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Friday, October 31, 2008

Central Idaho Scrutinizer – Well View
10/31/08 - 18:12

Gee, ever since a handful of vacationers bought second homes down there, they have become quite uppity in Bellevue. Next thing you know, they will pass a pallet ordinance, to inspect everyones deck for quality woodsmanship.

So somebody please tell me; if you are secretly living off a well in Bellevue, connected to ancient waters spurting up from pristine Idaho batholiths, instead of attached to metered city services, does that make you an awful grid sinner? And that you should shift to sip meekly from the consecrated city waters?
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005123407&var_Year=2008&var_M
Seems that living off the grid or being homeless now, is either against the law, or on the cusp of being against the law, in so many communities. In some areas, we now have more foreclosed homes than we do homeless people. Fortunately, community leaders in a handful of places have seen what a crisis our nation is in and have thus gained enough empathy to lighten the laws and/or enforcement of laws regarding squatter's rights, etc.

Of course, a few bad squatters, or actors portraying troublemaking destitute, could perceivable tarnish the name of every person trying to live in steadfast earth harmony.

And when did living in Tipis become more unsanitary than some of the trailers already trashing Bellevue? Does anyone see the underlying racism inherent in this propheteering gridmeister ordinance? Why not just come out and clearly say we don't want any dirty Injuns-types living in our town?
http://www.uvm.edu/~jloewen/sundowntowns.php
If this country continues on the path we are on, soon everybody will need to learn more off-grid living.

My gosh, why doesn't Bellevue just jump in and force shop owners who sell Tipis to make customers fill out a form, asking in great detail what the purchaser's intentions are and whether they propose to use the tipi to sleep and dream within city off-grid limits?

Better yet, hook into an international RFID chip-warning database, which red flags Tipis and yurts coming apart at every seam. Then hire Homeland Security to outpost Bellevue's ends. (Don't forget Muldoon and Broadford) with infrared tent auditing equipment, and utilize face scanning equipment that detects - without a doubt - suspected squatters intentions.

Or best yet, why not create an exemption for hemp woven structures, to assure every wikiup will meet building codes for structural integrity, snow and wind loads, and the 2006 energy code for insulation requirements.

Tony, For the sake of us living on the edge of society, trying our best to survive in Tipis, tents and storage lockers, we beg of you to write a story from our prespective.

Thursday, October 30, 2008



Praise for shinier Lincolns






















Many Idahoans do not realize that a Civil War battle actually took place in these parts. Not only that, but also numerous Civil War Veterans migrated straight to Idaho, immediately following that horrific war’s end.















Because Abe Lincoln helped establish our Idaho territory, it's refreshing to read that devoted curators will be refurbishing the Boise Lincoln statue and transporting it from its obscure, foliage-hidden-area at the State Veterans 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 that monument in a remote area of the National Mall. Although this tied in symbolically with the remote nature of Lincoln's personality, people wishing to honor our founding Republican did not accept his inaccessibility; and have made the pilgrimage to that isolated area so much that it is has now become a "destination monument" and one of the most romantic spots to visit in Washington.








For more about what our historic sites get right or wrong, check out James W. Loewen's groundbreaking, "Lies Across America." Dr. Loewen also authored 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.”








~








Foot marker: Lincoln’s image will also soon adorn the dollar coin. This will place him, on three denominations at once: the five, the penny and the dollar. As this makes six dollars and one cent, some Lincoln fans will probably start playing 601 in lotteries, however others say now is a bad time; it makes no cents to gamble away our nation’s money and our founding Republican would turn over in his Illinois wheat field grave, if he saw how badly things have added up here.






















As all humans have two sides, so did Lincoln. Many historians have pointed out the inner struggles he faced in his epic balancing act to lead our fractured nation. In fact, there are more biographies on Abraham Lincoln than there are on anyone else besides Napoleon Bonaparte. Jackie Jura reveals two interesting faces of Lincoln in her Orwell Today series Lincoln’s Mirror-Image Omen, and the doubly illuminating Lincoln’s premonition dream about JFK’s funeral.








I would wager that there are bloggers out there who would now talk about Lincoln’s flipside. And I welcome those comments; as frank open discussion is fundamental to the type of cohesive nation strongly envisioned by Lincoln, the slaves he helped free, and their dynamic descendants.








http://www.idahostatesman.com/localnews/story/557686.html

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Senator Stevens does Alaska travel industry a disservice.

