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Racewalking In Pocatello Idaho With Wi-Fi — Same Same

March 18th, 2018 · Tags:Cities · Coffee Shops · Hotels · Satire · Sports · Uncategorized · Wi-Fi



It’s one of the more common themes in Sci-Fi — the parallel universe — a place where everything you know exists but everything is different.

Ha!   Well, I experienced a little PU in my hotel room the other night in Pocatello, Idaho.  It’s a long story …

The disaster team, traveling on what I call “The Dirty Gig,” arrived in Pocatello to work on a small fire at a food processing plant.  Our lodging this time is at the local Hampton Inn.  Not bad.

When I arrived, some small necessity was missing from my room.  The front desk attendant quickly delivered the washcloth, or whatever … and left.  However, she detected something wrong with the door lock and before I knew it, there was a hotel manager and a fix-it man at my door, replacing the dead bolt.  Cool.  Such service.

Next, the manager stopped me in the hall and gave me a gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant.  Wow.  So nice.

A few days later, I decide to test their hospitality a little more.  The hotel had cleared out, and there had to be lots of rooms available.  I asked for a new room, with a view of the surrounding mountains, as opposed to the parking lot afforded by my second-floor room in back.  Done deal.  They not only moved me up … they really moved me up.  Upgrade.  They put me in a much nicer suite on the top floor.  The hills were now “alive with the sound of music,” so to speak.


Then it rained.  And then it snowed.

I walked across the room one morning and a big wet something hit me in the side of the face.  Did I slobber in some unknown way in my sleepy state?  Did I splash water at the sink and finally realize it was running down my cheek?  Hardly.

Looking up — because I understand how this gravity thing works — I saw a two- to three-foot soggy place in the seams of the ceiling drywall.  “We’re taking on water!”

The front desk was totally dismayed and said they would move me (move number two).  I offered to stay, if they would just fix the roof.

When I returned later, the waterfall was gone, But they moved me anyway.  Directly across the hall to a same-size suite.

Same same.

The same, except that everything was different.  Totally opposite.  Mirror-image-a-mundo.

No problem.  In time I would throw paper to the trash can on the opposite side of the room, rather than letting it hit the floor by the couch.  I would learn — rather quickly — that the hot water on the shower was in the opposite direction on the dial.  I could remember to store food in the fridge by the front door instead of the bathroom drawers.  I’m a quick learner … sort of.

The first night in this parallel universe, being a man of considerable years, I had to get up in the night.  Often I have my silliest thoughts during those half-awake moments and this night was no different.  As I stumbled toward the bathroom, it occurred to me that everything was different … “Wouldn’t it be funny if I got mixed up in the night?,” I thought as I headed toward the bathroom door.

Bang!  Just as the thought occurred, funny fruition was achieved.  Following the bathroom night light, I walked directly into the closet mirror’s reflection, face first.

But so far, all of my mishaps on The Dirty Gig have been in the hotel room … except for a minor acid burn on the wrist.  I digress …

It’s a small town, this Pocatello, but a college town all the same.  Idaho State is here.  Who knew?  I haven’t had a chance to check out any of the music events at the school, yet … but I have marveled that the activity center/athletic facility looks like a giants quonset barn. Who wouldn’t want to skip class, with these bountiful, beautiful, snow-capped mountains in an almost 360 view.



If there is nothing to do here, Facebook will keep me amused.  Like this … an old memory popped up today stating that I had posted this a few years back:  “Now hold on  there. Don’t get your huevos all rancheroed.”  What’s that all about?

The people here seem to be salt of the earth, in this hamlet just a couple of hours north of the Mormon world headquarters.  People actually move their baskets to one side of the aisle in the supermarket and say “excuse me” or “sorry” … niceties unheard of back in Fort Worth where the foodies are too busy reading EVERY LAST ingredient of their potential granola bar acquistion — before they allow it in their sissified, tiny shopping carts — unaware there are other people on the planet:)

Oh ha … back to the great service from the front desk at the hotel.  The lady said her name was Malia.  Later, as I passed through, I said, “Malia … Malia … hmmm … someone famous is named Malia … who is it?”

“Uh … Barack Obama’s daughter’s (duh),” she said, smilingly.

“No.  That’s not it,” I replied, like some old, crotchety Jewish comedian … totally pulling her leg as I headed off to work.

Malia also coordinated the installation of a microwave into my first hotel room … after a frantic call from me, as I realized my shopping cart was full of food items that required some heat.  Oh … that’s it.  The hotel staff noticed the door problem when they delivered the microwave (which was ready to go, when I returned from the store).

The Dirty Gig gang, this time, is working at a huge, modern, vegan food company’s kitchen/packing/shipping facility. — named after the founder, I suppose.  I am thinking their slogan should be “Hippie girl done good!”  … Seems to be quite successful.

