Posted by Slosh (+699) 10 years ago
As is tradition on Thursday night (this year it's Fantasy Football night), I traveled to a few different bars tonight.

And while I was out, I realized that today was the day that Montana went no-smoking indoors.

As a conservative, I don't like having the government tell me what I can and cannot do. But as a non-smoker, I really, really, enjoyed being at the bars without having to breath the smoke.

I have voted against smoking bans in the past- even though I'm a non-smoker- but I think I'm going to like this.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1282) 10 years ago
Well there is not a place for people who enjoy smoking pipes, cigs, or cigars can legally gather to enjoy a legal substance. In fact I'm not sure under this law you could open a smokers only club if you where so inclined. That is over kill, the old law gave the option to the business owner it should have stayed that way. No one was dragging you into a smoking environment against your will. If you don't like water stay out of the pool/pond in MC's case.

Amoretta for a commie leftist you are a very intolerant person, a real bitcharoonie toonie as someone once noted. Most of us can only strive in vain for the high minded attitude and self importance you've obtained.
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Posted by Kacey (+3157) 10 years ago
Chuck,
There is a place smokers can gather. It's called your house. Get all your smoking buddies together and light up!
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1282) 10 years ago
As my buddy Buck would say kiss my smoke filled ass. I mean that in a good way.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
I wonder what percentage of bar/casino owners in Miles City are themselves cigarette smokers? I wonder if the ratio of smoking/non-smoking owners tracks with the ratio of smokers/non-smokers in society as a whole.

From past experience, I would guess most owners/operators do smoke (or did at one time) and they probably drink (or did at one time). I think the reason they invented bars was so, that people who are so inclined, have a place to go drink, tell lies, hit on each other, gamble, watch sports AND smoke. At least that's some of the reasons I go to a bar.

If I wanted to hang out with people who don't drink, tell lies (optional), gamble, watch sports or don't smoke, I would go to church.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Regarding Chuck's complaint, would there be any problem with starting some kind of private smoking club? One that's not open to the public so it doesn't run afoul of the new law?
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 10 years ago
From past experience, I would guess most owners/operators do smoke (or did at one time) and they probably drink (or did at one time). I think the reason they invented bars was so, that people who are so inclined, have a place to go drink, tell lies, hit on each other, gamble, watch sports AND smoke. At least that's some of the reasons I go to a bar.

----------

True dat, Jim.

In Milestown (and most other places) you probably need to add fight to your list.
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Posted by mule train (+1053) 10 years ago
Bars are for drinking. As far as lying goes...I don't see it. I never saw a sign in front of a bar asking people to come inside and smoke. Smoking stinks. I am an ex-smoker and I'll tell you that it stinks. It also kills people. It kills not only you, but the person next to you as well. It is no big thing for someone to step outside and smoke. I used to do it when I was still a smoker. I partied my ass off in NYC one night right after the city had turned non-smoking. Had a great time hanging outside with the rest of the stinkers. In Colorado the ban...lead to great patios. Good bars turned into great bars once they all payed to build patios to lure the smokers to their places. Maybe a bar in MC will invest in a patio...now that i think of it...the Cattle-ac has an advantage??? If going outside is killing you, because you are too old or too sick, then you shouldn't be smoking in the first place.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10508) 10 years ago
The building that started the fire in March was scheduled to be a "Smoker's Club" private membership casino, like all bars used to be in Utah. Then the owner burned it down. Oopsie. Seriously, want to smoke? Do so at home or start a members only club. My intolerant bitcharoonatoonie lungs and sinuses would be delighted!
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
In Milestown (and most other places) you probably need to add fight to your list.

Definitely thought about it! "Hit on each other" is dual purpose.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14871) 10 years ago
As far as I am concerned, there has been a smoking ban in bars for many, many years. When was the last time you were in a bar that allowed pipe or cigar smoking? I always liked the smell of pipe and cigars. Now cigarettes, those are just plain nasty. So getting rid of them was just years too late in the timing.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Cigars, Gunnar? You obviously never spent 7 hours in a car with my dad.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Wendy, was your dad a Tiparillo smoker?

