Pages

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Crazy Eights

With all the recent 08/08/08 brouhaha, I noticed that we are approaching yet another eight-date. That is, we will soon be .88888888% into the new millennium. In fact, tonight’s midnight hour marks .8666666% of our way into this new era.

When I called Brubaker on April 1, 2004 to mention that we were “one / third percent” into the new millennium, he thought it was a Jerky Boys April Fool’s prank call, until he did the math.

I haven’t done the math yet for .88888888, but since Jan. 1, 2010 is only sixteen months away, my guess is that it falls near September 11.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Buckle up suitably Idaho

draft 4

Recent reports show that Idahoans overall seat-belt use has dropped to barely three out of four, with Southeast Idaho lowest at 62 percent. Interestingly, the seat belt usage rate in Washington is over 96% while in Oregon it’s at 95%.

The primary reason for this difference is not that Oregon and Washington travelers are more enlightened, but that they will receive stiffer fines than Idahoans will. Caught Beltless in Seattle renders a $124 fine; while Oregon’s penalty is $90, however, Idahoans (above 18) only get lightly wrist-slapped for a measly ten bucks – or the equivalent of a small can of gas.

Of all the safety features added to passenger vehicles in the past 50 years, safety belts account for more than half the lives saved in passenger crashes. If we cannot improve this basic safety routine on our own, perhaps some of us really do need Big Brother’s powerful influence to make us tighten our belts properly.

In this land already lanced by legendary Larry Craig laugh-abouts, more Idahoans should buckle up and stay buckled up, before we become the butt of even crueler thinning the herd, Darwin award leveled jokes.

Note: Here is the final draft in the Statesman (letter 3):

http://www.idahostatesman.com/letters/story/504259.html

http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2008/07/2-ghosts-1-belt.html#respond

Note: Here is a follow up story in the Times News about consideration of tightening the seat belt law:

http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2008/11/23/news/top_story/149364.txt

2nd follow up:

The Statesman made this same subject a lead editorial on November 26, 2008:

http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/583806.html

Buckle up suitably Idaho

Version 3

Recent reports show that Idahoans overall seat-belt use has dropped to barely three out of four, with Southeast Idaho lowest at 62 percent. Interestingly, the seat belt usage rate in Washington is over 96% while in Oregon it’s at 95%.

The primary reason for this difference is not that Oregon and Washington travelers are more enlightened, but that they will receive stiffer fines than Idahoans will. Caught Beltless in Seattle renders a $124 fine; while Oregon’s penalty is $90, however, Idahoans (above 18) only get wrist-slapped for a measly ten bucks – or the equivalent of a small can of gas.

Of all the safety features added to passenger vehicles in the past 50 years, safety belts account for more than half the lives saved in passenger crashes. If we cannot do better, perhaps some of us really do need Big Brother’s powerful influence to make us tighten our belts properly.

In this land already laced by legendary Larry Craig laughs, more Idahoans should buckle up and stay buckled up, before we become the butt of even crueler Darwin Award jokes.

Stay Buckled up Idaho

Version 2

Recent reports show that Idahoans overall seat-belt use has dropped to barely three out of four, with Southeast Idaho lowest at 62 percent. Interestingly, the seat belt usage rate in Washington is over 96% while in Oregon it’s at 95%.

The primary reason for this difference is not that Oregon and Washington travelers are more enlightened, but that they will receive stiffer fines than Idahoans will. Being caught Beltless in Seattle renders a $124 fine; while Oregon’s penalty is $90, however, Idahoans (above 18) only get wrist-slapped for a measly ten bucks – or the equivalent of a small can of gas.

Of all the safety features added to passenger vehicles in the past 50 years, safety belts account for more than half the lives saved in passenger crashes. In this land already laced by legendary Larry Craig laughs, more Idahoans should buckle up and stay buckled up before we become the butt of even crueler Darwin Award jokes.

Do we need Big Brother to tell us to buckle up?

