07/28/2008, 6:42 AM
Monday, July 28, 2008
07/28/2008, 6:42 AM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
To me, the accomplished achievment of making it into a Rexburg, Idaho newspaper, far exceeds my earlier life-long dream of catching an anvil in my lap, while lightly floating over jagged Idaho peaks in a modern magical balloon.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Gently Floating with Down-to-Earth Sacred Cows
Mariel Hemingway came into our Ketchum furniture store last summer, before the great fires hit, to purchase a few items. She leads a yoga studio here called the Sacred Cow. I actually got the chance to sit and lightly chat with her for a few minutes. I found her to be very likeable. The next day, my boss told me that Mariel wanted us to package a few items to freight to her California address. Our primary freight room is located in a place with great atmosphere – directly across the avenue from Hemingway Elementary, replete with grand sounds of children gleefully enjoying playground activities. As I begin packaging the nice items for Mariel, I started turning this into an opportunity to shield her items with some newspapers strategically opened to old columns from both Two Skies and myself. When I finished taping the last box, my co-furniture worker / secret identity newspaper columnist, Two Skies just happened to drive by with his mother who was visiting. I mentioned the signature package job complete and that Mariel would probably fall for him like a ton of goldbricks after reading one of his good columns, which I had stuffed into her package with that very intent. This gave Two Skies, his mom and I all a good laugh. However, in reality, his work is darn good and this theory not so farfetched.
To be at ready stand by, for a future opportunity like this, I should probably keep this newspaper clipping, laying about for special insertion.*
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I noticed that the Mayan Calendar ends only several weeks after our 2012 election. I wonder if there is some connection between the two.
Perhaps Atlas, as a sentient being, will seriously shrug when it senses what o the humanity, stinkily dotting its landscape has ultimately elected.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Something else that's not being talked about much is that some people in small Idaho communities still unsecured by cell towers hesitate to speak their true feelings out of fear of being shunned--or worse--by the prevailing Flintstone-aged attitudes of their townspeople.
In one community, this fever reached such a high chirping pitch that even a physician went on public record to speak out against cell phone towers. So far, though, I have not heard any police or emergency medical technicians make convincing arguments about how the potential unsightliness of Galena's cell tower--or any other tower--would outweigh its multitude of benefits.
Some naysayers worry about how the safety beacon on the hill might smear the landscape if pine beetles munch their way over Alexander Ross' ancient pass. If this does happen, it is actually one more reason to install a repeating cell tower on that exact spot, as it will have then become more avalanche-prone in this dangerous area where young sports-enthusiasts have already lost their lives after needlessly suffering because of extended communication delays.
Another anti-cell tower argument is that telephonic technology will soon orient towards satellites, which will render cell towers obsolete. However, what happens when a satellite goes defunct; locks up, or is shot down by one of our enemies? In the eventual likelihood of one of those events, wouldn't most people hope that we had the foresight to construct a dynamic back-up plan?
Cell towers should complement satellite technology and vice-versa. When we develop an innovative device that operates off both of these great technologies, that's the kind I want. And no matter what the cost, I will happily share my unlimited cell-minutes with any party that comes up against sudden unexpected distress, in our attractive SNRA, when we finally implement the enlightenment of cell phone service here.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
In Memory of Cristina Reed
I found it shocking to hear that on July 4, Cristina Reed decided to plunge to her death by leaping off the Perrine Bridge and into the Snake River . Although I only knew Cristina from delivering her products, while I was a cab driver, the kindness she exuded towards those of us living on the edge of society became legendary. For some reason she strongly identified with us. Without question, Cristina was our best customer and most generous tipper and for years after I ended my brief taxicab stint, when we intersected, the drivers occasionally mentioned that her sincere kindheartedness never waned.
Another reason that Cristina’s death hits home so hard; is that back in 2006, I sent in a well-received suggestion to the Idaho Department of Transportation, regarding the importance of considering a feasibility study for improving suicide prevention measures on this very same bridge.
Writing the above linked letter was literally a dizzyfying experience. Halfway through it, I had to pause to catch my breath, and stood up to walk around and regain my bearings. Finding yourself up on that high bridge to imagine what is flashing through a troubled person’s mind can be electrifying and intensely sad. I wonder what other writers’ feel, when they report on horrific stories like this.