Sen. Ted Stevens claimed in his defense that it was too difficult to monitor his remodeled home improvements, due to the long distance required traveling back and forth to Alaska. As a former employee of Alaska’s sister company Horizon, and avid reader of their in-flight magazines, I remembered reading an article there, that claimed just the opposite.

That piece of writing boasted how it’s possible to have a power lunch with your Senator in Washington D.C. and still have plenty of time to jet to a quick Seattle layover, before proceeding onto Anchorage and stretching your legs there for an hour, and then zipping up to Fairbanks to catch the Northern Lights the same evening!

Alaska Airlines stuck in there after 9-11, when right as they were preparing to open, Washington’s Reagan Airport shut down for several weeks. Senator Stevens needs to apologize to Alaskans and Alaska Airline employees for besmirching the high quality level service of miracle air travel, which they consistently provide.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wassup 2008

Praise for shinier Lincolns

300 word version

It's refreshing to read that devoted curators will be refurbishing the Boise Abe Lincoln statue and transporting it from its obscure, foliage-hidden-area at the State Veterans 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 that monument in a remote area of the National Mall. Although this tied in symbolically with the remote nature of Lincoln's personality, people wishing to honor our founding Republican did not accept his inaccessibility; and have made the pilgrimage to that isolated area so much that it is has now become a "destination monument" and one of the most romantic spots to visit in Washington.

For more about what our historic sites get right or wrong, check out James W. Loewen's groundbreaking, "Lies Across America." Dr. Loewen also authored 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.”

~

Foot marker: Lincoln’s image will also soon adorn the dollar coin. This will place him, on three denominations at once: the five, the penny and the dollar. As this makes six dollars and one cent, some Lincoln fans will probably start playing 601 in lotteries, however others say now is a bad time; it makes no cents to gamble away our nation’s money and our founding Republican would turn over in his wheat field grave, if he saw how badly things have added up here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Further Linseed Logic

Update on Disc Golf efforts:

Thanks to everybody who has commented before.

My friend Colt says,

“The "Dick Fosbury" reference relates to the overhand "horsepower over aesthetic" method of "driving" off the tee. Disc-golf Frisbees are heavy and small compared to regular Frisbees, and while everyone I saw threw the disc in the conventional Frisbee style, I experimented and ultimately honed the "overhand drive." This works very well with a projectile like this.....it is a high throw, overhand, and it does have quirks in its path downward, but we went to it exclusively after a fashion, as the guaranteed distance was something like 50% more, 95% of the time.”

This morning, an experienced landscape designer and I tossed some discs around Keefer Park to gain a better perspective for Frolf-feasibility. As we walked around, polishing up our rusty trick shots, we observed, as Hailey Parks Project Coordinator Becki Keefer mentioned; once you start walking through the park, you see that it has more depth than appears from afar.

The good news for disc-golf enthusiasts is that our first impression shows Keefer Park as a good fit for a nine-hole course. We believe it should be laid out in an anti-clockwise fashion, starting with Tee 1 in the middle of the small tree berm, south of the baseball diamond. Heading south from there and keeping away from adjoining homeowner fences, #1’s hole (receiving basket) could be about 170 feet away, near where the sage and grass meet.

After #1, Tee 2 could point south towards its basket down the same line. Then the course could backtrack, continuing to follow the sage / grass perimeter in the anti-clockwise direction.

Holes 5 and 6 could crisscross each other in the center of the new trees towards the heart of the park, then seven, eight and nine could proceed along the same perimeter, ending up near the outdoor basketball courts or future amphitheatre stage.

We could also place a sign at the beginning of the course, indicating rules, and filled with catch phrases of courtesy suggestion protocols. Although, it would have to be an extremely wayward throw to interfere with the adjoining Toe of the Hill Trail, this does happen; and we should consider a small sign reminding joggers and hikers to beware of errant discs.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, in the event that multipurpose field needs arise, the basket receptacles are designed in such a way that they can be easily moved into new positions in a matter of minutes.

One thing we noticed, while walking around, were two medium-sized rocks at the field’s edge. We wondered how often these rocks roll down the hill (adjacent to the avalanche area), and would be interested to hear from other sportspersons that regularly enjoy using Keefer Park, who have seen this.

