Month: August 2013

Jumping the Shark

You know those moments when a book or a series of books just goes a little too sideways? When the author uses some crazy plot twist to make things work, as a substitute for good writing? Well, I happens to every writer from time to time. There are even terms for it, but my favorite has to be “Jumping the Shark.” Why? Because I remember the episode well. It was Hollywood (Part 3) from Happy Days originally aired September 20, 1977. In parts one and two, the Cunninghams accompanied Fonzie (Henry Winkler) to Hollywood as he’s been discovered and a director thinks he is the next James Dean. Turns out, they like Ritchie (Ron Howard) and want to sign him to a 5 year contract. He must decide between Hollywood and college. The Fonz is challenged by the ‘California Kid’ (Hollywood’s equivalent Fonz) to perform a dangerous stunt, jumping a shark on water skis. (Watch an excerpt from the episode below) Fonzie was cool, but never a water skier. However, clad in swim trunks, a life preserver belt strapped over his signature leather jacket, he climbed on to the skis, and did it. Horrible. Even as a kid, I thought it was horrible.  But did I stop being a fan of ‘Happy Days’? No. Infused with some better writing, the series went on to be successful until 1984, and...

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A Review: The Barley Brothers Traveling Beer Show

This week, we met some friends at Brewforia, a restaurant in Meridian. Great food and great beer. The next afternoon, when I was simply no longer being productive, I trolled my Facebook feed, and saw a competition for some free tickets to the Barley Brother’s Traveling Beer Show sponsored by Brewforia, given away by Move2Boise, a great service we used when we moved to Kuna this spring. We had company this weekend, and I thought it would be a good event to take her to while my wife slept off night shift. I won! The tickets would have cost me $35 apiece, so it was a relief to get them for nothing. Here’s how the event works: for your money you get a wristband and a sample cup, and you wander around to various tents, sampling whatever kind of beer each booth offers. It’s essentially an open beer bar featuring some of the best regional offerings. In addition, there are food vendors, and some great music. The Good: Good? This event was fantastic. Food from The Grind? Great! And I found one of the best beers I’ve ever tried, not that those from Payette, Sockeye, Crooked Fence, and Grand Teton weren’t stellar. But Barley Brown’s Hot Blonde? It complements any beef or Mexican dish. If I could get in in bottles I would. Made with a blend of lemon...

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Insecure: Bike Friendly Businesses

Ever feel insecure riding your bike, and wonder if you will have a place to lock it up when you arrive at your destination? No? Then you haven’t cycled much for transportation, at least not with a bike worth much. I’ve harped on this before in this series, so watch this video on insecurity, a photo survey of local businesses (in my area) to see if they are really “bike friendly.” At least on the security front.   Share...

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Telecommuting is Work and It’s Working

The Human Powered Season 5:  Part of any self-powered endeavor is laced with doubt and doubters. I’m not one to listen to them much, and I usually could care less what others think of me and what I do. This philosophy radiates across my life: from what I do for work to my appearance; from religion to personal morals; from what I eat to how I raise my kids. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean I won’t listen. It just means I take what others think with a grain of salt. It’s tough when those are people close to you, or people that those close to you care about. Perception is often their reality, and truth a stranger to them. So to go only slightly off topic, here is a related human powered/minimalist rant: Conserve Resources and Money by Working at Home. The benefits are many, but let me just name a few: Less overhead. I already rent (or own) this space, I’m heating or cooling it, and I sport a thirty step commute. I consume less energy and reduce my impact on the environment (even if you are just talking local) by not commuting physically to work or renting a separate office. The tax savings? Please, don’t get me started. That’s a blog post by itself. No uniforms. I can work in my underwear if I so...

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