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The Slice

Archive for January 2013

This date in Slice history (1997)

Spokane definitions of “alternative lifestyle”: “A family that does not own a pickup truck.” — Helen Elam

“Married without children.” — Tim Wink

When the cat’s away

The Slice Blog knows of a Spokane man whose wife is out of town for a few days.

So what is he doing while she's gone?

You guessed it.

He's going nuts with the garlic in the dinners he is preparing for himself.

Do you get the connection?

Just wondering

How many Spokane area dining establishments that fail might have made a go of it if 10 percent of those local residents who intended to pay a visit (but never did) would have followed through and gone there for a meal?

Human head obliterating the Northwest

It's an old story.

If you remember this Weather Channel personality, there is a good chance you have stopped rockin'.

Re: Groundhog Day birthdays

The Slice had asked about that and will have a follow-up on Saturday.

Meantime, here's this.

“The due date for my first child was Groundhog Day and I would joke that during delivery she would probably stick her head out, change her mind and duck back inside,” wrote Jill Wakeling.

“I actually went into labor on my due date but my daughter, Molly, took her time and was delivered at 1:11 a.m. on February 3rd.  She will be 22 this weekend. So glad I don't have to keep reliving my 23-hour delivery like the repeating day in 'Groundhog Day.' ”

We have a winner

A friend said he has been tired of Ray Lewis since the turn of the century. 

A thank-you left unspoken

Those who spend years writing for newspapers inevitably have stories about things they wish they had said during interviews with famous people.

Nothing surprising about that.

But sometimes reporters also harbor regrets about interviews in which they were not even participants. At least that happened to me.

I have had a lot of deskmates over the years. I like to think I got along with most. But one of my favorites was a former SR staffer named Heather Lalley.

She made me laugh and I trusted her about overhearing personal phone conversations.

Well, one day about a dozen years ago, Heather did a telephone interview with Brian Wilson. I'm pretty sure the founder of the Beach Boys was not a big deal to her — she's quite a bit younger than I am. But, of course, she was polite and professional during the call.

This was at a time when Wilson had sort of recovered from being more or less nuts for a long time. Nevertheless, I think he was subdued and not exactly a quote factory.

Still, sitting at the next desk, all I could think was “Heather is talking to Brian Wilson. The guy who wrote 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations' is on that phone she's holding.”

So Heather wrapped up the Q and A. And that was that. She was not inclined to badmouth people. But I think she was aware that I held him in some regard. So if she thought he was a dud, she didn't say it.

All these years later, I still wish I had asked her to hand me the phone before hanging up.

I would have liked to have said a couple of words to Brian Wilson.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were do-overs in real life?

Which luggage code is more intuitive?

“GEG” for the airport.

“SPK” for Amtrak.

“WTF” for the bus.

Now it can be told

Well, it can be told tomorrow in The Slice column, at any rate.

The shocking truth about the role of gender in The Spokesman-Review newsroom.

Spokane slogans from “Raiders” lyrics

You pick.

A) “You shouldn't take it so hard.”

B) “We're gonna have a good thing.”

C) “Don't tell me maybe.”

D) “Hungry through and through.”

E) “I have had my ups and downs and all around.”

F) “I'm gonna help you find yourself another way.”

Fan mail from some flounder

Here's an unsigned note (on stationery adorned with flowers) that arrived today.

It is a reaction to a word in Tuesday's Slice column. There is a misspelling in the note that I have not corrected because it reminded me of an old Dan Jenkins novel.

“Paul Turner,

“First thing in the morning I don't want to read the word masterbate.” (That last word is underlined.)

She or he continued…

“You are offensive — but you probably already knew that.”

It is signed “Former reader”.

There's no address on the envelope. So I cannot send a reply.

But if I could, what would be the right thing to say to “Former reader”?

A) What time of day would you prefer to read the word “masturbate”? B) You sound pretty uptight. Maybe you need to figure out a way to relax. C) Other.

Romance, ice skating and winter hats

Where are the blue-hatted boy's hands?

I realize that we cannot actually see. But his second-base expression makes one wonder.

Could you do the Monkees walk?

With the help of three friends, of course.

Chances are, though, all four of you would wind up going down in a heap.

The Wednesday Slice question

In my father's final years, as he approached 90, he set some records for inflated crowd estimates.

I would call my parents and ask about their day. “It was like Grand Central Station over here,” my dad would say.

Further probing would inevitably reveal that something like two visitors had stopped by to see my folks. Even if the company didn't actually cross paths, it was always “Grand Central Station.”

Though he grew up in a small town, my father was born in New York City. So I suppose he had a right to that reference, hyperbolic as it was.

So here's the question. When people who have lived their whole lives in the West get to be a certain age, what image do they trot out to characterize bustling activity?

This date in Slice history (1999)

Warm-up question: Ever seen a dog with short legs get high-centered in snow?

Your favorite view of Mount Spokane?

Lighting, cloud cover, snow and other factors play a role.

But my No. 1 vantage of Mount Spokane might be the one from the airport. Though, I have to admit, one reason might be the fact that it always seems to come as a surprise to me that you can see it so clearly from out there.  

Re: Monday’s Slice column

The “… and I vote” fill-in-the-blank item prompted Gary Rust to write.

“I saw it on a bumper sticker and now have it on our refrigerator: 'We live in Hillyard and we voat.'

“We have community pride but we also have a sense of humor.”

Faith-based football fandom

A reader board on the Wall Street side of the North Hill Chirstian Church's parking lot caught Jim Price's eye.

It read: 

God has no

favorites but

our sign guy

does Go Niners  

CCR lyrics as potential Spokane slogans

You pick.

A) “I ain't no senator's son.”

B) “Hope you got your things together.”

C) “Well, take me back down where cool water flow, yeah.”

D) “Gonna chase tomorrow…tonight.”

E) “I'll be walkin' if I go.”

F) “Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun.”

G) “Come on, come on, won't you get me to my room.”

H) “Someday never comes.”

I) “Don't go walkin' slow, the devil's on the loose.”

J) “Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.”

Tempted to employ this on the phone?

Be my guest. But there's an excellent chance you'll just hear the person in India say “So your name is Carol Tango?” 

Yet another Spokane Indian in the bigs

Well, now that this is posted, I see it is virtually impossible to read. But if you had Superman vision you might note that he was here in 1967, 1968 and 1969. 

