01 September 2007

The New Peace Corps? and where we've been

Found this interesting article online and thought to share the link for those who might want to read. It asks the question: Is teaching the new Peace Corps? Here's the link.

Yeah, I know, I haven't been around much lately, but there's been good reason for that... medical reasons mostly.

Everyone already knows about Jinx's breast cancer. For an update: Her one boob is gone, she's undergoing chemotherapy and she's lost her hair. When chemo's done (about 9 more weeks) they're going to take off the other breast. She's smiling, happy, and even writing again. (You'll see her column return in the 26 September River Journal.) She's not especially thrilled with being bald but, as I told her, she has remarkably beautiful eyes and they really stand out now.

My partner David was also diagnosed with prostate cancer. (We got the actual biopsy results the first weekend of the Festival at Sandpoint.) We're still in the process of discovering how this is going to be treated, as prostate cancer is a cancer where the 'experts' don't agree on the best treatments. He had an MRI last week to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, and we'll be meeting with an oncologist next week, plus have a meeting with a surgeon for a second surgical opinion the week after. David is also doing well, smiling and happy though he doesn't write at all. He is one of the most positive men I've ever met in my life and, if that means anything, it means he'll come through this just fine.

Last week, I also learned that my own 'cervical issues' have returned. I say 'issues' because my understanding is that this is NOT cancer - at least, not yet. It is, however, the last stage before it becomes cancer and therefore demands a response. I had hoped this was dealt with last year, when half of my cervix was removed, but I guess it wasn't. I've learned in recent internet research that approximately 36 percent of these 'issues' return even after the procedure that I underwent, so I probably shouldn't have been surprised. I will be getting an additional biopsy next week to determine the extent of the current problem so treatment can also be determined. There's a good chance that treatment will involve a hysterectomy, and that has me in a bit of a panic - not because I'm worried about losing my womb (my childbearing days are over anyway) but because of the cost. As a small business owner, I have no insurance. It should be an interesting experience. I, myself, am not smiling and happy but then, I'm not a very positive person. ;0) In addition, I'm in a program to stop smoking (have already cut my smoking by half) and while I know I need to do this, there's still a part of me that doesn't want to. All in all, though, I recognize life could be much, much worse. Even with this news, I am very lucky in the life I live.

School is starting, volleyball season has begun, I've finished my articles for the winter issue of Sandpoint Magazine and the River Journal continues to come out twice a month, which sometimes surprises me. Clark Fork won their football game at home last night and Laura (my birthday buddy and design mentor for the RJ) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sage Lorien, last week.

10 April 2007

Sneak Peek- River Journal 11 April 2007

Here it is folks, and I'm back on schedule!

This issue features the debut of another new writer - Matt Haag of Idaho's Fish & Game. He's taking over JJ Scott's old role (as JJ retired) writing The Warden's Words.

Roberta Burdine took the River Journal to the Phillipines, and Jay Mock is this issue's Hotshot, with a glorious photo of an elk near Rapid Lightning Creek.

I got a call from Scott in Sagle regarding his proposal for solar roads as an answer to global warming. At first I wasn't too interested in it, but once I got to researching, it looks like a viable project. Though somehow I think it would happen a lot faster if he were in the Netherlands. Or Scotland.

Jinx wrote about a wolf visiting Elk Mountain Academy, Gretchen Ward, in her first appearance in the pages of the River Journal, wrote about global warming, and Gil Beyer sent us a report from Mexico on the Mayan calendar and "the end of the world."

No story on what's happening with the Clark Fork ordinances (and there really is news on that front) because I missed the meeting Thursday night when my son came home unexpectedly, and brought his new girlfriend for me to meet. I spent the evening enjoying family and didn't remember the P&Z meeting that night until the next morning. Ah well. Such is life.

Just a reminder about those season passes for this year's Festival at Sandpoint - get 'em now. Wow, what a lineup we have! The lineup's announced May 15, so rest assured, I'll let ya know who's gonna be here just as soon as we let everyone else know.

And now... time to throw some laundry in and maybe read the next few chapter's of Umberto Eco's "The Island of the Day Before."

04 April 2007

Sneak Peek 28 March 2007

It's hardly a "sneak peek" given that the paper's been out a week now, but at least it's all finally online, too, right here.

As for behind the scenes news - the biggest news is that the paper got done, given all the other projects that were due at the same time. Thankfully, the CFHS yearbook also got done, and is sitting with a printer in Pennsylvania. Why it takes months to print I don't know. Or actually I do - my sales rep told me they're getting in about 300 yearbooks a day right now.

