Idaho Mountain Biking - Endless Possibilities

Last edited on April 30, 2017

I'm on a journey to "getting in shape and having fun" and mountain biking may be a small or large part of that adventure. There is plenty of challenging places to ride not far from Boise, Idaho. But with just a little research, near-beginners like me will find hundreds of miles of one-track, two-track and dirt roads to discover your biking legs and lungs.

Mountain biking in the Mount Bennett Hills

What, Who, Where, When And Why Did This Happen?

I'm a long time mountain biker who hasn't really been on a mountain bike for about four years. The old adage of "you never forget how to ride a bike" is true. I didn't. But I did forget some of the basics of mountain biking. So in effect, I forgot how to have fun and to not chew off more than an out-of-shape guy can handle.

I picked a rutted and somewhat muddy two-track in the shadows of Teapot Dome (43.1614833, -115.5178194) in southwestern Idaho for my first attempt at a comeback. I also picked a day that featured northwesterly winds gusting in excess of 35 mph/ 30 knots / 16 M/S.



Along for this short adventure was Charlie the yellow labrador. He had a blast chasing bird, smelling new smells and slurping out of mud puddles left over from the recent rains. Those mud puddles also meant I had to get off my bike and step over or around them way too often.

Why? I had to test out the new stuff on my "vintage" Cannondale SM700 to see the equipment is ready for a longer and more interesting ride in the near future. The new equipment included:
  • Schwinn MTB Tire with Kevlar, 26-Inch x 1.95-Inch
  • Slime 30027 Lite Smart Tube, Schrader Valve - 26 x 1.75-2.125" 

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting.

Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 30, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Pumpernickel - It's What Was For Breakfast in Boise Idaho

Last edited on April 28, 2017

Homemade pumpernickel toast, heirloom navel oranges, Braeburn apples and a fresh cup of coffee were on the menu at my house in the Boise, Idaho area on April 27, 2017.

It's what is for breakfast


The Star Of The Show Was Pumpernickel

This was the second loaf of pumpernickel bread I made this week and actually ever in my life. The dark bread was very dense and heavy, just the way I like it. The first loaf I made was slightly less dense so I decided to bake up a second loaf. It turned out awesome.

Thanks to the Hamilton Beach Model 29882 Bread Machine, the process of making fresh homemade bread is sort of easy. It takes about four hours bake a 1 1/2 pound loaf of bread. That includes getting all the ingredients out of the cupboards to pulling the fresh loaf out of the bread machine. In reality, total real work time is about 20 to 30 minutes including clean-up. Well worth it.

I may replace the regular flour with more whole wheat flour next time

Link To My Recipe:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gr9ZnX7T6SPfnLh3CVMOLCRkWwWCsKpu5rPhW7IdCAk/edit?usp=sharing

The Second String

The heirloom navel oranges I have been buying since December 2016 have been crazy good. I had no idea there was a difference between John Doe's navels and Heirloom navels but the research I've done indicates there may be an advantage to buying Heirlooms.

Here is what Eric from http://www.eatlikenoone.com says about heirloom navels:
"The heirloom navel is the same fruit that got California’s citrus industry booming.  It’s the original or “old line” Washington  Navel and has been bred over the years to produce more fruit, easier, and faster without considering flavor.
Heirloom navels are grown using certain farming practices.  The grower gives special attention to the soil, just like it was done since navels were introduced to America from Brazil in the 1800s. The secret is to use the best root stock.
The heirlooms grow best in a  sour root stock. This stock is not commonly used anymore because the trees don't produce fruit as heavily or as quickly than in newer root stocks. Doing things the right way is what gives the heirloom navels their amazing taste. You will never want a “regular Navel” again."

"I have to agree with Eric. I don't need to try any other type of orange as I believe I have tasted the best ever." - Tim Bondy, April 2017

The Apple Was Sweet

I just started eating apples. The calories in a banana as compared to half an apple was enough to make me change. In addition, the bananas in my grocery stores haven't been ripe enough to buy recently. So I'm slowly working my way through various varieties to find out which apples I like the best.

The Braeburn has a good texture but may be too sweet for me. The two I have eaten have been more like candy than fruit. We'll see what number three taste like before moving on from this New Zealand grown variety.

An apple a day ...


Here is a little information from Wikipedia: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braeburn)
The 'Braeburn' apple is firm to the touch with a red/orange vertical streaky appearance on a yellow/green background. It was discovered as a chance seedling in 1952 by the farmer O. Moran from Waiwhero in the Moutere Hills near Motueka, New Zealand.
It was then cultivated by the Williams Brothers nursery as a potential export variety. It is a seedling from the 'Lady Hamilton' apple. The apple itself is named after Braeburn Orchard near Motueka, where it was first commercially grown.
Braeburn apples have a combination of sweet and tart flavor. They are available October through April in the northern hemisphere and are medium to large in size. They are a popular fruit for growers because of their ability to store well when chilled.