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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Nope, I do remember Prince Albert maybe?
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
My dad smoked Tiparillo's for quite a few years. I don't recall anything pleasing about the aroma of those. My dad smoked those and my mom smoked cigarettes. When we traveled (out of town) by car my brother (Don, not Chuck ) and I managed to convince my folks to NOT smoke in the car. They would stop at rest stops, etc. and have their smoke.

Both gave up their daily smoking habit many years ago... mid-80's or so. It's got to be a tough habit to kick.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
Most cigars smell terrible although swisher sweets aren't bad from a distance. I do like the smell of a pipe though. I wonder why pipe tobacco is so different from cigars/cigarettes.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
I wonder why pipe tobacco is so different from cigars/cigarettes.

Makes you wonder what extra chemicals the tobacco companies are adding to their cigarettes...
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
It is no big thing for someone to step outside and smoke.

Yeah, and it's no big deal for you to just keep your ass out of a situation, if you don't like it. You have free will and you have a choice to patronize a business or go somewhere else. You have a choice to work in an establishment that may expose you to cigarette smoke or to work somewhere else that doesn't expose you. I don't ever remember being forced to go into a bar except maybe one of those "upscale" Oak, Brass and Fern joints that are always full of wine-sucking homos.

Frankly, If it was my joint that was forced to go smoke-free and you were one of the assh**les crowing about getting the government to get the job done, I'd throw your ass out for life, just because I could still "Reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".

You're probably a lousy customer anyway.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8441) 10 years ago
Can we get reasonable school board Jim back sometime soon, or are we going to be stuck with crochety old wingnut Jim for the foreseeable future?
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
Sorry, Bridgier.

You get the good with the bad. I "Yambs, what I yambs.
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Posted by life in full color (+59) 10 years ago
Well Jim you have alot to say,,and I agree with some,,maybe not in the fashion you chose to express it. I am a ex-smoker and I enjoy going to the bar once in awhile to dance or have a few with friends.
After I quit smoking it did not bother me but I wish there would have been a non-smoking area. Smokers screamed for years to have a smoking area. I do not agree with letting the government come into a privatly own business and tell the owners what to do. I do not believe a person should impose there bad habits on others or do I believe that any one group of people have the right to rule the ways of the whole. I enjoy going to the VFW on Saturday night and not dealing with the smoke. Smoking may expose people to deadly chances but so does drinking sooooo will drinking in public be the next thing to go...be careful how you answer there are already groups lobbying for the whole United Stated to be either dry or only private clubs. Smoking is a choice just like driving a truck or car just like living in the country or living in town just like abortion or no-abortion.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Sitting next to someone having a drink does not make me drunk. Sitting next to someone smoking a cigarette is the same as me smoking the cigarette. Non-smoking sections are a joke.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 10 years ago
Can we get reasonable school board Jim back sometime soon, or are we going to be stuck with crochety old wingnut Jim for the foreseeable future?

----

That made me laugh.

Sorry, Jim.
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Posted by life in full color (+59) 10 years ago
Wendy, the point is you have the choice to sit there or to move the business owner did not have a choice. Why should your opinion weigh
more than mine or anyone elses. I too enjoy the non-smoking but I feel the business owners got shafted.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
If you talk to business owners here they will tell you that their business increasd after the smoking ban. So I don't see how the business owners got shafted.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
Sitting next to someone having a drink does not make me drunk. Sitting next to someone smoking a cigarette is the same as me smoking the cigarette. Non-smoking sections are a joke.

In the context of bars, if you choose to sit next to someone having a drink, or you choose to sit next to someone smoking a cigarette, the relevant fact is not where your sitting. It's that you chose to perform that action. No one forced you to enter into that environment.