When I was a newspaperman, the chief editor explained why we sometimes go into detail, when a distraught person decides to end their life and it doesn’t go off exactly as planned. As hard as it is for that person’s family to hear, by reporting on the extended pain they felt; crawling with a broken back below a cliff, or suffering in a crippling death swim beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, may prevent other distraught people from making the same rash decision.
In addition, when someone shoots themselves in the head, we name it “self-inflicted gunshot” rather than suicide, since they might have changed their mind at the last millisecond, but too late because they already pulled the trigger. By the same token, in SFGate’s seven-part Lethal Beauty series; some of the jumpers who decided to take the drastic plunge off the Golden Gate, and actually survived, say that as soon as they jumped, they gained a completely new perspective, by realizing it was the wrong decision and that none of the problems in their life could have been that bad compared to this brand new problem.
Back to Cristina and the cab service: I remember those hard November days of slack when the evenings were so slow we would wish for any type of call, to make a couple of three bucks to relieve our cursed tedium. Then Cristina would sometimes ring our dispatcher to become our savior. For her friends, she sometimes enjoyed ordering a wine, called Chalk-Hill Chardonnay. I believe it was around 27 bucks or so, back then at the Circle K. It was the most expensive wine they carried. Once, while delivering a bottle, a friend of hers, sensed my curiosity, as Cristina went downstairs to retrieve her purse, and the friend remarked that yes, deep down Cristina was an extremely kind person.
Those Chalk-Hill experiences left enough of an impression, that a few years later, when climbing Mount Borah, I secretly packed along a jug, lugged it up the steep hill and hid it among some glacial-like ice, beneath a long gnarled tree stump, below Chicken-Neck Ridge. During the return from our victorious summit, I surprised my co-hikers, by revealing the perfect-temperature bottle and ceremoniously whisked it from a vortex beneath the ancient log.
It was such a good experience that even now I can still taste that everlasting wine on my buds. And since we never proposed a toast that day on our way down from Idaho’s tallest peak, I would now like to dedicate that precious moment in our hike posthumously to a wonderful woman that so many of her friends and family must now miss –Cristina Reed.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
July 10th, 2008 at 7:18 pm
The accepted wisdom, which the Putrid Plutonium Propheteers try to push around in their seemingly spotless boardrooms; is that something like this could never happen here, in our pristine Idaho waters:
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
July 8th, 2008 at 9:54 pm
After completing your devouted route this Wednesday A.M., you will have achieved a well-deserved rest. Therefore, I invite you to sit back, relax, and break on through to the other side, to consider why this highly respected Idaho anthropologist would continue religiously sniffing, down our grand Bigfoot track:
Monday, July 07, 2008
Since my maternal Grandmother would have turned 114 on July 5, I was thinking about her and how symbolic 114 is, since it often is the age of the oldest person in the world.
In a related concept, in some African Culture’s, there are a couple of highly respected concepts called the Sasha and the Zamzini. The Sasha regards somebody like Nana relating to us, since although she has passed on, she is sometimes still very alive in our minds. For instance any of our extended family who experienced early Pennsylvanian oatmeal mornings in Nana’s kitchen, could probably describe in detail many aspects of her loving personality and the surrounding atmosphere, which she created.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Rosie & Mundo’s masterful adventure
“Come on Rosie, I’ve got somewhere special to take you,” said Mundo.
“There will be hypnologic star-shine unseen by our kind; squirrelly animals to engage in recreation with and scents to behold from out of this world.”
Rosie grinned mischievously, “Mundo, you always get me in hot water by suggesting that I come along. Ultimately, the blame is shifted onto me. But I’m game. I suppose we could surely sneak away for two or three days, with little repercussion. After all what is life if we don’t let our desires sometimes drive us?”
Mundo deliberated deeply -then under his thin breath muttered, ‘I knew she’d go for it, all right!”
So they were off into the wild blue abandon of
Mundo’s piercingly deep, almost supernatural eyes selected the snow path. “Rosie, let’s head way out this curvy part of East Fork country –all the way.”
Triumph-fully, they wagged their ways out into the deep snow, straying from man’s path the way dogs ordinarily do.
They skipped fast onto an unadvertised sacred path. One that the wintertime humans, left mostly forgotten. Packed powder held the canines high, like stilts above the actual earth.