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 28, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Only Social Media Is Why Mtn Home

Last edited on April 24, 2017

When a city undergoes an expensive rebranding process, they look for ways to improve and asking for feedback from their population is a good way to understand what content should be included on their website. Posting to social media is a great way to get that feedback unless social media is the only method of getting the word to the residents and taxpayers of Mountain Home, Idaho.

Mountain Home, idaho's social media troubles in a screenshot
Trouble communicating?

Facebook Post On April 10, 2017

The above screen capture says:
Good Afternoon, We are working to improve our City of Mountain Home website. We’d like your input on how we can make it work better for you, our customers. We ask that you take this brief, two minute survey to help us. We value your opinion and feedback. Please click on the "Survey Planet" tab below or cut and paste this link into your web browser: https://surveyplanet.com/58d3edf45db1e05512a24a79 If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office. ecisc@mountain-home.us or call 208-587-2173.

Communication Is Important

The City of Mountain Home, Idaho hired a fully competent and highly creative communications assistant in February 2017, or so I was led to believe. I was very familiar with the requirements that came with that job. I helped write them.

No, no, no.


After two months, communication is getting better between city hall and Facebook readers. And if the city was looking to brand their Facebook page, then they did a competent job. However, the city doesn't own that Facebook platform like they do with their website and only a very small percentage of Facebook visitors will ever see their posts.

In 2016, social media experts said the organic reach for Facebook Page posts had dropped below 6%. Those odds can be increased if the city pays to "boosts" those Facebook posts. Those are poor readership numbers resulting is horrible communication if they are looking for well-rounded feedback.

But residents can always find out more by going to the city website, right?  Over the last three years, the city has made very little effort to communicate with their residents via their website. Is communication important to city officials? The Magic 8-ball says "Don't count on it."

The circular information trail


In Through The Out Door or Out Through The In Door?

Let's be honest here, the city is trying to get feedback on creating a better website. A website that has very little current news. A website that will be spruced up for a substantial amount of taxpayer money. A website that could easily be updated and transformed into something useful for very little money.

Updating and improving the city's website was an idea I planted in the minds of city leadership years ago and again less than one ago. They listened ... and decided to go their own way. And now they are asking resident on social media how to improve their website. And only on social media?

Nope


After two full weeks, there isn't even one word about the survey or wanting resident's feedback on that very website. Not one word. There isn't even a link back to the city website from the Facebook post asking for feedback. Communication? "Nope."

The marketing and branding experts in the city, including their newly hired communication assistant, seem to be floundering. The City of Mountain Home has become very proficient in floundering its way through its marketing and branding efforts. To me, it appears the city doesn't know if they are walking in through the out door or out through the in door. In any case, they have gotten plenty of exercise walking in circles.

"We don't need a win at this time. We just need to stop losing." - Captain Edward J. Smith, captain of the RMS Titanic

Why Write This?

To ask why the City of Mountain Home, Idaho is asking for feedback on their website only on social media.

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 24, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Wilson Creek East Ridge Hike

Last edited on April 22, 2017

A ridgeline located just east of Wilson Creek, a tributary to southwestern Idaho's Anderson Ranch Reservoir, was the setting for my April 19, 2017, cross-country and solo hike. The views from the narrow and steep ridgeline were spectacular while the local, boots-on-the-ground environment wasn't so nice. It's a hike that I will probably be doing again.

Distant views of Idaho's Smoky Mountain range during the hike
View looking east from the ridge is expansive


The Distant Idaho Mountain Range Views

The views from this hike were amazing. Starting with creek and cliffs views along the easy hike from the trailhead at Wilson Creek and Reservoir Road to the place I picked to head up to a narrow "flat" east of the creek. Once I got up on the flats, the views gradually expanded to include the Soldier, Smoky, Trinity, Boise, Danskin and Bennett Mountains. Once I peaked out at an elevation of 5,812 feet it was hard not to just sit and stare. Beautiful.

Snow covered House Mountain framed by a burned pine tree
The snow-covered House Mtn is framed by a wildfire burned pine tree.


Being mid-April, the last vestiges of mid-elevations snow added a nice juxtaposition to the "just starting to green-up" landscape. The higher elevations were still showing a deep snowpack and something I haven't seen this late for a quite a number of years.

The Views From The Local Environment

This area was burned rather thoroughly in August 2013 during the massive wildfire called the Elk Fire. From the flats leading up the ridgeline, there is very little vegetation at the current time. I suspect that before the fire, vegetation was sparse also. But it's likely worse 4 1/2 years later especially considering the years of drought we experienced in this part of Idaho during that time.

