Dunno what excuse you used the last time you missed work or called to say you’d be late. But Jana Tritto offered one that remains uncommon, although it might not be for long, if the local wildlife continues hanging out in the ’burbs. Jana was tardy not long ago because “there was a big bull moose camped out between the house and my truck, and there was no scaring him off.” So she waited the moose out, stating: “I’m not sure (my co-workers) believed me. It sounded like a ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse!” Fish and Gamers tell Jana that there are probably two moose per acre in her Hidden Valley area, between Hauser and Rathdrum. Actually, Jana is accustomed to seeing Br’er Bullwinkle and kin. She counted as many as four moose in a half mile on Church Road recently. Deer are more plentiful. Reports she at Huckleberries Online: “I have to be really careful driving in the evenings when they come out to feed. I’ve counted 50-plus on several summer evening walks, as they graze in the fields around here.” That’s a big part of the reason she loves the hills in the Hauser/Rathdrum area. “I never tire of seeing the wildlife,” she said. Unless, of course, it’s loitering in the wrong place and too big to shoo off.
How long, O Goracle?
Jim Risch has been in the U.S. Senate for less than a month – and already he’s tangling with heavy hitters. As reported by Dana Milbank/Washington Post, Risch had a close encounter with Al Gore, whom Milbank dubs “The Goracle,” in acknowledgment of Gore’s doomsday pronouncements about the Earth’s future. The Goracle was fielding questions before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after predicting that temperature changes “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth – and this is within this century, if we don’t change.” That’s when Risch, who’s the eighth-richest U.S. senator, tossed in his 2 cents: “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired. Milbank didn’t describe Risch’s tone or expression. But anyone who knows the feisty former Idaho governor realizes he’s not about to become a disciple of The Goracle or his greenola doomsday crusade. The Goracle chuckled, according to Milbank, and said: “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, senator.” There’s a higher power than Al Gore?
“So I took him out, Boss,/and I showed him aroun’./Says it’s nearly as nice/as his Wallace hometown” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue, in tribute to the late Harry Magnuson. (“St. Peter Reports on Harry’s Arrival”) … Scanner Traffic (for 2:51 p.m. Friday): An emergency responder called a local business to check out a fire alarm, only to get an answering machine which said not to leave a message because no one listens to them. Which begs the question: Why have an answering machine at all? … Shameless Plug (for an ex-SR colleague): Taryn Hecker has discovered life after journalism. Not only does she work afternoons at the Spirit Lake youth center, but now she’s opened a photo studio in downtown Spirit Lake, 6147 Maine St., No. 8. (Yes, Virginia, there is a downtown Spirit Lake.) She has introductory specials of $99 for senior portraits and $50 for family or children’s portraits. She does weddings, too. Tell Taryn I sent you … New NIC PRmeister John Martin is a sharp guy. That’s why I’m still chuckling at his bobble before the Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee. Quoth, from the CdA Press: “We’re looking at those founders as our inspiration ‘to do less with more.’ ” Which could be a misquote. Still funny.
North Idaho doesn’t have groundhogs, of course. So we have to rely on Punxsutawney Phil’s Inland Northwest cousins to handle Groundhog’s Day duties. And I don’t think any critter in the large ’hood of marmots at Falls Park in Post Falls saw his shadow Monday. Hang in there. Spring’s on the way. Or so tradition would have us believe.