Through a sixth sort of sense, they sniffed out some secret cliff waterfalls, thereaways past P.K. pass. Rosie led the way, as they bounded past old Leadville mines and abandoned flophouses- still vibrating full of high tales and appealing scents -both good and bad. Civilization became thinner, while thick aspen groves spread out beckoning branches.
“What is that smell Mundo?” Rosie muffed, “Wood River Wolverine?
“That my dear is a wolf,” bragged Mundo. “The newspapers you stamp on, say they don’t live here yet, but you and I are ahead of the times, my dear doggie friend.”
To mix it up, Mundo started playing a rough rapscallion sport of tag and tackle with Rosie, tossing her about in the snow. Rosie encouraged this in a way, by performing acrobatics, as she flipped and flew asunder, through the thunderous air. Some at first observation would comment that their spirits almost drove each other crazy. It was a contrary coyote line of attack, which Rosie and Mundo held for each other, but in the end their healthy competition, made both of them better creatures. That day Rosie and Mundo checked out copious draws and game trails in their valley of deep serenity. Their unique playfulness consumed most of the afternoon. It was as if they were teenagers hitchhiking, two birds of a different species hooked on laughing and losing track of time and ending up on an off beam sphere.
The twilight drew in along with a slight wind to warn them of the approaching cold.
“Mundo, I’m ‘zausted”, woofed a winded Rosie through her snoot. “I could use some of that hot water that you always get me into.” Mundo barked, “I think we’re resting in some right now Rosie, for I have become a bit bewildered with all of the spiraling about you did –hypnotizing me with your axis of aerial tricks.” Rosie ruffed back, “Don’t blame it on me you surefooted galloping galoot! You’re the one that wanted to dash out here with me.”
They nuzzled together for a while to stay warm. Dreams of snowshoe bunnies emerged, hopping in their dear doggie heads. Colder air soon blew further into their teeny snow dugout. Meanwhile, at the trailhead, some guardian humans conferred, and yes, a cross-country skier out for some evening exuberance had spotted the radically rascally twosome.
Mindful of the forthcoming below-zero temperatures the Ninja wore a tight tortoise like covering for the outbound approach. His boiling temperament at the situation, held some simmering warmth in reserve against the blustery wind. “I will let these doggone dogs know what the deal is when I find them,” he repeated as a powerful chant.
Another instantaneous challenge had come afoot. Repeatedly, unexpected tests like these kept mysteriously arising. So often now, that he was becoming acclimated to these on the spot challenges. He shook off the accumulating snow like the gauntlet of physical trials he had passed with ease by always utilizing his tight focus. Those tests had prepared him for this sudden demand in true-world time.
It looked like the tracks could be theirs. Ill-behaved winding wispy dog prints trailing out only one way. The brewing snowstorm begin to match the mental storm unmasking beneath the rescuers physically powerful makeup. The snow was muffling their yips and yaps, but he still easily recognized the rogue dogs’ sounds.
The Ninja shifted in softly with the new snow, stirring the stretched thin dogs from their catnap area. On their return from the rescue he had some powerfully long words with both barkers, and for many moons neither one strayed so far in this lifetime.
And that is the story of one Rosie and Mundo’s big adventures in these parts.
Spectacular stolen items of interest
I read in a religion news blog that The Holy Bible is the most shoplifted book. Heavens to Murgatroid! -what’s up with that? Does this statistic include Gideon providers? Do thieves who steal Bibles consider this hook or crook act to be above the Ten Commandments? Whose lead are they following for this unseemly act to be manifesting itself in our country? Are they romanticizing that if they are caught pocketing hallowed verses, the original author will instantaneously absolve them? Has anybody ever gone to jail for copping a Bible? Apparently so. In addition, the Dead Sea scrolls were reportedly stolen at some point from a Jewish Synagogue. I wonder if this statistic somehow stacks up differently for blessed books of the Koran.
After speculating over these underlying pilfering causes, Slate published an article proclaiming that meat is the most purloined supermarket item in
Our first and last Presidents have both been involved in petty larcenies. In 1990, somebody pinched George Washington’s old wallet from an unlocked cabinet in
Another popular harmless prank involves the mysterious “borrowing” of somebody’s precious trinket or doll and then taking it for a trip around the world on adventures it would never otherwise had, glumly festering in an unused toy box. This has happened several times. The practical-joke protocol is for the traveler to take as many photographs as possible from faraway exotic lands with the doll placed in front of recognizable landmarks. After a spell, the doll is returned in the wee hours, holding a satchel stuffed abundantly full of photographs, which show off its masterful adventures.
