Independent Merchants 2016-17

The Wrecking Crew

Week #4 –  18/17 (Points won/lost)

  • (150) Mr. Pink-{124}-{201}-{125}=450 {150} Even
  • (170) Lenny-{146}-{163}-{170}=479 {159} -21
  • (162) Ruben-{176}-{159}-{150}=485 {161} -1
  • (171) Tod-{164}-{191}-{176}=531 {177} +4
  • (198) James-{181}-{172}-{159}=512 {170} -28

Week #5 – 25/10 (Points won/lost)

  • (150) Mr. Pink-{147}-{132}-{138}=417 {139} -11
  • (167) Lenny-{172}-{144}-{143}=459 {153} -14
  • (157) Ruben-{168}-{159}-{156}=483 {161} +4
  • (173) Tod-{137}-{167}-{201}=505 {168} -5
  • (164) Brian-{166}-{201}-{139}=506 {168} +4


Week #6 – 9/26 (Points won/lost)

  • (164) Brian-{171}-{185}-{150}=506 {168} +4
  • (164) Lenny-{100}-{136}-{130}=366 {122} -42
  • (-) Ruben-Absent
  • (172) Tod-{157}-{132}-{166}=455 {151} -21
  • (191) James-{203}-{182}-{200}=585 {195} +4


Week #7 – 16/19 (Points won/lost)

  • (148) Mr. Pink-{213}-{144}-{159}=516 {172} +24
  • (157) Lenny-{148}-{145}-{169}=462 {154} -3
  • (158) Ruben-{129}-{116}-{168}=413 {137} -21
  • (168) Tod-{152}-{174}-{157}=483 {161} -7
  • (192) James-{195}-{258}-{201}=654 {218} +26

My apologies for not getting this out sooner. I have been swamped with many many things (as most of you can understand) and am just now getting to work on this.

As you can see we have been right in the middle of the road winning 68 and losing 72 points in the last 4 weeks. Combined with the first three weeks of bowling we now stand with 112/98 and ties us in 7th place. What does this mean to us going into the 8th and final week of the quarter; it means that we square off against the other team in 7th place in this, the position round, and with some luck we will make it into the top  six teams for some bonus money. I believe the top six teams will get some bonus cash plus money per point won like all teams are getting.

In other news, the lanes seem to be somewhat tacky on the approach. Normally they would allow for a smoother slide but almost every throw has me sticking. This has been mentioned to me by several other bowlers so I know it is real and not just my shoes having some moisture on the souls. I am hoping that because everything is new it is just a matter of time before the approach evens out and allows for a nice even slide. On a side note; last week I stuck so much with my left foot (the foot right-handed bowlers slide with) on one ball that I almost fell forward onto the lane. It was only thanks to my cat-like ninja skills and balance that allowed me to avoid stepping over the foul line and save the ball, which turned out to be a strike.

In general we all have been struggling in the long run although Linus started off on fire has cooled off temporarily. Hoping to see that same fire this week. I feel good about my equipment being all squared away and ready to punish the pins.

I think I will leave it there. I will try to make sure I get this ut in a more timely manner moving forward…no promises however! 😉

Peace be with you!

More to come…


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Yellowstone – Geysers and Mud Volcanos and Paint Pots…Oh My – Day 6 (Oct 13th)

Today was a little bit of clean-up in terms of seeing a few more places that we hadn’t got to earlier in the week.

We went through Firehole Canyon Drive on our way to Lower Geyser Basin where we did a walk-about to Fountain Paint Pot.
We continued on to Biscuit Basin  where we walked around another loop that encircled many of the key landscape features.

Made our way North around West Thumb to Pumice Point where we had a nice picnic alongside the waters edge.

We continued around the lake taking Gulf Point Drive to Bridge Bay. Afterwards we hit up LaHardys Rapids where we took a short walk along Yellowstone River.

Churning Cauldron from James Nutt on Vimeo.

Continuing onward we headed to Mud Volcano where we walked to Black Cauldron. This isn’t actually Black Cauldron,  but Churning Cauldron, a wicked continually roiling pool of water and mud.

