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Posts tagged: River Journal

Trish: My Turn To Get Picked

Trish Gannon/River Journal and I had a conversation on Facebook, launched by Trish's comment: “Wow! After 25 years residency, I have finally been called for jury duty.” Which prompted me to post: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Take it away, Trish: “I feel like I'm going to reprise childhood, sitting on the bench, bouncing up and down, shouting, 'Pick me! Pick me!” and probably with the same disappointing result. … Seems like the only things kids picked other kids for when I was in school were athletic games. I would only get picked fourth if there were only four people to choose from.”

Question: When did you get picked during your grade school days, when classmates were choosing up teams? First? Mid-pack? Last or close to last?

Compton: Wake Up, America!

September 11, 2011. Ten years after, we’ve become entangled in—yet not won—two wars; gutted our economy, as well as that of much of the rest of the world; and called off the race for space. We are addicted to oil. We will pay anything for it, including the blood of our young men and women. We are addicted to money and what we think it will buy. In a process that began long before the planes crashed into the towers in New York, we squandered the future of our children and our children’s children; indebting ourselves in a quest for whatever concoction Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Hollywood tells us that we need to be happy. As a culture, we have stopped thinking, but that may be a latter-day announcement, as it appears that we have never been too prone to thinking. As the reasoning animal, we can be downright unreasonable/Sandy Compton, River Journal. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Sandy Compton's analysis that our country is far worse off today than we were 10 years ago?

Famous for wasting time


Internet Time-Wasters


February is often considered the longest part of winter. The snow has been around for so long that green grass and hot sunshine seem less an actual memory, and more like a concept we’ve heard of but never seen; perhaps it was in a book we read, or a movie we saw.

Of course, we’ve read all our books by now, worked our way through even the ‘B’ movie selection at the video store, and navigating this winter’s two perennial choices—rock hard, slick-as-glass ice or slush to your knees—can make going outdoors, particularly in the evenings, a less than enjoyable exercise.

What’s a person to do? Trish Gannon, River Journal

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I'd been mentioned in an article about how to waste time! *Disclaimer* Do NOT read this article unless you really don't have anything to accomplish today.

What's your favorite way to waste time?

Trish: 10+1 Sexiest Guys I Know

What makes a man sexy? Sitting in a business meeting and listening to Dave Sleyster talk about the origins of his business, Energy Electric, I found myself pondering this question. That’s partly because Dave is a sexy guy—an opinion I’ve heard expressed by many women, and one I agree with. But why is he a sexy guy? The answer came quickly: sexy men have two basic qualities. One, they have a huge ability to laugh, including at themselves. Sexy men know when to take things seriously, and when they don’t need to. And two, sexy guys are those who live beyond themselves; they’re taking the time to give something back to the community/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Who’d make your list? Why?

Clawson: Wishful Thankin’

I hope this is sinking in ‘cause I’m gettin’ tired of all the blank stares I get when I mention splitting wood and shovelin’ show to stay in shape. Like I was part of some living diorama where I’m the old throwback from a different century holding proudly—but stupidly—onto my splitting maul and snow shovel. A North Idaho version of ‘American Gothic.’ Next to me would be some puttybutt bench pressing his utility bills and a snowblower payment book while wearing a big stupid grin and a pair of suspenders to contain himself and his happiness/Scott Clawson, River Journal. More here.

Question: Do you shovel your own driveway & sidewalks and chop your own wood? In other words, are you a North Idaho throwback?

719 books & Counting

I have a habit of checking out the book shelves whenever I’m invited for the first time to someone’s place. The titles reveal a lot about the host family. I have 3 1/2 book shelves. My books reveal that I collect old books, biblical & religious books, books about newspapers & columnists, poetry, and sundry other subcategories including sports. Trish Gannon, again on her Facebook page, prompted my thoughts about my books with this comment: “As research for a future story, I have counted 719 books in my house, not counting those belonging to my brother Joe.”

Question: How many books do you have in your house — and what do they say about you?

Trish: A Mouse In The House? So?

