Wednesday, December 23, 2009

At Fred Meyer's: A plastic box for your plastic wreath...

Actually it's made of sterilite.

No I didn't see a bigger box to put all your boxed wreaths into. I guess all wreaths are now standardized in radius. Probably metric. New world order.

Fred Meyer's is a place that never fails to give me the heebeegeebees.

The place we are now in crap that should never be made, but is because Chinese slaves work cheap and we have credit cards, is a place that is beyond parody.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spokanarama drops Tiger Woods as spokesman!

This was a very difficult decision.

According to the latest CNN headline, Accenture has opted to drop Tiger Woods as their spokesman. I always look to Accenture for the latest trends in whatever it is that they do, so we were forced to follow suit.

Sorry Tiger. Personally, I like your style and Lord knows if I had your money... But what about the children who read Spokanarama? What about the golfers who never stray, yet read Spokanarama? And the pole dancers? What about them?

Initially, I thought Accenture was some sort of denture paste with a zesty flavor, but it's actually a management consulting group. In other words, I still don't know what it is that they do.

In closing, What's the difference between Santa and Tiger Woods?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sights while pedaling home this morning...

For some reason, inflatable lawn decorations never seem right, or remotely interesting, until they are deflated. And when there's more than one or two, this rule seems more solid.

Did Santa hang this elf on the marquee of his workshop as a warning to other elves? I am not sure what this elf did to warrant this penalty. Did he not want to make toys? Maybe he wanted to be a dentist. Obviously a misfit.

Notice the plumes of smoke in the background? That's right - the entire city was on fire this morning. Well, at least that's what some folks thought yesterday - a lot. Imagine, steam coming from dryer vents, steam vents and even out of a laundromat/drycleaner/steam cleaning business.

How strange.

The river was also on fire - all day - yesterday, but we never had to respond to that. Maybe Dispatch filtered those calls out for us.

Maybe it's time for a public service announcement or something from the "news" media. I saw on the "news" this morning, that when it gets cold, water "freezes." This process actually firms water and you can see the process in lakes and ponds. So, maybe something from the media about steam being more visible when it's cold would not be so far-fetched.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Trees of Elegance - Pretty up front with the true meaning of Christmas!

This event at the Davenport Hotel has been a long-standing favorite for me and my family.

I don't think I've bought a lottery ticket in 10 years. I don't enter contests. But there's something about this event that makes me spend money like a drunken sailor on Christmas shore leave at Santa's Compound with a couple of hot elf chicks on each arm.

Sarah says the best thing about this event is that you can support the symphony without the hassle of going to the symphony. Perhaps that is a Christmas lesson in itself.

Money - the albino owl wishes everyone a Merry Christmas from this tastefully appointed tree. Looks like she has quite the nest egg.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

War continues to subvert the dominant paradigm...

A trip to the dollar store, zip ties, safety wire, duct tape, coroplast signs and bungee chords - so far, a great kick off to the holiday season.

I think I have been to a dollar store maybe twice - until last week. Went to the one by Hastings on 29th - no made-in-China $5 trees. Sarah suggested the store on Ray on 14th or 15th. What a place. When you walk in, the depression envelopes you like a blanket of doom. Every third florescent light is burned out. Christmas music softly drifts - the tape player's timing is just a little off. The place is empty. Crushed boxes of trees made from the finest Chinese plastic detritus are neatly stacked. Checkers stand silent at their posts - staring blankly ahead. The perfect place to outfit the latest XtraCycle adventure. This setup is going to look great in July. The bungee chords give the tree just the right, in kilt parlance, "sway."

The Monkeylectric front wheel light is everything I thought it would be.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last week's Fresh Abundance Delivery!

I don't know why but last week's delivery from Fresh Abundance seemed extremely picturesque.

In other news, I decided to put the Monkey Lectric Wheel lighting system on the XtraCycle. I had Sarah peddle it around tonight to see how it looked. It was amazing!

Have you ever seen the movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space? It was like that. It should cause a few car accidents and an epileptic seizure or two on my way to work. It's that good.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This and that....

