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The Slice

Archive for May 2014

How to conduct a Spokane bug census

A professor of entomology at WSU once told me that those wanting to know what sort of insects live near their home should just leave a peeled banana in the backyard for a few days. 

True or False

Spokane has been mentioned on this show.

Spokane Canaries could have won Cup

But they didn't, and within a few years the newly formed National Hockey League back East pretty much claimed the Stanley Cup for its own.

So are you rooting for a New York vs. L.A. final?

Has never happened in all the years since the Kings joined the NHL in 1967-68.

Re: the Canaries: See second item:

Great moments in reader interaction

Please click on this link to a 2010 Slice column and read the short item just above the question of the day, the one about the Thunderbirds.

A few of my readers were bent out of shape about it. That's fine.

But one email, I still remember.

A guy who said he had served under my father (a career Air Force officer) wrote and I said owed my dad an apology for questioning the values underpinning the Thunderbirds. He went on at some length.

The thing is, my father had died in 2007 — a fact known to my readers.

I wrote the guy back. And, unless he has adopted a fake name, I have not heard from him again.

But I still remember thinking that some who seek to wrap themselves in a cloak of honor don't know the first thing about it.


Someone not wanting to abide by the firearms ban at the FAFB air show will get into a Second Amendment beef with a guard at the base entrance.

What did he purchase in Spokane?

It was something he selected for his intended, the high-spirited Charlene Darling.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion

That a fairly high percentage of those buying bicycles from individuals must not be overly concerned about the possibility that the bikes in question might have been stolen.

“The World of Danger, Drama and Death!”

Me, I'm thinking an actual nurse would be smart enough to figure out how to elude her attacker.

Just wondering

Have you ever driven a car faster than 100 miles per hour?

Ideal Hoopfest court monitor

He doesn't really want any BS from the likes of you.

True or False

This man was the mayor of Spokane.

Where were you in 1960?

As you can see, Willie Davis was here in Spokane, hitting the hell out of PCL pitching.

(A couple of commenters mentioned him yesterday, so I thought I'd post this card.)

You don’t have to be a big drinker

To think that the whole idea of the “bar car” had a certain appeal.

“You're going to Spokane? Well, what a coincidence.”

The guy in the center of the scene reminds me of 1960s talk show host Mike Douglas.

A scary moment

The teenage daughter of one of my longtime colleagues is about to graduate from high school.

I was talking to her about that and happened to note that I had skipped my own high school graduation, though my parents went ahead and attended the ceremony.

(If you know me and cannot outrun me, chances are I have forced you to listen to that story.)

Anyway, at some point in our conversation, she said “Maybe I should do that.”

For a fraction of a second, I faced the awful prospect that she was serious.

She wasn't. Thank God.

All I need is her dad remembering forever that I talked his daughter out of attending her high school graduation.

“What happened? Why isn't she going?”

“Paul Turner convinced her it would mean she's a total corporate lackey.”

I no longer believe that. Well, not entirely. And besides, we longtime corporate lackeys can always use some reinforcements.

Correlation has yet to be established

But some of the hardest rain I have seen in Spokane has fallen on the weekend of Art Fest.

Today’s baseball card

Some say he was the best player to don a Spokane Indians uniform.

Just wondering

If you were to guess…what percentage of Wallace residents have no idea who Lana Turner was?

Blinded by the light

“I never understood why texting in a theater was discouraged until I experienced sitting behind someone doing it,” wrote Susan Chapin. “The bright beam of light from her phone screen was the equivalent of a set of halogen headlights pointed at my eyes in the darkened theater.”

The Wednesday Slice question

What do you suppose goes through the minds of real estate developers who name new commercial or residential projects after wildlife essentially being evicted by the development in question? 

Two questions

1. Can you name the movie in which Rosie O'Donnell plays the features editor at the newspaper where reporter Meg Ryan works?

2. If you had ever encountered Peggy Lipton, what would you have said to her?

A) “You were not the major problem with 'The Mod Squad.'” B) “Did you know 'Twin Peaks' would be a hit?” C) “Where did you stay when you were up in Northeast Washington for filming of 'The Postman'?” D) Other. 

“Thongs” as synonym for “flip-flops”

Apparently not everyone who is younger than, say, 40, recognizes that. To some, “thongs” refers only to an altogether different sort of attire.

Can you remember…

…worrying that they might not be able to come back?

How to tell that a sandwich will be good

It will be good if,,,

Once you pick it up you cannot put it down because releasing your two-handed grip on it would trigger a food avalanche.

