Sunday, March 25, 2012

There are no Penguins in the Arctic

C'mon people, do your research.

One strange thing about living on an oil field is that there are no girls, which was a little refreshing at first.  However, as more and more time goes on, I have come to realize that girls are pretty important to keeping me civilized.  I really haven't been doing much showering, changing or grooming while up here.  needless to say, I don't smell that great and I'm not much to look at.  I'm pretty comfortable with that.  Too comfortable.  A couple weeks away from women and my personal hygiene certainly takes a dip.  Give me a bit more time and I'm pretty sure I would look like this.

                                        Just Months Away

This is only happening to me because there are literally no women whatsoever around here.  I'm pretty sure if there was even one girl my age on the rig, it would be a different story.  She wouldn't even have to be attractive.  Just a female presence is going to make me shape up.  I hate to think what my family would have turned into had my mom not been around.

Polar bear research is difficult.  The bears up here are at the top of the food chain, and they pretty much do whatever they want.  With the bears that we are studying, that means a lot of sleeping.  We have cameras set up outside their dens and now we just wait until they come out, as our study is dealing with den emergence behavior.  Female polar bears are not true hibernators, but they do spend months inside the den both birthing and nursing their cubs, during that time they do not eat, defecate or leave.  It's pretty impressive, but until our bears decide to leave their dens with their cubs, we are stuck playing the waiting game.  Which gives me time to shower and clean up, which I plan on doing today.

                                     What we are waiting to see

The other day my eyeball froze, and now it twitches about every twenty seconds.  It may drive me insane.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

She's As Cold As Ice, And So Is Everything Else.

At least five times this week I have caught myself humming the "Be a Man" song from Mulan.  All five times I was embarrassed.

I have been living in the Arctic for a week now, and I understand why the oil workers I'm staying with do two weeks on and two weeks off.  A week can feel like much longer when you are as far removed from civilization as we are right now, and can even feel longer when going outside can kill you.

There is really no way to explain how cold it can get up here, but I will try.  In order to get to the bear dens we are monitor, we need to ride snowmobiles miles out onto the sea ice.  Before doing that we put on coats that easily weight thirty pounds, acrtic bibs, balaclavas, gortex underarmor, thermals, crazy moon boots and several pairs of gloves, and we still can get cold.  It takes a while to get all that stuff on and off, and when I get back home I will probably spend a few weeks wearing as little clothing as possible.

                                          My Ride

  When we get back to our truck after snowmobiling, we need to load our snowmobiles and toboggans into the trailer, and we take off a lot of gear to do that, as it can get pretty hot and difficult to maneuver when you are trying to push 400 pound machines into a trailer in the dark.  So last night I was down to just my thermals, my jeans, a hat, some gloves and a patagonia jacket when I saw the northern lights had turned especially bright.  I decided to put my camera on a thirty second exposure and see if I could get a picture of the lights with me in the foreground.  The ambient temperature (not including windchill) was -50.  As I stood still for that thirty seconds I literally felt the tip of my nose harden and freeze.  Because I was also trying hard not to move, my eyeballs started to freeze.  Eyeballs hurt to thaw, and I almost lost mine.  Oh, and my camera froze during the timer.  It was a pretty big mistake and I learned my lesson.

Even the bears are bunkered down right now in their dens under the snow.  When a polar bear thinks it is too cold outside, it is probably too cold outside.

So far my favorite thing about staying on a drill site on a huge chunk of ice is the food.  We get three BIG meals each day, and there is a pretty great snack room for the days that we are out and miss the meals.  For example, last night I had a huge steak, a cornish game hen, a banana, salad, rice and beans, juice, chocolate milk, ice cream and a doughnut.  All the food is free too.  My second favorite thing is the eskimo dishwasher who washes dishes crazy fast and listens to a CD of some dude shredding an electric guitar while he does it.

Our research is difficult.  Aside from a cold snap that is not letting up, finding dens is not a simple process.  We use infrared cameras and dog teams in order to get an idea of where dens might be, but because the bears literally get snowed into their dens, it can be hard to be sure.  Once we think we have a den, we set up an insulated camera and a solar panel and cross our frostbit fingers.  We go back to the cameras about once per week to get the hard drive and make sure they are still working.  It's tedious work, but nothing is more adrenaline inducing than standing outside of a polar bear den in the dark.

