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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Three Banholzerian Stooges


A short while back, I discovered that there was a Banholzer aboard the Hindenburg. Not only that, but also, he was a mechanic! Now I’m thinking this can’t be good news for the Banholzer legacy; especially since discovering that at Banholzer’s North Mississippi Beer brewery a worker drown in a vat of beer, almost bankrupting the company.



Those two tales reminded me of dubious Banholzer #III, who had a hankering for telephone inventions and what they might do to improve life for humankind:



Perhaps the goofiest invention appeared in 1916. Paul P. Banholzer received a patent for a gadget for which the claim was made that “this instrument will further introduce the dot and dash system of telegraphy, which can be understood by any wire operator. Furthermore, the sound it produces is unmistakable and carries much father than the voice.” This device was merely a telegraph key clamped to the upright stem of a candlestick phone. By mechanical action the dots and dashes could be heard over the phone.



No possible application of the thing sounds reasonable, except that it might be used by student operators to practice with each other over the phone.”


Three Banholzerian Stooges

A short while back, I discovered that there was a Banholzer aboard the Hindenburg. Not only that, but also, he was a mechanic! Now I’m thinking this can’t be good news for the Banholzer legacy; especially since discovering that at Banholzer’s North Mississippi Beer brewery a worker drown in a vat of beer, almost bankrupting the company.

Those two tales reminded me of dubious Banholzer #III, who had a hankering for telephone inventions and what they might do to improve life for humankind:

Perhaps the goofiest invention appeared in 1916. Paul P. Banholzer received a patent for a gadget for which the claim was made that “this instrument will further introduce the dot and dash system of telegraphy, which can be understood by any wire operator. Furthermore, the sound it produces is unmistakable and carries much father than the voice.” This device was merely a telegraph key clamped to the upright stem of a candlestick phone. By mechanical action the dots and dashes could be heard over the phone.

No possible application of the thing sounds reasonable, except that it might be used by student operators to practice with each other over the phone.”

A crossroads too quick for judgment

Reading Scott Weaver’s account of Doug Scott’s mistaken symptoms turning into a DUI nightmare, reminded me of an incident back east, twenty years ago. Back then, a driver suffering from diabetic shock, wove over the median strip, plowed through a day care center fence and injured some children. One motorist who witnessed the immediate aftermath, pulled over, got out of his car and presuming the driver sitting in the wrecked car was drunk, rendered some quick judgment by pummeling the disabled man in the month a few times, before taking off again.

They never caught that man who punched the immobilized driver, but when the news featured his mistaken actions the next day, I wondered how he felt, making such a harsh judgment, before gathering in all of the pertinent facts.

You might say the same thing for this story.


March Madness goes out like a lamb - the story of Little Tyke

Coming soon: a story about synchronicity within anagrams.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bowling for Synchronicity

Today’s grocery store encounter story reminds me of an event from a Virginia bowling alley, twenty winters ago. Two of my best friends had birthdays only two days apart. Brooke’s was February 2, 1960 (a Groundhog Day baby) and Dave’s February 4 –the same year. The three of us often shared entertainment together in the form of bowling, Frisbee Golf, pizza, etc. One Sunday, while between frames, the subject of their birthdays came up again, and I noted my paternal grandmother’s birthday was wedged between theirs, exactly fifty years before, at February 3, 1910.

We thought this was cool and then I asked Brooke at what hospital she was born. She named the place and then with big surprise, Dave said he was also born there. Then I remembered that Brooke had mentioned that her birth had complications. Her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, so she had to stay at the hospital three extra days. Then it dawned on the three of us that my two best friends were together in the same maternity ward!

After that when we bowled, if Brooke or Dave made a bad shot or gutter ball, and complained, the other would say something like, “Quit your crying! I’ve been tired of hearing you whine, ever since we were boxed next to each other in the maternity ward!”

P.S. Speaking of the Groundhog, shouldn’t winter be over by now? The weather indicators have been slow to reveal this here in Idaho.

Reading bricks before books

L. led the meditation this evening, which led me to reflect back to the time before I could read, forty years ago in the barren wilderness of books. I remembered Cherie H., the young girl who would sometimes walk with me to first grade on that frosty trail above Lubber Run Park.

