Minutemen at The Stone 1985

Youtube is many things good and bad. On the good side, it's a trove of live footage of bands from the golden age of punk. This set of songs will rock your socks off.

According to user N Hoey at https://archive.org/details/minutemen1985-05-13.flacf, Minutemen were opening for James Blood Ulmer at The Stone on 412 Broadway in San Francisco, CA. I think I ran right by that address on my way to the Coit Tower the last time I was in SF for work.

For me, the highlight is "I felt like a Gringo" at 46:47.


Last Wednesday night my family and I flew to Boise, Idaho, to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and stepfather. The six of us spent the holiday cooking, eating, walking around the neighborhood, playing cards, and assembling a jigsaw puzzle. We agreed not to discuss politics, not because any of us are Trump supporters, but because the state of the U.S. is too depressing and frustrating. My family is a lot like Boise itself, an amiable liberal island in a sea of retrograde white resentment.

I forget how big Boise is now. It's the Pacific Northwest's number 3 metro, after Seattle and Portland. The cities of Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Garden City, and Eagle together count almost 700,000 people. My folks live in a bland 30 year-old suburb in the southwest part of the city. We mostly stuck around their neighborhood but did make a trip to the the west end of State St and the Boise River to skip rocks and look for birds.


The Boise River

Boise is on the same latitude, 43°37′N, as Montpellier, France, where we spent our previous Thanksgiving weekend. It's a funny coincidence that I didn't see until this morning. I remember remarking to Ruth that the bright yellow lichen on trees by the river reminded me of the chestnut groves in the foothills of the Pyrénées.

On the way home we flew over the northeast corner of Utah, Cache Valley, and my former hometown of Logan. I'll never tire of this aerial view of backcountry places I've driven and walked so many times. And when the sky is clear the approach to Denver from the west never disappoints.


Longs Peak on the descent to DEN

November 4, 2016: Domaine de Restinclières

I'm going to post photos and stories from my back log of memories from my family's trip to France this fall. It was such an adventure for a homebody like me and I was mostly too overwhelmed at the time to blog about my experiences.

On November 4, my family and I went on a hike at the Domaine de Restinclières. The Domaine de Restinclières is a château and 200 hectares of gardens and forest around the source of the Lez and Lirou rivers north of Montpellier maintained by the Hérault Départment since 1992. It is brambly and leafy and semi-wild and has kilometers of trails to wander around on.

Ruth took this photo of our band on a crumbly limestone slope above the Lez.