                                         Camera Set-up

Anyway.  I am too tired to think of anything else to write, and this has probably been pretty boring.  One weird thing is that while I am literally about as far away from any kind of modern city as you can get, I still have internet and phone.  So I guess I have BP to thank for that.  Our frostbite index is too high for us to go out right now, so feel free to call or text if you want more details about our project or just to catch up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


 "Yeah, bears."  
"hmmm, I had no idea you could study bears for a living."
"Well, you can"

That's more or less the conversation that I have had a few hundred times in the last few month.  Most people at my school are studying law, medicine or business and bears seem to raise a few eyebrows.  But here I am, sitting alone in a cheap hotel room in Anchorage, waiting to leave for a flight to the end of the earth.

First thing I did when I woke up this morning was check the temperature at Prudhoe Bay where I will be living and researching.  -45.  Last week it got down to -60.  The coldest temperature I have ever felt was around -25 and it was cold enough to make me wonder if Montana was not actually the best place on earth ( but just for a second ).  -45 seems like it will be enough to make me challenge the things I believe in.

For those I haven't talked to yet, Im going to the arctic to do a den study on polar bears in and around the area where a few different companies are drilling for oil.  If all goes to plan, I will be starting my masters project on bear conservation this fall, and will be doing similar research in Churchill Canada.  

Yesterday I took the mandatory training for any workers that are headed to the North Slope of Alaska.  I learned about all of the things that can kill or maim you on an oil platform, and decided that working with polar bears is one of the safest jobs in the area.  If I do meet my end up north, take solace in the fact that I was too numb to feel the bear eating me.

      Luckily, I used to do this for hours around the kitchen table with my brothers

I'm going to do my best to update the blog on my happenings while I'm up north as I hear that there is some internets up there.  In all seriousness, Im pretty excited to be working up there and to be doing some conservation work that I believe to be very important.  Keep in touch.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Review of Canadian Candy

The blog has gone untouched for several months now.  I wish I could come up with a good reason for this, but it really is a lack of interest.

In the middle of August I accomplished a big life goal when I took a drive to Alaska and visited my 50th state.  During this drive I was to spend a good deal of time in canada.  While driving through alberta and british columbia, I took the time to indulge in the local cuisine, and by cuisine I mean candy.  As a self-proclaimed candy aficionado, I was aware of the fact that canadian candy is in some ways superior to the offerings we have in the US, and I wanted to test the rumors that I had heard.  The following is a fairly extensive review of some of the better options you will find in the great white north.


 My first thought in biting into a Crunchies bar was "If I were a bear, I would be pretty into this."  Sadly, I am not a bear, and the Crunchies bar is not the right bar for humans.  Crunchies are essentially a bar-shaped honeycomb that has been coated in chocolate.  The wrapper calls this honeycomb "sponge toffee", but I call it instant diabetes.  In fact, there seems to be a french warning on the packaging that is advising french canadians about the dangers of consuming an entire Crunchies bar. French canadians are notoriously weak, and their feeble bodies just cannot handle the amount of sugar that is delivered by a Crunchies.  Mine took me three sittings to finish, and I can typically hold my candy like a champ.


  Many an American has lustily poured a box of canadian Smarties into their mouth, only to reel away in shock.  Much like you would if you were expecting a nice cup of water and your cup was instead full of juice...or human blood....  You see, the canadian Smarties is a vastly different creature from his American cousin.  In fact, they share no resemblance at all.  Canadian Smarties are different from American Smarties in that they are chocolate,  candy coated, and incredibly difficult to pound up and snort through your nose.  Gosh knows I tried.   But in all truth, these little chocolates are pretty delicious, and bear my strong recommendation.