Recent reports show that Idahoans overall seat-belt use has dropped to barely three out of four, with Southeast Idaho lowest at 62 percent. Interestingly, the seat belt usage rate in Washington is over 96% while in Oregon it’s at 95%.

The primary reason for this difference is not that Oregon and Washington travelers are more enlightened, but that they will receive stiffer fines than Idahoans will. Being caught Beltless in Seattle renders a $124 fine; while Oregon’s penalty is $90, however, Idahoans (above 18) only get wrist-slapped for a measly ten bucks – or the equivalent of a small can of gas.

Of all the safety features added to passenger vehicles in the past 50 years, safety belts account for more than half the lives saved in passenger crashes. More Idahoans should start using common sense and buckle up before our state becomes the butt of more cruel Darwin Award jokes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Munching on Manly Moose Burgers


While moving some heavy furniture into a woman’s backyard, I ran into an old acquaintance. As he jumped over from his remodeling project to help us move the items, he mentioned that he knew me from when I cooked up some Moose burgers and served them at Oliver’s, where several of us watched Super Bowl XXXII together. Since that was ten years ago, I had not thought for a while about that fabled Green Bay and Denver game, especially the Moose burger part. Then it occurred that in the years since, Markus had shot two more moose in that same vicinity, one in ’03 and one in ’07, so I mentioned this. Later on, I wondered if any of this masculine talk about munching on moose burgers had impressed the designer and her client and if not; perhaps I should spice up the story to make it manlier:


How about? “Hey man I remember when you broiled up some moose-cheese-burgers for the Super Bowl at the world-renowned martial arts instructors’ house, when he was dating that top movie star. Some of us Steve's chose to eat the moose burgers dipped-raw in-whisky and then at halftime, we opened beer bottles on our truck tailgates with chainsaws, before heading out in the backyard to wrassle Griz and play volleyball with multiple medicine balls. As all of us were Bronco fans; after our team won in overtime, to heartily celebrate the victory we blasted cannonballs off each other chests and yelled loudly while launching anvils sky-high.

Friday, August 22, 2008

JBanholzer Says:

Perhaps cell phone providers should offer Politenessman-hankies to go with new sign-ups.

Japan allows public places such as theaters and concert halls to install cell phone jammers:
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?referrerid=295219&t=477985

In addition, many in Japanese culture, as a measure of politeness, txt mssg the party they are about to call, a few minutes before ringing them.

Now there is a new service called Slydial, which enable callers to leave stealth cell phone messages without ever ringing the phone. They guarantee the phone will not ring! So far almost ¼ million have felt the need to sign up.

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=slydial

Further thoughts on irksome Idaho cell phone behaviors:
http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2008/08/18/opinion/letters/142510_78.txt

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Churchhill smoked Cigars

But he also suggested that "A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to pull himself up by the handle."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Philo Farnsworth on the moon

Soonafter Philo Farnsworth invented TV, he saw the mostly trivial purposes we were using it for and recommended to his children that they not invest much time watching it.

However, he did become happy along with his kids when they first watched the Apollo astronauts land on the moon, via his powerful invention.

I wonder what Mr. Farnsworth would think of TIVO, considering how it insidiously hooks watchers in, sometimes for long unhealthy spells.

TV’s Inner and Outer Limits

Asking ourselves if other planets can pick up our TV signals has been a recurrent theme over the years.

In addition, before television first radiated from a Rigby, Idaho, potato farmer's field, no study was ever done
to see how it would affect masses of couch placatoes.

Got a twofer in today’s Idaho newspapers

The first one was called TVs effects may be much greater than we realize. (Letter 4, plus comments at bottom)

A funny thing about this is that when I forwarded this article onto my psychology instructor from last year, I e-mailed her the comments link, rather than the story link. After a few seconds, I realized that the distraction that probably contributed to this boo-boo was the TV! Usually I have some soft cable radio playing in the background, but this week with the Olympics going on, seeing Michael Phelps shower alongside Dana Torres greatly distracted me.

