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Monday, February 27, 2012



TIL through some shop-talk at the Laundromat, that ever since their
big laundry fire,Sun Valley Company has been sending their wash to a company-owned resort near Salt Lake for sanitizing. Continuing our clean conversation, I heard that Wood River St. Lukes trucks their hospital laundry all the way over to Boise for sanitizing. With these massive amounts of local laundry constantly coming and going, it means that we must sometimes have sheets simultaneously transporting North, South, and East & West!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seashore soaring

You were drifting on the Kingston ferryboat, while I was stranded on Orcas Island.

You fashioned a hot air balloon, embroidered with a giraffe.

My craft had a monkey on its back.

The winds shifted and we were destined to meet again, out in the ocean, directly over two Concordia ships passing in the night. You flew north like a crow and saw me long before I spied you.

As we approached each other in the high sky, you blew me a kiss, which I instantly caught in my mouth. Your kiss came from the sweetest part of heaven and it healed my core illnesses, as its pure intentions cleansed & quaked deep my soul.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't disparage one of Idaho's great small towns



The first year I moved here, there was an incident on Main Street involving two women in a fender bender. Instead of rushing out of their cars to blame each other, they both emerged to apologize profusely and peacefully. They each made sure that the other person was all right, and then gave each other sweet bear hugs. After that, they agreed that they should meet together soon, because it had been too long since they had seen each other.

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This remarkable event defined for me what the essence is of everything good about Ketchum; and perhaps for what is great about many small western towns: good people who care about each other, more than they do for their measly worldly possessions. Therefore, it grates at me, when I hear intermittent comments that disparage the town and townspeople of Ketchum (and the Wood River Valley). Some will say, "I have no desire to visit Ketchum, or any of the people up there." That's too bad, because if you take a closer look, this pedestrian-friendly town offers much for young and old, rich and poor, sick and well.

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Like most Idaho towns, Ketchum has changed over the years. Yet, it retains many high-quality aspects of a hardy Western town. When it comes to weather, Ketchum is in the top 10 percentile of sunniest towns. The people here are equally sunny, and there is ample reason for this. A river runs through it, offering opportunities for enjoyable fishing and water sports. We have a popular YMCA. On summer Tuesdays, a vibrant farmers' market attracts vendors and customers from throughout southern Idaho. After that, energetic music performers play freely til twilight in our Forest Service Park.

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For the spiritual, Ketchum has more than a handful of sacred places to worship. When someone becomes severely ill, or is in a crash, our community often bonds together, helping with fundraisers.

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Wagon Days brings a festive weekend of olden-times coming alive, as craftspeople, blacksmiths and storytellers demonstrate their trades and speak their lore. Wagon Days also features the largest non-motorized parade in the west.

Ketchum's Community Library has an extensive regional history section, with helpful staff and an oral history program. The library also hosts frequent lectures and enlightening events, featuring respected authors and adventurers from near and far.

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Ketchum has dozens of fine restaurants. We have movie theaters; nine (and growing) outdoor parks, live stage and Huck Finn-like swimming holes. Free newspapers, magazines, maps and wi-fi are abundant. We also have a water park, bringing boundless glee to splashing kids. On the edge of town, Sun Valley Co. has installed a gondola for uplifting BaldMountain rides.

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This list of what good things our fine town (and valley) has to offer is much longer than this, but I hope for now this gives some hesitation to those who are quick to sneer at lively Ketchum.

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I sometimes wonder if some of Ketchum's harsh critics have even spent much time here.


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After July’s candlelight vigil march for Bowe Bergdahl, the local soldier captured inAfghanistan; I sat with some friends, one of whom described an image she thought best captured Hailey's essence. One of the men attending the ceremony had left his tools in the open on the back of his truck, parked in front of Zaney's Coffeehouse, where the event began. The tradesman had drawn a large cardboard sign, asking passersby to leave his tools alone, because he was standing for Bowe. And the aura of respectfulness that evening permeated the atmosphere so thick that nobody dared tamper with his tools. Then we agreed that we all look forward to the day when Bowe can return to this pleasant valley, where his friends and family can openly share with him, some strong bear hugs.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Latest letter to Snopes


Dear Snopes,

A few years ago, I read in a religion news blog that the Holy Bible is the most shoplifted book.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/13206/thieves-go-for-bible-but-ignore-ten-commandments

That caused me to wonder with as many Bibles out there that people are desperately pinching, if anybody has actually served time for doing so; and according to this Google Book Search, apparently some have:

http://books.google.com/books?ct=title&q=jail+for+stealing+a+bible&btnG=Search+Books&as_brr=0

Discussing this holistic spectra over the weekend with a friend, it reminded me of a relevant theft I had read about , probably 5-6 years ago, about an incident in the Far East (possibly India) where somebody was arrested for charging their cell phone from a wall outlet outside an apartment complex, and even though some electrical engineers later determined that this theft of electricity probably equaled less than one-tenth of a penny, the apartment manager went ahead and brought the thief to court, where he was convicted and served time.

I’m experiencing difficulty determining if this last part is an urban legend, and during discussion with my friend, we decided that this would likely be the type of question that you would enjoy investigating.

Best regards,


JB

Friday, February 03, 2012


Social Disease

I hate it when bank employees ask, usually in hushed voice: What is your social?

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It’s as if, by not asking directly out loud, “What is your Social Security Number?” -that they think this is going prevent a security breach of some sort, from lurkers in the lobby. I noticed this phenomenon starting several years ago, not only with banks, but with other businesses privileged to examine vast amounts of your personal information. It’s like a hive-mind mentality all started at once, unless perhaps some high-level bank manager came down with a decree years ago, with the mindset to ask for ‘your social’ in this peculiar manner, would might exempt them from identity-theft liabilities.

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It would be interesting to chat with a few folks in the banking industry about this, and to get their takes on it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

You should always be dancing!

Back in 1976, my cousin and I were driving in my little yellow VW Dasher along the beach in Delaware and we switched the radio on to a local station. The Bee Gee’s song “You Should Be Dancing” was playing, but as both of us were interested in Heavy Rock more than we were Pop Music, we glanced at each other and tacitly agreed to find another song. I switched the car radio over to another station and the same Bee Gee’s song was playing there too. We kept trying other stations, hitting all six of the preset buttons and were amazed to discover that this same song was playing on all six stations! Quickly, to confirm this was actually happening, we went through all of the stations once again, and sure enough the song was playing and at a different part on each of the stations, before it shortly ended on one of them. After all of the stations stopped playing the popular tune, we went back and triple-checked to make sure that we didn’t have any of the preset buttons set to the same station, and we didn’t, which made us wonder how often such an event might occur, and we sensed that it was probably very rare, even for a hit single at the pinnacle of the Pop Charts.