Sarah and I ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Ike ran with his LC X-Country pals. What a huge crowd. The Turkey Trot, as always and as the kids say, "is what it is." It's a real slow, but fun, jog - dogs connected to their masters with 50-foot leashes, triple-wide strollers and families holding hands. Yet, I think it's the closest thing to a lovefest running experience in Spokane. You can't be serious about how you are going to perform, just kick back and enjoy the show. It's a great way to start Thanksgiving Day too. Thankful for friends, family, health, clean air and the beauty of a throng of humanity. Thankful to live in Spokane!

The Food Bank does really well at this event. Which reminds me, a friend of mine volunteers at Second Harvest. He drives one of their trucks to pick up canned goods at donation sites. I went with him a week or so ago to help. It was nice to see all the food that people have dropped off at really diverse locations. At the medical marijuana place, the barrels were overflowing (you can insert your own remark here).

I had never been in the Second Harvest facility before. It is huge. It is organized. It is incredible, a beehive of precise forklift-whirling precision. And when all was said and done, it dawned on me that the food pickup we accomplished was (even though it packed the truck) not even a drop in the bucket of what the food bank does. Also, what we just did was really an inefficient way to do business - drop off a can of 69 cent peas - have truck deliver peas to warehouse. My friend told me that for every dollar you give the food bank, they can buy three dollars worth of food. This is a much better way to go. So, if you can spare a little money, why not cut a check for Second Harvest? One dollar turns into 6 pounds of food.

Had to work Friday and met some very nice people from New England, one of whom needed some help. They really liked Spokane - even when viewed from the back of an ambulance, with me jamming a needle in one of their arms. Saturday was kind of a lazy day - I only had to get up twice the night before. I have my list of things to accomplish today.

Received my MonkeyLectric lighting system yesterday. I haven't decided which bike to put it on yet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The museum of local fauna - a fine crypto/factual mix...

Over the past few years, we have noticed that most folks have an affinity for three subjects for the art in their homes:

1. Dolphins
2. Unicorns
3. Dream catchers

Pretty much in this order. Some have unicorns and pegasuses? pegasi? One fellow had a unicorn with wings. I asked him about this. He seemed embarrassed and said, "Look, I know unicorns don't have wings and a pegasus does not have a horn. We call this one a 'unipeg.'" He then showed me his tattoo of a unicorn sparring with a pegasus. When you think about it, who would win? I am sure that someone has ran the odds.

So, over the last year or so, a museum of sorts has sprung up on our counter in the office:

A couple of months ago, two ladies wandered into the station via the open apparatus bay door. I was in the office working on reports. One of the ladies inquired, "I know it's past five-o-clock, but can we still get $50 of gasoline for free?" I was a bit perplexed. "Ma'am, you know this is a fire station, right?"

She replied that she had heard that the fire station by the Conoco was giving away free gas. I suggested that maybe what the person who told her this really meant was that the Conoco by the fire station was giving away free gasoline.

Her looked conveyed that she thought I was kind of dense - a dummy. All that changed when she saw the display on the counter. She said it was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen. Gasoline, shmasoline, she thought we were all pretty cool now. At least that's what she said to her friend.

Of course, there have been attempts to bridge the gap between the dolphin and unicorn with the venerable narwhal:

But no one really cares. For the most part, you're either pro-dolphin or pro-unicorn. Oh, apparently "nowledge" is not a misspelling:

NARWHAL - Sounds like a code we should all live by.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Cheryl-Anne ad in this morning's paper!

Click the picture to read. The writing sounds vaguely familiar. Hmmmm.

If you would like to see Ms. Milsap's auto reviews (always in terms of old boyfriends, things her mom has told her, clothing she likes to wear and food she likes to eat) click here.

OK, truth be told, you have to hand it to Cheryl-Anne. She's made a living as a writer in Spokane - not an easy task. She has talent, and a lot of determination. But Cheryl, here's some advice, and you can take it for what it's worth.

Many of us in this city and world have led some varied and interesting lives - employment, recreation, education, lifestyle - the whole enchilada, and I don't think even President Obama, Sir Francis Drake, Lou Ferrigno or Mary Verner could mine as much interior reflective stuff to write about than you have. I think that takes talent to a degree. However, I think this goldmine might be about played out.