The second letter was another cell zinger. This time the Times-News titled it Cell phones, not cell towers, are the problem. I had tried to submit this letter as an extended 540-word commentary, but they didn’t go for it. I wasn’t sure that I could whittle it down enough, so that it would still hold all of my strong points, but I did my best. The only strong point I left out was about how sometimes we can use cell phones as a tool for keeping drivers chipper and alert on long road trips, by starting up a stimulating conversation with a friend for a few minutes, when highway fatigue start slipping in.

Phrases not used in the final commentary can still be used later for a rebuttal or another commentary. It’s always good to have a few well thought out counterpunches at ready stand-by in the event some harsh critic attacks your article.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Doors-Summer's almost gone

Frisbee Disc Enchantment

It’s too bad that a few bad apples had to spoil the whole basket for Magic Valley disc golf enthusiasts. With the abundant countryside and farmland here, it seems there would be options for other courses, where kids in their single digits could share lighthearted smiles, alongside easygoing Idaho old-timers.

A few years ago, some outdoor disc fans cobbled together a course near Ohio Gulch’s rubbish transfer station. However, a BLM agent soon informed the players they needed a permit and the course was dismantled. It could be that a few bad apples here, also ruined a good thing, but I don’t know the full story. For a while, there was talk of procuring a permit, with the BLM officer offering advice, but then those efforts seemed to float away. It would be interesting to hear from readers linked with that course.

The inexpensiveness of installing and maintaining disc-golf courses makes a good argument for more recreation districts and schools to embrace them; rather than the Disneyfied pay-to-play attitudes, which have become so prevalent. Most courses are wheelchair friendly, while injuries are seldom. The receptacle baskets are designed to be moved out of the way, when multipurpose field needs arise. The baskets also lock down onto non-protruding metal bases to prevent theft. You can even shift the poles into different positions to prevent soil erosion and to make the courses more interesting.

It would be nice so see us lay out some snowshoe-disc- golf courses around South Idaho this winter. Perhaps we could start with a prototype in the open area by Billy’s Bridge (south of Prairie Creek). In fact, I find this idea so appealing that I would compromise my earlier dignified Disneyfied stance and joyfully plunk down a small fee to avoid another Frisbee party gone out of bounds.


Light Olympic notes




"Every dog has his day, and I feel like I’m going to be barking soon.”


Larry Myricks – Champion long jumper





Supposedly, Dick Fosbury has started an Olympic blog, but so far, I’m unable to locate it. Could be his laptop has a virus since our State Dept. has virtually guaranteed that anybody using a laptop at the games will be infected.




Fosbury can always count on these guys when he returns to Idaho




Nonetheless, I’ll keep flopping around to try to find Fosbury’s blog as it would be nice to hear about him chumming around China with his old friend and fellow legendary leaper Bob Beamon.





It’s also interesting to note how some of the natural athletes are left out of the club as it proves hard to pin down an exact definition of what makes a true Olympian:



From this La Times article:



http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-olympians2-2008aug02,0,1468452.story





Ask anyone in the world who watches the Games on television if they know what an Olympian is, and they'll all nod their heads," said Fosbury, an Idaho businessman and president of the nonprofit World Olympians Assn., which is chartered by the IOC to represent Olympians' interests. "From their perspective it's very simple. But from the Olympian's perspective, it's very complex."

The complexity is driven by the fact that several Olympic organizations -- including the International Olympic Committee, national sports federations, the WOA and national groups that represent Olympians -- have a say in creating and policing the definition.

The debate often is heated, not because of hard-and-fast benefits that accrue to Olympians as much as the obvious pride shared by those admitted to this distinguished cadre of athletes.