Then the perpetrator fesses up after forty years or so.
Huck Finn’s pap once said it was okay to borrow a watermelon –as long you intended to pay it back. Onliest thing is that Huck ‘disremembers’ ever recompensating any of the farmers. I suppose we are all borrowing these days with technology stolen from the Mythos, with the miracle of Google, instant messaging from Hermes, laser beams to heal or destroy, MRI’s and nanotechnology, ships of the sky and magic sticks which thrust open doors with our simple commands.
Let me make it perfectly clear that I am not advocating that anybody actually steal anything. Far from it. In fact, a friend recently had his entire CD music collection swiped from his house. Most of the tunes were from twenty-five years ago; an era when songs were written about peace, love and understanding, before the popularity of cop-killer and gangbanger songs, stole away some of our peace. I sometimes wonder if the person, who stole my friend’s collection, enjoys listening to Carol King, Steve Miller and Arlo Guthrie, while knowing that each rocking rhythm was robbed. I pray that one of those pilfered bibles out there freely circulating will serendipitously appear in the crook’s cache to reveal a new dimension of thievery, so that the burglar might rediscover his misplaced heart, then tiptoe back to my friend’s porch to return his peacenik C.D.s.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Review of hyperlinks used: Thieves go for Bible, but ignore Ten CommandmentsGeorge W. Bush's Journey: Ally of an Older Generation amid the Tumult of the 60's
Friday, July 04, 2008
An opposite-take essay on disposability
By Jim Banholzer
Trying to save money, I set out to survive cold
The landlord then thought it was high time to profit from its booming in-town location. That old shack is now smithereens and I say, “Good Riddance!” Like lots of thought to be cost-cutting measures, the quality of living, which dropped tremendously in that tiny shelter, proved to be more costly than any rent savings I might have imagined.
Around the next corner, in my warm new close-knit community, I was secretly relieved when I saw my next-door neighbor throwing away recyclables. She was an intern for an environmental concern and I had been worried that she would give me the evil eye if I did not rinse every can, spic and span, before plopping each into politically correct pristine containers. Who has time to waste on this type of virtuous garbage anyway? It’s going to take some serious sustained efforts to convince many people and me that investing time to surface scrub every throwaway is worthwhile.
Take non-refundable glass for instance. There are only nine glass-reprocessing factories in the Nation. The closest one to
Moreover, the tree-huggers and whatnot brag that they mix their big deal glass into road compounds. These people are making me sick. Does all this stained glass blind the bulging mountain of “Dudley Dew-Rights” into limited prisms of thought? While they’re out celebrating their tiny merit-badge highway clean ups, why don’t they just righteously tamp the beer bottles they find tossed off sides of roads directly back into the sand it came from. After all, silica (sand), from which we form glass, is the single most abundant element found on this planet. Instead, the earth-muffins haul it back to the central scrutinizer transfer station, cut their vain little hands –probably getting hepatitis and God knows what else from the filthy glass–then crush it up for a waste of time photo-op, exposing negative chemicals to the wind. Environmental nuts like these should come clean themselves and admit that most of them are there posing to display their emerald vanities. I bet they have endless reasons as to why you never see them recycling their prized peacock styling mirrors over to the Gold Mine (thrift store).
By the same token, many people admit to throwing pennies into the rubbish for the job-secure sanitation engineers to pick up. That’s right, tossing away money freely, following our Government’s lead of greasing the slippery economy inner-mechanisms. Wheeling garbage around under well-designed plans is not all bad. The quicker we can stuff more landfills complete, the sooner some more mountainous parks will come into play.
What’s a penny to buy anyway? It’ll cover my rent for about thirty seconds. There is no more penny-candy to rot your teeth. Heck, for years the cost to produce a penny has far exceeded
Saving spendthrift pennies makes about as much sense as bronzing gold medals. Honest Abe. Only an untouchable person would stoop to pick up dirty coinage from the gutter and become the butt of cruel jokes. “Indisposed”
A modern fable related to this has Bill Gates strolling on a Segway, where he spies a hundred dollar bill with his money detector, blending in the green grass. If he clicks the kickstand with his penny-loafers, stopping to pick up the $100, the seconds spent doing so, in theory earn him (and the Gates Foundation) less money than he would have earned by not halting progress to grub up the lesser green.
