Tag Archives: Boise

A busy day today

I just finished my interview on Voice of Indie. I had a great time, got to talk about my process and published work. We even talked about the two I recently finished that are coming soon. The show is over, but will be available in the archives at this link https://www.blogtalkradio.com/voiceofindie1/2021/07/22/voice-of-indie-episode-051

I set up two freebies to announce on the show. They promoted this in their newsletter, and the results were phenomenal. Check out these images.

Grinders peaked at #3 in its category. It’s still free for another 24 hours, so if you would like a copy take advantage of this promo. http://mybook.to/Grinders

Serang peaked at #2. Same rules apply. Free for one more day. http://mybook.to/Serang

Old What’s Her Face and I went to Zoo Boise this morning. I wanted to do this as soon as they announced their new Stellar’s Sea Eagles. This is because I designed the Omcrom from HMS Lanternfish from them. Covid took care of that for me, but today I visited them after the fact.

Sea Eagle

These guys are huge. They were a bit snotty and stayed where I couldn’t really see them until their misters turned on. This guy hopped right down to enjoy his shower and gave me this image. They are bigger than our bald eagles or even the golden eagles around here. Very impressive.

Lisa with the Omcrom

I also saw several varieties of hornbill. Their cages aren’t the best for photography, but I took some anyway. I used these guys to design the anvil bird from Lanternfish. I added the ability to speak and a bit more color, but this is the root creature.

Lisa with the anvil bird

We saw all kinds of things, but they were as hit by the heat as we were. Most were shaded up and sleeping. The red pandas were out, but we mostly saw a bushy tail hanging from their nest.

I got to see the gibbons which also excited me.

The blond one hung out on the ground and took advantage of the shade. This one was accommodating. I have something in mind for a gibbon in a future story.

It involves a comic book character called Special Agent Golden Gibbon. In my story, a couple of my characters are impressed with this fictional character in their world. One will be inspired to take some risky actions based upon what Golden Gibbon would have done.

This is me being weird again. My fictional story has a fictional creation inside it. I might even write some outtakes from the comic into the story once I start drafting it. How many layers of fiction is that???

We had a great time, and even picked up gyros on the way home. After all that heat, I took a short nap, then it was time for the radio show. It wound up being a great day.


Filed under Writing


When I drove to work yesterday, the Boise foothills were on fire. This kind of thing seems to happen fairly regularly, and it usually makes for a smoky day.

As I got close to the office I saw open flames and they were right on the edge of town. It was about a half mile or less from my office. When I pulled into the parking lot, I lost view of the Flames because of the trees. This might not mean much to you, but it indicates a fire right at the base of the foothills. Authorities suspect illegal fireworks. Happy Fourth of July!

That isn't flame, it's sunrise. I've heard reports that one home was lost, and that two homes were actually lost. Either way, that's too damned close.

This is what Tablerock looked like after work from +/- the same spot.

Be careful outdoors this summer. Things are all dried up now, and campfires, cigarettes, fireworks, and even a dragging chain on an RV can cause this.

Otto decided to get up at 3:00 again. He's been pretty good for a week, but today he's an early bird. I've been up since then, and might as well post this now.

My wife is taking Otto to Nevada to show him to family this weekend. I'm staying behind and spraying trees in the back yard. It's best if a little puppy isn't around for a day or two for that.


Filed under Uncategorized

Leku Ona in Boise, Idaho

This is one of those posts that simply has to get made. Date night wasn’t exactly fun tonight.

Neither one of us was excited to go out, but we did anyway. We enjoy each other’s company, that’s probably why we got married.

Since we hit one Boise institution for breakfast, we decided to try another. I grew up in Elko, Nevada, and it’s full of Basque people. It has traditionally been home of some fabulous Basque restaurants too.

Boise is another hotbed of Basque people. There is an entire part of town called the Basque Block. That’s where Leku Ona is situated. It’s always been considered an upscale local place.

It appears they closed for a little over a month for a remodel, and tonight was the grand re-opening. I made the mistake of going into the bar and they seated us. When they brought a bar menu, we asked what the deal was. It turns out the restaurant is upstairs, and the bar waitress walked us up.

The hostess complained that there were a lot of reservations, and she didn’t know where to place us. The bar waitress wasn’t having any of that nonsense, and took us up anyway. Kudos to the bar waitress, who actually deserved a tip she never got.

Turns out there was only one other table occupied. There was another one with a reserved card on it. The remodel looked really nice. Two wine glasses each, gobs of silverware, bread and salad plates, plus soup bowl. Have you got the image of the kind of place?

Basque restaurants traditionally have some stuff most people would find strange. Examples are sweetbreads, tongue, tripe, and ink fish. (These are squid, but not the calamari you might be familiar with.) Remember, I grew up on this stuff so it isn’t bizarre to me. I’m a big believer in embracing the culture when I go to an ethnic restaurant. I ordered the tongue. (Which I’ve always liked.)

“We don’t have that tonight.”

“Okay, I’ll have the lamb chops.”

“We don’t have those either.”

