You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2010.

When I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree, I joked that I was going to use the degree to flip burgers at McDonalds. Later, when I was burning out from the stress of the real job, I joked that I wanted to be the person who gathered the carts from around the parking lot at the new Wal-Mart in town.

Then I heard about the “assembler” position there at wally world, and I pretty much had my heart set on that job. Who wouldn’t want to be an assembler? You get to put things together (hence the name) in a back room, like, all day long. You need some shelves? boom! There ya go. Oh, you need the demo lawnmower put together? ka-pow! Looky here, a complete mower of exceptional beauty at your service. A Binford 5000 rocking chair? I put one together just this morning. ka-ching.

I would have a vast array of power and hand tools at my disposal. I would get to read and follow instructions, well, if my powers of guesswork assembly failed me. I would get to be in a back room away from people. All that and get paid too.

I was comfortable with that dream. Until now that is.

Now, I want to hunt Somali pirates Swedish style. I know, this is totally contrary to John’s desire actually to be a Somali pirate because I would be tasked with the job of hunting him down and killing him. But really, it’s no reflection on the state of our marriage or my personal feelings for him. It’s that the job perks are totally irresistible. Besides, death by Swede is only a measure of last resort.

According to the AP article by Katharine Houreld on msnbc.com, “saunas, fresh bread and massages are in — at least aboard the Swedish warship Carlskrona, the flagship of the European Union’s force to hunt down Somali pirates.” The guys and chicks on this vessel get massages, home-style gourmet meals, massages and frat-style mascot raids on fellow patrol vessels. And did I mention that they get massages, real Swedish massages?

I’ll take one from a blond, Scandinavian dreamboat named Sven.

Lots of essential oil, please, at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

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red ants

Random view: Red ants on the job.

Remember the troll who works for the U.S. Census Bureau? And how John and I were all excited that he might come to our house? And how I wanted to put up a “Trolls Welcome” sign on the side of the house?

Yeah, he totally didn’t come to our house. Sure the Census worker we got today was highly polite and professional, but she was no troll I can tell you that much.

I just want to go on the record that we feel this moment is a colossal letdown. I mean, we could’ve had a troll. We wanted to test our metal against his magnetic trollness. We wanted to know if we would laugh. If he would also. These are important issues.

Then we get ultra-professional chick in all her niceness instead. Whatever, Census Bureau. Just another example of my government disappointing me.

I take it personally at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

killdeer chicks

Aww! Such cute'ms!

I would like to announce the arrival of the much-anticipated quadruplet killdeer chicklettes.

All seem to be healthy and, well, sleeping comfortably. One little bundle of fuzziness seems to be advanced from the others and actually peered at me. It did not seem amused by the bright sunlight.

Quadro-Mom and Dad held back from actually attacking me, but they were vociferous in their disapproval of my intrusion into their family time.

My apologies, but they should know by now that being associated with me has its downfalls.

And, frankly, the highlights are rare and fleeting.

Whatever, at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

As if Montanans didn’t have enough to worry about with brucellosis-ridden elk and bison making all nicey nicey with the cattle herds, widespread flooding from rare, high-volume spring moisture and legalized medical marijuana (or medical marijuana caregivers’ commercial grow operation moratoriums, or potheads taking advantage of a fledgling law meant to aid the direly ill, depending on which side of that plant you fall on), now we have reports of a mutant race of flying porcupines.

Seems a guy in Colstrip cut a plea agreement with the feds over a case of mistaken identity involving a bald eagle. A dead bald eagle. Which is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

A witness testified to seeing Dale Leroy Satran shoot a bald eagle, and investigators found the bones and feather remains of a bald eagle at the scene.

Satran, in his defense, said he admits to the shooting, but thought the bald eagle was a porcupine. No,  that’s not a misprint. The witness said Satran shot the eagle as it took to flight from atop a post. Yeah, go ahead and take a moment to view the photos on the links, decide for yourselves on the likelihood of this mistaken identity.

The report doesn’t say if Satran had been dropping acid or eating shrooms. Either way, note to self — and you — don’t go hunting with him.

So, assuming Satran is right, it was a porcupine, I’m wondering in what world porcupines do fly, besides Satran’s. And I now live in fear that it’s my world and the buggers will take to wing like Oz-style winged monkeys shooting quills like aerial shrapnel bombs or barbed Gatling gun rounds if I shoosh them out of our trees. Which I always thought they climbed. But now I’m suspicious.

