229 songs and 891 miles

Some of the gang set out on a weekend trip. We headed to Butte Montana on our motorcycles. Our excuse for this ride was Evel Knievel Days. This is a celebration of Evel Knievel and his craziness in his hometown in the middle of nowhere.

We met up on Wasatch Blvd in Salt Lake City. The gang included Lea, Petey, Todd, Q, Rick, Ben, and Tatanka (that became my nickname for the trip). After topping off our gas tanks and sampling some kind of bagel ball from the nearby bagel shop we were on our way. Our first destination would be Evanston, Wyoming. This is only about 75 miles and it took us a little over an hour to get there. We used I-80 and passed through Park City. It was mostly hot and there was one obnoxious driver determined to run me over while he yapped away on his cell phone. We try to limit each stint to under 100 miles and only once did we go above that. We stopped for fuel and a beverage. Gas is a lot cheaper in Wyoming. The Flying J Travel Plaza in Evanston is the ticket to success. More importantly though we were now off the Interstate. This is where the real riding and fun kick in. Driving a motorcycle is fun, it is even more fun when you can do it on back roads.

Once again on the road. We did a good job of forming a nice zig-zag formation in our group. Everyone falls nicely into line except for Todd. He doesn’t seem to like it when I ride next to him. One the road you can barely hear anything because the motorcycles are so loud. Most of us strapped on our iPods and cranked up the tunes. For this trip I got out the Shure SE530’s for maximum quality. I mean I did rip everything in FLAC for heaven’s sake.

About a half hour outside of Evanston we stopped in a small town called Woodruff, UT. The road we are taking (WY-89) winds back and forth across the Utah-Wyoming-Idaho-Montana borders. Once again we stopped for fuel and another drink. Interestingly enough the iPhone was the only device that worked, thank you very much.

Our next stop would be almost an hour north, Cokeville, Wyoming. Once again the iPhone prevailed in all it glory over the inferior Blackberries. For road trips I have a windshield on my motorcycle that Lea helped me put on. It makes riding long distances very nice. The only one who did not have one in our group was Ben. I think he might be reconsidering that decision. Not only does it make riding easier, the windshield also protects you from the zillions of mosquitoes that usually smash into you. The down side being you have to clean off you windshield frequently as there are zillions of mosquitoes smashed into it. My routine quickly became fill with gas, clean windshield. get a drink.

Back on the road again. This part of our trip was filled with valleys of rolling hills with dramatic rock faced mountains in the background. The views were fantastic. This stint ended in Alpine, Wyoming at a hotel called the Flying Saddle where we would spend the night. It sat right on the Snake River and my room overlooked that river. We went to the nearby steakhouse and had a not-so-good steak. Our waiter was Tony. He often managed to disappear for long periods of time and we had to hunt him down a few times. I’m pretty sure he was not only serving us our food but killing it, cooking it as well. The restaurant is called the Flying Saddle Steakhouse. Not very good. Best to be avoided. The best part of our evening was some old lady at a nearby table got mad at us for being too loud. I’m pretty sure of two things. Her husband is miserable, and her husband wanted very much to be at our table having a good time instead of being with her.

The next morning we got up and headed to a nearby Cafe called Yankee Doodles Cafe. It was fun and the breakfast was tasty. Q and R ditched us to meet up with Q’s father-in-law Kyle. This would be a recurring theme on our trip. After getting back on the saddle we continued our northward trek. Cruising along the snake river meant that the area was nice and green. There were large reservoirs and and streams we passed by. By this time we were in Targhee National Forest so the pine trees were thick. The views very some of the best of the trip and the curves were awesome. We tried to use by-way as much as we could to have a more scenic route. It was fun to maneuver the motorcycle along this road.

Our next stop was almost two hours away. Ashton, Idaho. The fun part of this stop was, we got to see the state record setting brown trout in a nearby fishing supply store. They also had huckleberry ice cream.

Again another two hours more north. This time to Ennis, Montana. We ate lunch at the Ennis Cafe for which I am in no way responsible for. L made an “executive decision” to eat here. Man, this placed sucked so bad it was scary. If you are ever in Ennis, don’t eat here. Really, don’t eat here. There were a surprising number of people stopped in this little town.

Another 90 miles and we arrive our destination for the day. Anaconda, Montana and the Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel, just outside of Butte, Montana.

Evel Knievel Days takes place in Butte Montana. Montana is a wondrous place where the citizens still believe that the government should really be a part of their life. This festival takes place on the downtown streets where people openly consume alcohol, and yet no one is out of control. The police don’t really care about speeding and yet chaos has not ensued and everyone seems to be just fine. I wonder when people will wake and realize that more government, let alone government is not the answer. Anyway, there was lots of fun stuff going on like the X-Games, and daredevil stunts.

We had a great time.

