antlers, so as not to spook the animal so easily and calling softly to the moose. Rather daring, ala the late Grizzly Man. Don't spook the moose.

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh, dBG, you do know you can post two links at a time? Here's the other one:

Didididibonk everyone...

Bid de bid de bop

Jump to the jam, boogey woogey jam slam

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Trying not to sound like a broken record here Mudge, so I'll say it again really slow for you.



Hopefully, that clears things up.


Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey bc, What does the yellow light mean??? giggle

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Reverend Jim | February 27, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse



I feel compelled to add here, Mudge, that your name would normally be the same as your father's.


Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

And yes, I *was* thinking of that "Taxi" bit at 8:18.


Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I suppose I should have mentioned this yesterday: in addition to the Family Science Night that I presented yesterday, I'm doing another one tonight at the NASM.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Oh great I've spewed tea all over the keyboard now.
Saw it happening in slow motion too.

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 27, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"Elk calling is not for the faint of ear."


Of course, I'm easily amused.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Well then. Happy birthday Chelsea.

Happy Independence day Dominican Republic.

Today is also the birthday of the oldest of the Mirabal sisters. Patria Mercedes Mirabal born Feb. 27, 1924. Murdered Nov. 25, 1960 with two younger sisters Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal (Mar. 12, 1926) and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal (Oct. 15, 1935). Las Mariposas.

It's strange, because I was just thinking about them this morning.

Great book and a great movie.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Dag, *Tim, you remind me of my kids telling me they have a field trip that day just as they head out the door to the bus.

So, what time is this shindig at the NASM?


Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I have certainly noticed an increase in news from Montana since Joel announced his visit. Perhaps Joels is visiting the winner of the National Geographic planetary mnemonic contest?

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

In "Starman" Jeff Bridges plays an alien visiting our planet who has assumed the form of a recently dead man. Karen Allen plays the widow who tries to deal with the situation. At one point the alien is learning to drive a car and explains what he has observed about her driving- "I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I know he's on vacation, bc, but that doesn't mean I can't harrass him out of bed.

OK, here's a little story that's gonna arouse some hard feelings in a lot of places:

Huckabee endorses 'personhood' amendment
By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
02/26/2008 11:56:13 AM MST

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Monday endorsed a proposed Colorado Human Life Amendment that would define personhood asa fertilized egg.

The former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister also supports a human-life amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Huckabee spoke favorably about the Colorado ballot initiative, sponsored by 20-year-old Kristi Burton and her Colorado for Equal Rights group, during his Friday visit to Colorado Springs.

On Monday, Huckabee lent official support to the measure. "This proposed constitutional amendment will define a person as a human being from the moment life begins at conception," Huckabee said in a statement.

"With this amendment, Colorado has an opportunity to send a clear message that every human life has value," Huckabee said. "Passing this amendment will mean the people of Colorado will protect the sanctity of life from conception until natural death occurs."

Burton's initiative, if approved by voters in November, would extend state constitutional protections to every fertilized egg, guaranteeing the right to life, liberty, equality of justice and due process of law.

Approval would lay the foundation for making abortion illegal in the state.

Burton, said she spoke with Huckabee Friday when he was in Colorado Springs for a speech.

"Having national pro-life leaders such as Huckabee taking notice is an amazing boost to our petition-gathering efforts," Burton said.

Burton and supporters must collect the signatures of about 76,000registered Colorado voters to get the question on the ballot.

The measure is opposed by reproductive-rights groups such as Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

Opponents say the amendment would have sweeping consequences, not only for those seeking abortions, but for women using hormone-based contraception and couples using in-vitro fertilization to start families.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I have to object to the assertion that bear tastes like pork.
The aforementioned bear hanging over my swingset also became dinner for at least one night. The smell of frying bear meat was awful, it was fatty, gristly, and gamey. I remember almost crying as I was choking down the requisite piece my dad made me eat. If someone's going to force me to eat wild game, I'd prefer it be deer or elk. Bear was just... gross.
Of course that was 30 years ago... but short of imminent starvation, I'm unlikely to ever eat bear again.

Posted by: MadisonMama | February 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, MadisonMama. I feel better about having a BLT for breakfast already!

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Last night I wasn't going to watch the debate at all. I really didn't care what Hillary said, I just was so concerned that Barack not "blow it", so to speak. Anyway, my husband was watching it in another room, so finally, like a moth drawn to the glow of the tv screen, I joined him about thirty minutes into the program.

My first impression was that three of them looked rather orange, one looked purple. Ok, maybe the makeup people were just overzealous with their pots and brushes.

After about thirty/forty minutes, I had had enough to sense Obama was his usual calm, collected self and that Hillary wasn't going to allow herself a flat out hissy fit. In my view, hissy fits are not presidential and calm and collected wins the day. So, from those few minutes I am content that it was pretty much a wash.

CP, Thanks for the happy wanderer! I can't tell you when I first heard that song, but it was looooooooooooooooong ago.

Regarding bear fat/grease: it's supposed to repeal mesquitos it you smear it all over yourself, LOL. I wouldn't be surprised...

Cassandra, I have come to believe that old core test of a nation/state/region, how we treat our poor, our disabled, our elderly is a spotlight on our collective souls.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

DNA girl, YOU GO GIRL!!!

Gives me the same weepy feeling I have just after I have voted....

Posted by: VintageLady | February 27, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Lake McDonald looks very balmy for February. Interview Dan Fagre on the glaciers' demise. So appropriate.

Posted by: Mark A. York | February 28, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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