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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Rock
(from Pale Rider)

I know about where it is 
this big rock with a 
candy vein of gold in it 
scintillating under the stars
*
I want to find this Idaho Sword of Shannara 
and lay me down under the silver fruit 
Press the gold of my ear to the vibration 
to sense if I can detect the echo of 
when Lurch -or was it Jaws? 
Split this baby in half 
with an old 1863 hickory stick sledgehammer
*
Yepperdoodle 
I’ll bend up over the hill tonite 
a-foot 
too itchy and scratchy for a truck in that rough spot 
to see if I can’t see how these hills have changed
*
Yeah that’s it 
I’ll pack up the DVD player 
better bring a spare battery juice-pack 
Cause it’s cold in those Idaho hills 
I’ll freeze frame on the DVD 
sections of Mountains in that backdrop 
and compare it to our current status
*
I think of the nameless preacher in the movie 
and for some reason the Beatles real nowhere man 
jangles my juices like Satchel Paige on opening day
*

On spectacular evenings like these 
Sometimes it feels like we’ll still be standing strong 
long after these hills have fast eroded away

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lower speed limit was safer

After nearly being side-swiped by a cement truck barreling unbalanced down Highway 75 in a recent rainstorm, I thought about how the speed limit for this widened stretch is being raised and considered this teetering ‘near-miss’ a bad omen.

Equally unsettling were the reactions of two motorists who decided to speed up and buzz by the hydroplaning truck as it overcorrected, and then almost toppled over on them as they passed in the slick right lane. I suspect that these law-bending speeders are part of the majority who were ignoring the limits anyway; which is a major reason why the Idaho Transportation Department decided give up on its prudent attempt to keep the speed lower and us safer.

The area near the hospital is well known as an active wildlife corridor, and raising the limit there goes against the grain of an insightful WRHS applied physics class study on the effects of vehicle collisions with wildlife at 45 mph versus 55 mph.


Moreover, motorists turning left into traffic now need to cross over an additional lane before merging.


Sadly, it's easy to predict that bad vehicle crashes will likely increase when the highway soon turns icy and numerous motorists continue to show a lack of respect toward the speed limit. And since Idaho is a state without annual vehicle safety inspections for tires brakes and steering systems some of the same people who pay little heed to basic traffic rules on treacherous roads probably will be piloting vehicles that are not even roadworthy for new season. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015




Transporting this symbolic hydrant to the Animal Shelter new office reminded me of my Falls Church Water days: One cold winter night while on call, someone had driven their sedan around a corner too fast, slipped on the ice and knocked over a hydrant so it was spurting water into the sky just like in the movies. Luckily, I arrived quick enough to locate the shut-off valve before it froze over; but after I turned it off, the strange thing was, was that nobody was around.
The vehicle was wedged over the hydrant, and inspecting the scene closer, it appeared as though they had tried to drive away, but could not get it unhooked from the spouting hydrant. I wondered if they had been met by an ambulance, but then a police officer came by and said that that was not the case. We saw quite a few beer cans crushed in the back seat, and later I learned that the owner of the car called the police a few hours later to report his car stolen. The police invited him down to fill out a report in person; but apparently he never showed - probably in fear of being criminally charged with filling out a false police report.

Never did learn how the owner finally got his damaged car back, or if he ever did.