Dad’s Fingers

When I was little we had a green 1971 Ford LTD station wagon. That thing was awesome. Classic 70’s styling, including the faux wood paneling courtesy of a giant sticker. It had a big block V8, 429 Thunderjet with a 4 barrel carburetor. It weighed a ton but once it got off the line it would pick up steam and roll pretty nicely. It looked exactly like the above picture.

I never noticed it at the time but my Dad had a habit of placing his right hand on the top of the steering wheel and while waiting at a stop light he would thump his two main fingers up against the inside upper edge of the dash making a strumming sound. Quickly, back and forth with the two fingers, back and forth. The reason I suddenly remembered this is the other day is, I found myself doing this exact same thing while waiting at a red light. It dawned on me that my Dad did this exact same odd behavioral tick as myself. Genetics or a learned behavior from my environment?

Like father, like son. Happy Father’s Day dad.

Tweets from the Death Star

Topless robot is having a contest to find the funniest tweet from the Death Star. The contest ends at 12:01 am EST on Monday, June 21st. As an avid Star Wars fan this really made my day. Here are some of the best so far. I’m sure there are more to follow.

@Clone7323: @Clone6323 I’m telling you, they looked really similar. They weren’t bf/gf. They could have been brother sister for all we know.

@Motti: And they all just sat there. The f*cking guy is choking me with his f*cking mind, and they do NOTHING!!!!

@TK421: Nocked out, yelld at 4 not @ post, and lost uniform to boot. ASSigned 2 garding cell blok 1138. Could this day get ANY worse? FML

@BigPapaPalpintine You sure you don’t want to to order a thermal exaust post cover? They are like 20 credit

@Randall: @Dante I told you working here was a bad idea
@Dante: @Randall I’m not even supposed to be here today!

@Clone9376 @Clone7245 You think your job sucks? Big green laser breezes past me and I don’t even have a rail to lean against.

@Mark Hamill: The moon is so beautiful tonight
@Alec Guinness: @Mark Hamill That’s no moon, it’s a space station.

@Gold_5 RT @Gold_5 hey @GoldLeader maybe you should STAY ON TARGET

@CorrellianPimp: I can’t believe they bought that. 12 parsecs? Might as well have been 573 wookiemiles. 9384 jawameters. Effing N00bs.

@Master_P: @YoungJedi – you want this? Hmm? Gonna strike me down? Hmm? Use your hate? Hmm? So cute when they’re young. #shitmyapprenticesays

RebelAgent1: Boooored in my prison cell. Death Star food sucks. Pretty bummed Leia’s gone. Hopeful our comrades will rescue me soon!

@R2D2DaShizit: Why do these MFer’s not understand I am telling them Vader is their F’ing DAD! Beep wooo Beep Beep Wooo MFer’s!!!!

UFettUrAss: Slave 1 in pursuit of Milennium Falcon, OMG HATE YOU SO MUCH SOLO #followfriday

@LonelyGunner15: It’s like no one gets me. But at the same time, everyone IS me. #Confused

@Clone1579: Someone explain why WE don’t get laser swords! I mean wtf?

@OB1KENOBI @LukeSky NOT DEAD! QUIT SHOOTING AND GET IN THE FALCON!

WaxOnWaxMoff: Terrorist attack a government structure, and WE’RE the bad guys?! #NVR4GET

@Dianoga: You know what would be great? If you guys threw something other than random scraps of metal down here.

@DeathStarPR: Don’t think of us as a “Death” Star, think of us as an “Opportunity” Star. #deathstarcares

StormTrooper3482: I’m supposed to guarding the exhaust, but I’m on Twitter, LOL!

10 More Geeky Laws That Should Exist, But Don’t

1. Scotty’s Law – There is no systemic malfunction that cannot be bypassed, even if it means spending hours in the Jefferies tubes.

2. Armstrong’s Law – There is no historical fact, no matter how full of proof it may be, that cannot be claimed invalid by people with insufficient mental capacity. This is a complementary law to Somers and McCarthy’s Law in my first list.

3. GeekDad’s Law – When writing a blog post about certain subjects, the required references must be made. All posts about nuclear weapons, for example, require a reference to Aliens. All posts that mention Yoda, even peripherally, at least one sentence constructed backwards must contain.

4. The Maker Faire Law – It is perfectly reasonable for geeks wearing “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it” buttons to own iPhones and iPads, because they (the devices) are awesome enough that they get a free pass.

5. The Ostrich Law – There is only one Matrix movie, just as there are only three Star Wars films, and the Star Trek films went straight from IV to VI. And the final episode of Battlestar Galactica never aired. (If you have to ask which three Star Wars films, by the way, please turn in your geek badge at the front desk on your way out.)

6. Henson’s Law – The Muppets are NOT just puppets, any more than the Marx Brothers were just comedians, Hitchcock was just a director and Julia Child was just a chef.

