Jeffery Oliver

Working through art and life, often on a bicycle.

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These Things: Remember

These Things: Remember, an eclipse is when one celestial body obscures another

We know the physical is ephemeral (then what is sound and light?). But we partly exist in the physical world so I try to learn to live in the physical present by remembering my joy. My friend, Terri, taught me this: that to remember joy is to rebuild the way I think, which is to rebuild the way I may live.

A Poem


Look Twice

Live Free or Die

And then,

Jeff O.

These Things: None of Us Know What Will Happen

Boise White Water Park. Aug. 15, 2017.

“None of us know what will happen. Don’t spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That’s it. You know?” – Laurie Anderson via Austin Kleon’s website.

Why do I embrace not knowing what happens next in art but not to the same degree in my life? Can I learn to embrace not knowing what’s next as this is always the state I’m in? What could happen if I worried less and created more?

What Happens Next?

  • The Stutterer” (13:05) – 2016 award-winning short. Great pay off at the end.
  • The Gunfighter” (8:49) – Directed by Eric Kissack and narrated by Nick Offerman.
  • CASTELLO CAVALCANTI” (7:45) – Directed by Wes Anderson, presented by Prada.


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These Things: Curiouser and Curiouser

These Things - curiouser and curiouser - orchid in sunset bathroom

Curiouser and Curiouser

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!’.

From Chapter II of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”





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These Things: I Tried to Make a Video but Made a Poem

Coming and Going Portland Oregon 9:23 pm

Coming and Going Portland Oregon 9:23 pm

Let me explain because I didn’t in the last email explain why I’m curating and you’re receiving “this email” which is (possibly) an every-other-week-and-never-more-than-once-a-week email with a handful of things I’ve run across that inspire and/or challenge me to hopefully continue to become better at being a human among other humans.


Text (as in “to text” on a mobile device)


  • The Death of Expertise by Tom Nichols. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but it reminded me that “having a strong opinion about something isn’t the same as knowing something” and how much I need to take time to listen and learn from experts.
  • Independence Day: This Happens All the Time. This poem started as a script for a video I wanted to make and post on July 4 about freedom and bicycling but then something happened. Then I recorded myself playing the Star Spangled Banner on a cigar box guitar I made. Gravity brings everything down.

Thanks for taking the time to see what caught my attention recently. If this isn’t your thing, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this email without hurting my feelings or lessening the possibility of me inviting you to my birthday party.

So it goes,

Jeff O.

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Volunteer Video Work with Boise Bicycle Project

By the end of April 2017 I was ready to volunteer somewhere in Boise. Let me explain: we moved to Boise in August 2012, purchased a fixer-upper in October 2012, and moved into said fixer-upper in September 2013. I think that’s right. In other words, we moved to Boise and got busy remodeling a 1952 farmhouse pretty much immediately and did that for 18 months before the place was fully livable. It’s still pink but the point is that at the end of April 2017 I was really needing to volunteer somewhere. Volunteering has been a part of my life since, well, my life, and I’m so grateful to my parents for modeling this for me (they’re awesome people. I hope you get to meet them some day).

On April 25, 2017, I went over to Boise Bicycle Project to a volunteer orientation. It was awesome. They do it right and I figured I would spend a couple nights a month taking apart bicycles or cleaning bathrooms. At the end of the evening I was talking with Kelly, the BBP development director, and it slipped that I like doing video. I did a quick and dirty video for them for Idaho Gives day and last month, they asked if I was interested to make a couple of videos to promote the Pedal 4 the People events. Of course I said yes and here’s why:

  • I love bicycles and bicycling. I have 3.5 bikes for different occasions;
  • I believe the bicycle is one of the only human inventions that does not have a significant negative impact on people or planet;
  • Who isn’t happy while riding a bicycle?;
  • BBP activates Boise through their irresistible positivism;
  • I get to volunteer for an organization I believe in (BBP), for a cause I believe in (bicycling), doing the work I love to do which is storytelling through video;
  • Did I mention how they’re activating change in Boise through positivism?

That’s a lot of words. Here is the general Pedal 4 the People video featuring the music of the Boise-based band Lounge on Fire (with permission).

And here’s a video we made starring E&M to promote the Bike Prom which also features the music of Lounge on Fire (at the end).

I’m selling my DJI Inspire 1 Pro drone!

DJI Inspire 1 Pro for sale

I have mixed feelings about this, but I’m selling the DJI Inspire 1 Pro for another drone. I love this drone and camera, but gotta move to another model for now.

If you’re interested, view the details here on my website.

Independence Day: It Happens All the Time [poem]

Independence Day poem by Jeffery Oliver

Once there was a group of people living in a place called America. These people were new to America and had the same blood as people who lived in a place called England. The people in England made up ideas about the people in America with the same blood and one of these ideas was to tell the people in America, “You must give us money because of the blood.”

The people in England just made it up and were very pleased. The people in America with the same blood as the people from England called this taxation without representation and didn’t agree that blood had anything to do with who they were. They were independent of the blood.

The people in England explained that they would come to America and take back the blood that was English from the people living in America who had the same blood as the people from England.

Blood is an important part of life and the process to remove blood from someone not willing to give it is called war. War takes no imagination but this is what happened next and it happens all the time.

NOTE 1: This poem started with the idea of how riding a bicycle is, for me, the feeling of freedom. Not sure what happened.

NOTE 2: The music was recorded on a homemade cigar box guitar. More on that project soon. Maybe.

NOTE 3: The painting, “Surrender of General Burgoyne,” was painted December 1, 1821, by John Trumbull, an American painter.

These Things: Virtual bicycle film festival, finding ideas, and Mingus on what is a jazz composer

methodist church downtown boise at night

Methodist Chrurch downtown Boise. June 23, 2017 about 10 p.m.

These Things | July 7, 2017

Pedal for the people virtual bicycle film festival

I recently participated in the Boise Bicycle Project’s Pedal for the People event and curated this virtual bicycle film festival including the following categories:

  • Enjoy the Ride: These videos and films showcase some of the most inspired mountain, street trials, BMX, flatland, and fixed-gear riding on the web.
  • Bicycle Stories: This collection presents short films and mini documentaries about people who clearly love bicycles.
  • Biking Idaho: There are some great locations, stories, and riders here in Idaho. Here are some of their stories.

I also got to help promote the Bike Prom with this video and create a follow up video to a sunrise ride at Rhodes Skate Park. It was a great weekend.

OK Go on finding ideas

This TED talk by the band OK Go on finding vs creating ideas could be summed up with the Robert Frost quote, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”

charles mingus on what is a jazz composer

Charles Mingus short essay on “What is a Jazz Composer?” from the liner notes to his album “Let My Children Hear Music.”

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Enjoy the (Virtual) Ride

A Pedal 4 the People bicycle film festival!

Enjoy the (Virtual) Ride - Pedal 4 the People“Enjoy the (Virtual) Ride” is a curated collection of short bicycle films including three categories: Enjoy the Ride, Bicycle Stories, and Biking Idaho.

Join us right here beginning at 9pm on Friday, June 23, 2017 for some of the most inspiring riding, cinematography, and stories related to bicycling the web has to offer.

Watch the films!

The Cinemagraph Experiment

Cinemagraph fountain in Ashland Oregon

May 1, 2017. It’s called a cinemagraph–part photo, part video. I’ve seen these around and decided to try making one using Peter McKinnon’s instructions in this video. This was made from a video I shot downtown Ashland, Oregon last fall.

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