Head grafting can be a tricky business

The Big M having been traded from Toronto to Detroit late in the hockey-card production cycle, there were no photos of him in a Red Wings uniform for the 1967-68 offerings. Or something like that. So the good folks at Topps decided to, well, you can see the laughable results.

Back when he was with the Maple Leafs, Mahovlich was the subject of a between-periods feature on the very first broadcast of “Hockey Night in Canada” I ever saw.  

Remember “The Better Half”?

I know I read it when I was a kid. Cannot remember if I found it amusing. You?

This date in Slice history (2004)

Acquired taste: “My mom, Jean Gray, came down from Alaska in 1952, and had never seen TV before,” wrote Debby Teague. “She and my dad stayed at my grandma's in Newport. They got there late at night.”

Teague's mom turned on the TV and saw the Indian test pattern.

Staring at the screen, she couldn't understand why television was a big deal.

One of the hazards of newspapering

At least according to a 1981 movie called “Continental Divide.”

A columnist played by John Belushi is about to get couged.

Do you remember this movie?

Marijuana brownies

That's my latest half-baked idea for a food page feature story.

Could be just right for readers with respiratory issues. Would need a warning for Idaho readers, though.

I haven't actually had one in 30 years. And, it goes without saying, I had no idea that's what I was ingesting back then. Of course.

But surely they have improved since eating one was like chomping on silage. Never mind that, in at least one man's experience, they produced a mild high for about 30 seconds and then sent you immediately into nausea and wicked spins.

Royally confused

“My 6-year-old daughter, Ava, was really fascinated by the picture of the Lilac princesses and the queen on the front page of the paper today,” wrote Sonya Mounts.

“Are they real princesses?” the little girl inquired.

Then Ava pointed to one and asked, “Is that one Cinderella?”

Summer of 1906

“Spokane in those days was a rollicking boom town that had tripled in population in less than a decade to 100,000 people. Silver miners, lumberjacks, apple and wheat farmers, prostitutes and gamblers mingled and quarreled in the streets — along with every kind of businessman and real estate speculator in between. Yet there was also something about Spokane that would inspire resident Mrs. John Bruce Dodd to launch the movement that would create Father's Day: a yearning for permanence and hope for improvement,a sense that out of these rough streets a better, more settled life was coming.” — from Arthur Herman's “Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II” (2012, Random House)

This was all about setting the stage for the young Henry J. Kaiser moving to Spokane.   

When did you last shine a pair of shoes?

A) It was back shortly after the Earth's crust cooled. B) Yesterday morning. C) Not since I started wearing either sneakers or hiking-style shoes 99 percent of the time. D) Back when I was in sales. E) One day I just stopped caring how my shoes looked. F) When I was living with my parents and still going to church. G) Other.

That cry in the distance you heard

Might have been from a young adult living on his or her own for the first time.

Opening that utility bill after using a plug-in space heater for a month can be a real jolt. 

Slice Blog reader challenge

Come up with a localized version of “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.”

This date in downhill skiing history

According to multiple sources (that, it must be said, could be just repeating a mistake), this first ski-tow was used on this date in 1934.

Where was that groundbreaking slope?

Here's your clue. 

If Ralph Kramden had worked for STA

Would he have spent a lot of time talking to supervisors about his temper?

Ever dream about needing to go?

I'm not a doctor, but I think that's usually a sign.

Objects that resemble pucks include…

The LR44 battery.

No. 1 song on this date in 1974

If you are not a mere child, you know the first word of this song. Whether you liked it or not.

Remember Stanley Karnow’s “Vietnam”?

Seeing that historian Stanley Karnow had died reminded me of his PBS documentary series on the war in Vietnam 30 years ago.

Opinions varied. But I found it riveting.

In fact, I still remember being on a cross-country drive during the time of its original airing. Not wanting to take a chance on missing that week's installment, I pulled off the road way early. I found a motel certain to have a decent selection of TV channels and proceeded to ensconce myself in front of the set.

Sure, the Ken Burns Civil War series was great. No question.

But Karnow's Vietnam epic was like hearing sirens headed toward a wreck that just happened. 

This date in Slice history (1996)

Never mind about Christmas decorations. A meter reader called to report that there are still Halloween pumpkins out. She said some of them resemble a new form of penicillin.

Four on the floor

1. As I seem to mention every year, a Top 10 episode of “The Twilight Zone” first aired on this date in 1962. Called “The Hunt,” its small cast included a guy who now lives next to Audubon Park and a woman married to a man from Spokane.

2. Remember, in 1987's “Broadcast News,” when Tom gives Aaron that tip about sitting on the tail of your suit jacket when at the anchor desk to give your shoulders a clean, crisp line? Sure. Well, how often do you find yourself thinking someone on TV needed that exact advice? To me, the worst offender is PBS “NewsHour” commentator Mark Shields. His jacket is almost always ridiculously bunched up. Makes him look like a turtle.

3. Had lunch today at a Spokane assisted living facility. A retired nun at the next table offered a critique of the Spokane Chiefs' power play.

4. Some drivers who definitely do not regard themselves as SUV people can nonetheless recall thinking the Jeep Cherokee had a certain appeal 30 years ago. Are there any of those still on the road in Spokane?

Mary Worth weighs writing a column

Hey, Mary. Here's an idea. You know that mail from readers? Well, just run that in your column and stamp your byline on it. It's a snap.

Oh, and don't forget to say “Let's move on” over and over. You'll have that baby knocked out in no time and you can spend the afternoon at a tavern where, once again,  your special talent for giving advice could come in handy.

Snowmen as Salvador Dali clocks

They're melting and fading now.

So the question is, will they refreeze in their new drooping shapes overnight.

If your home was bugged

What would the guys out in the van overhear?

Coming in Saturday's Slice.

You be the editor

Would you…

A) Assign Ms. Starr a juicy investigative project right away.

B) Inform her that the “sissy stuff” she derides is important to readers.

C) Fire her ass.

D) Other.  

Implications of not watching GU hoops

If you do not watch Zags basketball on TV, do you ever feel a bit out of it conversations-wise the next morning?

Hope you made it to your destination

Without falling on a slick spot, that is.

Happy Friday.

Ever fool around with a pea shooter?

Not so lethal as slingshots, they nonetheless could raise a welt on the kid next door.

And if you literally used peas for ammo, you might inadvertently plant a scattered crop. 

Not-so brilliant long-range planning

When I was in high school, not all that far from the border with Quebec, I had to choose a foreign language elective.

I selected French. Made sense, right? We lived way closer to Montreal than to Boston, after all.

