I know. You’ve had it by now with Iowa caucus stories, but please tolerate just one more because it has a strange twist. It comes to me from Ed Fallon, a former Iowa state representative who ran for governor in 2006 and is now running for the U.S. House District 3 seat.
“In my caucus, a handful of Kucinich supporters were not viable,” says Ed, a Democrat. “I laid out my case why John Edwards should be their second choice. A young gal explained her rationale for Obama. After 20 minutes of haggling, a flustered Kucinichite threw up her hands and said their group would caucus for whichever candidate’s representative won a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
“So, like two gladiators, Obama’s champion and I strode forward to battle, best out of three. I’d done a lot to prepare for this year’s caucus but never imagined I’d have to hone my Rock, Paper, Scissors skills.”
Ed says youth prevailed. “I lost, but our Edwards group remained viable, and the delegates were split evenly among Clinton, Obama and Edwards.”
He adds: “Quirky stories like this are the fun stuff caucus folklore is made of.“
Breathtaking! That’s the best word I can think of to describe MacGillivray Freeman’s acclaimed film, “The Alps,” showing through May 15 on the six-story tall screen at the Putnam Museum’s IMAX Theatre (Putnam.org).
The film was screened to a select IMAX audience late last year as part of the “Everyone’s a Critic IMAX Film Series,” and I’m not surprised that it took top honors then as “QC’s Choice Film.”
“The Alps”(alpsfilm.com) tells the true story of mountaineer and journalist John Harlin III and his successful September 2005 attempt to scale the deadly North Face of the Eiger, a steep Alps peak that had taken the life of his father, mountain climbing legend John Harlin II, nearly 40 years earlier.
You’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat at this flick, often holding your breath, as Harlin III and two fellow climbers, a married couple, inch their way 6,000 feet — nearly straight up — the ice-incrusted black limestone of what may be Europe’s deadliest mountain.
You’ll witness some tense moments. One is when Harlin slips and becomes airborne for a moment before the climbers’ ropes save him from a fall to certain death.
The trio reach the top three days and two nights after starting their ascent.
The close-up shots on the big screen of this endeavor will make you feel like you’re one of the climbing team. Footage of the villages and scenery of Switzerland, where the climb takes place, sets the stage for the big adventure.
Seeing “The Alps” won’t likely make you want to take up mountain climbing as a hobby. But you’ll probably have a little more respect for those who have. And when this majestic 40-minute film is over, you might be inclined to track down a copy of Harlin’s memoir, “The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain that Killed my Father,” published last spring by Simon and Schuster.
So what are you afraid of? According to the January issue of Popular Science magazine, a survey of American adults points out that:
· 50 percent have ophiophobia, a fear of snakes.
· 36 percent have achrophobia, a fear of heights.
· 27 percent have arachnophobia, a fear of spiders.
· 18 percent have aviophobia, a fear of flying.
This is the time of year most of us look ahead. Though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because I don’t keep them, I have decided to exercise more in 2008 than I did in 2007.
My wife claims the only exercise I get right now is jumping to conclusions and flying off the handle.
But I found some other exercises I may try this year:
· Climbing the walls.
· Dragging my heels.
· Grasping at straws.
· Tilting at windmills.
· Spinning my wheels.
· Jumping the gun.
· Passing the buck.
· Kicking myself.
· Pushing my luck.
· Stretching the truth.
· Running amok.
Copyright Jan. 16, 2008. All rights reserved. This ” Everyday People” column appeared in The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa.