The thoughts of a writer.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

West Wilkie

Today I hiked the West Wilkie unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It was a nice day in the middle twenties (Fahrenheit). It was warm enough, but I fell through the ice on my crossing from one side to the other. My solution was to keep moving to generate heat. Eventually, the strain of going through all of that new snow made my left knee ache. I was happy when I got to my car three hours later.

I saw some six to eight Bald Eagles, six swans, lots of ducks including Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes. I saw a lot of assorted woodpeckers, and seen the kill-site where one lost its life. Another interesting feature of this area is the hundreds of Robins that winter in the mud from the discharge of the Blue Lake Waste Treatment Plant.

Here are a few pictures.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas

With every Christmas gathering this year there was snow. This morning it is still snowing...

Still, if you can avoid driving, it is spectacular!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cutris Caught on Security Camera

Cutris Caught on Security Camera
UnAssociated Press
December 19, 2007

This security camera picture shows Cutris heading into the weight room just after 7:00 AM CST, for a brief workout before his shift (which starts at 7:15 AM CST).

Cutris was seen leaving the weight room a few minutes later, to begin his shift working as a Technical Assistant. That picture was as boring as this one, so it was not included here.

Despite capturing presidential candidate Cutris on the security cameras, there was nothing out-of-the-ordinary to report.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Vikings Win Five-in-a-Row!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crib Issues

A student at the alternative learning center was sitting in the PC lab with a big can of something this morning. He tried to ignore me when I told him to get rid of it. I repeated, "Hey! No food in the PC lab."

He informed me that he had a name and it wasn't "hey."
I repeated that he needed to get rid of the can.
He got up, used the "F" word and told me "don't mess with the crib, dog."

I guess maybe he had some childhood issues and they might have even involved a crib and a dog. He was at least 6' tall. One would think he could graduate to a "big boy" bed pretty soon and give up the crib.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Regarding the Mall Shooting yesterday in Omaha

Apparently another coward has decided to shoot unarmed people to death in a public place. Had he not done such a horribly cowardly thing, I might have considered him a tragic figure. Now I consider him a coward of the lowest sort.

There are lots of "suicide prevention" signs, literature and advocates. This is a good thing, and I can relate, having known several people who killed themselves –including my friend Steve who did it when we were both age 13.

That said, for anyone who wants to take others along down your road of death, do us all a favor and put the first bullet through your own brain. None of us are impressed by a coward who thinks he is "going out in style," by killing unarmed, innocent men, women and children.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Frustrated by Tech Help

I have been searching a state run website for years, to see what job opportunities are available. I am always amazed by how poorly it works, and by the way upgrades seem to make it less functional and less "user-friendly." When I ask for help or make comments on the feedback form, I'm always told everything is working fine. Here is a "sanitized" dialogue from today...

From: Job Bank
To: Cutris Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 07:42:28 -0600
Subject: Job Seeker Account - Feedback

Hello Cutris,
Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us. In regards to your e-mail about problems with our website; as far as we know everything is up and running. There was a rebuild last weekend and it should have improved searching according to zip codes, counties and words. If you are still having problems please call us at 555-555-5555 so we can discuss and identify the particular problem.

Job Bank

Cutris replied, 12/05/2007 8:01 AM

Sorry to tell you, since Monday I have not been able to do a
keyword search. I'm glad you think it is working, but rest assured
it is not. I have used the keyword search for a long time, and since
Monday it tells me that it has 'found no matches' to my criteria
(see attached jpg). I work in technology myself, so you might want
to try doing a keyword search yourself. Use multiple words
(separated by commas). If you are successful, then apparently my
account has been damaged somehow. I'm sorry I don't have time to
call and help you fix your software, but I have my own network to
keep running. Note* I can search with my resume' -which the format was screwed up really bad when uploaded (this has not changed).

From: Job Bank
To: Cutris
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 10:47:53 -0600
Subject: RE: Job Seeker Account - Feedback

Hello Cutris,

The keyword search was changed on a rebuild which occurred over the
If you will note on the attachment you sent us; every comma turned
into an 'and' it will search for all the requirements in the keyword
search. So, a job order must have 'every word' in it before it
will come up in the word search. We suggest you just put spaces
between words because it reads these as 'or' and will search for
single words in job orders.
If we can be of further assistance in the future please contact

From Cutris
To: Job Bank
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 11:14 AM

One thing you might try, is to test your "fix" before sending it out. I tried what you said, and used spaces between words. If you look at my attached jpg, the exact same thing happened and the program inserted the word "and" between each one.
Perhaps I need to put the word "or" between each one? I'll let you figure it out, because if that's the case you will need to explain that somewhere on the website.
Good luck.

No Response

From: Cutris
To: Job Bank
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 8:24 AM

After receiving no response since Wednesday regarding your site and the keyword search, I decided to try several configurations to see if it would work. Since your "upgrade," your keyword search now works with only one single word at a time. Prior to the "rebuild," it was able to accommodate a search with multiple words. Under these circumstances (i.e. the site working more poorly than previously), it would seem logical to retrograde back to the way it was before.


"Brian" got back to me telling me that it works again. I tried it, and it is much more cumbersome and allows for significantly less words to be used. By-the-way, they did have to use the "or" between words as was in my last response yesterday.

Cutris Crosses Pacific with his Johnson

Cutris Crosses Pacific with his Johnson
December 5, 2007
UnAssociated Press

Leaving from Kaneohe, Oahu (Hawaii) on December 4, 2007, Cutris has apparently crossed the Pacific Ocean in less than two days, as he docked in San Francisco Bay Wednesday morning, December 5, 2007. He made the journey in a 15' Alumacraft boat, powered only by his Johnson.

The 6-hp Johnson outboard motor has been in the family for years, and according to Cutris, his Johnson functioned superbly for the entire trip.

"Most of the boat contained 2-cycle gas, and food and water for the trip," said Cutris. "It was a little scary at times, but my Johnson pulled me through."

When asked why he had attempted this dangerous crossing in such a small craft, Cutris replied, "I guess I've never considered the boat, or my Johnson to be that small. Both are very sturdy, and the experience was very pleasurable."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Urgent Message from Cutris for President Headquarters

December 3, 2007
RE: Urgent Message from Cutris for President Headquarters

Cutris for President Headquarters would like to announce that Cutris has accepted the nomination of the Cutris Party, for President in the November 2008 election.

At a press conference today in Eagan, MN, Cutris answered questions and played a song about chocolate chip cookies on his guitar. When he was asked about accepting the nomination, he said, "yes."


Man Condemned for Naming Butt "Mohammad"

Man Condemned for Naming Butt "Mohammad"
December 3, 2007
UnAssociated Press

A British surgeon traveling abroad in the Sudan met with hostilities as he tried to teach good hygiene to Sudanese children. Dr. Ian Bumm apparently uses a polystyrene buttocks to demonstrate proper wiping techniques to children in third world countries. To help to get the children to pay attention, Dr. Bumm starts out by allowing the children to name the false bottom. One particular group of mostly Muslim children in the Sudan chose the name "Mohammad."

Even though Dr. Bumm convinced the children to name the fake butt, "Donald," Muslim religious leaders around the world called for his immediate execution. As a result, Dr. Bumm decided that he would actually go ahead and name the foam buttocks, "Mohammad."

The action has caused a backlash of flag burning, chanting and shooting in the air, as those who were offended demanded that everyone be killed and then jailed. Dr. Bumm fled to the British embassy and narrowly escaped from a Sudanese vigilante group by the skin-of-his-ass.

Related stories,

Briton pardoned in Sudan Islam insult