If the owner of said establishment chooses to allow a legal activity to be performed on his private property, you should respect his freedom to be allowed to do so. It is every bit as important as your freedom to choose to patronize the establishment or not patronize it. You don't have a right to tell that owner how to run his business and the fact that government has intervened on behalf of a special interest, doesn't make it right.

I stand by what I said before. If it was my joint, I would bounce anybody who actively engaged in infringement of my rights, just because I can (and because I'm a vindictive sombitch). Frankly, I hope that like-minded bar owners in Miles City and the rest of Montana are accessing this forum to prepare their list.

I don't think it will hurt their business any.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 10 years ago
Wendy:

I'm pretty sure that bar business decreased in Minneapolis-St. Paul after they instituted a smoking ban. FWIW.

My experience has been that many folks who vehemently oppose smoking in bars also never frequent bars. And they don't frequent bars after the smoking ban, either.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
I think Wendy sometimes "forgets" she lives in Utah when trying to make a point. Utah doesn't count on any discussion of vices, Wendy.

Except maybe discrimination.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1282) 10 years ago
I have friends in the bar business who say business is down about 30%-40%, this may just be a temporary trend but no one has told me any different. I think the owners who say business is up probably lie. And inside the bar I hear there is a good number of smokers using a smoke free contraption that delivers nicotine at about the same rate as cigarettes, pitiful.

I think it's ridiculous to drive by (in this weather) and see a hand full of smokers outside a bar smoking, and I do mean right outside the door polar bear. How is that 100 ft. thing working in MC?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Good point, Jim, although we do like our anti-depressants. Oh, and Internet porn.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1902) 10 years ago
Jim said: I don't ever remember being forced to go into a bar except maybe one of those "upscale" Oak, Brass and Fern joints that are always full of wine-sucking homos.

Just say no, Jim. Just say no.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14303) 10 years ago
"I don't ever remember being forced to go into a bar except maybe one of those "upscale" Oak, Brass and Fern joints that are always full of wine-sucking homos."

Jim: why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel.
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Posted by Amoo Daboo Dabutsu (+107) 10 years ago
Jim what have you got against ferns?
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Posted by Stewart (+147) 10 years ago
Just curious how in only 7 days any business could tell whether business was up or down. That's crazy talk. And having lived in towns that went smoke-free, I can't name a single business that went under because of the smoking ban. And all the businesses that were crying their eyes out before the ban never had a peep to say after the ban because they were just fine.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Chuck, I'm sure those buddies of yours in the bar business will be quick to convert their establishments into "private smoking clubs" (is that really allowed?). Then they will be able to collect a nominal annual membership fee as well as maintain their old smoking and non-smoking clientele just like the pre-smoking ban days. Win-win situation, right?

Now instead of choosing to be non-smoking and risk losing their smoking clientele (the old days) bar owners can choose to be smoking (if that's really allowed) and risk losing their non-smoking clientele. Isn't freedom of choice a wonderful thing?

In all sincerity I have my doubts about the whole "private smoking club" thing even being an option. The only ones I've heard of attempting such a thing are the same clowns who purportedly burned down half a block on Miles City's Main Street by being careless with a welder. I don't give those guys much credibility.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
If you've ever been to a bar in Salt Lake City you can see how easy it is so work around the "private club" thing. When you walk into the bar, you "join" by paying a nominal fee (I think the one I went to was $1). Then you write your name on the book and you are a member. I don't know if the rules are any more strict on MT private smoking clubs but it's pretty much a joke in Utah.
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Posted by Jim Brady (+417) 10 years ago
The Utah private club thing was always set up to benefit the State. Selling liquor in Utah is a huge hassle.

Utah had "bottle clubs" (which were "private") for years as it was illegal to sell hard liquor by the drink. To get in the club you had to have a "sponsor" (who was usually the guy in the door right before you) and bring your own bottle. You were the "sponsor" for the next guy in the door and so on. The establishment sold set-ups like water, ice or soda for $3.00 or so. The legislature finally relaxed the liquor by the drink ban to accommodate the foreign tourists who were coming for the Winter Olympics in 2002.

