Friday, August 31, 2007

Motives behind backwards treading men

When Daniella relocated her business to Port Townsend, I took the opportunity to escape the Idaho smokes and travel some roads I’d never been on. As I drove the U-Haul through some highway construction next to the old Oregon Trail, I became thankful for our modern conveniences, which made this efficient trip possible.

Upon this modern thoroughfare, there were sights to see, which I had never before beheld; a ghostly cement plant from that era immediately following the Oregon Trail’s, and then modern watchtower windmills all along the 45th parallel. There were even Wi-fi hot spots, available in case I wanted to catch up on the fire, but I felt it best to keep rolling forward with the van packed full of her worldly possessions.

Suddenly, a few miles beyond some road construction, a man appeared who was walking backwards. He was donning a fluorescent orange suit, with a beaming smile to match. He bounced backwards with a concentrated cadence, as if he was gauging something extremely important.

Besides marching backwards, there were a couple other things out of the ordinary about this man. First, he was at least two miles away from any actual construction. Why was he under his own steam there? On top of that, the man had an unusually chipper attitude about him. Surely, many highway workers are finely suited for their jobs; rugged outdoorsy types who thrive working under the elements, and who welcome climate changes of all sorts, but this man seemed to transcend even that. As we exchanged glancing smiles in our moments of passing, I thought perhaps that he was the happiest human on the highway.

It wasn’t until I got bumped from the Kingston ferryboat and had to reverse gear for the queue that I begin to catch up on the news. Soon aboard the next dreamy float ride, I opened the broadsheet to the fires, and then suddenly saw Kelly Jackson’s story entitled “World Exercise Champion walks backwards through Idaho.”

Practically jumping out of my skin, I yelped, “That’s the dude I saw!” then called Daniella in the ferryboat ahead to tell her part of this mystery was solved.

In Kelly’s article I saw that this backwards man, William Kathan, was on a mission to grasp young people’s attention and “to show American youth that anything can be achieved with a healthy mind and body.” He also had a website listed. I wanted to check it out, but knew I’d be off the grid for a few days, while helping Dani move into her new condo, which was still unwired. Meanwhile, Wes, one of the men helping, suggested I check out the Movie Little Big Man, Featuring Dustin Hoffman, as the main character was somebody who embraced contrarian views.

I had read about how in indigenous cultures, humorous “contrary coyotes” are some of the most highly revered individuals. Even wrote about it before. This feverous phenomenon reminds me of today’s outspoken comedians, who go against the grain of starchy acceptance and become highly admired and well compensated.

My enthusiasm for the backwards tale grew on this trip. I began to weave Mr. Bill into other offbeat stories while informing people about his unusual mission.

Finished with the condo move, I returned from Port Townsend, back to Hailey and a valley full of alarming smoke. I jumped back online and started multitasking, while engine searching for “Mr. Bill.” Opening the backlog of e-mails, I saw a brief note from the Wood River Journal editor, saying that my column Priceless Smiles over Diamonds would be the last one that they would be running. He thanked me for my dedication and went on to say that in a gracious manner that they had decided to put their focus more on ‘hard news’ now and that the budget had been changed to eliminate my column.

This “Regal Odkcos” knocked me back a step.

This was totally contrary to their philosophy of the previous year. When I first met the Publisher Trey, through Daniella, at a Lone Star after-hours event, he mentioned that they were looking for an ‘alternative columnist’. Likewise, as with their initial enthusiastic welcome from Pedro and some of the other staff. Perhaps, while following my heart in this wayward world, I had written some things too contrarian for their tastes. After all, they have big bosses to answer to, too.

Plus, Trey is a big Bush supporter and believes that our Commander in Chief inherited most of his problems from Clinton. I’d almost like to believe that too, I really would. In fact, reflecting back, I used to half-believe that five or six years ago, until Puppet Bush continued screwing up almost every aspect of positive things the Good old U.S. of A. used to stand for and spiraled us decades backwards on the rest of the world’s perception of our goodwill. If I could sense one redeeming quality within our Commander, besides his ability to memorize a roomful of people’s names, I could be more opened-minded to believing he could actually influence a scrap of positive change in the world. Whatever happened to the heavy responsibility that is supposed to go along with all of that power? If only our whole country could backpedal seven years to step out of this quagmire of bad luck.

Nonetheless my column was gone. I e-mailed fellow columnist, Lynea Newcomer that I was 60% relieved and 40% saddened. The sadness was magnified by the fact; I had just stepped in the door from helping Dani, my best friend in Hailey, move away from this town. Perhaps it would take a few days for all of this to sink in, especially since I had been rolling around the wild west with a head full of constructive ideas and had been investing most of my spare time writing down and expanding these dreams, dozens of works-in-progress, right here on this blog.