Her dad was an FBI agent, involved with Cub Scouts. I wonder if he sent Cherie with me subconsciously, knowing I would be a good protector for his daughter. After all, I and had averted a brick attack once, on the walk from school, batting off bricks, before donning my kid Batman costume.

I was a fast boy. I was a quick brown fox jumping over lazy dogs, who could read bricks before books.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

John Cougar Mellowcat’s springtime animal predictions


Plenty of Idaho criers have warned about wolves here being dangerous, but it's still more perilous to cross the human highway than it is to waltz out one of our yodeling canyons.

With this menace in mind, I consulted with my oracle: John Cougar Mellowcat, who kindly channeled for us, some other spring-fever animal predictions:

Besides the wolf this year, its predicted rattlers will be more docile. Good time, to gather some snapping worms for dynamic fishing.

Badger's are lonelier and will need more human-applied scruffs behind their fuzzy ears.

Local cubby-bears will rise up with great desire for thick elderberry mead, so please baste your grease buckets and leave them warmly wafting under West Ketchum birdfeeders.

Albino deer appreciate late season snows and hope Baldy stays open through Memorial Day.

Increasing numbers of aged cougars will descend from the Elkhorn hills to infiltrate nearly-innocents at the dew-daw room.

Butterflies will continue to flaunt their illegal ignoring of voter district lines.

While Mormon crickets will continue their selfless mission of filling in Highway 20's potholes, positively chirping beetles will munch over Galena pass, making the area more avalanche-prone, which will lead to a receptive public outcry for a safety-beacon cell tower on the hill.

Wise hoot owls will continue being mostly serious, and make gains towards unraveling unsolved mysteries.

Local dogs will continue worming their way into local hearts, while an ISU scientist will uncover compelling canine evidence that they sometimes laugh at us silly cats.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Magic teaspot Genie-logy



There were several levels of Max’s magic teapot story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The part about adventuring to far away nooks and crannies, then finding treasure within his own walls, reminds me of the There and Back again story of Beck Weathers on Mount Everest, who returned home from a near-death experience to discover he had been ignoring the best treasure life could give him - his loving wife.



Another synchronicity: After rereading Max’s story, something else struck a chord and suddenly I realized that I had blogged about his underground spelunking experiences before. Last year while doing family genealogy research, I discovered a story about Banholzer North Mississippi Beer, where a branch of our family had stored beer bottles in a mile and a half long cave they dug beneath St. Paul in the mid-1800’s. In one of the adventure stories I linked to, they mentioned Max’s action squad. Not only that, but at the time I forwarded this story to Rob MacGregor!



http://www.citypages.com/content/printVersion/12739

Thursday, March 19, 2009


World-shaking Shakespearian Synchronicities





Over the last moon, I’ve spent considerable time reflecting back on clocks and this Synchronicity post. Recently, a friend pointed out that I would have a ‘magic birthday’ coming up relatively soon, and this would be 12-12-12, when I would turn 53.



While thinking about this, for some reason, I felt compelled to look back at some William Shakespeare. Throughout most of school, I felt as if his work was high over my head, although perhaps I didn’t invest my time wise, trying to understand the great bard. While reading countless intriguing references to Shakespeare since school, I felt like I was missing something and should at least shortcut through Wikipedia to gain a rudimentary Shakespearian appreciation.


One of the first fitting things I discovered is that “Am I a weakish speller?" is a perfect anagram for William Shakespeare. The second thing that caught my attention was that Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, his 53rd birthday. This started to hit home even more, when I read somewhere that my magic birthday (when I, too, should turn 53) is also a day predicted by many to be the end of the world, as we know it. However, I soon discovered this information was partly backwards, because whenever I Googled “12-12-12” the search engine automatically redirected me to 12-21-12 – the celebrated end of the Mayan calendar. Determined to investigate more about obscure meanings regarding twelve-twelve, I continued on; finally discovering a problem-solving book regarding 12-12-12. Among his many innovative suggestions, the author says, “I direct clockwork radios with inbuilt torches be distributed to as many poor tribes as possible so that they can be informed of the truth and can follow the 12-12-12 initiative wherever they may live. It is more efficient than dropping leaflets to illiterate people and there are no batteries to ‘borrow.’”



Therefore, with many 12-21-12 seers predicting doomsday, while the 12-12-12 book mirrors vast solutions for humanity, perhaps when the clock does strikes a final twelve knell, it will also be signaling a powerful new beginning.