I’ll probably have to start carrying an armored shield. Maybe make a large-brimmed shield-hat, so it can protect me from the sun’s damaging ultra-violet rays, too. Age spots can mar your skin as easily as a face full of quills, y’know.

Crazy bastards better not poop on me from up there, or we will have war. Just saying. I’m pretty sure I can tell the difference between a bald eagle and winged porcupine And that’s all I’m saying.

Aerial bombs from the rafter-rat pigeons are bad enough at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

Nice crop of posts growing out in that field.

Nice healthy crop of posts growing out in that field.

Photographic evidence of what a few hardy men can accomplish in a day when fueled with beer and roastbeef and more beer. My rent-a-guys did a bangup job getting the posts in. How’s that for awesomeness? There has been celebrating across the White Trash Estate since about 3:30 p.m. yesterday. We’re ready for pipe and sucker rod rails next.

As a side note, it felt exceedingly wrong and uncomfortable to have someone else do the hard work while I fumbled around and tried not to be totally useless. Just saying. It’s still making me feel all wrong inside.

Except when I’m gazing lovingly at my upright posts at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

Just want to say that I had a couple rent-a-guys over today, and they were totally awesome! I now have ALL my corral posts in thanks to them!

I’m tired, but wanted to share this news and the quote of the day: While watching the guys clean out holes like madmen, I said, “THAT is a thing of beauty.” And John, also watching the guys, replied with a heartfelt, perfectly intoned, “Yes it is.”

Indeed, yes, it is at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

Random view: Sunrise through the trees of the north 40.

Because I am low-down, laid up and too sore in the lower backish, fail-spine area to sit very long, I’m banking on this photo being worth 1,000 words.

Or maybe it’ll launch 1,000 ships.

Or maybe “I would walk 500 miles/And I would walk 500 more/Just to be the (one) who walked 1,000 miles/To fall down at your door.”

Give it up for The Proclaimers for the catchy tune and ol’ Mr. Sol who gets up first thing in the morning to give us spectacular sunrises, Vitamin D and early-onset age spots.

Yeah, baby, at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

Killdeer nest & eggs

I finally found the killdeer nest by my water trough the other day. And we finally had enough sun yesterday to take a decent picture. Well, there was enough sun, but I got there with the camera before the sun’s rays were fully on the nest, so we have dramatic lighting. ohh ahh.

The good thing there, though, is that it matches the drama of the moment.

Give her a Razzie Award

Mama wasn’t happy with me acting like a stalker around the babies to be so she started in with the “killdee killDEE, look at me. I got me a busted wing and I’m defenseless!” *wink*wink*

And I’m all like, “Dude, I’ve scene that lame ol’ perfomance before. Just mute your shrillness for a moment, I’ll get the pictures and get out of here.”

drama queen

But I couldn’t find the nest because, of course, that’s how they’re designed to survive predators and stalkers, so she started pumping up her performance. I’m about deaf with the “killDEE! killDEE!! I’m mortally wounded — with a reddish, blood-like spot on my back and this thrashing, useless wing. killDEE! You marauder!”

I’m all like, “Seriously, shut your pie hole,” to no avail. Shooting her with a camera didn’t help either. I was eternally grateful when I finally found the nest, not 5 feet from where I had stopped. As I took pictures from a couple different angles to compensate for the bad lighting, I realized the little mama-lama was really thrashing around behind me and getting serious with the shreiking. “KillDEE! KillDEE!! KillDEE human!

murderous intent

So, I looked and around and there she was getting all up in my grill, like she’s going to go all shrike on my ass and impale me to the barbed wire fence to gut me.

I politely backed away from the nest, shooting pictures as I went, but of course, that’s when Cooper noticed all the commotion and came running over to see if he could join in the ass kicking contest.

Luckily, he’s been pretty good with the killdeer, so the promise of a walk got him distracted easily before anyone got an eye poked out (the dog has wicked-good command of the English language).

Unluckily, I’ve had to go near the killdeer’s spot on business a couple times since distressing her with the photo shoot yesterday morning, but I’ve circumvented her nest as much as possible and tried not to make eye contact. I don’t want her making good on that impalement threat.

She’s a vicious little pretty at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

A power pole damaged by high winds leans precariously against braces east of Havre May 5.

