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!