Was this what the Shaman-Priest meant when he said, “There are some things that you must accept. If you swim too strong against the tide, you could die on the beach.” His interpreter even repeated, “He wants you to remember that.”

I was quite thankful for the chance The Wood River Journal had given me. However, ever since Pam Parker remarked that my style of writing seemed to be “oddly timeless”, I had been wondering if newspapers were really the right place for my determined focus. Push-button publishing holds so much more power and capability, with hyperlink interconnectedness, easy photo posting, search potential and even permanence, compared to newspapers designed mostly to be thrown away, after a quick perusing.

Many reporters will agree with me, when I point out that another odd thing about writing for this area, is that writer’s often lay out some of their finest work and then - with some exceptions - receive less than a whisper of feedback, from the broad cross-section of the community, colleagues or even bosses.

Now that I had worked for both papers in this small community, I began to see with a piercing vision how backwards things were. Publishers were skittish about saying anything too controversial that might offend advertisers. And advertisers were adroit the fact that they could make publishers easily squirm.

With the ceaseless pressure of deadlines and a multitude of other glitches inherent to the newspaper publishing business, true innovativeness and cutting-edge writing could only be half-embraced at best. Big electronic city slickers had treaded into this town and quickly seized most of the important online traffic, despite repeated signs that this was about to happen.

I started to think that I understood the concept that if A supra-natural Deity actually dropped down into town, with proof-positive about a vast plan to begin better merging heaven with earth, that jaded members of the community would yawn, tell him to go shoofly and get lost in the Boulder – White Clouds for forty days, with his ancient backwoods ways.

In what I guess was my parting letter to Lynea, whose column usually faced across from mine, I mentioned that I shouldn’t let anything stop me in my tracks about my ardent plans to write about that backwards facing man.

I feel like he's gaining on me in the rearview mirror right now…

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In the hot summer of ‘66, while skidding my toy bike in front of Arlington Forest ESSO station, I received a flat
tire.A man of about the age I am now, was picking up his reworked Chevy, saw my distressed look and kindly
handed the shop owner a shiny Kennedy coin for quick patch of my tire.

Joyfully, I biked home to tell ma. She asked if I had thanked the nice man. I had not. So, I hastily pedaled back, shortcutting through the alley, on a mission to thank the kind sir. However, he had already left and sometimes I feel as though I’ve been trying to thank him ever since.

Last year I returned to the shopping center in a dream. I’ve done this on several occasions -both in reality and in dream- revisited this childhood Mecca of bubble gum thoughts, innocent laughter, and playful alley dogs and cats, sometimes with different scenarios playing out in my quest to find and repay that shining knight. Most dreams match reality whereas everything has gone astray; the service station vanished, the wafting donut shop scents now replaced with a hair salon. The 7-11 has disappeared into thin air – with the chronic Cheech & Chong loiterers missing from its ancient facade. I touch the reflective glass of Walt’s old place; where I sometimes received stylish flattop haircuts, and then given a jar of goo, with that photo of a heroic boy and his smiling astronaut haircut -It’s all gone and no one’s talking about it. These distinct images so powerful in my head, yet none of the passerby seem aware of this holographic presence, from forty years ago.

The only unchanged icon from the past is the Lubber Run Amphitheatre, where our family sometimes watched magicians perform astounding slight of hand magic tricks late into the twilight.

In the most recent dream, a new-wave mechanic shop of some sort reappears there. I gape at the shop activity with fascination, which causes a woman grinding down a modern automotive component, to come to a halt, as she steps outside to scowl at me, saying, “What the heck are you gawking at!” I slide into the shop to re-route her onto my aged ‘66 storyquest and about how I never find that elusive man. Then, I awaken to present-day Idaho reality.

~ ~ ~

The next morning is one of the first hot dog days of summer

The oppressive Ketchum heat is multiplying my numerous work demands into an overwhelming feeling, when suddenly a damsel in distress, calls to say she has run out of gas. I promise my help, figuring that if I skip lunch, I’ll have about twenty minutes to spare. However, the gas station attendant and I notice that whoever last borrowed their container, has so far neglected to return it. The hardware store next-door stocks zero gas cans. Suddenly, my simple task of rescuing a fair maiden has transformed into a much larger test. Every car on the road seems to be taking extra eons, being too darn courteous to let the most lackadaisical of jaywalkers cross the road. I feel stupidly frustrated and try to dig in harder to figure out some way to untwist the crushing heated day into something better.