To get to Pocatello, one friend and I landed in Salt Lake City … the car rental place only had a small vehicle for us … and my traveling companion, and our six or eight bags of luggage.  We asked for something that was a step up.  Ha … it was either a Dodge Ram pickup (in the rainy/snowy part of the world) or a Chevy Suburban.  “Okay, if I have to …” Pretty nice … leather seats, Bose speakers, all the latest computer niceties, and my favorite … “the butt rumbler.”  That always scares me the first time.  If you change lanes to miss something or change lanes without signaling on an empty highway, the seat vibrates the thigh to make sure the driver hasn’t fallen asleep or entered into a coma … or gotten a bit wordy as they text …  Of course, I try to set it off at regular intervals, changing lanes at will …

Hmmm … where can I find Wi-Fi?  I need to check Fred Meyers (the supermarket) for Wi-Fi.  It has everything else … since it is an early entrant into the Wal-Mart-like retail space.

Of course, there’s good old Starbucks … where I feel right at home.  On the first visit, not only did the coffee shop have a good easy chair and excellent Wi-Fi for me to assimilate, the barista had on Dallas Cowboy earrings … in Idaho!

I had a great time in the Hampton lobby watching my Texas Tech Red Raiders beat Florida and the referees in a very close game, to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s “Sweet 16” … totally blowing up everyone else’s tourney bracket, I’m sure.  Ha … there were 12-15 people watching the Gonzaga game on one screen, as I fired up TNT on the other tube to see some Guns Up March Madness.  By the end of the game, the other group was watching the Tech/Florida game as well.  You guessed it.  The multitude was yelling for the bigger-name Gators, as I pulled for the perennial underdog Techsters.  Ha … they were getting vocal, and I showed them, when I yelled out on a Zhaire Smith follow-up slam dunk! “IN YOUR …!” I taunted the group, although I generally don’t play the “yell-at-the-TV-sporting-event” game.  Serves them right for not supporting a Cinderella team that starts two freshmen stars.  I digress …

In other news, during the game, I got a Google Alert informing me that my nephew and niece made Rolling Stone Magazine with their pioneering SquareRüt Kava Bar — the very first in Texas.

SquareRüt Kava in Rolling Stone

It was a good day to ping or be pinged!

Before I headed out for the manditory photos in the surrounding mountains and somewhat dry valleys, I stopped to wash clothes.

Yes! Not only does Jag’s Laundromat on Yellowstone Avenue have Wi-Fi, it has a Harley-Davidson dealership next door.  So, you can go look at bikes during the spin cycle … cycle, get it:)

Jag’s has thought this thing through.  Unlike many retailers, the laundry has the Wi-Fi network and the passcode posted, int this case above all of the change-making machines.  It’s a great hotspot … I would say it’s about a buck twenty five on the buck seventy-five PingWi-Fi spin cycle … 6 pings, a near-perfect score.



After nearly buying a new Harley, I returned to Jag’s to throw my clothes in the dryer, when I noticed something a bit strange.  This woman was walking in fast circles around the laundromat. Was she trying to watch her clothes tumble in several different dryers around Jag’s?  Ha … no … I get it.  She was wearing a workout out sweatshirt and the obligatory black leggings or tights or whatever.  She was counting steps … exercise … racewalking around the joint to burn calories and reduce, while the dryers were shrinking her clothes.

I couldn’t resist.  The second time she passed by, I shouted out “That’s four.” She smiled and walked on.  Next time, “five.”  Next time, I threw out “seven,” just to mess with her. head  She smiled and answered, “Actually, it’s 46.” “I was close,” I threw back at her.

Clothes continued to tumble, and she powered on.



Then something magical happened.  Other people hopped up from their chairs and followed her, keeping pace, as I munched on the remainder of my Tide pod …

I told her that she was just like the Forrest Gump of laundromats … you do recall the scene where Forrest just took off running, people followed and it started a movement …

Ha … I hope she didn’t think I was implying she needed to trim her beard, as the unkept Gump did as he ran cross country … I digress …

Soon I realized the throng following her were probably her children.  As her need to walk subsided, one of the girls continued, and bless her heart she smiled at me every time she passed my silly ass.  So … I had one last joke in me.  As she continued to orbit around the Jag obstacle course, I escaped, unseen, out the side door, to the car and grabbed a bottled water.  On the next lap around I stood up, like a marathon volunteer, and handed her a bottle of water, on the go, never making her break stride.

Ha … she just smiled and said “thank you.”  Wonder if she realized I was playing 10K with her.  Ha … and I wonder if she ever saw the episode of “Seinfeld” when someone gave the runner scolding hot water.

Off to the mountains …

Know what I sayin?