Thursday, December 4, 2008

Elaborations on vision for Statewide Movie Signage proposal

When ITD amended the Wood River Mines sign to include a tribute to Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider it was not as much as we had hoped, however, they did recognize the historical significance of the movie. From my previous experience with Idaho Transportation Department personnel, I sense they have some technologically savvy leaders aboard who embrace innovativeness, and would likely be open to a proposal that better honors Idaho films.

We should start with a prototype interactive movie sign, sticking with Pale Rider. After developing it, we then present it to ITD and the Idaho Historical Commission; perhaps even the governor. Besides the gimmick, I suggested earlier, by utilizing Clint Eastwood’s stern voice; we could design the sign to be vandalism resistant. Although millions of tourists have driven by the mountain goat observation telescopes near the same highway area as our proposed Pale Rider tribute, those instruments have been left mostly unscathed, since installed a decade ago. Interactive kiosks featuring short movie clips, designed in a similarly excellent manner, would automatically gain respect from most passerby. An editor I spoke with recently mentioned that arts and humanities grants are readily available to help jumpstart such projects.

Although Idaho faces a budget shortfall, I strongly believe this is the kind of project we need to embrace to enrich Idaho’s future. The team at the Idaho Film Bureau is already aiming to do this, albeit on a larger scale. Although I’ve lived here 16 years, I’m unsure whether Idaho has a technological czar or anything like that. If not, maybe the governor should consider appointing one, along with a research and development team.

Once we install the first interactive sign, we should have a press release. The movie industry will take note and want more of the same. This might be all we need for the project to take on a life of its own. Once the movie signage proposal merges better with Idaho’s already successful Historical Signage program, we can enhance its evolution by doing several things. For one, the film bureau could develop a ‘donate to your favorite movie’ button on their website. Idaho’s Historical Society, Transportation Department and The Internet Movie Data Base ought to consider a similar donation option. After reading a few items about Idaho movies, some fanzines will likely find themselves wanting to contribute to a cool commemoration. Another timely follow-up would be to commission someone to write a guidebook to Idaho movies, including a map of the landmarks. The signs themselves could direct film buffs to other nearby movie signs.

If this highway project takes off, eventually the Idaho Tourism Bureau could develop Idaho or Northwest movie tour packages, including visits to movies under production. After tourists enjoy brief clips or holograms of the movie near the same site where it was filmed, an educated tour guide could speak more about the movie and answer questions. Questions and answers could also be programmed into the interactive signs, along with a suggestion box that sends e-mails to the pertinent film bureau manager, etc.

Anyhow, these are some more of my random thoughts, regarding the Statewide Highway Movie proposal. I hope that we’ll have some more to follow soon.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"The Only Tough Part about Having To Film in Idaho Is When You Have To Leave" (Clint Eastwood)

Enlightening Eastwood’s Pale Rider

With a Statewide Movie Signage Proposal

By Jim Banholzer

With special lights from Brad Nottingham & Professor Tom Trusky

Watching Clint Eastwood movies, particularly his well-crafted Westerns are almost like enrapturing religious experiences for some big screen buffs. Each of his movies project priceless lessons, even when he portrays an antagonist, such as the callous elephant hunter in White Hunter, Black Heart. Astoundingly enough, Clint filmed much of Pale Rider right here in Idaho, with a theme as ageless as the Boulder Mountains. Clint plays a nameless preacher protecting a poor prospecting town from a gang of ruffians sent by a greedy mining corporation, to intrude on their claim. This striking film, the first of Clint’s that he produced, was created in 1984 around Boulder City north of Ketchum and over by the Vienna Mine near Smiley Creek. Pale Rider was the predecessor to Clint’s 1992 Academy award-winning gem, Unforgiven.

