27 November 2006

High Speed

No, this is not my annual encouragement to just slow the hell down when the roads are bad, though you can go ahead and take that advice anyway. This is just me crowing that, as of about 4 pm today, I finally have satellite internet.

I'm on high speed baby, so bring it on - send me all those stupid emails with PowerPoint presentations, 32 photographs, huge sound and/or movie files that you just have to forward. I can handle it now!

I think. Hard to tell when I've only had high speed for about three hours. And of course, if you really do that to me, I'm gonna have to hunt you down and do something to you - in honor of the memory of ten years of dial-up.

26 November 2006

A weekend project

Tried to post to this blog last week but couldn't log on and then it was deadline... family visiting... the holidays... and other projects.

On Saturday, my daughter Amy and I went over to the high school here in Clark Fork and decorated a Christmas tree for the school. This was a booster club project... folks are welcome to buy a $1 raffle ticket, and one lucky winner is going to get a fully decorated Christmas tree delivered to their home.

The tree, a 6' fir purchased from Wilson Auto in Sandpoint at a discounted price, includes the stand, over 1100 lights, over 8 dozen ornaments, a wampus cat tree topper, a storage box for the ornaments, surge protector, glass vase, blue fleece blanket/tree skirt, and a CFHS stadium seat to cushion those bleachers during basketball season. Get a ticket by calling the school at 266-1131 or stopping by some day. The tree will be delivered December 16.

17 November 2006

It's Landon!

A warm welcome to David's third grandson, Landon Hughes. He was born about 11:15 this morning in Spokane. His parents are Erin and Nic Hughes, and his grandparents are Claire Biseline and Terry Gonzales of Hope, and David Broughton of Sandpoint. Landon weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth and was 19 inches long. Isn't he beautiful?

13 November 2006

Monday Reflections

The day started with a call from my oldest daughter, telling me that the television news said school was closed today. I told my youngest daughter to go back to bed. About 45 minutes later the oldest daughter called back to say the TV news apologized for the misinformation, Lake Pend Oreille School District schools were actually open (while the news bar scrolling school closures still had it listed). I woke youngest daughter and let her know she was going to be late for school.

I'm learning that if I don't put things on the calendar, I forget to do them. I think the days of keeping everything in my head might be gone. At 11:30 I had a call from Eve's Leaves wondering why I wasn't there to try on the clothes I'll be modeling on Holly Eve (Oh, yes, I model. Let that be a warning to you, stay away from Marilyn Sabella when she wants something.) I wasn't there because my HEAD said I was supposed to be there Wednesday morning. 30 minutes late before even leaving Clark Fork, I followed a car pulling a boat in today's gusty winds - he never made it over 35 mph. I applaud his sense of safety, but why does that always happen when I'm late?

Just FYI, Eve's Leaves carries clothes that will cover up a LOT of belly fat.

I got home around ten after five after doing all my "town" chores, checked my email, and found one that included an agenda for the Festival Board meeting - which started tonight at 5:30... in Sandpoint.

I called with my regrets. I rarely miss a meeting, and I HATE to miss one due to stupidity. My only excuse is that these meetings almost always take place on a deadline Monday - which would be NEXT Monday. See, the head is not reliable anymore.

I also had an email from Avista, letting me know where all the power outtages are. I'm so glad they email to let folks know. Why did that make me laugh?

I discovered that if you spray paint in the house, 'cause it's cold and windy and wet outside and the rain has blown all over the porch and gotten it wet, you will get high. You will also get paint on the kitchen floor that's almost impossible to remove, and you will discover the kitchen floor is much too close to the woodstove for spray painting.

If you spray paint a rubber ball, it takes a LONG time for it to dry. And yes, the fingerprints will show from checking.

If you spray paint golf tees, the spray shoots them all over the front porch (once you've moved there from the kitchen floor.)

If you're wondering why anyone would spray paint a rubber ball and golf tees, then you've never tried to create a tail for a wampus cat.

If you don't remember to make all the phone calls you need to make before you leave the house, then don't plan on remembering to take the phone numbers with you so you can make the calls from town on the cell phone.

And finally, if you're not willing to wait five minutes with the front door open while the cat decides whether it REALLY has to go outside when it's cold, rainy and windy outside, then the cat will pee on the floor.

No new stadium for Seattle

With all the other election news, I missed this story about Seattle residents voting against a measure to pay for a new arena for the Sonics.

I gotta confess - as much as I love professional sports, I think they made the right choice, and my reasoning is reflected in the name of the group that opposed the measure: "Citizens for More Important Things."

Given the amount of money generated in pro sports, I find it hard to believe that there's no way to fund a stadium privately, or that there's no way for it to be funded publicly, but with taxpayers getting their money back.

If it costs $500 million to build - how long would it take to sell 500 million tickets that included a dollar surcharge to go back into the taxpayer kitty? Or even 50 million with a $10 surcharge?

Good job Seattle. I'm glad to see voters are finally getting smart about where their money is going.

12 November 2006

New Issue is Online

Well, I'm not sure what went wrong, but it seems to be fixed now and the current issue of the River Journal is available online to read here.

Of special interest - our newest columnist, Paul Rechnitzer, makes his debut. Paul was the former head of the Bonner County Republican Committee and is an avowed train buff. His first column talks about "post-election blues."

It's a championship issue as Marianne Love writes about a National Horse Judge champion and other winners from the area, and Scott Johnson writes about the championship athletes at Sandpoint High School.

