Views of Boise

This post is for all my fellow Boiseans.

Many of you may not be aware, but we have some very cool new online tools that provide us some interesting views of our beloved city.

Used to be, the best you could do was a grainy, top-down satellite view. Kinda cool, but the resolution is bad. Isn’t all that useful or interesting. Fortunately, we’ve got options now!

Google Maps Street View

I’m sure you are all aware of Google Maps at this point. Who hasn’t gone there when looking for directions somewhere. But what you might not know about is a feature called Street View. Basically, Google takes cars and drives around a city to photograph all of the streets. It is actually much cooler than it sounds. For example, see the map below. That is obviously downtown Boise, corner of Capital and Main Street. Click and drag on that pic below… play with it a bit.


View Larger Map

They started with major cities like San Fransisco and Chicago. But, they have been regularly adding cities and Boise just recently came online. With pretty solid coverage too. All of the blue lined streets are available to view. More than likely, if you live in Ada county you can probably view your house.

But thats not all!

Not to be outdone, Microsoft’s Live Maps site has their own twist on this. They call it Bird’s Eye View. This gives you literally a bird’s eye view of a particular region. And since I’m writing about it, you can guess that Boise is now included. (Click the image to go)

boise-birdseye.jpg

Instead of driving around on all the streets like Google, they chose to rent a small plane and film from about 1500 feet. Still very cool. By the way, Boise in the summertime is a beautiful place.

So, now you know. Go out and try to find your house, you know you want to.

Man, I love the internet.

U2 3D – Feb 22

Jess is a massive U2 fan.  She owns every piece of music ever produced by them.  She was so excited for this movie to open that she actually, only half jokingly asked if we could fly down to Salt Lake City last weekend where the movie was already open.  Needless to say, I put a heavy kibosh on that one.  Instead, we waiting until this past Friday when the movie opened here.

The movie itself is quite a piece of work.  This is the first 3d movie I’ve seen in many many years.  I can tell you one thing; 3d has come a LONG way since the old days of the paper framed red and blue glasses you got in your box of Lucky Charms to watch the 3d presentation of The Day After.  They give you a hefty set of alternating polarized glasses that neatly separated the left and right images for each eye.  The shape of the glasses suggests a Elvis Costello type look.  I thought that they really missed a great marketing tie in.  They should have totally made the glasses look like a replica of Bono’s shades.  How great would that have been?

The movie is projected by a digital projector which creates a beautiful crisp image.  I’m a HUGE fan of digital movies.  You don’t realize how bad traditional film movies look with all the scratches and pops and dirt.  It’s like the difference between VHS and DVD.  Or even VHS and HD-DVD… er… I mean BluRay.  Fantastic.

The movie itself is a straight concert movie, shot at their live show in Buenos Aries.  No behind the scenes or anything.  It starts when they come on stage and ends after the encore.  I’m enough of a U2 fan to recognize about 3/4 of the songs they played, including Vertigo, Beautiful Day, and Where the Streets Have No Name.  The director kept the camera moving and really made the most of the 3d thing.  Shots of the drum kit were very cool, as were closeups of the band… But the absolute peak of the technology was when they would shoot across the top of the crowd.  Seeing thousands of waving arms or jumping bodies in 3d was unreal.  Makes your eyes pop out of your head.  Also, at the end, the started flashing text on the screen (the same text used at the concert in the background) but it was laid over the concert in such a way it looked like it was about 30 feet in front of the screen.  Amazing stuff.  The runtime is only 80 minutes so it certainly doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Even if you are a marginal U2 fan, I would recommend seeing this flick.  The visuals alone are worth the price of admission.  Plus, the music is solid enough to help you get past Bono’s slight megalomania.

Armageddon?

Is Armageddon upon us? You be the judge.

In Boise in the past 3 days we have experienced the following…

Tuesday was a gigantic meteor flashing through the morning sky. Big enough to cause 30+ people to call the authorities to report it.
http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/300626.html

Wednesday night was a full lunar eclipse.
http://www.idahostatesman.com/571/story/299901.html

Now, this very morning, we were rocked by a 6.3 earthquake
http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/301854.html

Now, I know all of these things aren’t localized to Boise. Lots of areas in the Pacific Northwest saw the meteor. The whole world saw the lunar eclipse. Event the earthquake was centered on Wells Nevada. But you gotta admit, it’s curious.

I’m not saying I have it on good authority or anything, but when the plague of locusts arrives tomorrow, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Actors Studio 10 Questions

Inside the Actors StudioThis past weekend, we watched a little Inside the Actor’s Studio since there is no longer any football on TV. I always kinda enjoy the show. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is basically an interview show featuring those in the movie biz. Lots of actors and directors. They pull big time guests too. Granted, it usually a big love-fest, not exactly hard ball questions or anything, but the long format lets the subjects to be a little more real. If you would like to watch some clips, go here.

Anyway, every show they ask 10 questions of the guest. Every time I see it, I get thinking about my answers to the questions and figured, that would make a great blog post. One caveat, I will undoubtedly go longer on each answer than they do on the show. I got unlimited space here, and some of the questions will have multiple answers.

