Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grandma Fix

I got my grandma fix over the weekend.  I was originally going to go two weekends ago but a storm came through and they were busy. 

I left town on Saturday morning and had a beautiful drive.  I got to Meeteetse at lunch time.  I had to call when I was in Cody so that Mom could get lunch ready.  My job was to help them eat up Thanksgiving leftovers.

It was a nice weekend just to visit.  We didn't go to town for anything.  Grandma is just getting over a touch of the stomach flu so she had no energy to do anything.

It was trying to snow on Sunday so I left after lunch.  Grandma told me to get on the road before it go too bad.  I also wanted to get home before dark to avoid the deer.  I did come home with some stuff, two crocks and two commemorative whiskey bottles and some books.

I did run into snow between Meeteetse and Cody and then again just out of Cody.  Ran into rain from Clark to Bridger.  Snow again about 10 miles from Hardin.  The snow was not bad yet and very light.  The roads were just wet but by nightfall it was snowing pretty good in Hardin and roads were slick and icy.  Glad I got home when I did.

I hope to make another trip for a short visit in January sometime.  It will have to be after our Hawaii trip, this way I will have pictures to show.

Friday, November 23, 2012

HOG Secretary Again!

Sunday was our chapter HOG meeting and the White Elephant Auction.  It was also the meeting where officers are elected or in this case who ever said yes.  This year the officer positions up for election were Director, Secretary and Membership.  I am doing another term for secretary which is two years but I'm term limited this time.  We have a new director as our old one was term limited.  He sure did appreciate me driving from Hardin to the meetings and the very few that I missed.  I only missed those due to weather.

The White Elephant Auction meeting is one of our most attended.  During the winter we meet at Bones Brewery and the chapter buys the meat from Bones while members bring the side dishes.  Bones has new management and this is our last year of pot luck, they are going to want to have us buy our meal from them, which makes sense. 

During the year for every meeting or event that we attended we got a ticket.  For the riding meetings we got not only the meeting ticket but we also got a ticket for every 100 miles we rode to get to the meeting.  Also during the year we got an extra ticket for every 1000 miles.  As a passenger I get credit for 80% of Gary's 1000 miles.  This year we put on 7171 miles on the new bike.  We were amazed because we didn't go on any big trips, but all those little trips added up.  Every ticket was then but into a box and names were drawn for prizes.  Gary and I didn't win any of the prizes but it was fun.  Maybe next year. 

There were many items to auction off and I came home with a pair of Griz slippers.  They don't fit me but my original plan was to give them to one of the grandkids, but when I got home the slippers fit Jennifer and I haven't seen them since.

We had a good time, it always is when we get together with all our biker friends and we get to eat good food. Looking forward to a fun year ahead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall Fashion Show

Saturday I went to the Fall Fashion Show at the Fort Custer Golf Course.  This was a fund raiser for the golf course.  I only went because a friend gave me her ticket when she couldn't go.  Tickets were $30 a piece.

The event started at 3:00 pm and got over around 5:00 pm.  We were served hors dourves buffet style and punch.  Alcohol beverages were available for purchase.  There was also a silent auction and many door prizes. 

There were about 50-60 women there, so a good turn out.  The models were local women and the styles were very normal that you could wear here.  Nothing outlandish at all.  I have a coupon for a boutique that Jennifer may like.  They modeled clothes for all ages from young children all the way up to older women. 

We were to wear our favorite boots to the event, so I wore my Harley ones.  We had to runway model our boots to the song "These Boots Were Made for Walking" which was fun.  My boots didn't win, the winning pair of boots were some very colorful cowboy boots.

It was a fun afternoon and a nice way to spend a couple hours, but not really my thing.  The two women who organized this did a great job and alot of work went into it.  They want to make this an annual event.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The closing of the Sweetheart Bread bakery in Billings has saddened quite a few people around here.  It has impacted some people that we know.  The Hostess brand will probably be sold but it won't be the same.  The bread shelf at the IGA store is pretty empty today.  We can still get bread, just not alot of variety.  Glad I have a bread maker.

Stores in the area are scrambling to find another bread distributer, but don't know when shipping will start.  I think that the small town stores are going to suffer the most with the bread issue and if they can get bread, will be expensive to the consumer.  This is really going to hurt the mom & pop stores.

Anyway, I bought a package of Twinkies today.  I don't really like them but bought it just because.  Some other company may buy the brand but that won't be the same.  A lady in line behind me head that people are selling them on e-bay.  I will probably end up eating these.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Provisional Ballots

Tuesday we were able to count the provisional ballots.  These are ballots that people could cast and then had to wait to be verified before they could be counted.  This ranges from people moving from county to county or precinct to precinct.  This also included name changes and such. 

