Sunday, April 27, 2008

Satursteady Spurlunkering

Satursteady Spurlunkering

Woody's Plowshare

Went out for some weekend Spurlunkering again, this time with Mr. Sample who had not yet explored that stretch of desert. Went through Cutoff road, briefly stopping by Bear Claws campsite. Not quite springy yet, only a few wildflowers, but still a nice place to stop. Saw a young beaver rolling along through the water, until it got within fifteen feet of me. Did not check on the nearby Geocache.

Headed over the backway past the downstream campsite. Had all the characteristics of an Indian campsite, but probably been hunted out by the frequent RV’ers. Back on Cutoff rd., Richard spied three humongous turkey vultures. We backed the truck up slowly and got a good gander, though neither of us had a good camera. The first two flew off after about thirty seconds, but the third stayed. Finally, when I got out of the truck, the third vulture flew off, seemingly with some trouble, probably due to engorging so much meat. The victim appeared to be larger than a coyote and black. I didn’t want to approach any closer on account of the predators still swirling nearby, plus it felt bad. Later on I remembered that around ten years ago, I saw where someone had shot two dogs and left them in the same vicinity. In fact, there was a third similar incident, I remember telling Mr. Flowers about, which occurred in the same area. This crossroad left me with an ill feeling.

We went on over to where Silver Creek turns into a large holding pond before washing under Highway 93 and then spilling into the Little Wood River. Quite a variety of birds there, mostly ducks and loons, a couple of sandhill cranes too. We spied them with Richard’s binos for a few minutes. No birds were swimming in the area near the highway because of the occasional big rig. Some rigs were already hauling hay, which looked like this year’s first green cut. We tried to guess where they hailed from, since spring is so late here with snow still standing in the lower hills and higher valleys.

3V3TZ preaching in ancient days

Passed by Preacher Bridge and the old railroad bed, then over to Pagari. The old topos show that these places once had railroad stops. We figured that the freight trains must have been stopping for sheep and cows, etc. Tracks have all been picked up, but some of the trestle bridges are still intact. I drove over one of those creaky babies about ten years ago and don’t think that I’ll try that again.

After we begin to look for old cowboy camps and other objects of interest to scavenge, a congenial peace officer stopped to chat with us. We were standing adjacent to another treasure-hiding place, which I had set up in the pre-Geocache era, but I left that one too, unchecked for now. The Conservation Warden asked if we were fishing and we said that we thought it was closed. He said no, the Little Wood is open, but Silver Creek is closed until May 24. We thanked him for clarifying and then looked at the Little Wood’s murkiness, commenting that it looked too muddy. He said that the people fishing downstream by “Three Trees” were not having great luck, but did catch one or two.
Richard found some old pieces of pottery and glass and several gun shells. He commented that he thought it was a good rabbit hunting area and we discussed the links between rabbit and lynx populations. Richard was looking for a particular size of old tin to use for a gold-leaf art project. With his persistence of vision, he saw a pile of scrap metal near a fishing pullout. We went through it and found what looked like an old dog bowl, very heavy and still with some blue. Seconds later, we found a small bluish curved piece of metal with matching interior porcelain, which made us realize that the ‘dog bowl’ was actually a teapot and this was its spout.


Richard and I talked briefly about our legendary fathers. He mentioned that his dad had once contracted a rare disease, which causes paralysis below the neck. The cause is from a fleabite. I remembered that years ago, two of my dad’s work colleagues at H.B. Lantzsch had contracted what sounded like the same disease. After the second person became ill, the shop foreman, Werner Kulbe, contacted the health department wondering if the poor environmental conditions there had some connection to the illnesses. All three of these individuals returned to good health after six-month paralyses. A synchronicity I saw with Richard’s father’s case was that I had just lent Richard a copy of Jeremiah Johnson – a movie his father was cast to act in, until he came down with the brief disease. At an opening point in the movie, Del-Q is paralyzed in the sand from the neck down, although he claims that he has a fine horse under him.


