THURSDAY, FEB. 26, 2009

Live long, healthy – see your doctor

I’m not one to talk about my medical history. Unless there’s a reason to do so. Which there is, in this instance. After putting a medical, ahem, “procedure” off for two years beyond the recommended five years, I mustered the courage earlier this month to schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy. I know that last sentence will cause some of you to smile broadly and others to stop reading in an attempt to scour the image from their minds. I’m not bothered by the rubber-hose treatment, at all. An IV and good drugs took care of the discomfort Friday. I was so loopy afterward that I can’t remember getting dressed. I’m unsettled by the long fast filled with broth, Gatorade, Jell-O, and (add a second “ahem” here) “cleansing agents.” (Think: Thar she blows.) Forty-two hours of fasting in this instance (as a result of scheduling the “procedure” in the afternoon to work into my newspaper schedule.) My online commenters “sympathized” by telling me what they had for breakfast – and sending recipes for carb-loaded meals to eat afterward. I appreciated the gallows humor from the online gang, as well as that offered in Dr. Chris Kutteruf’s hired hands. I told a receptionist that I wouldn’t be bright-eyed when I arrived for the procedure. But she assured me with a chuckle that I would be “bushy-tailed.” Why am I telling you this? A colonoscopy may have saved my life 10 years ago. I want to remain as far away from treatable maladies for as long as possible, to grow old with my gal of almost 34 years. It’s my way of saying to her, “I love you.” Men, you owe it to your sweetheart, too.

Another bites dust

My old North Idaho colleague Dean Miller is another victim in the decline of an industry that has paid my bills for the last 39 years. The feisty, outspoken journalist was the S-R bureau chief in Sandpoint for several years when we had an office on Sand Creek. Also, he served a stint as our Boise reporter before Betsy Russell replaced him, departing from there in 1995 to become editor of the Idaho Falls Post Register. Where he stayed for 14 years. Until Feb. 18, when he was handed his pink slip by Publisher Roger Plothow. Who said: “Dean is without a doubt one of the most brilliant human beings I’ve ever been around. His work at the newspaper speaks for itself.” Plothow, of course, was trying to lessen the blow. Miller was more circumspect, pointing out that any editor who lasts longer than 10 years is “living on borrowed time.” I agree with Plothow that Dean is a brilliant human being. However, that and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee in the news biz these days.


Poet’s Corner: “He grew distracted in old age,/which led to mix-ups on the stage:/quite disregarding life long habit/he pulled his hat out of the rabbit” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Mandrake the Magician retires”) … Outdoors writer Mike Satren and business writer Patrick O’Brien of the Coeur d’Alene Press are the latest casualties in the war of attrition occurring in the newspaper industry. If you have a kid thinking about going into journalism as a career, feel free to give him or her my number … For those keeping score at home, the Prairie Voice will be merged into Saturday’s Handle Extra in mid-March and appear in your Sunday newspaper. Huckleberries will share the front page with Betsy Russell’s Idaho Legislature roundup. You’ll also get Patrick Jacobs’ fine Get Out! North Idaho column, Nils Rosdahl’s business bits and more in the new section. Stay tuned.

Parting shot

You may have heard that University of Idaho fans were unruly the first time the Vandals beat the Broncos in basketball this season Jan. 29, in Moscow. One jerk, in particular, disgraced UI by aiming a racial comment at a Hispanic BSU player. In an e-mail to students afterward, interim UI prez Steven Daley-Laursen labeled the students’ behavior as “ugly, outrageous and utterly unacceptable.” That was then. Last week, a busload of 35 UI students trekked to Boise for a rematch between the teams – and to make amends for the crude behavior the Broncos faced on the Palouse. UI Argonaut Editor Christina Lords made the long trip. She opined later that the good behavior of the Vandal fans injected respect back into UI’s passionate rivalry with BSU. Vandal players, meanwhile, continued to inject competition back into the rivalry by beating BSU for the first time in Boise since 1999.

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