Fizzy Free in Humboldt Park

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2010 by Kyle Barry

Yeah, that’s right.  We’re back on the 30 days kick.  This time instead of a new artsy fartsy picture every day, we (myself and some lucky others included) have decided to give up soda… popcoke…non-alcoholic carbonated beverages for a month. It is straight up no fun. I hate it. I’m miserable without my caffeine and high fructose corn syrup.  However, this was a definite topper to the other suggestion for the month of March, which was: Going vegan.  Might have to build up to that one and/or never attempt that in my life. You know yer boy ain’t eatin’ no tofu, SON.  I know we all have our vices in life, but mine happens to be Diet Coke.  These past few harrowing days have given me a chance to reflect on why I love my sweet fizzy nectar:

1. cheaper than beer (sometimes. Peebers to the rescue.)

2. zero calories (do you know how many calories you drink from regular coke/beer/gatorade/i can’t believe it’s not butter spray? Too much is the answer you were looking for.)

3. caffeine (nuff said, right there. Most powerful drug in the world, last time I checked my opinions.)

4. water is boring. (needs more high fructose corn syrup.)

I’ve also begun to think how I take my liquid gold.  I prefer the fountain coke, thank you. Any fast food joint ought to provide a proper beverage dispenser with a limitless amount on tap, literally.  Unless those greedy goons hide it behind the counter and fill your cup 80% full of ice. Hate those places. I’m looking at you, Long John Silvers.  For those that don’t hog it all, I commend you on your generosity.  There’s something about that instant mix of C2O and syrup that just makes everything right in the world. My backup is the canned variety. Never do I ever go for the plastic 20 oz. Big mistake right there.  Too much drink and it tastes weird out of plastic. Just don’t even attempt it. Apologies to all that have ventured down that awful road.  And if you’ve even had an inkling of a thought about the 1 or 2 liter, litre, leeter? sizes, you’re crazy dude. People that buy 1 liter diet cokes have a serious drinking problem. Also, 2 liter diet coke bottles are terrible. No one can get to through the entire bottle without the last 1/3 being flat and disgusting.  Just no.

This pictorial should be self explanatory. If not, then you lose.

So wish me luck during this terribly frightening venture. I hope I come out clean on the other side.  There’s a small chance I’ll come out on the other end with no dependency on caffeine.  There’s also a chance that I’ll sell all of my earthly possessions and run away to join the circus, but let’s be honest with ourselves.

On a completely unrelated but somehow also awesome topic, I have officially moved into my own place.  I live in Humboldt Park now. It’s awesome. Did I mention how awesome it is? Just checking. I have two roommates who both seem to be solid guys. We haven’t had a sleepover yet where we do each other’s hair, but I have to imagine that will come up in conversation soon.  Just biding my time.  Also, my commute to work is about 13 minutes. That equals sleeping in more, which last time I checked, equals a gigantic WIN. If you are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, please see the previous post.

That’s all for now, check back in later on. Or whenever you’ve exhausted every other possible form of productivity killing.

The Move.

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by Kyle Barry

I’m moving out of my cousin’s basement this weekend and will now be contributing to society like a normal human being.  It’s exciting.  I found a place in Humboldt Park right near Hipsterville…I mean Wicker Park. It’s by no means a lavish environment but it does provide me a place to lay my head at night.  It’s a cozy little dumpster in the back alley of…NO. I need to be serious for once.  It’s an actual real apartment that I will be sharing with two other guys.  They seem normal enough and it’s just a few feet from the bus stop that I will be taking to work so I won’t have to burn any unnecessary calories.  It’s certainly a win win.  In fact it’s a whole lot of win.  You know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t, here’s a visual:

On a completely unrelated note, Emily (my lovely partner in crime) and I attended the Chicago Auto Show.  It was not as impressive as we had both hoped but I did get to see some a nice a automobiles. (You really need a good Italian accent for that one.  Think Mario and Luigi.)  Porsches, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Lotuses, and a Toyota Corolla.  Seriously though, for all you car geeks out there…it was a pretty good turnout.  Here’s a list of all the beautiful pieces I will someday own.  That lottery better hurry up and get won by me.

