Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Falls Church

When we finally arrived at the woodland falls, somebody had parked a Toyota there, but they weren’t around. Here, I revealed the note to my companions, but they seemed perplexed as to its meaning. I stripped myself of the extra supplies and emptied all pockets before quietly sunning on a large flat rock. This enormous rock was next to the deepest water hole and it faced perfectly into the best afternoon sun. The rock is large enough to hold one of the families we saw earlier in the day. If I become more star-savvy, perhaps one night I will lug up some simple astronomical sextants and whatnot to measure our nighttime sky from this rock to determine if it orients toward celestial noon.

I located a few sticks to throw in the water for Lucas. From previous experience, I knew he would be careful, because whenever he draws near a dangerous looking area, like the current of the cascading falls; he approaches very tentatively, sometimes waiting for the stick to float upstream to come into easy grasp. After a while, he got used to the slippiness and saw that if he tiptoed across the moss carefully, it was probably safe to pull a thrown stick from any area of the falls where we played.

After splashing around downstream for a while, I finally submitted to the deep immersion. “Cold!” I cried aloud, while quickly bobbing back to the surface. Reflecting above the water, I wondered what the enduring waterfall here looks like in winter. I thought again about the note and remembered that Wildhorse is where; two decades ago, Marcus shot a Mountain Lion with small ears. They attributed the small ears to the coldness and the fact that the Mountain Lion wintered in an area where it sometimes reaches forty-below. The cutting frostbite, shortened the Cougar’s extremities at its ears, and shaved some length off its tail.

I baptized myself in the water two more times. The third time Lucas came over with a high look of concern to ensure I was okay. This reminded me of a time when Maddie-Lou did the same thing at these very falls and pawed at me while my head was underwater. It was a very sentimental moment for me again, as I had been talking about Maddie with Laura only days before at Shorty’s Diner, where a deep sadness came upon me as Laura spoke Maddie’s name aloud. Her words made me think about Maddie-Lou and Dartmoore and the wonderful lives they led.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Advice from Pythagoras

Do not eat the black-tailed fish

Avoid the flesh of animals that die on their own

Do not polish a seat with oil

Never speak when facing the sun

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Law of the jungle



Nature tries hard. I was watching a black ant drag a flake of oatmeal through blades of grass at an alpine lake last weekend, thinking what a hero the little guy was going to be when he got home, when it occurred to me how much junk I had to carry to survive for a few days in the wilderness.

A few weeks ago a series of aerial photographs were sent around the world showing a small clan of "uncontacted" natives living in the rainforest of South America who continue to live independently of the modern world, without drug stores, shopping malls or movie stars. A similar group of aboriginals, the Jawara, were photographed by rescue planes above the Andaman Islands south of India after the devastating tsunami of 2004.

Unlike the needy and malnourished millions at the bottom of the first world pecking order, these fourth world people resist outside help, usually shooting arrows at the airplanes flying over them. Do these people know something we don't?

An estimated 500 uncontacted tribes numbering about 100,000 live very much off-the-grid around the world today, relying on an intimate knowledge of, and interaction with, their environments to survive. The mere existence of these people reminds me that we are all very much a part of the natural world. Their animistic belief systems often attribute living, conscious qualities to the forces of nature, and provide myths to explain the interactions of creatures within the jungle. Scientists do this too, in their own way, pushing forward the frontier of conscious understanding with each generation. Some of them see a hidden wisdom in the natural world.

NASA scientist James Lovelock first presented the Gaia Hypothesis in the 1960s, which holds that the living matter of the Earth (everything from ants and plants, to bacteria and humans) functions like one enormous, self-regulating organism. Lovelock's theory places humanity with thousands of other life forms as an unwitting constituent of a larger intelligence, far beyond our own. Branded a neo-pagan weirdo by the biological science community early on, Lovelock's ideas are gaining momentum in an academic world, which is rapidly becoming more interdisciplinary.

Just as Lovelock crossed the boundary between biology and metaphysics, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson joined biology and sociology (sociobiology) to find scientific reasons for human belief systems. He began by studying the lowly ant, which he said outweighs humans in terms of body mass on the planet, and performs vital chemical reactions which make life as we know it possible.

