Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good and Bad

I finished up my first week of classes tonight in the best possible way, an early release! The instructor finished the first nutrition lecture in about an hour and 15 minutes. Hopefully my two night classes will need less attention than the two day killers. I get to ride my bike to campus for my day classes, but I have to use gas twice during the week for school, isn't that cool? Only driving two days a week is going to take some adjustment.

As most folks know, Idaho is the top spot for wildfires this year. I could see three fires north of Boise while driving east on I-84 going back to Boise after class tonight. I took a picture with my phone , I must apologize for the quality of the picture. It's an awe inspiring thing to see the smoke from such a great distance. (Look above the white car and you'll see the plume of smoke, to the right and left are two more fires.)

Hopefully we won't run into any fires (or bears) while camping this weekend at Lake Cascade.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh, Larry!

By now you have likely heard about the scandal surrounding an alleged (homosexual) bathroom incident involving Senator Larry Craig from Idaho. If not, you can read more here in the national news and here for local commentary.

When I walked into my downtown Boise, Idaho office building on Monday morning, the street was littered with picketers holding signs urging for an end to funding for the Iraq War. The
Peace Coalition of Idaho is holding an event called “Bring the Iraq Occupation Home” and will be protesting outside of Senator Craig’s office building all week. In addition, “teams of two resisters will share their grievances in the congressional offices all day for the entire week.” I don’t know how much “sharing” is going on—I can see them through the office window, waiting patiently, every time I make a trip to the bathroom. See, Senator Larry Craig’s office is in my building. On my floor.

He was having a really bad Monday.

When I left the building for lunch, the TV station vans were parked out front and the cameras were set up on the sidewalk. I had to wiggle behind a camera stand to unlock my bike from the security of the tree I lock it to each morning. A different set of cameras and reporters were rolling as I left the building that night.

On Tuesday morning there they were, yep, more cameras. I saw a reporter delicately picking her nose in preparation for going on camera ("I was not picking my nose!"). As I hurried up the steps of the federal building to check for mail at the post office box, an Associated Press (AP) reporter had a woman in front of the camera and was asking for her thoughts on the Senator Craig incident. As I hurried back to work, the same AP reporter had someone else in front of the camera. Later that day, the woman I had seen being interviewed earlier walked into my yoga class at the YMCA. “Hey, weren’t you being interviewed on the steps of the federal building?”, I asked. “Yes!” she groaned. "That guy totally cornered me and I was just like, ughhh!”

There you have it folks:

"What are your thoughts on the Senator Craig scandal?"


Today, Wednesday--repeat. The Peace Coalition folks are still protesting outside and sharing their thoughts sitting quietly in the waiting room of Senator Craig’s office. I have yet to catch a glimpse of him so I doubt he is entertaining visitors in his office. Maybe I can find him in the men’s room…

Seriously, he is having a really bad week. I spoke with one of the Peace Coalition activists and they said their protest is completely independent of the scandal. They have had this event planned for months. The gentleman I spoke with expressed some chagrin that they were being upstaged by this whole gay bathroom thing.

And, oh, what a circus scandal it is. Regardless of my political beliefs and the likelihood that they have little in common with Senator Craig’s, the entire incident seems very subjective and overblown to me. I actually feel sorry for him. I kind of doubt that a multi-term senator was propositioning a random male bathroom stall neighbor in the Minneapolis airport (that presumably was there to take a dump—how sexy is that?) by tapping his foot three times and running his hand palm facing up under the stall divider. I think he just needed some toilet paper to wipe his own ass.

And furthermore, last night on the local news they interviewed a man (I forget his name but he had the title “Gay Man” under his name so clearly he is an authority) who said that tapping three times and running your hand under the stall divider is not how you proposition for sex. At least, not in Minneapolis.

Update: 1:58pm MT
I was just stopped in the hallway and asked by a reporter/cameraman team if I wanted to be interviewed.
"About what?" I should have said.
"No, thank you," I said.
"Really?" the incredulous reporter said. "You are the first person to turn me down for an interview. Don't you want to add your two cents?"
"The only place I share my two cents is on my blog, where I can be fairly certain my audience wants to hear my thoughts."
"And it won't be edited!" piped the cameraman.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Few Tidbits For You

We came, we saw, we bought. Thursday morning we closed on our new house. It's a great little house, about half the size of the King Charles home. As ya'll know we found another 1950s ranch (with an underground home heating oil tank that has been removed). Thursday morning we did the final walk through and accepted the property. This lot is less than half the size of our last house, with more landscaping! Check out the pictures, it's very overgrown and in dire need of some pruning.

The front and back yards are full of projects that will need the attention of Kate's green thumb. It also seems as though we've encroached upon a squirrel that doesn't take kindly to four-legged guests. The squirrel just hangs out in the trees chirping, barking, and hissing at the dogs. It's driving them mad!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Own Private Idaho 1.0

Today Jon met me downtown for lunch at Pollo Rey, a local burrito joint. After lunch, we walked to the post office where two discoveries were made:

1) Boise has diagonal crosswalks.

2) Only leashed dogs are allowed in the post office.

I never cease to be amazed.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We interrupt this blog ...

... for a cross-country move Boise, Idaho. Things are changing so quickly; new city, new lifestyle, new house (we hope). We have misplaced the cable for the camera and have hundreds of pictures and many stories to share about our journey and our current state of affairs. It's been such a blur I am afraid I will forget if I don't write it down. I miss Raleigh-home, but love Boise-home.

For the past 11 days we (dogs, too!) have been living out of a Marriott Springhill Suites hotel. I have taken to calling it "the apartment" in my mind. The best things about it are the surprisingly yummy free breakfast and the hotel's proximity to the Boise River. Woe is the day I have to start making my own morning coffee again. Just about every day after work, we walk down to the river, take the dogs for a swim, watch all the people floating and fly fishing, and marvel at this urban gem. Yesterday after dinner we picked blackberries while we wandered.

We have a contract in on a little brick cottage and if all goes as planned, we will close on Thursday. The unplanned part is that we found an underground oil storage tank. Yes, folks, as if once in a lifetime wasn't enough, ring the bell for round two. The current owners are in the process of having it dug out right now and if there is no leaking or soil contamination, we will proceed with the home purchase.

Have patience with our blog as we rearrange our lives. Love and thanks to everyone who has supported us in this (ad)venture. We are off to the farmer's market!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We've Arrived!

After roughly 55 hours of driving we finally made it to Boise. Everything went according to plan, with a few hiccups along the way. Improper trailer loading caused Brut and I to dance across 3 lanes of traffic on I-40 east at 80 mph--that was a thrill. A quick weight shift fixed that problem. Our breakfast detour in Nashville was a hoot, chocolate and pancakes...who knew? The Montana visit was a well needed break and we got to ride our bikes up the Beartooth Pass!

We arrived in Boise on Tuesday, and to our dismay the rental market proved to be really dry. Everything near work and school was either falling down, sinking in, dark and dirty, or completely disgusting in some other way. By Friday it was down to buying a house or living in our hotel for the duration of our stay here in Boise.

Saturday morning we found our next home--one street south of Cresent Rim, just up the hill from Ann Morrison Park and Katheryn Albertson Park, the Boise River, and downtown Boise or Bodo.

We've got many ends to tie very quickly, but as you can see below we've had time to relax with the boys.

It's been rough staying 200 yards from the river this past week. I'm glad we'll be within walking distance from the new house too!