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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Cool new map of the Spokane River

Check out this new map from a volunteer at the Center For Justice. I especially enjoy that it includes borders for the Urban Growth Area. Click here for a larger version. This map is featured on the Spokane River page for the Center For Justice, which features excellent information about the geography, dams, tributaries and more.

United States of the Environment

After the United States Of Awesome and the United States Of Shame maps, now we have the latest iteration: The United State of the Environment.

Where do we lead? Washington has the most organic apples. Our close neighbor Idaho has the smallest per capita carbon footprint. So how does Washington not excel? The most invasive snails. And Idaho received the lowest per capita public transit funding.

Visit MNN for a larger image of both graphics.
After the jump, check each state's superatives.

Home is where the heart is…

Good morning, Netizens…

The kitty who loved solid waste: An employee at Idaho’s Kootenai County Solid Waste transfer station tried to adopt Shy Guy, a tabby who had hung out at the station for about a year, and took him to his house in Coeur D’Alene. That didn’t sit well with Shy Guy, who sneaked out and found his way back to his beloved dump.

The hen that laid the golden egg…

Good morning, Netizens…

The AP picture of the day which comes to us from Canada, reminds me of raising chickens quite a bit, although I admit I never saw any chicken pop an egg quite THAT big before.

An egg weighing in at 143 grams is seen amongst regular sized eggs at the home of Mike McCannell in Vars, Ontario, Canada on Monday. McCannell found the egg while collecting on Friday afternoon. He says it was laid by a chicken that is around 4-years-old.

Like most stories and pictures, there are some things that went unsaid about the chicken who laid the giant egg:

You can spot the chicken clear across the barnyard. She is the hen who is walking bow-legged, is perhaps a bit dizzy and is still looking for a trophy for having created a single egg suitable for making a giant omelette.


Guess what’s for dinner???

Good morning, Netizens…

If I had not read about this on the McClatchy News Service, I probably would not have believed it, and prior to actually tasting it, I tended to be somewhat skeptical. However, according to the article located here http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/59566.html raccoon meat is becoming a source of food that is highly desirable. Plus if you think I am really whacked out, you might go here http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,raccoon,FF.html and read some of the recipes for preparing our ring-tailed furry friends for dinner.

If you do even a marginal search for raccoon meat recipes, it seems there are lots of variations on ways to prepare a healthy meal from raccoon meat. Yes, I did say healthy meals. It originally appears in the 1931 edition of The Joy of Cooking which is, incredibly enough, available from various locations near the back door of the Internet.

It seems since life was much simpler back then, butchering and preparing raccoon meat was quite popular. The McClatchy piece even gives you a brief overview of how to prepare the meat properly, which based upon my experience, is quite a bit more involved than preparing beef or pork. However, it is simply delicious.

For decades I had heard similarly negative comments about preparing and eating armadillo which, after tasting it the first time, I became quite the aficionado of ways to prepare and serve the most-pesky varmint in Texas and other parts of the South. It is not nearly so cute and cuddly as a raccoon, but when properly prepared is once again simply delightful. Plus you are helping pest control in the State of Texas. Look at it that way.

According to several sources, the economy may be the reason for the rising interest in raccoon meat. When times are hard, people historically have sought out ways to eat things which they can hunt or trap, rather than purchase from a store. Are we coming to this again?

Raccoon: the other dark meat. If times get hard enough, we might even hear more about this.


Quote of the Day — January 9, 2009

We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark. Whoopi Goldberg

Quote of the Day — January 8, 2009

I think on-stage nudity is disgusting, shameful and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be artistic, tasteful, patriotic and a progressive religious experience. Shelley Winters (1922 - 2006)

Good words from bad…

Good morning, Netizens…

The news wires are having a feeding frenzy over the snow in Spokane, ranging from the stories of schools being cancelled (again!), traffic snarled and mail and garbage collection not running as expected, if at all. Roofs are collapsing, streets are clogged with snow berms, ice and slush and locals are starting to refer to this as Sno-maggon. Granted, despite an overnight warming trend that is forecast to last another 24 hours, the streets are still in a shambles, schools are still closed and people are struggling simply to survive this winter.

The only positive spin the news wires seemed to be able to put on our plight is that at the Chocolate Apothecary at The Flour Mill (free plug courtesy of the AP news wire) is that the owner and employees are surrounded with chocolate, and hence everything is good there.

What is unfortunate is that the news wire spent a lot of time discussing the man who took a shot at a private plow operator, never mentioning the frustration and sense of abandonment by the government that so many of our citizens feel.

On the lighter side, I hear the children laughing as they take turns sliding down the hills, I notice the old-timers still holding forth at Franky Doodles, a nearby restaurant and gathering-place, and I have heard the sounds of laughter floating across the snow berms that are taller than Michael Jordan in some places. In the words of one of these frequent gatherers, the only thing that has truly changed is that we have substituted one of the worst snow emergencies in Spokane history for a flood warning, as the huge snow pack begins melting down.

We have all been stuck at one time or another, have lived with the fear for our roofs caving in, have shoveled and shoveled until we truly hate snow as never before, and yet, here and there, occasionally if you listen to the voices, you will hear levity, laughter and a sense that the worst is over. Maybe.

Say, do any of you have a fishing pole? As the melt down begins, there is a major pond that has formed up in front of my house. Trying desperately to maintain a sense of levity about all this, I am considering seeding the pond with trout and charging admission for people to come fish the Pond d’Laird.

Got any good tales to tell? Whisper them in my ear. Nobody else will hear.


Quote of the Day — January 6, 2009

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. Stephen King (1947 - )”Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes”, 1988

Quote of the Day — December 30, 2008

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King Jr.(1929 - 1968)

Quote of the Day — December 29, 2008

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900), Ecce Homo, Foreword