I hope the Wife appreciates this.

What in the hell motivates folks to carry on w/ this blog bullshiiiiii ?


Trump Card

Kathi Barlow is a lunatic. And no Susan, not because she has to live w/ the idea that her hottest daughter is married to me. She just returned from a four day trip to Arizona that in a moment of fleeting prudence she saw fit to take my two boys along w/ her. Understand that she was going by herself, no B-Low, Angel, Annabelle, Paige, Adrene or any other responsible party just her w/ my rugrats in tow. I waited to comment on this junket until her return because I wanted to see if was upright and mobile. She was happy and resolute, said it "wasn't bad." Are you shi*#ing me. I think she's self medicating. They're my boys and don't think I could handle them for 4 days alone and take them to McDonalds, let alone go through the rigamarole of air travel and not forgetting how fun two unruly males and carry-ons would be while enjoying the abortion that is airport security. Why did she do this? I think she's a sadist w/ a death wish. She did it because she suffers from a disorder common among Barlow women, i.e. Angel. Kathi lacks the ability to say NO! Some folks are born w/o genes, limbs, brains, personality or whatever and Kathi's cross is no less daunt. You see, Max down in Phoenix needed supervision while his parents attend a conference so instead of telling Angel and I "No, I can't watch your kids this week" what does she do but dream up an idea that must make sense on her planet and offer to take the kids w/ her.
Here is the lesson.
When dealing w/ your in-laws or more specifically mother-in-laws, Kathleen Birrell Barlow is your ultimate trump card. Should you need anything like, dinner, daycare, dinner, a spare car, dinner, storage, dinner, laundry, dinner, house cleaning, dinner, money, dinner, mending, dinner, diet coke, dinner, painting, dinner, kennel service, dinner, over-the-top gifts, dinner, errands run, dinner and lastly in case I forgot to mention... dinner, and if your in-laws do not happily oblige just politely let them know "Well ok, but Kathi would." You might say thats a bit manipulating, I say its fool proof. Guilt is the great motivator. Having a mother-in-law like barlow is in a lot of ways like having a 2nd wife, minus the hibbidy dibbidy, (She hasn't tried anything yet but if she walks the same trail as her mother it won't be too long before she starts getting frisky.) a second wife that doesn't care if you put your clothes away or leave the seat up. Untapped generosity and all you have to do to keep it flowing is abstain from the following; flatulence, belching, and body art.
The great blessing reaped while Kathi had the kids further south was that Angel and I got to remember w/ it was like before kids. It is AWESOME!!! We slept in and went on a date for the first time in an age. We had a few gift cards saved up giving some indication of our dating frequency so off to the Gateway.
The night was needed. No kids, I ate like a Donner Reed survivor and it didn't cost a dime so Angel was giddy and the best part of all is that we still like each other and it's not just about the sex. It could be but it's not. Have you seen my wife?... Hot. I'm distracted, oh yes, in-laws and barlow. Learn from this, keep the Kathi Barlow card in your pocket and use the hell out of it. In-laws everywhere should do more, like barlow, it sure makes married life and raising kids a helluva lot easier. Your kids might have issues w/ who their real parents are but we'll cross that bridge later. Thanks Kath.

P.S. Ask your self this question. Would your Mother-in-Law drive out to a College Football tailgate to pick up your kids so, A: you didn't have to cut out early and take them home yourself thus miss a majority of the tailgate or, B: so you don't have to take them into the game and deal w/ that pile of B.S.? If yes, would she do it every week? If she would you've got something special and you'd better not screw your marriage up.


In Answer To Your Question...

Folks have continually asked why the greatest blog on the www is titled "Encounter The Grizz" so w/o further adieu here is your answer.
"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am -- a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."
That is my motto. It comes from Edward Abbey, Rob's favorite author. If you have yet to read his prose you have cheated yourselves. Abbey was a desert anarchist and polemicist who had the capacity to contradict and make an insane amount of sense at the same time. Look him up.
In regards to the above quote if you fall in the category of enemy remember it is Ed that is calling you a bastard not me even though I personally agree w/ just about everything this man has ever written it's him doing the name calling and further if you are an "enemy" and did take exception to being called a "bastard" it's because the truth hurts and maybe you are a "bastard." Now go outside and do something! Find your Grizz and savor the encounter.


Do You Have a Rag For a Gas Cap?

