Friday, May 30, 2008

Small price to pay

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM

For a couple of weeks, I have driven past a new Mexican restaurant near my house. It's one of only a handful of Mexican restaurants in the greater Bench area and my mate and I were looking forward to trying it. Our first step inside should have been our last. The joint was empty except for two employees, one of whom was sweeping the entryway. Cheap prices and a huge selection of entrees contributed to my inability to trust my better judgement. It was the dinner hour and there was nary a patron in sight and though the employees clearly had the tools and the time, clean the place was not.
But I've walked into restaurants before in which all of the effort is put into creating delicious food and the decor is more of an afterthought. I like that the energy available is expended in that way. So, we decided to push through our initial concerns and order dinner.
I ordered the fajita trio--shrimp, chicken and beef--and my mate picked a five-rolled-taco plate. Both came with beans and rice and his came with a drink. $14 dollars and about four minutes later, we were handed a plastic bag with two heavy to-go boxes. In the car, my eyes started to water from the fishy smell coming from the bag. My mate, tearing up a bit himself, looked at me with the tiniest bit of fear in his eyes. Hungry, I ignored what I knew to be true, and though we passed two or three dumpsters that we could have easily pitched the food into without even leaving the safety of the car, we headed home with our bounty.
My man, already disappointed by his weak, odd-tasting fountain ice tea, pulled his box out of the bag and sat down to eat. I heard a gasp and what might have been a scream. With the same look on his face he gets when he accidentally comes across televised surgery while channel surfing, my mate held his box up for me to see. His "rolled tacos" looked suspiciously like store-bought taquitos and were covered in a runny, mint-green sauce that we guessed was meant to simulate guacamole.
And because the taquitos had to be the rolled tacos and we could identify the rice as rice, by process of elimination, the mushy periwinkle-colored mound in the corner of his box had to be the beans. He took a bite of a taco, and with a hint of a challenge in his voice (patronizing the restaurant had been my idea), suggested I do the same. Rather than take the look of revulsion on his face as a warning, I took a bite. I didn't know something could be dry and spongy at the same time.
Though the tide-pool smell emanating from my box was growing stronger, I ignored the outraged voice in my head screaming, "No, no, no!" and opened it. Opposite a pile of dry, orangey rice, sat a puddle of cheese under which was a small heap of those selfsame purple gray beans. While that would have been enough to put any semi-sane human off his or her feed, I made one more in a string of bad decisions. I forked some chicken, beef and--god help me--shrimp, and took a bite. Immediately traumatized, I don't remember, but I don't think I actually swallowed. Through the force behind projectile vomiting, I think the mouthful landed across the living room. I do remember throwing my box on top of my husband's in the garbage can, begging him to take the trash out of the house, and shoving a cookie, a couple of green olives, a spoonful of some French's mustard and a handful of stale croutons in my mouth to kill the taste. Days later, the house still smelled like a fishing boat and now when I hear the word "shrimp," I throw up in my mouth a little.
Atkins out (of Pepto Bismol).

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Get Out and Walk

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:00 AM

If you needed a reason to bust out the bike this weekend, here's a big one—it's going to be nearly impossible to drive in the area of BoDo beginning Friday evening.

Thanks to the Boise Ironman competition and the public memorial for J.R. Simplot, the Boise Police Department is closing several roads over the weekend.

The first closure begins at 6 p.m. on Friday on Capitol Boulevard between Myrtle and Front streets.

This is neither a minor, nor a short inconvenience either. The road will be closed through 9 p.m. on Sunday to allow race organizers to set up a transition area for the race.

Things will get even more interesting on Sunday, when both the race and the memorial are scheduled to happen on adjoining blocks.

Myrtle and River streets will be closed from 9th Street to Capitol from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Capitol will have a second closure on Sunday. The road will be closed from Vista Avenue—at the Boise Depot—all the way in to downtown from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All streets within the BoDo district will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

Electronic signs will be set up to guide drivers, and BPD will be on hand to direct traffic.