Mr. Big Deal:

 The Mr. Big Deal is a huge candy bar that is sponsored by one Alexander Ovechkin.  On the front on the wrapper, this large russian man issues a challenge to any potential buyers to "Be Big Deal Like Me," while proudly displaying a thumbs up sign and a wide russian grin.  This challenge is to say the least, perplexing, as Ovechkin offers no instructions on how to become a big deal in his simple command, and one can only assume that it is through the consumption of the Mr. Big Deal.  Also, my confusion deepened as I come from a place where pop culture and sports are actually relevant, and the fact that I have never heard of Alex before picking up my first Mr Big Deal makes it hard for me to confirm that he is indeed a big deal.  I also have heard that loons and beaver trapping are pretty big deals in canada, so who's really to say what constitutes a big deal up there...but I digress.  Challenge accepted Ovechkin, you big Russian animal you.   I ate the entire Mr Big Deal, and to be honest, I do feel pretty cool.

Power Jubies: 
 Based on the name alone, this is the best offering in canada.  Based on the drawing that I found on the packaging, this is the best candy in the world.  This drawing consists of a stick figure jelly bean doing some pretty radical crap.  At one point he is shredding an electric guitar while playing soccer.  The drawing leads me to believe that Power Jubies are the go-to candy for canadian extreme athletes, rock stars and mounties.  In fact, it's rumored that Avril Lavigne, the most extreme of all canadian punk rockers, eats several PACKS of Power Jubies every day.  The crazy energy from these Jubies gives her that trademark spunk that so many Sk8ter boi's and girls have come to admire and emulate.  However, the actual candy looks like someone stuffed a few jelly beans into some old nougat, and I can tell you right now that it is pretty disgusting.  Maybe after doing some killer turns on some pow or some gnarly flips on a wakeboard I will get it.  One can only dream I guess. 

                        Crazy powerful after downing some Jubies


The Wunderbar is to say the least, wunderful.  The crowing achievement of canadian industry, the Wunderbar is the perfect mixture of chocolate, caramel, peanut butter and wafer.  You may remember Reeses trying to do the same with the Fast Break.  But where the Fast Break is overbearing and suited to the palette of a six year old, the Wunderbar is a much more subtle and balanced selection, and much more suited to the tastes of slightly older children and ridiculous 28 year old candy eaters.  After a brief scare at the border, I managed to bring several Wunderbars home, and ate the last of them on top of a high mountain peak.  Completely content, even a moose scare earlier that day could not ruin my euphoria.

Well there you have it.  Sorry about the long wait on the blogging kids.  I’d like to say that during this downtime I have been thinking of great ideas and putting together something special, but that obviously isn’t the case.  I mean, I’m writing about candy here for pete’s sake.    

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Too soon?

You have most likely heard about some of the crap that has been happening to Japan over the last month or so, and unless you are heartless, or a dolphin, you probably feel pretty bad for our Japanese friends.  Well, things are about to get a whole lot more complicated.  Let me set up a little equation for you.

Under-sea earthquake + Nuclear radiation = Godzilla


Yes, an 8.9 magnitude quake is more than enough to wake that old lizard up, not to mention that nuclear power plants are leaking some of his favorite food into the ocean on a daily basis.  It is pretty much a perfect Godzilla storm, and I'm expecting to see an appearance any day now.  I also expect that Godzilla is going to be pretty bummed when he shows up and sees that the place is already in shambles, and there is no real reason to cause further mayhem.  I bet the look on his face is going to be priceless.

Anyways, it is pretty sad to see the normally cheery Japanese people having such a hard time.  However, a few of the Japanese were getting into some pretty weird stuff over there, and maybe the silver lining to the disasters will be a return to normalcy for some of these guys:

I want to know if this is common, everyday behavior or just something you do at car-shows in Japan. 

Japan's National Turd Sandwich Team

     I honestly don't know what is going on here.  I doubt it is legal in the U.S. whatever it is

Swirly?  Torture?  Baptism?

Please get better soon Japan, we need you back to embarrass our whale wars hippies.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Montana Fly Fishing

So I just bought a new camera.  Now the trick is figuring out how not to look like a total douche while using it.

I have a real love/hate relationship with this blog.  Blogging seems to be turning into an increasingly feminine pursuit and that concerns me.  Not to mention that about half of the posts that I start turn into gibberish and never get finished.  But the fact is that I love writing and have since I was a small child.  And while my normal topics involve things that I think are funny or interesting, sometimes I just feel like writing about something that is truly important to me.  So in a break from the normal format of MOBIYM, I want to write a bit about possibly the only thing I am truly passionate about.  If you are looking for laughs, it may be time to stop reading.

