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Posts tagged: slice answers

Slice answer

“Voting by mail is the equivalent of bowling alone,” wrote Bert Lomax.

Does your tax return include any lies?

“I listed my Marmot Lodge dues as a tax deductible donation,” wrote insurance man Curt Olsen. “Should I be concerned about this?”

Curt, I recommend standing on the 18th amendment if you are audited.

To paraphrase Ed Norton from “The Honeymooners”… Just say you were drunk when you filled out your return.

Singing at O’Doherty’s

“Your question about O'Doherty's was a memory maker,” wrote Rich Kapelke. “I sang 'Danny Boy,' because I thought that was the only song used when anyone stapled their dollar. Any song is OK.

“My vocal effort went quite well and the standing (on the bar) view is impressive.

“I am in my 60s, however, and just getting to that perch is what I remember most.”

A couple more readers sing out in Thursday's Slice column.

If Spokane Valley was Mardi Gras central

“Well, based on their rulings against scantily clad baristas, I don't think any woman would be catching beads that are normally thrown to women who expose the same body parts,” wrote Keith Hegg.

“I don't think there would be a lot of half naked people dancing about and women pulling up their parkas/rain coats to show off their boobs for beads,” wrote Jeannie Maki.


Country singers wearing cowboy hats

North Idaho's Bruce Werner doesn't have a problem with it. “Except when they wear them indoors for an interview on TV or something similar which seems moronic.”

Seeing country singers in cowboy hats

Moscow resident Blake Ballard's reaction is “Oh, another country singer.”

I'll pass along a few more in Thursday's Slice column.

Music to get scoped and probed by

Tomorrow in Friday's Slice column.

More icebox memories

As noted in today's column, I received more icebox recollections than I could use. But before we close the door on this, here are just a few more.

“The kids always followed the truck and the iceman would give them ice chips.” — Dorothy Tait

“I grew up in the 30s and 40s near Bonners Ferry and I remember very well the icebox my folks had on our back porch. We had a pond on our farm and my dad harvested ice in blocks every winter and stored it in sawdust in our ice house by the pond.” – Rosalyn Clark

“As a child growing up in Spokane I remember running out to the ice truck to see if we could get a few ice chips. Ice men were kind and we enjoyed this treat.” — Robert Wilson

“I used to visit my grandmother in a small town in Iowa. Her icebox stood in the kitchen next to the wall-mounted telephone with a handcrank on the side of it.” — Gary Polser

“My grandmother, who lived on West Broadway, had one on her back porch. The man who delivered ice I can picture in my mind to this day.” — Patricia Collier

“When my family moved home from Seattle to Spokane after WWII we lived with my grandmother. She had an electric refrigerator but she also kept ice in the built-in icebox in her ample pantry. The horse-pulled ice wagon stopped at several homes on our block on East Everett Avenue, attracting every kid in the neighborhood to the back of the wagon to grab a long sliver of ice.” — Isabelle Green

“The people that lived across the creek from our farm had an icebox. Oh, that cold milk was wonderful.” — Joanne Lindley

“My husband, Chuck, was raised in Beech Bottom, West Virginia. He recalls the opening in the kitchen wall that the iceman would fill with a big chunk of ice every other day. Food to be kept cold would then be put around it. He refers to it as their hillbilly refrigerator.” — Kathy Huggins

“I still remember having to empty the pan under our icebox that collected the water from the melting ice.” — Gerald Hartley

“We were either too rural or — which I suspect — too poor to have ice delivered.” — Chet Nelson

“In late 1940 or early 1941, my younger brother and I decided to help mom in the kitchen. When she told us the ice man was delivereing that morning we literally emptied everything in the icebox onto the kitchen floor. Not very helpful as we were 3 and 2 year olds enjoying the mess.” — Bill Kaufman

“We had an icebox when my mom and I lived in Coplen Park in Hillyard in 1946. The iceman delivered but if you missed him you had to go to the icehouse in Hillyard to pick up a block of ice. Well, I rode my bike up there and brought the ice home in my bike basket. It was hard steering but I made it. I was 12. My kids roll their eyes when I tell this story but tell it anyway.” — Joan Matlack

“Our icebox was old and corroded and you could hear the ice melt on a hot summer's day. Well, it was something to do while waiting the REQUIRED hour after lunch before we could go swimming.” — Cathi Rawley

Smart cats

Let's pick up where today's print column left off.