We also noticed evidence of a bear, which has been playing in the field.

In addition, the layout of Keefer Park’s outdoor basketball courts greatly impressed us. I’m keen on fresh-air basketball competition, and recently read about how NBA players played an outdoor exhibition:

http://www.nba.com/2008/news/features/dave_mcmenamin/10/12/101108mcmenaminoutdoor/index.html

A problem that many outdoor bouncing kids come up against; if the basketball net is torn or missing, is that it takes some wind out of their sails. After investing substantial amounts of time, money and energy into new courts, poles and baskets, the low-cost net is usually first to go bad. And with nets gone and not replaced for weeks on end, most children will often go off to play a different sport.

Nylon nets attached to heavily used basketball hoops, often wear out within a few weeks. A way to remedy this is through the PermaNet basketball net.

http://sporting-goods.pricegrabber.com/basketball-court-accessories/m/37652299/

It’s made of 2000 lb steel aircraft cable for superior strength, outstanding durability, and is coated with a tough vinyl jacket to protect basketball players’ hands. The PermaNet basketball net is a patented, one of a kind hardscrabble basketball net that can't shrink, tangle, rot or fray like nylon nets. It is unique and won’t rust like chain nets do. This eliminates the need to constantly replace or re-attach nets. The hoop net also offers a permanent rimlock anti-theft system, which never tangles. The unique basketball net technology also ensures that the basketball never gets stuck inside the PermaNet basketball net, due to its design. This patented PermaNet basketball net is made in America, consisting of superior materials, and is engineered to last on hoops outdoors on institutional recreational parks basketball courts for a minimum of at least 3 years, and up to 5 years on an outdoor residential basketball court.”

If the newfangled Perma-nets are unfeasible or unavailable, there’s always plan B,

Linseed Logic: (Letter B) http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2008-09/11/content_7016764.htm

Friday, October 24, 2008



Angelic Photons











~Angel









  1. A ministering spirit of divine messenger: one of an order of spiritual beings superior to man in power and intelligence, who are the attendants and messengers of the Deity; hence b. one of the fallen spirits, who rebelled against God; c. a guardian or attendant spirit; d. figurative, a person who resembles an angel in attributes of actions.


  2. Any messenger of God, as a prophet or preacher; a pastor or minister of a church; poetical, a messenger; figurative, in angel of death.


  3. transferred, A conventional figure with wings.




(The shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1975)







Photon





A corpuscle or unit particle of light.



(The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1975)





A quantum of electromagnetic radiation that has zero rest mass and energy equal to the product of the frequency of the radiation and the Plank Constant. In some contexts it is convenient to regard the photon as an elementary particle.





(The Penguin Dictionary of Physics, Penguin Book, Harmondsworth, 1975)





-From the beginning of Matthew Fox’s and Rupert Sheldrake’s The Physics of Angels – Exploring the realm where science and spirit intersect.

Doubly Exposing Polaroid




I mentioned to a friend that Polaroid is getting out of the film business and focusing on the new digital age. He said that there was no reason for instant cameras anymore, since digital cameras can now do anything that a Polaroid can.







I thought this was somewhat unimaginative and pointed out that one Halloween; I took photos of each group of joyful children who came to our door and as an extra treat, stuffed one into a kids sack from each group. Some of the parents accompanying their children were instantly delighted to see such a trick.







Another thing, I’ve used Polaroid’s for, is to photograph some of the majestic Peruvian sheepherders, who work outdoors here every summer. This camera is so powerful, that if used right, it can break language barriers. Once, while pre-staging my rig out Lake Creek, an evening before hiking High Ridge Trail, I ran into a couple of Peruvians and pointed up the ridge as to what my intention was. They liked this and to breach our difficulty in conversation, I motioned to ask if I could take their photo. After handing them their immediate images, I could tell that they were delighted enough that my rig would be safe for the night, as they would be watching over it from their camp.













One of my Polaroid’s seems to have acquired a Twilight-Zone-ish aspect. I must have spilled a soda on it or something, because if I press the snapshot button very lightly the film sticks in the camera, which allows me to take double-exposures on purpose! I have heard that some digital cameras can now do this, and look forward to seeing some of these.







