10 Surprising (but true) things Wikipedia won’t tell you about growing up in small town Montana

1. Stargazing is a nightly thing and when you can’t see them, you miss it immensely.

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Growing up laying out on a blanket late at night is one of the best things in small town Montana. According to vox.com, 80% of Americans can no longer see the Milky Way. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that can still see stars outside my window and can see the Milky Way only a couple miles out of town. I remember multiple nights around the campfire (or bonfire depending on the time of year) and staring up at the sky talking with the family about everything imaginable. We still do this today, not as often as we should though.

2. Friendships are a thing of a lifetime, the few kids in your class easily become kids that you are friends with forever.

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I grew up with 80 kids in my entire school, it was a 9 grade school (K-8), that means less than 10 kids per class, on average. Can you imagine that? If you didn’t know every name for every kid then they must have been new. This had both good and bad aspects to it. The good was you created friendships that lasted a lifetime, but the bad was that growing up a girl there was a lot of drama among the girls in the school. When I was eight I remember coming home from school with different “best friends” every day. But the friendships that lasted are still strong 15 years later.

3. Hard work is a part of life, from getting firewood in 10 below weather to bailing hay in 90 degree weather, you don’t get to slip by without working hard.

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Have you ever come home from a long day at work, at 15 degrees and had no firewood to heat your house? I have and do you know what that means? You get to go chop would and wheel it to the house in a wheelbarrow. It really teaches you a lesson in chores and hard work. I can remember having multiple school days where the bus just couldn’t reach our house back on 2 miles of dirt road covered in feet of snow or inches of ice. I can count on two hands how many times my dad had to use his own personal truck to pull out the school bus in order for us to get to school.

4. If you have more bars in your town than you have churches, that’s average.

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I can remember when my older brother had decided to go to the public schools in the larger town over a small school farther out in the country (both the same distance away) he made his decision based off of the fact that the town had more bars than churches and it definitely only had one school and one store. To a 13 year old this meant literally nothing to do, ever, besides drink. Just to let this sink in, Montana ranks #2 (according to eater.com) in number of bars per capita. The number for Montana is 1,658 people per bar, meaning that Montana has 602 bars in the state. That is a fairly daunting number and when it comes to small towns, don’t be surprised if you have at least 2 or 3 bars.

5. Seeing more animals during your commute than cars is a normal everyday occurrence.

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According to beef2live.com Montana has 2.51 cows to everyone human. That means there are over a million people in the state but almost 2.5 million cows. Seeing cows and driving over cattle guards on your daily commute is in no shortage in small town Montana. Also according to 50states.com, the average square mile of land in Montana “contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer.” The last time I drove home for a visit (a 170 mile drive) I counted 6 cars and at least 30 herds of deer during the 2 hours I spent on the road. Talk about a stressful ride.

6. Driving miles to see a big box store is a weekly adventure.

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Take a moment and think about this; how far ahead do you decide what you want for dinner? 1 hour before you start making dinner? 1 or 2 days before so you can run to the store? Well living in a small town means not having the ability to decide at the last minute what you want for dinner, it means planning a week or two weeks ahead just so you can run to town (which maybe an hour or two away) and buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries. This also means that pantries, gardens, and canning are almost necessary the farther you live away from a decently priced store.

Montana fun fact: Circle, MT is the farthest spot from a Starbucks in the continental USA which is 185 miles.

7. A story that starts with “so I was at this party in a field” is not uncommon, actually a rather common occurrence.

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I have heard so many stories about parties in fields, this is the normal once you hit high school in a small town. What also is normal is driving through the back dirt roads in a truck with a beer in your hand. Not that I condone this behavior, but there is nothing more impressive than watching your dad hold a beer, roll down the window (with the actual window crank), and shift the truck all at the same moment. Driving through the back roads and partying in fields are all a part of growing up in the middle of nowhere and the only thing that puts a damper on the party is the sheriff (who only comes around once a month, if you’re unlucky).

8. Dangerous animals are a large part of life and you better get used to it.

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On any given day during the summer months, you can trip over rattlesnake walking through a field or run into a bear in the woods. Both of which can kill you in a matter of minutes or hours, depending on the severity of the damage they do. As of this year, one Montanan was attacked twice in the same day by the same bear! And what’s even more surprising is finding a bear in a Target parking lot or finding an elk in a schoolyard. But when I was a kid, there was one time that my mom was walking through our own backyard and almost stepped on top of a rattlesnake. There is nothing scarier than hearing a rattlesnake rattler and not knowing where it came from.