“My cat, Ed, was smart enough and fast enough to figure out how to catch a hummingbird last summer,” wrote Karen Mobley. “Unfortunately, it got stuck and I had to do the Heimlich to get the beak out before he choked to death.”

Let that be a lesson to you, Ed. Stop killing birds.

“Several years ago, I had a cat with an injured leg,” wrote Cathy McCoy. “We babied and fussed over that cat for several days until, one day, we noticed that she was limping on the wrong leg. Of course, if she had been truly smart she would have been limping on the leg that had been injured.”

Maybe she thought switching legs would earn her even better treatment.

“Every morning I get up and do some exercises which include bending over and touching the floor,” wrote Ken Otteman. “Mittens the cat comes from wherever she is in the house and stretches and rolls over each time I touch the floor. If I do not rub her back she gives me a look and a mew. When I get down on the floor to do roll-ups and push-ups she is right there waiting for her back, chin and ear rub. How many people have an exercise coach cat?”

Usually their role as personal trainers involves demonstrating how to take power naps.

“Lilly knocks on doors when she wants in,” wrote Becky Rainer.

And she knocks on her humans when she wants out.

“I think my cat should be considered the smartest cat ever just for the fact that she lived for 23 years,” wrote Marilyn Frei. “I finally had to put Kev down earlier this year after she had a spinal stroke. She spent the first 11 years of her life on a farm where she had to outsmart coyotes, cattle, tractors and trucks. After moving to Spokane she had to learn how to be a city (mostly indoor) cat. Kev had a unique instinct to be a comforter and companion for me following several surgeries and during any illness or injury. At these times she would stay by my side all day and all night, sleeping on my bed or snuggling with me on the couch or in a chair. Other times she was aloof and kept to herself. I miss her.”

That's not the first time I have heard that some felines seem to know when they are needed.

“Our cat Lisette is 13 years old,” wrote Michelle Batten. “Every evening while we are watching TV she wakes up and comes into the room and jumps up on the arm of the sofa beside my husband. She puts both paws on his shoulder and then strokes his face with her right paw until he gets up and gives her some wet food. She has been doing this for several years. She is good.”

Sounds like she has her routine down pat.

“Our cat Maow is smart because he is curious, knows when it's time to eat, and when to rest up for his next adventure,” said Steve Powers.

Sounds like a pretty good schedule.

“Hairy, one of two resident cats, is smart enough,” wrote Ellen Sherriffs. “He's smart enough to have a position with excellent benefits and a better retirement package than my own. All he has to do is smell like a cat to deter the garden mice from moving in. The balance of his day is spent sleeping on his face.”

Another good schedule.

“My 17-year-old kitty could retrieve the ball and meow with the ball in her mouth,” wrote Gale O'Connor. “She also could walk with us down to the lake and back up with us, which was about one mile. Many sweet memories of her.”

Back in the early 1980s, Mae Greenwood once walked door-to-door at night, soliciting donations for a charity. Her husband had to stay home with an infant. So Mae took her dog on a leash.

“At the second or third home I noticed that my cat, Smokey, was walking along with us. Many neighbors commented on my protectors and were amazed that Smokey sat and waited on their porch and then walked off with the dog and me to the next house. He was a very smart and devoted cat.”

Marilyn Courrier's cat, Shadow, once went inside the neighbor's house, which also has a pet door. The guy who lived there noticed Shadow in his kitchen. “Our neighbor says the cat looked at him, looked at the closed cat door, looked at him and bounded to the cat door, nudged the door up with his nose and leaped through the flap to freedom.”

So do cats form the thought, “I'm bustin' outta here”?

Perhaps with a bit of keyboarding help, a cat named Grady sent an email to The Slice noting that he was smart enough to adopt John and Ruth Williams after a previous owner dumped him beside a dirt road. “Today I live the Life Riley,” said Grady.

If only all pets were so lucky..

All over the map

Here's a sampling of responses to the question about how many people still use paper highway maps.

“We just returned from a 4,100 mile trip to Iowa and Indiana and yes, we used paper maps all the way,” wrote Jerry Hargitt. “We do have a GPS that we keep handy in a bag in case we need it, but we didn't. When I plan a new trip, I get out my collection of paper maps. Nothing else will do.”