Early generation camera phones are average quality at best






A few days ago, my housemate and I saw some children gleefully leaping into autumn leaves. She knew the girls, so we pulled over and took two instant shots using the light button trick. We handed them photo, which probably cost a dollar, then watched enchanted as they saw their doubled leaping images materialize onto the paper.










Sometimes, I’ve taken Polaroid’s to music festivals to capture friends in festive moods. By taking a friends photo and then handing them the only copy, you’ve empowered them to do what they want with the gift. If they don’t like the photo, they can trash it.










At a house, where I used to care take, they had a Polaroid shot of Andy Warhol sticking his tongue out at the camera. I knew this was a singular piece of art and that nobody else had captured him in that exact .15 second frame of fame.







When the day arrives that sheepherders and trick or treaters all carry duzz-all devices, I suppose this will make my high-tech friend’s argument stronger, about Polaroid’s obsoleteness. Polaroid film is still available in some places and the company says they will create enough film to last through 2009. They would be happy to consider selling the licensing rights to another company. However, unless somebody picks up the brand name soon, Polaroid is going to die without imagination.




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

JBanholzer – Hailey
10/21/08 - 20:49

A potential problem with the Journal's demise, as Idaho Statesman's editor Kevin Richert points out, is that when healthy competition vanishes, readers and journalists often lose http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/462383.html

There is a chance that this development will result in a slip of quality at the Express. However, as somebody who is a big fan of the Express (and perhaps was once their biggest fan) I think that much of our community will be delighted to see them aspire to become even better.

In the spirit of this long-dreamed-of-day for the Express, I encourage the dedicated workers to not rest upon their laurels. Think differently, and let this spur you on to improve.

Last year, Express editor Shea Anderson wrote a pertinent piece for High Country News about a New Mexican newspaper, where he used to work, that recently went to the wayside.
http://www.hcn.org/wotr/17540

In this context, it's inspiring to see that the Express is excited about inheriting the Journal's 127 years of archives. Historians interested in Wood River Valley days of yore, would be equally excited to see Pre-Internet era archives, someday available online.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rise to vote sir
Ma'am?

Idaho Statesman endorses Obama



http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/542582.html

"Our nation has to stop equating intellect with elitism and viewing intelligence with scorn and skepticism. Considering the problems at hand, there is no better time than now to change our thinking."
Professional statue movers

LINCOLN STATUE (letter 5 in today's Statesman) http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/story/543150.html

16th president getting recognition he deserves

It's refreshing to read that devoted curators will be refurbishing the Boise Abe Lincoln statue and transporting it from its obscure, foliage-hidden-area at the State Veterans 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 that monument in a remote area of the National Mall. Although this tied in symbolically with the remote nature of Lincoln's personality, people wishing to honor our founding Republican did not accept his inaccessibility and have made the pilgrimage to that isolated area so much that it is has become a "destination monument" and one of the most romantic spots to visit in Washington.

For more about what our historic sites get right or wrong, check out Dr. James W. Loewen's groundbreaking, "Lies Across America." Loewen also authored 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.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

U.S. Slaughterhouse ban creates new dilemmas…

…is what I originally titled this letter to the Times-News, last winter solstice; until the editors improved it, to the more aptly titled “Horses need our protection.” Here is the jist of it:

After 1986 Kentucky Derby contender Ferdinand overcame 18-to-1 odds to become champion, he was later sold to stud in Japan. Then in 2002, the victor was evidently sent to slaughter, prompting a “from winner to dinner” hearkening slogan used by the outraged thoroughbred community in its successful campaign to ban the last of U.S. horse slaughterhouses meant for human consumption.

They still kill U.S. horses for food, you know. And a bad hitch is that many of these once-beloved creatures are beginning to face horrifically longer transports to Mexico and Canada, which excludes federal jurisdiction, from our monitoring for humane treatment. Deplorably overcrowded trailers and more obfuscated slaughterhouses continuing with questionable sanitary practices are hot concerns.

Another problem facing new West ranchers are higher hay prices which, coupled with the slaughterhouse closures, has impelled some to abandon their (mostly unbranded) unaffordable horses onto neighboring ranch and public lands.

