Tuesday, October 07, 2003

What happened yesterday? Welllll -- let me tell you.
The weather started changing and we had delightfully scattered rain showers all over the mountains and valley by Tuesday morning. The local paper had a front-page shot of McDonald Lake, in nearby Glacier National Park, hazy with wildfire smoke, so they must have gone to press before the precipitation started.
Here's a link to their site (BTW, the photo isn't there, but I thought it was about time to introduce the local cagebottom.)

I had a delightfully restful evening after work, for a change.
I watched Laurence Olivier's "Henry V" on television -- the various sets and locations impressed me.
There was a sequence in the Globe Theatre where the rain fell during the performance -- EX-cellent!
There were some outdoor horse-riding sequences with stuntmen in jousting armor.
Sir Larry did his "Once more into the breach..." speech mounted on a horse in a soundstage, on a fake beach with obviously painted backgrounds behind the big fake rocks that made up the wings. Those forced-perpective sets were really something in that film. I'll be damned if they weren't done to mimic mideavel manuscript paintings.
There was a too-serious air to much of the movie that made it seem tedious to me.
Why I kept watching was ROBERT NEWTON -- he played a put-upon fool named "Pistol," and he was worth watching every second! His speeches had those same mugs and twitches that made Long John Silver so interesting.
In case yahr' missed it, matey, here's a link to more about this fabulous actor:

Today (Tuesday) at the college is one of those days when faculty makes last-minute requests.
I'll write about work after I get some of it done!

Monday, October 06, 2003

Hey! It's Monday, so I 'll start by writing about Friday.
I didn't take my camera to the Hockaday Museum, after all, but I had a good time listening to Dave Walburn's music Friday night. He autographed my copy of his CD, and attracted about 40 people to the place. Anita Ho, a new science professor from my college was there and I'm glad she showed up! She recently moved here from another community college in LeGrand, Oregon -- a even smaller place, I'm told. "You don't have things like this in LeGrand!" she said, referring to our Art Museum and the CD party.
(It takes a lot of community support to do it HERE. We depend completely on contributions and grants to make these things happen.)
More about Saturday -- I guess I should talk about garage sales, since I promised to do so.
The Hockaday Museum coincidentally had one on Friday and Saturday. My wife and I didn't go, but I checked out the stuff just before the CD party. Yes, there was a lot of drek that we were better off without, but there was one cluster of items I found remarkable: Large 2 1/2 X 4 foot posters on foam-core board, laminated, with B&W images of James Stewart, Tom Mix, Bill Cody, and one other movie star I don't remember, advertising Stetson hats. No, we don't need that clutter, but I figure they belong someplace. BTW -- those two events are no longer shown on the Hockaday website, I've updated it.
Garage sale itinerary:
From Birch Grove Community Hall, in the center of Flathead Valley, to the west shore of Flathead Lake, with a few stops on the rather ramshakle west side of Kalispell, the elegant east side of Kalispell, and odd pockets of converted agricultural areas that have been surrounded by urban sprawl -- outbuildings turned into apartments, small tract developments next to trailer courts, and a fire hall in an agricultural district that is losing acreage to houses on a daily basis.
Birch Grove is not a lie -- there's a white wooden building in the middle of massive birches turning color with the Autumn, halfway between the meandering, still-rural Whitefish River and "Costco," the massive warehouse store on dangerously busy Highway 2. We bought nothing there, but watched Marion and her husband sell out the contents of their booth to an antique dealer. Further up the road, toawrd the Whitefish River, I picked up some Science-Fiction paperbacks by Joanna Russ, with the most lurid, misrepresentative covers I've seen in a long time. Earlier in the day, I'd bought 3 books in west Kalispell -- A 1909 Sears Catalog reprint, "Flying Saucers On Attack" from the mid-50's, and "Years to Remember; America 1945-1955" by John Gunther, illustrated mostly with photos from Life Magazine.
I was born in 1949, and I was either too young to know about these events, or wasn't even born when they happened.
I only recognised two images from my early youth -- Hopalong Cassidy and Howdy Doody. I can't remember hearing the name Eisenhower until first grade, when the 1956 elections were held, in retrospect.
Science Fiction gets one catty sentence, plus a goofy shot from the Captain Video set, a show I only know through reading, with a reputation for embarassing cheapness.
The rumor of "Flying Saucers" gets most of another page, plus a big, obviously-doctored photo. I don't know when I'll get around to reading the "Saucers" book. I'd seen and read enough on that subject by the time I was in 5th grade to cross "alien contact" off my list of possibilities. Ironically, reading well-written Science Fiction in those days helped develop my young ability to weigh evidence, without losing my imagination, and to expect more than "little green men' or "bug-eyed monsters" from extraplanetary life.
So there's a couple of reasons why I go "Garage-sailing:" It's a way of learning your own community better, simply by finding the dam' addresses. You'll also find out which neighborhoods are more or less prosperous by what they're selling!
My second reason is culture -- I really like to see where we've been, and even when I don't buy anything, I take note of furniture, lamps, books, records, pictures, and other artifacts from different times.