Cassandra Cridland wrote a great piece on the Heron Players, including the menu for the upcoming show. For those who have been to the dinner theater in Heron before, yes, Victoria Denham is cooking again (yum!) and no, she won't tell me what the food actually is - it's a mystery meal, after all.

In my own column I wrote about "new" family I found in Mansfield, Louisiana, and that I was still waiting for pictures of them reading the River Journal. Well, the post office moved quickly with my subscriptions, because yesterday DeSoto Parish assessor Jimmy Stephens sent me a picture of himself reading the RJ at the Mansfield Battlefield. What a handsome guy! You'll see him down the road.

In other news... I finally sent out notification that my Imbris email and my Sandpoint.net emails will no longer be used - too many problems with their spam filters. I can't blame them - spam is becoming an enormous problem for businesses. But I also have to have email that works. If you want to email me, send me email to trish(at)riverjournal.com.

The 25th anniversary of the Festival at Sandpoint is shaping up to be awesome. I just got my last donation for the wine auction, which will be held April 27. This is a major fundraiser for us, and there's lots of goodies to bid on. Check it out here for tickets if you don't already have 'em. (And if you haven't bought the early bird season pass, I'll tell ya now - you'll regret it.) And check it out again next week, when our new and improved website will be online.

I also finished my stories for the summer issue of Sandpoint Magazine, which will hit the streets during Lost in the 50s weekend. Talk about a success story! If you haven't seen this magazine yet, then you want to get on the list.

Clark Fork's proposed new ordinances are moving apace. If the city takes the advice of the planner they asked to present at their last meeting, then they'll be backing up and re-doing this process - just what residents have been asking for. There's a meeting this Thursday night, so look for an update in our next River Journal.

Finally, I'm taking on a new project (I know, I know, what happened to the strength of my "no?") but this will be fun. I'm going to do volunteer indexing for the LDS church on one of their genealogy projects. You can check it out at here if you want.

Here's hoping that, with my biggest projects done, it's back to my "normal" crazy life.

25 March 2007


I think I'm pushing my multi-tasking skills to the limit as I'm coming up on some big deadlines in the next few days... a newspaper, a 96-page school yearbook, stories for the summer issue of Sandpoint Magazine, the collection of auction donations for the Festival at Sandpoint, a project to build new bleachers at Clark Fork High School, taxes...

And this morning, I read that even the New York Times thinks I can't do it all.

Still, isn't that just the politically correct thing to say?

In an article called Slow Down, Multitaskers, and Don’t Read in Traffic by Steve Lohr,
he says that four Vanderbilt researchers reported on the efficiency that's lost when someone attempts to do two things at once. "... researchers found that response to the second task was delayed by up to a second when the study participants were given the two tasks at about the same time."

I can actually read a book, and sing along with a song on the radio, at the same time. Through the years, that ability has driven my family nuts. (Most people can read and listen to a song, it's the singing it that stops some folks.) I'm sure I read slower when I'm doing that, but does that really matter if both things need to happen during a certain time frame?

Of course, what really got to me about this article was the old "cell phone in the car argument."
"But one implication of the Vanderbilt research, Mr. Marois said, is that talking on a cellphone while driving a car is dangerous. A one-second delay in response time at 60 miles an hour could be fatal, he noted.

“We are under the impression that we have this brain that can do more than it often can,” observed Mr. Marois, who said he turns off his cellphone when driving."

Let's have a little scientific rigor here. Because the inference isn't that talking on a cell phone is dangerous... it's that talking is.

So before we run out to make more laws banning cell phone use while driving, let's go ahead and deal with the real problem, and ban any talking at all by a person driving a car.

And now it's back to work. 'Cause while I can multi-task, my computer keyboard can't. Typing here means I'm not typing on pages that need to be completed.

See ya later

14 March 2007

Sneak Peek 14 March 2007 River Journal

It's out, kind of, and it's amazing that it is. None are delivered yet.... I had to come home first and get some work done before heading back into Sandpoint for a 7 pm meeting. And I also wanted to come home to print off a flyer to stick in the Clark Fork papers based on a telephone conversation I had with an attorney on my way back from Spokane with this issue. (I was in Sagle, actually.)