For those who haven’t heard, it may come as a jolt to the head, that our championed horses now face even murkier final finish lines before export to lucrative overseas markets where horsemeat has long been considered a delicacy. Some horsemeat, after beyond-border-butchering, makes the long haul back into the United States for exotic animal consumption at a controversial zoo near you.

Kwanzaa, a young South African lion at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, celebrates his birthday with a cake made from 10 pounds of horse meat, plus whipped cream and a carrot.

After this letter posted, we had some interesting follow up discussions. Naturally, such a sensitive subject could be easily misconstrued as my meaning, “it’s just awful to send an old crippled horse to a packing plant.”

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with people who eat horsemeat. As far as I can remember, the same thing goes for robust ham & buffalo-burger munchers - hidden connection between Mad Cow and misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease notwithstanding.

Friends have called me a carnivore before. If offered, I might test a tiny bit of horsemeat “to sate my academic curiosity,” like Commander Tibbets, in the spirit of inspecting dark Nagasaki this time of year, back in ‘45. On the other hand, I might change my mind at the last second and turn away disgusted from the holiday dinner table. Afraid I can’t say for sure, til it actually happens to me.

Ta-da!

People from PETA poles apart (People Eating Tasty Animals and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) might agree; that if there’s something more awful than wasting perfectly good meat; it’s the unnecessary harsh treatment, some of these animals are stricken with on their way to slaughterhouses.

Even with the large amount of questionable burgers I’ve madly consumed over the years, I still vividly remember the chapter from FAST FOOD NATION that reveals how the processing plant in Greeley, Colorado slowed production down to a safer level, on days that meat was being shipped to Europe, because they had to meat higher standards!

Visionary Temple Grandin

For those who believe that the term “Humane slaughtering” is oxymoronic, please reflect upon this quote from visionary Temple Grandin; who designed the sweeping curved corrals that reduce stress in animals being led to slaughter and are used for fifty percent of the cows slaughtered in America.

Curved cattle race coral used to guide cattle into a slaughterhouse.

“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we’ve got to do it right. We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.”

And this from Wikipedia:

One of Temple’s most important essays about animal welfare is “Animals are not Things,” in which she posits that animals are technically property in our society, but the law ultimately gives them ethical protections or rights. She uses a screwdriver metaphor: a person can legally smash or grind up a screwdriver but a person cannot legally torture an animal.

In Idaho, horses are considered production animals, whereas in California, the State has deemed horses “companion animals.” This gives horses improved legal rights against inhumane treatment.

However, this is a murky issue, since there are many parameters, which define production animals, versus companion animals. I would be interested in hearing viewpoints from equestrians familiar with this issue, especially anybody who knows about the challenges that the California Humane Society must have come up against, while trying to implement regulations with such far-reaching ramifications.

Every Idaho Agriculture inspector has more than a handful of revolting stories involving severe horse abuse. With the higher price of hay, reports of horses starving in Idaho increased 5% this last year. This summer, The Times-News reported that Horse abuse cases are almost certain to increase and while local law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to cope, the editorial board offered some potential solutions.

State equine regulators and BLM officials fear that in this economic pinch, more Idahoans will dump their horses on rangeland rather than euthanize them. And this has been happening, ever since the closure of the last U.S. horse slaughterhouse meant for human consumption.

Some horse-lovers have wondered how an impact of several thousand horses running newly wild again on BLM lands, compares to the vastly larger number of cows now grazing on Idaho Public Lands. Then again, anybody wanting to speak up against the powerful cattle industry, should probably remember the difficulty given to Oprah.

Truly, the way in which we treat animals, reveals much about ourselves.

Abused horses

This summer solstice, Cassidy Friedman wrote a brilliant front-page article for the Times-News, which encompassed many of these same high horse concerns.

Since then, a new horse rescue operation opened their gates, led by some local concerned citizens. While it took a lot of hard work, their first mission was highly successful, and they found homes for almost all the horses. (I’d be happy to update in greater detail, where this group’s rescue efforts now stand, as soon as I hear back from them)

Meanwhile, here are two stories about “Betty’s Girls Rescue” written by Katy Moeller for the Idaho Statesman:

“Rescued Paint horses in Wood River Valley need homes, help”:

http://www.idahostatesman.com/ourtowns/story/484403.html

And “Paint horses find new homes inValley”:

http://www.idahostatesman.com/ourtowns/story/510809.html

Another Idaho group supporting equine rescue, of older, abandoned and troubled horses is the non-profit Orphan Acres. Twin Falls photographer Scott Sommers has a plan to try to sell 2 million calendars featuring horses, to help support Orphan Acres.