You probably shouldn’t live in a city if…

A) You do not enjoy meeting new people. B) You don't believe in mass transit because you don't use it. C) You believe that people who do not look like you are probably criminals. D) Ease of parking is all you care about. E) Panhandlers freak you out. F) Other.

Memorial Day, Veterans Day different

Sure, OK. You know that.

But you have to admit that it seems many people do not.

Stayed up to see the meteor shower

Went outside multiple times but saw nothing.

How about you?

Newspaper front pages in comic books

I might have shared this link before. But it's good stuff, worth reviewing. Besides, today is The Slice Blog's third birthday. And it's all a bit of a blur to me now.

What did you do with checklist cards?

A) Tossed them. B) Used as intended. C) Went straight to the bike spokes along with manager cards. D) I was a girl. E) No idea what a checklist card is or why I should care. F) Other.

The publisher’s daughter

Just learned that she is going to sit about 10 feet away from my desk when she arrives to do a summer internship.

This might be just the inspiration I need to finally accomplish my goal of cleaning up my language.

But would I deprive her of an authentic newsroom experience if I start saying things like “Aw, fudge”?

I'll have to mull this.

Of course, she probably won't be coming in quite so early as I do, so I'll still have a window of free speech.

And for all I know, she is not an easily offended young lady.

In any event, there is a precedent for my minding my manners in her presence. I sat near her family once at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. She was an infant, as I recall. And, to the best of my recollection, I didn't curse once during the entire service.

The thing about role models

You can't force kids to admire people who actually deserve it.

Feedback on the A1 art

“Oh snore, it must be spring,” wrote Alison Duke. “The front page of the paper (Wednesday) has a picture of Duane Hagadone's boring red geraniums at the CDA resort. I don't think it's my imagination. although I may be exaggerating, that there is a picture of them every damn year. Can you verify or refute my claim?”

Tricking kids into drinking milk

The good old days were not without questionable ideas.

Just wondering

Did you ever put a Fizzies tablet directly into your mouth?

Two kinds of people

When asked by the robo-voice after listening to a phone message if they want to kill it or save it, some people ask themselves “What if I need to refer to this at a later date?”

Others kill with abandon.

I sort of envy him

A friend of mine just started watching “The Sopranos.”

After all these years.

He said he is enjoying it. He is an Italian American and I suggested the HBO series didn't exactly depict that ethnic community in a multi-dimensional way. But my friend said he hadn't been bothered and volunteered that the show gets some things astonishingly right.

I admired his attitude. My own ethnic background is a murky blend of English/Irish/German, so I have never really identified with any one group. My closest brush with being-offended potential might have been encountering the portrayal of the backwoods Vermonters in “Newhart,” Larry, Darrell and Darrell. But I sort of liked them.


“The Flying Newsroom”

Jimmy Olsen doesn't seem to be carrying a notebook. But perhaps it is in his front pocket. Or maybe the Flying Newsroom, piloted by Jumbo Jones, is fully stocked with journalistic supplies.

Does that helicopter look safe to you?

Twenty years ago in newspaper movies

A lot of this was ridiculous. But the 1994 movie did strike one realistic note with the portrayal of a newsroom staffer obsessed with the possibility that someone might steal his special chair.

Did you see Alice Cooper on June 22, 1975?

No reason. Just wondered.

I liked a few of his songs. And I always got a kick out of how open he was offstage about how utterly, golf-playing normal he was in real life.

Recalling Dorothy James Dean

Seeing a reference to Dorothy Dean in the Food section today reminded me of this Slice item from 2007.

It's the one that starts “Many happy returns.” To fully appreciate it, you need to take note of the publication date.

The Wednesday Slice question

This one is for those who didn't grow up in Spokane or anywhere near here.

You know how many people in our area seem to think nothing of driving over to Seattle? Well, if you applied that one-way distance to potential trips in more densely populated parts of the country (the place where you grew up, perhaps), where could you have gone?

I'll go first. If you started in the New England town where I went to high school, a drive of that length could have gotten you way past Boston, Hartford or Montreal. Or past Portland, Maine. Or past Providence, R.I. Or Manchester, New Hampshire. And almost to New York City. (Past it, if we use the Coeur d'Alene to Seattle distance.)

Yet another old beer can…

…from a defunct brewery in Spokane.

I have been told that guys who worked there could have a beer at lunch.

Have you ever worked somewhere that allowed free samples of the product?

Discover your “Star Trek” name

If you enter “Spokane Washington” and click on “male,” it says you are “A'trom,” a Klingon.

“Paul Turner” gets you “Koss, a Vulcan.”

But this might be less than pure science. I know. You're shocked.

