Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekend bike shelter kidfort construction

Who knew I had this in me?! Of course, I could not have done this without Uncle John's help.

But over the course of the weekend, we sunk 4x4 uprights into concrete and build the frame for an AWESOME bike rack and shelter kidfort combo structure.

Floor, roof, and walls to come, but the thing already has wi-fi! What a great start.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Random and Disjointed Guide to Treefort

Here's a bunch of stuff I just wanna throw out there--bands I want to see andthings I think would be good whether I'm going or not. 

Slang, at the RadioBoise stage on Friday night. Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney's latest project. I love her.
Thundercat! I dont know what to expect but I hear his shows are amazing. Check him out on Spotify. 
Thee Oh Sees. Hard stuff. I've never seen them. Promises to be scorching. 
Nosaj Thing. Great dj producer guy who I think has a couple sets. 
208 Ensemble is a local chamber group I saw at Cinder and they were great. Kids. Cool stuff. 
Hinds! Huge buzz about these 4 girls from Barcelona playing surfy garage rock. 
Aesop Rock w/ Rob Sonic. I don’t see a lot of hip hop or rap live, but I’m a fan of Aesop Rock.
White Denim, explosive and disjointed Austin indie.
Magic Sword, if you haven’t seen them. If you have, then, meh.
Wolvserpent, lovely darkness
The Mynabirds, Bay Area gentle indie.
Quilt, indie pickers with an edge.
La Luz, more surfy garage-y rock, always a good show.
Christopher Willits, ambient gorgeous soundscapes.
Thunderpussy, just because.
Marshall Poole, great local rock.
Bed. Could be pleasing if you like Telekenisis.
Summer Cannibals, same as above but a bit wilder.
Animal Eyes, fun if you are into Animal Collective.
Play Date! Bring the kids to the Radio Boise stage for these guys. Fun stuff.
Ana Lete, local, the little I've heard seems promising.
Idyltime, great local country sounds.
Cerberus Rex, heavy heavy local metal. 
Strange Wilds, Sub Pop band reminiscent of early Nirvana. 
Music Band, great name, rock. 
Frankie and the Witch Fingers, same as above, maybe better on both counts. 
DZ Deathrays, more rock!
Acid Mothers Temple, insane Japanese psych noise. 
Mascaras, surf psyche jams.
Sun Blood Stories, awesome local psychedelic. 
Conan. Metal. 
Unconditional Arms, shoegazey rock. 

See you out there!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Future Scientists of Idaho

We took Theo to the Engineering and Science Festival at BSU this weekend. He loved it. Robots, rockets, static electricity, and a whole bunch of enthusiastic college and high school kids. 

His rocket was fantastic. And we spent lots of time moving robots around. What a great event. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Streaming Music

I like to think of myself as an early adopter-type. I had a Twitter account in 2008! I long ago bought a USB turntable to unite my vinyl and digital record collections! I LOVE MP3s!!!

But for some reason I've not fully bought in to the streaming music service wave that has already crashed over the mountains of music artifacts that so many of us have collecting dust in some corner of our houses. I stream music, sure. But I've not been able to think of a streaming service as my primary means of experiencing and gathering new music.

The reason for this is pretty simple, on the surface: I gather. A streaming service means you are not gathering, but experiencing. You can store data (play lists, history, preferences), but the actual music is totally transient. Close your Spotify account? Lose whatever period of your musical development and history has occurred while Spotify was your avenue into music.

Full disclosure: I can be a bit of a packrat. I gather and collect and compile. I don't really fetishize the stuff, framing jackets or getting collector editions or anything like that. But I love a good full bookshelf. So the idea of all the time I spend exploring and acquiring music adding up to only a digital footprint--no full shelves or even their electronic equivalent of a bloated iTunes library--always left me cold.

But I think I'm ready.