All downtown parking garages will open at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, and surface parking will be free.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Incorrect Audition Dates for Boise Little Theater Plaza Suite

Posted on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 4:00 AM

In this week's 8 Days Out, under the dates May 28 and May 29, the auditions for Neil Simon's Plaza Suite are wrong. The actual audition dates are June 28 and June 29 at 2 p.m. in the theater green room.

We regret the error. The correct description is as follows: Neil Simon's Plaza Suite presented by Boise Little Theater and directed by Patrick Ryan, is a comedy about three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza Hotel. The comedy runs September 5-20, 2008. Needed are four women ages 25-50 and five men ages 20-55. Rehearsals begin July 21. For more information, call 208-342-5104 or the director at 208-343-8522.

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The Half Empty Glass

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Okay, everyone worked off their primary night hangover?

Nope, we haven't either. So, let's grab ourselves another cup of dark and murky and look through the primary results.

First, look at you go, Ron Paul: a full 28 percent of the Republican primary results go to you. Do we detect a bit of Idaho Republican grumpiness about missing out on their Mitt Romney moment?

Democrats, don't get too excited. There's more trouble for you than you may have realized.

Memo to John McCain: Your friends in Idaho would like to see you. Often.

To Lt. Governor Jim Risch, job well done. That's what we call a clean brush off of the opposition in the primary. Um, but can you perhaps tell us why seven guys thought they could do a better job than you? We haven't seen a primary that crowded since Bill Sali ran for Congress. '

To Supreme Court Justice Joel Horton: Hello, nailbiter. Ai, yi yi have you thought about maybe spending some of that cash on campaigning next time? That one sign-waver we saw on Myrtle Street on election day just ain't going to cut the mustard, your honor.

The numbers: The Idaho Secretary of State has Horton ahead by a mere 194 votes. Ouch.

To you, Kirk Sullivan: Yeah, your party is like, so totally united, Dude. Heard you the first time. So why do you feel compelled to tell us that, over and over?

To Larry LaRocco: Okay, you won and now you get to go back to battle with the guy who stomped you last time you two went at it. What fun. Can you explain why you couldn't get more of David Archuleta's voters? Jeez, get a job already.

To U.S. Rep. Bill Sali Nice job tossing Salisbury into the heap. : Have fun with Walt Minnick. Do you need him to loan you any cash?

To Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter: Oy, two of your appointees got tossed last night. The greatest loss to the news and satire business: Communist Fighter Curtis Bowers. Well, he'll have more time to hunt down socialists, now.

And finally, we can't help but notice the challenge Ada County Commissioner Paul Woods just drew.

Last time around, Woods, a Democrat, just squeezed by Republican challenger—and perennial candidate—Steven Kimball. Now, he's going to have to go up against former county commissioner Sharon Ullman. She has a name for herself and won with 39 percent of the vote. Woods might just put up a fight.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One song at a time

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 7:00 PM


The amount of music readily available is, at the very least, daunting but I don't think that's an excuse for not exploring new acts and sounds, even if it's only once in awhile and even if it's just one new song.
To be able to converse about music at all, it's important maybe not to choose new bands to add to your regularly-listen-to repertoire, but to at least acknowledge they exist. And to recognize that a lot of them are adding something valuable to the music canon.

While at work, my go-to music choice is 3wk Internet radio. They offer three listening choices: classic rock, '80s and '90s rock, and indie rock. I usually click the indie rock choice. I hear bands I already know and dig, like Built to Spill or Modest Mouse. More importantly, I am introduced to music that's new to me. Most recently, I found Kate Nash whose song "Dickhead" is such a cool groove, the Long Blondes who dropped a trippy, misleading intro into their track "Century," and the Black Keys' crazy, scary, Appalachian "Psychotic Girl."
I still have my regular favorites and I'll still click on 3wk most days, but I hope I never find the end of new music.
Atkins out (but never of stuff to listen to).

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BPD: Dogging Your Ass

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Just when you thought absolute chaos would reign in the Boise Foothills, the boys in blue are ready to pedal to your rescue.

The Boise Police Department has announced that its bicycle patrol officers are increasing patrols in the Boise Foothills, and they're writing tickets for bad trail behavior.