Each time I watch Pale Rider, I focus on the recognizable background terrain, sometimes freezing specific frames to find my way around the mountains. As my friend Brad Nottingham was a local then, he reminds us, “For Pale Rider, there were some filming issues evident in the film as you see it today, which brought comment: it was filmed in our typically beautiful late Indian summer, and some of the riding scenes were filmed just before and after an unpredictable early season snow, which frosted the upper parts of the ranges, while quickly melting off the lower elevations. As a film viewer, a period of time that seemed to be about a week, appeared to toggle from summer to winter, which brought some criticism, I remember, but any of us mountain folk wouldn't give it a second thought.
In addition, Clint made tremendous effort to restore the site that was disturbed by the building fronts, construction crew, and later the feet pounding of the actors and production crew on the little ridge and river drainage near the quaking aspen groves. Winter seemed to come quickly that year and for a bunch of us, it was hard to spot evidence of the film set trampling that next spring, though we tried. We also tried to find some kind of film crew item or something. Lon and I located "the rock" that one of the miners was chipping on in an early scene from the film.
When it finally came out, Pale Rider sort of stunned people, because it was a break from the Eastwood tradition. He played an even quieter, low-key character, and I remember people being confused about connecting a "preacher" role to him. Others, expecting the active dashing and violent Dirty Harry traditions found this movie kind of slow and spacey, features I didn't mind at all this time. I just soaked in the scenery that I knew was almost in my backyard. I had driven my old Buick Wagon up there, and forded the rocky river crossing half a dozen times, hiking up to some of the "real" old mining cabins and diggings.
Soon afterward, a local man,
David Butterfield had us typeset and produce an exhausting field guide to good locations across Idaho, including information about accommodations, prices, in order to drum up more filmmaking interest from Hollywood. After the book was published, I remember that there wasn't much response, until the Bruce Willis engine began churning up sleepy Hailey in the 90s. I still have not rented that weird, forgotten-about movie (Town & Country (2001)) filmed in Bellevue that included Warren Beatty that had a fly-fishing connection, nor the one about Hemingway, but I did see that odd Twin Falls picture(Breakfast of Champions (1999)) that Willis was working on when his marriage to Demi was fast unraveling.”

While reading Brad’s insights, it occurred to me that the filming of this motion picture was a significant enough event that we should commemorate it with a historical sign. Folks at The Idaho Transportation Department were receptive to this idea and revised the Wood River Mine sign to include such a tribute.

While relaying this information to Boise State University English Professor Tom Trusky, head of the Idaho Film Collection, Tom became enthusiastic about the Pale Rider tribute and expanded the idea with a “Statewide Movie Signage Proposal”. To quote Professor Trusky, “The tourist / publicity value of such signage is apparent – and locals might appreciate such knowledge, too, if they are unaware of their cinematic heritage. As well, given the recent interest in bringing film production to the state, such signage would not only be public acknowledgement of Idaho’s considerable contribution to the film industry but also serve as a reminder to contemporary filmmakers of the Gem State possibilities.”

Although we now face uncertain economic times, and are unsure where money will come from to fix and maintain highways, it would be nice when better times arrive, if the Idaho Department of Transportation expands Tom’s Statewide Movie Signage Proposal. By merging the information superhighway with our back road signage, Idaho could show the world how we stand proudly on the cutting edge, as well as being able to cut through bureaucracy.

As technological capabilities continue to advance in affordable ways, it would be uplifting to see Idaho embrace the techno generation by attaching to our already successful historical signage program, interactive items. For instance, when traveling up Highway 75 past the North Fork Store, when reaching the perimeter of interest where Marilyn Monroe starred in Bus Stop, we could make an alert available for interested traveler’s digital devices. A short holographic film of Marilyn hypnotically dancing with a billowing skirt on driver’s dashboards would keep dozing dad’s chipper and alert, lending to driver safety. Then, for the next fistful of history, when reaching Pale Rider’s Phantom Hill, the sound of bullets whizzing by your ear could be the subsequent alert. After a quick Galena Lodge pit stop for perusal over photographs rich with Idaho’s silver history, proprietors of the Sawtooth Valley could smilingly profit by making related material available to satisfy recently whetted traveler appetites. Eventually, we could develop inexpensive solar powered information kiosks for these pullout areas. Our transportation department’s research and development teams could even further engineer the signposts to include emergency communication devices. A camera-eye imbedded within the untouchable hologram could thwart vandals and when tampering is detected, and could be programmed to announce in Clint Eastwood’s best stern voice, “Go ahead! Make my day! Because you are now being filmed by an interactive sign commemorating Idaho Films!” Stranded drivers in remote areas where cell phones don’t work could come to know these signposts as secure places. Drivers passing the Pale Rider signpost might even be inspired to take after the nameless preacher’s lead to assist marooned travelers.

Certainly, ITD already has some technologically savvy leaders aboard. This is the third time I have had a positive experience with ITD leadership, which leads me to believe they embrace innovativeness in their daily working environment. I hope that someday soon, these leaders will advance these landmark ideas past the incubation stage to show how signpost pullouts can transformed into something that truly enhances our Idaho landscape.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You can read more of Brad Nottingham’s insights on the “good guys” in the Idaho Film Archive on Pale Rider: http://www.boisestate.edu/hemingway/film.htm

Complete text here:

http://privateidahoconversationleague.blogspot.com/2008/03/brad-nottinghams-pale-rider-memories.html

Lastly a related poem:

The Rock

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

Original URL for Enlightening Eastwood story:

http://greenvanholzer.blogspot.com/2007/04/enlightening-eastwoods-pale-rider-by.html

Footnote: Soon after posting the earlier missive to my personal blog, I noticed that it was getting twice as many visits as the rest of my stories combined. About a year ago, Dave Worrall from the U.K. contacted me and mentioned he is working on a book for Solo Publishing about Clint Eastwood’s Westerns and was looking for some old photos of the Boulder City territory. After we exchanged a few e-mails, including a photo of the Wood River Mines sign, I suggested that he subtitle his book “Clint Eastwood = Old West Action” since they are anagrams of each other. Furthermore, with a little photoshopping, he could design the equals-sign to resemble a smoking rifle barrel!

Footnote 2: With the Senate recently passing a bill, to create a fund to offer incentives to film movies and TV shows within the state, and with the newly created Idaho Film Bureau ready to offer these incentives, perhaps portions of this funding could help with such a program. Maybe the Idaho Film Bureau could even ask for donations on their website, from those who have favorite Idaho movies and would like to see those specific movies commemorated in such fashion, as the next logical step in the popular Idaho Highway Historical Marker program.

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Half-thought out wars constitute horn-honking emergencies

The Raging Ferndale Grannies are a Michigan group of grandmothers who have been feverishly protesting our wars. While standing out on street corners, they hold up signs that say, “Honk if you are against the war, etc”

However, in some areas they came up against horn-honking laws, so the wise elders edited their signs to read:

Don’t

Honk if

You are

Against

Wars!

This new peace-seeking missive resulted with even more people honking their horns.

Whereas attuned law enforcers say that horns should be honked for emergency purposes only, I couldn’t agree more; and what bigger emergency is there now, than what we face, with heavy cost of our troops hopelessly quagmired overseas?

Therefore, rather than being given citations for disturbing the peace, the devoted Raging Granny Ferndale protestors led by Nancy Goedert should be given commendations for promoting peacefulness, with their diligent efforts to awaken us about how we’ve been wrongly ‘war shipping’ our good mother earth.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Good poems Haiku

Good poems were not meant

To stay in the top seed drawer

No, they should be shared

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Haiku for Tammy's dog

Coffee Cloud Connection

It quite stunned me when

I saw your dog dash out of

The rainbow, not so

Lost in space, soaking

On the corner of West Croy &

River Street mud cakes

Reflecting puddles

Where a friend saw, you dip-ping

Ov’r united with

Slow section of the

Waterfall, which reminded

Me of my own Tinker

South’rn Belle w/ mystic

Beasts of the sea, future like

And past grasping at

Silly straws in chorus;

You see these hot dogs wag off

On great adventures

When they scent its ov’r

Almost on this sanctified

Earthly seaplane plunge

Yet quite tethered too

The vast enduring unknown

Smile from colorful

Connection was you

Ov’r backstreet clouds wisping gray

Vimana cloaked blinds

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

I wonder what percentage of Pythagoreans would have laughed at the old Woody Allen joke, “I was talking with Isosceles the other day about an idea for a new triangle.” It’s best told by substitute math instructors who don lively Copernicus costumes in efforts to hold class attention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa's_Substitute

A good example of underlying mathematical patterns of harmonious music reflecting an inner harmony of the spheres is here:

http://privateidahoconversationleague.blogspot.com/2007/09/harmonics-salt-on-vibrating-table.html

Regarding our outer spheres: science currently has offered limited elucidation for why certain radio waves become disrupted when specific planets conjunct. Not only that; but also, some sky-watchers religiously claim that we are receiving voices from the heavens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGeWBiLVn8g

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Newly discovered newsblog

Inside Today's 6 News; The News Director's Blog





http://blogs.kivitv.com/inside_todays_6_news_the_/

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The Statesman should test market edible information products

After delivering millions of sometimes-bland newspapers, I finally came up with a recipe ripe to compete with the Internet; via products you can simply eat, rather than wastefully toss out or recycle:

Start out small, like at the food mall, and then mix nutritious soy based ink with cellulose news columns. Wrap into hermetically sealed rice paper, stuffed with ads. Organically orient the A Section to include everyman’s essential waking vitamins, with a whiff of caffeine providing the Buzz for B. In winter, Lifestyles could supply Vitamin C, to lick the dark.

Occasionally articles come along that are so well written, such as Zimo’s Overlooked diving ducks, that they don’t need extra spices to whet readers hardy appetites.

To alleviate rogue dogs from snatching the tasty wraps from the ground, require home subscribers to maintain a sanitary Statesman box, modified in the form of a child’s toy oven. When neighbors see subscribers pull out steamingly nutritious news wraps, they, too, will greatly desire your munchable broadsheets.