A majority of the trees on this geologic peninsula ridgeline are dead and the brush and bramble are sparse also. The most abundant vegetation in the immediate area is grass and that explains why there was so much deer and elk droppings along this cross-country hike. I had the company of a herd of mule deer from the time I got on the flats to the time I peaked out.


What I Wanted And What I Did - The Map - All 100% Public Lands Hike



Limited By Fear Of Falling

This hike was a perfect distance, both in mileage and vertical gain/loss for my current fitness level. However, that irrational fear of falling off planet earth persists when I'm on steep terrain. And the wide open and steep upper reaches of the ridgeline gave me the willies. I wouldn't even look downslope during the final attack on the ridgeline. I know ... irrational.

New Balance 703 boot worn during the hike
New Balance 703s boots still making tracks on Idaho


Once I got up near Peak 5812 the trail flattened out quite a bit, However, the mountainsides drop off sharply on both sides of that ridge. Once I spied how steep and foreboding my planned route back to the valley floor was, I decided to head back the way I originally scrambled up the ridgeline. I was still apprehensive of doing that even. In the end, the walk down the ridge felt quite safe. The fear was, again, all in my mind.

The Stats For The Day

  • Trailhead location near Anderson Ranch Reservoir: 43.380888, -115.436823
  • Peak 5812 Coordinates: 43.398324, -115.432376
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,804 feet / 1,947 feet
  • Mileage: 4.82 miles
  • Slope: Avg =  14.8% / Max =  51.7%
  • Feet Wet Creek Crossings: Only one but possibly more if local erosion continues on the Wilson Creek stream bank. Bring water shoes or be prepared to get your boots wet until at least mid-May 2017.
  • Landownership: All lands tread upon during this hike were public lands. 
  • Link To More Photography: https://goo.gl/photos/Cwb24tQ1jiHFzF5J8

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 22, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

WECRD Malware - One Month

Last edited on April 21, 2017

As of April 21, 2017, the Western Elmore County Recreation District (WECRD) continues to serve up possible malware to the residents and taxpayers of the county even after I notified one of the two elected directors of the problem on February 28 and again on March 29, 2017.

Six weeks of broken


Previous story: https://timbondy.blogspot.com/2017/03/elmore-county-taxing-district-web-fail.html

Transparency Is Why It Matters / Why It's Broken Matters

Who cares if a local taxing district has a broken and potentially dangerous website? Who cares if the directors of that taxing district cannot (or worse, won't) update their website? The taxpayers care. At least this taxpayer.

Browser URL Address Bar on April 21, 2017


The taxpayers have paid to have that website constructed and some of us would like updated information posted on that platform. Criminy, they don't even post their monthly/special meeting agendas on the website. Instead, the directors do the absolute minimum required by law by taping a paper copy of the upcoming agenda on their office window.

See a photo from Tuesday, April 18, 2017: https://goo.gl/photos/HbMXzr7Dco4pAVGLA

"The absolute minimum is what they do? But they won the election with landslide stats. Wow!" - Tim Bondy

Almost every action or decision this taxing district has made since January 4, 2016 has been either contentious or played out badly in the public eye. If for no other reason, you'd think the two directors would want to maintain an air of transparency and show the public they are doing what it takes to keep things in good working order. Alas, they haven't even posted meeting minutes on the website since July 2016, or nine months ago. Who cares? I care.

We care


E-mail Received/Sent on March 29, 2017

Thanks Tim. I can't begin to tell you how frustrated I am that this is dragging on for so long. I'll keep your offer in mind.

Art [Art Nelson, WECRD Director]

On Mar 29, 2017, at 2:05 PM, Tim Bondy <timbondy@xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:

Mr. Art Nelson:
As of 1:45 P.M. on March 29, 2017, I was still encountering a malware notice while using the Chrome browser at the wecrd.org website. If you would like to discuss contracting with me, I can create a malware-free website that may be more "Directors" friendly for posting stories. See the attachment for a screenshot from today. Thanks, Tim Bondy



What a Chrome Browser screen looks like when going to www.wecrd.org



Summary

The WECRD directors have let their taxpayer funded website lapse into a dangerous and unusable condition. They were notified six weeks ago that the website was broken and offered a viable solution. One director is frustrated the website is malware-ridden, but it appears they didn't bother to put the issue on their April 19, 2017, monthly meeting agenda. In my opinion, in this current information age, to go 42 days (six weeks) with a broken website is irresponsible. Not caring or not bothering means the directors have given up.

'Not bothering' ...  that isn't the best trait of an individual who fought hard to get elected to fix things.

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.


Originally published on April 21, 2017.


Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist


I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Your Rights As A Photographer

Last edited on April 20, 2017

I take a lot of photographs and I also publish a lot of them on the internet. As a hobbyist or professional photographer, it's a good idea to know and understand your basic rights before pushing the shutter-release button. It an even better idea to know and understand the local laws when taking photographs in the public arena.