Now lamb is very traditional at a Basque restaurant. I was a little bit disappointed.

“Why don’t I give you a minute to look at the menu.”

About a half-hour later the waitress came back. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a long time to me.

“I’ll have the sirloin.”

Wait for it… Tension here… “We don’t have that either. I’ll come back in a moment.”

I stopped her. I took this approach instead, “What do you actually have?”

“We have the ribeye.”

Now the ribeye was $13 more than the sirloin. I could have bought three ribeyes for what they were asking, and by this time, I wasn’t about to be upgraded. Did they offer me the ribeye for the same price as the sirloin? Of course not.

She went down the menu and there were at least two additional items they did not have. I settled for a lamb meatloaf.

All in all, it was edible. My wife had chicken, and it was edible. On the way home my wife said she could make a better meal than that. That isn’t idle boasting, because my wife is a fabulous cook, but she was right.

Visits from the waitress were about half an hour apart. We were there for about 2.5 hours, for a meal that should have taken an hour.

When the folks for the reserved table arrived, I listened to a similar scenario. Their waitress told them the place had been crazy busy and they sold out of the items they wanted. (Still only about one-third full by now.)

So there you have it. Overpriced restaurant, putting on airs they could not live up to, limited menu with mediocre food, and lousy service. I half expected someone to offer me free flan or something, but they did not.

If you ever come to Boise, that’s a yes for Merrit’s Country Cafe, and a big no for Leku Ona. I’m posting this so any unsuspecting diner might find it before they go there. Don’t believe me, check the tags I put on this post.

The whole thing reminded me of this, but it wasn’t funny:


Filed under Uncategorized

One of those days.

It's my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary today. Regular readers know what this means for grandma and grandpa.

I never got any writing done at all. I work ten hour days, and wound up tired at the end of the week. I slept in – it happens.

We wound up taking the kids to the Boise zoo. I really didn't want to bring them home, but Grandma didn't think the zoo would keep them. (But honey, we'll never know if we don't ask?)

Our zoo is very good for its size. They don't have any mega fauna, or apes larger than gibbons. They do a good job with what they have. I always enjoy it, and may go back alone one day.

When you take little kids it's fun, but a different kind of fun. They need to hit every snack bar, and all the playground equipment.

The littlest one had to climb on every bridge, fence, or landscape rock they placed. For a while our stroll involved take three steps, the little one fell off something. Cry and scream, dust off, three more steps and repeat. Still, we forged along.

My favorites are always the Siberian tigers. These days they are Amur tigers. I have no idea why, but same thing. They didn't cooperate today. Only one was out, and she soaked up the sun at the far side of her enclosure.

The lions were much more accommodating.

I still have that young couple in Africa in mind. They are great characters in search of a plot. It has to be one of my kind of plots, but I'm still thinking of them. Maybe I should create an outline and see where it takes me.

I'm sorely tempted to take my iPad to the zoo early and have this old gal help me outline it. It was late afternoon, and something tells me she's a morning person.



Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Alton Brown Live

Old What’s Her Face* and I had date night last night. We bought tickets nearly a year ago to see Alton Brown Live. For those who don’t know, Brown is a celebrity chef. He’s hosted Iron Chef America for years and years, and his own program, Good Eats, helped put Food Network on the map. This was before all cable chanels became reality TV and game show networks. In the early era, this was a good channel.

Brown taught me a lot of interesting things with his humorous style that seemed to combine Mr. Science and Monty Python. Today, he is relegated to hosting various competition shows. Think; you have 72 seconds to cook something using Fruit Loops, escargot, and rubber cement – go. (Who cares.)

Brown’s talents are wasted in these endeavors, but he has to keep making a living. I get it. He came up with the idea of a live show that wasn’t a typical cooking presentation. I have to say it was a fantastic show. It involved some standup comedy, a few humorous songs, and some food preparation that involved sensational props.

In similar style to other shows I’ve attended, there is film running before the show starts. This is my horrible attempt to capture yeast puppets burping and farting as they do what yeast does. (Maybe my sourdough starter would have enjoyed the show.)

Yeah, I know it’s awful photography. I never claimed to be a photographer.

This was a long show, roughly two seventy minute segments with a twenty minute intermission. I was sad when it ended. Brown is a genius of presentation. His song, Airport Shrimp Cocktail, is worth the price of admission.

There was food preparation too. He made a gallon of chocolate ice cream in ten seconds using a fire extinguisher and some jet propulsion techniques that were way over my head. He also made two pizzas using a super sized Easy Bake Oven. The oven was about ten feet tall and powered by theatrical lights.

His engaging stories cemented something in my mind. He used suspense to make the punch line all the sweeter. His story elements all tie together in the show too. Yeast from the film is a central player in a dough mishap he shared with us. (And it was hillarious.) As a writer, I really appreciate all the technique and polishing that must have gone into this show.

If you ever have the chance to see Alton Brown Live, do it. Even if you aren’t a cook you’ll have a great time. Oh, and never eat airport shrimp cocktail.

*Not my date’s actual name.


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