First week home

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Hey there, I’ve been home for just over a week and it’s been great, but it’s time I stop ignoring my blog! There’s so much I should be writing about, so I need to make myself sit down and start writing again. I figured I’d start with a brief check in, but I’ll write about much more in the weeks to come.

Since being home I’ve enjoyed all the great food I’ve missed out on, especially my first trip to Boise Fry Company, which I intend to write about over at ABoiseLife.com.

Boise Fry Company

The food was great, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Boise!

I picked up a Samsung Gear VR which has been a pretty cool experience. One of the first things I did was boot up Minecraft VR and it’s a mind-blowing experience for sure!

Gear VR

I’ve enjoyed messing around with my new gaming PC, and tried my hand at Dark Souls III. It took a few days but I finally beat the first boss (technically just the tutorial boss) but am once again finding it difficult to progress past the very first section of the game.

I’m contemplating downloading Battleborn today (for the Xbox One), because I’ve been wanting a shooter I can fire up when I just want to play something casually. Rocket League is a great game to fire up and waste some time with, but I just want to shoot things!

Thanks, as always, for reading what I have to say, and I hope to bring some significant content back to the blog within a day or two! Until then I’m going to keep relaxing and enjoying America!

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Blogging about Boise: aBoiseLife.com

Hey there, just wanted to let you know about my new blog that I’m starting as a sort of AVGL off shoot of sorts. I started up aBoiseLife.com as a place to write about things that might not be the best fit for AVGL. It’ll probably be more of a personal blog, and it’ll focus on things local to Boise. Hope you’ll check it out!

My first rifle: Ruger AR-556

Ruger AR 556

Last weekend I bought my first gun. I had been pondering purchasing a rifle for awhile, but had never come close to making the plunge. Once I decided during the holiday weekend that I was actually going to buy a rifle, the process was surprisingly easy and painless, at least here in Idaho.

We went to Impact Guns in Boise and were greeted by the friendly and attentive staff almost immediately (whereas Cabela’s has a ‘take a number’ system at their gun counter and never acknowledged me at all while I was there browsing). I was at first thinking of starting small with the Mossberg Tactical .22 rifle, but the salesman recommended checking out the ‘full blown’ AR’s first. I was shown the Ruger AR-556 rifle which I really liked, so I decided I would purchase it.

After a quick and painless background check process I was able to purchase the rifle within minutes of decided I wanted it. What really impressed me was how awesome the salespeople were. They made the process enjoyable, and everyone in the store treated each other and their customers like family. As other customers came into the store the employees greeted them by name and asked how they liked their recent purchases. I had never been to a gun store before, but the environment at Impact was much more friendly than I expected.

As I was heading to the car with my purchase the salesman chased me down because he had forgotten to give me some promotional items. He gave me a couple of Ruger hats and a license plate holder and thanked me again for my purchase. I know it’s silly, but this action made the entire process feel like more than just a sale. Heck, I’ve never gotten any sort of gift, even when buying a car. It just reminded me of all of the trucker hats my dad used to have hanging up. There were ones from buying cars, tools, washers and dryers, it’s like they used to hand out hats with everything. Now almost anything you buy is just a sale that passes in the blink of an eye, nothing else.

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I don’t think I’d ever wear this outside

Shooting the rifle has been a blast. It’s crazy to me how you can just go almost anywhere and shoot in Idaho.

blm shooting

A huge area for safe shooting

Yesterday we discovered a wonderful free to use shooting range in Nampa, the George W. Nourse public shooting range. It was a bit of a drive, but was much easier to get set up and start shooting when compared to trying to scout out a safe area out in the desert. The range features several separate shooting areas, and you can just drive your car right up to one and get set up.

george w nourse shooting range

I  love the view out in the distance

Ruger AR-556

We got set up and started shooting and it was a blast!

 

 

 

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Boise’s Stagecoach Theatre’s Complete, Abridged, Revised Shakespeare

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“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]” is a hilarious play which succeeds at performing all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in a mere 97 minutes. Of course, in order to do so the plays must be seriously abridged and the way in which this is accomplished is the cause of many laughs throughout.

The play began its run at the Stage Coach Theatre in Boise on Friday and will run until September 12. We saw Saturday night’s performance and absolutely loved it.