We worked our way over in the sand to a large area where the sage had burned away the previous year. We saw that an old structure had probably been there once too and discovered two handfuls of ancient glass, now melted from the fire. I also picked up a tiny kerosene stove, which reminded me of an old tin of tobacco, which 3V3TZ once found, which still had tobacco in it, which had been meant as a gift for Woody Guthrie and now sits next to Woody’s Rock.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Old license plates and spur-lunkering mates

It’s refreshing to get out and breathe some fresh air, when springtime in the Rockies hits, after our long winter slog. Normally, 3V3TZ and I will go out searching for bits of nature in the desert, before the sage turns too snaky. After all, there was that one year during the QX-Air highway cleanup, when a rattler darted like lightning to bite my pants leg at the crease, before coiling back into his cave and then rattling. That spring afternoon, our crew had planned to sip a few Weinhard Ales to celebrate the completion of our cleanup quest. However, after the close snake encounter, I dipped into the Weinhards a bit early “to calm my frazzled nerves.”

While the sage and grass is still low, seasonal rains dust sand off old stones and sometimes even ancient arrowhead points or chips.

Sunny afternoons immediately following these cyclic downpours are prime opportunities to see with piecing clarity a rainbow of beauty unearthed in the glistening desert stones.

One Idaho spring, when the season was late arriving, 3V3TZ and I got the fever to explore some dry land, so we ended up walking along the sides of the old Union Pacific Railroad bed, around an abandoned depot. We found a few junk cars and I thought I was doing well to find an intact 1957 Idaho License plate. However, when I returned to the rig, I saw that there was a 1926 plate flipped next to the car. 3V3TZ had whooped me again!

The funny thing about his 1926 plate was that it seemed to have some orange tinges around surface edges. We thought it was too unusual a shade, for rust to turn to and then we went online to discover that they originally painted the plates orange that year.

Although 3V3TZ was thirty-one years ahead of me in our license plate race, the next spring thaw I made a partial comeback. As I was walking down River Street returning from Les Schwab from switching off studs, I saw a small piece of metal protruding from the earth. Carefully pulling out the rest of it, I discovered that it was a partial plate from 1923! My immediate theory was that Rupert House had as a seven-year-old boy, playfully tossed a snowball along that street, which knocked off that plate clean off for me to find later, so I could tell you this story and give you a good laugh to breathe about in the Northern Rockies fresh air.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fishy bird synchroniciites

Fishy bird synchronicities
I’ve tried to pay more attention to the signals birds may be sending, ever since reading an animal totems book by Trish MacGregor and Millie Gemondo (Millie shares my birthday, although different year)
Soon after the turn of the winter solstice, I was pulling my rig out from the busy
Power Engineers intersection, where I saw a distressed young woman, who had slid her small sedan off the road. This is one of the most dangerous highway stretches in our neighborhood and had I been quicker to act, I could have made myself more useful with the emergency equipment I usually carry. However, since I already committed to turning out, it was too late to find a safe place to pull over, with the massive snow banks crusting over into the roadside. As I rolled up the highway, I saw a couple of Hispanic men, manage to stop on the other side to help assist. 

The next week, one of the local newspapers ran a thank you letter from the mother of the young driver. The daughter was sixteen and new to driving. One of the Hispanic men flagged down the traffic to slow, as the other helped tow out the car from the icy barrow pit. Meanwhile they assured the mother over the cell phone that her daughter was okay and the story seemed to help patch a small bridge in our community’s racial divide. 

For the remainder of the winter, I usually remembered that incident whenever I passed that power spot.

Then one high noon, right after the Spring Equinox, Two Skies and I were pulling out from the same intersection, where we saw an ambulance speeding toward us south. Now enough snow had melted, to give us room to pull over. As the siren approached, it chased off a large flock of crows, which cast a remarkable dark shadow to float in sharp contrast over the snowy celestial noon fields. Two Skies later commented that seeing the storytelling of crows flowing from the emergency vehicle was a transcendental moment for him

When I flipped the scanner on, an officer’s voice announced, “Probable code black.” Two Skies called his editor, who granted him permission to check out this news story. I dropped him off at his car with the scanner. When he arrived, it was clearly bad news in the form of a head-on crash, on that icy highway stretch. A further synchronicity was that the truck resembled mine. When the photo went online that evening, two friends called to make sure I was still alive. The truck also had a matching cap, which the photo does not show, since the milk-truck thrust it away about forty feet.
When Two Skies arrived at the accident scene and met his work colleague, the other man remarked he was glad to have company, because as a teenager he had lost a close family member in a similarly horrific crash. 