Nissan GTR

Audi R8

BMW M3 (which I got to sit in and almost wet myself)

Maserati Granturismo

Lotus Exige and  Evora

Mercedes SLS AMG (the gullwing)

Acura ARX-02a prototype

Fisker Karma electric concept

Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo

The list just goes on.  Actually, it doesn’t and that’s why I was disappointed.  There weren’t very many concept cars and many of the companies weren’t even showing their top-of-the-line vehicles.  Audi didn’t have the RS4 or RS6.  They didn’t even have an A8 for that matter.  There was no M5 or M6 from BMW and Porsche only had three models, one of which being the appalling Panamera.  It looked like a retired football player.  Gross.  Long story short, it was disappointing but I guess for 6 bucks I shouldn’t be complaining.  I would’ve paid that much just to sit in some guy’s BMW out in the parking lot.  Also, I got to skip church, so double bonus.  Just kidding…but seriously.

Be prepared because my next post may very well come from my new abode.  Get pumped.  I know I am.

2010 fo sho

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by Kyle Barry

Yeah, it’s been what…about 4 or 5 months since I’ve posted anything on here?  Big deal, wanna fight about it?  Who am I kidding, I’d lose.  So it’s February Freezuary and I thought now would be a good time to explain what’s been going on for the last 1/3 of a year.

I’ve become recently employed by West Elm, which is a modern furniture store similar to IKEA but with higher quality products.  I work in the stockroom pushing heavy boxes onto and off of trucks.  It’s nothing special but every two weeks,  Cha-ching.  Okay not really.  It’s something though and I’ve been needing income for a while now.  I’m still looking for a respectable job in the graphic arts field but there’s not much out there.  It’s a cold, harsh environment for recent college grads.  I applied for a junior graphic design position and was turned down because I didn’t have enough experience.  Let me repeat that, a JUNIOR graphic design position.  How bogus is that?  If you’re still thinking about it, the answer is VERY BOGUS.  It’s crunch time.  Bottom of the ninth.  Sudden death overtime.  I need to find another job to cover future rent, loans and food or I may have to do the unthinkable and…move back home.  Duh Duh Duhhhhhhh.  (That was supposed to be the dramatic sound you hear right before a show cuts to commercial.)  Hopefully it won’t come to that and some creative agency will reach out and pick me up.  And offer me a six figure salary.  And give me a Ferrari as a company car.  Oh, alright, I don’t need the six figure salary, just the company car.

Two-sided, that's how I roll.

In other news, I became productive a little while back and not only got myself some business cards, but finished my portfolio to the point where I’m not embarrassed to show it to anyone.  I’ve gone to some interviews and felt pretty good, but obviously, nothing doing there.  Something will come up.  Either that or I win the lottery.  But hey, that scenario is a win-win so my future can’t be that bleak.  Anyways, here’s a shot of the cards.  45 bucks goes a long way at Kinko’s and they still look halfway decent. When I start raking in that six figure salary I’ll splurge on some nice offset cards or something.  If you can’t design and execute on a budget, you’re toast.

Besides that, it’s been pretty straightforward.  Living in a basement, taking public transportation and having my wallet sucked dry by Chicago’s 10.25% sales tax.  What’s not to love about a city that’s on the brink of bankruptcy?  To be honest, it’s really the Chipotle that’s costly but it’s so dang good.  Hope you enjoyed this short and sweet update.  If there’s anyone left.  I’ll do my best to get back on a weekly schedule. We’ll see how that goes.  Peace be the journey.  Oh yeah, one more thing.  No more snow.  Winter blows chunks.

North By Northwest: A Retrospective

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by Kyle Barry

So here I am, back in Chicago—broke and bored.  I have begun the arduous task of finding a job.  From there, a permanent place to live and then come the loans.  What a great list to tackle after the best vacation I’ve ever been on.  I thought it would be appropriate to end this trip by summing up how it impacted me and allowing my very few readers to know that I will continue to right on other subjects and events in my life.  That means, stay tuned.  It ain’t over.

First and foremost, you have to do this.  Not our exact trip, or even a trip to the western states.  Just a roadtrip.  It’s liberating.  Like first discovering boxers.  Okay, well maybe not that liberating, but it’s unbelievable how comforting and calming a trip like this can be.  Don’t make a schedule, just pick a starting and ending point, a duration of time, and a budget.  Doing this without any cemented plans gave us the freedom to embrace whatever crossed our path.  I know Colleen enjoyed this trip so much that she’s already planning a month-long trip on her own to other parts of the country.  If you’ve never driven more than a few hours between cities, it’s a must.  Find someone you can tolerate for a week or two, save up some money, and just get in the car and go.  Even better, fly to the middle of nowhere and rent a car.  See if you can find your way back.  You’re bound to see something cool along the way.  It’s a sure thing you’ll meet some interesting people too.  We did, and now we love the Danish…or Dutch…still haven’t nailed that one down yet.  I can’t stress this enough.  Go before you can’t.  You can easily make excuses, but it’s a lot harder to erase regrets.