"It's the intrinsic fact that you're part of a fraternity, and everyone else wants to be part of that exclusive fraternity," said Willie Banks, who qualified for the 1980 team, competed in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Games and now serves as president of the U.S. Olympians Assn. "It's as if you went to Vietnam in the First Marine Division and kicked butt. You say, 'Yeah, I was part of that group. You couldn't have experienced what I did.' "

As with many things Olympian, politics is at the heart of the disagreement. Everyone agrees that an Olympian is someone who participates in the Games -- what's open to debate is the definition of "participation."

"You can sum it up by saying that the term 'Olympian' is loosely used, and that there is no definition for Olympian," Banks said. "There is no definition of 'Olympian' because the only organization that can officially do it is the IOC and they've kept it vague."



~



Ray Ewry would have enjoyed BSUWG’s leaping lizard post.







It was cool seeing Michael Phelps watch the National Anthem after winning his eighth gold medal in the current games. I wondered how many people considered that Francis Scott Key scribed the Star Spangled Banner in the same Baltimore waters where Champion Phelps grew up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Mighty Hercules - The Torch

Let’s tell jokes

Back in the mid-70’s, David and I were always wrassling around our Whitefield Street yard. We made up dozens of imaginary games and our actions sometimes contained tomfoolery. We built obstacle courses through the woods, climbed trees to hang punching bags and held competitive egg-juggling contests. Occasionally we would shoot arrows into the sky as high as possible, while singing the mighty Hercules song. Once we developed a curved arrow for shooting around corners. And the Kings Park West pellet gun wars left a handful of kids with enough metal inside to set off airport detectors.



David was born 4 years after me, so up until he joined the Marines, I usually had the upper hand in our wrassling matches. After seeing how I took down David one afternoon in our whiffleball side yard, our neighbor Al thought that he too, would take a turn to bully David down. Onliest problem was that I had been toughening David up for such an occasion. Although Al was three years older than David was, David soon turned the tide and had Al pinned bad in about twenty seconds. For disarming David, rather than admitting he was whipped, Al suddenly exclaimed, “I know what we should do, let’s tell jokes!”

David in my arm near the spot where he proved himself a solid Whitefield Rock

I thought that this was the perfect little kid thing to say and have often utilized that phrase and gone on to tell this story. In fact, since that day, some grand leaders have assumed Al’s jocular role and sometimes tell light jokes rather then admit they are being whipped by a young aspiring Marine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008



O8/O8/O8





Several couples got married in Sun Valley on this noteworthy occasion, the eight signifying eternal marriage bonds with a side-bonus of an easily memorable anniversary date. They had to postpone one of the ceremonies for an hour as a hailstorm spilt into Bellevue’s gullies. The parties were split as to whether this was a good or bad omen.





I remember when Virginia, one the Falls Church, Va. water girls married a German fellow on 08/08/88, and how twenty years ago she explained the significance of this date to us in the office. This week would mark their twentieth anniversary and I hope that they are doing well.





As for me, have my lucky eights have runneth over?





Perhaps not yet. I began thinking how 08/08/08 is set apart by 4 years, 4 month and 4 days from 12/12/12; the day Munch said would be my magic birthday. I almost called Susan about this, but held off, because it kept niggling within me that there was more 04/04 significance.





Finally, last night, I figured it out. Dani, one of the clerks on the dispensary where I bought this receipt, had hand-scribed a peace symbol on their calendar. Remembering how strong a peacenik warrior she is, reminded me of something I wrote about Peace Symbols for Orwell Today and how the fours fit in like a perfect solution to this tiny numerology puzzle.

Kudos to Monuments that get it right

It’s refreshing to read that curators will be refurbishing the Boise Abe Lincoln statue, and transporting it from its obscure foliage-hidden-area, at the Veteran’s Home to a more prominent spot, in time to celebrate our Great Emancipator’s 200th birthday.

This move follows the spirit of Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial, in the sense that our ancestors deliberately installed this monument in a remote area of the National Mall. Although this tied in symbolically with the remote nature of Lincoln’s personality, people wanting to honor the man more, made the pilgrimage to that isolated mall area so much, that we have transformed it into a “destination monument.”