When Teresa Herriman was Don Adair's counterpart in the Saturday SR auto extravaganza, she actually presented some useful information about the car - most of it geared around what some might view as how this car would benefit the average mom and wife. Remember the grocery sack rating? When you read her stuff, you felt like she actually did some research, some driving. I always felt like a lot of work went into her column and there was actual information in the ink. Don recently has had to do some heavy lifting to tell us facts about the cars tested.

OK. Here's my advice. Other women drive the cars that you are test driving. The dealers can help you locate them. Ask them to tell their stories about their lives and their cars. You write it. Shift the focus to others. You are a good writer. You can do this. Coordinate with Don. What aspects of this car would be good for you to cover as opposed to him? Women and men want facts about cars. Women and men want to hear stories about others too - lots of others.

I am thinking back to your days writing the society column on the back page. When you had to write about something aside from how you felt or looked, it kind of sounded like you were forced to recite a laundry list of facts that really didn't interest you. If you take my advice, try to avoid this in the auto page.

I know you can do this. You will meet some nice people and tell some great stories. Better yet, you will actually be a reporter, a vanishing species at the SR.

Good luck and best wishes.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Oh Spokesman-Review!

OK, I am always a little punchy the morning I get off of work. Perusing the Spokesman-Review can be a surreal experience as I misread headlines and see fuzzy conspiracies unfold in every column. Then the coffee kicks in and I am OK.

So it was this morning. The headline above made me think that Amber Waldref and Jon Snyder were going to form some sort of coalition with Nancy McLaughlin. That would be some of the strangest political bedfellowing ever.

That Nancy McLaughlin! She really is a favorite of our newspaper. I am sorry Karen didn't beat Nancy.

In my district, I voted for Jon Snyder, but Mike Allen - his opponent wasn't a bad councilman. I wish Snyder was in McLaughlin's district. I think he would have won that race and struck a blow for those of us who aren't overly concerned about a UN takeover of Spokane and other Limbaugh-esque McLaughlin talking points.

The Fire Bond is failing. So far, it only has 59% of the vote. Somebody please explain to me how it is that 41% of the voters override the 59%. Bizarre. This super majority issue only applies when a government asks for more money. If dipshits want to strangle government, all they need is a simple majority - 50% plus one. I don't think this disparity is a particularly good thing for democracy.

However, it was good enough to kick Tim Eyman's ass and his I-1033 he rode in on. Maybe this is a good thing for Timmy, in that more numbskulls will now sign other petitions of his and he will soak other antigovernment organizations to pay him to do it. I am hoping that when they decide to release the names of signers of the anti-gay rights petition, we will seek the names of those who sign ALL petitions.

Speaking of rights for all, R-71 is on the verge of passing - very narrowly. It was predicted to easily pass, just like Eyman's I-1033. It is amazing what can happen in the last couple weeks of a campaign. Lots of work went in to defeating I-1033. Those who wanted to deny rights to people in our community also did a lot of work in their efforts in a close attempt to defeat R-71. Former councilman Dean Lynch had an excellent letter to the editor last week highlighting the Russian Baptist Church's work in trying to defeat this measure. Dean pointed out the irony that they left a country because supposedly they were being denied rights and now they were working hard to do the same here.

The best election result was the thorough trouncing of Eyman's buddy Mike Fagan by Amber Waldref! This Sierra Club/Lands Council member won in a landslide in a very Republican district. As the Republicans cater more and more to what they think is their base - the loons, look for the base to get smaller and smaller. More Republicans will turn their backs to their party and vote for common sense candidates. These days those are the Dems. Not to say that can't change.

Lastly, Proposition Four, Spokane's proposed "bill of rights," was soundly defeated/nuked/destroyed/obliterated. The overkill that went in to slaughtering this "its-heart-is-in-the-right-place but..." proposal says a lot about how scared the power holders in our city are right now. I like that the campaign to pass Prop 4 turned an eye on the city's comprehensive plan and the continual neglect of that plan, how we will abandon all in order to not alienate the real power holders and the largest reality/perception creator in Spokane - which leads me back to the beginning of my tome!

Friday, October 30, 2009


A TIE!!!!

Amish Smoke Break and...

Amish wax job!