Taking photographs in the public domain is your right
Lets us take photographs. It's our right.

This guidance is from the year 2003 and seems like the best advice out there in the post-9-11 world for photographers in the U.S.




Your Rights As A Photographer

About this Guide
Author: Bert P. Krages II. Attorney at Law
6665 S.W. Hampton Street, Suite 200
Portland, Oregon 97223
www.krages.com
© 2003 Bert P. Krages II

Confrontations that impair the constitutional right to make images are becoming more common. To fight the abuse of your right to free expression, you need to know your rights to take photographs and the remedies available if your rights are infringed.


The General Rule
The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take photographs.

Absent a specific legal prohibition such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs. Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are:
Streets, sidewalks, and public parks.

Property owners may legally prohibit photography on their premises but have no right to prohibit others from photographing their property from other locations. Whether you need permission from property owners to take photographs while on their premises depends on the circumstances. In most places, you may reasonably assume that taking photographs is allowed and that you do not need explicit permission.

However, this is a judgment call and you should request permission when the circumstances suggest that the owner is likely to object. In any case, when a property owner tells you not to take photographs while on the premises, you are legally obligated to honor the request.


Some Exceptions to the Rule
There are some exceptions to the general rule. For example, commanders of military installations can prohibit photographs of specific areas when they deem it necessary to protect
national security.

The U.S. Department of Energy can also prohibit photography of designated nuclear facilities although the publicly visible areas of nuclear facilities are usually not designated as such.

Members of the public have a very limited scope of privacy rights when they are in public places. Basically, anyone can be photographed without their consent except when they have
secluded themselves in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities, and inside their homes.



Permissible Subjects
Despite misconceptions to the contrary, the following subjects can almost always be photographed lawfully from public places:

  • accident
  • fire scenes
  • children
  • celebrities
  • bridges and other infrastructure
  • residential and commercial buildings
  • industrial facilities and public utilities
  • transportation facilities (e.g., airports)
  • Superfund sites
  • criminal activities and arrests
  • law enforcement officers





Who Is Likely to Violate Your Rights
Most confrontations are started by security guards and employees of organizations who fear photography. The most common reason given is security but often such persons have no articulated reason.

Security is rarely a legitimate reason for restricting photography. Taking a photograph
is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets.

On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations.



They Have Limited Rights to Bother, Question, or Detain You
Although anyone has the right to approach a person in a public place and ask questions, persistent and unwanted conduct done without a legitimate purpose is a crime in many states if it causes serious annoyance. You are under no obligation to explain the purpose of your photography nor do you have to disclose your identity except in states that require it upon request by a law enforcement officer.

If the conduct goes beyond mere questioning, all states have laws that make coercion and harassment criminal offenses. The specific elements vary among the states but in general, it is unlawful for anyone to instill a fear that they may injure you, damage or take your property, or falsely accuse you of a crime just because you are taking photographs.

Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will and may be subject to criminal and civil charges should they attempt to do so. Although the laws in most states authorize citizen’s arrests, such authority is very narrow.

In general, citizen’s arrests can be made only for felonies or crimes committed in the person’s presence. Failure to abide by these requirements usually means that the person is liable for a tort such as false imprisonment.



They Have No Right to Review Your Images or Take Your Gear
Law enforcement officers do not have the right to view your images absent a warrant. They may have the authority to seize a camera or cell phone when making an arrest but still must obtain a warrant to search the contents.

Likewise, they do not have authority to make you delete images. Sometimes agents acting for entities such as owners of industrial plants and shopping malls may demand that you delete your images or give them your camera. Absent a court order, private parties have no right to do so.

Taking your camera or cell phone directly or by threatening to use force or call a law enforcement agency can constitute criminal offenses such as theft and coercion. It can likewise constitute a civil tort such as conversion.



Your Legal Remedies If Harassed
If someone has threatened, intimidated, or detained you because you were taking photographs, they may be liable for crimes such as kidnapping, coercion, and theft. In such cases, you should report them to the police.

You may also have civil remedies against such persons and their employers. The torts for which you may be entitled to compensation include assault, conversion, false imprisonment, and violation of your constitutional rights.



Other Remedies If Harassed
If you are disinclined to take legal action, there are still things you can do that contribute to protecting the right to take photographs.

  1. Call the local newspaper and see if they are interested in running a story. Many newspapers feel that civil liberties are worthy of serious coverage.
  2. Write to or call the supervisor of the person involved, or the legal or public relations department of the entity, and complain about the event.
  3. Make the event publicly known on an Internet forum that deals with photography or civil rights issues.