Your first edible edition could proudly proclaim, “Newspaper naysayers eat their words.” To prove this is not a half-baked idea, you could swiftly upgrade your Internet version to include text-message toast. (This is credible)

P.S. When the day comes that you can strengthen your rice paper by bonding it with edible hemp fibers; that too, will be a newsworthy event unto itself.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Well View

Gee, ever since a handful of vacationers bought second homes in Bellevue, they have become quite uppity down there. Next thing you know, they will pass a pallet ordinance, to inspect everyone’s 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_Month=10&var_Day=31

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 closer 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?

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 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.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

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.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

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

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

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.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

I have a Disc-Golf Dream

By Jim Banholzer

Men spend their time in following a ball or a hare; it is the pleasure even of kings. - Blaise Pascal - The Penses: 141

Ever since my friend Colt - who we sometimes call the Dick Fosbury of Disc Golf - turned me on to the sport two decades ago by showing me some thrilling trick shots, I felt that Disc Golf was going to have a great future, perhaps someday even evolving into an Olympic demonstration sport.

For those who don’t know much about Disc Golf, and would like to learn more; perusing through a few linked websites is informative; while even more instructive are several in-depth YouTube demonstrations. A common theme is that courses can be found in almost every city, with the majority accessible at no cost. Unfortunately, our area of Idaho is one of the rare exceptions. The good news for disc-enthusiasts, though, is that this could soon change, with a recent Sun Valley Online poll indicating that our community has more than a passing interest in the inventive sport.

The inexpensiveness of installing and maintaining disc golf courses makes a good argument for more recreation districts, schools and cities to embrace and construct them. A new disc-golf course would greatly complement our other excellent recreational amenities, especially our destination skateboard parks, to which world-class athletes have already flown for the singular purpose of using.

Most Disc Golf courses are wheelchair friendly, while injuries are seldom. The receptacle baskets are designed, so you can easily move them out of the way when multipurpose field needs arise. The baskets also lock down onto non-protruding metal bases to prevent theft. You can even shift the poles into different positions to avert soil erosion and to make the courses more interesting. Seeing that this sport attracts users of all ages, our abundance of public lands, should offer plenty of options for courses where kids in their single digits could share lighthearted smiles, alongside easygoing Idaho old-timers.

A few years ago, some outdoor disc fans cobbled together a makeshift course up Ohio Gulch. However, a Bureau of Land Management agent soon informed the players that they needed a permit to continue and the course was dismantled. It could be that a few bad apples here ruined a good thing, but I don't know the full story. For a while, there was talk of procuring a permit, with the BLM officer offering advice, but then those efforts seemed to float away. It would be interesting to hear from any readers linked with that course.

We local disc-golf-enthusiasts should be able to map out a handful of potential sites and then present our case to the relevant authorities. If the permit-issuing powers-that-be are indecisive, we could ask them to allow a demonstration course and then let the public use it for a season, before gathering more useful public input.

It would be nice so see us lay out some snowshoe disc-golf courses around South Idaho this winter. Perhaps we could start with a prototype in the wide-open area by Billy's Bridge. This would require taller poles, especially in years when local bees build higher nests in anticipation of heavy snows.

Other appealing sites that visionary disc golf aficionados have suggested for potential courses are:

The area upstream from Magic Reservoir

Picabo Desert near the lone water hazard

Between the two remote East Fork Campgrounds

Area by the new Woodside Park

Some of the airport sites not chosen for the new airport.

Near the Galena Lodge or Tornock yurts

By the Wildhorse Canyon campgrounds, working your way up to the secret waterfalls, with hole-18 behind the widest fall.

Pole Creek drainage, over by Smiley Creek

Frisbee disc golf courses have flourished in most areas, so why not here? Although I have not yet achieved a hole in one, I sometimes daydream that soonafter we christen a new course here, my friend Colt will witness me score my first Idaho Ace. Chances are though, that this will be flipped the other way around, as he once attained 17 under par, at Virginia’s challenging Burke Lake course.

~ ~ ~

Footnote: Soonafter writing the above, I was able to get in contact with some authorities well versed in how permit processes for projects like this usually work. They reminded me, that a proposal like this in the SNRA (as with the recent Galena Cell Tower efforts) would likely run up against a great deal of bureaucratic red tape. Although, I was looking forward to using my multifaceted cell phone to keep score on a Billy’s Bridge snowshoe course; it probably makes more sense to kickoff a disc-golf project in a recreational area that is openly trying to attract more park-goers, such as Woodside’s brand new Keefer Park.

This sounds like an excellent place to begin shifting this idea past its long incubation stage. So stay tuned to this channel, for more disc golf news. And thanks again Sun Valley Online for your insightful poll!

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