Congrats Tracy Martin and J Blodgett. I will be sending the prizes out to you. I think they will be gift certificates to Atticus Coffee. Thanks everybody!! If you want to see all the entries look at the prior post.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Cthulhu aquarium

Amish wax job

Amish space heater

Amish Hellfire

Amish Smoke break

Amish Fire Mantle Delivery

Amish liquor cabinet

Sarah will be the judge. She doesn't know who did what (except mine and they are ineligible). Tonight we should know who won, and what they won. Exciting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In yesterday's SR: Yuppie 911 calls frustrate rescuers...

And all of us at the station said, "That's nothing!" Time to revisit CARTNE:

A city pays for a decent fire department for one main reason - to keep the city from burning down a couple of times each month. Most of the time you won't hear anything about it on the news. It takes a lot of people, training and equipment to keep our infrastructure from going away. All the other things a fire department does is done in between the times that it is not fighting the fire that would spread to other buildings, etc.

It's like having a standing army for a country that gets invaded frequently, and in between invasions the army does other civic duties.

We could be brewing and selling beer for the city, making monastic fruitcakes, etc., but instead we do emergency medical services. It's a great fit. We are located in a bunch of neighborhoods. We have sirens. We operate really well under pressure. We are trainable. But it's amazing the things that people will pick up a phone and call 9-1-1 for - every day.

All to say, Please vote yes for the Fire Bond Levy. For some reason the Spokesman-Review called this a new tax. It isn't. It's a continuation of the old. If you want to know more about it, you can go here. I know that it's a shock that the SR got a story wrong, but...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Feeling like a footloose Marlin Perkins...

Had a very fun run yesterday. It was a long, slow one so I took a few pictures. Was down on the north bank of the river between TJ Meenach and Sans Souci when I happened upon these tracks leading down to the river:
Anybody know what the story is here? They don't look very old, but who knows.

Great foggy vistas:

Turkeys. What a life. Hang out near the river during the day and then migrate over to Bong's Grocery for some Keystone Ice and Twinkie remnants at night. Like to see a bald eagle do that. Benjamin Franklin was right when he wanted the scrappy turkey to be our national symbol.

Don't forget the Photoshop contest!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amish Miracle Invention Photoshop Contest!

This is the highest resolution I could find of my favorite Sunday SR Parade Magazine ad photo - Amish mantle and miracle invention help home heat bills hit rock bottom. It is a great two-page spread, in that it has so much going for it. If you want to place an order, you are directed to one of three zones:

Everywhere in the USA, it's cold! If you want to see more pictures, a Google image search provides these. I suppose you could scan the Parade magazine ad if you were really interested in a bigger file for your contest submission.

I like the main photo of the ad, the picture featured at the top, with the Amish working on glowing electric fireplaces. However, if you want to use any of the pictures featured in this ad or on the interwebs, go for it.

We'll give it a week. If you win, you will get your name mentioned, along with a link to your blog or website if you want. Also, some kind of mediocre crappy prize too.

Send your entry/entries to me here:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spokesman-Review website disappears and a golf website using their URL is born...

At least that's what's there right now. Here is a screenshot, in case it disappears:

Click on it to enlarge. Anybody know what the story is here?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hay, share the road...

As seen in Greenbluff.

Did a 10 mile run yesterday, wearing the Panka "shoes." On an acorn straightaway, I realized that the thinness of the soles really does feel about the same as actual barefoot. Going to try a 2.5 no-shit barefoot this morning. Hopefully no shit.

Finished reading Born to Run this morning. What a great read. It is extremely inspirational and left me feeling pretty doggone happy. The last book I read before this was Major Taylor. It is a true story. It chronicled the life of Marshal "Major" Taylor. He was the fastest man alive on a bicycle at the beginning of the 1900s.

Never heard of him? Not many today have. But at the time, bicycle racing was the most popular sport in the world - even in the U.S.A. Unfortunately, Major had two strikes against him: 1. He was a black man. 2. He was born in the U.S.A., in the 19th century. All over the world he traveled and was welcomed as a celebrity and an all-around good guy and top athlete, and then he would return home - where he couldn't eat in a restaurant because of the color of his skin. The only hotel that didn't accept him in Europe was one in Paris. Why? Because all the Americans staying there told the management that they would check out, en masse, if Major Taylor was allowed to stay there.

