Honesty is the best policy…unless you have a 3 million
dollar life insurance policy taken out on your spouse and you just pushed them
off a cliff.In that case, the insurance
policy might seem the best one of the two.
I will admit that as a young boy I undressed my
little sister’s Barbie doll.Barbie was
not like the other cherubic to absolutely plump baby dolls in my sister’s
collection.Barbie was leggy and thin
and had bullet-like breasts.Barbie
exuded a weird and wholly confusing sexuality that piqued my interest. Underneath the frilly clothing, once I
disrobed her, I discovered Barbie as intolerably stiff and cold.She had no remarkable features.
I felt slightly repulsed, actually.
Today, a human version of Barbie can be found
wandering the streets of certain Ukrainian cities.Her name is Valeria Lukyanova, though she
often refers to herself as Amatue, a name that came to her in a dream.I first read about Valeria in an online GQ
Magazine article.Michael Idov,
met and interviewed Valeria for the article in GQ and described the
meeting as “the closest
you will come to an alien encounter.”
Human Barbie loves to exercise.Well, her exercise is a bit closer to an
obsession.The exercise helps Human
Barbie maintain the same peculiar body shape as plastic Barbie.The bullet-like breasts on Human Barbie are thanks
to the wonders of breast implants.That
impossibly narrow waist is maintained by the aforementioned exercise and
consuming only the tiniest portions of low-calorie foods.Valeria is a “Breatharian."Breatharians believe that people can give up
food and water and live on “prana” which is Sanskrit for “life air” or “life
force.”Human Barbie is not opposed to
entering into long periods of fasting.
The transformation from Valeria Lukyanova to Barbie
also requires perfectly ordered platinum hair, bright blue contact lenses, and
a great deal of artfully applied make-up.Once transformed, Barbie begins to affect all the proper poses and the
stiffness of plastic Barbie.
Michael Idov noted, in meeting Human Barbie, that
she seemed to relish that fact that some men find her somewhat repulsive.Among her more repulsive traits is her
penchant for spewing outright racism when she talks, details of which I will not
bother to air in this writing.As for
me, I got over Barbie the first time I saw her unnatural plastic body all those
I am not particularly attracted to Human Barbie.
The photographs posted today are of the living and
breathing Valeria Lukyanova.
If you for some reason conduct a Google search for "3:00 AM" you
will discover that some people are very suspicious about waking at this time.These people think that this is the exact
hour of night when someone is watching you.This is the time of night when spirits seek to communicate with you.
I don’t know about that…other than I know about it…which
makes sense at 3:00 AM.
I get up at 3:00 AM, split a whole can of cat food
between my 40 pounds of cat, and then step outside and pee into the darkness
from my deck overlooking the lake.
That’s what I do at 3:00 AM.
And will you just look at all of those stars poking
at us from the darkness that surrounds!And, yes, the spirits can watch me pee if they
The bitterroot plant is easy to miss in the first
and last part of its growing cycle.The
plant prefers cool weather and is usually the very first to emerge from the
prairie ground as the snows melt back toward the mountain summits.Some years, I have seen the first bitterroot
surface in early March—a time when winter is still marshaling together
snowstorms on regular occasion.
Smallish and growing nearly flat against the earth,
the bitterroot does little to attract attention from when it first starts
growing until blooming in June.In
bloom, though, the bitterroot is one of the most spectacular and conspicuous
flowers to splash colors against the sky.That is why the bitterroot became the Montana State flower.
Today, I am posting a photograph of some bitterroot
plants I found yesterday afternoon while out walking.I am also posting some photos I snapped of bitterroot
in bloom from years past.Following the
remarkable time of blossoming, the bitterroot plants vanish back into the soil
to go dormant during the heat of summer and wait to burst forth the next
We shall not be remembered for our song.We shall not be remembered for our lyrical
bent.Not for oil paintings.Not for inventing sweet life-saving machines.Instead, we shall be remembered for our
overuse of tattoos and the clutter of broken plastic objects in our wake.
During the winter months, the Yellowstone Club
employs somewhere near 700 people to manage the roads, lifts, lodge, ski hill,
and infrastructure.As part of the employee
appreciation day celebration, a “pond skimming” competition is held at the base
of the ski hill.Everyone is welcome to
enter the competition.The idea is to
ski or ride a snowboard down the lower part of Pioneer run and then skim across
a pond of water created for the event.Many
of the skimmers wear costumes.Some make
it across the water.Most do not.Everyone, including the spectators near the
pond end up at least a little wet.