Those that know me well have likely grown tired of my constant expressions of love for my home state of Montana.  I talk about it way too much, so much so that I probably come off pretentious.  Is Montana the best place in the country?  In the world?  Well to me it is.  That's not to say that everyone should feel the same way, because they shouldn't.  For many people, most people, Montana is not an ideal place, and that is a big part of what makes it so great.  I do not think Montana is better than other places (except Colorado) but I do think that it is better for me, and regardless of where I live, it always will be.

Now, it is difficult to really determine why I have fallen so deeply in love with a place that can at times be very hostile and unlovable.   Montana is a very beautiful state, but so are many others.  The answer is very subtle and is something that I discovered while fly fishing.  Fly fishing has taught me that Montana is a place where wilderness can still be found, and a place where that wilderness is still appreciated and valued.  For me, wild forests and water have a way of masking your worries, and they can bring a clarity that I have a hard time finding anywhere else.  Some of the biggest rewards I have ever gotten have been through a relationship with nature that I strengthened while fishing a wild Montana.

Fishing is not just a hobby for me, it is a release and often even a spiritual pursuit; it is a gentle reminder that there are still primitive things in the world and those things are not to be ignored, but benefited from.  And I'm not just speaking about trout and animals, but also the water, the insects, the trees and the intoxicatingly fresh Montana forest air.  At times fishing or even just exploring Montana is a way to relax and enjoy time with people that I care about.  However, when I take the trip alone or with someone that has a similar passion for wild things, it becomes a much more therapeutic experience.

I don't wear waders or bulky gear when I fish, and aside from the fact that they look a bit goofy, I never really understood why I didn't like them, until recently when my younger brother brought it up and made me think about it.  The waders keep you from really being in the water and they keep you from feeling the touch and push of the river.  I know that sounds cheesy, but it is completely true, and it illustrates why fishing has become so important to me, and to my brothers for that matter.  Because it is constant, unflinching and unpredictable all at the same time.

I love catching trout, it is exciting, and I also happen to think that next to women,  trout are just about the most beautiful things ever created.  But catching fish is not always my main reason for fishing, my reason is generally to leave something in the river and forests, and to come away better.  In a way, fishing is sometimes like a type of personal sacrament for me, and that is what makes it very sacred and sustaining.  It is a way to stay connected to the natural part of my life, a part of my 27 year existence that has become increasingly important to me in recent years.

For a few years I dated and fell in love with a girl that added a lot of complication to my relatively peaceful life.  In fact, for a while, our relationship completely ruined it.  But I loved her in spite of our problems for a few reasons, some of them more noble than others.  Unfortunately, a main reason for loving this girl was because she practically completely understood my passion for Montana, the river and fishing.  Almost more so than anyone I have met to this day.  I recognized this understanding when she wrote me a note, a note that out of dozens was the only one I kept.  I kept it not as a token of my old feelings, but because she effectively said what I had always struggled to make sense of.  She perfectly analyzed my relationship with my favorite creek when she said:  You can so easily bring your stress and the confusion of the world to the woods and wash it away in the river.  During those times you are so distant from everything.  

 Now that may sound like an incredibly selfish reason for me to care about a person and it probably was, but it was strangely comforting that she understood my reasons for fishing, and in some ways it allowed me a way to express my passion for my water and my forest even when I was hundreds of miles away.  Needless to say, this was a relationship that was built on a pretty poor foundation, and a "marriage" relationship is obviously made of something much more substantial than one shared understanding, regardless of how important it is.  When you feel the same way about a river as you do a woman, things are not going to end well.  But at the same time, that may be one of the highest compliments that I could ever give this particular girl.

I bring all of this up because it correctly demonstrates the most important and sometimes dangerous reason for my love of Montana and fly fishing.  Because when I am driving through Rock Creek canyon, or when I am walking through the waist high grass to the Bitterroot, when I am lost in the comfortable rhythm of my cast, or when I am bringing a trout to briefly have a pretty horrible experience, I am also bringing something very wild to the surface,  I am forgetting the complications and the things that do not matter and remembering the things that do.  It is important for me because it has helped me cope with just about any problem I have ever faced in my "adult" life.  It  is dangerous because it has become something that I rely on.  Fly fishing for me is a way to learn from the wilderness rather than conquer it.  It is a personal way to know God through some of his most impressive creations.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I am confused as to the current rules on greetings.  Is a hand slap/slide still the socially acceptable acquaintance greeting?  I sure hope not.  I am not a fan of the slap, the slide nor the bump.  Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a solid handshake or hug to any of the previously mentioned greetings.  Last week I met a cute girl that tried to plant the european fake kisses on my cheek.  Needless to say I was incredibly flustered.  I made a huge mess of that whole situation.