A very good read and I learned a lot, but very much a downer of a book. You realize that this kind of hate takes a long time to go away, and our country was (and to some degree still is) steeped in it. So I needed a book like Born to Run to read.

Not giving anything away, but you kind of know how the Major Taylor book is going to end. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little FeelMax Panka Review

Just came in from an 8 mile run wearing my new FeelMax Pankas. They finally arrived in the mail yesterday.

I thought that the aqua sox had a really thin sole! The soles on these shoes are even thinner. According to the website, they are less than 1 mm thick. I think they are substantially thinner than 1 mm.

They are extremely light and fit very snug. The sole is supposedly made from some kind of indestructible rubber. I've read reviews where the reviewer tried to push nails through them without any luck. I haven't tried that.

It's too soon to tell how these things will hold up. I would say that if you're looking for a barefoot -- type running experience, while protecting your feet from glass and stuff, these might work for you. You can also wear socks with them, which will be quite welcome when the snow's on the ground.

Here's where is I purchased mine. I looked all over Spokane, and like the Vibram Five Fingers, there is no place in town that carries them. I like this website. I think it caters to mercenaries, but also carries slack line supplies and, of course, these shoes. "What a country!" to quote the great Yakov Smirnoff.

In America, you run to stay in shape. In Russia, staying in shape gives you runs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ladder of Success!

Biked out to the training center to watch my oldest son climb Ladder 51X. He took the written test for the city and did well enough to get to this - the next step. He had no problem doing the entire physical agility test with time to spare.

I stood way back, with my daughter-in-law Sarah, to watch him climb. One kid climbed about 10 minutes before Kirk did, and we thought that was him. Luckily we stuck around for when it was really his turn. Everybody kinda looks the same in turnouts.

It would be very cool if Kirk got the job - if there are even going to be any new hires off this list. He’s got a lot going for him.

I think every dad must fantasize a little about his kid getting into the family business. I think a big part of why I worked so much to earn money for my private pilot’s license when I was 17 was because my dad was an airline pilot. I haven’t flown in a very long time, but I never regretted the money and time spent.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out. Congratulations to Kirk on getting to the next step!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Celebration and "Barefoot" Running...

A great time at the anniversary party last night. A few beers. A few buddies. And even some beer buddies. A special thanks to Pat who brought me this hat, oozing with star-spangled goodness.

Starting to get a wee bit cold. My last commute, I wore my winter gloves. This morning went for a ride that was positively chilly. I am back in sauna mode. It sure helps to really warm me up after a very cold bike ride.

I always try to work in a run or two on my days off. Late summer, I started doing the "barefoot" running stuff. I’m not an early adopter. But I am a person who tries to encourage others to early adopt, so they can take the plunge instead of me. I’m not saying this is a good thing. But I recognize this character flaw.

Accordingly, this spring I sent Jake the link to the Vibram five finger running feetsie gloves. He bought them. Then he told me that he really liked them. So I prepared myself to take the hundred-dollar-holy-shit commitment. When I found them on the website, the REI website, they were listed with aqua sox and other cheap-ass aquatic footwear. It dawned on me that I had a pair of these aqua sox just sitting in the back of my closet. They had been there about three years, and had the cobwebs and dust to prove it too.

I really liked running with them. Very, very thin sole. No arch. No cushioning. And I saved 100 bucks. Thank you Jake.

Also, I believe Hank was doing some barefoot running this summer too. So, thank you Hank!

I started out with very short distances, usually followed by true barefoot laps around the park. Was amazing to feel how much acorns and tiny pebbles hurt less and less each run. My feet felt bruised at first, but the whole experience has been very enjoyable. Of course, there are new muscles getting used in new ways, and I was sore for a while. One thing I noticed is that my hip/lower back pain is pretty much gone. This lumbago has plagued me, on and off, for about 10 years.

In fact, Sarah and I both have been trying to wear footwear that has little or no arch support or cushioning as much as possible - aqua sox, moccasins, and just plain bare feet. At work, I put on my boots right before I get on the engine, and take them off as soon as I get back from a call. As it gets colder, this soleless lifestyle is going to be harder to do. You can really feel the cold ground when there is no thick sole and padding. Brrrrrrrrr.