How to Handle Confrontations
Most confrontations can be defused by being courteous and respectful. If the party becomes pushy, combative, or unreasonably hostile, consider calling the police. Above all, use good
judgment and don’t allow an event to escalate into violence.

In the event you are threatened with detention or asked to surrender your film, asking the following questions can help ensure that you will have the evidence to enforce your legal rights:
  1. What is the person’s name?
  2. Who is their employer?
  3. Are you free to leave? If not, how do they intend to stop you if you decide to leave? What legal basis do they assert for the detention?
  4. Likewise, if they demand your camera or cell phone? What legal basis do they assert for the confiscation?
Disclaimer
This is a general education guide about the right to take photographs and is necessarily limited in scope. More information about the laws that affect photography can be found in the book, "Legal Handbook for Photographers" (Amherst Media). This guide is not intended to be legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

Copyright
Author - Bert P. Krages II. Attorney at Law
6665 S.W. Hampton Street, Suite 200
Portland, Oregon 97223
www.krages.com
© 2003 Bert P. Krages II




Why Post About Photographer's Rights?

When I was a reporter for the local newspaper I had the opportunity to cover car crashes, fires, and other public spectacles. There were times, too many to count, where law enforcement officers (LEO) and agencies stopped me from covering a story until it was no longer a story.

I suspect the LEOs prevented me from covering some of these incidences on purpose, either because of who I was or who I represented. And yes, I could have forced the issue or called the agency's leadership but I never saw that as my job. There was a newspaper editor and publisher sitting between that violation of my rights and the First Amendment."Better to not rock that boat" was the message I got every time.

In the end, the respect I had for the local LEO evaporated quickly. Harsh? Actually, I see it as a well-deserved lack of respect. The U.S. Constitution isn't something to mess around with and the officers I dealt with felt they were out of reach of any repercussions. They were and still are.

Now I am a freelance writer and photographer. Understanding my rights, especially when my business interests or clients are concerned, is important. So I present these "old" rights to my readers and so I have a copy available when needed. If you noticed, there is a 2003 copyright place on this information so use the concepts here as just a guideline.

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 20, 2017.


Thanks,


Tim Bondy

Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist
I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

The Baking Of The Whole Wheat Bread

Last edited on April 18, 2017

Recently we bought a bread machine and started baking our own breads. The process is very simple once you have all the ingredients. Most of the items are available at your normal grocery store although, some ingredients are much cheaper to buy online. Here is how I did it.

Whole wheat bread hot out of the bread machine
Home made bread "Tim Bondy Writes" style

The Bread Machine - Hamilton Beach Bread Machine - Model Number 29882

The Hamilton Beach Bread Machine makes baking your own bread simple. You dump the ingredients into the baking pan in a certain order, push a few buttons and three hours later you have a nice loaf of bread. No fuss and very little clean up either.

Step 1 - Decide To Make Whole Wheat Bread

My decision was to make whole wheat bread so I (actually, my wife) searched the internet and found a suitable bread machine recipe. The criteria was "just a simple recipe." In the learning phases of bread machining, simple is always better.

Bread ingredients lined up in the order they will be put into the bread pan.

Step 2 - The Ingredients 

Line up the ingredients on the counter:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Olive oil may work too.
  • 1 1/4 cups of room temperature water
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sunflower, sesame or flax seeds for more texture/flavor
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast
The utensils Bondy uses to make bread machine whole wheat bread
All the utensils I needed for making bread


Step 3 - Directions for a bread machine like the Hamilton Beach 29882


  • Put all of the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed above.
  • Put "filled with ingredients" bread pan into the machine and close the lid.
  • Program your machine for whole grain bread.
  • Program your machine for the type of crust you might like. My machine doesn't give me a choice when using the whole grain setting.
  • Program your machine for a 1.5 pound loaf.
  • Push the start button.
  • After about 15 minutes, the machine will knead the bread into a ball of dough. I suggest raising the lid and making sure the dough isn't too watery or too dry. You'll learn as you gain experience.
  • When the machine indicated the bread is baked, remove it from the machine.
  • Turn the bread pan over and remove the cooked loaf onto a plate or cooling rack. 
  • Important: let it cool or you'll burn your tongue if eating immediately after cooking. See, experience is critical.


Bread pan filled and ready to place into the bread machine

Summary

I've made five loaves of bread in the Hamilton Beach bread machine. The process is simple and the bread is very good. Because the town of Mountain Home, Idaho doesn't have a good bakery, making my own is a great option. Even if there was a bakery in town that I liked, I wonder if I'd even buy from them. 

Pros: Simplicity
Cons: None that I've found.
Other notes: The bread machine is too new to say it's a good piece of equipment. Right now I'd rate it a five-star product but I have to wait to see how the 29882 model holds up under weekly use. 