A week after the crash, I received an interesting message from Brad, who now lives in Florida. Brad said that he had been talking with a friend of his who was involved in another crash in the minutes preceding this crash. He said that his friend, G.I. called to say that after turning his truck into a fence, the gold Toyota narrowly missed him, moments before going on to become crushed by the milk truck. After giving some of the traumatic details, he went on to say that, G.I. had recently interviewed for moving furniture job across the street from where I work and it was the same job, which I had been offered one week before. 

The unfortunate death of two people along with the many closely connected circumstances reminded me of some recent powerful doppelganger reflections.
A few weeks later, Wile E. and I were traveling southbound and crossed the Greenhorn Bridge on our way to give Lady Di a ride. Suddenly we saw a strange looking bird, emerge from the river area, proudly gripping a large trout in its wet talons. The unusual bird quickly swooped in front of us three times, as if it was showing off the valuable prize for our benefit. This was near the area where pigeons often gather in the afternoon sun, giving commuters a healthy taste of nature. It was also an aerobie toss away from the Peaceful Freemason's humble shanty. 

After I dropped Lady Di off to retrieve her car, I crossed back over the Power Engineer power spot. This time a small red-tail hawk swooped up from what remained of the snowbank and fluttered in the air beside me. It didn’t have to, but suddenly it flew over and slightly tagged the top of my gold Toyota with its red tail. 

That evening Twilight I determined that one of these bird synchronicities occurred five minutes before I picked up Di and the other five minutes after I dropped her off. This was enough to compel me to mention it to her the next day. When I did, it turned out that she had a full flock of interesting bird and nature synchronicities.

On the way home that evening after spilling out my bird-by-bird words, I experienced yet another bird synchronicity. At an area south of where the pigeons roost, but equidistant to the spot where the strange bird showed off his bull trout, a flicker came flashing at me, and also tailfeather-tagged my gold Toyota in an angelic manner. 

Lady Di had mentioned in her oracle way that birds that perform in these situations are often signs of impending change. That evening when I got home, there were three things to confirm this prediction. The first one involved a bewildered dog, who we put up for the night and who has now found home again. The second a close friend from my early Idaho days perhaps again back into my life .
The third was a sentimentally sad moment when my duplex neighbor and friend, the lemonade man, took off in a U-Haul with all his worldly possessions on a mission to run the Reno QX station, leaving me a freezer full of his frozen fish.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

To Blind Mice

Thank you Jodi Zarkos, for writing about racism in sports. Racism and hidden personal prejudices are among our worst weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, for many reasons it is one of our most challenging subjects to address.

According to research from the University of Texas at Austin, “Umpires for Major League Baseball are more likely to call strikes in favor of pitchers who share their race or ethnicity.”

One of the longtime MLB rules states that an umpire should not make a call to ‘even things up’ from an earlier bad call. This regulation is one of the most ignored rules on the books and it sounds like the Pocatello umpire disregarded the “even things up” rule.

In a second related story, last week the Idaho Statesman picked up an article about sportsmanship from Ogden Utah’s Standard-Examiner called,

'They say it starts with a prayer and ends with a fight'

To promote better sportsmanship, some of the immensely popular LDS Church basketball leagues have instituted new rules, giving points for sportsmanship, which can actually change the scoring results of games.

I’m not sure how the outcome of the game that you witnessed would have shifted had points been rewarded for sportsmanship. It sounds as though non-sportsmanlike actions were sourcing from several angles. However, I think that we can have faith that at least some of the participating sportspersons took a cue from the behavior they witnessed and chalked it up to the “do-not-dews.”