7. Kirk and Picard’s Law – Whenever there are two distinct items that are obviously comparable, be they high-tech devices, movies, characters, TV shows, snack foods, etc., you must — MUST — choose a side and be prepared to argue the subject with any other geek you meet.

8. Chuck Jones’s Law – It takes a great deal of talent and effort to produce books, movies, and TV shows that are beloved by both kids and adults. When it happens, though, the results are magical: The Muppets, Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, Phineas & Ferb, etc.

9. Disney Channel’s Law – Live-action TV shows not involving Muppets that are aimed at kids older than six are almost universally unwatchable by adults.

10. Neo’s Law – Apart from the Bill & Ted films, there is no movie starring Keanu Reeves that would not have been much improved by his replacement with an actor with talent.

from Wired

My Enemies List

Enemies

I decided to update my enemies list. So here are my current enemies.

  • Bread
  • Oh delicious bread, how I both love and hate you at the same time. I love you because you reward my mouth with delectable morsels of joy which never cease to satisfy. Fluffy bites of goodness that can be covered in almost anything making you that much more tasty. I hate you because you stop by my waistline and won’t ever go away.

  • Windows Mobile
  • Port Windows 95 to a phone and you expected it to work? Not brilliant in ever increasing and less amusing ways. So bad it will destroy your hardware by overheating and meting it. So slow that it will make your 600 MHz ARM CPU feel like a 80286 processor rip-off from China. Only silly monolithic corporations will buy you any more and the average tech-neophyte consumer knows you are worse then Windows ME ever dreamed of. A stylus? Seriously? How 2002 is that? Stop pretending you’re a phone and please die a horrible death now that you have almost no market share remaining. The little OS that couldn’t and never should have been. Oh how I love my iPhone.

  • Old drivers who should have their license revoked
  • Swerving in and out of the lane ahead of you, going way too slow in the fast lane, not knowing there is such a thing as the fast lane, signaling for a lane change three intersections too soon. These are the people whose license should be torn up and forced to ride on public transportation. Please take your Buick and retire it in the old folks’ retirement castle parking lot.

  • Pippi Longstocking
  • The only person, place, or thing more annoying than Barney the purple dinosaur. Pippi was fine when she only existed in the form of children’s books. Once she morphed and crossed over into films and television it was all over but the screaming from the padded cell. The Swedes should be thoroughly beaten with a dead cat for this torture they have inflicted upon humanity. Even the Soviets figured it out after they made a rip-off version and people rioted. Pippi in any language is crap.

  • NBC
  • The only thing keeping this once proud peacock in business is football. You have one show in the top 25, The Office. You only have two good shows left, 30 Rock, and The Office. You killed off your only other good show, Chuck. SNL is anything but good or original, it is everything including irrelevant. Thank goodness you didn’t move BSG from the SciFi SyFy Channel to NBC. No one wonders why you are going out of business. Everyone know but you. Jeff and Jeff should have been fires a long time ago (Jeff Zucker and Jeffrey Immelt). You suck. You are not too big to fail. P.S. Tartikoff and Welch are in fact embarrassed.

  • Stupid People
  • The interminable, impossible to eradicate enemy. Enough said.

  • Impossible to open plastic shell anti-theft packaging
  • How many people have you injured? We have to resort to “Frustration-Free Packaging” to escape you? We have dedicated tools for opening this crap which come in an impossible to open package? You have destroyed modern civilization. Attention product packaging designers, I am not a thief, I am not going to steal your crappy product that you tried to make look better than it was by sticking it in a hard shell plastic case that cannot be opened before the apocalypse. So knock it off. All I want for Christmas is a package that opens easily.

  • Doctor Waiting Rooms
  • First, I am very impatient. Second, I am very impatient patient. Third, I am very impatient in lines. Making me wait, and wait, in a room full of sick people all equally irritable and feverishly worked up to contaminate me with who knows what foul ailment, infirmity, or disease is the worst kind of torture imaginable. Then to put me in a queue of people is like contracting Ebola virus while already having the Hantavirus. To be defiled by some hitherto unimaginable infectious contagion while simultaneously forcing me to choose between reading the current issue of Highlights magazine or the ten year old issue of National Geographic about some island now completely underwater is enemy who is almost impossible to defeat.

  • Grocery store check out lines that make me interact with a human
  • I only want to buy this one little item. That’s all I want, really. I don’t want to deal with a human and be asked if I found everything okay, invited to purchase the extreme buy of the day, nor buy the crappy DVD on sale that came out last Tuesday. I would like to silently scan the bar code on my item, place it in the bag, swipe my credit card and walk away. Does anyone actually go inside of a gas station when they only want gas? No. Please join the 21st century and install fully automated checkout kiosks.