Rating: Too soon to say 👉

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 18, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Hiking Boot Review - New Balance 703

Last edited on April 17, 2017

I bought a pair of New Balance 703 lightweight hiking or walking boots a number of years ago. They got plenty of hard use over the years and I was and still am happy with them. As of my last hike, (https://timbondy.blogspot.com/2017/04/peak-4922-near-syrup-creek-steep-cold.html) the boots are showing signs of wear and tears that made me buy a new pair of New Balance hiking boots.

Tim Bondy's Retired New Balance 703 Hiking Boots

Mountain Tops To Owyhee Canyons and Everywhere In Between

To the best of my recollection, I believe I bought the New Balance 703s at Cabela's in Boise, Idaho during the spring of 2014 or about three years ago. They've taken me on fishing trips, gold panning adventures, many rockhounding outings and of course countless hikes and microadventures during that time. And they held up rather well.

The Pro's

  • Comfort: The boots fit my fat feet. For the first time in my life, I found a boot that didn't squeeze my toes together and blister them up after a long hike. The size 11, Quad E width has a toe-box made for wide feet like mine.
  • Weight: The 703s are light. As we should know by now, the lighter the shoe the less effort required to move them forward. There is a trade-off between light and longevity and New Balance seems to have done that balancing trick pretty well with this model.
  • Longevity: I rode those boots hard and put them away wet quite often and they still lasted a full three years. 
The wavy shoe laces were not my favorite feature of the 703s

The Con's

  • Shoe Laces: The "Sure Lace" reciprocating wave pattern shoe laces never impressed me and made me actually wonder if they were some kind of product defect. In any case, they wore out shortly before the boot finally gave up on me. I put traditional boot laces in them towards the end. Some things just can't be improved upon and traditional shoe laces are one of those items.
  • The Tread: The tread was the first thing to start wearing out on the New Balance 703s. But right to the end of its hiking life, there were no holes on the bottoms. 
The New Balance 703: A 5-star product.

Calling All Manufacturers - A Complaint

The wilds of the western part of the U.S., especially the high desert and sagebrush steppe environment has a lot of cheatgrass on it. Those cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) seed pods have small barbs that allow them to automagically attach themselves to the inside lining of most hiking boots.

Idaho cheatgrass attaches to boot linings 


Those pods, once they get into the lining, then poke and itch the ankle and heel during the rest of the hike. Then the process of removing the pods begins. I try to remove them before heading home because once they get home, the chances of them dispersing into the wind increases exponentially. Yes, I have cheatgrass growing in my yard.

So hey ... bootmakers? Find a lining that doesn't automagically attract cheatgrass seed pods.

My New New Balance Boots

I wasted no time in ordering a pair of New Balance Men's MW1400 Trail Walking Boot. Hopefully, they will be just as comfortable as my 703s were.

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Originally published on April 17, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

P.S. There are no stores in Mountain Home, Idaho to buy quality hiking boots. Boise or Twin Falls are the closest locations to buy most of your outdoor equipment.

Idaho's Cat Creek Summit Panoramic Photograph

Last edited on April 15, 2017

The Cat Creek Summit area is about 26 miles west of Fairfield, Idaho and is a rather historic location. U.S. Highway 20 cuts straight through the summit before heading towards various points east and west.


Click for a bigger version of the view of the surrounding Rocky Mountains


Link To A Google Photos version: https://goo.gl/photos/NAN6jiJPCEyEiQLA9

Photo Details:

  • Taken on April 12, 2017, at 3:50 P.M.
  • Looking: West through north-northeast (left to right) 
  • Coordinates: 43.3010556, -115.3156222
  • Photographer: Tim Bondy - Freelance Writer
  • The peaks in the left foreground will be a destination for a future hike

Call To Action

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Originally published on April 15, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Peak 4922 Near Syrup Creek - Steep, Cold And Windy

Lasted edited on April 13, 2017

"Close to home" has been the keyword for my hiking microadventures recently and Peak 4916 in the Danskin Mountains of southwestern Idaho fits that requirement. It was too cold, rainy and windy for my liking and in parts, way too steep, but I pushed on anyway. What do I mean when I say steep? Steep, as in having to scramble and hold on to rock handholds so I wouldn't slide over a ledge.

Peak 4922 is on this ridge line. Doesn't look all that steep, does it?

The Weather Sucked

I'm a big fan of hiking in shorts and a sweatshirt. The weather forecast indicated that would be appropriate attire. The actual weather dictated long pants and a jacket. I had the jacket but long pants were sitting at home on this Tuesday, April 11, 2017, hike.

Private/Public Land Interface

All the research showed I could make it to the ridgeline and Peak 4922 without venturing through private property. I'm relatively certain I never stepped foot on anything other than public land during the hike.

It was tempting to bag a nearby "privately owned" summit, Peak 4950, located a short 275 yards to the north on that ridgeline, but I didn't. I also had a number of grazing allotment fences to step over or crawl under during this out-and-back hike.