My wife is certifiable whiskey tango, white trash, 2320, redneck or whatever your slang of choice might be. While watching an Evil Kineval like record setting jump on New Years eve I, after 10 años of wedded bliss, learned something new about my smok'in hot wife. Watching this lunatic make his jump my bride nearly wet herself due to uncontrollable excitement. You'd thought she just saw fire for the first time. I was a bit scared an did my best to ignore it but then a couple of days later she comes to me w/ "Monster Trucks are coming to the E Center, Britton would love it!" Now admittedly I do look stupid and I am a railroader w/ no education but c'mon sweety, Britton would love it... huh? I guess now I can go with the, "You know what babe, I think we should get some new Taylor Made irons for my golf bag, Britton would love it." I called her bluff and happily let her know the success rate of trying to bullsh!* a bullsh!*er and told her that if she had the proverbial itch to scratch we could check it out.
Off we go to the E Center w/ the Pearl and Ty Webb in tow and Angel was floating. The worst part of all was that we were headed out 2 hours before kick off because it was explained to me that "We have to get there early because the pits open @ 6!" Well ok, now that we're all on board I'll get us our duckets and pit passes. She was right Britton did love it but no more than she. The Pearl, not so much. Apparently there is something in the rubber of a monster truck tire that emanates evil and should not be touched. After an eternity in the pits Angel let us go to our seats were we got to sit FRONT ROW. I figured if you can't be the king at a redneck convention you can't be one anywhere. The seats were great, the entertainment was shockingly adequate but it was the scenery that wooed me the most. Ty Webb and I felt like Charles Darwin in the Galapagos. So many new and undiscovered species. Mullets mostly but also indescribable clothing combinations and new untellable variations of hygiene. What an eye opener. I've attended rodeos, fairs, carnivals, NASCAR events and never before did I gaze on so much of God's creativity. I even saw a t-shirt on a very large elderly woman that said "When I drink Whiskey I get Frisky" it was perfect.
It was an epiphanal moment. I'm no different than these folks, except I might bathe more often. We are all rednecks at heart. Who doesn't like big, loud, shiny things that jump and go boom? If you don't my charge to you is that the next time monster trucks are in town load up the kids and head out. Odds are w/ my wifes new affinity we'll see ya there. I just hope that now that she's out of the closet she won't pick up a new hairstyle that might break my ceiling fan. Pray for us.


View From My Office Window

The kind of cold that Marc Hardy's nightmares are made of.

Newfoundland Mnts. on National Geographic's 10 most desolate places in the U.S.

Beautiful Downtown Lucin.

NW end of the Great Salt Lake. The water is red. Seen it before? Didn't think so.

Wasatch Front from waaaaay out on the lake.



I'm Back, Damnit I'm Back

I’d like to be the first to welcome me back to the blog after a much-needed hiatus. (Holidays were great, kids are spoiled, and "The Pearl" can eat a whole camel.) Now back to work and on the road again it didn’t take long for me to find something that is worthy of a little rant.
The Railroad gives me a great opportunity to patronize a wide variety of dining venues and I am grateful for every last calorie, but there is one thing that irritates me more than looking at Hillary Clinton’s face. It all starts with buffet’s, and more recently casino buffet’s. Now in a casino I think that we would all agree that they have figured out everything. They have figured out how to get people to leave the comfort of their homes, travel to sh!* holes all over Nevada and spend their children’s college funds. They have also figured out how to get us to do that while sharing a black jack table with the 90 year old human cigarette that someone calls grandma and make us think that we are happy to be there. In addition they have figured out how get us so addicted to their drug that we will give them every dime we have and tens of thousands that we don’t, even to the point that we would move back in w/ mom and dad, cancel our cell phones, take jobs w/ questionable legality, abandon friends leaving you w/ your only means of transport home a bus filled w/ nicotine soaked octogenarians, and a sense of reality that you can travel 120 miles w/ your last 40 bucks and turn it into $8,000. Oh wait, that last part might not apply to all of us. Just people who my wife and little sis find irresistible atop houseboats floating on the moon drenched waters of Powell. Now with all this casino genius in mind, realizing they can do anything they want, limitless resources. Why in Hells name why can’t they figure out how to keep the bowls in the buffet’s next to the soft-serve ice cream slightly cooler than the surface of the sun? It must be an insanely difficult task. Right up there w/ cancer’s cure. Now tonight’s meal at the Rainforest Buffet has in no way been this soldier’s first rodeo. My sweet boiler is testament that I am no stranger to the all-you-can-eat. So why in all my gluttonous experience have I yet to find a cool let alone a luk-warm dish to prepare the pinnacle of every buffet goers experience? Think about it. Casino’s have security cameras that could find a tick on a dogs a$$ all the way in Tuscaloosca and can tell when your gonna scratch before it even itches but they can’t chill a desert bowl? Impossibility is the only answer, it simply can’t be done. Asking buffet ice cream to hold its form until you get back to your table is like dividing by zero. Please if any of you know of a place that has achieved the zenith of frozen dairy wonderment I’d love to know of and frequent this mythical heaven. Thank you for your time and farewell from Bend-over Nevada (or for anyone north of the mason-dixon "Nevaaaaada").