Many of us have personal prejudices imbedded deep within us, which we would prefer to deny. Now, a machine can scan your mind for unconscious racism:

I wonder if referee oversight committees will ever integrate a machine like this into future sporting justice initiatives. For starters, perhaps we should regulate the privilege to boo. That is, before we permit anyone to boo or yell two blind mice whenever they perceive a bad call, they should show that they have been in the challenging position of being a sports-referee, making split second decisions, while trying to remain honestly colorblind.

Lastly, one bit of racism right under our noses during these festive community sporting events is the dehumanizing us of mascot names, such as Salmon Savages and Blackfoot Indians.

Thank you again Jodi for your comments.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Evermore March Madness

This morning, 3V3T5 forwarded me this amazing trick-shot basketball video:

I must say that I, too, have not missed a shot this year and credit is due from inspiration sourced from this Virginia hoopster:

Speaking of basketball, today’s Statesman has a great story called

'They say it starts with a prayer and ends with a fight'

To promote better sportsmanship, some of the immensely popular LDS Church basketball leagues institute new rules.

Strange Solstice Subconscious Stewpot

Following are some notes I scribbled after experiencing a weird and wonderful midnight dream last winter solstice. I purposely had placed writing instruments at the side of the bed, after experiencing even stranger dreams the previous winter solstice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Language Barriers

Interesting that we experienced a language barrier with the transportation company we worked with this week. On Friday, their dispatcher called to confirm a Monday, 7 a.m. delivery. Not being the morning mongoose that I once was, compounded by a later daylight-savings sunrise shift, I had been lobbying for an 8 a.m. receiving time. However, with the warehouse in close proximity to the bustling school playground, seven sounded better. The sparse traffic at the earlier time would give us more elbowroom, for backing the big rig up to the warehouse locker.

I requested that the dispatcher ask her driver to call me for better directions, so we could save him some trouble of winding his long truck around the unfamiliar town and its narrow intersections. Instead of meeting us at the store, he could pull straight up to our warehouse dock. Immediately, I sensed that this simple request had turned very complicated, due to lack of English comprehension on the part of the dispatcher. Actually, there was more to it than that; my intuition told me that the dispatcher was acutely aware of her driver’s lack of English skills. Which he later confirmed when I met him in person, then asked him some simple questions about traveling conditions, etc.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Twilight of the Books

What will life be like if people stop reading?

Commentary on this by Ran Prieur:

"There's a smart piece in the New Yorker this week, Twilight of the Books, about how reading and non-reading affect human consciousness. In ancient Greece, when reading was new, it was a kind of trance or possession -- people had trouble distinguishing between the reader and the text, the actor and the role. You can still see that today, when fans of TV shows treat the actors like their characters, or a cowardly president can be popular by swaggering like a "strong leader," or activists think protests and petitions can change anything.

One of the things we're going to have to do, before we get out of this ugly age of history, is to learn to awaken from the trance of the symbolic -- I don't mean we won't go there at all, but that we won't lose focus on what's symbolic and what's real. George Bush is more spiritually evolved than his opponents when he says the Constitution is "just a piece of paper." Laws and treaties and money and other pieces of paper begin as agreements between people, but when the people no longer agree, they become meaningless, and the advantage goes to the first person to notice the loss of meaning."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Peace Symbol turned 50, while the clock struck 13

And pasting together clarity from other puzzling pieces:

Reading George Orwell’s April 4 diary struck a chord with me today, although of a dissimilar clock-tick than Jackie Jura's.

The Peace Symbol turned 50 on 4/4, which means that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated on the tenth anniversary of the peace symbol unveiling. This also means that George Orwell prophesized Winston to scrawl ‘Down with Big Brother’ on the 26 anniversary of the Peace Symbol and 26+24 (Nath’s current age) again equals 50.


Paraphrasing the Washington Post article:

The Peace Symbol “A hieroglyphic that has never been trademarked so that everybody can share a piece of the peace.”