For more about what our historic sites get right or wrong, check out Dr. James W. Loewen’s groundbreaking, Lies Across America, also author of the American Book Award winner Lies My Teacher Told Me.

From the book: “More than any other marker or monument on the American landscape, it continues to speak of later times, even of our time. Its fascinating history offers suggestions as to why some historic sites “work” while others do not.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

JBanholzer Says:

October 28 will mark the 25th anniversary of the great Borah Earthquake.

http://www.seis.utah.edu/lqthreat/nehrp_htm/1983bora/c1983bo5.shtml

Now would be a good time for local media to start interviewing Idahoans who were here to witness that shake up.

A good start might be to interview the Braun Brothers and their clan to see how they felt about standing on shaky ground a quarter century back.

Greg Stahl wrote a comprehensive article about this earthquake, five years ago:

http://www.mtexpress.com/2003/03-10-22/03-10-22borah.htm


Slight celestial mechanical disorder sufferings






I acted like an August Fool.



In late July, I heard that our earth would be experiencing an eclipse on August 1 and soon found myself presuming that it would be grand opportunity to take a friend to witness the moon slowly vanish, while we watched hypnotized from a couple of Lafuma recliners out a pristine Idaho canyon.



Imagine my surprise when at the last second, I learned that it was a solar eclipse and only visible from the East Orient. So we wouldn’t be heading up to Big Sky Country to celebrate this celestial marvel. Hey, I was only one off! The next morning I shared this sobering astronomical mistake with one of my work colleagues. He seemed interested, but then he asked, “Will there be another eclipse happening tonight?”



Not on this sphere, I thought. And if I was wrong, then surely our universe has gone topsy-turvy.

An imaginary dialogue between two spirited wolf activists:

O Stone be not so

In palindromic fashion

Mr. Gee (brashly presenting himself for the first time): Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam

Ms. Stone (thinking): SOS EVE SOS

Mr. Gee: O Stone be not so

Ms. Stone: (referring to pet wolfs) Step on no pets!

Mr. Gee: Too hot to hoot?

Ms. Stone: Ma is a nun as I am

Mr. Gee: Y flow wolfy?

Ms. Stone: Kook!

Mr. Gee: Level madam level!

Ms. Stone: Draw no evils deeds live onward

Mr. Gee: Draw o coward

Ms. Stone: Won’t lovers revolt now?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Avoiding meteor shower injuries

By keeping your ears, open

One Twilight in the sizzling summer of ’66 our family was peaceably standing around cooling off in Aunt Jane’s and Uncle John’s rural Pennsylvania backyard. Suddenly, out of nowhere a fireball traveling at a tremendous rate whooshed loudly across the full breadth of our rural sky. As my kinfolk jumped up and down, the elders and youngsters looked at each other with the unspoken knowledge that seeing this meteor close, enough to hear it was indeed a rare gift. That evening we thought that a new rock had landed in the nearby Amish country hills.

Decades later, I moved to Idaho with its similarly starry skies. Here I began to watch the occasionally scheduled meteor shower. One August twilight, I prepared camping supplies to haul into big sky country north of town to watch the reliable Perseids shower. While tossing some wool blankets in the van, I twisted my ankle on the gnarly roots of the sugar maple behind the old shack. This was fine, because I planned to lie recumbent to watch the stars. I merely needed to raise my leg higher and find some snow. I joked that this incident was a “meteor shower injury” which made me wonder how many documented cases there are of people actually struck by meteorites.

My first search of “Meteor shower injuries” landed nothing. However, there do seem to be a few isolated incidents of people hit by meteors...


Update: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1192503/Close-encounter-rock-kind-Schoolboy-survives-direct-hit-meteorite-travelling-30-000mph.html

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An early hair-raisin incident

We had a serious aircraft incident during my first day working at Horizon Air. It was November ’93 and I was happy as a clam to be working in this seemingly great atmosphere, compared to the sometimes-stuffy cab job where I had been toiling.