Footnotes:


11.90 The Clockwork Radio



A man who replaced me at the Mt. Express called his column End Times, though he recently changed this to End Notes.



Still, I’m still no Shakespeare, but while skimming through some other sacred books, I noticed a powerful quote that mentions, nobody but the Father knows in which hour or day he may come.


John Cougar Mellowcat’s springtime animal predictions

2nd draft

Much has been said about wolves being dangerous, but it's still more perilous to cross the human highway than it is to waltz out one of our yodeling canyons.

With this in mind, I consulted with my oracle: John Cougar Mellowcat, who has kindly channeled some other spring-fever animal predictions:

Besides the wolf this year, its predicted rattlers will be more docile. Good time to gather snapping worms for some dynamic fishing.

Badger's are lonelier and will need more human-applied scruffs behind their fuzzy ears.

Local bears will rise up with a desire for thick elderberry mead, so please baste your grease buckets and leave them warmly wafting under West Ketchum birdfeeders.

Albino deer appreciate late season snows and hope Baldy stays open through Memorial Day.

Increasing numbers of aged cougars will descend from the Elkhorn hills to infiltrate innocents at the dew-daw room.

Butterflies will continue their illegal ignoring of voter district lines.

While Mormon crickets will continue their selfless mission of filling in Highway 20's potholes, positively chirping beetles will munch over Galena pass, making the area more avalanche-prone, which will lead to an overwhelming public outcry for a safety-beacon cell tower on the hill.

Wise hoot owls will continue being mostly serious, and make gains towards unraveling unsolved mysteries.

Local dogs will continue worming their way into local hearts, while an ISU scientist will uncover compelling canine evidence that they sometimes laugh at us silly cats.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

John Cougar Mellowcat’s springtime animal predictions:

Wolves might be dangerous, but it’s still more perilous to cross the human highway than it is to waltz out one of our yodeling canyons.

Besides the wolf, this year its predicted rattlers will be more docile. Good time to gather snapping worms for some dynamic fishing.

Badger’s are lonelier and will need more human-applied scruffs behind their fuzzy ears.

Local bears will rise up with a desire for thick elderberry mead, so please baste your grease buckets and leave them wafting under West Ketchum birdfeeders.

Albino deer appreciate late season snows and hope Baldy stays open through Memorial Day.

Cougars will descend from the aged hills to infiltrate innocents at the dew-daw room.

Butterflies will continue their illegal ignoring of voter district lines.

While Mormon crickets will continue their unselfish mission of filling in Highway 20’s potholes, chirping beetles will munch over Galena pass, making the area more avalanche prone, which will lead to an overwhelming public outcry for a safety-beacon cell tower on the hill.

Monday, March 16, 2009

. I find Annette’s story interesting.

The name “Annette” itself, seems to ring with synchronicity: Two e’s, two n’s and two t’s, mirrors her name with a double-Tolkien ent. Hearing Annette, reminds me of a story that happened, the first winter I moved west, to Ketchum, Idaho: Three of us had made a day of it, snowmobiling around Island Park, Idaho’s frozen-over reservoir. That evening, one nodded off for a nap, while my other friend, who is a great hunter, stayed up late, discussing at length our interest in butterflies. Right as he asked me, “Did you ever go out with a net and catch them?” -our third companion awoke at that precise moment from his hypnagogic reverie, imagining he had heard, “Did you ever go out with Annette in Ketchum?” –which confused him greatly, because I had only moved there, mere weeks before!

We often laugh about this.

Along similar lines, I wonder, how other readers’ small-town synchronicity experiences compare with their big city meaningful coincidences? Soon after shifting from big city living to a small town lifestyle, I noticed that after meeting enough people, eventually I came to expect that I would run into somebody I knew, almost every time I wandered into public. This makes me wonder what other people’s experiences are, who have lived both in big cities and small towns, regarding running into long-lost friends, in million-to- one long shots on ships, airplanes and subways versus their experiences, living in smaller synchronistic-to-the-brim towns.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Field of primordial baseball dreams

