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Slice: Recalling A Close Call At Camp

SR buddy Paul Turner of The Slice blog posts: “When I was a kid in Burlington, Vermont, I spent a week one summer at a hockey camp in nearby Lake Placid, N.Y. Boys from all over New England attended this sports-focused session. We stayed at a place called the Northwood School. On-ice training took place at a rink that belonged to that prep school. The Lake Placid facility that would become a celebrated venue because of the 1980 Winter Olympics did not exist at the time. I have a number of memories from that week. But one still makes me wince. One day when we were in our dorm rooms exchanging bon mots between hockey practices, an older boy named Dennis got an idea. Wouldn't it be a riot to fill a plastic cup with urine, place it atop a room door and then summon an unpopular camper?” More here.

Question: Did you attend summer camp as a kid? Any close calls that you might want to share with us?

JeanieS: We Need More Fun In Lives

We need more fun in our lives. I keep wanting to do something silly and outrageous. Like, skip down the sidewalk. Can you imagine? Picture driving down the street and then glancing over at a gray-haired woman, skipping and laughing beside you. I wonder if I can do it. … A few weeks ago, I went for a walk with the Spokesman Review's (Spokesman-Review)Paul Turner and we greeted people, all strangers. Their reactions varied from suspicious caution to total I-don't-see-any-strange-weird-people avoidance of eye-contact to hesitant greetings back. It was fun. We got a lot of smiles back but generally everyone was self-aware, looking at their cell phones, looking at the space in front of their shoes, concentrating on their navels/JeanieSpokane. More here.

Question: When is the last time you've done something silly & outrageous?

Slice: Making Molehills Into Mountains

As you know, large portions of the United States are pancake flat. In those parts of America, you can stand in a field and see a storm coming from three counties over. In other vast swaths of U.S. countryside, the highest elevations are found atop low, rolling hills. Sometimes people who live in such places wind up moving to the Spokane area. Upon surveying their new surroundings, these individuals determine that we have mountains here. And that’s where it gets complicated. Yes, it’s certainly true that there are mountains hereabouts. Quite a few, actually. They just aren’t particularly tall or breathtakingly jagged, as is the case elsewhere in the Northwest/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here. (Wikipedia: Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park)

Question: Have you ever lived anywhere where there are real mountains?

Defined By An Editorial Page?

In a blog posting for The Slice Thursday, Paul Turner tells of someone asking him how he can stand working for The Spokesman-Review. Seems the questioner was upset re: the day's editorial on “Complete Streets.” Posts Paul: “I'm asked that question every now and then, often in response to an S-R editorial or political endorsement.” On Thursday, Paul's correspondent found the editorial to be “uninformed and utterly lacking vision. I did not try to talk him out of that reaction. I, too, am tired of the suggestion that cyclists don't pay taxes. But here's the thing about editorial pages. They exist in an orbit all their own. Maybe it requires denial or rationalization, but people who start working for newspapers either figure that out or they don't.” You can read the full post here.

Question: Do you define a newspaper by its editorial page?

What’s Your Thanksgiving TV Policy?


On his Slice blog, Paul Turner offers this question as Thanksgiving approaches: A) No TV on Thursday. B) No TV except for seven hours of football. C) It can be on until there is a fight over control of the remote. D) The TV is never off at our home. E) Other.

Slice: Hyphenated-Name Conundrum

Got a note from a reader who teaches at a local grade school. I’m going to keep her name to myself, in case any parents of her pupils would freak out about this. Alluding to Tuesday’s Slice, she began, “What kind of hippie are you? Two last names in your family?” She continued. “I have three girls with hyphenated names in my class this year. What happens when they marry a boy with a hyphenated name? Do they keep their own name or tack on two more names?/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.

Question: Anyone know of an instance in which two individuals with hyphenated last names married? How did they solve the problem of 4 hyphenated names combining? And/or: Are there hyphenated surnames in your family tree?

Slice: Actresses Who Lived In Idaho

In the category of “Actresses Who Have Lived In Idaho,” SR Slice buddy Paul Turner posts this photo on his blog of Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.” She lived in Twin Falls as a child, Paul reports. BTW, if you love nostalgia and Paul's snippets in the print Slice, you should check out his online slice here.

Question: Who is your favorite Idaho-born or -raised actor?

Slice: Lake Places Need Lots Of Work

Pullman’s Joan Harris wrote last week to suggest that those Inland Northwesterners without lake places don’t understand. It’s no picnic. “I just got back from my lake home where I spent two days cleaning up the beach that’s been flooded since June,” she said. “I stacked wood, carried wood, cut wood, burned wood, raked detritus both days and am sporting aches in every muscle.” But she can’t say she wasn’t warned. “When I bought my place on Lake Coeur d’Alene, a neighbor said, ‘See those people out there on the lake enjoying themselves – those are my guests. I’m in here working.’ ” Well, that is a different perspective. Harris concluded, “My point being, don’t always envy those who say they are ‘going to the lake’ unless they are the guests”/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here. (SR file photo, of lake view from Harrison home)

Question: Even with all the work involved in maintaining a lake house, would you be willing to swap your current place for one?

Slice: North Idaho/Northern Idaho?

“Regarding the North Idaho/Northern Idaho debate,” wrote Shannon Bahr-Allert. “When I was visiting Pocatello last summer we were watching the local TV station and they refer to 'Eastern Idaho's biggest Ford dealership' or 'Eastern Idaho's best weather coverage' yada yada yada. I turned to my friend and said that up north we refer to Eastern Idaho as 'Montana' ”/Paul Turner, The Slice blog.

Question: Who should decide whether it's North Idaho or northern Idaho?

The Slice: How Goes The Battle?