    Put 'er there!  An internet picture of a properly done handshake between interracial sports enthusiasts

My parents were in town for the weekend so me and Jeff took the jaunt down to happy valley to hang out with them and some Provo friends.  For the most part it was a great time.  However, at times my parents decide to drop some facts on us that can frankly be a bit rattling.  My cousin just had a baby girl and we were driving to see it as the conversation naturally turned towards our own births.  During this talk my mom decided to tell us that at one point the doctors were almost sure that Jeff was going to be born with birth defects or mentally retarded.  No surprise there.  But then she also informed me that she had to have X-rays while pregnant with me and had some similar concerns.  Now, I am not so concerned about the possible retardation as the fact that at any moment I may have some kind of mutant powers manifest themselves.  There is little doubt that the X-rays have had a lasting effect and it is just a matter of time until I start seeing through walls, talking to animals and breathing underwater.  Whether or not these powers will be used for good or evil remains to be determined.  I sure hope it is not the talking to animals one though, because that would sure make fishing a lot more traumatizing and personal.

On a slightly unrelated note, during this conversation I expressed my disinterest in watching any woman ever give birth, including my future wife.  These feelings all started when I saw a cow give birth as a boy and became very agitated when a green, mucous-covered placenta plopped out on the ground right after the slimy calf.  My mom, concerned that I was not looking forward to the whole birthing spectacle,  remarked: "if you can gut an elk, you can watch your wife give birth"  Which has to be about the most disgusting comparison ever made and I am ten times less excited to be in the delivery room.

Monday, January 17, 2011

PIne Pants, a Gentlemanly Pursuit

This picture is incredibly intriguing.

How did this dinosaur get there?  What is he doing in the house?  Is he napping?  I like to think that the most likely situation is that the dinosaur snuck inside, quickly ate the residents, and just got a little tired after his meal and decided to take a nap upstairs.   But who knows if that is the story that goes with this picture.  All I know is that I like it.

Throughout the history of the world, mankind has participated in different competitive events.  Some of these events and sports slowly gained more and more prestige and were considered to be the pursuits of the refined and sophisticated.  Polo, Tennis, Golf, Fox-Hunting, Pistol Dueling, Fencing and others are commonly regarded as some of the more civilized athletic contests.  Today, I wish to submit an addition to this list: Pine Pants

Pine pants is a game that was invented by my younger brother Jeffrey and my cousin Brent.  It is a two person game and it is genius.  The rules of the game are as follows:
First, each competitor picks about six ponderosa pine cones.  Ponderosa cones are used because of their density and specifically because of the sharp spines that are found on the outsides of the rather large cones.
Brutal Cones

Participants are encouraged to search for the pine cones that are heaviest and sharpest, as it will pay dividends throughout the competition.  Once the cones have been gathered, each competitor will put on the official uniform of the game which consists of a pair of basketball shorts and several rubber bands.  The rubber bands will then be placed around the leg openings of the shorts while the gentleman is wearing them, effectively sealing the shorts.  The shirt is removed, and gameplay begins.

The player on the defense will pull the waist of their shorts out, stretching the elastic and creating a basket area.  Then, the other contender will carefully choose from their pine cones and lob their chosen cone through the air with the intent of landing it in the shorts of the other participant where it will be stopped from falling out by the previously mentioned rubber bands.  The goal of the game is to land the highest number of cones in the pants of the other competitor, potentially harming their genitals in the process.  At times, a gentleman will hurl the pine cone with great force at the chest of the other individual in order to cut them and throw off their concentration.  Once all cones have been landed, a penalty is carried out by the person who has the highest number of pine cones residing in their shorts.