So naturally, not all that many years later, I found myself living and working in places such as El Paso and Tucson. Not a lot of call for French there.

But knowing a little Spanish might have been nice.

How about you? Ever wish you had a do-over on a seemingly casual decision along those lines? 

How would a realtor describe this?

Little charmer? Handyman's special? Michael Myers slept here?

Not “Those Redheads From Spokane”?

This 1953 offering had a mother (Agnes Moorehead) taking her four fetching daughters north to Alaska during the Gold Rush.

I can't remember seeing this and have nothing to say about it. I came upon the image above while trying to find a picture of an actor named Voltaire Perkins. He played the judge in the 1960s version of “Divorce Court.” And apparently he had a small role in “Those Redheads From Seattle.”

So there you go. The other day I promised you time-wasting and I wasn't kidding.

This date in Slice history (1997)

Today's Slice question: What would be the Las Vegas odds on the Davenport ever reopening?

Columnist and editor on the same page

No, the disaster to which he refers is not his “Ask Wendy” column. 

Sports Illustrated dated Jan. 24, 1977

There's a temptation to look at this and think “Boy, those swimsuit covers used to be pretty modest.”

But I would remind you that, earlier in the 1970s, there were a couple of Cheryl Tiegs covers that could be described in many ways, “modest” not being one of them.

Finish this sentence

When journalists in newspaper newsrooms talk about local television news, the typical tone might best be described as….

Brigitte Bardot and French-speaking cats

What would you guess these felines are thinking? (In English, please.)

Seeing Joe makes you want to say what?

A) “Pound that Bud.”

B) “Smoke 'em inside.”

C) “F***s***.” 

D) “S***f***.”

E) Other.

Of course, if you are not familiar with Jim Bouton's “Ball Four”, you won't have any idea what I'm talking about. But you should be used to that by now.

Lingering questions about an old song

Do counties actually track this and designate someone as the official holder of said title?

Would you consider ending it all if you got this stuck in your head? (Don't do it! It will pass.)

Where would you rank this among revenge songs all-time?

So are we to infer that the Gatlin boys gang-raped Becky?

How plausible is it that Tommy could have handled all of them?

Did you have to be an easily amused dumbass to live in this county?

How do you suppose people in that county voted?

If this was a Spokane tourism promo

What would the text say?

Spokane’s biggest Neil Diamond fan?

I have a nominee. Do you?

Mine is totally sane. Yours?

Today is his birthday. He wrote the song that was No. 1 on the Top 40 chart on this date in 1967. It was performed by the Monkees. Can you name it?

50 years ago on “The Twilight Zone”

Dennis Hopper plays a minor league fascist firebrand in “He's Alive,” first airing on Jan. 24, 1963.

This is not among my favorite TZ episodes. But the message that hate speech will always appeal to a certain assortment of weak minds certainly hasn't been rendered obsolete.

Starman salutes National Pie Day

He's not actually pointing at a pie in this scene. But if he was, what kind of pie would it be?

Another reason some would hate the bus

When you take the STA to work in the morning you sometimes hear passengers speaking languages other than English. 

Always Read Addy Hatch’s Tweets

The S-R's city editor has a sense of humor about the absurdity that comes her way.

How totally do these TV spots wreck you?

A) Extremely totally. B) I saw it once five years ago and I still have not recovered. C) Makes me wish I believed in heaven and hell. D) I contribute what I can to humane societies but I cannot take two seconds of that commercial. E) Is a total sobbing mess curled up on the floor wrecked enough for you? F) I'm one of those nitwits who never tires of saying “But they're only animals.” G) It fills me with a white-hot rage about those who think spaying and neutering is an amusing topic. H) Other. 

Lilac Festival Court vs. European Royalty

Compare and contrast.

Tomorrow in The Slice column.

Is Valentine’s Day the worst?

If you think Jumbotron marriage proposals are neato, you might not have any problem with the vision of romance marketed to the American public at this time of year.

But if you are skeptical about the genuine link between edible panties and love, well, it might help you to know that you are not alone.

Holiday creep is nothing new, of course. But a case could be made that the long lead-up to Valentine's Day is America at its most insipid.

The geunine stuff of romance is difficult to package and sell. You can't put sacrifice, patience and empathy in a box.

But in the meantime, you can buy some crap or plan a stunt.


Great Things About Spokane, No. 57

Hardly anyone here would reasonably be described as a “socialite.”

The Wednesday Slice question

How are Air Force retirees in the Spokane area different from other retirees?

A) The Air Force retirees, at least those from a certain era, often have better pensions. B) As is true in the Deep South, the Air Force retirees here are sometimes less conservative than many civilian retirees. C) The Air Force retirees sometimes have to deal with being regarded as outsiders even though they chose Spokane after seeing other parts of the country. D) A few Air Force retirees are slightly delusional about how impressed people are by their former military ranks. E) They aren't really much different. F) Other.

Was “Julia” controversial in Spokane?

The TV show, not the lunch box.

One advantage of a black hole closet

If you ever actually do dive in and inventory the out-of-reach apparel way over on the side farthest from the door, you might find a few things you had forgotten about. You know, items that could be worked into your 2013 rotation.  

Late holiday card

As a kid, I saw the guy in the middle, Fred Hutchinson, several times when he was a manager in the bigs.  

Daddy, let your mind roll on

This was the No. 1 song on this date in 1963.

Things women talk about

It was not by design.

But the S-R newsroom seating chart has a few pockets of gender clustering.

I happen to sit along a fault line between a male-centric area and an all-female grouping.

Now people who work for newspapers tend to have a variety of interests. So I'm not about to suggest that the conversations one hears typically break down along gender stereotypes. It's 2013.

But just a few minutes ago, I listened to three or four women talking about their hair-washing regimens.

You know, how often, how long it takes, et cetera.

It was mildly interesting, I have to admit.

I never worked in an all-male newsroom, like the ones you sometimes see in ancient black and white movies.

Never been sorry about that.

Amazing moment in customer service

Shirley Schoenleber saw a recent Slice headline referring to new-car smell.

It reminded her of a story.

“In 1973, I purchased a brand new Ford Pinto from a local dealer.”

For reasons she can no longer recall, she arranged to have it driven to her home.

But here's the thing.

The young man who drove Schoenleber's new car to her place smoked a cigarette en route. Can you imagine?

“Even stubbed the butt out in my new car!”

It was the first and last cigarette smoked in her little car while she owned it.

Just wondering

In what way did 1987's “Overboard” depict reality in the Northwest?