Wilson came to believe that humans, like ants, are genetically designed to live within natural limits. It is becoming increasingly obvious that those limits are directly related to reduced energy use and consumption of natural resources, family planning, and cooperation among societies, rather than competition.

Now that both the educated and the chic are falling all over one another to be greener than the next, perhaps we should contemplate the lifestyle of those last remaining landlords of the jungle and start shooting some arrows of our own at the bad ideas thrown at us by the advertising machines of our post modern age.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Galena cell tower would have offered great benefits

A friend brought it to my attention that some of the people, who adamantly wrote against any positive aspects of cell phone use in our Sawtooth National Recreation Area and surrounding region, and who won't buy a phone on principal, think it's perfectly OK to borrow other people's phones to make their important calls.
Something else that's not being talked about much is that some people in small Idaho communities still unsecured by cell towers hesitate to speak their true feelings out of fear of being shunned--or worse--by the prevailing Flintstone-aged attitudes of their townspeople.
In one community, this fever reached such a high chirping pitch that even a physician went on public record to speak out against cell phone towers. So far, though, I have not heard any police or emergency medical technicians make convincing arguments about how the potential unsightliness of Galena's cell tower--or any other tower--would outweigh its multitude of benefits.
Some naysayers worry about how the safety beacon on the hill might smear the landscape if pine beetles munch their way over Alexander Ross' ancient pass. If this does happen, it is actually one more reason to install a cell tower on that exact spot, as it will have then become more avalanche-prone in this dangerous area where young sports-enthusiasts have already lost their lives after needlessly suffering because of extended communication delays.
Another anti-cell tower argument is that telephonic technology will soon orient towards satellites, which will render cell towers obsolete. However, what happens when a satellite goes defunct; locks up, or is shot down by our enemies? In the eventual likelihood of one of those events, wouldn't most people hope that we had the foresight to construct a dynamic back-up plan?
Cell towers should complement satellite technology and vice-versa. When we develop an innovative device that operates off both of these great technologies, that's the kind I want. And no matter what the cost, I will happily share my unlimited cell-minutes with any party that comes up against sudden unexpected distress, in our attractive SNRA, when we finally implement the enlightenment of cell phone service here.



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Saturday, July 12, 2008


A Summer Guide for Sun Valley

Editor-in-Chief Michael Ames talks about the summer edition of the Sun Valley Guide & the issues concerning the Wood River Valley.


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Andrew Ross Sorkin, the Chief Mergers and Acquisitions reporter for the New York Times, sat down with Plum to talk about who's who in today's business world, as well as the up and coming "it" boys of tomorrow.


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In Memory of Cristina Reed

I found it shocking to hear that on July 4, Cristina Reed decided to plunge to her death by leaping off the Perrine Bridge and into the Snake River . Although I only knew Cristina from delivering her products, while I was a cab driver, the kindness she exuded towards those of us living on the edge of society became legendary. For some reason she strongly identified with us. Without question, Cristina was our best customer and most generous tipper and for years after I ended my brief taxicab stint, the drivers occasional mentioned that her sincere kindheartedness never waned.

Another reason that Cristina’s death hits home so hard; is that back in 2006, I sent in a well-received suggestion to the Idaho Department of Transportation, regarding the importance of considering a feasibility study for improving suicide prevention measures on this very same bridge.

Writing the above linked letter was literally a dizzyfying experience. Halfway through it, I had to pause to catch my breath, and stood up to walk around and regain my bearings. Finding yourself up on that high bridge to imagine what is flashing through a troubled person’s mind can be electrifying and intensely sad. I wonder what other writers’ feel, when they report on horrific stories like this.

When I was a newspaperman, the chief editor explained why we sometimes go into detail, when a distraught person decides to end their life and it doesn’t go off exactly as planned. As hard as it is for that person’s family to hear, by reporting on the extended pain they felt, crawling with a broken back below a cliff, or suffering in a crippling death swim beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, may prevent other distraught people from making the same rash decision.

In addition, when someone shoots themselves in the head, we name it “self-inflicted gunshot” rather than suicide, since they might have changed their mind at the last millisecond, but too late because they already pulled the trigger. By the same token, in SFGate’s seven-part Lethal Beauty series; some of the jumpers who decided to take the drastic plunge off the Golden Gate, and actually survived, say that as soon as they jumped, they gained a completely new perspective, by realizing it was the wrong decision and that none of the problems in their life could have been that bad compared to this brand new problem.

