Birthday convergences

• Today would have been my mom's 61st birthday.

• Started the day off with a trip to the vet: Screwlucy has a hurt paw. Turns out it had been bitten by another cat. I'm willing to bet it was Freyja. But that was an improvement over how we went to bed last night, not knowing where Lucy was. When getting Lucy signed in at the vet, they asked how old she was. Since we did not know for sure, except that she seems about a year old now, we decided to make today her birthday.

• While in the exam room with the vet, I mentioned that today was Lucy's birthday. The vet said, "So is mine."

• One of my students just drunk-dialed me... on her 21st birthday while out celebrating with a bunch of friends.

Snow... wow!

We've got at least a foot on the ground already. I was out there tromping around with the dogs not long ago, and it's more than halfway to my knee. And... here's the new forecast from the National Weather Service:

Late Afternoon: Periods of snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 34. North wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around 6 inches.

Tonight: Periods of snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 27. North northeast wind between 10 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around 10 inches.

Sunday: Periods of snow. High near 31. North northwest wind between 16 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around 8 inches.

Wow. This is the most snow I've seen since I lived in Buffalo.

Figaro; Yankee Stadium

Kim and I went to see a production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro this afternoon, although I probably should just call it The Marriage of Figaro since it was performed in English instead of Italian. It was produced by the local opera company, the Rimrock Opera, which blends locals with hired traveling talents.

All in all, it was a nice show. I thought the best performer was Basilio (who also played the judge). It was sung by a character tenor named Isai Jess Muñoz. He's worth seeing if any of you operaphiles have a chance.

It says a lot about the magic of Mozart that even in a solid, but not spectacular performance, the genius of Mozart was overwhelming. This was my first opportunity to attend a live performance of a Mozart opera, and I was floored by the compositional nuts-and-bolts: pacing, balance of emotional elements, and most of all, how the music managed to be cohesive but never redundant in a 3-hour production.


I watched the end of the Yankees-Orioles game that was the last game in Yankee Stadium tonight. Left me a little wistful, even though I'm not a Yankees fan at all. I'm glad that I was able to go to two games there over the years (1996 and 1999). If, as said in Bull Durham, there is a Church of Baseball, I've no doubt that Yankee Stadium is its equivalent of the Vatican, but instead of St. Peter there's St. Babe, St. Lou, St. Yogi, St. Joe, St. Mickey, St. Reggie, and others.


I'm like a little kid on Christmas Eve. College football (a few early games nonwithstanding) starts tomorrow. I don't want to go to bed tonight, and I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. My Gators are on at 10:30a MDT, and my most beloved Crimson Tide hits the field at 6:00p. I can't hardly stand it.

The sooner I go to sleep, the sooner it gets here!

Bullet point update

There's been a lot going on the past few days:

• Yesterday: My parents' anniversary. Makes me miss my mom.

• Yesterday: Kim and I went to see Weird Al. Great show, as usual. It's my third time to see him. I am such a dork.

• Today: Got the sad news this morning that the husband of one of my faculty colleagues (the one I team-taught with last fall) died while on a fishing trip yesterday. Don was a good man, and I'll miss him.

• Today: Did my first real pullup at the gym today, probably the first one in about 20 years. Amazing. All credit to CrossFit. I also added 20 pounds to my total in the WOD.

• Today: Kim met Montana's governor and his dog (a border collie!) today. Cool. I'm sure she'll post about it later.

• Tomorrow: Long work day planned on campus. Also, meet with a new private student on tuba.

• Friday: Kim and I leave for an anniversary camping trip in Yellowstone National Park. Wheeeee!!!

Whitewater rafting

Kim's boss called me last night to invite me to go whitewater rafting with him and some other folks this afternoon. I'd never been before, so I was eager for the adventure.

What a blast. I am a whitewater rafting believer now. Beautiful bumpy river (the Stillwater), ridiculously funny conversationalists for the drift time in the boat, no injuries, and no damaged gear.

We got back to the vehicles, and I checked my cell phone: 6 missed calls, 4 voicemails. Huh? That's like three weeks worth. I looked at the call log, and three were from our neighbor, one number I did not know, and two from Kim. Wha...?!?! That can't be good.

Turns out there was a wildfire in our area this afternoon and our neighborhood was under voluntary evacuation. But it was far from us, relatively speaking, and the rain we got today put it down pretty quickly. So, kinda scary, but ultimately nothing to speak of.

I'm now home taking in a lovely purple rainy sunset, getting some charcoals burning for some burgers, and playing fetch with Demi. Tomorrow morning: the first farmers' market of the season. Life is good.

Demi watching cars

This video is hilarious: Demi watching oncoming traffic as we were driving through southeastern Washington last week.

Summer vacation is underway; new photos

Kim and I are at her parents' place near Seattle, and I've uploaded a new set of photos in the album called Summer Vacation 2008. I will continuously update this album as we accumulate more pictures.

We're having a great time. It's nice being in western Washington, where it's 20 degrees cooler than in Billings. We arrived on Saturday and went to a Mariners game yesterday. Today we'll head downtown for a while then do some shopping on the east side, then.....????