Travel in a different century

She's so happy to be getting the hell away from wherever it is she left.

Ten for Tuesday

1. Some people have never heard of those poets and songwriters occasionally described as the voice of their generation. 

2. Seeing an employee of grocery store XYZ shopping in Trader Joe's raises a couple of questions. But I suppose they can be answered with “What she does on her own time is her business.”  

3. Do people whose phones are on a family plan that creates a situation where they have an area code other than 509 or 208 tend to get a lot of wrong-number calls from a distant part of the country?   

4. People seem to consider self-directed “On Demand” TV marathons a colossal waste of time if they don't know anything about the show in question.

5. Some people actually start coming up with a plan for dinner more than half an hour in advance, but that doesn't mean the end result is always better.

6. There have been worse moments on TV than the Season 3/Episode 3 “Downton Abbey” reading letters ending.

7. Did you notice that “Dennis the Menace” snowman rip-off of “Calvin and Hobbes” the other day?

8. I can't go in that used books store on Garland without imagining the resident stuffed animals coming to life after closing time.

9. The thing about reusable grocery bags is you have to remember to take them into the store with you.

10. Wiping the street grime off your car's headlight covers now and then can make your lights effectively 33% brighter.

We are the protagonists of our lives

But how would you be described?

A) Flawed. B) Misunderstood. C) Mysterious. D) Heroic. E) Other.

A danger of watching this 1995 movie

A) You will start saying things like “I must away.” B) Other.

Did this movie ever come to Spokane?

I suppose that if I had been paying attention, I would know the answer.

This date in Slice history (1996)

Today's Slice question: What did someone at a local business do for you that instantly made you vow to become a customer for life?

Tune in tomorrow

The Slice Blog will be back on Tuesday with more opportunities to waste time in a congenial way.

This date in Slice history (1997)

Episcopal Bishop Jeff Terry asked some young children to tell him where Jesus was baptized.

“Moses Lake,” said one.


As I have noted in print, I enjoy mulling the timing of launching self-improvement schemes.

Should I tweak my exercise habits starting on Groundhog Day?

Would it be a good idea to stop watching TV as of Bloomsday?

Should I start going to bed earlier beginning on Bennington Battle Day? And so on.

Most of these plans never really lead to lasting change, of course. That no longer comes as a surprise. But like many of us, I still enjoy contemplating the possibility of doing better.

But buoyed by the early success of a modest New Year's resolution, I recently found myself in the market for a new lifestyle improvement. I had not determined what behavior to modify when I nonetheless discovered the perfect time to do it.

The delayed National Hockey League season begins in a few hours. Why not, I thought, try to make some change on the first day of the NHL season and see if I could stick with it until one team lifts the Stanley Cup.

Maybe not having a finish line is what doomed so many previous efforts. This could be perfect. And they have been saying it will be a shortened hockey season, so how taxing could my challenge be?

Then I took a closer look at the NHL schedule. The final round of the playoffs this year might not end until June 28.

That's more than five months away. So much for having an end in sight.

Still, visualizing the last days of June gave me an idea for a new plan.

I've long thought of July 1st as Second Half of the Year Day. Maybe that's when I'll start doing or not doing whatever finally occurs to me as the latest much-needed reform.

Feel free to join me.

One touque over the line

You know those ubiquitous knit caps people pull down tight over their heads? Some call them skullcaps.

Well, there was a time when those who aspired to be stylish would not consider wearing same. Now these hats are practically part of the hipster uniform.

So? So that means they are, in all likelihood, about to go out of fashion again.

Too bad. They're actually fairly functional.   

Funniest person at

It's SR web maven Ryan Pitts.

You should do whatever it takes, including bribes if necessary, to follow him on Twitter.

A couple of other SR editors with dry wits are close on his heels. But Ryan makes me smile every day.

Fond memories of underwire bra stories

Years ago, back in the previous century, The Slice column hosted a lively discussion about underwire bras and airport metal detectors.

Good times.

But I haven't heard much about that lately. Here are my theories.

1. It's because we are now subjected to whole-body scans.

2. Brassieres no longer incorporate heavy metal trusses.

3. People no longer feel that they can be seen as making light of any aspect of airport security theater.

Or perhaps it's something else altogether..

Anti-Catholics and GU basketball

Is it a challenge for those who are the former to root for the latter?

The Slice Blog recommends

Want to check out a report on 2013 entertainment-world reality?

Got to

Under the Arts & LIfe subheading, find “In a Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?”

You can listen to it or read it.

It's not long, but it is worthwhile.

Let’s play “You make the call!”

Gary Crosby: Brave, bold truth-teller or troubled sad sack willing to bash the old man for a buck?

Jerry Kramer: Good lineman on great teams (made famous by his book) or great player and hero of the Ice Bowl who deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

“Vision Quest”: Unwatchable mess only interesting because it was filmed in Spokane or quirky, high-energy  coming-of-age romp with decent '80s soundtrack?

Health district building: Yes or no.

Darrin Stephens: Dick York or the other guy?

Being judged

In your experience, revealing what one fact about yourself tends to make some people around here assume that they know all they need to know about you?

A) Where you grew up. B) Where you went to school. C) Occupation. D) Number of children you have. E) The last movie you saw in a theater. F) Your attitude about religion. G) The sort of vehicle you drive. H) The name of the book you are reading. I) How you voted. J) Your relationship with Apple products. K) The neighborhood in which you live. L) Your hobby. M) Your taste in music. N) Your attitude about cats. O) Your opinion of the designated hitter rule. P) Your perspective on Seattle. Q) Your opinion of unions. R) Your attitude about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. S) How do you get your news? T) Attitude about…Guns. U) Fluoride. V) Abortion. W) Daycare. X) Studded tires.Y) The Spokesman-Review. Z) You say “irregardless” or “I could care less.”.   

Wasn’t really sure what “petting” meant

But because of the context in certain Ann Landers and Dear Abby columns, it sounded pretty intriguing to some of their youngest readers.

And as for the prospect of “heavy” petting, well, the mind reeled.

Forget Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day

February is National Hot Breakfast Month.

And just remember. You don't have to restrict the classic rise-and-shine fare to first thing in the morning.

Repeat after me…

Breakfast, it's what's for dinner.

Where were you when…

…Eric Clapton performed at the Spokane Coliseum on June 23, 1979?

Mystery footprints on the back patio

Ever see prints in the snow behind your house that your family didn't make?

Sure, maybe it was someone up to no good.

But I'll bet it was the meter reader.