At about noon today, Trish Gannon/River Journal wrote on her Facebook page: “There is a mouse butt on my floor. Tail, hind legs and hindquarter … and … nothing else. Guess the cat was full.” I appreciate Trish’s nonchalance at finding part of a mouse in her Clark Fork house. It wasn’t that long ago when we tossed pots, pans, & anything else that was near a mouse carcass we found under the dining room table. I suspect the dog drug the mouse into the house. But that didn’t appease Mrs. O. (AP file photo, BPI Digital Photo)

Question: Do you freak out when you find a mouse or mouse dropping in your house?

High Noon: Dumb Deer Of H200

Alternating between rage and anguish, I watch stupid, damned, poor, ignorant cretin devil Bambette (Bambi’s sister) in the mirror. She’s standing in the road, looking not much worse for wear. I hope she’s thinking, “Daaaamn that hurt,” all the while knowing she’s not thinking at all. Her walnut-sized, kidney-bean-shaped brain is only recording shock and pain and she doesn’t have a clue that it’s a miracle she is still standing. I haven’t had a close encounter of the deer kind for a while, not counting the non-contact variety that invariably come from driving Highway 200 on a regular basis. Some nights, all I can do is drive 45 and try not to swear out loud, at which I never succeed. I’ve called deer the vilest names I’ve ever called anything. Stupid, blinking animals, anyway. Holy… ummm… crud/Sandy Compton, River Journal. More here.

Question: Have you ever hit a whitetail deer while driving? Near miss?

High Noon: Fed Up With Racism

I was born in Chicago, a town with its own long history of racial tension, and my parents were hillbillies, one from Texas and one from Tennessee. It would not be surprising to many to learn that my upbringing was steeped in racism, yet it wasn’t—somehow my parents managed to raise their children to be almost color blind. When my little ‘sister’ Chrissie went to kindergarten, she came home quite irate, asking “Why didn’t you ever tell me that black people were different than us?,”—a  ‘knowledge’ that had apparently been shared with her by either her teachers or her classmates/Trish Gannon, River Journal (Politically Incorrect column). More here. (River Journal photo of Trish’s niece & nephew)

DFO: I was delighted during my recent vacation to California to meet my two Ethiopian nieces, Marte & Buzai, for the first time since their adoption by my nephew Josh and his wife, Heather. I guess this means my full-blooded Portuguese family is wonderfully integrated now.

Question: Were you raised color-blind?

Trish: I Failed My Driver’s Test!

Molly at Horizon was awesome but the whole terrorism mess means that you have to show proof of ID to open an account. So when I whipped out my driver’s license, Molly looks at me and says, “You know this is expired, right?” WRONG! I did NOT know it was expired and when I looked at her and said something lame like, “are you sure? ‘Cause that would have been back in October,” she looked right back and said, “Yes, October. Of 2007.” Boy, feeling stupid is never fun but it’s even worse when you feel that way in public. By the time I was done at Horizon it was too late to get my driver’s license renewed so I did it on my next trip into Sandpoint, which was to be a pit stop on the way to Spokane to pick up the new issue of the River Journal. That’s when I discovered that, when you’re over a year expired, it’s just like you have no license at all and you must re-do everything - eye test, written test and skills exam/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Without looking, do you know when your driver’s license expires? And/or: Do you think you could pass a driver’s written test without reading the manual before hand?

Gannon: How To Cut School Staff?

The state is cutting funding for public schools. The levy has failed. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to cut 71 certified and 64 classified staff, an approximate one-third reduction in employees. How do you start? Given you must cut approximately one in every three employees, you might just gather everyone together and play duck, duck, goose, eliminating all the geese. Not that you’d be allowed to, but it has the virtue of simplicity. Instead, you must determine which programs you will cut. Because all extra-curricular programs were funded by the levy, you can eliminate all coaches, all publication teachers, all Aca-Deca teachers, the band and music instructors, art and drama, dance and cheerleading, photography and athletic directors. Unfortunately, most of these positions are not full time—they are ‘extra duties’ that staff pick up in order to work a full time position/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: How would you go about cutting 1/3 of the staff at the Lake Pend Oreille School District (if the levy doesn’t pass)? Bear in mind that teachers are paid at different levels. You may need to cut more people if you base your cuts on seniority only. Good luck.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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