The other day, a nice guy on an elevator asked me a familiar small-talk question. “How goes the battle?” I can’t recall my answer. But I remember thinking afterward that a person in a town with a zillion military retirees really ought to be able to come up with a decent reply. So here are a few things I might say next time: “We are being routed on all fronts.” “They’ve taken the West Plains and Mead.” “If we don’t get some air support soon, we’re in trouble.”  “We’ve been hit and are taking on water”/Paul Turner, The Slice, SR. More here.

Question: Do you ever tell someone how things really are when s/he gives you a generic greeting?

The Slice: The Road Not Taken

SR writer Paul Turner re-enters the blogosphere again today w/The Slice blog:

Maybe some of us were destined to wind up in this neck of the woods. The other day I was going through a box of ancient personal papers. I came across a reminder that I almost went to the University of Idaho. Back in the mid-70s, while in my second year as a student at a tiny state college in Vermont not far from home, I decided that my life really needed to be more like an Eagles song. So I applied to several medium-sized schools in the Intermountain West. The U of I was kind enough to accept me. And I recall thinking that “the University of Idaho” would sound exotic to my friends in New England. It might even appear that I had a real plan, which I most assuredly did not. “A Vandal? It's, um, a righteous pillager. Or something”/Paul Turner, The Slice (blog). More here. And The Slice blog.

Question: Ever been pawing through some old box of stuff and found a fork in the road?

The Slice has a blog

Spokesman-Review columnist Paul Turner has written his observations and musings in thousands of Today sections (even before it was called the Today section). Paul's fans will be happy to know that he has joined the ranks of the SR bloggers. Check out his new blog here and sit back and enjoy the ride. Let's move on.

Turner: Goodbye Inland Empire?

A note from a reader got me wondering. Will this be the year that “Inland Northwest” finally and conclusively routs “Inland Empire” in everyday usage? The trend has been under way for at least 20 years. And the subject has been discussed many times in this column. But I just have a feeling that 2011 is going to be the year when “Inland Empire” nears extinction. Now making that declaration guarantees that I will hear from staunch defenders, Inland Imperialists if you will, of the old regional label/Paul Turner, SR. More here.

Question: What term do you use to refer to the territory between the Cascades & the Rockies: Inland Empire? Inland Northwest? Something else?

Chiefs fall to Portland

First, enjoy Paul Turner’s thoughts on the nicknames of the Western Hockey League teams.

A last minute goal allows Portland to continue its dominance of the Chiefs in Spokane - but you don’t want to remember last year, went the Winterhawks went 4-0 in the regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs. Well, that streak is up to nine now.

The game story is here.  The long box is below with some notes.

FYI, we’re now tweeting,  SRtrim.

Slice: Something Doesn’t Smell Right

Jerry Harrison (a she) and another retired teacher were having lunch at NorthTown. A cluster of teenage boys sat not far away. The lads were casually dressed in sports togs, including basketball-esque tops with the big arm-holes. “They seemed to be enjoying one another’s company,” said Harrison. Then something unexpected happened. “Someone took out a stick of deodorant, applied it generously, and then passed it around the table for everyone to use. Which they did.” This left Harrison wondering: “Only in Spokane?”/Paul Turner, SR Slice. More here.

Question: Have you seen teen boys do something this gross or worse?

Turner: Women Can Read Your Eyes

Virtually all the women responding to last Monday’s questionnaire about men’s styles of women-watching requested anonymity. I understand. But here is a quick synthesis of at least some of their answers. Yes, a woman can tell when guys are straining to keep their eyes on her face. “Because they are rarely completely successful,” said a reader named Leslie. Women said they know what they are doing when they wear something snug or revealing but suggested that this is not an invitation for men to de-evolve into cave dwellers/Paul Turner, The Slice/SR. More here.

Question: Where’s the line between gawking and healthy admiration?

Slice: Avoiding Stray Spokane Gunfire

Here’s how to avoid getting hit by stray gunshots in Spokane, according to Paul Turner of The Slice/SR (full list here):

  • 1. If you are attending the symphony and notice that more than a few others in the concert hall are shirtless, turn around and go home.
  • 2. If a lot of the others who showed up for a meeting about sustainable transportation alternatives seem glassy-eyed high or pointlessly belligerent, take a rain-check.
  • 3. If you are at the library’s reference desk and everyone nearby is yelling and cursing and generally trying to act tough, save your question for another time.

Question: Besides avoiding Spokane altogether, what suggestions would you add to Paul’s list re: how to avoid stray gunshots in Spokane?

Tantrums: Clean Up On Aisle 5

Forget about football and basketball. Tantrum-defusing is Spokane’s No. 1 spectator sport. Practically everybody goes to the grocery store. And sooner or later we all witness little kids having meltdowns. So we also get to see how parents handle these public scenes. As you might have noticed, approaches and results vary. Some parents remain calm. They count on exhaustion or the eventual triumph of reason. Others lose it right along with their child down there on the floor, kicking and screaming. That can get ugly. Now it almost goes without saying that there are right ways and wrong ways to conduct yourself on the periphery of a category 5 tantrum/Paul Turner, SR Slice, More here.

Question: Paul Turner goes on to give several “right” and “wrong” ways to handle a tantrum when someone else’s kid is throwing a fit. How do you handle a tantrum when you encounter one at a store?

Penmanship, Letter Writing Dying Arts

A friend in Coeur d’Alene has discovered that she is not alone. PApparently others, including several of her co-workers, cannot easily read the handwriting of their grandmothers and elderly aunts.“When my husband and I receive such a letter from an elderly aunt, it’s somewhat of a puzzle to try to decipher what it says and it’s always kind of fun, but we can never get it all,” she says.Oh, well. At least those ladies still write letters. They might be the last to do so/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.

Question: How would you describe your hand-writing?