I did some repeat entries and suspect the name/identity generator has very few names in its translations data base.

Tracking automobilists

A bike-riding friend who lives in Minnesota likes to track the erratic, dangerous misadventures of people driving cars.

He refers to them as “automobilists.”

I suspect this is in response to the way those who hate bike riders sneeringly use the word “bicyclist.”

That sort of cracks me up. I would be tempted to start borrowing that term. But, like most bike riders, I am also an automobilist.

So never mind.

Is it time to retire the “high five”?

Let's face it. It is seldom well-executed.

And it can be a bit over-the-top when the event or accomplishment being celebrated is actually pretty ho-hum.

But what would take its place?

To paraphrase an old New Yorker cartoon…How about nothing? Would nothing work for you?

Another local connection to the real Memphis Belle

Last week, we talked about the crew member from Spokane. But my colleague Jim Camden noted another local connection.

“When it returned to the U.S. from its 25 missions, the Memphis Belle was refurbished at the Spokane Air Depot, or Galena (what we now call Fairchild). It's where most shot up B-17s were repaired.”


When editors catch you in the supply room

Uh, wasn't it “mild-mannered”? “Meek and cowardly” seems a bit harsh.

Can you spot the CDA connection?

Yes, OK. I will admit that my interest in “Lou Grant” exceeds that of any rational person in 2014.

I will further admit that I have asked this exact question before. But some of us learn through repetition.

Just wondering

What part of Spokane has never been called “trendy”?

Re: “Poop walk” invitations

After I asked readers to invite me along when they walk their dogs, several families volunteered. I suspect a few of them wondered if I really would pick up after their pooches, as I promised to do.

Here are snippets from a handful of those emails. Thanks to all.

“The bag I use to scoop the poop is none other than the 'Good Paper' bag, which I now think of as the good pooper bag!” — Jenifer Priest

“My youngest son, who is now 14, has always had a weird preoccupation with your column. I think he was in preschool when it first caught his eye. He can't understand why you get to be in the paper (he would kill me if he knew I was telling you this). He thinks this latest offer to help with poop scooping is the craziest idea yet.” — Dawn Sidell

“I would like to nominate my 12-year-old mastiff, Willie, for your dog walk adventure. I believe that bigger is always better. At 150+ pounds, Willie epitomizes the word 'big.' Big bark, big appetite, and big…well, let's just say that when it comes to picking up after Willie, he's a two-bagger.” — Mike Boseth

“I can see Steptoe, 35 miles away. Plenty of fresh air. We have a nice one-mile route, fairly flat, and not much traffic. The dog is a collie.” — Steven Stuart

“While Ellen and Michael (Sherriffs) are at work, I'm responding to yesterday's Slice. I take my people for a walk every day, except Bloomsday. I'd love to have you join us. This is the best part of their day.” — Abby

“We do a short walk of about two blocks down to the beach, at which time we might enter that area and relax for a time, while enjoying the view of the lake.” — Jack Newcomb

“We live in the Hollywood neighborhood (Shadle area actually), so you could say you saw a dog take a dump on a Hollywood yard.” — Kenny Hall

“It would be great to share our favorite walk with you and my little Papillion (miniature spaniel), Tickle. We love to walk down to the Spokane River and explore the area near Donkey Island.” — Diane Stutzman

“You want poop patrol? We have poop!” — Guy and Diane Perham

“I would love to have you come over and pick up after my dog!” — Lauri Sippel

“I am writing to offer you the opportunity to walk and clean up after the greatest dog in all of Spokane, our yellow lab Gump.” — Peter Yocom

“It's too bad you didn't ask this question back in January when we still had Charger, our pug on wheels. About two years ago, he lost the use of his back legs, adapted to his wheelchair and never stopped adventuring. He'd pop the occasional wheelie and was shameless in begging friends and strangers for head rubs. RIP, good buddy.” — Peggy Rolando

“I feel it's necessary for me to offer my assistance in helping you achieve the quintessential Spokane experience of picking up doggie poo.” — Caryl Thomas

“Marilyn, my lab, and I would love to have you join us on one of our walks.” — Joy Nagle

“Mr. Bojangles, the Maltese, and Stella ,the toy poodle, would love to leave something for you to pick up.” — Nathaniel Hildebrand

“I think Arlo (named after Arlo Guthrie) is your ticket to poop-bliss.” — Dylan Karaus

“This may also encourage more people to 'pick up.' Thanks.” — Marlene Peters

“Attached is a photo of Gizmo the Dog who is praying that you will select him to be your dog-walking partner.” — Ray Tansy