Back to Cristina and the cab service: I remember those hard November days of slack when the evenings were so slow we would wish for any type of call, to make a couple of three bucks to relieve our cursed tedium. Then Cristina would sometimes ring our dispatcher to become our savior. For her friends, she sometimes enjoyed ordering a wine, called Chalk-Hill Chardonnay. I believe it was around 27 bucks or so, back then at the Circle K. It was the most expensive wine they carried. Once, while delivering a bottle, a friend of hers, sensed my curiosity, as Cristina went downstairs to retrieve her purse, and the friend remarked that yes, deep down Cristina was an extremely kind person.

Those Chalk-Hill experiences left enough of an impression, that a few years later, when climbing Mount Borah, I secretly packed along a jug, lugged it up the steep hill and hid it among some glacial-like ice, beneath a long gnarled tree stump, below Chicken-Neck Ridge. During the return from our victorious summit, I surprised my co-hikers, by revealing the perfect-temperature bottle and ceremoniously whisked it from a vortex beneath the ancient log.

It was such a good experience that even now I can still taste that everlasting wine on my buds. And since we never proposed a toast that day on our way down from Idaho’s tallest peak, I would now like to dedicate that precious moment in our hike posthumously to a wonderful woman that so many of her friends and family must now miss –Cristina Reed.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


URL: http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=127094

Posted By: Rayelan
Date: Saturday, 28 June 2008, 10:23 p.m.

Over the years I have read many articles about the ability of
the dark force to enslave souls and force them into "slave bodies"
lifetime after lifetime. I think we have all seen or read science
fiction films and/or books that talk about souls being kept in jars,
space ships, and other holders that hold them in prison until they are
punished enough or cycled back into a slave colony.

The day Tim Russert died I had a dream that was so profoundly
disturbing to me that I quickly forgot all about it...

I had the dream the day he died. I didn't remember the dream
until the next day... Saturday, the 14th.

Guraded Optimist posted some thoughts on the death of Russert in
our Lounge. It was while I was adding some comments to what G.O. had
written that I remembered the dream I had.

I had the dream about 5pm on Friday the Thirteenth, the day that
Tim Russert died. Tim had been in Rome with his wife and son. He and his
family had had a private meeting with Pope Benedict. He flew back to the
US at about the same time that Pope Benedict and President Bush were
meeting... leaving his wife and son in Italy.

He died later that morning of a sudden heart attack. A heart
attack is one of the easiest ways to get rid of someone without leaving
a trace. The substance that caused the heart attack disappears within
hours. By the time the ER doctors stop trying to revive the person and
the autopsy is conducted, there is nothing left to find.

Here is what I posted in the Lounge. I left the top part, which
was a reply to G.O. in place. G.O. comments are below mine:

Russert had a private meeting with Pope Benedict while
Benedict was here in the United States... (with 10 others from a
Catholic College that gave Russert an honerary degree) --

Russert had lobbied to be included in the meeting. Wolf
Blitzer, who grew up in Buffalo as did Russert, was also at the
meeting... Blitzer said that Russert was just like a kid waiting to see
his first movie star.

Russert was a devote Catholic and he loved Pope Benedict.

The fact that he dies today... on Friday the 13th... is so

Unless someone knew that Russert would be the one that Pope
Benedict would go to for an IMPORTANT interview...

when the time was right for B to say whatever he is going to
tell us.

I am not sure that any other interviewer could have had
the reverence for the position of Pope and the trust of the American
people that Russert had.

I was called to "nap" the afternoon that Russert died...
what I mean by that is I had an overwhelming feeling that I had to lie
down and sleep. In the past when I have had these "nap attacks",
something amazing has always happened. I have learned to heed my "nap
attacks" and lie down immediately.

I lay down and was asleep in seconds. This never happens
except when I have a "nap attack".

While I was asleep I saw the soul of Russert.


Below is what G.O. wrote that caused me to remember the dream about Tim.

He was a golden light about 5 feet high or higher... and two feet wide.

I saw him float into an old decaying tree that had fallen in a forest.

