2013.02.24: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Driving, writing, and partying.


Kamiah to Boise is a nice drive with several options available. Kamiah to Grangeville and Meadows to Boise/Meridian each have two main alternatives, providing four options; Grangeville to Meadows has only one real route, I-95.

The standard Kamiah to Grangeville route is 12/13 through Kosskia, Stites, and Harpster, but an alternative is to find and take 162 until you reach a stop sign and turn left, following the sign to Grangeville, lest to you continue on 162 to Craigmont or Cottonwood. It’s a route mainly on top of the ‘prairie’ and populated by winter wheat just beginning to poke through the dirt and frost.

From Meadows to Boise you can either continue on I-95 toward Ontario, Oregon, through Concil, Payette, and the like, or you can take our normal route, picking up Highway 55 through McCall, Cascade, and the like. It’s more mountainous and snowy, but considerably prettier. It’s a tad shorter, but the drive is faster along I-95.

We took 162 and 55. We stopped along 95 in Riggins for blackberry cobbler, a delicious cobbler that was almost more whipped cream and vanilla ice cream than cobber. The blackberries were generously provided, though the cobber crust was a bit standard and the berries were a tad sweet, with less tartness than I would have liked to cut the ice cream, etc.

Back in Kamiah we stopped at the Hearthstone Bakery, which is a tad Christian in its souvenir material, but its food is quite good. The split pea soup could have used more seasoning before reaching the table, a little acid (vinegar) and salt, though I can understand making it low-sodium so that all diners can enjoy it. The chicken salad sandwich (on rye) was gooey and good, but the real star was the generous portion of huckleberry pie.

I was thinking of huckleberries first because of a huckleberry jam my parents sent me and Ms. S. for christmas, and then because of the huckleberry gelato at the cafe in McCall at which we had stopped on Friday. This pie had a perfect, lush, tender, and flaky crust that absorbed just enough liquid from the berries. The berries had set up perfectly, were not overly sweet, and had been tempered by the rice amount of acid.


I originally planned on taking a week(end) off from Sunday prompt writing, as I expected to be in Kamiah or Kooskia Sunday morning, but since we made it a Friday-Saturday trip I found myself back in the Valley with time to spare.

Beyond that I discovered that in the years since I last visited, my parents changed internet providers again, and this time their router has both cable and WiFi options. The desktop is plugged in via a cable, but all I had to do was visit the router/modem’s IP address to get its settings and the WiFi credentials. I could then return to my ‘trust’ MacBook Pro, which is beginning to show its ‘age’ at two and a half years, but which still chugs along mightily.

The same, alas, cannot be said for my ebook reader, which may have just bitten the dust.

It worked perfectly on the flights out here and in Kamiah. Last night I took it from the bag and it had its standard ‘screensaver’ image on display, but when I decided to ‘wake’ it a corrupted partial version of that image remained, with updating text appearing ‘behind’ it. It’s not ‘readable’. There’s no switch to do a ‘hard reset’ and no battery to easily remove. I’d previously and recently charged it, so now I’m waiting for the battery to drain to see whether a hard reset will actually fix the screen. It’s possible that the screen ‘cracked’, as this is a symptom, but it came on suddenly and without any noticeable external trauma to the device.

And it happened shortly after discussing ebook readers with my stepmother, who has a Kindle Fire. I like my eInk device because it’s easy on my eyes. I was thirty ‘pages’ from finishing “The Library of Shadows”; if necessary or desired, I can read it on my laptop or even my phone. I’m tempted to run to Best Buy, for which I have a small gift card, to buy a basic Nook; at least it’s also an EPUB-centric device. The similarly priced Kobo Mini has a smaller screen, though better file format support. But I also realize I shouldn’t be hasty; I can wait until I return to Tuscaloosa. I could and should save money. I have plenty of print books. I can read ebooks on my laptop or phone, albeit it less ‘comfort’.

In any case, I did manage to write, the results were so-so and uninspired, but there were a few turns of phrase I’ll want to return to later. It’s the continuing ‘adventures’ of Epiphany, Roman A. Clef, and others.


Since I’m back for a few days my stepmother arranged to have family and family friends over Sunday afternoon for a little food, cards, and chat.

While we were away Friday and Saturday she prepared a couple batches of soup, a large mable(d) cheesecake and, this morning, a couple loaves of bread (two identical bread makers pressed into service).

In anticipation of significant portions of food, I kept ‘breakfast’ basic; as it is, I ate enough since arriving to keep me fueled for several more days. Thank you pie, cobber, pollo fundido, bison patty, and more!

We’ll probably play some pinocle, which I’ve not had a chance to play in over two years. There’s always one or two sticking points I need work out. In particular, know that you must always follow suit if possible (duh!). You must also try to ‘climb’ if possible, that is, play a higher card to win the trick. Let’s say the trick is an off-trump suit and someone trumps. Before they trumped you could have climbed. Once they trump and it’s your turn, do you have to play the higher, ‘climbing’ non-trump or can a lower non-trump be played? I suspect the latter; I also suspect I’ve done the former either unthinkingly or in accordance with a fearful over-reliance on the letter of the law.

Tonight we have the Oscars; and I suspect I won’t be watching, but I’ll probably read up on the results afterward.

P.S. … the bread smells wonderful.

About Steve

47 and counting.
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