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Posting from: Philipsburg, MT
Listening to: Matt Nathanson, Car Crash

MHP to conduct safety spot checks in Deer Lodge County

The Montana Highway Patrol has announced that it will be conducting “safety spot checks” in Deer Lodge County on Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

The MHP released a statement which read, in part, that, “…Safety Spot Checks are conducted as service to motorists traveling on the highways of the State of Montana. The Safety Spot Check will be ensuring motorists have a valid driver’s license, current vehicle registration and current vehicle insurance coverage. The Safety Spot Check may be conducted day or night, but the exact location will not be pre-announced.”

If you have any questions or would like more information about the spot checks, you can contact the MHP at 494-3233.

I am confused as to:
(1) how impeding travelers without suspicion of wrongdoing is a “service” to motorists, and
(2) what having three government-mandated pieces of paper have to do with safe driving.

On the other hand, I wonder how much revenue this will bring in…

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Posting from: Madison, WI
Listening to: Matt Nathanson, Fall to Pieces

Several days ago, I set out on my summer road trip for the year. Originally, I was going to visit my friend E. at some point in Seattle. Then separately, I was invited out to Chicago by my sister M. to go to a Matt Nathanson concert at Lincoln Park Zoo. Due to various scheduling quirks, the two trips sort of merged into one nice long road trip. I am right now sitting in a brilliant coffee shop in Madison, WI called Barriques Coffee Trader about halfway through the trip. I have put up a lot of my pictures on Flickr, but haven’t written any of it up so I thought I’d take this opportunity to start writing it up while my laptop recharges for the next leg to Minneapolis.

This year I started out in Helena, MT and drove down through Townsend, MT on US-287- a pretty summer drive. My first stop was at the Wheat Montana deli in Three Forks just off I-90. Wheat Montana is a locally-owned, family farm (third generation) which has a little chain of delis found in the major Montana towns as sort of an off-shoot operation. I don’t know if this is current or not, but Wheat Montana has held (and may still hold) the Guinness Book of World Records world record for for cutting, milling, mixing and baking a loaf of bread in 8 minutes and 13 seconds. I got a tasty and reasonably-priced tuna salad sandwich for the road. At this central location you can also buy baked goods and large quantities of grains either whole or milled.

I fueled up the car as well, and from there I made my way east on I-90 to the first of my two tourist stops for the day- the Crazy Mountains Museum in Big Timber, MT.
Crazy Mountain Museum

This is more or less a historical museum for Sweetgrass County, MT. I think it was probably more interesting chatting with the staff than just wandering around the museum. Here are a few things I found interesting there.

An old-fashioned medical exhibit:
Good Old-Fashioned Medicine

This one reminded me of my sister M. in Chicago:
Hal, the Quaker Doctor

An old dental chair:
Dental Chair

This vehicle spent some time working in Yellowstone Park:
Yellowstone Park Stage Coach

This was just a cool car which wound up in Montana I thought my man might like to see:
Ford Model T Southern Tread

I wandered around the gift shop a bit and chatted with two ladies working there. I found out that one of the ladies had recipes in the local cookbook I had in my stack (along with postcards) and she was ticked off because part of her recipe got cut off in a botched editing job before it was printed. The cookbook was produced by a local ladies’ organization and it turned out she was headed off to a club meeting just as I was about to leave.

Once I got outside, I realized I had missed this little piece of Scandahoovian culture along with a few other outbuildings, but I decided to press on in the interest of time. I wanted to get to Rapid City, SD in time to see a cheesy dinosaur park there.

The Stabbur

The Stabbur

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Be Divine

Posting from: Philipsburg, MT
Listening to: Tom Petty, Damaged By Love

I have been a bit busy lately being that it is finally warm in Montana and I have some projects and work I can now make progress on. However, I did recently find time to take a mini-photo walk on Higgins Avenue in Missoula just south of the bridge for some no-flash night photography experimentation. That is really a gorgeous street after dark. I only got to stroll about a block of it, but I finished with ice cream so I’m calling it a success.

Shakespeare and Co. Booksellers isn’t technically on Higgins but it’s visible from there if you are driving south. I tried to get a second neon sign they had in the store into the picture but none of those turned out decently.
Shakespeare and Co. Booksellers

Bathing Beauties Beads is on the corner. I liked the glowing heads in the window.
Bathing Beauties Beads

Bathing Beauties Beads

Bathing Beauties Beads

Here’s where I am fuzzy on the order of the shops. I think the Selvedge Studio is next. I need to get in there when they are open, look around, and sign up for a class.
Selvedge Studio

Somewhere along the line is the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center. Not the greatest looking building at night due to lack of lighting. Yes, I’m sure that’s all very green, organic, chlorine-free, and fair-tradey of them but it makes it easy to pass by at night. Yet the glowing green peace sign reminds me of the nuclear plant on The Simpsons.
Jeanette Rankin Peace Center