I just ordered a pair of Feelmax shoes. The soles on these shoes are extremely thin. They make boots too. So, if I like the shoes, I might be ordering boots later. I wonder what they will feel like on the icy bike pedals this winter.

Have yet to barefoot run in the kilt. Maybe when it gets more foggy. “What the hell was that?” She screamed, as the ghostly nonsensical apparition sped back into the shadows. A dachshund mournfully howled in the distance.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Spokanarama Anniversary Celebration - Oct 7th - 8 pm Benniditos!

Every time that I have made a post, I have put a dollar in a jar (a hypothetical jar at that). That's 220 posts, or $220. I will bring my jar to Benniditos. If it doesn't get all used up, I might take the rest to Rosauers and seed my own cereal sale. What can you bring? Watch this:

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Yesterday's Spokesman-Review sets new standard!

When I came home from work yesterday morning, Sarah asked me if I had read the paper yet. I told her I had only glanced at it. She then proceeded to list all the strangeness contained within. Leading the pack, was a story about a lady whose hearing aid had dropped into her box of milkduds and she almost ate it. Really. Paul Turner wrote an entire story about this. Really. Was he inspired by The Onion, or has he never seen it?

As you can see, the poor hearing aid lady had to supply her own photo too.

The one headline I did catch when I first perused the paper was "Llama rescued from Pikes Peak." Nice.

Then there was the usual idiotic piece by Charles Krauthammer. I would love to go to lunch with Krauthammer and Cal Thomas. Which would be the loonier dyspeptic?

Next, a tiny story on the sports page. Someone has been hitting Ted Williams' frozen decapitated head with a monkey wrench. Why? Because there was an empty tuna can stuck to it. Of course. Want to know more?

But the best was saved for last. For the past 20 years, Don Adair and Teresa McCallion have done his-and-hers columns, test driving a new car and giving their opinion every Saturday edition. Well, as Don puts it, the steering wheel was recently "wrested" from Teresa. Who is the new gal writer wrester? Hint - here is the first paragraph:

"Most women, at one time or another, are seduced by a pair of elegant high heels. We look at them and imagine ourselves in them, suddenly sleek, tall and sophisticated with long, sexy legs. That pair of shoes will transform us, we just know it. Those shoes will change the way we walk into a room.

Suddenly we have to have those heels."

YES! She is back! Cheryl-Anne Millsap!! Just when I was ready to cancel the subscription. C.A.M. saves the day! Admit it. You want to see how she finishes this article, one that is supposed to be about a car. Well, maybe you better buy a newspaper. Because that's all your going to get from me.

On another note, Doug Clark seems to be getting meaner and meaner. I think he's channeling the old Weekly World New's columnist Ed Anger. It's almost as if he takes the most strident loony letter to the editor and amps it up, knowing that this way he can hit the lowest common denominator. Seriously, he has done some good writing in the past, but over the last few years, it has really become formulaic, strident and hysterical (not the funny kind of hysterical). I hope he is OK. Another good reason to keep buying the paper.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Belated Spokanarama Five-Year Anniversary Get Together

Wednesday, October 7th @ Bennidito's Pizza (Southside), 8 pm. A little get together with some bloggy friends - perhaps a beer or two. Beer buddies anyone? As we get a little closer, I will provide more details.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dimensional Charcoal for the Perfectionist...

I poured some charcoal into the BBQ the other day and was surprised to see some tongue and groove lump. I guess that's one way to build a fire. HAH!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Please vote NO on Tim Eyman's latest attempt to destroy Spokane - Initiative 1033

And don't forget Tim's bestest buddy Mike Fagan is running against Amber Waldref for city council. Hey why not elect a guy to a position where he can witness firsthand the destruction he has wrought? Please vote for Amber.

Jon Snyder has my vote, in my district.

If you are in Nancy McLaughlin's district, please vote for Karen Kearney. Karen isn't so big into the UN takeover theory of Spokane that Nancy subscribes to.

Our city council has been getting saner and saner. Let's keep it up.