Secondly, and in a sense, a sidenote to my first point, go to Canada.  It’s cool.  They have interesting things, and beautiful scenery.  They say “eh” too.  I’m not even kidding.  It’s a foreign country and it whets your appetite for more foreign travel.  I want to go to Europe now.  I want to go to Australia.  Maybe even Africa.  Canada is right there, and anything they share with us they’ve made look a lot classier.  Example: Glacier National Park.  It’s gorgeous from both sides, but Canada has views that make your eyes well up.  I’m going back.

Third.  Uhh, okay so I haven’t really figured out my third point.  Do I want to mention the bonding?  Sure, let’s go there.  Colleen and I have never lived under the same roof.  She’s 12 years older than me, and the most time we’ve ever spent together was probably 3 days in a family setting.  Now we have inside jokes and memories we can share forever.  We didn’t kill each other which leads me to believe we have things in common and our personalities can share the same space.  Even if that space is a Kia Rondo.  I’ve become close to my sister Chelsea in recent years and my brother Ray and I have almost always shared a bond through things that no one else is interested in.  I realized that Colleen and I have never had a long period of time to bond, and now after countless nights laughing ourselves to sleep under starry skies and driving thousands of miles, listening to hours of the worst 80’s music ever produced, I can confidently say: Mission accomplished.  Where are the Kleenex?

So grab that parent, friend, sibling, estranged family member and hit the road.  Rent a Kia Rondo with a horrible transmission roomy backseat and fill it with some camping supplies…or bags of cash to pay for hotel rooms, and make some tracks.

I’ll end this story with some video clips that we took along the way.  Unfortunately, I can’t post them here because I don’t want a monthly payment for my blog.  SO, head on over to the website below and enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/thebarry2001

On a more practical note, rent whatever vehicle you can get your hands on.  DO NOT buy a Kia.  If you already own a Kia…so sorry.  In its defense, we beat on it really hard.  I’m pretty sure the transmission and brakes were shot when we turned that thing in.  Gotta love the rentals.

North By Northwest: Oh Canada!

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by Kyle Barry

I’ve finally managed to take some time, sit down, and do some blogging.  The past few days have been pretty wild.  With the end of the trip right around the corner, I think Colleen and I have felt the need to pack as much activity into the remaining days as humanly possible.  It’s been a bit draining, but we’re going out in a blaze of glory, rather than fizzing out like those stupid sparklers you get in Connecticut during the 4th of July.

We decided that we had seen enough national parks.  You see one amazing mountain covered with glaciers and rare wildlife, you’ve seen them all.  We wanted something a tad more thrilling.  What better place than our neighbors to the north.  Traveling up a secluded stretch of road, we reached the customs and immigration and after the border patrol had a good laugh at my passport photo, we continued on to the Prince of Wales Hotel where we enjoyed a lovely late lunch and an incredible view of the other side of Glacier National Park.  I have to say that I consistently make fun of the Canadians.  Milk in a bag, policemen still on horses, using the words “hoser” and “eh”.  It’s material so good, it practically rips on itself.  However, this trip has shown me that not only is America laced with Wal-Marts and numerous fast food joints throughout the midwest, but we’re being one-upped by those crazy Canucks.  Their views are prettier, their hotels are classier, and the metric system is so much more efficient than whatever garbage we’re still using.

Yes, those are reindeer.  Canada trumps again.

Yes, those are reindeer. Canada trumps again.

(Seriously, 32º is freezing?…5280 feet in a mile?  Who came up with this system of measurement?)

All I’m saying is, if you plan on being near the border, just go.  It’s so nice and things are just a little bit cheaper.  And their paper money has hockey players on it.  That right there should be the nail in the coffin.