This penalty can be excruciatingly painful for the gentleman who has the misfortune of losing.  Common penalties include a number of consecutive summersaults, jumps or rolls with a cluster of pine cones still held tight to your nether-regions.  Men are separated from boys during these grueling penalties.

                                                             A Game In Progress

Pine Pants has become an honorable tradition around the Larson home, one that is held in the highest esteem.   Champions are praised and adored while the loser is scorned.  Should you choose to play at home, please do your best to maintain the noble spirit and dignified tradition of the game.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It has been a while.  In fact, we completely missed the entire month of October.  For that I apologize.  Montana has had a tight hold on my heart these last few months and I have shirked some of my other responsibilities.  I shirked them good and proper.  Montana will do that to a manboy.

This picture is awesome.

 If my kids ever pull hijinks like this, I am going to have a hard time telling them to stop because I will be jealous of their lack of restraint.  And I will be laughing too hard.  

Kids are pretty stupid, but they are my favorite kind of people.  Some of my favorite pictures I have seen are of kids doing things that no adult would ever dare.  The kid in the picture above saw a pig nose and wanted to lick it.  It was wet and shiny and looked like something that needed to be tasted.  Was the child pleased with the results?  Was his pigsicle all he dreamed it to be?  We can't tell from this picture and that is what makes it so awesome.

Wolves are currently big news in Montana.  We seem to have way too many and they are eating up all of the animals that hunters like to shoot.  When I heard about this problem, I was thrilled because wolves are one of the only animals brave enough to kill a moose.  More wolves meant less moose, and substantially safer forests.  However, I had SEVEN different moose encounters this summer.  Seven.  That may be a new record for me.  These wolves are obviously doing a poor job, or they just found easier fodder.  Whatever the case, I would like to make a plea to all wolves that may be reading this blog.  Please kill more moose.  Kill them all if you would like.  I will be forever grateful.  With that, I will leave you with some more pictures of kids doing stupid stuff.

Ok, so that last one is not a kid, but obviously some kind of hobbit dancing with the neighborhood cat.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poverty, Part 2

Sorry Mom.
I sell photos in our local farmer's market.  Most of the booths have some sort of tent or large umbrella to help shade the vendors, mine does not.  So the other day my mom comes in with the good news that she had salvaged an umbrella from the neighbor's. . . trash.  I was excited until a 20 second inspection revealed that this umbrella was completely destroyed.  Almost every fiberglass rod was shattered and seconds into my inspection, I had shards of fiberglass in my fingers.  When I told my mom that it was no good, she replied that I should just fix it because "new ones are $20 at Costco."   I  gently reminded my mom that we were no longer poor and could afford a 20 dollar umbrella. which reignited the whole debate once again.

Before presenting further evidence, I do feel it necessary to once again reiterate that I had a fantastic childhood.  If I can give my kids half of the experiences that I had as a kid, I know they will be ok.  My family no longer is poor, but we were poor growing up.  Or maybe we had money and did not spend any of it.  I have complied some more evidence to help me in the debate.  Click on the pictures for larger versions.


This is something that we have already covered a bit in Poverty Part 1, but a halloween is a time for the poor to really shine.  Now, my mom argues that we decided on these costumes on our own, but the pure fact is that kids are stupid.  We wanted nice expensive costumes but forgot about it when it came to deciding.  This is all because of the way we were asked:  "Wes, do you want a HOMEMADE COSTUME!!!!   Or that dinosaur one in the store?"  I have always been easily talked into things, and the proper emphasis on a certain sentence could make us dress up in just about anything.  And here is the proof:

I guess I should have considered myself lucky, because we hit a new low this year:

            No little boy wants to be a witch for halloween

Here is a nice example.  My guess is that Cyrus is a ninja turtle.  My other guess is that is magic marker on his face.  My other guess is that his costume cost approximately 3 dollars to construct.

Thats 3 dollars more than this skeleton costume costs.  Why you may ask?  Because that costume was actually an old halloween wall decoration that got stapled to my shirt.  Recycling, completely free.  Lets not forget the infamous cat costume.

Halloween is not the only holiday that really brings the poverty out in people.   Here is another glaring proof of our financial troubles.

                Decorating the Christmas "Plant"

My parents saved the ten bucks they would have spent on a tree by just turning our dining room plant into one.  Truly prosperous times for the Larson family.