I am posting four photographs from the competition
held two days ago.The temperature at
the time of the event was about 60 degrees.
Note: the girl in the pond in this last photograph was wearing a trout costume.
The Yellowstone Club is a private ski and golf
resort.The club is adjacent to Big Sky
Ski Resort on one side and untamed wilderness on another.The primary ski runs at Yellowstone Club are
carved into Pioneer Mountain which climbs to a peak of 9,859 feet.The view immediately before you as you ski
down the slopes at Yellowstone Club is that of the 11,156-foot-high summit of
Lone Mountain.Though one of the rare
ski resorts on the drier east side of the Rocky Mountains, the loftier slopes
at the club capture something near 400 inches of snow each winter.
What is most unique about the club is that the
entire resort is really a private high-mountain residential neighborhood built
and maintained for the very wealthy.An
inexpensive home there will likely cost you at least 10 million dollars.The main lodge was named for Warren Miller,
the famous movie-maker.Warren has a
home adjacent to the ski slopes.Bill
Gates has a home there.Countless other
successful business people and celebrities are property owners and members of
Once each year, on the last day of ski lift
operation, the employees of the Yellowstone Club are allowed to ski on the
private hill.They are also allowed to
invite a single guest.The skiing and
lunch is free of cost.Some of the Club
members volunteer to serve as employees for the day so the employees might
enjoy the resort as a guest for one day.
My friend, Mark, has worked at the club for sixteen
years—since the very early days.Mark
invited me as his guest for the employee appreciation day (yesterday).Today, I am posting a couple of the photos I captured
of the Yellowstone Club.I will continue
the series tomorrow.
Today, I am posting a photograph I took of picture
sandstone.The stone is found in the
deserts of Utah and Arizona and cut into thin slabs.Some of the slabs seem near perfect
renditions of the landscapes from which they came.The strange light (and shadow) was provided
by the blinds on my bedroom window.As I
look at the photograph, I find difficulty in focusing on any one feature.The photograph, at some angles, appears to be
comprised of tubes—especially from a slight distance.
—Leonardo da Vinci was capable of writing with one
hand while drawing with the other.
—The dot placed over the letter “i” is called a
—According to the Korean version of the Guinness
Book of Records the Korean dictator Kim Jong-il sported a penis that measured 3
feet, 4 inches in length.
—In 2009, a cat was accused of downloading child
pornography by his owner when police discovered something near 1000 lewd pictures
of children on the man’s computer in Martin County, Florida.According to the man, he would sometimes leave
the room while downloading music and discover, upon returning to the room, that
the cat had jumped on the keyboard and accidentally downloaded strange
images.The police did not charge the
cat for the crimes.
is a German word which translates into English as “Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of
the Danube steamboat electrical services.”
—The mighty shrew has a humble penis that attains a
mere 0.2 inches in length.
The wingspan of sandhill cranes averages nearly
seven feet.You would be surprised how
much that impresses you when a crane in flight is near enough to smash into the
windshield of your car.I mention this
as someone with a fresh experience in that regard.
My drive into Helena from the country takes me past
a series of pastures and wheat fields frequented by sandhill cranes. While driving into town yesterday morning, one
of the cranes lifted from a stubble field near the highway just ahead of me and
lumbered over the fence along the roadway like a vintage World War Two bomber,
missing the highest wire strand by only a few inches.The instant I saw the bird I jammed my foot
down on the brakes.
The giant bird also saw trouble the moment it
cleared the fence.The bird, realizing
that its flight path would put him smack into my windshield on the elevated
roadway, started to slowly roll away and lift as much as possible.I missed colliding with the crane by only a
matter of a couple of inches.The crane whiffed
just overtop my car—all wings and shadow—as my car rapidly decelerated from a
I caught one more glimpse of the bird as it hooked
back and overflew the stubble field behind me.
On my automobile sound system, Courtney Barnett
continued singing: “I get adrenaline
straight to the heart.I feel like Uma
Thurman post-overdosing kick start…”
Hooker’s Townsendia is usually the first prairie
flower to show its pretty face around here in the spring.A smallish tufted perennial, the flower
thrives in cushion-like displays amid dry and open spaces.Hooker’s Townsendia is sometimes called
Hooker’s townsend daisy or stemless daisy.
