Snow Head

I think this happened during a “mild” snowmobile crash.

Stuck Snowmobile

Here is a shot of my snowmobile. It is actually fairly sophisticated with a hand warmer on each handle and a thumb warmer for the throttle. The heater got SO hot that I had to turn it off.

The Snowmobile

Stuck Deep

So I decided to take a bad idea and make it worse. I followed Gustaf into a forested area, but I did not have the same kind of snowmobile he did. I had a *bit* of trouble turning around and I got my snowmobile stuck deep DEEP in a drift. The snowmobile was stuck almost completely vertical and kind of listing to the side.

Will turned around and saw I was in a pickle so he jumped off his snowmobile and came over to help. He had to walk through waist-deep snow just to get close. After getting close to me, he fell backward and took a few minutes to wrestle himself out.

Stuck Snowmobile

Will and I went through a ton of ideas to get it out. The BEST idea we came up with was to take off my scarf and tie it to Will’s snowmobile, so you can judge the relative quality of the other 9 ideas.

We revved it hard, and that sweet move succeeded in the snowmobile sinking another foot into the snow, melting the snow all around the treads, then immediately re-freezing the melted snow into hard compacted ice, permanently encasing the snowmobile like a trapped Superman villian.

Then we figured the only way to get it out was to dig it out. This event took one hour of exhausting work. We had no shovel, just four hands. About 45 minutes into it, we saw vultures circling (seriously). Here is a shot of Will under my snowmobile digging hard.

Stuck Snowmobile

After that, with a shove and a gentle rev, we got it out. Here is a picture of Will standing INSIDE the whole we dug, and then a happy shot of me, glad we did not have to call a chopper.

Stuck Snowmobile
Stuck Snowmobile

Yellowstone Scenery

Here are a few nice pictures I snapped throughout the day snowmobiling in Yellowstone. Isn’t that first one a quaint little house with a water wheel? It’s worth a zoom.

Water Wheel
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Scenery Yellowstone

We did not see much wildlife because our loud motors scared them away, but here is an elk head which we can only assume is connected to an elk body.

Elkhead

Yellowstone Snowmobile Adventure

We set off from Montana early this morning for a day of snowmobiling in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is only about an hour from Big Sky here, so it was a short little drive, filled with the usual discussions of parallel universes and space travel (not kidding… that is all this group talks about when we get together). The whole experience was totally awesome and, for some reason, it way more fun than my last time on a snowmobile about five years ago.

The four of us arrived at Yellowstone adventures and grabbed some snowmobiles and checked out the route. We planned on going about 40 miles into Idaho deep into Yellowstone. I had been to Yellowstone once before in the summer, but this was my first experience in the winter, so I was excited to see it.

We planned on visiting a little house for lunch that is owned by two older ladies that supposedly prepared a nice lunch. Their house was only accessible by snowmobile, so we thought that would be a nice stopping point half way through the trip. Little did we know the obstacles in the way… I will make other blog posts later about the various elements of the trip… it would be too long to cram it into one… speaking of that, I have Gustaf and Will in a Brokeback Montana picture coming up.

Before Snowmobiling

The Route

Here are pictures of the three of us in action. Gustaf has on the red helmet (that’s just one reason we call him Red Helmet), I am in the black helmet (no one ever calls me that), and then in the silver Evil-Kineval-Jumping-Ceasars-Fountains helmet is Will.

Gustaf in Action
Trey in Yellowstone
BJ Snowmobile

Austin Dallas Austin Dallas

Your intrepid and genius blogger drove from Austin to Dallas then realized he forgot his passort, then went back to Austin to get his passport, then back to Dallas. But I did buy a new book on CD… and I got through about seven hours of the life of Mark Twain.

Okay now I got the passport – on the way to Korea!

Tokyo

Book Recommendations

While home appending to family over the holidays, I was able to get deeper into my Book Stack, which sits by my Game Stack, which sits by my Movie Stack. It’s amazing how many entertainment options I have waiting for me in each stack – it’s almost a little stressful trying to figure out a) how to sort each of the 3 Stacks and b) how to choose which stack to consume.

Of the holiday book stack, here are the ones I recommend. Oh, and I finally read Snow Crash because Erik made me feel guilty for never reading it… that of course is a recommendation without saying.

The Geography of Thought – a great book analyzing cognitive theory, comparing the way Asians (Confusion-spawned) think versus the way Westerners (Plato-spawned) think. Thanks to Gordon Walton for that recommendation. He usually just recommends books on how to kill little helpless woodland creatures then sacrifice their bones to the dark lord.

The Singularity is Near – a compelling book by one of my favorite futurists. I pretty much agree with everything he says, so I am starting to network all my old 386s so that I can enter the Singularity as a behemoth of computing power. One of them even has a 33 mhz CPU, and I got it overclocked to 66 mhz. It runs a little warm, but the Singularity sounds like it might be a little chilly anyway – especially as we form our own black hole. Good times.

A New Kind of Science – I reread this book over the holidays. It’s a bit intense, and you would probably only like it if you are into math or want to find out more about Cellular Automata. I am writing a little paper comparing rule 110 with Gladwell’s Tipping Point theories.

Game of Thrones – I usually try to intersperse non-fiction with fiction, and lately I have been into this series. I just bought the fourth book and I am going to start ripping through it this week in Korea and the next in Montana. This is, hands down, the best fantasy fiction ever written.

Crazy Austin Homeless Dude

Downtown Austin is notorious for having a bunch of homeless people hanging out at street corners. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco in that regard. There is something about ultra-liberal towns that seems to attract some of the craziest of the crazy homeless people.

I was in a coffee shop off Congress, just a few blocks from the capital, at a place called The Hideout. It’s kind of Austiny and grungy but cool. They have music shows and other alternative stuff at night. People that work here have Euro accents and they seem rather put-out with life, but this is very much an Austin vibe kinda thing – to act like you are all upset by the world and just sit around, thinking up beat poetry.

This coffee shop, like others I have seen in downtown Austin, is frequented by these homeless people, that come in and actually drink coffee and eat pastries and stuff. I have no idea how they afford these overpriced items… I can only assume it is either free or they use their begging combined with relatively poor money management skills.

So this guy in the picture below sat down and just started chatting it up with me. He was very nice, for a crazy person. He proceed to tell me what he likes to do is get shoe polish, rub it all over his face, and run around the streets singing show tunes. The funny thing is, my ideas are not completely dissimilar.

I told him his glasses were pretty cool (in a Napoleon Dynamite voice) and I asked if I could take a picture. He said, “Sure man, right on,” so I snapped it.

(All the pictures are gone. Times are hard.)

Continued Flickr Uploadings – Sedona

Since I upgraded my Flickr account, I have been exporting most of the non-horse.jpg pictures. They are not super-well organized yet, but they are good enough. Here are some pictures from Sedona, Arizona. There is also a picture of my bloody leg when I ran into a cactus while trying to get an interesting picture of some stupid rock.

Sedona
Sedona

Honey-soaked Dried Apricots

It is a well known fact to only me that I like dried apricots. When my dad found this out, he went to the Neiman Marcus Epicurean section and got me these Australian Glace Apricots. I don’t know what Australia has to do with the equation, but these things are amazing. I think they are soaked in honey for days until they get all plump and bloated, much like Will and I are about to be on our upcoming trip to Korea.

The Singularity is Near

I’ve known about this book ever since it came out, and I know basically what it already says because I keep up with Kurzweil… but I have finally gotten around to actually reading it. I’m going to have to put this on the recommendation list for all my friends. It provides a pretty compelling vision of the future.

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