I want to be Skerik
OK, time for an update from Boise. I've now seen a good bit of the town and started to get a feel for it. The climbing gym here is pretty good so I bought a month pass. Twice I've climbed with a nice guy who works for the national forest service and comes to Boise for meetings occasionally. My top rope climbing has suffered since I've been doing mostly bouldering, so my forearms are usually stiff and sore by the time I get to the top of the routes, which are pretty tall since it's a warehouse size building.
Last Friday I drove to the nearby town of Nampa for the Boise Philharmonic concert - Barber Second Essay for Orchestra, Beethoven Piano Concerto, and Tchaikovsky Symphony 5. All good pieces and overall very enjoyable. The program book had some notes on the performers. One of the violinists is a firmware engineer at HP. Saturday I took a long bike ride along the green belt, crossing back and forth over the Boise River several times. The availability of nice biking is just such a nice feature to have in a city.
Sunday afternoon I saw Miss Pedigrew Lives for a Day at the Boise Flicks (more hip/artsy) movie theater, then Sunday night was the Les Claypool concert. Lots of great people watching as the freaks come out in force for Les. Lots of piercings, tattoos, white hippie girls with dreadlocks, and a girl with the band "Tool"'s logo tattooed on her upper back. Lots of Tool T-shirts as well. I managed to find a spot at the front of the balcony where I could actually see the stage. I was poked in the side by a ten year old boy and his five year old brother who wanted to sit down in front of me. This was fine since they were probably some of the few people at the show I could see over. Their parents were right behind and explained to me that "we jam out to Claypool all the time at home" and that the five year old was concerned about Les's nose, not understanding that he was wearing a Pinoccio type mask initially. It was a good show, and Les had some funny crowd interactions with a highly enthusiastic girl in the front row, who was quick to fill in the details Les omitted in his banter, earning her the nickname "Wikipedia Woman". At one point some fans engaged in a bit of fisticuffs, and Les stopped the show and asked "Are you guys having a little testicle party down there?". Of course, Skerik, the sax player who gets to tour with Les, wear goofy masks, and play tenor and bari sax through all manner of guitar effects petals is probably near the top of my list of musicians I'd be willing to switch places with.
Tuesday I met up with my Aunt Deed's friend Joyce who lives here for lunch. She gave me some more of the scoop on the local scene and abundance of great outdoor activities. She suggested some drives to try if the weather is fair and hopefully we'll meet up over the weekend for some hiking.
I can say with authority now that this trip has noticeably improved my sense of direction and ability to navigate around in a car. I didn't buy a local map until a few days ago and I'm already pretty much beyond the need for it. Boise is small, granted, but I used to get lost every four blocks or so. Oh, and the fact that there are not angry aggressive drivers surrounding you at all times like in Manhattan makes things a lot more approachable.