Close Encounters… from James Nutt on Vimeo.

Along the way on Hayden Valley all traffic stopped in front of us due to these guys. It was amazing and totally scared the crap out of me. I just imagined one of these guys turning on our car and ramming it or me.

We finally make our way to Norris Geyser Basin, one of the last places we wanted to see but hadn’t been able to do so until now.

Headed back to the hotel and we once again stopped by bison crossing the road as well as seeing more elk off the side of the road.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Yellowstone National Park – Day 5 (Oct 12th)

Today was a bit of a busy day, although not the busiest we have planned for thus far, that comes tomorrow. 😉  We officially woke up by the 8-ish o’clock hour and systematically took care of all our needs – breakfast and the like before we walk to the parking lot to see frost on the top of the car and our water-bottles we left in the car…frozen nearly all the way through. Sweet!

Almost every day we were greeted by this handsome fellow and a bevy of beauties in the field just off the road.

We stop off and get gas just to be on the safe side and the day officially begins. We decide to make a shorter day of it partly in preparation for the long day we are going to have tomorrow and partly because I needed some more time in the evenings to write and because I am old.

We make our way past Madison and Norris and head for Canyon Village where we will be visiting the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook and the Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone. It was all about seeing geysers and mud-pools and every other crazy thing along the way we could visit. If we saw a critter we stopped. If we saw an interesting landscape feature…we stopped. It was all about seeing as much as possible.

It is really hard to explain the magnitude of all the impressive scapes we saw. I will let the pictures do the talking for me much more than my prattling on.

One of the first stops we made was at Gibbons Falls. The first pic on this post.

Next we stopped by Beryl Springs (this might have been my favorite pic of the day). The hot spring spouts steam all the time and coats the surrounding trees with the vapor. This is all well and good and during the day you don’t notice anything except maybe wet needles. During this time of year when things freeze at night. You get this effect in the morning before it has a chance to melt off. I imagine during the winter it sticks around all the time but as it isn’t winter…yet, we got to view this during the only time you can, in the morning.

We eventually made our way to Artists Paint Pots – many multi-colored pools as well as a few that spouted mud. It was cold out but we managed the entire circuit around this stop.

Later on we stopped at a nice open field for lunch. No else was around although we were kept company by a rather large and inquisitive crow. He was quite talkative too and edged ever closer whenever we let him.

We continued our trek around South Rim, North Rim, Upper Falls, Lookout Point, Grand View finally ending up at Washburn Hot Springs Overlook.

This is such a great view. One of thousands we have seen.

Peace be with you!
More to come…

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Yellowstone…at last! – Day 4 (Oct 11th)

We started the day by going out to breakfast at a really nice local place called Cafe Genevieve. It was a nice change of pace from eating hard boiled eggs for breakfast, which I had been doing the last several mornings. Jessica had huevos rancheros and I had biscuits and cajun gravy with a side of potatoes. Delicious!.

After breakfast we made our way from Jackson Hole in Wyoming and then drove into West Yellowstone, Montana. Along the way we stopped off at many areas to view the scenery and much of the wildlife that you might expect to see in Yellowstone such as buffalo, elk, wolves to name a few.

We also took time to stop in at the visitor center in Moose, Wyoming located in the Tetons. It was amazing. So much of the history, conservation practices of so many people so that we can enjoy all of this is sobering. I am humbled to see the amount of effort these people have gone through so that folks like me and my wife can visit when we want to.

During our journey today we managed to find a really secluded area that was at least a mile off the highway and once stopped and we were out of the car was so quiet. I think I have only experienced this kind of quiet before and that was when Jessica and I visited White Sands, New Mexico. It is deathly quiet. It was like that here too. Peaceful with just a hint of hyper-awareness of your surroundings lest a bear come upon us unawares.

After a bit of a drive, we stop off at one of the many geyser stops within Yellowstone (near our vicinity). It of course started to snow. Not to be daunted by mother-nature, we walk the wooden foot path that takes you around all of the guysers. It was amazing, if not cold as hell.