I think the Ag Weekly article “Abandoned horses pose dilemma for ranchers”, describes best the slaughterhouse dilemma many New West Ranchers face, when it says: “There is no perfect answer to this problem, and the horse processing thing certainly is not a solution for a lot of people. But it is for a lot of others.”

With the shift in horse slaughterhouse laws, it’s nice that these rescue operations are giving people one more option to choose from, while they are facing the difficult decision of what’s best to do with the beloved horses they can no longer afford to keep.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Cell Catcher in the Galena Rye

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some unconnected game in this big field of SNRA and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, with cell phone reception I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the reception area cliff- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the cell catcher in the SNRA and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

The trouble with planting potato seeds on our moon

600 word version

In the summer of ‘69, as my young brother David and I pigged out on potato chips and sipped Tang, we watched in awe, as Astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong hypnotizingly bounced around on the Moon. As our grainy black & white Zenith set fluttered otherworldly phenomena, I explained that the 3-second communication gaps were due to the time it took for Mission Control’s messages to reach the moon module, and then bounce back. Years later, David told me that he heard what I was said, but it was too much then, for his young mind to comprehend.


Since our last Apollo return, the comprehension required to understand inner-workings of mechanisms orbiting over our heads has increased exponentially. Nowadays, NASA has astronomical plans to establish a permanent colony near our satellite’s South Pole. From a positive engineering aspect, this extremity appears ice-capped and gathers abundant sunshine. For decades, sky gazers have speculated, that whoever wields power over this new Moon, will also reign supreme over Earth, with military “defense” weaponry and more. Our space agency is gearing up for this, by making Moon travel appear promising for average Joe Spud’s

Recently, Apollo Chronicles featured an article comparing the Moon to Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/17jan_jack.htm

A prime moon-mover and dust shaker, partially eclipsed in this piece, is former astronaut Harrison Schmitt. Dr. Schmitt is geology engineer, who has started a corporation for extracting Helium -3 from the moon. In the well-crafted NASA article, readers get the playful feeling that any stuck in the mud not rooting for buoyant moon bounces, must be flat out against fun. The accepted wisdom is that pish-poshing un-patriotics should be made to munch on moon dust.

Ironically, this heavenly body ceaselessly revolving about us could wind up saving us. In one giant leap for humankind, fusion power fueled by the Moon’s ethereal helium-3 could become the spark for transport methods of never-ending energy -an upholding solution to our self-wrought energy crisis. Scientific researchers at Princeton University Plasma Plastics Lab have speculated that we could scrape over one million tons of helium-3 from the Moon surface. At the going rate of $3 million a ton, this would put a half-million dollars in every earthling’s back pocket!

It’s nice to imagine such a bright future, but down-to-earth-doubters point out that NASA is renowned for exorbitant cost overruns and does not put spending skycaps on such undertakings. In 2002, NASA even deleted from its mission statement the words, “to understand and protect our home planet .” How can the gravity of the good outweigh the bad, if we heavily invest in moon missions, while our country is facing Mountainous $$’s of debt? Here we are, aiming with billions of bucks to turn a profitable ship-lane in the sky; meanwhile, in years of overabundance, most food banks turn down fresh Idaho potatoes, because they are too heavy to ship.

Although the Moon is currently barren of sustaining food, we will likely expand moon colonization efforts, including farming, if this gold rush of the new millennium proves profitable. In fact, Fort Hall Indian Reservation High School students recently conducted a successful potato growing experiment on Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Soon, average Joe-Spud’s will be asked to launch more taxing skyrocket missions. But before that, shouldn’t we first invest our mountainous dollars to help waterways run to clean oceans? And focus on solar power already here? And determine more seaworthy transport solutions, so food belt farmers need not in years of overabundance, shamefully plough their potatoes down under the harvest moon, with millions starving in dark Africa and even gloomy pockets of Idaho?

Ginormous Whale Tale

Narghhh-Whale!