Wanting to spread peace around as best I could, last year, I submitted the following suggestion to the manufacturers of Aerobie flying discs with the following letter:

Hello aerobie administrators and facilitators,

Have you ever considered a design such as this? A peace symbol filling in interior space of the aerobie? I think that it would go over well this summer. Imagine great peace aerobies orbiting around the National Mall this Fourth of July or at various war protests throughout the civilized world? Or a special limited edition at the ready in the event a war actually ended? I would take my newfangled “peace missive” aerobie to whatever great diplomats are responsible for ending the war and have them autograph it in permanent ink.

I have always been a big fan of this marvelous toy and even met Mr. Adler at an event back in the mid-80’s that was recorded on CBS’s Charles Osgood files. This was during Presidents Day weekend and the worlds Champion at the time Scott Zimmerman dressed up as a patriot and attempted to toss some aerobies across the Potomac River from a Virginia bluff. He taped a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar to the first few aerobies, but they all dropped into the river. Soon someone suggested taping two coins and placing them on opposite ends –to counterbalance each other – and according to legend, this helped Scott became the first person since George Washington to toss a silver dollar across the Potomac.

I also recall at this event that the inventor, Mr. Adler instructed fans as to the proper pronunciation of “Aerobie” (AIR-oh-bee). This often came in handy later when disagreements broke out as to the proper pronunciation - I could always say I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Jim Banholzer

Shortly thereafter, I received the following response from Alan Adler, Aerobie’s inventor and developer:

From: []
Saturday, March 17, 2007 6:37 PM
To: Jim Banholzer
Subject: Peace

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm definitely a dove myself.

Although I confess to being more hawkish when young. But

I'm older and wiser now. As they say, "Youth is wasted on

the young".

Considering the high cost of plastic molds, I hope you'll

understand if we don't make the peace-symbol Aerobie. But

I certainly like the idea, and shant easily forget it.

We had a lot of fun that weekend in DC. I still see Scott

Zimmerman occasionally. He lives in
San Diego.

Best regards,

Alan Adler

Here also is a peaceful palindrome for today:

‘Draw no evils deeds live onward’

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Queeny Quiz

Before I wear my hands out blogging about the Queen’s waving ways, Patrick Hillman over at Exploding things up with Petrol, reminded me that not long ago he posted a photo of the queen’s genuine smile as a quiz on his website

Light Olympic Torch

Wednesday morning, while driving north, as my furniture-moving colleague began to read aloud Dick Dorworth’s Tibet –the conscience of the world column, I couldn’t help but to glance over at the paper, when he started reading about the elaborate plan for the Olympic Torch relay up Mount Everest, as he and I had just been talking about this.

Then when he got to the part, where Mr. Dorworth mentioned the 1936 Olympic torch flame, I had to pull the big rig over to the side of the road to finish reading the article and became immediately overwhelmed by a compulsion bring this brief story to light:

Brad Nottingham, who used to work at the Express from 2000-2003, now works as museum courier, transporting valuable pieces between auction houses and collections throughout the country. A few months ago, Brad and his moving partner, were called to package up the Olympic Torch used by Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics. This torch had been discovered in an old shed on the property of a recently deceased eccentric collector. In fact, there was a great likelihood that the great torch would have been become crushed, had it not been for the synchronicity of a backhoe hose breaking, right before it was to smash the shanty, which gave the demolition workers a few more minutes to poke about the place to make the big discovery.

After hearing about this unearthing, a Maryland holocaust museum won the bid to buy the torch to display, so this was when they paged Brad to package the torch. Before Brad got to where the torch was held, his supervisor speculated that it would be heavy, thus recommended some specific packaging materials and crating techniques. However, when they arrived, they found it was lightweight and quite easy to pick up and handle.