Back then, during slack season we mostly operated 17-seater propeller aircraft. We packaged the bulk of the luggage into the rear of the aircraft; always counting the bags and weighing the freight so our pilots could determine weights and balances for their official manifests. Besides the ‘Aft’ area, the nose section of the aircraft also held a small package stash area, where we usually stuffed the oversized carry-on items into as carefully as we could.

However, this first day of mine, our small ramp crew seemed to be in an immense rush. I later found out that the company attached great importance to having their aircraft embark on time, as this info was entered into a national database and then sometimes featured in newspapers like USA TODAY. Anyhow, as we received the passenger carry-ons, a handful of travelers came through security at the last minute. Apparently, one of my co-workers opened the far-side nose door anticipating more last second bags. We got everyone on quick and they congratulated themselves for getting the craft out on time under this slight pressure.

Onliest thing was that about five minutes later the small plane taxied back into our ramp area. I asked what was wrong and the operations manager said that the tower noticed while our place was taxiing out, one of its front doors was ajar! While the plane made its quick pit stop, one of the agents secured the door and sent it back out.

Usually after planes left and the pilots adjusted to their regular flight path, they would call in their gate departure and flight departure times. I’ll never forget this incident, because immediately after the pilot called in his times he also added, “Way to show that new guy the ropes, Debbie!”

I later heard that on the christening flight into Sun Valley back in the early 80’s somebody had loaded the founder of the airline’s dog into the same jinxed front section. The problem was that this section was not pressurized and his dog came out with a slight case of the bends, but then supposedly recovered after a day.

The other problem with the design of those early aircraft is that the company had never installed any “door ajar” red flag indicators connected between the pilot dashboard and the two nose section doors. Evidently, the pilots could not see the problem either, from the way their seats were positioned.

An early garbage e-mail



One of my earliest e-mail experiences occurred in 1994, when I worked for Horizon Airlines. Though it wasn’t especially inspiring, it was memorable. As a multitasking ramp-worker, one of my duties included emptying the trash from the aircraft. More often than not, as the flight attendant handed us his or her rubbish, the bags would leak onto the stairs leading out from the plane. After witnessing dozens of these syrupy incidents, it became clear that we needed to take some simple measures to improve this safety and health hazard.



I wrote a letter to corporate headquarters, suggesting that we conduct some tests, using higher quality garbage bags. After a few weeks, one of our managers handed me a three-page printout, which consisted mostly of middle managers e-mailing each other back and forth, mostly making wisecracks about my suggestion. This left a bad impression on me. Not only that, I wondered if it was; a glimpse of what this company was evolving into; another fat-cat corporation, overstuffed with middle managers piddling around their cushy desks, while being heavily subsided by our government.



This was the first time I worked at a place, where the corporate headquarters was in a separate state from the job. This did not seem healthy. In one of their first cost-cutting measures, they slashed our stations highly qualified safety-training officer. Soonafter, one of the new employees almost walked into a running airplane plop as he tried throwing the GPU’s electrical cord out of the passenger pathway. When Skippy our (corporate-tool) manager heard about this, the best he could do was mark a “must read” onto his office board in bold chalk that proclaimed, “Do not walk into the airplane props!”



Several other noteworthy incidents along these same lines occurred, that I would like to write about soon.



Dollar Mountain Pushers?

While reading a Hopi Prophecy that R.M. recently sent, I opened an old box sitting around and happened to find one of “The Eagle has landed” silver dollars mentioned in the prophecy. I’ve been carrying it around in my pocket ever since. Yesterday, at the Ketchum Arts Festival, after paying for some lemonade with three James Monroe dollars, it generated enough interest for me to then whip out the prophetic dollar and show it off. Soon this led to an unexpected angle. After I tried explaining some aspects of the Eagle’s olive branch over our moon, the lemonade proprietor mentioned that in Ecuador, the Sacagawea coin has caught on like hotcakes. He claims that there are some forces pushing this particular dollar coin down there to convince more Ecuadorians to admire the United States. I wondered if there is any credence to his theory and if so how does it all work? For instance, when these $$’s with an indigenous person carrying a baby in her sack, started catching on, did a branch of the government notice and then start supplying banks down there with the chosen coins? Or did the coins become popular on their own and not through any grand design of our Treasury or Commerce Departments?