Peak 4922 Rock Cairn and Tim Bondy


Steep, It Was

The last 1,000 feet to the ridgeline summit was a little scary for me. Being a solo hiker, the opportunity to get hurt and spend hours waiting for help is not something I wish to experience. I was on my hands and knees during a part of that ascent.

There were also a few times I thought about heading down to find a safer route back up. The only problem with the retreat plan was scrambling down was just as, if not more nerve-racking than plodding forward. So I kept moving up. Obviously, the fear was all mine and I was in no danger of falling off planet earth.

The steep part of the scramble averaged a 30% slope with a max of 63%. I'd say that 50+% slope portion was probably where I felt a little exposed? Yeah ... probably.

The Particulars Of The Hike


  • Total Length: 2.88 miles trailhead to trailhead
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,461 feet
  • Slope: Avg. = 17.1% and Max. = 63.1%
  • Total Time On Trail: 2:50 hours
  • Trailhead Coordinates: 43.277794, -115.677721
  • Peak 4922 Coordinates: 43.284738, -115.664381
  • 7.5' Quad Topo Map: Syrup Creek, Idaho
  • See more photos: https://goo.gl/photos/gZ4YLCJoRCJm1XH18
  • This is a cross-country hike with no official trails to the summit. A "point-your-nose-and-go" summit.


A possible hike in April 2017. - Off Syrup Creek Road.

Another Peak Spotted

I've been asked how I figure out what peaks I will be hiking in the future. Research is the answer I give most times. However, sometimes during a hike, I'll spot an interesting route in the distance that looks 'doable.' And during this hike, I spied Peak 4702. 

The route is likely located on 100% public lands but only time will tell. Sometimes we get there, only to find "No Trespassing" signs and other time, like on April 11, 2017, it's a park, hike, and drive away all on public lands. 

Call To Action

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Originally published on April 13, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

In decline: The City of Mountain Home, Idaho is in a steady state of decline. My advice is to stay away from my hometown.

CEO Munoz And Tough Love For United Airlines Customers

Last edited on April 11, 2017

United Airlines (UAL) had an unusual day on April 10, 2017, thanks to a video showing three Chicago Aviation Security officers dragging a customer off United Express Flight 3411. To say the video of the incident went viral may be considered an understatement. United's CEO could have handled the situation better. But is there enough public relations smarts in his business toolkit to recover, or will he double-down with tough love in this new and supposedly acceptable politically incorrect environment?

CEO Munoz from United Airlines response was horrible
The actual United Airline CEO Facebook post from April 10, 2017

Watch a YouTube video of the "big drag": https://youtu.be/gUHJjmOhUuE

Within 21 Hours Of The Facebook Post, The Public Spoke

Within 21 hours of that April 10, 2017, Facebook post from the United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, he received over 85,000 comments and about 10,400 Facebook "shares" on his post. That's viral in anyone's book.

A quick scan of the top 100 comments showed the public overwhelmingly sees United Airlines and the police officer as the goats in this story. I'm on the side that thinks the CEO is a ninny and that he handled the initial stages of this business and public relations opportunity rather badly.

"I see no reason to ever book a flight on United Airlines.
Sincerely,
A former customer"

It Was A Viral Opportunity 

CEO Munoz could have spun this incident in many directions. He chose the to spin it into an anvil shaped blob of crap and he is getting hammered in the court of public opinion. The opportunity to excel as a businessman and in crisis-management have passed. United Airline failed that test, miserably.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Department of Aviation Security appears to have handled the spin rather expertly. They put the dragging officer on "leave" less than 24 hours after the video surfaced and issued a public statement.

"The officer's actions were not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned," a Chicago aviation security official said.

Immediate Memes That Crushed United Airlines Is Why ...


Fight Club diagram in United Airlines meme
United Airlines Fight Club?


This meme showed up on Twitter sometime during the late morning of April 10, 2017. Not exactly the meme I would want floating around social media if I was responsible for that airline company.

And a worse "Southwest Airlines" meme showed up later in the day:

Southwest, we beat the competition. Not you

Southwest Airlines will likely benefit from CEO Munoz's handling of the PR crisis. Why would United Airlines learn anything from this crisis? Memes the reason.

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 11, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Idaho Fakes Resident Protections While Feds Sell Your Privacy - A New Age

Last edited on April 10, 2017

In a story from the Spokesman-Review Newspaper, based in Spokane, Wash., it appears the state of Idaho has made a deal with Amazon, Inc to start collecting sales tax on all purchases made by Idaho residents. But no details of this new taxing method have been, or apparently, can be released to the public. Idaho taxpayer confidentiality laws were stated as the reason neither Amazon nor Idaho officials can reveal the details .. even to the taxpayers.