“We go on dog friendly ghost walks of downtown Spokane and its haunted cemeteries.” — John and Catherine Caskey

“How about this, for the real experience of dog bathroom support in Spokane County, come on out and help me clean up my backyard.” — Jerry Hickman

“We can't provide the opportunity to experience doggy clean-up, but if you ever get the urge to experience litter-box freshening, please call!” — Janet Lake

“Your neighbor's cat would probably think the column about dog walking/poop would make a good cat box liner.” — Kevin Decker

“She thinks you went to the dark side.” — Jim Gyarfas

“I so wish I could invite you to pick up after our dog. Maddie-the-Mostly-Good-Dog was a shelter dog who was with us for 14 years, until February. The silliest things like your column today (May 13), still make me tear up. You probably would have liked her.” — Ann Murphy

Your plans for Victoria Day?

It's Monday.

“Get royally hammered” is one option. But perhaps you can aim higher.

NEXT Friday is the one where…

…people will disappear from their workplaces early, as if by magic.

It's the power of Memorial Day weekend.

Does anyone still say “jumpy”?

You know, as in nervous or easily startled.

My quest to be called “Old Man Turner”

A little neighbor boy told me his name.

He was standing on his porch, across the street.

I said it was a good name.

Then he asked me for mine. I told him my first name, and spelled it.

His mother looked down at her son and said “He's Mr. Turner.”

I should have suggested that I prefer neighborhood kids to call me “Old Man Turner” or “Mean Old Man Turner.”

Maybe next time I see him, when I don't have to shout.

Time heals

Came in this morning to see that someone who once tried to rip me a new one in a letter to the editor wants me to connect with her on LinkedIn.

I clicked on “Accept.”

I actually encountered her in person not all that long after her letter was published years ago. And she seemed almost likable. I think I was won over when she cheerfully identified herself as my letters-page attacker.

Life's funny sometimes, isn't it?

Should mowing the lawn topless be OK for women?

A) Yes. B) No. C) Probably, but the fact is society's real-world mores are shaped by a Babbittesque sense of sexuality. D) Men and women are different. E) Breasts have been so sexualized in our culture that we are nowhere near being able to deal with that in a calm manner. F) I would love to see a court ruling allowing it, just because of the delightfully entertaining outrage it would generate. G) Yes. When I hear “Community standards” I picture the Church Lady from “SNL.” H) I'm not sure men should be allowed to do it. I) I'm a headline writer, so Yes. J) Other. 

One way to interrupt a certain rant/lecture

Inform the speaker that there is a wheelchair user in your family.

A pet peeve you are welcome to share

When people refer to wasps or yellow-jackets as “bees.”

Let's make honey.

Encouraging or a reason to feel old?

I was glancing at the Festival at Sandpoint lineup and noticed that Huey Lewis and the News would be performing in August.

I seem to recall seeing that band in concert about 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago.

So should we be pleased that they are still able to sit up and take nourishment or is that a little depressing?

Maybe if people still enjoy seeing them, that's all that matters.


Once you open this, click on the second picture (the one with the girl) for a better look at a breakfast suggestion.

How do you feel about Ted Forth?

He's definitely not an uptight, super-macho bullying jerk.

But is he your idea of an adult?

Shouldn't he be a bit more stressed? Or maybe he IS stressed and his clinging to fantasy is his coping mechanism.

On the plus side, he does say the right thing to his wife, Sally, now and then.

And perhaps it is worth remembering that he is a comic strip character, not a real person.


Something that made me chuckle

Last night during the Bruins vs. Canadiens hockey game, the subject of wrestling came up. And play-by-play man Mike Emrick noted that he grew up in an era when “wrestling” often involved the use of a “foreign object.”

Remember that?

Oh, man. That stuff was a hoot. Hadn't thought about foreign objects in years.

Could be a good band name.

The tree branch blocking Manito Blvd.

I suspect it has already been removed. Lots of chatter about it on the police/fire scanner.

But for a time this morning, a fallen tree branch blocked 90% of Manito Boulevard — all four lanes — at about 18th or 19th.

There was just enough room for a bicycle to get by.

The truth is…

…this show-within-the-show looked awful. At least from the little bits of it we saw.


On newsstands 50 years ago

Can you name the movie Mamie Van Doren appeared in with Clark Gable and Doris Day?

Hint: It's about newspapering. Mamie plays the bimbo girlfriend of a hard-charging editor.

Know your TV trivia

What sort of fish might send fan mail?

Ever heard of Gabriel Gonzaga?

I hadn't either. But here he is, failing to relax.

A chess master? No. Click on the link below.