Friday, August 08, 2008

How powerful is Television?

(From Slate Magazine) Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of three.”

I’m not an expert on autism, but last summer I took a psychology class for the first time since the 1970’s. I remember reading from a textbook in the previous psyche class, three decades ago, a statement that claimed 95 percent of Americans dream in black and white. That study was made in the early 60's -an era when over 90 percent of TV shows in America were watched through black and white sets.

The textbook from my recent College of Southern Idaho class, claimed exactly the opposite -that 95 percent of Americans dream in living color! What was there to explain for this grand shift? Could there be a correlation between the tones of Americans dreams and the types of TV’s they own?

Is television high definition hypnotism, so powerful that not only is it crucially connected as cause of autism, when used as a primary babysitter; but also that it transforms the colours of our dreams?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Civilizing cells bells

While the Galena Summit anti-cell-tower crowd may have a legitimate complaint about the potentially dreadful manners of drivers who might blab on the phone, while distractedly driving over Galena’s slippy slope, when taken in context with the multitude of benefits that a lifesaving tower could provide, they have blown this argument out of proportion.

As with most tools, we can use cell phones for a mix of good and bad purposes. Parents can call to check on their children during extended voyages, to remind them how tenderly they care about them, whereas somebody barreling in the opposite direction might be verbally abusing a victim at the end of their line.

If we become receptive to a Galena cell tower, it will then become drivers choices to use their potentially lifesaving phones in responsible ways - just as in ranges where cell phones already work. Travelers will have the option to ignore their phones if they ring on dangerous curves, or even turn them off, until there is a real emergency.

We can utilize cell phones as lifesaving tools, even on dangerous icy roads. I have worked an abundance of nighttime delivery jobs, where we would sometimes fight the sleepies, driving on mostly barren roads into the wee hours, without much stimulation besides a scratchy AM radio. Soon, my co-workers and I discovered that by simply calling each other to check in and converse for a few minutes, over our hands-free sets, that is was usually stimulating enough, to help keep us safely awake for the remainder of the night.

While some tower-naysayers claim that life-threatening incidents around Galena are exceptionally minimal, readers need simply Google Galena Idaho Crash to discover hundreds of harsh scenarios, which would have likely ended with outcomes that were more fortuitous, had not this zero-reception-bar area, been crippled by non-coverage.

One member of the anti-tower throng claims that if there is an incident, then it’s only ten minutes to the Smiley Creek phones. That zippy statement is shortsighted, as it does not consider one-car rollovers, Forest fires raging over both lanes, head on crashes or avalanches that block both lanes and renders vehicles (and drivers) inoperable, and a dozen of other unfortunate circumstances, “that nobody could have ever foreseen.

When our miracle technology, better blankets the SNRA’s beautiful woodlands, will drivers use their phones responsibly? Perhaps some will not. It’s easy to envision a few who will pay less than full attention on hairpin turns, while stupidly yammering away on cell phones. Often these types are the same oblivious individuals who, while steering with one finger, might munch on a slippery pickle sandwich, sip a cold pop, apply an emergency splotch of eye shadow, or blast the radio too loud to hear an ambulance coming.

How people decide to use or misuse, the great gift that the Campbell’s and Idaho Tower are trying to provide, is a mostly separate issue, from the tower itself. If we discover that people senselessly chattering away while driving, has become an Idaho epidemic, than we should follow other states lead, and mandate hands-free use for travelers in motion. Meanwhile we Idahoans should be more thankful for the potential of this far-reaching miracle technology and for the great mixture of people who make it possible.

~