Something to appreciate: A modest boss

So the editor of The Spokesman-Review attended a presentation yesterday by a couple of economists in downtown Spokane.

He found himself seated at a table that included a woman it might be fair to describe as one of my fans.

When she learned that my boss was with the S-R, she launched into a story about me. That went on for a bit. And after she wrapped it up, she turned to my boss and asked him a question.

“So what do you do at the paper?”

She told me about this over the phone just a bit ago. We shared a laugh.

And I told her what I'll tell you now.

There have been editors at the S-R who would not have handled that moment gracefully. But the gentleman in charge of the newsroom today is genuinely modest and content to operate mostly behind the scenes.

You don't really appreciate that until you have been around egos of an altogether different sort.

A bit of truly obscure local movie trivia

This 1975 piece of film, which you might have overlooked, features someone with a local connection.

See the young lady front and center in the red top? That's Joanne Nail. Born and raised in Spokane.

No idea if that's her real name. But this movie wasn't actually porn, so it might be.

Feel free to start calling some of your female colleagues the Switchblade Sisters. 

Have you stopped shaking hands?

You know, until the virus-transmission implications have subsided a bit.

Hey kids! Do you know what this is?

OK, well, do you remember…

Gathering several pounds of coins prior to making an important long-distance call?

Stepping into a phone booth and quickly realizing someone had used it as a latrine?

Waiting for someone to finish a call so you could use the phone and wondering if that person was intentionally extending his call because he realized you were waiting?

Reading messages written inside the booth and realizing not much had changed since J.D. Salinger noticed the same thing?

Picking up the phone handset and feeling as if you were shaking hands with a pupating larva?

Trying to have a conversation as you hold the phone between the tips of your thumb and forefinger while keeping it several inches away from your ear and face?

“Hello? What? No, I didn't hear that. What?”  

Re: Your envelope-opening style

It's not a paperless society yet. With that in mind, here's a question.

How would those with whom you live describe the way you open mail — including envelopes that might contain forms you will need when doing your tax return?

A) Like a coyote ripping something apart. B) Blunt force trauma. C) Like you are handling nitro in a '60s TV western. D) Surgical precision. E) Like Ed Norton preparing to write something. F) Jurassic. G) Wolverine-like. H) Other.

Coming in Thursday’s Slice column

“Slice bag” defined.

But why wait? Here's one I didn't use in print.

“A Slice Bag is someone who drones on endlessly without saying a thing,” wrote Ron Knapp, who added “Laughing with you.”

New record for ludicrous local angles

American Airlines didn't come here, but the graphic plane sure got close.

Please write your own caption

This was my brand of choice when purchasing refreshment as an underage consumer of alcoholic beverages. Well, this and Boone's Farm apple wine.

When 18 was the legal age, not all stores were fussy about needing to see I.D. But they didn't walk the stuff out to the car for me, and I didn't have a classic Corvette.

Other kinds of email mistakes

We all have heard stories of people who wrote nasty notes about a co-worker or relative and then mistakenly emailed them to the person being ripped.

And there are plenty of cautionary tales about the horrors of “Reply all.”

But what about other kinds of email screw-ups?

Yesterday, I sent a reply to a reader and managed to add at the end a link to a photo of Lee Majors as Heath Barkley in “The Big Valley.” In the scene in question, he is reading a newspaper.

The photo is something I had saved and considered posting on the blog. It's about as innocent as can be. But still.

I realized I had done this as a result of an errant keystroke or mouse click just as the message was being sent.

Boy howdy, that reader must have been puzzled.

I sent a follow-up reply advising him that the link was not intended for him. Still, I wouldn't blame him for a sincere “The hell?”

Anyway, I'm wondering what others have done along these lines.

“Pride and Prejudice” about to turn 200

The novel was first published on Jan. 28, 1813.

Can you name all the sisters?

Re: ad on page 5 of sports section

You know, the one thanking Seattle Seahawks fans.

Your reaction?

A) How nice. B) Some people really need to get a life. C) Other.

Nobody asked me

But I think it's sad that Mary Tyler Moore has had so much plastic surgery she now looks like a space alien.

God, she looks awful. (Reminded of this while watching the latest “Pioneers of Television” last night on KSPS.)

I suspect she would be a beautiful old lady today if she had just allowed herself to age. But I suppose that people defined in part by their good looks face a special challenge when it comes to accepting the inevitable.

The Wednesday Slice question

How do you feel about the name of your street?

Codpiece Days could be a sensation

Or not.

Besides, virtually every small town in our area already has a theme for its summer celebration.

But it would be entertaining to see the faces at some town council meeting if a resident actually proposed Codpiece Days.

And a related slogan contest could make some rural weekly must reading when the suggestions were printed.

This date in Slice history (1998)

Kid stuff: Colville's Betty Clark was telling her son-in-law that he had better not overeat or he'd wind up fat like her.

Clark's granddaughter, Tara, overheard that. And the little girl couldn't let it pass without comment.

“You're not fat, Grandma,” she said. “You're just old.”

OK, I’ll admit that I am a total snob

Well, about some things anyway.

I overheard a colleague talking about a new, local eatery planning some sort of pulled-pork extravaganza.

And it was all I could do to avoid snorting. Still, down deep inside, I scoffed.

You see, for six years I lived in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is the pulled-pork capital of the free world.

Trust me. I know the difference between adequate and life-changing pig meat.

Sure, that was a long time ago. And I no longer eat pork.

That, however, doesn't mean I intend to turn in my card as a barbecue snob.

Perhaps the local version will be mind-blowing. And I suppose it's unfair to judge it without actually tasting it.

But dig it: Here's me being unimpressed with it in advance.

And how about you? About what are you a snob because your travels afforded you insight and expertise unknown to other mortals?

Gravity and Ice vs. Princess Mania

Maybe it was just a regular skating class.

But it could have been a birthday party. A water bottle on the benches side of the boards at the Ice Palace had a special label announcing that Miriam turns 4 today.

There were several little girls trying to skate there at Riverfront Park late this morning. And, judging from their pink, sparkly attire, it seemed as if most of them were in the grip of princess mania. Even the bike helmets they wore had pincessy themes.

Which is why ice skating was the perfect activity.

Now one has to be careful when using phrases such as “knock some sense into them” when discussing young children. But until a proven vaccination is developed, ice skating seems like a great way to address the princess outbreak.

In ice skating, you have to bring your own magic.

And if you don't, well, “DOWN GOES FRAZIER!”