Tax commission won't say why.


Link to Spokesman-Review story: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/apr/04/amazon-tax-deal-to-remain-secret-in-idaho/


In Less Than One Month

While the Idaho Tax Commission was covering up the deal of how we will be taxed, Congressman Raul Labrador was busy dismantling privacy laws for U.S. citizens. Congressman Mike Simpson was too busy or scared to vote on that bill, S J Res 34.  Simpson won't say why he didn't vote, and yes, I asked him. See https://timbondy.blogspot.com/2017/04/congressman-mike-simpson-didnt-vote-for.html

We were represented at the tax party. Don't ask for the sorted details. 

Transparency In Government - A New Low

Christy Zito, my state representative from District 23 thought creating maps of state lands was a bridge too far for communicating with residents of Idaho. She wouldn't even response to my letter asking why she voted "No" on House Concurrent Resolution 20, a resolution that would have opened the door to state lands maps the public could use for many different purposes.

Add the fact Zito's has been ignoring her constituents, to Congressman Labrador and Mike Simpson dismantling privacy laws, to and our tax commission decisions, and it's no wonder the term "shadow government" keeps popping up.

Just to be clear, I don't subscribe to those conspiracy theories but these are Idaho politicians and they tend to believe in stuff like that and now they are contributing to the secret squirrel stuff.

"As a resident of Idaho, I expect my elected officials to answer simple questions and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That appears to also be 'a bridge too far.'"

Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 10, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

Hike To "Didn't Follow Map" Peak In The Owyhee Mtns

Last edited on April 8, 2017

On April 5, 2017, I hiked up the wrong ridgeline in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. The hike was still quite excellent with views stretching from the Silver City Mountains, the mountains north of Boise, Mount Bennett Hills and even the Soldier and Smoky Mountain Ranges. The area is really greening up both in the valleys but also in the higher elevation of the Owyhees.

Horsehead Spring Creek. A stream that likely hasn't see that much water flowing in it for the last 10 years.

Ticks But No Tock

With water come ticks too. In the last month or so I've had a few ticks crawling on me but on this April 5, 2017, hike, ticks were plentiful. I picked up some near the 5,500-foot elevation of the hike. But suspect most of the 25-30 ticks I picked off me were living in the lush, green and very wet Lone Juniper Creek area.

In previous years, I never spent much time in this specific area but enough to know streams and creeks rarely ever run as high as they were during this April 2017 microadventure. I also suspect the waters have receded from their high point early in the year.

The Map

This embedded map proves a number of features. The orange line was my planned hike. The green line is my actual GPS track recorded during the adventure. There are a few markers that would make it easier to get to the trailhead. Oh, there is no real trailhead but just a place to park.


Lost My Way

One of the reasons I enjoy hiking in the Owyhee Mountains is because it's hard to get lost on a daytime microadventure. That doesn't mean I always remain true to my planned hike. In this case, I wandered off my planned hike by one mile and a whole ridgeline.

It wasn't until I was taking a break during a steeper portion of the hike that I looked at my map and discovered my navigation faux pas. By that time is was too difficult to get back on track. That really bugged me, however.

As a solo hiker, I always leave detailed plans of where I will be hiking with my wife in case something goes wrong. To me, being out of the area I said I would be hiking is a very bad idea. For example, there were many places where rocks, the size and shape of a softball, littered the steep hillsides. I did the full " slip, slide and fall" on this hike because of one of the rocks. No injuries but the opportunity existed.

Owyhee Peak 6581 and "Didn't Follow Map Peak."


My 6,000 Foot Quest

With Peak 6581 now out of reach being on the other side of the valley, my new goal became making it to the 6,000-foot level. That wasn't a real stretch but it was getting later than I wished. I pushed on so I could say "I did it" and for the views. That little volcanic plug is now and forever named "Didn't Follow Map Peak" and tops out at 6,005 feet.

Hike Details And other Info

  • Date: April 5, 2017
  • Who: Tim Bondy
  • Where: Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho.
  • Land Ownership: Mostly public BLM lands but also a little sliver of Idaho State Lands.
  • Elevation Range: 4,683 feet at the trailhead and 6,001 at "Didn't Follow Map Peak"
  • Mileage: 4.42 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,667 feet / 1,666 feet
  • Avg / Max Slope: 13% / 37.1%
  • Total Time On Trail: 3:50 hours
  • Link To More Photographs: https://goo.gl/photos/TkUiCRsxijLvfcqu9


Owyhee Mountain Scenery - Had to stop and capture this view


Call To Action

If you liked this story, please consider sharing the post with your friends and family. You can also provide other feedback by simply clicking a "Reactions" checkbox at the bottom of this story or commenting. Go ahead ... do it.

Originally published on April 8, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"
.

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