I talked with the attorney because I had raised the question at the Clark Fork city council meeting on Monday night whether they had conducted a legal meeting. Here's what I'm sticking in the Clark Fork papers (and will print in our next issue of the River Journal).
Clark Fork Residents:
Please note: the story on the continued controversy over proposed new ordinances for our city notes that at Monday night’s city council meeting, the question was raised as to whether it had been a legal meeting or not.
I was able to speak with an attorney who represents cities on my way back from Spokane with this issue of the paper. I shared with this attorney my recollection of actions taken on the night of the meeting, and the response was that nothing in what I shared suggested it had been an illegal meeting. This attorney, it should be noted, was NOT offering legal advice, merely an opinion based on the information I provided.
It is my belief, therefore, that the actions taken during the 12 March meeting of the city council were fully legal and I apologize to the Mayor for raising the question of legality in the first place.
Trish Gannon, Publisher, The River Journal
That's where it stands at this point, and I'll keep you posted if that information changes.

12 March 2007

Recovering from Alumni

Why does alumni weekend always fall on my deadline? I've been working 12 hours straight so far today, trying to catch up and have a paper I can send to the printer tomorrow. On the bright side the twelve hours haven't been too awfully bad because (1) I'm relatively sober (after drinking Friday and Saturday night, I managed one beer last night before falling asleep - WAY early - in the bathtub) (2) I had already laid out most of staccato notes, the one part of the paper I truly hate laying out and (3) I didn't have anything in this issue that I had to write myself. Yet. (City council meeting in about 20 minutes, so we'll see what comes up.) Maybe there's a (4) as well - as I can't talk today. Between this horrible cold/cough, drinking, and very little sleep, I've lost my voice. So I've avoided answering the phone. It's not only hard to hear me, it hurts.

I don't play alumni, and every year, as I watch the volleyball, I regret it. Maybe next year. But I spend the entire weekend taking pictures of all the players, and it's a job I love. Most of it's basketball, and I sit pretty much right under the net in order to get good shots. It looks more dangerous than it's actually been throughout the years - the worst I was ever hurt at a basketball game came when a player landed on me in the bleachers. This year, I only got hit once and, believe it or not, it was my own son who crashed into me. Beezer Ruen came pretty close, and I did a beautiful zig while a guy from Noxon did a beautiful zag that kept me from some painful injuries this year.

If I load these pictures correctly, however, the first one looks like Alan Potter was just about to take me out at the neck. He actually missed me by a good three inches. My reflexes are pretty good. The second pic is just to show you guys that it's not just kids who play alumni - we get returning players of all ages. I think Bob Hays, at 70, is our oldest.

I heard this great story from someone who shall remain unnamed but this person, let's call her "C" flies home to Clark Fork every year just for alumni. She meets up with her sister, "T" and they rent a room and make a weekend of it. C was telling me that she knew they were going to give a bed in their room to their old friend (a male) "M" because he didn't have a place to stay. So she gets to her room late on Saturday night, and here's T in one bed, M in the other, and some guy sleeping with his shoes for a pillow on the floor. C tells me she wakes up T and asks her, "who's the guy on the floor?" T says, "I don't know. It's some friend of M's who didn't have a place to stay so I said he could sleep on the floor." In the morning, C asks M who the guy is and M responds, "how the hell would I know?"

Welcome to Clark Fork - and welcome home, alumni. It was another blast of a year.

08 March 2007

Alumni Weekend

I don't want to even think about how busy this last week has been and how busy the days ahead of me are going to be. On the bright side, however, one of the reasons my upcoming days look so frantic is that this is alumni weekend in Clark Fork. Yay!

This is my second-favorite holiday, coming only after the 4th of July.

If you've never experienced alumni weekend, then know this - guys over 50 can still play basketball. Boy, can they!

Every year in Clark Fork, on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, alumni and others from all over the area show up at the gym at Clark Fork High School for some of the hardest-hitting basketball and volleyball you've ever seen. It's a community party, and I love it!

I think these "old guys" are just dying for the kids to graduate so they can meet 'em on the floor at alumni - and I'll tell you this, as a watcher, I think they believe you get extra points for fouls.

You've never had this much fun before. Here's a link to a commercial we cut last year for the radio with Clark Fork alumnus George Thornton that tells you what it's like.

The action starts this Friday night (March 9) at 6 pm. Three games kick off the tournnament.

It begins again Saturday morning with two basketball games starting at 8 am.

From 10:30 to 3:30 it's volleyball, then basketball again from 4:30 to 7 pm

On Sunday, Basketball playoffs start at 8 am. Volleyball playoffs begin at 10:30 am with the championship game played at 12:30. Then it's free throw, 3-point contests and "old guy" 3 on 3 for the spectators, before finisihing up with the consolation and championship basketball games starting at 2:25 pm.

It's a great weekend at Clark Fork and I'll be right there in the thick of it - tired, but happy that I live in the best place on earth.