I hoof it up to always-reliable Chateau Drug Store. There to my sweet delight, I see two gas cans sitting atop the far wall. Grabbing both, I dash back to the gas station, fill one, and then donate the second can, so that the next person, who runs out of gas, won’t have to face this same grinding aggravation. Even though this is kind Ketchum, The attendant is surprised and offers me a hot dog. I take a rain check.

Later, I mull over that old dream again. I feel that I’m a slow learner, at paying back random acts of kindness, but this time I finally got one right and figured a practical answer to the gnawing inside me about finding that impossible man.

Indeed, it feels as though I’ve finally paid - some of the karma allotted to me - back to the service station dream world deities, by probing deep to imagine what kind magic leveling act, needed performed to patch things up.

I wonder what scenario I’ll skid onto, whenever I re-dream about Arlington Forest Shopping Center.

~ ~ ~

Next time I pass though the old neighborhood, maybe I’ll paste this story to the reflective outer glass of whatever accepting store window, happens to be there for passerby to contemplate. Perhaps a man much like the one, who originally rescued me from the oppressive summer heat forty years ago, will gain something out of a reflect like this.

Dreaming of Fabled Homeland Security

Looking for a break from the cold, I curled underneath my baby’s stove in her soul kitchen. As Ursa Major ascended over Queen’s Crown and shone through a brittle windowpane a hypnagogic reverie fluttered through my comatose state:

A King perched high above worldly problems laid aside his bubble swatter in the ivory tower and descended to a secret room beneath the magic reservoir moat. Through a flat screen-changing mirror, he gazed upon happenings of the Realm, witnessing Twilight episodes of good commoners securing the homeland:

A resort director bussing tables made certain that nothing went to waste. The President of a dozen banks polished off her pennies and placed them in a Leadville copper basin. An airline executive dashed across the ice to help unload a cargo full of skis. An attorney and his insurance executive shoveled snow off an elderly lady’s roof during their lunch break.

The king rubbed his eyes in disbelief and adjusted the plasmatic monitor, smacking it with the bubble stick, but it continued to spin out solid axis of good scenes; an architect switched out a burned out bulb above blood alley. An editor boiled up a vat of ink for kid’s crayons of mass creation, which they used to draw stick figures of critical thinkers. A hospital administrator concocted a headache formula from willow branches to heal his grandma’s aches. Two babies with intertwined arms looked up at him and smiled.

The king hailed a peaceful Prince to adjust the string on the back of the mirror. Everything looked normal, and the show continued; during school hours, around a children’s courtyard camp-fire a Superintendent fervently sang folk tales filtered through thousands of earth revolutions. A solar powered commander swooped down on golden gossamer wings and swapped out five cents for an Ice cave Geocache arrowpoint. A statuesque eagle flew out with the sparkly coined buffalo to decorate his mate’s nest. A basketball coach drew small harp out of his feathercap to accompany a stammering young singer through an angelic anthem. The head of the Federal Reserve wheeled some ticker tape out to the recycle bin for a parade honoring a time of peace. A frog on a demonstrator’s shoulder looked up at him riveted.

A postmaster trumpeted first-class news through her window box. It was about nine linemen for the county, who leapt like lords up windmill poles, tossing electrified nunchucks across serpentine rivers to save naïve ginger bakers from wolves. Sagging downstream a water master lent a hand redigging a caved-in hot pool. Beneath where Rainbows Bend, the owner of a hard rock mine handed out rubdown vouchers to his grizzled laborers. The same twilight, two lovers smashed evil atoms into oblivion on the dance floor.

The king wished for some of that disarming headache concoction. He did not understand. Could a culture of happiness weaving straw into gold transcend more than pretend? The extraordinary circumstances continued on all channels: A cable TV installer got a hoot out of nursing a great horned owl back into flight. An admiral played some Mussorsky lightly over the sonar, tickling the narwhal’s delight. A thoroughbred greeted the tanner as a liberator -when he whispered -the whip was shred. A port for ships of the sky flew off to a safer place and a healing clinic slapped in its stead.

Affordable shelters rolled into town. A stonemason formed Idaho rocks in their solid ground. He flew from a land Hemingway knew, where leaders open dialogues with subjects, not just an elite few. During disasters, their chieftain dirtied his hands well, as he helped commandeer survival objects for all.

A Peace Train steaming with vitamins served organic vegetables grown along its line. Nutritious music piped in from the man deflecting polluted quicksilver proposals over lumps of coal facing stalking flames. Back in the secret chamber, five star errant knights diplomatically scribed “peace seeking missives”, burning midnight ethanol through wee hours.