Or should I say: Photo AP.

Because, how cool am I now that I’m totally like a professional photographer. Not really professional, but I am upgraded to like a professional.

I felt guilty that I didn’t drive back and get a picture of the traffic backed up for that power line down across Highway 2 on Tuesday, so the next morning I deliberately took my camera in case I saw some newsworthy destruction. Or clean up, whatever.

When I saw this pole leaning, I pulled over along the highway and snagged a quick couple of photos.

The editor used one that looks dang near identical to this one on the front page. Then the photo was picked up by The Associated Press and that means it was used in another newspaper (probably).

I’d just like to take a moment to thank the AP for this honor and, of course, the wind and the pole for making this all possible. Really, if the wind hadn’t, like, worked the hell out of its performance for three days straight, this wouldn’t be possible. Nothing blows quite like the wind. And the pole, ohmigawd, I can’t say enough about about the pole, if it hadn’t stayed strong, solid like a tree, and really nailed this leaning, straining thing, I would be nothing right now. Just a simple typesetter wallowing in a pool of anonymity. Thank you! I’m so wired right now — Oh! the wires! Please, stop the music! I just have to say the wires were awesome. They really stretched for this magnificent performance. I love you! Thank you!

Work it, baby, lean it. Let me see tilty, that’s right, tilty at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

In the wacked-out meth-man version of “Where’s Waldo,” cops in Albion, Ind., just northwest of Fort Wayne, found the meth-cooking bad guy they were hunting for hiding out in a vat filled with pig and dog feces sludge.

According to journalgazette.net, police were having a hard time finding their suspect, Thomas Hovis Jr., in the barn into which he’d escaped until one of them noticed his head bobbing around on the surface of the sludge — proving that shit floats and that, yes, I will go for the obvious joke.

In fact, if I had found him, I would’ve cracked myself up saying, “Hey, I found our shithead!” And, yes, I’d’ve laughed for a week.

The article states that Hovis, who had already served 15 years in prison for murder, was being arrested for several outstanding warrants, and police found three meth labs, 18 marijuana plants, 3 grams of meth and the firearms on his place.

I loved how the article says that officers “found three handguns and an assault rifle — as well as Hovis’ girlfriend — in the farmhouse” as if she’s a lethal weapon, also, and equally as illegal for any ex-con to possess as the firearms.

Can you imagine him telling the judge, “I’ll plead guilty to pistols and the rifle, but the Ninja-bitch ain’t mine. A buddy stopped over one night for a few snorts o’ crystal dust, and he musta forgot her there. In fact, I dint even know she was there. I think she just slipped between the sofa cushions where I couldn’t see she was even in my house and loaded for bear. That’s what I think happened. Y’know, I lost a coupla these here teeth down in that sofa, myself. Cops dint happen to find ’em during the search, did dey?”

Providing a chilling dose of real life, the sludge was, apparently, still at frigid temps this time of year, and Hovis ended up with hypothermia from his estimated one-hour stint swimming in the cesspool. The cops were all arguing over who was going to have to arrest him and haul him back to jail, but before they resorted to a round of rock-paper-scissors, their putrid captive showed signs of hypothermia, so the medics got the crappy job of transporting him to the hospital.

In a brief report, cbsnews.com says that Hovis was treated for hypothermia at the hospital, but I’d have been treating him for the likes of hepatitis, cholera, dissentary, parvo, giardia, trichinosis and swine flu, too. Dudes, he was seriously in the poop stew. Put on your HAZMAT suit, throw him in a hot shower and give him a vaccination cocktail.

The whole time I was reading the article I was thinking that this is the kind of story my dad lived for when my brothers and I were kids. We all grew up non drug users because he used every possible opportunity to point out the correlation between drug use and unfathomable stupidity.

He would’ve settled into his subtle, I-could-tie-you-into-a-knot-in-two-easy-moves-or-just-kill-you-in-one pose and said with a disgusted tone, “See. That’s what drugs’ll do for ya. You start out thinking you’re all cool and having fun, but those drugs are just eating away at your brain the whole time until one day you’re just a stupid, strung-out doper up to your eyeballs in pig crap. Christ on a crutch, what a dumbass. You wanna be a pig-shit, stinking dumbass?”

Ah, no, sir. I’m only 5 years old, but I have my sights set on being a wise ass, if that’s alright with you.

“That’s my girl” at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com