Had a vivid Tolkien-like dream last night. In it was a stadium full of old baseball players, some of whom lived to play professionally into their mid 100’s. Yes, I mean these grizzled warriors were still playing ball at age 130-150! Their crackled faces and ancient voices testified to their age. The particular game I watched had some retired players actively rooting from sidelines who had retired 30 years before, which would have made them some our earliest baseball competitors.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

kittens inspired by kittens

Uncle John’s magnificent kite


After connecting with some ancient Arlington school chums, I dug through more old photos and posted some of these in a “Whitefield Street / daze of yore” category. Our Whitefield Street home was base for half of my childhood memories, so this struck a powerful chord, and led to an interesting dream that night: Uncle John was sitting on the stoop outside our front porch and I could see that he was holding a kite string. Not until I peered around the branches did I see how amazingly high it was. I asked him what he thought its altitude was and he remarked, “Around 19,000 feet!”

While gazing at the kite, I realized that it was one continuous string, with no tie-togethers. Usually my vision would never have been capable of perceiving this, but in the dream, my eyesight was extremely sharp.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Which event will occur first?

1. A tremendous rockslide will damage Trail Creek Road, closing it for most of a summer.

2. Blaine County will experience a total electricity blackout for three long days and nights.

3. A cell phone call from the Galena area will assist in saving a severely injured person’s life.

4. The airport will move to a new location, which pleases almost everybody.

5. Mountain Lions will lay down peacefully with Flattop lambs on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Galena tower debate is one for the history books

200 word version



The Galena tower debate has come to stand for more than a mere cell tower. The disruptive battle has mired on longer than most wars, and even picked up certain mythic qualities. Some of the healthiest dialogue offered has come from spokespersons for and against the tower, who occasionally contradict themselves in funny papers and public meetings.


While some who claim they are indigenous Idahoans, say they prefer living in the Flintstone ages versus the digital; we should examine the motives of those speaking against the tower, as several hold animosity against former associates, or competitors from other fields, who could benefit by better communications.

Whatever the outcome, people will discuss the results of this Dark Age communications clash for decades. Astute
Idaho historians should include this chapter in state history textbooks, so our grandchildren may gain clearer perspectives than we have.


Even if efforts to install the potentially lifesaving tower are defeated; to complement our history books, ITD should install a historical sign at Galena, to commemorate the epic battle over the toppled tower. To appease earth-muffins and virgin snow-sprites, they could mount it smack-dab next to the new landline phone, to soak up less sacred SNRA space.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Big League Omens?

This morning I woke up thinking about baseball, and suddenly had the urge to read about 6’ 10” power pitcher Randy Johnson. I scrambled onto Wikipedia and saw he is the all-time leading strikeout king for lefties. Then I found this interesting tidbit:

(From Wikipedia)

In a freak accident on March 24, 2001, during the 7th inning of a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants, Johnson threw a fastball that struck and killed a dove. The unlucky bird swooped across the infield just as Johnson was releasing the ball. After being struck by the pitch, the bird landed dead amid a "sea of feathers." The official call was "no pitch."[3]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbmwv-0cUTw

I remember when seeing this incident, I wondered if it was supposed to mean something larger. After all, back in those days Randy Johnson was the tallest and fastest pitcher in Major League baseball, in a sleek county, filled with a Giant’s appetite. Mr. Johnson slew this dove in the face of the San Francisco Giants -a city of angels renowned for peacenik warriors.

In late March of 2001, the dove’s “freak accident”, was broadcast over the nation’s airwaves. Just this morning, I did some quick math and noticed that those days were exactly opposite to the time, when we first sent military troops to fight in Afghanistan, with a junkball pitch. In other words, the dove crossed the path of our fastest pitcher in the twelfth week of 2001, while political war hawks shattered our peace-doves, with twelve weeks remaining in the same year.

Footnotes:

When the St. Louis football team relocated to Phoenix in 1988, they became the Phoenix Cardinals. Since this made two birds, they eventually renamed their team The Arizona Cardinals, burying the Phoenix.

In 2001, in large part due to Randy Johnson’s pitching finesse, Arizona beat the New York Yankees in the seventh game, in a series that was delayed one week, due to 9-11.

Randy Johnson now pitches for the San Francisco Giants and currently is in spring training. He is no longer our tallest MLB pitcher. He also pitched a perfect game in his last high school appearance, which could be looked at as a sign that he would also achieve this rare feat in the majors.