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jack and coke

We started the evening off with some cocktails in the lobby while waiting for the play to begin. If Off-Broadway’s “Drunk Shakespeare” proved anything, it’s nothing goes together with Shakespeare quite like a few drinks. The Jack and Cokes were strong and as I sipped it I couldn’t help but take in the wonderful community that makes up the theatre’s audience. So many of those in the lobby seemed to know everyone else in attendance and lively greetings were exchanged between the frequent patrons. The atmosphere inside the theater was filled with a jolly air that increased as cocktails were consumed.

stage coach theatre shakespeare

We took our seats in the small, cozy theater and waited for the show to begin. Once it did we never stopped laughing! All three actors were wonderful and played their parts well. They were enthusiastic, energetic and never missed a beat.

If you happen to find yourself in Boise at some point during the next few weeks I highly recommend attending the Stage Coach Theatre’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised].” It’s a blast!

The Boise Hawk’s sun blocking blimp

Last night was the second game of the season for the Boise Hawks, a class A team for the Colorado Rockies (previously for the Chicago Cubs). It was also the night they launched their sun blocking blimp for the first time.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25219631/boise-hawks-plan-to-fly-30-foot-blimp-that-would-block-out-the-sun

We always sit on the first base side, so this sounded like a wonderful idea. In reality, it didn’t seem to do very much other than create something for fans to joke about. “That’s it?” was heard often around the first base area, but hey it was the first night so maybe they’ll get something figured out. It did block the sun for us at least once during the night, for about ten minutes or so.

Boise Hawks sun blocking blimp

It was a great night for a ballgame, regardless. I love local baseball and miss the variety I enjoyed on the East Coast, with the York Revolution and Harrisburg Senators being my favorites, while our (York’s) rival Lancaster Barnstormers reside just across the river. (There were also three MLB teams within driving distance…four I suppose if you count Pittsburgh…yuck!)

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The game was enjoyable to watch, and I just enjoyed being in the stands again. The Hawks, however, did not play very well. The pitching and fielding just were not up to par and the Tri-City Dust Devils drifted out of reach as the innings wore on.

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Ultimately the Hawks lost 8-2 as the sun set and the crowd began to grow anxious for the first fireworks night of the season.

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Idaho’s First Panera Bread (in Nampa)

chipotle chicken panini

This past week Idaho’s very first Panera Bread opened in Nampa, and I finally made it out there this evening. One of the things that saddened me when I got stationed in Idaho was that there were no Panera Bread’s in the entire state! How could that be?! Well I can finally get my Panera Bread fix twenty minutes outside of Boise. Previously I could only get my hands on the wonderful Chipotle Chicken Panini while I was on leave back in Pennsylvania or TDY to somewhere like Florida.

I’m glad Panera has finally made it to Idaho, however I do hope they open a store in Boise before too long so I don’t have to make the drive to Nampa. Something is better than nothing at least.

The experience was a little hectic, this being the location’s first Friday evening since it opened. The restaurant was packed and the line was long and slow moving. It seemed everyone had a lot of questions as they made it to the registers to order, which I can understand as many might not have ever eaten at a Panera before. There was a staff member handing out menus to those waiting in line and answering any questions they had which was nice, however I’m not sure it made things quicker. This wasn’t so much the staff’s fault, it was more slow moving customers, but again this was all to be expected.

I’m sure I’ll be making many more trips out to Nampa for Panera Bread lunches in the near future. Now if only Yuengling could make its way out here!

How Yelp convinced me not to check out The Counter in Meridian

So when I’m looking to check out a new place to eat (or shop / drink etc.) the first place I usually check is Yelp. It’s incredibly useful to read other people’s reviews and to discover whether people tend to react positively or negatively to a business.

One such business I wanted to check out was The Counter, in Meridian. I had heard they have some pretty tasty burgers, however Yelp seems to tell a different story. The business has a 2.5 star rating after 54 reviews, so wasn’t off to a good start in the first place. However, the business owner’s response to one review in particular really rubbed me the wrong way.

The Counter Meridian

The tone of the business owner in this response does not come across as professional at all. Upon reading this response I decided I would not even give The Counter an opportunity to disprove its overwhelmingly negative reputation on Yelp. The owner also copy and pasted a rebuttal to several negative reviews, which comes across an impersonal attempt to save face.

So congratulations John H. of The Counter, you have succeeded in making me not want to frequent your restaurant. Heck, based off the Yelp reviews alone I probably still would’ve given the place a shot, but now I’ll never set foot in the place.