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Linda Ballou Recommends You Take a Walk on Kaua’i’s Wild Side

September 25th, 2023

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Hanalei Bay today. Linda Ballou photo When I lived on the North Shore in 1978, there was not one home on the shore of horseshoe-shaped Hanalei Bay. The notorious Taylor Camp treehouse colony, populated by hippies living off the land, was in full swing. The now famous Tahiti Nui featured in the film The Descendants was a hole in the wall. I could hike the Kalalau Trail, tracing the rugged Nāpali Coast up to the roaring Hanakapi’ai Falls, and take a dip in the pool below, without seeing another soul. I never made it to the site of... Read More

Linda Ballou Visits Po‘ipū and is Sunny Side UP on Kaua‘i

September 15th, 2023

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Po‘ipū Cost Walk. Linda Ballou photo.  Po‘ipū is the favored spot by visitors to the Island because it guarantees full blown sunny beach days. In 1978 Po‘ipū Beach was a deep azure plunge where I floated in ecstasy. But in 1992 Hurricane Iniki carved out a new coastline. Today the crescent shaped white sand beach is still a favorite of sun worshippers, but the water is shallow with a bottom littered with coral rocks. It is popular with snorkelers and small children but is no longer the best swimming beach on the South Shore. Numerous... Read More

Linda Ballou Shares Her Adventures on the Coconut Coast of Kaua’i

September 5th, 2023

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate As a young woman, I had dropped out of society and landed on the North Shore of Kaua‘i. It was a head-spinning transformative time in my life. There, I was introduced to people experimenting with alternate lifestyles and those leading highly creative lives. After a year of Island life, I was brimming with good health and ready to face the future. Now, 45 years on, I yearned to return to the nurturing clime to know how both the Island and I have changed. Arboretum, in Kapa’a back county. Linda Ballou photo. Kaua’i is lush... Read More

Fight Or Flight (Movie Review: Prey)

August 19th, 2022

Imagine you’re a filmmaker. You have an idea. It feels like a good one, a very good one. You start writing, and after multiple screenplay drafts, you think you’re in good shape. Then, after assembling a cast and crew, you begin the Sisyphean task of making the movie. Amazingly, you finish without having too many nervous breakdowns. Then, you oversee the editing. After all that, your creation is released into the world, and…people love it! Your movie becomes both beloved and profitable. What happens next? Everybody wants a sequel. Your success is the good news, but the bad news is that sequels... Read More

To Capitalism and Beyond! (Movie Review: Lightyear)

July 5th, 2022

Is Pixar the greatest animation studio in the history of film? Possibly. It can certainly compete with Disney, its quasi-parent, along with the mighty Studio Ghibli of Japan. For my money, Pixar slightly edges out Studio Ghibli and comes out on top due to two factors — the quality of animation and innovative storytelling. From 1995 to 2010, nearly every Pixar release could be considered a classic. I’ll grant you that Monsters, Inc. is well-meaning fluff, and I recognize that Cars is less geared toward families and more aimed at young children. But Wall-E, Up, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille... Read More

Running and Screaming (Movie Review: Jurassic World: Dominion)

June 17th, 2022

There’s an old belief that all little boys go dino-mad for a minute. I have no idea if that’s accurate, but I do know I was no exception. Back then, I recall a zoo of molded plastic critters, everything from the T-rex to the Stegosaurus. I remember junior paleontology books and a bemused father* taking me over and over and over to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science so that I could gawk at the fossils. I love dinosaurs. I always have. Even now. I recently finished the very good book The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black.** Odds are I’ll stop loving them right around the time... Read More

Weird Creature of the Night (Review: The Batman)

March 15th, 2022

There aren’t many fictional characters that have as many character facets as Batman. You could go in a number of different directions beyond horror if your story involved Dracula — comedy, romance, action for starters. I think the same could be said for Sherlock Holmes. If you compare just Robert Downey Jr’s action-oriented take with the more cerebral approach of Benedict Cumberbatch you’ll see that the character of Holmes provides storytellers with a good amount of flexibility. The nature of superheroes, however, is to be iconic, and that iconography can be limiting. Superman is an icon... Read More

As the World Struggles It’s Way Into the New Normal, Here Are Linda Ballou’s Travel Tips for 2022

March 3rd, 2022

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Linda Ballou The only thing certain about travel in 2022 is that it is uncertain. People are chomping at the bit to travel again but need to remain flexible. Flight schedules are still in a state of flux, car rentals are at historical highs, and Covid-19 guidelines in various countries are changing by the hour. Travel expert, Peter Greenberg, suggests that you contact your travel agent, or better yet, the concierge at a hotel in the area you are planning to visit, to get up-to-date information about Covid-19 requirements. Even the World... Read More

Movie Review: “SOLD OUT” The Right Note

February 7th, 2022

As you read this, somebody is working a soulless customer service job. They’re getting screamed at by a customer with an almost sociopathic lack of empathy. They’re trying their best to help while getting paid a shamefully low wage. They have a head full of chaos, but there’s a part of them that the disposable job can’t touch. That’s the part that dreams. That’s the part that creates art. There are untold numbers of people with frustrated dreams. A budding rapper who puts their beats aside for a stable job in city government. A wannabe singer who croons in the car between shifts as... Read More

Illinois Business News: Chicagoland Equipment & Supply Acquires United Fast Food & Beverage

February 1st, 2022

Chicagoland Equipment & Supply (CES), a portfolio company of Cooper Management, LLC, and a leading supplier of equipment, supplies and service to the food industry, has acquired United Fast Food & Beverage Service, a leading supplier of equipment and service to convenience stores and fast-food restaurants. The transaction closed on January 5, and an official announcement was made to UFFB’s employees at the company’s Elk Grove headquarters the following day. The acquisition is a continuation of CES’ efforts to expand its equipment offering and service capabilities. Cook M&A (cookma.com)... Read More