9. Dial up internet is not a thing of the past, but a thing of the present. And having cell phone service in a really desolate place is basically impossible.

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That’s right, you read that correctly. My dad still can’t get high speed internet at his house, because guess what? They don’t have wires that go out that far from town. Can you imagine not having Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? Or not being able to update your PS3 because that runs off the internet? That’s a normal occurrence for small town Montana, even today. According to a study in January of 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission, 90% of the rural population is without access to 25 Mbps Broadband internet. And overall 87% of Montana is without this access… so basically most of Montana is without broadband internet. Scary thought, huh?

10. Fireworks, sparkler bombs, tannerite, and loud guns are not a thing for only holidays, but for whenever the heck you feel the need.

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If you have never put a sparkler bomb inside a snow drift or put some tannerite inside a pumpkin and watched them blow up then you are definitely not living yet. When you live out in the middle of nowhere there is a great chance your neighbors don’t care what in the heck you do, or are so far away that they can’t hear you from their house. There was many a time when I was growing up and we would have a great Saturday full of shotguns and whatever we felt the need to shoot. That could be garbage cans, televisions, kids toys, barrels, or even straw targets put out at 100 yards. Almost every year we would even take a barrel of used oil and light the weeds on fire to decrease the fire hazard of dry grass.

Small town Montana will always be a part of who I am and where I came from and I am proud to proclaim that we are still and forever will be the LAST BEST PLACE! 

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Missoula Fun On A Budget

Free Local Concerts

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Top Hat Lounge is a great local venue. Through the upcoming months they offer many free shows including,

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Family Friendly Friday at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon, Nov 07, 2016

Wed, Nov 09, 2016

Sharin’ in the Groove

Sharin' In The Groove Phish Happy Hour at the Top Hat

Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

 Missoula’s Best Drink Specials

Iron Horse Bar and Grill

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Martini Mondays: 5pm-Close
Any of Our Martinis $5

Shaken Tuesdays: 5pm-Close
Everything on the shaken and stirred list  $5

Wednesday: 7pm-Close
Blue Moon $3.50 and Skip & Go Naked $5​ 

Thursday: 9pm-Midnight​Two for One Well Drinks $3.50 

 

Thomas Meagher Bar

 

Pie Hole

Missoula’s new downtown pizza shop that gives you a bang for your buck! For all you late night munchers, Pie Hole is throwin’ dough Er’day from 11AM-3AM!

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The Roxy Theater

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For any movie lover that doesn’t want to pay the astonishing 12 dollars, The Roxy is a theater like non other. As you walk in THE ROXY has the Missoula vibe painted on its walls. I highly suggest anyone looking for cheap theatrical entertainment hit up the Roxy…. By the way they serve booze there too!

Hub Family Entertainment Center

The Hub Family Entertainment Center has 50,000 square feet of fun and excitement for the whole family.  The Hub is a perfect place to have birthday parties, team parties, corporate events including team building, graduation parties, day camp parties, and youth group events. GO KARTS, LAZER TAG, ARCADE, FOOD… Hell Yeah!  

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Top five Halloween costume personalities: which one are you?

Below are five different costume personalities that may or may not fit you or your friends. Read through the descriptions and comment which personality best fits you!

(I am a Last Minute Shopper!)

Personality #1: Most Minimal Costume PossibleImage result for halloween costume men

This person is normally above average on the scale of attractiveness and knows it, they want to wear the most skin revealing thing in the room in order to show off their body. Someone that wears a minimal costume almost always has two different costumes each year; one for school or work and one for their Halloween party or night oImage result for halloween costumes 2016 womenut on the town. They are almost never afraid to spend as much money as needed each year for the best costume possible.

 

Examples: Playboy Bunny, sexy version of ANY costume.

 

 

Personality #2: Total Transformation

The total transformation is the person that spends hundreds of dollars on costume material from facial/body makeup to even extravagant wigs. The
extreme version of the total Image result for heidi klum halloweentransformation person
would end up buying a complete
costume from head to toe that is made of high class material. The way to know if Image result for halloween costumesomeone meets the requirements for this personality is that at first glance you will not recognize them.

Examples: Iron Man, Jack Skeleton, the Joker.

 

Personality #3: Super, Super Fan

A super, super fan is a person that dresses up as their favorite character of either a show, book, or movie. The person normally knows not only who and what the Image result for comic con costumescharacter is, but they also know everything there is to know about the character’s personality, history, and world. They are extremely likely to get offended and correct you if you get Image result for comic con costumessomething wrong about the character or anything regarding the character’s world.

 

Examples: Star Wars characters, Harry Potter characters.