State law requires that the ballots can not be opened and counted until 3:00 pm.  Why that time, I don't know.  We had 70 ballots to count and there is a certain process to go through.  First there were two independent observers to watch the count.  They were from the group Western Native Voice.  Then there were four others, two to tally the votes, one to read out the votes and the election administrator. 

My boss Sandy was included in this, she is an elected official and the election administrator wanted one involved in this process.  I was one of the tally markers.

We didn't get done until 5:45 pm.  I didn't know that I would be in on this process so had to call Gary and tell him that I would be late in picking him up and I wouldn't know what time we would be done.  He managed to get a ride home after waiting for half an hour in the store's parking lot.  He could have walked to the court house and picked up my car.

We got done and all of our numbers matched which was a good thing or else we would have had to do it all over again.  Tuesday was not a good day because I have class at 6:30pm.

This count did not change any outcomes of the races in this county.  Now the state is gearing up for the statewide recount on the Office of Public Instruction race.  This recount won't be done until after Thanksgiving.  The state will schedule this and then all counties will have to hand count each ballot.  That is 5,000 ballots here. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Las Vegas Trip

Gary and I had so much fun last year on our trip that we decided to take another one this year.  We booked this trip back in March and it was the first time we have booked a trip on the internet.  This trip was through Expedia and we think we got a pretty good deal out of it.  For the two of us with air and motel is was $885.

We flew Frontier Airlines this time which took us from Billings to Denver to Las Vegas and back.  At the time of booking I was able to pick out seats but was not allowed to chose seats next to each other on the flight from Billings to Denver on both legs.  We were able to chose next to each other on the Denver to Las Vegas legs.  I was told that usually when this happens the airlines fix it by the time your have to check in.

We left on Friday the 2nd and returned home on Tuesday the 6th.  I printed out our boarding passes the night before and sure enough we were together on the Billings to Denver leg.  We had good times, left Billings at 10:20 am and arrived in Las Vegas at 3:00 pm.  We had a two hour layover in Denver which gave us time to find our gate and get a drink.  All of our flights were on time and we breezed through security.  We also just had carry on bags, no checked bags. Our luck was with us before we left Billings, the long term parking lot was full and we had to park in the overflow lot.  Didn't have to pay for parking, but had to walk a long ways to the terminal.

The Las Vegas airport had built a new terminal since last year which we arrived.  Found the shuttle bus place and bought our tickets.  Learned our lesson from last year to make sure I got four tickets.  It was $26 round trip for the both of us.  All I had to do was call the day before to make arrangements for the pick up shuttle.

We got checked in to the hotel without any problems.  A big tour bus was in front of us and we managed to make our way to the registration desk in front of the tour group.  We were on the 22nd floor in Tower 1.  We didn't have a view of the strip, our view was the roof of the hotel.  We also signed up for a time share tour on Monday morning.  These people were out and about last year but just ignored them, we though why not.  Had nothing to do on Monday morning anyway and just by going we got $100 worth of dinner coupons.

Send a message to Ed and he met us at the casino with Eden.  We took them out to dinner at the burger place then just walked around and visited.  Gary went up to the room to take a nap after dinner, so Ed, Eden and I checked out the casino.  When I checked in I was given a book with coupons.  There was a coupon for the game area and I let Eden have that.  He went home with a little prize.  Had a good visit.

Played a bit on the machines wasn't winning to I left.  Saturday morning Gary and I both placed bets on the college football games.  One game I was going to bet on was taken off the card, so had to pick another team.  Good thing because the team I was going to pick ended up losing that day.  I was so excited as I won $500 on my picks.  Gary also won $2100.  We lost on the football games on Sunday.  Oh well, that's how it goes.  Still was successful.  I told Gary that he has me hooked on sports betting.  It was exciting sitting there watching the games with all the other people.

Monday morning we went on the time share tour.  It was interesting and lasted about three hours.  We got some pastries and drinks had fun telling the salesperson no, we were not interested.  It would be a great program if you traveled alot which we don't.  We got our dinner coupons and went on our merry way.  We had $50 at the Excalibur and $50 at the MGM Grand.  It would have been better if they gave us cash, but still got some free meals.

In between times we walked up and down the strip.  It was fun watching people and we even stopped to watch a street magician.  He was pretty good, Gary enjoyed it enough to tip the guy.  Didn't make it up the whole strip really need a vehicle to see all the sights. We did walk further than we did last year.