Falling on ice is extremely reality-based, even if you aren't falling very far.

It focuses the mind in a way that no toy unicorn can match.

The little girls did, in fact, experience a few spills. But they always got up. And it was no wand or tiara that got them back on their feet. It was their own fortitude.

Some of those little princesses might be delusional, but apparently they're also pretty tough.

Know your TV reruns, Tip No. 51

If one of the Barkley boys (“The Big Valley”) or Cartwright boys (“Bonanza”) acquire a love interest, there is an excellent chance she will wind up dead before the end of episode.

In terms of longevity, those girls might as well have been “Star Trek” red shirts.

Before diversity had been discovered

This is from the 1980s.

Of course, it could be argued that in depicting a bunch of apparently white people recreating, the artist was just dealing with the reality he or she knew.

But it would not be long before a publication like this could be counted on to present a racial rainbow vision of hyperdiverse multiculturalism. Heightened awareness or Spokane fantasy? Genuine progress or feel-good make-believe?You make the call.

This date on “Mary Tyler Moore Show”

First airing on Jan. 15, 1977, an episode called “Lou's Army Reunion” has Lou in a tough spot. An old Army buddy, a guy Lou owes a favor, wants to be fixed up with Mary. But Lou knows this guy is no gentleman.

Who said this?

“At a time like this, it's positively indecent that you don't need a glass of port.”

If you have read this book…

…I would be interested in hearing what you thought of it.

Libraries aren’t free after-school daycare

A significant segment of the population doesn't seem to realize this.

Flirting and stool softener

Ever seen someone engaging in the former while purchasing the latter?

Just wondering

How lengthy does a midday snooze have to be before it qualifies as a long winter's nap?

How to stay fit

A friend who works on the first floor here at the Review Tower takes the stairs up to the 7th floor three times a day every weekday.

Don Hanlon, who is in his mid-60s, has been doing this for at least 10 years.

Name the 1980s movie in which…

Ann-Margret (playing a fetching barmaid) attends a Seattle Seahawks game with her married lover.

No cleavage but still quite noteworthy

This sort of thing is pretty much lost on me. But I am informed by a close personal adviser that this, ladies and gentlemen, is a dress.

Clothes connection can be misleading

The risks with socio-economic profiling are obvious.

You could be wrong. The person you assume to be poor might not be.

But I have developed a rule. If I am in downtown Spokane, I do not take for granted that someone wearing a Miami Dolphins hat or University of Michigan jacket has any connection to or interest in that team or school.

As I have learned partly from starting conversations that quickly went nowhere, a fair amount of the apparel in that category gets passed along through clothing-donations programs.

And saying “Go Blue!” to some guy standing in front of the bus station is apt to produce a mystified look.

Know your TV reruns — Tip No. 23

If James Whitmore was the guest star, it's a good bet that the story will deal with someone becoming mentally unhinged.

If you won a big award…

…and had to make an acceptance speech, who would you thank?

Elevator etiquette: Then vs. now

Maybe it's my imagination.

Perhaps I am romanticizing the past.

But you know that basic-manners thing where people about to board an elevator first stand back and make sure that no one is getting off on that floor?

Didn't people used to be better about that decades ago?

How to succeed in business

(Here's a Slice item from this date in 1999.)

Which attribute is most important in your line of work?

A) Willingness to apologize for things that weren't your fault.

B) Ability to stay awake in meetings.

C) Skill at stealing credit.

D) Talent for deflecting blame.

E) Showing up every day.


My only real New Year's resolution was to stop reading comments on attached to content elements I had nothing to do with producing.

So far, so good. I feel my attitude about Spokane improving already.

But I have to admit, it has taken a bit of resolve to not open the comments attached to the online story headlined “Miss Washington wows judges in strapless bikini”.

Wish your office layout looked like this?

Where would you sit? Would it force you to say things like “Engage” and “Make it so”?

My first invitation

Arriving this morning at 5:05 via email from Mexico, it was from Joel Whitaker.

It reads:

Dear Slice,

We are Spokane residents who live most of the year in Mazatlan. Please come to our Super Bowl party.

There will be many interesting people here. I am sure your employer will spring for airfare.



Back before sneakers cost $150

That's Bob Cousy.

And so now you know what “P-F” stood for.

Stories That Never Happened Dept.

Was listening just a few minutes ago to a radio interview with Ryan Crocker.

The host on NPR's “Morning Edition” referred to him, with some justification, as the former U.S. ambassador “to everywhere.”

Reminded me of my courtship of his wife a year or so ago.

Well, perhaps that's not the right word. But I did speak with her on the phone several times about the possibility of my interviewing her on the subject of her reaction to Spokane.

She never said “No.” But neither did we ever manage to move forward in our discussions about getting together.

Too bad. I think it's interesting to hear what people who have seen the world think of Spokane.

We had an editor here at the SR a few years ago who had come from a big city regarded to be one of America's cultural centers. I never met him. I work early, he worked late. Besides, he was not here long.

The story I heard is that his wife absolutely hated Spokane. Loathed it. Couldn't take five more minutes of being here.

To each her own. But I always wonder how people can make up their minds so quickly.

Don't we all, to a certain extent, make our own reality?

I firmly believe you can do that here about as well as you can most other places. But I guess not everyone agrees. 

This date in Slice history (1997)

Sometimes well-intentioned people just flat run out of time.

So here are eight back-up topics for your book club meeting when it's obvious nobody read the book:

1. When you're in a hotel, do you ever listen through the wall to hear what's happening in the next room?

2. What assumptions do people make about a Spokane woman based on how much makeup she wears?

3. Can you detect an Inland Northwest accent?

4. Why are some people simply not happy unless they are trying to get their church pastor fired?

5. Does Hollywood's fondness for interracial buddy movies distort our perception of how blacks and whites relate to one another in real life?

6. Would you consider it a compliment if someone said you were completely without guile?

7. Agree or disagree: Most people tend to overrate their ability to disguise the fact that they find someone wildly attractive.

8. Is there a place for dirty jokes?

How to spot a yogurt snob

1. Mocks your favorite brand, calls it “a junk-food dessert.”

2. Says things like “You call THOSE active cultures? I'll show you active cultures!”

3. Talks about his or her bowels.

4. Wears “Bacteria Eater” tee shirt.

Made in Washington, 1942

I assume you recognize these works in progress.

Coming in Friday’s Slice column

Details on your chance to arrange a house call from The Slice.