A dozen years back, a whale beached itself directly in front of my Brother David’s seashore apartment. This uncanny event occurred on one of the rare occasions that he was out of town. We considered this symbolic, since David is a top-notch wildlife protector for the State of
North Carolina. While he has a rascally background, Officer Banholzer takes his job as seriously as I do mine -as if our lives depended on them.

Once a whale beaches itself; that’s about it for the creature. The weight of its body, adapted to buoyancy, crushes itself without the encompassing ocean-water to buttress its gravity. Many people wonder why so many of these creatures continuously thrust themselves onto our sandy shores.

Some say that whales are becoming disoriented by modern sea vessel sonar and other mitigating factors –known and unknown. Ever since TV first radiated, we have placed technology on fancy pedestals, while allowing vital nature impact studies to become mostly burning afterthoughts. After all, consider the astronomical disparities between clean oceanography research and NASA’s luxurious ships shuttling through our drone-filled skies.

Could it be that the whales are sending us a bottled text- message from the once crystal seas, that they now mourn the earth we all share? Some look at their giant sacrifice as a clarion call for better caretaking, while others laugh this off as meaningless myth.

Occasionally I browse the North Carolina newspapers where Brother David lives. In fact, a “Mountain Xpress” comes out every Wednesday in the enlightened mountain town of
Ashville. When the entire hullabaloo came into our hollow, about a rancher in Mackay who legally shot a local man’s dogs that were chasing his cows, I found a fascinating story in this seemingly parallel paper. It shows that the ways in which we treat animals, reveals much about ourselves.

See: http://www.mountainx.com/news/2000/0503cruelty.php

After serendipitously discovering this story, I remembered a similar passage from
Carson’s / Sam’s Medicine Cards, which testifies to the loyalty of dogs:

“If Dog has been yelled at or paddled, it still returns love to the person who was the source of its bad treatment. This does not come from stupidity, but rather from a deep and compassionate understanding of human shortcomings. It is as if a tolerant spirit dwells in the heart of every canine that asks only to be of service.”

David gets to bark up all sorts of trees as a Wildlife Officer. In the cover of night, when citizens hear gunshots of unknown origin, police dispatchers page him first, under the assumption that poachers are out spotlighting again and David is the man who knows this territory best. Occasionally he rescues stuck deer, by gently unwinding barbed-wire fences from around their forepaws, using the same strong wrassling moves, I was only too eager to use on him, before he joined the Marines. In between teaching hunter safety courses, David occasionally captures and relocates wayward alligators away from Golf Course Links.

Captured Aligator

One dark night, David caught a preacher illegally taking deer from a marsh area. The preacher shrieked, in an inhuman voice, “I can’t help it; it’s a disease!” After his court date, the preacher continued crying shrilly from his pulpit, that his parishioners “may have read some things in the local newspaper, but that they are all fallacious.” Soonafter, people attending worship came to David and asked, “What is the truth?” David told them that in this case they should be believers –of the news of record accounts, of their preacher’s poaching conviction!

David has discovered that half the populace will try to take the easy way out, when they think there is no watchdog. Many do not abide by the simple rules. David says that of the potential “violators” he surveils; fully one-half eventually litter something during the course of a typical afternoon. I have often asked him about this and he says that this statistic remains stagnant. Ironically in North Carolina, newspapers and political signage are not considered trash, even if they are stained full of things more unseemly than bloody poaching convictions; before being tossed aside into un-receptacled areas.

Imagine the sausage-like mechanisms that went into passage of a law like that.

Sometimes Brother David finds fish choked in plastic, discarded from six packs. Some wormy anglers find this funny. I suppose then for them, a keg of beer gone overboard, to block up a whales blowhole, is about as good as it gets.

Perhaps the true reason the ocean is so saline, is that every animal on earth has been filling it with saltwater tears, trying to rinse clear their eyes from how diseased men have wrongly war-shipped good Mother Earth; ever since we tossed the first rotten apple core aside; violating that archetypical preacher’s foremost snaky riparian area.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lAmUpKzRrg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zho0rS6m7o

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The power of asking nicely

After reading again Sun Valley Online’s Keefer Park dedication, I discovered something especially inspiring

http://www.sunvalleyonline.com/news/article.asp?ID_Article=5794

Excerpt:

“Six years ago, Chuck Grubb was at a Hailey Planning and Zoning meeting railing against P&Z and afterward he complained that no one was willing to ask him politely for the land for this park," Becki Keefer recalled with a group of friends at the park dedication Wednesday.