Utah then passed a stupid law that in order to sell liquor by the drink the establishment had to sell food and you actually had to order food in order to get a hard drink. That gave rise to the "private clubs" where you had to buy a membership to get in. These clubs could serve a hard drink without having to serve food. The last time I had a membership it was $4.00 for a 21 day temporary or $12.00 for an annual and you had to buy one for every club you went in. They were not universal. The whole scam was basically a sin tax, because ALL of the money from the memberships went to the State. Bartenders were always doing paperwork on memberships with 20 angry customers backed up waiting for service. Drinking in Utah was hard work.

Shots in all joints were 1 oz and everything was metered and audited by the liquor control board. You had to meter 25 shots out of a 750ml bottle or have a written record for a gun malfunction.

I understand that a new law went into effect in July that did away with the "memberships" and a shot is now 1.5 oz. I'm sure the State did something (like raise liquor prices) to remain revenue-neutral with eliminating the cards.

But just to keep it interesting, the legislature passed a new law where liquor can't be in view of the children when you are in a restaurant, so they all had to remodel to hide the booze.

The "private clubs" were originally granted a number of years to allow smoking after Utah's ban went into effect. I was told the variance was set up on some formula based on the date of grant for your liquor license. Some clubs only had a short time and others had 3 - 4 years. All bars are now non-smoking, I believe.

Utah has the most screwed-up set of liquor laws on the planet. There are volumes of them and they are very confusing. Many bar owners find themselves in violation of some obscure law and get citations from the inspectors. This, of course means a big fine at minimum and and possibly loss of your license if you get so many. Major violations (like serving minors) result in forced closures like 30, 60, 90 or 180 days. When I left Moab, one of the joints there was under a 90 day closure and a $60,000 fine for two serving minors violations in a year. Owners are always having to deal with undercover hit squads sending minors into the joint to get served. Sometimes it's the cops. Sometimes it's the Liquor control board independently to keep cops honest. Big brother is everywhere involved in booze and smokes.

That's more than you ever wanted to know about Utah liquor laws but it gives you a feeling for the magnitude of the hassle for owners.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 10 years ago
That's interesting, Jim.

Glad I've never been to Utah.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Utah is a fine state to.... fly over at 30,000 feet.

I once read about a guy who was receiving a "beer of the month" or "wine of the month" club type of shipment to his Utah address. Apparently the Utah liquor control board came after him in a big way.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14303) 10 years ago
"Utah is a fine state to.... fly over at 30,000 feet."

and at 30,000 feet it looks like a large erosion feature.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
Actually those beer and wine clubs are illegal in Montana as well. When my brother came to visit me in California he tried to join one at one of the wineries we went to and was informed that the state of Montana does not allow such debauchery as having 8 bottles of wine a year shipped to your house.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Levi, I think it varies from club to club. Either some clubs negotiate a deal with the M.D.O.R. to allow the shipments or those clubs choose to ignore the laws (which may have been the case for the guy in Utah -- or he was getting his beer shipment from a friend).

Anyhow, I send beer-of-the-month club gifts to people in Montana via this club (http://www.microclub.com) no problem at all. That same company does wine-of-the-month clubs and ships to Montana as well.

- Dave
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1282) 10 years ago
It's not an option. I was sure I had made that clear.

"Well there is not a place for people who enjoy smoking pipes, cigs, or cigars can legally gather to enjoy a legal substance. In fact I'm not sure under this law you could open a smokers only club if you where so inclined. That is over kill, the old law gave the option to the business owner it should have stayed that way."

I assure you if it was an option the private clubs would be all over it, the Moose, VFW, Am Vets, Eagles and maybe even the Elks all would get the little advantage back they had when gambling was reserved to private clubs.

Bars and casinos in many cases count money every day just as a shoe store would count receipts every day that count is down 30-40% in 4 bars/casinos I am familiar with. Like I said it could be just a temporary thing, time will tell.

Got to go the Government goons are here to turn down my water heater and make sure my thermostat is set at 66.