After another wonderful night at another wonderful KOA, we entered the last state on our trip.  Here, we had a crucial decision to make.  Tack on one more northwestern state to our ever growing lists, or head north once again and scope out Vancouver.  Since we had been so impressed by Canada once, we figured we would give it another chance.  Again, we were amazed.  White sand beaches overlooking the city, cute little towns along the way, and my two favorites.  A custom t-shirt store and an Irish style pub where the bartender sings along to Journey.  Oh yeah.

I could live in Vancouver.  It’s one of those cities that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve left America, but you do have the excitement of being in a foreign place.  It’s very modern and very user-friendly.  It was a hip little place.

We returned to Seattle where we met up with Colleen’s friends Randy and Leslie and caught a ballgame in the evening.  Safeco field is a beautiful ballpark and the fans love Ichiro and Ken Griffey Jr, but that’s about the only good things I can say about the Seattle Mariners.  Sorry.  As a Red Sox fan, I can love no other team, especially one that resides in the American League.

This morning we ventured out and took a tour of Seattle’s underground.  An absolute must if you visit.  No excuses.  Best tour I’ve ever taken…of anything.  We had very funny tour guides, learned about extremely fascinating material, and you get to walk under the city.  Our guide looked and sounded exactly like Norm MacDonald.  I even approached him after the tour to ask him if anyone had ever told him that he resembled the actor, and before I could get halfway through the question he responded with, “Norm MacDonald, I know.  I get about two of those every tour.”  So there you go.

Afterwards, we joined up with Randy and grabbed some lunch at a gas station…yes…a gas station.  For ribs.  At a gas station.  Believe it or not, it was delicious.  As I recall, Colleen referred to it as “Living the Dream”.  I whole-heartedly agree.  She took a picture of me stuffing my face which you can find at http://www.colleenbarry.com.  I probably have some BBQ sauce on my face.  I don’t eat like that all the time, just when I’m very hungry.  Don’t judge me.

Following our high octane meal, and I do mean high octane…(little potty humor there), we took a ride on an elevator up to the observation deck of the Seattle Space Needle.  Built in 1962 for the blah blah blah google it.  It looks so cool on the skyline and even at the base but it’s nothing special folks.  I wouldn’t recommend it and neither would Colleen.  Thumbs down.  I will just have to admire it from afar.

Colleen and I polished off the day with a ferry trip across the Elliott Bay to Port Angeles which looks a lot like Cape Cod, sans the Kennedy’s.  What a great way to relax and take in the city and the enourmous Mt. Rainer as a backdrop to the skyline.  It looks like Bob Ross himself just dabbed some happy white right to the east of Seattle.  It really is a magnificent mountain but doesn’t even look real half the time.  Truly one of those picturesque pieces of nature.

If you look closely on the right, you can make out Mt. Rainer.

If you look closely on the right, you can make out Mt. Rainer.

Joining up with Leslie and Randy for dinner, we dined at this fabulous pizza place on the south side of the city.  Seattle decided that it wasn’t going to imitate another city’s style of pizza, it was just going to rewrite the book on it.  We had a pie topped with balsamic dressing and figs and I don’t know if I’ve ever been blown away with flavor.  It was so good, I couldn’t believe it and neither could Colleen.  Bravo, Seattle, BRAVO!  As an added bonus, this pizza establishment, known as the Flying Squirrel, uses only organic products in their pizzas.  So no cows eating cows.  Everybody wins.

A beautiful sunset at the pier.

A beautiful sunset at the pier.

Well tomorrow is the last day and I’m trying to make it last as much as possible.  Colleen and I have red eye flights tomorrow night, but before then, we get to enjoy the city of Seattle and the amazing northwest for one more day.  Then the inevitable return to real life.  I shudder just thinking about it.

North By Northwest: Glaciers and the Post Industrial

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Kyle Barry

So, I must say right off the bat that KOA Kamgrounds are quite a mixed bag.  I know I raved about it in the last entry, but we seem to be experiencing a bit of bipolar disorder in the northern region of Montana.  After a full day of driving from west Yellowstone, we arrived in Butte, Montana.  At one time, they were the largest silver mining town in the world, and had been mining for several other minerals such as gold and copper up until 1984 when the whole operation shut down.  Now, it’s eerily similar to the rustbelt cities of Pittsburgh, Buffalo, etc.