"I was on P&Z at the time and I thought, 'Hey, I can do that!' and that started three years of discussions then-Mayor Brad Siemer and I had with him."

…After reading this, it made me curious to know more about what happened between Chuck Grubb and the City of Hailey. In the spring of ’93, while I briefly worked for the Rec. District, I pointed out to my first supervisor that somebody had vandalized the donated park bench from the Grubb family. They had carved into the redwood with graffiti and mostly broken off the tarnished plaque. The supervisor told me that we might as not bother fixing it, because people would just damage it again. He also said that Mr. Grubb had gone back on his promise to the Woodside community to provide two parks.

Reading what Mr. Grubb said years later, made me think that there was probably more to his side of the story.

A synchronistic thing about this is that I had a friend call me the same morning that I was reading about Becki’s rewarding efforts. My friend told me of a Jonathan Demme documentary film featuring Jimmy Carter during a Camp David peace accord, between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Evidently, the meeting had reached an impasse, but before leaving, President Carter, excused himself to an anteroom and came back with some signed photographs. The photographs were of Carter himself, and he had inscribed personalized hellos to Menachem Begin’s grandsons, including their first names!

Everybody adjourned, but about ten minutes later, President Begin hailed Jimmy Carter back and said that he had changed his mind. The photographic gifts intended for his grandsons, made him think that what we should all be really shooting for is peace for our grandchildren.

This made me think hard about how better off we all would be, if only we could find ourselves asking for favors, with nicer ceremonious manners. I think it something many of us fail to do to a certain extent, but I hope that we can learn better from Becki Keefer’s and Jimmy Carter’s prime leadership examples.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Camp_David%2C_Menachem_Begin%2C_Anwar_Sadat%2C_1978.jpg

The little collider that could dance

Friends asked me to try to determine what the secretive construction project at the old Drug Store is, so I spied up the hill and saw right away that they appear to be building an extension of the Great European Hadron Collider, in the subterranean tunnels beneath Hailey’s streets! The reasoning behind this is that European dance floors close their doors, around the same time that bands in the Western U.S. are beginning to warm up. In this manner, we will be able to transport our European partying pals here and decompress them in time, so they may buy dinner at a local restaurant, before dancing the night away.

The ambitious project will soon extend into a great zero beneath Hailey’s busiest streets and will be a positive boon for our fledging economy. Sworn-to-secrecy archaeologists will take great care overseeing documentation of every opium pipe and historical artifact unearthed from the ancient Chinese tunnels. An extra benefit to Hailey’s Hadron collider will be a radiant heat effect, cleansing Main Street of pesky ice, while enhancing the lifesaving effects of our innovative LED crosswalks. This will also make it more suitable for waltzing around town in dance shoes.

While it’s true that we are not yet officially up to snuff for instantaneously transporting humans on a regular basis, by the time construction is complete here, say December of 2012, the greater scientific community will have by then become more enlightened of the psychical similarities between photons spiraling and angels dancing on their respective high-speed atomic pins.

This will become a frequently pinpointed topic of conversation at Chester’s & Jakes.

After the freewheeling Euro-spending patrons finish their nightly dancing under Hailey’s mighty stars, some will desire immediate transport over to Tokyo or Hong Kong, where the fanciest dance palaces there, will just be opening. As Hailey will mushroom into a major dance hub, entrepreneurs will demand space for more local nightclubs. Heavily pressured council members will then convert part of the mostly obsolete Friedman airport into a wide dance hall. As a backup plan, a short runway will still be made available for emergencies, such as the rare occasions when the collider might break down, to the point that replacement parts cannot be drop-shipped directly through the transporting collider, to itself. Although private aircraft hobbyists will still occasionally land at Hailey’s shortened runway, a larger portion of the old airport will transform into a Choo-Choo station, as town sentimentality for nowhere going Mountain Express trains will win out in a hard-fought compromise.

A strong selling point of the meteoric transmogrifying collider was that it would bring humanity some of the peaceful projects we’ve been starving for, perhaps even ending all wars! However, on the offbeat chance that our Eurasian and Eastasian conflicts will continue past 2012, farsighted City official’s should set aside specific sections of the valuable airport land for relevant projects.