I think I see that a streaming service would not have to by the only means of exploring music. I'll never stop browsing the Record Exchange or the many services accessed via RadioBoise. And I'll never stop buying artifacts when something means enough to want to buy it. It's just that the line between transient and permanent could move a bit. A higher standard for what goes on the physical shelf.

So now, the choice. Which one? Spotify? Google Play Music? Apple Music? Tidal? There are so many, and they're so similar, the choice is a difficult one. It'll probably come down to which service connects best to the other services and software I use. So far Spotify has the upper hand, but those others are starting out strong and have much going for them.

What about you? Any input? Preference? Help?

It's a brave new world, and we can all use some guidance.

Monday, December 28, 2015

RadioBoise DJ Top Tens of 2015

Programmers at KRBX have added their year-end lists to the ever-growing mix. Check them out over at

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thailand Posts 1 and 2

I've put together a few posts on the trip to Thailand over at the travel blog, if you want more details, more pics, more vicarious vacationing.

Sunday, December 06, 2015


Deep in the jetlag haze of our return from Bangkok, we are constantly recounting moments and stories from the trip--all of us.

Maybe Theo the most.

We had a wonderful wonderful time. Cathy planned the perfect vacation, rolling 3 small vacations into one--a week in the city of Chiang Mai, a week in the mountainous jungle of __ at Spicy Villa, and a week on the sleepy island of Koh Mak.

The revelation of the trip was Theodore and what a great little traveler he is. The kid's got a future in it. He proved himself a trooper and willing mostly to roll with it. I am migthtily impressed by him.

The experiences were so many and so rich. Every sight and sound and smell and taste a wonder and an occasion for deep analysis with Theo. He was indelibly curious and engaged.

Our lovely friends at the beautiful Tamarind Village.MAN we loved this place. The food was wonderful and fresh, the pool was a godsend in the higher-than-average Chiang Mai heat, and the staff treated Theo like royalty.

They had an opening for an art exhibit while we were there, too. Tapestries by Kachama were the subject of this show, and they were absolutely amazing. The hotel itself was resplendent in handmade art and decorations, and the artist hereself was on hand and even answered a number of my pesky questions about how a loom works and what sort of planning goes into creating one of her works.

The elephants!

Partaking in Loi Krathong celebrations with schoolkids and Spicy Villa guides and guests.

Visiting schools and homes and eating with friendly people.

The beach, the scooters, the pick-up trucks and tuktuks and elephants and speedboats and airplanes.

The glorious food.

An amazing trip.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Writing While Traveling

I've spent the last few weeks writing in a notebook. With a pen. It's been pretty great.

No diagrams and very few pictures, even. Just stringing words together to try and recount the events of the days and add a little color or texture or depth of perception. It made me remember deeply not only why I enjoy writing, but why writing about traveling is such a meaningful exercise.

I'll be posting back to the travel blog again, and I'll be doing some cleanup to put entries on past trips there to make that more of an ongoing and more frequently updated record. Because it's enjoyable. And because I do write about most trips I take, from a weekend to a week to something like this 3 weeks in Thailand. I just scatter them across notebooks and blogs and other places.

Before this trip to Thailand, I read back through my journal from our honeymoon in SE Asia in 2001. It was really great to read through those perceptions before this trip, and that absolutely fed the activity of writing about this trip.

Trip posts coming shortly (the pics are still uploading). Nice to be home.

Friday, November 13, 2015

OOO and Gone

Tomorrow morning, Cathy, Theo, and I leave for 3 weeks in Thailand. We'll start in Chiang Mai, make our way east into the mountains near Burma, and then fly south to the island of Koh Mak for a last week on the beach.

Needless to say, we're excited. I hope to post to that old travel blog that's languished since about 2009. So check in there and see.

(See you later!)

Monday, October 05, 2015

Weekend with Theo

What a cool kid. Had a blast hanging out with Theo this weekend. Bike park, picnic, ice cream/beer at the Roosevelt Market. We did it all.

Can't wait to get him out on these trails again. He was AMAZING.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Training Update: Done for now

Closure is a good thing.