Yesterday, walking near my house, I came upon a spot
where a slew of the Townsendia were in bloom.Though the lighting was poor and my photograph is not particularly good,
I thought I would share a daisy with everyone this morning.
If you read the profiles of people seeking to
hook-up on Craigslist or any other such site, you will bump into people
suggesting that a suitable partner must be “420 friendly.”The number 420 is code for marijuana.
According to Wikipedia, the use of 420 (four-twenty)
as a coded reference for weed originated with a group of teens in San Rafael,
California in the early 1970s.The teens
started meeting at 4:20 in the afternoon before setting out to try and locate a
crop of marijuana rumored to be located in the area.The use of 420 as a direct reference to
marijuana stuck with the teens and then soon entered the entire
Now, turn your attention to present-day Colorado and,
in particular, Interstate 70 which bisects Colorado running east and west for a
length of 450 miles.Recently, the
highway department there, following the repeated theft of a particular roadside
mile-marker sign, had to change the number.
You guessed it.
The roadside mile-marker 420 kept vanishing from a
lonely stretch of highway almost as quickly as workers replaced it.Theft of the sign escalated following the
recent legalization of marijuana in the Colorado. Likely, generations of the sign can be found
in dorm rooms across the West.To put an end to the cost and headaches associated
with replacing the sign, the highway department posted a new number: 419.99.
Hopefully the code for marijuana will not change to
I have become somewhat addicted to murder investigation
documentary shows such as Forensic Files and The First
48.I am fascinated by the energy
expended in the investigations and the strict attention to details.Certain broad patterns relative to murder are
also striking.Overkill, as example a
victim that has been stabbed many dozens of times, almost always indicates that
the murderer knew the victim well and had some kind of emotional bond with
them.Automobiles tend to be involved
in murders where young people commit the acts. Older men are often murdered in their homes—generally
with sex somewhere in the mix.
As you watch episodes of Forensic Files, you will
hear the narrator ask (rhetorically) in reference to the victims: “But who wanted them dead?”
I sometimes find myself responding to the
television:“It was not me.I would be perfectly happy if nobody ever got
murdered and I spent my days listening to music instead of watching you.”
But so long is the murders continue, I shall continue
April winds lift dust from my gravel road and carry
it across the honey-colored prairie grass.As I watch, the dust forms what might easily be mistaken for two ghost
horses galloping away.The horses
rapidly fade and then vanish as wisps when they stir against a juniper and sage
For two nights in a row I have dreamed floods and my
wife alive again. I have never been
insightful enough to assign meaning to dreams.I am a dullard while sleeping and little better awake.So far as horses, I have never fully taken to
the real thing.They are pretty and exquisitely
muscular but tend to run from me, as if I were an upright form of disease.
I dream of water but wake to horses in the dust.
wrote T. S. Eliot in his poem The Waste Land,“is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of dead land, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”
Saturday, I purchased new bedding and new
pillows.For some reason (let’s go with
stupidity for the moment) I decided pillows of a firmer nature were in
order.My habit is to rest my head on
one pillow, hug a second one and then allow a third pillow to more or less
orbit around the bed with me.On
occasion, the third pillow becomes the hugging pillow if I push my normal
hugging pillow onto the floor at some unnamed point in the night.
Sunday night, I used my new bedding and pillows for
the first time. The pillows had a lovely
new scent—sweet but earthy at the same time.This will be great, I thought as I flopped
onto my bed to sleep.Change is good.
Change is not good.
I did not sleep well.The pillows totally kicked my ass.I woke the first time with an aching
arm.I woke a second time to my hugging
pillow trying to shove me off the bed.I
woke a third time to the feeling I was lying on a steep hillside and realized
that two of the pillows had heaved me only halfway atop them.The fourth time I came awake to a
rhinoceros-sized cat and a pillow elephant on my chest and face.I woke once more with an aching arm.
All night long the pillows abused me.When I finally got out of bed for good on
Monday, both my left arm and my neck were stiff and aching.
I tried my new pillows again last night.Midway through my sleeping, having an
experience similar to Sunday, I grabbed a hugging pillow from another bed and
slept through the rest of the night.