Lou Springer tells us about a new book out from the Sanders County Historial Society on the 1910 fires; Cassandra Cridland talks about living in bear country; Marylyn Cork points us toward a "caring gift" for the holidays.

Check it out... see if you agree that there's more to life than just bad news, and that the River Journal is a "newspaper worth wading through."

12 November 2006

Spent most of yesterday cleaning house and refusing to do any work on the newspaper at all. Then I got an email telling me my website is not displaying the current issue of the paper. I STILL refused to do any newspaper work, but that means I have to get to it this morning - plus write checks, do billing, do taxes and file a lot of paperwork. Still, it was nice to have at least one day off.

Now it's nose to the grindstone time.

06 November 2006

The Story 'Behind' Cheney's Visit

My David, who sells ads for the radio, likes to say, "tell me and I'll tell thousands." But I'm thinking Dave Oliveria, of Huckleberries fame, could give him a run for his money 'cause even stuck out here in Clark Fork I've already heard that at least a partial version of my story on Cheney's visit is making the rounds... courtesy of Dave.

So here it is - the story I promised days ago but am just now getting around to after spending a weekend doing volleyball in Spokane and trying to catch up on my newspaper deadline.

My David (this is to distinguish him from Dave O) emailed Wednesday to see if I'd like to attend the Cheney extravaganza with him, bringing my teenage daughter, Amy, with me, and by the way, respond within five mintues as we have to get our names/addresses in for approval.

Of course I said yes, even though it's fair to say Cheney is not one of my favorite people in the world. My David, however, IS.

I turned in my name and address (initially I said my name was Trish "Squeaky Fromme" Gannon but I figured the Secret Service would not see any humor in that... and to tell the truth, I didn't either. I'd rather wait for Cheney's black, evil heart to give out on him than see anyone try to help the process along.)

Despite what I'd heard about liberals like me being banned from the production, David and I were approved and off we went to CDA.

Like most people, we went to the airport, which was the wrong way, and turned around and entered an incredible line of traffic, whereupon we proceeded to sit and wait. Finally arriving at the parking for the airport, we exited the car to be greeted by what felt like sub-zero temperatures, howling winds, and freezing rain. I wondered if this location was chosen in order for Cheney to feel like he was at home in Wyoming.

We walked miles (only a slight exaggeration) and got in the line to enter the hanger. I was wearing two sweaters, a vest, a heavy coat and a scarf. David had been smart enough to bring an unbrella, as well, so we were somewhat protected from the weather, but for the most part we were as miserable as everyone else in the slow moving line.

Of course, I drove from Clark Fork to attend this event, had waited in line in the car for an awfully long time, was waiting in line again for an awfully long time, and have given birth to three kids. I had to pee. I REALLY had to pee.

I recognized the situation was becoming desperate when I found myself contemplating the relative merits of heading back to the parking lot WAY behind us, finding a spot between cars, and baring my bum to the freezing wind versus the warmth that might be generated if I just gave up and peed my pants. (I had neglected to wear long johns.)

Lucky for me, I spotted a guy with a badge coming in our direction down the line, so I stepped out from under the umbrella to ask, through gritted teeth, "where would I find the closest restroom, please, sir?"

"Just come with me," he replied.

Before I go any further with this story, if I have to speculate as to this man's identity, let's go with his being a member of the Secret Service. (After all, if there's any blame to be laid, let's lay it at the feet of those who were responsible, right?)

This gentleman, to my surprise, escorted me into the hanger, behind the security tables, and pointed me in the direction of a door that led to the executive office suite - then walked off and left.

I had free run, no one waiting to see if I ever came back out, and a plethora of optional exits if I so chose to use them. Bear in mind... no one, at any time, checked to see if I had a ticket to the event, asked to see my ID, or checked underneath my bulky outergarments to see if I was packing, say, a rifle or a bomb or even, God forbid, a "Cheney go home" sign (all of which would have fit).

Of course, I'm a good girl. I used the restroom, then walked back outside into the freezing rain to join my man.

I never got inside again. Long before we ever got to the front doors, they were closed and people in line were told to go home as the hanger was too full.

David and I followed the edge of the runway to make our way back to the car, parked at the farthest remove of the lot. It (the runway) was lined with big trucks - trucks like gravel trucks, dump trucks, even a grader - in what appeared to be an attempt to keep vehicles from driving out onto the runway and approaching Air Force Two. Of course, about two-thirds of the way back to our end of the parking lot, they ran out of trucks and the way was clear for anyone with a clear wish to do harm, or maybe even just to take close up pictures.

We watched Air Force Two land, (along with the fake AF2 as well) watched a convoy of about a dozen limos pull up to escort the VP and his entourage into the hanger, watched the VP descend from the plane (though I'm not sure about that part. It was too cold and I just wasn't interested enough, though David watched). We visited for a while with a young man with a camera, and I encouraged him to go out on the tarmac and get much closer to the plane than we were - after all, there was no one there until you got to two fire trucks about midway across the asphalt - but the kids wasn't as gutsy as I would have been at his age.

After a while we moved on to the car, escorting an elderly woman who had already fallen once on the ice (and thank goodness we came along, as she would have frozen to death if she had fallen again and couldn't get up - there were NO vehicles left but ours at that end of the parking lot by then). Then we pulled over to the empty place in the asphalt to watch some more. This time we stopped at the far end of the runway, and parked by a police vehicle, which, of course, we could have outrun if we really wanted to.

Security, I have to say, was a joke at this event.

And I'm still waiting for Dave Olivera or one of his "bloggers" to post the information - who paid for this boondoggle?