So, my marathon training comes to a close. Prematurely, of course: The Portland Marathon is not for a couple weeks. October 4th.

But at mile 3.56 my training ended.

The issues with my left leg involving my IT band and most likely my hamstring and possibly even my calf and achilles will not relent, and they are not battle-able. They've got a trump card to which I have no following move.

While I'm resigned to it, I am surprised at how much it's bothering me. I see people running, or glossy pictures of Runners in their element, airborne and mid-stride, and I feel really sad. Bummed out that my body can't do that, wondering if it'll be able to again.

It will. I will. It'll happen--it's just that I'm getting old and the auto-pilot button needs to be removed. More maintenance, more care and feeding, more attention. It's important enough, so I just need to change my approach and my habits.

So. No marathon--for now. But I'm already looking for the next one.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Road to PDX26.2

It takes a marathon to get to a marathon.

I've been meaning to post here about my experience training for the Portland Marathon, on October 4th. I'm registered, and I'm in week 15 of an 18-week training plan.

Any time you try to stick with something fairly rigorous for 18 weeks you're bound to get sidetracked, off-schedule, screwed up, whatever, especially when the enterprise is as dodgy a one as running is for a 46-year-old with no distance running experience to speak of.

All this is to say, my goddam knee hurts. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised at how much this is bothering me.

So here's the story. All was going pretty well according to plan (the plan being a Hal Higdon training schedule I'd downloaded and entered into my Google calendar). I was hitting my miles, I felt good, I'd ramped up slowly and deliberately and avoided injury. Through the week of hitting 16 miles on my long run day, I was on it. And then.

And then, I took a trip to Portland for work and figured I'd get some miles in there. My first run was supposed to be 18 miles. Around mile 12 a familiar thing happened--I started having knee pain. This was familiar because I'd previously worked through some IT-band issues with my right knee. And I'd gotten past it with discipline strestching and foam rolling. Regardless, I had to cut the run short (in the downpour I found myself in, I didn't mind so much at the time). And I redoubled my efforts at knee maintenance.

The rest of the week, every run went well. I was happy. I'd had a problem, figured it out, and solved it.

Problem was, I paid too much attention to just that problem. So this past Saturday, out for a cut-back week long run of 14 miles, I split the distance between road and dirt. On my way down at the end off the trail I had a little tenderness in my left knee, but nothing too serious, so I kept going.

Mistake. I sit here nursing severe pain in my left knee--a totally new thing, pain in the left knee--as I nurse this beer I'm drinking.

And it won't go away.
And it won't let me run, or this time hardly even walk.

I tried for an easy 5 miles today and couldn't get past 5 minutes or so of jogging before having to stop and walk. And it still hurts. I'm supposed to do 10 miles tomorrow, while I'm not sure how I can walk from 10 Barrel to the studio to do my radio show without bad pain.

I'm 4 weeks out from the race. This weekend, I'm supposed to hit my long distance mark of 20 miles--the longest run of the training calendar before I taper for the race.

So wtf. I'm flummoxed. I'm waiting and seeing. And I'm discouraged to the point of wanting to cry. 

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, right? Except if I don't stick to this plan, I have no idea if I can make it anywhere near 20 miles, let alone 26.2. So I suppose what I'm doing is confronting failure.

What do I do about it? I'm not sure yet. What I do know is that this is not the update I'd been wanting to post. But it's the update I have.

Any tips out there for me?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Star Wars!!!

New album from Wilco.

Free download.

Happy Freaking Friday.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Music and Faith and Life

Fantastic interview over at the Pitchfork with this man, Sufjan Stevens. The new record Carrie & Lowell is harrowing enough without the context, gorgeous and affecting as all of Stevens' music is, but knowing more about his life and growth and experiences and being able to disentangle it from the factfiction blend of what Stevens presents via his catalog of released music only makes the depths deeper and the highs higher.

Read the interview and, please, for God's sake, listen to the record.