Moments before the kill bite

Monday is National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

So don't wait. Start ignoring it today. Your animals will thank you.

With MLK Jr. Day just a dozen days away

A) It's time to plan for the day off from work on Jan. 21. B) It's time to anticipate some especially thoughtful, well-considered comments on C) It's time to hear from self-proclaimed experts on diversity and tolerance who have spent their lives in a white-dominated city. D) It's time to remind everyone around me that I am mad about the many ways America has changed. E) It's time to embarrass my family once again by saying things they have repeatedly asked me not to say. F) It's time to get ready for Spokane's annual water-cooler reality check. G) It's time to tune out pointless anger. H) Other.

If you were going to see the B-52’s

You know, when they perform at a local casino later this month.

If you got to draw up the list of songs they would play, how many times would you have them do “Love Shack”?

A) Once. B) Not at all. C) Twice. D) I would have them play nothing but “Love Shack,” over and over. E) Other. 

Re: The pompatus of love

This was the No.1 song on this date in 1974.

This date in Slice history (1997)

Nancy Harris was driving with a niece who had just moved here when the girl asked about a construction site by the freeway.

“That's the new Valley mall,” answered Harris. “Yahoo!”

“Oh,” said her niece. “Is that what they're going to name it — the Yahoo Mall?”

Random 1970s hair

No idea who these people are. But many coiff-challenged youths who eventually surprised their parents by becoming productive citizens looked like this when they were 18.

Looking ahead to the 40th anniversary

The record-shattering Triple Crown was in the spring of 1973.

“He's moving like a tremendous machine.”

Coming in Thursday’s Slice

The last list of collective nouns for multiple Subaru Outbacks.

Speculating about sexual partners

Do you suppose anyone in 2013 ever wonders how many names are on your list?

One thing that usually cracks me up

When someone walks up and just randomly says, “You're soaking in it.”

What? You mean that doesn't happen to everybody?

Memo to SR food editor Lorie Hutson

Hi, Lorie

I haven't done a food section story in a while. But I have an idea to pitch.

“Insanely Sloppy Sandwiches and the Insane People Who Make Them.”

They're out there. Men (and possibly women) who simply lack condiment control. Because of their food-prep mental impairment, they are incapable of making a sandwich that does not start turning into a bready pile of goo before they even sit down and find something to watch on TV.

These people could be your friends. They might be your neighbors.

To the casual observer, they seem normal and well-adjusted.

But when they start making a sandwich, something happens. Something scary. A sort of stacking mania takes over and they end up constructing snacks that would require flying buttresses to maintain structural integrity.

And once they begin to shove these unholy creations into their gaping maws, they have to maintain a death grip on the Frankensandwich or else a cascading failure will commence with an avalanche of pickles, mayo and tomato slices.

Forget napkins. This full-face wipe-down is a job for a beach towel.

Story would address several key questions: 

Is it a cry for help?

Should there be a support group?

Should mustard be a controlled substance?

When is it time to organize an intervention?

Do sloppy-sandwich makers pass along a sandwich-disaster gene?

Could also do confessional first-person sidebar: “My name is Paul, and I have been making out-of-control sandwiches since I was a teenager.”

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Thanks for considering this.   

This date in Slice history (1995)

Today's Slice question: Which of your co-workers holds the record for the most phone calls in one day from a spouse or significant other?

No. 1 song on this date in 1973

Though it might have been that one album cover that made more of an impression on you.

The Wednesday Slice question

Not giving a damn about what makes you feel like a stranger in a strange land here?.

Cy Young Winners Born in Idaho Dept.

You’ve seen too many movies if…

You are almost surprised to discover, upon walking into a convenience store, that it is not being held up at that moment.

Could you have done these dances?

There are those of us who fear we would not have remembered all the moves. Hence the appeal of the Twist, the Jerk, the Frug, et cetera.

Sharing a birthday with Elvis

Cynthia Langenheder used to think it was neat to have the same birthday as the late king of rock and roll.

But over the years, she started thinking more in terms of sharing the birthday with Stephen Hawking.

With whom do you share a birthday?

Robins appearing long before spring

It's my understanding that there are robins in our area all year, though the ones you see in Spokane today might have been in British Columbia last month.

Still, every year, I hear from readers who regard the wintertime appearance of these birds as premature signs of spring. These folks view these sightings with “alert the media” amazement.

And they seem disappointed when I say, more or less, “Not really.”

So if you are a bird expert, please feel free to weigh in.

Robins in snow — a freak of nature or no big deal?

Spokane’s Sisyphean labors

Saw lots of evidence this morning on the way to the bus stop of sidewalks having been cleared and then buried by passing snow plows.

There in the predawn quiet, it was as if homeowners' curses still hung in the wintertime air.

This date in Slice history (1996)

Today's Slice question: What ingredients would go in a drink called a “Double Spokane”?

Look out below

If pine trees could laugh, they might be chuckling in and around Spokane this afternoon as gloppy snow clods slide off high branches and score direct hits on unsuspecting dupes walking down below.

Newspapering depicted in the 1950s

This is a scene from 1957's “Sweet Smell of Success.”

Can you spot Tony Curtis?

You've heard of the copy desk rim? Well, this is a related setup.

Would you like it if the SR did this?

About 40 years ago, the Burlington Free Press in Vermont routinely trotted out a special front page nameplate on mornings when it had snowed several inches overnight.

Most winters, that was quite a few mornings.

This typeface made the words “Burlington Free Press” appear to be topped with snow. I think the newsroom made the call on whether to go with that snow-capped nameplate after midnight.

The look probably struck some readers as a bit whimsical for a newspaper that ought to take itself seriously. But I always liked it.

Besides, newspapers usually don't have much trouble taking themselves plenty seriously.

Ex-Cowles exec to be KSPS movie host

Shaun Higgins, who was a newspaper company executive for ages, will be one of three new hosts for “Saturday Night Cinema” on KSPS.

The trio replace longtime host Bill Stanley, who stepped down.

In other media news involving former SR people…

Hasson worked here quite a while ago.

Caption contest

“It says here that Idaho is a red state.”

When a song gets stuck in your head

It's bad enough when you keep hearing the actual song.

But what if you tweak the title and then keep hearing THAT version?

I'm living it. It happened after imagining street conditions this afternoon.

“Slush City.”

Re: Last night’s “Downton Abbey”

If you are a fan of the show and were not satisfied with last night's Season 3 kick-off, I would be tempted to assume that there's just no pleasing you.

There are two kinds of people

One brushes all of the new snow off his or her whole vehicle before heading out.