Family Trips:

Rich people go on nice trips and take their kids.  My parents could afford a trip to Hawaii.  They could not afford to take us.  Here is a little gem of a letter that I wrote mom and dad while they were in Hawaii.

It should be noted that in later years they took my childhood advice and went to Australia as well, once again without their children.


My father is no artist.  Nor does he excel at cutting hair.  What he does excel at is giving bowl cuts, and that is because they are the cheapest and easiest haircut to perform.  When I was five, I wanted a rat-tail haircut but did not get one.  You know you are poor when you cannot even afford a white trash haircut.  Here are some classic shots that illustrate our fine hairstyles.

               My mom really should have hid this one better

Hard Labor:

Almost every kid has chores.  Poor kids have jobs.  We started mowing the lawn from the time we were eight.  Jeff started practicing even earlier.   They bought him a lawnmower toy?!  That is like purchasing a toy sewing machine for an infant in malaysia.  It is trickery.

 "Those fields are not going to till themselves boys, now put on your diapers and get to work"


About once a month growing up we would go out to eat, generally on my Grandma's dime.  Where did we go every single time?  The Sizzler.  The Sizzler is an amazing place to a poor child.  "Wait, so your telling me I get to have chicken nuggets, nachos, pizza AND ice cream?!  This place is unreal!"  But the general excitement over endless food is not what proves our poverty.  The icing on this cake is what Cyrus and I would do after eating our meal.  After finishing our food and ice cream, we would carefully stuff as many gummi bears as possible into a napkin, sometimes several napkins, and stash them away in our pockets.  We would then save these bears for weeks, carefully savoring each one.  If that is not the act of a desperate poor child, I do not know what is.  Candy in our house consisted of chocolate chips and lemon drops, and both of these treats were strictly rationed.  My mom once made a decorative ghost out of fabric and a sugar paste...I used to lick that thing like it was an effing lollipop.

    The ghost in question.  No doubt damp from my determined slobber 


The greater part of my life, we owned a nintendo 8 bit system.  When other friends naturally upgraded to the super nintendo, sega, nintendo 64 and so on.  We stayed resolute with our original nintendo.  When begged to purchase a new system, the answer always was "Why would we buy another nintendo?  We already bought one."  If this has ever been your answer to your kids, you may or may not be poor.

  There is the nintendo proudly displayed in the back.  Jeff is most likely begging for food here.

This next picture does nothing to prove our poverty.  But it is strangely terrifying.

Well, for now I have exhausted my resources as far as the debate goes.  Although I am certain that further evidence will surface in the future.  For the record, I would once again like to say that I had the best childhood... but we were poor, mom.

P.S. When discussing our poverty recently with my mom, I brought up the fact that we lived in a trailer.  To which she replied "a really nice trailer".

Monday, August 16, 2010


There have been many times in my life that I have wondered what my ideal pet would be.  Found it:

So my last post was more true that I thought, well at least the hanging out in the mountains part.  Montana has not allowed for much time to devote to myotherblogisyourmom.  But a recent jaunt to utah reminded me of my responsibilities, so here you go.

#1:  Butter Rum Life Savers
Possible the most divisive candy ever created.  Generally, people either despise or love these controversial treats.  I am of the latter group and generally tend to lose my inhibitions around a pack of butter rums.  My gay friend Grant Barnes also feels the same way, which is one of the reasons that our friendship has remained so strong over the years.  That and our yearly trip up to a secluded spot in the mountains together... but I digress.   Mr. Barnes used to bring a pack of these candies to our classes together and we would generally down the whole thing in one sitting.  Which leads me to a huge complaint.

The 1.4 ounce "roll" of butter rum lifesavers can be found in almost any supermarket or convenience store.  This roll generally costs around a dollar or more and lasts me approximately seven seconds.  In short, the roll is far too expensive.  Whereas, the much larger  6.5 ounce pack of BR lifesavers costs around 3 dollars and often lasts much longer.  Only three bucks for six times the candy.

        This picture accurately demonstrates the proportional differences between the roll and the pack.