The KOA in Butte was nothing special with the exception that they had exceptionally soft ground, which made for great sleeping.  Unfortunately, Satan’s Partridge Family was occupying the cabin next door, and that made for some interesting shouting matches WAY past quiet hours.  No respect for KOA rules.  As a sidenote to how sketchy this campground was and Butte in general; they have all of their old mining shaft towers lit up in red Christmas lights at night, haunting the hillside.  Also, at the top of the mountain range to the east is a 90 foot statue of Mary covered in floodlights so she looks like she’s floating in the middle of the night sky.  Apparently, she is known as “The Mother of the Rockies”, but when you’re trying to fall asleep and all you can see is this giant white orb floating between Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, you get shivers.

So we shower up and after a quick t-shirt purchase, we went in to scope out what Butte had to offer.  We found a neat little cafe called “Blue Luna”.  They could’ve gone completely Spanish with the name or just stuck with English, but I guess they were digging Ricky Martin that day, so they stuck with the Spanglish.  Butte has quite a thriving underground arts scene, and there were plenty of hipsters to be seen entering and exiting the joint.  We decided to take a walk around and shoot some of the local flavor, and that mostly ended up being dilapidated buildings and boarded up storefronts.

Some Detroit muscle in Butte.

Some Detroit muscle in Butte.

Butte was such a strange little town, and their history is fascinating.  Apparently, they had a working brothel until 1982, and they still don’t have an open alcohol container law.  That means you can walk to streets with your friends Jack, Jim, and Johnny.

As you can tell by the amount of time I’ve omitted here, it was a bit of an uneventful day.   However, the campsite in Polson, situated on Flathead Lake, completely redeemed the lackluster afternoon.  I shouldn’t even use the word campsite.  It was this odd hybrid, like a redneck Hilton and Indiana resort.  I know you’re saying to yourself, “That’s not a hybrid, it’s an oxymoron.”  Yeah, well you’re an oxymoron because it was awesome.  Brand new showers and bathrooms, fully tiled, and no dead bugs in the light fixtures.  That’s a first on this trip and because we were the only ones on the entire premises that were actually camping, it was like our own private facilities.  Everyone else had quarter million dollar RV’s, because this KOA was staying classy by converting to what they call, “RV Resort”.  I’m sure if you look in the nearest Merriam-Webster, it will have “RV Resort” as the definition for “classy”.

But seriously, if you’re ever in Polson, Montana…you know where to shack up for the night.

Our final destination for this great state was Glacier National Park.  We arrived in the early afternoon, to multiple cops handing out tickets to visitors.  They don’t mess around up here.  No mounties though.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  We were only 15 miles from the Canadian border at this point.  So as long as you keep it under 40 in the park, you’re bound to enjoy yourself.  They claim that the glaciers here will only remain until 2030.

The rapidly melting Jackson Glacier

The rapidly melting Jackson Glacier

Take whatever stance you want on that one, we just figured we should see them before they turn to lake water.  What an awesome mountain range, and a great diversity in wildlife.  Colleen and I were just driving along, following the winding road through the pass, and off to the side of the road were wild mountain goats.  Just hanging out, catching some rays.  The only animal left on our wildlife list are moose and we’re in no rush to run into one or many of those.

Oh, I almost forgot.  On our way to Glacier, we passed through Kalispell, Montana.  What they had to offer was such a treat.  A drive-thru, overfed and lazy WILD bear park.  The slogan as you enter read: YOUR CAR IS YOUR CAGE.  How could you say no to that?  Inside were four black bears, and they walked right up to the car!  It was very entertaining.

Yogey was well fed and didn't have much interest in the Kia.

Yogey was well fed and didn't have much interest in the Kia.

So here we are, in a Kabin* at yet another KOA on the eastern side of Glacier National Park.  Tomorrow calls for horseback riding and maybe a quick stop up in Alberta, Canada.  After that, we may head for Seattle, or we may head for Portland.  We are open to any and everything.

* KOA thinks it’s very clever to change any word beginning with a “C” to a “K” to provide humor and continuity to their “kampgrounds” and overall marketing.  It’s not so much laugh out loud funny as it is “Family Circus” funny, which ironically, is the antithesis of funny.  Personally, I think it’s just plain Krappy.

North By Northwest: Long Forgotten

Posted in Personal with tags , , on August 22, 2009 by Kyle Barry

Day 6

We’ve been doing a lot of driving and not much else lately  so we rely on what we see in passing.  After looping through Idaho yesterday and not seeing anything spectacular, we decided it would be best to turn back north towards the stunning scenery that we had become accustom to.  On our way, we saw some interesting things.