Met up with Ed again on Sunday, we sat in the lounge at the Excalibur as they had a live band performing.  I bought Ed and I some beer and told him to drink every drop.  Beer was $11.89 for two during the first round.  Bought Ed and I another round and it was $13.89.  Since the band was performing there was a live entertainment tax.  That's all the drinking we did.

Tuesday morning we had to be ready for the shuttle by 5:30 am. We got our boarding passes printed and this time we were not sitting together on the Denver to Billings leg. Security was a bit harder this time.  I didn't have a problem, but Gary had to go back several times.  The first time he had his truck keys in his pocket so back he went to take them out, the second time the machine didn't like his glasses in his shirt pocket or the papers that he had in his pants pocket.  I wondered what happened to him as he was right behind me.  He finally made it through.  We got to Denver and he couldn't find his truck keys.  We went through everything.  He had left them in the little bowl at the Las Vegas airport.  No problem since we get into Billings at 2:30 we can just go to the Nissan dealer and get a new key.  I had my truck key with me. The flight to Billings was not full and the seat next to me was empty so Gary was able to sit with me anyway.

We had so much fun again that we are planning on going again next year.  I have posted my photos onto Picasa.  Didn't take my big camera, too much to carry without a checked bag so the photos were taken with my cell phone.  Not the best quality especially the night and lounge photos.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This year I have been working part time in the elections office.  About a year ago the county commissioners separated elections from the clerk and recorders office, so a new positon was created for the election administrator.  This jobs runs the elections plus takes care of the phone system and computer system.  It is an office of one person.

Back in April the election administrator asked if I could help stuff envelopes for the primary election as she had to get her absentee ballots mailed out.  No problem I can sit at my desk and stuff envelopes.  This is what I get for helping.  The commissioners asked my boss and I if I would be willing to help out in the elections office for this election cycle.  It was no problems as long as I got all my work for the schools done first.

Gary and I had booked a trip to Las Vegas for November so I would not be available to work on election night in November. 

Most of my time is spent entering registered voters into the system and updating voter information.  I have access to everything on my computer in my office.  Works out well as my office is very quiet and not so busy, so I can get a bunch of registrations entered.  A whole different story in the elections office.

As it got closer to election time I worked part time for the schools and the other part for elections. Made for very fast days, especially when we had to get the absentee ballots out.  Fortunately we were able to at least prep all the envelopes about a week ahead, then just insert the ballots.  It went smooth, only about 150 to get ready at the last minute.  Had to get the regular absentee ballots out on Oct. 9.

After Oct. 9, then the elections office had to stay open from 8-5, worked out good.  My mornings were spent with schools, then afternoons spent in elections.  It was pretty steady the first half of October, then the last half things were really busy.

Three counties in Montana were sued by a group because the counties wouldn't open up satellite offices for late registrations and people picking up their ballots.  Big Horn, Rosebud and Blaine Counties were sued in federal court.  The election administrator here had to prepare for that so I worked many hours in elections.  For the two days while she was in federal court, I worked the office.  The judge dismissed the case based on the fact that nothing was proved in court that votered were disenfranchised.  The was the week before the election.  All that is left is to verify the provisional ballots and get the canvass done.

It sure has been a learning experience and I learned alot about the behind the scenes in elections.  Hopefully the county will hire another person for elections (not me).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Party

Last Saturday Gary and I were invited to a Halloween Party at our friend Dean & Lynn's.  They host the annual Halloween and St. Patrick's Day parties at their house.  They live in Rehberg Ranch by the airport.  Lynn makes crocks full of delicious chili and we all bring side dishes.  I took cinnamon rolls.

We missed the party last year since we were in Las Vegas.  Felt bad about missing it but when we planned our trip we didn't think about the party.  Lynn felt bad because many people didn't go to her party.

This is a costume party and this year we went low key.  We dressed up at tae kwon do people wearing our old uniforms.  I took my sais and Gary had num chuks.  A few people dressed up.  We had a couple witche's, three hippies, a demon, a gangster,a vampire, a devil, a ghost, a leaf blower and one couple came with candies.  She was smartie pants and he was dum dum.  She had the smartie candies sewed on her pants and he had the dum dum suckers on his shirt. A few didn't dress up.

We had a good time, as always with our biker friends.  It is nice to get together during the non-riding season.  Many desserts to chose from and all the food was delicious. 

I took some photos, but got busy visiting that I didn't get everyone so will have to "borrow" from Lynn.  She got photos of the couples but she hasn't posted them up yet. 

I decided that next year we need to go out for costumes.  The first year we went I was a flapper and Gary was a gangster.  I'm floating around the idea of Cleopatra and Marc Antony.