 Why the price discrepancy lifesavers?!  The big pack is literally impossible to find in Missoula and I am often forced to buy the insufficient, vastly overpriced rolls.  This kind of injustice needs to be remedied.  Either more companies need to start selling the pack, or the price on the rolls needs to drop big time.  But the fact remains that I am in severe deficit here in Montana.  If you happen to cross a pack in your travels, send it to me.  Steal it if you have to.   I will do my best to make it worth your while.

Wesley Larson
4150 Birdie Court
Missoula Montana 59803

#2:  An Important Question
No doubt that at one time or another in your life you have asked yourself how many kindergarteners you could defeat in a fight at once.  This question has been rattling around in my head for sometime now.  I am fairly certain that I could handle at least a hundred.  Now there are a lot of factors that come into play here.  Some argue that once they began biting, the fight would swing in a different direction.  However, I am fairly certain that this would just infuriate me to a level where I would inflict some pretty serious damage.
Another point that has been brought up in the debate goes something like this "oh, well when I wrestle with my little cousins (nephews, brothers, etc..) they really hurt me sometimes."  But there is a simple explanation for this.  It is because you never actually fight with these young children because you cannot, you just lay there and let them jump on you.  If you were actually defending yourself, I feel like fighting of a horde of 5 year olds would be similar to battling a pack of rabbits.  One hit and they are done.  This leads me to believe that my "number" lies somewhere in the triple digits.
If they came staggered, like ten at a time, I think the only thing that would limit your "number" would be breaks to sleep and eat.  Someone needs to do this for a TV show or documentary.  Most likely in a foreign country.  Feel free to comment and weigh in on this critical debate.

Arnold could have handled at least a thousand of those kids. . . if you could ever get him to stop playing that ukulele.

So basically, these are the two topics I have been thinking about for the last month and a half.  That and fishing.  A lot of fishing.  I am going to be bringing you a moose update in a few days, and it is not pretty.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This is quite possibly the best picture ever posted on the internet.

There is just so much going on.  People are ducking and flailing their arms in order to avoid the rogue bat that so quickly entered their universe and one man to the left is literally using his baby as a shield.  The man that is taking the bat to the face is doing so like a champ.  His arms remain tranquil and motionless at his sides as though in the split second he had before impact he decided that his face would be best to bear the brunt of this one.  And you have to admire his commitment to that ideal.  Almost as interesting, the slightly rotund redheaded girl in the foreground does not even seem to have noticed any kind of approaching danger as her attention seems to be fixed elsewhere.  This leads me to believe that this girl either is pondering something earth-shattering or is blind.

   Tonight is a big night for Utah Jazz Basketball, which I have become an avid fan of.  My evolution into a sports fan has been a slow one.  Even as I write this, I can still taste the martinelli's that I chugged out of the bottle and sprayed all over my teammates after we clinched the victory in our bowling league championships with a strike in the tenth frame.  Not to mention the fact that I am mentally preparing myself  for a double header softball game tonight for our undefeated intramural team.  But you may be surprised to know that I have not always been so dominant in the realm of semi-leisurely sports.  In fact, when I was a young boy it was quite the different story.

My earliest memory of sports was being forced to play little league when I was about 7 or 8.  I wanted to be out in the stream picking up rocks, catching frogs and chasing water skippers.  But my parents felt that instead I should be learning life lessons from a sadistic coach and a bunch of kids that seems to already be roiding.  My stint in little league was short lived, I think my parents finally decided that it was not worth the effort when I would just sit down in the grass in right field every game and play with bugs.    No amount of yelling or coaching could make me get up.  I was making my stand and I did it well.  I was subsequently talked into playing other organized sports, all of which I failed miserably at (except for street hockey, in which I represent a dominant force to this day)  I played city basketball with my dad as coach and I think I only made one bucket the entire season.  Im pretty sure this kid knows how I feel when I think about middle school basketball.

  In high school I wrestled for three years and while I was pretty decent at it, I hated every minute of it.  Tennis was my next foray and I'm pretty sure that is where things changed for me.  I finally found a sport I loved and soon I started even embracing other sports of all kinds.  I even like watching them on TV, a fact which my mom and several girlfriends have despised.  As summer approaches, I literally get giddy thinking about the softball season.  I am rambling.  I like sports.  I wish I knew what that little girl was thinking about.