The king rose up his winding staircase to retire, treading lightly without popping any bubbles. From outward appearances, the castle’s perimeter looked unimpeachably secure and to make sure, guards hoisted drawbridge chains up from the enchanted moor.

As this happened, my baby’s oven squeaked open -awakening me from this feverish illusion. A real break from the chill came when Sol rose, chopping balmy clouds behind the blinding windmills. Ursa Minor transmogrified into flesh and fur as a Cinnamon Bear, lighting in beyond human through the dog’s wide door. Hungry from his hibernation in some Sheepeater Indian caves, we all shared for a spell some wonderfully warm rye biscuits around the hearth, he fresh from fantastic dreams of swatting fish running through unfettered streams -without reflection of mercury.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Second level of inspiration provided by Darcie Liz Chace

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wes Unseld's Green ADIDAS

Wes Unseld's Green Chuck-Tease

At the pinnacle of “Bullet Fever”, I attended a game at the Capital Centre in the late 70’s.

For once, the Bullets were true contenders* and I worshiped every whirling-dervish move played out on the basketball stage by team-leaders Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Wes was listed at 6 foot 7, yet he could contend with the best; Jabbar, Chamberlain, Walton, -you name it.

That evening, I started watching everything Wes did and pretty much ignored the rest of the game. As I focused in on Wes, while he confidently relayed outlet passes for long assists, I noticed a green glow on the fringe of his white Chuck Taylor basketball shoes. I wondered why in the world his shoes were different from the rest of the team’s. I whipped out my tiny set of binoculars and saw that these were grass stains on the fringe of his shoes! All I could figure was that Wes had cut the slightly wet grass in his yard, for a leisurely warm-up that humid afternoon before the game and came to the stadium continuing to wear the same set of white Chuck-T’s.

It reminded me of my own speedy grass-cutting adventures on Whitefield St. in Fairfax and how I would practically run with the lawnmower to hustle-up to get the chore done, so that I wouldn’t miss even one pick-up game, wherever the locals had gathered that day.

Identifying with Wes this way, I thereafter thought even more of him than before.

In fact, it’s a trifecta slam-dunk; MVP in his rookie year, savior of the Bullets, and now operator of a private school in Baltimore, Wes is my favorite basketball player of all time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


All Day I Dream About Stories

Related link:
Amazing Nils Lofgrin facts:

Castle Rock Creep

Castle Rock Creep

An incident on day 3

As the fire & brim approached K-Town, Col. Kinderhook grabbed the shutterbugs off his home-office desk. He leapt in with Sergeant J.J., into their impervious vehicle and headed out that old hot springs road.

J.J. hit the wipers on intermittent, to keep the ash brushed off. They waved past the barricade and did a radio-check. It was a gusty day and the fire threatened town more so than before. Not all the fighting aircraft were designed to fly in such winds.

They rolled around the bends for some wellness checks. The last of the moving vans had rolled out hours before, but there were always a few stragglers in these situations. Suddenly, coming down a pass, they spied a sheepherder trailing most of his flock down the steep ravine with fire creeping hot down its side. J.J. and the colonel hopped out the truck for a closer look. Minutes later, some baby lambs started coming down the trail, which was now the only escape route. The lambs were being closely tailed by a trio of Navaho fire fighters with knives drawn and large appetites for fresh meat.

Col. Kinderhook and J.J. could hardly believe what they were witnessing as they rubbed the smoke and ash out from their eyes. Suddenly, the Navahos stepped aside as a wolf pack also fleeing the flames intercepted the lambs they had in mind for a meal. The Col. was too stunned from this zoo-like activity to remember photographs. A permanent picture was imprinted into his head though, as he turned to J.J. and remarked, “Now the only thing that’s going to scare off these wolfs is the man who walks backwards.” J.J. replied, “And the onliest thing that’s going to scare off the man who walks backwards is the cacophony coming from one of my winter pig roasts, up the avalanche chute, by Trail Creek Summit.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seaworthy Mirrors

I had an interesting experience last week, when I helped my friend Daniella move her nutrition business up to Port Townsend, Washington. As we moved items into her beachside condo, we unpacked some of her mirrors and leaned them against the long walls. I started thinking about how some of her mirrors were rather heavy and that I hoped she secured them properly to the walls with studs, when that time came. Then, I started reminiscing about an event several years back, when an aristocratic furniture dealer, Lyman Drake, asked my friend, Dan Roloff and I to secure a mirror onto a wall in his fancy shop. The wall-hanging equipment Mr. Drake provided was obviously substandard. I pointed this out and we delayed the hanging that afternoon. That evening, I found an article at home that I had been saving for such an occasion, about a young boy who had actually been killed in a “freak accident” by a falling mirror:

The next morning Dan and I showed this article to Mr. Drake’s assistant. Up until then, she had been adamant about how we needed to attach that mirror to the wall Godspeed, to fill the room with integrity. However, now that we had gone to the effort, to secure proof positive, that shoddy equipment could actually result in a horrible ending; their mirror was never hung on the flimsy wall.