Amber Waldref
Jon Snyder
Karen Kearney

No on Initiative 1033.

Latest Eyman Initiative has Governments Worried (9/7)

Backers of revenue cap initiative lose bid to change ballot wording (9/12)

This Woman Came All the Way From Colorado to Tell Us Not to Vote for Tim Eyman's Initiative (9/15)

Richland council reviews how Initiative 1033 could hit home (9/16)

Hutchison, Constantine slam Eyman spending initiative (9/16)

Hutchison calls Eyman initiative "a disaster"

Hutchison slams Eyman initiative (9/17)

I-1033 will penalize Federal Way (9/22)

The Argument Against Permanent Recession-Level Spending (9/22)

Kirkland City Council opposes Initiative 1033 (9/22)

King County Executive Candidates Prevent Eyman proposal from Distracting Serious Budget Debate (9/22)

Realtors come out against I-1033 (9/23)

Muni League Slams Eyman Initiative (9/23)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spokane River Clean Up 2009!

Great time at the river clean up this morning. It’s funny how you keep running into the same bunch at about every cool event in Spokane.

Everybody started out at High Bridge Park. It’s easy to forget that this park has more than a dandy disc golf course or clandestine romantic interludes going for it. I think it would be a great place for a family picnic. The grass is always green. Lots of shade. You can swim or wade in Latah Creek. You can play disc golf. You can have a romantic interlude.

Busses dropped people off at some of the further reaches of the clean up. Our group - Group Number Five - The Moose Group was assigned about a half mile of cleaning up to the west of the Maple Street Bridge. A nice walk but nothing too interesting. Mostly broken glass and stuff like that. Aidan found a cool fork that had the number 1847 stamped on it. Perhaps it’s the fork in the river that you always hear about.

Everyone scrambled around banks and boulders like post-apocalyptic foragers picking up crap. A guy in a cataraft was making his way down the river to warn each of us about an encampment that straddled the very path upon which we trod. I tried to reassure him that it was no big deal and maybe the folks there would have some garbage to add to our load. He looked at me like I had been warned and that he was now no longer responsible for my Blair Witch Project finale.

I was almost to the hobo camp when a lady carrying her clean up bag repeated the warning that she had heard from catarafter dude. She had sent some kids up a precarious outcropping to avoid the camp of the damned. I repeated my plan to her. She asked me what she and the kids should do. I said that odds were the technical climb the kids were now ascending was much more daring than saying hello to a hobo.

When I said hello to the camper, he said, “Hello” back. Wow. Good. And because it’s daylight, I know he's not a vampire. My lucky day.

There was a mound of garbage by his tent (actually not his tent. His camp was a little further up. He was housesitting). He said that raccoons and skunks had a party in the festering pile last night and that's why it seemed so unorganized. I offered to move some of the garbage out, but there was a lot there - probably beyond my means. Then man said that he was going to move a bunch of it out himself. Later on, walking back on the street, we saw that he had. There were a bunch of bags right where he said they would be.

During our conversation, the man told me about the campfires that they have sometimes. I told him I knew about them, because people were always calling 9-1-1 and hence us to put them out. The fellow said that one time a fire engine pulled up across the river and a firefighter yelled at them with a bullhorn to put the fire out. I told him that was me. For Fathers Day I had asked for and received a bullhorn. I used it at work a couple of times. What a great thing to have. I remembered yelling at someone across the river. We both laughed about what a small world it is and I was back on the clean up. I never saw the lady and the two kids ever again.

I met up with Sarah and Aidan shortly thereafter and we had a great picnic of David’s Pizza back at High Bridge Park. We enjoyed a fine bike ride home.

Look at some of the cool stuff that was found. I think that’s an airplane’s landing gear. Whoops! I bet there’s a story there.

This is where all the keys go.

I have never been on a "man down" or in a hobo camp where Miller was the beer of choice.

These might have been found in the park itself.

Cookie jar? Coffee mug? Tip jar? high school ceramics project? I think the verbiage around the areola is a Knights Templar/Illuminati/Opus Dei clue from the new Dan Brown novel.

The Spokane River's currents are notoriously swift and complex. In any other river this boot would have probably stayed on.