“I always keep AAA highway maps in my car (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC and Alberta), but my husband doesn't,” wrote Sharon Forsyth. “Neither of us have vehicles with satellite navigation systems, but we both have smart phones. Problem is, there's miles and miles of country in these parts that are out of cell range. Never fails that when we lose cell range and need a map, we're in my husband's car.”

“I've been with friends who have GPS devices and it has steered us off course several times,” wrote Janet Culbertson. “I'll take my old, torn, paper, fold-up over that thing-a-ma-jig any time.”

“We have a box full of maps down in the basement,” wrote Jeri Hershberger. “I refuse to get a GPS. I do not want to take away my ability to read a map. That is a long-lost art, just like thank-you notes.”

“I love maps,” wrote Mary Shelly. “I have 39 folding maps.”

“I would guess that most folks my age still use the folded up highway maps, as I do,” wrote retiree Bill Mahaney. “I remember when they were free at any gas station…Online maps, however, are quite useful for very specific directions within a city.”

“I still use fold-up maps,” wrote Terry Martin. “Neither my husband nor I have a 'smart' phone, and I don't trust online maps on the computer.”

“Each October when we prepare to leave for the winter in Mesa, Ariz., I pick up new maps at the AAA office for Idaho, Montana, Utah and Arizona,” wrote Sherry Bye. “With fine point pen, I mark every motel, restaurant and gas station that we frequent for the 1,400 mile trip.”

“I appreciate using a computer map and its directions,” wrote Laura Prewitt. “But it's just not as satisfying as seeing all the ways to get someplace.”

“My grandmother, who is well into her 80s, considers maps nearly an art form,” wrote Keri Whittekiend.

“I still love highway maps and always use them on trips,” wrote Patricia Gaver.

“I love a good paper map,” wrote Lois Farnsworth-Whysong. “I do use Google maps once in a while if I need specific directions like to the Hampton Inn in Walla Walla, but overall I rely on paper maps.”

“My friend, Bernice, and I just returned from a 3,400 mile trip to Arizona,” wrote Mary Johnson. “We started with a new, beautiful paper map. She had to retire it because of all the new openings in the various folds. But it did us well there and back.”

There were more, but you get the idea.

Let's wrap this up with a report from Slice reader Jan Goss.

“We were traveling back from Seattle after our first cruise. As soon as we approached eastern Washington, it was clear that much of it was on fire. Huge billows of smoke filled the skies near Ellensburg.

“As we have friends who lived in one of the canyons nearby, we decided to drive up the highway to see if they were in trouble and needed help. After a few miles of driving, a state trooper whizzed past us and proceeded to close the highway in front of us. I happened to be driving and drove off the shoulder to a level place to park and get a better view before turning around. Immediately, we were accosted by people in other cars who had no maps and no idea how to reach their destinations other than this particular highway.

“We had to chuckle as we drew diagrams and handed out paper maps to help them.”

Flag Day Slice answer

Today's column asked readers if they have had a flag stolen.

Ray Dickelman, who lives in the South Perry neighborhood, had an answer.

“We have had five flags stolen in over 20 years.”

A few more concerts remembered

“The best was Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 1987 tour,” wrote Bob Witte of Sandpoint. “Worst was Joe Cocker. It was in a small club and he threw up on stage. I've been trying to forget it ever since.”

Darlene Brice said the concert she enjoyed most was in the early summer of 1964, in San Bernardino, Calif. The Rolling Stones opened for The Righteous Brothers.”Both groups delivered a great concert but the Rolling Stones rocked the house. I became a Rolling Stones fan at that long-ago event.”

Laura Parker puts Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin shows, both in San Francisco, at the top of her list.

“The worst concert? That has to be the recent Cowboy Junkies concert that I had won tickets for through NPR. I had heard of the band but had never heard their music. So while my friend and I were trying in vain to get into their style of music we had behind us the concert-goers from hell. You know these people. They sit right behind you and talk loudly through all the songs while striking their feet against your chair backs enumberable times. Oh, and at one point this gal takes off her shoes and drapes her stocking feet over the arm of the chair next to me. Really! We left shortly after intermission when it seemed like the female lead singer had just shot heroin or chugged a bottle of whiskey or took some sleeping pills or all three as she proceeded to lay her head over her arm and microphone stand and sing really sl-o-o-o-o-w.”