Jeanette Rankin Peace Center

If I’m not mistaken, that is next door to the Crystal Theatre which was very hard to get shots of while standing on a thin median strip in the middle of the street. I discovered that there is a restaurant called The Silk Road in the first floor of the theater.
Crystal Theatre

Crystal Theatre

And now for my two favorite things to photograph that night. First is Betty’s Divine which I’ve never been in because I don’t imagine they have a lot of clothes for big girls and which I do imagine is somewhat pricey. (I could be wrong on those; I’ve never actually checked.) However, I adore their window and their motto. (Note to whoever is in charge of the light on the sign: it could maybe be pointed a little more outward for better coverage.)
Betty's Divine

Betty's Divine

Betty's Divine

And finally, one of the reasons I don’t think I probably fit into Betty’s Divine clothes is Big Dipper Ice Cream. This is the home of the world’s finest ice cream in the most brilliant flavors. I have a quart of their Maple Bacon ice cream in my freezer right now. I’m trying to save it until the end of August, but it is in constant peril.
Big Dipper Ice Cream

Big Dipper Ice Cream

Big Dipper Ice Cream

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Posting from: Missoula, MT

I am in love with the Good Food Store in Missoula. Hugely. It has both upscale, ritzy wines, cheeses, pastries, etc. and basic staples at affordable prices. And those basic staples are natural, organic, healthy items. In several cases, I have found its products actually meet or beat regular chain store prices for similar items. Also, it is a non-profit store which contributes a lot of money to the community, hosts events of interest to its customers, and…

…well, there’s too much to post here so I decided to start a blog about it called Good Food. There you can read my sycophantic fangirl raving about the store, my recipes, product reviews and sales highlights, my suggestions for stuff the Good Food Store should do, and all other things I have to say about the Good Food Store.

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Posting from: Philipsburg, MT

Courtesy of Wendy McElroy:

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Posting from: Philipsburg, MT
Listening to: Warren Zevon, Mutineer

One of the people who was very influential in Warren Zevon’s life and career is Jackson Browne. Today I am featuring several Jackson Browne-related items.

First up is my favorite offering on archive.org. It is a Warren Zevon/Jackson Browne interview and performance from 1976 at VPRO Studio in Holland. Circulated under the title The Offender Meets the Pretender, this recording features Browne and Zevon each performing individually plus combined performances of some of Zevon’s songs. (Although the intro might lead you to believe otherwise, the interview segments are conducted in English.)
Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon Live at VPRO Studio, 8 December 1976

Next in my bag of WZ/JB odds and ends is a very good sound and video quality performance on a show called Old Grey Whistle Test in 1976 of Zevon’s Mohammed’s Radio featuring Zevon on piano and Browne on guitar with both singing. David Lindley is also in there.
Mohammed’s Radio

Next up are a couple of Jackson Browne performances of Zevon tunes. Browne kindly performed two Zevon tunes by request at a performance in April 2008 in Santa Cruz, CA. These are both on YouTube:
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Mutineer

And in return, here is a rare Zevon performance of a Browne tune.
Barricades of Heaven from archive.org

Jill Sobule toured with Warren Zevon late in his career. Here is a cute duet they sang together at one performance. The sound quality isn’t that good, but I have a soft spot in my heart for this number. Jackson Browne is present in spirit if not in body:
From archive.org

And finally, here is a Zevon tune written about Jackson Browne. No, it is not a Linda Rondstadt tune. No, it is not a Terri Clark tune. Those versions are covers. It is a Warren Zevon tune. It’s called Poor, Poor Pitiful Me and is covered by Jackson Browne with Bonnie Raitt on the Warren Zevon tribute album entitled Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon. This version is a unique medley sort of thing combined with Rose of Alabamy in the middle.
Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me/Rose of Alabamy from archive.org

SUPER SECRET BONUS MATERIAL!!!
Because I do not want Saturday which I intend to be a birthday celebration to be depressing, I would like to share this today instead. I don’t feel like this Warren Zevon Week would be complete without it. The next four links will take you to Parts 1-4 of Zevon’s final public interview and performance on the David Letterman show (links go to videos on YouTube):
Zevon’s Final Appearance on Letterman- Interview
Zevon’s Final Appearance on Letterman- Interview, Mutineer
Zevon’s Final Appearance on Letterman- Genius
Zevon’s Final Appearance on Letterman- Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posting from: Philipsburg, MT

Mormon graffiti.

I finally took a picture of this on my last trip back to Montana from Arizona. I think it is a little bit north of Salt Lake City, and I know it is on the east side of the freeway.

Mormon Graffiti

Mormon Graffiti

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