The Wednesday Slice question

Do you have any idea how your neighbors make a living?

Songs You Had Forgotten Department

Years ago, I was doing a story on a local summer camp and I learned that one of the counselors was a student at Hamilton College back in New York state. I mentioned “The Sterile Cuckoo” and the fact that it had been filmed at Hamilton. I seem to recall that she had never heard of the movie.

Does this look like life in Spokane?

You make the call.

I have, as of this date, officially stopped caring if it is “Benny and June” or “Benny and Joon.”

Cat fur, part of this complete breakfast

Rosalia's Penni Barringer told a tale of shedding.

“Dear Paul,

“We have a beautiful long-haired ragdoll cat, and I am sure we have eaten hair for the last nine years and 10 months. I try to comb and brush her daily but we are still fighting hair.

“I have two vacuum cleaners that I use daily and we still have cat hair.

“I think we will probably still be eating hair for 10 years after she dies. She is a keeper though, and you put up with the hair.”

Know your TV trivia

Who said “Sheesh, what a grouch!”?

Remembering a Sweaty Nipples show

The only reason I am posting this old Being There column, apart from it having run on this date in 1997, is the hope you might enjoy a couple of the song titles mentioned near the end.

Songs You Had Forgotten Department

I always liked this song, but this is one of the worst music videos ever.

Curbside upholstered furniture “FREE”

What goes through your mind when you see that?

A) Infestation. B) A decade of someone else's body oils, et cetera. C) Potential bargain. D) The sign should say “Don't want to pay dump fee.” E) Other.

Teeing one up for Slice haters

I've cobbled together more than 5,000 Slice columns over the years. But tomorrow's offering might be the fattest pitch I have ever served up to my less-civil critics looking for a short, simple expression with which to bash my column.

Interesting verb choice

A decisive victory, to be sure. But “Slaughter”?

Born too soon for wall-to-wall coverage

If you are of a certain age and played organized sports as a kid, you might have had this thought.

“Too bad phone cameras were not around back when I was in Little League and in high school sports. I wouldn't mind if some of my playing-career highlights were findable on the Internet.”

Yes, that would be pretty sweet. In fact, it's almost possible to imagine a surprised and impressed audience.

“Wow. So I guess you weren't always a feeble old man.”

Of course, there might be a downside. Maybe those big plays look better in your memory than they really were. Maybe that sensational catch you made against Bob's Big Boy in 1965 would actually look pretty routine now? And what if that mind-blowing goal you scored against Montpelier was not really all that remarkable?

I guess there would be that risk. Still, some of us might like to see for ourselves.

Wayne Pomerleau’s annual lilacs alert

He said lilacs are blooming at Manito Park and suggested getting yourself over there asap.

Fastest Preakness ever run

Secretariat goes from last to first. Poor Sham.

Once more, with feeling

A well-intentioned reader sent a picture of this and asked if I knew of it.

I thanked him, but gently noted that I have mentioned it a hundred times.

Let's make that 101.

Just wondering

Because of access issues, what is the hardest place in your home to clean and what is the certainty that someone making a service call at your place will want to get there?

A scenic workout

I wonder if any downtown resident or worker has already incorporated the numerous stairs at the new waterfalls park/plaza in a daily exercise regimen. 

References to Spokane, No. 42

In a fall 2012 episode of “Modern Family” called “The Butler's Escape,” Claire is heckled by her younger daughter for thinking that Seattle is the capital of Washington.

Trying to rally, Claire says she knew that and mutters “It's Spokane.”

How to know you are into NHL playoffs

You are at home watching TV and find yourself hoping that one of the New York Rangers will separate Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby from consciousness.

Only downside to new waterfalls park

It is so amazingly cool that I fear people will henceforth allow distant friends and relatives to come here for a visit only during spring, so the hosts can take them down to check out the falls at full roar. 

Hair apparent

How long has the person who cuts your hair been doing so?

“Brenda has been cutting my hair for over 21 years,” wrote Jim McGuire. “When we started she was in her late teens or early 20s. I've been with her through her marriage, three kids and numerous pets. Over 275 haircuts.”

“Tonja has cut my hair for 23 years, but I have cut my husband's hair for 31 years,” wrote Valerie Adams.

Jim Erdman wrote, “My loving wife of eight years and partner of 30 years has cut my hair for the entire 30 years. Every time I sit down for a haircut I tell her, 'Cut it full on top.' Her reply for 20 years has been 'This might be your last haircut.' She has saved me from the never elegant comb-over.”