If you're going to behave like children, well, they're going to treat you like them. Except that unlike mom, they'll fine your ass, too.

Word is the officers will focus their policing on the canine anarchy zones of Hulls Gulch Reserve, Camels Back Park and Military Reserve.

People, there are two types of trails in the Foothills: on-leash and controlled off-leash.

Sadly, "on-leash" doesn't mean "Totally just about to leash my dog."

Likewise, we hear that "controlled off-leash" does not mean, "Dog? What dog?"

Screw that up and you get a fine: Violators are subject to a $25 fine plus $41.50 in court costs. Arf, that's a lot of kibble.

“The regulations are intended to protect our natural resources while ensuring a safe, recreational experience on the trails for people and their pets,” says Julia Grant, Foothills Open Space Manager and someone who is by now probably accustomed to getting her leg whizzed upon by irate dog owners.

Of course, it's not over yet. Read Wednesday's BW for more information.

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Sit for a moment before you STOMP

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 4:00 AM

...so that you'll have time to catch the Trey McIntyre Project podcasts screening before the show.

John Michael Schert(less), executive director and dancer for Trey McIntyre Project. - PHOTO BY JONAS LUNDQVIST
  • Photo by Jonas Lundqvist
  • John Michael Schert(less), executive director and dancer for Trey McIntyre Project.

About an hour before each STOMP performance, ticket holders and non ticket holders alike can hang out in Stage II at the Morrison Center and watch video of about 15-minutes worth of TMP podcasts on a continuous loop. The videos should do a stellar job of getting ticket holders (sorry, those of you without) primed to watch the Stomp dancers hit it hard.

(No tickets necessary to watch the TMP podcasts.)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

BEMF in The Wire

Posted By on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 4:00 AM

The June 2008 issue of The Wire listed the third annual Boise Experimental Music Festival in its list of international music festivals. For more information on the five-day festival, visit http://www.boisemusicians.com/BEMF-3
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You Don't Know Jack

Posted By on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Idaho's arguably best-known citizen, J.R. Simplot, died over the weekend.

The 99-year-old billionaire died of natural causes in his downtown Boise home on Sunday morning.

Simplot's company has been a cornerstone of the state's agricultural economy. Over the decades he became an icon, the first-man of potatoes.

Last year, Forbes ranked Simplot No. 80 on its list of the most wealthy Americans with an estimated $3.2 billion in the bank.

His big house on the hill is as famous as he was, although he hasn't lived there for years. He donated the massive mansion to the state to serve as the future governor's mansion.

Politicians and business people have been coming out of the woodwork to release statements.

Here are some of the more notable ones:

From Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who was once married to Simplot's daughter and worked for his company:

“J.R. Simplot was a wonderful man and a great mentor who embodied what Idaho is all about. His love of family, his appreciation of America, his work ethic and his devotion to making this a better world through the free enterprise system all are values to which Idaho aspires. He had a huge impact on my life for over 30 years, and I shall miss him.”

From Boise Mayor Dave Bieter:

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of J.R. Simplot. J.R. did many great things for Idaho and for Boise, but one thing that people may not know about is that he was instrumental in saving Bogus Basin during a difficult time for the resort. He was an outstanding person and my heart goes out to his family.”

From First District Democratic congressional candidate Walt Minnick:

“J.R. had an unusual energy that electrified a room. He was a visionary, an independent thinker, a leader and one of Idaho’s great philanthropists. His business career and life reflects all Idaho was, is and will become, from its agricultural roots to its growing future in technology.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Misquote for McKague

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Apparently, Sen. Shirley McKague doesn't quite have her quotes straight.

Several sources have questioned a quote printed on one of the Meridian Republican's re-election post cards. The quote in question is attributed to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, and appears to endorse her in her primary election battle against fellow Republican Rep. Mark Snodgrass.

"Shirley McKague has consistently represented her district in a thoughtful way. If you believe in limited government and more individual responsibility, she's the one to vote for on May 27," the quote reads.

Too bad the governor never said it.

"[Gov. Otter] did not provide that quote to Shirley McKague," Otter spokesperson Mark Warbis told BW.

"The governor is not endorsing anybody in that race."

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