After these minutes of mirror reflection, Daniella brought me back to the present and into a local breakfast shop. Seconds after we lightly stepped in, we witnessed a small picture fly off the wall, and then clock a 60ish gentleman on an angle hard to his forehead. Before anybody even asked, the man started insisting he was okay. A woman covered from head to toe in black clothing, including a strange hood, spirited out and tried to make things right, by swiftly cleaning up the mess and comping him the meal.

The quickly lit atmosphere of the breakfast-shop soon simmered down, but I felt some of those present would probably remember what happened for a long while.

Further reflecting upon the mirrors, I believe I should warn Daniella one more time about what seems to be a powerful omen for properly securing them in her new seaside condo. I hope the stout man she hires for the job is mirror-seaworthy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In his era, cutting-edge Idaho Senator Glen Taylor was ‘universally’ more open-minded to the backbone of our Country’s multiculturism, than Congressman Bill Sali appears to be today.
With all the things, Mr. Sali has accomplished in his life, his apology reveals more hope towards his further evolving into an understanding spiritual being.
After all, isn’t that one of the main tests of life?
Ultimately, to become more compassionate and understanding towards those who cling to the hatred hanging in their bodies, rather than to commence abhorring them in contagious return?
Perhaps, Mr. Sali will some day find it worthwhile in his heart to apologize to Mr. Ellison in person.
It’s too bad that the disinformation agents instantly label most anyone bringing up serious discussion about UFO’s as a ‘Kook’. Even there, Senator Taylor was ahead of his time when he explained, "Even if it is only a psychological phenomenon, it is a sign of what the world is coming to. If we don't ease the tensions, the whole world will be full of psychological cases and eventually turn into a global nuthouse."
Why, only this summer scientists investigating ‘quantum tunneling’ announced they have broken the speed of light. Meanwhile, Scottish physicists have ‘defied natural laws’ by reversing the Casimir effect - the attraction between two surfaces in a vacuum – in part "solving" the mystery of levitation.
Sychonistically, this week the Federal Reserve has interjected millions of new Thomas Jefferson quarters into our banking system. I suggest that anyone still offended by President Jefferson’s shiny-Quaran-embracing-image levitate their holographic-imaged-chisled-coins into the nearest wishing well. While there take a good gaze in the ripples to see if you can find anything in there you wish to improve –peacenik Hindu music strumming in the background or not.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Response to Greg Farber's "Pseudo Paul McCartney" theory

Greg, Wow! Those are interesting websites you’ve posted above.

Seeing these referred transforming photos of Paul McCartney reminded me of peculiar characteristics of another one of my favorite musicians, Eric Clapton.

A cream of the crop music compilation of his is “The History of Eric Clapton.”
On the reverse of this album are some photos showing the much-idolized Mr. Clapton in his various transformations of music style, dress, hair and even facial appearances.
Currently, I’m unable to find a copy of the reverse cover. However, I did find this video, which reveals Mr. Clapton appearing as though he is completely different person in some instances:

The dissimilar photos of Clapton struck me as a curiosity, ever since buying that album thirty years ago. Was purposely shifting his features part of his plan to augment showing how diverse of a musician he was? Or, does in fact being a revolutionary cutting-edge musician in the way Clapton & McCartney are/were transform their lives so completely that bodily characteristics and facial features alter rapidly enough that it becomes noticeable?

And what else transforms in individuals when you become that powerful?

In addition, is there a survival instinct inherent in rock stars of all genres to want to shape-shift, or at least don disguises to keep out of the pubic eye when they desire to walk around in public like a normal person without being mobbed?

Another notable thing about (the above) song Badge is that George Harrison and Clapton co-wrote it after becoming friends when The Beatles shared a bill with the Clapton-era Yardbirds at the London Palladium.

Clapton became close enough with Harrison that he played “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on the Beatles much-analyzed-for- conspiracy- White Album. After one of the fab-four’s tiffs, John Lennon even briefly proposed that Clapton replace George Harrison.