[This message has been edited by Chuck Schott (10/7/2009)]

[This message has been edited by Chuck Schott (10/7/2009)]
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
Just so you know, Utah got rid of the club rule this summer so there are no more private clubs unless desired by the club owner. There are a handful of bars that have elected to remain private clubs (all the gay bars, I think) but most no longer require a membership. We're still wacky but at least we don't have any dry counties as do some of the Bible Belt states do.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
It's not an option. I was sure I had made that clear.

"Well there is not a place for people who enjoy smoking pipes, cigs, or cigars can legally gather to enjoy a legal substance. In fact I'm not sure under this law you could open a smokers only club if you where so inclined. That is over kill, the old law gave the option to the business owner it should have stayed that way."


*******************************************************************

Oh, yes, brother. You made it very clear. Clear as mud. I'm not sure about a lot of things that I'm very clear on as well.

If only we could get Bozo the Welder and his Lucky Horseshoe cronies to weigh in on this we'd be as clear as, uhhh, smoke on the matter.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
Anyhow, I send beer-of-the-month club gifts to people in Montana via this club (http://www.microclub.com) no problem at all. That same company does wine-of-the-month clubs and ships to Montana as well.

I don't doubt that it works but I'm pretty sure it's not legal unless the people you're sending it to have a "connoisseur's license".

Here's the rules. Same applies for beer:

The common carriers, FedEx and UPS, have NOT approved Montana for shipment of direct-to-consumer sales, because Montana law requires a consumer to obtain a license to receive such direct shipments. As of October 1, 2001, Montana law provides that an adult resident at least 21 years old may apply for a connoisseur's license to receive up to 12 cases per year (personal consumption only) from an out-of-state winery. The license costs $50.00 and is renewable each year thereafter for $25.00. The applicant must file for the license with the Montana Liquor License Bureau (406.444.6900) and pay taxes on June 30 and December 31 for alcohol received during the previous 6-month period. All taxes must be reported and filed with the state. Wineries should request a copy of the consumer's license before completing any order, and keep that copy on file in case audited at a later date. Wineries must be registered with the state of Montana prior to shipping wine to a connoisseur. Moreover, wineries shipping over 60 cases into the state must use the licensed distribution system. Failure to comply with these state laws may incur substantial penalties. Wine Institute will update members if there is any change to the carrier shipping statutes for Montana.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Who knows. I've sent wine from a different company as well. From that (microclub.com) website's FAQ:

Can you ship to my state, if not, why, and are there other clubs that will?
Currently we are unable to ship to the following states:
AK, HI, MA, ME, UT This list is subject to change without notice.

After Prohibition, alcohol laws became the responsibility of each individual state. This is why there are so many discrepancies between clubs. There are certain states that other clubs can ship to that we can not, you'll have to check around for we do not want to 'speak' for them.

http://www.microbeerclub.com/QAPage.aspx
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Posted by mule train (+1053) 10 years ago
how's the jones?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 10 years ago
When I was at college, my mother sent me a care package that contained a bottle of wine. It was winter and the wine froze and burst during tranport. I received a soggy and odiferous box of broken glass and cookies. I don't know why she sent me wine. I didn't ask for it and I was underage both in Montana and Michigan where I was in school. Why Mom? Why?
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
Last December's microbrew club shipments to Montana wound up frozen as well. One was intercepted by the carrier (UPS, I think) and sent back as "damaged in shipping". The other was delivered. The microbrew club promptly replaced both shipments. Both originated out of Illinois and around that time last year Illinois was in bad shape weatherwise so I think the freeze may not have happened in Montana.

One of the replacement shipments, destined for a ranch about 65 miles south of Miles City, the UPS driver got stuck attempting to deliver it. The driver had to walk a half mile or so to the ranch house/delivery point and the recipient had to go pull the UPS truck out of the mud. I was originally told that they used a tractor to pull the UPS truck out but I guess they accomplished the job with a 4WD pickup.
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