I bumped into an article the other day on mom.me
that listed jobs that are, thankfully, no longer required in the modern
era.Some jobs vanished as result of
technological advancements. Other jobs
faded as culture evolved.Here are a few
of the jobs from the list:
Eater:Sin eaters were hired by families to “take
on” the mortal sins of recently deceased relatives.They performed their duties by dining over
Upper:No.Not sexual.Before the
availability of alarm clocks, knocker uppers ran about the streets knocking on
windows with pebbles or sticks (especially long sticks for upper story
apartments) to wake folks for their workday.
werescavengers that roamed the mud
flats and banks of the Thames River in London during low tide seeking anything
of value they might sell or use.Mudlarks were a common site during the 18th and 19th
centuries.Poor children and destitute
elderly people counted for most of the mudlarks.They were not opposed to stripping valuables
from a dead person when they chanced upon one.
century England, only the king was allowed to punish his son.On those occasions where the prince
misbehaved and the king was not available to dispense the proper punishment,
whipping boys were lashed in the prince’s stead.The whipping boys were raised alongside the
prince from birth.
Collector:The leech collectors would lie in ponds and
allow leeches to attach to their bare legs.The leech collectors would then pluck the leeches from their legs and
sell them to pharmacists and medical practitioners.Leeches have been used in medical treatments
since ancient times.They were
especially popular when bloodletting became a common practice.The medical use of leeches continues to this
day.They are sometimes used to help
restore blood flow when skin is grafted or fingers are reattached.Thankfully, better sources for leeches are
Farmer:Gong farmersremoved excrement from outhouses and cesspits.The gong farmers worked at night and used
shovels and buckets to remove the (mostly solid) excrement.
Somewhere in my recent internet reading I came
across a story (purportedly true) that illustrates a fair chunk of human
nature.The story goes something like
A man, while remodeling his kitchen, decided to
replace his refrigerator with one that better matched his new décor.Thinking someone might have use for his old refrigerator;
the man dragged the refrigerator out into his yard and affixed a sign: Working
Refrigerator Free!Just Haul It Away!
The refrigerator sat there for many days.
Not wishing to haul a functional refrigerator to the
landfill, the man changed the sign on the refrigerator to read: Working
Refrigerator — $250.00
Taylor Swift is famous enough that even I know who
she is.That said, I am a fan of
alternative and indie rock.I am not
sure I would recognize a Taylor Swift song if one rushed up to me on the street
and gave me a snuggy (and I am not suggesting one of her songs would do that).I am now, however, completely impressed by
Taylor.The reason I am impressed has
zero to do with her music.
Cleary, Taylor Swift is a giant in popular music and
pop culture.She is now, arguably, at
the peak of fame.While most of her young
peers would spend every free moment partying or jetting off to exotic places,
Taylor sometimes does something a little different.
She pays surprise visits to sick children in the
The other day, she and her father visited children
at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Though she planned to visit for only an hour,
she stayed for five hours, chatting with children and their families.She sang a little.
A publicity stunt?
Taylor Swift has visited children’s hospitals
before.In fact, she was visiting
children in hospitals, especially children with cancer, even before becoming
famous.More telling is the fact she
expressly asked the hospital not to publicize her visit.The visit came to light only through postings
Back when I taught apprentice electricians, I often
said as a lesson point: “You will
quickly recognize a true craftsperson—they are the ones doing their best work
even when nobody is looking.Sometimes,
as an electrician, you need to accept that your best work will be buried in
walls and hidden above the ceiling.”
Taylor Swift is a beautiful person even when nobody
Just before Montana Highway 287 drops you onto
Interstate 90 from the north, near the town of Three Forks, the blue horses
appear on a hill to the right.In
certain light you might think them the real thing.But as you look more closely the sometimes
odd twist of a leg or the straightness of a flank makes you reevaluate.
The horses, thirty-nine life-sized steel sculptures,
are the work of a local artist named Jim Dolan.Just as the Terracotta Warriors in Xian,
China, each horse is a distinct individual of original design.On several occasions I have stopped to admire
the horses—frozen there in time.Yesterday, while driving back from a work engagement in Bozeman, Jug
Jones and I stopped and looked over the remuda as late snowstorms swept over
the distant mountain and wheatfield backdrop.
Yesterday afternoon I walked the open country.At my feet, the occasional blue caterpillars
inched across the narrow road.Clouds
blossomed in the sky above me and sailed on.But please tell me, if you are able, why did the pretty songbirds circle
and scream at me for the entire way?