Archives for category: Missoula


thanks to finnegan_again both for the Creative Commons Photo (Above) and for selling me the camera. Craigslist is a beautiful thing. I’ll try to take some decent photos and put them up on Flickr.

My first foray into the world of DSLR

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  • Berries.

  • collin on the bike

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Cadavre exquis, or the exquisite corpse, is based on a couple of ideas, the collective unconsious, the belief (held by surrealists) that any one can be an artist, and, finally, the mystique of accident. For example, check out this:

It was created by Hans Arp, surrealist painter, who is said to have let the squares of paper fall to the canvas where they may and them adhered them to it. It was not intentional, it was accident they way they landed.

The actual game is based on an old parlor game played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution. The technique is said to have gotten its name from results obtained in initial playing, “Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau” (The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine). These poetic fragments were felt to reveal what Nicolas Calas characterized as the “unconscious reality in the personality of the group” resulting from a process of what Ernst called “mental contagion.” (Just so you know, the source of the information in this paragraph is:

Another technique was automatic writing, where you sit down and write for hours (usually under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, the surrealist were not adverse to altered mental states). You don’t think about what you’re writing, you just do it. This is how they would write their poetry. Of course, you end up with pages upon pages of unusable material which you have to sift through to find the really striking images. Anyway, it was thought that in this way you could access the unconcious. And of course, there was the dream world. See Salvador Dali.

So we played the game, the basic rules are:  half of us wrote the begining of a sentence starting with If, and the other half wrote the second half of the sentence starting with Then. This is what we came up with.

If you were smarter Then I’m a Jelly Doughnut
If i were a little teapot whose spout is broken and whose handle is splintering Then Nick will be Awesome
If I were president Then i would get some delicious things

Thanks much to Tonya for introducing the game and giving me all this excellent information!

I went skiing today. We went to Lost Trail, and it was a really good time.  The last time i went skiing was probably five or six years ago.   And up until then i was a pretty avid skier, and at some point in my reckless attempts to hurl myself down myself down the mountain i was talked into buying a helmet.  And ever since I’ve worn one, for a couple of reasons: i find it more comfortable than wearing a hat; the obvious safety reasons; and back then it kind of set me and my buddy apart from the crowd.  it seems though that these days wearing a helmet is all the rage, i would guess that the number of helmet wearers is approximately equal to the number of non-helmet hearers. I was smart enough to pick up a new hybrid helmet this summer, the Camp Pulse and the Winter Kit which I would highly recommend.  It fit me really well and was warm enough for today, it was about 37 degrees, my only complaint is that I don’t feel like it came down as far in the back as other ski helmets did and that might be problematic on colder days, but I can see that that would be highly problematic while climbing, I think picking up a balaclava will do the trick.

On the morning of December 29th, 2008 I slid from my lane into the lane of oncoming traffic. I sideswiped a truck, and the collision sent us both into the ditch. You might have heard about a road closure on Hillview….

Needless to say the roads were unbelievably slippery, i will only briefly mention this once: the city of missoula does an unacceptable job at maintaining the city streets. I was issued a ticket for Careless Driving, and told to see judge Louden.

When the first tow truck arrived he began carefully positioning himself to extract the Chevy 1500 Silvarado from the ditch, and he slid off the road and into the snowbank leaving this enormous truck stuck in the ditch. Then Reds Towing made it to the scene with a smaller, but still capable, and as he was carefully position himself, he too slid off the road into the ditch. It was a sight to behold.

One of the police officers radioed to dispatch and requested, for the third time, that a sanding truck come up to lay down some traction, by this time there were passers by who were getting stuck as they slowed/stopped to avoid and gawk at the absurdity of the situation (a bresnan truck had to put on chains to make it out of there). The dispatcher asked him to go and block off the road, he had to admit to her that he too was unable to safely navigate the street and that he too was stuck.

Recap: 2 damaged vehicles + 2 tow trucks + 1 Police Cruiser + other traffic getting stuck = a big mess.

finally the sanding truck made it up there, more police showed up to close the road, and 2 more tow trucks came to try and salvage this situation. after the street was sanded and declared to be “safe” the 3rd and 4th tow trucks got to work pulling us out first and then the other tow trucks and finally the Chevy truck.

The estimated damage on our car was about $5,000 and of course insurance will help out with that. The next morning while we were driving Collin daycare we followed the sand truck up the hill. 24 hours earlier that sand would have saved me a thousand bucks and a lot of time wasted dealing with the court.

I appeared before the judge on Tuesday December 30th and plead not guilty. I was given a Scheduling Order, and sent on my way. I then stopped at the office of the City Attorney, where i met with a city prosecutor. I explained the situation and said that i was driving in the same manor as the Police Officer and the 2 tow truck drivers, and if i deserved a ticket than they did as well. They simply got lucky and when they slid off the road they didn’t hit anyone. She agreed that the road conditions were extreme and had they been sanded the incident would have been avoided.

The legal repreve won’t pay the deductible for the repairs, it probably won’t even encourage the city to take a more proactive stance on road maintenance, but at least it helps with the piece of mind.

Cody’s masterpiece, originally uploaded by jakonavitch.

Jeep in the sky, originally uploaded by jakonavitch.

It has been a long time since i’ve written anything here. and i have to admit a Lot has happened in my life.

For the past several months we have basically dedicated all of our time to designing and creating a new web presence for The University of Montana. You can go there and use the comments boxes on each page to tell us what you think. I have to say i think this is one of the best things we did in the process of redesigning the site. At the university we serve a very diverse demographic, practically every age group, men and woman, those currently attending UM, Those considering it and all the parents in between. We have Alums coming to the site looking for things to do and ways to help out their Alma Mater. I will say that the site was largely designed by committee, which posed it’s problems but all and all it turned out ok, and everyone, well almost, who has a stake in the homepage has their link.

Give us some feedback if you like, good or bad, please though, if you think it sucks tell us a) why, and b) and what you would do to fix it. This process has given us all pretty thick skin.

Aside from a new home page we also implemented a Content Management System, check out the alumni site, and see Gordy’s post about the launches. The CMS will and already has provided us with a way to 1) allow non technical users to quickly create and update web content, with no expensive software, and 2) start to create an overall branding for the university.

In personal news, the wife and i just bought a new car, its a Chevy Malibu LS, coolest features:

  • 25 mpg in town, 35 highway
  • CD player (yes we have finally joined the rest of the world)
  • enormous trunk, with folding rear seats.
  • did i mention 25 mpg in town, 35 highway?

We will be in Seattle for Thanksgiving and we are excited to get it out on the road and see what it can do.

Really?, originally uploaded by jakonavitch.

Seriously folks, use the trash can right behind you!

I checked out the new Cafe Dulce today. a co-worker had come back saying he would never go back because it was terribly noisy. I thought i’d try it for my self. and wow the acoustics are Terrible. the place was practically empty and the noise was awful. I can’t imagine it during the lunch hour. I chatted with one of the barristas and she said it was worse before they put up the sound absorbing panels.

A place like that can only survive by providing a pleasing atmosphere, the coffee, food, and the gelato are all Too expensive. they need to do something. It is a Beautiful building! great windows and a nice high ceiling (which will probably have to be changed to account for the noise) .

Domain controllers., originally uploaded by jakonavitch.

Wow. Yeah. Wow.