Above are photos of the 1936 Olympic Torch, right before they soft-wrapped and crated it for transport from Florida to Maryland

Friday, April 04, 2008

Recently, 3V3T5 mentioned that when we lived in Virginia, a man sort of chased him down and said, “I wanted that tag!” He had the 3V3T5 license plate on his Honda, so you always knew it was he following you in the rear view mirror. The man who stopped him had settled for the mere 3V3T2. Which reminds me, the other day S said that he still hasn't watched the famous Frisbee-disc film The Tao of 3V3T5. I think I should bring the movie over to his house to watch it with him sometime soon. Maybe, while there I can snake out an even more obscure explanation about riddling license plates to Real Job in MHz.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Queen’s footnote

I forgot to end the earlier story by adding that when I told the local woman, Sue Noel that EVET5 did not wave at the queen, she expressed a sense of shock and outrage and said, “HE DIDN’T WAVE BACK?”

Suddenly, I felt it best to adjust the tale diplomatically and said, “Well maybe he waved a little bit, then.”

The Onion: Queen Will Leave Behind Long Legacy Of Waving

Here's a good one:

Green Banholzer

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Queen’s Crown

Seventeen years ago, the Queen of England paid a visit to our Nation’s Capital during a festive weekend.

Part of her tour was slated to take her down to George Washington’s historical home at Mount Vernon one evening and The Washington Post even printed a detailed map of her scheduled route.

Knowing that my good friend 3V3T5 lived on the Queen’s course, I called that afternoon to remind him that Her Majesty would be passing his way.

As the evening wore on, he kind of forgot, but then, while he was fueling up his little Honda, he saw a procession of armored vehicles and remembered what I had told him.

As the Queen waved by Crown Gas Station in her ceremonious fashion, 3V3T5 purposely stuffed his hands in his pockets to show intensive intent to rebuff any Elizabethan waves.


In later years, I unspun this Queen’s tale to a woman here in Idaho.

This woman, Sue Noel, is one of the Queen’s biggest fans and has kept a sincere correspondence with her majesty for over fifty years. She even has an elaborate black embroidered letter in return from Buckingham Palace, from an occasion decades ago, when there was a death in the family to which Sue wrote a heartfelt letter of concern and compassion.

Although, I have passed this on to friendly Idaho editors, so far they seem blind to the vast potentialities of such a story: The Queen of England pays great attention to a small- time Idaho grocery store clerk.

Capturing Photons with Huck Finn’s Slingshot

Some recent information, which a friend electronically sent me regarding Time-Travel, reminded me of this eye-catching blogpost about CERN

Now there is even a lawsuit over this, the intent of which is to keep Earth and perhaps our universe from being sucked into a giant black hole!

Now there is a great cause for shore, if I ever saw one. Perhaps even bigger than Al Gore’s warm head. Then again, who knows for sure? Perhaps a spiraling vortex ride will be refreshingly super-fun!

Lately I have been reading Graham Hancock’s book Fingerprints of the Gods. Mr. Hancock also is the author of a great anthropological tome called Supernatural, which I also found to be thoroughly intriguing. He interprets a wide variety of evidence to document how some ancient technologies surpass anything we have now – or at least anything available to the public. The books starts out with some captivating evidence about how some ancient maps of antiquity, match the ground surface of Antarctica, with a high degree of accuracy. Only recently, have modern scientists shown how accurate those old maps were, when they conducted soundings through Antarctica’s ice sheet to reveal where the true coastline of the ground underneath lies.

Mr. Hancock goes on to speculate in an interesting fashion about the true age of the Egyptian Pyramids along with how they were utilized in mysterious methods, to match potential aspects of our at-the-ready Hadron Collider.


By the same token, here is an interesting extract from a NY Times Book Review, regarding recently passed science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke:

"For all his acclaimed forecasting ability, though, it is unclear whether Mr. Clarke knew precisely what he saw in that future. There is something cold in his vision, particularly when he imagines the evolutionary transformation of humanity. He leaves behind all the things that we recognize and know, and he doesn’t provide much guidance for how to live within the world we recognize and know. In that sense, his work has little to do with religion.