SUNDAY -- wha'did I do yesterday?
NFL Football ( no ESPN, of course) while I did some household chores -- gotta get ready for winter!
The afternoon was so nice, my wife and I ran off to nearby Lone Pine State Park and hiked around. I took some smokey pictures of Flathead Lake & Valley, but we mostly explored -- it was awfully dry and dusty under the trees. When we got home we got in the canoe and paddled around Middle Foy's Lake a few times, followed by a barbeque on the deck. As I cooked, I saw Chicago squeak by Oakland, and Donovan McNabb hold off Washington. (Take THAT! ESPN)
After sunset I updated the Hockaday site, and made a little spare change.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I had too much fun on Saturday to write ANYTHING!
The weather was fabulous again, but the valley is filling up with smoke from cars and "open burning."
The fires in the mountains are barely kept in check by the cold nights.
After a morning of garage sales (more about that later), I relaxed a bit by watching a borrowed copy of "Long John Silver" AKA "Return to Treasure Island."
Robert Newton always makes me laugh, even though this movie is largely dreary and predictable. Here's the link to a website honoring his memory:
I found it a few weeks ago while I was wondering what "Talk Like A Pirate Day" was all about.

Friday, October 03, 2003

I blew off Thursday COMPLETELY!
If anyone noticed, I'll be sur--prised.
Late Wednesday I sent off an email to ESPN, telling them that, for the first time in 15 years, I'm going to give up watching them throughout the MLB and NFL seasons. The "Big, Fat Idiot" was simply too much to bear. What was worse was ESPN's stupid lies about "no racism" in Limbaugh's obviously racist comments.
I noticed that Rush "resigned" Thursday morning -- unless I hear some apologies from the pimps at ESPN who put him on their show in the first place, just to pander his hate speech for ratings -- I'm still not tuning in.
In reviewing the C-Span tape from Thursday, I can't see the "School Bus" at all!
I'm seeing plenty on Limbaugh (ughh). I've said my piece about him, and I'm unconcerned about anything else in his life.

I wonder if today's School Bus segment from Missoula will be on the recording made this morning?
As the tape unfolds in fast-forward mode, I see the Washington Journal's host going over news stories, then interviews, then phone calls, then .... there's the Bresnan Bros. who own the local cable company, doing a self-promo about it in the last 5 minutes.
Hmmm -- our scheduling info was wrong! There's the test pattern -- that's all there is -- one day LIVE from Montana on C-Span's School Bus.

Speaking of radio talk-show hosts, that's the bulk of AM broadcasting here. We have local long-timers and short-timers ranting & raving from their glass rooms. The syndicated stuff abounds as well. I'm not saying any names, because they're all over the country.
Montana, though, actually elects this sub-species to the U.S. Senate. Conrad Burns got in there promising that he'd serve two terms and leave. He's on his third term, and said he was going to Iraq when he was on C-Span two days ago.
The last time I saw him personally, he had just been in Beijing, China at the start of the SARS outbreak -- he hadn't bothered to tell us until he shook our hands and introduced himself face-to-face. I'm glad that the hotels were as empty as he said, and that he didn't visit any hospitals there!

So much for the Media -- what's going on here? A long, mild Autumn, which is scary because of the recent fires. More drought is NOT what we need, but the Winter is so long here that these sunny days are a guilty pleasure.
I'm pouring wine tonight for David Walburn's CD release party at the Hockaday Art Museum.
Check it out again:
The Hockaday Museum of Art
I proposed a fund-raising idea to the local Northwest Historical Society last night. It might lead to my doing another Web site, but those guys have even less money than the Hockaday! (Which is why I proposed that scheme.)
I've finished my day showing a student how to archive his photos on CD, and dealt with CD transfer problems computer-to-computer. An instructor is creating teaching materials as I leave. I made a master tape of Larry Len Peterson talking about his book "Laton A. Huffman -- Montana's Frontier Photographer. I'm taking my camera tonight, so overall there's going to be a little more art in the world.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I started this morning reviewing a C-Span segment shot in Bozeman, Montana at MSU.
(Montana State University) The C-Span School Bus will be in Montana for three more days, and my department will tape each cablecast. I work at Flathead Valley Community College here in Kalispell, Montana, and a certain percentatge of our students finish their degrees there in Bozeman, so I was interested in what they had to say.
Besides C-Span's moderator, Montana's two U.S. senators were taking questions: Conrad Burns(R) and Max Baccus(D).
One student chilled my blood when he stated that "There's no differece between Republicans and Democrats." he tried to make a point about "working together," but that boy was deficient in observation and memory skills, if he truly holds that belief in a political climate that getting more polarized every day.
The issue of Race was discussed -- Montana is overwhelmingly "White," outside of the Native American Reservations, but the students seemed to expect diversity on any college campus -- including their own.
My observation was that they expected conformity as well. I wonder if they'd recognize an actual condition of diversity if they were exposed to one?