Here's Linda Delaney's story. “I will have lived in Spokane 40 years in July and have had only three hairdressers in all that time. The first one moved to Hawaii after three years, and recommended the second. The second one moved to Mukilteo after about 20 years and recommended the third. The third has been whipping my hair into shape ever since. I'm seriously hoping she doesn't have any plans to move any time soon.”

Lona Herrbach shared this. “As of Wednesday May 21st, Michael Vane has been my hairdresser for 31 years. It started with styling my hair for my wedding. I can definitely say that after all these years we have been through many of life's ups and downs. He's not just a hair stylist  — and the best — he's a friend.”

Charles Brondos said his wife has been giving him haircuts since 1971. “Although there is less hair to cut now.”

Ron Mensch said his wife has been cutting his hair ever since he got a brutal haircut in Alaska in 1974. He didn't really notice how badly that 1974 haircut was going because he was distracted by a chatty bird there in the shop.

Lou Sachse wrote, “Robin Boggan has put up with me and my unruly hair for at least 30 years…give or take a year. I, on the other hand, have been cutting my husband's hair for almost 40!”

Patsy Wood's sister, Susan Clark in Pullman, has been doing Patsy's hair for more than 40 years. “Susan is the best!”

“Renee Miesen has been cutting my hair for about 22 years,” said Susan Chapin.

“I have been having the same wonderful man cutting my hair since 1982,” wrote Patt Earley. “I may have to go to a buzz cut when he finally hangs up his scissors.”

“Ed Leifer of Blades has been cutting my hair for 34 years,” wrote Lori Shauvin. “When you have perfection, why change?”

Gina Cadagan shared this. “I moved to Spokane in 1979 and was referred to John Distefano to cut my hair. Every once in a while I've wandered away to try someone else, but keep going back to John. So, 35 years later, John is still cutting my hair. He's the best!”

Claudia Kuttner is another Distefano fan. She has steered multiple members of her extended family his way. Once, when Kuttner was temporarily homebound, he offered to make a house call.

Nancy Hawley has been getting her hair cut by the same woman — a person she deeply admires for her big heart and civic involvement — for 48 years. “We were both very young when we started.”

She didn't feel free to name her because she doesn't want people to try to figure out this stylist's age.

Dave Wolfe lived in the mountains of Colorado from 1970 to 1973. “It was a 50 mile trip to the nearest barber.”

So his wife started cutting his hair. She still does. “I'm guessing that I have saved nearly $4,000 in barber fees.”

And Ina Redd reported that her son, Terry, has been cutting his own hair for about 15 years.

Can’t recall hearing a woman say this

Well, until now.

A longtime Slice reader sent me an email about a generational disconnect. She encountered a young adult who didn't seem to know who Bob Dylan is.

These things happen. But what really caught my attention was her description of how she was wearing a Dylan button that prompted the exchange.

She said it was “on my rack.”

Fair enough. But have you ever heard a woman use that term to describe her bust?

Guys, sure. But a woman?

Which one worked in Spokane TV news?

It's the seated woman, Libby Weaver. She has been gone from Spokane for a hundred years. And this magazine cover is a couple of years old. Not sure she even works in TV news anymore.

But when I found this, I wanted to share. Is it an insult to the news-gathering professions or is it simply a rare moment of honesty about what it takes to be a major-market anchor?

True or false

The sitcom character on the left once made mention of the world's fair in Spokane.

What was his line in “The Graduate”?

Yes, this is from the locally filmed “Always.”

After filming had been completed, my wife and I drove over to Libby to check out some of the movie-set leftovers.

Haven't been to Libby in years. You?

We know people text while driving

And yet we still step out of our homes and spend time on area roads.

I'd call that courage.

Looking ahead to Bike to Work Week

Here's one of approximately 322 stories I have written about bike riding.

If you know Wallace’s Rick Shaffer

Be sure to congratulate him on his upcoming nuptials.

He's getting married for the first time, at 57.

Just wondering

If personal watercraft engines could be made super-quiet would people in the market for these toys welcome that development?  

Songs You Had Forgotten Department

This was on the radio in 1968. It was perfect for teens reeling from a first breakup.

I would hum a little of it, but then you might never get it out of your head.

The marmots are out

At least that's what I am hearing from readers whose walks take them near the Spokane River.

For instance, Marcy Wise reported that she saw three yesterday.

Sometimes you can’t trust your memory

I had it in my mind that this famous commercial featured Tommy Lasorda.

If you have never seen this, be sure to stay with it to the end.

Best ever “Wonder Years” episode?

Maybe not the best episode. The one about saying goodbye to the family car, with the Neil Young closing, might be up there.

