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SATURDAY, DEC. 5, 2015

Jim Kershner and his wife, Carol (pictured), lived by candlelight for more than a week following the recent windstorm and subsequent power outage. (Jim Kershner / The Spokesman-Review)

Diary of a madman, or what living a week without electricity will do to you 

The following Power Outage Diary was found nailed to a splintered power pole on the South Hill: Day One: We stand at our back window and marvel at the most awesome display of nature’s power! Giant ponderosa pines are swaying dramatically in the 70-mile-per-hour gusts. The trees appear to be bowing down toward Mecca, or possibly Hillyard. Suddenly, with a mighty crack, one tree snaps off and crashes through our backyard power lines in a Fourth-of-July shower of sparks.

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Steam shoots out from a 1913 steam locomotive as the Polar Express begins it’s journey to the “North Pole” on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad , in Portland, Maine. The popular train ride, based on the well-known children’s book, has rides scheduled throughout the holiday season. Passengers ride about a mile and a half along Casco Bay on the Eastern Promenade to the North Pole. (Robert Bukaty / Associated Press)

All aboard ‘The Polar Express’

For a trip to the North Pole, there’s no finer way to travel than on board the Polar Express. Railroads around the country offer seasonal trips to see Santa between Thanksgiving and Christmas, including the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum.

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With the snow-covered Dolomites as background, a skier speeds down a course in Falcade, Italy.

Family travel five: Give the gift of going

It’s hard to go wrong with the gift of travel. Here are five ideas to consider that will enrich and expand the experiences of your family. 1. Animal lovers. Consider an active adventure in Zambia. Visitors can learn the art of game tracking while walking from one bush camp to the next with expert guides from Wildland. The guides will share their extensive experience as you travel through habitat where wild dogs roam among herds of buffalo, giraffe, elephant and wildebeests. Paddle canoes along the shores of Lower Zambezi National Park, scoping for hippos, elephants and lions in the area.

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The Slice: Forecast calls for plagues and locusts

Slice reader Jeff Nadeau predicted our next big weather event. “Mount St. Helens violently erupts again, spewing a thick cloud of ash and smoke. Lava bombs from the volcano ignite raging forest fires. A powerful snowstorm arrives from the west ...

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In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 photo, Shane Lentz, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and his wife Hilary leave the tiny house, which they rented for a weekend, in Croydon, N.H. As the tiny house phenomenon sweeps the nation, Harvard's Millennial Housing Lab thinks a tryout is in order for people toying with radically downsizing their lives. Its new "Getaway" project gives the curious an opportunity to spend a night or two in one of three tiny houses and get a real feel for the lifestyle before taking the plunge.

Think you want a tiny house? Businesses offer a tryout first

CROYDON, N.H. – Hilary and Shane Lentz were hooked on the idea of a tiny house, but they weren’t sure the reality would be so appealing. Their curiosity led them to the hills of New Hampshire, where a business that started at Harvard University rents out tiny houses for $99 a night. The company, Getaway, has drawn visitors from afar who come to sample life in a 160-square-foot house before they dive headlong into the lifestyle.

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Why are our roof shingles failing? 

You may be one of those readers who imagine everything is unicorns and rainbows at my own home. After all, I’m a seasoned builder. Each week I advise you about how to make the best decisions about products and building ...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 4, 2015

Carolyn Hax: Sorry to be missing time with child 

DEAR CAROLYN: I got divorced and had to start working full time after five years of working part time or staying home with my son. I am having a really hard time coping. I miss having time to play with my son, I miss having a clean house, I miss having more time with my pets. I am overwhelmed and have so much less time for the things that matter to me.

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L.A. band Raw Fabrics brings Warholian electro-rock to the Big Dipper

The Los Angeles-based art rock group Raw Fabrics performs tonight at the Big Dipper, led by primary songwriter and guitarist Jack B. Franco. The band’s most recent EP, “Plastic Joy,” is a five-song collection blending punk, electronica and pop, and it was produced by Joe Chiccarelli, whose previous credits include the Strokes, U2 and Morrissey. We spoke to Franco about his musical influences, the process of continuing his band as a solo act and how the work of Andy Warhol shapes his music.

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Israeli-born classical cellist Matt Haimovitz is shown in 2004 before a performance in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Cellist thrives on chemistry with students

Israeli-born cellist Matt Haimovitz made his professional debut at 13 as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic. In a three-decade career, he’s made his mark in the classical music scene, collaborating with legends like Leonard Rose and Issac Stern, along with contemporary giants like Phillip Glass and Christopher O’Reilly.

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iTunes: Adele, Bieber dominate singles chart

Top Songs 1. “Hello” Adele 2. “Sorry” Justin Bieber 3. “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber 4. “When We Were Young” Adele 5. “Hotline Bling” Drake 6. “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” Meghan Trainor with John Legend 7. “Same Old Love” Selena ...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 3, 2015

From left, Henry McNulty, Scott Worley, Jim Swoboda, Eric Wittenmyer and Brendan Brady appeared in the Modern Theater’s “All is Calm” last year. All but Wittenmyer are back this year. (Courtesy Baumer / The Spokesman-Review)

Tuneful seasonal celebrations

The moment the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are stuffed in the refrigerator, a switch flips and the Christmas season comes roaring back in full force: Trees go up, light displays illuminate the neighborhood, holiday music fills the air and family events fill up our calendars. This is by no means a master list – there’s

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Jim Kershner

Jim Kershner

Paul Turner

Paul Turner

The Slice: Sometimes the home team wins

When it was discovered that Henry the therapy dog had gotten out, guests bailed on Susie Schmidt’s Super Bowl party and searched for the wandering basset hound.


Community CommentThe heaviest thoughts…

The media is filled with it. A legion of younger hungry single men all foam at the mouth upon command at the thought of it. Even that wonderfully-obscure male bastion ...

ClarksvilleMel McCuddin: The Art of Darkness

Inside a downtown gallery maybe two decades ago – that’s where I first got McCuddined. I recall strolling through the vast array of art when one canvas stopped me cold. ...



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