Also, I would like to invite all of you out there to answer the same questions. You can either do it here in the comments section, or if you have your own blog, answer them there, then link to your answers in my comments section. Could be interesting.

Without further ado…

Continue reading Actors Studio 10 Questions

Weekend

Here is what we accomplished this past weekend:

http://jesswink.blogspot.com/2008/02/im-smilin-from-ear-to-ear.html 

It was rather embarrassing that the garage was still unusable condition with all our crap (ok, mostly my crap).  But really there wasn’t all that much out there.  I got the shelves up on Christmas break, but they sat there unused since.  Now, however, they are full of our junk and we’re parking in the garage.  Wait… check that.  SHE is parking in the garage.  I’m still stuck out on the drive way and scraping my windows.  *sigh*  Such is life with a one car garage.

By the way, the pizza was gooood.

Our Paperboy Sucks

I think we have the worst paperboy on the planet.  Ok, that might be a tad strong.  I’m sure there are worse ones.  But ours still makes me crazy.

The positives.  We almost always actually get our paper.  That’s it.

The problem arises upon said deliveries.  See, the guy can’t seem to get the paper more than 10 feet away from the street.  We have a 15 foot strip of gravel (owned by the city) before our driveway actually starts.  The days that the paper actually makes it ON to the driveway are rare and amazing.  I know that this is a full grown adult, no some 13 year old trying to make a buck.  For some reason, in my head I see this guy trying to throw the paper with little tiny Tyrannosaurus Rex arms and that simply is as far as he can heave it.

Of course, that is not the case.  More likely he is just a lazy SOB.

This winter has been exceptionally bad with all the snow.  When you have to get fully dressed, including your shoes, in order to go out and get the paper, that is just wrong.  Even better, when there is 3 inches of snow on top of the paper so you gotta find it first then dig for it.  At least he can put the damn things in bags, but still.  I mean, we have a covered porch, a perfect landing spot for a paper to wait diligently for us to pick up.  I would love to just lean our the door and scoop the paper.  But obviously this is much to much to ask for.

So, all of you who could pick up your paper in the nude if you so choose, I envy you (I just don’t want to see it).

Four More Inches

When did Boise become Buffalo? Woke up this morning to find 4 more inches of snow on the ground. And, according to the newspaper, more is on the way. I gotta tell you, I am SERIOUSLY tired of it. We haven’t seen this much snow in forever. Get this, I actually made the comment to Jess upon the first snow of the season falling, “I like shoveling snow.” Wow. Let’s just say, I’ve definitely had my fill this year.

All I keep telling myself, only 194 more days until Maui.

Today is National Letter of Intent day for college football. Kinda like the NFL draft but for 119 D-1 football teams. I always find it interesting to see who Boise State is recruiting, who we get and who we lose. Especially interesting since this is the first real post-Fiesta Bowl recruiting class. We’ll be seeing these kids for the next 4 (or 5) years. Who knows what they will accomplish. Speaking of letter of intent day, read this article about a kid who committed to Cal, except for the fact they never recruited him. Very odd.

Update, here is a follow up article.

That’s all for now. I may have some comments about our recruiting class once it’s all said and done. Other than that, I’ll just be bitching and moaning about more snow.

Snow Casualty

We had our first snow casualty this past weekend.

IMG_2037.JPG The 3 year old canopy that is on our back patio. The snow had built up and built up over the past few weeks. All you locals know how much it has been snowing. Well, the design of the canopy was that it was a 4 cornered structure with a canvas top. But, with a lot of snow, the canvas has sagged. There are eyelets to let the water out, but unfortunately, they’ve been frozen over for months. So, even when the sun did periodically poke out, it would melt the top of the snow/ice caught in the canvas, but it wouldn’t ever go anywhere since the holes were frozen over. Thus, it just refroze and built up more.

Continue reading Snow Casualty

Welcome ESPNers

This morning, like I do most mornings, I jumped on the web to check the stats from my blog. I always like to stay on top of what sorts of traffic I get. Granted, it’s never a lot. I average maybe 50 unique visitors a day or so.

Well, this morning was different. When I first checked, I had some 300+ visitors since midnight. Wow… what the hell is going on, I wondered. I checked where these hits were coming from and most of them were coming from a comment I made on ESPN.com a few days ago on a story about Super Bowl foods. I simply posted, “I’m personally going to whip up some Stroganoff Dip. It is ALWAYS a hit.” with a link to my blog post with the recipe.

espn.jpgLo and behold, somehow that quote got “featured” on their main page. Check the image to the left, bottom. I have no clue how or why. All I know is that as of right now I’ve gotten 374 unique visitors and over 800 page views. The most interesting part is that I’ve gotten a big spike in traffic from Google from people searching “Stroganoff Dip Recipe” and finding my site that way as well.

The web is an amazing thing.

So, welcome folks from ESPN. Stick around if you like. I’ve written about Sports in general and Boise State specifically quite a bit.  Maybe you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.

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