Let me preface this next little story by saying that this area of the country was the frontier.  Mostly territory until the late 1800’s, the towns were overcrowded and lawless, relying on the mines to produce minerals such as gold, silver, and copper to keep them afloat.  When they dried up, which almost all did, everyone packed up and left, leaving their houses, storefronts, and industrial structures standing in their wake.

We happened upon one of many large prairies as soon as we entered Idaho from the east, and were confronted with this lonely looking abode.

You don't see wooden shingles too much anymore.

You don't see wooden shingles too much anymore.

Just a small, one room house, it most likely belonged to a simple farmer at one time, but my estimation hasn’t been inhabited for at least a quarter century.  Rusted out farm equipment lay in the back, and the interior walls were covered with graffiti and crushed beer cans.  My kind of living.  I find places like this so interesting because at one time, a family lived here and cooked meals, and memories were had.  Now it’s just four walls and a roof full of holes.  A place where birds make their nests, and teenagers come to be destructive and party.  And soon, (yes I just started a sentence with a conjunction, deal with it) it will deteriorate and the wood will rot into the ground and return to where it came from.

We kept driving and saw what reminded me of school out in Indiana so I stepped on the gas a little harder and we arrived back in Montana.

Colleen and I have become big supporters of KOA Kampgrounds.  They’re affordable, clean, safe, and they always have Wi-Fi, which is a big thumbs up in my book.  We decided to stop at one on the west entrance of Yellowstone, just over the Montana-Idaho-Wyoming state lines.  We’ve also become pros of pitching our tent, especially by the aide of the headlights on our Kia Rondo, which is a trooper after taking repeated beatings from high altitude, 10% uphill and downhill grades, and multiple electronics charging off its battery daily.  A TRUE beast.  Eat your heart out, Audi wagon.

(For everyone that’s reading this that isn’t a Schmunk, just email or ask one of them about it.)

Back to the camping.  They take their quiet hours at KOA pretty serious.  At around 11:30, Colleen and I were turning in and as our usual custom, began sharing inappropriate stories at a normal inside voice.  Well the campground’s security guard, or Boss Hog as he has come to be referred to as, came over on his motorized golf cart and politely told us to shut up because everyone could hear us.  So, being polite east coasters, we did.  Then the real noise started.  Chainsaws off in the distance, and then in the middle of the night we both were startled to hear a very large pack of coyotes howling, and not far off.  Pfffff, quiet hours my butt.

Day 7

We headed out north in the morning, in the direction of a few ghost towns and a small town called Wisdom, where they still make cowboy hats the old fashioned way.  Our first stop was Virginia City, which was a classic case of Gold Rush turned desolation.  What was unique about this place was that a family had come along and bought it, and modified the original buildings to be a full functioning tourist ghost town.  Each store front was the actual facade from 120 years ago.  They even had a guy panning for gold, which can still be found in the hills.

Farther north, we arrived in Wisdom.  Come to find out, the woman that made the cowboy hats had moved to another town and hadn’t set up her shop yet, so we were a bit disappointed.  However, we grabbed an early dinner, and what would you guess was on the menu?  If you have a taste for really revolting entrees, then you guessed right-Rocky Mountain Oysters.  If you don’t know, then google it, because I don’t want to explain.  I shouldn’t have to say that neither of us ordered it, although Colleen contemplated it for a moment.

As we kept driving north, we saw excellent photo opportunities along the way.  One was this cool junkyard that happened to be some guy’s backyard, who wasn’t home.  A quick drive in, some rapid fire snapshots, and off we were.  Again, we passed a family’s front yard full of rusted out model-T’s.

This pickup hasn't seen use in the last half century if I had to guess.

This pickup hasn't seen use in the last half century if I had to guess.

They must’ve been off at the lake because the boat was gone.  Walk by, whip out the camera, rip off some fast shots, and haul your behind out of there.  I know this may sound like we’re breaking the law, but that’s because we are.  Better to beg for forgiveness then beg for permission, right?  I think the crowd may be divided on that one.

Anyways, here I am typing up a storm in a familiar place.  Oh yeah, KOA in Butte, Montana.  You know the Butte – Butt jokes are rolling, and I’m even thinking about buying a shirt that says, “Butte America” and somehow scratching off the “E”.  I keep you posted on that one.