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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another ocean full of bowling balls?

Once Robert Pirsig and his son Chris ascend to the mountain peak, Chris begins to ask his father about the dream, which begins to disturb Pirsig.

He knows he is a long way from help if he loses touch with reality up on the mountain, so he uses the chance of rock slides as an excuse to begin the descent, despite Chris’s obvious disappointment.

Once down off the mountain, Pirsig has another Glass Door dream, only this time he tells Chris that he’ll meet him at the bottom of the ocean!

This dream sets the stage for the next portion of the book. If Chris and Pirsig discovered the metaphysical relationship of Quality at some mountaintop of personal experience, he now seeks to apply that knowledge to all the valleys of this world, the dull dreary jobs and monotonous years that await all of us. (pg 229)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some slippery slopes up over Galena



It’s remarkable that for decades our Forest Service has kept a historical sign posted on the winding Galena climb, which commemorates with ambiguous wording, early 1820’s trapper Alexander Ross discovering this striking gateway to the Sawtooths. Certainly he ‘discovered’ the jagged summit for his fellow explorers, but I wonder what the Sheepeater Indian who zinged a grouse with an arrow up there on the same sunny day(as reported by Ross) would have thought about this discovery hoopla if he were able to gain a visionary glimpse into the future.


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Another challenge at the summit is at the elevation sign, as vandals have unhinged it several times. Although I’m mostly against government total awareness programs, this is a case where I’ve become so sick of seeing this sign stolen, that it would be refreshing to see our highway department set a clever trap, by imbedding a transmitter into the sign, to catch some culprits.

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Further aspects of the pass I’m puzzled about are at the remodeled overlook parking lot. Whatever, happened to the emergency callbox that the Forest Service was going to install there? Well, at least for now, our community has some dedicated ham radio enthusiasts to help patch this severe communication gap. Another harsh fact up there is that the restrooms are gone! On top of that, as pleasant as the new remodel appears cosmetically, the upper end no longer has barriers to prevent motorists from sliding off the edge.


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Back in the era, when Al Ross was writing his traveling memoirs, rugged mountain men probably would have empowered themselves to haul up excess railroad ties and spike them in as guardrails to ensure that nobody would roll off the rocky overlook. It would be nice if our modern Forest Service Department could find it in their budget to follow similar safety procedures.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tripping over Galena Summit


It’s remarkable that for decades our Forest Service has kept a historical sign posted on the winding Galena climb, which commemorates with ambiguous wording, early trapper Alexander Ross discovering this gateway to the Sawtooths in 1824. Certainly he ‘discovered’ the jagged summit for his fellow explorers, but I wonder what the Sheepeater Indian who zinged a grouse with an arrow up there on the same sunny day(as reported by Ross) would think about this discovery hoopla if he was able to gain a visionary glimpse into the future.

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Another challenge at the summit is at the elevation sign, as vandals have unhinged it several times. Although I’m mostly against government total awareness programs, this is a case where I’ve become sick of seeing this sign stolen so much, that it would be refreshing to see our highway department set a clever trap, by imbedding a small GPS unit into the sign, to catch some culprits.

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Further aspects of the pass I’m puzzled about are at the remodeled overlook parking lot. Whatever, happened to the landline the Forest Service was going to install there? Well, at least for now, our community has some dedicated ham radio enthusiasts to help patch this severe communication gap. Another harsh fact up there is that the restrooms are gone! On top of that, as pleasant as the new remodel appears cosmetically, it does not have sufficient barriers to prevent motorists from sliding off the edge.

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Back in the era, when Al Ross was writing his traveling memoirs, rugged mountain men probably would have empowered themselves to haul up excess railroad ties and spike them in as guardrails to ensure no one rolled off the rocky overlook. It would be nice if the Forest Service could find it in their budget to follow similar safety procedures.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eric Burdon and the Animals


Back in the mid or late 90’s, around one Saint Paddy’s weekend the rock band Eric Burdon and the Animals performed a few shows at Bruce Willis’s Hailey Mint Bar. I attended one of the events, even dancing for a while, and was impressed that these old-timers still ‘had it’ as they put on a festive show, and played a number of nice recognizable classics.