On a more down to earth scale, let’s say that it takes you six seconds to lean over and pick up a glistening penny from Ketchum’s
Harping over this surprising new aspect makes me believe that perhaps I am a little green about some common cent facets. After all, legend has it that when Abe was an agile young man, he chased down an old
Before the grizzled men battered down my old hovel into
In that era, we treated the creed “Every Penny Counts” like a religious doctrine. By utilizing that conviction, look to what degree we have ascended from earths touch. By accomplishing so many missions of far-reaching disposal, and standing haughtily like ill-bred Giants with food to burn, the rest of the world who must love us to death, say they want to greatly warship the
From throwaway pennies to the chemicals creating people on them and even the religious convictions behind it all, disposability is an extremely broad and complex subject. Being able to openly listen and debate from many sides of the issue is the strong mark of an established scholar. Some will argue that all of us are replaceable, yet at the same time, it’s clear that that the wiser you are, then the more distinct differences you can find between individuals. Each person has a unique gift of some sort. Sometimes these are hidden talents, unknown by the persons themselves and not revealed until later life fermentation.
When Brad visited, I realized that I had been taking him for granted –as a throwaway friend. I was blind to my ignorance until after he had moved on. Sometimes it takes a moving experience or even the death of a loved one for it to be evident of how much of an energetic force they became. Once centered in your life, but then transformed into a puzzling vortex of barrenness.
On the other hand, even Copernicus had to wait for deadwood thinkers to drift out of the way before he could show off his new spin to the world.
Therefore, the paradox to keep in mind is that even though people are replaceable they are also, irreplaceable. If we knew that we never moved on, we would all end up taking each other for granted. Having a near-fatal experience of being gassed by a shameful human waste disposal system, helped me strongly concentrate that life is ever so fleeting, making it evermore precious.
Do well to avoid ice cream headaches
By Jim Banholzer
Three hayseeds sprouted tall in the
One warm evening, our trio thought we would play a little harmless prank on our neighbors the Wolfe’s. Their family had left in the van to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial. We snuck around to an easily jimmied rear window. Being the suitable size of the three, I became the natural volunteer to enter the house. I did not know where the light switch was, but saw in the shadows their icebox. Lickity-Split, I drew out three gallons of Red, White & Blue ice cream, and then a quicksilver spoon from the drawer. Suddenly
How hard we rapscallions howled at the Wolfe’s! We shared in the frosty delight, tossing basketballs to tap against the mercury vapor streetlamps lighting our merry way, while a silver moon scooped out stars against fireworks.
Three days later the phone dinged us. We were summoned to meet in the Wolves den at six that evening for a pow-wow with Mr. Ray “Van” Wolfe. This was not his real name but that which we called him behind his back. Being not yet of age to drive, we would sit entranced, admiring his decked out van for hours –fancying how someday we would drive sporty vans like Ray’s.
Turns out a neighbor had seen us from the shadows. When slamming the freezer’s door in the fright, I had shoved it so hard that unbeknownst to us- it had rebounded open again! This had knocked frozen chickens out to the floor for their cat to swimmingly delight in, and then drag around a horrifying mess all weekend –technically enough foul spots sploshed over Ray’s prized Persian rugs to get us suspended from the team.
Though part of the trio says that Ray was too hard on us, my take was that he was also a cool cat. Not only had Ray allowed us to daydream in his van, he empathized with our waywardness. Though calling authorities was heatedly discussed, he knew deep down that we would long recall our lengthy discourse. After eliciting genuine face-to-face apologies –including
As years leaped past, I realized that all of the involved parties ended up eventually driving vans -just as we envisioned. Even young Brian –now Officer Wolfe, beamingly steers things right, from a paddy wagon sometimes filled with trios just like ours, but who have delved into compulsions even worse than shadowy ice Though all of us have tried to fancy up our vans, none have ever quite matched the integrity of Ray’s old dependable Dodge.
A few summers back, the third tall man visited
However, it then resonated, that whenever we see each other, the sudden mention of ice cream still makes us feel unwell, and lower than snake’s bellies wedged under wagon wheel ruts, to consider attending such a singularly illustrious event, so we went off fishing worms instead...
- - - - - - -
Footnote: the author at the Ezra Pound house read this story aloud on
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