But when the usually useless Wayne quietly comes to the aid of his messed-up-from-Nam friend, Wart, “Homecoming” achieves a true moment of grace.

“Vision Quest” by any other name

In several other countries the movie was marketed as “Crazy for You,” presumably to cash in on the Madonna connection.

Recalling names of SR features section

Before it was the Today section, it was IN Life.

What was it called before that?

Looking ahead to Mother’s Day

It's worth remembering that not all women are mothers.

Sure, there are worse things than saying “Happy Mother's Day!” to a non-mother.

But it's a careless assumption. For some childless women, hearing that is painful, for reasons it doesn't take a genius to guess.

For other non-mothers, it's simply annoying to be reminded that there are many who think all women aspire to the same kinds of lives.

Another thing to remember Sunday is that not all mothers are good mothers. But perhaps you are aware of that.

Songs You Had Forgotten Deparment

This was from 1970.

As this band was Dutch, I am pretty sure the “child of the sun” lyric (link below) was not a reference to the Spokane native people.

True or false

This is an old photo of singer Daryl Hall and former Spokane Indians infielder Davey Lopes.


Old Spokane telephone exchanges

I would not be surprised if The Slice column has had 20 items on that topic over the years. A fair number of people enjoying rattling them off from memory.

Here's a quiz from a few years ago in which I challenged readers to separate the actual old-time exchanges from the fakes.

(This electronic version of that 2007 column snipped off the answers. But as I suggested in print that day, you probably don't need them.)

This one time…at beer camp

That's how S-R food editor Adriana Janovich introduced a Tweet about this yesterday. I'm still smiling about that.

One show tough to talk about at work

So much of it is simply Not Safe For Work to an extent the makes even a simple recap a challenge.

“Well, there's this guy trying to tell a joke that involves Pinocchio and, well, I'll tell you later.”

Ad of the day

I wonder how much time this model has spent doing dishes.

Songs You Had Forgotten Department

This came out in 1969. If you don't remember and are curious, there's always youtube.

But I wouldn't recommend it.

The Wednesday Slice question

Do all apple trees do it, or is just the one in my backyard that waits and waits for all the other blooming trees to do their vernal thing — as if saying “All right, show me what you've got” — before putting on a white springtime show?

Rush on this date 30 years ago

Thirty years from now, if man is still alive, people will look at pictures of trendy masculine facial hair from 2014 and think exactly the same thing you are thinking about that one hair style above.

Re: Spokane media/column mug shots

It is entirely possible to think someone's work is OK and at the same time regard the facial expression in his or her column mug as a bit ridiculous.

Recalling rejection letters

Back around 1982, when this gentleman (link below) was editor of a now-defunct magazine called New England Monthly, I pitched a half-baked idea for a piece. I was living in the Southeast at the time.

He wrote back and expressed reservations but did not slam the door shut. Eventually I realized my idea was not so great.

And I once wrote this fellow (link below) and proposed I go over to Bozeman and hang out. This was about 20 or 25 years ago.

He wrote back and said, more or less, “No, thanks.” Which is certainly better than no response at all.

My miscalculation was that I was thinking he was about to become a very big deal and he was under the impression that he already was. Too big, anyway, for the likes of The Spokesman-Review.


A fan of Mrs. Peel

After The Slice asked about TV marathons readers might go for if they were home sick, I heard from Scott Burnham.

He said he might watch “The Avengers.”

“Not the cartoon but the classic TV show with Diana Rigg and some guy.”

I'll have a batch of answers to that question in Thursday's Slice column.


A North Idaho friend said that when he brushes his dog outside, a phenomenal volume of canine hair is freed.

But it doesn't just go to waste. My friend said he has seen this dog hair incorporated in more than one bird nest at his place out in the country.

Speaking up

Here's something from John Gross that I enjoyed reading.

“Hi, Paul. You recently ran a question from a reader regarding whether and how to confront bird feeders, people feeding white bread to the ducks at Manito. I had a girlfriend that could answer this question perfectly. She was fearless and quite pleasant. Qualities singularly suited for this question. If she saw you toss a butt, this in a time when people smoked and tossed butts, she'd pick it up and hand it back, 'Here, you dropped this.' If we were stopped at a light and you pulled up in your pickup with the dog in back…school's in session.

“She and I are no longer together but your reader's question brought back the memory. On the issue of feeding empty calories to wild birds, like your reader, I've seen this a number of times. The bird feeders are always enjoying the experience, invariably there are kids involved. My typically dour countenance does not lend itself to effective communication in this situation. What I've taken to doing is wandering over to one of the 'Don't feed the birds' signs. They're always close. I spend time pondering the sign, maybe glance over at the white bread party, and then move on. My old girlfriend would call that weak sauce and she'd be right.”