He started getting smaller and smaller until he was small enough to curl up in the rings of the tree.

The moment Tim was completely curled up in the tree and had stopped moving, the tree began to petrify.

At that moment, I knew that Tim was being "jailed" for something... and I KNEW that it was the bad guys who were jailing him. They knew that he had the ability to communicate with those of us on earth and they didn't want to take the chance that people on earth might just believe what he was telling people.

In a frantic voice I yelled at him... "No... you can't do that. You have to wake up. You have to stay with us and fight. Get out of that tree now."

At first he didn't budge. The tree kept petrifying. I knew I had to wake him up and get him out of there before he was trapped forever. I yelled at him again and again. I sounded like a shrew screeching at him. I kept this up for an indefinite amount of time.... screaming and yelling that he still had important work to do.

Finally I saw him get out of the tree and resume his full golden soul body.

For some reason I told him there were millions of people that he could influence or even work through. I told him that now he really knows the truth and he has to REPORT it from the other side.

Did I really talk to Tim Russert's soul???

As soon as it was all over, I awoke with a start... I remembered everthing completely... but for some reason... as soon as I awoke and remembered it... I forgot all about it until right now.... (Saturday, 14 June 2008, 12:04 a.m)

Added comments today... June 28, 2008:

There hasn't been one day since I had this dream that I haven't remembered it in it's entirety.

The dream was so very vivid. For the next few days I had the feeling that Tim was with me. He was devastated that he died. It was sudden. It was NOT planned. AND... it was NOT on his schedule. He had so much MORE work to do on earth!! At least those were the thoughts I was picking up from him.

During this time, I was in what I referred to as my dark night of the soul. I mentioned this "dark night of my soul" on June 20th, in this post.


I had been immersed in blackness for almost a week at the time I posted the above information. I still don't know what I was going through that made me feel so hopeless for so many days.

I am still not completely out of this black hole I am in and I still don't know if it relates to the tremendous grief Tim Russert felt at being knocked out of life when he had so much to live for.... or if it relates to my own financial problems and knowing that if a miracle doesn't happen in my life soon, that RMN and all the rest of the work I have poured my life into... may not be around.

I don't know. I think many of us are in transition right now. For some, the transition is major... for others... like me... it's about losing things that are only things... houses... credit cards... businesses. We are all going through it. Isn't it wonderful that we are all going through it together so we have each other to lean on???

One last thought... I wrote about the smell of death that I started smelling about the same time that Tim Russert died.


I do not know if the smell of death has any connection to my dream or to the black hole I have been going through. I do know that it hasn't made this time any easier for me.

Below is what G.O. wrote that caused me to remember the dream about Tim.


: http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=126147

: We may have to wait until some of Raye's sources step forward
: and offer some hints and clues. In the meantime: 1. There
: are many ways to induce a heart attack and leave no traces.
: Many are convinced J. Edgar Hoover and many others died of
: an induced attack. During the 1970's, it became a joke that
: so many people were dying of heart attacks that the CIA
: must have killed them. Are we going back to those days?
: Again, may be too early to know.

: 2. Tim Russert was a Catholic and a Jesuit. Bush and the Pope
: were to meet at the Tower of St. John this day. Russert was
: known to Bush, and presumably to the Pope also. A message
: to both men in relation to their meeting today?

: 3. This being Friday the 13th, also 13 is a key Masonic
: number. Some have been predicting negative vibes for this
: day and for a number of days afterward.

: 4. Russert had some connection with the percolating Valerie
: Plame situation, which some of us thought might eventually
: unseat Cheney and/or Bush. Russert testified during one of
: the Plame-related trials.

: 5. Last year, when Don Imus got angry on the air about the
: medical treatment of our injured troops returning from
: Iraq, and then threatened to bring out secrets he knew
: about 9/11, the person he said that to was -- Tim Russert.

: 6. Falling cranes in Dallas and Arlington, Texas (to the
: Dallas Cowboys) the past two days seemed to be harbinger of
: assassination or death. Dallas echoes of JFK, and Arlington
: echoes of the famous DC cemetary.

: 7. Is Russert's death also a warning to other prominent
: journalists and politicians to watch their steps, or else?

: At the moment, I can't offer much else. But things aren't
: stacking up too well over here about this untimely death.

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