We continued our journey and eventually make our way to Old Faithful. This is really the epitome of this section of Yellowstone. There is a massive resort setup for the tourists and campers, more wooden foot-bridges and all the while with wild life just hanging out. We saw more buffalo and a wolf while making our way around all the other geysers not named “Old Faithful.” Oh, and I have to say this, we walked within 15-20 feet of a buffalo. Not that I recommend doing this but it had held the path hostage that we needed to use to get back to the parking lot. It came to a point after some minutes of the MASSIVE animal grazing the delectable grass on the opposite side of the path that a group of tourists, including ourselves, decide to quickly, calmly and quietly walk past the animal. We thought it was a big deal but he didn’t seem too impressed. I would be remiss if I didn’t show a pic of “Old faithful” here it is.

Who says bison don’t share the walk-way? from James Nutt on Vimeo. The video above was either going to be really exciting or maybe the last I ever record had things gone differently.

We we started back on the road finally deciding to make our way to our resort in West Yellowstone, we have our car stopped, traffic in both directions actually, by a large grizzled grey wolf. That was his coloring not necessarily his breed. He was taking his time crossing the road apparently keeping company with a smaller white/grey wolf walking a long the small river in the distance some 100 yards.

We also managed to see an elk cow and her young a bit later closer to the town we were heading to for the night. That was sweet.

Once in the town, we stop in at grocery store for some needed provisions…and alcohol for the next 3 days. That’s how they do in Montana – selling booze with the groceries. I love it.

Finally make it to our resort and crash for the night, left over Thai food for dinner in one hand and a cocktail in the other.Couldn’t find the Cubs vs SF Giants on t.v. so we are streaming it through Jessica’s phone. Go Cubs!

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Yellowstone is in sight! But first – The Tetons – Day 2 (Oct 9th)

Id like to start off by stating that this morning whilst I was adding pictures to the three blog posts I had ready but hadn’t added pics to yet, I accidentally published the 2nd of the posts, putting the first two out of order by a day. If you can move past that inconsistently, I think the rest of the posts are in order and will be to your liking.

A few corrections from my previous days’ post. I believe I made the point that we were traveling through Idaho for much of the day. That was actually not true; we were traveling through Oregon only just getting into Idaho late yesterday. So my comparison about the two states was actually me saying Oregon was much like…Oregon when it was all said and done. Helps to know what you’re talking about when talking about it. My apologies for the inaccuracies.

Today we edge a bit closer to our ultimate destination, Yellowstone National Park. We have crossed thru Idaho and are staying a couple nights in Wyoming after two long days of driving.

For much of the day we were in rolling hills containing lots of farms. Corn was much in evidence as well as greens of some kind, maybe kale. I saw truck-loads of onions but no fields indicating that is where they were being grown. There was also many farms dedicated to just growing hey and alfalfa as hill after hill had bails set neatly in rows waiting to be picked up by the bail collector. It was amazing seeing so much of the freeway scenery being dedicated to agriculture.

Early in our travels today we did see a herd of about maybe a dozen elk right alongside the road. Aside from that herd, we only saw avians; a single bald eagle, many hawks and crows as well as a few magpies.

So, for much of the day we spent alongside the Snake River. It is a slow meandering river as the name would suggest. At one point we stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho to take a break and what better place to do it at than this bridge. The view is spectacular. It stands about 200 feet above the water and has a walking path for a better a view underneath.

During the day as we sometimes do when we have some driving to do, we stopped off for coffee at a local place. We were getting some iced Mexi-mochas. The lady at the counter informed us that the chocolate powder that they use for their Mexi-mochas was not good for iced drinks. All of us sat there thinking about how to make this happen given our limited choices. They suggested Ghiridelli chocolate sauce. We suggested cinnamon syrup and they came up with cayenne powder for some bite. They mixed it all up and it was fantastic!

We continued the drive and stopped off to have lunch at Murtaugh Lake. After lunch we started the last leg of the day by heading to I-84 to I-86 to I-15. Then we went east on 26 through Swan Valley and Palisades, ID and Alpine, WY to Jackson (Hole), WY. We stayed at the Flat Creek Inn, just outside of town.