Greatest hockey player ever

I occasionally forget that not everyone was a teenage boy living in New England in 1970.

So this post has the potential to appeal to, well, virtually no one.

Oh, well, The anniversary of the Bobby Orr goal is this Saturday. Celebrate as you see fit.

Just wondering

What do you call it in your family when you are driving in a traffic situation that presents all sorts of variables and erratic behaviors/decisions on the part of other motorists and pedestrians?

In my family, we refer to it as a Driver's Ed moment.

Feels weird to root for Brits to get shot

Of course, it's just a TV drama. But if you are a loyal American who happens to be a bit of an Anglophile, watching AMC's Revolutionary War series “Turn” poses a small conflict.

If you actually like English people or at least English people on PBS, it can feel slightly strange to find yourself rooting for the Redcoats to get gunned down right and left.

It's just a show. You know the Americans are going to win. And naturally that is what you want to happen.

Still, it does not make you a traitor to the cause of independence to find yourself wishing the Brits would just get back in their boats and go home before we have to blow any more holes in them.

When the librarian is confused

I know a woman who was on the reference desk at a large public library when a gentleman asked her how to locate photos of Kabuki.

She thought he said “Wookiee.”

So there was a moment or two of confusion.

I'm sure I have mentioned this before. But all the “Star Wars” news reminded me of it.

Remember Burger Chef?

The defunct chain was mentioned in “Mad Men” last night.

Here’s a better way to spend the day

But I am assuming you have a to-do list that will get in the way.

There are limits to “live and let live”

I'll start, but leave room for you.

1. When there's a wasp inside your house.



Weather forecasts are highly reliable

So why aren't more people willing to acknowledge that? 

What kind of patients are ex-nurses?

I have heard conflicting reports.

Predicting your Bloomsday fortunes

Tomorrow in The Slice column.

Sizing things up

How big does a business have to be before people no longer assume that someone working there knows everyone else (in every department) employed by that enterprise?

My legacy

A friend noted that people still say “Swell Paper.”

“Didn't you invent that expression?” he asked.

I think I did. Though it's certainly possible that others came up with it independently.

A search of the S-R's electronic archives shows that my first digitally recorded use of that parody of “Good Paper” appeared on Aug. 2, 1994. That is about as far back as the electronic archives go. So I might have written that on several occasions before that.

In any case, I cannot find evidence of anyone saying it before I did.

But, as you can see in the link below, the ad campaign slogan was around several months before that.

“Swell Paper” was not universally popular here at the Review Tower. But you know what they say about people who can't take a joke.,2952004


The official clinical name

Slice reader Dennis Dolle in Cheney shared this.

“When we were kids our mother would tell us that if we ate too much sugar we would get 'diabetes of the blowhole.'

“We never knew exactly what that was, but it turns out she was right.”

I had never heard that before. But I know what I am going to say next time I am under the weather and someone asks what's ailing me.

Bloomsday and your workplace culture

It says here that…

If the boss where you work is an ectomorph, there is a much greater likelihood that everyone is expected to be really into Bloomsday than if the boss is an endomorph.

Just wondering

Do you consider yourself a “leading authority” on anything?

Me? I guess I could be considered a leading authority on references to Spokane in TV shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The West Wing” and in movies such as “Coal Miner's Daughter” and “Network.”

But you might be surprised by just how little demand there is for that knowledge. And the truth is, I don't have it written down in one place. So I have probably forgotten half of what I knew at various times over the years.

OK, enough about me. How about you?

Make your own Counselor Troi uniform

I had a male co-worker who once said that if he had encountered the good counselor and she had detected his thoughts and feelings, she would have slapped him.

Another one pounds that Bud

I just passed along my hardcover copy of this book to a friend who is a big, big sports fan.

He has heard a lot about “Ball Four” over the years, but hasn't actually read it.

He was born in 1969 and the 1969 baseball season is the one Jim Bouton used to frame his breakthrough account of sports reality.

In a year that included the first moon walk and Woodstock, the adventures of the Seattle Pilots probably weren't all that important. But it is at least worth a footnote in the annals of Northwest sports history.

How will you react if…

…the Chinese space exploration program eventually achieves something extraordinary?

They’re back

Resistance might not be futile. But if you hope to achieve a stalemate, it has to be more or less never-ending.

Happy May Day, comrades

We here at The Socialist Review will be noting the occasion by engaging in various Commie activities such as advocating share-the-wealth policies and plotting ways to contaminate your precious bodily fluids.

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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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