The Bozeman Bear Incident

Sunday morning, I popped around the side of our house and entered a crime scene…

bear in garbage

bear tracks in bozeman
bear tracker

bear paw print
lil guy

…after careful deliberation, I concluded that the garbage perpetrator was a bear.

That was sort of a cool story and the end of the road, until the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that “hunters [were] cited for killing [a] black bear with bow on South 3rd Avenue” on the same night our trash was raided.

They were ‘hunting’ two blocks from our fucking house. Our house is about a five iron away from campus.

Fortunately, they caught the ‘hunters,’ and the Chronicle found someone less idiotic to write the follow-up article.

At the end of it all, two MSU students stuck four arrows via compound bow into a black bear that most likely weighed less than they do, at a less-than-intimidating 150 lbs. They both pleaded guilty, and were each sentenced to eight days in jail. One was fined $2700, the other $2500…hunting privileges revoked for 5 and 3.5 years respectively.

At least the guys didn’t fight the charges. It was a dangerous, asshole maneuver to pull the stunt in the first place, but they pleaded guilty and got it over with. The worst part of the whole thing may have been the bear’s choice of last meal. If he would have gone with our other dumpster, he would have found himself neck-deep in leftover Chinese, Mexican, and spare ribs. Could have gone out with a bang…

Montana State Satellite

In 2001, I was part of a team that set out to replicate the space science performed by Explorer-1 in 1958. Explorer-1 was 25 pounds, and our solution was a 2.2 pound, 10cm by 10cm cube called MEROPE. I was on the payroll for a few summers, working on the grounds station design, researching tracking software and antenna theory.

Our launch provider was set to launch another twenty some cube sats like ours atop a converted intercontinental ballistic missile payload. After getting pushed out past my graduation date, the launch finally went down from Kahzikstan in July of 2006. Though the Dnepr rockets had a 97% success rate, our satellite ended up in a crater of parts and pollutants during the second minute after liftoff…

msu merope

Rest in peaces.

That hydrolic failure was a setback. The good news was the fact that the engineering plans were complete and ground station built…the rest ended up waiting on a *cheap ride to orbit for the next version. The bad news was that the next launch also failed, as the velocity was too low to maintain orbit. 0 for 2.

The newest version manifested itself as Explorer-1[prime]:


E1P launched successfully on October 28th. The HAM radio community has been busy tracking the orbiter along with the team from MSU’s SSEL…as of yesterday afternoon, they had over 1000 packets received.

The mission has two main scientific systems in play: a passive dampening system and a Geiger tube to measure the Van Allen radiation belts. It is a proof of concept per se…showing that some solid science can be done on a budget. The cube is in an elliptical polar orbit, and high enough to stay aloft for a decade. As so long as the com board stays functional, this satellite can be monitored via HAM (@ K7MSU…don’t quote me on that) frequencies. MSU has prepared a UI to snag and analyze the packets…I might play around with that down the road.

Currently, the satellite is loud. They have it configured to blast huge signals still, as the dampening system is still doing its thing. Once the trajectory smooths, it will be tuned down and should be more predictable.

I’ll be watching this one. Good stuff from the alma mater.

MSU Satellite Spoiler

Ten years and a few months ago, I became a licensed HAM operator…

HAM Radio License
I'm going HAM

That means, without any doubt, that the satellite that MSU stuck in orbit last week has indeed been a long time coming.

I’m running up to campus for the mission statement and a possible down-link tomorrow afternoon…stay tuned for this one. We have entered full-on geek mode.

I am tired

I will be giving these photos an accompanying story in a bit…just a preview to let yall know we have you viewers in mind. I need about five naps after all of this shit.

Sorry for the lapse everybody. Here we go.
This is Cat/Griz eve. Granted this Friday was busier than the average night, but the ladies room is always near this level of pure disorder. Kyle and I have a little mime act as to what may happen to leave things in this condition…it involves throwing toilet paper in the air and yelling “woo.” It is sort of funny at two thirty in the morning.

Here are D, Griff, and I stocking the cooler after close. Two of the three recall this picture being taken. Good work Gackle.

On to some actual Cat/Griz photos. Dave gets the party started with some Champagne far too early, and things just sort of play out from there. Auto-pilot as my homey Eve would say.

Lets follow it up with a series of weird beard photos…

…and then with Waldo’s drunk ass grabbing some zzz’s

All right. Nobody really knows how exactly Dave ended up with the stamp pad from the doormen at the ticket entrance. It happened, however, resulting in a few dozen of our buddies and their buddies buddies cousins getting free passes into the Brawl of the Wild. Can you imagine the look on those guy’s faces when they realized that they botched the one simple task that was their charge?

And then Voy invented a restroom.

My photo journalism was lacking from this point on. I ended up on the field with a goal post, but for some reason the post is quite elusive in photography. I have some pics from Specs and from the field that I will toss in the gallery.

The weekend in a photo? Right here. A big pork rind & beer thumbs up.