My mom texted me today to tell me to block out a date to go to my gramma’s for an easter egg hunt up in Firth, Idaho. I texted back, “You better not be playing with me!” The reality is I don’t know one of my cousins who wouldn’t drop a trip to Disneyland, Europe or a guaranteed sighting of Elvis and Michael Jackson combined to go to my grandma’s farm. In my first year of marriage we discovered that my wife’s best friend was getting married the weekend we were scheduled to go to Grammas. I said, “That sucks we won’t be able to go to her wedding! We can send her a card.” I was not joking and that is the funny thing. I really thought she would choose grandmas over her friends wedding. Lucky for us she had read the date wrong. I think knowing what she knows now she would have chosen grandmas. In fact, I know she would.
My grandpa turned 94 last week so we can’t go up as often and so a personal invitation is like being invited into an inner circle that only a few can enter. He is still strong as an OX but we are a big group.
The amount and quality of the traditions that occur on the farm are as impossible to describe as it is trying to understand North Korea (only in a good way). Certain things have never changed. We typically go around Easter and Labor Day.
Labor Day means Eastern Idaho State Fair time. There is no fair like it in all the world!! We go out with the cousins in packs likes wolves only stopping for Tiger Ears and Ice Cream Cones at Reed’s Dairy (Huckleberry is off the charts) and an occasional foot long corn dog or Turkey Drum (not recommended). We have had the fortune of passing this tradition on to our children who in turn can’t wait to go to the fair each year for their own individual reasons.
If you have been to the Eastern Idaho State Fair you join an instant fellowship I have found. If you have ever seen the Alligator wrestler, monkey’s who do back flips while riding small ponies, Mexican Trapese Acrobats or the arm wresting competition where it is a prerequisite to wear Wranglers and have a Tobacco ring on your back pocket just to make it on stage, you understand what I am talking about. I LOVE AMERICA! Give me a shout out if you have experienced the EISF!
The look of a man about to ride a bike as hard as he can for 10 hours.
This is a late post so forgive me. The news from this event is over. Most cyclists are fattening up for the winter but for some they have one date in mind throughout the whole year, September 7, 2013, next years Lotoja race. This year my wife and I ran support for my best friend Ivun, pictured above. It was a race in and of itself. Pushing, running and gunning through crowds and traffic to get some food and liquid to our man. Holding a flag made out of a ski pole and a stand out hawaiian shirt trying to flag an overheated cyclist down in Montpelier was a chore. Organizers yelling to stay back as crowds tried to beat each other out for position so their cyclist can spend as little time as possible getting their feed bag. Ivun’s brother Ira, who was part of our clan ended up stopping for a total of 1:50 minutes over the 9:13 hours he rode while having to pee for about 7 of those. He ended up with the win in category 3 by a meager .005 of a second. It is serious business out there and every second counts for those looking for a title.
For others it is a chance to just finish the 206 mile, longest one day race in America and say, “I did it.” Kudos to anyone who crosses that line representing hours and days and typically around 3000-6000 training miles over the year. For those who don’t make it, it is usually in the hills and because they weren’t prepared, didn’t eat right, or had an accident.
Riding support was eventful and sad at times this year. We were seconds behind the racer who fell off the bridge at Hoback Junction. We arrived just as some riders were looking over the edge trying to call 911. My heart goes out to this rider’s family. It is still a mystery as to what really happened.
Minutes after we left the bridge a fire broke out on the mountain threatening to stop the whole thing. We stopped and just thought, “Could things get any crazier?”
Overall, I think the organizers did a fantastic job. This is a huge thing to organize.
I was so inspired by the race, the determination that I decided to start training. I did my first century in October just a month after getting my first road bike. I have a long way to go but I hope I can cross that line someday.
I know it is too early to post images of summer time so please forgive me. This first image is reminiscent of times when we use to sit on the stairs at my grammies in Blackfoot and eat ice cream cones. It is hard to imagine the amount of traditions that were born on my grandma’s farm. To name a few: Bocce, making movies, playing Atari, tubing in the canal, rummikub, playing dress-up for fashion show till we were in our twenties, cousins, fishing on the pond, summer fish fry, and I could go on but it might bore you because they are all family traditions. Just know this. They have been transformational in my life. My grandpa is about to turn 94 and my grandma is 9 years his younger and they still put on a lively party. Life is good!
These were taken at my cousin’s in Twin Falls. We have certain traditions with my cousin Melissa and her husband Derek too. Derek and I cook Asian, Indian or Thai food every time we get together. He served a mission over in Indonesia and Singapore and learned a bunch. The food is off the charts.