Personality #4: Costume with the Least Effort

If someone has a costume with the least effort it means that they normally have
something taped onto their clothing or they grabbed something out of their Image result for Halloween costumes least effortcloset. These are the people that decided at the last second they should probably dress up but didn’t even wantImage result for Halloween costumes least effort to go to the store to buy something official.

These can include people that go dressed up as themselves or even some one that tapes Smarties to their pants and refers to themselves as a “Smarty Pants.”

 

Personality #5: Last Minute Shopper

The last minute shopper is the costume person that normally needs to dress up for work, school, or a party with little to no time or money to run to the store for
Image result for Halloween costumes crappy a decent costume. This person ends up grabbing whatever they can off of the shelf from the costume store. This person is to not be confused with the “Costume with the Least Effort” as the last minute Image result for Halloween costumes crappyshopper at least puts in enough effort to go to the store for a costume.

 

 

Examples: witches, doctor coat, pirate.

 

Thanks for reading, hopefully a description fits your personality and if you didn’t like your description then just think; “what personality do I want to have this Halloween?”

What, When, Where, Why, How? Weird Dreams and What They Mean By Brandon Smith

I’m sure most of us have had dreams so bizarre, so outrageous, and memorable that you find yourself asking why? Why did I have this dream, and what does it mean? Below, I have listed some of the most common and bizarre dreams people frequently have and why they have them.

Teeth Falling Out Dream

After doing some research I discovered that many people frequently have a recurring dream where their teeth fall out. In the dream individuals will be doing everyday things, such as brushing their teeth, working, eating, and socializing with friends. As they perform these tasks, for whatever reason teeth will suddenly detach from their gums, falling to the floor or into the individual hands. According to Feud, the dream represents various sexual references, such sexual repression or fear of castration for men. Others such as Jung believe that the dream represents issues with personal power and the ability to renew oneself. For instance, the dream represents a fear of change or losing something that is important to you. Many have reported having the dream after experiencing dramatic life changes. Life changes such as death, aging, moving away, loss of friendships, and other life changing situations.

 

Paralysis Nightmare

I actually have had experience with this reoccurring nightmare. Sleep paralysis occurs when a person is either falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. In my dream I am fully conscious lying in my bed, making the dream appear to be very realistic. As I lay there, a shadowy figure either stands by my bed or in the corner of the room. I want to jump out of bed and scream at who or whatever it is, but can’t because I am paralyzed. It’s as though my fight or flight response is nonexistent, and I am at the mercy of the intruder. The figure in my dream varies, most of the time it’s a shadowy man wearing a hood. Sometime it can be a woman with long black hair, and others it can be an alien shaped figure, with the classic large head and thin abdomen. References of this nightmare have been used in many Hollywood movies, such as Insidious and Dark Skies. (See Pics Below) The cause of this nightmare comes from stress or extreme exhaustion. I usually have this nightmare during stressful times where I don’t get lot of sleep, such as finals week.

 

Being Late

As we grow older we are faced with greater responsibilities, such as being on time. This dream is very common for many adults and includes being late for an appointment, college exam, work meeting, children’s sporting event, etc. The dreams meaning can vary, but for the most part represents taking too much time away from individual needs, such as leisure and personal accomplishments, creating a sense that time is running out. Essentially the dream is a symbol of the frustration toward the obligations one has in their life. It can also be correlated with difficulty making decisions with new opportunities, or a fear of change, the sense that you are missing out on life’s opportunities

The Classic Falling Dream

The classic dream where one loses their balance and suddenly falls out of control. This dream is very common and usually represents interpersonal issues such as insecurities, instability, and anxieties. The dream emphasizes a sense of being overwhelmed, out of control, and helpless as you fall. The dream can be correlated with issues with failure or an inferiority complex. Life experiences such as job loss, poor academic performance, and relationship issues can be the catalyst for the dream. According to Freud, the dream represents contemplating situations, such as giving into sexual urges or impulses. This dream occurs during the first stage of sleep, the individual is not completely paralyzed. The dream is usually accompanied with muscle spasms of the arm or leg, causing the individual to wake up before hitting the ground.

 

 

 

 

Chasing Dream

This dream consists of being chased by something, usually a viscous dog or person. As the individual is being chased they find themselves too slow or unable to move. This dream deals primarily our fight or flight response. The dream usually represents an individual or issues that were trying to avoid, but unfortunately cannot. These issues can include inter and intra personal conflicts. For instance aging can be represented in the dream. For people who are afraid to get old the chaser can represent the issue or conflict you are trying to avoid or escape.

9 Things I’ve Learned in my 4 Years in the Friend Zone