Though I am not a musician, I certainly enjoy music. Back then I came to know Clapton’s long rendition of Willie Dixon’s ‘Spoonful’ so well, that as I sang along with the record, sometimes my friends would ‘test’ me by turning the volume down to zero for twenty or thirty seconds to determine see how close I could keep in step with the muted record. With my high functioning “restless leg syndrome” keeping rhythm, my song usually tweetered out right on, when my friends flicked the volume back up again.

One more thing about John Lennon. He was shot at the Dakota building in N.Y City. This is the same cursed building where “Rosemary’s Baby” was filmed. Skeptical as I’ve been about many things, this particular synchronicity struck me as being far too powerful to be a mere coincidence.

Oh and another thing. Fans used to tell Clapton that he was God. It’s reported that he held great distaste for this misnomer.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Magickal Sailing

Magickal Sailing

Much like AVON insisted it would happen, we were all now sailing on one salty sea. With a few exceptions at highland points and from those who had listened to their special sights, investing in long-term pods

and newlyfangled ocean vessels. From our dead reckoning at the zwolfe-hund hour, we determined we were in old calendar 2017. And floating forward in Jahre 05 of our new life.

We passed through the straits of Matterhorn, gasping at now extraordinary fruit trees, basking in sol.

By fortunate circumstance, I had trained myself working hard at regular jobs, all the while oriented towards becoming sensibly seaworthy by AVON’S rigorously intuitive suggestion.

Among the copious foods we subsisted on were pollinated hybrid fronds of which I was unfamiliar with. The vines had found Avon, clinging to her before we even began our perilous journey,

Electrified eels had taken fancy to our boat, along with myriad varieties of hummingbirds, bees and other living entities. One sublime afternoon, our friend Mandy the Narwhal, who had grown telepathically close to us in our marvelous journey, attached her spire to AVON Of The Sea for an Aqua trip invitation. Avon & I helped each other balance across Mandy’s precarious spire, by holding hands until we set upon her slippery back for a quick submersion. Although we had evolved into aqua-practitioners in our five seagoing years together, it was nice to see breathing tubes extended for us, growing out like organic fronds from the Narwhal’s sleek body.

We shared sips of marine-mead and clung fast to each other, as Mandy dove dark deep leagues. She directed us to an underwater cavern in the Nepal region, where in the lower depths of the fissure we discovered a sealed off air pocket. With her sword-nose Mandy pressed the Open Sesame button and directed us to enter.
How nice it was for us again to be walking about freely on terra firma, with this short reprieve from the bobbling boat. We strolled through a torch-lit ancient hall within the underwater hill, until we came upon a twelve-foot golden door. As we approached, it automatically opened, where inside we witnessed a single CD disc levitating in the epicenter of the chamber, projecting all encompassing tales about earthly man-beasts brilliantly slow learning process. The holographic recording ran backwards, encircling such things as the Antikythera mechanism, And Cheerleaders of Gomorrah.
Avon and I ascended from the belly of the narwhal, returned to the rocking sea and discussed this in depth for about three weeks.
Nighttime, we gazed upward at our other ancestors, honored gently in silver cups of fiery sky. Once I dreamt that AVON allowed me to rest in the calm pillow of her breast. As she spoke a silent cuneiform language, I observed luminescent sparks dance about her sweet tongue to match the sea, in weird and wonderful words, all of which Mother Earth’s animal kingdom fully comprehended in a tenderly loving manner.
This is the highland point at which I began better appreciating powerful Magick sailing realms.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some Things CIEDRA will have a hard time protecting