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Grand Teton National Park – Day 3 (Oct 10th)

A quick recap from the previous day; we spent much of it driving, arriving at our destination of Jackson Hole Wyoming. After a long day of driving from Boise Idaho, we arrived, checked into our hotel just on the outside of town and got down to business; what was for dinner. Jessica had been checking out the local places for food before we arrived. We decided on Thai food. Always a good choice in my opinion. The town is small on the order of just under 10,000 population but still managed to have several Thai places as well as several alternative joints. It was so good.

Today was a great day. We spent it tooling around in the car going from one place to the next just experiencing Wyoming; specifically the Grand Teton National Park. As it was a national park, much of what we experienced was turn-outs and designated roads to scenic viewpoints.

What to say about what it is like experiencing all of this beautiful country – go and do it…NOW! You will never regret it and who isn’t better off seeing this wonderful country we live in? No one – that’s who. My wife and her family did many road trips as she was growing up. I never experienced that sort of thing, traveling largely to Mt. Hood about 60 miles away and once or twice we went to Bend. Nothing compares though to the experience of driving hundreds and hundreds of miles to a place you likely have just heard about or watched on t.v. For me, this has been an amazing trip so far and its not even half over yet!

I think we drove only about 80 miles in total but spent most of the day, right after breakfast, out and about. We saw a Moose in the city of Moose. We saw a herd of buffalo in Elk. We saw pronghorn antelope and either a coyote or fox in the fields that span either side of the roads that we travel going from place to today. We managed to see a tiny gartner snake and several large crows/ravens.

The unspoken and ultimate show-stealer today by far (in my opinion) was the Tetons. These majestic geological entities are a reminder just how amazing and diverse our landscape is. Earlier this year my wife and I were fortunate enough to visit the Canadian Rockies. There were similarities for sure but I think the Canadian Rockies were a bit taller, but both formations are amazing to see and should be visited if ever you get the chance.

I think I will just leave the post here until the next one tomorrow.
Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Yellowstone, here we come! – Day 1 (Oct 8th)

Today we headed out on another Road Trip! This time we are visiting Yellowstone National Park. The travel was good and in mostly clear weather with the occasional spits of rain showers. The clouds that formed during this time were exceptional and with the landscape being rolling hills for many many miles, sometimes we were forced to look up for the really excpetional pics. here are a few.


The sun and clouds had a little dance for most of the day.

The sun and clouds had a little dance for most of the day.


At the end of the first day we have made it to Boise Idaho. It was a long day of driving but as it has been said many times before, “It’s the journey not the destination.” I must say that I have to agree with that sentiment, although it was not always so. I used think that the activity that I was engaging in once I reached the destination was the real pay-off. This was most often observed when I would go camping. The idea was to hurry up and get to wherever we were going, set up the tents and gazebo(s) if necessary and then get out the games and drink of choice. I think that I have learned to appreciate the differences in geography and weather and the companionship of the ride. It has made a real difference in my travel experiences.

Another expressive and impressive look upwords

Another expressive and impressive look upwords

What can I say about Idaho; I think that there are a helluyva lot fewer trees, (which I miss) and there are more hills which I don’t miss. It seems much like Bend Oregon to me. In a lot of ways they are similar.

What an amazing sunset!

What an amazing sunset!

After we arrrived at our hotel for the night, we unload our bags in the room and make our to a local place for dinner. I had a French Dip which was fantastic, the lemongrass and orzo soup were both great but the charred kale salad Jessica had was actually terrible. The beers were a little better in that there was at least something we could each drink. They sold there drinks in 4, 8 and 12 oz glasses so we created our own flight of beers.

We got to create our own flight of beers.

We got to create our own flight of beers.

Here is the list of our beers. Mine is on the left and Jessica's is on the right. Her beers are in the background.

Here is the list of our beers. Mine is on the left and Jessica’s is on the right. Her beers are in the background.

After dinner we made our way back to the hotel and grabbed a margarita that was comped to us. Score! We ended getting another couple to complete the evening. All in all, a pretty good day.
Peace be with you!

More to come…

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