Michelle and I had a slower start to our vacation than we originally planned. We rolled through Wisconsin a little bit slower, stopping in WI Dells to shop for a few things we didn’t have during packing– we both needed another pair or two of shorts, and we needed to buy some groceries, too. Throw in a stop at the Mall of America for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and we were not nearly as far as we first thought we’d be by Friday night.

We rolled into the Comfort Inn in Jamestown, ND at about 1:00AM Saturday. We slept in until around 9 or so, grabbed some continental breakfast and were on the road again at quarter to 11.

As we proceeded through North Dakota, we realized it might be difficult to book a hotel in Bozeman on a weekend in the summer with really no notice whatsoever. Michelle made a call to AAA, and after we sat parked near an on-ramp for about 25 minutes (so as not to lose the phone signal), we had a room in Billings for Saturday and one in Bozeman for Sunday, because that was the best we could do.

The rooms were going to be more money than we wanted to spend, and as we contemplated what we should do with the rest of our Saturday, since we weren’t going to have to travel as far, Michelle dug through the Fodor’s guide and found some interesting things to see in Theodore Roosevelt Nat’l Park. The town of Medora, ND is the nearest settlement to the park, and Fodor’s mentioned a place called Custer’s Cottage as a nice little local establishment to hole up in. We thought we might as well make a call and see if we could get a room there, and as luck would have it, they had a cancellation for this weekend.

Rather than spending about $120 on a room in a Holiday Inn in Billings, we got a basement apartment with a kitchen, dining room, living room and of course a bed, for a paltry FIFTY DOLLARS. When we weren’t driving around the park or exploring some of the little shops and things in Medora, I spent the rest of the evening muttering to myself, “Fifty dollars,” and then breaking out in laughter. If you ever have occasion to visit Medora, Teddy Roosevelt Park, and the surrounding area, I highly recommend a visit here at the Cottage.

For now, though, we have to see a man about a horse, and then head out to Bozeman.

Still Got the Fever

I have to admit being a little disheartened after another road series loss by the Crew this afternoon, especially when they managed to pry two defeats from the jaws of victory in Cincy.

I’m gonna try to remember that we’ve still get a better, more exciting ballclub than we’ve had in 15 years, and “it ain’t over til it’s over,” and countless other tired sports cliches.

You can still have fun on the ride all the way til the end of the season. God knows the Packers aren’t gonna do shit this year, so why not?

Don't Really Remember

Hey, I’ve got a busy week, with moving in, busting ass at work, and trying to get ready for a week-point-five road trip all at the same time. I slept in my new apartment for the first time last night, and it was good to be back in my bed. I think I sleep the best there. The bus ride on route 21 is OK; it’s definitely a little quicker than riding through downtown. I’ve been able to get a chapter or so of my book down each way.

The thing that I don’t really remember, though, is this:
If you and I are friends, how exactly did that happen? Do you remember anything about the process? I’ve come to the realization recently that the friends I have at present are so scattered, I’m coming up really short on them in the town where I live. I feel like I would benefit from getting some new ones (possibly local), but I just don’t remember how to do that.

That led me to thinking how I got the friends that I have, and a lot of you I’ve known so long, I really can’t come up with an effective means of duplicating whatever process we went through. It’s troubling.

Couldn't Resist

I was going to put off reading the last Harry Potter book until Jen finished so I could borrow her copy. But, she was up north over the weekend, and I had 4 hours in the evening on Sunday where the book would have just stared me in the face, so I relented and picked it up. Got through the first 12 chapters, and I plan to pick up my own copy later today, because I know Jen will want to read it right away, too.

It’s uncanny how popular these books are. I saw four people reading it on the bus this morning.

One thing I’ve noticed about the relation between the books and films in this series is that both can stand and be enjoyed on their own merits. Personally, I find the books to be quite a bit more satisfying, but the movies are good for a digested, special effects romp through Harry’s world.

One thing’s for certain– J.K. Rowling is doing OK regardless of what I think.

Operation: Annihilate!

More substantive post to come later in the day, but check out what those zany Canucks are doing with computers and checkers. Most interesting excerpt to me: What we’ve done is show that you can take nontrivial problems, very large problems, and you can do the same kind of reasoning with perfection. There is no error in the Chinook result. … Every decision point is 100 percent.

Yes, I had a friend named HAL a few years back that made a similar assertion. Now just combine Chinook with a taser-wielding robo-cop, and you will get a perfect enforcement machine that KNOWS the correct decision, 100% of the time, is to Kill All Humans.