I am interested to hear about your family traditions so maybe I can steal one or two. Pipe up!
Mamiya rz67 film straight out of the camera, no photoshop please.
Spoiler Alert: My wife and I went to see the much anticipated film, Les Miserables. As many of you know I loved the book and issued a challenge a month or so ago to read the original. I admit I have never seen the broadway musical but have heard many of the songs. When I was eleven or twelve my dad sat me in front of the version filmed in 1979. I loved the story then and to date that 1979 version was probably my favorite. The more recent version with Liam Neeson I liked but wasn’t blown away. Geoffrey Rush I particularly liked as Javert. Let’s admit though, it is difficult to ever tell the story on film the way it deserves.
Disclaimer: I will admit that I was slightly distraught for something that had nothing to do with the movie. A young woman collapsed in the theater we attended as she was walking out in the middle of the movie. I did not see her collapse so when the audience started jumping out of their seats, sadly my first thought was that there was a shooter because of the commotion. In a split second I actually looked for a place for my wife and I to hide then I saw that a woman was lying unconscious on the ground not ten feet from us. People huddled around her as others ran out the theater to call an ambulance. She finally came to and began coughing, the movie was stopped and the ambulance arrived to haul her out. They said she was doing fine and they left and the movie started right back into singing. I never quite got back into the movie.
Both my wife and I walked away a little confused whether we loved the movie or just liked it. I really wanted to bring my ten year old daughter to see it because I know she would love the story. I was ignorant to think that they would keep it clean. One thing I love about the book, is its purity. That goes for many classics. Somehow Hugo gets his message across to the reader that Fantine is in these horrible situations and that the Thernardiers are scum but he does it with style. That is to say, you know what is happening without you the reader having to stoop that low. Somehow, I just want one thing to stay pure and undefiled from Hollywood. This is the one story that I feel taught me so much about giving, understanding, and even parenting and remains pure in my eyes somehow was a little tainted but mostly disappointed that I could not share it with my daughter.
Now, the singing. There were times of absolute brilliance in the performances. Anne Hathaway did a fantastic job as well as Hugh Jackman. The little girl that played Cozette was a total sweetheart. Forgive me again my ignorance but I didn’t realize that the whole flipping movie was a song. It has got to be a ton of work to sing a whole movie. Nobody talks, they just sing. My wife said, “What did you expect it is a musical?” I guess I expected something like Sound of Music where they talk and then occasionally break into song. I just wanted someone to talk, especially Russell Crowe. I know this is impossible but I wish they only sung the best songs and then talked the rest of the time. My little brother said that after an hour he accepted the fact that the whole thing would be in song and then he started to enjoy it. I had that same realization.
I think this was a huge undertaking and it definitely ranks as probably the best film version made to date. I am glad to hear that so many of you are reading the book. I am wondering what you all thought of the movie. Let me know once you have seen it.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine, Clint Andersen, made a discovery. He found an obscure little short movie that was filmed in 1945 and ended up winning an academy award for best short. Clint found this short added to a movie titled, “A Connecticut Christmas” which was only so so. It was in the special features section. So he sent me a copy and told me just to watch the special features. I love that era, I love the lighting, the acting, and the simplicity. If you have 20 minutes this would be a great one to show your kids. Let me know what you think.
My little town of River Heights was once called Dry Town. The meaning is essentially the same just it sounds a little nicer.
I have only lived here since 2008 but River Heights is familiar territory to me. My father grew up here and his parents lived here since the 1950s. It is small, quiet but has a strong sense of community that many cities have lost to growth over the years. I woke up this morning to fog so I decided to go do some video of things we see everyday only with this natural filter. Don’t judge the quality, it was edited in 5 minutes and is very rough.
Bumped into Charles at Great Harvest whilst having lunch this summer. Fortunately, I had a camera on me. Taken with the Hasselblad 500C with Ilford 100 BW film. As trade for taking his picture he ran me through an impressive lesson on the real heroes of World War 2 specifically General George C. Marshall who I promised I would investigate in slower times . This dude is in his 70s and would be considered what you might call an OG or original gangsta when it comes to the biking scene. Wish I had more time to talk to him cause I love a fellow lover of history.
Every year my little brother gets his pumpkin knives out and creates something for my cousin who is the main blogger for TEEN.com. He did Jacob and Edward a few years ago and it went viral. He did Bieber and it went viral. My cousin this year had him do the boys from One Direction (I didn’t know who they were until it was explained to me). This is the first installment. We are so proud. 🙂