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The Slice: What you awake to could be alarming

Here’s a question.

When selecting a station for your clock radio’s wake-up function, does simple broadcast reliability and strength of signal trump programming format or do you take pains to choose a radio station that might get you out of bed in the right frame of mind?

It’s a personal choice, of course.

If you opt for news, the first thing you hear in the morning might be something horrific. Sure, you want to stay informed. But maybe after a sip of coffee.

And is talk/commentary really what you want the instant you open your eyes? Sure, there’s a wide range of possibilities under that umbrella. But do you really care to take a chance on being roused from slumber by angry ranting? That’s a risk with sports radio, too.

Classical music might seem like a good option. Still, there’s a real danger that you will hit the “Off” button and then, lulled by the strings section, flop back down on your pillow.

Jazz? You might assume you are still dreaming and fall back asleep.

Oldies? If you have ever found yourself in the shower and realized that “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” is going to be stuck in your head all day, you know there’s a downside. Same goes with any of the multiple classic rock formats.

“Are you humming a Rush song?”

“Yes. Sorry.”

If you like country, that could be the way to go. Or maybe adult contemporary is more your style. In any event, there’s a chance that what you’ll actually hear is commercials.

Maybe this is why some people choose to rely on their clock’s clanging, buzzing or beeping alarm – even if that can be startling.

So what’s your strategy? I hear good things about cats.

Today’s Slice question: I had a college roommate from Minnesota. He used to say his home state’s challenging winters tended to weed out a certain culturally shallow element. That is, if a person wanted to enjoy the Twin Cities’ vibrant arts and entertainment scene, there was a price to pay: cold weather. But if what you really cared about was getting to wear tank tops all year, perhaps you were better off elsewhere.

So here’s my question. Do the Spokane area’s winters drive away people for whom weather is of paramount importance?

(For the record, I should note that the last time I heard from my old roommate he lived in California.)

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Putting you in charge of planning the office holiday party would be a bad idea because …

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