But overall religion is unavoidable. Mr. Clarke famously — and accurately — said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Angel Serves Drinks

Angel serves drinks; she’s in a wonderful place,

But her concerns run high when the clowns come to face

She knows Idaho well, has traveled it far,

In late evening she waits on a man with dark scar,

She takes it all in; her intellect’s not thin,

She wonders if the cacophony holds some wisdom within,

Loud customers with rich wallets, but spirit as squalor,

Is her brighter smile really worth another unclean dollar?

That’s why they’re here, to delight drown’d in beer,

No matter how small, she understands every tear,

Absorbing this experience, will be for the best,

Late evening she returns to her beautified nest,

Her name fits her well; as she looks down from above,

Gently serving wine from an ancient carafe,

She prepares nurturing instruments to write this all down,

She starts by wondering about this intellectual clown

Unexpected moves

Sunday afternoon, I was traveling down the peaceful ribbon of highway, returning from a festive breakfast with friends at Ketchum’s Kneadery, when suddenly I spied a super-long moving van, parked on the wrong side of the road. “Gee, I wonder what kind of operation is happening there,” I said to myself.

My first instinct was to stop off to see if they might need any help, since as of late, I had been having some lean workdays, in this land of feast or famine. However, since I had vast plans to cleanse my house in preparation for Angel’s climbing down to help me with my new spring – to – godliness - credo, I did not follow first instinct.

I had barely switched on the ceremonious cleansing music, when Wiley called to invite me to get in on a chance for the moving and shaking action, precisely where the curious van was. In medium haste, I appeared, parking the reliable Tacoma, in a secret pullout, adjacent to the canal way, near Buttercup. From there, I moseyed over to introduce myself to my new work teammates, Jim & Bob –a couple of hardy looking fellows, hoisting large washers and dryers out of their big rig.

As they pointed out the remaining possessions, we sized up that it would be 3 to 4 hours -at most. We borrowed Wiley’s rig to portage the household goods on the muddy driveway between the behemoth van and the mid-valley house. It was slow going, but I found the pace acceptable. Turns out the Jim & Bob hail from a Pennsylvania region, not far from my folks. We talked about bugling elk and about how Pennsylvanian hunters sometimes drive out here, eager for a big chance. I tried to point out the nearby snowy pinnacle, below where elk often range rich, but the elusive mountains kept misting in above 10,000 feet.

Two months ago, their Pennsylvania groundhog had predicted another six weeks of winter. However, now it was so cold and blustery that the old March ‘going out like a lamb’ cliché had turned into an April Fools joke. Meanwhile, Bob received an excited call from his niece, who had just opened her new cell phone as a birthday present and decided to make him the first call of her eighth year. At least we found this to be warming.

Mid-way through our move, I made the usual crack about juggling pianos, to which they fessed up about having a grand one aboard. - A $40,000 baby, which we hoisted onto a dilapidated hundred-dollar trailer for transport. With four alert spotters, crouched for any irregularity, we gently cantered the piano over ‘warshboards’ to the grand house. As we tilted the swayback trailer down, we suddenly realized that it wanted to buck off the hitch, but we were able to slide the piano gingerly down onto its riding board, like a Sunday miracle.

After we shuffled the piano about to help it discover its new harmonic spot, we keyed in on some lively conversations with the returning homeowners. The dry canal though their backyard sage would soon be filled as a lifeline for the Cottonwood and its spring birds. We imagined ourselves basking in their company to enjoy the birdlife tweetering around a backyard barbeque in the upcoming warmth.

We allied without any ‘oops’ to pull some larger pieces over the indoor railing, then returned for our last load. There I found that the hitch-pin had come off the trailer, so we really were lucky that nothing had gone amiss, to make the piano shoot up off its grand board. Twilight soon approached and I realized that my vast plan of cleansing my house would have to wait, as this energetic move had consumed the full afternoon.

I stumbled home with sore muscles, but paradoxically was too stimulated from the move, to be able to drift off to an easy sleep. When Angel arrived the next morning to assist me in my own ceremonious cleansing project, I was thankful that she did not fly right off again, skittish from seeing the obvious frazzledness manifest, in my disheveled appearance from having forced my body into too much short-notice overdrive.

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