The other just clears a small peep hole in the front windshield before sallying forth.

Oh, I guess there's a third. People who park in garages.

Or people who don't own cars.

Or people who park outside but work from home.

Feel free to add your own category. 


As several readers courteously noted, “The Big Lebowski” came about 15 years ago, not 25 as I said in print the other day.

I have an idea how I got confused about this. But it remains a forehead-slapper nonetheless.

I will, of course, note this in print at my first opportunity. But that won't show up for four days. So I wanted to acknowledge my idiocy here.

True or false

WSU Coug and longtime national sports broadcaster Keith Jackson was in a movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

This date in Slice history (1996)

Slice answers: Lots of people, we're told, refer to the Lilac City as “The Can.”

And we've decided that it would be a good name for a TV show. Or a hair style. Or better yet, a newspaper column.

“Hey, did you read in 'The Can' that some old lady in Hillyard brushes her cat twice a day?”

“You don't say.” 

You might remember this group

This was the No. 1 song on this date in 1966.

Coming in Saturday’s Slice column

The great divider

A case could be made that it's guns, fluoride, religion, cilantro, abortion, studded tires, bicycle riders, country music, parking meters, SUVs or Leonard Pitts.

But if you asked me, the most polarizing subject in our society is women choosing to keep their last names after getting married.

There are people who just become unhinged about the idea of women making that choice.

The real experts on this are those name-keeping women, of course. So if you don't believe me, ask one of them.

No comment necessary here

I still miss “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

How many Expo 74 visitors were stoned?

An email from a reader commenting on today's Slice column makes me suspect the number is not insignificant.

Today’s SR staffer tattoo

OK, this gentleman doesn't actually work here. I was trying to make you look.

It seems some readers do go to the jump

If we can assume, that is, that Tony Stark is reading the inside-page continuation of the A1 Iron Man story.

Mind-blowing travel convenience

Ladies and gentlemen, seats that swivel.

According to the fine site credited below, this is from a 1947 brochure touting The Empire Builder. 

The wrong way to hold a record album

And a few ashes from his pipe wouldn't do the vinyl any good either.

Another NHL goalie who played here

I know this because Howie Stalwick mentioned Johnston playing for the Spokane Comets in 1961-62.

Are you old enough to remember…

…when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue came out in the middle of January?

This is the 1968 issue.

Remember who sponsored your team?

A bowling alley sponsored my Little League baseball team. A small hotel sponsored my bantam hockey team. And I can't remember what the deal was with the YMCA basketball team I was on when I was about 12.

Just wondering

If someone jokingly referred to you and one other person as “Spin and Marty,” would you understand the reference?

And where in the Inland Northwest would you find the nearest approximation of a de-luxe apartment in the sky?

“Twin Peaks” vs. “Northern Exposure”

1. Did you watch these shows when they were on TV roughly 20 years ago?

2. Which did you like better?

3. If you were to re-watch them now, which do you imagine would hold up better?

4. Did the Northwest angle (taped here or set here) increase your interest?

Did I misuse the phrase “push back”?

A Slice reader left me a phone message in which she asserted that when I used “push back” in today's column, I erred.

Because I was talking about moving something to a later date, she said I should have chosen “push ahead.”

Feel free to weigh in before I call her back.

Be sure to check “Too Many Cooks” blog

Here's why.

1. The most recent post is something I had a hand in.

2. The women who produce that blog all have distinctive laughs that are a pleasure to hear. I don't know if having a great laugh is an essential ingredient for being a good cook. But it probably doesn't hurt.  

It’ll keep

Pat Cadagan received a Hostess fruitcake as a stocking-stuffer at Christmas.

That's OK. He likes fruitcake.

But he is in no hurry to eat this one. No need to rush, after all. The expiration date is in 2015.  

This date in Slice history (1997)

Parking lot luge: One Slice reader wonders why some shopping carts at grocery stores in this part of the country don't come equipped with little skis or sled-like runners.

On the 5:53 a.m. No. 43 bus

I was riding the early bus in the first forward-facing seat.

A girl got on just before downtown and sat in the center-facing seat directly in front of me. She might have been 18. Could have been 20.

She proceeded to extract a compact from her bag and began applying makeup, studying the little mirror as she went.

I wasn't sure this was a great idea. It was pretty dark in the bus. And the ride is not without an occasion jostle. How could she do a precise job?

I imagined saying something to her. “You know, you don't really need that stuff. You look just fine.”

But, of course, I kept quiet. Billions of dollars spent convincing women to be insecure about their appearance had already spoken.

Public radio graphic of the day

Not really sure why I like this so much. Maybe I just like theoretical Minnesota. 

Can you spot the Ball State grad?

No, Betty White did not go to college in Indiana.

The fact that the editor of this newspaper is himself a Ball State man played no role in my selecting this post. The “Password” player in question was one of my favorite NFL players when I was about 10 or 12. Honest.

30 years ago on the newsstand

Not everyone believed it in 1983.

The Wednesday Slice question

Who is your favorite ex-employee of The Spokesman-Review?

Obscure Spokane trivia question

What onetime Spokane TV news anchor had a cameo in an episode of “Larry Sanders”?

This was after this individual was long gone from here.

No, it's not Charles Rowe. He was in “The Rockford Files.”

Less than a week until the Elvis birthday

It's Tuesday, the 8th, to be exact.

On that day, men are expected to adopt the name of a character Elvis played in a movie.

Among your choices: Scott, Jess, Steve, Joe, Chad, Clint, Toby, Deke, Vince, John, Pacer, Tulsa, Rusty and Lucky.

As usual, I will be going by Deke.

Fighting your hording gene

This is a classic time of year for throwing stuff away.

Or at least it is a traditonal point on the calendar for trying to toss things out.

It can be a challenge, though, if you are prone to ask yourself over and over, “What if I need to refer to this someday?” That can lead to paralyzing dithering, of course.

In such cases, I try to tell myself I never would have been able to find it anyway.

What's your secret to being brutal when it comes to getting rid of stuff?

KAYU rules against “Perry Mason”

A longtime Spokane tradition appears to be at an end.

No more noon “Perry Mason” reruns on KAYU. It appears that the station is now showing “Matlock” in that weekday time slot.

Me TV (channel 29 in some parts of our area) is showing “Perry Mason.” But not at lunchtime.

This date in Slice history (1995)

Today's Slice question: If the South Hill and the North Side were separate cities, what would be the perfect names for each?

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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