Some Things CIEDRA will have a tough time Protecting
(2005 letter to editor)
By Jim Banholzer
For decades, much praise has been lavished upon the Boulder-White Cloud area. It’s thought to be a realm so clean that some hikers still dip their heads under waterfalls for unfiltered drinks. Without a doubt, every positively vibrating drop of water and grain of sand in this wonderful area is worth protecting.
The new CIEDRA bill has gathered support from groups sometimes poles apart. Other parties are not so sure about some compromises. A large part of the bill is oriented towards protecting Boulder-White Cloud wilderness areas “Forever”.
It is nice that we should try.
With new technology ever encroaching into the woods, environmental challenges perpetually rise like multi-headed hydra out of atomic aquifers. If a new Sempra coal burning plant plops like mercury into Jerome, how will this pristine area north of there be protected from winds a changing? What about the likelihood of another eventual nuclear mishap at the INL? Or, somewhere else in the world?
The sad truth is that all of us have already been poisoned by our own gooey messes. Chemicals companies contaminate the biosphere with insufficient impact studies. Deadly Plutonium orbits over our heads in spacecraft while “depleted” uranium dust is blowin’ in the winds around the world. Bottom feeding fish lop up mercury emissions from power plants; the list is long.
How soon will it be that Mother Earth becomes so worn out that even the deeply filtered founts from the White Clouds will no longer be able to hold her good vibrations?
What about the case of the patriotic soldier, weary from war coming back to reunite with his wife on a camping trip in the romantic woodlands of the Boulder-White Clouds? Ready to start a new family he severely contaminates his wife, from the un-depleted uranium he passes into her while attempting to bring a bundle of joy into this world.
I wish that more legislative bills could provide us Homeland Security from sad nesses such as these that we have wrought unto ourselves. See: Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War LEUREN MORET / World Affairs – The Journal of International Issues 1jul04
Other rough draft notes:
White Clouds with Acid Rain?
Although offering protection for wilderness areas, some items of interest will be most challenging to protect “forever”. In fact, quite a few changes take place in the course of just five years. Consider the level of innocence this country held only five years ago.
The plutonium released from a spaceship accident into the atmosphere of earth in 1964 continues to contaminate the whole world to this day. Plutonium fueled missions continue through the early part of this new millenium. A thousand years hence will not somebody be asking, what in the world were they thinking?
Very few institutions last for a thousand years. With our armies stretched so thin, it’s not farfetched that some other country’s army –currently biding their time- could come marching into towns across America, surprising not well enough armed rednecks like myself with a hostile takeover. (Unless of course a hostile takeover from within grips us first) If our intelligence is seeing so well, why were we blindsided by the recent Hamas victory? Maybe that is the secret reasoning that immigration has not yet slowed. America is going to need every body it can use to defend herself.
China for instance has troops nearly as plentiful as our whole population. 20,000,000 Chinese are learning literal English while merely 20,000 American’s Schoolchildren are learning fluent Chinese. At least we will still be speaking the same language; it will just be with a new dialect.
What about the mass production of these new flying-cars coming along in the next decade or two? Already available for less than the price of a Hummer and requiring no pilots license. Likely produced in China under the watchful advisement from Allen & Company. Animal poachers from high offices in ships in the sky and other nefarious individuals, who choose to use these vehicles as weapons of destruction flying above the white clouds, will create a good argument for more tracking and law enforcement systems.
Protecting something forever seems like a long time. How about in five year increments for starters? It was only five years ago that somebody was buzzing our own town with a small aircraft. Seems like an eternity ago.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another incident of non-harmonic convergence at the Mt. Express

Earlier this summer, Jean Levy, a dedicated newspaper employee of 14 years, was fired from her job as a receptionist / typesetter. When Jean first filed for unemployment, she was denied benefits, reportedly for two reasons. First, about a year before her firing, the President of a soon-to-open bank came into the paper, to run an ad commemorating their grand opening. In her sometimes cantankerous manner, Jean blurted out to the man something like, “That’s about all we need in this town, is another bank!” Needless to say, the bank President was taken aback. And when the publisher got wind of this, Jean was taken into the office for a general chewing out.

The second reason the Mt. Express gave for her termination was that they said Jean swore while working at the front desk. Although that may have been the case, evidently Jean was never given fair warning, and rather than this part of her character being embraced by upper management as it was by some of the mid-level employees; it affected her job. Moreover, there wasn’t anything in the employee handbook alluding to this cursed guideline. In fact, a decade before, when another employee, Gayle Kerr, complained about foul language, she was told in no uncertain terms that she just had better get used to it. Later on, Gayle said, “And you know what? I got f&$#*%g! used to it!”

Reportedly, when Jean signed up for unemployment benefits, she was told that her case was being challenged - in part because they said the incident with the banker caused the newspaper “undue financial distress”. Therefore Jean was ineligible for any money, and with rent soon due. When current and former colleagues heard Jean’s unfortunate news, they surreptitiously rallied to find her a good attorney –Jan Wygle.

Not only that, but also several former employees wrote letters and signed legal statements to the effect that during their years of working alongside Jean, that they not heard her curse.

The Goliath Express management was unprepared for what they thought was a slam –dunk case of discarding a poor defenseless lady onto the mean streets of Ketchum. During their cold calculations they never figured that so many former employees would step up to the plate for Jean and help her rebound from this pickle. The streets of Ketchum were actually kind ones, filled with empathetic friends that Jean could count on.

Ironically, during Jean’s 14 years of employment, upper management sometimes referred to her as a “charity case.” Well, if the facts presented here are true, then the Express’s charity took a quick turn for the worse in Jean’s case.

Rather than being admonished and likely verbally abused, Jean should have been commended with a ceremonious badge of courage, for seizing the opportunity to speak up for the rest of us by telling the Banker man off to his face on that fine summer day.