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At the time, I was working at Horizon Airlines as a ramp agent, and while working in the back room early the next morning, I noticed several musical instruments in their cases starting to roll through the bag well. Traveling bands often have suitcases and trunks with souvenir stickers from every end of the world patched all over them, and as this band’s distinctive checked luggage continued poring through, I edged my way up to Horizon’s front counter to gain a closer peek at the rock stars.

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The Animals looked a little worse for wear, and I had a vibe that they probably had stayed up late partying, probably even gaining less sleep than I had. It wasn’t even 7a.m. yet, but the band probably needed an early start in order to prepare for their next gig.

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As I worked my way back to the bag well, I noticed that a large duffel bag in the middle of the band luggage was leaking some type of dark liquid. It looked bad enough that I should attend to it; because as well as tarnishing whatever was in that particular bag, it had to potential to ruin other passenger luggage. Using a bit of the self-empowerment that the Horizon Air leaders often encouraged, I zipped open the bag and discovered that the culprit was a slowly leaking bottle of rum. In transit, the cap had become slightly cracked and as we didn’t have a fitting replacement cap that size in stock in our provisions cabinet, I decided to use a bit of duct tape to stem the leak. While doing so, the thought flashed, “This is exactly, what I would want somebody to do for me, if I had a bottle of cheap rum, leaking at the airport.”

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Following on that thought, I figured it best to page the band member to explain what happened. I walked to our front counter and asked Jane to page the bass-player from what had now become a bustling early morning crowd. He came forth in his ragged-glory and I started to explain that I had taped his rum bottle to stop the leak, and that the rum was certifiably STILL GOOD!

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Somehow though, stumbling through this hazy and cacophonic chaos, he misinterpreted my intent, and I’ll never forget, he asked, “WELL, CAN WE DRINK IT NOW THEN?” I re-explained that my intent was to show him that I personally had duct-taped his rum-bottle secure, so that it would not soak any more of his clothing, and wanted him to know this, so that he wouldn’t suspect that somebody had tampered with it along the merry way!

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And he seemed happy enough with that.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Show common sense with parking enforcement


Twelve years ago, I was helping at a bustling Ketchum furniture store where the owner had a delivery truck. As winter approached, he asked the City authorities if he could park his truck in front of the store at night, because his space (as well as the adjoining ones) had radiant heat piped beneath; thus there was no need for the city to plow that area. Sadly, the city said no, and the owner, although he was already paying $16,000 a month rent, still had to go to great lengths to procure a less convenient overnight parking spot.

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More recently, I met a friend who has a fine store in the same Ketchum complex, and due to the nature of her business, it’s imperative that she keeps her vehicle parked within eyeshot. This usually works out well for her; however a glitch she keeps experiencing is the need to dash out every two hours to re-park her car, while in the middle of work projects. This daily unsettlement sometimes irks her, especially during months of ‘slack’ when empty spots around her business are almost always abundant.

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The worst of it is, that this constant need for her to start up her car in the two-hour zone and then re-park around the corner, spews pollution into our clean air; as the first minutes of running the engine coincides with the worst spreading of exhaust emissions. This goes totally against the grain of Ketchum’s enlightened idling ordinance and several of her business neighbors agree that in this vein, the perpetual strict enforcement of the two-hour zone law is unreasonable.

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So far, she and I have both been impressed with the diplomatic approach that the Ketchum Police Department has used to educate motorists about our idling ordinance. And while it’s already challenging enough to keep a good business running in this town, it would be refreshing to see our dedicated parking enforcement officers apply some of this same common sense to their general ordinances. We feel that if our vigilant on-the-street ambassadors offered a little leeway, while using some self-empowerment in these situations, then this would go a long way toward illuminating the welcoming nature and fine character of our hardy town.