One reader’s suggestion

Dirk Stratton had an idea about what I could have said to the little boy across the street who asked me if I was a stranger.

“Yes, I am a stranger, because are we not all strangers to one another? Can anyone honestly say, and even more so, honestly believe that any of us can hope to fathom the mysteries that dwell beneath the facile masks all humans wear to fend off the terror of existence? And are we not, in the end, strangers to our very selves? Do not our own thoughts, feelings, and actions remain so incomprehensible as to render Socrates' famous dictum 'Know thyself' a sad charade, a pitiful flag we wave in a futile attempt to pretend that insight is possible, that understanding is achievable, that life makes sense, despite the fact that the only evidence we have that something we call 'the self' even exists is flimsy, contradictory, ineffable, lost? So, yes, I am a stranger, and might I ask in return, one stranger to another, Who might you be?”

Check out a few other suggestions in Thursday's Slice. 

Re: Spring training for backyard grillers

“My back yard chef is working on his Bud Light,” wrote Alice Spray.

Final note re: pets on the bed

“I know I'm a little late to the game, especially since The Slice today said No More Pets on the Bed (items),” wrote Karyn Christner.

“My Yu kitty was due to have babies any day so I set up a nice 'nest' next to the bed for her. Middle of the night something wakes me up. Something wet on my head. Yes, a freshly-delivered kitten.

“Have that with your morning coffee, Lynda Post of Moscow!”

Now, now. Let's play nice.   

One more claustrophobia story

A reader told about getting in the trunk of a car with some friends who were sneaking into a drive-in movie years ago.

She freaked.

Before it was over, she had kicked loose the back seat of the car. 

Re: Today’s Slice column spillover

Here are a few more answers to the question about readers discovering that they were/are claustrophobic.

 “Back in the late 1970s we were trying to get our son Wesley to do an MRI,” wrote Ken Stout. “He was scared of it and I volunteered to slide in to show him how safe it was. I told them in no uncertain terms to slide me back out.”

Jeffrey Neuberger never thought of himself as claustrophobic. An MRI forced him to reassess.

Ray Blowers recalled a different sort of experience. “It happened eons ago when I was just a tot, but I still shudder when the frightening episode comes back to me. It had to do with a discarded area rug on our front porch. Some neighborhood bullies decided to roll me up in it just for laughs. I was hysterical by the time my mother rescued me.”

Barbara Lee was touring a network of caves in South Africa in 1970. “You were supposed to go down one part of the cave, go through a tube (a very small tube) and come back up the other side. I was certain I was stuck in the tube and would never see the light of day again. Needless to say, a great deal of panic ensued and I have NEVER been back in a cave since.”

Diane Newcomer was about 11 when visiting a series of caves in Oregon. “We came to a place where the guide told us it was our last chance to leave the tour. I stayed, being too shy to leave my parents. To this day, I think I made the wrong choice.”

Medical Lake's Douglas Jasmer shared this. “We were driving in Austria and entered the Arlberg tunnel. I don't know how long it was but because it had a couple of curves you could not see the other end. I had this feeling of it pressing down on us. I had to get out. The feeling left when I could see the opening coming up. We took another route back to our hotel.”

Once on a camping trip, Julie Prafke was sleeping in the back of a covered pickup truck. “I was sleeping next to the cab of the truck with our daughters in the middle and my husband on the outside. Sometime during the night I awoke to find myself wedged against the wall with no clearance on either side of me and the roof right above my head. I thought I'd been buried alive.”

Getting stuck by herself on an elevator in England helped Debbie Kitselman realize confined spaces were not her cup of tea.

And Bridget Freeman learned a lesson when she was a small child. “My many older siblings and I used to play a really stupid sort of tag in our basement on cement floors. We put zipped sleeping bags over our heads and proceeded to bounce off one another like bumper cars. Because I was the smallest, I always fell down first and became the bottom of the so-called dog pile. My palms are beginning to sweat and my heart rate is elevating even as I type these words!

“It was a terrible experience to be buried under five or six sleeping bag-clad bodies for what seemed like an eternity. The experience did teach me to be able to talk myself down while being stuck in enclosed spaces such as MRI tubes and airplanes. Nothing has ever been as bad as those childhood experiences and I simply remind myself of that.” 


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.”

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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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