Jean, in that resounding brave minute was repeating the same sentiments about banks that other people had expressed, through letters to the editor and even editorials published by the Express staff and approved by it’s Publisher.

At last report, it sounded like the Express management had finally come to it’s senses on this issue and after a fortnight fight, Jean will be receiving some type of unemployment compensation. In the meantime, the current and former employees are asked to honor this certificate of commendation recently presented to Jean at the Casino bar:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back in the 80's, my father was in the position to provide the Washington Capital's hockey team with some courtesy loaner Volvo sedans. In exchange for this, the team management provided the car dealership with four sets of season tickets, clumped together in a prime seating area.

Meanwhile, dad also became involved with the Big Brothers organization and started mentoring Billy. Several years before, a farmer with a shotgun, angered by a broken windshield on his car, around near where Billy’s brother and some friends had been partying, killed Billy’s biological big brother.

Dad took Billy out in the evenings to quite a few games, helping the situation so that Billy felt like a real hotshot and could bear life again. Occasionally, after winning hockey games, they went down together into the locker room to visit the players. After meeting Rod Langway; the savior of the Washington Capitals, shaking his hand and briefly conversing with him, Billy was in awe. Mr. Langway should know his brief minutes of kindness towards this adoring fan left a lasting impression.

Occasionally, Billy would call dad at the showroom; and if Dave Dando or I happened to be walking by, Dad would quickly hand us the phone after saying to Billy, "Hey Billy, your hero Rod Langway just stopped by here to say hello.” Suddenly saddled with this impromptu test, Dave or I would impersonate Rod Langway in our roughest hockey voice saying, “Thanks Billy for coming to our game last week. I looked up in the stands and saw you there cheering for us" -and things of that nature.

These heroic phone impersonations probably occurred a dozen times. It felt like the right thing to do, enthusiastically perpetuating this hero myth - as Billy certainly needed a boost at the time.

Thinking back on it now, we weren’t steering a myth at all, but reality. Certainly, Mr. Langway would have not minded that we were speaking kind words of encouragement on his behalf to a young troubled boy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Priceless Smiles Over Diamonds

There is a jeweler next-door to the office from where I deliver furniture. Last month they displayed a diamond said to be valued at $3 million. Three friendly, well-dressed men traveled here to remote Idaho, to help facilitate the diamond’s stopover in prosperous Sun Valley.

The three fine-suited men hailed from New York City. The eldest is a renowned expert on diamonds and answered with astute accuracy the most grandiose of gemstone questions I could dream up. Even the rough ones. Reportedly, the featured diamond is part of a larger collection. Word traveled fast in our small community and my furniture-moving colleague, who also contributes for Idaho newspapers, called his editor. Next thing you know; both of us scruffy galoots were in there joking with the photojournalist, about how we would like to buy one to spiff up each of our gal’s hands. Then we watched while he examined and photographed the valuable gem, which twinkled as if it was going to make a slight sound -luminous there by the lens cap in his meaty hand. 

I looked around at the men in the suddenly crowded room and wondered, “Who’s packing heat?” -and other things along these lines. Surely these shrewd New York businessmen had planned ahead for any foreseeable problems and lugged along some “extra protection.” I speculated over this sphere of gemstone guardians, marveling that something so costly must certainly be accounted for and fortified by several trusted people at all moments. Almost the type of attention, which a newborn baby requires and should receive. I spent only a few compressed minutes in their shop, but it was enough to leave a lasting impression

The day after the men in nice suits flew back to New York -or wherever their next diamond-engagement was; I saw a front-page article on SFGate about the travails of a rare-coin courier who was transporting one dime worth nearly 2 million dollars.

This well-written tale of intrigue by Steve Rubenstein contained several synchronicities with how I had been imagining these tiny luxurious items must be transported. I felt compelled to share the story with our jeweler neighbors and so printed it up. Uncertain how the ladies would receive my story; part of me imagined that they might scoot me off, with tacit signals, or perhaps even press a concealed button to ensure my quick dismissal. Unaware of my secret identity, they may have not desired a conversation with what they perceived as my lower status.

However, that was not the case at all, as the UN-jaded ladies next door graciously received my discovered synchronistic story with heartfelt expressions of delight.

Next, thing I would like to tell them is that although the three-million dollar diamond is no longer contained in their shop, something more precious is, mainly the genuine smiles they exchange with passerby of all sorts, which makes those people instantly twinkle and then secretly whisper to themselves that they feel as though they are suddenly worth over three-million bucks.

It’s refreshing to see that this Gem State of Idaho still has it in her – some real down to earth ladies like the girls next door.

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